Childless or Not, It’s Okay, Vol. 214, Dec. 14, 2017
Yesterday I was reading a blog by another woman who was sick of being asked when she was going to get married and have children. This is a woman who never wanted to be married and didn’t want any children, resenting these invasive inquiries into her personal life decisions.
I have never written about this subject, so I thought I would give you my thoughts based on both my personal experience as well as my professional experience as a hypnotist working with people for many years.
I will never forget that afternoon my ex and I were at his parents sitting at the table on their deck. My then mother-in-law made the comment to me, “You are stopping Bob from having a child.” Unfortunately, Bob, my then husband never said a word. I told her very simply that given the fact that Bob was more interested in putting our money into his education and into his photography and given that I was on medications that could cause a hole in the heart of a fetus, and was unwilling to lose my mind, by going off the mediations, we weren’t having any children. I felt resentful that this conversation even took place, as she was well aware of the situation we were in at the time.
There are many reasons why a person would prefer not have a child, and it is no one’s business but the two people who are involved. It is not up to you to give your parents or in-laws “grandchildren.” Because they are not going to be responsible for raising them. I was glad that my own mother had her fill with grandkids by the time my child rearing days came along because there was never any pressure from her at all. When I told her that I didn’t want to have any children, her response was, “I think it’s a good idea, because raising children has become so much harder these days.” She was referring to the conflicting roles that women had after women’s liberation with many going into the workforce who would have stayed home and raised their kids in her day. She noted how many problems the kids seemed to have coming into the world after her generation of raising kids. However, it isn’t just the family that brings on this expectation, it is the whole society at large.
I knew that given the history of both our families, I didn’t want to take the risk. When I explain this to some people, they totally “get it” and applaud our decision to refrain from having any kids. Others still don’t get it, and never will.
Having a child needs to be “selfless” act because you are going to have to put the needs of that child ahead of your desires. Unfortunately, many women have kids because they feel it is expected of them.
My father wrote me a letter while I was in college speaking to the timing of life. He said that there was a time for education, and that needed to be fulfilled first. Having been a dentist, he understood the need to wait before getting married and having children. Then comes “marriage time,” the time when one works on being in a relationship with one’s partner and learning how to love and respect one another. Once that is achieved, along with the financial base necessary to raise a child, it is time to contemplate having a child. Any other order is putting the cart before the horse, making life more difficult then it needs to be. I agree with him based on that which I have seen in my practice.
If you are a person who is dealing with your own issues as I was at the time, it is better to take care of yourself then to bring another person into the world that you don’t have the capacity to raise in a healthy manner.
If you are a person who has a major career going on that takes many hours a day and may include a lot of travel, that is the priority that you have, which may conflict with the role of being a mother.
If you are a person who has a fulfilling life without a child, why complicate your life with bringing another being into this world?
With so many kids suffering today from addictions, autism, anxiety, and depression, there is something dreadful going on. We don’t really know why all these kids are having such problems. All we know is that it is causing a lot of pain all around.
I can tell you from the many clients that I have seen over the years that parents who are not content with their own lives, in their own relationships, have children with myriads of emotional problems. I have seen grown children who came from parents who they knew didn’t want them, leaving them feeling not only unloved, but unlovable creating many other issues to hide those hurt feelings. Anything from severe depression, to anxiety to addictions, can arise as a result of these feelings of not being wanted.
So, if you really don’t feel it in your heart that you desire to have any children, by all means, stick by that choice and enjoy your life.
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