5 Things To Understand About Childfree Couples
By Chloe Bennet
You may have friends who don’t have children. It may be that they are the only ones among a crowd of other couples that do. For that reason they may be the odd-one-out, and you’ve always wondered why they would choose not to have kids when everyone else around them has them. Have you ever considered these five points that your childfree friends might want you to understand?
It may be a conscious decision.
Just because you wanted kids, it doesn’t mean everybody does. We are all different, with different goals, ambitions and desires from life. Just because your friends don’t have kids, it doesn’t mean that they have a medical problem that is preventing them from doing so (although indeed they might, and this will be a situation that required an even greater of sensitivity). However, if it is a conscious decision, respect it as you would any other decision that someone makes that would not necessarily be yours.
They don’t want to hear you talk about your kids all the time.
As your friends, they will be interested to hear what’s going on in your life, but that doesn’t mean they want every gruesome detail about little Sarah’s diapers, for example. When you are with friends who have kids, it’s normal that conversations might centre around shared experiences, but if there is a couple in your midst that is not sharing those experiences, use your level of empathy to understand that you are therefore excluding them from a certain topic of conversation. It’s just polite not to do that.
Work/life balance is tough for them too.
Yes, being a parent and having a full-time job is no picnic. But just because you have kids, it does not make your time outside of work more valuable than others. It is disrespectful to think that a colleague is better paced to work overtime than you because they don’t have kids. Leisure time is important for everyone from a wellbeing perspective, so never assume that your friends aren’t suffering from the same issues as you from a work/life balance perspective.
They feel pressured by society.
Grandparent guilt, being judged by friends and colleagues…these are all a reality for your friends who don’t have children, and it can be especially difficult for women, who in many societies are expected to have children. Going against the grain can be a hard choice that leaves you feeling on the outside and sometimes guilty. Understand this and don’t be someone who judges and further exacerbates this sense of ostracization that your friends may feel. It’s bad enough that everyone else is staring, so as a friend, why are you doing it too?
“Your friends are not ashamed of the decision they have made, but that is how society tries to make them feel. As a friend you should be making them feel more comfortable, not less so, about their choice,” argues Damien Lee, a relationship blogger at Essay Writer and OxEssays.
They are not selfish.
It is true that a lot of parents see themselves as selfless, because there are times when being a parent seems to be all work and very little reward. Of course, you look to the long term, but just because you are surviving on little sleep and are pulling your hair out at mealtimes, it doesn’t make you a martyr. And it doesn’t make those people who have decided not to have children selfish, either. Not having kids, if indeed it was a choice, can be a really difficult decision for a couple to make, and you can be sure that they didn’t choose it lightly, just as you didn’t rush into having kids yourself.
“Have you ever considered that it may have been the most unselfish thing to do to not have kids if you believe yourself to be not cut out for parenthood, or have decided to dedicate your life to some other pursuit that can be equally rewarding and helpful to others? Just don’t judge,” says Melinda Sibierski, a journalist at AustralianHelp and PaperFellows.
Of course, there may be a multitude of other reasons and factors why your friends don’t have kids. It’s just all about respecting that choice, if indeed it was a choice, and showing empathy and common sense in their company.
Health blogger Chloe Bennet is a regular contributor to the Do my assignment for me and BoomEssays websites where she can be found writing about subjects such as yoga and mental health. Also find Chloe tutoring at Online Essay Writer.
August 19, 2019