My Dream Is To Live A Child Free Life And That Doesn’t Make Me Selfish

It is not wrong if I do not want to marry or have kids – many people have lot of dreams, to do well in their career, to travel, have pets and so on. Having kids demolishes all these dreams for some of us.

When I was doing my PG I came across an article which talked about ‘being childfree’. At first the notion seemed absurd to me. Why would someone wants to be childfree unless they have some medical issues.

So I read the article and at the end of it I felt there many people even in a country like ours who had chosen to live without children. Again I can’t truly believe it because here we never had such a choice, I have never met a single person in 24 years who chose to not have children. But then on Facebook and WhatsApp I came across a lot of communities of people who really don’t want to have children.

That’s what made me think in the first place – why do I want children? Because it’s an important question each of us needs to think about before giving birth to one.

Most people don’t because it’s not even an option; after marriage it is considered the next step. The family and society doesn’t let the couple think about this, or even give them time. This is what has been practiced in our country always, so this is what must be done.

Thinking of why I need children

So when I thought of why I need children, I didn’t have an answer, because I had dreams other than to get married or raise a kid.

I never was good with kids, I never know how to talk to them or how to make them laugh, it’s just not my cup of tea. Then I thought about raising them, what I would need to do, the sacrifices that I would have to make, the constant attention, the emotional support, financial issues… all of those made me think I don’t want a child.

But when I said this to my family or friends, everyone looked at me like I was crazy. I was told- how could you even think in such a way, what’s wrong with you, why’re you being selfish, and so on.

But I realised I was not the only ‘crazy’ one

At one point I even thought was I wrong about thinking this way, but then I met some people with similar thoughts and groups with same ideology, which made me realise there nothing wrong thinking this way.

There are many groups and people who make an effort to connect the childfree people and give them support, because we certainly never would get support from our family or friends.

Why does society force people to have kids?

The question again arises – why is our society so disturbed when people say that they don’t want kids? Why is it so necessary that somehow we need to have a kid on our own? Of course, this is a society that does not believe in giving women a choice.

If you marry outside your caste or religion, parents or family have even killed their own children. If you go against their wishes you never get any support from them. If you are gay/ lesbian/ transgender then they’d disown you or kill you. So why is there this need for bringing a life into this world when you can’t accept that they have right to their own choices, to live their own life?

Many children undergo huge trauma in childhood from parents to teachers. They never get proper therapy either, because if you go to a shrink, then they’d “lose their respect among the family members that their kid is not mentally stable.” There’s so much emotional blackmail to make the children to do what the parents wish!

I will not be the ‘sacrificing parent’ this society wants me to be

Parents are supposed to ‘sacrifice’ so much for the kids’ welfare, and if you don’t have kids you are being selfish. And my question is how is that wrong? Why does everyone have to sacrifice? If you like to sacrifice and live for your kid then fine; why do I have to do the same?

It is not wrong if I do not want to marry or have kids – many people have lot of dreams, to do well in their career, to travel, have pets and so on. Having kids demolishes all these dreams for some of us. Society has to understand that; it’s one life we have, so every person has their own right to live it as they wish.

The blaming is worse for women who want to be child free

Being childfree is very difficult for women, because of the constant judging from the society, parents, and friends for her choices. Even a friend often does not understand this.

It’s very important for women to be independent so that they can come out of such an abusive family, and can stand on their own and live their life as they wish. Again, it’s easier said than done, but what other choice de we have. Our parents or this society won’t change anytime soon, so we have to form our own community and support each other.

There is never any need to be ashamed of our choices, and no need to apologies for our choices. We need to go against patriarchy, go against all the traditions which oppress us, and live our life on our own terms.

Image source: triloks from Getty Images Signature Free for Canva Pro

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A Research Scholar, Bibliophile, Atheist and an introvert.

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