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Childfree by Choice

I wrote this post in November 2017 and never posted it.

On one hand, I felt like I didn’t have to write an entire post to justify our decisions and on the other hand, I felt I should write something because I want to advocate for those who don’t have a platform. I want advocate for those women in the same boat as me and to bring awareness of how words matter to someone who you may not know is struggling.

It’s time to open up about our family.

I turned 30 earlier this year (again, this was written November 2017, I’m 32 now). The big milestone age that really solidifies you’re an adult and you’re getting older. It’s also the age where you get pounded with questions about when you’re having kids and whether or not it’s in your near future. It’s the age that if you haven’t had kids by now then you gotta start popping them out otherwise “it’ll be too late.”

I don’t understand why society pressures women to have children. Mainly, most women who have children tirelessly question women who are childfree. Is it a societal faux pas to not have children? Am I not contributing to society if I don’t have children? Why do women need to have children to be seen as human beings? Really, why is this such an issue in this day and age?

We all have our own stories regarding children and our desires to have them or not – including those who have struggled to have them and those who may have lost them. Everyone has a story and behind every story there is bravery and courage to tell that story. Here is my story and maybe one that someone out there can relate to as well.

From a very young age, I would always say to my mom, “I really don’t like kids, I don’t want them, ever.”

At that time, of course she would say that I would change my mind and that I’m too young to fully understand what I want and don’t want. That’s valid but I also think that that was the beginning of my childfree journey whether I knew it then or not.

Looking back at all the times I had interactions with babies as a kid, I don’t ever recall myself thinking they were cute or that I can’t wait to have one of my own to hold and nurture. I wasn’t ever really interested in babies. I let other people fawn over them and I just stood off to the side and glanced over their shoulder and pretended like I cared.

All my friends in middle school and high school started babysitting. I felt as if I was missing out so I wanted to do the same. However, my reasons were far different than their reasons. I’m sure we all did it for money but that’s all I ever wanted to do it for. I wasn’t necessarily trying to learn how to be a caregiver. In fact, my first babysitting gig went so horribly wrong (I had to call the parents and they had to end their date early) that I never did it again.

For years, even before I got married (and now divorced), I have always said to my parents that I don’t want children. They insisted I’d change my mind.

When I got a dog, you could tell they were disappointed. But they still hold on to that little glimmer of hope that one day I’ll change my mind and have children. They still think I’ll regret the decision of not having children and they still think I’ll be a great mom and how selfish I’d be if I didn’t have children.

Most parents (mine included) have a very structured and societal standard of life: college, marriage, pop out babies before you’re 30. I think I threw a complete wrench into that last “to do” and they aren’t sure how to deal with it.

Will I see grandkids before I die?

You don’t know what you’re missing out on.

You would be such a great mom; look at you with Winston!

You’re selfish if you don’t want kids.

You’ll regret it.

Is Jason okay with this decision?

Don’t worry, you’ll want them one day.

You won’t have anyone to take care of you when you’re older.

What are you going to do instead?

You know, all these hypotheticals would make more sense if I actually did want to become a mother but alas, I have no desire to. It has not come with time and I don’t think it ever will.

As “selfish” as one is going to label me – I love my life right now. I love being able to travel and do whatever I want at the drop of a hat. My priorities right now are not caregiving and raising children. My priorities right now are nurturing my business and my life.

Guilting me won’t work and quite frankly, it’s so wrong. On many levels. So wrong. I’d rather have a child and know that I truly wanted them than to have a child just to satisfy some societal standard or to satisfy someone else’s desires. You know what that leads to? Resentment.

I don’t hate [your] kids.

Just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean I hate your kids.

I have so many friends that have little ones and I embrace them and never mind if they’re tagging along for dinner or coming over to hang out. I love little people! I just don’t want my own.

Many women can’t have kids.

I know of far too many infertility stories of close friends.

I want to create awareness when you ask another woman, “do you have kids?” or “do you want kids?” or “when are you having kids?”

You have zero clue what their struggles may be.

I recently got asked, “are you childless by choice?”

What if I wasn’t childless by choice? What if at one point I had been trying and been unsuccessful?

What kind of wound would you have reopened or poured salt into?

Please be aware of what you ask other women.

“Is _____ getting a little brother or sister?”

This is another one I hear passively asked to a child or a mother.

They already have one child; are you trying to say that one isn’t enough?

What is it even implying?

Does everyone have to have a sibling? Is an only child such a terrible thing?

I understand the curiosity and the seemingly innocent question but again, you don’t know what this family may or may not be going through.

Stop the judgement

Everyone has their own story, their own choices, and their own opinions.

I respect that and I also ask for the same back.

I feel that as women, we have to support one another rather than bring each other down.

There is so much other shit going on in the world that my decision on not having children should really be the least of your worries.

Can I change my mind? Sure, I’ve got time.

For now? I’m happy with where I am in life and I’m happy to be childfree.

Regina Zdravich

Saturday 20th of February 2021

Thank you for writing this. I am 64, childfree by choice, and NEVER felt I made a mistake or was missing out on anything. And I can completely relate to how you describe being a child and knowing you did not want children - that is my story exactly. I hope you post more on this blog. I have so many stories about how I was treated in the workplace and socially for my decision.

Georg

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

People are programmed to think and behave in a specific way. It's not the same as programming a computer script or even AI algorithms, it's so much more complex. But still people are programmed. Some of this programming comes from the society, family, friends, other people. We receive this as we grow up but also throughout the whole life. And some of the programming comes from the gene combination. Who we are is a mix of both, and both types of the programming have mutual influence. Most of the people are programmed to want kids. Some people are not. Neither is wrong. It is just how it is. Why can't those people who are programmed to want kids understand if you tell them you don't? Because most of them don't have a capability to understand and accept the difference. They are average, their programming is too strong and they can't overcome it. If i told that i like to play with lots of cockroaches and i find them so cute, most people would be disgusted, call me nuts and would not understand why. Because most people are programmeed to be disgusted or afraid of the bloody roaches, even though they pose very little to none threat to them whatsoever. The same is with kids. Most people are born to develop a "kindschema", to find babies cute and adorable. Explaining to them that you don't have a "kindschema" is a tough nut. Some people with highly sophisticated programming and a "kindschema" (open minded and above average individuals in general) will understand, most people will simply refuse to accept this (you) and will start popping those questions you mentioned. They want to generalize you and make you like them, because you undermine their core values, their mission and their vision in life. So fuck them, because they are organic robots programmed to think the way they do, can't most likely change, which is all right, but fuck them anyways. Under some circumstances our core programming can change drastically, but its difficult and unlikely for the most. Sane people can go nuts and than sane again. It's unlikely you can change your own core programming, but not impossible. If you don't and stay without kids, it's fine. If you do and have a kid or two, it's also fine. It's your choice and fuck everyone and everything else. As for the comment "when you grow old who's s gonna take care of you" boolshit, well if you ask me it's a boolshit. All of my grandparents who are now dead took care of themselves until basically the end of their lives. When some of them fell sick last weeks they spent in a hospital and that's it. They loved their kids and us grandkids and loved the time we spent together, but they never needed anyone to take care of them or wanted to depend on anyone to sustain their existence in the very old age. Both of my grandfathers were strong as animals well in their seventies. And they were proud of this and I'm proud of how they were. This is how it should be. Fucking long post i wrote here, took me 30 min., so i hope someone will ever read it and maybe comment something like "Georg, that's some good shit you wrote", because my brain is wired to be pleased when someone actually agrees with me 😂😂. But I also try to understand if they don't 😅🤣.

Regina Zdravich

Saturday 20th of February 2021

@Georg, I agree with you 100%!!!! I read your entire comment, and "Georg, that's some good shit you wrote"

Patti

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

I love this blog. Ah, it's so refreshing, I will be coming back, if I may. 41 years old, single, child-free, happy as larry.... sending you all positive vibes and happiness.

Sue

Sunday 1st of March 2020

Dear Julie and Friends, oh that who-will-care-4-u-when-yer-old question really bugs me. Grown children have enough of their own problems, (jobs, kids' college expenses) and don't need guilted into visiting narcissistic old farts - who should have long ago planned for old age.

Shawn Johnson East

Monday 3rd of February 2020

Married in 2016, I am 27 years old. i am so happy to be a mother of my first baby girl weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long when she was born on Oct. 29, i have been trying to conceive for over 2 years now, after i suffered a miscarriage. But after holding our sweet girl in my arms and being told everything went well and she had made it to us safely I could have cared less. My/our world no longer has anything to do with us but everything to do with her. It’s all for her, one day i was just on the internet searching for how i can get pregnant fast. i came across some testimonial giving by some women and it was all about Dr micheal casper then i said to myself let me give it a try and know if it will work for me, after using his recommended natural pregnancy herbs and medication am so proud to be a mother, thank you so much Doctor for making me a happy mother. I will forever do anything for this girl that I love more than I ever could imagine. A love no one can ever prepare you for, if you know you are having the same problem i had before conceiving kindly contact my doctor via email: michaelcasp[email protected]

Regina Zdravich

Saturday 20th of February 2021

@Shawn Johnson East, I am so confused by your comment.... on one hand you seem to say becoming a mother was not what you expected/wanted and that it is not fulfilling, then you give out the contact info for a fertility doctor. I am very, very confused.