“Occasionally I think that if I had had a child, I would’ve been a good parent.”

Robin, 60, USA

I just turned 60 years old.

I cannot believe I am already at this milestone in my life. I knew for sure when I was 15 that I did not want to have any children. I think I may have even known before that. I remember consciously thinking about it before 15. It was mainly a selfish decision: my life would’ve been totally different and I could hardly afford to take care of myself, no less children. I am pretty certain I would’ve ended up a single parent. As it turned out, I was never able to get pregnant. With a retroverted uterus, endometriosis, and by the grace of God, birth control or not, I never got pregnant. I wasn’t trying but I wasn’t always doing anything to prevent it either. Eventually, in my early 30’s, I had a hysterectomy. I feel it was the smartest decision I ever made: Pain gone, pregnancy chances – zero.

I feel like I struggled to support myself and had ongoing medical issues. Costly. I do love pets. They are my responsibility in this life. I love them with all my heart and soul. With my cats and tortoise and tanks of tropical fish, I feel happy and not lonely. I chose not to date. I have a career. I am content with my life.

Occasionally I think that if I had had a child, I would’ve been a good parent. Neither me nor my two brothers have any children (my only nephew had childhood leukemia and died at 7 years old), so our parents’ genetic line, and ours, ends when we pass. I think of these things. There’s a part of that that bothers me, the finality of it.

Being childfree allows me the freedom to make choices for myself that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to do or afford if I had children. I travel when I can save up the money. I indulge my pets. I indulge myself by cooking and eating good food. I am free to live my life and feel content. I have other childfree friends, family and coworkers. It makes me realize I am not the only one who made the decision not to have children in this life and that it’s OK.