Post # 47
@Rachel631: At the moment I don’t really move in those circles as such; I know a few people, and while a couple are more liberal, some are very conservative. I study English, which tends to attract a lot of women (more so than other subjects) and some can be quite judgemental.
However, I was talking more about in general: so, friends, family, family friends, friends of friends, colleagues at both my part-time jobs, CUSTOMERS at one of my part-time jobs, etc.
I would say that those who accept childfreedom and don’t bingo are in the minority in my personal, and fairly extensive, experience. And I don’t know anyone IRL who would attack someone for having/wanting children. Based on that, I’d say your experience is more the exception than the rule; generally speaking, because having children is the ‘norm’ few people question it.
Post # 48
A few years ago two of my friends got married and at some point I overheard someone ask them about children to which the wife replied, “oh, we aren’t having children” and at the time, in my mind, I thought ok they are saying this now but I think in the future they will change their minds. But, the more I think about it, the more serious I see they are and, obviously from hearing about a lot of CBC couples on here I realise it is a bigger thing.
I think growing up I naively thought that no couple would ever choose to not have children…if they didn’t have any it would be for some medical reason.
I, personally, would like to have children but I completely respect couples who choose not to. After all, it is a massive financial, emotional and time commitment.
People may say it is selfish not to have children. Surely it is equally selfish to have a child and not be able to afford to look after it?
Post # 49
@barbie86: My first degree was in English!
To be fair, the response I already mentioned was from someone at the extreme end of the spectrum. We grew up together from being very small, and she was always “I will be a virgin on my wedding day and have LOTS of kids”. My response was always “meh. I’ll wait and see. No promises.” Then, of course, she discovered boys, got pregnant at 17, lost the baby, and ever since, she’s been “monogamy is stupid… having kids is selfish… the system is evil… fight the power”. Which is ironic, because I was always the “fight the power” one when we were growing up.
Post # 50
@Rachel631: I actually see this differently. I disagree that picking up the slack is great because it’s helping raise those children and raise tax dollars. 1st, if I wanted to help raise children, I’d have one lol But mainly I think having children & our rapidly growing overpopulation is very quickly depleting the resources we need to survive. I think we would all be better off if no one had kids for like 10-20 years. Or if everyone only had ONE. So many people don’t even bother to RECYCLE anymore, I don’t know how anyone thinks we’ll be able to survive on this planet for hundreds or thousands more years when we’re cutting down trees to expand and losing oxygen, using up the fresh water, etc. I don’t understand people wanting more than 2 kids. I to replace each parent. 19 kids and counting is absolutely idiot to me.
Post # 51
@Nona99: When I see people snub their noses or get some kind of weird attitude about a couple not wanting to have kids….I only assume it’s because they’re jealous as fuck.
Sure – they get kids and all the joys that come with it. But a couple that doesn’t have kids has a lot more to do with their income than spend it on kids, save for the kids, spend money on vacations that only kids can really enjoy.
I think most people would envy that part of a couple’s life – no major ties – fly off to Paris for the week if they wanted to. Hell – I’ll take that lifestyle.
Post # 52
@MariContrary: When will people learn to shut their mouth?
Honestly – So….let’s say a couple is getting hounded by others to have kids and they say they don’t want any…then they change their minds and then figure out they can’t have kids because of a problem on the male’s reproductive end. Are those same assholes that were giving them a hard time going to pat them on the back and tell them it’s ok?
I mean – if you can’t have kids..no matter what the reason…what’s the point of getting married, right? jerks.
Post # 53
@soontobemrsm11: How many times have I heard this from CBCers! But I digress. If nobody has children at all, the aging population will have no support. Elderly people are expensive to care for. They are medically expensive and have expensive care needs. If we stop having children as a society, when we get elderly then we will simply starve to death or be euthanised by proxy.
Therefore, even if you don’t want children, giving up an hour of your time here and there to support parents, or allowing them to have that coveted July holiday slot and taking your holiday in September instead, is not much of a price to pay in exchange for some sort of quality of life in your golden years, paid for by the tax dollars of that child.
NB Obviously, I come from a country where care for the elderly and the poor is provided by the government if you can’t afford private care.
Post # 54
@Rachel631: I agree. It really does.
I want to have children (maybe just 1, but I do want at least 1) but I don’t judge people who don’t. It’s really up to you.
Post # 55
I like that this is a cover story. In my culture (?) CBC couples still get expressions of awe and disgust when they tell others their life choices. It’s not fair how many couples feel pressured into having children.
Post # 56
@j_jaye: Of course not every CBCer is like that, but even the ones I’ve encountered on this site and in real life and very child-hating. I can totally understand people that would prefer not to have children of their own, and frankly there are lots of people who should not have children. I have a few friends who like children just don’t want that lifestyle for themselves – perfectly fine by me. However, any time someone says I hate children and calls them obnoxious, I am instantly turned off since I cannot understand how you can hate something that you once were. We were all obnoxious kids at one point.
THat being said, I can underestand how the barage of questions and the shocking faces from others that CBCers probably often encounter when they say they won’t have children can get super annoying. I personally would never ask anyone if they plan to have kids and if it came up that they didn’t, I’d say great! I guess there are less people like that out there and more people who feel they have the right to comment on the status of your uterus.
Post # 57
It is a newsworthy topic in my opinion. I did not even know there was a term and huge population of CBC until I joined the bee.
I think this is a difficult topic where i live especially because my country suffers from population imbalance(more older ppl than young=huge issue) while still there is realization among some of us that childless lifestyle is more attractive or theres infertility issues, and little support for working mothers.
Post # 58
@Rachel631: Therefore, even if you don’t want children, giving up an hour of your time here and there to support parents, or allowing them to have that coveted July holiday slot and taking your holiday in September instead, is not much of a price to pay in exchange for some sort of quality of life in your golden years, paid for by the tax dollars of that child.
It makes me pretty sad and more than a little frustrated if parents truly believe that I should give up my vacation weeks or work harder for the same pay for someone else’s kids. First of all, my husband and I are responsible adults who are preparing for our retirement (in 40 years) and do not intend to use social services to support ourselves, but I at least acknowledge the benefit of future generations paying into that system as I pay into SS for older adults currently. Who knows what may happen in the future? But the idea that I should be in a constant sacrifice mode for parents – and HAPPY about it – is just amazing to me.
Did you think that maybe I need that vacation in July to have a vacation with MY family, and my husband’s, and that’s the only time all our schedules work? Why do I have to give up my ‘coveted July spot’ so someone else can have it with their family – what makes them more important than me? I think that ‘coveted’ July spot so I can go vacation with 20 of my family members who I see once or twice a year is a pretty big deal. Additionally, why don’t I get paid more if I’m putting in more ‘support’ work than someone who will drop work on me to go tend to something else? I don’t get parent-based support when I need to take care of my husband if he has surgery or something else that leaves him incapable of caring for himself – I use my vacation time like the rest of the responsible world. Why are parents so special?
It really rankles me to have this perception of child-free adults as second class citizens who exist to support the working parents of the world. Take care of your own kids – don’t expect me to pick up your slack for no added benefit. I rarely even get a ‘thank you’ from parent coworkers when I adjust my schedule for them because they just believe that their priorities are so much more important than mine – and why exactly is that justified? I am very interested in how the promise of monetary support in the future that I may or may not need overhauls my desire for a vacation with my existing family now.
Post # 59
@MrsWrangler: I should say right now that I do not currently have children. But I am happy to help people out no matter what the reason is.. whether their partner is sick, their elderly parents require support, or they need to leave 15 minutes early to pick up a child from school. All of these things have value to me. As far as your not getting “parent-based support when I need to take care of my husband if he has surgery or something else that leaves him incapable of caring for himself”, I believe you should. Such care also has social value. If you did not care for him, the state would have to care for him at great expense. Your care saves the state money, and therefore you should be financially supported to provide that care.
As far as “my husband and I are responsible adults who are preparing for our retirement (in 40 years) and do not intend to use social services to support ourselves” argument goes… old age care is expensive. The chances are, certainly in my country, that you will need help at some stage. And this is quite right and the way it should be. You paid into the system, and now it is time for the system to help you in your time of need. This is the whole point of having a social system which provides care according to need, and which you pay into according to your ability to pay.
I am merely saying that I also apply the principle of care according to need to my own life. Sometimes people need things more than you do, for a variety of reasons. And I believe that it is my social duty to help them out, rather than to say “well, I can look after myself, so society can go hang”. If I end up paying more into the system than I get out of it, then that is the price I will have to pay for living in a society which supports the needy. I am perfectly comfortable with that.
Post # 60
@Rachel631: Well I’m glad that you are so socially giving! (Really… not sarcastically :)).
The point is not whether morally I should tell them to “go hang”, or whether I should help – I am very aware of a moral obligation to help others and I am pretty well-known around my workplace for never saying no to a request for help, even if it involves excess time on my part (except if it involves my vacation time placement, which you didn’t address…). However, I don’t necessarily think that moral obligation reasonably translates into a system that penalizes childfree individuals, and I think it cheapens my contribution to others and builds resentment when that care is forced rather than freely given. Perhaps if a utopia developed where we all put each other ahead of ourselves it would be brilliantly easy to do so, but from my perspective, it’s not happening either way (from childfree to child-having, or the reverse).
Post # 61
@MsGinkgo: i believe the magic number is 1.8 children per household. (they mentioned it last year in one of my graduate classes). i.e. if every couple has one children, it will dwindle, but if they have 2 it will grow but more slowly. there’s no whole magic number.