A good friend posted yet another writeup on the “childfree argument” and the trials and tribulations of Parenthood:
An extremely well-written overview of recent studies showing how and why the fun has gone out of parenthood:
Why is this important to the childfree by choice? Well, the next time someone says, “You’ll regret not having kid.” or, “Parenthood is such a joy, you’re missing out” you can send them a link to this article.
And, I was compelled to respond…
That’s a detailed writeup with lots of references to well-founded studies, no doubt. But, I do not think it is putting forth an argument that has no “other” side.
I quote from the writeup… “A few generations ago, people weren’t stopping to contemplate whether having a child would make them happy. Having children was simply what you did. And we are lucky, today, to have choices about these matters.”
The question is, why are we beginning to examine this new “choice”. Is it really because it’s better for the planet to have less resource-depleting human beings on it? Or could it be self-centeredness on our part? Or hubris? Just the pursuit of our own happiness/comfort/convenience, above all else?
Once again, I quote from the writeup… “Children may provide unrivaled moments of joy. But they also provide unrivaled moments of frustration, tedium, anxiety, heartbreak. This scene, which isn’t even all that awful or uncommon, makes it perfectly clear why parenting may be regarded as less fun than having dinner with friends or baking a cake. Loving one’s children and loving the act of parenting are not the same thing.”
Re-read this para in light of the questions I asked earlier. Yes, travelling across the world or catching a movie with friends can be infinitely more satisfying to us as individuals, than the trials and tribulations of “parenting”, in spite of the limitless love we may have for our children. So why do some of us do it?!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Parenting is not for everyone. And, I don’t mean to imply that being childfree is not an option. But, there’s gotta be more to the reason than individual comfort and convenience, don’t you think?!
Every Life has a purpose, even though, at times, it may not be quite apparent to us. And, being a part of nature’s creation process may be the one thing that brings us all closer to Nature herself, and by extension, to God (or whatever life-force we believe in!)
We may each have our reasons for doing what we choose to do (and not doing so, too)! The next kid that walks this Earth may not invent cold fusion, but that doesn’t mean that his/her time on this planet was purposeless…