In Defense of Women Who Do Not Want To Have Children

Why do women have to defend their personal lifestyle choices? The truth is: they should never have to. I have read the research about how women do lower their chances of having breast cancer by giving birth to a child, but that should never be one of your factors in reasoning when it comes to having kids. I have heard numerous stories about kids being told by their parents that they only had them to "save a marriage," or that they were a big mistake. I have seen parents ignore their kids to go hang out with their friends, and to act like a single unattached people, and then wonder why their teenager later has a myriad of social adjustment issues. Really, there is no compelling reason in the world why a woman should have kids if she does not want to, and please dispense with the retro stance that a woman who has many kids is some how far more validity and purpose in life than a woman who chooses to have none. So this is in defense of women that are choosing to never have kids.

What happens if you do not want to have children?
What happens if you do not want to have children? | Source

Her Time Is Her Own

It is okay for a man to act like a bachelor when he is married, but if a woman neglects her kids she is called all sorts of names. Such as on Baby Boom when J.C. Wiatt's character is told by Fritz that she cannot "have it all," but that he can because his wife is at home to take care of the kids. Today I think a movie like Baby Boom would be less relevant as there are many working mothers who reach CEO positions, but there is still some of that bias towards women who choose not to have kids, r those who waited until later in life to have kids. Okay, so maybe the social stereotypes are eroding a bit more in this modern age, but if you ever watched the movie 2006 movie Little Children, Brad's character (Patrick Wilson) was considered the oddball by the playground stay at home moms for being a stay at home dad, whereas Sarah's character (Kate Winslet) was considered the norm. Yes, both the characters had kids, but why not have more movies with women who do not have them, or who are choosing not to have kids right this second. People even speculate about whether Jennifer Anniston wanted to have kids, and if that is why Brad Pitt and her got divorced, which is a bit silly. How is it any of our businesses anyway?

When a woman declares her time is her own and she does not want to have kids, many people who have kids probably think she is missing out on something. What is she missing out on? It is a woman's choice not to have kids, and I cannot think of any reason compelling enough to make a woman feel like she must have kids. Even the scenario wherein she might lower her chance of breast cancer, well that is not a good reason.


Speculation About Women Who Remain Childless

I have heard some women say that they did not feel grown-up until they had children, and that is great, but that is not my experience. I start feeling grown up when I chose to go to college and work and pay my own bills. So I think a better way to phrase it would be: "I feel grown up now that I have kids", and not "you really grow up when you have kids". At the end of the day having kids or not having kids is very much a personal choice, but there is no health statistic in the world that would induce me to have one. For instance, I can lower my chance of getting in a plane accident by never flying, and I can lower my chances of getting in a car accident by never getting in a car, but that is a bit realistic. I say as long as you do not eat mass quantities of junk food and exercise properly you should not have to worry about having kids just to lower your demographical chances of cancer. Oh no, I am a horrible feminist for saying this, but it is okay to admit if you never want to be a mother. Who knows maybe I will change my mind when I turn 38 or 39, but even if I do not, there are many kids in the world, and I do not have to feel guilty about not having one.

Couples Who Are Made To Feel Guilty For Not Having Kids

I have talked to women on childfree groups who have been made to feel guilty by their peers for not having kids. What the heck? People act as if you have not achieved one of the expected life events if you do not have kids, which is a bit silly. No one should feel they have to have a child to "save a marriage," and having a child might do the opposite. If a couple is already fighting before the kids are born, just imagine the ideological debates that will transpire once a couple has children. Many people amicably divorce and share custody of the kids, but there are also some scary cases where people use their children as pawns in legal battles. So having children will not make a couple or a single person's life easier, and maybe some families want to keep things simple so they can travel or take cooking classes. Having a child is not like adopting a puppy, and it is a decision that will completely alter a person's life. So definitely have children if you really want to, but do not apologize or feel less important than other people if you choose not to have a child. I probably do not even need to say that to the majority of women who feel confident in their lifestyle choices, but some of us more reserved types can be daunted by the comments others throw our way. Just remember life is short, and you want to enjoy it. If having a child does not sound fulfilling to you, then you are not missing out on anything. You can still have a wonderful and enriching life without being a mother. Also, maybe you will decide to have a child in your late thirties or adopt a child later on. Deciding not to have kids at the moment does not mean you can never revisit this decision at a later date.

Comments 42 comments

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Having or not having children is a personal choice and no groups of politicians should NOT have a say in the matter; not now, not in the future, not ever


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I think it is everyone's choice, but I find it a bit scary there is research being emphasized that women are better off having children to stave off breast cancer. Yes, there is validity to this research, but, on the same token, I believe there are many other scary things a woman could be doing to jeopardize her health besides not having kids.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I hear you. I never wanted kids and I never had them. A friend of mine cannot have children and for most of her married life people have been asking her why she doesn't have children. She and her husband never wanted them anyway. At my work, if you do not have children you are treated like a 2nd class citizen.


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 5 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

I see nothing wrong in women who do not want children. If a person is not capable of taking the responsibility of kids and offer good parenting, it is best not to have kids at all. Instead of going for own kids, why not adopt a kid and give him/her the love and home?


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

UW,

I have not worked in an environment like that, but I have heard from other women that can be a bit annoying. No one should be treated inferior at work just because they do not have kids and such.

Anamika,

Very good points, and yes there is always adoption if you decide you do not want to have your own kids, but would like to help others out.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Breast cancer has nothing to do with being childless. On the contrary - many women are healthier when they do not have children, actually if woman had several pregnancies it is scientifically known it is not healthy and is very damaging for uterus and is exhausting whole body and spending body resources. Even one pregnancy can be damaging for body of mother if difficult, or if mother is not properly prepared for it.

Breast cancer has a lot to do with unhealthy food full or hormones we eat, polluters (xenoestrogens), hormonal pills, unhealed psychological traumas...it has nothing do do with women remaining childless.

I met women with children who faced breast cancer, and they all admited that cancer happened because of extreme exposure to stress, too many responsibilities in the family life, too much worrying that happened mainly because of children and family problems etc. For them, having baby did not help to stay cancer free, actually it made them more vulnerable to get it - constant stress causes havoc in hormones. Hormonal imbalance is usually cause of breast cancer.

With so many people on this planet, so many hungry and homeless children, so many unemployed (will be more in the future) it is stupid to judge anyone who decided not to have children or try to force people to have them when they do not want them, or frighten women with such "researches". Researches and statistic are something soooo relative, and can be fixed according to the wishes of researcher. Just do not beleive in everything what is called "scientific research" - unfortunately it is so often false or adjusted to the need of the group that ordered it. (Maybe pharmaceutic companies need to sell more fertility drugs and fertility treatmants LOL.)

I enjoy my childless life very much and wish the same to you.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Tatjana,

I like your assessment, and thank you for sharing your research on this. I had actually wondered the same thing about the risks of women who had too many stressful pregnancies, but I did not want to say anything since medical science is not my area of expertise. The points you make about how these statistics were probably drive by pharmaceutical companies that want to sell fertility drugs makes a lot of sense. I enjoy being child free, and actually highly disagreed with someone who suggested women should all do otherwise, which is why I party wrote this hub.


lyjo profile image

lyjo 5 years ago

Great topic, a woman or a couple that decide not to have children are wise, for whatever their reasons they know what they want or don't want...they are wise. Although it is important for people to have and express their opinions, they can express it for themselves, I have always found when people push their opinions, they are usually missing something in their own lives...respecting others and their views, desires or opinions can go a long way in any relationship.(this is only my opinion). Really enjoyed this hub, thanks, take good care,


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago

Blessings to you Sweetie Pie!!

Great Hub!! Great Comments!!

I chose not to have children because I didn't want to bring new souls into a world I considered too dangerous for them!! I made the right choice!!

On the other hand, there are so many children already here!! I have seven God-children and I take the responsibility quite seriously!

Again, GREAT Hub!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

lyjo,

I think your respectful attitude is peaceful and serene. You know anyone thinking women must absolutely have children is entitled to their opinion, so I guess I should just say that is their right. I do not agree with their opinion, but that is my opinion. Thanks for sharing.

Earth Angel,

You have a very good attitude as well. I think being a mentor to children who are already in this world is far more noble than just having a child because of societal pressure. You are right, we all need to do more for the unwanted children already in this world.


amberrisme profile image

amberrisme 5 years ago

Very well put.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for commenting Amberrisme!


jrsearam profile image

jrsearam 5 years ago from San Juan, PR

Hey sweetie, as the principal "caregiver" in our family I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to raise my children in the role of Mr. Mom. Maybe it's egotistical but I am addicted to my children's adoration. I am their God and it's a wonderful feeling to be loved and needed so much. Still, I wholeheartedly agree that the experience is not for everyone and no one should be ostracized because of their choice to remain childless. Life offers a wide range of edifying experiences and no one should be judged based on which one they choose. Thanks for the stimulating hub. Many blessings, JR


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Jrsearam,

There is nothing wrong with parenthood, it is a beautiful thing. I am just concerned that women who do not want to have children feel no pressure to do so.


SpaceAge 5 years ago

I don't yet have family, & maybe someday will. Meanwhile, ppl have looked down their noses @ me. I'd been hatefully rejected possibly due 2 how ez I have it. It's been said that others r jealous. Oh well!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

SpaceAge,

Just do what you know is right for you, and those who are your real friends will always be supportive!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

We hadn't children for a long time and I thought I missing out. When you children you certainly cut down your own life. People should look at their own. As much as I love them but you sacrify a lot and It is the hardest job I ever done. Looking back I certainly would have been better off not having children.


willdave profile image

willdave 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Society does seem to expect all women to have children, whether they want them or not. And any woman who does not have a child is considered to be strange, abnormal and incomplete. This universal expectation is totally unfair. A woman should have a child only if that is what she wants to do and she occupies the proper situation to take on such an immense responsibility.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I am glad so many people understand this simple concept, but I think the people who think a woman must have children are few and far between.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

The decision to remain childless is entirely personal and anyone who puts pressure on a woman to become a mother (or on a man to become a father, for that matter!) is doing it for their own selfish reasons. The future of the species is not threatened - indeed it could very well be argued that the future of the species is served by some remaining childless as that favours the children who are born.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - and more strength to you!

Love and peace

Tony


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Tony,

I have long appreciated how you are one of the few men who can handle my opinionated pieces with grace and true thoughtfulness! This is always commendable!


Rita Banerji 5 years ago

Thank you very much for this article. Having biological children is still portrayed as the ultimate form of fulfillment for women. And in cultures like mine (India) -- it is a woman's duty (after all that is one of the jobs she was hired for when she got married)!! I lived in the U.S. for many years -- and I'd see some of my female friends going bonkers trying to conceive. And I'd say -- if you want to be a mother that bad -- why don't you adopt? Hell -- there are millions of kids who need a mother as badly as you need a child? And they'd say it is not the same as giving birth -- having your own. I have never heard a man say they feel unfulfilled if they haven't had a biological baby. I never wanted to have a biological child -- and I think (partly also because I run a campaign against female genocide -- www.50millionmissing.in --which i see more as a human rights issue than a feminist issue) -- I am sometimes regarded as a "cold" feminist bitch. Well think what you want -- there are those of us who don't think that just because we have a uterus -- we need to be popping out those babies!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Rita,

Your insights have very much enriched this hub, and I want to thank your for these!


debbiesdailyviews profile image

debbiesdailyviews 5 years ago

Hey I found you.

I love this Hub, and think your view, and personal oppinion is refreshing.

The country is a wash with Kid's having Kid's,

There's no wonder were in a mess !


kirsty 5 years ago

Hi there

I am a student journalist, writing a piece on this matter.I would love to talk to people of all ages who have decided not to have children for one reason or another.Please email me at eclipse14713@hotmail.com

thanks


leelee 5 years ago

This has certainly put some perspective on what i'm dealing with currently. I feel constant pressure by family and even my fiancé to eventually have a child. I have a stepdaughter whom I love dearly but honestly have no desire to have one of my own. Of course, if it happened I would love that child to the best of my ability but it simply isn't one of my major goals in life to reproduce.


DuranDuranFan 5 years ago

Hello All! I have also been repeatedly scrutinized for my decision to not have children.People constantly ask us about having children and I say that we are not having them. They reply with things like, "You'd be such a great mom." etc. The thing is, I made a choice to not be a mother. I work with other peoples kids every day and I rescue orphaned animals. I make a contribution to society. The entire idea behind childbirth completely freaks me out and I have no desire to embark on the journey of motherhood. I have also seen some discrimination with this regard. I have worked in positions where I have been forced to work Saturdays because "You don't have any children, so why does it matter?" This is completely biased and it makes me feel that I am continually being assaulted by my choice not to have kids. I never made anyone else have kids so why should I have to work all the late shifts or the Saturdays to accommodate those with children? What if I had plans on Saturday. Does the activity in my life pale in comparison to spending quality time with family? I get very passionate about this because I feel barrated a lot of the time with people "not saying" that they don't agree with my decision? I feel like saying, "Sure I will have a kid....you carry it as a surrogate and I will spend 2 hours a day with it and send it home with you." I know that my associates don't mean anything bad by it necessarily, but I also don't go up to them and say things like, "Wow, you should have never been a mother." It's reverse discrimination. It's hard to find people who are on the path to a life without children, so thank you for having the blog posting to share experiences. :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi DuranDuranFan,

I am glad we can relate on this issue. Personally, I believe there is a plus side to working on Saturdays, which I do all the time. I prefer working on the weekend because then I can do things during the week when places are less crowded. Maybe that is just me, but I also like the feeling of working hours that are not as popular to other people. I feel like I am doing something to help others during those hours, and I have come to see it as a good thing. Yes, I agree that in your case it is annoying if you are being made to do this if people with kids get off the hook, but there is a plus side to it. You can make plans during the week when most kids are all at school, and have a nice meal in a restaurant without a whole bunch of kids running around. Or, you can go to a movie and be surrounded by a mostly adult audience.


amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL

This is a great hub! I'm single, I have always known that I do not want children. My female married friends who don't have children have been called selfish and criticized for their choice. With the husband, he's just some poor, poor thing whose wife won't give him a child. Our society just likes to blame women for things I guess. Anyway, I always felt like having a baby is actually selfish. We live in a horrible world filled with war, murder, disease, povery and so many other things... Some of these people just want a cute little baby and don't realize that little baby will grow up one day and have to deal with this crazy world.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

amymarie,

I know society likes to blame women for not having kids, but I honestly think men who father children and do not take care of them are all the more reason to consider heavily whether you want to have any. There is a man I have talked to on and off for years who actually told me he did not have kids, and recently I found out he had several children with women he never married. That is his business and his life, but it sort of disgusted me to consider how he was trying to go out with me a few years ago when it turns out he had young children with several different women.


amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL

Hi SweetiePie,

That is pretty typical, I once dated a man and he told me he would never date a woman with children because a single mom would not give him attention. Guess what? He had a kid. It's sad and you know the mother of these guy's children are the ones getting labeled when they are the ones who are taking care of these kids alone. I believe even if you are married, if your husband likes to go out a lot and does not help or support you now, he's not going to change because of a kid. In fact, these types of guys get worse when they are faced with some real responsibility.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Good points amymarie!


Cherish77 profile image

Cherish77 5 years ago

This is a good Peace SP ;). I always wanted kids, but my sister didn't when she was a kid, than she met David and had 4. Boy was I shocked. But I dod respect people who don't want them, I had an Aunt & Uncle who never had kids because they wanted to spend that time with each other, and spoil their nephews & neices instead. They were very sweet people, and I loved visiting them. I cannot remember what my Aunt did but My Uncle was an engineer for the airforce or something, everytime we visited he would let me draw with his engineering templates.

I think that people who would rather give a child that is already on this planet a home, should get a better chance at adoption. I have heard they often get shot down because they don't want to breed when there are already millions of kids that need homes. Plus if a single woman would like to adopt and she has the funds, than she shouldn't be crucified for wanting to be a single mother, it should be her choice. if we had the money we would adopt as many as we could afford.

I also see how sad it is that some people have kids that shouldn't. These people who use kids as accessories, or kill them because the kid didn't do what they were told. These are the people who should be sterilized.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for sharing your insights Cherish!


Krazie_Kumquat profile image

Krazie_Kumquat 5 years ago

Hello SP,

I have a friend right now that probably would like to read this. She is in her 30's and the last time we spoke, she was having a lot of problems about the "not having children" topic. She does feel like she constantly has to defend her choice, but i said that many women out there who are childless can be equally successful, happy, and proud.

Her view is that she is watching every year, her closest friends marry off, and she is "left out" and they never really contact her because they are "really busy". In this society, i think there is tremendous social pressure in all aspects of life. Just pick up any magazine and you will see pictures of a couple with kids smiling and laughing on the front cover, pages of "gorgeous women" wearing tons of makeup, "slimmer is better" mentality.

The "ideal" guy is pressured to look taller, bigger, more muscular, blond hair, blue eyes.....In fact, I am none of these. I told my friend that the decision is her's alone to make no matter how hard it is to watch people and having kids does not MAKE your life any easier because if you feel pressured by society to have kids, chances are, you don't want to and it is unfair to the child growing up with parents who are "not fully committed" (especially when there are many unfortunate children out there in poor countries that desperately need an adopting parent already)

As per Cherish77's comment above, i totally agree about adoption. I work in obstetrical ultrasound and i get patients as young as 15 or 16 who are having children (nothing against teens of course) and often, i do wonder how hard going to school, working, and raising a child would be.

In retrospect, to have or not to have a child is still a question that i am debating personally.

Regards,

Henry


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I can only speak for myself and a lot of the people I know, but some of us really do not have a thing for the tall blond hair guys in general. I mean some of them are cute, but always liked a guy with darker hair and at least a bit of a tan.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To SweetiePie: Great hub! Sadly, there is still discrimination against childfree couples in this pronatalist society. I believe that childfree couples and one child families have to stand up and confront multichild families who insist that everyone should follow their lifestyle.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Good point gmwilliams!


Anna 4 years ago

So refreshing to find a hub I can totally 'get'! I too am childless, I live alone, in my thirties, and most of the time I am very happy with this lifestyle choice. But sometimes it is difficult when you watch everyone around you pair off, settle down, have children. I have had the old "tick tock" comments by well meaning people on numerous occasions, as well as the "he is just around the corner" ones with the pitying looks. People often ask me if I get lonely (in answer to that, No) do I bother cooking decent meals for myself (yes, I love cooking and trying new foods) Is there something wrong with me (Well last time I checked, nope, well no more than most other people anyways)It is very reassuring that I am not the only one, and that not everyone thinks that us who choose to remain single and/or childless are abnormal human beings. Glad I found this :) Thankyou SeetiePie


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Anna,

I find it humorous when people think singles do not necessarily cook, or eat healthy. Gee, I see a lot of single people, and divorced people who actually cook from scratch, and some parents who only reheat food that comes in a frozen box for their kids. Eating healthy really has nothing to do with your marital status. Glad you enjoyed my hub!


SkeetyD profile image

SkeetyD 4 years ago from Barbados

This was a wonderful hub. When I was single, I was constantly asked why I didn't have a child. When I got married, I was constantly asked when me and husband were going to have a child. It even went as far as people trying to inspect my stomach whenever the wind blew! But me and my husband decided when we were ready for a child and why we wanted one. It was because we wanted to love and cherish our child and help him or her to grow and flourish. Now, I have a child and people are still not satisfied. They now ask when we're going to get baby #2! It's never ending.....


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

@SkeetyD

I think people should allow others to live their lives. It is sort of like how people always say when they grow up and have children, and they usually mean this is going to happen by the time you are thirty. More than ever people are waiting, but some people do not want to have children, or cannot have children. The way some parents talk you would think they would be highly disappointed if they kids decided not to get married, or decided not to have children.

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