It Just Isn’t True

We really should congratulate people who have enough self-awareness to make an intentional choice not to have children.

A woman posted in a Facebook group that she is indifferent whether she and her husband ever have kids but she is feeling pressure by family (this is not all that uncommon). Someone in the group advised her to foster so she can “try parenting out and see if she likes it”.  It saddens me that foster kids and adoptees could ever be considered a parenting experiment or an afterthought.

The world actually has enough people.  It is time for society to move away from the idea that a married couple must have kids.  It is an outmoded idea that has been instilled for generations.  It is time to rethink that.

How many children does the human race really need to keep humanity going.  How many are sustainable ?  Isn’t it better that every child is wanted, loved and financially supported ?  Truth is every woman does not have to give birth to children.  As in life, parenting people come in all shapes and sizes.

Some people have children because that’s what they’ve been told they are supposed to do.  This needs to change beginning with the current generation of parents.

Some people have children because they had unprotected sex (and protected sex isn’t 100% effective either) and find themselves having conceived a child.  Okay, so it does happen.  Let us then consider it as something to deal with – whether by elimination or by supporting the woman in a crisis pregnancy to keep and raise her child.  It is the woman’s body and what she does about this situation should always be a decision to be made between her and her doctor.  This is a bottom line value for my own self.  If she does want to raise her child, then society needs to accept that for the well-being of the child, financial resources should be generously supplied – one way or another.

Some people have children because they truly want to be parents. You could say that this yearning is a real need for these kinds of people.  If they can conceive, they are on their way.  Medical science is also able to make miracles happen.  If it is a true desire, then by all means, have children.

Some people do not want children.  Do not harass them about what is honestly their personal decision to make.

There are plenty of other variations, I’m sure there are, that I haven’t thought of in today’s rush.  There is nothing selfish about any of these scenarios. Selfish people can and do have children all the time.

I would hope that no matter your reason for having a child – educate yourself going in, so that you can be a good and decent parent, one who loves their child and doesn’t see them as an unwanted burden or interference with whatever else you would rather be doing.

And is happening to me too often these days, short on time – and so a short one for today.

You Can Just Adopt

The world already has enough people.  More and more, deciding to remain childless is an option people are choosing deliberately.  My husband and I don’t even know whether our sons will ever marry and/or have any children.  There will never be pressure from us in that regard.

The decision to have children occurs within a pronatalist social context.  When I was a senior in high school in 1972, I knew I was going to continue getting advanced education, work full time, get married and have children.  No wonder I failed.  Some women may excel at the SuperWoman effort but I did not.  I never got a degree, I ended up divorced and financially unable to provide for my child.  But I have had to work at some kind of revenue producing effort all of my life.

Why do those that cannot have their own children think that domestic infant adoption is another way to build their family?  I suppose because it has been promoted as a good thing and socially acceptable for decades now – at least as far back as the 1930s.

Our culture views parenting as an essential part of achieving fulfillment, happiness, and meaning in life, and as a marker of successful adulthood.  When my husband told me that he wanted to be a father afterall (after 10 years of being grateful I had been there and done that and no pressure on him), I was a bit shocked and it was not an easy path for us.  I am still grateful medical science had a way to make it possible, even if it involved some non-traditional sacrifice on my part.  Having children did deepen and expand upon our relationship as a couple, making us a family.  As we are aging without any other family nearby, we are grateful our children may be there for us.

Remaining childless by choice (AKA childfree) is still an outlying path, a move that raises questions and is met with prejudice and even moral outrage. This is particularly true for women, whose gender identity and social value have long been tied to fertility and motherhood. Thus, women who decide to not have children are commonly viewed unfavorably.

Though I now see the problems and emotional fallout of adopting children, I also do recognize that a mature person can love any child genuinely.  It is not necessarily a selfish motive or ego stoking decision.  Children are easy to love for most well balanced and emotionally healthy persons.  Sadly, there are people who are not that and should not have children.  Personally, I respect any mature person who knows themselves well enough to know they shouldn’t take on the responsibility of raising a child.  There should be no negative perceptions from anyone else towards those who make such a choice.