'I shared a list of 117 reasons I don't want children. The response reiterated my point.'

Aussie actress and model Ellie Gonsalves has shared a list of 117 reasons she does not want to have children, and the response has perfectly summarised why she shared it in the first place.

The choice to have children or not is a really personal one, right? But as Ellie, and anyone else who has made the decision not to could tell you, it's also one that many others feel a need to have an opinion on. 

So, in a Sunday night post, she decided to tackle this head-on with her personal 'reasons to remain child free' list, because "a short reason was never good enough or understood".

Points on the list range from silly or satirical (they can turn into serial killers) to simply just factually correct (they *can* in fact poo inside you). 

Others include oft-cited things like losing your identity and alllll the risks of pregnancy and childbirth.

Sections of Ellie's 117-point long list. Image: Instagram @elliegonsalves.


And while she's faced criticism that many posts are small or vain or overly negative, all 117 points play their part in a bigger story.

"I know some of the things on there might be insignificant compared to what a child might bring, and are some of them vain? Sure," she told Mamamia

"But lots of these fears/thoughts ARE real and resonate with not only me but with so many other women. A lot of them are small things that contribute towards a much bigger picture."

In her post, the model said she'd been in a long-term relationship for 15 years, and was constantly being asked about children. She said she could count positive interactions "on one hand", but negative ones that made her feel like a bad person for her own personal choice were far more common.

"I have already received hundreds of DMs criticising me telling me how much of a horrible and broken person I am," Ellie wrote alongside the list, adding that she'd had many in her life ask her if she really wanted to share it for fear of the backlash.


She told Mamamia the negativity she received since posting, some of which played out as debates in her post's comments section, reiterated her point.

"[They] further illustrate my main point: people are told and sold a certain life, and when they witness others choosing a different path, the frustration lies within themselves. They may not realise there is an alternative path or may not be mature enough to accept that others can live a life different from theirs without the need to harbour resentment."


She also made it clear she was not telling others not to have children, or judging anyone who had or planned to follow that path. It was simply about examining why some people had a problem with another's choice.

On the flip side, she has also had a lot of support online and messages from others who have also decided not to have children.

"It's been nice to read the hundreds of comments from people who feel seen, people who have also had those uncomfortable moments where others have questioned their choice and all that has done is made them feel awful or uncomfortable. 

"It's also been nice to read all of the comments from mothers who support another woman in making their own decision," she said.

Every item on Ellie's long list boils down to one overarching reason: she simply doesn't want children. That on its own should be enough, but those who choose to be child-free know that most people probing you about your choice want an answer they can understand more tangibly — which is exactly how we end up with a 117-point list.

"If I am ever ready to accept the ultimate responsibility for a being's life, you will know about it, but until then, is it that hard to accept and respect that I simply don't want to accept this, not now, and not in the foreseeable future, and more than likely not ever?" Ellie wrote.

With more conversations like this, hopefully soon that will not be too hard at all.

Feature image: Instagram @ellie_gonsalves.