Living childfree by choice is a bit different now than when my husband and I decided that it was right for us. Today more and more young people and couples are making the decision to not have children. They are also very open about it. When we made the decision it was not really that way. We are now midlife and if we had had children they would be teenagers and beyond by now.
Each person that chooses to be childfree has a unique journey and reasons for making that life decision. It is not something that we should feel selfish or bad about. Kids are not for everyone and it is OK even though society in general still expects women to procreate.
Recently I had lunch with a 30 something woman who has made the decision to not have children. We chatted about living childfree by choice and becuase of that lunch I am sharing my journey. Yes, it took me some time to know that it was the lifestyle for me. Not just for me, but for me and my husband.
Before we dive into that journey, you can check out a couple of other posts I have written about living a childfree lifestyle.
- Why We Chose A Childfree Lifestyle Before It Was A Thing
- The Pros and Cons of Living a Childfree Lifestyle
My Journey to Being OK with A Childfree by Choice Life
First of all, being childfree was not how I envisioned my life. I married in my mid 20s and we, like most couples, planned to have children at some point in time. When we started tyring to have children in our late 20s it didn’t happen. Fast forward thru fertility treatment that did not work.
So by our early 30s we decided that if it was meant to be, it would happen. We traveled a lot and just enjoyed life. Not worrying about if or when to the best of our abilities.
Late 30s rolled around and the adoption option kept coming up. There are so many pros and cons to adopting. At the time, adoptions from Russia were very popular. We did our research and yet for some reason we could never pull the trigger. Soon after, Russian adoptions were no longer an option. Thought process: it was not meant to be.
If you are too young to remember Russian adoptions being banned, here’s an article that will explain.
The AHA Moment and Conversation
I will admit that during those years in my late 20s and early 30s, I shed a lot of tears and wondered why me when it came to infertility. People would make remarks about children or the fact that I didn’t have them and it would zing. However, by the time I was in my late 30s, I realized I liked my life. My life without children.
I will never forget a Saturday afternoon when my husband and I talked about the “childfree lifestyle by choice” thing (still not a common term). We had been to the gym that morning and were sitting outside by our pool relaxing. Of course, trying to decide what and where to go for dinner that evening.
We started talking about how we were pretty set in our ways and enjoyed the life that we had. It wasn’t always exciting or overly booked and busy like our friends who had children, but we had our routines. Routines that we liked.
Adoption was still an option. However, the longer we chatted that afternoon we realized that it was not for us and having children didn’t make us complete. We were complete. At the time, we did have one furry child.
The other thing that was a deciding factor for us was our age. At this point 40 and 15 years of marriage were part of the equation. Did we really want to be around parents who were so much younger than us? Did we really want to change up our routines and lifestyle? How would changing our lifestyle dramatically after 15 years affect our relationship? We concluded that afternoon that adoption was not going to be pursued and I was too old to even think about conceiving.
That day I finally knew in my heart that having children was not going to be a part of my life. I was finally good with it and felt at peace that it was something that was just not meant for me.
Do I Regret Not Having Kids or Adopting?
No. I know that I did what was right for me. That is what matters. For some reason, it was not in the cards for me to be able to procreate. What that reason is I will never know and I am OK with that. Deciding not to adopt is also another thing that I am OK with. I admire the people who do adopt and give children the chance that they deserve. Instead, we have adopted and rescued furry children throughout our marriage.
Sometimes when friends and acquantances talk about the happy moments in their children’s lives like birthday celebrations, graduations, engagements, grandbabies, etc. I am a bit sad that I will never experience those things. However, there is always the flip side and you also hear them talk about the unpleasant things that come with parenthood too.
Life is a balancing act. I love the life that I have and am thankful for all of the good things that I have in life. That is what is important.