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Should you ever apologize for choosing not to have children?

By Dann Alexander 

The recent news of another royal birth will bring many issues surrounding the choice not to have children back into the spotlight. Royal watchers and entertainment media that follow these celebrity births have already generated an incredible amount of content for print and webpage that will keep readers engaged for weeks. In many cases, there will be unnecessary pressure placed on those who do not want kids to explain themselves further. Similarly, those trying to have children may feel added pressure from family and social circles who may not be aware of any difficulties they may be experiencing.

Telling your family that you don’t want to have children can be difficult. What if you are the only child and therefore the only possible bridge to grandparenthood? What if telling your decision to family alienates you from them? There could be many reasons why telling those closest to you could be very difficult. If you feel some sense of guilt for not wanting to have kids, it is perfectly normal. You are human after all.

What is unnecessary is an apology. No one should have to apologize for making a personal decision. If you are not harming anyone in the process of living your life then never feel the need to apologize for living it. You really owe no one an explanation.

It is easy for me to say that you don’t need to apologize. After all, my parents were supportive of my choice not to have children. Other people may not find it that easy and may feel the need to apologize, particularly if as referenced earlier, they are the lone path for their parents to become grandparents. Maybe it is something they looked forward to and spoke about for a long time. I have vivid recollections of parents of friends who spoke about how much they wanted to be grandparents while we were all still kids! I remember in those moments thinking how I would prefer to live in the here and now and not think ahead to those later years.

For those of you who have chosen not to have children, did you ever feel the need to apologize for your choice? If so, why?

For those of you who are trying to have children, have you faced extra pressure because of media stories such as royal births or celebrity births? How have you dealt with the situation?

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

Comments

  1. Hi Dann,
    Thanks for a great article! As mentioned on the forum a few days ago, I remember feeling extra pressure to conceive when the first royal baby was born in 2013. We were going through what would be our last throw of the dice and I remember the sense of heightened hope that somehow the magic of the royal birth will extend to us too. Of course we ended up never conceiving.

    Yes my own experience shows how these high profile pregnancies can distort people’s views about conception. The media often makes it look as though celebrities become pregnant effortlessly, when in fact many of them may have been trying for years. When high profile pregnancies are made to look effortless, ordinary people who have difficulty conceiving naturally start believing that there is something wrong with them and you can imagine how devastating that can be.

    • Dann Alexander says

      Thank you Nina for your kind words. Your story and others have familiar rings to the tones. As much as I am happy to never want children, my heart breaks for those who have tried, and in many instances keep on trying.

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