Living Childfree by Choice

Every child deserves to be wanted, and if a woman decides not to embrace motherhood, she has every right to make that decision too.

As women, we live in a world full of different roles; some of which are passed on to us, some forced and some that we choose ourselves. If being married, and having a child, allows us to fulfill popular roles of a wife and a mother, in that case being single and childfree shouldn’t raise eyebrows either. If the previous two are acceptable choices, then why not the latter?

“I am not going to be less of a person if I don’t have children. It will work out the way it is supposed to.”

Dita Von Teese, American Vendette

Being Childfree Isn’t Being Selfish

Many women are choosing to live a childfree life these days. While children are a gift and a blessing in disguise, bringing them into this world is not only a natural process. It requires care, lifelong dedication and the will to have them in the first place. And as a woman, if you feel you don’t want to take on the responsibility (or whatever the reason is), there is nothing wrong in that. It doesn’t make you selfish. What makes you selfish is when you bring a child into this world to fulfill predetermined roles, for a change in your life, making your bond with your husband and family stronger, and all this without the actual want for a child. Well of course people have children as an extension of their love, and while that is acceptable, to not have children and still be in love is frowned upon. So why such double standards?

Taking on a practical approach

I have come across women who feel they aren’t ready to have a child now or maybe ever. I have read about women who just don’t see a child as a part of their lives; love kids but don’t want one. I also know of women who are happy with the way life is; don’t want another responsibility, and are independent, focused and even happily married. But what is common with all such women is how our society, and sometimes even their own family, finds it hard to accept their decision of being childfree. For a young woman, who is married and well settled, things like travelling, work, social gatherings, spending quality time with spouse, herself, family and friends can be a priority too. Some women even don’t get married fearing their partner will force them to have a child. And some are lucky to find a partner who supports the decision. These are women who are living life as they want it. And even if their approach seems rather practical, what’s wrong in that? Does being a woman mean being surrounded by emotions all the time?

A new way to be?

If as a woman you cannot have a child, you are looked upon with pity. If you accept your situation and want to move on, society, family pressure and endless doctor options will not make it easy for you. It is fed into your system that you must have a child for a happy life, a happy marriage, to be a complete woman and to have support when you grow old. Some are forced to have children to please family, pass on tradition, property, beliefs and what not. And in the midst of all of this, imagine a woman who can conceive, but refuses to have a child because she doesn’t want to fulfill any such demand. And may I point here, that these women are not seeking to bring a change.

Women who choose to live childfree are not asking anyone to follow their path and I’m sure all they really want is not to be judged and questioned. They’ve just made a personal choice, a decision they believe in, and people shouldn’t really make assumptions in the first place. But then, we cannot change perspectives in a go. Instead, what we can really do is appreciate these individuals, women and men, their decisions, and look up to them for the person they are and not the choices they make. Difficult? Not really. Give it a try and trust me the world will be more amicable and full of refreshing perspectives.

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