Childless by choice

Ain’t nobody got time fo-dat.

Jordan Zy

Ah, the American Dream. Car, house, career, lover, what more could you want? Oh, right. Most people want to have about two or three kids. Most.

A growing group of people have actually chosen to not have children, either biologically or through adoption. They call it being “child-free.” Are these people heartless, evil or confused? Who doesn’t want children? Surely these people need to get it together before it is too late and they die alone, full of regrets. For some of us, these are our initial reactions. It may be hard to imagine a future without children of our own. Children will bring us joy and meaning in life, right? Childfree people don’t think so.

I’m a guy who has been dreaming of fatherhood since I was three years old, so I was intrigued by why someone would choose to avoid having children of their own. I came to learn that childfree men and women have concluded that for every reason people want kids, there is another reason to consider not having any.

Making the decision to have a baby is easy. Being able or responsible enough to take care of a baby isn’t. Kids cost money, stress and years of your life. Parents make all sorts of sacrifices for their kids that they wouldn’t have to were they childless. Ideally, the decision to have children should take a lot of thought and planning, and some people have thought, planned and decided not to do it.

Some couples have life goals that don’t always work with children, such as advancing their careers or having the ability to travel without having to adjust schedules or hire babysitters. Others enjoy the financial freedom that being childless provides. They can go on vacation or purchase a few of the finer things without worrying about their kid’s college fund. And they can tackle those hobbies they have always wanted to start, fearless of interruption.

In my opinion, the idea of having kids is a little too ingrained in our times. It is a huge responsibility to raise another human being, and it is a big sacrifice when you realize all the things you give up to focus on your children.

Some of my readers may be unconvinced that the child free idea is anything more than an ignorant, selfish phase. But I ask this question: Do we really want to force people who don’t want kids into parenthood? Think of the children!

Jordan is a senior studying psychology.