Choice to have children a personal one

September 27, 2013 Editorials Print Print

“You’ll change your mind when you are older.” That’s the first thing people usually say to me when they find out I don’t want kids.

According to Time magazine, “the birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history.”

The magazine reports from 2007 to 2011, fertility rates decreased by 9 percent. This adds up to about one in five women who have decided not to have children.

What used to be a milestone in the lives of women and couples has now become a decision.

Opposers to this view like to point fingers and say couples who choose not to have children are making a selfish decision.

I say they aren’t.

What about couples who have too many children? Couldn’t that also be considered selfish?

I am not married nor do I plan to be any time soon but I have known from a young age I was not interested in having children. It is simply not in the cards for me.

Having a child changes everything. It can limit your job, limit travel, and limit other opportunities in your life.

Why should a woman give up her dream job, for example, because society says she needs to have a child and doing so would limit her job performance?

There is the cliché that women who claim they wouldn’t be a good parent always have the “mom gene” kick in as soon as they have their first child, therefore, saying you are not equipped to be a parent is irrelevant. I do not agree.

I admire people who make the decision not to have children because they know what they want.

Women and couples do not need a child to feel fulfilled.

Having a child is a big responsibility and if an individual feels he or she is not capable of raising a child or simply does not want to have children, then I say kudos to that person. There are plenty of parents out there who treat their children poorly and shouldn’t be parents.

In a country where we have the freedom to make our own decisions, telling someone who does not have children that it is their duty to have kids is wrong. If people choose to live a childless lifestyle, it is their right to do so.

I am not saying being childless is right or wrong.

I simply ask that people who do have children respect those who decide not to and take a look at their own lives before judging the lives of others.

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