Ruminations of a Child Free woman

~ I am 35 year old

~who has known since forever known that she doesn’t want any kids (Voluntarily childfree/ childfree by choice)

~I love my child free lifestyle. I love having total control over my time & my ability to do what I please whenever I please without having to adjust my schedule or priorities around children. I love spending uninterrupted Adult time with my spouse. I like the fact that I don’t have to be worried sick about another person’s future & thus enjoy my own present. (some people told me that after a certain point one just starts living for their children…what a scary thought…I live for my own sake, I celebrate myself & I want to keep it that way)I love having fun & changing nappies or feeding to a child who spits more than she swallows is certainly not my idea of fun.

~ I get sick up to my neck of people telling me that I’d change my mind/ I’d regret my choice…in fact this constant sermonizing is what triggered me to write n share this

~I don’t hate other people’s kid (okay I dislike them when they throw things around my house n spit food on my carpet & behave in general like brats). In fact I adore my niece to bits. (To this people tell me ‘other people’s children can’t be your own’…not to worry I’m not trying to make her my own as in counting her to be there for me when I’m old or anything…I adore her ‘cos she’s adorable n that’s it).

~Contrary to what people assume ‘I’m never gonna change my mind on this one’ & ‘I’m sure I’m not gonna regret my choice either’.

~ I’m from India. Here the concept of ‘child free’ seems to be totally unheard of. In fact to this date I’ve not met any woman/ couple who are voluntarily childfree. The childless couples I know have either adopted or considering adoption.

~People just don’t understand the difference between childless n childfree. Many good intentioned souls suggest I go for adoption. Heck I don’t want any kids. Mine or adopted. Period.

~ Incidentally my mom n my hubby don’t have any concerns on me being childfree but others have their own ideas including the poor incomplete moi theory.

~The only downside of being child-free is that some how it seems to upset n offend most people with children & the diatribe they almost dutifully launch into. They almost consider it their duty to try n convince me to ‘see sense’ n rethink my decision!!!! Though I’m sure their intentions are good but their advice is unnecessary. I’ve made my choice with my heart n mind & I am capable of choosing what’s right for me.

~ Once a woman I’d just met asked me ‘in which class your kids are studying?’ Note the wordings, not ‘do you have kids?’…it’s just assumed everyone has kids….when I told her I don’t have any, she said “I’m sorry”!!!!! I had to assure her ‘but I’m not sorry…infact I’m very happy’… she looked very confused :D

~Another ‘classic’ reason given to me to have children is ‘that it strengthens a relationship/marriage’…what bull?? In my not so humble opinion, a relationship which depends primarily on the two people involved is stronger than one which depends on third person to strengthen it or hold it together.

~Now to answer the most serious ‘Allegation’ against child-free folks that we are selfish (‘cos we don’t think the way rest of you do )

’ Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.’

~Just as you don’t understand my choice to be child free I don’t understand your need to breed but I let you just be who you are with all your good n bad choices without asking you to explain or defend them & I expect you to do the same. Not too much to ask for, is it??

~Most of the people I admire are childfree—Ayn Rand, Howard Roark, Osho, Scarlett-o-Hara

~Happy Child free Day to all the cool child-free folks.

(Also See: Revisiting Child Freedom)

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June 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . child-free, Happiness, Hmm..., I-Me-Myself, MEMEME, My lifestyle, Rant, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom.

35 Comments

  1. A. Merchan replied:

    I applaud this post!!

    • ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

      Thanks A. Merchan for the applause…I bow down…glad you liked it..hope it resonated :-)

      • lakshman replied:

        hey i loved ur views of being DINKS.. I LOVED IT.. I SHARE THE SAME FEELING and u REALLY NED THE GUTS TO STAND FOR WHAT U BELIEVE IN.. GREAT GOING..!!
        LUCKY

  2. nazreena replied:

    You are like the echo of my soul, Ritu !!! Only thing is you wrote it down and I didnt !!!!!

    • ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

      Thanks a lot Naz…I thought it’s about time I wrote what I feel about this entire issue as CBCs are such a minority esp in India though I must say we are a growing minority but most ppl behave absurdly around the choice we’ve made…glad it resonated with you.

    • Sarah Irving replied:

      Dear Nazreena and Ritu,
      I’m a fellow CBC woman, writing a book on the experiences of childfree women. Might either of you be interested in being interviewed (by emailed questionnaire) about your experiences of the decision? If so, there is some more information about the project here http://www.sarahirving.co.uk/?p=413, as well as details of how to get in touch. Thanks!

  3. Dianna replied:

    Love this post Ritu. I agree, it upsets so many people when we do not feel the need to breed as they have. We are child-free and not child-less. I also knew from early on (my teens) that I did not want kids. 30 years later my view has not changed. I always wanted to have my tubes tied but no one would ever do the procedure on me. Happy Child-Free Day to you!

    • ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

      Hey Dianna….glad that it struck a chord with you…very few people will ever understand us…but we do understand n appreciate our tribe…more power to US :-)

  4. CBC replied:

    I was searching for child free by choice India in Google and landed here. It is a great post by Ritu. I find Ritu extremely intelligent, practical and wise woman.

    I am a 27 year old Indian guy living in Delhi and i am not able to find any Indian woman who wants to stay childfree by choice. I spoke to one 25 year old pretty Indian girl that i want to stay childfree by choice and she thought i have some medical issue !

    The childfree by choice concept in India is catching up thanks to 9% GDP growth. As India grows and gets integrate with western thought process, i see childfree by choice concept catching up but it is still at naive stage as compared to US/UK/western world.

    My mother is after my life to marry soon and make her grand mom ! I have told her in clear words it is not going to happen and she is adapting to new thought process.

    My relatives think i am a gay because i have delayed my marriage !

    It is going to be extremely hard for me to find an Indian girl who wants to stay childfree by choice. At shaadi.com , if i approach any girl with a message how about childfree by choice, she end up reporting to shaadi.com webmaster as a spam message !

    My plan is to delay marriage till 35 and then find an Indian woman aged 35 +. It will be easier to convince a 35 year old Indian woman to stay child free by choice then to a 25 year old Indian gal.

    Ritu is also extremely attractive but given the age difference, i can not propose her otherwise i would have proposed her :)

    I want to marry for companionship but no kids. How about you Ritu? Would you tie knot in future with a like minded Indian guy?

    • ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

      Hey CBC,

      Nice to see you here…always a pleasure to meet Childfree by choice folks & to know that this resonates with so many people. I couldn’t help laughing at ‘I spoke to one 25 year old pretty Indian girl that i want to stay childfree by choice and she thought i have some medical issue !’ …this is what people assume..not many people can believe that some people simply don’t want to breed..All the best for meeting your childfree soulmate. I guess there should be a seperate dating/matrimonal site for childfree folks. CBC like you I believe in marrying for companionship..I’m married to a guy whoz okay with my childfreeness (he having his own son from previous marriage)…the most hilarious thing I keep hearing is that my husband will leave me soon if I don’t have a child with him cos as per them only children can hold a marriage together!!!

  5. Sandy C replied:

    More power to you!! Am 32 yrs old, married and happily childfree. I know, friends and family keep saying I’ll change my mind, by 5 years into the marriage, I know it’s never gonna happen ;-)

    I am on the childfreebychoice forum, btw :)

  6. T.R.Leigh replied:

    Thank you for writing this. I too am a child-free woman, and I am very happy about my decision. In fact I just wrote about it in my blog. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  7. ruyam replied:

    Like your post….but sadly very few Indian women wants to be childfree….this is unfortunate for Indian men…. :-/

  8. shraddha replied:

    I am married happily for 8 years now and am proudly child-free. We are Indians by birth but do not live in India. Therefore , it is much easier for us to enjoy our child-free lifestyle!!! We just love it !!!

  9. Ankit replied:

    You know, You’re sick.
    Seriously sick. I thought such mindlessness only exist in books, but “tada”….. here u r, bearing the flag of being pseudo-intellect.
    I actually kind of liked your blog, even suggested it to few ppl, but after reading this post, i understood u r just another one of those so called “we are special” ppl….
    Carry on, go ahead. Its ur life, but i wanna say again, u r sick. definitely sick. :D

    • ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

      This is Hilarious

    • karthik balaji replied:

      oops, what , actually, is sick here you calling ritu ‘sick’.

      • ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

        Hey Karthik, thanks for the support…more power to our Tribe :-)

      • karthik balaji replied:

        anytime ritu !..lol. but seriously i find it hard to understand why some (quite a large ‘some’ ,that is..) people fail to respect our choices and understand how we feel about the whole issue and questions like ‘what if everybody chooses not to have kids, then there wont be no ppl left’. that test our patience to the core.
        this is the first time im posting my views on any cbc blog or forum and i kinda known only a very few ppl that are cbc in india. are you aware of any match making sites that we(thats excluding you, ofcourse) could make use of? thanks for the blog..

  10. Anne John replied:

    Hi Ritu,
    I really admire the fact that you have arrived at the decision to be childfree with such clarity of thought. I also appreciate the courage that a woman needs in Indian society to stick by this decision. Having or not having children is an extremely personal choice but not many realize that! Here is another interesting article about other Indian CBC women
    http://www.womensweb.in/home-health/lifewise/item/childfree-by-choice.html?category_id=10

  11. Revisiting child Freedom « Ritu’s Weblog replied:

    [...] while back I wrote a post on my thoughts about being child free  in a world where ‘breeding’ is almost regarded a ‘fundamental right or fundamental duty’ [...]

  12. sigma replied:

    Finally someone who understands!!!! This post was just like reading my own mind! Seriously its difficult to understand why others have to bother so much about my life, my choice and my happiness? They go to heights saying I’m being cruel to my husband by not letting him be the fertile “man”. I mean give me a break. Its obviously something that we have both thought of and are happy with, and for what you know, they have not as much as even seen my husband.

  13. enigma replied:

    Ritu, I searched for “childfree” and “India”, and landed here! I am also a childfree woman from India. Nice to see you articulating it so perfectly! I was so glad to see at least one more ‘woman’ from India who feels this way!!

  14. swati replied:

    A minor quibble. Scarlett O’ Hara had 3 children, one from each husband. They were: 1. Wade Hamilton, Ella Kennedy, Bonnie Butler.

  15. Lackadaisical Loser replied:

    What an absolutely brilliant piece of writing. Less structured, much less like a researched article…has the distinct feel of a diary post. Very natural and unabashed. Loved it! Was searching for ‘women who don’t want children in India’ when I chanced upon your blog.

    • ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

      Hi Aneesh…Thanks a lot for your soooooooooo kind words….you just motivated me come out with Being Child Free version 3.0…so keep watching this space!!! .. ++ love your Blog Tagline: Lunacy Simplified…hope to see more of your writeups

  16. Childfree By Choice replied:

    I’m relieved to find that women like you do exist. Though I haven’t started looking for a partner yet (I’m just 25), when the time comes I’ll certainly be looking for someone who shares my ideas about childfree living.
    I have been looking for childfree communities on the web, however the prospects of finding one based in India seems to be bleak. I’ll be moving to the US for my Masters/Phd in a couple of months and I hope to have better luck there.
    Have you ever thought about starting a childfree community website for Indians. Do you think there will be substantial interest from people here ? Any thoughts ?

  17. Kanika replied:

    Congratulations! Ritu on your courage to live as you choose to live. Many people would just conform to whatever the others say while ignoring their own conscience, you have done the right thing. I enjoyed reading your article, couldn’t agree more on the mindless way people sometime react to a child-free women, here in India. Hopefully one day the same people would have more peace of mind to fully comprehend and understand that your choice to be childfree is not threatening them or the society in general and they need not defend their own choices to be parents either. Parents take care of your kids, be happy yourself and provide your kids with a happy home environment and childfree people, you be happy with your way of living. Lets contribute to a positive and happier social environment without unnecessarily pulling each-other down.

  18. ponka replied:

    hi ritu…wat a thot..i salute u……im a 27 year girl, married for 2 years…iv come to realise that i prefer being childfree nd pursue my passions and enjoy life than have a baby and worry about everything under the sun….neither is my husband interested in it.my inlaws and grandmother etc feel that im too irresponsible, figure conscious and immature to not want babies….(my husband is 6 years older to me and pretends to love d babies in our house so much but within he finds it an irritating task which is why v both do not wanna make babies).but i dont know how to prove dat i am far more mature than all people who kinda believe that its written in some rule book that rule 1.get married, rule 2. make babies etc…society seriously needs to mind thier own business.

  19. ponka replied:

    initially i did feel that without babies r relation wud break easily but twas muy husband who made me understand that there is no guarantee in anything in life. if it breaks after children wat shall 1 do…v hav to work towards r relation and nurture the relation like r baby instead of adding unnecessary pressures to it.

  20. Shreela replied:

    Hey Ritu,

    Great job bringing together so many like-minded individuals. I read your 30 things about me list :) and points 19 and 20 resonate with me…especially no.20.

    I understand that childbirth might be a wondrous awesome experience, but I have never felt the urge to procreate, get pregnant and ‘be a mother’ etc. Its just not something that I am drawn to. I dont understand why people, especially those who dont earn well enough, burden themselves with the responsibility of young lives. I do respect their point of view but I simply cannot relate to it. I guess the urge to have children is hardwired into their systems by nature…..or in some cases they have simply conformed to society’s expectations.

    I love kids, and I have deep respect for those who adopt children and take good care of them. I might do the same if I am upto it financially, not sure at this point. But I really dont feel like it HAS to
    be my OWN baby. To be honest, I am repelled by this attitude – this partiality towards ‘mera apna khoon’. A kid is a kid is a kid.
    They are all innocent and adorable !

    There are high chances that I might opt for a child-free life; the thought itself is so relieving! :) Feels good to know that I am not alone. Thanks.

    Tc.

  21. thetwentysomethingproblem replied:

    Hi Ritu,

    It’s very motivating to see an Indian Woman make a tough choice like the one you did and also blog about it. Can you tell me how did you make this decision? Did it take you a few years or did you know from the very beginning that you didn’t want to have children? I am in a dilemma today. I love kids and enjoy being around the not so annoying ones too but I am not sure if that means I am ready to have one of my own. I know you cannot make the decision for me but I would love if you could throw some light. I am still not married but I know I will in the next one or two years. I am also very career oriented and have dreams of making it big someday. Will I do justice to being a mother and have a rewarding career? Can I have a fulfilling marriage? How strong do you need to be to live peacefully in the Indian Society?

    Your reply will be greatly appreciated.

    • ritusthoughtcatcher replied:

      Hi Roshini,

      Good to hear from you @ my blog and thanks for your kind words

      Okay moving onto the topic

      It wasn’t a tough choice for me at all ‘cos somehow i knew very early in life that this baby business is not for me. I mean I can never see myself in a role as anyone’s mom.

      Roshni, are you a part of any child free forums online?? There are some really cool communities on FB and elsewhere. These really help to interact with like minded folks which is otherwise difficult. (Most of the ‘real’ folks don’t understand me at all n keep saying ‘i’m sorry’ when i tell them I don’t have children!!!)

      I’m also like you…i love kids at least the well behaved ones n specially my two little nieces, it’s just that they are not for me.

      Having a fulfilling marriage depends on finding a like minded partner which i don’t think is very difficult these days as more n more people are realizing the benefits of not having kids. hmmm n i don’t think there should be any problem with kids+career ‘cos lots women are having it all…think Naina Lal Kidwai, Chandra Kochar n millions more.

      Indian society is really ‘amazing’ in this respect. Be ready to accept sympathies from other people :D.I get some very very strange comments from people about my choices ranging from ‘your marriage won’t be strong’ n some equally other nonsense statements..in my case miraculously my parents were cool with my choice n in fact my mom is my cheer leader.

      I hope I’ve replied satisfactorily to some extent atleast. All the best. Do join some forum on FB n elsewhere,
      :-)

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