THE CHILDFREE LIFE

64 Comments@BlogARhythm1, #WordyWednesdays, Life, Link Ups, Opinion

This was inspired by Sid Balachandran’s post, “So, You Want Kids?”

with child or childfree?
Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

He has wholeheartedly embraced the role of “Stay-at-home Dad”, but laments that society refuses to mind its own business about couples having children. I can attest to this. There is still a stigma attached to those of us who consciously choose to be childfree. We get quizzical glances that imply there is something wrong with us or, worse yet, pitying glances. If we have pets, people often assume they are substitutes for the “real thing”. This may be true for some, but certainly not all.

In an ideal world, children would be born only to parents who want them and are emotionally prepared. Sad stories of child neglect and abuse are daily media fodder. Doesn’t it make sense then, to praise childfree couples for recognizing this? Instead, we are seen as aberrations and often discriminated
against. Why is it that people feel compelled to comment on such a highly personal matter? Our own parents beg for grandchildren (thankfully, mine never did), while other parents think we are deprived and/or depraved. Then there are those who claim to have our best interests at heart. Sure…………

the childfree life
[perceptionvsfact.com]

HOW long have you been married now? No children YET?

We’re happy the way things are. WHAT’S IT TO YOU??!

But, you would make great parents. Look how well you treat your dogs!

Just because we love our dogs does not mean we yearn for human parenthood.

Doesn’t your life seem empty?

Not at all! We enjoy each other and love our freedom.

Why get married, if you don’t want to raise a family?

We were in love and committed to each other. Kids have never been part of that vision.

It’s selfish to not want kids.

It’s selfish to have children for financial gain, (think welfare scammers) or due to
family/religious pressure, or because it’s “expected”, when your heart isn’t in it.
The child WILL suffer your resentments, no matter how subtle they may be.

You’re missing out on the most wonderful life experience!

According to whom? Everyone has their own definition of what is and isn’t wonderful. 

But every woman has that maternal instinct.

Not true! Even as a young child, I knew that motherhood was not for me.

Don’t you want someone to carry on the family legacy?

Why should that matter, unless you’re a member of a Royal family? So egotistical!

Who’s going to look after you in your old age?

Having children doesn’t guarantee you’ll be taken care of.  Elder neglect and abuse is on the rise.
We can make our own arrangements while still of sound mind and body.

It’s your duty to procreate, otherwise humanity will become extinct.
[This argument is also used by anti-gay marriage factions.]

There are still enough people in this world willing and able to have children.
Let them fulfill their destiny as we fulfill ours. Live and let live!
Different story for those who want to be parents and can’t.
That’s a heartbreaker and the distinction between “childfree” and “childless”.

Now that we are past childbearing/rearing age, these comments no longer plague us. Many of our friends are parents, grandparents, even great-grandparents who are well-suited to it and do a marvelous job. Kudos to them, but please, leave us to enjoy our own chosen dynamic.

A little levity on the subject, courtesy of British comedian Michael McIntyre:

Apparently, it’s even worse than we thought! 😉

** WHAT IS IT THAT I REALLY WANT TO SAY? **
We childfree couples are tired of the assumptions, aspersions and asinine comments.
To each their own!

scroll

Parents: What’s your opinion of childfree couples and their motivation?

Non-parents: How do others react to your situation?

******

Looking forward to your comments!

Participating in the  Blog-A-Rhythm link-up for Jan. 18-24

and the  ** Wordy Wednesdays prompt **.

BAR Wordy Wednesday @ THE DOGLADY'S DEN





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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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64 thoughts on “THE CHILDFREE LIFE

  1. Well, I say – good for you, Debbie and all those who have made this choice! I like your ‘answers’ to all those who would just not give up interfering in other people’s lives and questioning them on their free choices and decisions. You know, sometime ago I read somewhere a comment by a spiritual guru in India who had said that so many of the Earth’s problems can be actually addressed if people stop having children for 10 years. I don’t remember the exact words but that was the sense of his message. Of course, many people criticized him for saying such a thing, but if we think deeply and honestly there is a real truth in this idea. Earth is simply becoming more and more stressed with the weight of humanity. Well, before I get criticized by someone reading your blog let me add that I am all for people’s individual choices 🙂 To have or not to have!
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…Me and Me TooMy Profile
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  2. It’s true that people pass that’pity’ look, in case one chooses to be child-free. We had our lil Prince coming to our life post 5 years of our marriage, and for these post years, the kind of questions asked to me were hilarious and annoying. Loved your take on the subject matter.Cheers.
    Ajay Pai recently posted…True ColorsMy Profile
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  3. Debbie that video was just hilarious and so completely right. Still rolling with laughter. On a more serious note I’m in complete agreement with you. It is a couple’s choice about when, how many or whether at all they want to have kids.
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  4. Hey Debbie! I read Sid’s post. Ya know, I feel it is perfectly fine for someone to choose to be child free. Most of my friends, interestingly, adore children and have chosen to be childfree. They make fantastic guardians to their nieces and nephews and friends’ children. There’s a common misconception that people who decide not to have children of their own do not like children. What crap. They have a choice…and there can be so many reasons. The world will always have its own view of what is “normal” and diss everyone who does not fit into that narrow point of view. Like sex, choosing to be parents, or not is entirely personal and woe betide anyone who passes judgment on it. Hugs! Great to see ya back.
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Move On #ThatsWhatSheSaidMy Profile
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    1. Hi Vidya! 🙂 It’s always been a mystery to me, why some people cannot accept that not everyone thinks as they do. The part about being “unfulfilled” was especially irking. Our 42nd anniversary is coming up in August and there are no regrets. 😀 (How many people can say that?!) Thanks for visiting. It’s good to be back.
      Debbie D. recently posted…ON A WALK – PHOTO FRIDAYMy Profile
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  5. Glad to see you are back and with a great post. I had my kid after 6 years of marriage so I understand a lot of what you said here.
    It is just people don’t like minding their own business.
    Kids seems to be the high point for many. And I agree about the resentment and abuse.
    Just keep writing Debbie.
    Inderpreet Kaur Uppal recently posted…Kaleidoscope Cover RevealMy Profile
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    1. Thanks Inderpreet! 🙂 It’s good to be back.
      Funny how this particular topic lends itself to so much meddling by others, isn’t it?
      Children deserve to be wanted and loved, but so many people have them for the wrong reasons and the little ones suffer because of it. 🙁
      Let’s see what Rita the Muse comes up with next. 😉 Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts.
      Debbie D. recently posted…NEW YEAR, NEW CREATIONSMy Profile
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  6. Absolutely spot-on article. People like to butt in to others businesses and forget that not everything is up for discussion. Respecting the privacy of others is a courtesy everyone should extend. To each his/her own, kids or no kids, being happy and content with the decision is what matters.

  7. This is a topic close to my heart and you’ve had me nodding through your post. I always thought these issues were prevalent more in India than elsewhere due to our cultural values. But honestly, I wonder why should any culture prevent humanity from freedom of choice? It all boils down to individual choices. Really.
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  8. Hey, Debbie,
    This is completely my story. I don’t have kids, or, to put it your way, we are childfree. We chose not to have children because of certain reasons. There were times when I did miss having a child of my own. But, when I thought about the risks involved, I decided we had made the best decision, ever. We have a pet dog, who is my ‘son’. My family has accepted this wholeheartedly. But, the world, the people who don’t know me, wonder why we have a dog and not a child. It used to get on my nerves. But, now that we are past that age, we live in peace.Glad about it!
    I wrote a post on Motherhood, long back, which I would like to share with you here. I am sure you will find some similarities in our stories.
    Glad to have met you, Debbie!
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  9. Ohh I could so relate to this!! going through the same thing these days… I sometimes have to divert the topic rather impolitely 😛 The video you shared is absolutely hilarious 😀
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  10. Sometimes people can be very judgmental and they expect other people to follow their values or beliefs. It is hightime everybody followed live and let live policy. I can understand what you must be going through on a daily basis and I admire your strength to stick to your decision no matter what 🙂

  11. Debbie, good Job, on Q +A,,, …… yes some people think because you marry , you should have kids.. I was one of those people for awhile, w/ my oldest son… who married young + never wanted kids. + till this day doesn’t……. I neglected what he + his wife wanted….cause I was Selfish in wanting a grandchild,,, Not considering What they wanted’, till a lot later in life’.

    Parrenthood is..”””” Not for ALL.. …,, I respect anyone.. who makes that choice + lives the life they want, as It’s a personal choice for each person..or couple’……….. thx for sharing… ..

  12. I have known many couples that did not have biological children. I never gave any thought, in any case, as to why. There are some that are very close to me, so close, it would not offend them if I asked, but the thought of asking is just not there.
    Myke Todd recently posted…Find the TimeMy Profile

  13. Great post, Debbie! As you know, I can totally relate to all the points you made. I just really, really wish that people would mind their own business and realize that choosing whether or not to have kids is a very personal decision. So many people do love to poke their nose in, though!
    Laurel Regan recently posted…Tangled Tuesday No. 37My Profile
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  14. Great post and I’ve heard it all … because I’m almost “past my prime” and people ask me all sorts of questions about why we don’t have children. they forget or conveniently choose not to remember that having or not having kids is a very private decision…

  15. Great post Debbie! I don’t have “human” children but I do treat my Titan as I would my child, pretty much. I had the desire back in my 30’s but I wanted to be married. I didn’t get married until 36 and at that time, the hubs and I decided to not have our own (he already had one). I am perfectly content with that, especially being the world is increasingly getting over populated. I heard it all though and bout why I don’t have children. Quite frankly, it’s annoying and I tell them “I just didn’t want any.” Usually shuts them up quick enough.

    Definitely nothing wrong with those who don’t want children. I saw “Power to ya!”

    B
    Brenda Lee recently posted…#Money Won’t Bring You Lasting #HappinessMy Profile
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    1. Yes, everybody’s different. I would tell people I just wasn’t interested, but some still tried to convince me I didn’t mean it. LOL You know: “You’ll change your mind” or “That biological clock will start ticking”, etc. Clock? What clock? Never happened. It was definitely annoying, but thankfully, now that we’re old, nobody cares anymore. 🙂 Thanks for coming by!
      Debbie D. recently posted…WORDS AND MUSIC – #MicroblogMondays 21 #MondayMusingsMy Profile
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  16. Bravo, Debbie, for saying this! It’s something I’ve thought a lot about writing about, especially in the face of all the “mommy blogs” and “empty nest” blogs out there. I too have never felt that supposedly “overwhelming” desire to have children. I got married at age 42. My husband did want children, and for his sake we tried, but it didn’t happen, and now we’re content as we are. We have a good, happy life. I honestly couldn’t imagine myself trying to bring up a child; parenthood is tough, and I don’t think I’m cut out for it. And I agree with you that too many people do it for the wrong reasons. Glad to know there are others out there!

  17. Hi Debbie,

    Ha ha… It’s even funnier than I presumed, but there’s a true story behind all that as well 🙂 I’m not married yet, so I don’t think I have much to contribute here. But naysayers always have something up in theirs sleeves. Isn’t it? It’s the easy part. Listening to all of them is NOT.

    I think people are so used to follow the old human life cycle despite they like it or not – …, study, work, marry, children and so on. Everything has moved on from where they were, but some people still stuck in there. They don’t want to and doesn’t let others to either 😉

    When you are not married: When you will get married? / When married: When you will have children? / When you can’t have children: It’s a shame you can’t… / When you don’t wanna have children: Doesn’t your life so empty?

    Politely hurtful 😉

    We can admire if someone wanna share their wonderful experiences we yet to experience, but enforcement and hurtful remarks shouldn’t be there, as I believe. People can have opinions, but has to respect others’ as well 🙂 ‘Cause even words can be really painful. Sometimes I know our loved ones mean the best, but they have to understand what they wanted from their lives is not same for others.

    I’m totally with you, Debbie 🙂 You know what’s best for you. And I hope this post will spread and enlighten the minds and hearts of more people to be more understandable too.

    Enjoy the rest of your wonderful week dear 🙂

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted…How to Add Smilies for Threaded Comments in BloggerMy Profile
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    1. At the other end of the spectrum, there seems to be no small degree of stigma attached to people like the Duggars, who welcome as many children as God sends. Could it be, I wonder, that only one child of each sex per couple would be a proportion that would raise no objections, or might it be that even then there’d be people involving themselves critically in someone else’s business?

    2. So nice to see you, Mayura! 🙂 I’ve always been “out of step” with the mainstream, so, nothing new for me. LOL You said it exactly: People shouldn’t expect others to want the same things in life as they do, but I suppose it’s human nature. That said, society in general has become somewhat more tolerant, at least in some parts of the world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Cheers to you!
      Debbie D. recently posted…WORDS AND MUSIC – #MicroblogMondays 21 #MondayMusingsMy Profile
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  18. I did not have a kid for 10 years of my married life. I yearned for one but society had made my life unbearable. People should know to mind their own business and not pass judgement on other’s lives.

  19. You said it Debbie it’s not anybody’s business what you decide…To have a child or not is a couple’s decision and no one should interfere or judge that…I’m still not decided ..actually in two minds…but all it takes is a moment of clarity and when that occurs it will be my decision and not anyone elses…I just which the world understood
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  20. Funny to read this. Just last night I had a conversation with my husband about having children. This was after watching the horrific news and all the evils going on in this world. And we both agreed, if we were young enough today, I don’t believe we would put children into this world. We seriously worry about our grandchildren’s futures, and where they will be in 20 or 30 years from now.
    I certainly don’t know if I would still hold this opinion a year from now, but in any case we respect people who decidedly are against putting a child into this world, for whatever reason. We are all children on this planet anyway… and we are all connected somehow. Children don’t belong to us, they simply come through us.
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  21. Good for you taking a stand about living a child free life, Debbie. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s such a commitment in every way, financially and emotionally and changes your life totally. For me, it was something I really wanted to do and being a mother is such a joy for me, but it’s not for everyone.

    I really respect your choice not to have kids. Interesting to read your post with all the annoying comments you’ve had to endure over the years. You’d think society would be a bit more modern in their thinking as they are becoming more accepting of non-traditional families like gay parents, for example. I guess there are still those who don’t get it and feel it’s their business to judge.
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  22. Totally with you on this one! I keep hoping people will get tired of making assumptions and poking their noses into others’ business but sadly that’s not the case. Well, the right to decide whether to have a child or not rests with the individuals and it’s nobody else’s business. And to carry on the family name, don’t even get me started on it.
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  23. I am with you on this one ‘doglady.’ 😉 Though I do admit that my previously adopted cat (a number of years ago) was the closest thing to having a baby…he WAS my baby! I loved and adored him like a child, and when it was time to let him go, it was like, well, like giving up my own baby even though I haven’t had children. I never felt or heard my biological clock tick so think that’s a bunch of hogwash. I so agree with you on all the reasons you mention and I’m sure there is more! 😉 You (and others) may wish to check out “The Childless Project” of which I and many others participated in a few years ago: http://www.childlessbychoiceproject.com/ 🙂
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  24. In a strange sort of way, I have been on both sides of this – I wanted children, couldn’t have them and then got pregnant at 40. For 20 years I was the brunt of the stupid, hurtful, thoughtless remarks.

    Many of my friends do not have children and either never wanted them or couldn’t have them. I never asked them or made any judgmental remarks. When they chose to share the whys with me it was appreciated but not necessary.

    There are many other scenarios like this that are just as judgmental – suffice it to say we cannot change what people say or do — so over the years I have come up with a series of responses that usually stops them dead in their tracks and I can walk away smiling to myself. It is a lot better than allowing their remarks to hurt me.
    Carol Graham recently posted…Sorry But Your Husband Has Irreversible Brain DamageMy Profile
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    1. Interesting that you’ve experienced both sides, Carol. It seems that anything outside the mainstream is fodder for speculation and disapproval, isn’t it? We deflected those remarks for many years, but rather than being hurt, we were mostly annoyed that people didn’t mind their own damn business! I’ve been known to spit out a clever retort or two as well. 😉
      Debbie D. recently posted…WORDS AND MUSIC – #MicroblogMondays 21 #MondayMusingsMy Profile
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  25. Thanks for the ping back, Debbie.

    And I agree. People should just take their little, upturned noses and stick into their own business. Even as a parent, I still think that ‘you’ (generalising, of course) will know if you want kids or not. And everyone – the family, the society and every one else – must respect that decision. It’s a matter of choice, not an illness. And as for ‘humanity being extinct’, if that does happen, I’m darn certain that it will be because of the way we treat the world and other humans, not because some couples chose not to have kids. Once again, thank you for the mention 🙂
    Sid recently posted…So, you want kids?My Profile
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  26. I have heard all of these except for any about marriage since my partner and I never plan to be wed. Maybe that means there is one less thing for nosey people to comment on regarding our childless life choice! The new one lately has been “it’s not too late for you- your cousin/friend/someone had a baby at 43!” *sigh* And there is the new family stigma that I don’t like babies. “Oh, YOU don’t want to hold her.” “I forgot that YOU won’t want to see a picture of the baby.” Yeah. I hate babies. And I only love animals. I guess I’d rather have the family rumors be about that than how sad it is that I am infertile or whatever other awful things people say to excuse a perfectly reasonable choice that they can’t understand. Thank you for this post. It made me smile and a little sad but it is always nice that my few childless by choice friends and I are not alone!
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