The decision to have a baby or not to have a baby is a big one. The ripple effect of that decision impacts many. The pressure to make the ‘right’ decision, can put a couple in a sticky situation where choices are made from expectations heaped upon them by family, friends and society. Yet, this is not a good reason to do or not do something.
Even though there’s a lot written about relationships and the importance of communication, many couples, when making this life changing decision do not talk about it …and that is a slippery slope that has massive ramifications.
Tanya Williams hopes to change this with her world first program designed to help men & women decide what is for them.
There is an assumption that girls will grow up to be mothers; even with the genderless messages growing, that old fashion expectation is still there; often unspoken with disapproving looks when you tell people you are not having children or judging noises made by your parents when you reinforce your wishes.
We are still conditioned from the moment we are born; just look around in any department store with the sparkly clothes for little girls and the dolls and the primary coloured manly shirts for boys. We are still hard pressed to find strong women in movies; instead we have the stereotypical roles women play. A strong, independent women is a rarity.
It is also important to remember the blokes when it comes to this decision. Not all men want to be fathers and just because they do not carry the child, doesn’t mean they do not get a say.
It is a big decision to have a baby, well it should be. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Just because others expect you, doesn’t mean you have to. When you are considering your path in life, about what to do with your body, communicating with your significant other is crucial to understanding and the future of your relationship.
As an individual you need to figure out what YOU want then you need to have that conversation with your significant other.
So many people don’t know where to get unbiased information or help to guide them through making this life changing decision. Childfree Choices Program is designed to do exactly that, in a non-judgmental & supportive online community that gives them access to other people’s stories, articles that trigger much needed conversations and exercises to help them figure it out as a starting point.
The secret to a great relationship
To have a fulfilling and loving relationship, there needs to be communication. When my relationship became serious with my now husband Shayne, I had to tell him I didn’t want kids. He needed to know so he could choose the right path for him. It would have been unfair to ‘string’ him along for years thinking I would change my mind, especially if he really wanted children.
We had a heart felt and deep conversation about it. He respected my decision, and we have had a wonderful life.
The key is we talked about it. Now, if Shayne had said me not having kids was a deal breaker, then we would have been having a different conversation. Or if I wanted kids and he didn’t.
Each party has the right to choose and have those decision respected by their partner.
What happens if you cannot agree?
If one wants kids and the other doesn’t, then you have to decide what is more important to you. That is why understanding what you want and having these important conversations early in relationship, when you know it is the real deal, so if a different road needs to be traveled it can. If one of you do not want to have children and the other desperately does, it might mean the end of the relationship. This is where being an adult comes in and respecting the other person’s decision and wishes. Counselling and getting advice can help you through this time.
The Consequences Of Not Communicating
Imagine if you were at work and every day the way you worked changed substantially but nobody consulted you about these changes. They were just imposed on you. Every single day. How long would it be before you went looking for another job?
This is similar to what happens in relationships. If you’re not communicating and you’re not involving your partner in the substantial decisions in life. Then you’re taking them for granted and imposing your will on them.
This leads to discomfort to resentment to anger to… well, I’m sure you’ve worked it out by now. It’s not good.
Everyone deserves the right to choose
Whether you want to have children or not, you should be free to make that decision, and have it respected. A relationship is made up of two people, and the decision to have or not have a baby impacts both. Choosing to have a baby or not is valid, but it needs to be your choice.
Childfree Choices Program is especially for women & men who are undecided about having kids or are childfree and don’t feel like they have support around their choice. Find more details here: https://childfreehappilyeverafter.com.au/childfree-events/childfree-choices-program/
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.