Admitting we’re childfree-by-choice

My name is Eva. I have a sweet husband, Craig, who is 44. We’ve been married for the last 10 years. I just had my 38th birthday. I work as a personal assistant to an executive producer in a large film company. I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot for work. The fact that I don’t have kids has definitely made it easier to pick up and go to the current film set and work the crazy long hours that my job requires. For a long time, people just assumed that Craig and I were building our careers and that we’d eventually settle down and have a family. I was travelling a lot, and Craig was pretty busy with his work too, so it just made sense that we weren’t having kids in the first few years of our marriage. However, we’ve now been married for 10 years and what Craig and I haven’t admitted to other people in our lives is that we aren’t going to have kids. It’s just something that neither of us have had the urge to do. We love our lives as they are, and we think that we can make a positive impact on the world in other ways besides having kids. It’s hard to put our rationale into words, but we both believe that unless we truly want to become parents, we don’t think we should. And when we’re being honest with each other, neither of us feel like we want to have kids.

It’s funny how life evolves. When we first got married 10 years ago, when we told people that we weren’t sure if we were going to have kids, we were met with the reactions of: “oh, you’ll change your mind eventually” or “your biological clock will start ticking and then you’ll want to” or “just wait until your friends start having kids and then you’ll want one too.” The worst was being called out at a friend’s wedding by an exhausted and struggling new mom – “I think you and Craig are being so selfish! It’s unnatural for couples not to have children!” When the topic of kids came up when we were at Craig’s parents’ house, and we mentioned that we weren’t sure we were going to have kids, Craig’s mom just starred at us in silence and then got up and left the room. After several of these awkward and embarrassing encounters – which still sting to this day – Craig and I learned to keep fairly mum on the topic of kids. When people asked when we were going to have kids, we’d say, “Not yet!” and change the subject, or “We’ll see!” and talk about something else. It just seemed easier than facing people’s judgments.

But now that we’re older, and that much more solid in our decision, we’ve decided that it’s time to come clean and tell the people that matter to us that we’ve decided we’re not going to have children. Not being able to admit our choice to live a childfree life has been stressful. It’s made us feel like our choice is something shameful that we need to hide. But we’re not ashamed of our decision. Even though it might not be the right decision for everyone, we think it’s the right one for us. So now we’re ready to face the music. We’re hoping that the people who love and know us well, will understand and know that it’s the best choice for us. My folks have never made a big fuss about us having kids, so they likely won’t be surprised or upset. My mom has always been proud of my accomplishments and supportive of my choices. Craig’s mom is another story. She might have trouble accepting the fact that we won’t be providing her with a grandchild. We understand how she feels, given that Craig is an only child. But we aren’t about to have a child, just so she can be a grandparent. So she’ll just have to find a way to accept our decision. I’m sure we’ll still face negative reactions and insensitive comments from people that will hurt or sting. But Craig and I know we’ve made the best decision for us, and we’re confident that we’ll weather and be able to cope with any backlash. Frankly, it will be a relief to stop pretending and be honest about our decision to be a family of two.

Share your thoughts on Eva and Craig’s story in the comments section below, or submit your own fertility story here.

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