People think that once you get married, the shunning stops, that suddenly you’ve finally arrived into the Jewish community as a full fledged member, but you haven’t. In fact, some may say that you’re better off staying single than marrying at such an age where it’s likely that you will be the token childless couple of your community. The childless couple is shunned, people speculate, talk loshon horah about them and pity them, but it just so happens to be that the frum community has no place for them. As a single you may look at the community with dismay because it only works if you’re married, but once you’re married you realize that it only works if you have children. Shul events, parties, holiday’s, and shabbos table debates over how to pay exorbitant tuition prices all revolve around families with children. The childless couple may have love, but without kids, they are shunned just as older singles are.
No, not all communities are like that, not all communities shun or talk ugly about the childless couple. I did notice that one of my facebook friends posted about someone wanting to interview women without children and how they cope. Bayla Sheva Brenner, senior writer at the Orthodox Union (OU), is currently writing an article about frum women without children.
She will be focusing on how these Jewish woman must dig deep to discover their G-d given mission on this world, and despite the pain and the constant reminders of the lack, are building their neshamos and making a tremendous impact on this world. She hopes to speak with a variety of women from across the Torah observant spectrum Litvish, Chassidish, Sephardi, Baalos Teshuvah, converts, and from around the globe. This friend compares it to slut shaming, I’m not sure about that, but it sounds pretty shameful to me. It sounds like this writer is just trying to write an article perpetuating the belief that women are baby factories and nothing else comes from them.
With the shidduch crisis already the norm, the childless couples are going to become the norm as well. Sure, if women pay a lot of money they can have children, but not all women have the time or means for fertility treatment. However, I do wonder why more older folks who can’t have kids don’t adopt or become foster parents. It’s a tough thing for sure, but the few folks I know who adopted children are very happy families.
What do you think? Is it worse to be childless or an older single?
Find out more on 4torah.com