Childfree Living

I’ve never felt any maternal/paternal instinct or drive to have kids. Is that normal?

You are not alone! Many men and women don’t feel an instinct or drive to have kids. In fact, according to recent statistics, the rates of voluntary childlessness have been on the rise for the last 20 years with some estimates being as high as 15% of all adults electing not to have children.

The drive to have children varies across individuals. Some people say they’ve always dreamed of having children and knew they wanted to be a parent. Some talk about feeling a maternal or paternal instinct or drive – while others have no such inkling.

Then there are those people who are pretty ambivalent about having kids – and only begin considering parenthood when they reach a particular age or milestone (e.g. their 35th birthday), or when some event happens that makes them reconsider this issue (e.g. the death of a parent; falling in love with someone who really wants kids; when their friends start having children).

You might be interested in reading the stories of other people who have created  happy and full lives without children:

Some books that might be helpful:

Complete without Kids: An Insider’s Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or Chance by Ellen L. Walker (2011).

Without Child: Challenging the Stigma of Childlessness by Laurie Lisle (1999).

Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life without Children by Jeanne Safer (1996).

Two is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice by Laura S. Scott (2009).

This research has been made into a documentary. Find out more here.

Because it can sometimes be challenging to find other like-minded people who aren’t parents or planning to become parents, most large cities have groups specifically for adults who don’t have children – so they can socialize and pursue activities together (e.g., sports, travel, theatre, etc.). Check on-line to see if there’s a group like this in your community. There are also countless blogs out there on childlessness –– which can serve as a window into the experience of childlessness.

Check out whether or not there is a local chapter of the No Kidding! child-free social group in your area.

Check out this website for resources and information.