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?
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.