None For Me, Thanks

I am child-free.

By choice.

I made this decision long ago, possibly before I even realized it. Thankfully, my husband agreed. I realize this is not always the case, but it is an important choice worth considering and thinking about.

When I was a teen, I babysat but I just never really liked taking care of children and found the attention required to give a child exhausting. My mother told me it was because they were “other people’s children” and that, when I had my own, I would feel differently.

Society pressures us, but especially women. Being Hispanic, my family didn’t understand but eventually came to accept our decision. I have never felt that so-called maternal urge, if there is such a thing.

Then, when I was 23, I met a woman who was happily married without children. She finally put into words what I could not. It was just something she and her husband did not want to experience and they were content with each other and  did not want to change that.

It was a revelation.

There is a financial cost I did not want either. Did you know that one of the highest bankruptcy predictors is whether or not someone has children? When I asked for financial advice, the first thing a good friend told me was, “don’t have kids.”


Every so often, this topic pops up in the media; Time magazine recently did a cover story about it. And like money, religion, politics, and food, it’s very controversial.

There are several books in the library on this life-changing decision. If you or someone you know is trying to decide, these might be helpful.


Two is Enough : a Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice by Laura Scott


Complete Without kids : an Insider’s Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance by Ellen Walker


No Kidding : Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood


Beyond Motherhood : Choosing a Life Without Children by Jeanne Safer


~Maria, who loves being the favorite aunt


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18 responses to “None For Me, Thanks

  1. It took congestive heart failure and physically not being able to have kids to get my Mom off my back. Society still determines a woman’s value by her ability to reproduce. I actually had a man tell me once that I was no good to men because I couldn’t have kids. Wow. That was all I could say.

  2. This is a really interesting post, thanks! I am 26 and have always thought I would want children but as I have neared the age when people would expect me to start having children i’m suddenly not so sure anymore. It could be fear but it might just be that i am not meant to be a parent. Who knows! :-)

  3. I think you have to do what makes you content. As long as it’s your informed choice and you have a freedom to choose.

    I have three children. Sometimes they drive me half mad, but in the long run they keep me from going insane.

  4. e

    FANTASTIC post! My wife and I (married 13 years now) are child-free by design and loving it! I really appreciate your candor in this post. Really great stuff. Thanks!

  5. Stephanie

    Until I got married, I never knew that people think marriage is the equivalent of reproducing and buying a house. There are people that say you’re not really married if you don’t plan to reproduce, and there are people who say that the whole point of marriage is reproduction. This baffles me, but I guess it has history. I just didn’t think it was still so strong a viewpoint. Thanks for the post.

  6. No matter what we ultimately decide, I think it’s important that we think about it carefully. There are a lot of people on the fence, and I’m glad we have books they can read and think about, discuss with partners, etc.

    Leigh Anne

  7. Hat dies auf distant dreamer rebloggt und kommentierte:
    It was also my stand, but I think slowly but sure this man could convince me otherwise…

  8. sureasmel

    I really appreciate this. I have no desire to be a mother (I never have) and yet whenever there’s a reason for me to confess as much, at least one person in the room will say, “You might feel that way now, but you’ll change your mind.” This usually followed by patronizing smiles and the verbal equivalent of a pat on the head. It’s absurd that in today’s world people still can’t accept a young adult’s decision not to have children, and when they assert as much, treat is as a misguided ‘phase.’

    I think it’s perfectly possible to live a fulfilling life without children, which is precisely what I plan to do.

  9. I’m so happy that there are others out there who are taking the time to think about this important issue. Thanks for reading, everyone, and for your insightful comments.


  10. This is something that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately. I’m almost 40, so people keep reminding me about the biological clock and blah blah blah. Having kids is expensive and I’m not sure that we want to deal with the expense. I’m not going to have kids just because I’m reaching a certain age. If it ever feels right, we’ll do it. Otherwise, my husband and I are quite content to enjoy each other’s company. We’ve been together for almost 9 years now and still have so much fun together. I feel a bit selfish and don’t really want to share him with anyone yet.

    On the other hand, we would be great parents. It’s a tricky thing that we definitely don’t want to commit to until/unless we’re ready for it.

  11. I didn’t ant kids when i was a teen in 1988… it was right then & there that i was gonna be childless & free…I did’nt have the patience for them & I could’nt stand being around them for long periods of time.. plus the fact that I had a very ba childhood.. abuse & all..

  12. I was about thirteen or fourteen and had just started babysitting when I put this idea into words for the first time. My mom also told me I would change my mind. I’m only twenty-five, so I still have many years ahead of people telling me I will change my mind/regret it later, but it was finding books like these that made me realize I wasn’t as abnormal as everyone was leading me to believe.

  13. Good on you for not giving in to well meaning busybodies. I love my two grown up girls but if I had my time around again, I wouldn’t have had children, heck, I probably wouldn’t have married!

  14. Thank you for this post. I have some good friends who don’t want to have kids, and I think they get viewed negatively for it. I, myself, do want to have kids someday, but not unless all outside elements are lined up how I want them, first: marriage, house, stable careers (for both parents). This is not to say all of those apply to everyone, just my own personal wishes. Otherwise, I may be content with guinea pigs and my writing as my babies. :)

  15. Thanks for all your insightful comments, everyone! And thank you for reading.

  16. I just turned 34, so MAYBE people will start believing me sometime soon that I will not be having kids. Instead of the “You still have time” reassurance I’ve always loathed, however, I get the feeling I’m getting a lot of pity.

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