Let me begin by saying this post is entirely opinionated, however most points are fact. Whereas previous posts dealt with ways to improve your happiness, this simply provides a life choice in which more people seem to be making and experiencing the everlasting positive reverberation.
According to TIME magazines article “The Childfree Life” there has been a significant increase in couples who opt to live a childfree lifestyle. Back in the 1970s 1 in 10 couples were childfree, now that number has increased to 1 in 5. I believe people are beginning to adopt the notion that having children is a choice, not an obligation, and with that choice comes freedom that childbearers fail to experience.
Choosing to live a childfree lifestyle has become increasingly accepted in todays world. In the past women felt a duty to reproduce, but in todays already terminally overcrowded, resource depleted world they should be given praise (maybe even tax breaks) for being childless. Previously, it was seen as “selfish” to live your life making the choice not to have mini yous, but there is just as good of an argument for the opposition. Having children puts a burden on them when you become old and helpless, that is indeed quite selfish, and people consider this a positive attribute to having children. Here are the basic but life altering benefits to living a life without children.
Obviously, your financial situation you will be substantially better off. The cost of raising a child from 0-18 is approximately $250-300k, then you need to consider their further education, college can run an additional $35k for in-state and $125k private. Deeper financial security preceeds and contributes to a majority of the other benefits affixed to childfreedom. I’ve come across the term DINK; Dual Income, No Kids. When a child enters the world there are sacrafices that need to be made, most importantly the career of the woman in most cases; women chose to leave their careers in order to care for their children. So now, not only do you have the financial burden of a child, but as a couple you are now bringing in half the income. With a sound financial situation, you and your significant other will possess less worry and stress, not only because you do not need to worry about finances but because you are not constantly worrying about the health and well-being of an indivdual who soley relies on you for everything.
One of the more attractive benefits for myself is flexability. I embrace spontaneity. Without the never ending time consuming child (approximately 8 hours a day of your time to rasie two children to age 18) you are able to spend that extra saved income on vacations, weekend get-aways, gifts for others, pick up a new hobby, spend more time with family and friends, become a culturally diverse, worldly intellectual… you are able to experience life we have been given the privledge to do so. You are given the ability to make life decisions on what’s best for yourself, what is going to make you happiest, rather than making the decisions based on the unforeseen future of another individual. You won’t have to completely miss out on the more enjoyable aspects of having children because you can borrow others (siblings and friends will have kids). Do those parents a favor and babysit their children, you will get to enjoy the simpler aspects of being a parent, and when they start becoming a nusance… give them back. You get to bring the kids on adventures and buy them cool things being the awesome aunt and uncle you are, without dealing with their true issues, not a bad gig.
People are afraid of being considered a social misfit amoung their group of peers, but with more and more people (now 20%) opting this lifestyle, you are bound to find a childless group of friends to share your enthusiasm for life with. Some will say the advantages of being a parent are you’ll never be bored or you’ll have something to focus on other than yourself. If you know how to live you don’t need a child to fill your boredom, and there are endless opportunities to focus your time and efforts on other than a kid. Start a small business, organize charities/fundraisers, take language or art classes, try something you’ve feared, the list goes on.
An overlooked aspect of living a childfree lifestyle is you get to SLEEP-IN! Something that I value very much. Instead of having little rugrats jumping on your bed at 5am on your day off, sleep until you decide it’s time to start your day with whatever you feel like doing, it’s an awesome feeling.
Those who elect to live in childfreedom are not selfish, people are different, some have a primitive instinct to bear children and others don’t see themselves reaching their potential in both happiness and ability having the distraction of a child. It should be a decision that is quite clear to yourself and your partner; either you truely want to have children, or you are contemplating it. If your contemplating it, don’t!
We may not be able to prepare a better future for children, but we can introduce less to it.