10 things child-free women want their friends with kids to know.

Now that I have kids and am knee-deep in parenting, I forget that not everybody cares about my kids as much as I do.

Not everybody wants kids, and that is a perfectly valid decision.

For those of us who have forgotten how the other side lives, child free users of social media site Reddit, have some important insight to share. Here are the top 10 takeaways from the childfree community:

1. Adult time is for adults

Harsh but true. One childfree Redditor explains why most people don’t appreciate parents bringing their kids out at 10 p.m., “Went to a very obviously adult event at a bowling alley, crappy family comes in with sick kids, kids are obnoxious, mum tries to force feed her baby birds chicken soup… Ended up leaving and forfeiting the rest of our games we had paid for just because that family was so out of control.”

2. Childfree is a conscious choice

Some smart, self-aware adults know from a young age that they never want kids, “As a little girl, I never played with baby dolls or played ‘Mummy.’ I always played with stuffed animals instead. When I was about 10, I told my parents that I never wanted kids, just dogs and horses. They laughed and told me, ‘That will change!’ Eleven years later, and nothing has changed.”

3. Child-free people are still human

Childfree people have feelings and reproductive organs too. One Reddit thread reveals that infertility is still a struggle, even for the childfree, “I likely wouldn’t have been able to have children without medical intervention, and I’ve never wanted them anyway. Still, the discovery of my infertility was something I had to come to terms with. My initial reaction was elation, but there was a time when I went through a mourning phase of sorts. I felt miffed that my body formed in such a way that it denied me the choice.”

4. Fear of pregnancy is a real thing

Some women choose to never have kids because the thought of being pregnant is unbearable, “I have a horrible fear of getting pregnant. It’s getting so bad that I don’t even feel secure while having sex with my boyfriend.”

5. Grandparent guilt never gets easier

Every couple has been down this road before, but for the childfree, the “give me grandchildren” guilt is constant: “I have some in laws who think that having children is the best thing ever and don’t understand why we’d be [childfree]. They have a daughter who is currently pregnant and plans on giving them plenty of grandkids. My husband has told his mother and father that we plan on being [childfree] and to please to not ask us about it. They usually don’t ask when we’re together, but alone his mother always tries to change my mind.”

6. Mummy-jacking is never a good look

If you want to maintain your dignity on Facebook, pair up with a childfree friend who will give it to you straight. Mummy-jacking anyone’s Facebook status, especially a childfree friend who is not in your parenting bubble, is just plain rude.


7. No one should ever have kids before they’re ready

If it’s one thing the childfree have, it’s self-awareness. Some people recognize that they may never be able to care for a child, and that is brutal honesty we can all respect. Here’s a perfect example, “It’s not just about having zero parental instinct. It’s about finding nothing cute. The stress of any sort of burden is enough to give me chest pains. Human beings are nothing more than inconvenience to me. Even having pets… Or even plants, would be too much. I don’t want other things to have to rely on me. I don’t want other people out there suffering because of my negligence.”

8. Sometimes it’s hard to stand alone in a crowd

It’s never easy to make such a bold and potentially unpopular life choice — like choosing not to have kids. One childfree Redditor explains beautifully, “It’s extremely challenging to be different. It requires that one be able to take verbal confrontations or abuse (sometimes physical abuse even). It’s not limited to being childfree: renouncing religion, identifying as LGBT, choosing an education/career path, being goth/metal/punk. All of these things can result in shaming, ridicule, and ostracising (occasionally injury or death even) by family, peers, or the entire community.”

9. Well-meaning comments can be insensitive

This childfree Redditor’s story shows how important it is to tread lightly and consider that not everyone may want the same life you do. After a bar regular joked with the OP about an accidental pregnancy, she was brave enough to say, “‘I know you’re just joking and don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think you understand how horribly offensive that is to say to me. It’s literally my worst nightmare.’ Kelly’s eyes got super wide, and she started profusely apologising. Apparently, she didn’t even consider the fact that her saying that could actually really hurt.”

10. Work/life balance is hard for everyone

For every parent who tries to juggle and make ends meet, just know that your childfree coworkers are right there with you. One Redditor describes infuriating preferential treatment toward parents in her workplace: “I have done freelance video editing work for the last 10 years.

This year, I noticed a decline in jobs from one of my best clients and asked the video-person-in-charge about it. It seems that one of the other employees (who does freelance camerawork for them and already has work) has been given some of my edits. The reasoning? “He has a child to care for and needs more money.” I need that money just as much as he does — I have a mortgage, a husband, and a business to run, my needs are just as valid as his.”

This article was originally published on SheKnows. It has been republished here with full permission. 

For more from SheKnows be sure to check out these:

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Child-free by choice: Real women who say no to kids.

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