Annoying Infant - Helpful Adult. Do Costs and Benefits of Children Change As Kids Get Older and What Does It Have to Do with Voluntary Childlessness?
Monika Mynarska, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
Sylwia Timoszuk, Warsaw School of Economics
We analyze a set of 55 in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted in Poland with childless women aged 31-42, that is at ages when the decisions for or against motherhood are taken. During the recruitment process, almost 70% of our interviewees declared that it is unlikely for them to become mothers, but they were characterized by different levels of childbearing motivation (measured with the Miller’s Childbearing Questionnaire). Such a composition of the sample allows us to contrast perspectives of those who wish to lead a childfree life with those, who remain childless due to various life-circumstances and those, who want to become mothers. Consequently, we are able to provide a rich account of how decision to remain childless is related to women’s perceptions of immediate as well as long-term costs and benefits of motherhood.
Presented in Session 98: Childlessness