The world is obviously a different place right now, a place nobody expected to see in their lifetime. I would argue that one of the biggest changes many people are dealing with revolves around all of the changes and responsibilities that deal with children. As a childfree woman, this posed a lot of thoughts and questions, both from my own inner monologue, as well as from others. It’s hard for me to scroll through social media, or have a conversation with someone, without how “lucky” childfree people are right now because they don’t have to deal with children.
Our decision to be childfree wasn’t by accident and it confuses me when people, very seriously, tell us how lucky we are. I struggle to follow how a conscious choice that we made, after weighing out our options, putting endless hours of thought into, having more discussions than you could possibly imagine, and doing endless research on, makes us lucky. We feel very fortunate to not have to be responsible for children, but these are the reasons we made this choice. When I think about it, I struggle to see where luck was involved.
Now, to be clear, I am not saying that my husband and I talked about what would happen in the event of a pandemic that completely turns everyone’s worlds inside out. But, when having many discussions, we did talk about unforeseen circumstances and how children would be our responsibility no matter what happens. We put the time and thought into looking at the role of a parent and the responsibility that comes along with that, in any events the future would hold.
I really believe that many people don’t truly know the time and thought that went into this decision. In my personal experience, we have put way more thought, time, and energy into making our decision to be childfree, than most do to have children.
I enjoy kids and absolutely respect people’s choice to do what they want and what works best for them. I adore my niece and nephew and can’t wait to spend time with them once this has all passed. I acknowledge that what parents are having to navigate through right now must be insanely difficult. All I want people to understand is that being childfree is a choice we made; it didn’t happen out of luck. Please don’t try to make us feel guilty and minimize the fact that this was our choice.
As I write this, it has recently been announced that the “safer at home” order, in my state, is being extended another month. As this was happening, I saw so many parents immediately talk about how they need a break. While I have no doubt in my mind this is true, it reaffirms my decision to remain childfree.
So, while parents are busy homeschooling their children and being responsible for everything else pertaining to them, I will be here. I’ll be reading, relaxing, exercising, trying new recipes, spending time with my husband, playing with our dogs, and doing whatever else I want to, because I knew that I didn’t want the responsibility of children. I know this may sound selfish to some, and that used to bother me, but that no longer holds true. I believe I made the best, and intentional, decision for me, and I hope everyone else is feeling the same.
You can connect with Whitney via @wbourchard22 on Insta