Inspiration for childless and childfree women

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


In a world that tends to assume motherhood is either the reality or the goal for all women, this small corner of cyberspace  assumes that your life has a different focus.

Perhaps you identify as childless. Perhaps you identify as child-free. Perhaps you’re a non-mother, a nomo, a nullipara, a never-mom, a sparent, a dink, a pank or a member of the Aunty Brigade.

Or perhaps, like Olivia (the thirty-six year old woman who is busily creating this site and whose feet these are) you just like to read in the bath.

If you have questions, comments, ideas or feedback, please get in touch at readinginthebath(at)gmail(dot)com


45 comments on “about

  1. Jodykat
    March 11, 2012


    What a beautiful site!

    I love your connections between creativity and a meaningful life – very much in tune with my own thinking.

    With hugs from the other side of the world (Goddess bless the internet!)

    Jody x
    Founder, Gateway Women
    We may not be Mothers but we care, we count and we ROCK!!

  2. olivia
    March 11, 2012

    Jody, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such kind feedback. I really appreciate it. I love the whole concept of Gateway Women and I thought your recent interview in the Irish Independent was fabulous.
    Thanks again x

  3. Rachel B.
    March 12, 2012

    I have four children. I didn’t ever want any but that’s how it ended up. I love them for certain. Yet I still identify with women who have none, for whatever reason. I don’t have any friends who have children. I’ve been told I was not a great mom because I can see past their dependence on me as children, and see that in the future I will still be me, while they go on and live their own lives.
    I refuse to be defined by my parental status. And I hope someday childless or child free women can feel that way too.

    • Happily Childfree
      July 15, 2012

      Wow, I love your honesty! I suspect more moms feel this way but it’s almost taboo in today’s kid-centric society.

  4. olivia
    March 12, 2012

    Thanks so much for these thoughts Rachel. For whatever it’s worth, I bet you are a fabulous mother and that in the future your children will appreciate that they weren’t forced to bear responsibility for the sacrifice of your identity.

  5. Zuleika O'Hara
    March 12, 2012

    Olivia, I really like the way you are approaching this subject in such a positive, non-defensive way. As a woman without children it is very easy to feel embattled. Your site reminds me there is a lot to be positive about, and I think its (your) kindness shines through.

  6. olivia
    March 12, 2012

    It’s lovely to meet you Zuleika and thank you for your gorgeous feedback on the website. It’s quite a new project so your encouragement is very much appreciated.

  7. Bronski
    March 18, 2012

    Loving this stuff – have been thinking increasingly about my identity as a child-free person since hooking up with Gateway women, and realise there have been barely acknowledged undercurrents about being child-free running through the last 10 years or so in my own life and mind. And it is liberating to bring them to the surface and into the open in my own mind at least – and hoping to share with other women too.
    So thanks for sharing these thoughts – many echo my own. And I am thinking about the power of theatre to bring some issues relating to being child-free out into the open. Why should they skulk in the shadows? Thanks.

  8. olivia
    March 18, 2012

    It’s lovely to meet you Bronski and so encouraging to hear that you’re finding something of value here. A theatre project on topic sounds brilliant and is something I would love to see. Please keep us posted on your progress. I’d be happy to promote your work.

  9. Dienna
    March 18, 2012

    Glad I discovered this blog. I don’t feel children factor into my life and don’t imagine having any, and I hate how motherhood and marriage have become so commercialized while being single and child-free is considered abnormal.

  10. olivia
    March 18, 2012

    I’m glad you came by too, Dienna. The idealisation of motherhood is a pretty extraordinary force, isn’t it, despite all the reports that suggest that statistically the childless and childfree are on the rise in many countries. Good to meet you :).

  11. Nell
    March 20, 2012

    I so love this blog, it is beautifully written, positive and creative. I am so glad I have come across it! Your Pinterest page leaves me inspired and has given me some role models.

    As a (young!) 34 year old women married for 6 yrs (living together 12), in a wonderful relationship, my husband being my best friend, we have been struggling ‘a little’ with the decision to have children or not. We feel more comfortable with remaining childfree, or what ever you want to call it 😉 We both enjoy our freedom, independence, alone time and hobbies.

    • olivia
      March 20, 2012

      Nell, its so lovely to hear from you and to find that you have been enjoying the site and the pinterest board. I love working on it. I wish you and your husband all the very best with the beautiful lives you’re creating!

  12. Lynn T
    March 24, 2012

    Olivia, this is one of my favourite websites! I find it so uplifting and reassuring. Keep up the good work! L x

    • olivia
      March 25, 2012

      Thank you, lovely Lynn. Your encouragement is so appreciated 🙂

  13. lf.
    March 25, 2012

    Your website is lovely. It’s such a nice feeling to find a corner of the digital world where there is no battle when talking about the subject of non-motherhood.
    I myself am a non-mother by circumstance first and by choice later on. Every blog until now seemed like hostile territory full of tall defense walls, arguments, put-downs and such. I’ve been wanting to start a blog of my own, mostly to connect, to make new friends, since the inevitable is happening: I’m “losing” my friends to motherhood, which doesn’t mean I stop seeing them, but that the friendship changes.
    I love the picture on your about page. I loved the fact that I found your website just as I’m reading exactly that book. Highly entertaining stuff!

    • olivia
      March 25, 2012

      Thank you very much for stopping by and sharing such encouraging thoughts. I’m delighted you’re enjoying the website.

      I know what you mean about friendships changing. Some of mine have been all but lost, while others are, if anything, stronger…and I wonder what the differences are. I think you’ve inspired me to try and write a post about it 🙂

      Another Anais Nin fan! I wonder if you’ve had a chance to look at the pinterest board ( I didn’t realise she was ‘one of us’ until I started compiling it.

      Lovely to meet you, If!

  14. Annika (@Live_Long_Day)
    March 27, 2012

    Your blog provides some great reading!

  15. Lilly
    March 30, 2012

    Wow, so this is a relatively new site? So glad I found it – thank you to Jody for the link on Facebook!

    • olivia
      March 30, 2012

      Yes Lilly, just a month and a couple of days! Jody has been a huge inspiration and support. She’s an amazing and generous person.

      Thank you so much for coming by 🙂

  16. Lynn T
    April 1, 2012

    Olivia, I have been wondering if you have thought about setting up a closed group on facebook where people can discuss the subjects of your blog posts, similar to the comments that we leave on this site but making dialogue a bit easier? It would be similar to some of the other groups already on facebook but would be slightly different in that it would focus purely on the positives of childlessness/childfreedom? I think that judging by the great responses you’ve received on your website so far, you could get some great discussions going. Just a thought, L x

    • olivia reading
      April 1, 2012

      Lynn, that’s such a good idea. Thank you so much for your support and help with this kind of thing! I’ll definitely give it some thought 🙂

    • Happily Childfree
      July 15, 2012

      I love this idea. Can’t comment on open groups without unintentionally offending family and friends. And too many groups are downright nasty about those who choose to have kids.

  17. D...
    April 9, 2012

    Wow, this is really a beautiful blog. It’s nice to see a blog so well put together, but doesn’t distract from the message.

  18. honeymyrtle
    April 16, 2012

    Love love love your blog. I really love your thoughtful, dare I say sociological, take on this whole issue. I’m having a momentary relapse – into feeling abnormal, feeling like I’m missing out – all of that. Found your blog just at the right time!

  19. olivia
    April 17, 2012

    Honeymyrtle, thank you so much! I’m delighted you’re reading here and finding some of the ideas useful. I think lots of us have those lapses from time to time.

    You’ve probably spotted it already, but there is a post here about those feelings specifically:

    The comments are really the best bit, I think.

    Thanks again for your feedback and kind encouragement!

    • honeymyrtle
      April 18, 2012

      I tried to comment on another post but it doesn’t seem to have come through. So there goes my hope not to seem too weirdly-blog-stalky – anyway if you get a couple of similar comments from me, the problem is technical!

      Anyway, I’ve referenced you here, and it is all quite true, your blog has inspired me to dust off some previously half written stuff and dig out some research I’ve been collecting and start my own blog!

      • olivia
        April 18, 2012

        Alas, no trace of those comments honeymyrtle, but my disappointment is more than made up for by the discovery of your fabulous blog! Thank you so much for offering a link and for your very generous words there about this site. I look forward very keenly to whatever you write next!

  20. atmaprana
    April 23, 2012

    I’ve just discovered your blog and looking forward to reading more of it. I am a 35 year old French woman living in France and all I can say is that there isn’t much about childfree/childless women in french on the web at all. Not only do i live in one of the european countries where women have the most children but my region is the one french region where women have the greatest number of babies. We moved here from Paris almost 2 years ago and I find it very hard to bond with other women.Everyone seems to be pushing strollers, talking about what there will be giving their children to eat, can feel very lonely although I live with a partner. i always feel women need to connect with other women more that men do on their side. It’s such a relief to be able to read about other’s experiences. Thank you.

    • olivia
      April 23, 2012

      It’s lovely to meet you atmaprana. Thank you for commenting! I agree with you 100% – like you, I am close to my partner but I think it’s so important to be able to connect with women and to have a sense of something in common with them.

  21. abby
    April 28, 2012

    Wow – I just discovered this site – I feel grateful. I am coming to terms that I will probably never have children and am trying to figure out how to move forward – I will definitely be stopping by a lot 🙂

    • olivia reading
      April 28, 2012

      Thank you so much for stopping to comment abby, it’s lovely to meet you 🙂

  22. Paula Knight
    May 4, 2012

    Gosh this blog is good. I love it. Just wanted to say hi and that reading in the bath is a favourite pastime of mine – it’s what attracted me to look at your site. I’m a comics artist drawing about miscarriage/not having children (among other things but mainly that). I’m childless by circumstance and choice – is that possible?

    • olivia reading
      May 4, 2012

      Thank you Paula! It’s lovely to meet a fellow reader-in-the-bath. And yes, I think it’s perfectly possible to be childless by circumstance and by choice – in fact I wonder if it’s more possible than being 100% one way or the other! Now I’m off to look at your blog 🙂

  23. SB
    May 24, 2012

    It is great to find a site that focuses on inspiring those whom don’t have children. I have just started a blog hoping to also inspire and connect others. We should remember to celebrate the good things in life!

  24. Laelia
    May 25, 2012

    I’ve been reading and READING Childfree blogs for over a year and this is by far my favorite one yet! Many CF blogs or articles focus so much on the contention factor of the lifestyle, as in, “we are not understood by people who have children” or “we are so different and weird.” While those things may be true (I speak for myself on the latter at least haha), I’ve been longing for a blog that explores the lifestyle itself: the possibilities, the philosophies, the unique contributions that CF people can make to the world. Today, I found this blog and I did an inward jig of joy. I love that you have the different headings of adventures, peace, issues etc, but my favorite is the creativity section because I am immersed in creative endeavors. Continuing to have the time, space, and mental wherewithal to approach my writing, art, and music is one of the many reasons I have decided on this path. You have no idea how happy it made me to see that you explore such lovely avenues of being Childfree. The Pinterest board of the CL/CF women is inspiring! You ask thoughtful questions on your posts as well.

  25. olivia reading
    June 8, 2012

    Laelia, what a gorgeous comment to find, Thank you so much! I’m just delighted that you’ve found this space useful, especially the discussions of creativity. I hope you’ll stick around and join in any discussions that interest you. Your input will be very highly valued! Thanks again x

  26. Jen
    August 8, 2012

    I feel like I have just arrived – literally. I had given up on finding anything remotely like this wonderful corner of the internet. I have no support group to confide in, all my family and friends have no idea how excluded they have made me due to the ‘non-mother’ status they’ve applied, and I have yet to build confidence in myself as a person who just so happens to not have children. If there will always be that label, I’ll have to learn to live with it. But I am ready to make a new life now, and having floundered, I think I’ve struck gold right here. I’m just hugely grateful to have found your website today. It has just about saved my life. So thank you. I’m looking forward to reading everything here.

  27. Farrah Hoffmire
    August 20, 2012

    Hi Olivia! I love this site and thank you for your thoughtfulness on such an important and often sensitive subject. I could learn a lot from you. I wanted to suggest adding Georgia O’Keeffe to your list of non-mothers (to the best of my knowledge, she never had children). Thanks again, farrah

  28. st
    August 26, 2012

    Dear Olivia, You have created a beautiful, refreshing site. It inspires me as I continue to cultivate a life of meaning as a 38 year old single, child free woman.

  29. Samantha
    January 27, 2013

    Olivia, where have you been the last seven years of my life?! I just found your blog. Thank you for writing; for speaking from your heart; and for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

  30. EnglishJane
    February 12, 2013

    Hi Olivia, I wanted to say how much I like this site. What struck me instantly was that there wasn’t any “breeder bashing” which I found quite refreshing after looking at other childfree sites and blogs. We must all have friends and family with children so I could never understand the need for such hostility towards so called breeders.

    My husband and I never really saw ourselves having children and over the past year I’ve struggled with the “what’s my purpose?” question.

    I loved reading the comments from other women and feel inspired that there are other women out there who feel the same. It’s nice to have a place to feel normal!

    Please keep up the good work!

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readinginthebath (at) gmail (dot) com
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