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You are someone who is absolutely in love with kids. Whether they are your friend’s kids or your sister’s, you love all of them but you can still not foresee your future as a parent. You keep telling yourself that you are not ready yet. Your standard answer to your in-laws is that you have not been blessed yet. Between feeling blessed to having a decent spouse and enjoying your time, you sometimes wonder if you will ever be ready to raise a family.
From your perspective, you already are content with where your life is going. You do not really feel the need of a child in your marriage. You wonder if planning a baby is something people do in Pakistan, just because it’s expected. Like going to school, like graduating from university and getting married, people consider it a given that if you’re getting married you WILL make babies. That’s the whole point of marriage for most of them.
And gradually it dawns upon you over a period of months, that you love children. They make you happy. But you also realize that you just don’t see yourself being selfless enough to reproduce and raise your own baby. You understand that once you’re a parent you will always have to look out for them. From ensuring they do not get bullied in school to making sure they are not being abused by anyone, you need to keep your eyes wide open. There’s no excuse for bringing a child into the world that you never wanted in the first place.
The term childfree was originally coined by the Time Magazine in 1972 on the creation of National Organization for Non-Parents. Many organizations have sprung up with similar names since then but choosing the childless lifestyle is still seen as a taboo. It is targeted with disgust in the world we live in. Some of the parents questioning the childfree mentality, consider non-parents to be dodging the duty of parenthood, the “I’ve done it and suffered so, why haven’t you?” mentality.
1. They Call You Selfish And Shallow:
But isn’t that the whole point? You have thought about this considerably hard and long, with an open mind and made the decision to NOT bring a life into the world that you might be negligent towards, instead of those who chose to reproduce without giving it much second thought. They call you selfish. Although isn’t it ironic that you are selfless enough to not bend to the norms of society and NOT choose the easy route of procreation that you might later not even accept.
“Philosopher David Benatar explains, at the heart of the decision to bring a child into the world often lies the parents’ own desires (to enjoy child-rearing or perpetuate one’s legacy/genes), rather than the potential person’s interests. At very least, Benatar believes this illustrates why a childfree person may be just as altruistic as any parent.”
2. Is it haraam to choose to be Childless in Islam?
Sadly, religion is used as a wildcard these days, I felt the need to address it. I have not seen a single ayah in the Quran and Sunnah that anyone who is married must have children. Some scholars encourage that having babies make you blessed, but that’s all folks.
3. Don’t Have Kids Just To Prove That You Can:
Please don’t have kids to prove to the society that you can have children. It doesn’t make you any more manly or womanly. It doesn’t make you normal or abnormal if you do not have kids.
4. What If You Regret Not Having Any Kids?
There are millions of orphans on this planet. All they need is your love and care. You can always adopt if you change your mind when it’s past the biological period. Sure, you may regret not having kids someday. Just like you may regret not spending enough time with your dad, and eating junk food and not applying sunblock lotions in your 20s. But perhaps a bigger regret would be being intimidated by parents, family, friends, maids and neighbors into producing babies you simply never wanted!
5. Do I Want Babies?
That’s something I do not have the energy to discuss publicly, but I keep hearing my biological clock is ticking. Just because I’m reminded of it, I am not going to go and make a baby due to peer pressure or the fear of regret.
The Conclusion To This Debate:
Whether you choose to be childfree or not, you’re awesome if you’ve made a decision after accepting your strengths and weaknesses as an adult. It’s increasingly rare to see someone question norms and understand your limited capacity as a human and I applaud you if that is your choice.
Choosing not to have babies does not mean that you’re selfish, incomplete, less religious, or half anything. It means you weighed your decision fully before taking responsibility for it. It means you were born to complete, life has kept you challenged and on your toes.
Disclaimer: I am not promoting to abortconceived babies. Abortion is murder. If you have decided to be childless, please speak to your doctor to take the matter further.