In a lovely connection, today’s story comes from Ami who was the photographer of the photos of Maddy in last week’s post. Another story of the choice to be childfree and honestly it just warms me so much to see women making sensible, practical decisions – maybe for their health, maybe for financial reasons, maybe for the environment. I hope that we are gradually moving to a place where there is an alternative pathway for women to do things differently. As always, I’m so grateful for everyone’s commitment because it is such a personal subject to open up about. Please do read, leave a comment and share as much as you can, I’m really willing this to grow and grow so that we can help as many people as possible who may be going through something similar.
I’ve also started to build a resource list, for those of you who are either childfree by circumstance or childfree by choice. A combination of blogs, communities, individuals who are doing wonderful things in this space. Please do let me know if there are resources you use I can add.
I Am : Ami, 34
Home Is: London
I Do: Photographer
Find Me: Instagram
There has only been one occasion where I considered having a child. I was 29 and desperately trying to hold together a relationship that was destroying me. In hindsight that thought process seems like madness considering how toxic and emotionally abusive the situation was. Bringing
a child into it as some form of glue would have been irresponsible beyond belief. Sadly many children are brought into the world this way. Had I gone along that path I would have been tied to my ex forever.
The truth is I have never really wanted children. I wasn’t overly fussed about playing with dolls or engaging in any of the gender stereotyping games that were the norm for my generation. I have never looked at babies and felt that twinge other women talk about. I don’t dislike them, I just don’t feel compelled to make one let alone dedicate my entire life to moulding another human being. It’s the highest responsibility and not a role I have ever felt called to do.
My ex had a daughter and while I cared for her greatly, playing the role of stepmum also reinforced my decision that I would never have children after leaving that relationship. Turns out I am not that patient with teenage girls, mothers of daughters I salute you.
Society though doesn’t necessarily support my decision making. The world expects this of women. If you have a womb then you must want children and if you don’t, well then there must be something wrong with you.
You must be a horrible person or maybe you’re just broken.
Many many times have the following things been said to me both from family, friends and even
‘You will change your mind when you meet the one’
‘Oh but you would make such a great Mum’
‘But your Mum won’t get to be a Grandma’
The list of rude and quite frankly patriarchal comments is endless and it’s something we have to stop doing and I am happy to say that slowly, it is getting better.
My family have now accepted that I won’t ever be stepping into the role of parent and I am also building a wonderful circle of friends who support my decision. Dating is still a minefield and still something I am only just starting to dip a toe into.
I also see my decision to be childfree as an absolute blessing right now.
I left my abusive ex 2.5yrs ago at the age of 32 and had my heart horribly broken by someone else not long after. For the past 2yrs I have been on a journey of totally rebuilding myself.
I have chosen to stay single and not actively date, I spent the best part of a year in therapy, I have travelled, built a thriving social life, focused on my self care and built a business that not only has a positive impact on other women but is also successful even in 2020.
Not having the pressure of wanting children has meant I have had choice every single step of the way through my recovery because I am not being held hostage by any maternal drive to find someone and make babies. It’s actually incredibly freeing. In fact I often wonder how many women settle into relationships that are not worthy of them for the sake of reproducing. Many I would imagine and I just hope that their children were worth
Another question people ask me is ‘well what will you do if you don’t have children’ that’s probably the worst one as it immediately suggests that my existence is pointless unless I have children. It’s also my favourite question to answer. Because my life will continue much as it does now. I am the happiest I have ever been. I have an amazing business that also does good in this world, I have an amazing social life and wonderful friends, I can travel when I want, I can dedicate time to fundraising, change direction
without having to consider anyone else, I have total freedom and I am starting to get to the stage where maybe I would like to include a partner in that.
I also feel like a positive of being childfree is that it’s my contribution to helping to save our planet. There are more human beings than ever on this earth and my belief is that unless you genuinely want children you should not be having them.
This is why I feel like the shift that is starting to happen now around it being more positive to be childfree for women is so important and it’s something that should be continued. Our value as women should not be tied up in whether we reproduce or not, my hope for the future is that the next generations of women have more childfree positive role models and
influence in society showing them that they are so much more than just a womb.
Thank you so so much to Ami for sharing her honest story as a guest poster and sharing her thoughts and views in this piece. As I’ve stressed from the very beginning, this is a warm, empathic platform for people to share their stories, hopes, dreams, fears. Please do read Ami’s story and leave a comment if you’d like to and share this series if you know anyone it could help. Together we are making changes.