However, on the other side of the equation, people who say they don’t want to have children, they say that because of:
- Moral concerns, such as the desire not to bring a child into a world full of cruelties.
- Financial pressure.
- Financial and personal freedom.
- The belief of not being a suitable or well-equipped parent.
- Poor genetics (such as having physical or psychological illnesses).
- Having already found meaning and fulfillment in life.
As we can see, both sides of the equation are legitimate. And both sides have equally noble and ignoble reasons supporting them.
But why do we still have such a black and white perspective of not wanting to have children?
Why You Don’t Want Children? 4 Myths And Assumptions
I believe the reason why we have such an ignorant and one-sided understanding of those who don’t want to have children is that we carry a set of myths and assumptions that muddy our ability to empathize with childless people.
Let’s explore them:
Myth 1 – Children will bring you fulfillment.
Children bring many gifts to our lives, there is no denying that, but to believe that children will bring us fulfillment is misguided. While children might bring us a lot of happiness, they don’t always bring us fulfillment.
The truth is that true, deep, and long-lasting fulfillment is something that is cultivated within, and the desire to bring fulfillment into your life by having a child is not only unreasonable but unfair on the child as well.
Mindful parenting can help you raise children without stress.
Myth 2 – If you have a child, you will never be alone.
Many people have children out of the fear of winding up “alone” during their lifetime and on their deathbed. In fact, it is common in our society to be pushed into having children to avoid this very primal fear.
The truth is that children are human beings, and human beings are unpredictable. We wear rose-tinted glasses when it comes to having kids, but the reality is that we don’t know whether we will be estranged from them in the future, or whether they will truly be there for us, no matter how we raise them.
Also, having a child to avoid being alone is not only an immense burden on the child but a form of escapism from self-responsibility. Many parents feel alone, even when they do have children. Why? Because true happiness is cultivated inside, not on outside things (such as children) which are unpredictable and transient. When we look for joy outside of ourselves we will always feel miserable sooner or later when these things are taken away from us.
Myth 3 – Not wanting to have a child makes you selfish.
As we have seen, many people have children for completely selfish reasons (not wanting to die alone, wanting to find fulfillment, wanting to be liked and accepted by friends and family) – and the same goes for people who don’t want children. There can be selfish motivations on both sides of the spectrum.
But the truth is that not wanting to have a child is so much more than just “being selfish.” As we saw above, not wanting to have kids also involves deeper matters such as the desire to not contribute to overpopulation, poor/dangerous genetics, not wanting to be a bad parent, and so forth.
Myth 4 – Women who don’t want children are not feminine.
Women especially cop a lot of criticism and judgment when it comes to not wanting children. They are seen as superficial, egotistic, uncaring, unloving, cold and sexually stale.
If not pinned with these nasty labels, women who don’t want children are also brushed off, seen as immature, or told “You’ll grow out of it. You want children, you just don’t know it yet.”