9 Ask Me Anything Questions: Childfree Edition

The Ask Me Anything (AMA) concept has been around for a while. But with the current trending of #AMA, there is no denying the recent resurgence of its popularity!

Ask Me Anything is an online forum in which a group of interested people ask questions to the one person who is hosting the session. AMA questions can be be fun or profound.

I did my first “Ask Me Anything…” in a recent Instagram Story. I expected to receive a handful of questions, but suppose I underestimated all that Respectfully Childfree followers want to know!

I was overwhelmed by the response, and while answering the questions realized some of the Q&A may be of general interest. So, here are 9 of the Ask Me Anything questions I received – all on the topic of being childfree…

mistake (2)I first considered not having kids at age 33, when I discovered the childfree community. Until then, I just assumed I’d be a mom someday.

If you’d like to know more about this part of my story, check out my blog post, If, Not When: Is Parenting Right For You?

mistake (1)Seek support and utilize resources for the childfree choice so you can make an informed, considered decision.

Many people, myself included, have considered parenting as part of life’s ideal progression, not a decision to be made. But the truth is: choosing to enhance your life by raising children is simply an option. Only you and your partner know what’s best for you!

Below are links to two books I’ve found helpful in the decision-making process. Ann Davidman, co-author of, “Motherhood – Is It For Me?,” also offers a 10-session online Motherhood Clarity Course.

The Baby DecisionMotherhood - Is It For Me

best response (1)I think the best response is an honest one; with details shared only to the extent you are comfortable with.

When my husband and I began considering a childfree life, my response to this type of questioning was, “Travis and I plan to have between zero and four kids.” It was my way of communicating that we might opt out of parenthood, but with a touch of humor that lightened the seriousness of the topic.

sassyNo, I don’t. (In my head, yes! – but not out loud.)

I’m a huge proponent of educating people about the childfree choice/lifestyle. And believe that a calm, respectful dialogue will have the best reception and impact.

worstThe worst comment, or at least the one I hate the most, is: “You’ll die alone.”

There is SO much wrong with that assumption. Having a child does not carry with it any guarantees. The uncertainty of how end-of-life will play out can plague anyone – parents and non-parents alike. Bringing life into this world for the assurance of elder care and/or deathbed company is misguided and selfish.

You can read more about my thoughts on this in my blog post titled, Who Will Take Care Of The Childfree When They’re Old ?

worth questionedYes… society’s message seems to be that a woman who is not a mother is not a complete woman. So I think it’s common for childfree women to feel our worth is questioned!

A big reason I started Respectfully Childfree was how mad and sad it makes me to know that there are women who believe the lie that their worth is dependent on their role as a mother, or lack thereof. I want to be a voice of truth on this subject.

a mistakeSure, I wonder that! Choice always offers the potential for regret.

But, I’ve thought long and hard about my decision – I’ve talked to friends, family and counselors (yes, more than one counselor!), prayed about it, read childfree books and listened to podcasts about parenting, attended a NotMom Summit, completed visualization exercises… my choice is very considered.

IF I later feel like I made a mistake by not having kids, I’ll know that parenting just wasn’t right for me during my childbearing years. I’ve made the absolute best decision I can and will lean into the peace of believing that.

whyRespectfully Childfree is designed to share information and insight; to provoke questions and inspiration. And to highlight childfree resources.

I believe wholeheartedly that taking time to think on the decision to parent is worthwhile – and want to help people understand that parenting is not a mandate, it’s simply an option.

My heart is to encourage and support the childfree community.

communityCommunity is so, so important! We yearn to be in contact with people who understand us. And “childfree” or “childless” often feels lonely in a world full of parents.

Respectfully Childfree is active on Instagram and Facebook. You can connect with us by following @respectfullychildfree on Instagram and become part of the conversation by joining the Closed Facebook Group named: Respectfully Childfree.

Of course, connecting with a childfree community in person is ideal. For tips on doing so and to read the story of how my husband and I met our local childfree tribe, check out my blog post, The Childfree Are Hidden In Plain Sight.

Ask me - cover FB (1)

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered in this post? Leave a comment below or email me your question at RespectfullyChildfree@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to answer.

Go ahead, ask me anything…


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “9 Ask Me Anything Questions: Childfree Edition

  1. Do you ever feel your “missing out “ by not having kids? I struggle with the “will I regret not having kids” but I just can’t help but feel I don’t want any.

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    1. Hey, Stephanie!
      The fear of missing out is real – and common among those considering a childfree life! My decision is a very considered one. I’ve done all I can at this point to alleviate potential regret … but, of course I can’t know my future feelings.
      As far as feeling as though I’m missing out now – I do occasionally feel that way. When I meet a cute baby or see a fun interaction between a parent and child. But for me, the feeling quickly subsides when I start thinking about the realities of parenting. That cute baby is going to cry throughout the night and need like 10 diaper changes a day. The child that is well-behaved at the moment will soon throw a tantrum in public and need discipline.
      I believe my lack of desire to be a mother would make the day-to-day aspects of parenting, that could otherwise be joyful, feel like drudgery.

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  2. Do you have siblings that have children? I feel a lot of pressure to have a child as I only have one sibling who is 13 years younger than me (21). My mother loves babies so much yet I am 35 and still do not have a maternal bone in my body. I have told both my parents and my grandmother that I am not having kids and they seem ok yet I still have that pressing guilt of ending our family line essentially. Do you have any similar stories I could relate too?

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    1. My in-laws would be awesome grandparents! I’m disappointed (as they likely are – although they respect our decision) that my husband and I won’t make that a reality for them. But we just can’t do it against what we know is the right decision for us.
      It sounds like you’re not receiving direct pressure to have kids from your family, which is great! Maybe you sense unspoken disappointment? Or perhaps you are still just processing your decision to be childfree and all that means. It’s understandable to feel guilt, sadness, anxiety, etc along with the childfree choice because it goes against what we’ve been taught of womanhood and societal norms.
      I’d recommend you read the book “Motherhood: Is It For Me?” by Denise Carlini and Ann Davidman. (There’s also a 10-session online course that goes along with the book.) It helped me a lot! It’s a great resource to help gain clarity about your true desires and the feelings you have surrounding the parenting decision … like the guilt you feel when you think of your family line ending.
      Kasey, You’re not obligated to have children. You’re not obligated to make your parents grandparents or continue your family line. Motherhood is your choice. ❤

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      1. Thanks so much, I will definitely read the book upon your recommendation. Even you mentioning the work ‘motherhood’ in your reply makes me cringe so I know I am making the right choice. I would love to be an advocate for being child free like yourself one day. Thank you for starting the conversation.

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  3. What are your thoughts on egg donation? I’m slowly trying to convince my husband – but I’m 31 and theres an age limit. I mean those eggs going to waste every month….why not make a little side change for them? 🙂

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    1. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I couldn’t handle knowing I had biological children out in the world with no connection to them.
      But, I know several people who have grown their families with the use of egg/sperm donation. For them, the donations helped their dreams of parenting come true!

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  4. Have you ever been pregnant before?
    I had multiple miscarriages…the pain of losing those pregnancies led my husband and I to live child free.
    I do wonder at times if adoption will become an option for us…

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    1. Oh, Kelly! I am so sorry you had to deal with the emotional and physical pain of those miscarriages! That is difficult, for sure!!
      Have I ever been pregnant? Actually, yes. I thought I wanted children and I did get pregnant once (planned). I wasn’t as excited about it as I had anticipated I’d be, but chalked it up to nerves. When the pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 10 weeks, I was honestly devastated.
      But as time went on and life circumstances changed, I began to question my perceived desires. I realized that I had just always assumed I’d be a mom someday and getting pregnant felt like the next step in life’s progression. After some time of exploration and reflection, I realized I didn’t want to be a parent.
      Adoption: I LOVE that option! There are so, so many kiddos out there in need of loving parents and a stable home life. Adoption is a very commendable choice for those who do want to parent.

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