People who have big families cannot imagine their lives without a house full of children. Well, even if it’s not a house full, most people with children assume everyone needs at least one of their own. However, having children is not a lifestyle everyone pursues.
Childless by Choice: 5 Things Childless People Want the World to Know
In an article from The Huff Post , the 2014 census revealed that 47.6 percent of women between age 15 and 44 have never had children. Even though the people with children and those without are split nearly in half, the childless group generally gets the most questions and comments, challenging their decision.
The following are 5 things childless by choice people want the world to know about their decision.
I am not selfish
Many people assume that those who decide to live childfree lives are selfish, just wanting to do what they want when they want. In some ways, this statement is true, but it’s roots are not steeped in selfishness.
Knowing that your lifestyle or mindset is not conducive to raising children is an important observation, showing maturity and thoughtfulness regarding the child. Likewise, understanding that your lifestyle leaves little time and room for a child, and having one anyway should be more frowned upon than choosing to be childless.
Raising children is difficult for nearly everyone. People who decide this lifestyle is not for them should be applauded, not scorned.
Your questions are getting old.
Childless people usually get a barrage of family and friends’ questions when they have reached a certain age and still do not have kids. Questions intended to be funny such as “Don’t you know how to get that done?’ are not funny at all. And more probing inquiries such as “Why don’t you have a baby yet? are just downright uncalled for. All of these types of questions get old year after year for people who have made a personal decision that others have no right to question.
It’s not just questions, either. Sometimes it’s the comments said to you or around you that are inappropriate and even hurtful. Comments like, “I don’t understand why anyone would choose not to have kids.” Or other subtle but punishing words such as, “You’ll be sorry when you get older.”
People who have decided not to have children have considered all of the facts. They definitely ‘know how to get it done’ but choose not to. They have considered all of the downfalls, including growing old without kids or grandkids. In most cases, they have decided, and others’ comments will not deter their path.
Don’t exclude me from your ‘family-oriented’ events.
The childless often get excluded from their friends’ family-oriented events, and being left out of these get-togethers is hurtful. Usually, the hosts think they are sparing their childless friends; however, most child free people want to be around their friends’ kids.
Child free folks want others to know, not having kids does not mean they don’t like yours. Childless people chose their own lives and respect your option to have kids. For the most part, they want you to include them in the bar-be-ques, birthday parties, and other celebrations with your children.
Include me in your conversations
When a group of friends get together, and the conversations are overly concentrated on their children, the childless withdraw and feel left out. People who do not have kids don’t mind hearing all about soccer and dance and school events, but they would also appreciate being asked about events in their lives.
Friends with children are proud of their children’s accomplishments and activities, but failing to include your childless friends in the conversations alienates them. This alienation, if continually repeated, could mean the end of the friendship.
Yes, I’ve considered the consequences of my choice.
One of the most popular judgments childless people receive is others wondering if they realize what life will be like as they age with no children. While some people are downright horrified of not having a house full of children and grandchildren at the holidays, others are not as dependent on that kind of attention.
Most people who have decided not to have children have entertained all of the consequences and stand by their decision. The world is full of all kinds of people with different needs. People with children must put their opinions aside and understand that not everyone has the same priorities and visions for their life.
Childless by Choice – A final word
Parenting is the most important job a person will ever have, and there is no fault in being unsure about accepting that responsibility. Deciding not to have children is a personal decision; however, it is often misunderstood by others who can not imagine such a life. People who choose to live child-free often do not arrive at the decision lightly, and they feel your judgment like a knife in their backs most days. In many cases, childless people will tell you developing a thick skin to ward off sharp tongues has become their superpower.
Lastly, even though you might have friends who choose to remain childless, they still want to be included in your activities and conversations. They are hopeful that the differences in their priorities do not drive a wedge between you and them. Mostly, they just want people to respect their choice and keep treating them with love and acceptance.