A recent thread in the Married No Kids forum compared the child free community with hate groups like the KKK. This got my dander up.
True, there are those among us who actually dislike children. Contrary to the belief of some of my friends and family, I do not see myself in this group.
I am more of the “children make me a nervous wreck” type myself. I have no idea why they have this affect on me, but they do. I can’t tell you how ridiculous I feel when I am around small children and their parents make me hold them, talk to them, etc. I have no clue how to act. It sounds silly to people who regularly oogle children, but I would be less nervous meeting the Queen of England.
The other thing that bothers me about children is the noise. My husband and I live very quiet lives. We listen to classical music while whipping up a frittata for breakfast as we read the Sunday paper. We enjoy candlelight, a (relatively) clean home, and breakables within my reach (I am not quite 5 feet tall). These are all things that would cease if children dwelled in our home.
While I represent the kind of person who actually, I suppose, fears children, other members of the child free community sincerely love them. Some even work directly with kids as teachers, coaches, volunteers, etc. They have just decided not to have kids of their own. These people often hear “But you would make such wonderful parents!” People simply can’t understand how you can like children, but AT THE SAME TIME not want to be a parent.
Simply put, this type of child free person likes to give children back to their parents as much as they enjoy the children themselves.
Some people have outlined their priorities in life, and children don’t make the list. They’d rather be traveling, building a career, sleeping in on Saturdays. Others know they don’t have the money, patience, stamina, etc. that parenting requires. Some think the idea of being pregnant is just plain icky.
As for the child haters among us, they are entitled to their opinion too. As much as these people rant on message boards, I have never seen or heard an appeal to rid the world of children. Any comparison to the KKK or Nazis is simply preposterous. Those groups seek to eliminate an entire group of people through the use of violence. That is NOT what being child free is about at all.
Being child free is NOT a movement or a crusade. We are not seeking converts and brainwashing them into joining our cult. We do not want nor expect the world to think like us. We know if no one had any more children, the human race would become extinct. (By the way, we are not in danger of this.)
What I want as a member of the child free community – and as the editor of Married No Kids -- is acceptance that my decision is mine to make, and that the way I live my life is really no one else’s business.