Inspiration for childless and childfree women

Thoughts and ideas to inspire, uplift and affirm the childless and childfree, by circumstance and by choice

decision or realisation?

There is a lot of discussion in childfree blogs and groups about the decision to be childfree – as though its always something that is carefully reasoned through, perhaps with the aid of a list of pros and cons and strategic consideration of the relevant literature. For lots of childfree people I’m sure that’s how it is but for me, it’s not quite the way it worked.

In my early thirties I was very happily childless but also wondering if the biological clock I’d heard so much about had somehow been set to snooze. I thought it might still awaken me from my contented state with some kind of buzzer, like those clock radios from the eighties. (Does anyone else remember those and the way it took half the morning for your heartbeat to go back to normal after you’d finally found the off button?) So I hovered around career-wise, money-wise, home-wise, relationship-wise, badly wanting to explore my life but not wanting to rule out any possibilities in case some baby-wanting version of the eighties clock radio buzzer went off.

By my mid-thirties there was still no buzzer and I felt it was time to stop hovering and start actively building my life one way or the other. But what followed was much more like a realisation than a decision. Once I started thinking instead of waiting, I just couldn’t help noticing that the things I enjoyed the most – my creative work, long walks with H, books, travel, going out for breakfast, chatting at length with friends about interesting things, spending time alone – all of these were perfectly aligned with non-parenthood. Or, to put it another way that is stronger and probably more truthful, most of them would have been pretty much obliterated by the appearance of a child. And happily for me, H felt the same way.

So that’s me – about 60% realisation, 20% decision and 20% factors beyond my control that I haven’t blogged about yet but may do some day.

If you’d like to read more about the making of women’s reproductive choices you might be interested in this post about the fear of being childless in old age or this post about wondering what it would be like to be a mother.

But in the meantime, how about you? Has your experience of non-motherhood been characterised by decisions or realisations? Or by something else entirely?

[The gorgeous image heading this post is shared with permission from Sweet William.]

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38 comments on “decision or realisation?

  1. rantywoman
    April 14, 2012

    I would say mine has been characterized by ambivalence and indecision. In my twenties, I only saw the negatives of motherhood– the expense and the hassle and the difficulty of balancing motherhood with a full-time job. Some part of me hadn’t ruled it out though and still expected it; I hadn’t quite thought through a long-term childless life plan. In my early thirties I was distracted by lots of hobbies, but by my late thirties I became quite sad about being childless. At least part of that must have been due to the fact that I started feeling invisible and left out socially.

    I’ve written about this on my blog, but I’m envious of people who knew from the start they didn’t want children. I would have made much different life decisions if I had known. I spent a lot of time “playing it safe,” waiting for the children and husband. I’m thankful for those periods I “burst out” and pursued my own adventures.

    Part of this is though is just the unavoidable process of figuring yourself out, and what kind of life you want, and how conventional or unconventional you want it to be.

    • olivia
      April 14, 2012

      Rantywoman, thanks as always for your interesting thoughts on this. I guess that like motherhood (and like lots of other choices and circumstances) non-motherhood has different meanings at different times of a woman’s life, and different feelings associated with it. Like you, I’m so grateful for those “bursting out” phases.

  2. Nell
    April 14, 2012

    I love my ponder and wander time, especially at the weekend, not sure how much I would be able to do this with kids. I also feel very lucky to be married to someone who feels the same way as me 🙂 The ‘things I enjoy doing the most’, I can relate to and they are part of our decision to not become parents. It is a lifestyle choice.

    • olivia
      April 14, 2012

      “Ponder and wander time”! I LOVE it, Nell! You just described some of life’s best bits, in my opinion :).

  3. Jennifer
    April 14, 2012

    I don’t think being childfree was ever something so rational for me. I told my parents when I was ten that I wasn’t having kids ever, and that wasn’t so much a decision as…I dunno, a declaration of my feelings on the matter? They still haven’t changed. As I’ve gotten older and gotten to know myself better, I have more rational reasons why having children would be a bad idea for me, but the fundamental feeling that motherhood was not for me has been there from the start. I sometimes think that this strong, early-expressed preference has more analogies to being gay or straight.

    • olivia
      April 14, 2012

      Jennifer, that analogy is such an interesting one.

      I half think I might have been the same way as you, except that I happened to grow up around some very strong biological determinist thinking, including lots of authoritative discussion about overwhelming biological drives that kick in and govern women’s (and men’s) desires and behaviours. I never played dolls or weddings or anything vaguely similar as a child and actually considered becoming a nun in childhood – not because of a particularly strong faith, but because it looked like a nicer lifestyle than that of the other adults I saw around me. So I think perhaps I had the same ‘fundamental feeling that motherhood was not for me’ that you describe, but was led to believe that I would later be involuntarily transformed into some kind of maternal machine, so had better make provisions ready for when it happened.

      If you ever had the time or inclination to share, I’d love to know if you had role models or open discussions or something else that gave you such a strong sense of conviction when you were ten, or if you were just a particularly clear-sighted person!

      • Jennifer
        April 14, 2012

        Hi Olivia! My parents, my mother especially, were not authoritative in that way. I didn’t like human dolls, so I was given stuffed animals and My Little Ponies; I loved animals, so I had lots of pets growing up. If you read my latest post, it goes into more detail about how I’ve never been that into humans, certainly not enough to make more of them myself. Some childfree people feel like they have to come out of the closet about their childfree-ness, but I was never in the closet, didn’t even know there was one. My mother, bless her, has never pressured me to have children, even after I got married.

        Oddly enough, I knew I was childfree long before I figured out my sexual orientation, and the childfreeness continues to be a more important aspect of my identity.

        • olivia
          April 14, 2012

          I just read your post now, Jennifer. Here is the link in case others would like to and I’d definitely recommend it:

          http://noteasytobegreen.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/childfree-greenies-vs-green-parents/

          Just for the record, my parents didn’t (and don’t) pressure me either – I just grew up around some very strong assumptions about biological drives and, apart from the head nun at my Catholic school, I only remember knowing one adult woman who wasn’t a mother and wouldn’t become one – so it only gradually unfolded as an option for my own life.

          That’s so interesting, about your childfree identity being more important than your sexual orientation! You’ve given me so much to think about here Jennifer – thank you 🙂

  4. Luisa
    April 14, 2012

    I would love to share my story but I’m sort of waiting.

    We consciously opted to go childfree in 2011, I was hoping for a freedom revolution but instead, I had to go to therapy.
    Not because I regret it or because I wanted children after all, but because I had been defining myself by my story. It’s like the road to be childfree needed the justification of what happened, therefore “I deserve to be childfree”.. something like that.
    So I want to let go of my story somehow, but not by just putting out there… I want it to be part of the past, part of the road to the present but not hovering over my identity all the time. It’s very tiring and quite the opposite of freedom.

    • olivia
      April 14, 2012

      Luisa, thanks so much for your thoughts on this.

      In terms of identity narratives, I think it can be so difficult to piece anything cohesive together as a non-mother/childless/childfree person. It speaks absolute volumes that we don’t even have a name that defines us by anything other than what we are not and don’t have!

      For me, what has been most helpful has been seeking out and immersing myself in biographies and writing by women I admire who are/were not mothers. Albeit in an indirect way, it has strengthened my sense that there is actually a very well-beaten (and potentially interesting and beautiful) path stretched out ahead of us all.

      Thanks again for your thoughts on all of this. I’m wishing you every good thing on your journey x

  5. KayC
    April 14, 2012

    Thank you so much for this blog. Your refreshing perspective on childfreedom reflects so many of my own thoughts. My husband and I have struggled for years over whether or not to have children. We both thought that we wanted children but as we talked about it we began to have doubts. It has been a difficult process as we have pressure from family, friends, and coworkers who assume that because we are married we will have children. I had a particularly hard time with the decision as I always really wanted kids but could not reconcile that desire with my moral and ethical reasons for not having biological children. The nasty comments people made about us not having children only added to our struggle. It was not until we made our decision that we realized what choice was right for us. A few weeks ago we decided that we did not want to have children and we both felt so free. I feel as if I am choosing my other life passions (travel, volunteer work, being an aunt) rather than choosing not to be a mother. We are excited about our future for the first time in a long time, despite not knowing what that path will be.

    • olivia
      April 14, 2012

      Such lovely, encouraging feedback on the site KayC – thank you 🙂

      I love what you wrote here about choosing other life passions rather than choosing *not* to have/be something. That is how I feel too.

      I wish you and your husband all the very best on the path you have found!

  6. Dienna
    April 14, 2012

    “(Does anyone else remember those and the way it took half the morning for your heartbeat to go back to normal after you’d finally found the off button?)”

    Remember it? I still own one which rattles me senseless! 😉

    “I just couldn’t help noticing that the things I enjoyed the most – my creative work, long walks with H, books, travel, going out for breakfast, chatting at length with friends about interesting things, spending time alone – all of these were perfectly aligned with non-parenthood. Or, to put it another way that is stronger and probably more truthful, most of them would have been pretty much obliterated by the appearance of children.”

    That’s what I like about not having kids, the ability to enjoy my life without the interruption of another person to take care of. To have kids means having to give up a lot and make many sacrifices.

    • olivia
      April 15, 2012

      Ha! – re the alarm clock 🙂

      And yes, there something very pleasant about the life of a woman uninterrupted, isn’t there.

  7. Kate
    April 14, 2012

    For me, it has been continuous realizations about myself which have led me to the decision not to have children. My realizations were similar to yours in that all of the things i love in my life – freedom, quiet, large amounts of free time to read, go for runs and write, and a general lack of stress – are all
    things that would vanish as soon as i had a baby. I always assumed that i would feel different about motherhood when i hit 30 and now that i am there and all my friends have babies, I am now 100% sure that it is not the life for me. Now that my doubts are gone i feel like a huge weight has been lifted and I am starting to really explore all that my life has to offer – i kind of felt like i was only half-living my life before because in the back of my mind i was going to start a family at 30, even though the thought filled me with dread.
    Good article!

    • olivia
      April 15, 2012

      Thanks Kate 🙂

      I love the way you describe that weight lifting and the exploration beginning!

    • Stephanie
      April 15, 2012

      Thanks for this comment! I feel exactly the same way. I always assumed I’d reach a point in life (probably around 30) where I’d suddenly want children, but instead I watched as everyone else in my life did have them and I saw everything that went along with it. I soon began to realize that it was not something I’d ever want.

  8. dinkschildfree
    April 16, 2012

    Much like Jennifer, I declared my decision to be childfree when I was a child myself (about 15 years old). I didn’t think through what my life would be like without children when I was that age, I just knew that I didn’t like babies. I remember as a kid when people were pregnant and everyone wanted to touch her belly…I never felt that way; or when someone would walk into a room and everyone, even the kids, would want to go up and see and touch the baby…I never felt that way. I’m more than double that age now and my feelings have still not changed, except now I am able to realize how much of a blessing my freedom with my time and money is since I am childfree.

    And thanx for posting Jennifer’s blog. I will check that out right now.

    • olivia
      April 17, 2012

      Dinkschildfree, I think that’s amazing. I wonder if you knew any childless/childfree adults at that age? Or if you just understood that that was a perfectly viable option for your own future? Perhaps you’ve already answered that on your blog – I should probably read your archives before asking so many questions :)!

      • dinkschildfree
        April 17, 2012

        I do not remember knowing any childfree people at that age. I don’t remember even really thinking much about it at all. I just felt very strongly that I didn’t want to be around children! Haha! People often assume that I had a bad childhood when they hear that, but that was far from the truth. I had a great childhood, I just never felt that motherly instinct. 🙂

  9. Kristen
    April 17, 2012

    I delayed making a decision about parenthood because circumstances were simply never favourable until just a few years ago. It was an easy way not to think about the decision. Now, I’m married, we both have decent jobs and a home with lots of extra bedrooms. The clock also began ringing when I turned 35 a few years ago. Was anyone else as astonished as I was and still am about how loud and insistent the darn thing is? It’s caught me completely off guard! (Now I see babies and children everywhere and want to sweep them all up in my arms. Almost all the time!) In trying to make this an active choice, I’ve made lists, I’ve tried life-coaching on the issue and have realized that if I could, I would probably choose motherhood. However, although broadly circumstances would seem perfect for raising children, my husband has grown to love our two-ness and very much does not want to have kids. It’s been something that we are really at a loss to resolve and privately, I find myself grieving the loss of the path untaken as I consider acquiescing forever.
    I do like coming here though, and being reminded, as KayC mentioned above, that other life choices can be made and those can be positive, fulfilling and affirming.

    • olivia
      April 17, 2012

      Hi Kristen.

      Thanks so much for offering your perspective here. That must be so tough, for you and your husband to be leaning in different directions on something so crucial. I do so love the way you’ve put it – ‘grown to love our twoness’. It’s a beautiful way to describe a relationship. But that said, it sounds as though the resolution you’re approaching involves forgoing something that might be really important to you.

      If you do feel, in the end, that you might lean towards the path I write about here, can I suggest having a quick look at the pinboard of images of brilliant childless and childfree women? (Links on the homepage on the left.) Lots of them arrived at non-motherhood via a good deal of grief and unhappiness and in many ways I find those women the most inspiring, in that they navigated those deeply-felt troubles and still crafted such extraordinary lives.

      I don’t mean that in an ‘if they can do it, anyone should be able to’ way, only that the essence of that whole project for me is a sense that the paths ahead of us, which can seem so jungly and overgrown that they’re hardly perceptible, have actually been well-worn by the feet of some real kindred spirits before us. When any aspect of this part of my life gets me down, I find that a helpful thought, somehow.

      Thanks again for commenting here and whatever you and your husband decide I wish you both very, very well x

  10. Kristen
    April 17, 2012

    Hi Olivia,
    thanks for your follow-up comment and encouragement. I should also add to mine that we’ve been living happily childfree for years and so I know what a wonderful life that is too. I very much appreciate the resources and thoughts available here as we work through this. I’ve also enjoyed the pinboard! Thanks!

  11. tiffanylo
    April 18, 2012

    I have so much to say, but was away, and was trying to stay “offline” as much as possible… I would really love to response tomorrow if this isn’t an “old” story by now! 🙂

    • olivia
      April 18, 2012

      Please do, tiffanylo. I visit older posts whenever there is any new discussion there and to my delight, readers here do too. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

  12. Rhona
    April 18, 2012

    I also thought the same way. I watched some of my friends marry off and start having babies and just assumed that is what I was supposed to do. But, the more I ignored other people and what they wanted for me, I started to just enjoy my life! It took me a while to listen to myself and explore what I wanted and be damned with others. I have to say it is amazing that I no longer wait for some never-coming child making feeling. I feel happier and satisfied now that I live for me and not other people’s expectations of me.

    • olivia
      April 18, 2012

      Rhona, you sound like someone with such a sound, strong knowledge of what you want. I find it really inspiring. In fact, you’ve given me an idea for a post… thank you so much for your input here :)!

  13. honeymyrtle
    April 19, 2012

    @Kirsten – Your story sounds so much like mine, except I possibly had more ambivalence than you to begin with, and my out-of-the-blue desire to have children when I hit 30 doesn’t sound quite as insistent as yours. But it definitely caused my husband and I some angst for quite some time, and I can absolutely relate to that feeling of having to acquiese. I remember being quite indignant about me having to be the one who compromises – how is that fair?

    I wrote very briefly about my story here: http://honeymyrtle.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/why-swimming-upstream

    And the grieving – for a path not taken, for a choice taken away – that took me a little while. It wasn’t overwhelming, it would just bubble up a little now and again, and possibly still does infrequently.

    • olivia
      April 22, 2012

      Just seconding honeymyrtle’s suggestion that people check out her link above!

  14. MissAngela
    April 19, 2012

    Wow this is amazing, I never knew there was a ‘community’ of people who don’t want to have children as well! I can relate to so many things that many of you have posted – such as never feeling the need to go over and see/hold a baby, never playing with baby doll toys and preferring stuffed animals, and realising that the maternal instinct just isn’t there!
    My decision to not want to have kids has made me abolutely paranoid when it comes to contraception, and i am wondering if other people out there are just as scared as me about accidental pregnancy? I have been with my partner for 9 years, and he has also realised he doesn’t have the instinct for children either and we are so happy with this decision that we dont want to end up screwing up our lives (even though everyone i know who have accidentally fallen pregnant have never regretted it, but i just don’t want to take that risk and screw up a little baby’s life because I am not a mothering person!).
    But I also think that my childfree lifestyle has always been my natural life choice, and the closer i get to 30 the happier I feel! People always say to me how i will be lonely when I am old, how I have to have grandchildren – but I see so many parents who don’t speak to their adult offspring anymore, or who dont get support from their family – they are just as lonely as i could be, and perhaps more so because they will be agonising over not seeing their children.
    thanks for opening my eyes to this community, and making me feel normal for not wanting kids!

    • dinkschildfree
      April 19, 2012

      I’m so glad you found us! I remember how I felt before I met so many childfree people and I felt completely awkward. I still don’t feel completely normal, but I’m getting there! 🙂 Having children NOW because in the FUTURE you might be lonely is just a statement that doesn’t make sense to me, but I have heard it a million times. I got my tubes tied when I was 30 and am happy to have ended the paranoia of accidental pregnancy, because I felt the same way you do!

    • olivia
      April 22, 2012

      Thank you so much for coming by and sharing your story, MissAngela. Statistically we seem to be getting more ‘normal’ by the day – so I guess it’s just a matter now of finding each other and comparing notes! It’s lovely to ‘meet’ you :).

  15. Jana
    April 22, 2012

    I’ve been lurking here ever since I followed a friend to this site, and I must join the “Thank you so much for having this site, Olivia!” club. For a group of people whom I’ve only just met, and only then in the virtual world, I feel part of a group who truly understands, accepts, and actively supports me. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

    That said, I’m firmly in the realization camp. Not having kids was never a conscious plan, though looking back on decisions that were made, it may have been an unconsciously deliberate one. No childfree adults played a significant role in my life until my cousin (older by 9 years) got married. She and her husband constantly send postcards from exotic locations, and never seemed at all bothered by not being parents. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m thrilled that my mom and dad wanted to become parents, and I thank them for it every day! School (just a BA, nothing fancy yet), reading, theatre, gaming (the Dungeons and Dragons type), and fanatically following all manner of professional wrestling (hey, don’t judge me!) just took up too much time to really think about having kids myself. I suddenly woke up at 36 and wondered whether or not to reassess my priorities. The answer was a resounding “no.”

    As non-traditional as I am in many ways, I had always insisted that if I ever did have a child, I absolutely WOULD have the father as an equal partner in raising, caring for, and paying for it. The whole “single supermom” concept never appealed to me. While I hold those who succeed in doing so in the highest esteem, I couldn’t do it, and I know it. Having never met a guy with whom I would want to spawn, let alone stay with for the long haul, I went out of my way to not allow a baby to become part of the equation. The idea that I would actually be expected to rush into a relationship that I didn’t really want or that would likely fail just because I couldn’t have kids in a few more years actually angered me. I’ve never felt the biological clock ticking, and don’t think that I ever will. I’m fine with that.

    I’ve taught public school for thirteen years, mostly on the high school level. I have no power, prestige, or great fortune in my career, but I’m good at it, and I’m highly involved with a range of activities. I have the time to devote because I’m not raising my own kids. All those years of seeing how other people’s children have turned out made me extremely apprehensive to attempt having my own. The “what-ifs” are simply too great. Everyone isn’t cut out to care for severely special needs children, behavior problem children, or just plain slow children. I’ve gradually realized that I am one of those people. Most of society would condemn me as a horrible person for directly mentioning not wanting to deal with the heavy obligations automatic with such children, and it has taken quite a few years for me to be able to admit it to myself and still like the person I see in the mirror. We all have to be able to honestly assess ourselves, and not endure character assassination for that honesty.

    • olivia
      April 22, 2012

      Lovely to meet you, Jana, and thank you so much for your gorgeous feedback on the site – very inspiring and much appreciated!

      Your work, studies and interests sound a beautiful, full and balanced life to me. (And hey, I’ve posted at least twice about Sex and the City. Like I am going to judge you for following the wrestling!)

      I know there are people out there who judge women who acknowledge their own personal limits on what they feel prepared to take on, but I hope there are also lots who are supportive of women who are careful and thoughtful about such an important decision.

  16. atmaprana
    April 23, 2012

    I feel I also would like to add my perspective. I am 25 now and have been in a relationship for 4 years (we live together). I have never wanted to have children, except last year when somehow I started thinking about it very strongly.
    I’m french and when I was younger my image of an ideal couple was Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (not a very happy couple, but still, they were the ones I was hoping to emulate one day). I am a single child with a bipolar mother who had me late (35 years ago, 38years old was late to have a child) and whose two best friends were childfree and happy about it. She always considered that to settle early and have kids could only concern poor and uneducated women and that life had so much more to offer. The way my mother saw motherhood had a big impact on me and i was surprised to start to feel like i wanted a baby. This realisation came with a lot of stress as i like to spend time just reading, cycling, gardening and just generally enjoying our life together with my partner. I was thinking of environmental issues and overpopulation but above all about the future of my spiritual life in case a child would come. Both my partner and I are very much on a spiritual path (he is a former buddhist monk) and I did spend a lot of time in indian ashram. We both have a regular meditation and yoga practice and feel a child would change all that as we would need to worry about so many things that we don’t want to get entangled into. It would create more karma that we would just need to undo afterwards. Also, when in India, I went to see 4 different astrologers and they all told me: “no children”, so I just know this is how it is meant to be for us. As soon as this period of wanting a baby disappeared i felt like a wave of relief. i realized there is no obligation whatsoever for us women to procreate and bring more children into this difficult world. Sorry if all this seems a little over the top but I feel spiritual reasons are rarely mentioned in childfree blogs.

    • olivia
      April 23, 2012

      Atmaprana, you have such an interesting life story and it sounds as though your partner does too! A couple to rival Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, but yes, happier I hope.)

      I don’t think it’s at all ‘over the top’ to consider spiritual aspects of these decisions and realisations about non-motherhood. After all, there is so much spiritual and religious discussion of the decision to have children and of the experience of motherhood – it shouldn’t be any kind of surprise that it plays a role here too.

      I don’t know that I’d considered a spiritual dimension to my own experience before you raising it – now I’m going to be thinking about it all evening.

      Thank you for such interesting thoughts!

  17. tiffanylo
    April 23, 2012

    I have been so excited to read everyone’s responses to this… I feel like it’s such a personal thing and, for some, it takes years and years to either decide upon a choice or come to a realization. For some, it’s a sparkling epiphany. For me, it was partly that (the sparkling part), but only after years of a great deal of intellectual thought and conversation with my partner, with others, and with myself. (Yes, I often talk aloud to myself!) And then, one day, I thought, “Wait a minute. I just don’t want to be a parent. I don’t have a burning, overwhelming, thrilling desire or need.” Let’s just say I grew up babysitting–a lot. And I mostly loved it. That lasted for many years until I did a brief stint as a daycare “teacher”, mainly working with babies, and I realized, “This could be my life–sitting here, inside, just seeing a baby all day long, for days on end.” And I felt horrified. I felt trapped, panicked, and depressed. I saw my future–or what I imagined it COULD be, to some degree–and I felt utterly freaked out. The women with whom I worked seemed perfectly content and like it wasn’t the most boring thing on earth… I felt like an alien, and yet… for me, that was also a huge awakening. I realized that I most certainly did not want to be pregnant/give birth, and I simply could not see being a mother…
    However, a few years ago, I did contemplate adoption. A friend from college had gone through an arduous process of adopting from China and he and his wife ended up with a lovely daughter, and I felt this little “pang” of excitement about helping a child and possibly raising a kid, but just not from day one. Then I thought even more about it, discussed it with my partner and realized, “It’s not that I want to be a parent, it’s that I want to help something/someone. And guess what? I can and DO do that with my dogs.” And going forward, we plan to rescue dogs or perhaps even foster one at some point.
    There are MANY more reasons why I chose not to become a parent, some of which have to do with overpopulation, the ridiculously high expectations that are placed upon women as mothers (and I could NOT get on board with being judged in that manner), and how to balance the responsibility between both parents who are raising a kid together (it seems so difficult and, ultimately, overwhelmingly stressful to me). But, when it comes right down to it, I just don’t want to raise a kid. And I’m incredibly happy to have figured that out. In fact, as the days go by, my partner and I are happier than ever that we are a family of two humans plus two dogs.
    That’s “family” enough for me.

  18. Laelia
    May 25, 2012

    Oh my gosh, I totally had a moment similar to the one you described! From the ages of 10-21 I was extensively babysitting/nannying and helping with my brother who is twelve years younger than me. I love kids and have always been really good with them. When I was a teenager I would even talk about having like ten of my own someday. Then at age 21 while nannying one day I suddenly felt like I was a 45 year old woman who had raised a dozen children already and my future stretched out in front of me with a never ending series of more children that needed raising! I felt panic and weariness and lost my desire to have children. At the time I thought, “I just need to take a break, go explore, attend college again, be a twenty-something year old for a while and then I will be ready to think about children again.” To make a long story short, the more I discovered life, God, my passions and calling, the more I realized having children was not for me. I still love children and delight in my nieces, nephews, children from church and pretty much all children, but I am 27 now, a writer, artist and musician and on the lookout for a Christian childfree husband (talk about hard to find!). I write children’s stories so my mom, who is fine with my decision, as is the rest of the family, has said to me “You will be a ‘mother’ to thousands…through your stories.” I thought that was a lovely idea!

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