parent opinion

'I have five kids and I think mums hate on child-free women because of envy.'

"No kids, not married, and 37, just a big child with no responsibility and never done anything useful, pathetic cow."

This was the comment from one angry Instagram user after they viewed a travel video from self-proclaimed 'solo traveller' Emily Hart, after she had the nerve to reveal with obvious glee that she was "never married, no kids".

The 37-year-old made the apparently shocking revelation alongside a video of her having a damn good time exploring a range of incredible US destinations. 

Watch: Five women on why they decided not to have kids. Post continues below.

Video via The Guardian.

Another viewer suggested feminism had "deluded" Hart into believing she was happy. 

"Let's not glorify this please. Children are a gift from the Lord, a life without children is not 'freedom'."

"I'd rather have my kids... enjoys your cats."

"Don't go trying to glamourising lonely selfish lifestyles to the younger generations!"

"What a sad life."

She looks pretty happy to me. 

Hart, who posts under the name @emilyventures has been aggressively trolled since posting the video, apparently for the crime of daring to mention that she is in fact single, and without children. While the post was viewed more than 16 million times, it was bombarded with hundreds of hurtful comments by some very angry individuals.


"I woke up with hundreds of new comments, nearly all hurtful," Hart wrote in a piece for Today.

"Telling me every variation of 'you will die alone' and 'no one wants you anyway' that they could muster. I tried to delete and block, but it quickly became too overwhelming … it was terrifying."

You know what I feel when I see a woman my age, travelling or partying or otherwise enjoying a totally free life without the metaphorical shackles of family? 


Not because I don't love my kids. Or my life. I love them both. But with five children and a blended family, my lifestyle is a far cry from a single, child-free woman my own age. While I can barely get to the shops, she has the financial means and the time to go where she wants, when she wants. 


Let's face it, one thing we mums don't have in common with child-free women our own age is the need to lament our youth. Why? Because single, child-free women our age are living basically the same life as they were twenty years ago, only they now have more money, a better sense of self, and make better fashion choices.  

Like all mums, I adore my children and, if given the chance, wouldn't change a thing about my chaotic mum-life. Which is why I'm comfortable admitting to a little pang of envy when I see a woman enjoying the fruits of choices she made, that I didn't. Because at the end of the day, I'm happy with my choice.  

But no matter how much we love our kids, it's actually okay to admit that it's hard. It's damn hard. It's busy, it's hectic. And it leaves little time for ourselves. It leaves little time to be ourselves, and many of us have moments when we forget who that even is. 

So watching a woman enjoy a lifestyle born of a different choice can be confronting. Our own feelings of envy can be confronting too. Does that mean we regret our decision to have a family? For most of us, no. It definitely doesn't mean we don't love our children. Or even our lives. 

Parenting is hard. It's also hard to watch someone enjoy a life we've opted out of without feeling… something. Sometimes it's hard to put our finger on what we're feeling. We might feel guilty for feeling it at all. 

But guess what? There are probably many child-free women who feel pangs of envy when blissful mums post videos of their incredible families, their partner's lavish gifts on Valentine's Day, or handmade gifts from their children. But you know what they rarely do? Troll those accounts to tell those happy mums what a waste of time their lives have been. 


We all make choices, and the grass can often appear greener on the other side. But throwing hate on someone whose choice was different to yours, says more about you than them. 

"It's not normal to have this much negativity thrown at you. I tried to explain to friends, but the truth is not many people have ever or will ever experience anything like this," Hart wrote.

Incredibly, Hart continues to receive negative massages more than six months after posting the video. Still, she managed to continue on her travels, visiting all 50 American states and almost every national park. 

Only now, her videos cover not only her travels, but also her views on cyber-bullying.

"Nowhere in this post do I say that my situation is better than anyone else's. Nowhere do I say that anyone should do what I do. Nowhere do I say that I don't ever want to be married or want to have kids," she wrote in an editing caption of the video. 

"I'm simply stating where I'm at in life as part of a trend. I wrote my age, that I've not been married or have kids because it's the truth and I don't.

"The 'point' is to show that life doesn't stop just because you didn't/haven't reached certain milestones that society says we should — whether you want them or not. I don't see why that's so hard to understand."

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Instagram/@emilyventures 

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