To be childfree is a choice and in this day in age. With the technology we have, it’s a choice that every woman can make if she chooses to. Why is it, then, that lately women feel as though they have to publicly defend their choice to be childfree? Our mothers and grandmothers fought long and hard for women to be able to have access to education, sports, employment, and other opportunities. And they also fought to legalize birth control and abortion. So after all these years of fighting for equal rights, when a woman makes a choice that follows from the rights that she has to make that choice, why does she feel the need to defend that choice?
As a childfree woman, I feel social pressure to have children. I am 29 years old. My older cousins are all married with babies, “why aren’t you?” Although, the majority of that social pressure comes from my own head. I think that women are conditioned to want to be like their peers. And when your best friend from university is married with 2 babies you wonder if something is wrong with you. The truth is. I am childfree because I am traveling. In the last 4 years, I have been in the United States for more than 3 weeks; I enjoy my life and the freedom that comes with it. Heck, when one of my coworkers wanted to give me an adorable kitten I turned him down because I don’t want to deal with the responsibility of another life.
Here’s the next reason why childfree women feel as though they need to defend themselves: they sound selfish. I, I, I, is a common word in all of those sentences above, I choose, I feel, I want, and at some point shouldn’t those I’s turn into we’s then turn into us? To be fair, that’s how it works in the movies. That’s how it probably worked with some of your parents. Granted, mine has been married for 30 years and still going strong. Is it wrong to be selfish? In this day and age, with the ability to choose to not have kids, the other side of the coin means that we choose to have kids because even if your child was an accident, you knew how to prevent it. If we choose to have kids then we have children for a reason. Are all the reasons to have children altruistic? I am just saying that when you make the choice to parent, it is a choice, for a reason, and while you may have to be unselfish to parent, you made that choice for a reason.
I could go through an exhaustive list of pros and cons of being childfree. But in the end, the choice to parent or the choice to be childfree is just that, a choice and I am grateful to have that choice.