Stigma around childless couples

The newlywed couples are treated as a subject of curiosity. Post wedding, the couples are directly or subtly implied that “it’s time” or that “the clock is ticking.” The pressure arises from everywhere to have a family, the elders, and the relatives, the friends who have kids and the unsolicited advices from the neighborhood.

Especially the women, they have no choice about motherhood, it is an expectation and even something that is forced upon. In India, the concept of an ideal family is to be “Hum Do, Humare Do.”

What if a couple does not wish to walk the usual path of getting married and then having to procreate? What if they are infertile or have some other complication that makes them unable to conceive. Why is it looked upon as a moral transgression and not an intimate matter of the couple involved? Let alone the choice of being childfree, people with infertility issues are also the victims of these stereotypes.

Let’s see what the stigma around being willingly childfree is. 

Studies have revealed that parents with no children are seen as selfish, socially undesirable, irresponsible, and unfulfilled.  It has been thought of as defying the laws of nature, as a matter of societal outrage. Being childfree does not mean that people do not value parenthood. There are multiple factors that have a say in making such a decision. 

Not everyone is ready to bear the responsibility of raising children, delaying their aspirations and other favored life experiences. Very widely known but yet to be accepted is the fact that raising children is a lifelong commitment, one cannot make a decision to start a family out of FOMO.

The socio-economic scenarios have changed. Financial planning, education, careers have become essential in determining the possibility of parenthood. Insecure and unhappy parents cannot raise secure and happy children.

Now let’s look at some statements to avoid saying to a childfree couple:

It’s such a shame; you would be an amazing parent.

You will understand once you become a mom/dad.

You will be left with this regret later on in life.

Who will take care of you when you are old?

What if you were never born?

Let it remain a personal matter and of choice and not something to be frowned upon.

Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.

About MindTribe.in.

MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.

About the Author.

Tanya Patwa is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.

Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.

 

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