Somewhere along the line, the traditional role of women shifted. They forgot to send out a mass memo letting people know about this change though. Because not everyone seems to know, or understand, that it’s okay for women to have a life outside of children we get to answer a lot of fun questions. I’ll never understand when it became acceptable for people to comment on any one persons’ choices. I have had complete strangers walk up to my husband and I and ask me when we are going to have children. I’ve really become quite good at explaining the difference between childless and childfree.
It’s totally fine to be childfree until you are ready, in fact, it’s the smart thing to do.
As a woman, I know I’m the one responsible for the whole children thing. I get it, women have to grow the baby, men can’t do it, I know! That doesn’t mean that I have to rush into anything though. It’s fine to be childfree; in my opinion, you could be childfree forever, but it’s smart to wait until you are ready. Despite what your mother-in-law and your grandparents think, it’s not all about having babies right away!
If you feel yourself struggling with this issue there are a lot of things that can help. Wine for example is a good one, writing your feelings down in a journal, or even meditating on your options. I’ve also found that talking with friends is a good option, usually there are some margaritas involved with that option! There are also some awesome books on the subject. I like this one which is a bit more funny, but if you are looking for something more serious this is a great option!
Children thrive on stability and routine. Sometimes in your early 20’s you are not the most dependable and stable person. Even now, in my late twenties, I’m not convinced I want to offer up the best part of myself and my day for providing essentials for a child. Someone once told me that I was selfish for not having kids because I enjoy my “me” time. I summoned my most polite voice and told her that having kids and then wanting to spend time alone would be far more selfish. Until you feel fully ready to commit your life to another tiny human being, you should remain childfree! Kids need a lot, it’s kind of their job, and remaining childfree until you are ready for that responsibility is the smart thing to do.
When I was newly married we were not in the best of financial situations. We had just forked out a ton of money for our wedding, we had home renovation plans in the works, and I had just transitioned to working for myself; it was chaotic to say the least. The last thing we needed was a huge financial burden or responsibility. Being childfree is the cheaper way to live. Children are expensive. They require a lot of doctors visits, diapers, clothing they’re constantly growing out of, day care, and more. The costs keep mounting as they grow! Remaining childfree until you are in a financially secure position is arguably more appropriate than having kids when you are not.
Husband vs. Kids
I take a lot of heat for this one but I’m always happy to defend myself…I wanted some time, real time, for just my husband and I to live our life. It’s not that I think kids are devils that ruin lives and marriages but I do think that it took us more than a year to grow into our marriage. We had been together and living together for nearly 5 years when we got married. Somehow that tiny little shift on paper changed our relationship though. It took us time to settle into our lives as “husband” and “wife” and I’m happy that I had my full attention to devote to that process. I don’t want to bring children into an unstable relationship and it was important for me to know that we were settled and happy before we even discussed our plan for moving out of the childfree zone.
We’re Not All The Same
I recently read this heartbreaking article about a woman who was struggling with the idea of children. Long story short she ended up finding out she had a serious medical condition that would prohibit her from having kids. Her final thoughts have stuck with me, she said something along the lines of “I wish it wouldn’t have taken a medical diagnosis to allow me to be happy and accepted without children.” This is so heartbreaking and descriptive of our society. Some women simply don’t want to have children. It’s not a responsibility, it’s not a requirement, if you never feel ready to quit being childfree you should still be able to be happy and accepted! Not everyone is programmed for parenting. If you never want to have kids that’s totally fine. Remaining childfree until you are ready is much better than forcing it upon yourself or your would be children, simply because you think that’s what you have to do.