Putting the "Childfree are Selfish" Myth to Rest
There are a few myths about people who don’t want children that the majority of the public just can’t seem to shake. The myth, however, that the childfree are selfish sits at the top of the list. Maybe yahoo contributor Jillata Horton has rationales that may help expunge this myth for good. Consider her points:
- “If you believe that every childfree married couple is selfish, then this means that you believe that every human being is cut out to be a parent.” How could anyone agree that every human is cut out to be a parent? This would mean you think that everyone, alcoholics, rapists, even pedophiles should create offspring.
- “Think of the nastiest woman you know…do you believe this mean-spirited shrew should raise children?” Answer: no. If this awful woman was "childfree," would you call her selfish, or would you be thanking God that this woman had no kids?” Answer: yes.
- Don’t be quick to judge the childfree as selfish before “examining your own behavior. How have you helped your community lately? Are you courteous and considerate? What kind of neighbor are you? How do you treat your coworkers? How do you treat your subordinates? How do you treat those who are less educated than you? If you're a person of means, do you ever help out needy people?”
Ms. Horton gets that (gasp) parents can be selfish. How? Here’s just a few ways:
- They have kids even though they know they are not financially and emotionally ready. Why have a kid anyway? So the kids can fulfill some need of theirs—like: getting to create “mini-me” out of an ego thing; to get the experience of unconditional love; they want to raise a kid the way they wished they had been raised.
- They have another kid just because they didn’t get the sex they wanted with the last one. Whose coming first here?
- They try to live their lives through their kids. It’s selfish to create expectations or even force kids into things out of a desire for them to do what the parents always wanted to do, or be what they always wanted to be.
What is selfish? When we do what we want to do for our own reasons, but do them without consideration for or in spite of how it will affect others – that is selfish. And this can be the case, whether you are a parent or not.