To bear child or not to bear child, that is the question.
It’s such a complex and convoluted topic. I often wonder if this much emphasis on choosing to parent or not was placed prior to the life and times of now. There is judgment from every angle and everyone knows it is a highly personal decision, but that will not hinder them in voicing their opinion on what they think you should do.
I’ve bounced between wanting to be a mommy and wanting to remain child-free. Makes sense since I’ve also debated in going for an all-consuming career or just doing something to get me by until I meet that person I want to settle down with. Currently, I don’t see that happening so I may as well go for that career.
If you choose to be child-free you hear a lot of, “You don’t know what you’re missing.” or, “Why? Are you scared? I think you’d be a great mom!” or, “I think the world is over-populated as it is so you may just be doing the world a favor.” or, “You know, you may be onto something. Parenting is very stressful. I don’t know if you could handle stress like that.”
Then, if you choose to parent and decide one and done you could get, “All you want is one child? They could get only child complex, are you sure just one?” or, “Children are like puppies, they need siblings to play with.” or, “I know you just gave birth, but I am sure you’ll change your mind and want more. In time, I’m sure of it.”
Better yet, deciding to have multiple you may hear, “You’re in a very demanding career, why would you want to have multiple small children when you can’t commit your time to them? These are their most crucial developmental stages in life. They need their mom’s.” or, “You do realize they are expensive tiny humans that will suck you dry? Having more than one is not only emotionally and mentally insane, it’s downright financially draining.” or, “Why not just have 1 or 2, but 2 at the very most, and then get a dog or something. Animals need love, too.” or, “Are you nuts? I hope you’re not 18 kids and counting nuts. Multiple pregnancies are not healthy for your body. Don’t you want to maintain your health so you can be the parent you want to be?”
It’s just like extremism. If you are a parent, enjoy parenting, wish everyone could feel the benefits and high from it like you do — that’s great, but don’t put someone out by saying they are missing out and that they’ll eventually come around. If you want to remain child-free and someone asks you why and they happen to be a parent, be honest, but don’t bash them for choosing to have a child or more.
People wanting to remain child-free are not selfish like most assume. They’re not people who if happened to become parents would not make good ones. Child-free is a preference. Just like the colors on your walls, the clothes you wear, the things you do and choosing to parent is.
Similar to my belief that bisexuality doesn’t exist past the age of 25 and if your consider yourself to be bisexual then really you’re just a being of opportunity. Why do I believe this way? Because you as a being know the sex you would want to spend the rest of your monogamous life with. Those who don’t are opportunists. Well I am a being of opportunity with being a parent. I can happily live with either outcome.
- Childless Until Proven Parenting (stirrup-queens.com)
- Turning child-free moments into a Self-Care Practice (maplewalnutmama.wordpress.com)
- If You Don’t Have a Baby, You are Going to Diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie (stirrup-queens.com)
- Stop Trying to Convince Your Critics – Psychology Today on child-free women (partyofones.com)
- A Skewed Perspective? (combatbabe.com)
- What! You Don’t Want to Have Children? (psychologytoday.com)