Anyone that knows me, knows I am all about the C word – Choice! I am advocate for women (and men) to be able to make choices in life that are right for them and for making your own rules.
One thing that really pisses me off is when people jump to conclusions about childfree people. There is a stereotype that is perpetuated (mainly by parents, the media & Hollywood) of what childfree people are about.
It is great to see this conversation being presented in mainstream media and I am grateful that it is however it is important that the media is also getting their facts straight. I was recently included in a magazine article and the number of errors and misquotes in the article made me question journalistic integrity. Does anyone fact check anymore?
Then I scrolled down to the comments and can see that even after reading the article, many people still didn’t get the point. And don’t start me on the uneducated comments made from parents (who have no problem with articles about mums but took offense to us decadent childfree people being featured)
So, let me clear up some misconceptions:
Childfree is different to childless
Childfree is a choice, childless is due to circumstance! The conversation you have with someone who has chosen to not have kids and one who cannot, is very different yet so many journalists fail to get the distinction between the two. I am always correcting people when they refer to me as childless. I am not! I particularly don’t like it as, being in my late 40’s, I have tolerated the assumption that I cannot have kids by other women, and fight against this misconception daily.
And please be mindful that women who are childless are dealing with emotions and issues that are very different to as childfree women.
We are not all rich
Yes, we might go on lots of holidays, or buy expensive shoes, eat out regularly at nice restaurants and buy nice things but we are not rich. We just spend our money in different ways to you. We don’t have to spend money on school fees, toys, sports gear, childcare, food etc and can instead spend it on things that we want in our life.
I’ve been told by family members that I don’t need any extra money because I don’t have kids so therefore, I am rolling in it. I’d like to show them my bank account statement.
Let me remind all the parents that I have never gotten one cent from the government as child endowment, baby bonus or tax savings like you.
We are not all career-obsessed
I love running my business and have always held a strong identity closely related to my career, rather than being identified as a mother. However not every childfree person is career-obsessed so the stereotype needs to stop. If I want to spend more time on my business or at work, that is my choice. Just like you choose to spend your time with your kids.
Calling all childfree women career-obsessed is another untruth and is like saying all parents don’t work. We all do what is right for us.
We don’t all hate children
I do enjoy spending time with my real and adopted nieces and nephews. I value being able to share life experiences and provide a different perspective to their parents. I love being the Rockstar aunty whom they fight over for attention.
I don’t, however, enjoy kids on planes, in nice restaurants or running around shopping centres. But that is just bad manners and poor parenting.
Sure, there are some people that don’t like kids at all and some that love them (just like parents who don’t like other people’s kids).
We are no more selfish than parents
I will never understand why choosing to be childfree is any more selfish than wanting kids. Keyword being ‘want’. Statements like I want you to make me a grandparent, I want a son who looks like me or I want a little girl who I can dress up, are all very selfish reasons for having a child.
And what about statements like a child will look after me when I am older, and I will have true love and – both not guaranteed at all. I know many people who do not look after older parents.
We don’t want to take up the slack for parents in the workplace
When I worked in the corporate world, I used to hate the expectation that I would stay back or pick up the slack from mums in the office. I had side projects and other passions that were important to me, yet they weren’t recognised as real reasons for not being able to work back, because they were personal and not parenting.
And BTW, my dogs are just as important to me as your kids! So if you can time off because your child is sick, why can’t I do the same for a sick dog?
We don’t expect tax-payers to pay for our retirement
This comment dumbfounds me. I don’t understand why someone would even bring it up. Perhaps because they are getting handouts from the government or other people to help them live. Every person (childfree or not) should be planning on self-funding their retirement. Parents should not expect their kids to look after them in old age or to fund that either.
These comments are simply uneducated and unfounded in any fact. If the people that make them, did their research they would see that people with kids are a much larger drain on the government coffers.
If you are going to make statements and assumptions about childfree people, then get your facts straight. We are all different, just like all parents are different. Stereotypes are exactly that, so please educate yourself before making hurtful or disparaging comments. We need to dispel these misconceptions and show the true picture about our childfree lives.
Find out why more women are choosing to be childfree in the book > https://childfreehappilyeverafter.com.au/a-childfree-happily-ever-after/