In our opinion: Time magazine's deceptive fantasy of the child-free life


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  • LS1976 Baldwin, NY
    Sept. 30, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    This article disappoints me and disgusts me, and even more so are the horrible comments that follow this article which criticize, bash and continue to ostracize those of us who choose not to procreate. I am one of those VERY HAPPY and FULFILLED MARRIED women who chose not have children. I knew I didn't want hildren at age 15 and now in my late 30s, I am more certain then ever that kids are not what I want in my life. My husband and I are happy as we are and lead a very active lifestyle without children, and with much more freedom to travel and do the things we enjoy. I think women who hve kids just out of peer pressure are actually the SELFISH ones. I cant help but feel absolute PITY for these women who become unreluctant mothers because society and families pressure them to have babies when they themselves, are still emotionally immature or simply financially unprepared. Author fails to understand that the world is a better place when kids are born to parents who (1) want them and (2) can provide for them.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    Marxist; I guess you think that the state should take care of everything for us, as in cradle to grave. I own a business, and have many more than 2 children. I taught them to work and to have a good work ethic. They have children, and my joy is that they have married well and are teaching their children to be good citizens and productive member of society, and also the importance of being accountable for their actions and sustenance. Marxism hasn't done to well in increasing the life-style of the people of the world, and I think that the reason we are having the issues we are having now is due to the fact that 'Big Brother' is now trying to take it all over and leave behind our rights to "...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 6:31 p.m.

    Oragami; an interesting quote from your quote is; "The data suggest that marital satisfaction decreases after the birth of a child due to role conflicts and restriction of freedom." Could that be a type of selfishness, abrogating responsibility for 'Freedom'?

  • GoodDiscussion San Jose, CA
    Aug. 13, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    I am very surprised that people call those who don't want to have children "selfish". In my opinion...we are all selfish. We all want the most out of our limited time alive. That is normal and ok.

    People have kids for VERY selfish reasons. Think about it, they want to be needed by somebody or something to make themselves feel alive and worthwhile - and they want it to be a version of themselves - so they create it. Truly unselfish people would reach out to people who already exist and need help. Although is it selfish if those "unselfish" folks did so to make themselves feel good? Hmmm...

    When it comes to the term "sacrifice", please remember that parents create the "need" for their "sacrifice". If the "need" does not exist, then why do you create it? True altruism would be to help those already in need, rather than creating a new being that "needs" you. It is the most selfish thing to think that the world would be better with more versions of yourself, and that you are altruistic for creating the need for your existence, and that you view it all as "sacrifice". It is so funny...

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 13, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    RE: Philosipher

    I agree it is private but when TIME magazine makes it an issue, I guess that opens the door for comments and opinions. Since TIME has made a private issue public, the public gets to express their feelings about the subject.

  • Dragline Oream, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    "But when a wife and husband decide to bring children into the world, they make an enormous investment in the prosperity of our nation..."

    It is interesting to hear that having kids is good for the nation and that not having kids when you can is "selfish." But when problems arise around birth defects, jobs to care for children, problems with child behavior, and the cost of educating and providing healthcare for these children, all responses are "Well, you decided to have these kids. This is your responsibility." And they are right. It is your responsibility, and your decision.

    But many young people are realizing that they don't want to be responsible. They don't want to have children as hostages to their lives. Many are listening to Sir Francis Bacon:
    He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises...

  • Go Utes Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    If someone is selfish enough to not make the sacrifice necessary to raise kids (when they are otherwise physically/financially/emotionally/etc. able to do so), it is probably best that they do not have kids so that that level of selfishness ends with the couple.

    I have five kids. They are my life. I love doing many things that are harder to do because of them, but the joys and rewards of parenting far exceed what I could be getting by pursuing other things instead. I might have fun, but would feel very empty at the end of my life to look back and realize what I passed up to spend time on the beach or whatever.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    to Cincinnatus

    MR's modus operandi is very familar & tiresome.

    I wonder if he paid any attention to the theme from the TV show Different Strokes??

  • matt scientist rive, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    The socially conservative DN doesn't realize that its hero's (Reagan) economic policies are what failed this generation, and in turn yielded not only a death rate greater than the birth rate (for the first time in forever), but also caused kids to live at home well into their 20s and 30s, while avoiding marriage. We want marriage, and family. It simply isn't feasible.

    While they recognize the need for a sustainable population level, they fail to recognize the future population boom is coming from Mexico, and that socially conservative policy is setting this population up for failure too.

    The 80s house Reaganomics, the Me generation, and the last time our swiss cheese tax code was updated.

    The socially conservative duplicity is called out well by Jesus in Matthew 19:23 & 24. He also commented that one can't follow two masters: Adam Smith vs. Jesus Christ - 6 days a week you choose Adam Smith.

    Our generation will figure this mess out, but it will do so ignoring the beliefs (both religious and political) of its parent generation, while dramatically and equitably changing the look of the landscape. So don't be so surprised DN.

  • Philosopher Goose Creek, SC
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    Lauren Sandler, author of the article, stated in her second paragraph, first sentence, "The decision to have a child or not is a private one...". Great. Leave it at that.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    @ Cedarite - Cedar City, UT - "The Caravan Moves On- you have no idea the life history or reasons people have to make that choice, so you cannot call them all selfish. In my own family, my parents were and still are unstable people who we would now classify as sociopaths or pathological narcissists.....The self awareness it takes to say "I do not trust myself to have the patience required to be a good parent" should not be sneered at."

    First, I'm sorry that you had such a struggle growing up.

    Second, I maintain my opinion. Life was never supposed to be 'perfect' all the time, not for kids, nor for the parents, either. Life is a struggle at times but the struggle is necessary for us to learn and grow. Did you and your siblings learn NOTHING growing up in your challenging situation?

    Not sure of yourself and your abilities to be a parent? Welcome to the club.

    To run away from challenges simply because they 'might' be hard is not only selfish but cowardly, too. Perfection is not required from any of us but "trying" IS something that IS required.

    Good luck to all of us.

  • Luke1228 Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    "Anyone seriously committed to the welfare of children could not look at the terrible odds facing children in non-marital households and say that childbearing outside of marriage was either wise or ethical."

    So, it's selfish to not want children when married, yet it's also selfish to want children when you are single. Hmmm.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 10:20 p.m.

    Patriot [Time and Newsweek] are " Anti-family, anti-christian, anti-God, pro-socialism and anti-capitalism..." But Patriot, capitalism is anti-family. Capital does not care what it does to people, aka labor, and in turn does not care how it harms families. For the heck of it watch Michael Moore's "Rodger and Me." THAT message was not that Rodger Smith was a mean man. No, the message was that Smith could not see the employees he dumped by closing up Flynt were human beings. People bought and sold cease to be people, be they slaves or employees. As Marx would say, "it's not the people, it's the system."

    The natural biological family unit has no greater enemy than contemporary capitalism. Oh, and BTW, can you tell me where in the constitution it says we will have a capitalist economic system?

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 9:44 p.m.

    I have six children, and they have been the source of both my greatest joys and greatest sorrows. I have taught them things that they will carry on to their children, and they have taught me things that I could not have otherwise learned. It has not always been easy, but the lessons learned and principles taught have truly refined me. I thank the Lord for the opportunity I have had to be a small part in His plan.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Aug. 11, 2013 9:12 p.m.

    Remember, this isn't a discussion on couples who can't have kids, its about couples who think kids would be a drag on their "dreamy" life. In that light, I feel so sorry for them. There is not a sandy beach, a special getaway, a cruise, a ton of money, anything, that I would take to replace my kids. NOTHING. Everything else, other than to be a dad who loves his kids, seems trite and shallow if accepted as a replacement.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 8:40 p.m.

    Time and Newsweek are both liberal propaganda. Nothing more. Both of these magazines stopped being real objective news magazines about 25 years ago when liberals took ownership. Anti-family, anti-christian, anti-God, pro-socialism and anti-capitalism along with a heavy dose of anti-Americanism is the foundation of these magazines so seeing Time attempt some ridiculous propaganda toward a child-less marriage shouldn't surprise anyone. Best policy is to just not waste your time reading this shallow predictable garbage.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 8:15 p.m.

    @Wally West-

    It's always the same with Mike. He loves to explain how we are all wrong, he is right, and half the time does it in a sermonizing tone.

    There is more in this world Mike, than your little bubble. Most people don't hold YOUR religious values. That doesn't make them wrong. That make them different, diverse even. People are free to make their own choices- after all, isn't that what this life is all about?

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 7:26 p.m.

    To Mike R (earlier today)...

    What can be said about people who can patronize and judge others at the drop of the hat?

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 7:21 p.m.

    re: Cedarite &

    "...but the self awareness it takes to say "I do not trust myself to have the patience required to be a good parent" should not be sneered at."

    Lets hear it for self-awareness even if it means flowing contrary to the societal norm. I have learned that occasionally tending a siblings dogs was aggravating enough; No way could I have kids

    per eastcoastcoug...

    Textbook example of judging others and stroking your own ego simultaneously.

    "Depends on what motivates you...if you are driven by consumption, and a need to drive to the top at the expense of everyone else"

    I don't need to acquire "stuff" to validate my existence. I wish I could say the same for some of the true believers I know.

    What should be said for the shallow who think they need to keep up with the Jones's? Hmm!?

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Aug. 11, 2013 7:05 p.m.

    People that don't want kids SHOULDN'T have any. What's there to argue about?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    Children are the most precious "possession" anyone can have. But they are a source of almost endless worry and care - but then that's a big part of life itself. I do feel some concern about bringing my children into a system (American Capitalism) which regards them only as raw materials for production, i.e. labor. The reasons for bringing children into the world need to be examined critically. Maybe the Time article started to do that, however feebly.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 5:08 p.m.

    When my wife kept failing the pregnancy test even after special effort, we said no problem, we will just adopt. Despite our playing the roles of parents, just like our own parents did, in the raising of kids, our kids had a tough time. My wife says it’s not our fault. We can’t really blame the kids so it must be the fault of the evil government that runs our society.

    Secretly I sometimes would think that God had been trying to tell us something. But we didn’t listen. Fact is, that if we had it all to do over again, we wouldn’t.

    The point is, the hardships of life are more evident than ever and being born into this world is no blessing. My wife would say: “she wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemy”.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 11, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    Depends on what motivates you...if you are driven by consumption, and a need to drive to the top at the expense of everyone else, please DON'T have kids. Kids require sacrifice, love, time. If you work to live and kids are the end rather than one of the means of your existence, then have them. If you don't want kids, don't have them.

    We get want what we want out of life. The world moves forward and makes progress because some are willing to sacrifice and give heart and soul for others. At the end of life, they will have had a life that "matters". You don't have to have kids to live that kind of life, but it certainly is one important way of doing it.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 4:03 p.m.

    My comment centers on the alleged cost of $300K per child as a direct cost. Bogus! My wife and I have three children and I never made close to that amount in direct salary roughly figured in constant dollars.

    Do kids cost some money? Sure they do. Are they worth it? Of course, in my not so humble opinion.

    I tend to regard the who article with a jaundiced eye because of the alleged out of pocket cost per child. I just think the editorial board can do better research and analysis.

  • oldgoat Midway, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    I don't believe the DN writer was saying we all have to have children as some of you have implied. He/she was taking to task Time magazine for glamorizing those who choose not to have children. Time pointed out all of the perks of being childless but none of the disadvantages.

    Can't say I'm surprised though. 'Time' has been terribly one sided in its reporting for decades now--sad.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    Unfortunately, our economy is based on population growth, which is also unsustainable given the small size of our planet. The article brags about how much to the GDP each child contributes, but how much does that same child consume in finite natural resources? There are two sides to this equation. Time is one side and the DN is the other side, but the best solution is somewhere in the middle. We need children to sustain the human race, but unless we can find another planet (and soon) to provide food, natural resources, and living space, I predict there will be some terrible pain and suffering for the human race (and our posterity) in the future. There will come a time where the human race will face mass starvation, disease, exposure, and endless wars and suffering that will touch every continent and every person because of our greed and short-sightedness.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    "This meta-analysis finds that parents report lower marital satisfaction compared with nonparents (d=−.19, r=−.10). There is also a significant negative correlation between marital satisfaction and number of children (d=−.13, r=−.06). The difference in marital satisfaction is most pronounced among mothers of infants (38% of mothers of infants have high marital satisfaction, compared with 62% of childless women). For men, the effect remains similar across ages of children. The effect of parenthood on marital satisfaction is more negative among high socioeconomic groups, younger birth cohorts, and in more recent years. The data suggest that marital satisfaction decreases after the birth of a child due to role conflicts and restriction of freedom."

    Twenge, J. M., Campbell, W. K., & Foster, C. A. (2003). Parenthood and Marital Satisfaction: A Meta‐Analytic Review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65(3), 574-583.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 11, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    If we reject the Creator and his purpose for creating this world and all things hereon, including ourselves, we will accept the false doctrine that we are here to pleasure ourselves no matter what the consequence is to society. NOT marrying someone of the opposite sex and NOT having children (when that is physically possible) is directly opposed to the direction given to us by our Creator. It puts us first in our lives instead of allowing us to learn to serve others. Can anyone deny that being a parent gives the parent opportunity to learn to love unconditionally? Can anyone deny that a parent grows in his/her ability to face demanding situations? Can anyone deny that the purpose of having children is not to "own" children, but to give others the same or better opportunities to experience all the joys of mortality?

    Selfish people put themselves first whenever they are given the opportunity to either serve themselves or to serve others. Learning to be unselfish and then to teach unselfishness is why we are organized as families and not as a "herd" of human beings.

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    The Caravan Moves On- you have no idea the life history or reasons people have to make that choice, so you cannot call them all selfish. In my own family, my parents were and still are unstable people who we would now classify as sociopaths or pathological narcissists. They both have differing organic issues with their brains which mean they don't even remember their self absorption and random viciousness so no atonement can ever be made. Some of my siblings felt they were able to overcome the brutalization and resulting anxiety and had children, some did not. The deep seeded feelings include not being able to trust control of ones' rage and issues enough for full time parenting. Call them selfish if you must, but the self awareness it takes to say "I do not trust myself to have the patience required to be a good parent" should not be sneered at.

  • Matthew C South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    I'm amazed people are talking about not having children as being selfish.

    What do you think is driving your need for children other than your emotions? And what do you think that emotional desire is if not selfishness?

  • IDSpud Eagle, ID
    Aug. 11, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    @no fit in SG. Actually, the article was very well thought out. In fact, it's the kind of commentary this country needs now more than ever. You point out some valid reasons for not having children. However, this article was referring to the general trends and statistics, which suggest that if the current birth rate continues to diminish the whole social safety net is at risk. I don't believe the article was speaking to those who can't or shouldn't have children, but mainly to those who can and otherwise should. Obviously, it comes down to personal choice, but there are also consequences (unintended or otherwise) for certain choices.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 11, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    @ Hutterite - American Fork, UT - "There's nothing at all with all wrong with childless couples. Indeed, we should applaud those that decide they shouldn't have kids just because society or their mothers think they should. Have kids if you want, but not because you have to. You don't."

    Get real. To choose to not have kids when you have the physical/biological ability to have them (in marriage) is selfish. Period.

    Take note that I said those who "choose" to not have kids when they "could" have them, in a marital setting. If a man or woman is not biologically capable of having children, then there is NO shame in that. None whatsover.

    But to choose to not have children when you do in fact have that ability is selfish, plain and simple, and no amount of screaming will change that.

    Joseph Smith (yes, that Joseph Smith) prophesied that the day would come when none but faithful Christians would want to have children. How utterly pathetic that those who (obviously) were brought into this world by parents who sacrificed SOMETHING to raise them now honor those sacrifices by criticizing their parents' selflessness and reveling in their own selfishness.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 11, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    Though I agree that the choice to be childless can be motivated by selfishness, I think that 10CC has hit upon another issue - risk.

    When my parents were young, my father was virtually guaranteed to be able to find good work (plus he had an education). If you were a good employee, you could generally have a job for life.

    For my generation, it has been a bit more difficult but some level of training beyond high school and a good work ethic meant employment most of the time. I have friends who have struggled (despite good education and work backgrounds) especially as they age.

    For my kids, the situation is much more fluid. Steady, long-term employment is a rarity despite whatever level of education is obtained (obviously, there are a few exceptions).

    The progressively less stable work environment means greater risk of not being able to support the family.

    I still encourage children and believe they are an important component of a family. But there is no doubt that the calculus has changed.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    When I found out I couldn't have children, I was devastated. Because of my health and other problems, we decided not to adopt. Every day I wish I had children. Not having children, in my personal opinion, is the height of selfishness. I also believe children should be brought up in a traditional family unit. No unwed mothers. Families who are willing to sacrifice for their children are wonderful!

  • tll Ogden, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    Anyone who thinks someone's personal choice to have or to not have children is any of their business and calls them conceited for those choices are, themselves, blowing conceit outta the water! myob.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    "Having it all" is just a slogan. No one can have it "all." But people and couples can decide for themselves what they want. If they want no children, that's their decision and their right. If they want 10 children, that's also their decision and their right (assuming they can afford it and not depend on the state for assistance).

    Since when is the right of the state (or the press) to determine for others how best to fulfill their lives?

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Aug. 11, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Looking over the childless couples we know who range from 25-80+ in age, we are seeing, and have seen, lives well spent.
    Some of these couples were physically not able to have children and some of them made a choice not to.
    Who knows what kind of childhood experiences may have traumatized them? Many private issues have led them to make certain decisions. We cannot judge them.
    These couples are to be loved and admired as they become the "favorite" Aunt and Uncle to the children of both family and friends.
    They have the time to do more charity work than families busy with children. They are, many times, more generous with their finances than most.
    They have the gift of time to do many beneficial things.
    How about doing an article about this?
    These articles are not well thought out and definitely unkind.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Aug. 11, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Society itself is starting to frown on large families because of the idea that more humans in the world will consume scarce resources. I know someone who has six adopted children, and when he takes his family out to restaurants or outings he gets lots of disapproving looks from strangers. Some of them even approach him and tell him he is selfish and immoral to have so many kids. They become very sheepish when they learn the kids are adopted.

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    People who do not want children with their whole heart should not have them. Trying to berate those who don't want them into having them as a duty does no one any good, especially the unwanted children.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Aug. 11, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    I have six siblings and a daughter who I cherish more than I ever could have imagined. That said, not everyone is meant to be a parent and no one should be guilted into having children.

    This article is driven more by religious dogma and paranoia than anything else. Typical DN.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    I often disagree with the D-News, but in this case they're right on.

    Digging deeper, a primary cause of this disturbing trend is the increasingly tenuous nature of employment. Childless couples who are doing well financially know it could all crumble (literally) the next day, depending on if their company is bought out, or its product rendered obsolete by the rapid change in products, or the company decides to go in a different direction in production, or outsourcing, etc.

    Economists and conservatives often talk about "creative destruction" in the economy - change is disruptive, but the innovations and consolidations end up being beneficial for all. We've always had economic change and technological displacement, from the invention of the wheel to the rise of the Internet.

    But the rapid and continuous upheaval we see now affects not only those who are caught in the disruption, it's having a corrosive effect on our society & birthrate, as people realize the ranks of the unemployed could quite easily include *them*, and raising a family in those circumstances is risky, at best.

    Economic reality renders the most thoughtful and well meaning editorializing as empty rhetoric.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 11, 2013 5:19 a.m.

    "Despite its allure, it would be disastrous for our collective prosperity and character were this conceit of childless fulfillment to become a commonplace lifestyle."

    Just as it would if every couple in America got married at 21 and had 7 children.

    I dont think that Time was advocating for a childless lifestyle. I think they were saying that it is OK.

    There are some people who are better off going through life single. Some, better off childless.

    Why should everyone fit a specific mold determined by others?

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Aug. 11, 2013 2:08 a.m.

    This falls in line with the progressive/liberal/socialist agenda. Encourage a lack of family commitment, encourage the breakdown of the family unit.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 12:32 a.m.

    There's nothing at all with all wrong with childless couples. Indeed, we should applaud those that decide they shouldn't have kids just because society or their mothers think they should. Have kids if you want, but not because you have to. You don't.