The choice to live child-free
Regulars will know Mookychick is pro (loving) motherhood - but it's also pro-choice. Here's a personal account and manifesto of a person who has decided to live as a child-free woman.
As a child, my friends would fantasize about their dream weddings, and even as a young adult they would paint their future similar to most others: Get married, have kids, grow old. They would discuss what kind of parents they would be and plan their life around the primary objective of bearing children...
I kept quiet as I fantasized about twisted things such as getting kidnapped and tied up. Or about travelling the world, having many adventures, and becoming a famous author or violinist.
One thing I could never picture for myself is running around after a couple of kids, making peanut butter sandwiches for the next day's lunch, and lugging a family to the beach for the day. I would see women walking along with their strollers, and I felt an overwhelming sense of disgust at the idea. Unable to picture myself in that role, I felt lost and awkward around my friends. When my mom spoke of grandchildren I felt guilt because I had a feeling I would be unable to grant her wish. As her only daughter, it would be a grave disappointment for her to discover my disdain at the thought of bearing children.
For most of my life I felt strange, guilty, and slightly less of a woman due to my feelings towards bearing children. Even today I see happy housewives enjoying their summer days at the beach, and mothers embracing their children who adore them so much, and I feel a twinge of bitterness. For a long time I thought I felt bitter because I am some sort of lame person who does not carry the desire to reproduce, and therefore would never experience that life.
I have come to realize that my bitterness is a result of my constant resistance towards a society where women grow up and have kids. In the world we live in, people are shocked when a woman decides not to have children. It is our purpose and duty as owners of the Womb. My discomfort is a result of the constant judgment, and resistance to the idea that I may want to live my life a different way.
I am not here to beat up on reproduction. Of course people need to reproduce and continue popping out new generations for the future. I am just not one of them. I have a feeling that there are many people out there who do not have the desire, but they do it anyway because society tells them to and because they can not take the constant questioning from their peers and family.
I am in my early 20s. I have a big Italian family with cousins who are beginning their own families. If I was any other normal Italian girl, I would be next in line to link up in a monogamous relationship, start planning my weddings, and start thinking of baby names. If I wanted to make my mother happy, I would already be pregnant. My friends are searching vigorously for their future baby's daddy, and I keep running into my peers from high school that either have a ring on their finger or a baby on their hip.
Yet I can not seem to find anyone who is truly happy with their life. They all seem stuck. It seems as if they are trying very hard to fit into a mold. They are trying not to disappoint anyone. They hate to abandon their childhood fantasies of baby showers and little league. Again, I do not want to bash reproduction. We need people to have their families and populate the earth.
I had this wonderful revelation when I turned 19. I will never forget. I discovered an amazing, awesome truth; I discovered an idea that would cause a world of opportunity to open up for me.
I Do NOT have to have kids!
What is this you say? Bearing children is... Optional?
Many people dream of raising children, and it is in fact their most precious dream and the purpose for their life. That is wonderful. I would frankly feel miserable, but that is just me. I am sure raising a child is extremely fulfilling, meaningful, and beautiful. However for me, I would find it more meaningful to travel the world, have many lovers and experiences, and do everything I can to make a difference in the world. I feel that not only would kids hold me back, but I would also not be a great person to raise one. I just do not possess that motherly vibe.
One day while trolling around on Craigslist I came across a Dating Website called: www.IdoNOTwantKids.com.
I became so excited, I spent about 45 minutes filling out a profile. I could hardly control myself as I eagerly waited to find all the like-minded people out there. How cool would it be to go out with someone who has something other than diapers on his/her mind? I clicked "search" and waited for my screen to fill up. To my shock and dismay, there were less than 20 men in the L.A. area who did not want kids, and even fewer women! Curious, I decided to search the whole site and I found less than 2000 members, many of which were inactive. I can see why! They probably gave up just as I did. Maybe they found someone to talk them into having a family after all. The hate mail on that website approaches ridiculous levels, and it all consists of upset women and men defending their choice to have kids, as if they were the freaks in this show. Come ON. There are fewer than 2000 of us, apparently. Give us a break! Eharmony..com and Match.com have member counts well in the 6 digits.
I would like for people to have children because it is an overwhelming desire for them to raise a baby, and not because it is what their friends do and not because it is the natural "next step" in life. I would like people to live their dreams first.
I would like people to acknowledge their dreams and cherish them. Do not just shove them away and chalk it up to a naive fantasy. Reality is what you make it. Your reality does not need to be the same as everyone else.
Reasons for having children
According to a study done by Science Daily, the economic benefits of having children have decreased and even diminished since the beginning of the Industrial period. In fact, studies show that having children often hurt families economically and it has become intensely more expensive and costly to raise children. When attempting to discover the reason most Americans choose to have kids, the number one statement received is: "It's better for a person to have a child then to go through life childless."
I find that statement to be incredibly close-minded. What rationalization and thought process causes people to feel that life is not worth as much if you do not bear children? It seems as if most people are looking to fill a void in their lives. "Among unmarried white women, both a low value on the social resource factor and a high value on career concerns are needed before our model predicts an intention to remain childless," they say. "Stopping at one child is also relatively infrequent and is almost always associated with a low value on the social resource variable. In contrast, most persons with two or more children do not intend to have any more."
The study basically shows that most people place more value on social standards and norms, than on their own life dreams and accomplishments. While it is certainly possible to have children and remain faithful to your dreams, this is rarely the case. When you commit yourself to a child you put them first, leaving it near impossible to seize the same opportunities in life you would if childless.
Some people want to have children and still focus on careers and dreams, leaving their children behind with a nanny or at home with video games. As a result the next generations are growing up with their own voids that need filling, deriving from a childhood with lack of affection and attention from their families.
Just as I know exactly why I am choosing not to have children, those considering Motherhood should be clear on their reasons for starting a family.
Raising a child is meaningful, and that does not mean it needs to come from your womb to be just as special. I never did understand why people are so adamant about having a child from their own body. There are so many orphaned children out there. This is the next generation we are talking about. They are just as special and beautiful as anything you could create after a night of fornicating. I just do not see any reason for so many women popping out kid after kid when millions of beautiful children are starving for love and a chance at a decent life.
My personal reasons for not wanting a child
My dream is to help children all over the world. I adore children. I love children so much that I want to spend my life doing what I can to make a difference in the lives of future generations and children in the city of L.A, all over America, and over the world. 18 years is a big chunk of time, and it would be a waste of my life and potential to raise my own child. With all the good I can do in the world, I would feel selfish to focus my life on just 1 or 2 of my own.
I am not down with diapers, daycare, little league, and puberty.
This life is going to be one of a nomad, an adventurer, a world traveler, and twisted sexual fun and hedonism.
I am proud to declare myself a child-free woman! Hear me roar!
Check out this independent, kick-ass woman who feels the same way.
You may wish to read the study refenced in this article.