Guest Author - Previous BellaOnline Editor
Main Entry: self·ish
1. concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
2. arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others
– From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Every now and then I get flamed by someone who doesn’t know me at all but “stumbled upon this website” and feels the need to tell me that I am selfish for not wanting kids.
I am totally perplexed by this assessment of my choice to be child free!
Recently someone went as far as to write, “Wonder where you would have been if your mother had thought like you. Maybe the world would have been spared another selfish and self serving individual.”
I take it all in stride, because I am secure in my decision, and my husband and I are in agreement about it, so the opinion of total strangers is pretty irrelevant in my life.
But it does make me wonder what the heck they are talking about.
Being selfish is a personality trait that does NOT automatically correspond with someone’s desire to have a family. There are selfish parents, teenagers, adults, children, AND child free people out there.
When people tell me I am selfish for not wanting kids, it just doesn’t jive with the reality of my life. I spend a lot of money on my niece and nephew, and the children of all of my friends. I give to lots of charitable causes. I volunteer. I am a good person with lots of friends and a wonderful relationship with my husband.
I don’t think that goes with the definition of selfish. Do you?
The bottom line is very few people who have children can comprehend our decision not to. They feel the need to lash out at us, sometimes ruining friendships and relationships with family members.
Remember, you can’t change other people. The only thing you truly have control over is yourself.
And the ability to hit the delete key when someone sends you a mean spirited email.