I know - usually I'm not this nice. I promise I haven't been hit with a meteor shower of glitter or anything. This is something that's been on my mind a lot lately - maybe due to my own infertility issues. Maybe because I'm at the age where women either already have three kids and a busted bladder, or they are childless and frantically calculating their eggs, taking their temperature upon rising, and reaching level 5 freak outs every time they get invited to an event involving a baby.
But... what if you aren't either of those? What if you actually make a conscious choice to live a childfree life? Well, it's perfectly fine. Just not with most other people, generally speaking.
We live in a society where women are more and more likely to opt for careers or other self interests over raising children. WAIT. Self interests? But... we are women. Is it not our duty to spend the majority of our best years growing babies to keep the earth populated?
Well, maybe. I guess in a very primal sense, our insides are needed for the continuation of civilization. But luckily, there is such a plethora of women popping out small armies of iPad users or irresponsibly procreating that we can just go ahead and take the burden off our shoulders. So with the fear of utter world desolation set aside, there are some very legitimate reasons why women are opting for a childfree home these days.
For starters, more and more women are discovering they can't naturally have kids, whether that be from environmental or health factors. And for some reason, the idea of the succumbing to thousands of dollars of debt for fertility treatments at the cost of years of emotional and physical turmoil just isn't that appealing to some. And you know what? That's ok. I wrote about this in my post: Thoughts on Infertility That Might Piss You Off. And maybe adoption or surrogacy isn't an option monetarily or otherwise. And that's okay too.
Sometimes, it's just a financial thing. It's expensive to live these days and the economy is not the greatest. Frankly, I respect not having kids a lot more than having ones you can't afford or take care of because you're working so much.
On the flip side, a lot more women are starting businesses and pursuing creative endeavors. Many are waiting longer to settle down or get married, and I think the longer you have your independence - the more you grow attached to it. You also grow attached to other little things like: being well rested, the ability to leave the house whenever you want, taking actual relaxing vacations, having me time, being able to get dressed and showered before 5 pm, interacting with adults, having hobbies, pursuing dreams, not perpetually smelling like vomit/urine/cheerios, and a million other things that become challenges when you have the 24/7 task of raising humans. And yes, I know, all the moms out there would like to interject and say, "I wouldn't have it any other way." But this blog isn't about you, it's about the non-moms. And no, that whole paragraph wasn't meant to bash "the moms" or to insinuate you don't have wonderful lives. Moms are the hardest working women I know, and yes, you can have it all. If that's what you choose.
Ok, back on topic. You know what else is ok? Just not wanting kids for no damn good reason.
Men have been doing this for years, by the way. Oh, that sounded a bit feministy, but we aren't ALL hard wired to want kids.
My point is that it's not a better life with or without kids - there are definite bonuses to both. Silver linings, if you will. And drawbacks. But if you're choosing the childfree option, just be prepared for the incoming. You will rapidly discover that it's not entirely "okay" with the majority of people (and parents) that you don't procreate. A lot of statements involving selfish and regret will be recklessly tossed at you. I mean, there's a reason why the first question you get bombarded with upon signing a marriage license is, "When are you having kids?" Notice there's no option in that question.
Because, after all, what kind of heartless monster wouldn't want children?
Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation.