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Reason #10: The Pressure

February 5, 2012


I was reading an article posted by Cool Childfree Guy and a commenter stated, “I like the idea of not having to make more since I don’t have kids”. It never really hit me that parents, especially the breadwinner, must have pressure to earn more to support his family. It must be stressful, and I never factored that in. So, I hit up the website to see what they had to say about work-related stress.

Numerous surveys and studies confirm that occupational pressures and fears are far and away the leading source of stress for American adults and that these have steadily increased over the past few decades.

Oh damn. Okay, so that commenter had a point.

  • 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful;
  • 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives;
  • Three fourths of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago;
  • 29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work;
  • 26 percent of workers said they were “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work”;
  • Job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems.

I  never felt pressure or suffered from work-related stress because if I were to lose my job, I wouldn’t have a baby going without diapers or a teenager who would get kicked out of college. I do face some form of pressure to wake up every morning, shower and go to work like everybody else but all I really have to worry about is my five bills and buying groceries and dog food. Considering these expenses are easily met by me and my partner working, we rarely feel work-related stress. In fact, if one of us wanted to switch jobs or return to school that would be fine too. We aren’t wealthy or anything, but we have less responsibilities to worry about than parents. Since having children eats up so much money, parents are pressured to work harder.

I’m not insinuating that the childfree are lazy bastards who are dodging steeper responsibilities. But life is hard, why make it harder anyways? Without the additional stress and pressure to work that having a child or multiple children brings, you have the freedom to do more. If you want to spend a year in the South of France selling seashells by the seashore, you can do it. You won’t be making much, but you won’t need to make much either. You’ll get to see the beautiful French towns and live life simply. You have mobility and choices.

Parents do work very  hard. Job-related stress can lead to health problems such as headaches, stomach problems, high blood pressure, and strokes and heart diseases. It can also cause anxiety and anger, which in turn can destroy relationships at home and at work.  Studies show longer work days are cutting into family time. I even remember coming home from school when I was 7 years old and my mother wouldn’t be there because she was working long hours. Even though the rest of my family was home and interactive, it was frustrating being a kid and bursting with the news of me winning a spelling bee or something, only to have to wait until around 6:30pm when she would return home. Oftentimes with my favourite chocolate bar to compensate for the time not spent with me.

I wonder how much pressure my own mother must’ve felt to work hard as she tried to raise three kids. Had she taken jobs she might have declined otherwise? It is not like our parents tell us these things. They won’t complain about how they have to feed us and clothe us, and pay for our school day trips. There are people who are childfree not because they are greedy and chose money and materialism over kids, but because they do not want additional stress and  even more responsibilities. Finding jobs in a recession is a difficult thing to do as it is, and finding one when you have a family of four or five to feed doesn’t sound too great. Yes, being childfree means you have the option to be successful thanks to your status as a DINK (Double Income, No Kids) but it also means you have the option to earn less if you choose and accept less responsibility when you want to.

*Work-related stress health problems Source:

  1. Yeah, I’m glad I don’t have that kind of pressure either and can just enjoy my career as is. I do have a high-paying job, but I can at least enjoy that income myself instead of worrying about how much I have to make to support my child(ren).

  2. This is a topic that is close to my heart… Thank you! Where are
    your contact details though?

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