This year, I saw a plethora of my friends drive their children to college and say good-bye as their kids left the family nest. I know that will never be me.
Ever since I can remember, I really believed I wanted to have children. In my twenties and thirties, I searched high and low for my perfect match but with no success.
Fortunately for me, the men in my past life were duds and they would have made terrible long-term partners, not to mention fathers. While I honor and respect single mothers and fathers, the idea of “bringing up baby” solo was not for me.
At the ripe old age of 40, I finally found the right partner. We did our very best to have a family but it wasn’t in the cards for us.
We discussed adoption but most adoption agencies frown upon parents past a certain age and the cost of infertility treatments was out of our budget. Also, my husband had already tried the infertility route with his first wife and it was unsuccessful and costly.
I have never lost a night of sleep thinking about the failure to have a child.
Recently, a female friend of mine died suddenly from a brain tumor. She was 40 and a nurse. When she was healthy, she regretted not having children. But, before she died, she was grateful that she wasn’t leaving behind a young child.
The Kaiser Family Foundation stated that “the average bill for doctors’ fees and hospital charges runs around $9,700 for a normal delivery and roughly $12,500 for a cesarean section.” And, after you take the child home, the financial meter is running.
According to Parenting.com, parents will spend $50 a week on diapers. Plus parents will spend more money on toys, clothing, furniture, and items for child-proofing their home.
CNN stated that the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is $241,080. If you add in tuition to Harvard, add another $250,000 dollars for an undergraduate degree.
Psychology Today and AllWomenStalk.com said the following were benefits of being child-free:
• Sleeping late
• Time and energy for your own pursuits
• No worrying about a child who is dependent on you
• Looking younger