10 ways single, childless people are unfairly undervalued by society

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We live in a world that elevates parents to godhood status and places a huge emphasis on the importance of having children. In contrast, those who choose not to (or can’t) have children are undervalued and even condemned.

Here are 10 ways society seriously underestimates the immense value that childless individuals have in the world.

1. They offer more workplace flexibility.

Most working parents who’ve needed shift cover at the last minute have reached out to a childless coworker for help, as they usually have much more flexibility and availability. Similarly, employers often turn to childless employees to work on holidays, take on additional projects, and go on business trips.

Childless people are also particularly valued in healthcare. ER nurses, surgeons, and specialists can focus more time and energy on their patients because they don’t have to rush home to take care of their kids.

As such, childless people are often the “unsung heroes” at their workplace. They’re flexible in work hours and location, relied upon for productivity and stability, and often have the capacity for promotion over their parent peers.

2. They can take on social organization.

Parents generally have a thousand things to juggle at once, in addition to attending to their own needs and responsibilities—all while working on a sleep deficit. As such, they have less capacity to take on social organization without letting something else slip.

This is where childless people tend to be superstars since they have the bandwidth and energy to juggle multiple tasks without children’s demands added to the mix.

If a community or family event needs to be organized, they can be trusted to make things happen. They’ve got the energy and capacity to focus on planning, researching, and making contingency plans as required.

3. They provide highly focused leadership.

Childless individuals can also pour all their time and energy into dynamic leadership roles. They’re generally well-rested and alert, with sharp mental faculties, and they don’t have parenting obligations that will inevitably intrude upon their chosen endeavors.

As such, they’re ideal leaders in careers that require intense amounts of time and personal energy. A well-rested, focused leader is less likely to make vital errors and can see solutions that may not have occurred to those who are only half-present because they’re worrying about an ill child or an upcoming PTA meeting.

4. They can dedicate their life to creativity.

Some of your favorite books, music, films, and art pieces were created by people who didn’t have children. Parenting responsibilities seriously hinder creativity and always have to take precedence when the muse calls.

Without the exhaustion and depletion that comes from child-rearing, these people had the time, energy, and autonomy to devote to creative endeavors.

Michelangelo, Tchaikovsky, Anais Nin, Keanu Reeves, and Winona Ryder are just a few of the many people who chose a career of creativity over child-rearing, and the world would’ve been a much dimmer place if they hadn’t.

5. They provide much-needed support networks.

Unmarried or childless relatives are often the cornerstones of family life. Since they don’t have to devote their time to personal childcare, they’re able to provide much-needed support to family and community members.

They’re able to provide caregiving to aging relatives as well as respite assistance for parents of young and/or additional-needs children. They often step up to help out with, or even raise nephews/nieces and friends’ children when a parent dies or is otherwise unavailable.

As a result, people who have childless friends or family members aren’t as dependent on already over-burdened social services. They can get much-needed assistance immediately from their social circle, rather than waiting years for paltry government relief.

6. They contribute heavily to global mobility and outreach.

Moving for work can be a difficult experience for families. Children who are moved around a great deal end up with poorer mental health and greater anxiety than those with stable residential roots.

Many parents decline job prospects that would require them to move to other states, countries, or continents for this reason. In contrast, childless individuals have much greater freedom and mobility. This makes them invaluable for global business networks, as well as skill-sharing across worldwide borders.

Furthermore, since they aren’t pinned in place with parenting obligations, they’re free to devote their lives to helping others. Those who volunteer with humanitarian and eco-protective organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, and Sea Shepherd are often non-parents.

7. They can commit more to philanthropy.

Raising children can be incredibly expensive. On average, raising a child will cost around $250,000 over the course of 18 years, and that doesn’t include college or university costs, nor specialized health care if required.

People who have two or more children can expect to pour a startling amount of money into their well-being and development until they’re independent adults.

Childless individuals can funnel that money into philanthropic efforts instead. Of course, they may choose to spend some of their money on themselves, but many are staunch supporters of charities and non-profit organizations.

Individual charitable donations wouldn’t be as generous if childless people chose to raise kids instead of funds for those in need. And it isn’t just the needy who benefit, philanthropists also fund things like archaeological digs, museum and art gallery exhibits, concert series, and more.

8. They have the freedom to become masters in their fields.

When childless people are asked why they chose not to have kids, they often say it’s because they wanted to focus on their education and career. Since they didn’t have to divide their time, they were able to pour all their energy into the subjects they were most passionate about.

They have the freedom, funds, and time to devote to becoming masters in their field. They may choose to earn doctorates in subjects such as medicine or law and devote their lives to helping others. Or they may immerse themselves in beloved subjects and become university professors, inventors, or scientists.

Without parental obligations, they can work overtime as desired, and potentially discover things that change the world for the better.

It’s interesting to note that childless individuals tend to have higher-than-average intelligence compared to many of their peers. Considering how society tries to pressure people into having kids, the ability to transcend societal expectations and live a life of sovereignty requires both intellect and willpower.

These childless people serve as role models for independence and self-sufficiency. They prove to those around them that you don’t need parenthood (or partnership, for that matter) to attain immense personal fulfillment.

9. They don’t add to the strain on child welfare programs.

Many people who chose not to have children made that decision because they didn’t want to add to overpopulation, nor did they want to subject more children to a world that’s getting increasingly oppressive and toxic by the day.

As such, there’s no chance of them drawing from social outreach and welfare funds or programs that can instead be allocated to the countless children around the world who are already alive, and in desperate need of assistance to alleviate hunger, poverty, abuse, and harrowing life circumstances.

10. They contribute to non-human welfare and activism.

Just because people choose not to have children, doesn’t mean they aren’t caring, nurturing individuals. Many childless individuals devote their lives to caring for non-humans, whether it’s fostering orphaned kittens, creating sanctuaries for rescued farm animals, volunteering at animal shelters, or raising awareness for animal welfare via fundraising and charity events.

You’re also likely to find childless people volunteering to clean up shorelines to protect marine animals and plant indigenous pollinator species to increase bee and butterfly populations.


Considering the stigma that chosen childlessness still carries, it’s important to remember all the ways childless individuals contribute on a daily basis.

Many people are condemned or vilified for their childlessness until they’re needed, at which point, suddenly the factors that earned them disdain transform into vital attributes.

Rather than shaming others for not bringing more life into an uncertain world, let’s acknowledge them for the countless benefits they offer all of us instead.

About The Author

Catherine Winter is an herbalist, INTJ empath, narcissistic abuse survivor, and PTSD warrior currently based in Quebec's Laurentian mountains. In an informal role as confidant and guide, Catherine has helped countless people work through difficult times in their lives and relationships, including divorce, ageing and death journeys, grief, abuse, and trauma recovery, as they navigate their individual paths towards healing and personal peace.