Boing Boing guest-blogger Andrea James has written here before about parenting as a lifestyle choice. This month in Details, an interesting piece on this same topic: why a growing number of couples in America are choosing not to have children—or, perhaps more broadly, just sort of ending up that way by the time they hit their forties. Snip:
My wife, Nancy, and I have been married for nine years. By the time we tied the knot, everyone we knew was having children. Our individual philosophies on the subject fell somewhere between casual indifference and acute apathy. "You want kids?" "I don't know…do you?" "Um…not sure." "I'll have 'em if you want to. Do you?" "I don't know." "Wanna go see a movie?" "Sure!"
Since we were both pushing 40, we felt it was something we had to "go for." So we tried. And we got pregnant. And, truth be told, we weren't over the moon the way intentionally pregnant people are supposed to be. Then we (well, actually, she) miscarried and, as horrible as this sounds, we weren't as sad as we should've been.
Our (okay, her) gynecologist said that the miscarriage shouldn't keep us from trying again, because they're common (an estimated one in four pregnancies ends in one), while stressing that time was of the essence. Which meant we went from being indecisive to indecisive with a gun to our heads. In fact, we often looked at each other and said, "Gun to your head: Kid or no kid?" The answer, no matter who was asking, never changed: "I don't know. But please take the gun away from my head. I'm trying to change lanes, and it's rush hour." We halfheartedly discussed "another attempt," but we both knew we were just reciting the empty words society expected of us.
"The No-Baby Boom," by Brian Frazer, in Details.