Why I Am Content to Remain Childless

Updated on April 6, 2018

I didn't make a conscious decision to be childless or to have children from Day 1. People expect university educated women to delay marriage and parenthood to a certain degree. So when I was still unmarried and childless in my thirties, family and friends would naturally question my unfortunate situation.

I suppose you could say I didn’t see myself in the role of a mother. When I was dating I stayed away from guys who I knew were eager to start a family — I didn’t have a strong maternal urge, and I was a little scared of the thought. When I fell in love with a guy who was open to having children and it was clear that I couldn't get pregnant, I broke off the relationship. Eventually I found a husband who didn't mind having or not having children — it seemed like the best fit for me.

However I am surrounded by friends who are parents so I have had my doubts over the years as to whether I made the right choice. I could have considered adoption if I was serious about raising a child. Now at the age of 53 I'm finally at peace with my child free way of life.

Support

The main reason why I'm thankful for not having children is I currently have no extended family. I was adopted and both my parents are deceased. I have step siblings but since we did not grow up together so we are not close. I therefore did not have the expectation or emotional support from family to have children.

My husband also has a complicated family. He was raised by his maternal grandparents who legally became his foster parents. Over the years he has distanced himself from his siblings. He is not very close to his cousins who he grew up with.

So our children would not be surrounded by family when growing up which could be tough for them.

Finance

Lack of finance is an obvious reason for not having children.

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a middle-income family to raise a child born in 2015 through the age of 17, the cost of rearing a child has hit $233,610. The cost is probably similar in other developed countries.

Since we did not prepare ourselves financially to raise a child I am glad I have no dependents. Most likely it would've been a huge strain on us, and an unfair life for the child.

Health

We are not functionally stable and well enough to be the parents we would want to be. My husband has a gambling addiction. Almost everyone in his family seem to struggle with an addiction -- alcohol and/or gambling addiction. I am no stranger to these problems. My mother and her family had addiction issues too. So because we are both children of addicts, we are relieved that we could “break the cycle”.

Raising children can be stressful for some women. It is difficult to predict how much or how little stress a woman will experience during motherhood. Quite a few mothers who have the means and proper social support regret the role of motherhood much to their surprise. I am grateful I am not full of regret.

Most importantly I am blessed to be able to remain childless in a society in which I am free to make a choice.

I hope these sincere thoughts from a childless woman has been insightful to you. It may not be the typical point of view of a childless person but it is a valid one.

Perhaps when you meet someone who does not have children and wonder why, you can have a more thoughtful conversation with them.

If you are childless and feel conflicted, please remember someone out there understands.

Further Reading

Here's Why Couples Without Kids Are Stigmatized https://www.livescience.com/58094-child-free-parents-moral-outrage.html

Why childless people are persecuted https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/why-childless-people-are-persecuted/article12005541/

Childfree Is A Legitimate Choice https://medium.com/the-nib/childfree-is-a-legitimate-choice-15de9037b7dd

11 things I wish you knew about my child-free marriage https://www.today.com/series/things-i-wish-i-knew/child-free-marriage-11-things-i-want-you-know-t112788

Questions & Answers

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      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 2 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks for sharing. So glad that you are at peace about your situation. Someone will be comforted by reading this.

      • dashingscorpio profile image

        dashingscorpio 2 weeks ago

        "I didn't make a conscious decision to be childless." and "Eventually I found a husband who supported me in (my choice) to being child free." seem to be contradictory sentences.

        Nevertheless I am in total agreement with choosing to be childless. One of the best investments I ever made was in getting a vasectomy. People who don't want children should not have them.

        Not only does it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to properly raise a child there's also the possibility that your child could be born with "special needs", become a drug/alcohol addict, indulge in criminal behavior, or have children of their own while still being teenagers!

        I don't think it's possible for two people making the same income where one has children and the other doesn't that the one with children wouldn't have more "stress" and "drama" in their life!

        Some people claim those who don't have children are "selfish".

        However if someone wants children and has them how can that be any less selfish than me living my life (the way I want)???

        We both got what (we) wanted! Life is a (personal) journey!

        Last but least not having children is the "ultimate (green) choice".

        According to Ecoclean: "Each of us will send {64 tons} of waste to landfills over our lifetime." Childless people are great for the environment! It's one the most (selfless) choices one can make.

      • gmwilliams profile image

        Grace Marguerite Williams 2 weeks ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

        This is an excellent synopsis. At least you have made a mature, thoughtful decision as the reason why you are childfree. There are so many people have thoughtless have children. Most people who have children do so because of familial, societal, & religious pressure. They subconsciously never wanted children. There are people who have children who mistreat & otherwise abuse them.

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