The Pros & Cons of Living a Childfree Lifestyle
The Pros & Cons of Living a Childfree Lifestyle
Childfree lifestyle was not a term that you heard in the 1990s. When we made our decision to have a childfree life, it was not as open of a topic. Today choosing this lifestyle is much more common. Women and/or couples really put a lot of thought into the decision making process. I wish that I had had a resource to turn to all those years ago about being married and living a childfree lifestyle.
There are many reasons that women and/or couples decide that living a childfree lifestyle is for them. You don’t really know what to expect from the decision when you are making it. It does impact many areas of your life and relationships with others.. I hope that I can share some of my thoughts in a retrospective manner that will help you truly decide if this is a lifestyle that you want to life. Truth be told, there are a lot of pros, but there are also plenty of cons. Like anything there is good and bad.
You can read about our journey to living a childfree lifestyle here.
A Little About Our Family
So, everyone’s family situations are unique. Just to give you a little background. My husband and I both come from small families and are extended families are not close either. I am an only child and so was my father. So not many family connections there. My mother’s family was not the type to gather. She had siblings and they had children, but we were not around them much.
Mark is also from a small family. He has one sister and she has 3 children. So we do have the experience of having nieces and a nephew. We did not live close to them, but still have a good relationship with them now that they are adults.
We have always had furry children. Our furry children of choice are cats. When people say that cats are independent and you can easily leave them when traveling don’t know our cats. Since we don’t have children, our furry kids get lots of attention. Most people would say that they are extremely spoiled.
You will understand why I explained this as you read further about the pros and cons in our childfree lifestyle. So here’s a look into my perspective on living life without children.
Pros to Living a Childfree Lifestyle
I’m going to break this down into a few categories. Kind of how I see not having children.
- Time. Time to do the things that you like to do for yourself and others. Whether it’s working out, reading, or volunteering for a cause that is near and dear to your heart. Time is something that you have a lot more of when children’s schedules are not a part of your life. You can also sleep in on weekends unless furry kids wake you up.
- Career. You don’t have to feel that pull to give up your personal career goals and aspirations. Follow your dreams. You can take chances easier and not have to worry about the consequences affecting as many people in your life.
- You’ll look younger longer. Let’s face it. Pregnancy is not easy on the body. Children usually equals more stress and worry in your life. Those two things (and lack of sleep) easily have you looking and feeling older.
- Marriage. You have more time to focus on the relationship.
- Children are expensive. You don’t have to worry about college funds, wedding funds, helping with expenses once they are on their own. That means that you have more cash for the things that bring you joy and happiness as well as retirement nest eggs.
- You have much more flexibility with your schedule. You have the ability to start and stop your day when you want. No pick ups/drop offs, carpooling, etc.
- Travel. You can travel when and where you want and not have to worry about accommodating extra people. If you choose to have pets, you just have to make sure that you have great pet sitters to come into your home or nice pet resorts to reserve.
Cons to Living a Childfree Lifestyle
- Friendships. When you don’t have children and most of the people that you are around do, there is a strain in conversations. Your interests and focus are not the same. You can’t really relate to many of the issues that they are always talking about. What I have found is that once you make friends with someone and their children are older, those friendships don’t have that disconnect. Usually there is a commonality that brought you together and you have that bond.
- Celebrations. You don’t have as many celebrations in life. Whether it is the child being born, baptized, graduations, marriages, etc. Those moments don’t exist in your life. You do have things to celebrate, but they are just different types of celebrations. Usually they are around your own accomplishments. Not to be selfish and self-centered, but that is just how it is.
- Holidays. They are not a house full of family and lots of activity (unless you have lots of siblings). Holidays can be quite quiet and lonely. You may choose to spend them traveling or volunteering.
- We haven’t reached those years yet and won’t for quite some time. Most people rely on their children to help take care of them and that is something that you don’t have. You may have nieces or nephews that you can depend upon. Honestly, one day we just look forward to living in a retirements community and go from one level of care to another. Just because you have children doesn’t mean that they will take care of you.
In our 50s Do We Regret This Decision?
I truly believe that you can live a very fulfilled life without children. It is truly a personal decision whether it is due to the ability to have children or not. You can’t second guess that decision. It’s not that your life is better or worse than other’s lives, it is just different. Different is OK.
Whether you are contemplating this decision or you know someone who is. I hope that this perspective provides you with some “food for thought”. We all have visions of what we would like our lives to look like, sometimes we just have to make some adjustments and roll with our decisions.
As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the internet. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and any other posts of mine that you read. It has taken me a long time to grasp talking about this part of my life so it really does mean the world to me if you have read this entire post.
Remember to always have a little SASs in your day.
Love this article!! I relate to all the pros and cons of being child-free although I now have a grown step-son.
Thanks. Yes, if only I had had someone to talk with about this back in the 90s. It would have made many things easier. It’s a much more open topic these days for sure. I remember when you gained the step son.
We once read that it cost $225K to raise a kid. I wonder what it is today??
I couldn’t even imagine. Just the cost of college these days and when my friends talk about the cost of weddings……couldn’t imagine.
It’s interesting how many younger couples are making the choice these days.
Great article Beth very thought provoking x
Thank you Nicky. Now in my 50s, I wish that I had had someone to chat with or article read more about people’s life experiences being childfree. It is not an easy decision for everyone even though it is a much more common decision today than in the 90s. Then everyone assumed that you had children if you were married.
Such an honest and in-depth post Beth- I love the way you wrote this. I also admire you for your decision- so well-thought out and truly caring. Because in actuality there are way too many people who give no thought to this, and jump right in to having children (and in some cases make the worst of parents). It should be weighed carefully whatever the decision. Great post!
Thank you. That is so true. So many people have children because they think they should, not because they really want to be a parent.