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What does it feel like to be a family of two?

By Nina Steele 

I suppose that just like families with children come in many shapes and forms, so do families of two. We all live different lives and ultimately, it boils down to what works for each couple.

My husband and I are very similar, which makes things easier. Just because you live together doesn’t always automatically mean that you share the same views on life. We happen to do so in many ways, which has resulted in us getting on very well and having a peaceful life overall. Of course we argue, who doesn’t?

One advantage of being a family of two I find, is that we can be very selective in terms of who we let into our lives. On many occasions, I have heard parents complain that they have become friends with people they have nothing much in common with, because their children happen to be friends. Well at least that is a problem that we will never have to face.

Another obvious advantage is the financial aspect. Our outgoings are far less than those of people we know with children. Some of those people have got themselves into debt just to sustain their lifestyles. Talking of lifestyles, of course some families of two, with good combined incomes do get into financial troubles when they choose to live an extravagant lifestyle, which we don’t.

We do live well, including paying a bit more for quality food. In fact food is the one aspect of our life where we are happy to spend a bit more. I do cook most of our meals, however, and so the money we spend is mainly on good produce, not on eating out. We went through a spell when we ate out at least twice a week, but got tired of it eventually. I now cook pretty much every day and love it.

I suppose cooking for two is not as challenging as cooking for a family with children. A few people I know with children have to make separate meals for some of the children, because of various allergies they suffer or because they don’t eat certain things. At least that is not something we have to worry about.

Another advantage of being a family of two is that we often go on holiday during term time. That means we pay less for accommodation and have a great selection of places we can stay at. Of course many parents can have the same advantage, but because of the higher demand during school holidays, they have to book months in advance, which we don’t have to. Unless of course the time we choose to travel coincides with the school holidays, and we try to avoid that happening as much as possible.

Another great advantage for us is the festive season. We often either spend it with my in-laws or just the two of us. It is generally low-key, and does not involve too many shopping trips for gifts. Of course many childless / childfree couples are actively involved with their nephews and nieces, along with children of friends etc, and so are as busy during that time of year as people with children.

Laura Carroll, author of “Families of Two” summed this up well during a chat we recently had on twitter. She was replying to an article published on this website which asked whether not having children meant a less chaotic holiday season. Laura’s answer was: “Lots of childless/childfree have nieces/nephews/big family that make it busy, others entertain a lot, which can easily equal busy”.

Are you a family of two? If so, what is your life like?

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