No One Cares About “Childfree Adults”

August 29, 2013

About four months ago, I went to the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, where a soft-spoken doctor with warm hands punctured my scrotal sac with a sharp hermostat and sealed off my vasa deferentia, a procedure commonly known as a vasectomy. Several weeks ago, I took my semen to a local lab and found out that Dr. Warm Hands did her job well; I am now officially unable to procreate. My fiancee accompanied me to both events, and when it was over we celebrated in a manner befitting such an occasion (that’s all the details you get, perverts).

I decided I didn’t want to have children about fifteen years ago. There’s no seminal event that caused this decision; I simply thought about all the things I wanted to do in my lifetime and having kids wasn’t on the list. People sometimes ask why and I used to go through my reasons (over population, financial hardship, diaper changing, etc.) but now I just shrug and let them make assumptions. Because you shouldn’t need a reason to not want children. There are already plenty of them on the planet and many are not being properly cared for. If you don’t want to add another one, people should just say “Good enough” and leave you alone.

I used to get really adamant about the whole thing, acting as if I was being harassed by all the breeders out there, but then I got over myself and just went with the shrug. Honestly, there simply aren’t that many people who care anymore. This isn’t the 1950s. If you don’t want to get married or have a baby, no one passes out from shock. They might ask you a few questions because they’re curious, but is that really such a hardship? Personally, as a part-time narcissist, questions about me are my favorite kind of questions.

And, yes, before you go there, it is different for me because I am a man, but it’s not that different. My fiancee gets more questions and raised eyebrows than I do, but no one’s scrawling “Be Fruitful and Multiply” on her car window in blood. The most annoying reaction she gets is from Baby Boomer women who often tell her, “Oh, you’ll change your mind when you get older,” as if a twenty-seven-year-old woman’s brain is just not developed enough to make such decisions yet.

In the past couple of years, there have been a variety of articles on the subject of not having children, often opinion pieces. I wanted to be supportive of the sentiments expressed by these writers (solidarity amongst childfree adults!) but I just couldn’t relate to their stories, which basically attempted to equate the purposefully childless to repressed minorities. They spoke about vicious rumors spread by their coworkers and accusations of selfishness from their conservative relatives. Maybe this is happening in their world, I can’t say, but it’s not happening to me. When I told my small-town Christian mother about my vasectomy, she said “Oh, my.” Then there was a short pause, followed by, “You should put some frozen peas on it.”

Ironically, these articles about the harassment of the childless have spawned harassing Internet comments and blogs from conservatives who have called couples who choose not to have kids “self-absorbed” and “anti-life.” Perhaps this proves these writers were correct all along in stating there’s a subculture of intense hatred toward people who choose not to procreate, but I don’t think so. It feels more like the usual inflammatory rhetoric spouted by political pundits that gets re-posted over and over on Facebook, making it appear more widespread than it actually is. In the end, the people forcing this conversation don’t seem to realize the rest of us simply don’t care whether they want to have kids or not. It’s none of our business.

2 Responses to “No One Cares About “Childfree Adults””

  1. BTW: You can skip the diapers, PTA meetings and soccer Saturdays by taking over the college bills of my own spawn….

  2. davidprosser Says:

    Well done on making the choice not to have children and then doing something about it. I bet the celebrations afterwards included ice cream- OK so I’m a pervert. Whatever your reasons, they are yours and you shouldn’t have to give reasons though I’m sure there’s no malice ( or little) in the questions you face about it.
    It’s a nice change to read something like this than hear why someone who has never worked wants to keep on having children just because they’re too idle to turn the TV on or buy some condoms.
    I love your Mum’s reaction to the news, sage advice there ! After all if by any chance you and your fiancee ever change your minds there are options open to you. If not, I’m sure there are nephews and nieces galore to be spoiled.

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