2014-THANKSgiving

10 Reasons Life is Better Childfree

98 Comments

1. You’ll have more money to spend on yourself.

2. You’ll actually be able to save for retirement.

3. You can be the most kick ass aunt or godmother ever, because you aren’t burnt out from your own kids.

4. You can fully concentrate on your career.

5. You can have a white couch and white carpet and as many breakable things as you want.

6. You never have to spend a sick day taking care of someone else. (Except for your husband, maybe.)

7. You can fully pursue your educational goals.

8. You can spoil your pets rotten.

9. You can eat whatever foods you want at whatever time of the day you want them, without sharing a single bite.

10. You will never have to spend money for a sitter to sit in your house, eat your food and watch your TV.

Comments

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  1. 21

    Lauren says

    I love this. Although, I do have to suggest that if you unexpectedly become a mother, your perspective may completely change. I love my 4 boys. Never wanted a kid in my life. I mean really, who enjoys cleaning poop, late ER visits, back talking, loss of identity, and fatigue? Furthermore, what woman in her right mind would dive into motherhood with the knowledge that she will be judged by other “super moms” for every move she makes? Most of all, who is truly ready for the responsibility of raising a decent human being who will eventually leave his thumbprint in the world? If you fail-you fail epically.
    That being said, I have to adamantly reveal that other people’s kids are always harder, more frustrating, and trying.
    The bond of motherhood (in most cases) is supernatural. The “aha!” moments from your kids are priceless…adjectives in our language are inept to describe.
    I would never argue that it is wrong to choose to not have kids. Women are beautiful in all aspects of life..not just motherhood. I just believe, from reading this entry, that Marie is extremely intellectual and empathetic-she would make a great mom. And if the situation arose to where she became a mother, I believe her perspective would change and she would accomplish her responsibilities with flying colors as well as find fulfillment in it.
    You go girl-do what you want and be who you want. You’ll be great at anything you do.

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    • 22

      Jen says

      Lauren
      Thank you for your wonderful comment. I like to think that if I became a mother I would do just fine. If my animals are any representation, I’m pretty good at care taking.

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  2. 23

    Lisa Marie says

    Beautifully written, Jen. I grew up in a small, extremely conservative town where speaking the word “childfree” was right up there with uttering the word “gay.” To be one or both meant that you were an abomination.

    I’m so lucky to live in a more accepting city where being “different” is tolerated. My better half and I are in our mid-40s, and people have stopped making comments about us having children. It just took so many years to finally get to this place, and some of it was a struggle.

    The decision to become a parent is probably the biggest one that most people will ever make in their lives. No woman or man should be criticized or questioned about such a very personal issue, be they childed or childfree.

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  3. 24

    Jessica says

    I love having kids. I wish I could have more. BUT, I do have moments, some longer than others where I can’t understand what was wrong with me when I chose this life. I long for the days when a mess I cleaned would stay clean or that I would have the freedom to do and say what I want, watch the tv I want whenever I pleased, and ate something without having to share it. I don’t think that there is any other way to put it. We all think, even for a moment, that the grass must be greener on the other side. I think you said it very well. AND, let me just say, we love our kidless friends sometimes. They always have the best booze, their house never smells like vomit, and they never hesitate to take over bedtime duty when they come to visit!

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  4. 25

    Jennifer P. says

    I so know where you are coming from. I always said I didn’t want kids and I had a wonderful niece and 2 amazing nephews that were at my house A LOT- it was enough. Then, one day I drank A beer and was sick for 3 days and my sister convinced me to take a pregnancy test (which I assured her would be negative because I didn’t want kids and took precautions against having them) and loudly said “F*CK!” when “Pregnant” appeared on the stick (I also believe that is the text I sent to my sister that day). I wouldn’t trade my daughter for the world and she means more to me than anything or anyone, there are some moments when I wish to be back child free. I do know in my heart if given the opportunity I would never go back though.

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  5. 26

    Hannah says

    I have a close uni friend who doesn’t have or want kids – when my oldest (now 15) was little and she lived round the corner she would babysit overnight and they’d boogie to Blondie and give mum and dad some sanity for 5 mins!Now we live in Canada and she came to visit,my youngest (7) didn’t remember her like my son did,but by the time she left,my youngest bawled at the airport as she didn’t want Aunty Julia to go-my kids adore her,I love the fact that she thinks I’m a “cool” mum (glad someone does) and we both get and appreciate the pros and cons of each other’s life – if everyone was the same life sure as hell would be boring!

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  6. 27

    Susan in the Boonies says

    Great post, Jen.
    Life is full of tradeoffs.
    I love living here in the Boonies.
    I loved living in the city.
    I can’t figure out a way to have the best of both worlds.
    We make our choices, (although sometimes our choices are forced on us) but we all must live with the unsettling knowledge that our choices have shut down certain opportunities to us.
    Eh.
    C’est la vie.

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  7. 28

    Mona says

    I have one amazing son, but for some reason a lot of people I know keep telling me he needs a sibling. They tell me how much he is missing, the wonderful bond of siblings, how much they love theirs. I have a sister and a brother, and while I love them very much, I do notnfeel some strong mystic bond with them. Besides, my son is almost 13 and is a wonderful kid. He is witty and fun to be around. He is smart and inquisitive. Besides, I’m past the stroller toting, car seat, botttles and diapers and I am not going back! My kid is amazing just the way he is. No sibling needed.

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  8. 29

    Just Jennifer says

    It’s about respecting people’s choices. I can’t imagine NOT having kids. You can’t imagine having them. It’s fine! And every kid needs an “auntie” to come around and hang out for a bit. It’s all good.

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  9. 30

    Anne says

    This is so well written. I also hate the “you’ll change your mind” folks. How would someone with children react if I told them that one day they’d change their minds and sell their kids on the side of the road?

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  10. 32

    Jackie says

    I have to say, being a mother of three, that there has never been a moment that I wished or longed for my life before kids. Honestly. And while I have a husband who has deployed regularly for months on end for the past couple years, he is so great about making sure I have my “girl time”. I have friends who have chosen not to have children, and what I respect most about that, is that they know themselves well enough to know that it would not be the right choice for them. I am also in awe of families with so many kids. I would just love to be a fly on their wall and see how their house runs compared to mine!

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  11. 33

    Ron says

    Jen….BRAVA!

    Excellent post! I’m sooooo proud of you, girl!

    “I enjoy being the pseudo aunt to my friends’ children. I buy great gifts, I enjoy watching animated movies, I never tire of eating pizza, and I always carry gum. Plus, I keep gin in the house in case any of my friends need a martini. Everyone is happy.”

    Same here. As you know, I adore children. But I honestly know that I make a much better Uncle Ronnie than a Daddy Ronnie.

    I have a very good friend in Florida who is married, and everyone keeps asking she and her husband when they’re finally going to have children. And her answer is….”My dogs and cats are my children.”

    Not everyone who is married is meant to have children. And I respect those couples who know it.

    “In the end, the moments we think we’d like to trade in seem to be made up by all the ones we never would.”

    Amen!

    Again, faaaaaabulous post, Jen….X

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  12. 35

    Amy at Best Baby Strollers says

    Beautifully written article. My two best friends are child free and I love them dearly. My siblings also don’t have kids. We just talk about different stuff and it’s good to get out of mommy mode with them.

    Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat, Pray, Love has a newish book out called Commitment and in it she talked about how valued the Aunties are across cultures worldwide. Aunties, meaning older, childless women. I hope we are heading in that direction again.

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  13. 36

    The Preppy Princess says

    Brilliantly done Jen, you perfectly captured the situation many of us encounter, and add the poignancy not often discussed. I never cease to be amazed at the things people who feel the need to think for you, and then share those thoughts publicly.

    Jill picked a good one having you post!
    tp

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  14. 38

    Andie @ multiplemama says

    I admire people who make the decisions they know are right for them. Not everyone wants the same things. And having a kid is no way to find out if you MIGHT want to be a mom. You go girl! And now I know who to text next time I need a vicarious martini.

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  15. 40

    Margaret says

    Jen,
    Your right on—poignant and funny. Really well said! I admire your honesty. Any time you feel the desire to have a teenage fix, you know who to call…;)

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    • 41

      Lisa Marie says

      Heh! Some of us “super aunties” love being around tweens and teens! I really identity with what these kids are going through, because gosh, it’s such a difficult time. My godkids are so fascinating now that they’ve reached this age. I love taking my goddaughter shopping, to movies that her parents cringe at seeing (“Twilight!”) and talking with her about b-o-y-s.

      Deep dark secret: I sometimes harbor fantasies of adopting a tween or a teen. :)

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  16. 42

    Amy says

    I completely agree. Live & let live. We all have a different path to happiness (and that’s okay!). It’s not like suggesting a new restaurant to try. It isn’t for everyone. I have plenty of family and friends who chose not to have children and I’ve never questioned it, because I get it. I honor and respect their choices, just as they honor and respect my choice to become a mother. Well put, Jen!

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  17. 43

    Mama Bird says

    So true. Having children isn’t an experiment. No one was ever truly honest with me about kids taking EVERYTHING from you and your marriage. I “gave it a whirl” and ended up with identical twins. Lesson learned.

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  18. 44

    Kiki says

    Really enjoyed this article. Shared it with my sister who is contemplating whether or not she will have children. She pointed out one line… “I know what I’m missing” and said that she really doesn’t feel like she does. She has friends with kids but certainly doesn’t consider those experiences to qualify her for knowing all the things that she would be missing if she chooses not to have them. This is part of her conundrum.

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  19. 45

    Mercy says

    When I was single, I wanted nothing more than to have a baby. Now I have 3 and would give anything to have some child free time sometimes.
    These kinds of choices are so personal, and it really isn’t right for people to push someone one way or another, or to make you feel bad for the choice you make.

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