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?