Facebook Pixel

International Childfree Day Celebrates Mental Health Benefits

By HERWriter
Rate This
International Childfree Day: Celebrate the Mental Health Benefits Lev Dolgachov/PhotoSpin

You may not realize it, but there is an entire day devoted to people who choose not to have children. August 1 is International Childfree Day, and it mostly exists to “educate the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option,” according to the blog site “We’re Not Having a Baby!”

So you might be wondering, what are some actual benefits of living childfree? There are actually several mental health benefits.

For one, if you never have children, you will never have to suffer from postpartum depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, postpartum depression is a type of mood disorder that only impacts women after they give birth.

“Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others,” according to the Institute.

This is differentiated from the “baby blues,” which is when mothers worry after giving birth, and also experience fatigue and unhappiness for sometimes up to two weeks, even though the feelings are mild.

A study in 2005 also demonstrated that parents are more likely to suffer from depression when compared to people without children, according to a press release from the American Sociological Association.

The blog Childfreedom also mentions some potential benefits of not having children:

1) “You will have the capacity and time for meaningful, engaged, quality adult relationships.”

2) “You will have the time and energy to exercise regularly and take care of your health and appearance.”

3) “You will have the freedom to come and go at will – you will remain independent, self-determined and autonomous.”

4) “Your life will have a manageable and comfortable pace. You will not be harried and stressed out, running around like a headless chicken trying to do it all.”

Dr. Jeanette Raymond, a clinical psychologist and author of “Now You Want Me, Now You Don’t! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship,” said in an email that there are five major benefits of choosing to be childfree:

1) “Avoiding anxiety”

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

What childed people call "selfish," we call preserving our mental health!

Sacrificing your body to bear and birth a child can also take a toll on well-being. Stretch marks are the tip of the iceberg. Many women become permanently incontinent or suffer "tears" to their private parts that never heal. (YIKES!) Childbirth itself is incredibly risky even with the best medical care. Dying in childbirth is not that rare.

Labor isn't the end of the struggle but the beginning. Having a kid is also the most expensive thing you'll do in this lifetime--both in terms of money and energy. Unlike a bad job or marriage, you can't throw in the towel if parenthood doesn't suit you. It can tear a stable relationship apart from the daily stress of parenting. As they say, "A baby changes everything."

While there's nothing wrong with choosing to (responsibly) reproduce, women do not have to be martyrs who sacrifice their sanity, health and looks to be mothers. Men who don't breed are no less manly. There's more to life than creating resource-sucking DNA replicants.

(I mean that in the nicest possible way).

August 4, 2015 - 12:02am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I truly wish your parents had been child free. So that world would have been free of narcist you. Good way to for extinction. For you best advice is don't please just don't make children. Yeah.

August 15, 2015 - 6:04am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

WOW: you're obviously uneducated, illiterate and narrow minded.

November 5, 2015 - 7:37pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

And I truly hope that you don't have kids. It would be so hard for a parent to be so closed minded, and disrespectful for an individual makes if they don't feel it's something they would enjoy. A person who didn't want kids but ended up having one (ie; rape, birth control failure) tend to not be the best parents and can carry around a lot of resentment. If somone doesn't feel they are fit to have children, why should you tell them otherwise? It's not selfish to be child free, but it is selfish to have a child you don't want to raise.

August 17, 2015 - 12:49pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.