What to tell well Meaning People who Assume having Kids Improves Life

Infertility does not have to mean life is meaningless. On the contrary, coping with infertility allows a freedom a childless couple has that many people envy. When questions arise such as “When are you going to have children?” or “Children make life complete, are you ready for yours yet?” are nevertheless hurtful for someone who is infertile. That said, it must be realized that most people usually have no idea they are insensitive. Nor do they comprehend the full range of implications of the infertile couple.

For most of human history, in our genetic code and in all societies, having children is taken for granted and expected as a normal part of human life. Many people simply do not realize how much the world has changed; having kids now days is an over-whelming obligation. Yet, if confronted with the constant question about children is frustrating and nerve-wracking, there are many ways to cope with it. They all involve truth and compassion.

Here are some truthful answers to those who question why some people are childless. First of all, most people are aware that the Earth is dangerously over-crowded. Due to the advent of fossil fuels and the improvements it temporarily made in ending disease and extending life (in enriched nations) an untested experiment in climate change and planetary degradation is a modern reality. It has changed family life. The blended family, the foster family, the same sex marriage are all welcome changes that call for more love and compassion than the “traditional nuclear” family.

Adding more children in this world is not advisable and can be considered selfish by many perspectives. Never in the history of the world has life on earth been threatened by seven billion souls each needing air, water, food, soil and energy. Why add to this burden?

Life is sacred, but human life has become cheap, disposable and miserable. Isn’t it wiser to invest time and energy into protecting a world that others can thrive within? One does not have to adopt orphans from impoverished nations in order to enhance the lives of others. One does not even have to have pets in order to give back to the real miracle of life which is not just human life, but the more than human world which is threatened by over-population and over-exploitation of all Earth’s over-taxed systems.

Happiness with kids is not guaranteed. According to the scientific research, parents will experience, heartache, addiction, conflict, loss and just plain stress with their children. This does not mean that children are not a blessing, but that children are not JUST a blessing. They are real individuals who will have varying levels of conflicting views, traits and personalities. Children are not property after all, or born for the purpose of completing their parents. If parents do think a child will make them happy when they are not already happy, both child and parent will suffer.

Children born today are far more likely to be exploited than children born in the past. There is more sex trafficking, child soldiers and human bondage and slavery than every before in history. A parent does not have a way to know how global wars, weather disasters, coming plagues and unknowns will affect themselves, much less to know how it could affect their children. Even the disappearance of the middle class suggests children may not have the same security that past generations have known.

To better invest in the future of life means to expand the circle of compassion. Degradation of the quality of life has caused the sixth extinction that people are now living with in modern times. To protect those babies and organisms that are critically endangered makes more sense than to create more resource sucking people.

Having a pet or even a garden has rewards of fulfillment, affection, sharing and creativity. Human kids cost much more, and can never promise the same degree of loyalty, faithfulness or freedom.

Quality of life is more important than quantity of life. There are one billion people who will go to bed hungry today. There is an even higher number of children who suffer daily for lack of water, sanitation and food. It is a noble goal to wish to improve quality of all life.

Baby showers are fun, and baby clothes are cute, but there is an important higher calling for those who recognize a higher beauty in the whole creation. Sleeping through the night (or having time and energy for romance) has its own rewards.

It’s not hard to find someone else with a baby who wants some help. When I am done baby-sitting (nephews, nieces, neighbors) I can give them all the love I want without having to worry about paying their bills, washing their clothes or putting them through school.  Kids can be fun, entertaining and awesome, but they don’t have to be mine to be all these things.