“Being childfree has allowed me to accomplish so many of my dreams.”

Jenny, 43, USA

I grew up in Colombia, South America and later my family moved the Queens NY, USA. I first felt that I wanted to be childfree as a teenager. I felt that I wanted to go to college and have a profession and some day travel the world with a partner or alone. So far I’ve never felt a desire to be a mom. When I was 15 my mom decided to move with us to the USA, my dad agreed, but left her on her own financially. She had never worked because my dad did not let her, and all of a sudden she had to get a job to feed her 4 children. Neither her nor us spoke English then.

While my mom went to work, I focused on my goals of learning English, graduating High School, and eventually going to college. My siblings dealt with the new situation in a different way, they all dropped out of school without my mom at home to supervise them. I graduated High School and became the first person in my family to go straight to college. The situation at home was not ideal, so I moved all alone to Washington DC to attend George Washington University.

One of my sisters became a teenage mom and the other became a mom at 23. They both ended up being single moms, I saw how difficult it was for them to take care of their kids, how some of their dreams were put on the back burner so that they could feed their kids. These events only solidify my decision, I did not want to be a single mom. The years after college were difficult, I had several office jobs that did not pay enough to support myself, let alone a child. I lived with roommates to save money, I could not have done this with a kid. Eventually, I started work in public health, and I loved it so much that I went to get a Masters at the University of Michigan.

I am fortunate because my family is fine with my choice. Both my mom and grandmother have encouraged me to continue studying and enjoying life. On occasion one of my sisters has told me I am selfish or that I don’t know real love, but I know that this is not true.

In 2015 I met my partner, he has two adult children, but does not want any more. He knows being childfree is important to me and supports my choice. I honor myself, my mom, and grandmother by living my best childfree life. Today I work for the American Society of Hematology helping them develop clinical practice guidelines for several hematological diseases. I may not be a trailblazer who is changing the world, but being childfree has allowed me to accomplish so many of my dreams. I live a happy life!