Time magazine + childfree

The new cover of Time magazine has caused my social networks to go into a tizzy. While many found the cover story of couples (or singletons) enjoying their childfree freedom, others wondered if you can really be complete without being a parent.

For women, the choice of whether or not to have a child is intensely personal, but it is often complicated by other people’s opinions. Parents lobby for grandchildren, friends with kids wonder when you’re going to join the fold, and childfree peers are wondering why you’re even thinking about giving up your freedom to become a mom.

After the Time story appeared, a Fox News panel wondered if it was sending the wrong signal and encouraging people not to have kids. Tucker Carlson even claimed not having a child is completely “selfish” and “decadent.”

He scoffed: “But having children means less time for vacations and spin class, where the real meaning in life resides, right? I mean, have you ever seen anything more selfish, decadent and stupid?”

Despite the continued pressure on women to have children, the birthrate in America is at an all time low. According to the data, “from 2007 to 2011 the fertility rate declined 9%.” And this decline is not just for White folks. A Pew Research report found the “rate childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about 1 in 5 American women who end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with 1 in 10 in the 1970s.”

As women continue choosing to define their lives on the own terms, many are opting to sidestep motherhood all together, choosing to focus on their relationships, careers, or other endeavors. But can they have it all…without a child?

Weigh-in, Clutchettes. What do you think?

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  • NoitAll

    I think this is great news. There are 7 billion people and counting on this earth today. Very soon, the Earth will absolutely not be able to sustain the human race at the current population growth rate. For the sake of our survival, we need to stop popping out soooooo many babies. With that said, forced population control is NOT the answer. The way its happening in the U.S., Family planning and choice, is the best way.

  • Got my tubes tied at 27; I am now 62 and have no regrets. Not everyone needs a “mini-me” to feel complete.

  • Nene337

    I’m in my late 30’s and I’ve never felt any natural urges to have kids. I am a big career planner but also really enjoy ‘smelling the roses’ on a daily basis. I usually have a pretty balanced career/personal life, just love to unwind, relax and soak up some real centering quiet at the end of a hard day/week at work and never felt like children would fit very well in my idea of a good (read relaxed, easy going) life. I also feel like I would be forced to earn so much more to provide them the life I had growing up and I feel like I’m in enough of a rat race already making as much as I do now.

    What’s been really jumping out at me lately is how tough my friends and family with kids seem to have it despite how much they say it rewards them (the rewards come up more when they speak of child-raising in the abstract), the demands on their time, attention, focus, patience, lack-of-sleep tolerance, income, and constant coordination (it’s double for single parents, and those with lower incomes). Every time I’m close with someone who has kids I see this grueling dynamic. I’m dating a guy who has a bunch of kids and even though he loves being a parent and the kids can be pretty much equally darling and bratty, I feel like his quality of life overall seems just so much lower (from the outside where I am standing) for having them. I asked a bunch of my friends and family with kids about my perceptions and by and large I get back that it’s pretty rough raising them. I think all parents should be given medals, I don’t think I have the strength in life to add such a big responsibility to my life and I’m still scratching my head at how easy the decision comes to most women. I personally wouldn’t trade with anyone with kids and I’m thankful to the amazing people who choose to take on the responsibility.