Dr Krupka defines childfree by choice as a woman making a conscious decision that she doesn't want to have her own children.
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And rather than it being about cost, ruining your body or the fact having kids can be a rough gig, Dr Krupka says women are turned off by the ridiculous standards around motherhood. Research shows women's reasons for choosing not to have children are multifaceted and complex. Overpopulation and climate change , a lacking maternal instinct, health concerns and a desire for independence and freedom are just a few.
Caroline Epskamp is 48 and says she's never felt maternal. And her husband of 22 years didn't have a strong opinion either way.
Melbourne writer Gemma, 40, says the choice not to be a parent was made with her mental health in mind. Whatever the reason, the research shows most women who choose a childfree life are confident in their decision. Tory says she's been made to feel like if you don't use your womb, "you're not really a woman". Caroline says there is "stunned silence" when correcting people who assume she has kids.
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Another woman Ladies, We Need to Talk spoke to put it as: "I would love it if people wouldn't see it as something you lack … [but rather] as something that embraces other things. Women without kids don't just face judgement and scrutiny, they can be socially excluded too — and not just during the 'childbearing years'. That can be in small ways like being excluded from conversations, or bigger ways like not being invited to a kid's birthday party, explains Dr Krupka.
It continues throughout life, to the point women are expected to not just be mothers, but grandmothers too.
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I don't have any. End of conversation. Jess says the best thing about being childfree is "not having to think about anyone else in terms of choices that I make with my life being spontaneous.
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Being true to myself". No bottoms to wipe," says Caroline.
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But just how free that choice actually is, when much of society still expects women to choose to be mothers, is something worth considering. ABC Life helps you navigate life's challenges and choices so you can stay on top of the things that matter to you. It's known to end conversations, leaving behind confused blank faces and dropped jaws. Especially when coming from a woman. Daum said. Still, she cautioned against attributing too much of the recent surge in childlessness by choice to societal trends. A few contributors to her anthology do, nevertheless, chalk up some of their misgivings to Park Slope-ish fads that seem intent on creating a generation of Stepford moms.
Both descriptions reflect a few of the ways parenting at least in this rarefied socioeconomic milieu has evolved since the s into a competitive and consumerist sport. Partly as a result of this overextension, the culture has begun representing parenting as a less-than-satisfying occupation.
The news media periodically trot out articles about how parents are unhappier than their childless counterparts. The debatable postulation is often traced back to an influential study in which working mothers ranked child care the second-most-negative activity on a list of 16 rated less negatively were commuting and housework. Child care, of course, is just one aspect of parenthood, albeit a significant part, and the mothers were polled on workdays, which likely increased their exhaustion and hostility toward their children.
Yet other research followed that has, if not debunked claims of the misery of parenting, then at least made them more nuanced. So while the long-held opinion that having children is the key to a fulfilling life may, indeed, be true for most people, contemporary popular culture habitually indicates otherwise.
And the children in these offerings are repeatedly depicted as the bratty, tyrannical rulers of their enslaved progenitors.
In a previous time, that statement would have been spoken in a whisper to evade censure. Dyer, pointing to families typically own larger cars and use up more resources. His assertion is backed up by some studies showing that childless adults volunteer more for their community. In addition, their interest in leaving behind a better world has nothing to do with their own genetic line but with humanity itself.