Why I’m Childfree

Photo by Mohammad R. Riza (flickr)

There are many people who believe that being childfree (or better yet, “childless by choice”) is a negative trait, especially for a woman. Because I have the body parts and natural cycles that evolution has given to human females, the assumption is that I would desire children and be willing to have them should I “find the right man” or “feel my clock ticking.”

Not having kids is also seen as something to pity. Others who have children know what it’s like to feel that intense love bond between family members and they enjoy raising up the next generation. That’s all puppies and rainbows if that’s what you choose for your life. Many people like myself do not want that for our futures, and we know it is our right to choose and not be pitied or accused of being selfish or ignorant.

Why I’m Childfree

I don’t want kids.

That’s the gist of it, folks. No deep answers from me or essays justifying my desires and my dreams. I don’t need to make excuses. I’m delighted with my choice to not have children! I’ll miss out on some great experiences parents have, but I’ll be an available friend or relative to support them. I’ll gain the benefits of being an adult without such a lifelong responsibility: I’ll have more money, more ability to be flexible and involved in my hobbies and goals, and I won’t lack love, friendship, or joy.

Check out more reasons why people choose a childfree lifestyle.

If You Have a Childfree Friend or Family Member

If you adore kids and want them in your life, I applaud you and thank you. That’s a wonderful life profession that takes serious work and commitment. I am so glad you are in our society. Please do a good job.

Since we disagree on this important issue, it might help you to know what sorts of words or arguments are commonly used that do not help childfree individuals feel loved, understood, nor supported.

Avoid these common phrases or arguments:

  • You’re not a fulfilled woman without the experience of having children. [Not only would you sting the childless by choice with this arrogant and ignorant attitude, but also the infertile and single.]
  • Even if you don’t want them now, you’ll want them later.
  • When you meet the right guy, you’ll want to start a family with him because that’s the evidence of true love and unity.
  • Having children and creating a family is the highest calling of a couple. It’s for the greater good.
  • We’re biologically designed to reproduce; why fight it?
  • It’s what God wants. [I recommend skipping the god-talk all together, especially with seculars like myself. Talk to us in our own language.]
  • But you’d be a great parent! [Being a good person and able to take care of and love someone else does not mean they must procreate.]
  • I was just like you before! [I’m sure you were childless and happy once. Good for you. We’re happy to stay there and that’s fine for us.]
  • You just don’t understand. [This is so insulting.]

Above all things, do not belittle or invalidate a childfree person. It is a sign that you are not truly listening to what they have to say nor respecting how they feel.

Why Are Childfree People Mean?

We’re not!

Okay, some people are douchebags, but you can find those anywhere.

Here’s a video of typical responses from mothers about being childfree by choice. These ladies are mostly arguing against the angry, bitter population of childfree choicers on the internet, and hot damn, they are not kidding. I’ve read the thoughts, rants, and views of the “militants”, and they offend and annoy me too!

I consider myself a moderate person who supports everyone’s right to choose and encourages families to succeed and children to grow up happy and well. I don’t hate children or think parents are evil. These are extremes. Let’s not go to extremes. There is no need to be nasty and unkind to parents because you do not have something in common with them.

Kids in My Future

Am I always going to be childless by choice? I don’t know. Just like I’m open to new evidence for deities and other mysteries, I am also open to changing my mind about having children. It is a tiny opening, but I’m willing to re-consider my opinions. I don’t foresee a change happening soon (or ever), nor think that my currently non-existent maternal instinct will suddenly kick in when I meet a certain man or turn 35.

This admission of a possibility does not mean I secretly want kids or that I’m just spending a few years having fun before I “settle down”.  It means I am not  bull-headed enough to say “never”.

To My Fellow Childfree Friends

If you also feel pressured by family, friends, or culture to do things just because of preconceived notions of “how it’s done”–guess what!–You’re not alone!

If your mother wants grandchildren, that’s her issue, not yours. If your best friend has three kids and can’t stop talking about how they’re the best thing to ever happen to her, be glad for her but also share and relish what is joyous and fulfilling in your life. Embrace your freedom and your personal decisions. Follow your dreams, and don’t be trapped by society’s expectations.

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April 24, 2010  |  personal, relationships, society

160 Comments


  1. hi,
    im from india,and motherhood and its ‘joys’ is pretty big here…even when i was a kid i never wanted to be a mother…till date i thot that thetes something wrong with me.but knowing that there are other women like me is heartning.m married and my husband respects my choice.
    and its surprising that the arguments given are the same world over!!

  2. “Embrace your freedom and your personal decisions. Follow your dreams, and don’t be trapped by society’s expectations.”

    Absolutely. Well stated, and agreed. I would NEVER, ever suggest that anyone, especially a woman, would have anything less than a life that was 100% fulfilled and happy without children. There are plenty of women with children who aren’t happy and fulfilled. That said, I have a couple of points I’d like for you to consider.

    “You just don’t understand. [This is so insulting].”

    Wait for it… here’s where you’re wrong. You really don’t understand, I promise. Because I had the same happy, carefree childless stance until I found myself pregnant at 32. It sounds condescending, (because it is), to try to tell someone they don’t understand. I can’t explain why it changes you, or how. But you really don’t understand, and I can only tell you from my experience that it changed me in some fundamental way. That my cynical, skeptical, atheist heart was forever changed in a profoundly good way. Except for the skeptical and atheist part, that is.

    Try this analogy: Imagine hearing music for the first time. You’re excited. Astonished at how amazing it is. This poetry set to exquisite sound actually speaks to your soul, and you can’t wait to share how incredible it is! But when you try to explain it to the uninitiated, is there anything you could possibly say to make them grasp it? Could they possibly understand your experience without actually hearing music themselves? Probably not. The women who would encourage you to have a baby? Give ’em a little slack. They’re misguided, but they probably genuinely feel bad that you might be missing out on something pretty great. Something none of us really have an adequate way to explain.

    It makes me think of Pascal’s Wager. It’s wrong to try to believe in God just to hedge your bets. By the same token, it’s wrong to have a child just in case your life might be unfulfilled without one. But I guess my [pro-child/pro-choice] stance would wager this: life only has so many really incredible, awe-inspiring, soul-changing experiences to offer. If you take an uncompromising, hardline stand against having a child, you’re closing yourself off to the possibility that motherhood might be one of them.

    Be happily child-free, and stay open minded. Worst case, you might one day find yourself like me, in love with my kids, and still shaking my head in disbelief that damn it, all those tired cliches about how great being a mom is were really true.

  3. I just stumbled on this website. My husband introduced the notion of ChildFree to me a few weeks ago. I’ve just now had the time to sit down and research and WOW the things I have found. I particularly like this blog because of the list of things not to say to ChildFree people. My mother-in-law recently to my husband and I that our marraige was a lie because we “can’t” have and therefore don’t “want” children. I’ve always been on the fence about it and it’s not something I really feel that I would be happy with. My husband and I like to travel and do things on the spur of the moment. For me I feel children would interfer with those traits that make our marraige what it is. I tried to explain to my mother-in-law that medically we don’t think we can have children. Which for me is okay because again, not sure I want them. Her response was “Well this plenty of medical help out there”….seriously! Then there is the guilt that is my mother. She is supportive in her own way but she very much would like to have grandchildren. I guess I feel guilt for not wanting to have any but she feels it’s a responsible decision. Thank you for such an awesome blog! I’m glad to know I’m not a nut job or alone in this world of ChildFree feelings and wants.

    • You’re certainly not a nutjob! I’m sorry you feel pressure from her to do whatever is possible to overcome an obstacle you don’t mind having. I hope she fully accepts your marriage as brilliant and lovely as it is :)

  4. I don’t know how I stumbled on to this site, but this is a great article. In my opinion, people should never feel bad for choosing not to have children. There are many reasons for this, but I’ll throw in some of mine.

    1. Regardless of all personal reasons aside, we live in an age of absolute overpopulation. Not having more kids is something more people should choose to do. Unfortunately, it’s usually the wrong people who do choose to keep having so many children and keep some pretty shallow gene pools going on and on. Sounds cruel…I know. But I can’t help but think it every time I have to walk through a Wal-Mart parking lot.

    2. Illness. I am very severely Type 1 Diabetic. It will never get better, only worse. They say “it might not be a risk”. But really, why do so many people take that chance? I chose not to. Is this the kind of thing you want to inflict upon another living being, knowing that it could have been avoided? Really? I think that people who do not consider this are very selfish, and only pandering to their own emotional neediness. There are many children who need love in the world, and if being a parent is your path and you live with any kind of severe illness – simply help a child that is already here rather than inflicting more suffering upon the planet.

    On another note, I do not agree with medical means to force pregnancy one bit. If you want to be a parent and cannot get pregnant, consider adoption. Help out at programs where there are many children below the poverty line who could really REALLY use your help. Insisting on carrying on your genetic code, when it’s not in the cards in my view is just not right in a world in our state. Those medical resources could be going to people who really need “genuine” medical help with real health problems!

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  7. Dear Childfree People,
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  8. Here are my own reasons for not wanting children and also not wanting a breeder as a partner:

    The Importance Of Being Childfree:
    http://egalitarianrationalcommitmentparadigm.blogspot.com/p/importance-of-being-childfree.html

    Any man in his 60ies looking for a childfree non-religious woman is welcome to read more of my blog.

  9. It seems most of the societies and cultures the world over are obsessed with the idea of females producing babies and men acting as providers. As a collective entity, society has nothing radical or deep to provide other than selling time run traditions time and again. Duh!

  10. Thank you men and women for this website! Now I know that I am not the only human being in soeicty that feels this way. I am currently in a relationship with a beautiful mother with two kids and this relationship is really taking it’s toll because of our differences.Although I will admit that my father was abusive with me during my upbringing; I still believe that this is not the reason why I dislike kids & don’t have any kids of my own.. As much as I try to force myself to be a part of the family I am the way I am, her kids know it and I am starting to recent them for ruining our relationship. I do love them, but they do annoy me most of the time. The are 13 (boy) and 15 (girl), know that I am not affectionate and that they wouldn’t get away with half of the things they get away with if I was the father. They do get good grades in school therefore the mother lets them get away with the misbehaving must of the time.She is a divorced single mother that somewhat despises her ex-husband for cheating on her. She doesn’t admit it, but believes that every man is a player and does not trust anyone, this is also part of the problem. As much as I can understand her situation of having to raise her kids at a very young age, the father eventually excepted his responsibilities as a parent and has joint custody.Why am I in this relationship you might ask? Because I met her at work and had never dated anyone with kids (she was my first). So no I didn’t know what I was getting myself into; I dislike when people say that, lol! I moved in with her and her kids 10 months after we began dating, figured since we lived so far away and we were always together that it was the best thing to do. It has been 2.2 yrs and I am starting to second guess my decision. I need some good advice from people that think alike

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