Is Being Childless Selfish?
Why are people so intent on calling women without children selfish.
Recently, Pope Francis made headlines talking about how he deems women who don’t want children as ‘selfish.’ This is a popular train of thought that plagues our society.
My entire life I have known that I do not want children. I am not joking. Even when I was a little kid I knew that I would never be a mother. I remember clearly going up to my own mother crying my eyes out because I was afraid of becoming pregnant someday. I was so young and had no idea of the semantics around getting pregnant. All I knew is that women got pregnant and I did not want that to happen to me.
I have always been very adamant about this. I have been telling people that I do not want children since I can remember. Almost every single time their response is, “Oh, you will change your mind.” Why are people so sure that those of us who do not want children will change our minds? I am almost 26, and my mind has never even faltered to the other side. In fact, the sentiment has only gotten stronger.
As I have gotten older, more and more people have started to adapt the script to me. Now, I will change my mind when I get married. Now, I will want children to take care of me when I am old. Now, I am selfish for not wanting children.
So, I ask, how am I being selfish?
There is this idea in society that you can only be fulfilled once you have a nuclear family. A husband or wife, house, and kids. This is what the American dream is all about. I am sorry, but if you found me in the suburbs with a husband, kids, and doing the whole white-picket-fence thing, just hand me the gun.
Yes, I am being dramatic. But that is how strongly I feel that, that life is not for me. It is okay if it is for you though.
I have been told that I won’t know true love until I have a child. As if I don’t love my parents, twin sister, my niece, my partner, or my boyfriend enough? Why do people use their children as their reasoning for knowing love or compassion? I feel that I am perfectly capable of feeling these emotions without the stress of being a parent.
Another popular point that people love to make is that my future husband will want children. First of all, bold of you to assume that I will marry a man. Secondly, wanting children is the first thing I ask of people that I date to weed them out. Trust me, once someone I am interested in mentions the thought of having kids, I inform them that this relationship will not work out. Thirdly, these people are not recognizing that my womb is not for my future husband to have. It is mine and my own. What I decide to do with it is my business.
There is also the fact that this earth is extremely overpopulated. We have too many people on planet earth to sustain our natural renewable resources. By not having children, I am not adding another person on this earth to use these resources. So, how is that selfish?
Motherhood isn’t for everyone.
This might be a shocking sentiment to hear. But, being a mom is not for everyone. Even some people who are moms. It might be horrible to say, but, indeed, some people are not cut out for parenthood. We, as a society, look at women as baby-makers, not as human beings. I am at the point in my life where everyone is getting engaged, married, and having children. That’s all fine and good, but it is okay that I do not want that.
I know that I would not be a good parent. I love my freedom. I love my own money. Plus, I do not have the patience or energy to be a mom. Guess what? That is okay. I would rather live my life than be forced into being a parent and ultimately giving that child a bad life. Honestly I wish more people would think this way before becoming parents but it is so normalized that many people treat babies like a check box instead of the huge life change that it is.
We will be okay.
For those people that are so concerned over women who are childless. Trust me, we are okay. We will be okay. I am tired of people telling me that I will regret this decision when I am older. You know what? I won’t because I will have lived my life the way I decided it. Like those who are parents did.
A popular question is, “who will take care of you when you’re old?” To that I say, I don’t care because do you know what’s going to happen when I am old? I am going to die. It will not matter. I will be okay. I truly feel like people ask these questions, not out of care for the childless but out of a personal fear for themselves.
We aren’t selfish. If you think so then I ask you why do you truly think that way? Is it out of the wellbeing for the woman or is it out of your own personal perception of what is deemed normal or right? Next time you meet a childless woman, just let her be.