Childfree lifestyle?? Back in the 1990s when we were a young married couple that terminology did not even exist. Mark and I married in 1991 and always planned to have children. Back then, that is what was typical in marriages. We were both working and hoped that it could be so that we would have a family and I would be a stay at home mom living in suburbia America.
A few years into our marriage when we weren’t really ready to start a family we had a scare as many young couples do and it brought about the conversation as to when we would start trying to have a family. We had adopted our first cat, Mister, on our 1st wedding anniversary and had enjoyed having him as our first baby. So after our 5th wedding anniversary we thought we were at a point that we could start trying for a family.
Mister in his senior years. Always seeking the sun.
Our Road to Starting a Family
Long story short. A year of trying with no success. My OB/GYN sent me on to a fertility specialist. We were in our late twenties by this time so we were ready to go down this road. However, I don’t know that you can ever prepare yourself for fertility treatment. It was not an easy road for us. We did a few rounds of treatments with no success and I wasn’t really a candidate for IVF. Honestly, I don’t think we would have gone that route even if I had been a candidate.
At this point, we had been married 8 years. We decided to take a trip and just think about things and relax. The fertility treatment regimen can really take a toll on both people. After relaxing on the beach for a week we concluded that we would just see if having a family was meant to be or not.
Our conclusion was that we were just going to see if it would happen naturally. Enjoy life and one another.
What I Remember About Those Years
First of all, each month is extremely emotional especially during treatments. Second, the drugs were not fun at all and there were lots of them. I do hope for those going down the fertility road now that the drugs aren’t as tough on your body. The drugs affect you not only physically, but emotionally.
The other thing is the questions when you are being social outside of your tight knit circle of friends and family. Yes, a few people knew what we were going thru, but it was not as open of a discussion as it is today. Both of us did not enjoy being “social” because of questions that people would ask. Granted they were just normal questions about you and your family; however, people just make assumptions about married couples and children. Assumptions are not always correct.
When we were in our mid 30s we built a new home (the first that Mark built for us). What was so wonderful about the new home and neighborhood is that most of our neighbors were several years older than us. Their lives were not centered around the schedules of their young children and so we were able to be social and develop friendships with people that we had much more in common with. It became much easier to be social again and enjoy meeting new people.
To Adopt A Child or Adopt a Childfree Lifestyle
Fast forward to our 15th wedding anniversary. Still no children and we were approaching the big 40. At that time, Russian adoptions were quite popular. We did lots and lots of research, met with people who had gone through the experience, and had good experiences. For some reason, we just didn’t feel like it was for us. Soon after, Russian adoptions were halted between the two countries due to many Americans having not so good experiences.
Honestly, we also concluded that we didn’t want to be the old parents around all of the young parents who had several children. The other self realization was that we were really used to a childfree lifestyle at this point in our lives and marriage and did we really have to have children to have a fulfilled life and marriage. Our conclusion was no.
Our Furry Child Answer to A Childfree Lifestyle
I introduced you to our first furry child Mister earlier. He lived a very spoiled life with us as an only child for 15 1/2 years. When you don’t have children your furry children become very important in your lives. When Mister passed, there was such a void in our lives and we adopted Blake and Heidi almost immediately. They were true sibling and were never separated from one another. If one went to the vet, the other went along for the ride (we made the mistake once and Heidi was not happy about it). When they were about 7 years old we rescued Fluff and Wally who are now our very spoiled furry children.
Blake and Heidi living a good life together on their favorite covered porch
Fluff and Wally always playing in the prep sink that was also known as the water park to them and to Blake and Heidi.
Thanks for taking the time to read about this personal journey of ours. Today a childfree lifestyle is much more common than it was when we were young. Many couples choose this lifestyle for different reasons. This article does a great job of spelling out more of the reasons than our journey.
My one very big advice to anyone reading this is if you meet a young couple that has been married for a while ask them questions about themselves, not their families. It depends upon where they are in their life journey as to how they will answer you. It is very easy to make them feel uncomfortable or even sad.