Unpreparedness among key reasons Malaysians opt for childfree lifestyle, content creator says

Some feel that they are mentally, physically or financially unprepared.

10 Jul 2024 09:00am
The primary reason why many choose to live a childfree lifestyle is because they feel mentally, physically, or financially unprepared. Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
The primary reason why many choose to live a childfree lifestyle is because they feel mentally, physically, or financially unprepared. Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

SHAH ALAM – In recent years, an increasing number of Malaysians are opting for a childfree lifestyle, reflecting a significant shift in societal norms and personal priorities.

The primary reason why many choose to live a childfree lifestyle?

Mainly because they feel mentally, physically or financially unprepared – as shared by a user on social media platform TikTok.

Content creator Miyabell openly discussed the reasons behind her and her husband's decision to embrace a childfree marriage, which received widespread attention with hundreds of thousands of views, tens of thousands of likes and comments reflecting diverse opinions from the public on the decision to live childfree.

Many of the commenters recognised the significant considerations involved before choosing this path in marriage.

"I've been married for just 15 months, and this is why we've chosen a childfree marriage by choice.

"The primary reason for our decision is that we both feel mentally unprepared. Neither of us is in the best health to care for ourselves, let alone raise a child."

Miyabell emphasised that they wanted to reasonably improve their own lives before considering whether they want children and raising them.

She highlighted that in many childfree marriages, both spouses mutually agree and share a similar mindset.

Addressing misconceptions, Miyabell clarified that being childfree did not mean disliking children; she genuinely loves children and babies.

When she visits her relatives and their children, she happily babysits them and enjoys being a generous aunt who showers them with gifts.

She also shared that one common question she received was whether her husband and mother-in-law were supportive of their decision.

Miyabell said that she had contemplated being childfree since elementary school and fortunately found a husband with a compatible mindset who was open to a childfree marriage.

Therefore, she advised those in the early stages of a relationship to ask critical questions about marriage, such as future plans and whether both partners are open to a childfree lifestyle, rather than superficial matters like favourite colours or foods.

Miyabell stressed fairness in relationships, suggesting that those who desire children should marry someone who shares the same desire, and vice versa for those who do not wish to have children.

"I never judge or question someone's desire to have children because it's a natural instinct for most people. It's rare for someone to marry and not want children, isn't it?" she added.

Regarding contraception, Miyabell mentioned she prefers natural methods and avoids permanent solutions like implants or pills, as she believes feelings may change in the future.

She also expressed openness to adoption if they decide later that they want to raise a child, emphasising her empathy for orphaned children due to her own experiences.

Miyabell dismissed concerns about future care in old age, pointing out that many adult children today still live with their parents. She emphasised that regrets only arise once experienced, and if she were to regret her decision in the future, she would accept it as her responsibility.

"For now, I'm content with my life, surrounded by my extended family. Some may find this unusual, but it's perfectly normal," she added.

Miyabell said that the purpose of her video was not to advocate for the childfree lifestyle but to help others understand why some people choose it and to alleviate concerns.

In response to her sharing, many people voiced their opinions, with some supporting and others not. Some of the comments that could be seen include @Tisty, who commented, "10 years childfree! Dual income no kids (DINK) best decision ever, but lots of nieces and nephews. If bored, can ‘borrow’ (the kids) and when tired, can return (the kids) back to the parents!"

@ROSE shared, "My husband and I come from broken families, orphaned. It's not easy to have children; our inner child isn't healed yet. We're happy with our decision to be childfree."

In the meantime, @Syahirah Stargazer shared a positive outlook on her seven-year journey of choosing to be childfree, emphasising that she and her husband continue to cherish their marriage just as they did on their first day together.

However, not all comments were supportive. @User1824155432101 expressed concern over the religious implications, stating that in Islam, choosing to be childfree is considered haram because marriage is seen as a means to increase the ummah, or community.

@aisyah added, "This is random. Not directed at anyone. I once planned not to have children for financial stability. But UAI (preacher Ustaz Azhar Idrus)'s lecture taught me planning children is haram."