Unapologetically Childfree: Why It’s Okay to Choose Yourself

Jun 19, 2024 | Main Blog | 0 comments

“Women who choose not to have children are delusional.”

“But having children is every woman’s purpose. What will you do with your life?”

“Who will care for you when you’re old and frail?”

All these and more are opinions and questions childfree women everywhere have to deal with. I’ve heard my fair share of them, along with the classic, “You’ll see when you get older, and your biological clock starts ticking. Watch out, it might be too late by then…”

Yet, here I am, close to 40, and I hear no ticking nor have any urges toward motherhood.

It may be because all my life, I’ve watched women struggle alone (although married and in traditional relationships) to raise children while trying to make a living and be supportive wives to their husbands.

It may also be because I had to help raise my younger sister (I was around 9 years old when she was born) when my parents were separated. I love my sister to bits now, but those were some very challenging times.

However, women everywhere still have children despite their difficult childhoods or the trauma accumulated in their youth. So, while all the reasons listed above may have had an influence, the biggest reason why I am and will remain childfree is that I chose it.

I am not here to flex. Also, I know there are so many nuances to this topic that I could write thousands of pages on, and it still wouldn’t be enough. What I want to do is share my story in the hopes that it will help women in a similar situation, who are struggling with the decision to be childfree by choice.

Childfree by Choice—What are the Implications?

Choosing not to follow the “by default” path attributed to us by society doesn’t mean we hate children or that we’re selfish (which is an irrational accusation often thrown in our faces).

Women who don’t want children are not a new thing invented in modern times. In fact, they have existed since the dawn of humanity, only under different names, like witches, spinsters, old maids, or barren and useless women.

But what does it mean to be childfree by choice?

For me, it meant having the time and space to discover who I was and what I wanted. Looking back, I realize it was a painfully slow progression, but now I am in a place where I’m finally content with the way my life is going.

As young girls, we are raised to put the well-being of others before our own, whether through the examples we have (mothers and grandmothers) or through the education system. We are supposed to give up our career prospects and dedicate all our time to making a home and raising a family.

After going through both married and divorced life, I now see the patterns that put many women on the wrong path. However, it took me almost 10 years to unravel the connections formed during childhood and youth.

So, the main implication of being childfree by choice is that you will be called selfish by some. You may lose some friends who don’t understand your lifestyle. You may also clash with your immediate family. However, it also means you are choosing yourself and that you choose to give yourself the freedom to find your path(s) in life.

The Benefits of Being Childfree

Just like some people find fulfillment in becoming parents, as a childfree woman, you can find fulfillment in other areas of life.

Your professional life may be the first thing that comes to mind, but only if this is what you want.

People will question your choices. “You’re not having children and you’re not a hyper-successful bad boss woman? Then what are you doing with your life?”

You can do whatever you want with it; it’s your life!

The best part about being childfree is that you can be flexible.

If you want to pack your bags for a year and become a digital nomad, you can.

If you want to go back to school and get a second degree, you can.

If you want to find enlightenment and start a spiritual journey, you can.

Sure, you may not be successful at everything you start, and there are other factors to consider, but you have the time and mental space to consider everything you want to do.

Also, being childfree doesn’t mean you have to stay single. You can have a happy and fulfilling relationship with a partner who has also chosen to be childfree. You also have the time and space to build meaningful connections with other people who will be happy to support you through life.

I want to highlight that having children doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful career or travel the world. I know and have read about many amazing women who managed to pull it off. Being childfree by choice is not about whether you can or cannot be a great mother; it’s about making the choices you want to make. 

Making the Choice to be Childfree

This is not a decision anyone takes lightly (despite what the internet and media would want you to believe).

The thought process behind the decision to be childfree is different for every individual and is influenced by circumstances, education, geography, health status, and many other factors.

You also have to be prepared to live a different life than everyone around you. While the number of childfree couples and individuals is on the rise, the majority of people still choose parenthood. So, you may be the only one in your social circle who doesn’t follow the traditional path.

The good news is that you can go online and look for communities that share your values and find people who have the time and flexibility to connect with you. It’s a wonderful opportunity to make more friends and meet new and interesting people.

At the end of the day, choosing to be childfree is a deeply personal decision. There are a lot of things to consider, and you’re the only one who can make that choice.

For me, it helped to think about what I didn’t want in life. I didn’t want to be financially drained and chained to a partner who may or may not be a good parent. I also didn’t want the emotional, mental, and physical toll of pregnancy and the first few years after it. And I didn’t want the heavy responsibility of raising another human being when I couldn’t be there for myself.

So, if you are pondering this option, my advice is to be brutally honest with yourself and what you want out of life. Take the time to consider all the aspects and remove any outside influence—this is a decision that will impact your life in ways you cannot imagine.

Her Nexx Chapter invites you to join our free Community where women from around the world are connecting with each other’s stories, exploring different experiences, and transforming ideas.

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Mirela Niculae

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