If you have decided to end your fertility treatments, you may be wondering what the next option for you to turn to is. Many men and women that have faced infertility issues decide to continue on their quest for a child, either through adoption or surrogacy. On the other hand, other couples decide to make the choice to live childfree. If you have decided that having a child is no longer right for you, you might want to consider living childfree. It is can be a viable and fulfilling option for any couple to make.
What is Living Childfree?
Living childfree refers to the decision to continue your life without having any children. Also referred to a childless living, living childfree can be a very rewarding and selfless act that will allow you to fulfill some of your innermost dreams. When you live childfree, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t associate with any children. Instead, it means that you have chosen not to parent your own children.
Choosing to Live Childfree
The decision to live childfree is a very difficult one to make. The decision takes time and you and your partner should both be on the same page. If you are both not happy with the decision, then it will be impossible to live healthily and happily, without resentment. When deciding to live child free, here are some questions that you and your partner may want to ask yourselves:
- Why is it so important to have a child?
- Why don’t you want a child?
- Do you have other responsibilities, interests, and commitments in your life?
- What did you do before you started trying for a baby? What did you enjoy?
- What will you lose if you don’t have a baby? Can you live without this?
Choosing to live childfree takes a lot of courage and effort, but it can often be very rewarding. It is important that, as a couple, you support one another’s decisions, whatever that may be. Don’t let anyone make your decision for you. Also, don’t expect to come to the decision overnight, or even in a few weeks or months. It may take quite some time before you are ready to come to a decision.
Worries About Living Childfree
A lot of men and women worry about living a childfree life. Society often dictates that couples should have children or else they are "abnormal," "weird" or even "selfish". It is important not to let society push you into something that you will not be happy with. It is your life and your decision to make. Society will not be taking care of you or your children.
Many couples also see having children as an insurance plan for old age. Children often take care of their parents as they grow older, and you may be worried about who will take care of you as you age. You may also want someone to pass your traditions and beliefs down to. Well, children are not the only people who are going to care for you in your old age. You will have lots of friends and family to help you deal with the aging process. If you want to pass down some of your traditions and memories, you can always find a neighbor, friend, niece or nephew who will be more than willing to keep these traditions alive. You should have children because you want to, not because you are afraid of being lonely in old age.
Grieving Your Loss
Once you have made your decision to live childfree, the first step to enjoying a happy, healthy life is to grieve your loss. You have tried for a long time to have a child, and your infertility struggles are probably a source of sadness and frustration. Take the time to grieve for the baby that you never had. Grieve individually and as a couple, so that you can move on and explore other areas of your life.
Are You Giving Up?
Just because you have chosen to live childfree, it does not mean that you have wasted your energy, time, and money on your previous fertility treatments. Your quest for a child will always be an integral part of you life, and one that you will never forget. It also doesn’t mean that you no longer like children or desire to have one. It just means that you have accepted that you may never have a child of your own. You will still be free to associate with children whenever you want. You may decide to volunteer with children or become an active aunt or uncle. Living childfree doesn’t mean you can’t still love and be around kids.
Enjoying Childfree Life
The key to enjoying a childfree life is to focus on all the opportunities that it can offer you. Living childfree will allow you the time to focus on your own needs and the needs of your partner. It will enable you to act more spontaneously and eliminate certain stressors. Try not to think of it as a door closing, but instead, focus on all those other doors that are just opening up for you. Here are some things that you may want to pursue in a childfree life:
- your career
- a longtime goal or dream, such as writing a book or running a marathon
- raising pets
- volunteer work