Instagram bloggers talk about a childfree afternoon, or a child free vacation, but it means something completely different than “child free by choice.”
Childfree by choice means choosing to not have children, whether at the moment, for a period of time or forever.
Why “By Choice”?
By choice is not to be confused with another reason some people don’t have children. Most commonly, this reason is involuntarily due to infertility. “By choice” is different because it’s a decision, not forced. These are very different meanings and uses of the term childfree. I have no understanding of what this feels like and the decisions or thoughts that someone has when dealing with infertility, so I want to make very clear that being childfree by choice is something very different.
Now, it’s possible for someone who can’t have children to also be childfree by choice. Adoption or surrogacy are two viable and fantastic options for people who want children and can’t have them physically themselves. But, there may be couples out there who can’t have children and also choose not to have them.
Does Childfree by Choice Have to be Forever?
The great part about being human and living in a country that gives us freedom of choices is that a decision we make doesn’t necessarily have to live with us forever. Accordingly, a life without children doesn’t have to be a forever decision. Unless you’ve decided to have a procedure that prevents children forever, options and modern medicine have made it possible to have children much later in life.
Conscious choice is a big topic of discussion and something I won’t get into here. Just know that the decisions you make now set you up for the future you want. If in your future, you know it’s the right time to have children, maybe you’ve changed your mind and found that it’s the direction you want to go, that’s ok. But, the goal is to make sure you are ready for that big decision. Really think about what your life will become with kids. If you still want to go forward with it, then you’ve done the soul searching and you’re committed.
What if I change my mind and it’s too late?
Ah, the age old question and fear of making a decision you’ll regret. This is where serious feelings start to creep into the conversation. No amount of joking around helps cover this terrible feeling for me. Our human nature compels us to feel this way. Hence, I’m sure you feel the same way or have felt the same way before.
To be honest, a lot of people fear making a regretful decision. Read this article, if you’re one of these people. Truthfully, it’s one of my main reasons for not committing to a child-free forever. Talk about commitment issues. This is a big factor.
But, this article gives me some power. My favorite takeaway is that by making choices we may regret in the future, we are demonstrating the ultimate freedom of making our own life. Hernandes, writer of this Lifehack article says, “Every decision gives you the opportunity to take credit for creating your own life.” Isn’t that so beautifully true?
How Do I Choose to be Child Free?
It’s simple. Do something about it. Make a statement and don’t hide it. Above all, talking about this choice with your significant other or someone you are in a serious relationship with is an important step. You should never hide your desire to be childfree, if this is something you’re serious about. Undoubtedly, children are an important decisions in relationships. Consequently, this decision should be a mutual agreement.
Creating Confidence Through Honesty
I know it’s difficult to talk about it with people. Trust me. The questions about when I will have children have continued to come in steadily since I was in my early twenties. I have a feeling these questions will never end. But, it’s my hope that through this blog and more publicizing of the ability to choose, more people will learn to accept it.
Getting passed the first few odd looks and concerned “oh, you’ll change your mind” statements is the hardest part. The judgements will come, as we live in a world where through the baby boomer generation people just had kids, no questions. But, we have to stay confident. We need to stand firm in our decisions. We must be proud of the decisions we make about our bodies and our lives. Otherwise, who are we really living for?
Start With Someone You Don’t Know
In the end, talk about it with someone you can trust or someone who isn’t close to you and your situation. An unbiased listener is always a great way to start building confidence.
Feel free to drop me a message and tell us your story. We believe in choices and whatever your choice is, it’s special – it’s yours.