Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Choosing Childlessness

More people in ‘developed’ countries are choosing not to have children1 which is apparently called being child-free instead of childless, because being childless implies something is missing. I have never wanted to have children, and I’m lucky enough to have met a wonderful man who feels the same way I do.
When I was younger people always told me “when you’re older you’ll change your mind”, but I’m 37 years old and the maternal urge still hasn’t kicked in, so I really believe it’s not going to. Nearly all my family and friends have two or more children, and those kids are great. I get to play with them and send them home again, and I get to go home to my nice quiet house.
It’s not like I’m a neat-freak. TRUST me. I live in near squalor as I’m lazy and have two dogs who love to shed their hair all over my furniture. What I do love, is quiet. Shhhhh. Here that? Quiet.....
I LOVE quiet, and that doesn’t mean total silence, I like to blast my tunes with the best of them, but in short doses (usually when I’m getting ready to go out or hyping myself up for a major task). The rest of the time I enjoy minimal noise in my life. And children make a LOT of noise.
Obviously there’s the screaming. Usually in short bursts but if your baby gets sick then you can welcome hours and hours of wailing. Then they learn to talk, and although some girls don’t need to be told what an ‘inside voice’ is most kids generally shout at the top of their lungs even if they’re asking for a sandwich. Usually after an hour or so with a loud kid I’m exhausted and need to exit the room for some quiet time.
And we haven’t even gotten to the incessant questions or answering back, or teenage years. Honestly, why do so many people feel the drive to have kids? Before you have a two year old asking you “why?” after everything you say did you ever stop and ask yourself “why?” you want to have kids in the first place? I don’t think many people do.
It’s just part of the plan for our lives we never question. Grow up, go to school, go to college, get a job, a car, a house, get married, have kids, your kids have kids, you retire and eventually die. No questions asked.
Having children is a huge commitment; in order to be good parents you need to essentially put your dreams on hold and put all your energy into parenting. Not only energy but money too. Some figures reported in 2009 showed that each child costs on average $200,000 just to get them through high school, and most people have more than one child.
I have thought about having children, Mike and I have talked about it a lot. I wanted to make sure we felt the same way so every couple of years we’d check in with each other and see if our feelings had changed, but they haven’t. We have a dream for our future; the life we are creating at The Paddock together. If we were to have children we wouldn’t have the time, money or energy to build that dream.
Luckily for us, we don't believe we're missing out. Yes, there are experiences that people have as parents that we won't have. But we are creating a new world of experiences that we wouldn't be able to have with children.
What do you think about having children? 

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