Childfree by…Choice? – The Childfree Wife’s Story

by: The Childfree Wife

I am 28 years old, married, childfree by choice, and a dog mum. I hate the term “dog mum,” but that is what I am. I’m completely obsessed with my dog. And no, she is not a substitute for a baby.

I don’t know when or how I decided I wanted to be childfree but I know for the entire nine years my husband and I have been together that has been the case. The idea that people who choose to live childfree are somehow immature, selfish or shallow is ridiculous. If anything, I have given parenthood more thought than the average person. I have considered it from every angle possible. I’ve thought very deeply about the implications both choices would have on my life. Living childfree has actually been extremely difficult and is most certainly not the easy way out.

Infertile By Chance

A few years into our relationship, my husband and I found out I had fertility issues. Ironically we found out while I was donating eggs to a clinic. At that moment, I was totally unaffected. I was ‘diagnosed’ when we were in our early twenties. Babies were the last thing on our minds. At that point, it also wasn’t obvious to anyone that we didn’t foresee children being part of our lives. But at times over the years, I have been tormented by the fear of making the wrong decision.

This was in most part due to the discrimination we began to experience as we got older and our relationship progressed; getting engaged, buying a house and then eventually, getting married. Of course, I understand having a baby is naturally the next step. However, it almost becomes an object of fascination when instead of saying “not yet” you answer “no.” Enter the number one most overused comment a childfree by choice person will ever hear, “You will change your mind.” This statement nearly gave me a mental breakdown.

Childfree By Choice

I am childfree by choice. I have always been and, at this time, I have no indication that I will feel any different in the near future. But knowing that you may not have a choice about having children, knowing that your reproductive system is failing and being repeatedly told that you will change your mind is quite terrifying!

For a period of around two years, this topic consumed me. I interrogated my friends with babies, I spent most nights googling my condition and searching for those in a similar situation, and I became a broken record. At one point, I even drove myself into a depressive state. All because I couldn’t understand why I didn’t want children. If people I barely knew were able to state so confidently that I would change my mind, how on earth could I possibly decide in my twenties that I didn’t EVER want children? 

I needed to know what it was that other women felt. How did they know they wanted babies? Because for me, I wasn’t fighting the urge and this wasn’t a case of head over the heart or making an educated decision.

Regaining Control

I was and am childfree by choice because I genuinely have no maternal instinct or inclination to reproduce. My biological clock is not set to baby time.

 So, what am I missing? 

This is something I imagine a lot of people who are childfree by choice, can relate to, health issues or not. If you are told something often enough and with such confidence, it is bound to have a resounding effect on you. And it took such a long time for me to actually accept that we are all different and that in fact, there are a lot more people that feel like this than would care to admit. And many of them went on to have children anyway.

Alternatively, my “diagnosis” is entirely the reason these comments had such an impact on my mental health. I didn’t like being given a time limit and feeling like I was out of control. I wanted my childfree life to be my decision, not a defect. This is why I never tell anyone I have fertility issues. No matter how arrogant or ignorant someone might be, my condition is not the cause of my life choice, it is confirmation. It has taken me a long time to become comfortable and confident with who I am and, more importantly, who I am not. I know for certain that I am not a childless woman with fertility issues; I am a childfree by choice woman who knows her life purpose – and it has nothing to do with motherhood. For now!

Feel free to leave some kind comments for The Childfree Wife! 

Want to learn more about our contributing poster? Follow her on instagram @thechildfreewife 

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. It helps the women who are struggling to decide which path is right for them. Sorry for any struggles you encountered and any attacks that came and come your way. No one should ever have to defend their position. Choosing motherhood or a childfree life or women who become part of a family with children and choose not to add more children to it is deeply personal and should never become a debate. You said it well, “It has taken me a long time to become comfortable and confident with who I am and, more importantly, who I am not.” Knowing who you are is what’s most important. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I’m so happy to have been able to share this story!

  2. Reply

    I’m child free by choice too! I never knew this community even existed. I am so glad I found your blog through you finding mine. What an amazing community of women. I loved this article, just loved it.

    1. Hi Jessica, welcome! I love our little community 🙂 I’ve been reading more of your posts and I’m so happy to have connected.

      Thanks!

    • M
    • July 14, 2017
    Reply

    This is nice to read, I am comfortable in my choice, although not popular with anyone! I’m 35 and the only thing I struggle with is lonliness as everyone my age has children , I feel extremely left out of a lot of things. I’m still trying to figure out where I fit in life and my purpose. I of course have my lovely husband and his support, but am really lonely and missing friends with things in common. I hope I have it all figure out soon

    1. Hi M,

      Thank you for your comment! When I first decided to be childfree, I struggled with loneliness too. However, the more open I’ve been about my choice, the more like-minded people I have met. And even some of my friends that I didn’t think would understand were very accepting. The beautiful thing about being childfree is you have time to figure it all out. I used to get so stressed about getting everything I wanted out of life before having kids that now it’s a huge relief not to have that deadline. Have you heard of the Not-Mom Summit in Ohio? I’ll be attending this year, as will many other childfree (by choice/circumstance) women. You should come 🙂

        • M
        • July 16, 2017
        Reply

        I’d love too but I’m on the other side of the world! It’s still comforting to know there are others like me, even if none live close by. Thanks for this blog, it makes me feel less alone 🙂

        1. M,

          You’re so very welcome 🙂 Stay in touch!

  3. Reply

    I am 29, married, and childfree by choice. About two months into our relationship my husband and I had a brief and casual conversation where we both mentioned not wanting kids, and were both very excited that the other felt the same way!
    I have gotten a TON of “you’ll change your mind” comments. Just today we were at a wedding that was kid friendly and we were asked multiple times “when” we would be having children. We both said “never” and got hit with those looks. The smug, knowing “oh they say that now” looks. We’ve gotten to the point where we both just shrug it off and figure nothing but time will prove to them that we do know what we’re doing and we made the choice that works for us.

    • Jessica Gonzalez
    • July 17, 2017
    Reply

    Aaaaaaaaaaah!!! You found the Instagram page that I manage for work and I am so happy you did! I am infertile, have known it my whole life, and was perfectly fine with it until EVERY one of my friends have children. It’s been a rough few years, but I am thrilled to have read your post and will be joining the community if you’ll have me! Thank you for this! 🙂

    1. Jessica,

      Yay!! I’m so happy you’re here. Welcome! It can be especially tough when it seems like just about everybody starts having kids. Hang in there and let me know what else I can do to help! I hope you enjoy what you read 🙂

  4. Pingback: When Having It All Means Not Having Kids — Guest Post by The Childfree Wife

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