THINK BEFORE YOU BREED — NYTimeshttp://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/think-before-you-breed/
As a young woman in my 20s I pondered whether or not to have children. Is there a way, I wondered, to decide thoughtfully rather than carelessly about this most momentous of human choices? Having children has impact far beyond the family circle.
It’s a tough decision because you can’t know ahead of time what sort of child you will have or what it will be like to be a parent. You can’t understand what is good or what is hard about the process of creating and rearing until after you have the child. And the choice to have a child is a decision to change your life forever. It’s irreversible, and therefore, compared to reversible life choices about education, work, geographical location or romance, it has much greater ethical importance. Choosing whether or not to procreate may not seem like the sort of decision that is deserving or even capable of analysis. The Canadian novelist Margaret Laurence wrote, “I don’t really feel I have to analyze my own motives in wanting children. For my own reassurance? For fun? For ego-satisfaction? No matter. It’s like (to me) asking why you want to write. Who cares? You have to, and that’s that.” In fact, people are still expected to provide reasons not to have children, but no reasons are required to have them. It’s assumed that if individuals do not have children it is because they are infertile, too selfish or have just not yet gotten around to it. In any case, they owe their interlocutor an explanation. On the other hand, no one says to the proud parents of a newborn, Why did you choose to have that child? What are your reasons? The choice to procreate is not regarded as needing any thought or justification. Nonetheless, I think Laurence’s “Who cares?” attitude is mistaken.
Think Before You Breed - NYTimes.com
An excellent article. (via thoughtfulcynic)
As a 26yr old married woman, I’m constantly questioned about my stern decision not to have children and it is often passed off with a comment like “oh, you’ll change your mind.”
I may never change my mind about having kids, but I definitely hope that once you have children, you don’t change your mind about wanting them.
I have never actually put too much thought into it before…
…the reaction I get when I tell people that I don’t want children.
It’s constantly a remark that suggests I am too young to know or haven’t quite figured it out yet. When people that don’t know me say things like “you’ll change your mind,” I forgive it slightly easier. Even though it is terribly presumptuous to assume that someone you barely (or dont) know is uncertain or easily swayed when it comes to massive life decisions, I understand that life does sometimes seem to steer even the most straight-lined folk off course. However, for those friends and family members who insist on arguing with me about a choice of my own that I have made a great deal ago, they really have no idea what they are getting into.
I am now twenty-six, have been happily married for eighteen months to a man that I’ve been with for four years and my mind had been made up long before I met him. Luckily, we found out instantly that he feels the same way I do. And while peers of mine were raising families, now with children almost old enough to be considered teenagers, it occured to me that not only had I seemed to be late to the party (and thankfully I was never invited to the 16&Preggo bash), but I realized that I was lacking one thing in particular that all of my girlfriends shared-a maternal clock. Never have I felt that bug or itch to procreate. In fact, the thought of motherhood scared the shit out of me and children actually seemed repulsive.
Like I was born with a vagina because my purpose in life is to bear children. If you are religious, you would say that’s what God has planned for you. However, the reality is, is that I just happened to be conceived when (I’m almost certain) my parent’s were not trying. I was also, coincidentally, created with two X-chromosomes. Last time I checked, this did not automatically qualify me for motherhood. Perhaps if we were still Neanderthals, survived only on primary instincts and needed to procreate to ensure our specie’s protection and relevance, I would follow suit. But we have evolved so greatly that it seems prehistoric to always be living a life for someone else…creating more humans to leave our legacy. Call me selfish or call me nihilistic, but dare anyone say that I am uncertain in my motives or that my mind can change on a dime. I am absolutely positive that I do not want to bring anyone else into an over-populated world in which a whopping 30% is unemployed. I may be viewed as selfish for wanting to live my life for myself and my dreams, but I think that it’s selfish to spout off children in double digits. I think it’s selfish to not use birth control responsibly. I think it’s fucking selfish to take the choice away from women to abort rape-generated fetuses or fatal pregnancies or even cauterize fallopian tubes if a woman wants to avoid this in the first place.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with having babies. It’s your right to bear children! I give credit to anyone who does and I would never try to convince someone that they would change their mind about having them-so I don’t understand why it’s so easy for someone to tell me that I’ll change mine about the reverse.
And plus, I don’t want to get fat or ruin my vagina…and you can’t take babies on a tour van.