Being Judged For Not Having Children

I admit it.. I have another big pet peeve: people who label those of us without children as selfish.  After seeing a post on Facebook a little while ago that labeled someone else without children as selfish, I thought I would write a blog post about it.

 

Many people quickly judge people without children.  I’ve been called selfish, immature, told “the reason you don’t want kids is because of your mother” & also told I’d regret not having children one day.  None of that is even close to the truth, as is so often the case with those without children.

 

Some things to consider before judging are…

 

  • Maybe a person doesn’t have children because either she or her mate are infertile.  Infertility is an extremely painful thing for couples to experience.  It’s especially cruel to judge & criticize these people for not having children!  You’re plunging a knife into their hearts when you do that!
  • Some people don’t have children because they grew up in a dysfunctional environment & realize they don’t know how to be good parents.  If you grew up in an abusive or at least dysfunctional home, it’s hard to know how to be a good parent!  How is it selfish for someone who doesn’t know what it takes to be a good parent not to have children?
  • Some people always have felt more comfortable in the company of adults.  That is also me.  I preferred the company of adults, even as a child.  There are  a surprising number of people like me.
  • Not everyone can relate to children.  Some people who may not have spent a lot of time around children when they were growing up or were the youngest in their families may not be able to relate well to children due to not a great deal of experience around them.
  • Not wanting children doesn’t mean a person hates them.  A common belief for those of us without children is that we hate kids.  Sadly, some folks do feel that way.  That isn’t always the case though.  Personally, I don’t hate kids.  I just can’t understand them well.  Big difference between that & hating kids.
  • And, people who don’t want kids aren’t selfish!  We have given this serious consideration before coming to the decision not to have kids.  Another common misconception of childless folks is we’re just selfish jerks.  Nope.  We have given the topic of children a LOT of thought!  I even tried talking myself into wanting kids several times in my life, but it never felt right even as I said I wanted kids or dated men who wanted them.

 

If you speak with someone who doesn’t have children, please consider the things I’ve said & don’t judge or criticize them.  Everyone has different callings on their life.  Not every person feels called to be a parent.

34 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

34 responses to “Being Judged For Not Having Children

  1. HopeGlenn

    Thank you for your articles. I learn much from them. I have one comment about an earlier article you wrote.
    I loved how you spoke about praying for our enemies. I agree and you also helped me see that we should in praying for our enemies not just be wishing them a walk down merry lane. We should be asking for that they get the works of their hands.
    Yet what hit me was this. Because I have been programmed to always think of others. I must first pray for myself. I must learn to beseech God for me. I must seek for God to hear this voice and then I can pray for my enemies. If I cannot pray for me, then I cannot pray for another.
    Thank you and I look forward to your blog posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂

      You made an excellent point.. we should pray for ourselves, not just others. Thinking of others first is a wonderful thing when done in balance, but it really is easy to get out of balance when you were raised by narcissists who trained you never to think of yourself.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have always had the utmost respect for those who know that they wouldn’t be able to devote themselves in every way to a child and choose, often despite intense pressure, not to bring a child into the world. That isn’t selfish but wise, compassionate, and courageous. Every child deserves to be loved unconditionally and cared for in every way they need to be. There are already too many children born to parents who can’t or won’t do that. The children suffer and so do those around them, including their future spouses and children.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Suzanne! I wish more people thought that way! My word, I can’t even count how many people have been just hateful to me for not having kids when I know in my heart it would’ve been a terrible mistake! I’m sure no one can prepare 100% for parenting, but even so, if you are well aware of your shortcomings & inability to devote yourself to a child as that child would need, why should you have children?! It doesn’t make sense! I wouldn’t adopt a horse because although I really love horses, I know I couldn’t handle having one. No one criticizes that decision. Why is it different with children?

      Liked by 2 people

      • HopeGlenn

        Both of you, such great words. I had 7 children. Three are gone now at the hands of the abuser and the 4 surviving are under his thumb and as abusive as he is and having children. They abuse their partners/ spouse and children as the abuser did to me.
        I had no real choice in it. I spent my marriage being raped. It is hard to say what feelings I have for my children. After 11 years of direct abuse from my sons I now say…my children have died. Those children living are not me. I used to believe that because my children acted in evil, and they came from me that I must be evil. It was one of the many ways the abuser justified the abuse. Do not believe that now.
        I wonder why there are not many if any articles about the true reality of what happens to the relationship and destruction of if by the abuser. I understand this is a touchy subject, yet it is a huge reality for many mothers and fathers.
        Mg children think it is best that I am homeless, starving and being raped by anyone who will do the job because I will not submit to their father.
        Just 2 days ago I had my car stolen by the abuser and with the help of my sons. You see I was doing too good away from them.
        Like I said this is touchy but needs to be spoken about. It is a reality for many many many victims.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My heart goes out to you! As if an abusive spouse wasn’t enough to endure. I’m so very sorry for what you’ve experienced!

          Have you thought about writing a book on that topic? You certainly have a lot of experience. People could benefit from reading your story & it might help you to write it out. Writing can be very cathartic

          Liked by 1 person

          • HopeGlenn

            I have thought a great deal about it. It would aid in this healing journey. I wonder sometimes if people just pause and say…”how is this my life”?
            And adding onto the personal note about people in your business…it would be hard having “others” know your biz and give their opinion.
            Yet how much voice it would give to those who have no voice.
            Thank you…I feel pen and paper calling..

            Liked by 2 people

        • I’m so sorry that you have suffered, and are suffering, at the hands of your abusers. Abuse is always terrible, but it must be so much worse coming from the ones you brought into the world. My heart is broken for you. And I have prayed that God will protect and provide for you.

          Liked by 2 people

        • ibikenyc

          Of course I don’t “like” your story. Please consider it a cyber-hug.

          I wish I could do or say ANYTHING to make you feel better, or ease your pain, or give you an answer, or ANYthing meaningful.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Being Judged For Not Having Children – The Militant Negro™

  4. I wonder, why does it matter to anyone whether or not others have children in their lives? Personal decisions should not concern others, unless those choices affect them. People should not be putting their noses in places they do not belong.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’ve never understood that myself. You’d think personal decisions would be just that- personal.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I can understand that a parent would want grandchildren, but anyone outside of the family has no personal stake in the decision and should butt out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Agreed, although even then, still the choice really is not up to them. My ex husband’s mom was awesome in this area. My ex hated kids. Didn’t just not want them- absolutely HATED kids (should’ve been a red flag for me but I was young & very stupid, obviously). She said to me once she’d love to have grandkids but was ok with us not having kids. There are places to volunteer with kids, so if she wanted to be a grandma, she could do that & be someone’s adopted grandma. 🙂 I hope she did- she would’ve made a wonderful grandma!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. ibikenyc

    I knew, somehow, in my TEENS that I did not want children, although I didn’t know REALLY why.

    That is one decision I have never regretted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As someone who has children, I can’t understand this attitude AT ALL. Even people who love children should understand that the 24/7 responsibility can easily overload a person. I love children, my own and other people’s, but I can completely understand not wanting to have children of one’s own. It’s CERTAINLY not selfish to put one’s energy into other pursuits.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Everyone has a right to make their own choices. X

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wonderfully put! Thank you. I was 11 when I announced I wasn’t going to have kids – there hasn’t been a second of any minute of any hour of any day where I felt differently.

    Because I knew the reason why I decided that.

    So I could be a 100% sure Id never made my child feel – even by accident… the way I’d been made to feel by my own “mother” – on purpose.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you!

      Makes perfect sense to me! It’s also not selfish at all to want to avoid damaging your potential child or children. It’s just logical, I think- if you know beyond a doubt you won’t be very good at something, & it can hurt someone, why do that thing?

      Liked by 3 people

    • ibikenyc

      I was in my early teens when it dawned on me that I DID NOT WANT any kids.

      The ENTIRE rest of the world told me, “Oh; you’re young yet; you’ll change your mind!”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post and wonderfully honest. I have never had kids, it’s too late now and I don’t regret it but many people tell me I should, that I’ve missed out on something that will somehow complete me. It’s almost as thought there is a motherhood club and non-members are somehow pitied by those who belong……

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to thetwistedchimney Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s