Childfree Decision – A Guy’s Perspective

A quick note: this is an update and expansion of a guest post I wrote for The Childless by Choice Blog. A big thanks to Laura Scott for letting me re-use it!

Guys & Dolls

You know what really  grinds my gears? Accidental 18  year commitments

Meme courtesy of

Since I’ve become more involved in the childfree – dare I say? – movement, one thing is glaringly clear to me; There are a lot more women invested in this thing than men. Like way more. Like really, really, way, way more. I have a few theories on this…which you can read here.

Now one of these days women won’t be the only sex that can give birth…I f’n love science. And one of these days men or robots will relieve women of some of the burden of child-rearing, but probably not anytime soon. And hopefully one of these days women who do not want children will stop receiving a shit for the decision.

But until then, it does seem that women have more skin in this game. While seemingly true, it does not mean that men have no investment. I for one would like to see more men engaged on the topic if only cuz it gets lonely out here. I hope that sharing how I made my childfree decision will inspire other men to think about why they do or do not want kids and to share their decisions.

My Childfree Decision Process

Growing up I knew that I’d have kids of my own. The path was obvious: grow up, date, get married, have kids and be a dad. Preferably in that order. No steps optional.

This is how it works.

I’ve occasionally been wrong, but for the sake of this post I’ll assume that many guys have a similar mindset.

I first actively questioned this obvious path around nine when I realized kids are a LOT of work. I have first hand experience of this. You see I have four siblings, all older sisters. Yes, four older sisters; thanks for the sympathy.

When I was nine, two (only two!) of my sisters still lived at home with yours truly. We were an absolute handful, or more truthfully, I was an angel with two wicked, older step sisters.

I kid, I kid! Love you, my actual real, not step, sisters!

Where was I? Yeah, well, I watched mom and dad try to deal with angry, petulant, self-centered tweens and teens – I include myself here – with endless needs and demands for time, food, money, laundry, etc. I thought to myself, “Why would you do this to yourself?”

Yes, I know. Wise beyond his years, you say.

Speaking of, I’ve always been a pretty logical thinker (he says about himself). Illogically, I often assume others to be the same. Logically/illogically I figured I must be missing something. People put themselves through so much effort and heartache while giving up so much freedom, and time, ergo there must be more to the story…

I chalked it up to not understanding; to being young. I sez to myself “When I’m more mature I’ll get it, and when I get it, then I’ll want kids”.

Because this is how it works.

Time rolled on. I grew up (arguably). I dated. I got married. It never happened though. I’ve never wanted kids. And it’s not because I never saw an upside – I do see how meaningful kids can be to parents that really want them, who can and do care for them. I have the utmost respect for the good parents that I see and I even enjoy being around some kids, sometimes.

About Us photo

No, I’ve never wanted kids because I clearly see the downsides for me and for me the cons outweigh the pros.

Now I’m in my early 40’s. I’ve been married for 18 years. I love my life as it is, childfree. Funny thing…I almost wrote ‘I couldn’t imagine having kids’ right here but that is completely wrong. I can imagine having kids and that is what makes me so happy about my decision to not have them.

For me, this is how it really works.

10 Responses to Childfree Decision – A Guy’s Perspective

  1. Hayley Waghorn February 14, 2018 at 11:45 am #

    Would love a male perspective on why a guy would change his mind about having kids within the marriage. This happened to me but I am not making myself into a victim as I wasn’t sure myself whether I wanted to be a mum initially. However when we began to try for kids my hubby changed his mind, and I was pretty devastated. I guess it was the idea that the decision had been taken out of my hands, and it was so sad for me. Any male opinions on this would be gratefully received

  2. Adam November 13, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Thanks for writing this Lance. My wife and I are currently leaning toward being childfree, and as I’ve been trying to think through this for myself (I think you’re right in that I, like many guys, assumed the steps above), it has been challenging. I think I had always envisioned having kids, but I think that was because it’s what was expected, not necessarily what I want. I love kids, and I think I’d be a good parent (my wife too), but the tectonic shifts in our lives that would be required to have kids and raise them well the way we would want to, seem to weigh heavily on the “con” side of the equation or simply seem impractical for what we want to accomplish in life. We’re not 100% on the childfree bandwagon yet, and things may change, but thanks for sharing your perspective from another guy trying to weigh the decision.

  3. Sven March 17, 2014 at 2:29 am #

    Well, can I say I have children but I’m also child free?

    I had my children when I was quite young because I wanted children and fertility goes down rapidly in my family with age. It was hard work, but no regrets. Now I find myself living far away from my adult children, in a new relationship, doing things I love doing whilst having a very adult long-distance (no interfering or judging) relationship with my adult children. And I am loving it too. It might sound strange because I know many people believe once you have had children you should devote your life to them, but I do not think that is how it should be. WAY too messy for me all that hovering and hand-holding.

    I can therefore see the appeal of never having children, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy reading this blog, but then I sometimes think that I have been very lucky to be able to experience both sides of the coin so to speak.

    • Lance March 17, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      We think that people should be able to make their own choices so kudos to you for doing so!

  4. maddie August 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    I like your Lance’s Rants idea! It’d be nice to see more guys perspectives! As a girl only in university (and already knows she doesn’t want kids!) I always worry about finding another person who doesn’t want kids to marry. Since I never see guys engaged I just assume they all want kids!

  5. Jack White August 7, 2013 at 5:02 am #

    My perspective too!

  6. Karen August 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Right on! My husband feels the same way. We’ve been happily living our lives together for the past 14 years without kids. And we are fulfilled.

  7. Canadian Rob August 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    AMEN BROTHER! I like and agree with everything that you have said.

    • Lance August 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Can’t argue with this comment


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