Childfree and a Kid Person? It’s Possible!

Sometimes the childfree stories we share teach us a totally new perspective from our own. Sometimes it feels like we’re reading our own story! Courtney’s is a case of the latter. We too assumed we’d have kids one day and lucked out when we later realized it was a choice and that we were on the same page. Read how Courtney – a self-professed kid person – decided she was {not} having a baby!

Courtney’s Childfree Story

Courtney and her husband loving life

Courtney and her husband loving life

I love kids. I have always loved kids. I am not repulsed by dirty diapers, vomit, mud, or jam hands. It is nigh impossible to gross me out. I like science museums, amusement parks, fairs, and I don’t even mind the occasional skating lesson. Kids are (mostly) adorable, and fill me with joy. I don’t want kids. I know what you’re thinking: “wait..what?! Didn’t you just get done telling us how much you love kids?!” I did, and I do. That doesn’t mean I feel the need to make one, own one, or pay for one. Let alone two or three.

When we got married my husband and I assumed we would one day have children. When we were first together I was always asked (by strangers) when we were having children.  I would inevitably laugh and say, Oh give me 10 years! I got to the point where I had been using the “10 years” line for about 5 years, and I looked at my husband and asked if he actually wanted kids.  His answer? No..not really. It was like a light bulb went off. We don’t HAVE to have children. I am not required to procreate. Amazing. So of course, scientist that I am, I did the research. I read books, websites, blogs, and studies. I began to consider all the ways that having a child would alter our lives: our marriage, our home, our careers, our finances. I have little interest in any of those alterations. Turns out I do love kids. I love other people’s kids. Yes, my husband and I absolutely should have had this discussion before we even talked about getting married. Assuming you will have kids without any major discussion is absurd. It’s irresponsible and frankly unintelligent. I got lucky. We both got lucky. We had the conversation late and came to the same conclusion. We like our lives. We like our marriage. We don’t need anything else to make our world complete.

I have to admit to feeling a little alone in the childfree community, because I do love children and I didn’t know at age 14 that I didn’t want to have them. In fact I was a part-time caregiver to a friend’s child in my late teens. I took care of her as if she were my own child. I have views on parenting based on these experiences. I can even tell you what kind of mom I would be, if I were going to be one. I even think I would make a pretty good mom, based on my extensive experience early on (although I openly admit that teenagers terrify and dumbfound me). So what’s the rub? I don’t want to be a mom. I am absolutely a kid borrower. Give me your kid for a weekend, I’ll take them to Disney World, spoil the crap out of them, and return them. I’ll even feed them properly and not let them stay up all night or ride the teacups after a churro.

My husband and I have had numerous discussions over the last few years about this. We are an interesting pair. I’d be a good mom, I think, but don’t want to. He’s confident he’d be a subpar dad, and I’m totally okay with that- because he’ll never have to test that theory. He’s open an honest with me about what he feels his shortcomings would be. He hates crowds, doesn’t like to be embarrassed in public, and has a hard time feigning interest in things that don’t intrigue him. I don’t blame him for this at all. I love him for all of who he is. I love him dearly for being honest with me, and allowing me the time and the space to explore my true desires. I appreciate him for the numerous times he has put up with the many conversations it has taken to get to this point. I came to my conclusion pretty early on in my research, but I’ve needed a lot of reassurance that it’s okay. I’ll occasionally ask him what would be different about what we are doing in that moment if there were a child. Neither of us seems capable of picturing it. We don’t want to picture it. I’ve asked this while watching TV with the cat draped over my lap, while out to dinner, in the middle of a hike in Colorado, and halfway into a cross country road trip. The answer is always the same. It would be too drastically different to resemble our lives, our choices, or our desires. We travel, we are busy professionals, we have a strong, loving, supportive marriage. I wouldn’t change any of that for the world. Sometimes when people ask me why I am not having children and I am tired from a long day at work or simply exhausted by the question I’ll answer: “Why throw a wrench in?” It’s simple. Life is beautiful, wonderful, enjoyable, and full…just as it is.

14 Responses to Childfree and a Kid Person? It’s Possible!

  1. Andreea October 26, 2017 at 3:12 pm #

    Great post! I live the honesty with which you use while writing. Was a really nice read. Though not sharing the opinion, I find this decision very courageous.

  2. Michalina December 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    Same here. Love to take care for my best friend’s kids, but even more love to give them back. we are both with my future husband sure we dont want to have kids. I never though there is other option for women than having a kids. But when I realize i have a choice, I felt absolutely great relief. It’s not easy decision when you live in catholic country in eastern Europe, where nobody asking if I want them, they asking when i will have them… but I have great support from my Flance. Thank you for all your stories:)

  3. Stef August 20, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    I’m so glad I found this site! And thanks Courtney for your thoughts, you’re certainly echoing what a lot of us are thinking… like you, I’ve spent the past few months doing research (for real) to untangle my thought process and it’s been illuminating to say the least. In a very good way.

    I find it very interesting that a lot of us here seem to be teachers. I myself am training to be a teacher (English, secondary – I love the exploratory / dialogic / emotional nature of this tier of teaching) and the way I see my career choice is that I have already consciously made the decision to devote my entire working life to children, because I love them and want to see them grow into thinking, fulfilled adults. To devote all my skills and talents and energies to helping kids’ minds grow, to be a role model and mentor and guide for them. So, in devoting a huge chunk of my life to engaged and meaningful contact with children in my capacity as educator and role model and guide, I don’t feel the need to add the role of mother to that as well, at all. I love kids and they’re going to play a very substantial part in my life, where I will give them the best I have to give: educating them, feeding their minds and hearts. And outside that, I retain personal independence, freedom, solitude when I need it, energy and time for exploration and self-discovery. All this without mentioning the environmental factors which also loom large in the thought process that has led me to the same conclusions as everyone else here.

    I wonder whether teachers, therapists, social workers, carers, anyone who works in caring for others and especially children are more likely to arrive at the decision to remain childfree. We do so much essential care work for the kids already living; why on earth does motherhood get tagged on as an essential category when we already contribute so substantively?

  4. Caroline June 4, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    Thanks Courtney, again a similar story for me,i love children, i love my nieces and nephews but have no desire to have my own. I also came to the conclusion slowly after a few years of marriage! My husband has never really wanted children but would have had them…and then we had ‘the talk’ and realised neither of us has the desire to have our own yes i am also an eternal child borrower…and then i take them home, go out for dinner and a glass of wine and talk about how different our lives would be with children and how much we love our lives together!

  5. Holly April 13, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

    My husband and I don’t want kids. For us, we’re both steadfast on the childfree life, but we each have different tolerances for kids in general. For me, I’m a secondary school teacher; I work with kids age 12 and up. I can tolerate younger kids in moderation, but teens are where it’s at, teaching wise. I get a kick out of them, enjoy seeing their discoveries, and I enjoy being a part of their education.

    One time at dinner, my mother-in-law said to me, “How can you be a teacher if you don’t like kids?” She equated my choice not to get pregnant, birth, and raise children with not liking any kids at all. It was frustrating and made me feel like I had to justify not only my lifestyle choice, but my career choice. Like if I’m not a mother I can’t be a good teacher – and if I don’t want to be a mom, I shouldn’t be a teacher… It’s so typical that people, even those close to us, can’t see that these things aren’t mutually exclusive.

  6. Victoria May 21, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. My husband and I also always assumed that eventually we would have children, and ours was also a slow realisation that the desire to actually have a child had never appeared for either of us, and then it clicked that we should just remain as we are. It has been an easy decision for us, but I think more tricky for people close to us who know we don’t hate children or previously sworn never to have them. Other people seem to find it odd that we are happy with not having babies. Occasionally other people’s reactions may cause us to discuss our choice again, but we always return to the same place-we are so very happy just as we are! We don’t know anyone else personally who has also made this choice and so it is comforting to know others are out there too!

  7. Liesl April 16, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    Oh my goodness THANK YOU!!! I used to nanny, babysit, live with my niece and now I’m a primary school teacher! When I first met my boyfriend we thought we would but for me, the risk is too big. I love our life and we will always be around kids but I don’t want to throw the wrench in either!! Enjoy xx

  8. Courtney August 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    Thank you ladies for your kind comments! I am so grateful to hear from women who have a similar story! I like how Heather put it- we want children IN our lives, but don’t desire to have our own.

  9. Monica Cortes Viharo July 15, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    Me too! I love kids and am great with them but I don’t need to be a parent. My husband and I love our lives just as they are! Thanks for sharing your story on behalf of the rest of us child-loving, non-breeders.

  10. Priti June 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    I really felt like I was reading my own story 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing it. Hugs to you!

  11. heather June 25, 2014 at 2:11 am #

    I share your story too. I have been a babysitter and a nanny for most of my life. I now work at a preschool and love the interactions I have with the kids, but absolutely don’t want one of my own. My husband would make a great dad and he is less adamant about our childless life (but still totally board). We both think having children in our lives is a good thing, just not our own.

  12. Angela Hon-Fuego June 24, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    I swear I could be writing this story too!! My husband and I love kids, we enjoy playing with them, but we’re just not sure whether we need to have one (or more) of our own to make our life complete. Thank you Courtney for sharing your story!

    • Rachel archer July 9, 2014 at 3:23 am #

      Yes thank you Courtney for sharing your story and your husbands, it mirrors ours. I am a secondary school teacher in the UK, I love kids, my husband and I have 5 brilliant nephews and nieces, great fun, but thank God we can hand them back at the weekend! We just know our child free decision is the right decision.


  1. Stop pressuring women to be moms: It’s insulting to assume we all want the same thing – Irascible Musings - April 13, 2016

    […] should, as if your maternal instincts will go entirely to waste otherwise. At the childfree blog We’re {Not} Having a Baby, user Courtney writes about her journey to embracing being both a “kid person” and childfree. […]

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