Check out an article by Ted Cox of the Good Men Project, where he discusses his decision to get a vasectomy and remain “childless by choice.” For those of us that had been looking forward to having children even long before they were married, this might be a tough concept to understand. Ted lets us know the reasons people have for not wanting children – both economic and social.
I did think there’d be a little more backstory for Ted himself – though I don’t know what more I’d expect to hear. Turns out, though, that the top four reasons people have for not wanting a child (based on a study Cox talks about) are pretty obvious. As a father, you thought about them when you and your wife had “the talk”.
The reasons Cox cited for people not wanting a child came from a study done by writer Laura S. Scott:
- People don’t feel that having a child will enhance their already-great life and relationship.
- People don’t want to take on the responsibility of raising a child.
- People don’t have a paternal or maternal instinct to “want” a child.
- People want to accomplish things that a child would be difficult if they were a parent.
All of these reasons are understandable – and looking back now to my days when I was married and without a child – I’d say I probably would have fit two out of those four reasons. I had a great relationship, but thought it could be made “better” with a child, and I definitely felt a paternal instinct. But I didn’t particularly want to take on the responsibility (who really wants the not-fun responsibility part?), and I definitely wanted to “accomplish” some things – even if it was just a couple of vacations with my wife before we had an expensive little time-sucker.
I won’t argue that everyone should be a parent. There’s definitely some non-parents out there, and no one should go trying to convert them into something they’re not – if you need any more evidence of that, check out MTV’s Teen Mom 2. Gawd.