Pluses For Childless By Choice
I applaud Nanette Varian for her article "Childless By (100 % Regret-Free) Choice". I am delighted to see the discussion brought into the mainstream in a rational way. Too often, it is a charged topic that seems to raise emotions on both sides without respect for individual choices. I am 58-years-old and have never, for even five minutes––regretted my decision to not have children. There are many reasons for choosing not to have children as there are for having them, and the article touched on some of them. I made my choice for a reason not mentioned by Varian.
After I took a sociology course in demography in college, I realized that virtually all of the world’s problems are rooted in over-population. Issues like: hunger, disease, ignorance, depletion of natural resources, environmental issues, quality of life, crime and mental issues all have links to over-crowding. Over-population is a serious problem largely ignored in the U.S. because it seems to be politically incorrect to suggest that people may want to choose differently when it comes to limiting the size of their families so we can save resources.
Although people argue that population growth in the U.S. isn’t as large as within other countries, this may be true, but Americans still consume more and leave larger carbon footprints than other countries. This isn’t an issue of whether or not a person can afford to have a large family. Recycling, or driving a hybrid are great ways to help the earth, but to not add more people, more disposable diapers in landfills, more cars, more homes, more pollution––that would help more.
After reading “Childless By (100% Regret-Free) Choice” I can relate. I am just about to turn 56 and have never had the burning desire to have children of my own. I saw my close friends go through an obsession when they were ready for kids and I could never relate. Babysitting was never my idea of a perfect job when I was a teenager. Maybe it is something that we’re born with, or maybe not?
My mother told me that she knew by the time I was six-years-old that I would never have children. The story she related to me was that when she brought my new baby brother home from the hospital to meet the family and showed him to me, I told her: “Just remember, he’s your kid, not mine.” After that, my sister who is three years older than me (and went on to have three children) snatched my new baby brother away to care for him and coddle him. Needless to say, that even after I got married at the age of 26, my mom and dad never asked me when I was going to have children. Out of the mouths of babes!
Fountain HIlls, AZ
The “Childless By (100% Regret-Free) Choice” article reminded me of a get-together of a trio of women who had not seen each other in a while.
One was fairly a mom by choice (being myself), one was a more experienced, albeit accidental mom and the other was childless by choice. To catch up with each other, the other related how her three-year-old found her older sister’s school scissors and tried to trim her own bangs. I related my toddler’s first public tantrum. But, the non-mom told us about her recent Caribbean cruise.
The other mom and I laughed and said, “now we know why you didn’t have kids!” I support my non-breeding friends’ choices. Motherhood is tough—even for those of us who really wanted it.
San Mateo, CA
Thank you so much for publishing “Childless By (100% Regret-Free) Choice.” Although I am only 25, I love your magazine and the article totally hit the spot, as in the way I think.
People don’t understand when I say I don’t want kids. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t want any. I hear comments of “wait until you get older,” but I just simply don’t have the desire to have kids of my own.
It’s nice to read about people that are in the same boat as me and being older, still think this way.
Jefferson City, MO