Not everyone wants children and that is okay. It is time to accept the fact that people find happiness outside of the social norm.
When I say, “I don’t want children” this is usually followed by chuckles and statements like, “I said that when I was young too.” Then cue a long story on how I as a woman am obligated to give my husband children or on how I as a women should have children because so many women who want them can’t have them.
“You’ll change your mind, I couldn’t imagine my life without my children,” is a statement Trisha McDavid, from Morehead recalled being told after her declaration of not wanting children.
“It would be like me telling people that they can’t be happy with a man just because I’m happy with a woman…it’s really inconsiderate,” added McDavid.
In our society we are taught that the epitome of happiness reads as a white picket fence, two car garage, day jobs and children. This isn’t how happiness works. Happiness is subjective to what you want in your life. Not everyone’s dreams fit this mold.
This isn’t something that just affects women; men are just as involved but sometimes treated in a different light.
“They said good for me,” said Morehead native Tristan Ratliff when expressing how he doesn’t want children.
Since we are told from a young age that this is what makes people happy rarely do people think about what they want outside of choosing a major. This can and has led to depression, regret, and just overall discontent with their lives.
In the article, “Am I the Only Woman Who Regrets having Children,” Katie Kroneberg said, “Other women may wonder why I chose to have children if I did not want them. The truth is, I had no idea whether I wanted children or not.”
I think it is also important to consider how in our society you will hear about people keeping their children despite bad circumstances and loving it but you never hear anyone talk about keeping a child and regretting it. There are people out there who feel this way and they deserve to know that they are not alone. Isolating them and silencing them doesn’t change or fix anything.
I feel the problem of women and men feeling obligated to have children and the problem of women regretting having children can begin to be solved with the simple step of being made aware. We don’t have to follow these narrow guidelines in order to be happy.
There’s a whole world of things to experience and do, we are not obligated to do anything besides find what we want and strive for it. So the question we should all ask ourselves are, what is it that I need and want to be happy?