Childfree women are bored and unfilled with their lives.
With almost eight hours more per day of time than their parenting peers, one might imagine that a childfree woman might have trouble finding ways to pass the time. Most childfree women fill their schedules with social activities, volunteering, developing their careers, and enjoying hobbies such as cooking, art, and reading.
Plus, not having children means there’s a lot more money in the savings account, and more cash equals more opportunity for travel and leisure activities that a parent may not be able to afford. And since many mothers claim that being a parent is the most fulfilling role of their life, childfree women are unfulfilled, right? In interviews conducted with dozens of childfree by choice women over the past couple of years, I did not come across a single one who was not filling her life with rich and fulfilling activities. They all claimed that their lives were complete without kids.
Childfree women secretly yearn for a baby.
Jennifer Anniston was recently photographed holding a teddy bear, and the press immediately jumped on this image, saying that she secretly wished she were holding a baby. Most humans enjoy snuggling and cuddling, and childfree women are no exception, but one doesn’t have to snuggle with a baby to meet this healthy need.
Examining this from the parent’s perspective, ask any mother if she’s ever had days when she envied a friend who is childfree, and if she’s honest, she’ll say yes. That being said, it’s normal and common for women without children to occasionally have the thought that it would be nice to have a child. This idea might come up on a family focused holiday, especially Mother’s Day or Christmas, but the feeling of wanting to be in that parenting role tends to fade quickly for most childfree women.
Childfree women don’t have children because they aren’t able to do so, and they are in a perpetual state of grief as a result.
I met a ninety year old woman who told me that she never got over the grief she felt about not being able to have a child. Fortunately, her story is not what you’ll hear from the majority of women without children. Our cultural norm is still to reach adulthood and at some point reproduce, so it’s natural that many people would jump to the conclusion that if a woman is childfree, it must be because she’s barren or unable to find an appropriate partner. After jumping to this conclusion, many people feel pity for the childfree woman.
Childfree women continue to be a misunderstood group in our society, but we are speaking out more boldly in protest of the misconceptions about us. For me personally, I hope that the next time a stranger asks me if I have children, I’ll be ready to share that I’m childfree by choice. Perhaps my sharing will help shatter some of the notions she has about women who aren’t mothers and open a dialogue that will increase understanding and respect for each of our life choices.
Dr. Walker is a licensed clinical psychologist born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Recognizing that there is no one type of childfree adult, Walker guides clients through the positive and negative aspects of childfree living, taking into consideration the different issues faced by men or women, couples or singles, whether gay or straight. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Seattle Pacific University and has a clinical practice in Bellingham, Washington. She and her psychologist husband, Chris, enjoy an adventure-filled life with their two terriers, Bella and Scuppers.
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