Minimalism and Being Childfree

In addition to being a minimalist, I am also childfree.  Without getting into too much detail, I have a condition that makes it more or less impossible to get pregnant without medical intervention.  While our decision to remain childfree is not completely by choice, my condition is something I have known about since I was a child myself and it is something I have come to be completely fine with.  I revel in the extra time, money and freedom being childfree affords me.

I have previously discussed my passion for the environment and how that relates to minimalism.  Being childfree is the most environmentally friendly and minimalist decision one could make.  The planet is simply overloaded with over 7 billion people and the Earth’s limited resources are not equitably distributed.  That’s why, while there is famine in the third world, food waste is a huge problem in America.  This is where minimalism comes in and not using more resources than necessary.  For those who truly feel the call to parent a child, why create another human being when there are plenty available to adopt?

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I’m not suggesting that being childfree is the right choice for everyone.  Obviously, someone has to do the reproducing to keep the human race going.  What I am suggesting is that people who do not feel an extraordinary call to be a parent should not feel pressured by society to do so anyway.  I can tell you from experience that there is extraordinary pressure on young women of child bearing age to reproduce.

It is also not lost on me that my minimalist journey is made quite a bit easier by being childfree.  Our 750 square-foot, one bedroom condo with no garage would just not be a practical option with a child.  As a childfree person, I also do not have to be burdened with the idea of my child’s “inheritance.”  I don’t hold onto things, wondering if it’s something I’ll pass onto my children someday.  That’s not going to happen.  At the risk of sounding morbid, nobody wants your crap when you die.  There’s certainly no reason for anyone to retain things for this purpose only.

There is so much money my husband and I will not have to spend, so many things we will never have to buy or pay for because we are choosing not to have children.  That’s not to say I have money to burn— for the foreseeable future, quite a large portion of my money will go towards the student loan debt I accumulated going to law school; I would also like to take advantage of my freedom to travel with my husband.  A child doesn’t really fit into that picture.  Not having a child allows me to use my time, money and other resources in ways that fit with my values and priorities—paying off debt, traveling, career advancement, and hobbies like yoga.

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9 thoughts on “Minimalism and Being Childfree

  1. Great post and really brave. My husband and I are also child free and happy with that decision. Anyone who is not does not understand the societal pressure on women. I can’t tell you how many times I have met people and they just ask “how many children do you have?” When I say none I have actually gotten the response “oh you and your husband are selfish.” Or another favorite “you will never know how it feels to have a family”. I really appreciated the post and the perspective give which I share.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing! People usually pester me with follow up questions until I feel pressured to tell them I can’t have children. I need to get better at changing the subject. My favorite response: “Don’t worry-you can still have a good life.” I already do!!!

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  3. Now I’m reaching a ‘child-bearing age’ (whatever that means), I find I’m being asked more and more when I plan on having children, like that must be the only option. I don’t want children, I never have. Since I was a child myself, I always swore I’d never have kids, and I’ve stuck to that. I’m 27 this year. Happily in a relationship with a very small three-bedroom house (I’d only be able to have one child here at a push as the rooms are tiny), and my dog and two cats. They’re my kids, as far as I’m concerned. I’m too selfish to have children, and I think some people are peer-pressured into procreating when it really isn’t for them. It takes some real guts to stand in the face of people and say “I really don’t like children very much, and wouldn’t want one in my house.” The look of shock is hilarious. However, I am finding that because of my openness, a lot more people (especially the older generation), confide that they think I’m making the right decision. Whilst they love their children, if they could go back they’d do it differently. I find that very eye-opening. Thanks for this post.

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  4. I work in a male dominated industry, including a large Latino demographic. I’m 35, married, childless with 2 dogs. I’m asked almost daily sometimes, “Sarita! When are you going to have some babies???” Then I reply, “Why, are you offering?” It makes every man I’ve ever said that to very uncomfortable…. right where I want them! I challenge you to come up with your own creative responses. It helps to take the edge of a very personal, uncomfortable question that the general public seems entitled to ask.

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