When you’re a teenager your family questions when you’ll get a boyfriend; when you find when, they ask when you’ll get engaged; ring on the right hand, they start making plans for the wedding before you even start thinking about it; and when you finally get married and settle down, pressure for kids start.
This novel could go on with the coerce for the second child, the school choice, the sports the kid is gonna play, the language he/she is gonna learn, and so on… It could go on, if for some couples the soap-opera hasn’t ended in that “they lived happily ever after” part. Although family and society make this pressure, not to mention religious and biological precepts of procriation, forming a family beyond husband and wife isn’t everyone’s plans.
“If my bilogical ring rang, i didn’t hear it”, joke Cássia França, 30 years old, from Recife. Married for 5 years, Cássia afirms the decision of not having kids was taken by her and her husband, who happens to have two daughters from a previous marriage, since they got together, and none of them regret it. Her family, as surprising as it sounds, don’t push the couple to have babies: “My parents want tp see me happy, and that goes beyond the fact of having kids or not. Outsiders are actually the ones who keep asking, because they think it’s weird that a couple don’t have children. Weird, in my opinion, is to having kids and not raising them well, or thinking that paying a good school, giving food and hiring a nanny is enough”.
The amount of people who share the non-desire of being parents isn’t small. There are even groups of discussion and foruns around the internet to discuss the subject, and they also serve as supporting groups for people who have an alike opinion that is mostly different from the one considered ‘normal’.
One of those people to raise the #childfree flag is Gisele Menezes, 47 years, from Rio de Janeiro but living in Curaçao, in Caribe. Holding the same opinion since she was 15, Gisele assures she and her husband feel completely happy with the choice they made of not adding more members to the family, and she tells this option has nothing to do with liking children or not – and she guarantees she likes them. “Pressure comes from society, but I learned long ago not to care about what people think, because at the end nobody pays my bills, and no one would pay for my kids expenses if I had them”, says Gisele.
Supporting children finantally, as a matter of fact, has been one of the main reasons for families to decided not to havem them – or at least postpone their arrival. In addition to the money issue, there’s also the fear of violence, as Janaína Gomes* admits: “We see so many atrocities happening in the world, I prefer to do what I can from keeping more people from facing it. If it’s to provide love, I already do that to my pets”, she states.
Understanding that the wish of having children isn’t natural to every woman is a delicate subject. Women who made this choice have to deal everyday with argumentations such as “you’ll change your mind when you hit your 30′s” or “your parents wish is to having grandchildren”. Fortunately, a great part of these women do commit with their own decision, and they choose not to change their ideals and lifestyle to please anyone – and even better – they learn not to argue back and do a big deal over the subject.
The recipe for happiness is clearly not the same to everyone, and it’s up to us, as society, to accept and deal with everyone’s decisions.
What do you think of people who have chosen a childfree lifestyle?Are you one of them? Have you been to this kind of pressure? Share your opinion.
* Real name has been changed due to character’s request.