If I say the word "childfree" to you, selfish may have been the first word to come to mind. Women have often been ostracized from their communities in the past, be it religious or cultural, for their refusal (or inability) to have children. A woman who does not want to be a mother ceases to be "woman."
However, an article from 2017 on Medium.com recently came to my attention. I, as a child-free woman in her early twenties (I do not intend to ever have children), am used to the "You'll change your mind." and "Isn't that selfish." comments. I'm also familiar with criticism from my family. I don't get it as much from friends as I might if I were thirty, but I do sometimes feel like an outsider when friends talk about their future children.
Yet, the author of the medium article has a point. Whenever I ask people why they want kids, their answers are always along the lines of:
"I want something to love."
"I want to carry on my bloodline."
"I don't know, I just want them."
"It's what people do."
Whether you want the emotional support of a child, or you're living up to societal expectations, those reasons are for you. If you don't have a child, it will never miss being born. Children do not ask to be born, and many childfree people, including myself, give reasons such as:
"I have a mental illness."
"The world is overpopulated and I don't want to bring a child into it."
"I am too busy with my career."
"I would not be a good parent."
It seems that childfree people often put much more thought into their childfree status then parents do. Young people who get pregnant accidentally did not put any thought into it. Fathers who leave their kids with their single mothers do not think about it. For some parents, they find themselves in the role through chance or accident alone. Still, often, these parents get offended when childfree people do not want to partake in activities that include children or when they can't take their children to adult places, like breweries and vineyards.
I'm not here to say all parents are inherently selfish people, but having a child is for you, and parents should think about that before criticizing their childfree friends and family. It's worth talking about the fact that we're really not hurting anyone, but parents run the risk of hurting their child if they aren't ready. So really, everyone does what they want for selfish reasons. It's time to stop judging the child free.