“I’m living my best life. I can do whatever I want.”

Diana, Berlin

Is that what people think? That childfree women are sad? Because I’m thriving, I’m living my best life. I can do whatever I want. 

To be honest, the idea of having children just never came to my mind. It wasn’t a decision, it was just inside of me. I always knew that I didn’t want to have children. 

When I first talked to anyone about this, I was probably 26, 27. It’s very young to be thinking about this, in this society, because you can have children at pretty much any age. I was taking a walk with my mum, who’s from the Philippines. They’re a bit more conservative over there. She comes from a big family, and is used to having people around her that come from big families as well.

I’d expected my mum to be, not angry, but disappointed – because I knew she wanted to be a grandma at some point. But I was pleasantly surprised by her reaction. She said, “Hey, it’s very good that you’ve already been thinking about this. And if you really don’t want to have children – if that’s not on your path – just make your own decisions, and never let society give you any pushback or let you think you’re wrong.”

That was around the same time I started mixed martial arts. When I was 27, I started with Thai boxing, before discovering MMA. I’m not really a team player, so I was looking for a sport that I could do by myself, without needing any tools. When you play tennis, you need a racket. When you do basketball, you need a ball. Whereas MMA is the purest form of sport there is – you use your body, and that’s it.

My training is so important to me. And so is my job – I work quite a lot. I have some pretty big projects on my plate, and I’ve been working past midnight for 10 days straight. And it’s fine. I mean, it wouldn’t be fine if I had to do this every day. But I know this is going to end, and it’s something I’m investing in which is bound to pay back at some point. Because I don’t have children, I can do these things. I can travel anywhere I want. I can train once, even twice a day.

For me, being childfree has only ever been beneficial. It has given me time, freedom, energy. When people say “it’s selfish not to have children” – first of all, I don’t agree with that. Second of all, is it a bad thing to be selfish? I tell all my friends, my family, just be selfish. Put yourself first. If you’re in a relationship or not, always put yourself on the first spot. Because, in the end, you have to be dependent on yourself.

I’m a strong believer that the only person you really need to impress in your life is yourself. You’re the most important person.

Photos by Zoë Noble
Words edited by James Glazebrook