Childless By Choice

I am 30 years-old, married, and I have no children.

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There are many times when people ask me about my childless status. A few of the most common are as follows.

1. Every time I am at the Endocrinologist.

Doctor: “Do you have kids?”

Me: “No.”

Doctor: “ Do you want kids?”

Me: “Unsure.”

I have no idea what my current reproductive status has to do with my thyroid.

2. Coworkers.

I do not feel I should have to explain to people I work with that even if I wanted children, which I am on the fence about, it would not make sense to have any when my husband is a fulltime student. That seems like it would be a bad idea to me.

3. Random Acquaintances.

These can be the worst, especially if they have young children or are trying to get pregnant, because they are in the bubble that everyone loves babies and of course your ovaries are crying out for them.

So my answers to all those curious people are as follows:

1. Being childless is a valid choice. It does not make someone a bad person, lonely, strange, or unfulfilled. It is wonderful that your choice to have children is a happy one for you. Yay, you can get a prize but I like my life too.

2. It is not your business when we are going to have kids. J and I might reconsider the kids issue when he is done with school and it would be more feasible. It is a conversation for a few years up the line. I have never asked you why you decided to have children or why you would want four of them, please show me the same courtesy.

I do sometimes get a pang of oh my goodness that baby is so cute I want one but I feel that way about expensive shoes and electronics too. It does not mean I should rush out and buy them.

In the book, Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice, they conducted a survey of childless women. The main reason the women gave for not wanting children is that they simply love their life as it is.

A common theme, and one I have personally experienced, is that when women say they are not interested in having children, they are told they will grow out of it or that their maternal instinct will kick in eventually. That they will change their minds. It is sexist to assume that we are unable to trust women with knowing themselves enough to make this decision. As if the sole purpose of women is to procreate and without fulfilling this biological imperative, we will shrivel up and die a lonely death.

I would suspect that women who choose not to get married, or postpone marriage until later in life, get the same type of speeches from the same types. I wonder what life choice that men make garners so much scrutiny from strangers?

Are you childless by choice?

Do strangers ever ask you questions that are very personal? How do you handle it?

Childless and Loving It

Why I’m Childfree

21 thoughts on “Childless By Choice

  1. I have been with my boyfriend for 7.5 years and they ask ME why we aren’t engaged/married! If I had a say in it I would know right? I am happy where we are, which is living together building a life together. I don’t know if we will ever move from where we are but is it anyone else’s business?
    Sarah recently posted..Free stuff and race recapMy Profile

    • That’s pretty bad. I was with J for five years before we got married and I know we got a ton of questions about getting married.

      We bought a house together before we got engaged and a former boss took me aside and told me what a bad idea it was. I was like ummm ok.
      Dina recently posted..Childless By ChoiceMy Profile

  2. Your thyroid can actually play a big part in getting pregnant – so that’s probably why your Dr asks. I know when I was having infertility issues they checked my thyroid levels 100 thousand times (ok, so maybe not THAT many).

    That said – I really hate it when people stick their nose into other people’s business like that. I have a few friends who are “baby pushers” and it’s so damn annoying!

    Yes, I have kids but I am all for people who decide they want to life their life child free. It’s not a requirement to live a happy life.

    And it’s true that it’s never enough – I now hear “Are you going to have a 3rd?” and I’m pretty sure when my kids are old enough I’ll hear “You aren’t a grandparent, yet?” *Sigh*
    Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs recently posted..Bring On The TaperMy Profile

    • You are right about the thyroid having an effect on fertility but my main annoyance is that I have thyroid disease. I go to this doctor a few times a year for check-ups on my condition. Can he write down on my chart that I don’t have kids? I go often enough that if I were to get pregnant, I would be in his office at least twice during the pregnancy.

      A few of my friends commented on this post on Facebook about people asking about having more children. That does seem to be equally annoying.
      Dina recently posted..Childless By ChoiceMy Profile

  3. hahaha… love the line about getting the same omg feelings for electronics and shoes… i sometimes get a random baby fever that lasts about 3 days before i start having the same feelings over some race i wnat to do or visiting a brewery!! lol, i have been with my hubs for 8 years total and i’m still no where near ready to think about kids!
    ashley recently posted..early anniversary togetherness.My Profile

  4. I have always loved my aunts without children. It is like bonus fun moms! They take such an active interest in their neices and nephews. Sure, they’d “make good moms” but they make amazing aunts too!

    Having children is a huge, life altering commitment. While I do want kids someday, I totally understand why some people wouldn’t. It’s a tremendously personal decision. I hate it when people ask me “so when are you having kids,” even if they mean well at heart. I’m 29 darnit, just let me be 29!
    Brigid recently posted..Comment on My Races by How to start your week off right | Live, Breathe, Huzzah!My Profile

  5. No kids. Not sure if we’re doing that. We’ll be married 10 years in December. When we first got married, people kinda, round-about asked us about kids and I said if they kept asking we wouldn’t have any. LOL! It didn’t really happen because of that, but we are happy the way we are. Maybe we’ll do it, but if not, I’m not going to cry over it.

    Though, we went on vacay with a college friend in August and at the bar one night, she just looked at us and said, “Are you two having kids?” Wow. She’s never asked us ever about kids or anything. And honestly, it’s been so long since someone has asked us, we were stumbling around for an answer. It was a tad bit odd…
    Chris recently posted..She’s Alive!My Profile

    • That is odd. I know I find answering those types of questions without a long explanation very difficult. Does someone really want to listen to a five minute long answer to a question?
      Dina recently posted..Finally FridayMy Profile

  6. I have no kids and am not married (I have been with my BF for 4 years) and I get the same comments as you do. I went to visit (married with one child) friends in NYC last weekend and the wife kept saying, “see you at the wedding!” (meaning my BF and mine, which is not something we have planned). I think that people want you to be “happy” and to some of them that means getting married and having kids. My grandmother doesn’t understand that I like to travel, and like you said, buy electronics and shoes! She keeps asking me how I afford all that stuff, and I’m like, easy, I am not feeding and clothing an additional human!
    Kyria recently posted..A Touch of AmericaMy Profile

  7. Well, we are childless NOT by choice and I am freaking fed up with people asking me when we are “ever” going to get pregnant. Or people who pry and want to know exactly what’s going on. I’m sorry, but the decision to have children or not have them is personal and no one else’s business. Period.
    Victoria recently posted..22 Things I Haven’t DoneMy Profile

  8. Well, I have two daughters and three grandchildren, and I will be the last person to even ask you about having kids, much less criticize you for either having or not having them. As you so eloquently point out, it is YOUR choice, and nobody else’s business. All I will say is that if you ever do decided to have a child, you will have given it a hell of a lot more thought than so many people do who decide based on, “Well, we’re married; I guess we better have some kids, yah?” That puts it at the level of, “Let’s see…got me a Bic Mac; do I want fries with it?”

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