Can you have it all without having kids?
Living a childfree life.
The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded history.
One in five American women end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with one in 10 in the 1970s, shows a 2010 Pew Research report.
As a 40-year old woman who is childfree by choice, I’ve heard unsolicited opinions on the topic of baby making for more than a decade.
I’m perfectly happy with my decision not to procreate and I’m not alone. From 2007 to 2011, the fertility rate declined nine percent, reports TIME in its August 12 cover story, “The Childfree Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children.”
Still many people take issue with women who opt out of motherhood.
Choosing not to have a child makes one a selfish, misguided person, doomed to a life of loneliness and regret. Or so I’ve been told. Repeatedly.
More on Miss Manners: Reproductive plan is none of her business
No, I won’t “change my mind.” And when people insist on an answer, I tell them the truth: I love my life exactly the way it is. I’m happily partnered to a man that loves me and supports my choice. I have a dog that fulfills my maternal needs. I volunteer and give back to my community. My friends are amazing. I travel every chance I get. I love what I do for a living. As far as I’m concerned, I have it all.
Before people jump to the next judgment – how my life will be lacking without kids – I disclose this personal detail: I accidentally got pregnant a little over 10 years ago and planned on keeping the kid – only because the father said “no.”
I did not want a baby, but I didn’t like someone telling what I could and couldn’t do with my body. A miscarriage made me realize that I dodged a bullet and reflect upon what my life may have been like if I’d sealed the reproduction deal. This close call only reinforced my decision not to travel down the mommy path.
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Don’t get me wrong, I like kids – I adore my niece and nephew and many of my friends’ kids in low-commitment, when-I-please doses. But I don’t feel the need to have my own. So, why do people insist on second-guessing how I could possibly be happy?
The TIME article poses a great point: “We rarely ask, ‘Why do you have kids?’” Having a child or not having a child should be a private decision.
So consider this: The next time you question a woman’s choice to be childfree, entertain the idea that she may actually like her life the way it is.
Tell us: Do you think you can have it all without kids in the equation?
Read the complete TIME story here.
More from The Family Room:
This article is a breath of fresh air. I live in the Midwest and if you don’t want to get married and have kids you are basically an outcast. Even my parents told me what’s what supposed to do…..my response was NO that’s what you did. I got married and when my husband realized I was serious about not wanting children we divorced. Fast forward to the present…. I am in a great relationship with a man who has children but they are college age which is perfect. He doesn’t want anymore and respects my decision to stay child-free. Life is awesome and wouldn’t have it any other way.
We did not want kids for the first 10 years of our married life. Changed our minds and had 2. Lovely people they turned out to be but, we would have been OK without the worry and expense.
We had in our family a successful couple with no kids. Lovely life with trips etc. Very lonely old age life..... no one visits specially when they stated that all their moneys one day will go to charity.
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