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Are couples without children selfish?

by Vee (follow)
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Expecting family
'Expecting Family' by Nils Fretwurst

According to 'A Current Affair', the number of childless couples is on the rise.

Are people who can have children but choose not to selfish?

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No, I believe it's all about personal choice. You never know, they might be having trouble trying to conceive - so we should never judge. Just live and let live.
Selfish in what way? We have no kids, unfortunately not through our own choice but that is something we have dealt with and moved on from. However, we give to charities, hubby belongs to the local Lions club therefore gives back to the community, we always made sure our parents were looked after and we always try to think of others. Yes, we can go out or go away when we want to, and don't have to always consider others in many of our decisions, however that does not make us selfish. I think it is sad when couples have children as they think it is expected of them. Worse still there are some people who do it just for the monetary benefits and the poor kids suffer for it - now those are the people who are selfish.
I agree with you Therese. All those things do not mean you are selfish. I only ask because the story on 'A Current Affair' got me thinking about the fact that we are simply expected to have children. I wasn't sure if it's socially acceptable (it certainly isn't really in the culture I grew up in) to not have children because of a personal preference. I was just curious about what other people thought. Thanks for your contribution.
by Vee
It's a good question Vee & interesting to hear what others think. It appears that everyone offering an answer has similar thoughts. I'm surprised about how many couples I know that don't have kids, either by choice or for reasons beyond their control so it seems to be more acceptable & common these days. I have heard of people commenting that childless couples "by choice" are selfish and I was curious what made them think that.
Thanks for your input Therese. :)
by Vee
Life has changed in the last 30 years.

With the news the way it always seem to bring a negative, I think people are concerned about their own future....let alone bringing another person into our world.
When you look at the most basic of issues for a young couple, they have to first find a house.Then they may need furniture, a decent car or even two?

Then you have the added cost of a child, and they may feel pressure if the child is an only child?...so they have two.
On and on it go's.
The days are now gone, that people can buy a house, have a white picket fence, and start a family...with the wife at home....Unless, one or both have money or a house, before they marry.
The dynamics are in 2013-14 different, and people want some quality of life.

No they are not selfish, I think quite the opposite.They must have some very
serious reasons, and not just jumping-in-feet and all.Normally people who make this choice are normally well educated, and have done quite a lot of thinking..................In the end, it is their choice.
No if you do not want children then that is a joint personal decision. You should not have children because other people put pressure on you.
Of course not. Maybe they are super wise!
There are millions of children in the word living without parents in "third world" countries, where they've simply gotten too sick to survive, or where many have had too many children to look after that they cannot even feed themselves... So no - I do not believe at all that couples without children are selfish. I believe they are in fact the opposite, and if they so truly wanted children, look into adoption.
Why selfish? Everyone is entitled to decide how they live. What about parents who have kids just to serve their own needs, or those who abuse their children? I don't feel selfish for not having kids. Motherhood is not for me and it's better this way.
Thank God selfish people who don't want children, don't have them. No child wants to hang out with parents that are selfish. No child wants to come into the world being resented.
My friends who don't have children (their choice) are absolutely wonderful to my only child monetary, toy, clothes, time wise. They often express their amazement at the amount of time I put into my child and the amount of responsibility and commitment that all parents have for their children 24/7. They simply state that that choice was not for them. I admire them for not tumbling into the "this is the life" rubbish that their peers who have children heap on them all the time. I believe that they knew their limitations and decided not to bring any children into a world of possible resentment and emotional neglect.
by fran.
No it's not selfish. I don't think couples should be expected to have children.

It is more selfish for an unstable, unemployed couple to have kids, who do not have the money or resources to give a child a good start in life.
No I definitely don't think that. It is just their life choice.
Um, no. You could say, with the issues of over population, couples that choose to have children, or more than one child are selfish. How is it selfish? It's their life, they should choose to live it how they see fit.
I don't think so. For whatever reason, they've decided not to have kids. I don't think it's selfish, just a lifestyle choice.
How can choosing not to have children be selfish? It is in fact more selfish if you do have children because the world is already overpopulated, and you are just filling up more to please your own interests.
I don't think so. It is a personal choice, and is also God's will. No matter how hard some couples try to conceive, it just won't happen in some cases.
If anything, they are doing the smart thing by waiting/choosing not to have children. There could be a number of reasons impacting this decision - lifestyle choices, finances, health issues, conception issues.

Safe to think of it as the quote "if you're not ready, don't do it". Only have/adopt kids if you know you will commit to them 100%. There is no point in giving birth to new life if you're not going to provide for them.
That's an odd question. It includes the assumption that having children and raising children is a public good, which is debateable. People sometimes argue that the world is overpopulated and that having children, or at least having "too many" children (however you define that) is selfish. You can't win!

I have kids but that was my choice, for my own personal reasons. I don't think not having them means you are selfish.
I think in some cases it's a wise choice. They would have considered their abilities as parents and the upheaval it would make on their lives and relationship. There are many, many couples out there who should not have had children.
I agree with you. It's sad to say, but some people should not have children. Particularly those who don't give two farts in space about their kids.
by Vee
It depends. The culture we live in is unbelievably selfish. Being able to raise a child in this ridiculous version of reality involves people being forced to work many hours just for the basics. Perhaps for some people the idea of having to work full-time with a child is just simply too much. In that situation, you could make a claim that those people are actually being the opposite of selfish by deciding not to have a child in those circumstances.

Some people just should not have children - like my dad, for instance :) You need to have a certain level of mental wellbeing to be able to be a good parent, and I think there are less of those people going round.

But then of course I think a lot of other people probably do choose not to have children because of selfish reasons.

Not at all, if they choose not to have children that's their personal choice and has nothing to do with anyone else. They can also go out, go on holidays, have a career and enjoy their lives without interruption, crying, tantrums and the extra expense. I remember that life before kids, it was so peaceful lol.
No, I don't think so. Its completely a personal choice. Both the parents should be mentaly prepared before planning for a baby.
I see my two siblings how they struggle to raise and give their children the best in life.
I see other kids wanting to be loved by their parents.
Some busy parents think money can substitute their parental obligation to their kids.
I see a lot of lonely kids who go to an unfortunate direction in life,
I know I can not give the best thing in life for my kids so I decided not to have one.
At least I can take care of myself and not bring a life on this earth that I am not able to support.
I do not like to add a misery in this world so I choose to live alone.
I do however admire other parents who can give a quality of love to their kids, that is knowing how to discipline them and teach them the value of life. Sending them to good education and accept them for who they are.
Sadly, not all of them are like these so why bring another misery in life?

It is awful that you have asked this question. I lost 4 babies before they were born trying to become a mother. We exhausted all options and now are too old to adopt. Don't even wonder, never assume. There is a lot of pain behind this 'childless' couple.
natal, I’m afraid you’ve got me all wrong. I am not assuming that ‘childless’ couples are selfish, and I am not assuming that ‘childless’ couples are so because of choice alone. Please accept my sincerest apologies if I have come across as judgmental and harsh. I cannot imagine what you have been through. My own mother lost two babies, and that was difficult to say the least. Moreoever, the actual question was ‘Are people who can have children but choose not to selfish’? but it was too long to include as the title. And, as I have said elsewhere, I only ask because there seems to be a perception that those who can have children but choose not to are selfish, not because this is my personal opinion. Moreover, I was genuinely interested in the opinions of others. Again, I am sorry for causing offence.
by Vee
Yes Vee, this question is only about people who can...but choose not to have children.
by jonaja
Firstly not all couples choose to be childless. Sometimes there's a heartbreaking story behind their childlessness. Secondly, how is it anyone else business?
lynne, as I said to natal, I am not assuming that all ‘childless’ couples are without children because of choice alone. Moreoever, the actual question was ‘Are people who can have children but choose not to selfish’? but it was too long to include as the title. And, as I have said elsewhere, I only ask because there seems to be a perception in society that those who can have children but choose not to are selfish, and I was genuinely interested in what others had to say on the topic.
by Vee
by Vee
My brother and his wife chose not to have children because ther is alot of mental illness on both sides of the family and they don't seem to regret it. On the other hand my cousin and her partner were NEVER going to have children. Then she changed her mind and after a few years their marriage broke up.
On a lighter note check out Michael Mc Intyre on children on you tube.
by lynne
Absolutely not selfish. They make a choice and live with it without imposing their views on others. Why would that be selfish?
No I don't think it is selfish. First I think people need to understand there may be many reasons why a couple is childless and in some cases those reasons are painful and extremely private, making generalisations hurtful. I was unable to conceive but we did not even consider issues of family for many many years and because I worked full time and did not talk about fertility was branded a career women with a very negative tone. I have adopted children now because we had some specific life goals as adults including creating a family and providing a chance for two little ones that had lost that chance with their biological family. However, parenthood is not for everyone (and quite rightly so when you see how poorly some children are treated by the adults in their lives) and society needs to become comfortable with that fact. When you do not have children and are seen by society as 'supposed to' have children you realise how set up society is for all couples to have children. I think not having children in many cases is a demonstration of a couple who (if they choose to be so) have thought deeply and carefully about family, being parents and about bringing more children into the world. And even if it is for some personal reason that benefit themselves that is simply no one else's business and is by no means selfish. Selfish on whose terms..... If you listen to David Suzuki who talks about global population growth far outweighing what the planet can sustain you consider this a non issue..... great question!
Some definitely are but there are others who cant have children so we ought not to judge.
by Gia
Not at all. If people do not want children, they most definitely should not have them!
No. People should be allowed to choose how to live their lives. If someone doesn't feel strongly about dedicating their life to a child then I believe it's actually an un selfish act to not have one.
Having children is a VERY personal choice!
It's not the same as deciding to get 'a cat' or 'a dog'.
Children are probably THE most expensive outlay in the married couples' lives.
We 'waited' 12 years b4 having our children, because of our 'lifestyle' at the time. Preferred to have 'been there, done that', so there were NO materialistic frustrations, which could make one be 'shirty' at the kids. The 'I could've spent more years at University, if I hadn't had you' type of scenario, which is devastating for a child, I think.

This 'life-plan' suited us to a 't' & all worked out well, thankfully. That was 30 years' ago & our children are now both in professional careers, & our daughter is married!

I think there maybe a few 'selfish' couples out there, & also could be some 'lazy' people, too, because from the start, having children is damn HARD work! Not only physically, mostly for the mother, but also financially, for the father.
No - quite the opposite in fact. This planet is grossly over-populated. Those of us who chose not to breed are doing the world a favour! And some of us are just not suited to be parents. I know I would be terrible at it; and I'm proud that I can admit that. I know a couple of people who are so bad at it that their children will have (if not have already) major psychological issues due to their mis-treatment.
Believe it or not, some people actually do not like children. Why on earth we feel enabled to dictate to those people that they should reproduce is beyond me. I have always felt that if people don't want children then those unwanted children are much better off not born. It takes all kinds to make this old world.
by Rice
Why on earth would they be selfish?
this is a personal thing.
by Finy
A friend of my husband didn't want children because it would have spoilt her figure. I don't think it's being selfish, merely misguided in this instance. For others who chose not to have children for various reasons I think its better not to bring chikdren into the world unless they can provide for them, or give someone else the opportunity of being a parent. Accidents do happen.
I dont think so. Sometimes couples dont have children because they cant . This perfect frame of marriage kids job isnt something everyone relates to. People think and live out of the box.

Everyone is selfish and I dont think there is anyone selfless in this world.
No, I don't think so. I want children but I don't think that those who don't want are selfish.
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