Choosing not to have kids Choosing not to have kids

Choosing not to have kids

For her 10 December, 2016 Ana María López de Mesa


Choosing to be single or deciding as a couple to not have children is a personal decision that does not follow traditional social paradigms. 

Medical Advisor Andrea Vásquez- Psychologist.

Are you in a relationship? When are you going to get married? Are you going to have kids? Don’t you want a second child? All these questions are part of a script that is programmed into our society and perhaps it is true that people do follow these social paradigms and expectations out of habit. Confident in their own reasoning, however, some have decided to write their own script.

For psychologist Andrea Vásquez, the decision of going against the grain is often made by “…people who are empowered and who have enough self-esteem to not allow social expectations or family members to influence their belief systems.”

These are people who choose to be single as a way of life, or decide with their partner to not have children. They do so either because they do not see themselves in these roles, they want to be independent and free, they truly wish to live by themselves or because they choose to develop meaningful relationships through connections other than those that involve a partner or having a family.

When this decision is made at the right time, people can follow their own beliefs and motivations to live their lives authentically without getting carried away by their social surroundings and without the need for a borrowed script.
Developing your own belief system, as Vásquez mentions, is a skill that must be practiced every day. It requires self-awareness, which is especially critical when making the decision to live on your own, with a partner, or to have a family with or without children. If you decide to live with your partner or have a family, you must be prepared to give and receive more than when you live on your own.

While social anthropology and even the field of marketing have assigned a social category for couples and single people that do not have kids (DINK: double income, no kids), the decision to “join” one of these groups transcends beyond any social trend, fad or particular generational preference. Your values behind these decisions must be well-established to avoid falling into any situations that you did not choose.

Some people, whose values of freedom have led them to live alone, can end up placing too much value on their jobs and professional lives without realizing it. Or, in the other extreme, they may begin and end unstable relationships because they are unable to commit; disregarding other aspects of life that are important to our integral development as humans.

In the search for the right path, Vásquez makes the following suggestion, “According to psychiatrist and writer Jorge Bucay, there are three existential questions that allow us to live more authentic lives and should be asked in the following order: Who am I? Where am I going? And with who?”

Being able to answer these questions helps us make decisions that are founded in ourselves as individuals, whether these decisions go with or against the grain. Our greatest enemy is not the other, it is ourselves. Those with a greater awareness of who they are will be emotionally prepared and will have a sound foundation to construct their own happiness, free of the social pressures of all who surround them•

 

When this decision is made at the right time, people can follow their own beliefs and motivations to live their lives authentically without getting carried away by their social surroundings.

MAKE A SOUND DECISION

Sometimes the decision to be single is made consciously. Other times, it occurs as a result of unplanned or unresolved events from the past or present. Why do you want to be single? The answers to this question will help you develop your reasoning:

Because a previous experience with a former partner hurt me and I do not want to expose myself to this pain again…
Because I have to take care of a family member and this consumes all my energy…
Because it is common in my family to be single…
Because I like my freedom…
Because for me it is enough to have my family and friends…
Because I believe I am difficult to be with…
Because I do not believe in commitment…
Because my work takes up all my time…
Because none of the relationships I have entered have been successful…
Because there is no one that I like…
TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR PARTNER THE FOCAL POINT

  1. Establishing good communication is an important part of sustaining a relationship. Being there for each other is about learning how to discuss what went on in each other’s days, and talking about both critical and not-so-critical issues. Continue dreaming together about your futures and about working towards what you both want.
  2. Maintain good relationships with each partner’s respective families. While as a couple you are often considered as “one,” it is also important to spend time with the each other’s parents, in-laws, nieces and nephews. Spending time as a family is a way to find joy in activities that perhaps, prior to doing so, you may not have enjoyed in the same way.
  3. Strengthening your spiritual life as well as your physical fitness will help bring you closer together. This will also help build a solid foundation for staying strong, motivated, excited and open to exploring new things together as well as showing the affection you feel for each other every day.