This is why I choose to be childfree

Image by Madalin Calita from Pixabay

In as much as I like to say that I am open to talking about anything (which I am, don’t get me wrong) there is not a lot that I share voluntarily. Sure, I will if you ask me but you don’t, I mean 🤷🏽‍♀ ️

Marriage and children is one of them — because here in Sri Lanka that’s the most logical ways these things happen. I’m not exaggerating but even the local birth control variant handed out by the Family Planning Association speaks of delaying the “birth of your firstborn…”

But here is the thing about children. I honestly do adore children with all my heart. Especially little girls— two of my closest have two beautiful daughters who have stolen my tiny piece of a heart — probably because my sister and I were also raised by a single mum. But looking at the way of the world as we see it today; where I have come to in life and of course, a few relationships that included an emotionally abusive one and a long-term-no-objective one (two separate ones for those familiar) have made me not want children. And no, for those already assuming that I’ve made decisions made due to past experiences, please don’t take away my own individual moment to shine?

And I’m not going to lie. The discussion is a difficult one. In my late 20s now it’s a normal topic, to speak of children, marriage — first or second. Not many *takes out South Asian female card* speak of travel (lol, 2020) or investments in this alley. Maybe I need to find a new alley.

However, this conversation around being childfree is one that has been popping up on many of our social media channels, probably because the content that The Guardian has been putting out.

Also, can we please take a moment to appreciate the change in terminology to ‘childfree’ and not ‘childless’ being the norm now? I read somewhere about how the phrase/word ‘childfree’ often positions the decision as a choice as opposed to it being an ultimatum, which is the case for most women. And for those reading and probably triggered, please don’t come at me because we are leaving the conversation of fertility at the door.

I think there are a few more of it, but this was one of the videos from The Guardian that is a part of the campaign.

So like in the case of the video, here are a few reasons why it’s important for me to be childfree.

Okay, I’m not going to lie, it’s also not only limited to those from the Global South but for as long as we can remember, decisions have either been made for us or we weren’t permitted to do certain things because of our gender. For me, it was mostly the latter. And while I love being a woman and everything that comes with it — also must add that I’m not very rebellious either — this is the only way I could ever challenge something I was supposed to do.

True enough I enjoy the freedom I have, being able to take off on a ten-day trek with some amount of savings because I just wanted a break, but this is not me being selfish for not wanting to reproduce, it’s just me trying to do something that wasn’t predestined for me. Ew.

Please stop shaming women into thinking that their decisions are selfish and not in the best interest of the future. I like how you think that the future of civilisation lies in the hands of women when the future of women were never theirs to begin with.

Speaking of reproduction, here we are in July 2020. Have you seen the state of the fucking world? It’s awful. How do you NOT be that helicopter parent? Also, this access to excess information, parenting styles, what’s right/wrong etc is a bit overbearing, I’m not going to lie. We can no longer go full Mowgli on our (unborn) children and hope that they turn out to be kind to others.

Continuing that train of thought of this world being a terrible place, how do we know what the future holds, especially now more than ever? How long am I supposed to work/provide for — especially in South Asian households where children never leave (me) and unmarried female children (me) are considered a responsibility (burden). Moreover, probably being raised in a single-parent household, how can I say for certain that my partner will be there with me till the end? For those wondering why we need a partner, the process for single women to either adopt or have children through assisted reproductive technology is a very tricky one. Also, in case you forgot already, women here can’t have children unless they are married.

And finally the dreaded one. I’ve always been very doubtful of my capabilities in a romantic relationship. One of the exes even once told me that I don’t know to ‘love’. Haha, so true. I learnt later in life that our love languages were not in the least compatible (terrible). But yes, while I do agree that my love for children being that of a new degree that I’ll never be able to experience with this sort of mindset, your girl is not taking chances. Life is too much of a surprise anyway that I think I’ll like to only be responsible for myself at the moment.

So here’s to more adventures I guess?

PS — for those saying (unfortunately more women than men) that I’ll change my mind when I’m older or when I find the ‘right one’ (ew), I won’t. Just to defy you even, I probably will ensure that I don’t. Also, it’s 2020, Karen. Most decisions can be unmade now.


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