Party Of 2: How To Live A Child-Free Lifestyle
Whatever the reasons you’ve decided on a family of two, you’re probably going to have a hard time getting recognized as a family at all. Mostly because many people don’t take the child-free choice seriously. They think couples who say they don’t want kids will eventually change their minds. Others think the decision is misguided, odd or selfish. In short, it’s tough to be child-free in a child-centric world.
What helps is that the definition of family is changing. Step-families and same-sex families have broadened the traditional model of the nuclear family. And, your numbers are growing. Couples are not only having fewer children, but also more are not having children at all — to the extent that dozens of child-free communities are popping up all over.
So once you’ve made up your mind t o be a family of two, talk to each other about how you’re going to handle the inevitable questions about when you plan to have kids or why you don’t want any. Keep in mind that there are some people in your life who will probably never get it. Above all, stay calm and united in dealing with relatives and friends, and keep your sense of humor.
As many holidays incorporate kid-centric activities, you could be left wondering how to handle your family’s celebrations. Let your own traditions evolve naturally. Begin by building them around favorite meals, like weekly pizza parties for just the two of you, and recreational pursuits, like taking off to the slopes for the holidays. Or consider doing something new each time a holiday comes around, such as participating in or organizing a charity event. Whatever you do, firmly insist that relatives respect your traditions as much as they have you respect theirs.
As you get more comfortable in your family of two, embrace the fact that you don’t have a road map to follow. Take advantage of your freedom by traveling or experimenting with a new hobby. In the end, the choice to be child-free should not be about moving away from society’s default lifestyle, but about sculpting your own unique way of life, and finding out where you want to direct the time, energy and money that would have gone toward child rearing.
Image(s): Ross Helen