On Being Child-Free By Choice

I do not have children. At this point, having children is not in my life plan. I do not think that my life is being deprived of anything because of that choice.

Oh sure, I've been told many times by many people, those that know me and total strangers, that it is. I've been told that I'm young and that I might change my mind. I might change my mind. I've never disputed that. But for right now, no, I do not want to have children and if I never have children or want to have children my life will be just fine.

Most of the time I can ignore the suggestion that my life is empty and meaningless but as I was going about my day I saw something on Twitter that caught my attention. It was a link to this: Child-free Movement: You say "child-free" I say "childless." The tweet? What would you tell the "child-free" they are missing out on?

To say that I wasn't very impressed would be an understatement. I was pissed off and insulted.

I've read the post a couple of times now. I've exchanged replies with the author on Twitter. I get that she was responding to the suggestion that she is selfish for having children, which yes some people really do believe. Much the same way people have called me selfish for not having children. Only I'm going against a societal norm, which I guess makes me and people like me fair game.

My big problem is that the judgment against her was replicated.  I, my friends, and so many women I do not know, were judged and told our lives were lacking because we have decided we do not want to have children. Sure, if you want children there are benefits to having them. But benefits are benefits only if they are something you want.

It was a slap in the face to women struggling with infertility because yes, there IS a difference for many of them between being childless and child-free. Their stories are heartbreaking and hopeful and wonderful. They are not moms, some of them will never be. Will their lives be forever lacking because of that? I sincerely hope not and I do not personally believe so but I can't speak for them.

I don't judge people for having children. If they make the choice that they want to have children and they are able to I'm happy for them. It doesn't mean that I love every child I meet. It doesn't mean that I'm pleased by some of the ways I've seen children behave in public and the ways parents have reacted to it (or not reacted as the case may be).  I may not like where you bring your children. But do I think that you are selfish to have children? Most certainly not. No.

But because I don't choose to my life is lacking. I am selfish. I will never know true love. I lack empathy. I will never learn patience. I will never know how wonderful the world is. In short, I will live a dull devoid life until the day me and my shriveled soul die miserable and alone.

I have friends who don't want children. I have friends that have children. I have friends that are trying to have children. I have friends who have desperately wanted to have children and couldn't. NONE of our lives are lacking.

I am so weary of the way women use children to beat on other women. Children vs no children. One child vs multiple children. Staying at home with the children vs working outside the home. They are all part of the same stupid argument, which is "Everyone should do what I am doing because it is the best and only right way."

We all make life choices based on what is right for us. If you want children I hope you can have them and I hope you can have as many as you want. If you don't want children I hope you don't have them. If you want to stay at home with your children, or not, I hope you can do that. I support your choice to do what is right for you and your family.

Just back the hell off of judging me for making the right choices for me and mine.