Respect the Lifestyle

As I grow older, I find myself having meaningful conversations with other men and women. One common topic that comes up is kids. While I know that I envision myself starting a family at some point down the road, I have talked to many people that say state they don’t want kids. It seems that younger generations can respect one another regardless of their chosen lifestyle, but it seems that many older people cannot seem to grasp the idea of young adults not wanting to have kids. I have been told that elders often respond by saying things like “you’ll change your mind about that someday” or make other uncomfortable comments.

            I took it upon myself to further research this topic and found an online community by the name of R/Childfree. In the community, the users serve as support systems for one another as they all share similar uncomfortable experiences when discussing their lack of interest in having kids. The community expressed that they are often guilted into feeling that they need to have children to please their friends and family. They have also stated that they are looked down upon for being selfish or immature. To combat the guilt trips, the R/Childfree community has created a platform for the users to share their rebuttals when their lifestyle is put down. They share their rationale for not wanting children. R/Childfree members argue that living childfree is a personal decision, living childfree is intentional, and living childfree is fulfilling. Often, these reasons can also disguise sensitive conversations such as infertility.

            Unfortunately, the R/Childfree platform was created as a result of people expressing their distaste in someone else's personal decisions' of having a child with or without a significant other is one's choice that should not be made by several people. If someone informs you that they do not wish to have children, respect that. Do not question their decision; questioning their goals often feels like they are being invalidated. If you see that someone is increasingly becoming uncomfortable while discussing the idea of children, change the subject. Remember that we are still growing into our adult years and discovering new things about ourselves. Be sure to avoid being intrusive and remember to be respectful.