More and more is out there these days on reasons why people are choosing to have no children. One recent post is by Hannah, on feministing. Whether she knows it or not, she does some back door demystifying with her reasons. Check it out.
Hannah’s reason #1: It’s not just about my job, though I love what I do.
Her job is not all life consuming. As she says, “Many people seem to think that the only reason a woman wouldn’t want babies is because it would interfere with her career. This is false, and just one of many good reasons.” Indeed. In fact, from talking with thousands of childfree, I have not found devotion to career as a top reason people don’t want to raise children.
Reason #2: Having kids is expensive.
Even is she wanted children, Hannah says that, “We simply do not have the money to raise a child, and we aren’t likely to anytime soon.” There is the myth that those who have no children have lots of disposable cash and spend it on expensive “extras” in life, from trips, to boats, fine cars, etc. It is just not true. Childfree men, childfree women, and childfree couples run the gamut of the socioeconomic spectrum.
#3: There are plenty of unwanted children in the world already.
Hannah entertains the notion that “Let’s say that baby itch does finally hit me (and I decide that I want to buy the $200,000 ointment to treat the itch).” Even then, she says she has “absolutely no incentive” to have a child of her own. She continues…”If the maternal instinct overwhelms me, I’ll adopt, or I’ll become a foster parent. The urge to propagate your own genetic material just does not make sense to me, and I feel no need to do so.”
This 27 year old’s attitude gives me hope that I might see the demise of pronatalist myth professing “biological is best” when it comes to having children. As I talk about in the Normality and Offspring Assumption chapters in The Baby Matrix, may more in Hannah’s generation and those following see that there are many reasons to put a higher value and priority on the role of adoptive parent over biological parent in today’s world.
#4: I like my life.
Thank you Hannah, for being yet another example of someone demystifying the pronatalist notion that one must have children to truly have a happy life – that somehow we don’t find true fulfillment until we have children. Like other pronatalist assumptions, this is just a myth.
#5. I had a fantastic childhood.
Hannah ” had an amazing childhood.” Of her mother, she says, “I respect her choice so much.”
Myth buster #1 here: The myth has been that the childfree somehow have negative opinions of parents, or “breeders.” The vast majority would agree with Hannah, don’t view parents with disdain just because they have had children, and they don’t use the term “breeder.”
Myth buster #2 on this one: So often the childfree as seen to have come from troubled backgrounds. If they had had a “good” childhood, they would have grown up to want children, right? Wrong. Those who had good and bad childhoods grow up to have kids and not have kids.
Thanks, Hannah for a great post. You are one wise 27 year old. May all the explaining lead one day to a time when those who have no children by choice don’t have to do just that – because their choice will be seen as equally acceptable as the choice to parent. Hannah makes me believe we are getting there.
What reasons do you have for not having children that debunk myths out there about the childfree?
Tags: pronatalism, stereotypes