We’re always interested in how the choice to be childfree is perceived around the world so this post on thetimesofmalta.com caught our attention.
Upon reading the article it seems that things are not all that different in Malta. For example, like in the States, more and more people are choosing to be childfree. The childfree are also reluctant to be open about their choice because, as “Martin and Amber Cilia” state, “It still seems to be the final taboo, and people – even friends – often look at us with pity in their eyes because they know we don’t have children”.
Childfree Under Pressure
What really caught my attention in this piece though was the story told by “Lisa Triganza”. How she felt pressured by family and friends to procreate in spite of the fact that her and her husband had chosen to be childfree.
“As an only child I could see that my parents were desperate for grandchildren. While they didn’t come right out and say it in so many words, they dropped hints that started to get to me. Paul’s (her husband) family were the same. Meanwhile, our friends all had families of their own and we started to feel like outcasts because we didn’t turn up with a buggy or have to leave early to get home to the babysitter. It felt like we were missing out.”
With increasingly negative thoughts running through her head, Lisa, then 38, found herself desperate for a baby.
“My fears became almost irrational and it was all I could think about,” she says. “Looking back I know the pressure got to me more than it did to Paul, and I must have been a nightmare to live with. Eventually he caved too and we decided to try for a baby. When it didn’t happen naturally we moved on to IVF and, on our third round, were successful.”
Lisa goes on to detail the breakdown of her and her husband’s relationship and makes a poignant admission.
“Our relationship broke down when our daughter was a toddler and Paul moved out. He sees her regularly, but I am her main carer. It’s easier now she’s growing up, but I still feel trapped in this situation. Of course I adore her – we both do – and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. But I do sometimes wish things had been different, and that I had listened to my gut instinct and not to the many voices around me.
“Generally, I keep my thoughts to myself for fear of upsetting my daughter or my family, and I just get on with being a mum. But if I could turn back to (sic) clock – and if I could offer advice to other couples – I would suggest they think long and hard about the huge impact children will have on their lives.
“I believe it is okay to be childfree today, and only you can truly know what is right for you and your partner.”
Reading this I can only feel sorrow for both the parents and the child.
Read the full article here