Being Childless in a Child filled world

Last month I did a piece on the demand to become a parent in America. It’s premise was to explain the drive adults have to become parents. Another aspect of this drive is how those who are childless by circumstance and those who decide to live childfree are looked down upon and outcasted in society. In this piece I would like to touch upon how those adults who don’t have children are looked down upon and outcasted in society.

This past week I was on a business trip and had dinner with one of my bosses who outlined his plans for next year. During this dinner he explained how he wanted me to travel to all of my companies regions in the US. We happen to have offices all over. It would be 12-13 regions and approximately 6 weeks of the year on these trips in addition to my other scheduled trips. His reasoning that it wouldn’t be a big deal because I didn’t have kids. Let me first say that earlier in this conversation I told him for the second time that we couldn’t have children. This is the same guy that sent me a Happy Fathers Day email the Saturday before Fathers Day when I told him a few weeks prior we couldn’t have children. Enough of my rant on him, my point is why is it expected that because I don’t have children that I’m able to do this travel? As if I don’t have a wife that I miss dearly when I travel or that I have a dog that I miss when I travel. Plus I hate flying, my anxiety goes through the roof when I fly.

Why is it expected that those who don’t have children don’t have lives and can work long hours and travel in the work place while those who have children don’t? Why do we have to be outcasted and treated like mules? We already pay our taxes which go towards schools that we get little to no benefit for while people with children do. Some of us don’t have children by choice yet we are outcasted. And even if I became a parent one day I don’t think it’s right that expectations of me should be any different than someone who doesn’t have children.

So when someone says that those who don’t have children have it easy, think about these things. It’s not so easy especially when expectations of the childless in the workplace and society are different than those who have children. In addition, some of us didn’t make the decision not to have children.

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5 thoughts on “Being Childless in a Child filled world

  1. Infertile Male

    Amen!!

    Some of these folks are just ignorant. I have also run into to people who think that because they have kids and you don’t, they are better than you. During my student teaching, I expressed to the teacher I was working with how I was stressed and busy because the credential program I was in required so much of us in addition to our duties at the school site everyday (lesson planning, classroom management, etc.) She dismissed my concerns as insignificant. She said all of my stress and the fact I was so busy is like having three kids. As if somehow, your stress is not valid unless you have kids. I did not even know I was infertile at the time (this was in 2012 and my wife and I did not start trying to conceive until after I earned my credential), but I felt like I was being treated as a second class citizen because I was childless. This woman was a teacher, but she was also one of these “soccer moms” who had her kids enrolled in every after school activity known to man.

    It should not matter whether by circumstance or choice that people do not have kids. All individuals need to be respected and treated equally.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: The Childfree Stigma | You gotta be "kiddin" me

  3. zed321

    Really well said and so on point. I’ve heard the exact same things because we’re childless. To those people who say those kinds of things, I would love to get better at emphasizing to them that guess what – we deal with the stress of a chronic illness which gets very little support and attention in our day to day lives which brought us to infertility. People incorrectly assume so much about a person which is wrong on so many levels.

    Reply
  4. A.Roddy

    Amen. Being single,childess, and female( three strikes) most of my life, I got stuck doing most of the elder care and taking care of other’s needs. Why are childless or child-free people’s time seen as less valuable? We are just expected to cater to everyone’s needs. If you say no, you are made to feel guilty because you make a married person or parent have to take your place. And you know married couples or parents just don’t have time for these things. Yet, they go out of their way when there’s a dying relative or think there may be some other monetary reward. That could be said of anyone but I am pointing out how inconvenienced they were before. I don’t mind paying taxes for education because we need to educate the future. I was supported by taxpayers myself for 12 years. I also don’t mind free lunches or tax breaks for college education. However, I feel there needs to be a limit..

    Reply

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