The upcoming issue of TIME Magazine is going to run a cover story by Lauren Sandler on the Childfree lifestyle and how “having it all” can mean not having children. And as a childfree, happily married woman I thought to myself, fuck yeah! You know what? I am content this way even with the sad, tilted-head looks I get from (some of) my mommy-friends and relatives. “Aw, you would understand what you are missing if you had kids, Amy.” Understand what, exactly? Does this insinuate that I am less of a woman for not going through the physical strain of pregnancy and birth? Does being a complete human require raising another human?
This idea that people without children are lacking love in their life, or are sad, or are missing out on some huge part of life and are cruely snipping off branches from the evolutionary tree and damaging society is insulting and well, it’s wrong too. In a world that is being damaged daily by the impact of humans, I and other childfree people are actually doing the world a huge favor by creating a much lower carbon footprint. I am convinced there are enough humans on the planet. More humans is not what we need. And love? Well, I can love whatever and whomever I choose.
But Aaaaaammmmmyyyy… aren’t you oh-so-sad and super lonely without babies? Nope.
I get all my nurturing needs met by my friends and my partner that I got to pick! AND I get all my poop-picking-up needs met by my adopted dogs who by the way, will never steal the car and drive it into the neighbor’s garage door. (Something I may or may not have done as a teenager.) AND I get to take-off and sprawl my non-mommy ass out on the beach for the weekend with my husband without any need of a babysitter or a car-seat which is (much more classily) illustrated on the TIME Magazine cover.
But Aaaaaammmmmyyyy… what about Mother’s day cards and who will take care of you when you are OLD? Well, I will just take all the money I saved by not breeding, buy myself a card and a retirement home where I can make crafts with the other seniors whose kids never call them anyway.
Full disclosure: There was actually a time in my life were I did consider having children. I loved (and sill love) my husband so much I wanted to CLONE him and I was pregnant and miscarried twice. I only point this out because next time you have the urge to pull a “but-you-dont-understand-what-you-are-missing” sad-look, guilt-trip on your childfree friend, you might want to consider that there are certain situations beyond some people’s control. But in my particular situation I can honestly say that I am seriously oh-so very happy with the way my life has turned out and I can personally recommend the childfree lifestyle as being freaking awesome. And if you want to, or do have children, then hey, that is great too! Good for you if that is your thing! Just realize that it’s not for everyone and shouldn’t be expected. And not having kids doesn’t require that your life is less or an “empty-nest.” Quite the opposite!
I hope that society will get on board with the idea that a childfree life is not something that deserves a sympathy card or sad looks, it’s something empowering that deserves a thank-you cake. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go pack for my weekend getaway on the coast. No kids allowed.
Are you childfree? Did you decide it early on? Do people give you a hard time for it? Are you happy? If you have kids do you think your childfree friends are missing out?