Childfree, From One Gita to Another

I’ve written my stance on being “childfree” here (read On Giving Birth: No) in September 2021. That wasn’t so long ago, and yet, I’ve been holding that attitude strongly since 2018. I put the word ‘strongly’ because it’s been on my mind for so long but I feel like it’s something you can’t decide without putting your adult lady pants on and actually think about all the ‘what why when where who how’ of it.

But I beg you not to put me in the same box as Gitasav, because I don’t like how she popularized the term to the public either. Because if you actually read Gitasav’s justifications that she put out for going “childfree” vs my own reasonings, I hope you will see the slight differences between us.


Childfree = Anti-Aging Method
“Not having kids is indeed natural anti aging. You can sleep for 8 hours every day, no stress hearing kids screaming. And when you finally got wrinkles, you have the money to pay for botox.”

Children = Burden
“Iya buat gue (anak) beban, buat lo kan enggak, anugerah. Buat gue beban, makanya gue enggak mau dan enggak ada yang salah dengan hal itu.”

Narcissistic Traits Running In The Family
“Aku menemukan bahwa aku dibesarkan oleh ibu yang narsistik. Dan ini pun bukan salah dia. Aku sampai sekarang masih merasa ibuku narsis karena pengalaman buruk yang ia alami di masa lalu..

“Bahaya nih gue ada sisi-sisi yang sebenarnya gue nggak suka dari nyokap tapi entah kenapa gue serap itu. Nah, aku mikir bahwa manusia seperti aku kayaknya nggak ideal jadi seorang ibu. Secara mental kayaknya aku pun nggak bisa..

“Menurutku nggak bijak juga kalau aku gambling (untuk punya anak). Aku nggak tahu apakah aku akan berubah. Aku malah belum tahu apakah pas aku punya anak nanti aku akan lebih baik..

“Siapa tahu malah jadi lebih buruk karena tekanan sulitnya ngurus anak, capeknya, jadi stres dan bisa jadi aku makin parah. Itu sih sebetulnya intinya kenapa aku nggak mau punya anak.”


Lack of Mental Readiness
“I don’t want to be the stressed-out mother fighting post-partum depression… And I know I’m very prone to becoming that…

“I don’t have the mental toughness to handle criticisms. And it puts babies and toddlers to be in a very vulnerable place… I don’t want to be in the position where I am failing at that job (at keeping babies & children alive) because of my unhealthy state.”

Unwillingness to Handle Physical Pain
“Pregnancy and childbirth take a toll on a woman’s body… I am scared, so I decided that I don’t want it, ever.”

Being Open To A Partner with Children
“I don’t mind being with someone who (already) had children.”

Liking Children That Already Exist
“You can already reason with kids age 7+… I like that dynamic because it makes it a two-way thing.”

You could read that all of my reasonings are VERY SELFISH, and I will admit that. My sentences all start with an “I”: I have clinically diagnosed mental disorders, I don’t want the pain of childbirth, I like older men, I prefer talking to a 7 year olds than caring for babies, etc etc. Gitasav, on the other hand, as of late, using the counterattack methods that made her looked more hostile and explosive, even though we seemed to agree on the point of how we don’t want to pass down genetic mental issues to our children because we both have it.

Am I saying Gitasav’s personal choices are wrong: NO. She has all the rights in the world to fully embrace her own feelings and beliefs.

Tapi sayangnya Gitasav semakin memposisikan dirinya di publik sebagai orang yang bukan hanya tidak mau punya anak sendiri dari rahimnya maupun dari jalan lain, tapi juga agak-agak anti-children. Sementara aku lebih di lingkaran yang tidak mau punya anak yang kulahirkan sendiri dan anti-babies, tapi aku ga ada sentimen buruk* apapun yang tidak wajar terhadap anak-anak di atas 5 tahun atau anak manapun yang sudah lahir dan ada di dunia ini.

This is why there are 2 distinctly different places in Reddit for “childfree” folks: r/childfree and r/truechildfree. Gitasav is probably more suitable at r/childfree where it’s more of an umbrella term/ subreddit where any kind of reasons of not wanting children (malicious or not) are accepted there. It’s the place where it’s okay to call parents as “breeders”, so, go as you may like with that. My playground is more on the r/truechildfree side where lots of the discussions are about medical procedures, sharing regrets/ not regrets on permanently choosing the lifestyle, and perspective on things like that.

I’m not in the place of knowing someone’s intention at heart, but with how Gitasav handles things on her social media, it seems like oftentimes she deliberately “asking” for controversy to herself and her husband, which –I could be wrong– may come from unresolved internal issues. I saw her Instagram post (albeit a sponsored one) about how 2021 was the first time she went to a psychologist even though she used to do self-harm in the past. I hope she continue going to therapy because, as someone who’s seeing psychiatrists for over a year and will still need to go for many many years from now, everyone needs to understand that you can’t undo a lifetime’s worth of psychological baggage by sporadic shrink appointments or validation-seeking habit through social media.

May the peace be with y’all.

* Aku bilang sentimen buruk yang tidak wajar karena kalau ngomongin bocil-bocil begal umur 15 tahunan sih kayaknya semua orang juga akan geram, jadi tidak bisa disebut anti-anak kalau aku ikut sebel sama mereka.

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