Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024

Opinion | Deciding Not to Have Children, Without Regrets

To the Editor:

Re “The New Science of Cuteness” (Sunday Review, March 17):

Like Pagan Kennedy, I, too, am childless by choice. I have been called selfish for not wanting to have children. I had a 32-year career in public school special education as a speech-language pathologist and have dedicated most of my life to helping children with disabilities.

I do not think of myself as selfish. I believe that many have allowed themselves to be pressed by cultural expectations into having children they did not really want, and I have seen firsthand the results of reluctant and neglectful parenting. That is selfish.

Helen Ogden
Pacific Grove, Calif.

To the Editor:

Luckily, there was never any pressure from my parents to marry or give them grandchildren. I made up my mind as an adolescent and have never had reason to regret it. Besides being career-focused, I never wanted to depend financially on a spouse.

Now that overpopulation is a real threat to the limited natural resources of planet Earth, it is good to know that there are many women like me who are childless by choice. We need to put aside an economics that depends on continuing population growth.

Julie D. Prandi
Bloomington, Ill.

To the Editor:

No one should ever say never.

I was given a doll and a carriage when I was about 4. I ignored the doll and took the carriage apart.

I got a puppy when I was in my 30s, and when I bought my house at 45, I got another puppy to go with it. A month later I woke up to the clear-as-a-bell thought that I wanted to have a baby.

Three years later, when I picked my son up for the first time — and breathed in his scent as I had for my hounds — I burst into tears of pure, unadulterated joy. I can’t imagine not being a mother.

Nina Kraut

To the Editor:

Thank you, Pagan Kennedy, for expressing what I have felt all my life. I’m now 72 years old. I’ve always preferred dogs to babies, and it’s good to know that there are other women out there like me.

Anne Walthall
Irvine, Calif.

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