Childfree by Choice

  • Photo by Anna Grace Photography

    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 met my husband and even after we got married, I have always said to my parents that I don’t want children. They insisted I’d change my mind.

    Later on, we got a dog instead and you could tell they were disappointed. But they still hold on to that little glimmer of hope that one day we will change our minds and have children. They still think we will regret our 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 us – we love our life right now. We love having a furbaby and doting on him. We love being able to travel and do whatever we 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, husband, dog, 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.

    We don’t hate [your] kids.

    Just because we don’t have kids of our doesn’t mean we hate your kids.

    We have so many friends that have little ones and we embrace them and never mind if they’re tagging along for dinner or coming over to hang out. We love little people! We just don’t want our 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 and Jason childless by choice?”

    What if we weren’t childless by choice? What if we 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 we change our mind? Sure, I’ve got time.

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

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  • Veronika B. says:

    It may sound crazy but i´m glad that you are childless by choice. It means that you are not in the position of can´t have them… As you say yourself, that would be very sad. My sister in law struggles with that and i´m so sad for her. Since then i don´t ask women anymore about having kids. But i admit i did so before. For me, i´m glad that i have my little monster/angel but i´m struggling a bit with the idea of having another (being a mother is not easy), and yes it´s hard to try to explain it every time someone is asking me. So thank you for your post!! Again, i´m glad it´s your choice. There is so much happiness out there, with or without kids!! Love!!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I don’t fault people for asking when they don’t know any better but I’m hoping with more articles like this and more awareness, that sort of question becomes something that isn’t asked. It’s just so private. It’s essentially asking how your sex life is, lol

  • Victoria says:

    I think it’s awesome that you and Jason know what you want. My husband and I have one son, he’s almost 4. I really don’t know if we are going to have another. We, as of right now, are totally fine with just 1. But I am asked by everyone if we’re going to have more.

    We just took our son for a haircut and the woman cutting his hair randomly asked if we were having more. I know she was just making smalltalk but still. I feel a sense of guilt for being unsure.

    There’s this pressure to have kids, but not just one. You’re expected to pop out at least two. We are getting more confident in how we feel, but that societal pressure is a real bitch. I say kudos to y’all!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thanks Victoria! It’s strange that people assume that if you have 1, you’ll want more. 1 CAN be enough; everyone’s decisions are their own and it’s okay if you don’t know right now. Do what is right for your family. Societal pressure, be gone!

  • megan says:

    As someone who has 2 kids and would someday like a 3rd i just wanted to say that I love when women and couples make a choice to not have children and are able to stand by it because its YOUR CHOICE! I don’t think its selfish at all! I think it is making a choice as an adult to live your life a certain way and being totally happy with that choice. People are completely different and choose to live lives different ways. Just because i want a house full of kids doesn’t mean others do too. I’m always very aware to never ask if a woman/couple are going to have a baby because you never know there situation.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thanks for the support, Megan! And, it’s your choice whether you want more kids or not. I love being able to be confident in my decision and to make a choice that is our own. That’s the beauty in life; it’s just hard sometimes when society thinks otherwise :) xx

  • Krysten Gossard says:

    Oh Julie!!! I am so happy you wrote this ! I’ve written drafts of a post like this and I admit I’ve been too scared to post it . I was in such a bad headspace about this when I turned 30. I was so angry at people for riding me about it , that quite honestly I sometimes didn’t know if I was just rebelling against societal norms and people telling me what to do or if this was still my decision. The answer came when I became an aunt. I love my nephew with all of my heart. I would give that kid a kidney and if you fully understood my fear of needles you’d know how much that is. You’d think that would mean that I’d want to run off and get pregnant, but no. Though I might sometimes long to see him with a human cousin (I mean he has Stanley) I look at the time we’ve had together and it’s so unique and special. When my sister needs a little break or he needs picked up from daycare – I am right there without a worry that I have to deal with my own kids. He is becoming the best little friend I never knew I needed. I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be. Aunt ended up being the title I was meant to have and every bit of angst left me this year when I realized that. We may not have a traditional set up, but he gets the full undivided attention of an Aunt and Uncle that spoil him like the kid they will never have and that is something too.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I just felt..why am I sitting on this? I need to just get it out there because I know others can relate and I know the heartbreak of others, too. My whole goal is to just make people AWARE. I hear ya – sometimes I feel like I’m rebelling against societal norms but then many times, I’m just like…I NEVER liked kids nor wanted them..why force myself into resentment? Like you, I have many friends who have little kids and I have nephews and nieces. I can dote on them and then return them to their parents, haha..love you girl. You know I’ve always got your back!

  • Katelyn James says:

    Proud of you for sharing something that isnt talked about hardly ever! I was just like you… NEVER babysat… don’t love babies and never have a desire to hold them… I’m so far from the nurturing type… I’m just not domestic at ALL! Our story is different though… because Michael really wanted kids and even though I wasn’t drawn to them, deep down, I had a feeling that my own baby would be different. It was scary… but I didn’t even feel connected to Evy until she was literally laid on my chest. I didn’t even feel “motherly” when I was pregnant which isnt normal! My entire life changed the moment she was born. I still don’t like other babies. 😂I have to force myself to hold my sister’s babies and that seems odd to me but that’s just how I’m wired I guess. There’s nothing wrong with me and there’s nothing wrong with you! I used to think there was something missing from my genetic makeup because I didn’t like babies like every other woman on the planet but that’s just not true. So while my story is different and we consider this season of our life the absolute best being parents, I understand a snippet of the way you feel. It’s wise to really know yourself and not enter into a season you really don’t desire. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thanks, Katelyn! I’m so thankful that you’re sharing a different side of this story. One that I did not even touch on: not wanting kids but having them and knowing that having your own baby would be different. I love your honesty that you don’t even like holding your sister’s babies and that you still don’t like other babies. I agree; there is nothing wrong with either of us…it’s just different seasons and our decisions. Thanks for sharing, sweet friend. So appreciate your insight!!

  • Pinky says:

    U just wrote everything that have been pouring in my mind all these years… Yes !! I got no interest in kids and that doesn’t means I hate children..I don’t want my own…my God all those questions people ask … This feels like my heart wrote this article…I completely get u…and just go ahead …and live happily forever…and it’s always be sweet home and happy family with just two of u❤️😍

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you, you too!!

  • Rachel says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve known several people who’ve had children just because that’s what you’re “supposed ” to do, and while I don’t doubt they love their children, you can tell there’s an underlying resentment about being a parent. I myself have one child – and got asked repeatedly why we didn’t qive him siblings. My pregnancy was awful, I verged on preeclampsia, and I hemorrhaged badly enough after I gave birth that there was talk of blood transfusions before I’d be allowed to go home. It scared me off of having any more. I used to be that person who would ask “when are you having kids?” but after having several friends who miscarried, I realized what an asshole question that can be. Now, I’ll ask if someone has kids in the same way I’ll ask if they’re married or have pets and leave it at that.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Ugh, so sorry. Thanks for sharing, though, as it may draw awareness for those that constantly ask this question…like, maybe there is a reason why someone doesn’t want additional kids. Perhaps they can’t, perhaps they had a rough pregnancy with the first one and don’t want to go through it again, perhaps something happened during delivery that caused them to not be pregnant again…there are so many possibilities and so many chances for wounds to be reopened.

  • Kristin says:

    Yes yes yes yes YES. That is all.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      😘

  • Karenann S. says:

    I appreciate and agree totally with your thoughts. Having children is a huge responsibility that never goes away. If you are not 100% ready or willing, don’t have them. Life is as fulfilling as you make it! Enjoy yours!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thank you!!! i love that.

  • Marybeth says:

    Your path is your own without ever needing to explain…just walk it authentically. You are a wise woman.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thank you!

  • Kelly Ray says:

    Thanks for this post. I’m now 43, and struggled nearly all of my adult life with the questions, “when are you having kids” and the lectures from people who don’t know me about how much I’m missing out on. Listen. Whatever my reasons are, they’re mine. And I’m fairly certain my furbabies will never ask for me to pay for college, a wedding, or purposely break my heart. So whatever my reasons, it’s no one else’s business. So AMEN Julie Wampler. A. MEN.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      sorry you had to deal with that; society just can’t deal with some of us not wanting to do exactly what others are doing.

  • Jenny says:

    I hear you. I’m childless by choice and I have heard every question, and judgement, you have brought up. At one point, to get people to stop asking, I regularly told people that we work on it ALL of the time. “Do you want details?” is how I’d finish and gradually the questions would stop being asked by those I know. Strangers still asked something or other – really, how rude to ask something so personal. I had to have a hysterectomy last year due to a cancer diagnosis and it was an easy decision since I didn’t want to have kids. I’ve been mourning the loss of choice but not mourning being unable to carry a child. And now people keep telling me I can still adopt or get a surrogate. Ugh. It never ends.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      oh Jenny, i’m so sorry to hear about this. i didn’t realize that and thank you for sharing your story. it’s so hurtful when people ask, i’m sure…i hope you can shed light and teach them a lesson about asking such personal questions.

  • Beth says:

    I love this post! I have one human baby and would take one million dogs over another human baby. It’s insane that like 6 months after you have a baby people are asking you about a sibling. Also – I appreciate and love my childless friends more than ever. They are the people I look to most frequently since I don’t just want to talk about my baby 24/7. Also, please have another meet up so I can leave my baby home with my husband – lol.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      HAHAHA, this comment. i will be planning one soon!

  • Anna Grace says:

    You are brave for sharing this and are no less of a woman for not wanting kids. You are right, the judgement and questions need to stop it’s not helpful to anyone! Someone asked me weeks after I had Hallie when I was having another and I had JUST given birth. Let’s encourage each other and share when we would like and not pressure one another. You are living a beautiful satisfying and IMPACTFUL life. I love you and support you! Also, love the family pic 😉!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      that’s crazy people asked you that about Hallie!! geez. simmer down! thank you, friend! love you and thanks for all our family photos!!

  • Lisa Robinson says:

    I applaud you and Jason for not having children. I have 2 children and love them dearly. They are with significant others and if they don’t want kids…I’ll applaud them too. Children are a huge commitment for life! I have been a teacher for 25 years and there are many people who really shouldn’t be parents. Embrace what family means to you in whatever capacity that it. As for who will take care of my husband and I when we’re old? I’ll hire someone 😁

    • Julie Wampler says:

      haha, good deal!

  • Denetta says:

    Good for you for knowing what’s good for you and not allowing other people’s expectations dictate the life you live.
    I’ve been married for 26yrs and we are childless. Initially it was because we couldn’t conceive but we later realized we were ok with it. We prefer being aunt and uncle over mother and father.
    We both understand the time p, energy, and finances that is required in raising children. We didn’t want to struggle in all those areas for the rest pot our lives. We share our time, energy, and finances with god children, nieces, and nephews as we can. Then we go home and save up for the next time. They’re able to get the best of us rather than the leftovers.
    We are secure in status and realize that deep down, those who show pity actually envy us.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      yes to all of this! i hear this so very often from others, too. thank you for writing and sharing!

  • Stephanie Hubers says:

    Thank you for posting this! I’m 39 and I’ve been married for 15 years and I still get asked constantly why I don’t have kids. It was a conscious decision that my husband and I have made. I just don’t have the maternal desire and I would never want to bring a child into the world without wanting the child. This is not a popular view, but it’s how I feel and I think that should be okay. Know that your decision is your decision. I support my friends who have 4+ kids, those who foster/adopt, and those who are struggling to get pregnant; all I’m asking is that people also support the choice to not have children.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      yes, 100%. i wish people would support the choice to not have children as they support the choice to have children. it’s so imbalanced.

  • Michele says:

    I’m a mom to a 4 yo and have another on the way. Never do I agree with people guilt tripping women about not having kids! It’s your life, you do what’s right for you and your family. Kids aren’t for everyone, and that’s ok. Society needs to be ok with that.

    After we had our daughter, it didn’t take long at all for people to start asking when we were going to have a second. We honestly considered just having one child. It was so frustrating having people to tell us “she shouldn’t be an only child, don’t do that to her!” 🙄 We waited almost 4 years to try for a second, and that was our choice. I don’t fault anybody for wanting only 1 kid, 10 kids, or even no kids!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      “don’t do that to her” – please tell me what it would “do” to her. ugh, so sorry to hear about that!

  • Debra says:

    Julie,
    I’m sorry that anyone would think that suck a personal thing would be anyone else’s business. I am a mother of 3 however I have ALWAYS respected the fact that I don’t belong in my children’s bedroom much less anyone else’s. I think all of you that are subjected to such thoughtless people should ask them why they had children as most spend a lot of their time looking for ways to escape them. It’s a fact! Or complaining of how tired they are and on and on. PLEASE LADIES you owe NO ONE an explanation. I admire the fact that you make your own choice good for you. Enjoy your life however you choose.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thank you!

  • Jasmine says:

    OMG. I am 100% in the same boat with just not ever having felt like I wanted my own kids. Since I was a child, I have always thought “ehhh if I do end up having any, maybe I’ll adopt?” … well lo and behold, we are trying to have kids (my husband is HELLA BABY HUNGRY and I’m like, basically ok with the idea of having a baby) but it turns out I have lots of things going on in my nethers that are preventing it. I am NOT up for crazy expensive and horrific procedures… either it happens naturally or it doesn’t for me. But I just wonder if, on some level, I always knew this would happen, so my brain was sparing me? Anyways, it’s so weird that you would post this today because EARLIER THIS MORNING I was thinking about how next time my in laws hassle me about kids, I’m going to say, “why don’t you take this up with your son. Turns out he is gay and I can’t get him to have sex with me.” LMAO

    • Julie Wampler says:

      HAHAHA omg, i would love to be a fly on the wall with that conversation. or even to the point of like…”so, you are interested in our sex life. that’s cool. which is your fav position to conceive? maybe it’s a position we haven’t tried yet” – pretty sure that’ll get them to shut up LOL

  • JenJ says:

    Wooooooooooo!!!!!! *claps madly* Thank for sharing! For me add the fact I’m in my late 30s and NOT married. Who knows what we happen BUT IT’S MY CHOICE and at this moment I’m fine with it! Kick rocks and scram! I have a younger brother who is 12 years younger that men and hell for most of my life he had felt like my child. Add to that one parent who had a major health issue a couple years ago. Things are better now but it’s not like it was before the incident. So I have enough going on without adding a kid to the mix.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thank you! and thanks for sharing your story! everyone has a different one in their life decisions and everyone should be fine with it!

  • Kristen says:

    I think choosing to not have children is the least selfish decision you can make! Anyone who says it’s a selfish choice clearly needs to mind their own business. I love my kids and am thankful to be a mom but they suck a lot of energy, money and time. Giving that up is not a decision to take lightly. Live your best life, whatever that means for you and do so without guilt (or to others, without making others feel guilty). I’ve never understood why the whole children/no children issue is such a huge deal to others. Ugh. Great awareness post, Julie!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      aw thanks Kristen! really appreciate the support! i don’t get it either but maybe this little blog of mine will draw more awareness to the topic!

  • Traci says:

    Everything you wrote in this post is so true. I’m a single woman in her 40s and whenever I meet someone it is one of the first things they ask – do you have children? I get that it is a question asked to get to know someone but it is always one of the first questions asked. I feel like when I say no there is such a sense of disappointment that I failed to procreate. Would I have liked to have had children – yes. But it is not something I wanted to do alone as an unmarried woman and as of today I haven’t met the guy I want to spend my life with. Can’t there be more to a woman then if she got married and had kids?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      RIGHT?! can’t there be, “so, what do you do for a living?” and encouraging women to be their own bosses of their own lives? ugh, sorry you get that so often!

  • Jenn Lefebvre says:

    I absolutely love that you shared this message!! My hubs and I didn’t start out childless by choice (I have PCOS and it just wasn’t in the cards). After my diagnosis I was sad because I thought that having kids was what you are supposed to do and here I was with a “broken body”. But my wonderful hubs just kind of shrugged his shoulders and said, “You know what? We’ll have an amazing life anyway; in fact, I’m not sure I ever really wanted them.” It was such a relief to hear which made me realize maybe I was not ever sure I wanted to have kids either; I just thought it was the next thing to do. We very briefly discussed fertility, but it never called to us which again was a sign to me. That was over 20 years ago, when it was less acceptable to make that decision (regardless of whether it was our decision or not) and the comments we have endured since that time have been hurtful really: “You have no idea what true love is until you have a child; Why didn’t you try fertility treatments?; Awww, how sad, kids bring so much joy!; Must be nice to be able to afford your selfish lifestyle”…I’m sure you’ve heard all of the same messages, too. I would never fault anyone for having children but it sure sucks when you’re faulted for not having them. I’m very thankful that both sets of parents completely supported our decision and we’ve never felt that kind of pressure from our families. In fact, I’m sure our siblings love that we spoil our nieces and nephews :)
    And Julie, I’m here to tell you that all of these years later, the hubs was right. We have had an amazing life, and like you we get to travel and see places and do things that we likely never would have with kids. The good news is that as you get older, the comments diminish, HA! I hope that others who may be feeling the same about this decision see your message and know that they are not alone! There’s solidarity out here!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      haha! thanks for your insight! i wouldn’t fault anyone for having children either so i don’t get why those can’t give the same respect! i’m so happy to hear you have an amazing life of traveling and doing all the things that you want to do to make your life fulfilling!

  • Suzanne Grant says:

    I fully agree! I’m childless because I realized early on that I don’t have the emotional resources to take of a kid, so it’s best not to reproduce. It costs roughly 245,000 to raise a child to 18(according to Dept of Agriculture) so I certainly don’t have the financial resources for that either! Those who don’t consider first if they have these resources before having children are the ones being selfish.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      oh wow, i didn’t know that (cost)!

  • Katrina says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I appreciate your candidness regarding your feelings and decision on not having children!

    I also appreciate your view on the question. I was 40 when my first and only child was born! We struggled to have him. Each time the question was posed, it was like pouring salt into a wound. Even my MIL did not get it!

    Not every woman, couple have a strong desire for children like many others do.

    Keep posting your amazing recipes and pictures of Winston!!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thank you!! i really try to be cognizant of everyone’s struggles only because i have so many friends that have been in the boat as you.

  • Megan says:

    Perfectly said, and you and I seem to have the same thoughts – it’s just not for us, for the exact same reasons. I’ve never had interest in being a mom, and I never will. People bugged me about being a mother the entire time I was married. After awhile (of being very annoyed) my response finally came down to: “I can’t have kids.” They would reply with a shocked, “WHY NOT?!” I’d say, “Because I don’t want to.” Then I’d smirk and walk away. It’s very empowering to speak your truth, and every woman can design her own life. Cheers!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      haha! omg i love that.

  • Sandy T says:

    Childless by choice at 40. People STILL tell me I will change my mind (though I do believe my parents have accepted my fur babies as their grand babies). Like you, I have never wanted kids. I love kids. I loved babysitting, but my own? Nope. I love giving kids back even more. I have always been upfront about this, as for me it was a big deal. I’ve never wanted kids.
    Why is it that when little girls say they can’t wait to be moms they are supported, but when little girls say they never want to have kids, they are not?
    Thank you for sharing this. While I consider this a personal choice (and would never judge others for having kids) I feel so often others want to make it their choice.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      YES, i have always wondered this too. everyone supports others who want to have kids but don’t support others when they say they don’t. it’s really odd..it’s like, kids don’t have to make up your life. there is more to life for some than kids being their number one reason for living!

  • Colleen Jones says:

    This is so great! I am single and childless (except for a fur baby) heading into the last year of my 30s. My feelings about wanting/not wanting children may have been different if I was married, but that is something I may never know. I have three beautiful nieces who I absolutely adore but have also mourned with my brother and sister-in-law over the loss of pregnancies and can only imagine what they, as parents, must be experiencing. The freedom that comes with being childless is great! And as far as who will take care of me when I am old, why do you think I spoil my nieces?!?! I am trying to pay them off now! :)

    • Julie Wampler says:

      hahaha, that’s a great idea

  • Vangile says:

    Thank you for thos post!!!!!…. Am 28, not married and still figuring out my life, and some might say I still have time but a lot of people are starting to say they are “getting worried about me”, I love kids and adore them but I always said I dont see myself being someones parent. I have never had the perfect picture of having a family , am still finding my path in this world and finding who I am , and by me saying that am not being selfish but thats how I feel. We live in a society where everything is mapped out, college, career , marriage, kids then you made it. But people dont realise or tell the hard truth that is not as simple as that getting your life together , and oh that saying I hear ” baby changes everything” , or “when you die leave someone for us to remember you by”. I hear it all everyday and the guilt people give you. I think am at the age where I already made up my mind. Its a matter of just accepting it yourself so that society doesnt guilt trip you into doing something you dont want to.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      yes, exactly. i think i’ve come to accept that society just isn’t going to be happy with any decision i make so i just gotta make myself happy first and that’s all that matters!

  • Cissy says:

    Hey, Julie- this is a great post. I’m happy to see someone defending this position. I have three kids and 7 grandchildren and we adore them. I have childless by choice friends who are so happy that I want to choke them! Vacations, beautiful homes, great social lives. We must all pave our own paths. Some have it better than others, sure, but, for God’s sake!!! It’s no ones business how we choose to live. The questions are invasive and hurtful. Keep speaking out!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thank you!!!

  • Heather says:

    As someone who is also childless by choice, THANK YOU for speaking out. It seems like the unspoken option that everyone else judges. Also, I have also felt that it would be more selfish of me to HAVE children when I didn’t want them at all only to alleviate the judgement by others. Again, thank you for speaking out – all of our journeys are different, but they are all valid.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      yes, exactly. it’s selfLESS that we chose to not have kids.

  • Martha says:

    Thank you for writing this. You don’t know what is going on in someone’s life. I myself am an only child, because I had horrible health issues when I was growing up that my parents couldn’t even imagine bringing another child into it. They wanted another child, but physically, all their attention was on making sure that I go the help I needed. My daughter is an only child so far – and unfortunately, I have had three miscarriages. I am at the point where I am questioning if I want to try again or not because I don’t know if it is physically possible (I had to have surgery last year to remove a uterine fibroid that caused the first two miscarriages…I don’t know if the scar tissue impacted the third). I know several people who desperately want a child, and it is physically impossible for them. And I know several people who, like you, are childless by choice. Everyone has their own story. And people need to mind their own business about why people have children or not, or how many they have.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thanks for sharing your story. your story is exactly why people need to mind their own business and not re-open wounds. i’m sorry to hear about your miscarriages. just do what makes you and your family happy and let that come first.

  • Cristy says:

    I’m going to forward this post off to friends who are in the CNBC community, allowing for them to weigh in, but so many of the things you talk about here have been ongoing topics throughout the infertility and loss community too.

    First off, thank you for writing this post. I wish you didn’t have to write it, but we live in a world that is convinced that people who don’t procreate somehow are flawed. The truth is society needs people from all walks of life and families don’t have to look a certain way. In addition, you are obviously living a full and happy life, which is a source of confusion given the message that full, happy lives can only happen one way. Even sadder are those who check all the boxes and are clearly unhappy. Hence why your post is all the more important.

    Keep living unapologetically. You are more than your uterus and your family is a beautiful one. And from someone who is an infertility survivor, I also want to thank you for pushing back on these seemingly “concerned” questions. They cause so much unneeded pain and it’s overdue that people be checked for them.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      to be honest, i wasn’t sure what CNBC was at first and i had to google it and then of course the television network was the first thing that came up, lol…so for those reading, CNBC: childless not by choice.

      thank you for writing and sharing your insight and story. i have finally realized i’ll never make society happy with my decisions so the best to just make me happy first. i hope your friends will weigh in!

  • Karen Beckman says:

    Outstanding post! Thank you for honestly tackling this sensitive topic. May I add a corollary for those of us who are of Grandparent age? Please stop asking when our children are going to have their own. For the reasons you listed, it can be complicated, and IT IS NONE OF ANYONE ELSE’S BUSINESS! Thank you for letting me vent.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      ah yes, i hear that one a lot too and thank you for saying it!

  • Gretchen says:

    Amen!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      thanks!!

  • Jenn says:

    Thank you for posting this! While my husband and I DO want to have children at some point, I’m 30 and was diagnosed with a major hormone imbalance and since getting married that’s all we are asked about. “So when are you having children.” Right now – it’s not even at the forefront of my mind because I need to take care of my body first so that I can even think about having a healthy pregnancy. Yeah – I’m worried about time at this point in my life, but people constantly bringing it up makes me feel sick as I’m not sure if I will even be able to get pregnant. I had to tell my mother, my mother in law and my husbands step mom all to stop asking as it was a sensitive subject for me due to my own health issues currently and that we DO want to have kids, but it may be a while depending on my body and my imbalances.

    For now, we also have two little Cardigan Corgi fur babies that we love to death. They’re my reason to get up in the morning and they’re the biggest cuddle bugs when I’m having a bad day. If we can’t have children, I know being a dog mom will be my saving grace as they always know when I really need love.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Awww corgis are the best! People are so intrusive. I’m sorry you had to deal with that and tell them what was really going on against your will.

  • Natasha says:

    It’s so funny how you posted this today. I had dinner with an old friend last night, and we talked about the same subject. We actually both made the decision fairly recently that we for sure don’t want kids. I’m 33. I’d be very surprised if I changed my mind. Ever since I turned 30, I’ve hated dealing with all the questions people ask me. So much pressure, and I hated questioning myself too. I think it’s rude. And you’re spot on that some people try and can’t have kids so why ask when it may upset people for a variety of reasons?! People need to mind their own damn business. And we shouldn’t have to justify. Great post – you perfectly articulated my exact thoughts.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thanks! Yeah, I’m in the same boat…very surprised if I change my mind. We’ve got time if we do but for now, I’m happy!

  • Teri K says:

    This was me 20+ years ago. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m in my mid-50’s now so I don’t get asked this anymore.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I’m sure the questions will eventually stop for me but it doesn’t change the fact that women still need to know to be aware!

  • Melanie says:

    Julie, I soooo appreciate your post on this. I feel like I’m in a weird spot in my life. 35 years old and still don’t feel a “desire” to have kids yet but in my mind, I’ve always envisioned having at least one baby but go back and forth about it because I love being able to travel and having a flexible lifestyle. But there is definitely pressure from family and friends and that internal strugggle of what I am “supposed” to do and letting people down. Ugh it’s hard when I’m on the fence! I’m sure in some ways it’s helpful to know and be confident in your decision… not wishy washy like me haha! When I’m doubt, I’ll train pugs :p

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Oh Melanie, live what you love. If you’re happy and content then so be it! A baby/child may not be exactly what you need; maybe living life full of travels and flexible lifestyle for you and your husband is what truly makes you happy in life. I feel that the pressure to procreate in order to be “happy and satisfied” is such BS. What ever happened to just living your life to its fullest…with or without kids?

  • Ellen Levy says:

    Brava, Julie! I agree with all you wrote, and I’m sorry your family doesn’t quite see eye-to-eye with you or recognize that you are MORE thoughtful to decide not to have kids (and resent them). We are lucky to live in an era where women have so many choices in life, real choices, to make an impact or to give meaning to our lives. And by meaning, we define that for ourselves: it need not be some large, sweeping gesture or commitment, just being a good person in all the small ways, touching lives in small gestures, is the stuff of most peoples’ lives. Being a parent is not the only path to meaning or self-worth. I prefe to tell people that I am child-FREE, because I feel lucky to have the choice, on many levels. Also, the “who’s gonna take care of you when you’re old” question is silly: nothing guarantees that children will care for their older parents, and it’s a terrible, selfish reason to have kids, right?? Besides, my cats will be much easier to manage through their teen years!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      YES. Nothing guarantees that your child will take care of you. I think it’s pretty selfish to have kids just so they’ll take care of you because well…a lot of kids just shove their parents into a nursing home anyway, lol…anyway, thanks!

  • Quinn O says:

    Your dog is beautiful! I am not childless, but I am a widow with one child, and people kept asking why my husband and I weren’t having additional children. We were having financial and housing problems so we wanted to focus on the child we already had before that started. Now that I have her by myself, there are people who are wondering about that too, and if someone wants to have kids or not, or how many, that should be their own business.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Totally agree!

  • Tamra says:

    Thank you for writing this much needed post. Your honesty is appreciated and I hope others take your position to heart. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors aside from the people living there. Not everyone is meant to or has the desire to raise children. There’s also others that would love to have children and for some unfortunate reason are unable to. Please, be sensitive when questioning or pushing others on this important life decision.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you! I hope this draws awareness too.

  • lachiah says:

    When I saw this in my inbox this morning, it immediately resonated! Thank you for sharing. I’m one of those people who doesn’t want to have kids. I picture life with a dog instead. I don’t want the responsibility of raising them. I’m not sure I could handle it to be honest. I don’t want to be pregnant and risk being engulfed by depression or even dying. I like only worrying about myself and my needs. I’m also very career focused and want the flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities. I’d rather opt out than to have a child and screw them up because of resentment, depression, and/or regret. If that makes me selfish, fine!

    I don’t get too many of the questions/comments but a small part of me fears extended family gatherings because of them. I’m not married or seeing anyone either so that’ll be lumped in too. It’s almost like people are offended that someone doesn’t want kids. I also don’t like the notion that you’re less of a woman if you don’t have or want kids. There’s more to a person than whether or not they have and/or want kids!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yes, I completely agree with you!

  • Brianna S says:

    It’s like you reached into my brain and read all my thoughts before you wrote them down. I feel the same way: I’ve never had the desire to be a mother, ever since I was a kid. My biggest dreams were to get married and have a house, and I have both! I feel that having children won’t complete my life, and the unspoken pressure to have kids from friends, family and our religious community is the only thing that makes me feel bad. Maybe I will have kids one day, but maybe I won’t, and that’s up to me and my husband, period. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I truly sympathize with women who want kids and can’t have them, and I don’t think it’s right for someone like me to be automatically categorized into that group because people assume from afar that *that* is the reason I don’t have kids, which is so far from the truth. It’s my choice, and I admire you so much for telling that to the world! I had no problem telling people I didn’t want kids in my youth, but as a married Christian woman, it’s hard for me to tell others that my opinions haven’t changed since I was eleven years old. Also, to everyone who asks, my husband and I have already “started our family”: we became a family on our wedding day the second we were married to each other. :) Thank you for all that you do, Julie ❤️❤️❤️

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I love that you said that in your last sentence…that you already became a family when you were married. I wish more people saw it this way!

  • Meredith says:

    Thank you for posting this! I have 2 kids, but sometimes I feel like any other procreative choice (no kids, just one, or anything more than 3 kids) gets a lot of comments and public criticism. Jeez, I have no idea why some people can’t have the manners to keep their judgemental thoughts to themselves.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Haha, I agree! I think people just feel the need to insert unsolicited opinions all the time.

  • Stephanie Hanson says:

    Thank you for sharing this! You not having children is 1) 100% your choice and 2) No one else’s damn business!!! Being a parent is a gigantic responsibility and I applaud you for knowing what you want.

    I think it’s important to note that people should be sensitive to asking such invasive questions. My husband and I were diagnosed with infertility in 2014 after trying to get pregnant for over a year. By that point we had been married for nearly 4 years and the constant barrage of “when are you going to have kids???” was one of the most painful experiences of my life. Every time someone asked about it (and most of the time, it was innocent), I felt like someone was digging a knife into my gut and twisting it. At first I would just say “we want them, we just don’t have any yet!” But after a while I just started being honest about our struggle and it’s amazing how people responded. It caught people off guard quite a bit, but I felt it was better to be honest about my situation than to continue playing along.

    Although our story does have a happy ending because we did IVF and now have a 9 month old daughter, not everyone has this happy ending. I hope your post reaches people that may not realize how their words affect others and that it makes them more sensitive to this topic. I’ve definitely adjusted how I ask questions based on my experience and try to avoid these invasive questions.

    You do you, boo!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I think about you so often when it comes to infertility struggles. I hope that my article resonates with people and draws awareness to that fact! Thank you, friend!

  • Cyndi says:

    It’s a shame on society that you even felt you had to write this. But I’m glad you did because it needs to be said. I cannot think of a more personal decision that is less anyone else’s business, yet people never hesitate to try to make it their business. We have four children and we love them more than our own lives. This is what we wanted. We would never judge/question anyone for not having/wanting children, like I said it’s SUCH A PERSONAL decision. No one’s business but your own. As an aside, all our children are boys – we were beyond thrilled every time – and I can’t count the number of times people, including complete strangers (but it’s bad when ANYONE does it) have asked “are you going to try for the girl?”. They have no problem saying this loudly and right in front of our boys. I will never understand people trying to make something so private their business. Here’s hoping society’s expectations on this subject will disappear and people will MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS once and for all.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you! And yes, I don’t understand why society thinks “one girl and one boy” is a “complete” family and if you have two boys or two girls, you must keep trying until you get the opposite gender. I mean, enough is enough!

  • Angelique says:

    You can’t hear me, but I’m cheering loudly right now. Women get asked such inappropriate questions all the dang time and I’m so over it. I’m 34 and single with no pets. 99% of the time, I’m perfectly happy with my life (occasional self-pity parties for my singleness aside). I own my own home. I’m the director of my department at work. I travel when and where I want. Life is pretty great right now. However…I get all of these questions and more (like “So are you seeing anyone yet?”…yep, they usually say yet and I give them dagger eyes). My parents, bless them, have been pretty reasonable, but are disappointed that I’m most likely not going to have children, let alone potentially not getting married. Personally, I don’t have strong feelings for or against having children myself. I love other people’s kids, but am undecided on if I want my own. AND THAT’S OKAY! Seriously, there are enough people in this world already. If I truly decide I want to become a mom, then there’s always adoption (with or without a husband). Everyone just needs to chill out and get over the preconceived societal norms of traditional families.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      As long as you are happy, that is what matters. I’m glad that you are living a great life right now!

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you. For speaking for those of us who have grown tired of overexplaining that we don’t want children and for making it okay. I had this conversation just last night! I’ve been pregnant and while I was okay with it, the pregnancy ended up being ectopic. While it was difficult, I was relieved. Everyone has their own story and I wish people would respect them.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Sorry to hear that! I wish more people respected our privacy, too.

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