THE CHILDFREE LIFE

87 CommentsLife, Opinion

Battle of the Bands will return on May 15.

This was inspired by Sid Balachandran’s post, “So, You Want Kids?”

with child or childfree?
Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

He has wholeheartedly embraced the role of “Stay-at-home Dad”, but laments that society refuses to mind its own business about couples having children. I can attest to this. There is still a stigma attached to those of us who consciously choose to be childfree. We get quizzical glances that imply there is something wrong with us or, worse yet, pitying glances. If we have pets, people often assume they are substitutes for the “real thing”. This may be true for some, but certainly not all.

In an ideal world, children would be born only to parents who want them and are emotionally prepared. Sad stories of child neglect and abuse are daily media fodder. Doesn’t it make sense then, to praise childfree couples for recognizing this? Instead, we are seen as aberrations and often discriminated against. Why is it that people feel compelled to comment on such a highly personal matter? Our parents beg for grandchildren (thankfully, mine never did), while others think we are deprived and/or depraved. Then there are those who claim to have our best interests at heart. Sure…………

the childfree life
[perceptionvsfact.com]

HOW long have you been married now? No children YET?

We’re happy the way things are. WHAT’S IT TO YOU??!

But, you would make great parents. Look how well you treat your dogs!

Just because we love our dogs does not mean we yearn for human parenthood.

Doesn’t your life seem empty?

Not at all! We enjoy each other and love our freedom.

Why get married, if you don’t want to raise a family?

We were in love and committed to each other. Kids have never been part of that vision.

It’s selfish not to want kids.

It’s selfish to have children for financial gain, (think welfare scammers) or due to
family/religious pressure, or because it’s “expected”, when your heart isn’t in it.
The child WILL suffer your resentments, no matter how subtle they may be.

You’re missing out on the most wonderful life experience!

According to whom? Everyone has their own definition of what is and isn’t wonderful.

But every woman has that maternal instinct.

Not true! Even as a young child, I knew that motherhood was not for me.

Don’t you want someone to carry on the family legacy?

Why should that matter, unless you’re a member of a Royal family? So egotistical!

Who’s going to look after you in your old age?

Having children doesn’t guarantee you’ll be looked after. Elder neglect and abuse are on the rise.
We can make our own arrangements while still of sound mind and body.

It’s your duty to procreate. Otherwise, humanity will become extinct.
[This argument is also used by anti-gay marriage factions.]

There are still enough people in this world willing and able to have children.
Let them fulfill their destiny as we fulfill ours. Live and let live!
Different story for those who want to be parents and can’t.
That’s a heartbreaker and the distinction between “childfree” and “childless”.

Now that we are past childbearing/rearing age, these comments no longer plague us. Many of our friends are parents, grandparents, even great-grandparents who are well-suited to it and do a marvelous job. Kudos to them, but please, leave us to enjoy our chosen dynamic.

A little levity on the subject, courtesy of British comedian Michael McIntyre:

Apparently, it’s even worse than we thought! 😉

** WHAT IS IT THAT I REALLY WANT TO SAY? **
We childfree couples are tired of the assumptions, aspersions and asinine comments.
To each their own!

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Parents: What’s your opinion of childfree couples and their motivation?

Non-parents: How do others react to your situation?

******

Looking forward to your comments!

Debbie

From the Archives, The Doglady's Den



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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
THANKS FOR SHARING!

87 thoughts on “THE CHILDFREE LIFE

  1. I have 3, well 2 children … age 33, 32 and what would be 31 … I never planned to have them, but they happened … I never planned for #3 to die this young either but it happened, ya … Omg, friend D … the video by Michael is hilarious … and one more thing: I don’t regret a thing … Awesome, awesome post, friend … woofs and purrs … Love, cat.

    1. Three kids in 3 years – wow! I admire your fortitude, cat. So sorry for your loss. 🙁 How devastating that must have been for you! I’m glad you enjoyed the video and also that you have no regrets. Life is too short for those. Thanks for dropping in this weekend.

  2. DEBBIE, I don’t know why this post didn’t show up in my Email.

    I understand the not-wanting-kids outlook, because I always had it, too. In fact, I probably would have wound up married if not for the fact that my girlfriend, The Countess, really wanted children and I really didn’t.

    As it turned out, apparently I never really wanted a wife, either. Ha!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

    1. Hi, Stephen; This is a post I republished and something got screwed up along the way. Sorry about that! That must have been heartbreaking between you and The Countess. Obviously, it was the only viable solution as there’s really no compromise in that situation. I had an uncle who was a happy-go-lucky bachelor for most of his life. His first marriage ended in divorce and he never did it again. Some people aren’t cut out for matrimony. Good that you can recognize that! 🙂 Thanks for dropping in.

  3. I always wanted children. Every time we tried, it was a struggle. But I am blessed with three, two girls and a boy. I love my family, my children. They are there for me and my husband always. Have I given up other things? Yes. But it was my choice and a good one. Each person should be allowed their own choice. Birth control is a wonderful thing.

    1. That’s wonderful, Beth! 🙂 This is the ideal scenario. If only all children could be born into such a loving environment. Thanks for dropping in.

  4. I went through so much of that while suffering with infertility and going through surgeries and treatments. People didn’t know what I was going through and their comments were inappropriately probing and painful. Had we not been successful, that would have been nobody’s business too.

    1. How awful that must have been, Karen! 🙁 People often make presumptions and that’s totally out of line. I don’t understand why they think it’s okay to butt into other people’s lives. I’m glad you achieved success after all that. Thanks for dropping in.

  5. Debbie,

    Being parents isn’t for everyone. We were childfree the first 9 years of our marriage but then we had a change of heart. This doesn’t happen to everyone who purposely waits like we did. We knew being parents is a huge undertaking and you are right on point that being a parent needs to be what’s in the heart. If it’s not there then that’s ok. I know others can’t grasp that and it annoyed us when we got bombard with the same questions but I always gave straight forward answers never allowing their comments to bother me. Our youngest daughter and her husband have decided they do not want children. Whatever they want is what we want. I do not pressure them and respect their decision. DD#2 has a hard time with well-meaning friends, extended family, and customers asking all the time when will they have kids. I encourage her that it’s tough for lots of people to understand and to try not to get so annoyed. I mean, she really gets aggravated because these sorts of questions will only repeat over time. lol I wish more people gave parenthood more serious thought before they leap.

    1. That must have been quite an adjustment after nine years, Cathy! 🙂 You’re so right, if it’s not in your heart to have kids, then you shouldn’t. No matter what, the children will suffer from your resentment. This is something I experienced with my own mother and it probably coloured my outlook. I hope your daughter will be able to deflect all the negative comments. It’s nobody else’s business how you choose to live your life. Thanks for dropping in. I’m looking forward to your artistic A to Z posts!

  6. Hey Debbie,

    I love reading these “no children” posts. I went through my phase in the 20’s and 30’s. It’s rare now for someone to ask me (guess I look old enough to have children that have been moved out already). When they start asking me about grandchildren, I’m gonna knock someone out! LOL

    But seriously, having children is not for everyone and to do it because “society” says we should is plain hog wash. There’s nothing wrong with having furry children instead. 🙂

    At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    B

    1. Grandchildren? Good thing nobody has ever asked me that question! 🙂 Yes, furkids suit me just fine, too. Thanks for dropping in, Bren.

  7. I’m still giggling about the video! I applaud conscious decisions to have or have none. It’s the very least we can do for those (children) without a choice in the matter. My heart goes out to those who want kids but are unable, as much as my stomach turns at those with six and as many (long gone) fathers; thereby increasing the ‘family’ welfare intake. Folks like the Duggars are a rarity and can apparently afford the herd. I would have loved two, but am grateful for the one treasure I was blessed with and the one with whom she’s blessed us all. Good for you on embracing your own (highly personal) convictions! However, if my girls (dogs) act up again I’m shipping them to “Aunt Debbie’s” for a time ; -)

    1. Yes, it’s always the children who suffer their parents’ decisions. Congratulations to you and your daughter, diedre. You look too young to be a grandma! I’m glad you enjoyed the video. It drives home the point that I wouldn’t have the patience to be a parent (to human children). That said, when it comes to dogs, my tolerance is boundless. It helps that they rarely talk back! 🙂 Your girls would be most welcome here.

      1. Ha! I should and have been meaning to change the profile pic. There’s a more recent image on linkedin. Thanks for the compliment! I was nearly thirty before they stopped ‘carding’ me for every little thing.

        1. I checked it out and still think you look too young to be a grandma. 🙂 As a teenager, I always looked older with makeup on and could pass for an adult. The only place I ever got carded was in California, three weeks shy of my 21st birthday. So strict! 😮 That was a real bummer, considering I was with my (older) husband and parents. They made me sit at a separate table. Sheesh!

  8. Intriguing question and intriguing concept. I have friends who are by choice child-free. People have a myriad of personal reasons as to why they don’t and I respect a person’s right to live their live as they see fit. Probably the only thing that does bother me is when others get their panties in a bunch when a childless person gives advice on parenting.

    Just because someone is childless by choice doesn’t automatically exclude them from a parenting perspective. They could be an aunt/uncle who helps take care of nieces/nephews. They could be a professional in day/childcare. They may even be a social worker or in social services.

    The point is, just because someone isn’t, doesn’t disqualify them from passing on acquired knowledge.

    1. Respect is what it’s all about. Thanks, George! 🙂 You also make a good point. I have a friend who was a daycare supervisor for 25 years and knows a lot about how to handle kids. She doesn’t have any of her own either.

  9. If I was to know you a hundred years, it would never occur to me to question your decisions about this. Whatever works for you and makes you happy is great with me.

    1. If only everyone could be so enlightened, Myke. 🙂 It amazes me that some people feel it’s their business to comment on others’ lifestyle choices. Thanks for dropping in, Have a good week!

  10. My fault is that my first assumption is that couples *have* chosen not to have kids. So many of my friends have chosen not to have kids and their lives have always been every bit as busy as mine. They have full lives, they’re happy. And then I have friends who *can’t* have kids.. Is it horrible that I have more in common with my friends that have chosen not to have kids? I’m just that crazy Italian woman that could shake hands and get pregnant so I don’t know the struggles of not being able to have children but I can relate to choosing, in my case, not to have any *more.* I’ve honestly never witnessed one moment of melancholy with my friends who chose not to have children. There’s no wistful sighs or anything. They’re as happy as I am. – I’m glad you’ve passed that whole pressure period. – Funny video and spot on. 🙂

    1. Life can be so unfair at times, can’t it? Some who desperately want children can’t conceive, while others suffer unwanted pregnancies. As with your friends, I’ve no regrets either. There was that one fleeting thought, while cleaning out my late mother’s residence, about having nobody to clean up after me. Best to get rid of all the junk now, then. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the video. If that’s how it really is, then, definitely no regrets! I wouldn’t have the patience. 😮

  11. Well, I say – good for you, Debbie and all those who have made this choice! I like your ‘answers’ to all those who would just not give up interfering in other people’s lives and questioning them on their free choices and decisions. You know, sometime ago I read somewhere a comment by a spiritual guru in India who had said that so many of the Earth’s problems can be actually addressed if people stop having children for 10 years. I don’t remember the exact words but that was the sense of his message. Of course, many people criticized him for saying such a thing, but if we think deeply and honestly there is a real truth in this idea. Earth is simply becoming more and more stressed with the weight of humanity. Well, before I get criticized by someone reading your blog let me add that I am all for people’s individual choices 🙂 To have or not to have!

    1. Well, we certainly did our part! 😉 I think the birthrate is actually quite low here in North America, compared to other parts of the world. Too bad it can’t be distributed more evenly. Yes, the choice is personal, yet people feel they have the right to comment, for some reason. Thanks for visiting, Beloo. 🙂

  12. It’s true that people pass that’pity’ look, in case one chooses to be child-free. We had our lil Prince coming to our life post 5 years of our marriage, and for these post years, the kind of questions asked to me were hilarious and annoying. Loved your take on the subject matter.Cheers.

  13. Debbie that video was just hilarious and so completely right. Still rolling with laughter. On a more serious note I’m in complete agreement with you. It is a couple’s choice about when, how many or whether at all they want to have kids.

    1. That video was hilarious, wasn’t it? 😀 Yes, it’s a very personal choice and it surprises me when people feel they have a right to pass judgement on that. Thanks for visiting.

  14. I agree with you. Everybody should live the life they choose, without being pressured into producing children. In fact, you’re doing the overpopulated world a favor.

  15. Hey Debbie! I read Sid’s post. Ya know, I feel it is perfectly fine for someone to choose to be child free. Most of my friends, interestingly, adore children and have chosen to be childfree. They make fantastic guardians to their nieces and nephews and friends’ children. There’s a common misconception that people who decide not to have children of their own do not like children. What crap. They have a choice…and there can be so many reasons. The world will always have its own view of what is “normal” and diss everyone who does not fit into that narrow point of view. Like sex, choosing to be parents, or not is entirely personal and woe betide anyone who passes judgment on it. Hugs! Great to see ya back.

    1. Hi Vidya! 🙂 It’s always been a mystery to me, why some people cannot accept that not everyone thinks as they do. The part about being “unfulfilled” was especially irking. Our 42nd anniversary is coming up in August and there are no regrets. 😀 (How many people can say that?!) Thanks for visiting. It’s good to be back.

  16. I have many friends who choose not to have children. Some who would love to but are unable to (which is very sad). And some like me who can’t imagine life without ours. You put it very nicely when you said each to their own.

    1. Yes, everybody is different but some people are bothered by those who do not follow a “conventional” path. I’ve never been able to understand why. 🙂 Thanks for visiting, Suzy.

  17. Glad to see you are back and with a great post. I had my kid after 6 years of marriage so I understand a lot of what you said here.
    It is just people don’t like minding their own business.
    Kids seems to be the high point for many. And I agree about the resentment and abuse.
    Just keep writing Debbie.

    1. Thanks Inderpreet! 🙂 It’s good to be back.
      Funny how this particular topic lends itself to so much meddling by others, isn’t it?
      Children deserve to be wanted and loved, but so many people have them for the wrong reasons and the little ones suffer because of it. 🙁
      Let’s see what Rita the Muse comes up with next. 😉 Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

  18. Absolutely spot-on article. People like to butt in to others businesses and forget that not everything is up for discussion. Respecting the privacy of others is a courtesy everyone should extend. To each his/her own, kids or no kids, being happy and content with the decision is what matters.

  19. This is a topic close to my heart and you’ve had me nodding through your post. I always thought these issues were prevalent more in India than elsewhere due to our cultural values. But honestly, I wonder why should any culture prevent humanity from freedom of choice? It all boils down to individual choices. Really.

    1. Another kindred spirit. Welcome,Vinodini! 🙂 These attitudes may be a little more prevalent in India, but this shit still goes on in North America too and in Europe. (Hubby’s family is Italian Catholic…..) Freedom of choice is a basic human right, but some people forget this, especially when your ideals are different from theirs.

    1. Yes, I can certainly relate, Shilpa. That woman who approached you sure had some nerve! The dogs are our furrbabies too and we wouldn’t want it any other way. 🙂

  20. Hey, Debbie,
    This is completely my story. I don’t have kids, or, to put it your way, we are childfree. We chose not to have children because of certain reasons. There were times when I did miss having a child of my own. But, when I thought about the risks involved, I decided we had made the best decision, ever. We have a pet dog, who is my ‘son’. My family has accepted this wholeheartedly. But, the world, the people who don’t know me, wonder why we have a dog and not a child. It used to get on my nerves. But, now that we are past that age, we live in peace.Glad about it!
    I wrote a post on Motherhood, long back, which I would like to share with you here. I am sure you will find some similarities in our stories.
    Glad to have met you, Debbie!

    1. Yes, it is a relief when people stop wondering, isn’t it? Our dogs have always been our “furkids” and we wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂 Thanks for telling me about your post on motherhood. I will read it and come back to you. Nice to know you, as well.

  21. Ohh I could so relate to this!! going through the same thing these days… I sometimes have to divert the topic rather impolitely 😛 The video you shared is absolutely hilarious 😀

    1. Sorry you have to go through this, Rajlakshmi! 🙁 Glad you enjoyed the video. My husband and I were both in stitches. 😀 Thanks for visiting. P.S. You’re on my year end report as a frequent commenter. See “New Year, New Creations”. Cheers!

  22. Sometimes people can be very judgmental and they expect other people to follow their values or beliefs. It is hightime everybody followed live and let live policy. I can understand what you must be going through on a daily basis and I admire your strength to stick to your decision no matter what 🙂

    1. Welcome to The Den, V. 🙂 We’re way past our prime now, so people have finally figured out we meant it and leave us alone. It was a real pain in the ass for years, though. Thanks for visiting.

  23. Debbie, good Job, on Q +A,,, …… yes some people think because you marry , you should have kids.. I was one of those people for awhile, w/ my oldest son… who married young + never wanted kids. + till this day doesn’t……. I neglected what he + his wife wanted….cause I was Selfish in wanting a grandchild,,, Not considering What they wanted’, till a lot later in life’.

    Parrenthood is..”””” Not for ALL.. …,, I respect anyone.. who makes that choice + lives the life they want, as It’s a personal choice for each person..or couple’……….. thx for sharing… ..

    1. Hi Glenda; I had a lot of practice deflecting those types of questions. LOL I think most parents desire to become grandparents too. What makes me sad is people who give in to that pressure, even though they didn’t truly want children. Those poor babies are the innocent victims of the fallout. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. 🙂

  24. I have known many couples that did not have biological children. I never gave any thought, in any case, as to why. There are some that are very close to me, so close, it would not offend them if I asked, but the thought of asking is just not there.

    1. Good to know not everyone is a busybody. 😀 It wouldn’t occur to me to pry either, but some people just can’t stand it if you don’t behave as they do. That’s the root cause of discrimination. Thanks for dropping in. Cheers!

  25. Great post, Debbie! As you know, I can totally relate to all the points you made. I just really, really wish that people would mind their own business and realize that choosing whether or not to have kids is a very personal decision. So many people do love to poke their nose in, though!

    1. Yes, they sure do, Laurel! I had a hunch you’d like this post. 😀 You actually started me thinking more about this again, after your post on Facebook. Thanks for the inspiration!

  26. Great post and I’ve heard it all … because I’m almost “past my prime” and people ask me all sorts of questions about why we don’t have children. they forget or conveniently choose not to remember that having or not having kids is a very private decision…

    1. Another kindred spirit! Nice to see you, Pixie 🙂 Yes, it’s strange that people see nothing wrong with asking such personal questions. Thanks for visiting.

  27. I think it is a private personal choice. Certainly not the end of the world if someone chooses not to partake. More power to them to live their lives as they see fit.

  28. Great post Debbie! I don’t have “human” children but I do treat my Titan as I would my child, pretty much. I had the desire back in my 30’s but I wanted to be married. I didn’t get married until 36 and at that time, the hubs and I decided to not have our own (he already had one). I am perfectly content with that, especially being the world is increasingly getting over populated. I heard it all though and bout why I don’t have children. Quite frankly, it’s annoying and I tell them “I just didn’t want any.” Usually shuts them up quick enough.

    Definitely nothing wrong with those who don’t want children. I saw “Power to ya!”

    B

    1. Yes, everybody’s different. I would tell people I just wasn’t interested, but some still tried to convince me I didn’t mean it. LOL You know: “You’ll change your mind” or “That biological clock will start ticking”, etc. Clock? What clock? Never happened. It was definitely annoying, but thankfully, now that we’re old, nobody cares anymore. 🙂 Thanks for coming by!

  29. Bravo, Debbie, for saying this! It’s something I’ve thought a lot about writing about, especially in the face of all the “mommy blogs” and “empty nest” blogs out there. I too have never felt that supposedly “overwhelming” desire to have children. I got married at age 42. My husband did want children, and for his sake we tried, but it didn’t happen, and now we’re content as we are. We have a good, happy life. I honestly couldn’t imagine myself trying to bring up a child; parenthood is tough, and I don’t think I’m cut out for it. And I agree with you that too many people do it for the wrong reasons. Glad to know there are others out there!

    1. I couldn’t imagine myself bringing up a child either, Elaine. Society should understand that it’s good we recognize this, especially with so many unfit parents out there! “Childfree” websites are all over the internet and I think we’re a larger group than most people realize. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Cheers!

  30. Hi Debbie,

    Ha ha… It’s even funnier than I presumed, but there’s a true story behind all that as well 🙂 I’m not married yet, so I don’t think I have much to contribute here. But naysayers always have something up in theirs sleeves. Isn’t it? It’s the easy part. Listening to all of them is NOT.

    I think people are so used to follow the old human life cycle despite they like it or not – …, study, work, marry, children and so on. Everything has moved on from where they were, but some people still stuck in there. They don’t want to and doesn’t let others to either 😉

    When you are not married: When you will get married? / When married: When you will have children? / When you can’t have children: It’s a shame you can’t… / When you don’t wanna have children: Doesn’t your life so empty?

    Politely hurtful 😉

    We can admire if someone wanna share their wonderful experiences we yet to experience, but enforcement and hurtful remarks shouldn’t be there, as I believe. People can have opinions, but has to respect others’ as well 🙂 ‘Cause even words can be really painful. Sometimes I know our loved ones mean the best, but they have to understand what they wanted from their lives is not same for others.

    I’m totally with you, Debbie 🙂 You know what’s best for you. And I hope this post will spread and enlighten the minds and hearts of more people to be more understandable too.

    Enjoy the rest of your wonderful week dear 🙂

    Cheers…

    1. At the other end of the spectrum, there seems to be no small degree of stigma attached to people like the Duggars, who welcome as many children as God sends. Could it be, I wonder, that only one child of each sex per couple would be a proportion that would raise no objections, or might it be that even then there’d be people involving themselves critically in someone else’s business?

    2. So nice to see you, Mayura! 🙂 I’ve always been “out of step” with the mainstream, so, nothing new for me. LOL You said it exactly: People shouldn’t expect others to want the same things in life as they do, but I suppose it’s human nature. That said, society in general has become somewhat more tolerant, at least in some parts of the world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Cheers to you!

  31. I did not have a kid for 10 years of my married life. I yearned for one but society had made my life unbearable. People should know to mind their own business and not pass judgement on other’s lives.

  32. You said it Debbie it’s not anybody’s business what you decide…To have a child or not is a couple’s decision and no one should interfere or judge that…I’m still not decided ..actually in two minds…but all it takes is a moment of clarity and when that occurs it will be my decision and not anyone elses…I just which the world understood

    1. You are wise to wait for that moment of clarity, Nabanita and not worry about what others have to say about it. People just love to meddle in others’ lives! Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

  33. Funny to read this. Just last night I had a conversation with my husband about having children. This was after watching the horrific news and all the evils going on in this world. And we both agreed, if we were young enough today, I don’t believe we would put children into this world. We seriously worry about our grandchildren’s futures, and where they will be in 20 or 30 years from now.
    I certainly don’t know if I would still hold this opinion a year from now, but in any case we respect people who decidedly are against putting a child into this world, for whatever reason. We are all children on this planet anyway… and we are all connected somehow. Children don’t belong to us, they simply come through us.

    1. I agree, the world is harsh and the future looks grim. Motherhood was never something I aspired to for many reasons and there are no regrets.

      “Children don’t belong to us, they simply come through us.”

      That’s a great line – you are obviously a talented writer! 🙂

  34. Good for you taking a stand about living a child free life, Debbie. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s such a commitment in every way, financially and emotionally and changes your life totally. For me, it was something I really wanted to do and being a mother is such a joy for me, but it’s not for everyone.

    I really respect your choice not to have kids. Interesting to read your post with all the annoying comments you’ve had to endure over the years. You’d think society would be a bit more modern in their thinking as they are becoming more accepting of non-traditional families like gay parents, for example. I guess there are still those who don’t get it and feel it’s their business to judge.

    1. You love being a mother and that’s the ideal, Cathy. 🙂 Children should be wanted! Why pressure people into something they’re not interested in or suited for, yes? It’s not as bad as it used to be, but that’s probably because we’re old and it’s out of the question now. 😉

  35. Totally with you on this one! I keep hoping people will get tired of making assumptions and poking their noses into others’ business but sadly that’s not the case. Well, the right to decide whether to have a child or not rests with the individuals and it’s nobody else’s business. And to carry on the family name, don’t even get me started on it.

  36. I am with you on this one ‘doglady.’ 😉 Though I do admit that my previously adopted cat (a number of years ago) was the closest thing to having a baby…he WAS my baby! I loved and adored him like a child, and when it was time to let him go, it was like, well, like giving up my own baby even though I haven’t had children. I never felt or heard my biological clock tick so think that’s a bunch of hogwash. I so agree with you on all the reasons you mention and I’m sure there is more! 😉 You (and others) may wish to check out “The Childless Project” of which I and many others participated in a few years ago: http://www.childlessbychoiceproject.com/ 🙂

    1. Thanks Elly. Yes, we feel the same way about our dogs, but still never had any desire for human offspring. It’s funny that people can’t understand that! Thanks for the link. I did check it out. Nice to see you here. 🙂

  37. In a strange sort of way, I have been on both sides of this – I wanted children, couldn’t have them and then got pregnant at 40. For 20 years I was the brunt of the stupid, hurtful, thoughtless remarks.

    Many of my friends do not have children and either never wanted them or couldn’t have them. I never asked them or made any judgmental remarks. When they chose to share the whys with me it was appreciated but not necessary.

    There are many other scenarios like this that are just as judgmental – suffice it to say we cannot change what people say or do — so over the years I have come up with a series of responses that usually stops them dead in their tracks and I can walk away smiling to myself. It is a lot better than allowing their remarks to hurt me.

    1. Interesting that you’ve experienced both sides, Carol. It seems that anything outside the mainstream is fodder for speculation and disapproval, isn’t it? We deflected those remarks for many years, but rather than being hurt, we were mostly annoyed that people didn’t mind their own damn business! I’ve been known to spit out a clever retort or two as well. 😉

  38. Thanks for the ping back, Debbie.

    And I agree. People should just take their little, upturned noses and stick into their own business. Even as a parent, I still think that ‘you’ (generalising, of course) will know if you want kids or not. And everyone – the family, the society and every one else – must respect that decision. It’s a matter of choice, not an illness. And as for ‘humanity being extinct’, if that does happen, I’m darn certain that it will be because of the way we treat the world and other humans, not because some couples chose not to have kids. Once again, thank you for the mention 🙂

    1. You are so right, Sid. It’s a choice and there’s nothing wrong with it. If only society as a whole would embrace that thinking! Right again about the human factor being more likely to cause this world’s demise. You’re welcome for the mention and thank YOU for dropping in. Cheers!

  39. I have heard all of these except for any about marriage since my partner and I never plan to be wed. Maybe that means there is one less thing for nosey people to comment on regarding our childless life choice! The new one lately has been “it’s not too late for you- your cousin/friend/someone had a baby at 43!” *sigh* And there is the new family stigma that I don’t like babies. “Oh, YOU don’t want to hold her.” “I forgot that YOU won’t want to see a picture of the baby.” Yeah. I hate babies. And I only love animals. I guess I’d rather have the family rumors be about that than how sad it is that I am infertile or whatever other awful things people say to excuse a perfectly reasonable choice that they can’t understand. Thank you for this post. It made me smile and a little sad but it is always nice that my few childless by choice friends and I are not alone!

    1. I’m surprised your family didn’t give you grief about the marriage thing too, Bethany! 🙂 Isn’t it odd that so many people think there’s something “wrong” when you choose not to be parents? Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. The childfree/childless faction is larger than many people realize.

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