When having children isn’t part of your current plan

You’re okay with it. So why do others find it so hard to accept?

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For centuries, women have been expected (and pressured) to have children. Date, marry, buy a house, have a baby. Now it may look something like this: finish school, start a job, date, switch jobs, do an epic trip, date again, buy a condo, save for a bigger condo. You get the drift.

The truth may be that kids aren’t even on your radar. Today, more women (and men) are making a conscious choice to forgo parenthood for a variety of reasons. And that’s ok. There is nothing wrong with having a life plan that doesn’t include “baby”. But it can get annoying (and hurtful) when people judge you for your decision.

Here are some tips to help you deal with the nay-sayer – and owning your choice.

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Multiple realities exist

Every woman has a different journey, different want, different choices. For some, being a mother has been a lifelong desire. For others, it was a decision they made in their late 30s or 40s. And for others, it just never was in the plan.

Taking ownership of your body and life is something to celebrate, not judge. Your plans may change, or they may not. Know that just because your reality doesn’t look like someone else’s doesn’t make it any less fulfilling or complete.

It’s totally possible to have a complete and fulfilling life – with or without kids.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation

If someone questions your decision, you don’t need to explain your life choices. That being said, it can be an opportunity to educate someone on your choice. Here are a few ways to clarify some common misconceptions about choosing to be child-free:

  • It’s not selfish. Making a big life decision in a way that is best for you, and having control over your body, is actually an empowered choice.
  • Your life isn’t incomplete. People may think you’ll miss out by not being a mom but only you can determine what experiences will bring fulfillment to your life.
  • You actually do like kids. Well, only you can answer that! But, not wanting to be a parent doesn’t mean you don’t like kids, as some people may assume. For you, it may be enough to be an aunt, godmother or babysitter rather than a mother.
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It’s your story, from start to finish.

The decision to have children isn’t an easy one for most. After all, it’s one of the biggest decisions that you’ll make! It’s a process and can change over time. Your life will evolve, so it’s natural that your wants and desires will too. So, take the pressure off and own your decision for right now. If it changes, do what you do best – own it.

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