In the past couple of days or so there has been heated debate if you can call it that going on twitter over the hash-tag #childfree and to a lesser degree the #childless hash-tag as well (though for the most part that tag seems to be not as flame worthy).
I know that I am not in favor of parents in general using the term childfree nor the term childless when they on a temp basis do not have their child or children with them – to me they are still parents regardless of if their children are or are not with them, its just part of being a parent once you have a child that is what you are, you can not be childfree or childless (unless said child passes away for what ever reason, then well that’s a different matter entirely which I am so NOT getting into).
I know full well that those of us who do use the term childfree to denote that we do not have children and never wish to have children, just like there are those who use the term childless to mean the same thing, or to mean that they currently do not wish to have children but sometime in the future would like to become a parent or for others who use the term because they wish that they could be a parent but for what ever reason can’t so see that using childless is the correct term to use.
Regardless of what hash-tag people use there will always be those who get upset over its use for what ever reason under the sun can be found. Only thing I know for myself is that if I really wished to have a child but because my body can’t do that anymore (not that it really ever could thanks to medical issues) hearing those who are parents put down those who use the term childless would make me feel very upset, big time if it is still something that I was trying to come to term with or about.
I find it very insensitive for some parents to say various things about those who can’t have children so have embraced a life not of their choice, getting put down because you choose to use childfree over childless can and does hurt some people because within the childfree community many have found friends and the help to move on from what “nature” denied them for what ever reason (and saying adoption is always an option, is wrong because its not always the case – adoption isn’t always an option for various reasons that I just am not going to go into that is another blog post entirely).
I can’t say that I like all the use of childfree that I see or some of the association that has been given to the term, such as “child haters”, “anti-children” and other’s that some parent’s and in some cases those within the community itself have stated and or used. Yes there are those who do not like children and wish they didn’t have to see or hear them out in public, but that is a small number of people who use the term childfree its not all of us who use it, some of us are infertile and have come to terms with not being able to be parents so have tried to embrace the childfree side of things, or some of us have known for years that being a parents isn’t right for us so made the choice not to have them by any means possible, then there are those of us who though happen stance of life just never found the partner to have a child with or that said partner already had children who are grown or just themselves couldn’t have them.
What gets my goat at times is the comments that we must hate or dislike our parents for brining us into this world if we wish not to be parents ourselves, well I know a few people who this might well be the reason they at childfree, but for the main part I can’t say that this is the case that I’ve seen or heard from those I’ve talked with (at least within my local community), some of us love our folks we just lack the drive or need to be a parent which has no reflection on our parents or how we where brought up. I few people I know had to actually raise children of other family members and that in and of itself put them off in having their own children (which is in part my husbands case).
My folks where childless, they wonted to become parents and they tried for a number of years and even tried to adopt a child (which fell though at the last moment) they finally had given up and said if it happens it happens if not so be it they will make the best of life has been given to them. Several years later mom gets the news that I’m on the way but do to her age it might not be a valid pregnancy so she might have to terminate it if things don’t go well, but the fates smiles on my folks and I was born but unfortunately as some would see it the fates played that cruel joke on them making me unable to have a child myself and having me with a lack of interest in being a parent to boot (which to me isn’t a bad thing, but for them it was hard to hear as they had wished to be grandparents at some point in their lives – though that has changed over the years to being glad that they aren’t or so my mom says to me time and time again).
So for me I see it as we all make a choice in life, some of those choices are not very popular with those around us or the world in general, but we have made a choice, just like someone who has made the choice to have a child, bring it into this world and to keep it and to raise it. Being a Parent is a Choice, being Childfree for most is also a Choice. One can argue semantics to the cows come home and beyond, it doesn’t change the fact that some people will view things one way while other’s will view it in a different light – its just how things are on this planet at least how it does seem to me.