Baby clothes on a clothes line

What Child Free By Choice Means

Instagram bloggers talk about a child free afternoon, or a child free vacation, but it means something completely different than “child free by choice.”

Are you someone who’s asked, “What does child free by choice mean?” Maybe, you’ve searched the web for it or have come across a DINK couple reference. Well, good thing this is a safe space and you can admit, you had no freaking clue what this was all about until you started to Google or poke around at Instagram feeds that talk about the topics. I don’t judge you, I’ve done this too. And, the concept has really captivated both my husband and me.

Child free by choice means choosing to not have children, whether at the moment, for a period of time or forever.  

Why “By Choice”? 

By choice is not to be confused with another reason some people don’t have children. Most commonly, this reason is involuntarily due to infertility. “By choice” is different because it’s a decision, not forced. These are very different meanings and uses of of child free. I have no understanding of what this feels like and the decisions or thoughts that someone has when dealing with infertility, so I want to make very clear that being child free by choice is something very different. 

Now, it’s possible for someone who can’t have children to also be child free by choice. Adoption or surrogacy are two viable and fantastic options for people who want children and can’t have them physically themselves. But, there may be couples out there who can’t have children and also choose not to have them.  

Does Child Free By Choice Have to be Forever?

The great part about being human and living in a country that gives us freedom of choices is that a decision we make doesn’t necessarily have to live with us forever. Accordingly, a life without children doesn’t have to be a forever decision. Unless you’ve decided to have a procedure that prevents children forever, options and modern medicine have made it possible to have children much later in life.

However, one thing I struggle with a lot lately is this BIG looming question over my head, “will I ever want children?” 

At the moment, I can tell you R and I are not into the idea of kids. We have our personal reasons, some based in fears and some based in desires, but we know it’s just not the right move for us now. 

Will our decision change?

I am not sure. Circumstances change every day. Reasons to stay child free now may flip flop a few times over the next several years. We are ok with this potential. Now, we’re saying no to bringing a child into this world, but it doesn’t mean we will say no forever. This to me is an important factor of the child-free life. It’s ok say no now and be unsure of what you want to do in the future. 

This isn’t a club and no one is going to shun you if you decide that later in life you’ve changed your mind. 

What if I change my mind and it’s too late?

Ah, the age old question and fear of making a decision you’ll regret. This is where serious feelings start to creep into the conversation. No amount of joking around helps cover this terrible feeling for me. Our human nature compels us to feel this way. Hence, I’m sure you feel the same way or have felt the same way before.

To be honest, a lot of people fear making a regretful decision. Read this article, if you’re one of these people. Truthfully, it’s one of my main reasons for not committing to a child-free forever. Talk about commitment issues. This is a big factor. 

But, this article gives me some power. My favorite takeaway is that by making choices we may regret in the future, we are demonstrating the ultimate freedom of making our own life. Hernandes, writer of this Lifehack article says, “Every decision gives you the opportunity to take credit for creating your own life.” Isn’t that so beautifully true?

How Do I Choose to be Child Free?

It’s simple. Do something about it. Make a statement and don’t hide it. Above all, talking about this choice with your significant other or someone you are in a serious relationship with is an important step. You should never hide your desire to be child free, if this is something you’re serious about. Undoubtedly, children are an important decisions in relationships. Consequently, this decision should be a mutual agreement. 

Creating Confidence Through Honesty

I know it’s difficult to talk about it with people. Trust me. The questions about when we will have children have continued to come in steadily since we got married two years ago. I have a feeling, these questions will never end. But, it’s my hope that through this blog and more publicizing of the ability to choose, more people will learn to accept it. 

Getting passed the first few odd looks and concerned “oh, you’ll change your mind” statements is the hardest part. The judgements will come, as we live in a world where through the baby boomer generation people just had kids, no questions. But, we have to stay confident. We need to stand firm in our decisions. We must be proud of the decisions we make about our bodies and our lives. Otherwise, who are we really living for? 

Start With Someone You Don’t Know

In the end, talk about it with someone you can trust or someone who isn’t close to you and your situation. An unbiased listener is always a great way to start building confidence.

Feel free to drop us a message and tell us your story. We believe in choices and whatever your choice is, it’s special – it’s yours. 

xo, A 

Still exploring the child free by choice lifestyle? Check out some of our experiences and thoughts on the child free life:

The Luxuries of Being Child Free

Vacations and Top Child Free Destinations

Child Free in the Workplace

The DINK Couple Lifestyle

3 Comments

  1. We have one kiddo (by choice), but you’d be surprised at how parallel it is to choose not to have a second one. I guess the point is that it doesn’t matter what life you choose – someone will always be there to comment that you’re doing it wrong. Especially if it’s a less common choice.

  2. I’m infertile and consider myself childfree by choice. I chose not to be a mother. We have plenty of examples of amazing women who have chosen to be childfree. Most women I know have already decided they want to be childfree before getting into a partnership or marriage. You might change your mind but you really shouldn’t expect your significant other to change their mind about starting a family. Being undecided isn’t the same as always knowing you never want to be a parent.

    • Thanks so much for sharing Amy. There are definitely lots of examples and appreciate you sharing this. We need more people to understand that not every person in life wants children. Best wishes!

      Xo, A

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