Why I am childfree? That’s the question everyone is asking me for the past four years. People just don’t understand that having children is a choice you can make (at least in some cases, like mine).
Being in family or friends gatherings, me and my hubby always expect this question. In the past we answered “oh, we are happy to be childfree”; as a result we were victims of follow-up questions, such as… “but, why? You are such a great couple, young, beautiful…” and so on.
Then, people tend to remind you that time passes by and suddenly you will gonna be old and alone in the world. They also, tell you that having a child is the best thing in the world, that everything is going to be different and your world will have a meaning that you won’t have if you are childfree.
Others, always tell me that WHEN you have a child, you will understand about having responsibilities. I just want to be clear, I have a lot of responsibilities without having a child; different kind of responsibilities: financial compromises (student loans, other regular bills), household duties (I own a house), family (I have a mother and father to care for), and of course… work (as a Manager); if those aren’t responsibilities… I am at a loss.
I totally understand their point of view, but in life, there are not absolutes. We, as humans, need to be more sensible and open to diversity, uniqueness, independence.
These are some reasonable arguments for not having children, no matter if being a mother is the greatest blessing / goal / privilege.
I am not mother material
Truly, I am too sensitive and over protective of others. Imagine if I have a child and wanted to be controlling every movement they made. It wouldn’t be fair to them or to me.
I don’t have a budget
Let’s be honest, if I would have a child, budget is the first thing to be aware of. I would want to be supportive and give him/her a prime education, best hobbies and quality of life; I would need money to do so. Money that for now, I have compromised in other aspects of life.
The timing is off
Timing is everything; some people don’t plan ahead, but as you can imagine, I do and it gives me peace of mind. As a human being, having a child, being responsible for other’s life, has to come with a set of abilities that you develop over time. At this moment in my life I am not ready physically or emotionally.
My career is demanding
I work over 50 hours a week, my stress level is high and I am working on myself as to have a better quality of life. I love my work and I love myself, therefore I am balancing all my needs and of course, the quality of my life with my hubby! He is in the same page as me; we are working together to be better professionals and human beings. Our professional goals are a priority now.
For a lot of moms out there, these reasons are disrespectful. For them, our primary purpose in the world is to reproduce. And they don’t share this point of views, maybe they sound trivial for someone who have other priorities and mind-set.
Let me put this on perspective
I met a woman in my situation. She shared with me, confidentially, that she had fertility problems. Constantly, she was confronted with questions about having a child, the same pressures that I have. She did not want to share her “impairment” with the world, that’s what she told me, as she could not accept it herself.
Once, she heard me say that maybe I would adopt (I gave this answer to someone who told me that my biologic clock is ticking); the backlash I received was harsh, with a smile of course. The person told me that there is nothing as having a child with your blood. That I should make a decision, before someday I regret it. This awkward situation, was hard for me, imagine for her, listening the exchange.
She did want to have a child with all of her soul, but instead of saying that she couldn’t, she just used the same answers I gave all the time. So it was a cycle; a destructive cycle for her and her husband.
She should not be in a position that oblige her to tell her personal situation for an insistent cultural flaw. She should be free to share the answer she feels comfortable to those questions that impose the realities of others over her.
Please, understand that I am defending my decision to be childfree but not demeaning those of you that are very happy to be moms and love the life you have chosen. Having children is not a good or bad decision, it’s just that being a mom is not for everyone. We need to be tolerant of other people’s lives; those people, including me, are entitled to be honest and share their point of views without receiving backlash and negativity.
As I said before, in life there are not absolutes. Although, now I am childfree, maybe in the future I change my mind and my situation changes. I should be entitled to do so. People have choices.
For those that having a child is not a choice (at least a biological one), I extend a big hug. Life is hard;sometimes we are forced to take reads that make us challenge ourselves and live our lives struggling to be happy. I just want you to know that there are always choices that help us! Maybe not the ones we originally thought, just different choices. There is happiness, we just need to grab the chances we get.