“Forget it.”

Jesse, 53, United States

How did you get here? Are you childfree by choice, by circumstance, or are you still making up your mind?

I decided that children were not for me when I lost my third job as a school teacher. It suddenly hit me, “Why am I teaching kids if I don’t like kids?” I am solid now, especially at the age of 53 with no reason to start life again with children, that I want to remain childfree.

Have you always known you wouldn’t have children, or is this a more recent realisation?

No, I thought I’d be a great parent because I listened to everyone tell me, “You’d be a great parent.” Once I realized that compliment is just as meaningless as “Have a good day”, it occurred to me I’d been misled my entire life by polite chitchat.

What reasons did you consider when you made this decision?

The piercing screams, the bottomless demands, their yucky adolescence. Too chaotic, too ungrateful, too mouthy. And it’s just me and the mother against the internet. Forget it.

How do you live your best childfree life? What has your decision meant for your life? What has it allowed you to do?

Allows me to play guitar, gives me space to think about what I really want from life, and the gratitude that I’m not a pawn for fearmongers.

TAGS:50s Men USA