Divisive Reproductive choices

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I find it so sad how, even today, so many people view child-free women (by choice) as somehow “lesser”. I’m sorry, but there is no part of being a woman that requires one to have children for fulfillment. I can think of so many people who have had children who aren’t very happy, but probably never would’ve thought of NOT having children and pursuing a different lifestyle. Not everyone is fit to be a parent, and not everyone who would make a great parent desires to be one. Everyone deserves respect, regardless of their reproductive choices. 

In short, keep doing you! If you don’t want kids, that’s cool. If you do, awesome! And if you change your mind down the road, that’s also great. More than anything, it’s nobody else’s business.

I used to want kids so badly, but after having worked in daycare for years I’m going back and forth. A screaming room of 15 14-30 month olds every day is great birth control 😂 but jokes aside, it’s ok to choose what’s right for you (or even be on the fence about it). You life is your life alone, and only you can decide what path will bring you the most happiness.

Post # 3
Member
1130 posts
Bumble bee

We all vary so greatly — how can one choice be right for all of us? Answer: it can’t. And there are more than two choices. Some people are on the fence, some people adopt independent teenagers, some people take in family members who are not well cared for, etc. 

Post # 4
Member
1406 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

Yeah, the whole “you don’t know true love or sacrifice until you are parent,” thing is highly annoying. Child-free people are capable of being just as self sacrificing as parents. I think there is an underlying thought process that views parents as selfless humans who decide to give their life to raising children yet CFBC people are selfish individuals who only care for themselves. Honestly, I feel like being CFBC opens up opportunities to help other people that are already here. That could be in the form of having enough money to donate regularly to charities, or the time to volunteer with the homeless, etc. Having children can limit the time and money you dedicate to helping others. I know of an amazing couple who did not have children but they opened up an organization for children in a very crime ridden area. That organization has changed SO many lives, it’s remarkable. The husband gave up a very high paying job to dedicate his life to this organization. So it really irks me people treat being CFBC as a selfish decision.

Post # 5
Member
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I think the biggest problem regarding this issue in society is that friends/family members/coworkers think it’s any of their business. I am always amazed at how casually a coworker will ask, “So when are you going to have kids?” That is not always a casual answer. A woman could desperately want kids but has suffered through multiple miscarriages and is starting to feel that there is no hope. A woman might not want kids and is dealing with family members who disagree with her choice. And it’s also just really personal: you’re basically asking when she’s going to start having unprotected sex. I realize it’s almost always well-meaning but it’s a complicated issue and people should probably wait until information is volunteered.

ETA: And once information is volunteers people need to realize that they don’t get a say. If a couple wants one kid, no one has the right to tell them that that’s the wrong amount. If a couple wants four kids, no one has the right to tell them that’s too many. And if a couple doesn’t want any kids, no one has the right to tell them that’s selfish (which I agree with PP that that’s a ridiculous claim anyway.)

Post # 6
Member
1735 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

summerrose5 :  You hit the nail on the head! It’s all about mutual respect. Without having respect for one another, it’s difficult to have open and productive conversations about reproductive choices, religion, politics, etc without it devolving into name calling. Once we learn to respect each other, we can have those conversations.

I bet that if we took the time to truly listen to the “other side,” we may discover that we’re not so different after all. And we may learn something from each other.

Post # 7
Member
6828 posts
Busy Beekeeper

My favourite is: “But who will take care of you when you’re old?” Like, even if you don’t want or like kids you should still pop em out for the purpose of a built in caregiver in 60 years lol. 

Post # 8
Member
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

jellybellynelly :  Oh I’ve definitely heard that one before! As if that’s not more selfish than not having kids.

Post # 9
Member
7767 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I think anytime this topic comes up, the most important thing to remember is that it is the norm in today’s society for women to procreate. People who are CFBC are still by far in the minority today, and that context is so important to keep in mind when discussing this. 

It’s kind of like when someone starts a thread about fat shaming, and then skinny people come in and are like “well skinny shaming is just as bad.” Like…yeah, skinny shaming isn’t okay either, but in a society that largely glorifies thin bodies and says there’s something wrong with fat people, no, it’s not the same. Context matters.

Back to the CFBC vs parent debate. I am not really a kid person but have always known I wanted to eventually have kids and am currently TTC my first. IRL, have I ever heard a disparaging comment made about kids or women who choose to have kids by someone who is CFBC? Sure, I can think of one or two instances maybe. But by and large, society is overwhelmingly supportive of any woman’s decision to procreate, and tends to be skeptical of any woman’s decision not to. So while one-off negative comments like that may kind of sting, I can’t imagine it compares to the negative/judgmental/dismissive comments that the CFBC folks face far more often.

Post # 11
Member
5885 posts
Bee Keeper

It only becomes devisive when someone puts down another person’s choice with unfair sweeping blanket-stereotype statements:

To a CFBC woman: you’ll change your mind someday (smugly asserted) how can you not want children? there’s NOTHING better than being a mom! Don’t you feel incomplete? 

To a mom: the world doesn’t revolve around your precious darlings, get over yourself. don’t you want more out of life than changing poopy diapers? 

And then there are the women who are TTC/ can’t have children, who don’t fall into either category, and are bombarded with nosy, insensitive & hurtful questions and comments. You can’t have kids or you don’t want them? Is it you or your husband? Have you tried (insert whatever quack remedy/ old wives tale you can think of)

And we see this in other issues as well: 

To the Stay-At-Home Mom: What do you do all day? So you GAVE UP (said with horror) your career? So do you have to go to your husband for money??

To the working woman: I can’t imagine putting my kids in daycare! Don’t you miss them all day? I don’t know why ‘career women’ have children if they’re not going to look after them! 

Post # 12
Member
1756 posts
Buzzing bee

I always feel like I fall between the two camps, I’m one and done and she’s 11 now. My personal experience is that people with young children sometimes completely forget that those of us who don’t have kids or have older children really don’t care about your small human being nearly as much as you want us to.

It’s not that I don’t like your child, especially of the people I’m friends with, it’s that I understand your tired because your baby is 6 months old and teething and your exhausted. I care about your personal well being, but I really don’t care about the fact that your kid is going through a completely normal stage every parent goes through and can completely be predicted. Yes sleep deprivation is hard, yes it’s hard that your husband doesn’t think he needs to help and that you end up doing it all alone. But I really really don’t want to hear for the millionth time that your completely exhausted and it sucks over and over, and that I can’t possibly be as tired as you are. I heard you the first 5 times, but this is normal and it will pass. I just want to have an adult conversation that doesn’t revolve around your child 24/7.

The part that bugs me is when I say I’m looking forward to having more freedom to travel in a few years when we no longer have to worry about school schedules, and told that I should cherish every precious moment. You only have it once, I understand your baby just walked and it’s adorable, I understand that she said her first word and your heart went to gooo.

But I’m not dealing with precious moments regularly, I’m dealing with a hormonal pre-teen who doesn’t want to do her chores, who wants a smart phone the same as her friends, despite the fact she broke her last new flip phone in three weeks. I’m being told I hate you because I won’t let her have social media for 2 more years because the sign up age is 13. My precious moments are few and far between, I love bonding moments, girl talk and helping her learn about feminine things and build her independence as a person and figure out who she is. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want my disposable income and life back and to look forward to knowing 18 is soon, finishing high school and her moving on to the next stage of her life is soon.

That soon is the only thing saving my sanity when she says she hates me and I’m ruining her life. That soon is the only thing holding my sanity together when she slams her bedroom door or I have to calm down a sobbing child who’s being bullied because I let her cut her hair short and know the kid shave turned on her and think calling her transgender is appropriate.

Post # 14
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Great thread! I am without children, but for medical reasons rather than choice. The biggest thing that I personally have experienced, and which I actually take great offense to, is the fact that I’m oftentimes somewhat talked down to and treated like some young girl rather than a grown ass woman or peer by the many mothers around me even though I’m in my friggin 40s. 

I’m literally the ONLY woman older than mid-20s without kids that I know of in my family, church, and general social circle, and it pisses me off when I get condescending remarks about things that I “can’t possibly” understand, feel, think, do, etc because I’m “not a mom”.

My husband even overheard his 32 year-old niece at Thanksgiving remark to her mother that she didn’t see why I tried to sit in the kitchen and drink wine with the other ladies because it wasn’t like I was a mom or anything the way they all were, and that it seemed like I would be more comfortable hanging out in the den with the teenagers! WTF??? 

Post # 15
Member
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

stinkeye42 :  Wow that’s horrible. Like the only way to be a card-carrying adult is to have children.

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