Shawna’s Story: The older I got the clearer it became that children just did not appeal to me

Married childfree black womanMy husband and I have been together for 15 years. We are both 40. The first thing we discussed when we met was children and it was an immense relief to both of us to discover that neither of us wanted any. My husband’s decision was more a rejection of his own upbringing. He was one of 9 children and hated the whole experience. It is often the case that people from large families either liked the experience so much so that they go on to have a large family of their own, or they completely hated it and either have just one child or none at all. Unlike my husband, my decision was made from a young age. As a child, I simply found other children uninteresting and liked to do my own things. The older I got the clearer it became that children just did not appeal to me.

I am fortunate enough that my family has always been supportive of my choice. I was never criticised nor made to feel odd for not wanting children. I have nephews and nieces, however they are not an active part of my life, and frankly that’s the way I prefer things to be. My husband and I enjoy the peace and quiet of our life. We are both avid readers and so having a peaceful environment matters. Our other hobbies include eating out and travelling. We are planning on taking a 6 months sabbatical from work next year to travel the world. Not having children means that we have been able to save a fair bit, which allows us to do all those things that we enjoy doing while we are still young.

The fact that my family is open minded about my choice does not mean that it has always been plain sailing. I get the occasional scrutiny, particularly from one work colleague, a proud mother of 3 who just cannot understand how anyone can profess to not want children. I can’t help thinking that some of this is just jealousy. We all know how some people have children purely to fulfil their duties, and the idea that others like me can just choose not to, make them angry. Thankfully, the older I get, the less bothered I am about other people’s opinions.

It feels great to be able to live your life the way you want to. There is so much pressure to conform that I believe having the courage to stand your ground is an achievement in itself. Whenever I hear stories of mothers saying they regret having children, I cannot help thinking that had I not been this courageous, that could have been me. I just cannot imagine my life being any other way and my husband feels the same.

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  1. Hi Shawna. Thanks for sharing your story. How great that you and your husband will be taking time off to travel the world. I hope you have a wonderful time. You two were lucky to have met so early on in life. I hear many stories of childfree singles who find it hard to meet people who understand them. Wishing you both all the best.

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