childfree and childless

Myth: Living child free is a choice, and they never wanted children.

I used to think this. I didn’t have access to many childfree women in my life. I have an aunt who was a stepmother, her and my uncle chose not to have children together. I have a cousin who decided she didn’t want kids because her husband didn’t want them.

As I reached adulthood, and got married, everyone I knew had kids, or was trying for them. I didn’t know a single woman who didn’t want kids. I know they were out there, but not among my friends and family.

When I first got involved with Resolve, I met some incredible women. Some of them were childfree, a term I didn’t yet understand. I saw them as childless. In my head, I thought, they ended up this way. If they really wanted children, they would have found some way to have them. I meant no disrespect, I just didn’t understand how they came to that decision. I assumed that since they ended up without children, they didn’t want them bad enough in the first place.

I apologize to every childfree woman I’ve judged.

I regret thinking this.

I know this is a thought that crosses some people’s minds when they meet me. There’s no need to explain myself, but I still feel like I should. I want to impress upon the world that I wanted children, desperately. That at one point, my life absolutely revolved around it. I want to tell them that I tried, I did infertility treatment, I started an adoption, I considered ALL my options. I have chosen not to pursue children, but this doesn’t mean I didn’t want them. I did. I love children, I just couldn’t keep trying and failing.

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3 thoughts on “childfree and childless

  1. I thought the same about childfree women until I met a friend that shared her experience with me. She loves children, desperately wanted children, and was unable to have children. What she does have is a love for children, and love for mine that came to me by the treatments that failed her. Thanks to all the women that still love my children when they have not been able to have any of their own. It means the world to me.


  2. Earlier in the year (if not last year) a professor loaned Childfree & Loving It! to my SO and I. We were warned that the book was a lot of “fluff” but still an enjoyable read. It sat on my bedside stand for months until I got through The Childless Revolution and The Baby Boon only in an act of frustration to pick up this book thinking: “There has to be something better!” And I was right, there does have to be something better, and if this book is not entirely something better it’s an improvement over these other books.

    Before going too much into this book, all of the childfree literature I’ve read has offered alternative interpretations and perspectives. Childfree and Loving It! is no different except it full embraces a positive look at being childfree (not to mention not treating the environmentally childfree as loons) without negatively portraying parenthood but with no fear of criticizing parenthood.

    This book offers a lot of representation of the childfree within the pages and goes back and forth from being “fluff” to the occasional, grabbing sentence that deserves more thought than some of the entire chapters. For example, one area of interest is how, especially in western cultures, we embrace choice and the disgust and rejection that can (and does) occur when anything is suggested to be done as a result of social pressures rather than choice. Another area of interest for myself was Defago’s discussion of the effort some childfree people/women feel is necessary to prove that they still like/care for children and can still be caring/compassionate without eating babies for breakfast.

    This has definitely been my favorite childfree book so far. While it lacks some of the academic spin of The Baby Boon and avoids a lot of the mistakes in The Childless Revolution, it’s still a solid work that’s easy to read and does a good job exploring the childfree.


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