After my gripe on this week’s Whiny Wednesday, I came across this post on the excellent Childless By Choice Project blog. It chronicled the backlash of criticism after Slate’s Dear Prudence suggested to a newly married couple that they rethink their decision to not have chidren rather than suggesting how to deal with the people who keep hounding them about their choice.
When I recently told my OB/GYN that we had decided not to pursue fertility treatments and to remain childless instead, she told me that it wasn’t too late for me and that her friend had just had a baby at 45. Do people really not hear us when we tell them about the decisions we’ve agonized over? Do they not give us credit for having weighed the options and made the right decision for us, not them, not the future of the human race?
One reader, who has three children said:
Having said all that, people should (or should not) have children because it’s what they want to do, not because of the expectations of others.
People who choose not to have children have just as much right to that choice and the right not to be harassed by anyone, including parents and grandparents.
Amen! But another reader had this to say:
We are past that age where people are expecting us to have children. However, we still get people who think we will regret our decision, so at any age the decision to remain childfree is challenged or not seen as viable.
If we can’t change people’s point-of-view, or their need to express their opinions on how we choose to live our lives, maybe all we can do is go out into the world armed with an arsenal of snarky comebacks. It’s just a suggestion.