Some couples decide that they do not want to have children for various reasons. These reasons can include not liking children, or perhaps they would rather focus on other things in life. Regardless of the reasons, there are advantages and disadvantages to living a child-free lifestyle.
A baby can restrict a couple from getting out and doing whatever they want, whenever they want. Once a child reaches school age, the parents must schedule their lives around the activities of the child, as well as plan vacations during school breaks. When a couple has no children, they are free to take a vacation whenever they want, and can maintain their schedules without taking anyone else into consideration. These couples, according to dating site Search Your Love, prefer to keep their lives as they are, instead of adding children to the mix.
Raising a child is an expensive venture. When a couple does not have a child, all of their income can be used for things they enjoy, such as vacations, hobbies and home improvement projects. Many parents end up sacrificing things they want so that their children can have the things they need. Of course, many of these parents don't mind the sacrifice, but not everyone feels this way. Some couples who choose to be child-free do so because they know they cannot afford a child.
Worry and Stress
Having children means worrying about someone else, likely for the rest of your life. According to Happily Childfree, when a couple decides not to have children, they are giving up that additional worry. Some people do not do well with stress, and the additional stress caused by children can lead to an unfulfilling life. Not having children removes some of the potential stressors, such as worrying about if your child is eating enough, how well he is doing in school and how you will afford to send him to college.
As a couple ages, living a child-free lifestyle can become a disadvantage. They were able to do the things they wanted to do when they were younger, but when they grow older, they will have no children to visit them. If one partner dies, the remaining partner does not have children to grieve with or assist her. Children also typically assume the responsibility of helping to care for ageing parents. A child-free couple does not have a child to help them when they need it.
While some people are able to go through life feeling complete with just themselves and maybe a spouse, others find that when they are older, they wish they had become a parent. This is likely true if a divorce occurs, or the spouse dies, especially at a younger age. When the spouse is gone, the remaining partner realises he has no one that he is close to. Child-free couples often surround themselves with friends, but friendship is not the same type of bond as a family relationship.
Some child-free couples find that they are able to enjoy many experiences in life that a child would have made more difficult, such as extensive travel or reaching the top of a career. However, when they are older, some child-free couples feel that they have missed out on an experience that is no longer possible. According to WebMD, most child-free couples remain happy with their decision, though some do wonder what it would have been like to have children.
- Happily Childfree: Benefits of Childfreedom
- Search Your Love: The Benefits and Negatives of Childfree Living
- "Family Ties and Aging"; Ingrid Arnet Connidis; 2010
- WebMD: Child-Free Couples: Thriving Without Kids
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