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.