Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Now That I've Looked at the Figures, I'm Glad I Opted for a Dog Instead of a Baby'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Now That I've Looked at the Figures, I'm Glad I Opted for a Dog Instead of a Baby'

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE FOX

THIS week, the Daily Mail called women who don't want to have children "Liars and fools". It said the one in four who don't are just deluding themselves that they're happy.

I'm keeping an eye on news stories about this because I'm currently in the bubble of the Edinburgh Fringe doing a show on the topic of being child-free.

I'm surprised at the number of parents who are coming to the show, although I'm beginning to realise that everybody is intrigued by the idea of the road not taken.

There are also many people who don't want to have children, and many more who are undecided.

The ones who are decidedly "child-free by choice" have all had people tell us we'll change our minds, ask who'll look after us when we're old or tell us we'd make a lovely parent.

At the same time, I'm beginning to feel more sorry for parents. Their choices are curtailed by government policies making it harder to work and have kids, and harder to stay at home and have kids.

Mothers, particularly come under increasing pressure to do and be everything.

To "snap back into shape" like a Hollywood star after giving birth, keep their pelvic and kitchen floors tidy, tuck their babies and their tummies in and get back out there into a working world that still doesn't accommodate their needs.

Some governments actively try to encourage people to keep giving birth. Germany and the Ukraine are thinking of bringing in higher taxes for those without kids, such as applied in Russia until 1992, whilst the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, has just made abortion significantly harder in the state, saying that he is glad to "support life".

He has also presided over the greatest number of death penalty executions in the state since he took office 11 years ago: 234. It's possible that the gaffe-prone governor may not know the meaning of irony. …

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