Caroline A. Miranda opened one of her blog spots with the following sentence “I’m 41. I’ve been happily married for 16 years. My reproductive organs are in good working order. Yet I don’t have children – nor do I want them. And my intention is to keep it that way.”
Before and even during the nineteen-hundreds the proper and expected thing to do was get married, have babies and that was basically your life. However, birth control has celebrated its estimated 53rd anniversary this year (give or take) and feminism has also played a vital role in what is considered taboo and what is not. Voting, climbing the corporate ladder and finally choosing a childfree life.
Choice has always been seen as a source of freedom and a lot of couples say that not having children gives them a bit more freedom therefor more choice. This does not mean that they don’t love kids or despise couples who decided to settle down and raise a family.
“Everyone looks at happy differently”
Sheli Eberle and her husband love kids – yet they are not fond of the idea of a full house (so to speak). As a 31 year old assistant principal of a Knoxville Elementary school, she says she and her husband of five years have chosen a child free marriage.
Her job has definitely influenced her decision “I have a passion for kids, but that does not mean that I have to have my own”
“It’s misconstrued as selfish”
Caroline explained that whichever way you looked at it choosing kids might come across as selfish when in fact it’s seldom the case. “My husband and I chose not to have children for myriad reasons… Neither of us was ever keen on the kind thing. I’ve never felt the desire to fall pregnant or give birth”
Lifestyle is just as significant as with Sheli and her husband. Caroline is a writer and her a husband an artist. They live pay check to pay check. They go on long spells without health or dental care and cannot imagine raising a kid in an “what if” environment.
Marla Martenson is now 51 and said that she’s always considered herself a world traveller – someone living a glamorous lifestyle.
Why should wanting a different lifestyle or having different perspective on life, be classifies as selfish like so many blogs, psychologists, statisticians and the media portray it.
“I don’t want to be a parent”
Sometimes the answer is pure and simple “I don’t want to…” it just a matter of: simply because – why should there be a reason?
Barbara Palazuelos age 32 says that she has ever had that maternal instinct. “I don’t have one main reason for not having kids.” However she does put quite a bit of emphasis on the fact that she does not want to be like her mother. “How could I risk bringing a kid into the word if there’s the possibility that I could treat them like that, or even worse?”
Britta and Ed Rusk have been married for 23 years and they have rather similar reasons. Britta says she’s never felt the urge to have kids. She loves them – but loves being able to give them back as well. Her husband however has the same reasons as Barbara. “I didn’t want to have kids because I wanted to break the cycle of abuse and addiction in which I was raised.
“A new age”
Having children is probably one of the most wonderful experiences one can encounter but as life progressed and people were exposed to different fields and possibilities, priorities changed. Having a family or an exciting career has started to compete against each other. Having a family and having to support one’s self has become increasingly difficult in today’s day and age (which I actually choose to see as one of the most selfless things a person can do)
Cameron Diaz is also one of the many people who have chosen not to hop up on the mommy wagon. At 39 she says “We don’t need any more kids, we have plenty on this planet.”
According to the office for national statistics 20% of women born in 1965 in the UK reach the age of 45 without having kids (mirror.co.uk)
Couples have so much more freedom: they can choose where to live, they can choose what religion they want to embrace, their choice of career or lifestyle. In 1979 Christopher Lasch said two things (amongst others) in The Culture of Narcissism that I think it sums it all up beautifully:
“Each choice opens an unanticipated door”
When you see a road of certainty you’d much rather choose it, opposed to the one that might seem unsure and risky. Children do bring joy and happiness there’s no doubt about it, but they can also provide a sense of uncertainty and for some, if not most people, that feeling is terrifying.