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What I have learned from my first event for non-parents

By Nina Steele 

I held my first meetup event in London on Wednesday January 20th, and it is great to know from the feedbacks, that the food and the venue got a thumps up from everyone who attended.

What struck me most about the event, were the personal stories. Whichever way you look at it, all the stories seemed to have a common thread running through them. That common thread for those who are childfree, is being told many times that they are making a mistake for choosing not to have children, while those who happen to be childless by circumstance, are automatically assumed to be miserable and unhappy.

We all agreed that being in the minority in a society in which parenthood is put on the highest of pedestals can be quite a challenge at times.

Having said that, I admire the feisty spirit of everyone who attended. There was a determination to take on the established narrative and show those who feel threatened by anyone living a different lifestyle, that they are the ones with the issues, not us.

We certainly had a lot to talk about. So much so that the 3 hours I thought might be a bit too long for a first gathering of people who had mostly never met before, ended up passing so quickly that the majority of the people attending, ended up leaving later than scheduled.

Being amongst people with shared experiences not only shows you that you are not alone, but crucially that there is nothing wrong with you. Of course this website was set up to serve this very purpose and with its global reach, ensures that, that sense of community is felt by people in every corner of the world.

Make no mistake, this is a global movement of people keen to change the narrative about non-parents. The old image of the unhappy and miserable person, is quite frankly no longer acceptable, as it is not representative of the majority of people without children.

A new narrative is emerging and I am glad to be part of those striving to bring it about. This is not just for our sake, but also for the sake of the many youngsters who will soon decide which path to pursue.

It is important for them to understand that they don’t have to buy into the old narrative that parenthood is for everyone if deep down, it is not what their instinct is telling them. Nor should those who will inevitably be faced with being childless by circumstance, feel like second class citizens.

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