In Therapy, We Know Choosing to Not Have Children Can Be Simple or Complicated
For many patients we speak to in NYC online therapy sessions, being isolated by oneself or with a partner during COVID-19 can give rise to a deep consideration of what’s important to them and what they want their family to look like. Or maybe you’ve already decided. The choice to not have children might be a firm one, an ambivalent one, or simply the right choice for right now. Even if the choice to not have children was an easy one for you, it may be made more complicated by familial or social pressures. At Tribeca Maternity, we help individuals, couples, and families talk about this choice in all its complexities.
Other People Will Have Opinions About Whether You Have Children (or Not)—But This is Your Decision to Make
From interpersonal pressure from parents, in-laws, and/or your partner to the strong implication from the culture at large (or the specific culture in which you or your partner grew up) that you’re doing something wrong by not having kids, other people will have opinions about whether or not you have children. This is your—or your and your partner’s—choice to make. At Tribeca Maternity, we believe family planning is essential, and a big part of family planning is the decision to not have kids.
We Also Talk Through Your Choice to Stop Trying to Have Kids
If you have been trying to conceive from a few months to many years, you may have come to a point where you feel like this plan you had your heart set on is not happening. Choosing to stop trying to have kids can be a choice made with power. In remote therapy, we provide space for individuals and couples to talk through this choice, and we also process the grief that comes along with the shift from trying to have kids to exploring the decision to stop.
Sometimes Your Decision Doesn’t Align with Your Partner’s
At some point, a couple will have to unpack the choice to have or not have kids. This conversation can be easy or difficult, particularly when one partner doesn’t want kids but the other does. There are many ways a couple can come to this impasse, including infertility, politics, family history, shifting opinions in life, etc. Couples may not know how to talk about this choice without great pain, agony, or arguing. In online couples therapy, we help partners have this hard, but necessary, conversation together.