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Old 02-06-2008, 11:57 AM
15,187 posts, read 16,044,725 times
Reputation: 25081


I just don't understand that word used to describe someone who doesn't have kids. Being "selfish" implies you're putting your wants and needs ahead of someone else's. But if you don't have children, whose wants and needs aren't being considered? The unborn child's? That doesn't make any sense.

It would make more sense to say someone is selfish if they don't take in a foster child, or adopt a needy child, or even if they don't adopt a pet when shelters are full. Please note that I'M NOT saying any of that. But it would be a more logical statement than saying that about someone who doesn't want a child and so doesn't have one.

Old 02-06-2008, 12:04 PM
12,842 posts, read 24,478,691 times
Reputation: 18835
People have kids because they want them (I hope). Many of us don't have kids because we don't want them (if fortunate enough to choose the childfree life, not have it foisted on us by infertility or whatever).
I fail to to any selfishness in not having kids. Who is being hurt by our not having kids? By the way, it appears that only those of us who *choose* to be childfree are considered selfish. If we're unhappy about not having kids, that's OK, if we choose it, we're selfish.
No, I have no desire to devote years of my life, energy, resources, relationship, etc. to a new person that the world hardly needs me to add to it.

By the way, it's my observation that parents have less energy/time/resources to devote to anything in the world except taking care of kids, and their interests in society's welfare seem mostly around their own family interests. Sensible self-interest, to be sure, but hardly selfless.
I think some parents resent the demands on them by parenthood, and resent those of us who have chosen not to have those demands, hence, they find us selfish.
Have kids, don't have 'em- everyone does what they want because they want to. I've yet to see anyone have a child because the Social Security system needs young workers, or the planet has too many trees or something.
Old 02-06-2008, 04:35 PM
Location: New York
371 posts, read 1,785,029 times
Reputation: 250
Originally Posted by monkeygorilla View Post
I think in some cases, its more selfish to have a child if you/ your partner are not ready yet. And some people never will be. I think its very mature to recognize that a child might not be ready for you, rather than to have one because of family/peer pressure. How is making that choice selfish?

I was out to dinner with some friends and they were going on & on about how selfish women are who chose to not have children. It made me really angry...

By the way, I just found this found this forum today & am so excited I did!!
That is a very immature attitude. To think a woman is selfish because she doesn't have a baby is a disgusting attitude. Mother Teresa never bore a child and yet, she was one of the most incredible women ever to have graced this earth. I am sure there are numerous examples, but she is my hero and she stands out the most (granted she was a nun, BUT she chose to become a nun and not to have children).
Old 02-06-2008, 05:39 PM
Location: somewhere in the south
403 posts, read 1,405,080 times
Reputation: 261
We live in a society where having children is expected and if you don't have children or don't want children, you're usually stigmatized and discriminated against and are looked down on.
Old 02-06-2008, 06:11 PM
3,367 posts, read 9,865,827 times
Reputation: 4148
Originally Posted by Homewardbound66 View Post
Mother Teresa never bore a child and yet, she was one of the most incredible women ever to have graced this earth.
Exactly - she gave something back.

There is no need to biologically reproduce children in order to do something useful.

I admire childless people who work for a homeless charity; volunteer to help in a hospice; do some mentoring work with teenagers - anything that recognizes our responsibility to others.

To spend your time on this planet consuming holidays and handbags without doing anything to usefully justify your time here is definitely selfish.

To have children without bringing them up to be responsible members of the human race is equally wrong, and could be labeled 'selfish' too.

OK, my sermon is over...
Old 02-06-2008, 06:53 PM
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla
1,889 posts, read 6,987,029 times
Reputation: 1525
I was on my way to another thread but I had to take a u-turn when I saw the topic to this one! It's SO TRUE! I've been yanked into similar conversations and it just gets me heated when people say things like this. I think its important to consider that for some people its not that they choose to not have kids, some of them just can't.

My friend is a cancer survivor-- took a huge chance having her one (and ONLY) child. She's only 26 and will absolutely not have more children (by choice). Her situation is a bit complicated and touchy but it amazes me that people will say to her-- "omg, you only have one child! But she'll be so lonely! You really should have more". I mean really-- its such a personal topic and frankly its no ones business.
Old 02-06-2008, 07:06 PM
788 posts, read 1,887,918 times
Reputation: 597
If you don't want children and you don't have them - God bless you because there are too many children out there that are "burdens" to their parents. If you don't want them - thank you for not having them!
Old 02-06-2008, 11:26 PM
Location: Happy in Utah
1,224 posts, read 2,941,317 times
Reputation: 901
I allways find it rude when people start judging someone for life choices, Like to have children or not( I find this actually very selfish, its like lets put someone down so we can feel better about ourselves) Sorry you had to put up with that
Old 02-07-2008, 05:00 AM
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,686,944 times
Reputation: 2587
There really needs to be a child-free/childless forum (why isn't there one?). I find it interesting that child-free people often come to the parenting forum to vent. No disrespect, but I often see childfree posters who inadvertantly make it seem like being a parent isn't a worthwhile endeavor (even on this thread). It is for ME... obviously not for everyone. But there's no need to generalize us either - that's not any better than someone calling childless people "selfish." Is it?

That's all I have to say on that matter...

Continue venting...

Last edited by mommabear2; 02-07-2008 at 05:13 AM..
Old 02-07-2008, 06:28 AM
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,004,191 times
Reputation: 4295
Originally Posted by mommabear2 View Post
There really needs to be a child-free/childless forum (why isn't there one?).
A CF forum where parents have access wouldn't work. Been tried - went down in flames. Why? You stated it yourself:

No disrespect, but I often see childfree posters who inadvertantly make it seem like being a parent isn't a worthwhile endeavor (even on this thread).
A CF forum, by its own definition, has to be a place where we can vent, sometimes vociferously, raucously and with much atrocious language. It's not easy being CF in a world that is so child/family centered. And you know what? Sometimes .. scratch that .. MANY TIMES, we CFs don't think parenting is all that great a thing. And we like having a place where we can SAY that without a comment like yours. When parents are allowed their input (in a forum like this, I don't see how they could be kept out), they invariably become what we call "yabbuters": "yeah but my child doesn't act like that, so not all children are that bad" "yeah but, you just don't understand children ... ", and so on and on.

There are a few CF boards in existence already and one newsgroup that has been legend in its fierceness at freely speaking our minds. Sure, a CF board could be established here, but given the posting standards it would be one of muted opinions.
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