I am childfree by choice and wow, what a conversation starter that is! Nothing gets people more heated, more awkward, or more resentful than when a woman says she’s not having kids.
Being childfree by choice is becoming more and more mainstream, as younger generations face social and financial pressures like never before. Between crushing student loan debt, rising housing costs, inflation, and a growing concern about climate change, Millennials and Gen Z are less likely to state that they strong want children than previous generations.
Yet there is still a huge social stigma for being childfree, especially if you’re a woman. MOST people still see having a child as the primary role for adult women’s lives.
I want to be clear: I’m not knocking anyone who has children. I’m simply talking about my decision to be childfree. For me, being childfree largely comes down to lack of desire for them, financial concerns, climate change concerns, and rage at how we treat mothers in this country.
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We Treat Mothers Terribly
In the US, we are awful to mothers. For a country so obsessed with gender roles, we treat women who become parents in the worst way.
There is no federal paid parental leave in the US.
Women experience a pay drop after becoming mothers, while men experience a pay raise after becoming father’s.
There is no federal childcare help or subsidization in the US.
Parents spend an average of $8,355 per child annually on childcare.
Women are also often professionally punished for becoming mother’s. While it’s largely illegal to fire a women for becoming pregnant, it’s not TOTALLY illegal. (Please join me in the void to scream!) There are countless stories of women being told that being a parent is the reason they were passed over for promotions at work.
Plus, when a kid arrives on the scene, women end up doing the bulk of both childcare and household work at home! So now there’s a new person living in the house who can’t wipe it’s own butt, and women are still doing the majority of cooking, cleaning, and household management?
I’m a business owner, and the thought of having a baby in a bassonet while trying to take coaching calls is stressful.
Climate Change is Here and Ruining Everything
It’s become alarmingly clear that climate change is already a part of our lives and it is not going well for us!
Some estimates say that climate change will cost the world $23 trillion, with everything from crops failing, to oceans rising, and death increases.
It’s hard for me to want to bring a child into a world where water is literally drying up around the world. Climate change is a a major concern for me. Right now I’m not prepared to bring another person into the world to deal with as well.
Kids and My Personal Life
Finally, personally I simply don’t feel a deep longing to have kids and never did. It’s not been something I’ve wanted since I was a kid myself. Being childfree by choice makes the most sense to me for my own life.
And my partner agrees. Tbone has even bigger climate concerns than I do, and he also feels most comfortable envisioning a future where we don’t have children.
Being childfree is the road I’ve chosen, and I feel great about it. I hope to see more people talk about this path being the right one for them. Right now it’s a very small group of people that I see openly discussing it.
Do you plan to have children? Why or why not?
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2 thoughts on “Childfree by Choice: Why I’m Not Having Children”
No kids here either. I did want one, but it is a lot of work and as you note so many penalties are involved. And man has the pandemic highlighted how working women who are mothers are the LAST priority for everyone. If I was still on the fence it would have pushed me over.
I did think about climate change but that was icing on the cake for me rather than truly a core reason.
There’s so many factors that go into the kids decision honestly. I’m glad you found a spot that you feel good about!