Why Choosing to Be Childless Can Be a Smart Move
There are many reasons why people think the decision to avoid having children can be a smart move for them.
Society often views this choice as being selfish, and in some cases it is. However, other reasons for making it include but are not limited to
- health problems,
- body image concerns.
- relationship, mental, physical or financial instability or
- career concerns.
Additionally, some people just don’t want to be tied down with the lifelong responsibilities of raising children.
Having Children Is a Lifelong Commitment
Those who take the time to look more deeply into these issues gain a better understanding of how making the choice to remain childless might well be the best thing they can do for themselves, their unborn and society as a whole.
Although people cannot look into the future to see what life would be like for them if they did choose to create families, when making this decision, they should look both at statistics and situations to get an idea of the risks they might face in choosing to have children.
At least by doing this, they can make an informed choice and one that can determine the path their lives might have to follow.
The bottom line is that once you have a child, you've got him for the rest of your life, for better or for worse, and you had better be prepared to deal with whatever may come as the result of giving birth.
While there are many benefits involved, there also are many risks, some of which can devastate lives. Here are some to consider.
While many women are fortunate enough to have perfectly normal pregnancies, others have all sorts of physical and emotional problems as a result.
- Post Partum Depression has caused numerous mothers to actually kill their offspring.
- Stretch marks and increased weight problems plague women for years and sometimes for life.
- Loss of calcium causes some women’s teeth to fall out.
- The strain on the birth canal can create many long term health problems as well.
Giving birth causes the human body to change in ways that can be very damaging and sometimes irreversible.
In rare cases, women have even died trying to give birth!
The bottom line is that there is no way to know in advance about the risks. Couples that choose not to have children don't have to worry about these issues.
Society makes couples think that childbirth is the easiest and most natural thing in the world, but the truth is that for many people just the opposite is true.
Unfortunately, approximately 120,000 children per year in the US come into the world with terrible physical and emotional defects and disabilities.
This places terrible and lifelong burdens on families as well as society.
The cost of care for a defective child depends upon the extent of his problems but the average annual expense can be as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, approximately $30,500 of which are direct costs to the parents. The rest must be paid for by society.
Furthermore, these children can require up to 52 hours more per week for child care than for families with normal children. This means that at least one parent will not be able to work outside of the home to help earn enough money to help pay for these expenses.
In some cases improvements come with time, but in many, these children suffer for the rest of their lives while the financial and psychological stresses for their care stay with their families throughout their lives.
The physical and psychological problems for the children is the worst part. I had a cousin who was born with stubs instead of fingers and toes. She was a lovely person, and while her disability was not as serious as some, for her entire life she felt as if she was "less" than other people. This feeling plagued her until her death and clearly damaged the quality of her life.
Substance Abuse Issues
Even if a child is born healthy, and the mother does well, there still can be many problems looming down the road.
For example, a CBS survey recently reported that two million teens between the ages of 12 and 17 needed treatment for a substance abuse problem but only about 150,000 of them get the help they need.
Problems like these crop up early and many are never resolved. This results in all sorts of issues such as isolation from family members, accidents, time spent in jail and even death.
Parents can end up spending years of their lives, small fortunes and immense amounts of emotional stress trying to help their children while in the meantime wasting the best years of their lives.
Other issues with children can involve
- gender identity problems,
- unwanted pregnancies,
- runaways and
Any thinking person who realistically understands the potential for having to deal with these types of issues would have good cause to think twice about giving birth!
Children sometimes grow up and do things which violate their parents value systems.
When this happens, family relationships can be ruined.
In one case the only child of a Caucasian middle-class couple grew into her teens with a preference for black boys. Although the parents tried to change her attitudes, they failed.
The result is that the girl is now an adult who is the parent of an illegitimate mixed race child and the relationship between the girl and her parents has gone from being easy and loving to being stressful and uncomfortable.
Children who choose to disrespect their parents beliefs, be they religious, gender related or racial cause unbelievable amounts of emotional pain.
This happens often, and when it does, the joy of having a family or being part of one often disappears.
There Are Many Benefits to Remaining Childless
There are no guarantees that remaining childless will provide happiness, but it is clear that those who choose this path clearly avoid all of the potential risks that are involved with having children.
Some who make this choice may have regrets, but that is a risk they take when they walk away from family life.
Most, however, realize that because they remained childless, they have
- freed themselves from having the lifelong responsibilities and potentially serious problems that go along with having children,
- were able to make choices based on their own needs and desires and
- have had more financial stability than they might otherwise have had.
A Life Without Children
I wrote this article based on my own experiences as a person who chose to remain childless.
For those who wonder what it might be like, I can only speak for myself.
I was a person who purposely chose not to have children. I had myself surgically sterilized to make sure that I could live child free.
I have never regretted my decisionk.
Because I chose not to have kids, I only had myself to worry about following the death of my spouse when I was relatively young.
Overall, I have been much better off financially, have been able to travel and enjoy life on my own terms.
There have been no complications in my relationships and I was able to earn a living without the interruptions that come from having children who become injured, sick or have other types of problems.
Furthermore, now that I am old, I have been able to see what having kids has done to many couples I know. Mostly, the results have been horrible. Their kids use them constantly. Most feel that if they don't keep "paying up", their kids won't love them.
They're stuck, but I'm not. Call me selfish if you like, but I am ever grateful that I made the choice to remain childless.
It was a decision that has made all the difference in my life.
Do you think that choosing not to have children is a smart move?
Questions & Answers
Dont you think being a hedonist is a selfish antisocial act that contributes nothing to the world?
Hedonist? Selfish? Contributes nothing? Some of the most brilliant, caring, loving, kind, thoughtful and giving people in this world chose not to have children, many because they felt bringing them into such a hostile and dangerous world would be wrong to do. I say to each his own. Let's not be critical of those who have views that are opposed to our own. Each person must choose his own path.
© 2017 Sondra Rochelle