Why are women choosing not to have children?

Darryl Bachmeier
Oct 18, 2020

Being a mother, and having children is a blessing like none other. The experience of motherhood is an unforgettable and rewarding journey, yet the number of women who decide not to have children is increasing year by year.

On the surface level, a fall in birth rate in major developed countries is an alarming statistic for the long-term demographics of that nation. But what really is causing women across the globe to not have children, and are those reasons justified?

Let’s have a look.

Being “Childfree”

There has always been a negative connotation associated with women who decide not to have children. For a long time, having children, being a mother, and taking care of the household has been considered the epicenter of a woman’s life. Things have been changing now, and one of the ways it is apparent is from the push to change the label of childless to childfree. The term childless has an ingrained meaning of women lacking something essential, instead of focusing on their individuality and personality. The rising acceptability of the term childfree on the other hand shows a conscious decision taken by the couple and it has a positive implication.

Being satisfied with your current situation

Having children has also been linked with living a happy and fulfilling life. The good thing now is that women are realizing that they don’t necessarily need to procreate to live a satisfying and fulfilling life. For many, their careers can provide enough meaning in their lives that they do not feel the urge to fill that gap with another soul. Many younger couples are also content with their relationship being limited to just themselves. If the current romantic relationship dynamic is working perfectly fine with just the two of them, they don’t see any reason to add another person in the equation to mix things up.

Difficult to manage with career

Even though workplaces have been making relevant adjustments to cater to working mothers, such as the inclusion of daycare rooms in workplaces, having a baby is a full-time job. Considering women are majorly responsible for the upbringing and care of babies, managing a child with work can become a difficult decision. Add unaccommodating offices that do not provide proper leaves in this scenario, and you’ve made the choice of becoming a mother even tougher for the family. Moreover, lots more women are succeeding in their careers, and are usually at a point where they cannot afford a long leave due to pregnancy. In such scenarios, proper understanding needs to be developed between a husband and a wife as well, and a lack of proper workload distribution in the family often leads to them not having a baby in the first place.

Time to break the piggy bank

Perhaps one of the most obvious reasons is the cost related to having children. This is particularly true about young couples, who are already under the burden of student loans and house mortgages while struggling in a saturated job market. Therefore, adding a baby in this picture is just financial suicide. Moving on, even though primary education is covered by the government in most developed countries, let’s not even get started on the criminally high college tuition. Having children means that you must start a college fund, while simultaneously juggling your current expenditures. A simple monetary cost-benefit analysis in this situation is enough for couples to simply decide on not having children at all.

Taking a toll on the environment

You must be living under a rock if you are not aware of the impending danger of climate change on our future generations. One of the things deterring some women is the massive carbon emissions associated with a single person over his/her lifetime. The second obvious reason is the expected rise in frequency of natural calamities like droughts, floods due to rising water levels and heatwaves. An alarming number of reports are painting a horrific future of earth if no tangible efforts are made to curb climate change right now, and the concern of the future generations not having a healthy environment to live in is causing women to not have children as well.

No baby fever

Finally, it is highly likely that women are resisting the idea of motherhood because of other people’s experiences. Life certainly gets tough, and not everyone has the stamina to tolerate consistent tantrums, diaper changes, and the sound of a baby crying your ears out. These were some of the most common reasons for a rise in women not having babies, and considering how valid and material these reasons are, you cannot really blame them. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what the couple wants and what would make them happy, and if they mutually decide on not pursuing a baby, then that is their call, and no one should have any objection to it.

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