childfree: to be or not to be

April 6, 2010

Check this out and tell us your thoughts.

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4 Responses to “childfree: to be or not to be”

  1. Ann said

    I think you and I talked about this a long time ago. I still find it a fascinating subject. Right now I personally have no desire to have kids of my own, and neither does Matt. We love spending time with the kids our friends and family are having, but that’s it. It’s still a possibility that we might have kids in the future, or choose to adopt – I don’t rule anything out, but for the moment I’m pretty certain. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the carbon footprint of having kids and pets, and my awareness of the ecological impact of reproducing isn’t the only thing stopping me, but it carries a fair bit of weight.

  2. Diana said

    Interesting topic. I like it. 😉

    I’ve actually talked about this with a few people, and while I (obviously, seeing as I’m about 9 months pregnant) have chosen to have children, I completely see why people would choose not to. I’ve just always seen myself with kids, and I know that my husband and I can honestly say we love our life even more now that we have children in it; but I don’t have any problem at all with people who say they don’t want to have children… more power to them. I think it’s kinda sad that anyone feels that they can’t be honest and tell people that they don’t feel kids are for them. Hey, some people aren’t dog people. Some people don’t eat meat. I don’t see why chosing not to have children is any different. That seems like one of the most trivial things for anyone to ever get upset over… I just don’t get it.

    In a perfect world I would love to be able to have more than 2 children… but for many reasons (selfishness, financial, ecological, and otherwise) I’m fairly certain that two will be it for us. But strangely enough I’m already getting asked about #3 by some of our family members. Go figure.

  3. Andrew said

    Of all the no-kid literature I’ve read, this article is one of the most thoughtful and respectful. I totally agree with her premise: there should not be such stigma associated with those who choose to not have children. Too many people have children solely because of societal pressure or a sense of duty, religious or otherwise.

    But the opposite also holds true: Too many people choose to NOT have children because of societal pressure or a sense of duty, environmental or otherwise. The choice of whether or not to have children should be rooted in something deeper than social norms or duty. The argument that “I could save X number of carbon emissions and X number of dollars if I don’t have children” smacks of reductionism and utilitarianism, and diminishes the human/spiritual aspect involved in the choice.

    Personally, for several years Kristen and I were not planning on having kids, primarily due to ecological concerns. But gradually we both came to believe that the experience of birth and parenting is so central to the human journey that we, as responsible but also experiential humans, made the choice to have a baby. As with other aspects of life, (to me) the key in such a decision is finding a balance between freedom and responsibility.

  4. Ms.eggsandsoup said

    Ann, yes, you’re the one who actually introduced me to the child-free movement. Probably during one of our lovely chats at Westport Coffeehouse. I think Stephen and I are close to where you and Matt are standing. Nothing is set in stone, but we tend to lean more towards remaining child-free for many reasons. The primary being we love our life the way it is and we’re not willing or ready to make a drastic change just yet.

    Diana, thanks for reading our blog! Congrats on #2!

    Andrew, I agree. This IS a pretty thoughtful and respectful essay. You must know more people than I do who have chosen “to NOT have children because of societal pressure or a sense of duty, environmental or otherwise.” I really don’t know that many, so I tend to picture the child-free (the thoughtful or the pressured) as a minority. Similar to you and Kristen, the thing that keeps me from saying a wholehearted yes to the child-free lifestyle is my desire to participate fully in the human/animal experience.

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