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