It's the most natural thing. It doesn't matter whether the couple is struggling to feed themselves. Doesn't matter that they don't have any living space in which to bring up a child. Doesn't matter that they are not emotionally stable. They just have to bring a child into the world.
What's worse, in this part of the world very few people prepare for the arrival of a child the way they prepare for a marriage ceremony. Having a child any which way is so natural that when you mention you don't want a child you're looked upon with suspicion. What kind of human being doesn't want a child? To answer that, an honest and empathetic person. The choice of not wanting kids comes with a lot of judgement. People assume that you're trying too hard to be unique. At best, some would tell you that you'd change your mind as the years roll by. At worse, others might brand you a baby hater.
Why are people choosing to not have kids of their own?
A research was conducted by Psychology professor Leslie Ashburn-Nardo. The research involved participants sharing their feelings on fictional persons with either zero or two children.
“People experience moral outrage when they perceive someone has violated a morally prescribed behaviour, something we’re ‘supposed to do’ because it’s what we see as right,” Ashburn-Nardo wrote of her findings.
"The thought of having kids have always been terrifying right from my teenage years. It brings all of my shortcomings and inadequacy into sharper focus. Knowing this, I kept assuring myself that I wanted kids. Simply because the thought of not wanting kids and seeming abnormal was too much. I would mention it in passing to family and they'd immediately ask why. I would bumble through my reasons."But in recent years, reading other people who don't want kids online, my voice came to be a bit more steadier in naming my own reasons.
Under the mounting pressure to give her parents a grandchild, Shallon Lester said, “I've always believed that no child should be born into this world as part of an agenda: not to fix a marriage, not to force someone to grow up, and certainly not to spice up a grandparent's retirement.”
While Laura Miller points to her character and work ethic as her reason for not wanting children. She wrote, “I freely admit that I don’t have kids because I’m too lazy and too selfish. I am not nurturing. I don’t want to pick anyone up at school every afternoon or find a way to pay for the school or a babysitter so I can formulate plans to see a movie an unspontaneous week in advance. I don’t want to speak to, address the needs of, or even acknowledge any other sentient being unless I feel like it.” My reasons are not far from the women I've read, chief among them being that I can barely take care of myself sufficiently and lack the patience required to bring up a child.
There are lots of people out there who don't want kids and are afraid to say so for fear of being judged. Wherever you are, you should know that your choice is valid. The reason doesn't even come into play.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com