Sunday, December 05, 2010

childfree and proud

Lisa Hymas is my new favorite columnist.

Some excerpts:

"Yes, as a childfree person, I'll miss out on a lot."

"But parents miss out on a lot too (as some will be the first to tell you): Time and emotional energy to invest in friendships and a romantic partnership. Space to focus on a career or education or avocation. Uninterrupted "grown-up" conversations. Travel that's truly impulsive or leisurely or adventurous (and never involves zoos). Unpremeditated Saturday nights on the town and Sunday brunches out. Opportunities for political or community engagement. Stretches of quiet for reading or writing or relaxing. A non-child-proofed, non-toy-strewn, non-goldfish-cracker-crumb-riddled home. Eight peaceful, uninterrupted hours of sleep a night. All without any guilt that one should be spending more quality time with the kid."

"A childfree life also means a lot more financial freedom. How expensive are kids? Try $291,570 for a child born in 2008 to parents bringing home between $57,000 and $98,000 a year, according to figures from the USDA. That's for the first 18 years, so it doesn't include college. If you make more, you're likely to spend more. Couples bringing in upwards of $98,000 a year can expect to spend an average of $483,750 on a child's first 18 years."

"Here's a simple truth: For an average person like me
someone who doesn't have the ability of an Al Gore to reach millions, or of a Nancy Pelosi to advance (if not actually enact) landmark environmental legislation, or of a Van Jones to inspire (and piss off) whole new audiencesthe single most meaningful contribution I can make to a cleaner, greener world is to not have children."

"Childfree people tread too gingerly around parents, as though we might wound their feelings if we told the truth about why we've made different decisions than they have. But we insult them by thinking they're so fragile or insecure about their family choicesand we shortchange ourselves and society at large by not speaking openly about the legitimate choice to not have a child."

"What would happen if you answered the kid question honestly? "No, I'm happy with my life as is," or "A child doesn't fit into our life plans," or "Kids aren't really my thing," or "I think there are plenty of people on the planet already."

"If we said what we really think, I suspect we would actually find a lot of kindred or at least sympathetic spirits out there, GINKs and otherwise. We might have some refreshingly frank and gratifying conversations with the parents in our lives. And we could give those who are undecided about parenthood the understanding that the choice to be childfree is completely valid, and not completely lonely."



Anonymous acey said...

this is everything i feel, believe in and want to tell people!!! i hope the guy i'll marry won't ask for children. :(

7:37 AM  

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