Country Living Series

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Remaining childless -- selfish or noble?

My parents had four children (three biological, one adopted). My mother always knew she wanted a family and loves her kids to pieces. But she also always said she understood women who did NOT want children.

Childlessness is a decision I respect, even though I, too, always knew I wanted kids. That's why this WND article caught my eye: Remaining childless – selfish or noble? Women weigh in on the touchy issue of not procreating.


While I certainly don't agree with all these justifications, I'm glad women who feel they would make lousy mothers have foregone having children.

25 comments:

  1. It's a trade off. The more we become tolerant and sympathetic to these "choices" the less children we get as a society and nation. Then the more reason we give to the politicians to bring more third world immigrants in to the fill the gap of the children we never had.


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    1. I completely agree.

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  2. There are plenty of selfish reasons out there, but I agree that those who recognize that they would not be good mothers (for whatever reason) are wise in choosing to avoid it.

    For myself, I never wanted kids---but at the same time, I never thought I would get married. I never did babysitting, I never fawned over little babies, I never looked forward to being a mother. I feared the prospect, if I was honest. However, I reached a point in my later teens years where I recognized my selfishness and lack of trust in God in this area. My life isn't about me. It's about God and what He has planned for me. If getting married and having children was part of that, then I needed to put it in God's hands and trust that (1) He will give me the desire for it, and (2) He will provide for us in the midst of it.

    This year will be my 8th anniversary with my husband, and we now have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. I wouldn't want things any other way! Before the children were born, I still didn't feel excitement about having little ones; but when my first was born, my heart was filled with such love that only those who have become parents can truly understand. It was such an incredible change, brought about because I trusted God despite my own feelings.

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    1. I agree! Similar feelings about kids throughout life. Now I'm married with five children and while I wouldn't have chosen this path without God's loving intervention, I totally recognize the value in my life. I'm a horrible mother at times. And so are other women. But there are things we cannot learn in any other settings besides the family.

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  3. This is the 2nd oldest arguement in the world. As a 72 year old man I can remember my aunt's "shaming" another woman who choose not to have children. One of their complaints was that this woman was more interested in keeping her "body" than she was in having children. Even as a child I could recognize this as naked jealousy/envy. This has to be one of the most stupid issues.

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    1. I agree. A better poll would be to ask all the craptastic "parents" out there why they are so cruel to bring children into this world they obviously despise.

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  4. I am a 45 year old man. I have never had children. Never married. I was raised catholic. I did not want to have a family until I could support one when I was 30. By that time women my age did not want more children, younger women were to immoral where I live and not responsible, and the drug culture is just to prevalent. I had spent 10 years trying to find someone to start a family with and finally gave up when I turned 40. I looked using all the local church groups, online dating, and friends. The change in culture and values in this country has made is very hard for people with traditional morals and values who are older to find someone. Many women questioned why I did not have children, wondering what was wrong with me, why I had never married, was I a pervert after their kids if they had small children? Adding in the fact I was an EMT and worked a 48 hour shift and was then off for 96 hours also created problems.

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    1. My daughter is 41 and is getting married this fall. Her first marriage and not only that, but she is entitled to wear white. She waited for Mr. Right, many lost out when they tried to advance the blessing of the marriage bed.
      What you write is true, but please don't give up. Whether or not she has children, they adopt or are childless is up to God. Mrs. Right may come along.
      sidetracksusie

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    2. Don't lose hope or get bitter. There are lots of us out there who are in similar situations. (I was even raised Catholic too) I've often lamented about not finding good men. I actually envy the couples that married their 'high school sweethearts'. They found their happiness and moved forward together with life, escaping all the pitfalls of the dating world. It seems those that were left behind weren't interested in commitment. Meanwhile lots of decent, Godly mean and women have been unsuccessful at standing out and navigating the dating world to find each other later in life :-(
      In the end I have tried to live my life as amazingly as possible so if I one day meet my future husband I'm a worthy catch (interesting, funny, travelled, self-supporting, generally full of life). And in the meantime I'm enjoying the life God gave me and trying to be a 'light onto the world'.

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  5. I think that people have to stop judging women for not have kids and be aware of the fact that some women cannot have children for medical reasons. I am one of these. It really hurt me whenever people would come up to me after I got married and asked when are you having children. I would have loved to have them but couldn't. Stop yourself from asking when newly married or even older married couples when they are having kids, some of them can't.

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  6. Having kids or not is my business.....not yours. It seems to me that there are more important things to think about than to judge someone about a private decision. When someone asks when you are going to have children, just tell them to bug off....it is none of their business.

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  7. My husband and I never had kids as well, but not for lack of trying. We've been married 23 years, and started trying right after we were married. It took 14 years before I was pregnant for the first time - it ended in miscarriage after 2 months; the following year, same scenario. I never felt like my life wouldn't be complete without children, nor did I really want children. - I put it in God's hands. He obviously knows what He is doing. Lynne in MN

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  8. I respect the women who choose not, but I sure hope the ones who feel they would be great mothers will choose to have larger families. The average of 2.1 isn't enough, especially if we want to increase the amount of people who believe in and protect the Bill of Rights.
    Thank you for bringing this up. God Bless America. :)

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  9. Two women - two different stories.
    One woman has 2 kids, and never wanted either of them. She wouldn't give them up, though, out of pure stubbornness I think. I feel so bad for those kids.
    Another one knew she wanted a career and a carefree life much more than she wanted kids, and so remained childless. I think this one made a thoughtful choice.
    Okay, three women. My daughter's birth mother realized that she couldn't or wouldn't give her baby the proper care, and put the baby up for adoption. God guided us to that little girl. I am so thankful that the mother made the choice she did.

    - Charlie Mitchell

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  10. I distinctly remember every detail of one of those life-changing 'where were you when....' moments -- at the age of fifteen, having assumed I would be, and was indeed raised to be, a wife and mommy -- when I realized that anyone who really loved their children wouldn't have them at all. Every detail. I haven't bred.

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  11. Family was a coveted part of the American Dream. Remember it? I don't mean the American Dream. Do you remember America?
    Montana Guy

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  12. I don't have any issue at all with anyone who doesn't feel called to parent another human being. Parenting well is an ENORMOUS commitment of one's own being, one's spouse's self, and all the resources you can create as a family. Not everyone is prepared, or able, to do that. Personally, I would prefer someone to choose to live their life child-free than to have children who aren't part of a loving family.

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  13. My oldest friend is childless by choice. She lost both her parents way too early, her father to heart attack/car accident when she was 6 and mother to stroke at 17. She married in her twenties and devoted her work life to nursing, previously in the ER and now the dial-a-nurse hotline.

    While not a physical parent, she does mother many by holding the hands of the dying, mending the injuries of little children, and talking to suicidal callers.

    The choice to procreate is a private one so I've never considered asking why she chose not to become a mother. Parenting can be gut wrenching. Her world has had enough heartache. I think she chose to help others how in the best way she can without becoming emotionally attached.

    I have four kids. I know I couldn't do her job. I think she knows she couldn't do mine.

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  14. 'The choice to procreate is a private one'... My sentiments exactly. Conversations like this make me crazy.

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  15. I think whether or not children are wanted is an extremely personal decision. Many couples can not conceive, some choose to not have children.
    Who would want a couple to have and raise children when they don't want them?
    On the other hand, I've been questioned because I have birthed and raised four of my own and gained a wonderful step daughter, also. When they question why I had so many, I turn it into why I had so few. I would have loved to have had more. I think I did a good job of it and I enjoyed them and still do. They are kind, intelligent people who are educated and employed, and I now have three lovely little granddaughters. My son wanted to be married to someone who would give up outside work and raise him a big family, which we took as an immense compliment.
    After I explain why I had "so few", I then comment I hoped I had all the children God wanted me to have and that I fear I did not have enough to satisfy the demands of those dependents I can not claim on my tax form.
    sidetracksusie

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  16. Wikipedia has a little history that we often forget. Contraception was officially disallowed by ALL Christians until 1930 when the Anglican Communion changed its policy. Soon after, most Protestant groups came to accept birth control "for serious reasons". For 1900 years it was accepted that married couples should trust God completely and space children using natural methods such as (horrors!!!) abstinence. I have to wonder if we could ever get away from the drugs and 'devices' and return to a natural way of living. Trust in our Lord, He will never let you down.

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  17. This is a personal choice and people tend to judge others far too quickly and carelessly. My sister and brother-in-law can't have any children, in spite of seeing doctors and getting checked/getting some issues taken care of, and it hurts my sister deeply when childless women are regarded as "selfish" - no matter what they really do to help their communities. My sister has no children of her own, but she volunteers in her community and also works with children in her regular job, so she certainly contributes more to society than people who have child after child but don't take care of them properly.

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  18. Well, in my case, I wanted to wait until I got married to have children (imagine that!). In my 20's and 30's, I never met a man that was marrying material, so I held off. My grandmother asked me when I was going to have her some grandchildren. I told her that I was waiting for Mr. Right, but if she wanted grandchildren so badly, I certainly could start right then (I was joking). It wasn't until I was 42 that I met Mr. Right and we married in 2005. Too late for children after that, plus with the experiences he had when he was a child, he had a vasectomy at 22 to ensure the abuse stopped with him. I think it was the right choice for me, waiting until marriage. God just never put it on my heart to want children, and I must trust in him.

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  19. Contributing to the population is not the same as contributing to society.

    Jennifer K

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