Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekly Weigh In: Is not having kids selfish??

Welcome back to the second installment of WEEKLY WEIGH IN where I share a variety of articles or blogs that I find interesting.

Let's start this Weigh In with an article that I've been brooding over for at least 5 days.

Joe O'Conner of the National Post says that married couples that don't have children are just plain selfish.

Summary: About 45% of married Canadian couples do not have children. That's in comparison to the 39% of Canadian couples that spend their time running kids to various sports practices, doing a multitude of dishes and packing lunches nonstop.

[That number sounds big, right? Well 'they' also counted couples who's children have moved out and moved on. So...I don't think the numbers are that impressive.]

O'Conner goes on to explain that the point of being in a pair, the point of searching for that other person, the point in finding love was to populate the world and give your parents come grandkids. But, that's not really the point anymore.

Married couples seem to have transformed into these independent people, trading toddlers and minivans for sports cars, fancy clothes and many exotic vacations. And O'Conner thinks this is selfish. Sure having kids is expensive and exhausting but it's a part of nature. More adults are spending their lives focusing on careers or haven't found the right person to have kids with. Eppie Lederer, aka Ann Landers of the advise column world, says that married couples with no children live basically in a lonely, empty world trying to fill the void with material things.

O'Conner ends the article quoting Lederer/Landers who says that a 'normal' adult does not appear rested, in shape and youthful. 'Normal' is tired, gray, haggard. O'Conner closes the article by asking, "and what will become of those trim, fit and fat-free-yogurt loving folks when decrepitude inevitably creeps in; when they age, as we all inevitably do, and the children they chose not to have aren't around to look after them?"

I say: who cares??

Now, I know we all want this, right?!

I think that if a couple together decides they don't want to have children, then who's to say they are selfish? Now I know that I want to have children some day and I understand the financial and emotional strains that will bring but that doesn't sway my feelings. But I have nothing against anyone who doesn't want children. I don't think you're selfish, I just think you have a different view on life then I do.

I want to address the section where O'Conner talks about the point of being in a couple. I completely agree that, in the past, the point of being in a couple was to produce a family and populate the world. But like most things (culture, society, rules, regulations, politics, views), things change. What once was a social norm, say, back in 1960 may not be the norm in 2012. Why? Because the world and the societies we reside in are ever changing.

The question I want to address isn't why married couples aren't having children, it's why are children having children? But that's a questions for another day I think...

Do you think married couples that don't have children are selfish?


  1. Personally I would also want to have children, but I don't think it's "selfish" not to. Some people just aren't very maternal

    1. I agree. I think our world is a tad over populated anyway. I talked with a mother at my dance studio the other day that was telling me how France structures everything (school and activity based) to be child/parent friendly in hopes that it will encourage people to have more kids.

  2. I'm sorry, last time I looked there wasn't a shortage of new humans!! Absent all other arguments, this pro-creation of our species will, sooner nor later, result in the collapse of the planetary systems on which we all depend. Our long term survival as a species depends apon our coming to terms with some idea of population control and to stigmatise those who have reached a no-child decision on their own is irresponsible!! So there.............:)

    1. Oh dad, just like you to see the scientific side ;) I wouldn't have a problem if we were a little underpopulated for a few thousand years. Maybe it'd get the planet back on track!

  3. I do want to have kids some day soon, and honestly, I can't think of one reason that's NOT selfish! I'm not saying people that have children are selfish, but as you pointed out, the world is clearly well populated, so when you look deep inside yourself, most of the reasons for having children are quite self-centered. So, no, I don't think people who don't have children are selfish. They are making a personal choice based on their personal needs and wants - just as those who choose to have children are.

    1. I completely agree!!! Have you ever seen Across the Universe? In the first couple scenes a character is talking about having children and says it's total narcissism, which I think is a good point. We're trying to create little carbon copies of ourselves! It's kind of strange to think about....

  4. For most of my life I have wanted to have children. Then I suddenly began having serious reservations. However, I do not have anyone with whom I want to share life and have children. I began to analyze my feelings of not wanting children, or only rarely wanting them. I realized some were selfish. I know a person who has reasons for not wanting children that go back to her childhood.
    I think the motives behind a person's decision reflect whether or not they want a child. More often than not, I think reasons will be selfish, as humans are selfish. But, I cannot judge (although I am prone to).
    I think when I am in a relationship with a man I want to marry, my feelings are likely to change. But, for now, I will enjoy my little cousins and then send them home to their parents.