I like children, I have worked with children, I am good with children, I love my niece and nephew, but this year my husband and I officially decided to not have children, ever. I believe choosing not to have kids is a very thoughtful decision that deserves every man and woman’s consideration.
As I am in my twenties I see that being childfree is not taking the popular road and when others hear about our decision I am quickly faced with an array of worried looks and questions as to whether I have thoroughly thought this though. When in fact being childfree is one of the most thoughtful and researched decisions I have ever made. I often wonder, do people thoroughly research and think about their decision to have children?
There are many whose one true desire is to be a parent, others are on the fence, while a good majority accidentally (50%) become one. Regardless of what your decision is awareness starts with knowing you have a decision to make. You either need to prevent yourself from pregnancy or let nature take its course. Strangely, I don’t believe this decision takes place in most relationships- the question never seems to be “Should we?” instead the question is “When?”.
Women and men should know it is not a requirement in life to have a child, nor does it guarantee a satisfied and complete life. The facts show that there are enough children in the world, nearly 1,200 children enter foster care each day. As far as people go, there are more than enough to sustain the human population.
In 2011 the world’s population hit 7 billion and since then it continues to grow. It is estimated that in 2050 the world will increase to 9 billion humans. 9 billion! How we can sustain this type of growth is a real concern. This type of population growth is creating many problems for our world and it will only continue to add challenges if nothing changes.
Extreme population growth has put tremendous stress on our plant. Our population devours excessive amounts of resources we need and many simply want (hummers, 3 car garages, big box stores in our neighborhoods, etc). Excessive demand on the planet is also resulting in climate change, ozone depletion, overfishing, deforestation of our rainforests (which has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of plant and wildlife species), excessive consumption of fossil fuels, scare minerals and more that I haven’t began to ponder.
Not having a child can be beneficial to the planet, for your own self, and for your relationships too. Reasons to not have a child could include:
-It can also save you $300,000 (the average amount of money it takes to raise a child to age 17).
-At the US divorce rate of 50%, childfree living relieves stress and burdens on relationships.
-You can find time to explore your own passions, hobbies, interests or careers.
-You can travel, or move, invest or take big risks in life.
-Or you can enjoy the simplicity of peace and quiet childfree living can provide.
-Being childfree could open your life up to adopt or become a foster parent for kids who were left or abandoned.
We should not limit ourselves to outdated societal views that every women should be a mother and every man should be a father. There are endless possibilities and paths to figure out what makes you happy in this life or how you can better the community around you. I know parenting is a wonderful experience for many, but we should all become aware that there is a choice to be made.
You don’t have to follow the well trodden road to parenthood. Know that you have a choice and whatever it is make sure it is a thoughtful one.