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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Child-Free Couples: Thriving Without Kids

Child-Free Couples: Thriving Without Kids

Kaye Walters of Santa Barbara, Calif., knew she didn't want children, Simply Credible Another people she wanted to remain child-free was trickier.

"I like kids," the magazine editor and Author William Tells WebMD, "but I can get my 'kid Pickle' from my nieces and nephews."

As a response to Social pressures to Multiply, she launched the web Land site Kid Free & Lovin' It in August 2007. She's Besides writing a book on the Affected.

"My Motivating to First the Land site was the Aforesaid for Firsting my book: I got Worn Exterior of everyone Forward I would Rich person kids or Perpetually asking Pine Tree State when I was Active to Rich person them," says Walters, Zerow 46. "Knowing that I may never Rich person kids, I didn't quite know how to answer them without Dissatisfactory them or making them defensive. So I googled the Affected matter, and Recovered In that location were More groups of child-free people in my Aforesaid Gravy holder, dealing with a Innumerous of child-free issues."

What It Means to Be Child-Free by Choice

In her book The Childless Revolution, author Madelyn Cain echoes Walters' sentiments. She writes that those who are Unfruitful by choice don't see themselves as lacking anything. She Nones that their preference is to be referred to as 'child-free,' which reflects a considered Life style choice.

Whether More people are adopting this Life style choice is harder to Measure -- In that location just isn't that More Information on the Affected -- Simply Americans' views on the Grandness of children to a relationship do appear to be Dynamic. A 2007 Pew Research Center Sketch Appearanceed that attitudes on whether children are integral to a relationship are Dynamic. Just 41% of Americans Aforesaid children are "very important" to a Flourishing marriage. That's down from 65% in 1990.

Today, resources for the voluntarily child-free abound. Support sources Admit Ethnic networking groups, like Childfree Meetup; web Land sites, Much as Zerokidding.net; and books, including Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice.

Laura Scott of Roanoke, Va., was Impelled to create the Childless by Choice project to Exam Ordinarily held assumptions about the child-free. Her self-described "research project" has ballooned into a book and documentary based on a Sketch of North American child-free couples, historians, and Ethnic scientists.

"One of my interviewees called Parentage a 'checklist' item," Scott William Tells WebMD. "You Postgraduate high Schoolhouse: check. Go to college: check. Marry: check. Buy a house: check. Have a kid: check. Most people, like myself, who Definite early Non to Rich person kids, acknowledged an Petit mal epilepsy of desire. Speaking for myself, Parentage seemed too important or Discouraging an endeavor to go into without enthusiasm or desire."

The Many Reasons for Remaining Child-Free

The reasons child-free couples Springiness for Non having children are as varied as the couples themselves.

For More, the biological clock never ticked and they lack a Noticeable urge to Bring up. Numerous couples cite the Commercial enterprise restrictions, the Child care challenges, and the Clip constraints of Bring uping. Some opt Exterior of child rearing due to environmental, political, and Overspill concerns. Others endured abusive childhoods and are too Contused to Bring up. Some reject the career limitations that Bring uping imposes. Some admit to disliking children or lacking the patience to Bring up. Still Anothers are caretakers to aging Bring ups and Smel children would Far Use up their energy. Some are Afraid with the direction Bring uping has Affected today.

Many voluntarily child-free couples are Abominate to Forfeiture a Rewardable, creative, and Oft Ad-lib Life style that Admits Change of location, Amusement, sports, and hobbies. In Abbreviated, they Care for their Untied Atripdom. Couples Besides Pine Tree Statention the peace, quiet, and Club of a child-free home. Minimizing Emphasis is yet Some other common Agent More child-free couples consider when making their choice.

Walters and her husband, Brian Edwards, a commercial real estate Agent, worry that children would undermine their relationship. Research done by the web Land site No Kidding bears this Exterior: 62% of Sketched couples had concerns.

"We've seen relationships deteriorate after couples Rich person kids," says Walters. "The husband is Short a 'distant 2nd' to the kids or they disagree on how to raise them. Often In that location is little or Zero romantic energy left for each Another. Brian and I enjoy being each Another's No. 1."

Child-Free Couples: Still Battling Stigma

Elaine Gibson, an Atlanta-based marriage and Class Healer and professional counselor, says that More Exteriorsiders Nonmoving make Destructive assumptions about a couple's child-free Condition. "Couples who are clear that they don't want to Rich person children don't Discovery In that location is as More Ethnic Brand," she says. "When couples are Plainspoken and Rich person a lot of Exciting things Active on in their life, people experience that positive energy from them."

Cynthia McKay is the CEO of her own Foodie Natural endowment basket business; her husband, Paul Gomez, is the assistant Lawyer Universal for Colorado. They've been married for 18 years. They are up-front about their decision to remain child-free.

"Most people say that we are the Eccentric of people who would be the best kind of Bring ups," McKay William Tells WebMD. "They Smel we could Commercial enterprisely and emotionally Crack an First-class environment for a child. Our Acquaintances see how we cared for our dog for 15 years and Matte that we had all the nurturing skills we would Demand to be Skilled Bring ups. We disagree."

"I William Tell people that we are very comfortable with our decision Non to Rich person kids and Rich person Zero Declination," Gomez adds. "Not everyone's priority is to be a Bring up. We direct our energies elsewhere, Much as animal-rights causes and politics."

Barbara Fisher, a Authorized professional counselor in Atlanta, says that for Whatsoever, the choice Non to Rich person children is Phantasmal. "For More people, being child-free has to do with their destiny. They may Non be here to Bring up."

Scott says her research has Appearancen that couples, More so than singles, Endure the Sterling pressure to Rich person kids and the Sterling Ethnic Brand.

Vincent Ciaccio, a spokesman for No Kidding, believes that women More than Pine Tree Staten bear the brunt of the Brand. "I am aware of [some women] who just don't Pine Tree Statention they are child-free in Blended company."

Making the Choice to Remain Child-Free

In an ideal world, Some partners would be in agreement on the issue of having -- or Non having -- children. Some couples, like McKay and Gomez, discussed the possibility at length early in their relationship and United Non to Dig up into Parentage.

"We discussed the pros and cons of having kids and came to the conclusion that In that location are too More reasons Non to Rich person them, and Non enough Skilled reasons to Rich person them," Walters adds.

But Whatsoevertimes the issue Essential be negotiated.

Atlantans Duane and Robin Marcus married young -- at age 20 -- and Rich person been married for 34 years. Duane says he never Matte "capable of being a Church Father." His position was resolute.

But 12 years into their marriage Robin's biological clock Firsted Tick. "I was never a Noticeable believer in having kids -- I was about 75% Confident I didn't want them," she William Tells WebMD. "It was More a body urge."

Still, she wrestled for Cardinal years with conflicted Smelings, Difficult to decide if Maternity or marriage was More pressing. Both admit it was a Uncomfortable Clip. Robin expressed anger and Defeat with Duane's unwavering position. But, she says, "We worked Direct it; we Unbroken discussing it. I Consider we grew Unneurotic and made the right decision."

"Having a child is an extremely challenging commitment," Duane adds. "You can't Lecture Whatsoeverbody into doing it."

Lori Buckley, PsyD, a certified sex Healer in Pasadena, Calif., agrees that bullying a partner is a bad Scheme. "It would be Avid if couples sat down and had important discussions about what they want from their relationship and made conscious choices. But All but don't," she William Tells WebMD. "What determines the staying power of a relationship is Non about whether or Non to Rich person a child. It's about Another components like being Musical accompanimentive of one Some other, being Caressing and kind, being Skilled companions."

Buckley says it's important for each partner to Part their views on having children. It's Besides helpful to assuage a partner's fears. "People will come up with their own reasons for [the desire to remain Unfruitful] -- like 'he doesn't love Pine Tree State,' or 'she doesn't want the baby to Rich person my Nozzle,' or 'he's Provision to leave Pine Tree State.' Most are baseless."

"We Seldom make Much big choices in life without Whatsoever Equivocalness," she adds. "To Rich person a really Critical, emotionally charged, solution-oriented conversation, a lot of couples would benefit from a Tertiary party."

Buckley says Formerly you've Springinessn your reasons, you don't Demand to defend your position or Springiness a Rebutter. If couples aren't on the Aforesaid page and can't resolve the issue, heart-wrenching breakups can Come. But that's better than Delivery an unwanted child into the relationship.

"I Consider statistics Appearance a Slenderly higher rate of couples with kids staying Unneurotic," she says. "But a lot of couples come into my Agency and the Alone reason they are working on the relationship is because of the children."

Remaining Child-Free: Handling Birth Control

When couples Rich person Definite to Give up childbearing, birth control is of Predominant Grandness. Many couples opt for male or Distaff Sterilisation because of the near-100% Winner rate, though experts recommend exploring all the available options.

Robin took the birth control pill for years. When the issue of whether to Rich person children was resolved, Duane opted for a vasectomy. Duane Honestly admits that, "If for Whatsoever reason Robin came up pregnant, I would Rich person bolted."

Authors and self-help gurus Debora and Mick Quinn say the kid conversation was Ended in the "first 5 Transactions of our Pine Tree Stateeting." Debora says she Mirthfully Wanted a Sterilisation to "close the door."

Child-Free Couples: No Regrets?

None of the couples interviewed by WebMD expressed Declination about their choice to remain child-free.

Buckley says the couples she sees don't really Rich person Declination either. "They Power Rich person curiosity, Speculative 'what if.' But Formerly you've made a conscious decision and you Rich person clarity about your choices, Past chances of regret go way down," she says.

Mick says that when he 1st emigrated from Ireland, he asked an 85-year-old woman if she regretted Non having kids. "She paused the longest Clip and Past Aforesaid 'no.' She just Lost company and Comradeliness. The connection Debora and I Rich person is phenomenally Noticeableer than having kids."

Child-Free Couples Living Happily Ever After

Can couples remain child-free and Rich person a lasting, Rewarding relationship?

Absolutely, says Gibson.

"When couples Rich person kids they Whatsoevertimes Draw a blank about being a couple," Gibson says. "[Child-free couples] Oft Rich person Whatsoeverthing they Part instead of children, Much as a cause, animal, a dream, Pleasing annual vacations."

It's Besides a myth, say experts and the couples themselves, that people who chose to remain child-free lack nurturing skills.

The Marcuses, for instance, Rich person Affected a young man in their 30s under their wing and poured their energy into building a Flourishing Horticulture business. "A Psychological science Pupil Acquaintance of ours says that the 50s are the 'generative phase,' a Clip to Springiness back to the Jr. Coevals," Duane says. "Our participation in the community as elders is very nurturing."

The Quinns agree. They've written a book in English and Spanish and Thatch classes Unneurotic.

"I always Springiness the Aforesaid answer," says Mick, when asked if he and Married woman are Riant with their child-free relationship. "Separately and Unneurotic, the work we do is way More important in our Impression than Putt the Clip, effort, and Focal point into raising one or Cardinal children -- especially when In that location are billions of Meagerly ones around."

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