A Shine user asks: Child-free? Or Just Free?

I am a "woman of a certain age". (Love that expression; it says everything...and not much at all). Never married, no kids. Spinsterlicious. And I've got a pretty fantastic life. I'm pretty good at dating and I have a nice career running my own consumer research and strategy company that has brought me a vacation home, an active social life, and travels around the world.

A lot of people still wonder, though, how a "fantastic life" could be possible since I haven't done what every woman is not only supposed to do, but is apparently driven to do: marry and give birth. What's more, I've done this by choice. I'm not anti-husband nor anti-child, but I don't think they're for everyone (really, how could anything be for everyone?), and I never felt they were for me.

For what it's worth, I'm not the only one actively choosing not to have children. Thirty years ago, only 20% of women in their early 40s had no children; according to the US Census, that number has now doubled.

People assume that if I'm not married it must be because I couldn't pull it off. (Not true.) But not wanting kids? There's clearly something wrong with me. I mean, why was I given a uterus if I wasn't going to use it? Just saying I'm not a mother, by choice, is a really good way to slow down a conversation in polite company. I don't usually offer the "by choice" part, though, because it really shouldn't matter. (Well, I don't offer it unless someone comments in a way I find annoying, which is usually more of a tone thing.)

Some people --usually women-- seem to take offense at my chosen child-free existence. It's one thing if I couldn't have them ("poor thing"), but to not want them? It's as if I'm challenging their decision to have them. I'm not. I don't really care about their decision. (Okay, sometimes I am curious). Every now and then I come across people who have kids but don't seem to enjoy it, and I do find myself wondering why they bothered. Maybe they should have given it more thought.

Anyway, without further ado, I thought I'd share 14 of the 67 reasons why not having kids has worked so well for me:

  • My Yorkie, Danny, whose haircuts cost more than mine, is really about all the additional responsibility I can handle. When I leave the house at a moment's notice and stay gone all day without walking him, I call Mike-the-dogwalker and he takes care of it. People might frown if I treated my kid that way too many times.
  • I can watch all kinds of inappropriate TV shows whenever I feel like it, without worrying about who I'm emotionally scarring (other than myself).

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