Childlessness does not equal loneliness in old age

By Dann Alexander 

On multiple conversations over the course of my young life, there is one regular question that comes up whenever I mention not wanting to have children. There has been many times when I have been asked: “Who will take care of you when you are older”? The very fact that this question is being asked tells me that people still have children with the intent of creating future personal caregivers.

Let’s be real here. There is probably an honest intention for this to be a positive thing. If parents raise their kids well and have a positive relationship with them, the kids will do what they can to ensure their parents are looked after well into their elder years. I certainly want my Mom and Step-Dad to be well-looked after and think about this often, since they are now in their late sixties.

I’m very introverted so I don’t mind my own company. Loneliness in old age is not something I worry about at all. Between writing, family life and everything I have on the go, I cannot remember the last time I truly felt lonely. I’m very fortunate to have a great circle of friends, extended family and colleagues in the writing trade that keep me fairly social. My closest friends are parents and I certainly would treat their children as if they were my own. One of those kids has referred to me as her “Uncle Dann” for over three years. I certainly do not expect any of them to be my future caregivers. I will just be happy to have them in my life, or to see them live a good life as they see fit.

I appreciate this all could change as I grow older. One can never truly predict how they might feel about things in a few years. Or even a few weeks. Perspectives can change drastically. People do come and go in life. You find ways to carry on.

I’ve always lived with the belief that it is up to me to have the best life possible. I strive for this every day. I won’t worry about having personal caretakers as long as I can manage to take care of myself. It’s up to me to do everything I can to live a good life and work hard to be happy. If someone choosing no children can achieve that, then there is a good possibility that they may seldom (if ever) feel lonely.

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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