here is why . Just because we have the intellecual capacity to rationalise, justify, take steps to make it not happen, doesn't mean it is a *lifestyle choice*.
Are you asking the question because you think that societal norms may have contributed to my decision? If so, then I agree with you as I think they did. But mostly because they are so darn cute I wanted a little person who was half me and DH, to watch them grow up, go to school, become an adult, and to give me grandchildren one day lol! I think this does mainly fit in with me wanting them for myself rather than to benefit society?
Although I'm sure my offspring will contribute enormously to the greater good of course as they will be so awesome!
I accept that societally we need to have children, and therefore it is important that we value this and work together to make it possible for people to do this.
Societally it is less important for someone to indulge in their favourite hobby. So they are not equal.
But... that's at a societal level. At an individual level I understand the inclination to call it a lifestyle choice and treat it as such.
For a long time I did not want children. I have never been a maternal person, never wanted to hold other people's babies, and never felt any physical longing/ biological urge to have children. DH and I made the decision to try for DD on the basis that we felt we would regret not having children in the future, and because we pictured our lives with children in it (amongst other things, but that's a brief outline).
After having DD we both suddenly 'got it'. I understood why people liked children (!) and we both fell in love with her. We're now trying for another because we know how wonderful it is and how much joy DD brings to us.
But I've never felt that 'biological urge' that some people describe and, pre-DD, I didn't understand it.
I guess what I'm saying is that if your friend doesn't have children of her own, and hasn't felt that urge to have children, then she may well view it as a 'mental' decision rather than a 'physical' one. And society probably hasn't entered into her thoughts at all. It took having kids for me to change my thinking on this one.
It's much of a muchness IMO... She may use the term 'lifestyle choice' but she's still a 'parent' just like the rest of us whatever her opinions regarding government, employee leave benefits etc. It wouldn't occur to me to be offended or annoyed by the phrasing... There's worse things one could say.
You're right there are macro and micro implications; macro - societal implications and micro - individual implications, it's these individual implications which relate to the term 'lifestyle choice'.
I can also see how some people might feel this is a somewhat flippant turn of phrase.
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