A collection of personal stories from our childfree community

A story from one of our male community members:

“I felt like I should give my personal perspective as I haven’t seen it addressed on your page. I’ve seen you talk about guys being child free, but never this particular side of it. The pressure guys feel to reproduce isn’t nearly as bad as what women get, I freely admit, but we do get pressured and bullied about our choice as well.

I’ve had friends and family tell me that I’m less of a man or that something must be wrong with me chemically or something because it should be a base desire of all men to impregnate ‘their woman’ (I’ve even had some tell me that it should be multiple women and monogamy makes men less manly).

Again, please don’t think I’m trying to cheapen womens’ struggles as I acknowledge that you have it much worse (even though it makes zero sense).” -T.J.

I really enjoyed this message because it demonstrates how speaking up about our childfree choice can help the next generation of girls.

“Hi! I just wanted to share something that happened to me the other day. Nobody I know would understand.

I never wanted to have children. I'm 35 now and 4 years ago, I met a colleague from across the country in a course we took in Costa Rica. We got to know each other, she was a mother of 1. And I explained to her my decision to be childfree, and how that didn't turn me into some kind of child-hating monster or anything (I'm a teacher!).
Last week she messages me. Her oldest girl is now almost 15, and she had spoken to her about not wanting to have children, ever. And that the only grand babies my friend would have from her daugther would be cats.

My friend wrote to thank me for knowing me, because that helped her understand her daughter and kept her from judging her or starting the always-present "you'll change your mind speech", and instead, embrace her and respect her decision.

I felt so happy for this. My decision is still questioned and frowned upon in my family (that's the mindset in this country), but it feels so good to know that at least one girl's decision was accepted by her family and nobody will either stop talking to her or judge her because of what she wants."

“Thank you. Thank you so much for starting this page!

It has helped me immensely. Here’s my story:

I wanted kids. I really wanted kids. I'm the oldest of ten (not all the same parents lol) and as the oldest, I just thought that's what I'm supposed to do. As the oldest though, I have changed my fair share of diapers, cooked enough meals for nine people and have dealt with a sick baby in the middle of the night. My youngest two siblings are a year and two days apart so my sister moved into my room when she was still in diapers. I was 16. I still wanted kids.

My ex husband and I tried. My family on my biological mom's side has a history of miscarriages, and after my fourth one, I was completely shattered. I was 22. He was abusive. The universe is definitely wise.

Fast forward ten years and being single for the better part of 6 of those and I finally meet the man of my dreams. Except I am completely over the idea of having kids. I eat cereal for dinner. Like alot. I also have massive depression and anxiety and screaming kids set me off. Thankfully he doesn't want kids either. He's absolutely excited to have puppy babies and travel and do whatever we want to do. But mother's day still aches a bit from what I lost. And ever since we got engaged 9 months ago, everyone is asking. People I don't even know make jokes. A nurse told my soon to be mother inlaw that she wasn't getting grandbabies cause I can't stand the sight of blood. People at work ask me. Customers!!! It drives me absolutely nuts and now I just say I can't have kids and then don't explain. Still I get "well there is always adoption".

It's absolutely ridiculous that I'm viewed as an incubator and not a human with my own hopes and dreams and ambitious. I love being child-free. I'm so thankful for this page and all the encouragement I get from it because society definitely doesn't think I'm enough without a child on my hip.” - K.

I find it so interesting to hear about the experiences of childfree individuals in different countries. Here’s a message we just received from a community member in Iran:

I am from Iran. I am so glad to see your page. It is so wonderful to see that other people in all of the world have the same problem as I have. In my country we have two challenges. One is our parents, family and society. The other is our government. Our problems with family and parents are the same that other childfree people face. But our government has always spread propaganda and wants to force people to have children. We always watch their family goals on TV programs and billboard advertising. Some years ago when I was 20, my husband and I thought we came from another planet because of our attitude about not having children. Now there are a lot of couples who think like us and prefer to be childfree.

In Iran, you say “I don’t want to have children” like this:

من نمیخواهم بچه داشته باشم.

I love kids, all my life I wanted kids. I was very neglected as a child and growing up I understood that the only way to have a proper family was to make my own. I'd be a mum and I'd find a nice man and give my children the life and care I deserved to have. When I was old enough I started dating guys, it never felt right but it was the only way I could see to make my dream real. I settled and dated some right fools in my time. I was very depressed due to childhood trauma and general unhappiness with who I was dating. Then I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and put on mood stabilizers that cause foetal abnormalities. To get pregnant I would have to stop my meds until my child was finished breastfeeding. There is also a good chance I'd have post-partum psychosis and that my child would suffer from mental illness. That even though I'm medicated, there is zero guarantees that I will be a consistent and adequate mother.

I had to sit and think and choose to never have children because of the danger it would put both on me and my hypothetical baby. It was also during this time that I figured out the reason I was so unhappy with my dating life is because I am gay!

I'm very glad I never settled for a man, very glad I was careful with birth control, because now I'm engaged to a wonderful woman who loves me for me, mental illness and all. I have money and a nice home and a cat. I don't need children or a man to have a family that loves me!

A note we received on from a childfree community member in Kenya.

“I am from Kenya, Africa and coming from a place where patriarchy is very much dominant and women are only valued for reproduction and household chores. I always feel like an alien everywhere I go because I am always the only one who is childfree. It took Instagram to show me that I wasn't alone and that there are more like me out there. I stand strong for what I believe I want from my life because I know I am fully responsible for the kind of life I want to live. It's pages like this that comfort me through the days I have to explain over and over again that I don't want kids- not adoption, no nothing. This online community is where I feel less alone and where I get to scream "yes me too" to your posts..thank you for this platform.”

'I don't want children’ in kikuyu is ‘direnda shiana.’

“I used to work in a nursing home and so many of the residents would talk to me about how it broke their hearts because they had children and they can’t even get them to come visit. I spent a lot of time forming close bonds with many of the residents who had kids that never came and saw them. They were always the loneliest. Breaks my heart still.

One of the residents, who was a mother, found out I did not wish to have children. She told me, “I love my kids, but I don't think this heartbreak is worth it." And that really spoke to me because no one truly knows if their child/ren will be there in the future. She had four kids and in the three years I worked there only one of them ever came to see her and that was once on Christmas.” - Sam

I just wanted to address the whole childfree "issue" specific to religious communities. I love your page, it has helped me so much to formulate and voice my opinion about being childfree to the people in my life.

 

I'm from Croatia, and in my community having children is a MUST for a good Christian. I'm 24 years old, fresh out of college and get urged from my family to get married and have children ASAP. I've gotten all the typical responses, but also been told that I'm INSANE, that SATAN is living inside me and making me say such things, that I will be DISOWNED if I ever get an abortion, that not having children is a direct insult to God and also been wished, “I hope you accidentally get pregnant", "I hope God makes it happen for you.” To me that's like saying to a woman that wants children, "I hope you become barren.” So hurtful.

 

In my community no argument, however logical, can trump God and His wish for us to procreate.

I just thought I’d share my childfree story. A bit about myself- I'm a 32 year old teacher, married to a wonderful man and a fur mummy to a dog, 2 sugar gliders and 1 bearded dragon. These are my babies. I was raised by a single mum since I was 8 when my dad divorced my mum for another woman. Seeing how my mum struggled for so many years, I used to think that she could have a much happier life if she didn't have me after she married my dad. She could have started a new life elsewhere but because of me, she remained in Malaysia in the exact same house where we lived as a family. It was from that moment, I decided to be childfree. After I graduated from university, my decision to be childfree was further solidified when I saw my high school friends getting married and starting families. I saw them change from being so bubbly to being so lethargic and tired on a daily basis.

Fast forward to 4 years ago, when my younger cousin found out she was pregnant immediately after her honeymoon, she was shocked and devastated. She thought she could at least enjoy married life first before starting a family. I saw her breakdown and fall into depression. After her child was born, she went into postpartum depression. Everyone was happy except for her. That being said, after I got married in 2017, there was never a time when my dad's side of the family stopped pestering me to have a child. They kept saying I would change my mind, nobody would take care of me when I'm old, who am I going to leave my legacy to, etc. I can only stay strong for so long. Whenever I see my dad carrying and playing with my cousin's baby, I can't help but think that he's hinting to me.

Don't get me wrong. I truly enjoy just being married. I keep telling my friends with kids that I am not anti-kids. I’m just anti-kids for myself. Coming from a traditional Chinese family, it is so difficult for me to fight the stigma of wanting to be childfree and that I am still my own woman. I am complete as a woman. I do not need to have a child to feel like a woman. My furbabies are all I need to shower my maternal love on. My husband and I love them unconditionally and we'd do anything for them. The elders just do not understand that.

Apart from that, my husband and I prefer to travel the world instead of having a child. To us, freedom is an important part of our marriage. I know it sounds selfish, but I feel like it's truly ridiculous to bring another being into this world just for the sake of wanting him/her to take care of me when I'm old. On a lighter note, my husband and I are both teachers. We deal with kids on a daily basis. That is enough for us.

As I reach the end of my rant, I would like to thank you for taking the time to allow me to rant. I feel lighter now. Here's me signing off from Malaysia.