Child Free By Choice

I'm Child Free By Choice

My biological clock has never started ticking. Back in my 20s I thought it might start ticking in my 30s. In my 30s, when I heard no noise, I waited till my 40’s. I am now 42 and my clock simply doesn’t exist.

When I tell people that I don’t have children, the most common response I get is “You can always change your mind.” Um, no I don’t plan to. After I got married, I was asked “When do you plan to have children?” Um, never. My husband and I have both taken permanent measures not to have children. We are probably one of the safest couples on the planet.

I do think many children are adorable, humorous and very fun to be with and observe. Sometimes they say the funniest, most profound things. I love my nieces and nephews and I enjoy shopping for them; The princess stuff, the Barbies, the Elmos and the cute matching outfits.

But.. I am just not a “kids person”. I admit it. I can have a very low tolerance level for other people’s children. When I go out to eat with my husband, I want to have adult conversation and adult quiet. If I see the hostess walking to an area with small children, I often re-route her somewhere else. When I see a child coming towards me with their sticky hands, I call for their Mom.

The limited maternal instincts that I do have are focused on my dog. She is my child. I feed her, take care of her, play with her and pay her medical bills. Kind of like a child, but only 11 pounds with fur and pointy ears.

Famous Child Free Celebrities

The Women....

  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Katherine Hepburn
  • Bonnie Hunt
  • Kim Cattrall
  • Margaret Cho

The Men...

  • George Clooney
  • Hugh Grant
  • Jay Leno
  • Bob Barker
  • Jeff Goldblum

Freedom

Not having children does give my husband and me the freedom to live our lives in a way that meets our unique personal needs. I can give my partner, my full attention. We can be spontaneous and do whatever we want on the weekends. We can stay up late, get up when we want, take day trips, go out to bars etc. We don’t have to worry about saving for college or children’s clothes, food or medical bills.

I Can Feel Left Out

The choice to remain child free does make me feel left out in some situations. At work almost every women I interact with has kids. Before a business meeting starts, when we chat about our personal lives, they talk about sports, birthday parties, ballet classes, day care. “My Tommy was so cute at hockey last night….” I talk about the concert I went to, the movie I saw or how I worked over the weekend. They don’t seem interested in hearing stories about my child- my Rat Terrier pup.

When you have kids, you can more easily fit in and connect with other women. You may have completely different interests, but if you have kids, you have something in common.

The Cost of Having a Child In A Down Economy

Children can be very expensive!! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases a yearly report called “Expenditures on Children by Families.” The cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 increased by approximately 3% from 2006 to 2007. The total cost is dependent on a family’s annual income, but ranged from $150,00 to $300,000, without college. The average cost of tuition, per The College Board, is about $7,000 per year for a public institution and $25,000 per year for a private institution. Add it together, that’s a big investment, especially in this down economy!

Is Not Having Kids Selfish?

Some people think that choosing not to have children is selfish. In October 2008, someone posted the question on Yahoo Answers “Is it selfish to not want to have kids?”. Out of 23 answers, 3 said it was selfish and 20 said it wasn’t.

One responder stated that “ Too many children have been brought into this world by passive, indifferent, distracted, or abusive parents. Being childfree is about making responsible choices as well as knowing one's limits, interests, and lifelong intentions.”

Another said, “So many women have children because they believe kids can bring a quick fix to their lives or they have them because that's what women are "supposed" to do. Children are something you should want more that anything.... and something you would be willing to make heavy sacrifices for. “

Well said.

Organizations That Support The Child Free Choice

If you are like me and are child less by choice, I found that there are many organizations online where you can find other like minded women and men.

Big Kids No Kids is “The International Website of the childfree community where you can meet, communicate, share ideas and stories and a lot more…”

Other sites include Child Free.com, the Ivillage child free by choice message board and childfreebychoice.tribe.net.

In Closing...

So, I am Child Free by choice. And I feel good about my decision.

Take The Child Free Poll

If you don't have children now, what is the main reason:

  • I prefer the child free life style.
  • I want children, but just not right now.
  • I want children, but can not for medical reasons.
  • We are actively trying to
See results without voting

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Comments 25 comments

Tania Online 7 years ago

Great article. I too am sick of hearing the comment.. You can always change your mind. Please respect my decisions!


Mom of the year 7 years ago

Only problem with not having kids as a woman is you are pretty much guaranteed you will die all alone.


jml1066 7 years ago

Got news for ya, "Mom of the year." There are PLENTY of lonely parents in nursing homes, and you cannot enslave your child to your care.


SnakeLady 7 years ago

Mom of the year said: "Only problem with not having kids as a woman is you are pretty much guaranteed you will die all alone."

GOOD! I don't want any more people crying over me and missing me than is absolutely necessary.

Besides, my dna is not special enough to inflict onto the next generation. It would almost be "childabuse" to even have them.


Get a life 7 years ago

Mom of the Year, get a life. Children aren't property......maybe you wouldn't be so btter if your husband actually helped you with raising your children. Took SOME interest in them.

Hit a nerve, hon?


Childfree Lady 7 years ago

You're not guaranteed to die alone if you don't have children. It's called a social network.


yo yo 7 years ago

Mom of the year,

Obviously you've not heard that most childfree couples have a lot more retirement and money then those with kids. So, while we are living it up in FL at some gorgeous resort with plenty of friends, you'll be getting minimal visits at your run down home you can barely pay for. My goodness, sounds like having them is "selfish" for your own reasons.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

Great idea for a Hub. I think that it's more selfish to have children simply to follow social norms. I know so many people who don't have children and are totally happy with it; they might work with kids or they might not, but they followed their heart, as you have :)


catwoman89 profile image

catwoman89 6 years ago

This is so exciting! ! ! Finding others like me! ! ! WOW ! ! Thank you thank you. I am the SAME! My biological clock NEVER started. That's it! No other reason! You know? I'm so, so tired of explaining myself, so I've decided to STOP. Next time someone asks why I don't want kids, I'm just going to say, "Why do you want kids?" But if you can think of something more clever than that, let me know. Please check out my blog on this if you feel like it. I have a very similar story to yours! Thanks! Thank you for the links too! YOU HAVE MADE MY NIGHT! I love hubpages!


catwoman89 profile image

catwoman89 6 years ago

Mom of the year, you truly believe that it is going to suddenly be impossible to make new friends just because you're OLD? That's the thing that's beyond my comprehension! It sounds like you made people just to make sure that they would be at your bedside when you were dying! That's so dark! Please tell us that is not the case! If it is true, I grieve for the humans you made!


Carole Heath 6 years ago

I agree with much of this article, but some of the comments i think are quite silly regarding dying alone etc, my husband and myself are child-free, we were exoecting once years ago but i miscarried and suffered with severe depression for 2 years and was on anti-depressants, so we decided not to try again as i felt so drained by the whole exoerience i couldn't go through that again. We weren't really that children friendly anyway so we have had a great life the two of us travelling around the country in our camper. When i look at the problems friends have had with their children i think we had a lucky escape, and it isn't just a few friends with problems it is most of those we know to be quite honest. But people can be very tactless in this area when they go on about their children in front of childless people they don't know the circumstances and anyway it isn't their business if they choose to have them that's their decision they should leave us childless alone. I sometimes wonder if the green eyed monster is at work with some people they envy our freedom.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Excellent Hub R_W! My thoughts exactly. I had the inspiration to write about my permanently empty next recently, and you've rounded out the picture nicely. I'd like to add your link to my hub, with your permission. Thanks.


Kit 6 years ago

Thank you for a good hub, R_W! My husband and I are CF and for us it's because we feel, what with overpopulation, the commitment, and the genes we'd be passing on, having a kid (or two, or more) was something we'd have to be convinced of and committed to rather than just the default. Yet I've been amazed at people who see our quiet decision as some form of judgment on them. It's not ... unless you're feeling guilty. But I'll just let you deal with your concious on your own. For my part I love being "that aunt" to friend's kids and my friends love that their kid has another adult in their life who doesn't have any competition for their child's attention.

I've rather seen kids like getting a puppy - it's not something to be done lightly (as anyone associated with animal rescue can tell you) or because you just like the cute puppy stage. You've got to want a dog and be willing to train it, spend time with it, walk it, and value it more than you value clean carpets and a yard without holes. Kids aren't just cute babies, they're a lifetime of commitment and their own joys and troubles. In our case we don't enjoy the joys of kids enough for it to offset the troubles. So we don't have one, just like some don't have dogs or horses or a vegetable garden. Isn't the world a little better for the fact that we're not all alike?


Anni Baker 6 years ago

I get so bored with hearing about how I will die alone. I know several parents, who have died alone. Having children is no promise that you will not die alone, if you think that you are fooling yourself. Having a child does not guarantee permanent company or love. I can find you 50 parents that will tell you that their kids only call them or visit on holidays, the rest of the time they are on their own.


CF in NY 6 years ago

My husband and I are CF by CHOICE. On Mother's day this year we went to the County-run nursing home (sad place) and asked for the names of 10 women who are moms who will not have a visit on mother's day. THey gave us 10 names - NO PROBLEM. They could have given us 10 times that with no problem. Being a MOM does NOT mean u will not die alone. "Mom of the Year" - you have no clue what you are talking about.


TJSanson 6 years ago

Katharine Hepburn was childfree and 96 when she died...I would hardly call her "alone".


S.Canuck 5 years ago

Thank you for this forum. I too have never heard the ticking of my biological clock and do not posess any maternal instinct. I struggle to understand what motivates people to have children. It is unfortunate that you have to have a licence to have a dog, but anyone can have a child. I am lucky to have a few friends (who have children) that understand my childfree choice. They do not think it is selfish at all...they are happy for me, because I know what I want. The childfree lifestyle is my choice...I will never change my mind.


Audrey D. Custer-Coleman 5 years ago

also, there's a good, occasionally lively Child Free message board at Bella Online (Under 'Relationships' and 'Married No Kids'.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To R-W: Loved your hub. You are a very smart woman for deciding to use permanent birth control. Childfree couples, on the most part, are the most unselfish and the most responsible of all couples. I, too am childfree(of course, I am single by choice) and believe that children should be planned for and wanted.

Most couples have children because of outside pressures i.e. parents, relatives, friends, and religion. I believe that it is very sad growing up in an environment in which parents have children because it was expected, not because the child was wanted. Childfree couples, on a whole, think lot and hard deciding the pros and cons of children and electing to be childfree. I find that it is the parents of large families who have children out of some sort of primitive need, not thinking about their children's psychological, emotional, and financial well-being. I believe that if more people thought about having/not having children and using intelligent family planning, the world would be a much better place.


Sheila 5 years ago

Not only is selfish to have children, merely because they have no choice in their existance or in the home they are born to but the only reason I see people having kids is to ensure their own mortality. Is there anything more selfish than that! And to be sure you always have a friend no matter what or that there will be someone there in your old age to entertain you, support you or change your depends? I find that my Child Burdened friends are no longer able to socialize normally, they have lost touch with the world, politically, socially, etc. Their world revolves around the kids like the children are some sort of demi-gods to be worshipped and waited upon, to the detriment of their own interests and identity. We no longer need to have children to populate the world or be our private slave workers. The world is too full already. Having more children only means a bleaker future for the ones already here. I am blessed not to be a part of that and to still retain my identity and perspective. I will stillhave someone to love me in my twilight years, I have other relatives and friends I have my purpose in life and my own self love. I do not depend on another who is 'obligated' to love me. I earn it.


Jackie 4 years ago

Mom of the year, I can assure you as an R.N., having children does not guarantee that they will help take care of you in your golden years or even be there when you are dying. I am able to enjoy the company and see the "wonders" some children express while playing. I lost my mother when I was young and consequently I looked to other women (and still do), whom I saw as compassionate and intelligent to help shape and guide me. NOt having my own children has not made me angry or bitter in any sense. I never really had that "clock" ticking syndrome. Lacking this time piece however, does not render me useless where children are concerned. I am hopeful that I (my husband as well)may present ourselves as mentors. Sometimes having two parents isn't enough to help stimulate your child's dreams and hopes. All of us can work together to help foster responsibility, productivity, and creativity to children.


CFBC425 4 years ago

So, mom of the year, I have to tell you: I have a favorite aunt who has alzheimers. She is in a facility. She has 2 daughters and several older grandchildren. Guess how many times one of her daughters has gone to see her? Yup,, twice in almost a year! She lives 15 minutes away. So do me a favor, take your children and GFY! You better pray and hope they come and take care of you when you are old and alone. I won't have to worry. I don't have kids to drain me or my savings and I will have more than enough to take care of myself when the time comes that I can no longer do it on my own!


embracingfreedom 4 years ago

Thank you SO much for posting this. It feels great to know that my husband and I are not alone. Childfree by CHOICE and loving it. I am looking for a support group, or online forum, as the world attacks with baby-crazed questions and assumptions. Anyone know of any? I would be thankful!


Jane009 4 years ago

Mom of the year, you're getting a hard time on here because that was the dumbest comment ever. Forget all the nursing home rubbish etc, We All Die Alone, 5 kids or none, come on this is not brain surgery! I have one child and I don't want any more and plp give me a hard time over that because I left my partner because he was a liar and cheat and I don't want to marry either. I hate how people do what society tells them like sheep, really?! Is that how far women have come! It's sad, do what makes you happy and comfortable, not what society thinks is right, because nine times out of ten, alot of these so-called married plp with lots of kids, are not as 'happy' as you think and that is miserable for the kids!!


Cherry 4 years ago

I am a Christian, don't have fertility problems, married and happy. I actually been working as a nanny for more than 10 years and I have seen how hard it takes to have kids and how some parents are very stupid dealing with their children. Recently I discover that I might not want a child of my own. I am 30 years old. The hardest pepole to deal with "I decided to live a Childless life" is my mother in law, friends with kids who think they know everything about life because they have kids and I don't, meanwhile they don't have sex with their husbands anymore, fat and stressed out, and the church community who have children like popping a popcorn!

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    A Few Child Free Quotes....

    "Choosing to have children is like choosing to play the bagpipes: you must do it well or not at all. Anything in between and you'll really annoy your neighbors."

    --Nina Paley

    "My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives."

    --Rita Rudner

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