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Why Choosing to Be Childless Can Be a Smart Move

Sondra Rochelle believes that every human being deserves the right to live up to his or her full potential.

Why it may be best for some people to avoid having children.

Why it may be best for some people to avoid having children.

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. . .

  1. health problems,
  2. body image concerns,
  3. relationship, mental, physical, or financial instability, or
  4. career concerns.

Additionally, some people just don’t want to be tied down with the lifelong responsibilities of raising children.

4 Disadvantages of Having a Child

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.

1. Childbirth Is Difficult

While many women are fortunate enough to have perfectly normal pregnancies, others have all sorts of physical and emotional problems as a result.

  • Postpartum depression can even cause mothers to kill themselves or 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. Many women have 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.

2. Disabilities Are a Risk

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 mental defects and disabilities. This places terrible and lifelong burdens on families as well as society.

The cost of care for a disabled child depends upon the extent of his problems, but the average annual expense can be 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 extra hours per week of childcare. 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 are 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.

3. Substance Abuse Issues Are a Risk

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 complications,
  • unwanted pregnancies,
  • runaways, and
  • defiance.

Any person who understands the risk of having to deal with this type of issue would have good cause to think twice about giving birth!

4. You Can't Control What Your Children Will Do

Children sometimes grow up and do things that violate their parents' value systems. When this happens, family relationships can be ruined.

The only child of a caucasian middle-class couple grows into her teens with a preference for black boys and a disregard for marriage. Although her parents try to change her attitudes, they fail. The girl grows into an adult who is the single parent of a mixed-race child and her relationship with her parents changes 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—can 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.

Kids can have many problems that impact the quality of life in their families.

Kids can have many problems that impact the quality of life in their families.

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

  1. freed themselves from having the lifelong responsibilities and potentially serious problems that go along with having children,
  2. were able to make choices based on their own needs and desires, and
  3. 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 decision.

  • Because I chose not to have kids, I only had myself to worry about after 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.

© 2017 Sondra Rochelle


Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on July 28, 2019:

Glad things are working out for you.

Nicole K on July 28, 2019:

Thank you for sharing your perspective. I found it to be an interesting read. As with everything in life, there are pros and cons for each side. I personally couldn't wait to be a mom and now have three young sons. Yes, some days are difficult, but I would never trade any one of them and I am so thankful to have each of my boys. They have blessed me and enriched my life in so many ways. They each have their own unique personalities and passions and they are so loving and sweet. I was lonely before, when I was single and did not have any children. Now that I have my kids, possibilities are endless of things we can do together. I love taking them to the park, getting their photos taken, making birthdays and Christmas and other holidays special for them, and seeing how the grandparents love on them. Of course, we don't know what the future holds and I'm sure there will be certain troubles down the line (jr. high, high school/ teen years etc), but I still consider it all worth it for the joy and love that they bring. And the meaning / purpose. Just my viewpoint.

Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on April 04, 2018:

Jay C Obrien: Excellent ideas. You should write a hub about this!

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on April 04, 2018:

Good article. I suggest Family Planning to make sure prospective parents really want children. After all, we do need them. I suggest a sperm donation followed by a vasectomy.

We should reduce world population to conserve resources. There is no need for 6, 8 or 10 billion people in the world. Why not have 1 billion people with high technology? If we envision it, we can do it. Pass it on!

Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on November 03, 2017:

Lanecia Smith: Thanks. Having watched what happens with people and their kids over the years I can honestly say that I wonder why anybody in their right mind would have them! However, peer pressure is strong, and many bend to it. I did not, and I've been forever grateful for having made that choice. Thanks for stopping by!

LS from United States on November 03, 2017:

Hi Sondra,

This is an interesting perspective on remaining childless. I know many people who have chosen not to have children for many of the reasons you mentioned above. Society kind of makes it an important deal to have children. The traditional family role is slowly, but surely changing its existence. It's a little exciting to see what the future holds. Great Article!