Righto. As far as I’m concerned people are allowed to make their own choices and don’t really have to answer to anyone. But apparently when you choose to not have children, manners get thrown out the window.
I try to think charitably and understand for some they haven’t had that conversation before so it’s lack of practice. The more we talk about it the easier it will be for other child-free women to step into the light and not be judged. So here’s a list of things that have been said to me so everyone can learn, well, what NOT to say.
1. You are so insensitive to women who can’t have children.
No I’m not. I have a strict definition of child-free versus childless. Child-free is when you actively choose to not have kids. Childless is when you want to have children but circumstances prevent you from becoming a mother. It’s not just semantics there’s a bloody big difference. My heart breaks for the childless. But I love being child-free.
2. Do you hate kids?
No. I love my nephews so much my heart could explode. My brother and sister-in-law made awesome little humans. I like all well-behaved kids. I love being an Aunt. But stranger’s kids running wild at restaurants are pretty bloody annoying. Oh and screaming kids on planes. I probably do hate them. But I think even their parents hate them at that moment.
3. It’s not normal to not want kids.
I first wrote about being child-free a few years ago. I’ve been surprised at the incredible support I have received from other women similar to me. They were thankful to finally have a voice. A lot of women don’t speak up about their choice in fear of being judged. By 2031 the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts couples without kids will overtake the proportion of families with children, by 43 to 38 per cent. So it’s going to become more normal to not have kids. I do think people have to accept the change.
4. People don’t really judge you.
Oh yes they do. My fiancé gets none of this abuse. Men aren’t judged for choosing to not have kids. But oh boy, both men and women love to express their opinion to child-free women. I truly think some people say dumb things to child-free women simply because they don’t have experience in having those conversations. Luckily, I also got an amazing amount of support from mothers who rejoice in choice.