People have their own ideas about couples who choose not to have kids. Sit down with a table of friends and mention that you have no inclination to have children and just listen to the slew of common misconceptions that come to light. But that’s what they are, aren’t they? Misconceptions.
Just because you don’t want children, it doesn’t mean that you fall into the regular myths and misconceptions that people have about childless people. So, what are the common misconceptions and myths that seemed drilled into people’s minds about those who don’t want kids? Below, we’ll take a look at what these are and why they are simply untrue.
These are 14 myths and misconceptions about childless people:
1. They are abnormal or unusual.
People who have children simply cannot understand why others might not want to have any of their own. This often leads people with kids to view others as strange or unusual. They may believe that they think or live differently and that they are quite abnormal in general. Someone without kids could be just like you. In fact, the only difference may be that they don’t feel the deep urge to have children.
2. Their lives are unfulfilled.
There’s a general misconception that a life without children is shallow, unfulfilled, or boring. This is simply untrue. Everyone has different values, and so that really comes into play. Some people find immense value in raising another human and watching them grow, whereas others find more value in fighting for a worthy cause, creating jobs, building a career, and spending time with their existing family members. Life can be fulfilling if you are living the life that suits you best.
3. They are selfish or self-absorbed.
Sometimes people who choose to be childless get labeled as selfish or self-absorbed. People assume that because they don’t want kids, they don’t want to put in the time or detract from their everyday life to care for another person. In many instances, this simply isn’t true. The childless person may just have a different life purpose or focus. Potentially, the person could be unable to have children for physical or religious reasons.
4. They become lonely later on in life.
Many people believe that if you don’t have children, your sunset years will be lonely. While there is a chance that this could happen, it really comes down to who the person is and who they surround themselves with. If the person has a loving extended family and a good group of friends, there’s no reason why they should be lonely later in life.
5. They are party animals and will never settle down.
This is a popular misconception often believed by people who have chosen to settle down and have children. They tend to believe that the reason certain peers have chosen not to have kids is that they have got caught up in the party-party lifestyle and that they can’t bring themselves to let it go and settle down. This is untrue. Some of the most balanced and settled people in the world simply don’t want children. It’s just not the best next step for them, even if they have settled down and left the party scene.
6. They don’t respect the continuation of their family name and the human race.
It’s quite an old-fashioned line of thinking to believe that it is a person’s responsibility to carry on the family name. While some families still place importance on it, it’s not really something that a modern couple places focus on. It’s not a sign of disrespect, but rather an educated choice. Don’t have children that you don’t want, just because you want your surname to live on.
7. She is a feminist.
Many people jump to the thought that a woman that doesn’t want children is a feminist. This simply isn’t true. Being a feminist and not wanting to be a mother, have nothing to do with each other. Someone who is not a feminist may just not feel the urge to be a mother. You either desire it, or you don’t.
8. They are infertile.
There are situations where a couple who are considered to have great parenting potential but choose not to have children are thought to be infertile or unable to have kids. While this is sometimes the case, it’s not always true.
9. They secretly long to have children.
Yup, it must be true. Even though they don’t have kids, they really want to have kids. Who wouldn’t, right?! The reality is that some people really do enjoy their lives without children and have no desire to have any. Some people might enjoy spending time with children but just don’t want any of their own.
10. They are antinatalists.
Antinatalism is a philosophical approach to life where it is believed that having children has a negative impact on the environment and the world. Some people do believe that having children is actually a bad thing, but not all people believe this. Being an antinatalist is an extreme approach to life and one that not just anyone acquires. Just because someone doesn’t have kids doesn’t mean they believe in the philosophy of antinatalism.
11. They don’t like children.
You might look at someone who has no children and immediately assume that they just don’t like children. Perhaps they don’t know how to spend time with children or have fun with them. This could be true, but it also might be way off. Many people enjoy playing with children and bantering with them, but at the end of the day would rather hand them back to their parents and not have to deal with the personal responsibility.
12. They are unreliable.
Someone that doesn’t have children is obviously unreliable, right? That’s not always true. A person without kids could be very reliable. They could own a huge organization, and many people’s jobs may depend on them. The fact that they don’t have children could mean that they are responsible and reliable and simply don’t want to have kids they don’t have time for.
13. They live with regret in their later years.
Regret is something none of us wants to live with at any point in our lives. While some people do regret not having kids later on in their lives, many are also completely satisfied with their life choices and live comfortably. Not everyone regrets not having kids.
14. They will never know the meaning of true love.
Some people believe that the only time you truly know what unconditional love feels like is when you have your first child. It’s easy to assume that others will never know the meaning of that type of love if they don’t have children, but the experience of love is very personal and also relative. What feels like true and intense love for you, could feel entirely different for someone else.
People who choose not to have children don’t necessarily fit into these myths and misconceptions at all. In fact, it may be as simple as a personal choice. Perhaps their career has taken off, or they are working on a great cause that doesn’t leave time for parenting.
With that in mind, before you judge someone without kids and before you feel bad about yourself for choosing not to have kids, consider the above misconceptions and myths and rethink the matter. Now is the time to realize that everyone wants different things in life, and perhaps not wanting kids is just about that: not wanting them.