Sunday, June 14, 2009

Looking for the “No Children Guy”

Niaris emailed me from Puerto Rico to share her story. She apologized for her poor english but in fact it was very good—she communicated very genuinely what many women, and men, go through when they tell their partners they don’t want kids, either they are not believed or their partner believes things will change over time. I’ve heard too many stories like hers to believe that you can change someone’s mind on a commitment as huge as parenthood. It rarely works. Here’s a bit of what she had to say:

When I was little girl I dreamt of having a family, but as I grew older that changed. When I looked around me I saw that the responsibility of the children falls to the mother. I think it is not fair to women—it should be an equal responsibility.

My first marriage ended because I did not want any children, although I made it clear from the beginning. He thought he could change my mind.

As I was getting back to dating, one of the characteristics I was looking for was a ‘no children guy.’ I found him. We got married two years ago.
Niaris still gets the “When are you having a baby?” question, and she weathers the reaction “the look on their face when you say ‘never.’ But that does not bother me. My choice is to live without children. I do not hate children; I just don't want the responsibility.”

Niaris brought up a point I think is important. Though many of the men and the women I interviewed weighed the responsibility of parenthood in the course of their decision making, the women did make the assumption that the bulk of the childcare tasks would fall to them, whether they were working full-time or not. I’ve often wondered if this imbalance of responsibility is one of the reasons why these women resist motherhood. What do you think?
Flickr photo by Ruth L (cc)

1 comment:

abhi said...

Well I also have decided to never become father but my reasons are obviously different from the lady u mentioned in the post. I belive it is just a selfish desire to leave genetic legacy. If sex was devoid of any desire and pleasure, we wont have been so keen on procreation. My wife is though only 90% sure about remaining child free.