“No one else gets to dictate my life.”

Melissa, 42, Australia

I was 16 when I decided I would never have children. They simply never interested me. Whilst all the other women would fawn over babies and small children, I found no interest in them. I would rather talk to adults or read a book. That has never changed. Over the years I have found children less and less interesting however my reasons for not having them have grown considerably more complex. These days I do have a bit more of an antinatalist leaning, although concerns about the environment, the future of society, economic concerns factor into my decision. Often it’s easier and less confronting to explain by childfree stance in terms of the environment than simply because children are uninteresting and tedious.

My resolve to never have children has never wavered and I have been married twice. I’ve met many people who have considered me less of a woman, told me that ‘no man would ever put up with me’ and have been actively discriminated against due to my childfree stance.

Not having children has been the best thing for me. It has enabled me to take up every wild idea I’ve ever had – run for local council, move interstate, study my masters in cybersecurity, changing jobs every time it’s suited me, learnt how to do public speaking and present at conferences. Not to mention travel and explore both domestically and internationally. These are just a few of the bigger things. Really it allows me absolute freedom to wake up each day and solely determine what I will do that day. No one else gets to dictate my life.