“Are you married?” asked the first woman
“Yes” replied the second
“How many children do you have?”
“No, I don’t have kids”
“How long have you been married?”
“Long enough to have kids. But I and my husband decided not to have any kids”
You have any problems?”
“No, both of us are fully functional. But as a choice, we decided not to have any kids”
“Really? Then what is the purpose of marrying?”
There are many couples who choose to go childless by choice. They are physically and biologically capable of having children but consciously they make a choice not to have kids of their own. They just decide not to bring kids into this world. Many people find it very difficult to understand this. They feel the whole idea of marriage is to continue the procreation.
Perhaps the idea has gone through some changes? Marriage is not for procreation alone? Being together, companionship, loving each other's company could be important for this couple. They don’t wish to be burdened by the responsibility of parenthood. Why is that so difficult for others to accept that?
Culturally we are indoctrinated that the main job in our life is to carry forward the generation. We are expected to get married and produce children within a couple of years of marriage. Most people who do get married want to raise a family. This is the norm. But if there are couples who do not wish to have children. Why does society not look kindly on them? Why does society try to make them feel endlessly guilty about their choice? Getting married is a choice and having children is also a choice.
The couple may have multiple reasons for not wanting children. There may be no reason too. They just don’t want to have children. We can psychoanalyze their reason endlessly. Some people want to offer help to the couple to change their mind. They try to ‘convince’ the couple to have children. Why can’t this decision of the couple be accepted as one more decision?
Assuming that all human beings have paternal and maternal instincts is a fallacy. There are many men and women in this world with no such instincts. After being forced to have a child, so many women discover that they don’t really have maternal instincts. They don’t enjoy the process of raising children. But then it is too late. The decision is not reversible.
Not wanting to have children is yet another choice by an individual or a couple. It would be nice to respect that choice.