Most people have heard the word “childfree.” People who are childfree make the conscious decision not to have children. But society is usually suspicious of those who don’t have children, leaving many childfree people to have to explain their personal life choices to those who have trouble understanding such a position. The lack of understanding can lead childfree people to feel the need to aggressively defend their own point of view but, unfortunately, such behavior only ends up damaging their image and makes the myths about them even more ridiculous.
Bright Side decided to dispel the most popular myths about childfree people.
Myth 1: Childfree people hate children.
In reality, they don’t. Most childfree people are either indifferent to children or they like them. Many childfree people work as teachers, child psychologists, and write books for children. Of course, there are people with more radical views, but most of the time, they are not against children but are against parents who allow their children to do too much without thinking about others.
Myth 2: Childfree people try to impose their opinion on others. This is why they have their community.
The childfree community is not a cult and they don’t try to recruit new followers. It is only a community of people where they can discuss common topics such as taking care of pets, cosmetics, traveling, nature, and so on. They don’t make posters to support abortion or organize gatherings against children.
Of course, just like in any group, there are some activists who are radical, but the number of them is insignificant. Many childfree people don’t even talk about their position with their friends and relatives. They just live the way they think is right.
Myth 3: Childfree people are either infertile or mentally ill.
The reproductive function of the body is not the only thing that should determine the life of a modern person. Childfree people think that the decision of whether or not to have children is a personal choice that every individual makes for themselves. And the reasons can be completely different.
Some people want to live for themselves and they believe that a child will limit their freedom. Some people don’t want children because raising children is expensive and buying a new gadget or traveling to a different continent seems like a better investment. Some people are not sure that they’ll be good parents and they want to do something else with their lives. The personal choices that a person makes regarding their health and their lives shouldn’t be criticized simply because they are different from those of the majority.
Myth 4: Childfree people are lonely and they can’t find a partner.
Most childfree people are popular among the opposite sex, they have romantic relationships, and they get married. Moreover, in such families, neither spouse plans to have children and both of them are happy.
Myth 5: The point of life is having children, so a person who doesn’t have children has a pointless life.
Not a single branch of philosophy can provide a clear answer to the question of the meaning of life. So if a person thinks that their purpose in life is not about giving birth and raising children, but for example, helping others, then their life can’t be considered meaningless. Everyone should have the right to decide what they like best: some want to have a family, others want to be successful at work, and some people want to contribute to improving the world.
Myth 6: Childfree people want humanity to become extinct.
The population of Earth is more than 7.5 billion people. Yes, year by year, the percentage of childfree people is growing but it’s still incredibly small to lead to extinction. Almost 90% of the people on the planet become parents.
Myth 7: A man can be childfree but a childfree woman is completely unnatural.
There are still a lot of stereotypes about women and many believe that whether she wants to have children or not, she must have at least one child. And while men can choose to pursue their careers or dedicate their lives to academia or politics, women who don’t have children aren’t seen as successful in modern society. But giving birth is not a responsibility that nature gave to women — it’s only an opportunity and every woman has the right to make the choice that she feels is best for her.
Myth 8: Our children will have to support childfree people when they are old.
Childfree people also pay taxes, just like all citizens. But they don’t have the social support that governments give to families with children, so the amount of money they pay to the government is higher, so they have the right to retire. Moreover, most childfree people pursue their careers, so they have a better chance to save enough money for their golden years than their colleagues who have children.
Myth 9: In the past, there were no childfree people.
Yes, the childfree movement is quite young since it started in the 20th century. But it’s wrong to believe that in the past, people were extremely eager to have children. Most men and women just didn’t have a choice as there was no birth control and there were very strict religious and social rules. What people really wanted didn’t matter.
However, frequent cases of child murders right after labor, questionable ways of pregnancy termination, a whole team of babysitters that allowed women to completely avoid interacting with their children are all signs that the women of the past wouldn’t have children if they were given a choice.
Myth 10: Childfree is forever.
People can change because there are a lot of outside factors, they may change their opinions as they get older and more experienced. Of course, some people make a decision once and for all, but not everyone sticks with this decision. Average people have different interests throughout their lives and different political and religious views, so they have the right to reconsider their attitudes toward having children.
Do you have children? Do you think that every person must have children? What are your thoughts on this topic? Share your opinion in the comments section below!
Illustrated by Natalia Tylosova for BrightSide.me