Here’s a news item for you:
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 1975 about one in eleven women was childless by the age of 44. By 1993, that number had risen to approximately one in six. 34.9 million American families were childless and only 33.3 million families had a child under the age of 18.
Before you assume I got this from some pro-lotsa-kids website, think again. This bit of information was broadcast proudly as evidence of a trend we should embrace. This came from ChildfreeByChoice.com, a website devoted to those interested in the childfree lifestyle. Their website has things you would find on websites promoting any lifestyle…
- Weblog of young couples complaining about families in restaurants
- List of films that have no children in them
- List of famous people who had no children
- Humorous quotation poking fun at rednecks, large families and kids in general
I admit, I enjoyed paging through this site. The Childfree by Choice (often referred to as “Childless”) crowd is the exact opposite of the crowd we associate with. These people hold up many reasons for choosing no children: more time with their partner, practice simplicity, busy lifestyles, and environmental reasons.
Are these people for real? I think to myself. Is life all about spending time with your partner (the site is quick to point out that this includes straight, bisexual and gay partners)? Is simple living disrupted by children? Is busyness a virtue to be sought after? Environmental reasons must include “overpopulation,” a modern perception that is incredibly false. There are few choices more permanent than “choosing” to live life without a heritage, and my heart goes out to these people who think they’re onto something here.
So many truths of life come out when you have children. You discover that life with your spouse is strengthened, that the fruitful things in life are the simple ones, and that life spent on trivial pursuits are just that: trivial. I can’t think of the Childless by Choice crowd as anything other than knotted up, angry, shallow, self-centered people whose choices have centered on the only thing in life they understandthemselves.
“Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with youthe birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the groundso they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.” (God to Noah, Genesis 8:15-17)