American singer Kelly Clarkson was recently in the news for asking her husband to get a vasectomy after she got pregnant with her second child. “I was literally pregnant with Remi, and I was like, ‘You are getting fixed. This will never happen to me again’,” she was quoted as saying. Clarkson decided that she wouldn’t have any more babies after giving birth twice. Interestingly, with careers and lifestyles becoming a priority for a lot of people today, several young couples are increasingly deciding to remain childless.
In 2006, the Mumbai-based International Institute for Population Sciences found that 2.3% of the 1 lakh women interviewed for a family health survey in India did not have children, and did not plan on having them. While there isn’t much data on this trend since that time, experts say the number of couples who are opting not to have babies is on the rise.
Let’s avoid the kids
“There are many reasons for this,” says relationship expert Shyam Mithiya, citing the number of queries he receives from couples who don’t want to have children. “People want to be 100% secure financially before they have a baby. Women’s lives undergo a complete turnaround. They have to take a break from work for minimum one year. Travel is also a factor. I have seen people who say that they won’t be able to travel freely with kids. People’s social lives get affected as well. Many women are conscious about their figures and worry about how their bodies will be affected by pregnancy,” Mithya says.
Old age may get tough
It is also important for people who go childless to remember that life may get difficult during their old age, as there won’t be anyone to take care of them.
Bansode says that couples who have no children should develop a strong support group and expand their goals towards social causes. “They should aim to be active and interact with people, and build a healthy support system so that their need for company is fulfilled,” she says.
Benefits of having children
1) It’s a psychologically fulfilling experience
2) Offers a sense of satisfaction
3) It’s an enriching experience to see the child grow
4) Elderly people feel connected to the world through their children
5) It fulfils the need for company
6) Children bring hope as far as the future is concerned
7) Couples have reported that their bond strengthens, and that life gets more stable
Benefits of not having children
1) Couples can focus better on their career goals
2) More free time
3) Freedom to pursue personal goals without feeling guilty
4) Financial flexibility
5) Freedom to experiment with career
- Clinical psychologist and relationship expert, Vidya Bansode