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Embracing the childfree life

By Nina Steele 

The other day, I received a very positive and uplifting message from Maryanne Pope, the founder of pinkgazelle.com. One line in her message read and I quote: “I think your message of being grateful for what you do have and embracing the childfree life is only going to get more and more popular’’.

That got me thinking. I always refer to myself as childless, because that is the term I feel most comfortable with. For one thing, I didn’t choose not to have children and even though, I am now an advocate of the childfree life, I still don’t have a problem with the term childless.

I have found myself in a unique situation in that, I now realise that all along, I wanted children not because I had a deep longing for them, but simply because I was trying to fulfil what I saw as my duties as a human being and above all, as a woman. Just like many people I know, having children is something you automatically do once you get married. Very few people I know, ever ask themselves whether they truly want children. You just have them and hope that something in you will kick in and make you love and care for them in a way that will make them and yourself happy. Of course many parents succeed, while others fail.

I now feel so detached from motherhood that I sometimes wonder how it could have taken me 9 years to understand that mine would be a different path. I suppose another explanation could be that, because I have always connected with children and teenagers alike, I saw myself as a natural. I mean, how can you be so good with children and not want any of your own? Well now I can see how that is possible.

To be childfree is to know yourself well enough to understand that you can live a fulfilled and happy life without children. It is a complete acceptance of who you truly are as a person, as opposed to what society wants you to be. You also grasp without ambiguity that contribution to society is more than procreation alone. And of course being childfree, as I have witnessed first-hand, does not automatically mean that you dislike children.

And so, in the same way that I have embraced my new life as a childless person, I am now ok with being referred to as childfree.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much Nina! You provided me with the perfect summary of what it means to be child free ‘To be childfree is to know yourself well enough to understand that you can live a fulfilled and happy life without children. It is a complete acceptance of who you truly are as a person, as opposed to what society wants you to be. You also grasp without ambiguity that contribution to society is more than procreation alone’

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