March 20, 2016 at 4:36 pm #1936
I’m JoJo, a 34 year old female who has chosen to be childfree. I thought I would introduce myself and start a topic at the same time, seeing as this board doesn’t look too lively.
There is a stigma going around with the childfree that there is something wrong with us and we are living life ‘wrong’ if we choose not to have children. This is perpetuated by society at large and media in all of it’s various forms as well as the church. Politics and the law are now out to govern and control women’s reproductive rights – essentially taking them away and throwing society back into the dark ages where women are more or less slaves to the home and their men again. The worst part of this is that they are going to get away with it as society, sadly, is still mainly run by men.
How do all of you combat the stigma that goes around about our choice? Do you get fiery headed or do you just shrug it off and look the other way?
Have any of you given up your religion because of it’s ‘morals’ and ‘values’ teaching that all women should breed and family is the only right way to go with your life? What was that like for you as a person and did it impact your relationship with your family?
I did go to church as a kid until I was about seven or so and realized how stupid it was that I was going to let some unseen force control my life. As for the media, I do tend to comment on articles quite a bit, getting a bit fiery when there’s a sexist comment. Usually though the article, written by a parent, is complete shit and you wonder how it got published in the first place. This is where the all mighty media comes into play.
Well, that’s long enough for now. I look forward to meeting all of you and sharing your thoughts and opinions.
March 21, 2016 at 4:26 pm #1938
This is an interesting topic, especially given that I live in the South and the expectation is high here.
“How do all of you combat the stigma that goes around about our choice? Do you get fiery headed or do you just shrug it off and look the other way?”
I shrug it off and look the other way–I learned to stop caring what other people think. Thought Catalog has some excellent articles about this.
I was very fortunate in my upbringing. My parents were very open-minded and were not particularly religious. My mother has passed away, but my father is very accepting of the fact that I’m 36 with no children and no intention to ever have them. He is satisfied being Grandpa to my cat, Dexter! My brother is gay and has no plans to have kids, either. We’re an odd family, but accepting and happy.
I’m personally not particularly drawn to religion for many reasons (one being that I didn’t want to be pressured to have kids), but I have many friends who are very spiritual and I would never, ever judge them for that, the same way that they would never judge me for not being religious. That’s why they’re such good friends.
I think many people feel pressure to have kids, whether it be for moral obligations or just keeping up with the Joneses. Not for me. I’ve never really fit in–always preferred My Little Ponies over Barbies and baby dolls anyway!
- This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by femmebionic.
March 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm #1965
My parents are pretty accepting too, although they have said that they would love to have a grandchild they completely understand why I have decided to forego children. Medical and mental health issues being main reasons (aside from a non maternal bone in my body) if I had children, I would be in the nuthouse by now.
I have a kitty too, his name is Chester and he loves when Gramma and Grampa come visit 🙂
It is true, people are pressured to have kids. Society and religion have a lot to do with it. I’m glad that I was able to see through the rose colored glasses and into the hell that is called parenting. I also don’t see why other potential parents can’t see that parenting is shit 99,5% of the time with the other .5% divided between the kids sleeping and the odd good moment. I mean really, what would you rather be doing on a Friday night? a.) Cleaning up a diaper blowout / puke from a sick kid or b.) Settled in with a nice cup of tea and a good book or Go out for an evening of fun, whatever that may be to you?
But no one talks about the bad stuff because the parents refuse to acknowledge it happens and it’s taboo to share. Maybe if more people knew about the realities of breeding more thought would be put into it.
March 28, 2016 at 11:41 am #1975
Hi ladies, I’m Anna.
Jojo, I agree that there is a lot of stigma in the world about those of us who choose to be childfree! I even feel that the stigma is so great that I actually try to hide the fact that I choose to be childfree from my boss & co-workers, because I’m afraid they will think something is wrong with me or change their attitude toward me, making it an unpleasant work environment. I just avoid the topic and try to associate more with other single or non-parent co-workers. At times I want to be more bold and express how I really feel with the hopes that since they have already known me for a couple years, they won’t change their opinions of me. But I feel there is so much negativity regarding the choice to be childfree that I just cannot predict how they’d react and how it may affect my career! My friends and family do know how I feel though, and I am not shy about expressing my opinions to them! Luckily they are (mostly) supportive!
I’d have to say that I do get quite fired up about this topic, especially when I read childfree articles/posts, but I keep most of my thoughts to myself or share them with my best friend. I don’t normally comment online (or even read the comments!) at the end of articles that express negativity toward childfree because I feel like I could get swallowed up and consumed by the negative responses. Sometimes I’ll comment on something childfree that is positive though, because I feel that it is important show others that there is support for our decision.
Despite the fact that I don’t speak up about it too often because I like to avoid confrontation, I do wish that society would adjust it’s views to be more understanding/accepting regarding our choice. I think in time it will happen, and I believe part of what will help that to happen is the Internet. The childfree need more media exposure so that people can learn that we all have different reasons for making this choice, that we are responsible human beings (and that some of us are actually being very responsible by making this choice!), and that we make good contributions to the world. Another thing that will help is more honesty from parents about what life is really like with kids rather than how media portrays the typical happy or “perfect” family. But like you said, discussing this for parents is taboo.
As for religion, I’m not religious and have not been for many years before I realized I would choose to be childfree. I could see that being a struggle though for people who are! <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>In general, I do think religion puts a big emphasis on family and children. Even the pope, who is quite progressive, called us selfish for choosing to be childfree!</span>
April 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm #2167
I have been fortunate enough to live/grow up in the West, which is slightly more open-minded. I also attended a Catholic school K-8, but had none of that nonsense at home so it was a lot easier to quit when I was 14. In my understanding, religions are naturally very pro-natal because it continues its existence into the future.
As far as stigma- I tend to hang out with younger, unchilded people at my office. I still don’t volunteer that I’m childfree- I actually avoid the term for fear of being labeled. If someone asks if we will have kids, my answer is just “nah.” An upside is that so far, the question has always been “if”, not “when.” When my husband graduates, that tune may change.
Regarding getting fired up: I used to, but it takes a lot of energy and in the end I don’t think I’ve ever changed anyone’s mind in the comments section.
I have a cat too! His name is Ezzio. My mom has begrudgingly accepted that she’s not getting grandkids, so she calls him her “grandkitty.” 🙂
July 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm #2743
So I’m a thirty-two year old English pagan living in Sweden with my boyfriend, sadly no pets as yet, and figured I’d sneak in my introduction as a new member under JoJo’s umbrella. I’ve never wanted children, and have many reasons for that decision.
Regarding JoJo’s questions then…”How do all of you combat the stigma that goes around about our choice? Do you get fiery headed or do you just shrug it off and look the other way?”
I haven’t really encountered any stigma personally – obviously I see it online, directed at others or the childfree in general, and then I ignore it as it deserves – but then I don’t go around announcing it either. If someone asks me about children, it’s usually, “Do you have kids?”, to which I reply in the negative, and the conversation moves on, perhaps after a short wry anecdote about me having the right idea. One friend asked further, as in if I wanted them, so I replied no and she seemed rather intrigued. She herself couldn’t imagine not, of course. I have only explained all of my reasons to one friend, who also will not be having children, since I know that a lot of my reasons would elicit a negative response, even including losing the friendship. Sweden in general is very pro-natal, but so far I haven’t experienced any stigma despite that.
“Have any of you given up your religion because of it’s ‘morals’ and ‘values’ teaching that all women should breed and family is the only right way to go with your life? What was that like for you as a person and did it impact your relationship with your family?”
I’ve noticed that in the posts so far, ‘religion’ seems to be synonymous with ‘Christianity’… I’d expect orthodox religions to be pro-natal, but I don’t know about all the others. For myself, I was thankfully not raised in a religion, despite going to an Anglican school (it was the only one nearby) and my mother identifying as Christian (more from a kind of habit than anything else). I became a pagan when I was thirteen, and due to it’s youth, it’s progressive enough to allow you to be who you are without judgement.
That’s all for now, since we must receive some furniture and get the dinner on! Although, I was wondering if anyone else here is not American?
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