The childfree know that there are lots of ways we come to this decision. Many of us know early in life, and many come to the decision over time for a variety of reasons. But a recent comment by a guy on boingboing reminded of a reason we don’t hear about as much. The decision, or realization even, can come by way of miscarriage. Some couples have to admit a sense of relief. As the boingboing commenter says, “as horrible as this sounds, we weren’t as sad as we should’ve been.” It may be taboo to admit, but …
…some couples realize that after being in the position of thinking they were really going to become parents that maybe they didn’t want to be in that position after all.
While miscarriage is upsetting and unsettling, the realization coming from it can be an unintended blessing. It can give couples a chance not to make a big mistake.
Some couples don’t realize this right away post-miscarriage. Like the boingboing commenter describes–they “halfheartedly talked about “another attempt,” but then realized they were “just reciting the empty words” society expected of them. They came to realize that parenthood was not for them after all after talking about trying again, and recognizing why they might be considering trying again–because society tells us we’re supposed to have kids.
They finally got to looking at their true desire to become parents, not through the lens of societal expectations. A miscarriage can be a stressful way to get to the right decision, but the right decision nonetheless.
Thinking more about why you may or may not want a child before you start trying is the key. If more people answered questions like: What experience would I be looking to have in having a child? Would parenthood be the only way I can have this experience?, they might come to see that parenthood is not what they’re seeking after all.
What other “tough” ways do the childfree come to this decision?
I’ve read about people who have decided to become childfree after years of failed infertility treatments and/or adoptions that didn’t work out.
Yes, over the years I have communicated with lots of women who went through the process of being child”less” to the full state of childfree….can be a tough road for some but they get there~L
I don’t know if it counts as a “tough” way, but my partner very much wanted to be a parent, and I never had. But I loved him so much and wanted him in my life so much that I started to consider becoming a parent for his sake. However, I realized that every time I thought about it, I envisioned myself abandoning him and the child after a year or two, unable to continue under the burden of parenting – or of myself doing terrible things, like leaving the child behind in public places to get out from under it. I thought about how hard it would be to lose my spouse and how terribly devastated I would be – and then I realized that if I became a mother, I would lose him anyway, because I couldn’t bear it. So for me, I realized that I truly was childfree when I decided that the most important thing in my life was worth giving up if I had to do so in order to stay that way.
Mccn~thanks much for your story…I sure think it counts as a “tough” way–a “to the core of the heart” realization followed by hard choice….~L
I was an early articulator, but got sloppy with my birth control when I was 19, and got pregnant by my boyfriend, now husband. I can remember being alone, in the Marines, away from my family, almost broke (it’s not a secret that the military isn’t paid much)and TERRIFIED. I kind of warmed up to it at first – then I started to get antsy and nervous – when hubby left for Iraq, I was having doubts…and then the miscarriage, at about 5 weeks.
I had never been so relieved.
Hubby took it worse than I did – and we both agreed it was a blessing in disguise. I’ve never admitted it, but I didn’t feel much of anything – besides relief.
I’d say my husband came to be child-free in sort of a difficult way. He had always wanted children, but then he met me, I told him ahead of time that I didn’t want kids, but for quite awhile it was sort of a, maybe I’ll change my mind someday but this is how I feel right now, situation. The more we discussed it though, the more I realized that I just don’t want a kid. I thought at first that it might change, but I’m 24 and at that age now where everybody says, “But you have to at least sorta want kids” that age where other child-free women are talking about fighting the baby-rabies, and I realize that even if I’m holding a baby, chasing after a friends kid on the playground, or listening to a friends kid tell me how much they love me, I still don’t, even for a second, feel like I want one of my own. I sat down and talked to my husband and told him that I don’t think I’ll ever want babies, and I understand if he wants to leave me so that he can someday be a daddy. He told me that as much as he wants kids, he’d rather be with me and not have a child than be with anybody else and get to be a dad. I imagine, that at least on some level, that was a very difficult conclusion.