Have you seen the recent cover of Time Magazine? Here it is above. It’s this article about how the new “Having it all” for women is to not have children. In fact the title of the article is, “Having It All Without Having Children.”
I’ve always imagine/hoped that I would have kids one day but apparently for my generation that’s not the norm. Here’s a quote from the article (in case you don’t feel like reading it basically says people were having babies before and now they’re not):
The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history. From 2007 to 2011, the most recent year for which there’s data, the fertility rate declined 9%. A 2010 Pew Research report showed that childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about 1 in 5 American women who end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with 1 in 10 in the 1970s.
After reading this full text of the article this guy at work was like, “Yeah this is exactly how my wife and I feel!” So I decided to ask him more about it. Interview below:
Angela: As always, thanks for offering to talk to the world about your “childfree life.”
Coworker: No problem. I”ll say anything anonymously!
Angela: Wow. Okay, well, talk to me more about why you’ve had such a strong (positive) reaction to this Time article.
C: Well, first of all, I think you should let your readers know that I’m a man. The reason why I’m putting that out there is because most of these conversations about having kids come from a woman’s perspective. But it’s important for the world to know, that as men, we have opinions about having kids, too.
A: Ok, everyone “coworker” is a man, and he’s 35, he has no kids, he’s happy about that, and he’s the type of guy that will burn his popcorn in the office microwave.
C: Haha! That happened once! But, yes, those are the important facts about my life. My wife and I decided when we got married that we really wanted to live our lives to the fullest. We want to travel, we want to have our weekends and week nights to ourselves, we want to work and not feel guilty about being at work while our offspring is doing who knows what with who knows who in day care. We want to give ourselves full to each other as we promised in our wedding vows. I believe, we both believe, that children would get in the way of that.
A: Interesting perspective…do you feel like you got in the way of your parents happiness?
C: In some ways, yes. I know we never had a lot of money and that was okay, I don’t resent my parents for it or anything. But they may have resented us. Things would have been a lot easier for them if they had just said “we’re okay with just the two of us.”
A: As you get older, do you think you’ll regret this decision? I mean, you always hear about people getting old and wishing they had someone to leave their life’s work to. Do you think you’ll feel that way?
C: I think I can’t live my life thinking like that. If I live in the future I’ll mess up right now, same goes for living in the past. I don’t want kids now, so I’m not having kids now. The future just is.
A: “The future just is?”
C: Haha, okay sorry, I feel like I need to be philosophical because I’m being interviewed.
A: Haha, okay, try to stay cool. Okay last question: How do other people react to your “chidfree” decision. Are your parents bummed (read: furious) about not having any grandchildren?
C: Yes they are. They think it’s unnatural for people (my wife especially) to not want kids. It’s an issue every time we go home for any holiday and it makes our relationship with them pretty strained. As for people in general, I don’t think they realize how ignorant their comments can be. They’ll just flat out ask us, “Why don’t you two have kids yet, you’ve been married for 9 years?” or “When do you two plan on having kids?” In our case, we’re choosing not to have kids – but what if we were trying and being unsuccessful? Think of how hurtful those words would be to us.
I think the bottom line is that to have kids or not to have kids – and I believe this is why I love this article so much – is a person’s personal preference. Society, nature, God, family etc cannot dictate or demand that you have children, and that’s it.
A: Well this topic definitely causing some strong and varied reactions; thank you for taking time to talk about yours. How do you think people will react to your opinion?
C: I think a lot of people will agree with me but maybe don’t feel comfortable sharing their opinions. I’m sure kids are great, I just don’t want them and I think my life is better for that choice.
It was cool/weird interviewing my co-worker. On the one hand, I think he’s right. He doesn’t have to have kids if he doesn’t want to, but I also think that he’s missing out. Having kids…another life to take care of and raise…is probably very scary but most of the people I know who have children, love them more than they could ever say.
Hope you enjoyed our conversation! Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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