The Joys of Being Childfree

Now that’s not a word that means your kids are at summer camp or has Grandma babysitting while you take off on a holiday. No indeed. Childfree is a proper concept thank you very much and one that’s catching more momentum as well.

Today there are more people who consciously take the decision to not become parents, biological or adoptive, than there were a few decades ago. It’s not merely with an eye on the exponential rise in population and dwindling natural resources the world over, but also with a good look inside oneself that tells them that this is one area where they could take a pass. And happily so.

Having been a parent for a few years now and still a child for god knows how many more, I can honestly say that I applaud this decision. Not because kids are little monsters we have to groom into becoming humans but because the decision to give life is not one that should be taken lightly. Ever.

It is the highest level of responsibility an individual can ever expect to undertake and try to fulfill. Over millennia it has sadly become something that people do because it seems to be expected of them. Proliferation of the species aside, shaping and nurturing a child is something that ends only when the parent passes on. Even separated by continents, a parent can reach out and influence their child’s nature, emotions and ultimately behavior as well. That’s a heady thought to start with and when it occurs it’s a headier thing altogether.

This next bit is taken from Wikipedia verbatim “According to economist David Foot of the University of Toronto, the level of a woman’s education is the most important factor in determining whether she will reproduce: the higher her level of education, the less likely she is to bear children. (Or if she does, the fewer children she is likely to have.)
Overall, researchers have observed childfree couples to be more educated, and it is perhaps because of this that they are more likely to be employed in professional and management occupations, more likely for both spouses to earn relatively high incomes, and to live in urban areas. They are also less likely to be religious, subscribe to traditional gender roles, or subscribe to conventional roles.”

And it makes a lot of sense. There’s a shortage of resources, there’s a shortage of time to parent and see to it that a child doesn’t have to grow up too hurriedly, rise in crime and even with any dystopian constructs, there’s often a more pressing reason for not having a child. Simply, not wanting to.

A few monthly ago, the Holy See released a statement saying it was selfish opting out of having kids. And am sure quite a few religious and spiritual heads will concur. Proliferation of life can be and is joyous. But one can still proliferate joys and a quality life without bringing forth new life.

It is assumed that women yearn for motherhood. Some do. Some don’t. Some can be very nurturing towards others’ children and yet sleep peacefully every night despite not having a child of their own to tuck into bed.

These women come from a variety of backgrounds but by and large are enlightened enough to know where their fortes lie, where they can maximize on their potentials the most and have multiple avenues of not only keeping busy, but being productive and also being contented and downright happy.

So if kids aren’t *that* big a deal then why does the whole world and their Aunt Samantha go around having so many? Well…it’s like this. Seeing an extension of yourself (mind and body) have a corporeal form is akin to a miracle for most people. Myself included. No matter how many babies have come forth in this world and no matter how many would have come by the time the blog is posted, each one is special. They are the blank canvas that  reflect the glories of the world and not the vagaries and debaucheries.

But for me, I guess I just wanted another person to love. And now looking at my child there’s very few little I would do differently where he is concerned. But had I the benefit of hindsight before it became hindsight, I would properly think it through before opting to become a parent. Because I have also realized this while parenting -I would have been a good non-parent as well.

Acknowledging it isn’t a bad thing at all. Just honest. So if you are a childfree individual, that’s just who you are. Accept it. Don’t justify it.

You are still who you were supposed to be.

It’s Probably For The Best….

Life offers up platitudes GALORE. Some are self-generated and the others are ladled out by well-intentioned albeit unoriginal people.

But platitudes, clichés whatever we choose to term them, do serve a purpose. The first time I saw this scene in Victor Victoria, it struck me for a reason I wasn’t able to define or even decipher as a teen. But as an adult there have been times I have replayed it or its paraphrase in my head. There *are* moments in life where clichés seem to tell it like it is. Loud and clear.

For instance, while you were growing up if you thought of yourself as a dynamic, capable, individual who walks the walk and talks and talk and is hugely successful and has all the requisite things that label her as having arrived, well you could say that you were one of the multitude who did so.

What is also true is that you are instead a part of the multitude who are the housewives who bake, fuss about the laundry and the kind of fabric softener you need to use, which kind of flour is higher in fiber for your kids and how your husband needs a hot meal when he gets home. You have turned into a Betty Crocker of sorts and aspiring for Martha Stewartness.

You search for the man of house’s socks and wonder if you have enough baking soda to take that weird odor in your fridge away or if you should use some vanilla-soaked cotton balls instead.

And if by chance, one day, when you wake up and realize that parts of your life have become a cliché, you can either run for the hills or accept that yes; while unoriginal it does make up for things in prophecy and thereby gain some credibility. So you aren’t the Prada and Christian Louboutin-wearing, Centurion-card wielding, big bundle of hotness! Big deal

It’s not a bad thing to become a cliché. Not merely because there are others out there as well but simply because clichés are enduring and they are a truism. You might not have wanted to become predictable or a type but you have become who you could in life. If that means you cut out coupons before going to the grocery store, so it be.

While the “stand-out-in-a-crowd-types” try to maintain their individuality, it’s the clichés who silently rule the world. Or the household with the sweet smells coming out of the oven and the lemon-scented wood furniture at the very least!