WE ARE CHILDFREE

There’s nothing holding me back, with 22 year old Rubi Chauhan

Gen Z and defiantly childfree - a dose of inspiration from the Austrian-born daughter of Indian parents.

Episode 3

Rubi Chauhan calls herself “the most uncommon Indian you will ever encounter”. She was born in a small village in Austria, and moved to Vienna to create the kind of life she wants to live. Rubi values her freedom more than anything, and doesn’t want children or a relationship holding her back. She won’t even commit to a hair colour for too long! At just 22 years old, Rubi knows and says what she wants in a way that I could only have dreamed of at her age, and she was an absolute inspiration to speak to.

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Transcript

Rubi: My parents never had an easy relationship. And I saw a lot of things where as a child, I was like, “Okay, well, I’m not gonna end up doing that. I’m gonna try and go into a whole different direction”. And maybe that’s how it started, I had my teen years, it was all so, you know, rebellion. And I was the rebel of the family who doesn’t want to wear traditional Indian clothes, and just doesn’t want to fit into this thing. And I feel like, over the years, now that I’m older, it has gotten to a point where I just accept myself as whoever I am. And I never apologize for it. It was always, “No, I know what I want”. And maybe it came from that thing where, at an early age, I saw what I don’t want to become, and that’s kind of given the strength to fight for who I want to be.

Zoë: Welcome to We are Childfree, a podcast about childfree women and the lives we lead. I’m your host, Zoë, and each episode I’ll speak with another incredible woman about her decision not to have children, and what it’s meant for her life. That badass you heard up top is Rubi Chauhan, who calls herself “the most uncommon Indian you will ever encounter”. Rubi was born to Indian parents in a small village in Austria, and while her schoolmates were settling down, she was moving to Vienna to create the kind of life she wants to live. Rubi values her freedom more than anything, and doesn’t want children or a relationship holding her back. She won’t even commit to a hair colour for too long! At just 22 years old, Rubi knows what she wants in a way that I could only have dreamt of at her age! She won’t compromise for anyone, not friends or family or society at large, and she was an absolute inspiration to speak to. Make way for Gen Z! Here’s my conversation with Rubi.

Rubi: Hmm, I don’t think I can actually say that there was a moment where I was like, “Okay, now I definitely know I don’t want kids”. It’s just, yeah, always been – like I remember as a kid when you know, kids play this game, where one is the mom, one is the dad and their two kids, and you play. And I was always the one who was like, “No, but I’m a grown woman, but I don’t have kids”.

Zoë: I love it.

Rubi: And I was always, in these games, I was always like, “No, I’m like a singer or a musician”, or, I don’t know, something like that I wanted to do as a child. But I was always like, I’m a childfree person, because I don’t think I want to have kids. And so it is always kind of my – it was never questioned, actually.

Zoë: Wow, that’s awesome. So I mean, you’re quite young as well, right?

Rubi: Yeah, I’m 22.

Zoë: So I mean, it’s amazing that at such a young age that you had that such, you know, such a strong opinion. And were able to voice it like that. I think that’s incredible. How do people around you react?

Rubi: Well, when I was a kid, obviously, people didn’t take it seriously, because they thought it’s just a child talking. But as I grew older, I’m an aunt of four, and I love those kids. But after my siblings had kids, that’s when the conversation kind of started. I sometimes would say stuff like, “Well, I’m glad that I’m not someone who wants kids”, you know, whenever there was a difficulty. And that’s when it started with my parents, actually. And most of them, my mom was the one who would always be like, “Oh, don’t say stuff like that. I do want grandkids from you too”. And I want to say on a side note, I have five other siblings, so we’re six kids – they would still have a lot of grandkids, even if one of their children doesn’t want to have some. So yeah, that’s how it kind of started. The older I got people would always be like, you know, like, age 17/18 people would be like, “You’re way too young, you will get there. Just give yourself some time”.

Zoë: Okay.

Rubi: And now, I feel like people are kind of getting worried, because where I’m originally from in Austria, it’s a very small village. The people, you know, do the typical thing that society tells you to do. They get married very young. I mean, half of the people I went to school with are married. So they get married, and they have kids, and nobody questions it because it’s the thing you just do. So now, it’s getting to the point where people are like, “Oh, you’re not married? You don’t have kids? What are you doing?”

Zoë: Well, living your life.

Rubi: Yeah.

Zoë: So I mean, your parents, they really wanted you to have kids, even though they already have grandkids. Yeah, the pressure was on?

Rubi: Yes. They still, I mean, they do say that I should take my time. And they don’t expect me to have children, like, in the next year or something. But they do think that it would be horrible if I didn’t have kids at all.

Zoë: Okay, and that’s because they’re Indian. Is that right?

Rubi: Yes.

Zoë: And do you think obviously that the culture in India, is that you have kids? There is no question, I’m assuming?

Rubi: Yeah, definitely. I feel like in Austria, people are more like, thought to, you know, think about these decisions. Like, one of my sisters got married last year. And she has always wanted it, but like they are planning, like, you know, let’s just do it, because that’s what you do, right? They’re like thinking okay, but she has her studies to finish and stuff like that. But with Indian people, as soon as they get married, they have like four or five kids and it’s just something you do – you don’t think about that. So I do believe it’s a bit that my parents are more worried about me not having kids because it’s what they were taught – you know, Indians also have this concept in their head that you’re supposed to have kids just so you have someone who takes care of you when you’re old. They’re always like, are you not worried that you will be lonely when you’re older, or that you won’t have someone to look after you. Stuff like that, you know?

Zoë: Okay, because I guess, in India, where you have large families that is happening you’ll have your parents and everyone lives together, and you’re looking after elderly relatives, really close to home. So when did your parents move to Austria?

Rubi: They were pretty young. My dad was about 18 or 19. And my mom was, I think, 20 or 21, or something like that.

Zoë: Right. And why did they do the move?

Rubi: My dad moved here because he just wanted, he actually wanted to live in Germany. But that didn’t work out. So he moved to Austria – he just wanted a better chance at life. They were very poor in India, and you know, he wouldn’t have gotten the education he wanted. And so he moved to Austria. And my mom was, actually her cousin lived here. And right, now it’s gonna get complicated. Her cousin was married to my father’s brother and living here in Austria. And my mom came to visit her, then met my dad and decided to stay here.

Zoë: Wow. Okay, so they met in Austria?

Rubi: Yeah.

Zoë: And how and when did they get married? And how old were they?

Rubi: Oh, they actually got married after my little sister was born. So they were at least like 30 – my dad is 10 years older, so he was 40. They got married late for an Indian couple.

Zoë: Okay, okay. So I mean, it’s interesting, you know, when people come over from another country and culture. And obviously they’ve moved to Austria, and it must be quite difficult to try and, you know, you have to combine the different cultures together. And especially for their children, I guess they want you to follow in their footsteps, because that’s what they grow up with themselves. Like, that’s what they knew, and were told. So it must be quite difficult, to kind of try and drop into another way of living and how flexible do you go with that?

Rubi: I mean, yeah, it was very difficult and still is. Especially when I was a teenager, of course, there were a lot of discussions and a lot of fights, because whatever they said, I wasn’t okay with, and vice versa. My dad, before he married my mom, he was married to an Austrian, and he also has kids with her – my half sister and half brother. And so he was kind of more open already. And now it’s like, they do try to understand us, sometimes. There are things where they’re just like, “Okay, we can’t convince our kids”, otherwise, we’re just gonna have to live with it. Of course, we still have discussions and it’s difficult. I always say that I’m the most uncommon Indian that you will ever encounter.

Zoë: Haha.

Rubi: Yeah, I mean, you don’t see me now, but I’ve green hair, I have my sides shaved off. So every time I tell people that my parents are Indian, they don’t believe me.

Zoë: That’s amazing. Well, you sound like a badass. So what about your siblings? I mean, were they supportive with your decision not to have kids?

Rubi: Um, they are. Except for one sister who already has two kids. I thought she knew how serious I was about this whole, I don’t want kids. Until recently, I had a talk with her, and we kind of came to, you know, discussing relationships. I don’t like commitments at all, which is why I don’t do relationships, either. So that’s how the conversation started. And I was like, “Yeah, you know, I don’t want kids either”. And she looked at me, and was like, “Yeah, you always say that. I know you don’t mean it”. And then I was like, “No, I do mean it. Like, I actually mean it. I don’t want kids. Like I think the most horrible thing that could happen to me is if I would get pregnant, unintentionally – I can’t imagine a worse scenario”. And she was actually kind of disappointed. And she started defending her decision. And he started to tell me how she loves her kids and stuff like that.

Zoë: Yeah, I’m always interested in that reaction that someone else has, when it’s your decision, it’s your body, it’s your life. Why can’t she understand that this is something so personal to each person? That she absolutely wanted kids, maybe thinks it’s the best thing in the world. And why is it so – why do you think it’s so difficult for other people to understand that there are women who don’t have that feeling of wanting that in their life and actually, it makes them want to run a mile, the thought of it?

Rubi: Yeah, I feel like – I mean, it’s starting to change slightly – but I feel like a lot of people have this picture in their head that women are just supposed to have kids. That’s just what they’re supposed to do. And whenever somebody tells them, “Well, I don’t want that”, it’s like, oh, like you have an option. I actually feel like a lot of women, for the most part, don’t know that they have an option. And I actually know a lot of women who have kids who I feel like if you would have asked them and told them, “Hey, but you don’t have to have kids”, maybe they would have ended, you know, in a different way, and maybe wouldn’t have had kids. I feel like there are a lot of people who just don’t think that sounds very, like praising myself and telling everybody that they’re stupid, but I do feel like a lot of people just don’t think you know. There’s a lot of people who just question society, and I’m someone who questions it too much. I feel like there are people who just never think – they’re just “Okay, this is the way to go. This is what you do in life – you get married, you have kids, you build a house, and then you die. And that’s it”. But there are more ways to be happy.

Zoë: The fact that people don’t think about this decision, which I would argue is one of the most important decisions of anyone’s life, it does kind of boggle the mind a little bit – when you see it happening in front of you. People pop out children, and there is no question that it was going to happen, even if they may be in a stable relationship or in a stable career, haven’t worked out what they’re doing with their life yet, they’ll still go along this path of “You buy the house, or you have the kid and you get married” And I guess, maybe women like us, they kind of throw a spanner in the works – you know, what they’ve been taught from a very young age perhaps.

Rubi: Yeah, definitely. It’s kind of saddening honestly, when I think about it, because I feel like there are so many things a woman can do, that can make you happy. So I think it’s kind of sad that women think that having kids is the one thing that will make them happy. I had a co-worker a few years ago, who was I think, like, 35 or something. And she was happy, you know, she was doing her thing, but every time we would talk, like have a deep talk or something, she would tell me what she wants. She thinks she hasn’t accomplished anything in her life, because she’s 35 and she doesn’t have kids.

Zoë: Wow.

Rubi: And she kept telling me that she’s not even sure if she wants kids. But she just feels like, it’s weird that she doesn’t have them by now.

Zoë: Wow, that’s crazy. I mean, I do feel like this is put out into the world that women are not fulfilled, unless they have a child, because that’s their one role in this world – to have a baby. And I just think that’s absolute bollocks. I mean we are here to live our life in whatever way that may be. And I guess we’re trying to shake everything up and say, “Actually, no, women aren’t just here for one thing”. I mean, have you had much pushback from friends? Or do you have a network of other childfree women that you can talk with?

Rubi: I mean, my closest friends are very open-minded people. So, even though some of them do want kids, they respect my decision of not wanting kids. But I’ve actually had, like a few friends, where I was very shocked when I talked about this thing to them – that they had this controversial thinking and that they didn’t actually approve of what I was saying. And it was a lot of times with people where I did not expect that from them. So I remember one friend who knew my co-worker who lives alone, she’s, I think, almost 40 and lives alone. She doesn’t have a life partner, and she doesn’t have kids. And that friend would always be like, “But you don’t have a life, right? Like she’s 40 and she didn’t want kids and she doesn’t have a husband or something, so that must be a very sad life”. And it was I was so shocked when she said that because I didn’t expect that. So enough. That did happen a few times that I talked to friends and they would say stuff like that. And I was like, “Oh my god, I didn’t know that how you thought about this thing”. So I do have to say I feel like I always respect other people’s opinions, so obviously, they will respect mine. But that’s not always the case.

Zoë: No, sadly not, no. That is a weird kind of perspective that people have, that if you don’t have kids, or you don’t have a husband or a partner, somehow you are just going to live this lonely, sad life. And I mean, that’s one of the things that people throw out, like, “Oh, you know, when you’re older, you’re going to be alone”. And it’s like, why? Why can’t we accept that actually, we can create the life that we want to live, and it doesn’t need to have children or even a partner in? That we can lead a fulfilling life and fill it with other things other than, you know, childbearing, and looking after another person. It’s kind of sad when people say things like that. And, going back to when we were talking about people not really thinking about this decision, as much as say, perhaps you are, or I would, in a place like India people obviously have so many children per family, like 3, 4, 5 per family, rather than even just a one child – you know, what I mean? I worry about overpopulation. Do you ever think of that as well?

Rubi: Yeah. Like, I’m vegan, and I try to cut back on plastic and stuff like that. So I do look out for the environment as much as I can. And I do think that’s a huge point. We are overpopulated, so why would I want to be part of that problem and create even more human beings? Like, the world is at such a weird stage, I wouldn’t want to put anyone through this. And what I used to say was, when people ask me, “But what if you want kids someday, and you can’t have them because you’re too old? Or you can’t have them because you don’t have a partner or something like that?” I always think to myself, in case that ever happens, never say never. I mean, I’m pretty sure it won’t. I would be more than happy to adopt a child and give someone a home who doesn’t have a home, rather than put another living being here.

Zoë: Yeah, it feels like that option of adoption is never really thought of. I mean, I guess the easiest option is to have your own child. It’s just, you know, wam, bam, thank you, maam – and then you have a baby. And that’s what people go for, the easy option. Because I have some family members who’ve adopted and yeah, it’s a long, difficult process. And there are people that are rejected as possible parents for really dumb things. So it’s not perfect – I totally get that adoption is not perfect. But maybe we should try and look at pushing that as a real viable option for people if they desperately want children. Why aren’t we talking about more options like adoption?

Rubi: Yeah. And I mean, I’ve witnessed my sister’s two pregnancies. And I wouldn’t say that’s easy. I was even in there when my nephew was born. I saw things that were… I was like, maybe that was one of the moments where I was like, “Yeah, I’m thankful, I’m someone who doesn’t want to have children. You put yourself through a lot when you have a child. I know stories of women who still have issues with – I don’t know if I can say the word – but like, down there. You know?

Zoë: Yes.

Rubi: And like, you have mental problems, and have maybe gone through a trauma during labor and stuff like that. So I feel like, women don’t really think like, it’s not just “Okay, I’m just going to have a kid”, but you go through a lot – and it never ends.

Zoë: Yeah, that’s the thing, is it’s really easy to have sex and then you just gonna have the baby, but obviously, I don’t think people maybe understand the reality of what that entails. Because we know that there’s a large portion of miscarriages and actual complications, and women feel like they have to hide a lot of this stuff. It’s such a taboo subject, and I just don’t think we have such open conversations about this whole process that women have to go through. And like you, I’ve had friends who’ve had really tough times after they’ve given birth, and they’ve had barely any support either. And it’s really sad to see a close friend go through something like that, and the reality of what could have happened during pregnancy or childbirth or afterwards, and then you just have this child and then “Off you go – be a parent. Off you go”. And, to me, I don’t understand how we can be so kind of blasé about bringing children into the world. And I feel bad for everyone, for the mothers who have to go through what looks like a traumatic experience.

Rubi: I feel like it’s – okay, now I’m gonna sound ignorant – but like, every stupid person on this planet can have kids. Like, nobody asked them, “Hey, you, are you sure you want to do this? Do you have financial resources and stuff like that?” But when it comes to people adopting, that’s a more conscious decision, as nobody would go through this process if they didn’t actually want to. So I guess, also a thing where it should be a lot easier to adopt. I’m not saying that you just give away kids, but it should be easier, so that more people see that as an option.

Zoë: Absolutely, absolutely. What about people’s reaction to you? Obviously, can it be quite dismissive, because you are relatively young? How is it when you have to deal with health professionals? Do they also have similar reactions to that?

Rubi: It depends where I’m right now. For example, when I’m in Vienna, it’s the capital of Austria, it’s a huge city. And people are more open-minded. Usually I don’t have to discuss this. But most of the time, especially in my hometown, people invite themselves to have a discussion and it makes me feel like I have to – I forgot the word – to defend myself. But I do feel like, most of the people tell me that I’m too young to know. Which is weird, because I know a lot of people who are younger than me and already have kids. If they can make the decision that they want kids, I can definitely make the decision that I don’t want them.

Zoë: Absolutely. Yeah, exactly. It’s like, why are women so sure in that decision to have them, but if we don’t want them, it’s like we can’t be believed?

Rubi: Yeah. And what I don’t get is a lot of times, I tell them my reasons. And I’m like, “I don’t want commitment. Like, I can’t stick to one hair colour. How do you expect me to stick to a human being, and that responsibility?” So –

Zoë: Yes, very true.

Rubi: – and I like my freedom. I want to be free. I want to be able to, I mean, it’s the Coronavirus going around now, but I want to be someone who, if I am like, “Hey, I’m moving to London tomorrow”, then I can do that. Because there’s nothing holding me back, and I’m free to go. So every time I tell people these things, or money is another thing where I’m like, you have a lot more money if you don’t have kids. People always tell me that I’m selfish and narcissistic. But then they go on to say, “I do want to have kids, because I need someone to take care of me when I’m older”. Like, isn’t that selfish?

Zoë: Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, a lot of these things that people say to us, it’s like they don’t even think about it. It’s like they’ve heard them, or, they read them somewhere, and then they’re repeating it like a parrot, without even thinking about their own life. And you know, how dumb some of the things they’re saying. Like, the selfish thing, I also don’t understand because we make these decisions in our life. And yes, sometimes they are selfish. And that is not a bad thing, I don’t think, either. What do you say back to someone when they say you’re being selfish by not having children?

Rubi: Well, most of the time, I tell them, or I ask them, what there is bad about being selfish. Because, I wouldn’t say it’s a selfish decision to not want kids because it’s not like they’re already here. I feel like that then I would be neglecting someone and that would be selfish, but like my kids don’t exist. So I don’t feel like that’s being selfish, you know what I mean?

Zoë: Yes.

Rubi: So, most of the time I try to explain – I’m someone who can’t just be like, “Okay, nevermind”. I dive into the discussion. And, most of the time, I ask them what they think is selfish about my decision.

Zoë: Yeah. So try and kind of push back on them to make them explain their weird, silly questions? Yes, good thinking.

Rubi: Yeah, like I mentioned earlier, I’m not a commitment, and I don’t do relationships. I’ve actually never been in a relationship in my life, and I don’t plan on getting into one, because I don’t want that commitment – I want to be free. And I also had people tell me that my decision of not wanting a partner is gonna make me be lonely at some point. And that’s another thing, because I feel like just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you’re necessarily lonely. I feel like these are two different things. Because I mean, I’m alone a lot of the time. I live in a huge city, especially now with the Coronavirus, I live alone, and I rarely meet people. And I’m fine with myself, I love myself and I like being with me. I can go months without talking to someone, and I don’t have a problem with that. And I think that is important, to be able to be with yourself. But I feel like that’s another thing where – like I mentioned, I have a lot of siblings. And so you would think my parents, you know, have someone around all the time. But that is not true. Because all of us are like scattered around Austria, my sister was just in Canada, so we’re all over the place, and we’re rarely at home with our parents. So having kids doesn’t mean you will have someone around you all the time – it’s a very risky reason to have kids.

Zoë: Absolutely. I mean, there is no guarantee having a child, that that child is going to be able to look after us, that they’re going to be living near enough to you. I mean, we can’t predict the future. So it’s really weird for people to kind of throw that out there, and tell you that it’s a reason to have a child. I couldn’t think of a worse reason to have a child – for someone to look after me when I’m older. I want to enjoy my life now, right now. And for me, if that means not having children in my life, then I want to enjoy that life. I don’t want to force something on myself, that does not fit into who I am, or what I want to do with my life. And people just, yeah, I think they just want to make you conform.

Rubi: It’s also very unfair, I feel, to have this expectation of someone who, you don’t know how they’re going to turn out to be, if you have a child, you don’t know what they want in the future. And maybe they wanna live 3,000 miles away from you, and they should not feel guilty about wanting to move away and wanting to pursue their dreams or whatever makes them happy. Just because you make them feel like they need to be around you though… Actually it sounds like a very toxic thing to do.

Zoë: Absolutely. I feel like we should try and encourage people to, like you said earlier, to be able to be okay with being by yourself, and living your life on your own steam and being independent. All of those things I feel are really amazing characteristics. But, for some reason, society paints women as weirdos or career-driven, for just not wanting what we’re meant to desire, which in society’s eyes is having a child, or having a family or having a husband or whatever it is. I mean, where do you think your strength in knowing who you were from such a young age, and being so sure of yourself – like that is something that’s a real amazing characteristic to have at such a young age – where do you think that’s come from?

Rubi: I feel like it kind of maybe started as my parents never had an easy relationship. And I saw a lot of things where as a child, I was like, “Okay, well, I’m not gonna end up doing that. I’m gonna try and go into a whole different direction”. And maybe that’s how it started, I had my teen years, it was all so, you know, rebellion. And I was the rebel of the family who doesn’t want to wear traditional Indian clothes, and just doesn’t want to fit into this thing. And I feel like, over the years, now that I’m older, it has gotten to a point where I just accept myself as whoever I am. And I never apologize for it. It was always, “No, I know what I want”. And maybe it came from that thing where, at an early age, I saw what I don’t want to become, and that’s kind of given the strength to fight for who I want to be.

Zoë: So what’s something that you’ve done with your life that you couldn’t have done, if you’d had children?

Rubi: I move around a lot.

Zoë: Right, so whereabouts have you traveled to?

Rubi: Well, my absolute favourite place is London.

Zoë: Really? Yeah. Cool.

Rubi: I love it. I’m very sad -I was going to see Queen there this year, but that didn’t happen.

Zoë: Oh, no.

Rubi: But yeah, I think that’s the main thing. I move around a lot. I mean, the longest I’ve lived in a place was two years. And I felt like at the end, I was suffocating – I was not happy. There were problems at my workplace and not finding a new home in a new city, stuff like that, that kept me there for longer than I wanted. But I feel like I’m a very spontaneous person, and I move around a lot. I go to concerts a lot. I have so much going on, I probably wouldn’t be able to do when I had kids – like, going to concerts, festivals, randomly flying to London or stuff like that. And I don’t think it would make me happy. It definitely wouldn’t make me happy to – like I made the decision to move to Vienna within a week.

Zoë: Oh, wow. Yeah. So you are a very spontaneous person.

Rubi: Yeah.

Zoë: To me, that sounds amazing. I mean, having that kind of freedom and flexibility in your life to up sticks and go wherever you want. And, like we said, without children, you have more money, so we have more disposable income to spend on travel. And, to me, it sounds like an incredible way to live. So, yeah, it’s important that we hear more stories like yours, because I want women out there to hear that we aren’t just living lonely, sad lives. Like this is such a myth for childfree women – for us, at least, this is the best thing and the right thing for us.

Rubi: Yeah.

Zoë: I mean, do you think your family will ever kind of come to terms, or accept, this from you? Or do you think it’s so kind of ingrained with your parents that women are meant to have kids and you’re meant to settle down and have a family, that it’s going to be difficult for them to ever understand you, you know, the way you live?

Rubi: Well, since I have so many siblings, I’m hoping that all of them will have at least two kids. That will take the pressure off of me.

Zoë: Right.

Rubi: I only hope – I mean, my brother twins and I always jokingly say he already has had one kid on my behalf.

Zoë: There you go!

Rubi: But I do feel like my mum, it still saddens her when I say stuff like – from time-to-time she asks me, “Are you in a relationship? Why are you not? Or, you do want to have kids, right? You just say those things? You don’t mean it?” So every time I tell her, “No mum, I don’t see myself being in a relationship. And I don’t see myself having kids”, she does get sad. And I try to kind of, I don’t know, soothe her and try to explain to her that I’m not going to be some lonely old cat lady. Just because I feel like she’s probably the one who will – I mean, I do hope she will come around but she’s definitely the one who takes it the hardest.

Zoë: Okay, yeah. It’s so interesting because you are actually the happiest with your life, so for you, this is the best decision. And you are able to live the life that you want and have all of this amazing freedom and, you know, the ability to live your life in a really interesting, cool way. And it’s seen by your mom as something so different. And I mean, you can’t control any of that – this is something out of your control with her perception of your way of life and your decisions. I mean, that’s on her. So you’re right, all you can do is kind of go, “I’m not going to change”. You know, if you’re going to think like that, okay. Because, ultimately, this is your life, you have to live it the way you want to live it.

Yeah. And I mean, eventually, when people see that you are happy, maybe they will actually get that you don’t need it, to have a happy and fulfilling life.

Absolutely not, no.

Rubi: Not every woman prioritises having kids. Just because we can have it, doesn’t mean we want to.

Zoë: Absolutely, here here. So what would you say then to any women out there who are listening, who, maybe they don’t have the strength that you had to be to be able to say it out loud that they don’t want kids? I mean, what kind of words of wisdom or advice would you give to them?

Rubi: Well, I think, imagine you don’t want to have kids, imagine having kids and the life you would lead. It probably won’t make you happy. And I feel like that is something worth fighting for. I’m gonna phrase it this dramatically, but yeah, having kids and then not being happy is the huge price you pay for something you didn’t want in the first place. So do not let anybody tell you that it’s not right, that your decision is not correct or whatever. And nobody should be able, or should be allowed, to tell you – no matter if it’s a life partner – if they want kids and you don’t, then go find yourself someone else. There are a lot of people on this planet.

Zoë: Exactly.

Rubi: Just don’t don’t make cuts for someone because, this is a compromise that – it’s not like a little thing, like I want to live in the city and my partner wants to live in the countryside or something like that. It’s a huge, huge decision. Which could have been worse, like a lot of – who do I say that? – like the outcome, negative..?

Zoë: Yeah, yeah. Negative effects. Absolutely.

Rubi: Exactly. And so that’s not something you compromise on. And that’s not something you do just because someone else wants you to. It’s your body, so it’s your decision to make – and whether it’s having kids or not having kids, it’s your decision. And I feel like that’s the most important thing, to look out for yourself. This is also self love, to not let them pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to do. So it’s definitely something worth standing up for and using your voice.

Zoë: We are Childfree is hosted by me, Zoë Noble, and produced by James Glazebrook. If you liked this episode, please leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts, as this really helps other people find us. Head to wearechildfree.com to read more stories from incredible childfree women, and find out how to share your story with me. Speak soon lovelies :)

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