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Choosing to be Childless: How to Get Over the Guilt of Other People’s Expectations

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  • Choosing to be Childless: How to Get Over the Guilt of Other People’s Expectations

    Increasing numbers of American women are choosing not to have children -- a decision that often brings up questions and sometimes unfair judgment from friends and family members. Yet, as more and more women enter the workforce and focus their lives on various pursuits, raising children is not always a part of the plan.

    In fact, according to The Social Health of Marriage in America from Rutgers University, in 2004 one out of five women in their early 40s was childless, compared to just one out of 10 in 1976. Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2004 44 percent of American women of childbearing ages were childless, compared to 35 percent in 1976.

    Yet, despite the many advances that have been made in terms of women’s “traditional” roles in society, many couples who say they are choosing to be childless are met with resistance from their social circles, especially when it comes to family.

    Your parents, for instance, may be depending on you for grandchildren. Or your friends may tell you of all the joy you’ll miss out on. Ultimately, of course, the decision to have children, or not to, is completely your own, and you should feel no amount of guilt for whatever choice you make.

    Of course, saying that and doing it are two different things.

    How to NOT Feel Guilty About Your Right to be Childless

    It’s worth mentioning that while children are often thought of as joyful, studies have actually shown that childless families are happiest. And in a way, it makes sense. There is less stress about money, fewer demands to take up your time, and more freedom to do as you please. So you may want to keep that fact in the back of your mind the next time someone tells you what you should be doing with your life.

    Ultimately, though, you don't owe anyone any explanations. Instead, focus on letting go of the guilt that other people are placing on you.

    “First off remember that it is your body and your decision -- not theirs. We often forget that when we are feeling guilt,” says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates. “Then allow yourself to release the guilt by either letting go of wanting to be punished for not having children or simply choosing to let go of the feeling directly.”

    The Sedona Method is an excellent tool to help you in the process of releasing. It will show you how to tap into your inner ability to release the negative feelings associated with guilt, allowing you to drop it like you would a tennis ball. It really is that simple once you learn the power of letting go.

    So whether you are feeling guilty about letting your parents down, guilty about your desire to live life without children, or guilty because you are 'different' than other couples, it doesn't matter. With The Sedona Method, you can free yourself from any one of these self-sabotaging, and unnecessary, feelings.

    “When you release, you take control of your body back from others and you can feel comfortable with whatever it is that you choose,” Dwoskin says.
    Purchase Letting Go Movie on DVD
    Purchase Beyond Letting Go
    Purchase The Sedona Method Course
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