Are you a fence-sitter?

By Dann Alexander 

The term “fence-sitter” is not an old term. Many people can be “on the fence” about any possible choices. My first hearing of the phrase was on a discussion forum about the choice of whether or not to have children.

When it comes to deciding on whether or not to have children, are you in a state of contemplation on the possibility? Do you find yourself wondering if it is worth it to you? What are the doubts that you are raising within yourself? Are these doubts along the lines of: “what if I end up being a bad parent?” “What if my life does not turn out the way I want it to?” Etc.

If the “what ifs’” are a constant source of your thoughts, you may consider yourself a fence-sitter. The artwork on the cover of my book “Planned UnParenthood – Creating a Life Without Procreating” captures a fence-sitter in a subtle but brilliant posture.

The cover was meant to provoke many questions. The obvious one being, “Why is that person sitting on the fence?” They are looking at both sides of the fence with a seemingly clear view. One side is a couple walking hand in hand without a child. The other is a couple pushing a pram with (we assume) a child riding along. It is a basic view point of the fence-sitter who is working towards possibly making a choice.

Choice is the key word here. In no way, shape or form would I encourage or discourage the choice either way. The choice is to be respected. What is important is to encourage all fence-sitters who may be in that state of contemplation to give both sides full consideration. To talk to others around them who walk both sides of that fence. To listen to their pros and cons fully and make every effort you can to understand them.

Ask questions. This is a lifestyle choice where if you say yes, you are making an incredible commitment. If you say “no”, there is that chance you might change your mind. That possibility is there. If you say “no” initially, you could become a fence-sitter again. Know that this is perfectly fine. A life event could be one of many things that might put you back on that fence. Anything is possible.

Do you consider yourself a fence-sitter? If so, what do you feel are the pros and cons of having children versus not having them?

Dann Alexander

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