Having children isn't the only path to fulfillment.
In today's world, there are various reasons why people decide against having children. Raising children means extended expenses, more responsibility and sometimes people choose not to devote a major part of their life caring for another human. However, a family with children is still seen as a functional unit of society and many people don't understand the choice of being child-free. In one such incident, a user on Twitter—a man who goes by the username @GShaneMorris—criticized people's choice of not having children. He wrote, "Millennials who are very cavalier about not having children are in for a shock when they enter their 40s & realize life is only half over. What do you do at that point? Keep trying to be sexy & have fun? I expect to see a lot of sadness & confusion about what to do at that point."
Millennials who are very cavalier about not having children are in for a shock when they enter their 40s & realize life is only half over. What do you do at that point? Keep trying to be sexy & have fun? I expect to see a lot of sadness & confusion about what to do at that point.— Shane Morris (@GShaneMorris) August 23, 2022
Many people want to invest their time in hobbies, careers, friendships and relationships. Without realizing that people have different needs and choices, Morris added to his tweet, "Without the natural connections and belonging that literally emerge from marriage and fertility, the latter years become very cold and lonely. Those 'Friendsgivings' will get old, quickly."
However, people pointed out that human life can have goals and values other than just having children. Some people even ridiculed the misconception he garnered of believing that everyone can have kids naturally. A Twitter user wrote, "Not everybody can have kids Shane. Not digging this line of discussion without that reality. Some of us would love to have kids naturally, but the universe hasn't bent to our will."
My Great Aunt never had kids. She traveled the world way beyond retirement age. I visited her when I was 10 and she was in her 80s. I had such a great time with her and her friends. Here they are staging a fight for my vacation photos.— Mel (@Melapoly) August 24, 2022
What a life she had ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WgTTbIFzNu
Another user emphasized the fact that couples in their 40s can spend time with each. He wrote, "My wife and I are in our early 40s and you’re right. We have all this time to spend together and chase dreams we haven’t realized yet. Awful. Sometimes we get to sleep in or stay up late. Ugh. We have time to read, go on hikes, binge shows, take up hobbies. What. A. Nightmare." An important observation that biological families aren't the only support system for people was pointed out by a user who explained, "Connection comes in many forms," adding that "family are those you choose and who choose you back." He ended his tweet by saying, "Sounds like you need better friends."
If your kids are halfway across the country, involved with their careers and raising your grandkids, what makes you think they're going to immediately hop on a plane to wherever you are and hold your hand for weeks after the funeral's over? Get real. Have your act together!— Artistmac (@artistmac) August 24, 2022
Many people said that even having children does not mean it will guarantee a person will not get lonely in old age. "Even older people once married end up ‘alone’ due to death of a spouse, divorce. Even people w/kids often live far from them. Gee, somehow we manage. Grow up. Having babies doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be alone in your household at some point in your life," one user tweeted. Referring to the fact that "nearly half of seniors in care facilities have *no* visitors in an average year," a user clarified that "having children just so you won’t be lonely is not a good reason to have them"
Hey, Alice. I’m in my 40s, my wife and I don’t have kids, and we bought an orchard with grape vines on it instead of having kids. Highly recommend.— ⚖️ Marvin O’Gravel Balloon Face (@mrickanderson) August 23, 2022
While friends are attending parent teacher conferences, I’m testing home bottled wine recipes.
Another person on Twitter stated their observation about how even fulfilled and happy parents don't try to "convince other people to reproduce or adopt" adding, "They’re engaged in work, hobbies, or hanging out with their children. And they value and respect their childfree friends!" A person in her 40s said, "As a Gen X in her 40s who has no children and is currently travelling Europe, I can confirm I'm having the time of my life. The only thing making me cry right now is the thought of dragging my bloody suitcase to the train station."
I work in family law. I'm 43, not married and no kids. I see horror stories on a daily basis in this work. Plus, who wants to bring a kid into this current climate? Seriously.— Brooke 🦅⛵️⚓️🐗 (@brookied820) August 24, 2022
Of the very few users who supported this tweet, one user wrote, "It will be when one of you dies unexpectedly without warning and the only one to console you are the four corners of the walls. A “family” consist of children. Was always Gods design. But I’m guessing you all probably don’t believe he exist so carry on."