This is an article for those of you who are parents and judge those who are not. It is not meant to incite any negativity or disrespect; it is meant to enlighten parents so they realize that not everyone is meant to do the most important job in the world.
Why is it that people who have children think that everyone else on the planet should and could have children as well? The worst part is when people ask a couple if they have kids, and the couple replies “No.” What ensues is usually an ignorant response like “…not yet, or why?” Why bother asking the question in the first place if they’re not happy with the answer? Why not just ask, “How many kids do you have?” since they’re assuming everyone has children.
I’m sure everyone knows that the planet is overpopulated and with each new person comes more pollution and carbon footprints. But that reason alone isn’t why there are childfree couples because if they wanted to become parents without overpopulating the world, they would adopt. I don’t understand why more people don’t adopt. If someone truly loves children and wants nothing more than to become a parent, then why don’t they help existing children by adopting them? It is selfish to reproduce your own genes when there are children all over the world who are in desperate need of good homes. When it comes to pets, we are encouraged to save a life by adopting an animal, so why doesn’t the same hold true when it comes to humans?
Sure the human race needs to reproduce in order to survive but that doesn’t mean that everyone should become a parent, nor does it give everyone the right to have a plethora of children especially when they cannot afford them. Do you really think it’s OK for someone to have six kids while they’re on welfare?
Let me set the record straight for those of you who are confused about the difference between a childless couple and a childfree couple. Being childfree is a choice, whereas being childless is not. People who are childless want to be parents but have either lost a child or are infertile; people who are childfree, however, may or may not be infertile but not want to become parents regardless.
Not everyone is inclined to wipe snot from someone’s nose, live in a house full of purple dinosaurs, and has the patience of a saint. Not everyone has good genetics that should be replicated. Not everyone would make a good parent – isn’t it better that those people do what they think is best instead of being pressured by society to reproduce for the wrong reasons? Who are parents to judge the childfree? If you judge someone, it’s usually because you are insecure about something in your own life.
I hate to break it to you, but not every woman is born with a maternal instinct. Not every woman sees a baby and thinks it’s the most adorable thing in the world and can’t wait to have one of their own. It’s actually just as natural to not want to become a parent as it is to become a parent – albeit, the latter is more prevalent in nature. Just look at the plethora of animals that reject their young, both in the wild and in zoos. Look at how many zookeepers have to take over the parental duties because of these rejections. Of course there are also those animals that are so maternal or paternal that they actually help care for others’ offspring. I think the same is true for humans. Some of us want to be parents and some of us don’t – it’s nature plain and simple.
Think about nature’s rule: survival of the fittest. Now I’m not saying that all infertile couples should remain childless if they know in their hearts that will make wonderful parents, but not everyone who is infertile should mess with nature. Maybe nature is trying to weed out the unhealthy or naturally control the population, or maybe it’s just life being unfair.
And of course there are those who are capable of breeding like rabbits that should never have been able to. Read my article, “Should People be Required to Have a License to Become a Parent?” for an in-depth look on why I think a license should be required to do the most important job in the world.
Yes, being a parent is respectable but why do parents feel the need to pressure those who are perfectly content not being parents? Why can’t people with children simply understand that not everyone wants to spend their money, time and energy raising a human being? Screaming children who pick their noses, throw temper tantrums and make a mess all over the house are not everyone’s idea of bliss.
So the next time you ask someone if they have kids and they respond, “No,” please don’t ask them “Why not?” or say “…not yet.” Do you react the same way when you ask someone if they have any pets? No, because it is rude, condescending, patronizing, and most of all it makes you look ignorant.
*Bobbi Leder is a freelance writer living in Houston, TX. To read more of her Associated Content articles click here.