“Damn! I forgot to have children”: Being childless in middle age

Ann Brenoff writes in the Huffington Post about a new book by the French writer and feminist Elisabeth Badinter called, The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women, and how it is sparking discussions about childlessness. Do we feel pity for women– or men — who don’t have children, even if it’s their choice? There’s always the lure of the road not taken, but think about how many people you know or know about who you think would have been better off if they had not had kids.

Brenoff  writes:

“The thing about childlessness-by-choice is that it’s a decision you make when you are in your 20s, 30s, or even early 40s, without really knowing how deep of an impact it will have on your 60s or 70s. And to state the obvious, by then it’s too late.

We can give all the lip service we want to the idea that parenting is supposed to be a selfless act, but on a global scale, that thinking comes up short. People around the world have children for many valid reasons, including the one where they want to have someone to care for them in their old age. It isn’t just Third-World thinking. Who are more and more elderly Americans turning to when their aging needs require outside help? Us, their boomer children. And who will we turn to when Social Security fails and we are looking at Skid Row? Mark my words, it will be our kids.”

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