Going Childfree. What’s your take?

Some women really do not want kids and it’s their decision. Have you watched the Ellen show? if not, you should. Ellen DeGeneres is an American Comedian, screenwriter, host of her own show, actress, and much more. She is delightful. Her captivating spell on her audience is a jolly good spectacle to watch. Be ready to be mesmerized as well!

She and her partner Portia De Rossi have been together for more than nine years and have consciously decided mutually not to have children. If you are the person to ask questions like “Will not having children be against nature?” ,you can stop reading this article right here because this article is not for you. Those of you who are curious as to why some women decide against the seemingly destined goal of having kids, please continue to read on.
Ellen and Portia have loads of money at their disposal hence it cannot be about fiscal insufficiency that led them to this decision. They both are popular enough hence it cannot be about publicity and to top it off they do not regret the decision. I am not saying every woman should decide that way but if they do we can at least try to understand their point of view. In their own words, “There comes some pressure in your mid-30s, and you think, “Am I going to have kids so I don’t miss out on something that other people really seem to love? ” Or is it that I genuinely want to do this with my whole heart?” I didn’t feel that my response was “yes” to the latter.’ says Portia.
Portia added about her and Ellen: ‘You have to really want to have kids, and neither of us did.’
Sometimes women self-analyze and come to a conclusion that they are not cut out to be the altruistic mother that the media has created the hype for. It mostly will not be a shallow decision and they would have deep-rooted reasons such a serious choice of life. Contrary to popular belief it is most often a carefully considered conclusion. We must also remember that some decisions are reversible and some decisions are not. Child-free life belongs to the latter category. In case the biological clock is missed adoption is definitely an option and right now, numerous orphaned children are in desperate need of a loving home.
Let’s face it. If it weren’t for the social pressures, half of us will not take it upon ourselves to be super moms who are perfect with everything we touch or in the way we clean, dress up, and feed our little ones. Society might draw up milestones for people to provide a sense of security and might point fingers and ridicule those who decide not to follow the herd. When someone has the guts to question the norms and conclude what best suits them, I believe it is a commendable.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the number of childless women in the 45 to 49 age group was at 14 percent in 2006. That compares to 11 percent in 1996, and 9 percent in 1986. The numbers are growing. In 2011, India had a total fertility rate of 2.5, only slightly higher than the replacement rate. It is also a country where more than 200 mothers also die out of every 100,000 live births ever year, and an infant accounts for every sixth death. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, in 2014, 47.6 percent of women between age 15 and 44 had never had children, up from 46.5 percent in 2012. This represents the highest percentage of childless women since the bureau started tracking that data in 1976.
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, popular world over as Mother Teresa, decided to dedicate her life to provide free service to the poorest of the poor in India. She was admired by millions for her charitable work and not belittled for deciding not to marry and have kids. We, in fact, are in awe of women like her who can take bold decisions and dedicate their lives to service so that those in need can benefit. Now don’t start the tirades. I am not keeping service to the poor at par with dedication to one’s career. I am saying these women know their priorities and are clear about their capabilities and want to focus their time and energy towards something that matters to them more.
Children are a great blessing from the universe and if you are blessed with even one then consider yourself truly blessed. For those who are struggling to have kids, we can offer our prayers and truly wish them success. But for those who are mature enough to decide against falling into the gentle caring mother stereotype, let’s reserve our curiosity and overwhelming urge to change their minds believing that all they might need is a nudge in the right direction. It should help to remember that they might be extremely self-aware, and want to do justice to their purpose and destiny. Rule of thumb is that if you will not ask questions like “Why aren’t children your priority?” to men then don’t ask the same to women as well, especially those who are not comfortable sharing details with you.

For those who still think that being childfree is selfish, think about the reason why you might have kids. Most of the answer will start with “I wanted..” or “For my old age..”. If that is not a selfish reason then deciding to be childfree is also not being selfish.
I personally know a few couples who have consciously decided to go childfree and they are content with their decades of marriage life so far. No regrets.
As I was contemplating about this topic in a coffee shop I decided to get the opinion of a co-coffee lover and a complete stranger to this topic. Here is what that 23 something woman said “It is a huge responsibility to raise kids. So if a woman decides against it, then we should support her. If anything, society is fast to blame the mother first, then the father. Hence she should be able to decide without any pressures and should be able to discuss with her partner regarding this topic. If my friend decides so, I will openly support her.” When asked what her parents and grandparents might say about this topic, she told that her parents are progressive enough to listen to reasoning but her grandparents are not. This was just one opinion from a passerby but as more people read about this, more will hopefully open their eyes about the plethora of choices.
When women take the decision by choice they are most content with their chosen priorities and can be fully supportive of others who chose to have kids. They attend baby showers and offer help and support during childbirth and are active listeners to stories about the kids. Why can’t the other way around happen? Parents can choose to respect the decision of their friends when they say “I do not want to have kids and I never will”.
If you are still on the fence about childfree choices then just remember that each person has a right to live their life however they chose. Live and let live.
Images:

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About the author:

Dwani Chaitra
A passionate developer and a mother with a strong passion for writing, hoping to create awareness as much as possible. I love reading, enjoy swimming, sweat running and look forward to learning exciting new adventures with my son.

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