2 Leading Causes of Hostility From Parents to the Childfree and Childless
Is trauma the reason why some mothers show a lack of warmth toward those who aren’t mothers
A woman’s parental status is instrumental in her friendships and social circles.
It shouldn’t matter, and yet it does. I am someone who has chosen not to have children. This is the right choice for me, yet it has had a detrimental impact on my life in many ways. Perhaps the most painful consequence of this choice is played out in the loss of some friendships and the difficulty of making new ones.
I’ve learned it is entirely possible for mothers and non-mothers to have strong friendships, provided they both make the effort to show love, support, and respect for each other. True friendship requires reciprocity.
When I reflect upon friendships I’ve lost to parenthood, I wonder whether I could have done anything differently to salvage them. Could they have? Yes is the answer to both these questions, and I suspect we can all do more to prevent the disintegration of our connections.
However, it’s also interesting and somewhat reassuring to learn that scientists have found an overarching hostility from parents to the childfree. This makes me wonder why this hostility exists.
NOTE: This article is not an attack on parents; it explores possible reasons for this hostility and what we can do to reduce it.
It’s not just me
For a long time, I thought I was the only one to feel like I did, outcasted and overlooked by some of my “friends” and society at large for the crime of not being a mother.
I now know I am not alone in my lived experience, and from speaking with the childfree and childless communities, the impact on our friendships appears to be one of the biggest challenges.
Even still, trying to verbalise the feeling of isolation and exclusion I felt for being someone without children has been difficult to articulate over the years; I have lost count of the times I was told my perceived hostility from my parent friends was “just my imagination.”