The concept of childfree implies a conscious desire not to have children. Looking at those who declare themselves to be supporters of this concept, one might think that some were forced into the ranks of the «free from children». This could be due to constant questions from others: “When are you planning to give birth? The clock is ticking!» Another reason may be material problems: when someone in a couple decides to first improve their financial situation, and then think about children.
Aif.ru spoke with Gestalt therapist Olga Moshenskaya and learned what could be hidden behind the unconscious refusal to continue his kind.
Let’s assume that there really are those who consciously made the choice to be childfree, and those who called themselves so for some unconscious deep reasons. The second category will always have tension in this topic, because this is not a choice, but a protection that can subsequently ruin a life.
Children are natural extensions of themselves.
Nature created man in such a way that with a certain interaction with the opposite sex, children can be born. If we consider two people as a couple, then sex is a continuation of an emotional relationship with a lover. Children are the result of the manifestation of togetherness and the expression that love will be eternal. Children are one of the ways to extend your life and repeat yourself. This is a story about trust and intimacy in a couple. If a man and a woman, for some reason, cannot have a child, they try to find any ways to change this: they resort to IVF, the services of a surrogate mother, use a donor egg, adopt a child, or arrange custody of someone else’s child. Also, people can become godparents for the children of relatives or friends. In extreme cases, they create a product, a project that symbolizes their child.
If we start from such a picture and see why the couple does not want to have children, then we can assume that this is a story about a lack of trust, reliance on a partner, fear of taking on additional responsibility, which raises the question: “Why do I also need children?” But the choice of such a partner, with whom for some reason it is impossible to have a child, does not happen by chance.
Infantilization or over-commitment
We all come from childhood. Everyone has their own unique story of growing up, which influences further choices in adulthood. We can identify similar scenarios that can be traced in the false-childfree:
- Lack of trust in their own child from parents. From early childhood, they do not allow them to tie their own shoelaces, get dressed, constantly criticizing and saying: «I’m better off myself, you still won’t succeed.» Thus, adults invalidate, infantilize the child. The message of childhood “you can’t do it” is transferred to adulthood, including the decision to have a child.
- The other side of the coin is when, from a young age, a baby is loaded with various responsibilities. This could be household chores, serving a parent or a younger sibling. By the age of 18, a girl or a guy is so tired of everyday life, obligations, other people’s children or their own parents, that one thought about their upcoming children shocks them. They may refuse the offer of friends or relatives to become godparents for their babies. Everything related to children, responsibility and obligations is an exorbitant burden for them. Young people choose not to continue their race in order to regain their childhood, their life, the right to be free and live as they want.
- “Where else are you children! You have four old people with us.” Or “don’t you dare bring it in the hem!” Such words of parents can forbid having a child. Even if a couple wants to get pregnant and give birth, the inner fear of their parents does not allow them to do this. To protect themselves from pain, people choose to be childfree.
- When parents push a school graduate out of the house, saying: “Next myself. I won’t help you anymore.» Such a sharp cutting of the emotional umbilical cord can be fatal for some. An adult child is afraid that overnight he was left alone with life and all its difficulties, and then they offer to take responsibility for a little helpless little man.
I don’t want this kind of life for my children
Sometimes adults do not remember bright, colorful moments from their childhood, but they remember well the absence of parents, a drunken father or mother, hostile neighbor children. This pain helps to make a choice:
Revenge on parents. “You have shaken me. I will not continue your lineage.» This is an aggressive move against the whole family for spoiled childhood, for dislike. Someone just constantly expresses claims to their parents, and someone, as the saying goes, I will gouge out my eye so that my mother-in-law has a crooked son-in-law. The easiest way to take revenge on your parents and prove to them that they were bad is to deprive them of their grandchildren.
I did not meet the person from whom I want to give birth to a child. If a woman is already over 40, then what list of requirements should be in order not to meet her one among four billion men? In fact, behind this reservation you can find painful stories from childhood or from the first relationship.
Protecting your unborn child. It is better not to give birth than to let him go through the hell that I went through. So it can be when, with living and wealthy parents, the child was given to an orphanage or to someone “unkind” for upbringing.
I punish myself
For a person who chooses to be a childfree, this process seems natural from the inside. However, there are stories when, at the end of the fertile age, he realizes that he was mistaken — this is a deaf defense from painful experiences at the moment of touching the «childish» theme. But the time has already passed.
There is a position that is not so closed: a person is afraid, but looks towards the reasons that forced him to put on the mask “I am a childfree”. If a woman or couple accidentally becomes pregnant, then it is easier for them to abandon this slogan and make a choice in favor of the birth and upbringing of a child.
The unconscious mask “I am a childfree” has a big minus. It is easy to put on, but not so easy to take off. Once using it to protect himself from pain, a person can play too much and believe in this idea himself. Even if he changes his mind, it will be difficult for him to lose his guise, because everyone around him has already been notified. It is very difficult for many people to change their minds in public, because we are taught from childhood to keep our word. Therefore, before you say something like that a thousand times, think about what kind of fire you are playing with and what kind of cage you are building in your head with your own hands. In order not to regret your choice after 20 years, you can try to go to a psychologist who will help you see what is really hidden behind these words: a manifesto that helps protect yourself from pain, or a conscious choice.