Lesson 36: Choosing to Live Child-Free

Right now there’s some minor drama on the Internet about a woman’s right to choose to have a child. You might think I’m talking about “choice vs. life” but that would be far too obvious and actually worthy of argument. Instead the kerfuffle is over the fact that some women are loudly choosing to be childfree.

I actually have a pretty strong opinion about this.


Who. The fuck. Cares?

Choosing not to have kids is a lot like choosing not to wear a sweater. You may feel comfortable not wearing a sweater but most likely someone is going to say, “You need a sweater, you poor thing. You’re going to catch a cold.” Then you’ll explain that getting a cold from temperature is an old wives' tale but they’ll still insist you wear a sweater. Now you’ve got a sweater that you never wanted in the first place and you have to carry it around with you at the amusement park and it gets heavier and heavier and eventually you want to just throw it in the trash and when you finally let someone else hold your sweater you feel free and fabulous and like you could run a marathon if people would just stop throwing sweaters at you. And that’s what having a child is like. At least that’s what it feels like when one is thrust on you by society. 

People who have always wanted kids (myself included) sometimes have a hard time understanding why others wouldn’t want a sweater. Especially when it’s your favorite sweater. The one you searched for forever. Comfortable and snuggly and a little too baggy and probably not flattering at all, and all your sweater-free friends keep telling you to leave it at home but you know that later that night there will be a time when you’ll happily bundle yourself up in that sweater and feel like the whole world is right. You’ll look at your sweater-free friend and think, "She must be so cold. I wish she could feel as happy and content as I do right now." You might even be tempted to push a sweater on your friend but here's the deal. She doesn’t want your damn sweater. And that’s fine. Awesome even. There are already plenty of sweaters in the world and the last thing we need is a bunch of sweaters getting left at the bottom of duffel bags by people who never asked for your damn sweater to begin with.

I guess my point is, sweaters make terrible analogies. And that it’s okay people to choose to be parents or to choose to be child-free. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s the American way.

Stop being so concerned about sweaters, you guys. It’s embarrassing all of us.


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