Childfree - Why More People Are Making This Decision
Ever found yourself wondering whether or not you should have children in the future? You are by no means alone. Remaining childless is an ever-growing lifestyle choice for millions.
In this article, I am going to explain why so many people, including myself, no longer wish to have children.
A little explanation of why I made this decision. When I first got with my girlfriend when I was 18 years old, at first this wasn't something we even spoke about. However as the years past, it, of course, did get brought up. In the beginning, we both mutually agreed that we probably would end up having children in the future. This choice, however, wasn't based on what we actually wanted, but more on what our families and society as a whole expect. My girlfriend is one of 5 children in her family, I myself am one of 2.
Our first discussion on having children was in fact in front of my girlfriend's parents, about 5 months after we met, who brought up the subject. The question from her dad was pretty blunt and along the lines of "So when will you have children?". This kind of shocked me at the time due to both of us not even being 19 yet and we were still each living with our parents.
As the topic of conversation went on, we kind of settled on the idea that even though we hadn't spoken about it, it was something we would eventually do (Oh how things change). About two years into our relationship, (by this point I had become a lot more mature and I already had two nephews) the subject was properly brought up again by my mother this time, who asked my girlfriend pretty much the exact same question as her father did. By this point, after having spent a considerable amount of time with my nephews (which I still do) I had decided that having them wasn't for me. My first feelings of this weren't raised to my girlfriend incase she felt differently. However, on the day of my mother's question, everything went right! My girlfriend's response was "I don't". I can't begin to explain how happy I was.
We, of course, spoke about it thoroughly that day and I was glad to know her reasoning was the same as mine. The main reason being that we had seen the effects of what having kids had done to our siblings and their relationships (let me point out, this, of course, is not the case with all couples)
At first, our parents didn't take us seriously on this. Their responses were always things like "You'll change your mind, you're both still young", "You will change your mind when you eventually have your own" etc, etc. However, since over 6 years have now past and we still feel the same way, I think they have now grasped that we were indeed serious.
Over the years we have also met lots of people who share the exact same mindset, including our neighbors who are currently in their 40's. As I am now in my mid-twenties this is something I have also discussed with friends. Of my close-knit group of friends, all of them currently have no children. Some wish to in the future, a couple of them haven't really thought about it but most are adamant that they also don't want any.
This is something I am finding everywhere, from cousins to colleagues. In the below paragraphs I am going to explain different reasons people have told me why they don't want children.
Reasons for not having children
One of the main reasons I have found people do not want children is that as we all know our earth is under extreme pressure from trying to support an ever-growing population and coping with mass waste and climate change.
If you are someone who indeed does not want children, I can be pretty certain you have been called "selfish" at some point. In fact, you are the complete opposite. Our world population is about to hit 8 billion, this is in spite of the UN telling us our world has the resources to sustainably only hold 5 billion. Overpopulation leads to many issues including food reduction and housing development on our remaining green space.
Waste - we all know having children leads to a massive amount of waste, this includes non-recyclable nappies, plastic toys that get thrown out, and clothes that end up in a landfill. This is disastrous for our ever collapsing planet, yet certain elements of society are still demanding that women are nothing more than baby breeders and that having children is "Something you must do".
I would like to point out that many parents are becoming more responsible (Thumbs up to you). This includes using recyclable nappies, donating, or passing down of no longer fitting clothes and toys. This, however, is not something that has always been done, and for that our planet has suffered.
"That's not fair"
This is an issue child-free women face much more than men. The "That's not fair" discussion. My girlfriend has been told, "it is unfair that you can conceive yet choose not to have kids when so many women want them". That statement couldn't be more messed up. Wanting children and being unable to conceive is, I imagine, very upsetting for lots of couples. This, however, does not justify the point of trying to suggest that other women should be used as breeders. Believe it or not, life is not a version of the programme Handmaids Tale.