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POLL: Childfree by Choice Couples: Sensible or Selfish?


As DINKs, we’re all childfree, for now. Some of us will eventually decide to leave the childfree lifestyle and start families. But others will choose to remain childfree. This brings up the question: Are childfree by choice couples sensible? Or are they selfish?

POLL: Childfree by Choice Couples: Sensible or Selfish?
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John and Katie sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love. Next comes marriage. Then comes a baby in a baby carriage. 

From the time that we are Kindergartners on the playground, we’re taught that the natural order of human relationships proceeds as follows: love, marriage, babies.

As DINKs, we’ve got the love part down. And many of us have even moved on to marriage. But the baby carriage? Well, we’ve all put that part of this little childhood taunt on hold, at least for now. Some of us will eventually decide to leave the childfree lifestyle behind and pick up that baby carriage. But there are others of us who will choose to remain childfree.

This choice is often met with misunderstanding and criticism. Many critics would argue that the purpose of our lives is to bring new life into the world. Otherwise, how would we survive as a species? They believe that childfree by choice couples are simply selfish – more concerned about their careers or their freedom than about contributing to society.

On the other hand, some childfree by choice supporters would argue that having children doesn’t exactly contribute anything to society. It only adds to the problems of overpopulation, pollution, and depletion of non-renewable resources. They would argue that childfree by choice couples are making a rational, sensible choice.

This brings up the question: Are childfree by choice couples sensible? Or are they selfish?

Selfish

Many critics of childfree by choice couples believe that having children is the ultimate act of selflessness. Parents (the good ones at least) daily deny their own needs in order to serve the good of their children. They sacrifice unquestioningly. They love unconditionally. They give up their freedom, their time, their money to bring these little beings into the world.

These critics believe that raising up children to become productive members of society is the most important work people will ever do. It’s the most meaningful contribution anyone can make to society. Therefore, those who choose not to become parents are simply too self-centered for the job. They care more about their careers, their hobbies, and their social lives than they do about bettering the world. And that, they say, is just plain selfish.

Sensible

On the other hand, supporters of childfree by choice couples argue that choosing not to have children is no more selfish than choosing to have them. In fact, choosing parenthood may be the more selfish choice in light of the issues of overpopulation, pollution, and the depletion of natural resources. After all, don’t most people become parents because they want to become parents, because they believe that children will bring them joy?

Childfree by choice couples believe that they should be allowed to follow their own joy, even if it means breaking the love, marriage, baby carriage rule. Moreover, if a person recognizes that they don’t have the parenting gene and, therefore, decides not to raise a child in those un-ideal circumstances, doesn’t that actually make them unselfish?

To Each His Own

Childfree by choice couples: Are they sensible or selfish? Perhaps the best answer to the question is really no answer at all. Shouldn’t every couple be able to make their own decisions about children without fear of criticism?

Let us know what you think! Sound off in the poll below.

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COMMENTS:

Yes, everyone makes their choices for different reasons. And I believe all people - DINKs and parents alike - shouldn't be criticized for doing what they feel is best for them.

Hi, I wanted kids when I was younger, but then when I got older, I met a man who swept me off my feet and loves me for me, and I didn't have to have kids to prove anything to him. He loves me for me and I feel fortunate to have. He didn't want kids. I also have several reasons for not having children. Serious negative family issues come into play. I have over come those, so I don't mind sharing. I also have a partial hearing loss which does affect my daily life to a degree. Just a couple of factors that I can mention. So I feel I made the right decision not to have children to keep them from harms way. I had to figure out how to keep myself from family negativity. My immediate family, mostly great, but no way could I expect anything from certain relatives. My own Mom was the best I could ask for, but she didn't get much help with us kids kinda deal. So it is what it is. Child free couples deserve to live their lives in peace. That's what I wish.

I wanted kids when I was in my 20's. That wore off in my 30's and now I'm so glad I don't have kids. Lots of factors go into the decision "to have" or "not to have" kids but the bottom line is - different strokes for different folks.

Mmm yeah how many children take care of their parents?
Deposit them at the old folks home..
We all die alone.
Anyhow these breeders and the freak show they have created may out live their little darlings..
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03...

Overpopulation is a myth.
I propose that having children is a form of super selfishness..
Many of these folks want to live on through their children.
I find many folks with children to be self/child obsessed.. they have no time, money, energy or interest in much but their children.

There are too many people on the planet already and too many people having children that don't qualify as good parents.

I have children...and my reasons for having them are not because I want someone to take care of me or to populate the world....I LOVE KIDS, I feel I have a lot to offer them and a lot of love to give them. I love being a parent (most days). Children learn from their environment, from the people closest to them, so if someone has a bloodsucking inheritance seeking offspring, its because thats the environment they grow up in. Not making excuses because everyone has the ability to overcome, I'm just saying. With that being said...I believe that everyone should have at least two (only because having one is way too easy). However, and most importantly, I also believe to each their own...like I said, I LOVE CHILDREN...and although my children, take my time, money and dedication, they more than make up for that sacrifice I made. I get to see the world anew all over again. Its amazing to get excited over a butterfly. They keep me young and fit. But, heres the kicker, I chose them....they didn't choose me. I chose that responsibility for myself (and not for population or loneliness or any of that other BS)...I sometimes want to pull my hair out and strangle the little shits, but all in all, having them is an extreme blessing, for me! If you choose not to have children that is your choice, selfish or not. Having children is my choice, selfish or not. To bring another life into this world is not a light subject. That person has to be willing and wanting to sacrifice for the new life they bring into this world, its not easy, sometimes I look back and wonder if I should have not had children. It would have been easier and I sure as hell would have had more money and time for myself, hobbies and friends. But, then I look at them and remember the excitement they have brought to my life and my families life. I don't blame those that chose not to have children but I do resent some of the comment posted about parents and children...(Bloodsucking offspring)...I hate to tell you this but children like that come from rich, well-to-do families. Not normal lower middle-class families. Dinks don't want to be criticized for their choices, well parent's don't want to be criticized for theirs either especially when those critics don't have all the facts. Please people, can't we all play nice here without criticizing anyone for their choice...come on now...pro-choice.

I just don't like children, and I hate all the fixtures and fittings that not only come with them - but what they demand as they get older. Surely it would be more selfish of me to have a child I don't actually want and will resent - than to not have one at all. As for those that have kids to ensure they will have care-givers in the future ... give me a trained nurse over a bloodsucking inheritance chasing offspring anyday!

I'm amazed how many people with children tell me that they had children so that they will have someone to take care of them when they are old. How selfish is that??

Depends on your reasons! Most reasons people give for having children are incredibly selfish and far from sensible. My reasons for not having children are simply that I was born without the desire to have children. If someone wants to call that selfish they should go buy a dictionary.

Still I believe the best thing for future humans is that we gradually lower the population to a sustainable level. Current parents are simply ensuring that their children and their grandchildren suffer more than they have long after they themselves are gone. I just could not do that to another human being.

I'm not a narcissist, I have no need to be recognised as leaving a legacy, I'm happy to help those less fortunate while I am on this earth (something I couldn't do as effectively if I had children of my own to look after) but I don't need my work to be recognised in the long term, it's enough that I know people are being helped.

I guess I'm just not self-centred, unlike some of the people who want to leave a legacy or ensure that part of themselves continues on through future generations.

I think voluntary lifelong childlessness is shortsighted rather than selfish. Will you still feel free and fulfilled when you're 60 and 70 and 80 and the family around you is your spouse and possibly your sibling's family? It seems lonely. How will you leave a legacy? To whom will you impart the most important treasure of yourself? I know that you can invest in others, but the bond will never be the one of intimacy shared between parent and child. And to over population - the only group that keeps American population from collapsing is the ever expanding hispanic community - many who are not legal citizens. Throughout history, every civilization that dropped below 2.8 percent reproduction denegrated in a generation or two. So DINKs - those of us with education, support and resources are the population that SHOULD be growing - populating and influencing culture and society.

Selfish means to deprive someone of something. Whom are we depriving? People not yet born? We're more generous than those with children!

Considering that most parents tell me I should have kids so that I can have someone take care of me when I get old, I like to think I'm being sensible. Parents seem to have kids just to have "maids" when they are old, even though is more likely the kids will grow up to live their own lives and put the parents in a retirement home. I think that parents are being more selfish. Meanwhile, I'm saving for retirement, enjoying my life, and not expecting anybody to take care of me unless is a paid employee with my own retirement money.

Definitely sensible! Especially for couples who wait to have kids until they are truly ready, and are able to give more of their time, focus and energy to their children. And it allows couples to truly grow and connect, to build a strong relationship before throwing a little person into the mix. Arguably doing so could reduce the chance of divorce, and improve the odds for the kids to grow up in a stable, happy home.

Right now I'm selfish and I'll own it. I know what I want today and I'm living it. We'll have kids later when the time is right for us. 

OK. You got me. I think we are a bit selfish at times... but that's OK! We love our freedom.

It depends on the couple and their personal motivations. I like to believe we are sensible.

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