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Is it wrong for women to NOT want Children???

Jul 26, 2011 - 13 comments

A few days ago, when I got the news that a TODAY show segment I had taped would be airing, I posted the news on my Facebook wall. Though it was a fairly innocuous status update, the topic of the segment was anything but – I would be speaking about my choice to be childfree.

Most of the time, my childfree status is about as noteworthy as my eye color – something that’s such a basic part of myself that I forget it’s there. But the eruption of comments on my Facebook wall reminded me that being childfree is something that can be political or offensive to others.

The comments ranged from “Cool, I’ll DVR it!” to “Why does anyone care enough to do a segment on people who don’t have kids – that’s not even interesting” to “Shut up, breeders!”

I left my desk for an hour to go to a meeting, and when I got back there were 48 comments and 60 likes on my status update. While many of the comments were positive, the backbiting between two of my friends – one another childfree woman, one a new father – started to give me a migraine. I wanted to step in, parent-style, and announce that I was turning this car around.

The rapid-fire discourse pretty quickly disproved the comment that “nobody cared” about the topic. Despite the advancements that women have made in the public and private spheres, our bodies –  and the choices we make about them –  continue to be a battlefield.  

It isn’t just children. Magazines run articles about which female celebrities have the best and worst beach bodies; blogs show close-up pictures of women’s stomachs and speculate about whether they are pregnant. Weight loss, weight gain, plastic surgery, nutrition, contraception – women’s bodies are constantly up for discussion.

"Fortytude" author Sarah Brokaw takes a look at why society passes judgment on women who do not want to raise a family.

I agree that it shouldn’t be important whether a woman has children or not, but most of our culture doesn’t concur. “You’ll change your mind when you’re (five years older than age I am),” someone wrote. I tried to imagine the opposite situation  – a woman my age (29), pregnant or with a child, being told that in five years she’d change her mind about wanting to be a mother. Or what about a guy my age being told that his “daddy instinct” would kick in soon and he would start wanting to pop out kids? I’m old enough to vote, to drink alcohol and to die for my country, but I’m still being told – sometimes by my own peers – that I’m not mature enough to decide about my body, my family and my future.

I wish that the commenter on my Facebook page was right, and that someone’s decision to have or not have kids wouldn’t be noteworthy. But as a culture, we’re not there yet. And there’s a whole lot to talk about before we get there – so I guess I shouldn’t turn the car around, after all.

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by MrsPincince, Jul 26, 2011
I applaud ANY woman who knows themselves enough to make this kind of decision. I mean some women just don't want children. I say it's better than getting pregnant constantly and then deciding they don't want it then aborting it...

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by Clysta, Jul 26, 2011
I like this, and sadly it happens all the time.

I know I'm done with children, and have no doubts. What bothers me is when I say we're done and having sterilization done, I get 50 people saying not to. We'll regret it in a few years, things might change, I might get remarried, whatever. I hate that I'm told I'm too young to make this kind of choice. Not everyone understands that some people didn't grow up wanting to be a mom and having 5 or 6 kids. I hate large families, and I really don't like a lot of little kids. (This depends on how they're raised though----some are spoiled and selfish runts. Like the girl my grandma babysits)

Try to reverse the situation. We see posts all the time of women who have financial troubles and want more children and are unsure if they should do it or not. This is usually followed by a ton of women saying to do it, money is always tight etc etc. So why should I be condemned because I do NOT want to put myself in that kind of burden or struggle. I want to give my daughter everything possible in life, and if I have multiple children I know this will NOT be possible. People should live and let live.

Avatar universal
by joohee218, Jul 26, 2011
I'm 18 and I don't want children but maybe my mind is young still so that's why.
Haha, to be honest, I don't really want to get married either but maybe because I haven't had
experience with relationships.

I thought I was the only one who thought this way -

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by DellaKemp, Jul 26, 2011
There is nothing worng if a woman decides that she does not want children. God gave us free will to amke our own choices. Some women we born to be mothers. You can tell. I would dye inside if I did not have children, adpoted or natural. But that's me.

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by laci25, Jul 26, 2011
I personally don't have anything against you not wanting any children!  It's like  MrsPincince said, it's better that you not have children if you don't want them than getting pregnant and aborting them or being a bad parent because you never wanted children to begin with! (Not that you would be a bad parent)  Everyone has their own mind set on how they want to live their life!  Some with children and some without, some with few children and some with a lot!  I am actually on my 4th and final pregnancy.  I, myself wanted at least 4 children!  I have never had a problem with peoples wants or non-wants to have children.  I actually know a person that is in each situation!  I know some that don't want kids, I know some that only want one, and I know some that want a bunch.  It is all in what each person wants!   Just because I wanted 4 kids doesn't mean that everyone else wants or should have 4 kids.

I have actually had people tell me I am crazy for wanting 4 kids.  They literally think I am "crazy" and they disaprove of me having that many children because they don't see why in the world I would need that many!  I have always known I wanted at least 4 kids since I was young!  That, again however, does not mean that everyone else wants or should have that many!  I don't have a problem with anyone's wants when it comes to children!  It is better to do what is right for you!  I'm sorry people have been giving you grief about not wanting children!  I hope it gets better soon!

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by ConnieG, Jul 26, 2011
This kind of stuff is all over the place. It drives me crazy.  I knew I wanted to have a lot of kids since I was a kid myself and I was lectured by everyone that I needed to wait until XYZ age that 18 is too young, 20 is too young, 23 is too young, now at 27 everyone asks me, when are you having a baby. Why haven't ya'll popped one out yet...etc.  It's there with marriage too.  Those who get married young, those who prefer not to marry at all....People just think they know how to do life better than everyone else.
Too bad we can't all just live life our way, the way we think is best, and be accepted for that.....
Maybe one day!! :)

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by SunWorshiper_26, Jul 26, 2011
Seriously people care whether or not someone wants children?!  Geez I have way to much to do to worry about what other people's plans are on population :P go ahead have some babies or keep up the good work preventing them doesn't bother me either way. But I will be bothered if people use abortion as a form of birth control regularly!  You have kids, you better treat them right! Hmmm I'm opionionated...

Avatar universal
by sweetpea03, Jul 26, 2011
I remember seeing a thing about this a while ago and all the uproar that went along with it. I really don't see why this is such a huge deal. Who cares if a woman does not want children. That is her decision to make and she doesn't need to follow what society pushes on her to have the "perfect family". I also see so many people get pressured to have kids as soon as they marry. My friend got married last summer and every one keeps asking her and her husband when they will have kids. How come she is not pregnant yet. lol. It's insane. Just leave her be. I actually think she is really smart because she wants to wait until she has graduated college with her bachelor's degree and is into a steady career before having babies. Why should she have kids now and struggle, when she can wait and have things be so much easier. I'll be the same way, too. Getting married and then waiting to have children. No one should have kids because other people want them to. They need to follow what is best for them and if they don't want to be parents, then they shouldn't be.

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by adgal, Jul 26, 2011
I also have no idea why this is even an issue.  Why do we think there is something wrong with choosing to remain childfree?  I honestly had no desire whatsoever to marry and have children until I was in my mid 30's.  Then I met my husband, and things changed, but until that point..never thought about it, had no desire and had no regrets.  I have several close girlfriends who have made the choice to not have children. They are just as fullfilled as I am, and also have no regrets.  Let people make the decisions that are right for them and at the time that is right for them.  How many neglected children do we hear about today?  Perhaps it's possible they are from parents who didn't want kids, but bowed to social pressure or even just had a whoops?  

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by NicMom, Jul 26, 2011
I've seen women who opted not to have children and were perfectly happy with that decision and I also know women who very much regret not having kids. The women I know that regret not having kids never made a choice not to, but instead never got around to it. You know how it is with having kids it's never the perfect time.

If any woman decides not to have children then I think that's her business. I only worry when I see people who talk about having kids and keep putting it off for another year because of a vacation, job, house, etc.

I've been a mom for 13 years and it's amazing, but I can see how it's not for everyone!

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by melipops, Jul 26, 2011
Hi, Why should this even be a discussion women have a choice and so they should. There shouldn't be an issue!! I believe it's only hard if someone wanted a child but couldn't have one. But if they decide they want more than a life with children good on them. It certainly isn't for everyone. Each to their own on the subjects of Marriage, children, career and anything else that makes them happy. Life is about making our own choices and living with them.

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by TinaR10, Jul 27, 2011
i believe if they dont want kids ohh well. They like there freedom and thats them. Me personally I like being with kids all the time especially my baby. I mean take Beyonce for example she doesnt wanna have kids right now bc of her career and peps respect that. I mean I personally have to say my life before my son is something I never really want again.Yea I was at the club and traviling but being with my baby is my number 1 thing now. At least these women know they dont want kids and they avoid having them, Its 20 times better then a women that has a kid then kills em ex casey anthony getting rid of a kid to have freedom.

Avatar universal
by Londres70, Jul 29, 2011
It is a personal choice, just like your career, your lifestyle, etc.  What is the big deal?  

I applaud people, men and women, who make choices for what is BEST for them and NOT based on what society or someone EXPECTS them to do.  

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