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Living Child Free After Infertility Treatment: Part Two

a blog by Helen Adrienne, LCSW, September 26, 2013

Click here to read Part One.

I have a few concerns for those of you who are considering choosing to live child-free. Do all in your power to make sure that your decision is not contaminated by earlier issues. For instance, if you were burdened with too much responsibility for raising siblings, you might feel that you’ve already been a parent. Or, you might have had inadequate parenting which has left you presuming that you will be inadequate also. If these or other early traumas were worked through, would you still make the choice to live child-free? Just let it be a choice that really represents you.

The next step would be to make it a choice that you really can embrace, not a choice by default. There is surprisingly little social support for choosing child-free living, given that feminism has been around for more than a generation. So in many ways, to arrive at a place where you value this choice would truly feel like swimming upstream. And again, the freedom to embrace your choice depends upon getting past your face in the mirror, to your inner soul where you can really know that the answer is the right one for you. Perhaps the wisest thing that you could, would be to “practice” at being a child-free couple and see how it feels.

Most important to gaining clarity about this choice is to realize that generativity comes in many forms, of which procreation is only one. To feel that your life has a purpose and maybe even a passion is the key. Perhaps yours would be the passion of travel and experiencing the broad horizons, intellectual stimulation and excitement that immersion in different cultures can provide. Perhaps you have a dream that has lain dormant since your childhood, which having a family would preclude. Perhaps you have come to realize that freedom to you is more important than responsibility to others.

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