Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, “how was this person allowed to have a child?” Usually, people who have narrow, constricted opinions and try to impose it on their children, bring up this reaction in me. I have had many clients reeling with low self-esteem and anxiety, largely because of how they were raised. We all know people like these. Yet, when couples don’t want babies, we are quick to judge. But the fact remains that humans are nowhere near extinct and procreation should be a choice. Here are some common reasons why couples don’t want babies:
Parenting is a tough and expensive task. While there are no clear figures available for India, we can estimate it by schooling costs. Apart from donations, uniforms, books and extra curricular activities cost almost a lakh or more every year in any good school. The figure goes up based on how well-known the school is.
American figures suggest that it takes around $200,000 and upto 8 hours of parenting a day to raise a child to the age of 18! Surely therefore one of the main reasons that couples don’t want babies is this huge cost and relentless dedication.
Most cities struggle with air quality. There are known cases of young children having respiratory disorders due to pollution. Our water quality or quantity is not too great either. Talk about food – gone are the days when the farm produce used be chemical free! Bring a child onto this planet and it will by default be struggling for the basics of life – good food, water and air!
Career & Freedom
People are quite serious and compassionate about their careers today. Even the careers now-a-days are different and interesting. Travel photographers, food bloggers and nail artists are all full time professions. Given the way society and child-care are structured, parenting usually means either limiting ones career or taking a break from it altogether. Therefore, couples don’t want babies because they don’t want to put the guilt of career sacrifice on their children.
Many couples feel parenting is a full-time job and takes away the “me time”. A lot of your plans are curtailed because of children. You can’t just get up and go where you’d like or do what you want. Women specially feel the pain because they have to be home bound and do nothing but nurse the baby. It gets monotonous and depressing too when independence is lost. Furthermore, new financial & emotional responsibilities puts additional burden on the couple which may in turn affect their sex life too! No wonder couples don’t want babies.
Couples don’t want babies for “Me time”
Earlier, it can be argued that it was easier to have children because of all the people that were available to take care of the child. Children also had a lot more companions of their age in the form of cousins, siblings and neighbourhoods.
Nuclear families with a single child do not have this support system and do suffer the adverse effects of it. In that light, it is sensible if couples don’t want babies.
As a parent you need to adjust to the defining problems of each age – toddlerhood, middle childhood and (shudder) adolescence. To do the task justice, you need to shoulder a lot of emotional responsibility. Being a parent, and a good parent at that, is an emotionally heavy task. Many couples don’t feel the need to shoulder this burden.
Don’t need saviours for old age
A big reason why people choose to have kids is to have someone to support them in old age. This puts undue pressure on children to not only care for the elderly, but also alter their life plans. It invariably puts strain on the relationship too. Moreover those who have children would also understand that unlike in the past, these days it is not possible for the children to necessarily find a job in the same city as where parents live. Therefore the idea of having a stick for old age as also gets defeated because the children will have to migrate to a different city.
It’s not a great world anyway!
Finally, many couples also believe that the way the world is going, it is not encouraging enough to bring in new life. We are xenophobic, we kill a lot and in general war and politics still dominate our life. Equality, health, education or even a living space is not guaranteed.
There is undue competition and pressure to perform and excel in every sphere just for the sheer reason that too many children are chasing the too few resources available. The population explosion does not need any more encouragement so some couples understandably do not want to bring a child into this world.
How do you feel about voluntarily childless or rather child free couples? Do you think there could be some reasons that we haven’t mentioned? Please mention in the comments below.
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