Childfree by choice
To baby or not to baby?
Being childfree is still one of the oldest taboos, and some women who choose not to have children feel regularly judged by others and suffer push back from society and friends. They feel they are denied the status of being ‘real’ women because they have made the decision not to be mothers.
But parenthood is not the only path to a happy, productive life and more people than ever are choosing to forgo it. In fact 1 in 5 women in the UK over 45 don’t have children, a much bigger number than most people realise.
It is time to remove the stigma and openly discuss a choice that many are taking.
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(14 mins )
Comedy writer Sian Harries and columnist and broadcaster Grace Dent discuss that strange taboo for women – ambivalence towards motherhood. Should Sian make the decision to have a baby or not to? And she wonders will she regret somewhere down the line not having them. She and Grace talk about how other people can make you feel when you haven’t got children.Play
In Emma’s debut novel, Olive, her eponymous heroine dares to articulate that she doesn’t want to have children, only to find that it remains taboo. Waterstones spoke with Emma about choosing to be childfree, choosing fiction to express it, and the special bonds of female friendship.Play
Naomi (To Baby Or Not To Baby Podcast) speaks to Hollie who knew from a young age that she never wanted children. They discuss: how her decision affects the people in her life, the stigma that comes with not wanting to be a parent, the frustration of your biological clock. Discussion starts at 7 mins.Play
It’s the biggest decision you’ll ever have to make, but what if becoming a parent is something you’re just not sure about? With the costs, environmental consequences and potential sacrifices of bringing up children, would women be happier if they didn’t have kids? Off Limits looks at becoming a parent, discusses the pressures on women to have children and asks if women would be happier if they never had children.Watch
(7 mins )
As part of the Guardian’s Childfree series, five women discuss why having children isn’t for them – and how others perceive them as a result. ‘There’s no wrong way to be a woman,’ says Sabrina, 25.Watch
(7 mins )
Two women in their early ’30s have a powerful conversation about their reproductive choices: Lizbeth, married, Mexican American and from a Catholic family, is unsure if she wants kids; while Ann Marie, from a Jamaican family for whom having kids is a given, has one young child, and wants more. See how each deals with family and cultural expectations when it comes to having kids.Watch
(3 mins )
The proportion of women not having children before the menopause has reached a record high in the last decade. Here, women from the UK, France and Spain discuss the taboo of childlessness that they say comes from a dated societal structure and celebrate International Women’s Day by affirming female identity beyond motherhood.Watch
Saying a woman will regret it returns to the idea of motherhood as the natural position and anything else as deviant. Tory Shepherd for The guardianRead Article
Kerry Eustace didn’t know whether she wanted to be a mother, so she consulted people from all walks of life to find her answerRead Article
With the clarity of hindsight www.Self.com talked to 10 women, now past childbearing age, about their decision not to have children to help inform and support younger women making a similar choice.Read Article
Society should also acknowledge that those who choose not to have children are making a valuable contribution to a sustainable future. It’s time to celebrate them. Simon Ross for The Independent.Read Article
Why I don’t have a child. The Guardian series
As part of the Guardian’s Childfree series, five women discuss why having children isn’t for them and how others perceive them as a result. ‘There’s no wrong way to be a woman,’ says Sabrina, 25.Read More
The novel Olive by Emma Gannon
Moving, memorable and a mirror for anyone at a crossroads, OLIVE has a little bit of all of us. Told with great warmth and nostalgia, this is a modern tale about the obstacle course of adulthood, milestone decisions and the ‘taboo’ about choosing not to have children.Read More
Childfree by Choice, Book By Amy Blackstone
Dr. Amy Blackstone is no stranger to a wide range of negative responses when she informs people she doesn’t have nor does she want kids. Blackstone delves into the childfree movement from its conception to today, exploring gender, race, sexual orientation, politics, environmentalism, and feminism, as she strips away the misconceptions surrounding non-parents, and reveals the still radical notion that support of the childfree can lead to better lives and societies for all.Read More
Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer Is No
Book by Kate Kaufman. A savvy and validating guide to what might be in store for growing numbers of childfree and childless adults worldwide,Read More