My decision to be childfree hasn’t always been clear cut. Before I got married, my husband and I talked about having children many times. Each conversation always ended the same way, we would have children “someday.” We were never specific on when, and every time we talked about it, I felt like neither one of us was being completely honest with ourselves. If I’m being honest now, I think we both were just expecting a progression of life, and our relationship, that would eventually lead us to children. I have never had a burning desire to have children, and my husband would say the same. I always assumed I would end up there someday because “that’s just what you do.”
Throughout our dating relationship, and now marriage, we worked very hard to design a life that we both loved. We travel all the time, go to more concerts in a year than most do in a lifetime, love our financial freedom, and value our free time filled with doing the things we love. The more we worked at designing this life, the more we both started to doubt wanting children. The “we will have children someday” continued a few years into our marriage, even though it became less and less convincing, to both of us, with every passing day.
Eventually, one of the conversations led us to both look at each other, square in the eye, with the same confused and terrified look. I can’t even explain how much that moment is engrained in my brain. This is the time we both knew that “someday” wasn’t going to come for us and we both knew what we were going to face.
Making this decision, and coming out about it to people, was incredibly difficult. After we had talked about it a million times with each other and made absolutely sure we were both in agreement, we still didn’t voice our decision to everyone we knew. We slowly came out about it, making comments in casual conversation like “yeah, we’re not completely sure if children will be for us,” or “yeah, maybe someday…but maybe not.”
I don’t think people realize how hard it can be to come out and be concrete when you’re making this decision. As many childfree people do, we faced some very serious judgment and confusion from people around us. The craziest part of that to me, is the harshest judgment, often came from those who barely knew us.
Now here I am, about to turn 30. After this crazy roller coaster ride, I am finally able to confidently tell people that I am childfree. I am so fortunate that throughout all of the negative that I’ve encountered, I have had an amazing support system of family, friends, co-workers etc.
I fear for other women in my position, that may be feeling the same pressures I did. I hope that they are able to challenge the norms and not give in to the pressure that attacks from all directions. I hope they are able to reach a decision that results from their own desires. It’s an amazing feeling when you are finally able to own your decision and know they you are doing it based on what is right for you.