Childfree Reflections

With Marcia Drut-Davis

Archive for the ‘Regrets’ Category

August 23rd, 2013 by Marcia Davis

Jewish Guilt For Not Procreating

Last October, on the night of my actual  70th birthday, my sister and I flew to Prague.  We stayed in Prague for two days before boarding a river boat cruise down the Danube.  One highlight was our trip to Terezine, a concentration camp where  beautiful Jewish souls were killed during the Holocaust. It was a difficult four hours on a special tour lead by a survivor of that camp. From time to time, her eyes would fill up even though she lead this tour many times.

I have seen many photos and read books where the horrors were brutally detailed. However, walking through that camp, being in actual places where barbaric things happened,  I couldn’t help but have a stab of guilt.

Whispering in my ear was the voice of my beloved grandfather, Harry. “Mashinka” he said. “When you grow up, never forget what happened to four of my five sisters. (One of my aunts escaped by coming to America with her brother.) Never forget what happened to six million Jews and other innocent men, women and children. Have children to replenish their lost lives.

His words haunted me after I decided not to have children and remain childfree-by-choice. I would push the guilt out of my mind knowing I couldn’t agree to a lifestyle my heart wasn’t committed to. Children, in my opinion, need parents totally ready, willing and able to accept the responsibilities. I didn’t want them.

Recently, I met our local Rabbi from this area. We participated in a  weekly discussion group  amongst Muslims, Christians, Jews,  non-believers and their leaders. The goal was to learn and grow in  understanding of each religion. Differences were accepted, not condemned.The topic of religious expectations, when it comes to procreation, came up. When I mentioned I chose never to have or raise children and, from time to time felt guilty because of the expectation I should have children, the Rabbi spoke.

He said, in his opinion, what we do, here and now to other humans is more important. He mentioned how passionate I was as a teacher. He acknowledged how I touched the future through what I taught and how I lovingly treated those hundreds of children.

I felt a sigh of relief. Although intellectually I already knew that, hearing a clergy-person confirming that was a gift to my life.

What about you? Are you living with any guilt stemming from religious upbringing? Do you still hear people admonishing you for not following the religious expectations to “Go forth and multiply?”

I would love to hear from you.



June 17th, 2011 by Marcia Davis

Father’s Day Lament

It’s here again: the one day a year all father’s are supposed to be honored. Yet, how many men are in torment because their own children have thrown them out like a piece of garbage? How many men suffer in silence for all the unfulfilled promises about being adored by their children forever? How many children are selfish, whining, demanding and dismissive to dedicated fathers doing the best they could do? Too many. Too many.

Are there any men out there who can step up to the plate and share how disappointing parenting has been and why? I’m asking for fathers who have done the best they could do and have received nothing in return from their children.

Just as with Mother’s day, Father’s day can be a pronatal nightmere.

May 17th, 2011 by Marcia Davis

Older Women Regretting Not Having Children?

As a childfree woman, the one admonition I repeatedly faced was, “One day…you’ll regret choosing not to have children”. I have to admit, this pronatalistic warning disturbed me as I aged. I kept asking myself if I did miss having children. I confess there were times I felt a void. They were always during those sweet ephemeral moments of pride: Bar and Mat Mitsvahs,, weddings and school achievements of friend’s children. I  wanted it! However, I stopped and realized these events had a before and an after. What were the gut wrenching trials and tribulations leading up to these sweet moments? How many parents suffer during those times? What happened after those moments of pride? What were the financial and emotional tolls people never share?

I would love to hear from “older” people who have never had children. (Over 60) Do you regret that choice? Why? Or, why not?