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Child Free By Choice

Updated on January 26, 2011

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


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, the Ivillage child free by choice message board and

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:

See results

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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