As mentioned last week, I’m so delighted to be back with a new story to tell for the On Being Childfree series. I hadn’t intended to take a break for as long as we did but well, these are strange times indeed. Today it’s Kyra, sharing her experience on choosing the child free life, where she has found support and why it doesn’t have to mean that someone doesn’t like children (automatic assumptions ALWAYS made by people, I find!) 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.
We Are : Kyra and Mr K, 26 and 35
Home Is: Glasgow
We Do: I work in education and Mr K works in maintenance
Find Us: Instagram
Hi, I’m Kyra. I’m 26, a primary school teacher currently working as a support assistant for children with additional support needs, and I live in Glasgow with my husband, our Springer Spaniel puppy, Willow, and our two house rabbits, Tonks and Luna. We’re in the process of buying our first house (which is going to need a good bit of TLC!), we love exploring new places, near or far, and spend a lot of time with our family and friends.
I was 15 the first time I had a conversation with someone about not wanting to have children and, even then, the response I got was “Of course you do, why would you say something like that?” Over a decade on, my opinion hasn’t changed, although there were a few years in the middle where I thought I was a fence-sitter and would be happy to go along with whatever my eventual partner wanted. I’m so glad Mr K is childfree too, because once I realised there were other people in the world like me and that not having children was a valid life option, there was no going back and no changing my mind – I like our life how it is, and we don’t want the changes children would bring.
It sounds strange to say that 5 years ago I didn’t really know being CF was an option, but coming from a family with kids how many CF people do you really know? And of those, how many are CF by choice, and how many have the decision made for them by circumstance? It was actually an online community that opened my eyes to the idea that there were other people who didn’t want children, and that that was a valid choice I could make for myself; not something to be ashamed of.
It’s not something I make a secret of anymore. Especially since we got married last year, we get asked when we’re having kids a lot. When I say “We’re not planning to.” I’ve been asked if I hate children – in a tone of voice which really says ‘Are you a monster?’ (something which Mr K never seems to have to deal with) – and people only seem more confused when I tell them that actually no, I work with kids! See, I love children, but I also love being able to return them to their parents at the end of a long day.
It’s not like there are no kids in our lives, by nature of the job, I’m very involved with the children and families I work with, and we have 10 nieces and nephews, ranging in age from 18 years to 6 months. We love being the fun aunt and uncle who come over and make them laugh, but we also like coming home and relaxing in the evening, or going out to dinner, or going for a walk, and not having to worry about finding babysitters or being home in time to get the kids to bed.
In recent years, I’ve also come to the realisation that my mental health simply wouldn’t cope with kids. I’m a fairly anxious person already, but my anxiety, at present, is manageable. Based on how stressed I get when there’s something wrong with our pets, add a child to that mix – even without the additional factors of buying a house and that I’m trying to get my first teaching job since moving to Scotland – and I don’t think it would be. Plus, I have absolutely 0 maternal instincts when it comes to babies – their floppy necks freak me out; hand me one and I’ll sit perfectly still until you reclaim them from my arms.
I could list about 10 reasons why we won’t be having children past those I’ve already mentioned, so it gets frustrating when people say “You’ll change your mind when you’re older!” or “You’ll regret not having children one day!”, especially when some people who are parents demand to know why, and then get defensive and start trying to refute any reason I give, as if my not wanting children is in any way a reflection on their own choices.
It really isn’t.
I’m so glad that so many people find such joy in having and raising kids, but it’s just not for me.
Ultimately, we’re happy as we are, with our little family of fur balls, and an extremely close extended family who we see all the time. We have children in our lives who we love very much, but we won’t be adding our own to that number, and we’re content in that.
Thank you so so much to Kyra 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 Kyra’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.