The choice of having kids. Or not

by Ohoud Saad

There are many reasons to have children. Reasons that we all know of, grew up with and in essence understand and for many of us, believe. But this is not what I’m here to discuss. More and more these days, I’m meeting people who are opting for not having children. It was almost unheard of in the Arab world 20 years ago, greatly frowned upon 10 years ago, and still a taboo today. Just like the many reasons we know about why to have kids, these are a few behind not having kids.

Finances

With today’s uncertain economy and constant change and increase in prices, it’s not an easy decision to bring another person you’re responsible for. And kids’ needs are incredibly expensive. It’s quite the budget for diapers, formula if needed, crib, stroller, toys, other needed tools, not to mention education – that’s truly a budget on its own nowadays. So, for many people, this kind of financial allocation isn’t the right choice for them.

Environment

More than ever, we’re being told that the Earth won’t hold up much longer with all these carbon emissions, soaring pollution and the rapid climate change. Bringing another life to inhabit this Earth truly needs to be a thoroughly-thought decision. Bringing kids into a climate and environment we’re currently ruining and abusing is quite debatable. And so some people don’t feel that this is something that they can do or want to contribute with.

Adoption

There are so many children without homes. And many homes without children. Instead of having their own children, couples and even individuals these days are increasingly opting for adoption. With the process becoming a bit more religiously and legally feasible, it’s a selfless choice that benefits many souls.

Personal preference

There are so many more reasons why people aren’t opting to have children these days. But there’s a big main one as well, they simply don’t want to. Many of course grew up with the unquestionable notion of the ‘circle of life’ and that having children completes us in a way. We live in an age where we are questioning everything we were told was absolute. Because time has shown us that nothing is. And so, what if that ‘circle of life’ isn’t for me? It’s not my circle. I can still lead and live a happy and fulfilling life.

The most important thing to walk away with here is accepting people’s choices, even if they seem radical to you, even if you think they’re “going to regret it later”. Because that’s what people who choose not to have children suffer from the most. Everyone experiences life differently, prioritizes differently and we should be able to believe that every person is making their own correct choices. By living and let living we’re promoting acceptance, change and peace.


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