7 Reasons It's Not Selfish to Choose Not to Have Children ...

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Children can be lovely, but being a parent is not for everyone. Happily we live in a time when the decision to remain child-free has become more accepted. Yet those who choose not to have children may still be accused of selfishness, when if anything wanting to have children is a 'selfish' decision (you do it because you want them, not to please other people!). Here are some reasons why it's not selfish to choose not to have children …

1. Personal Decision

Having children or remaining child-free is a personal decision for you and your partner, if you have one, to make. Nobody has the right to tell you that it's the right or wrong thing to do. Some people just don't want to be parents, or choose not to for economic or health reasons. Or maybe they want to focus on their career. Everyone must make the right choice for them.

2. Unselfish

It could be said that it's actually unselfish not to have children. People who do have kids have them for their own needs, not for the benefit of the child or society. If you don't have children, you're not giving in to your own needs. That's not to say that having kids is wrong, just that it is in the purest sense a self-centered act.

3. Children Should Be Wanted

In the past, some people had children because it was expected of them, and some of these children had a miserable childhood because of it. Children should only be brought into the world if they're very much wanted. Where is the sense in having kids just because you're supposed to, or because 'you'll be lonely when you get old'? It's better to enjoy your child-free life than have children you don't really want.

4. Sensible

Not having children can be a very sensible decision for practical reasons. They're expensive to raise, and if you don't have job security or a good enough income, how are you going to pay the bills? You may have a demanding job that's not very family-friendly, or a tiny apartment. Or perhaps you just haven't met anyone you want to raise a family with.

5. Commitment

Having children is an enormous commitment that doesn't stop the moment they turn 18. You'll spend the rest of your life being a parent, dealing with their problems and financial demands. And you can't return them to the store when you change your mind! Some people just aren't ready - ever - for that commitment, and that's fair enough.

6. Choices

These days we're lucky to have more options open to us. Women can enter a wide range of careers and do whatever they want. Now that we have more choices, parenthood may not seem so appealing. Everyone has the right to choose whatever fulfills them, whether that's parenthood or remaining child-free.

7. Population Growth

Lastly, there are also demographic reasons why being child-free is a good idea. The world's population is now over 7 billion and is forecast to reach a frightening 9.6 billion by 2050. So it can only be a positive thing if some people choose to remain child-free.

You shouldn't have to defend your choice to remain child-free, but these are some possible arguments to fight back with if you're criticised. What do you think are the advantages of being child-free?