With advancing technology, material developments, availability of information and varied choices today, humans can desire to not procreate at all. No, it is definitely not an innate desire to help the government control the population nor a financial deterrent but a conscious desire and choice to not have children. Today, more and more couples are either delaying having kids or deciding to do away with the option of having kids. They may have their reasons to do so but does it make life any happier or healthier? Does not having a child make a person/couple miss out on something in life? Or, does the absence of a child have no significant effect on the current sophisticated, double income no kids kind of lifestyle? Does it do the concerned couple any good? Or, is it the most selfless choice according to modern standards where you don’t bring in a child if you don’t want to?
Is foregoing the procreation choice a healthy option?
For most married couples, having children comes as the next option, a healthy choice it seems having been followed for ages and also satiating the natural desire of most men and women. Earlier, with no birth control measures, children were born as and when nature deemed it so. Soon, with the invention and practice of birth control measures, people began using this option as it also gave them a sort of control over their lives in terms of emotional, physical and financial requirements. From 3-4 children it came down to ‘Hum Do. Humaare Do.’ Then, with dwindling resources, malnutrition and over population, the slogan came down to ‘Hum Do. Humaara Ek.’ Now, it seems even that ‘ek’ (one) is not very popular among certain groups of people who prefer to lead lives that give them more control over their resources, time and energy. A lot of couples who work and are doing considerably well in their jobs, having no time for kids, without an adequate family set-up at home prefer to concentrate on their professional and personal lives sans children. Society of course, is not so kind with such couples, nagging them and branding them as selfish and insecure. But, it is a fact that many couples prefer to delay if not fully do away with the choice of having kids.
Why do some married couples not want to have children? It might seem absurd to most of us who have children, have reared them and have grandchildren too. It seems the most natural thing to do. Isn’t it? Otherwise, why marry at all, someone might ask. If all you want to do is get together and have lots of fun together, then why get married, someone else might question. Let’s try to see this from the point of view of the couples not wanting to have their own children or even adopted children in their lives.
Ø Child rearing is too stressful and draining in terms of resources, time and energy. In short, a mentally and physically exhausting task.
Ø Having children means doing away (almost that is), with things you would rather do. You can’t take off on a whim with a child in tow. It is like sacrificing for a future that never comes.
Ø The amount of sacrifices and time invested in children need not always bring positive results. In fact, the same time and energy invested in work or relationships could bring great results (material, professional and personal). In fact, a project can be given up mid way but the same cannot be done with a child so, child rearing is more of a forced commitment.
Ø Not all persons are charted out to be parents. Some have it in them, some don’t.
Ø There is no logic in having a child if you cannot provide the time or financial comforts that the child deserves.
Ø Children should be borne for the right reasons, not for substituting your desire to have a play thing, an investment for the future or to gain acceptance in society.
Those against the whole modern concept of married couples exercising the right to have no children feel that it is against the law of nature to do so. Many feel that the joy that rearing children brings compensates for all the troubles (mental, physical or financial) that may rear their heads during the course of parenthood. The time and energy invested in bringing up a child does not go in vain as one learns to become patient, more mature and also value time due to the non availability of it while bringing up the child/children. Becoming a parent is a whole learning process which a childless couple doesn’t get the opportunity to do so. Opting to not have a child could become an expensive choice later on when you have realized all your freedom dreams and then suddenly want to have a child. Then, the fertility clock may not give you company! Another thing which people with kids say is that you cannot understand what it means to have a child until you have one. So, equating freedom with not having children is foolishness, they say.
Questions are many as there are people wanting to have children and those not wanting to have children. We become parents due to a host of reasons. Some of us become parents by default, some due to society pressure, others, due to the natural maternal/paternal urges within us. Someone wants a child for his/her old age, another to feel complete, still another to do away with loneliness or make a relationship happy. So, when couples knowing what they want, or at least deciding what they want come up with their own respective choices of not having children, must we criticize them? Will they be losing out on something valuable in the long run?
Do tell me.