5 Myths About Child-Free Relationships

Child-free Relationships

I enjoy being in a child-free relationship. If I want to spend a month in Italy, I have my partner’s blessing. If I want to write at any hour of the day or night, I can. If I want to skip making dinner, no problem. If I want to take myself to the movies, it’s as simple as sending a text that I’m going to go to a movie. There are no babysitters to arrange, no feelings of guilt.

“It’s like, ‘Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover?’ With kids, your focus changes. I don’t want to go to PTA meetings.” — Stevie Nicks

Some people call this selfish, but I am not “lacking consideration for others”, which is the definition of selfish. To me, it’s selfish to have children because you didn’t want to use a condom, or when you haven’t sorted out your life first, or want children so badly, that you neglect to consider if you (or your partner) would make a good parent, or if you’re even able to care for them properly, or what kind of genetics you could be passing on.

Bringing life into this world and raising good human beings is the most important job in the world and you better be ready for it. I wish more people would consider the consequences. In my opinion, there are far too many people on this earth already, and far too many neglected children. I wish more people would choose to adopt or remain childless.

 

There are far too many neglected children. I wish more people would remain childless or adopt.

There are far too many neglected children. I wish more people would remain childless or adopt.

Elizabeth Gilbert says there are three kinds of women in this world and not every woman is destined for motherhood. “There are women who are born to be mothers. There are women who are born to be aunties. And there are women who should not be allowed to be within 10 feet of a child….It is very important that you figure out which one of those camps you belong in, because tragedy and sorrow results from ending up in the wrong category.”

 

Woman tells her son, 6; "Johnny, punch her in the face! Johnny, punch her in her fuc*ing face!'"

Women wrestling at a Walmart in Indiana. The woman tells her son, 6; “Johnny, punch her in the face! Johnny, punch her in her fuc*ing face!'” The boy obeyed his mom.

I would say the same goes for fathers. There are far too many baby Daddies. Much damage has been done to lives because there are too many children in this world whose fathers are absent from their lives, emotionally or physically.

Truth Bomb: About 1 in 5 American women end their reproductive years without having children, compared to 1 in 10 in the 1970’s. Birth control has allowed women the choice to remain child-free.

Child-free versus Childless

Let’s differentiate between the terms, child-free and childless. Child-free people have made the explicit choice to not have children, childless couples have not. It’s important to not judge people for not having kids because you don’t know their story.

 

About 1 in 5 American women end their reproductive years without having children.

5 Myths About People Who Don’t Want Kids

Child-free couples can experience a lot of push-back on their decision to not have kids. Many people think these couples dislike children, and live sad and empty lives. They couldn’t be more wrong. Here are some of the myths surrounding people who don’t want to have kids:

Myth 1: Child-free people don’t like children.

Fact: Many child-free people DO enjoy being around children and actually work with children, as teachers, counselors, and in other supportive roles such as godparent.

Myth 2: Child-free people are selfish.

Fact: Studies have shown that child-free people volunteer more in their communities than parents.

Myth 3: Child-free couples miss out on a great deal of joy by choosing not have kids.

Fact: Parenthood is not a path to fulfillment in life, and research bears this out. In fact, happiness and well-being research in Western countries shows that people actually fare better without children. Childless couples are also happier in their relationship, and feel more valued by their partner, concludes a study of over 5000 men and women by Open University.

Parenthood is not a path to fulfillment in life, and research bears this out. In fact, happiness and well-being research in Western countries shows that people actually fare better without children.

Myth 4: Women are biologically driven to have children.

Fact: About 1 in 5 American women end their reproductive years without having children, compared to 1 in 10 in the 1970s. Since birth control has allowed women the choice to remain child-free, more women are opting to pursue careers and find paths to self-fulfillment beyond motherhood. Some researchers say that the “biological imperative” to reproduce is in large part cultural conditioning, social pressure, and a learned desire. It is certainly true that the strong desire to have children doesn’t mean someone will be a “natural” or even “good” mother.

Myth 5: Elderly people without children are lonelier and more depressed.

Fact: Older people without children are not more lonely or depressed (except in countries that do not have good care services, like China). A Norwegian survey of 5,500 individuals aged 40-80 shows no indication that childless adults have reduced well-being.

The Baby Ship Has Sailed

In my twenties, I figured I would have a couple kids and even adopt – eventually, but the man I was with didn’t want them. We were together for 8 years – my most fertile years. When we broke up, I was 34 years old. It took me a little while to get my groove back and start dating again. I used this time to reinvent myself. It was a time of great personal and professional development. I blossomed. I traveled the world. I bought a motorcycle. I started a business. I sold a business. I wrote a book. I built excellent friendships, and came into my femininity. I consider that time to be really special because I was able to focus on me. It was a time of tremendous personal growth and expansion. Had I met Tex earlier, I am sure we would have had kids because he is a great dad (he has an 11 year old daughter who lives with her mom and stepdad). I would have felt safe having children with him. But if I had kids, I probably wouldn’t have traveled the world. Or bought a motorcycle. Or sold a business. Or had so many adventures. Or blossomed into the fullness of my being in quite the same way.

Nor would I have been the woman Tex fell in love with.

The baby ship has sailed. If I’m totally honest, I’m a little relieved that things happened this way.

 

Woman sailing (Resizzed)

The baby ship has sailed.

It’s important to count our blessings. It’s also important to respect people’s decision to have kids or remain childless.

What’s your story? Please comment below – I’d love to hear it.

Hey! Did you know you can download a sample chapter of my new book? It’s all about relationships and living together without growing apart- http://itsnotyouitsus.com/.

It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart. Download Chapter

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Author Adele Frizzell/Sophie Winters

Sophie Winters is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Sophie’s real name is Adele Frizzell. She enjoys travel, hiking, and lifting heavy weights. She is a competitive bench presser, certified yoga teacher, and mountain addict. She loves inspiring people to get more out of life.

Her first book, The Cha Cha Club Dating Man-ifesto is written for all the single ladies, while her second relationship advice book, It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart is for couples who want more joy, intimacy and respect in their relationship. She is working on her third book.


2 Comments

  1. This article is so true. I have had to justify to certain people why I don’t have kids and I shouldn’t feel that way. I don’t ask people who do have kids “Why would you do that to yourself? You clearly don’t have enough money or time for a child so why have a baby?” I see some couples struggling and losing their connection to each other because the kids take up ALL their time and I’m happy I don’t have to worry about that. Selfish is choosing to bring another being into this world simply because you want to, even if you are barely able to care for yourself. Great article 🙂

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