Inspiration for childless and childfree women

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


Who exactly is this website for? Childless and childfree, by circumstance and by choice? Can one person be all of those things? 

All, or some, or none. ‘Childless’ and ‘childfree’ can both be problematic labels. The term childless may imply a person is lacking something, when that might not be how they feel. The term childfree may imply a person is glad to be rid of something, when that might not be how they feel either. Both terms define people by something that is absent, rather than everything that is present in their lives. But they seem to be terms that help people (including me) to find each other and locate the information and ideas they are looking for, so both are used here.

The terms circumstance and choice might seem to denote opposite concepts, but real life is complex and it may be that they operate on a kind of continuum. Some non-mothers identify as having zero choice, some as having total choice. Some seem to fall somewhere between the two poles, perhaps because a range of factors have contributed, perhaps just because life feels different on different days.

Although it is hoped that there might be something of value here for many women whose lives have taken a different path from motherhood, the views on this website undoubtedly reflect the situation of its main author, who finds her place around the middle of the continuum.

Are you saying everyone should feel uplifted about being childless or childfree? 

There definitely isn’t a wrong way to feel about not being a mother. There are sites, forums and groups that approach the issue from just about every angle, including grief, anger, humour and politics. However, there are very few that seek specifically to uplift and affirm readers. has sought to contribute to this gap as just one voice among many, not as any kind of prescription for how anyone should feel.

Why is [insert fabulous woman] included/not included on the pinterest board of childless and childfree women?

Although I really only began the pinboard for my own inspiration, I did so with the following guidelines in mind:

  • Inspiring women who are no longer living are included regardless of what (if anything) is known about why they were not mothers, because I feel that they show how beautiful, productive, meaningful and rich a non-mother’s life can be.
  • Inspiring women who are living have only been included if I believe they have discussed their non-motherhood publicly and I feel that they have done so freely, not under duress. This excludes many fabulous contemporary non-mothers.
  • Inspiring women who might have some claim to motherhood but have chosen to identify themselves as childless or childfree, or otherwise publicly discussed a choice not to have children, have been included.
  • Inspiring women who have adopted children are mothers, full stop. They have not been included.

However, if there’s an inspiring woman you feel has been left out, its most likely to be because I haven’t heard of them or haven’t thought of them. And if there’s someone you believe I’ve included in error (which is sure to happen sooner or later, if it hasn’t already!)…

Can I suggest that a woman be added or removed from the pinboard?

Of course! You can email me at readinginthebath[at]gmail[dot]com with this or any other thought you have. I’d love to hear from you.


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readinginthebath (at) gmail (dot) com
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