words Alexa Wang
Finish school, go to college, get a good job, get married, and have kids. For decades, this has been the unanimously accepted order of living. However, over the years, many people have chosen to challenge that status quo by consciously deciding not to have children.
Such monumental life decisions should not be forced upon you by society just so you can fit in and be considered a fully-functioning adult. In fact, all it does is to put you into assuming roles and responsibilities that you may not be equipped or ready for.
Although we have come such a long way from the regressive herd mentality, the idea of couples choosing not to have children is still enigmatic to some people. However, aside from it being a personal choice, there are many reasons why more couples are choosing to lead a child-free life. Continue reading on if you’re interested in learning more about this controversial topic.
They Simply Don’t Want to
Having the ability to do something is not a good enough reason to actually do it. Just because two people are married and are well into their childbearing years, it doesn’t mean that they should be “guilted” into procreating. It’s not a question of financial capabilities or whether you can squeeze a crib in your downtown studio apartment. Raising children is such an immense responsibility, that unless one wants it hard enough to survive the sleepless nights and constant gut-wrenching worry, it shouldn’t be done. If you are a parent yourself, you must know how overwhelming parenting can sometimes be that you might start questioning whether you rushed into it. While such feelings are completely normal, having a strong “why” is the only way you can pick yourself up and continue dragging yourself out of bed at 7 AM every weekend to drive your kid to soccer practice.
They Don’t Have the Time
Before you shrug it off as a vain reason not to have kids, give it a little thought. Once children come into the picture, parents automatically lose control over their own time; it becomes all about the kids and their needs. If couples are still in a phase in their lives where they have things to check off their personal agendas, like traveling around the world or working hard for the desired promotion, they simply won’t have time on their hands to care for children.
Think about the many times your new parent friends called to cancel on you last minute. It’s because having children means that one has to be prepared to throw planning out the window. As one writer from RebelLove accurately puts it, having children is the one job that you have to be overqualified for. Being unwilling or unable to put in enough time and effort is a clear sign that you’re not ready to become a parent. It’s more of a “going above and beyond” kind of relationship that you have to be ready to commit to.
They Have Enough Self-Awareness
With all the negative perceptions surrounding the topic of choosing not to have children, committing to such a decision is brave, to say the least. It takes a lot of confidence and self-awareness to come to terms with this realization. If you know that you are not someone who can devote their lives and give their all to their children, then parenting is not for you. And there’s nothing wrong with that, however, problems happen when you ignore your self-understanding and give in to your friends’ and family’s baseless “it’s time” argument.
They Don’t Have the Financial Means
It’s not hard to imagine that having children is expensive. If a couple doesn’t have the extra income needed to pay for doctor visits, diapers, and other inevitable aggressively marked-up baby products, then they simply can’t financially afford to have children. And that’s only an example of the expenses of the first few years of a child’s life. As they grow older, their needs will continue to grow hand-in-hand with their snarky attitude. From necessities like school tuition to the unnecessary, but equally important fancy kicks and tech products, one needs the fortune to keep up with children’s demands. Although many would criticize this way of thinking because it’s too practical and doesn’t account for the emotional rewards of having children, it’s still valid and actually needed before jumping on the parenting wagon.
Having children is a very personal decision that no one should be shamed into taking. While we do need children for the human species to continue, we need to make sure that it continues with emotionally and mentally stable humans. That can only be achieved when children grow up in a nurturing environment and are raised by competent individuals who have the desire and tools to navigate the plight of parenthood.