The decision not to have kids seems to be entering the national conversation more and more, the Time cover on a "Childfree Life" being only the latest example. At the Los Angeles Times, Meghan Daum enters the fray: "Though I've offered hints in this column and elsewhere that motherhood is not exactly a priority for me, I've avoided coming right out and saying the truth, which is that I never wanted children, and even now in the twilight of my fecundity, I'm glad I haven't had them." Yes, she's second-guessed herself, "but I always came back to the same place, which is that parenting is a momentous job that should be undertaken only by those who really want it. And, for whatever reason, I just never have."
Daum writes that she "cringes" at the usual reasons cited, which usually boil down to materialistic, selfish ones—those who flippantly say they'd prefer to sleep late or afford a fancy car, for example. It's time to elevate the conversation, she writes. "Knowing yourself well enough to realize you're not up for parenthood is ... the definition of being a moral, ethical human being." What's more, childless adults still can have a meaningful role in the raising of kids, if they so choose. (Daum herself is a court advocate in the foster care system.) "It may take a village to raise a child, but not every villager needs to be a mom or dad," she writes. Click for her full column. (Read more Meghan Daum stories.)