There are many people who believe that being childfree (or better yet, “childless by choice”) is a negative trait, especially for a woman. Because I have the body parts and natural cycles that evolution has given to human females, the assumption is that I would desire children and be willing to have them should I “find the right man” or “feel my clock ticking.”
Not having kids is also seen as something to pity. Others who have children know what it’s like to feel that intense love bond between family members and they enjoy raising up the next generation. That’s all puppies and rainbows if that’s what you choose for your life. Many people like myself do not want that for our futures, and we know it is our right to choose and not be pitied or accused of being selfish or ignorant.
Why I’m Childfree
I don’t want kids.
That’s the gist of it, folks. No deep answers from me or essays justifying my desires and my dreams. I don’t need to make excuses. I’m delighted with my choice to not have children! I’ll miss out on some great experiences parents have, but I’ll be an available friend or relative to support them. I’ll gain the benefits of being an adult without such a lifelong responsibility: I’ll have more money, more ability to be flexible and involved in my hobbies and goals, and I won’t lack love, friendship, or joy.
If You Have a Childfree Friend or Family Member
If you adore kids and want them in your life, I applaud you and thank you. That’s a wonderful life profession that takes serious work and commitment. I am so glad you are in our society. Please do a good job.
Since we disagree on this important issue, it might help you to know what sorts of words or arguments are commonly used that do not help childfree individuals feel loved, understood, nor supported.
Avoid these common phrases or arguments:
- You’re not a fulfilled woman without the experience of having children. [Not only would you sting the childless by choice with this arrogant and ignorant attitude, but also the infertile and single.]
- Even if you don’t want them now, you’ll want them later.
- When you meet the right guy, you’ll want to start a family with him because that’s the evidence of true love and unity.
- Having children and creating a family is the highest calling of a couple. It’s for the greater good.
- We’re biologically designed to reproduce; why fight it?
- It’s what God wants. [I recommend skipping the god-talk all together, especially with seculars like myself. Talk to us in our own language.]
- But you’d be a great parent! [Being a good person and able to take care of and love someone else does not mean they must procreate.]
- I was just like you before! [I’m sure you were childless and happy once. Good for you. We’re happy to stay there and that’s fine for us.]
- You just don’t understand. [This is so insulting.]
Above all things, do not belittle or invalidate a childfree person. It is a sign that you are not truly listening to what they have to say nor respecting how they feel.
Why Are Childfree People Mean?
Okay, some people are douchebags, but you can find those anywhere.
Here’s a video of typical responses from mothers about being childfree by choice. These ladies are mostly arguing against the angry, bitter population of childfree choicers on the internet, and hot damn, they are not kidding. I’ve read the thoughts, rants, and views of the “militants”, and they offend and annoy me too!
I consider myself a moderate person who supports everyone’s right to choose and encourages families to succeed and children to grow up happy and well. I don’t hate children or think parents are evil. These are extremes. Let’s not go to extremes. There is no need to be nasty and unkind to parents because you do not have something in common with them.
Kids in My Future
Am I always going to be childless by choice? I don’t know. Just like I’m open to new evidence for deities and other mysteries, I am also open to changing my mind about having children. It is a tiny opening, but I’m willing to re-consider my opinions. I don’t foresee a change happening soon (or ever), nor think that my currently non-existent maternal instinct will suddenly kick in when I meet a certain man or turn 35.
This admission of a possibility does not mean I secretly want kids or that I’m just spending a few years having fun before I “settle down”. It means I am not bull-headed enough to say “never”.
To My Fellow Childfree Friends
If you also feel pressured by family, friends, or culture to do things just because of preconceived notions of “how it’s done”–guess what!–You’re not alone!
If your mother wants grandchildren, that’s her issue, not yours. If your best friend has three kids and can’t stop talking about how they’re the best thing to ever happen to her, be glad for her but also share and relish what is joyous and fulfilling in your life. Embrace your freedom and your personal decisions. Follow your dreams, and don’t be trapped by society’s expectations.