THE CHILDFREE LIFE IS JUVENILE AND SPIRITLESS
THE CHILDFREE LIFE IS JUVENILE AND SPIRITLESS
By Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D. Traditional Realist
The Time Magazine cover of April 12, 2013, glorifies “The Childfree Life” as the path to a happy and good life. The idea being touted is children destroy the couple’s freedom to live the life they desire. Not having children is supposed to insure a fantastic existence. This is a blatant attack on the institution of marriage. The dagger is openly being placed in the heart of the most important social unit for our society: the family.
The conscious decision of a couple not to have any children is not marriage it is co-habitation. There is a major difference between a couple that wants to have children and are unable to have them and a couple who has no intention to have any. Procreation is vital to a nation’s survival. Throughout the ages societies have given incentives to couples producing children, as they are the future.
Our self-absorbed culture is sending an anti traditional marriage message about the benefits of producing, raising and maintaining stable families. Citizens are delaying marriage as long as possible making the average age for marriage reach its highest level while the percentage of people getting married is at its lowest. New fads such as making one-year contracts for people living together and “hooking up” or “friends with benefits” both terms defining casual sex with no commitment” are making a mockery of natural intimacy. Sex before marriage is embedded in our modern culture. This destructive norm is being sold to youngsters by the media at a younger and younger age.
The decision to raise a child is a game changer for a person’s life. It is difficult for a person that is hedonistic and self-centered to function as a parent. To be a decent parent you have to learn to become more mature. People without the experience of raising their children have less opportunity to develop inner strength. Our own children teach us it is essential to be responsible and giving of oneself in the process of raising them.
This demanding process takes time and energy that many young Americans are wholeheartedly rejecting. The percentage of children born out of wedlock is perilously rising. At the same time the fertility rate is at its lowest level in our history. In 2011 the fertility level fell 9%. The number of couples not having children has doubled from 1970 to the present. Women make up 60% of college graduates and many of them are postponing getting married and having children for the sake of their careers. After waiting too long before having children couples are spending incredible amounts of money in fertility clinics.
“Having it all” in this cultural context means having as much wealth as possible and children are a major drain on assets. The alleged average cost for caring for a child until age 18 is estimated at a ridiculous $234,900 according to a sociological survey. This outrageous guestimate is an attempt to frighten away perspective parents from having children. The cost of raising a child depends solely on the choices of a parent’s lifestyle.
In the past there was a stigma on women not getting married. They were called spinsters. Those who never had children were looked upon with pity. According to traditional culture, these females never were able to experience the joy of children.
Our modern hedonistic culture has turned this upside-down by claiming that couples that have children are overpopulating the world and polluting the environment. The childfree lifestyle is a choice with long-term consequences. Those who decide not to have children will have an extended time catering to their own wants. Over time they usually regret the loneliness of not having any loved ones in the later years of life and death. Commitment to almost anything in our perennial teenage culture is extremely difficult. People have to be mature to delay immediate gratification for future benefits.
Fulfilled individuals conclude parenthood is more spiritually fulfilling than pampering oneself. There is a vast majority who look forward to the blessing of child rearing. These people want to be there for the milestones of their children’s development and the joyful events that punctuate life’s journey. These parents learn that even the child’s trials and tribulations gives their children increased strength to face the future difficulties of life.
Many parents state, “my children raised me well.” When we hear our children imitate us as parents we alter our behavior to be better role models. These insights motivate us to be givers not takers. We mature into better people.
A childfree life is a sterile one. Being fixated on pleasing oneself is a selfish behavior that does nothing to stimulate spiritual growth. It leaves the individual in later years dependent on strangers. This narcissistic lifestyle for most ends in a joyless “failure to thrive” existence.
Dr. Maglio is a columnist carried by various newspapers, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at www.drmaglio.blogspot.com.