September 18, 2014

Why Are You Childfree?

Why are you childfree?

Why are you childfree?

In the wandering, winding webs I stumbled upon a personal reflection on why a Cleveland-based woman chose to remain childfree.

Why childfree? No want. No change. I think you’ll find it compelling for it’s candor and tidiness.

When I was 15 years old, I wanted to be a Marine Biologist, which has drastically changed over the years; I thought that there was nothing worse than not being liked by someone, and that has changed drastically; I was extremely self-conscious of my body and only wore super loose clothing, which has also changed as I have gotten used to my figure; I thought that my mom was soooo annoying, which has drastically changed and now I realize what a fantastic mother she is and always was. But for some reason, my thought of being childfree has not changed at all. There has never been a time in my life when I really wanted children. There was a time when I tried to make myself think I wanted them because I started to realize how unusual my decision was, but I never really wanted them. It’s so curious how different of a person I am today than I was when I was 15, and yet I still have the same thoughts on that extreme major life decision. (dinkschildfree)

Perhaps this “why childfree” explanation grabbed my attention because I also figured out early on that I wasn’t destined for fatherhood. Keen on kids, but not even a flickering desire to reproduce.

Of course, marriage fit in the same Not me, not ever! category. That changed. Not quickly. Not early. But it eventually changed. All credit to my bride. But I never caught the procreation bug…

Why are you childfree? I wonder if we can attempt a formal poll of our readers in the comments below. You don’t need to divulge your most profound emotional/psychological motives if you’d prefer not to, but even a short sentence or two capturing the gist of your choice to remain childfree would be intriguing. Up to the challenge?

Why are you childfree? Did you always feel this way or has your conviction evolved since childhood?

About virtualDavis

G.G. Davis, Jr. (aka virtualDavis) is a writer, storyteller, unabashed flâneur and eager-beaver uncle. Despite two whiz-bang nieces, two superstar nephews, and rewarding teaching/coaching stints at the American School of Paris and Santa Fe Preparatory School, he remains willingly, enthusiastically and happily childfree. His WNK posts are part of an ongoing attempt to understand why. Rosslyn Redux, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks, offers a more ironic twist on his childfree adventure. He also blogs at virtualDavis.com and EssexonLakeChamplain.com. Connect with G.G. Davis, Jr. via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Comments

  1. beatlesfan1942 says:

    Thanks for the quote (I’m the one who wrote the blog you quoted)! I’m childfree because I never had the desire. There is a longer version but I think that sums it up pretty well. Not sure why I never had the desire, it was just never there. It still amazes me at 32 how many people still tell me that I’ll change my mind.

    • Welcome, @beatlesfan1942:disqus, and thanks for “claiming” your quotation! Wasn’t quite sure how to credit/cite your reflection except the way I did (dinkschildfree which links back to your original post), but I’d be happy to include any additional citation you would like. Your blog offers up a fresh and personal glimpse at the childfree world despite your DINK-2-SINK transition about which you are matter-of-fact. In fact it precisely this matter-of-fact tone and brevity which set your blog apart from others who get tangled up and convoluted. This is a complex issue, and many bloggers tend to dilute their message with too much complexity. Well done! And thanks again for dropping in and sharing your answer to the question. You might enjoy the Why No Kids? facebook page as well. We’d welcome your fresh pespective.

      • beatlesfan1942 says:

        I think you credited it just fine. :) I have certainly been called “matter-of-fact” my whole life, so it’s good that you can tell that from my blog. That certainly sums up my personality. :) It’s true that there is often a lot of complexity when it comes to people talking about (or writing about) their childfree decision. I think it’s because there are so many stigmas and people are afraid to just admit how they feel. I just “liked” the Why No Kids Facebook page so I’ll check it out. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. It’s so ironic that you write this, and quoted that passage, because I was thinking about that same issue last week when a friend of mine, who had always said they didn’t want kids told me they were pregnant. I wondered if I would one day change my mind, and the more I thought of it, the more I believe I don’t think I will. 

    There are numerous reasons I don’t want kids, but I think the two major ones are a) the world is so insane right now, I really don’t want to bring a kid into it and b) I really don’t have the desire — dogs are perfectly fine. :)  

    • If only I’d written it while SUP-ing, right? (BTW, great stand up paddle boarding touts this weekend, Michelle! Meant to respond, from our board, but gravity kept winning…)

      I’m familiar with the “I’ll never have kids” latter day converts. Often they fit into the “Ooops!” category, and decide to let destiny take its course. I’ve had many of those moments when I reflect and question my choice, most notably when my brother fathered two splendid daughters. And yet, no matter how perfect my experiences are with my nieces and my nephews, I still come back to the same conclusion each time. Not for me. Maybe I’ll never be able to articulate precisely and concisely why, but the conviction endures. At least so far! ;-)

      I agree with the two reasons you mention. The world is grand in so many ways, and I’m an optimist of pallyanna-ish proportions, but I totally agree with “insane world ergo no kids” logic. Maybe some day we’ll look back and say, remember how sane things were in the early 21st century… Who knows?!?!

      Thanks for sharing your perspective! Look forward to more.

  3. I was always open to having children, and it was something I assumed would happen when I got married. Once I was married, the timing never seemed right. It wasn’t that my husband and I were focused on careers or travel or some exciting non-child lifestyle but, rather, we were just really happy in our relationship. The thinking was always, “Sure, kids would probably enrich our lives, but our lives are pretty great now without them. Why mess with that?” This mindset has continued throughout our marriage (18 years in June).

    • “Why mess with that?” Amen! Sort of like my logic for not getting tattooed or pierced. ;-) Lucky enough that all systems are working properly, why risk fouling it up?!?! Thanks for chiming in, Jill!

  4. Bridget Widget says:

    When I was a kid all the young girls were psyched to be babysitters, “best job ever” so they said. I babysat one night. It was so not for me. I then spent my teen years creating my own crafts and varying decorative collections selling them in my Mothers shop and craft circuit. Much more lucrative than babysitting :) and I truly loved it. I adore children and my nephews are awesome but having a child hasn’t fallen on my to do list yet and I really do not believe it will.

    • beatlesfan1942 says:

      I babysat once (and only once) too and it was horrible! LOL

    • I love the thought of young, entrepreneurial @e571e66a3ae0ec8dc78b4636d6871f38:disqus crafting and marketing and profiting from the same energetic, can-do wellspring that we all have come to enjoy and appreciate as an adult. Have I told you lately how great you are? Oh, and how much we’re going to miss you in the Adirondacks?!?! Thanks for chiming in. All four of us love kids too, perhaps all the more because they’re somebody else’s… Cheers!

    • Esmeralda says:

       The very same thing happened to me! I babysat for 3 or so hours and ran away in terror!

  5. Dee bee says:

    Never wanted children. I have a very large family, that’s all the family I need. I play the cool aunt very well. I’m just responsible enough to babysit, and irresponsible enough (not ashamed to admit it) to know that I would not be a good leader for my child. They are expensive and I don’t see enough moral fortitude in the world to make me feel good about having a kid. Sorry, more than a few smile sentences. But one more thing. My older sister has a perfect life on paper, but when you look in her eyes or talk to her, she has no joy. Her children are loaded with drugs and doctor bs instead of real parenting and emotional care. It’s borderline child abuse in my eyes.

    • Cool aunts rock, @29de64277eafad743bedf40934138699:disqus ! Of course, cool uncles aren’t too bad either. My bride and I focus are family urges on our nieces and nephews and it’s incredibly rewarding. Especially on tuition day! ;-) I’m saddened to hear about your sister’s family/kids. I suspect she’d probably tells you that you don’t understand, etc. That’s the usual line… But you’re probably able to see things more objectively than she is because you’re an outsider looking in. I not only see the same thing with many of our friends, many of them actually admit it, especially the fathers who often seem more willing to be candid and feel less judged by admitting that parenting isn’t always the Hallmark moment they’d anticipated. As for moral fortitude, I tend to agree. Frankly, the worlds grown a bundle more complicated than it was when I was growing up, and roll models seem to be fewer and farther between. Parenting in the 21st century inevitably includes an endless avalanche of worry and anxiety. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Desperatemusic says:

    I’ve never liked kids. Even as a child I looked at them and thought, “What’s wrong with these people?!” I don’t like being around them, listening to them, talking like an idiot to entertain them, etc. I have no beef with people who like kids – all the more power to them. When I was younger I had a HUGE painful crush on a guy who loved kids, and I tried so, so hard to like them, to find them cute and enjoyable. I failed. I just couldn’t do it. And I feel do much better now knowing that there’s nothing wrong with not having kids. That guy can raise his brood while I live my life without them.

    • Greetings, @6388c762f6b8c4d8ccbda4b4b3e6ef7e:disqus and thanks for your patience with my s l o w response. So much fun-summer happening outside, that it’s hard to settle in at the computer for type-type-typing. First of all, sorry about the painful crush, though I suspect that the term “crush” is bittersweet by definition, know what I mean? It’s part of the wild and wooly adventure we call life, I suppose. Second of all, it sounds like you’ve rebounded and begun taking advantage of your childfree status. Trust me, it’s a wonderful life. You’re going to love it!

    • I agree with you. I am around my friend’s 2 year old sometimes. She is cute and good sometimes. However, other times I just want to lock her in a closet. She whines/cries for no reason. She also is fresh….hits her mommy back and tells her no. I told my friend she will be sorry if she doesn’t start to discipline her now. She will grow up and rule the mom.

  7. Great post WNK friends. Additional reasons to choose to remain child-free include these:
    Nature needs for humans to peacefully reduce our numbers.
    We need to care more for the children already on Earth.
    The biosphere and atmosphere cannot afford more Americans.
    Life without your own kids is simpler and more affordable.
    Being a good uncle is much easier than being a good father!
    Thanks all
    John

    • virtualDavis says:

      Great additions, John. Thanks for chiming in, and as you know I agree 100% with the uncle versus father assertion. Though rumor has it that your a rather stellar “dad” too despite the fact that it’s not always easy… ;-)

  8. I’ve known since I was 6 that I didn’t want kids.  I’m now 40, happily married, and still happily childfree.  Like the blogger, we  briefly reconsidered at one point, realizing how odd our choice really is.  But we’ve stuck by our decision, despite how awkward it makes it for us to fit in among our peers sometimes.  Sorry parents.  I know you love your kids.  But with what you post on Facebook and how you act in the grocery stores, you really aren’t selling the dream.  

  9. Esmeralda says:

     Totally agree with the blogger. Never in my life wanted to have kids… Once I was asked to look after the baby for 3 hours. It was a nightmare and I only got more  convinced in my decision.

  10. Mickeywild says:

    I never felt the need to reproduce to live a fulfilling life and even after 16 years in a happy relationship 10 of which have been married my feelings havent changed. I still have no desire to have children.

  11. Childfree. Not a good idea for me. I so love kids. When you become a parent, you won’t even notice that they can be irritating. I wanna have kids someday.

    • I completely disagree. Yes you will no how irritating kids are when you have your own. I am around my friend all the time with her 2 year old daughter and she irritates the heck out of her mom. I’d never want to be in her shoes. I go home to my hubby, a clean peaceful quiet home. I would not trade that for anything. Not to mention you have no clue how your kids will turn out. They could be a terror. You take a huge risk in having kids.

  12. I’m only 18, but I am absolutely certain that I will never have children. For a lot of reasons, including:

    * Honestly, I just hate kids. Always have. They annoy and disgust me.
    * My personality just isn’t compatible with parenthood. I enjoy having a lot of alone time, and prefer to engage in social interaction on my own terms. I’m a perfectionist, and have little tolerance for people doing things in a way that doesn’t meet my standards. And I find myself constantly frustrated with people who I don’t perceive as smart or mature enough. Imagine being a kid with that sort of mother; they’d end up with all sorts of issues.
    * Mental illness of all kinds runs very, very strongly in my family, to the extent that it’s practically a guarantee that any biological child of mine would end up with some sort of disorder.

    I’m fully aware that my first two points make me sound like some sort of horrible jerk, and my age will probably cause a lot of people to take me less seriously, because how can I be so certain about what I want at such a young age? I can offer no defense, except that I know myself better than anyone else does.

    • Yes they are disgusting! My friends daughter constantly spits on her hands while eating, drools and then tries to touch me. I told her “stay away” and I mean it. They have germs. The mom gives her bowls of food in her crib. She makes a mess out of everything! I know she is a kid but all the cleaning, laundry my friend has to do because of her. No Way Jose! I love my life!

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