Name, age, location: Leah, 29, Idaho
When did you decide you didn’t want children?: I’ve likely never wanted children, but I hit the realization that it was my future around age 20. Before then, I always figured I would because ‘that’s what women do’.
Have you ever received any backlash due to this decision, if so, what?: Yes. Being told “you’ll change your mind” followed by knowing smirks and “you just weren’t hugged enough as a kid” or “you’ll have kids” and all of the other typical responses by those who don’t know any better. Strangers who have known me five minutes tell me these things most often. I’ve been told to “Enjoy the yacht and luxury cars you’ll get with all the money you save being stupid and selfish.” I’ve also been told I’m the equivalent of someone who’s had abortions simply because I refuse to procreate to begin with. Lastly, I have been met with guilt by those wanting grandchildren.
What do you do now that you think you wouldn’t be able to do if you had children?: Be at peace. Be organized, run a happy household, and focus on my writing. I don’t have to worry about my pets being terrorized or if I have a low-paying job. I am focusing on my future with all of my energy, knowing I can go anywhere I want, whenever I want, whether it be Florida or Canada. Most of all, I am keeping hold of my sanity through tough and uncertain times.
What’s your favourite part about being childfree?: No worries. I will never have to worry about my kid breaking things, getting sick, getting me sick, or having tragedies befall it. I don’t have to worry about raising them into good people or worrying that they’ll get into drugs or crime when they get older. I don’t have to worry about my child getting enough to eat while I’m trying to pay all of the bills, being bullied at school, or becoming a parent as a teenager.
If money and time were no concern, what would be the one dream you would fulfill?: Getting my PhD in Astronomy/Astrophysics at the University of British Columbia, becoming a successful author, and a Canadian citizen.
With the lack of childfree stories, and those that start off as such but pull a 180 on the readers in the end, I would like to be the first to deliver a true childfree story that sticks to its premise. We are real people and we deserve to be properly represented.
If you could choose to be one age forever what age would it be and why?: I don’t care what age I am, so long as I can feel young and remain independent with a clear and strong mind and body until my last days.
Do you have any favourite books, blog posts, websites, articles about being childfree?: I frequent Reddit’s childfree section, while browsing random articles I find online whenever I need a reminder that I am not a terrible human being or a failure as a woman for choosing to be childfree.
I do, also, enjoy the Facebook page, ‘Childfree is Not a Dirty Word’.
Do you have any last thoughts that you’d like to share with readers?: Be Strong. You chose to be childfree for a reason, whatever it might be, and you are no less of a human being for it. Society may shun you, chastise you, and pressure you, but do not let them tear you down and ruin your life just because it is something ‘they’ want. And remember, you are not alone. Draw strength and support from your fellow CF sisters and brothers.
We love hearing about our readers’ childfree lives. If you would like to be interviewed, or if you have written something you would like us to share please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in our reader submissions/interviews do not necessarily reflect the views of Childfree is Not a Dirty Word.