8 Hints On Being Mindfully Childfree

The term “childfree" is fairly recent, but it’s getting more and more popular as an increasing number of people are choosing not to have children. Not because they can’t or they’re “selfish” as society believes them to be, but for many different reasons that need to be heard and respected by those who leave their legacy on this planet through procreation.

childfree by choice

Being myself in the first category, I’ve laid down a few points. Is being a mum the best thing in the world?

“I am so tired!” whispers with tears in her eyes one of the mothers in the childcare where I work. She’s at her second child, a baby and a toddler, and somehow looking forward to going back to work as her maternity leave will end soon. 

What am I to do? I pat her shoulder and murmur a few comforting words before she apologizes and walks away. 

after a day in childcare
yours truly, after a day in childcare

I am not a mother myself, but I get what she’s going through. I spend almost eight hours a day with children, as it is my job as an educator and by the end of the day, I am exhausted and happy to be home with my husband and my dog. I can do whatever I like in the quiet of my house. I am the center of my world again.

Things you need to know before deciding on a childfree lifestyle.

1. The biological clock should not dictate your choices

Just ask yourself this: without the biological clock factor, would you still choose to have kids?

Although it’s true that after a certain age, that varies from woman to woman, it’s hard or even impossible to get pregnant, bringing life into this world should not be accompanied by a “or now or never” feeling.

don't let your biological clock come in way of your choice of parenthood

During the years my husband and I have talked about having kids someday but we kept procrastinating. We like children; we have three beautiful nieces overseas, whom we never see, I work in childcare and enjoy it. People see me passionate about your job and ask;

“What about you? Do you have children?” and look taken aback in front of my happy smile when I shake my head. Well, the truth is, these children take up so much of my energy that just the idea of having one that waits for me at home, sends shivers down my spine.

Am I a terrible human? Not a real woman? Immature? Self-centered? Selfish? 


But not because of my childfree life. I would not define myself as childless as it is my own free choice (shared by my husband, of course) not to have kids. 

2. Different people make different choices regarding their own family

Supposedly, at some point in life, most people develop a natural desire for procreation, others never do. I belong to the second category. 

Some people become doctors, or hate books, I faint at the sight of blood and my dream job is to become a librarian. It’s not good or bad, just the way we are.

3. Women are women, no matter if their lifestyle includes motherhood

Apparently, it is worldly acknowledged that the highest form of expressing our womanhood is through maternity. I can’t help but wonder about the implications of this statement. Is it for the bigger boobs? Is it for the traumatic vaginal experience? I really wish to know what has motherhood to do with womanhood, apart from biology, that is to say.

Even though I know for sure that it is a deep, transformative experience to create and give birth to a new life, I think that the mother benefits from this as a person and not just as a woman.

4. Parenthood must be something you truly want…or don’t

If you’re not sure about having kids, then you’re probably not ready to have them.

“You need to live the feeling of hearing your child calling you mum, to understand it. It’s indescribable! The most beautiful thing in life” beams my oldest brother at the phone on the other side of the world.

do you truly want parenthood

I mutter the due congratulations on his daughter’s last achievement and I managed to terminate the call soon after. As I put down my mobile, I realize that, although it is nice to hear my brother so happy, I have no particular reaction whatsoever. No envy or jealousy or fantasy about having a child on my own. 

I hear yelling my name a billion times a day and that’s enough for me to ignite the desire to legally change it and keep it a secret, so I wouldn’t have to hear it.

5. We are complete just the way we are, even without a child

To some people, life without parenthood is not fulfilling. They do not feel complete and satisfied unless they have children. It’s their legacy to the world.

I feel a complete and fulfilled human being on my own and I don’t live as a tragedy that I won’t “leave anything behind” to remember me after I’m gone. Does it matter? I’ll be gone anyway!

couple feeling complete even without a child

The point is if you really don’t care about becoming a parent, then you probably shouldn’t. So much of yourself goes into the exploit of raising a kid that if you’re not sure and you do not think it through, there’s a fat chance you’ll regret it. Of course, it’s your kid, the love of your life, but you can love the little person AND hate being a parent. 

It’s a little bit like wanting to be fit, but hating physical exercise, but a million times worst: it’s a life-changing choice and you need to be mature enough to make your own decision, leaving all the external influences out of your head and heart.

6. Knowing yourself well is the first step towards being mindfully childfree

To make such a decision you need to know yourself well. Are you ok with ceasing your fun life for a few years until you can get a proper balance again? They say that the kind of fun just transforms: no more late nights out, welcome late nights in.

No more quiet time (do you like to read? Write poetry? Paint? Practice yoga in the living room?), forget it. What about sex? Nope. Adventurous holiday and romantic gateways? Ah ah ah ah! And that’s even superficial; let’s talk about the serious stuff.

Jiggling a career and your family life? Finances? Wanting to go back to school? 

Of course, if the grandparents have got your back, then it’s easier, especially if you’re a single parent. I personally do not believe that planning on a child taking for granted your parent’s support is fair, but I suppose that’s cultural and personal.

7. Growing a human inside your belly is not a delight for everybody

Although it’s called “the miracle of life”, not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of growing another human inside, also because it will have to get out of there, eventually. Why would someone put their own body through that ordeal by free choice? Honestly.

I might be the only person in the world that finds the idea of someone growing in your tummy more of horror-movie inspired, rather than a nature’s miracle. Just think about it. There’s SOMEONE ELSE inside you. With their own body, their own mind, and their own heart. And how do they survive in there? They nourish from you. Literally. That’s why mothers-to-be are often strained and their diets require constant attention (the glowing is a myth).

pregnant woman

It’s not like I have images of creatures ripping my inside to come out (not anymore anyway, as I am a grown-up), but I still find it a little creepy. When I am invited to touch a baby bump, I do. Then I wait. If the baby moves, I carefully observe the mother’s eyes to see if I can catch a glint of fear. Thankfully, I never do. 

The mums I have met until now are tired but also excited. Worried, but strong. They seem to grow superpower as they grow human beings and just get on with their life. It’s a huge responsibility and one cannot help but wonder on how great mothers usually are. I, for one, admire and respect them. They carry on with everything they need to do with a smile on their faces. Nowadays also dads are involved, so it should make parenthood shared and maybe a little easier. 

8. There’s always the safety plan called adoption

There are 7.9 billion walking humans on Earth, 153 million of which are children without a family, according to UNICEF. 

happy couple after adopting a child

If you are like me, you will probably never change your mind and contribute to the sustainability of the planet as there is also this aspect to consider. Let’s procreate only if it really determines our and our children's happiness, otherwise let’s refrain, or even better, let’s adopt!

I love to read, write, eat and travel, but most of all I love my husband and my dog. I wish to work in a library and I am getting there...

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