Being ChildFree and Infertility

Pet on BoardThe world at large is very much aimed at those who have Children or who are children to start with, this world is not always that friendly towards the Childless much less those of us who have chosen to be ChildFree. Some people say that if you have chosen to be ChildFree then you are being selfish, and any number of other self-centered ideas that go along with that notion that choosing to be ChildFree brings to mind to oh so many people. I’ve not had to deal to much with those who can’t understand my choice because its just not something that I’ve really had to deal with, I’ve had the odd person over the past couple of years be a bit more interested in my lack of fertility but for the most part people around me just haven’t made it an issue.

However, there are those out there who do try and make it an issue but for my husband and I its just talking to the wind, because we’re not listening to those people who can’t understand why there is not already a child on the way or why there never will be a child in the picture beyond our four legged pups. I know that my husband has gotten asked by more people then I have why he’s not yet gotten me with child or similar line of questioning in general and it does frustrate him to no end when complete strangers ask him about it.

I know that I am infertile its something that isn’t an issue with me, I came to terms with being infertile a long time ago – I came to terms with it because for me it was a relief that I didn’t have to worry about that one thing in life that oh so many women feel they have to become, or in many cases wish to become. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to have a child of my body was great knowledge to me, it actually freed me from that back of my mind worry. You see I had a standing order with my GP from the moment I became active that should I test positive that she’d send me to get an abortion without any questions, I didn’t wont a child back then I knew I couldn’t support one on my own and I also knew that I didn’t have it in me to be a mother, it just didn’t feel right.

For my husband I’m not sure of his feelings about learning that he was himself infertile, we’ve talked about it yes and he said that he was glad about it, but I do not know his inner mind on the matter just what he has told me when we’ve talked about it. I do know that being infertile for him has caused him a lot of issues when it came to dating other women, since most of them from what I gathered where very much looking for a man who could father their future children and if that man couldn’t do that then they where not interested in him. I can see how being with someone who isn’t fertile could be an issue to someone who wont’s a child, but for some you don’t know that status until you try to do what you most want to be and then find out that its not possible with either your partner or because you lack that ability yourself. It hurts I am sure to learn that because of your partner or your own body that you might be childless (unless you are able to adopt and that is the course you wish to take to become a parent) and have to come to terms with being that way can’t be an easy issue to deal with.

I think for me what has come to offend me the most is those who make the comment, well you can always adopt when they learn that we are infertile, its like they auto assume that because we are infertile that we actually wont children to start with and that they didn’t listen to the first part of the comment in which it was stated that we’re ChildFree.

A convo will go along the lines of
them: “do you have any children?”
me: No, we’re ChildFree
them: “why not?”
me: we’re just not interested in having any
them: “but you would make such good parents”
me: We are already parents, we have two fine young pups that we love very much
them: puzzled expression
me: “not everyone wont’s to have a child, for some of us its just not part of who we are”
them: “but you have dogs, you’d make a wonderful mommy”
me: I love my dogs yes, but it doesn’t mean that being a parent would be a good idea
them: “well you can always have one once you are both settled down”
me: Actually no we can’t, we both infertile…
them: “well you can always adopt”
me: yes we can, how do you think we got our two kids we have already?
them: puzzled expression
me: well anyways, have a nice day.

Well that’s the jest of it some times the people asking the questions are a tad more rude when they hear the term ChildFree, but strangely enough the most people I’ve had issue over being ChildFree are those here online who have read my blogs, tweets or postings on FaceBook – those people are the ones that I’d had most negative feedback from over the years. I think the only reason I get more negative feedback online is because its online and people feel more bold about what they say here then they do in person.

Some of the positive things about being ChildFree that we enjoy are being able to set our own schedule on when we will do something, sleep in, house work, going on vacation and other areas which we just wouldn’t be able to do if a child or even children where in the picture. Being able to get the last minute deal for a vacation is something that’s become part of the plus side of things since it helps keep the budget in line but also means you can have that vacation you wont without worrying if it will interfere with a little ones schooling or the like, that and we can avoid that march break fever that most parents have to deal with when it comes to getting vacation time.

I know many people think that because one is ChildFree that they don’t have a home life or that they have more time on their hands then a parent. Well for some that might well be the case, but many who are ChildFree use their spear time by volunteering for various organizations that help within their local community, some such organizations are there to help Children, others the elderly and even animals depending on what area the ChildFree person or couple wish to help with.

I also don’t think we have more money then a person who has chosen to be a parent, we work the same work week as a parent does when it comes to employment, maybe not if you count the time off a parent takes for their children but in general the pay is the same between us. We just do not have the same expense of raising a child that they have and that expense can for many show in how one makes choices in what they buy or when and where they can travel.

The argument “what about when you are old” is an old one that many who are ChildFree hear at one point or another, and like anyone who is a parent we have the same issue when it comes to age. There is no garentee that when you are old that your child or children will be there to help you out, there is ever good reason to see that your child or children will have nothing to do with you and that you will sit in a nursing home like oh so many older people do in todays world, you will be lucky to see your children a couple times a year in many cases depending on how your lives have been.

How can I say this? Very simple, I have volunteered at a local nursing home and I have seen many seniors who are there and many of them have children even grandkids yet they are lucky to seem them a couple times a year for what ever reason, a few of them will see their kids a couple times a month but those are the exceptions it does seem to the almost rule.

I know when my own granny was in a nursing home I saw her a couple time a week while in high school – I’d take my lunch hour to walk to where she was living and spend it with her, then walk back to school. I might not have spent hours with her, but I did spend time with her, as a result when my folks took me on the weekends to see her I’d go off and visit with other people in the home who hadn’t had anyone visit them in what ever amount of time. Many of these ladies where happy to have a young person who was interested in taking the time to come and see them, never mind just sit there and listen to any tale that they might wish to tell. I learned some good history from these people about how they grew up and about WWII in general.

For many I was the only person other then staff who they would see, one lady the only word she ever had from her daughter where a few cards a year that she couldn’t even read – so staff had to read them to her when they had time to do so, but more times then naught it would be months she’d have to wait before she’d be able to know what the letter said, so I made it my own mission to check in with her and if she had a letter to read it to her. Here was a lady who had a daughter and in one letter she learned that she was now a grandmother yet she would never see her grandchild save for a picture that she wasn’t able to enjoy because she couldn’t see it well enough to make it out.

So the argument that your child will be there to help you in your old age for me just doesn’t work, I’ve known to many ladies in my young life who have little to no contact with their own children for what ever reason and I know how unhappy that made them if not a little bitter in a couple of cases. Having a child is no garentee that when you are a senior that they will be there to help you or even see you once they have their own life, gone are the days when three generations or more living under the same roof – yes I know it still happens, but its not as common as it once use to be.

We all make choices in life, some times those choices are easer then others and some times a choice is made for us that we have to learn to live with as best as we can, but regardless being a parent is a choice that someone makes just like being childfree is a choice that one makes, in the end when all is said and dun it comes down to having made a CHOICE and living with that choice.

3 comments for “Being ChildFree and Infertility

  1. August 20, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I’m also infertile and childfree by choice. I’m quite happy being the cool aunt – my eldest sister, who has three children, is stressed out 24/7. I don’t know why anyone would choose to be that way. It’s unfair to her and it’s also unfair to the kids, who get yelled at over completely insignificant things due to both parents being highly strung in such a way that every small problem gets overblown.

    No, that isn’t what I choose. And thankfully, I was born without ovaries and I don’t even menstruate. It’s wonderful!

  2. Anne
    July 11, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I applaud you for having the courage to come to terms with your infertility in a mature and reasonable way. Especially with the overcrowding the planet is suffering from at present, a few more people could stand to share your views.

    I don’t know what my final decision will be, yet, but I do know that if we continue along as we are doing and the time is never ‘right’ then it’s not a decision I will regret. There is plenty of meaning in life with or without children.

Leave a Reply