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Are you childfree out of fear?

By Dann Alexander 

If you are a fence-sitter or have decided not to have children, is it all out of fear for what you might be as a parent? This has been another motivating factor in my own personal decision not to have children.

By no means am I taking a shot at any of my parents or grandparents. Sure I admit, I inherited some of their behaviours and attitudes and was able to change some of them on my own. There are a few things that I still am working through. I always want to try to focus on the positive things I inherited from them. Seeing how they went through some things as parents was definitely one of the reasons I decided to live a childfree life.

My parents lost their firstborn child. To this day, I rarely speak about it with my Mom. My Dad and I spoke about it at length about a decade ago. He seemed to have found his own peace with it. When he was laid to rest it was right next to my sisters’ plot. He once believed that hearing him talk of losing my sister at four days old was the defining reason for my choice not to have children.

It was certainly one of the reasons, but calling it the defining reason was simply inaccurate. I did have rather open and frank discussions with my Dad about how I was afraid of being as stressed out as he was during my younger days. In many of those instances, he was high-strung for good reasons. There were some fairly rebellious times in my youth.

When I look back now, I realize that he and my Mom were stressed for so many other reasons when I was younger that it was par for the course. I spent many nights and went through many operations at the children’s’ hospital in Halifax. After losing their firstborn, they were afraid of losing any more kids. That kind of stress is a hard part of health to manage.

Even without children, I did pick up many of the traits from both of my parents when it comes to mental health. My firm belief is that if I had become a parent, those traits may have ended up magnified. It was just a risk I was not willing to take.

If you do not have children, was it out of fear of how your parenting skills would be? Share your story in the comment section.

Based just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, Dann Alexander is the Author of Planned UnParenthood – Creating a Life Without Procreating which is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Twitter @WriterDann

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