Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dorothy Wilson, Age 31

Is the idea of having children something that you are open to, or were open to at some point in the past? Is the fact that you don’t have children the result of a deliberate decision or just the way your life happened to work out? If it was a deliberate decision, can you tell me something about how you made this choice, the circumstances, your reasons, whether it was easy, hard, etc.?

I used to think that when I met the right man and got married I would love that man sooooo much that having his children would feel right. It never happened that way and I am married but not wanting children. My husband knew i was on the fence but at the time was leaning more towards yes. I have a history of depression and newly diagnosed with MS. It was a hard decision only because I knew it would hurt him but for me personally, it is the right one.

What are the three most important factors that influenced your decision to be childfree? Do you enjoy being childfree? If so, why? If not, why not? Are there any bad things about being childfree? If so, what are they?

I'm just not interested in kids, it is a lot of reponsibility, expense, and I do not think I have the temperment for it. The only bad thing about being childfree is everyone thinking they have the right to look down on me for this choice.

Please describe the kinds of reactions you have received from others in response to your not having children. How supportive and accepting have your friends and family been? How accepting do you feel society as whole is of the voluntarily childless ("childfree") lifestyle? Do you feel childfree individuals suffer from unfairness, prejudice or discrimination in society? Do you feel there are common misconceptions about childfree individuals or the childfree lifestyle?

"You'll change your mind some day", "Have just 1 and you'll see how much you enjoy it" as if this were some kind of compromise?? "You must have had a really bad childhood to hate kids since you were one once". The unfairness is more like people thinking my time is less valuable or more flexible in covering for the childed whether it is friends or co-workers.Misconceptions are that we are horrible people or that we should be pitied because we must not be able to have them.

In retrospect, how do you feel about your decision to be childfree? Do you still feel the same way as always on this issue? To date have you had any regrets? Do you think you may have regrets later in life? Is there any possibility you may change your mind about having children at some point?

I feel pretty strongly about it. I do not think I will change my mind. The only regret I have is not figuring this out before getting married to man who thinks having kids is 'just what you do'. He's coming around though, the hard part will be reaction from his parents when they finally figure this out.

Have you had any childfree role models during your life? Please explain.

I have a brother who is chidfree, mostly by circumstance. I now am friends with 3 couples who are all childfree as well.

When you compare your life to the lives of women you know who have children (family, friends, co-workers), how would you evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, and overall life satisfaction associated with each kind of lifestyle?

I have more money and freedom, less stress.

Do you perceive that there are any dominant messages expressed in our culture about having children? If so, what are they?

The gov't wants us to breed to fill thier armies and outnumber the incoming illigal aliens. Here, have a tax break.

Do you feel these messages are for the most part accurate, inaccurate, misleading or something else? Please explain.


Have any parents ever spoken to you about the "downside" of having children or told you if they had to go back and do it all over again, they wouldn't have kids? Have any parents expressed that they are jealous of you for being childfree? If so, please describe the conversation(s).

Yes, my sister wishes she had gotten a tubal after the 2nd kid, she now has 4 and the most recent had a cleft lip and palate requiring surgery. She sometimes laments on how many trips I take and how I am able to do what I like on my days off.

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