I’m Afraid Of Having A Child Because Of The Climate Crisis #ecoanxiety

Last updated by Lauren Hart

“Do I really want to bring a child into this world?” This is the question I very often ask myself, even more so since the pandemic started. The future’s not very rosy when you listen to the media, so I have doubts. On top of that, my ecological commitment tells me that it’s a bad idea for the planet. Divided between my doubts, I’ll share with you my thoughts about this fear I have, of having a child because of the future.

I’m Afraid Of Having A Child Because Of The Climate Crisis #ecoanxiety

30% of women don’t want children

A recent survey in 2022, conducted by Ifop for Elle magazine, revealed that 30% of women of childbearing age don’t wish to have children. A very revealing figure, as for now I consider myself among that percentage 😬. The reasons given for this lack of desire for motherhood are ones I talk about regularly. A child isn’t a guarantee of happiness and personal fulfillment, 50% of respondents agree on this.

There are other reasons for this figure, which has doubled in the last 20 years. The taboos around maternal regret and the difficulty of being a parent are beginning to be broken down. Just like the classic family pattern, as it’s not easy to find a partner with whom you want to have a child 😅. Thanks to ART for all women, 47% of respondents in the study are prepared to have a child on their own.

>>> Read; Why I don't want children

The climate crisis, is the biggest reason

However, what stands out the most from this survey is not having a child because of the climate crisis 😥. I admit that this is the main reason for my not wanting to have a baby. Except that I can’t fully affirm it, not least because this choice is governed by fear. I know what the ecological reasons are that are pushing me not to become a mother, but it’s a bit more complex than that.

Not adding another human being

In 2050, there will be nearly 9.8 billion of us on Earth 🤯. The more of us there are, the more needs we will have to meet. This increases the consumption of fossil fuels and thus CO2 emissions, accelerating global warming 😰. The columnist and essayist, Antoine Bueno, explains that waiving your right to have a child is by far “the most ecological gesture we can make on an individual scale”. That’s why 39% of us women are worried about having a child 🍼...

>>> Find out why we need to stop comparing children

The planet we’re leaving behind

Even more guilt-inducing, there’s another issue that makes us more and more anxious if we decide to become a mother. The world is going bad, the current situation is proof of that, between the war in Ukraine, inflation, natural disasters, water tables drying up, and rising waters... It’s Apocalypse (almost) Now 💥! I don’t know if I’ll change my mind in the coming years, but evidently, it scares me. Yet, it’s important to detach yourself from this anxiety so that your choice isn’t driven by anguish. There are counter-arguments to not having a child for climatic reasons 🧐.

Having children, even if you’re green?

I say I’m in the 30% of women who don’t want a child, but that’s not entirely true. Of course, I have ecological commitments, but I tell myself that this doesn’t necessarily have to weigh so heavily in my choice. One of the reasons that helps me take a step back is that if environmentalists don’t have any more children, there will be no transmission and awareness among the new generation. Assuming that only people who have no ecological awareness have children, we’re heading straight for disaster 😅.

We must therefore put aside Malthusianism, the doctrine advocating demographic restriction, as it is very guilt-inducing for people who are sensitive to the future of the planet 🌍.

>>> Discover; I just want one child

No to kid-shaming

Just because I don’t want to have children for ecological reasons doesn’t mean I want to “kid-shame” others, i.e. blaming them for having a child. And if I ever change my mind, I’d like them to do the same for me. Because when you have ecological commitments, you already tend to feel a lot of guilt for not doing things right 😓. I feel this way, particularly when I fly, it’s called “flight-shaming”, on another level. Except that shame should never be part of the equation! You need to hold on to arguments, like the one by historian Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, who explains that ecology and demography should be separated: “Global warming isn’t related to the number of people on this planet, but rather the way they exploit it”.

Putting education at the center

The one-child policy, as took place in China for many years, isn’t a solution. It’s about keeping our freedom and individual dignity while raising awareness among the next generation. We, therefore, need to educate ourselves permanently to keep an alert and sharp mind, but also do it with our children, if we ever decide to become a mother!

Children are a reflection of the society around them: over-consumers in an over-consuming society, and responsible in a responsible society. The example to be set is therefore essential 💪.

Having the right to do what you want with your body

In this article, I wanted to reassure those who are also asking questions about the climate crisis, like me. There’s no calling into question the choice not to have children! We have the right to do what we want with our bodies and our lives, as we wish. I will never deliver a reactionary speech, quite the contrary.

However, personally, I know that this lack of desire for motherhood is tinged with eco-anxiety. I don’t know what tomorrow’s world will be like, nobody does, but humanity has always been able to adapt. That’s what I try to tell myself, to make sure I’m completely aligned with my choice not to have children. Because if the regret of motherhood exists, I’m also afraid of the regret of not having a child.

Not falling into collapsology allows us to step back and make a choice we won’t regret. We mustn’t stop ourselves from living, whatever our choice. Nor should we feel guilty if one day we no longer want to be among the 30% of women who don’t want children. The choice to have a child is such an intimate project that no one should interfere with it, this also concerns our anxieties 🌿.

Editor’s note: Be in agreement with your choice

Not wanting a child isn’t something to be questioned, everyone does what they want. However, it’s normal to ask yourself questions, especially in the current context. However, you shouldn’t let your questions and doubts eat away at you and influence this choice, which can change your whole life. The important thing is not to feel regret and to feel good about your decision. 👉 It’s therefore important not to remain alone with such anxieties, talk about it to your loved ones, if possible, surround yourself with caring people. You can also talk to a psychologist in order to overcome your eco-anxiety.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!


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Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

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