Childless by choice

A forum for Druid parents to discuss child-rearing issues and exchange ideas
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OBOD Druid
Posts: 7435
Joined: 04 Feb 2003, 22:04
Gender: Female
Location: Louisiana USA

Re: Childless by choice

Postby Selene » 28 Apr 2013, 20:03

I'm another in the "childless by choice" camp. I knew by the time I was 10 that I didn't ever want kids--I never enjoyed being around them, never babysat for spending money the way most of my classmates did, etc. The environmental factor weighed on my mind, too, even back then, as did my assorted allergies I wasn't too keen on inflicting on the next generation. The usual assortment of relatives told me I'd change my mind, that if I had a child my whole outlook would change, yadda yadda. I always said, "Yeah, but what if my outlook didn't change? I'm not going to subject a child to the kind of mother I might be." But you're smart, they'd say--your child might be even smarter! "Yeah," said I, "and he or she might turn out to be a drug addict or an alcoholic or an axe murderer, too. Even when you're the best parent you can be, you can't guarantee your kid will turn out the way you hope. And I'm smart enough to know that having a child I don't want is not a good idea." And, happily, people stopped mentioning it by the time I was in my mid-20s. Had I been only a little older I might not have been able to avoid pregnancy but I was lucky--when I got married (the first time) in 1969, birth control pills were available and they apparently worked. (Today when asked if I have children, I say, "No, I have cats," and smile brightly. This almost always leads to a question about the cats and the topic is neatly abandoned. :) )

And to veer back to the original question, I have never felt stigmatized by anyone, pagan or otherwise, for my choice. In our grove we have mothers, fathers, and several who are childless by choice; if we have ritual at the home of a member who has kids, the other parents can bring their kids and they all play together. Occasionally a child will want to join us in a ritual and when that happens we are happy to have them join in. If the child is old enough to understand what's going on and we're doing a ritual where there's a part for the Mabon, the child will read that part. If not, the child just stands by their parent and participates as they can.

FWIW, I've been seeing the term "child-free" used a lot lately, which suggests that enough people embrace that state of being to choose a name that implies it is by choice. I kind of like it. Grist has run several articles on the topic that discuss the topic; here are links to a few of them: ... -im-proud/ ... ut-as-gay/

In that first link, the GINK* Manifesto, there is this introduction that nicely sums up my view of those who do have children, by choice or by chance:
Let me get this out of the way up front: I like kids—many of them, anyway. Some of my best friends, as they say, are parents. I bear no ill will to procreators, past, present, and prospective. I claim no moral or ethical high ground.

If being a parent is something you’ve longed and planned for, or already embarked upon, I respect your choice and I wish you luck. Go forth and raise happy, healthy kids. May they bring you joy and fulfillment, and may they become productive members of society who faithfully pay their Social Security taxes.
*GINK = Green Inclinations, No Kids
"I've learned so much from my mistakes...I'm thinking of making few more."

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Kris Hughes
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Location: Clatskanie, Oregon

Re: Childless by choice

Postby Kris Hughes » 29 Apr 2013, 00:17

I also just saw this thread. Haven't read all the posts, but many of them.

For me, the decision not to have kids was very firm and definite, and in the sense that my ideas of morality and spirituality are difficult to separate, yes, I made that decision on spiritual grounds. Like some others here, I believe that there are way too many people already. In the 70s and 80s when I was of a good age to conceive that was also obvious.

Selfish??? What? I haven't really come across that one that I recall. I have come across people who are mildly jealous of the freedom I have as a non-parent, but most of them will quickly add that they wouldn't give up their kids to have it.

The older I get the more I will admit that I do see people having kids as a selfish act. Only a massive reduction in population is going to return Mother Earth to the status I would like to see her have, and allow humans and the rest of nature to live in some kind of harmony. The human race is now like a kind of AIDS virus killing off the earth.

I feel that in many ways not having kids has been the more selfless act. There was a time when the biological clock was ticking when I almost gave in to the urge to have a stab at it. Now that I'm older it would be nice to think that I might get some support from those hypothetical kids in my old age. There are times that I wished to have someone to pass things on to - like skills, family stories, etc. as well as now wondering who to leave my "stuff" to. However, those darn convictions about right and wrong got in the way.
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