Review: To Kid or Not to Kid

To Kid or Not to Kid is a documentary by filmmaker Maxine Trump.  where she turns the camera on herself and confronts the idea of not having kids. In the film Maxine meets with other women reckoning with their choices: Megan who struggles to get medical permission to undergo elective sterilization, and Victoria who lives with the backlash of publicly acknowledging that she made a mistake when she had a child.

The documentary hits home on society's outlook and cultural pressures on childless women and couples. That somehow a life without kids is a selfish and meaningless existence. Deciding to remain chidfree is still a relatively taboo issue and one that isn't widely excepted.

The film does a great job of showing the conversation between individuals who have decided to have children or remain childfree and showcase the pros and cons of either choice.

The filmmaker Maxine also focusing on the what ifs of remaining childfree and what might happen in the future. Now having children to turn to in your elder years. However, as a childfree woman I can say that worrying about the future only serves to create a negative and anxiety ridden space.

Having a child doesn't serve as a absolute guarantee you will have someone to turn to in your elder years. In fact an estimated 60% of those in nursing homes never have visitors. Not to mention that having a child for the sole reason to have someone to care for you when you're older is by definition a selfish reason. Caring for an elderly parent is not only a time consuming job but an expensive one as well.

Then theirs the fear that without children we will loose the relationships with those closest to us. That we will be missing out on all the mom moments and growing apart from those who's lives not revolve around their children. However, I can tell you from experience that all relationships take work and if you're willing to put in the hours, accept each others new and growing lifestyles without judgement and continue be there for one another, your friendship will survive.

In the documentary two women who's friendship have spanned 43 years Drut and Jane said "The friendship was always the most important." The fact that one had children and the other doesn't is a non-issue. Their friendship reminded me a lot of my own 22 year friendship with  my best friend. Myself childfree and my best friend the beautiful mother of my godson. We have such a strong connection and friendship that we cultivated and nurtured and our decisions to have children or remain childfree won't change that. Yes, our daily lives are very different but our love, understanding and respect for one another only grows.

In our society, it seems we’re always congratulating women for their decision to have children but never do we think to congratulate women on their decision not to have kids.
At the end of the day we can love children and still be childfree. Caring for them without the responsibility of being their sole caregiver. And, at the end of the day as said in the film "You never know what someone's journey is." There are many reason to live childfree and none of them selfish.