How Saying No to Parenthood is an Act of Minimalism in Itself
From a youthful age, I knew having children was not going to be part of my future. I was told, “You’ll change your mind”.
That never happened.
My journey through minimalism has been about life constantly evolving and reflecting. It is a discovery and realization process importing great changes. One day while working, something struck me. The choice I made not to have children can be viewed as an act of minimalism all in itself.
Some of the reasons I never wanted to become a parent are reflective of minimalist actions. Having children, being a parent, was never for me. The very thought of having to commit so much in the way of resources towards parenthood made me cringe. The responsibility, the investment, the sacrifice, none of it seems worth it. It feels like there are days where time for me either does not exist or my efforts to create that time fail.
It can be a balancing act in a busy world. My belief has consistently been that earth is already way overpopulated. In this global overpopulation, there are kids all over the world who need families and are waiting to be adopted. Some of those children never get to be part of a loving family.
Families with children need to have more things just for practical functionality. Children need to be clothed, fed and educated. This means more has to be in the household for the family to function and survive. Resources are needed to make this happen. It requires a significant investment of time and money.
I look at the lives of many parents around me and see how much they have sacrificed in order to give their kids the best life possible. Some parents really do become secretly resentful and start wishing for more time on their own. In my view, those parents end up drawing more chaos into their lives with that resentment. It’s not something I ever wanted to personally risk. There are parents who manage to pull this off the work-life balance successfully. They manage their time to a positive point where they can still create life experiences on their own. Many successfully include their children as part of those family life experiences.
Minimalism and having children can go together harmoniously. Youth today face more peer pressure to have the best things. They still might be told they must own and use best clothes, the best accessories, and best smart phones. I would think that bringing minimalist concepts into the lives of children must be a challenge. It is rather delightful to read about youth embracing having less in order to enjoy and live more. One of my closest friends, a Dad himself, told me a story about what his kid wanted for his twelfth birthday. He did not want something physical he could use.
He wanted the doctor to tell him that he no longer had a peanut allergy. Nothing else mattered.
Families who embrace minimalism are setting a very positive example for their children. Kids can learn how having less can translate into living a more abundant life. For me personally, bringing children into this world is not something I want to be part of. It is more important to have a life to focus on myself and the things I want to do. Any parental instinct I might have is devoted to caring for animals and animal causes. Devoting time and resources to animal rescue and being a pet-parent has taught me more about patience than could ever be learned from humanity.
This post was previously published on Dann Alexander and is republished here with permission from the author.
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