—- The gamer life: Mariah on being childfree —-
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Name, age, location: Mariah Canfield-Jones, 34, Denver Colorado
When did you decide you didn’t want children?: We decided within three years of our engagement, due to bills and a few other factors that sort of took over.
Have you ever received any backlash due to this decision, if so, what?: A few former friends lashed out at our decision and decided not to continue the friendship. We also live in a community that loves children so our relationship is a little strained with some of the community. It’s funny because some of our friends who are parents think we hate their children, when really, it’s the opposite. I love designing costumes for children and am currently designing a Li cosplay from Card Captors Sakura, an anime we like, for my nephew. I also have costume designs for my friend’s kids. Just because I don’t want any of my own doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy the company of children. It sometimes hurts when friends no longer want to continue their friendship with you just because you don’t want to be a parent. I hope someday this discrimination stops and we accept each other no matter our life choices.
What do you do now that you think you wouldn’t be able to do if you had children?: I wouldn’t be able to go to conventions. I love going, and I love cosplay, and the thought of not being able to do either, or at least doing a lot less than I currently do, annoys me. I love kids, but if that limits my ability to have a hobby, then I don’t want them. There are parents who take their kids to conventions and find out later their children just don’t want to be involved, they have their own tastes and likes, and soon the parents start not going to the conventions and putting their own hobbies and things that made them who they are aside. Some people can do it, but I know I can’t. My fiancé and I discussed that and to be honest, it makes me sound selfish, but it’s what I want. I’m not harming anyone by not bringing a child into the world.
I also love video games, I’m a lover of Final Fantasy XIV, and a few other games and I would not want to play them if I had a child because it would take my focus off my game and my child. I use video games to help me with common problems, it makes it easier to deal with people.
What’s your favourite part about being childfree?: The freedom! I love doing what I do now, Cosplay, conventions, reading, working on the latest costumes. I also enjoy the peace and quiet.
If money and time were no concern, what would be the one dream you would fulfill?: I have so many dreams, it’s kind of hard to choose, but I would say owning and maintaining a house. Having the space to actually have my hobbies and things, a two to three bedroom house would be ideal.
If you could choose to be one age forever what age would it be and why?: 21, I still liked going out and having fun, though I worked consistently and didn’t have much of a party lifestyle at that age. I was pretty low-key and enjoyed watching and enjoying Anime; I still do even at 34.