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Is Childfree Living an Option for You?
You may find this hard to believe: for many people who’ve spent years trying to get pregnant, deciding to live childfree is liberating. They throw out the ovulation calendar, the planned sex, the meds, and clinic visits, and take back their lives. Rather than giving up, they see themselves as taking another exit on life’s highway.
Deciding to live childfree often begins with a thoughts such as, “Do I/we really need a baby to be happy?” or “I’m missing out on so much. Wouldn’t it be nice to have my life back again?” Welcome these thoughts.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Many couples use the traditional list-making decision method. In one column, list all the benefits of living childfree. (Couples should make this list individually but make a joint decision.) In the other, list reasons why having a child is best. Next, rate each reason from 1 to 5 to represent the weight each holds for you.
For instance, you may write: “Living childfree is good for me, because I really want to get back to building my business ... to making music, or _____________(fill in the blank). You may then write: Without a child, I’ll feel empty, lost. Next, add up the numbers on your lists and see which side prevails.
This method may not resolve your decision, particularly if you’re an intuitive or feeling type, however, it can clarify your thoughts and desires. Your heart may have to follow, or you may decide to follow your heart.
Try it on for Size
Remember, you don’t need to decide immediately. Try on the idea of living childfree for six months. During this time, pursue your interests, join a theatre troupe, or _________(fill in the blank). Let go. You’ll start enjoying your life, and reevaluate your goals. Or you may decide you’re not ready to give up on parenthood, and to begin exploring all your options.
Remember, decision-making takes time. In the end, you and your partner must be in agreement. Otherwise resentments can fester. If you decide to live childfree, you’ll need set time aside to grieve your lost dreams before you re-start your life.