It is part of our culture to assume that when two people get married, they will have children. From our earliest youth we are taught this is the way it is with songs like:
John and Mary, kissing in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes John and Mary with a baby carriage.
However, there is nothing wrong with the couple that makes the choice to forgo parenthood. While there are some who may disagree with me, the idea of a couple deliberately electing to be childless may be non-conformist, but it isn’t abnormal.
Why Would a Couple Elect to Not Have Children?
Making a lifestyle choice that precludes having children either through conception or adoption is about the personal desires of the couple. Parenthood isn’t easy and there are just some people who do not want to be parents. They may enjoy the personal and financial freedom to pursue their own endeavors whether it is a career, hobbies, interests or all of the above.
One couple that I know of personally, have been married for more than 20 years. They talked about children on and off for years, but neither felt a deep conviction to actually have them or adopt them. They enjoyed traveling and both were interested in pursuing careers in the arts. As they put it – the lifestyle of the starving artist is not conducive to having a child.
They knew if they did, they would both restrict their other activities, settle down to finding a steady income and abandon the pursuit of their particular dreams. There is no fault in the choice they made, as it is – they made the responsible call that works for them.
When Infertility is the Cause
Infertility treatments can be exceptionally expensive and there are no guarantees. Some people do not feel comfortable with adoption. Still others may be so tapped financially from attempting to overcome their infertility that they may not be in a position to offer a stable financial home to a child or they may face other uphill battles in that arena.
Whatever the cause of a couple deciding to not have children, that decision ultimately lies with them. If you know a couple like that or you are a couple like that – there is no shame and there should never be recriminations. After all, I know many childless individuals and couples who enjoy working with and providing aid to children through mentoring, teaching, the medical profession and more.
Did you or someone you know decide to not have children?