The antagonism between parents and people who deliberately choose to remain child-free is gaining its momentum in the media. It got my attention because I used to be exactly such a person, a young adult who disliked children and planned on not having them. I used to secretly sneer upon loud and out-of-control toddlers, parents with young children who were loud, messy and simply annoying to me. I eventually came around and wanted to have my babies by my own free will, I guess all I needed really was a right person to share parenting joys with me. Fast forward to today, I am astounded to see a growing trend, if not a movement already, of very vocal adults who don’t want to step into parenthood. The fact that they are choosing not to have children is not concerning me at all, I am all for freedom. It is quite understandable and, having been in their shoes, I believe they shouldn’t be belittled, forced or ridiculed for opting out.
There is one “but” though… Some of these child-free people are expressing occasionally very disgruntling opinions. One of them is that there need to be places that should be absolutely age restricted, stores/groceries where within special hours children wouldn’t be welcome. Certain airlines should be denominated as for grown-ups only. While I believe that a five star restaurant is not a place for a romantic dinner with a two year old in diapers, I disagree with people who want to ban children entirely from public. Children need to learn how to be members of society by actively participating in social situations, instead of being confined in a preschool setting only. As far as I can see, it is becoming a trend among a well-off couples with two executive salaries to demand things from life and other people. There is a tendency to view life as a source of constant fun, ideal environment for fulfilling one’s destiny. Again, I mentioned it, I don’t want to convince anyone to breed, I only beg for respect and understanding that a society is not a homogeneous structure where only people of certain kind and money are entitled to be visible and dictate the rules. I clearly see why nobody enjoys a scene with a toddler having a total meltdown in a public place but as far as it concerns me, sometimes parents don’t have superpowers to divert a disaster. Kids will eventually grow up and become adults and they need to be exposed to a variety of social experiences even if it is slightly inconvenient to some. Grocery shopping, running errands, taking a walk in a busy part of town shouldn’t be a privilege of some. As I view it, we are becoming obsessed with living a perfect life without unpleasant incidents. When did we become so engrossed in ourselves to think of children as a burden, something detestable that needs to be barred from the rest?