More and more people these days are becoming childfree by choice, in turn celebrating time, freedom, and opportunities they have reserved for themselves. Meanwhile, economists have pointed to the fact that the fertility rate has fallen every year since 2007, as the Great Recession made millennials put off child-rearing for years.
But in order to get a glimpse of what childfree life is really like, you have to look at what people who opt out of having babies have to say about it. So we looked at the corner of Reddit “Childfree,” which is a place for discussion of the childfree lifestyle.
With a whopping 1.4M members, it surely has a lot to say on this matter, so let’s see some arguments on living with no kids right below. Also, after you’re done, be sure to check out part 1 of the post right here.
To find out what people who choose not to have kids have to say about the childfree lifestyle, Bored Panda reached out to Amy Blackstone, professor of sociology at the University of Maine and the author of “Childlfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family & Creating a New Age of Independence.”
When asked if such a lifestyle is getting more popular nowadays, which it certainly feels like it, Amy said that it’s certainly more popular “in the sense that more people are aware of it as an option than ever before.”
According to the professor and book author, “That is largely thanks to the willingness of childfree people to speak out about their choice and of course to the decades-long work of reproductive justice advocates. Whether more people than in the past will ultimately remain childfree for their lifetimes remains to be seen.”
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“Certainly more millennials are currently childfree than were previous generations at their age, but there hasn't been a dramatic increase in lifetime childlessness,” she said and added that only “time will tell whether today's millennials are opting out of parenthood altogether or simply delaying it.”
There's a common misconception that parenthood defines us unlike anything else. Amy said that there are “good reasons that this misconception is so common. Almost from the moment we are born, we are taught that becoming a parent is one of the most important milestones of adulthood. For this reason, it makes sense that folks might think that parenthood is the be all, end all experience.”
However, “we know from all kinds of social science research that having kids is not required for living a complete, happy, and fulfilling life,” the professor explained and recommended everyone looking for the answers to read her illuminating book “Childfree By Choice.”
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It’s hard to say whether opting not to have kids will stay popular with future generations. According to Amy, “it depends on what we mean by 'popular' but if what you're referring to is whether the idea that having—or not having—children is a choice, I'd say that yes, our awareness of that reality will continue to grow.”
It’s just that more and more people are speaking out about their choice not to have kids. “And thanks to their bravery in speaking out, we now know that parenthood is simply one of many paths available to us,” she concluded.