“Yeah, the world is going to hell – another reason not to have kids – but not today.”

Gaia, 71, Mexico

Hola from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I’m a 71 year old poet and visual artist who grew up in New England, USA, lived in Manhattan’s East Village for 20 years, and abroad for the past 9 years (Costa Rica for 3 years and now SMA for 6). I made my choice not to have kids at 30, after moving to Manhattan and understanding the great reach of possibilities laid out before me.

I found what I’d always wanted: a circle of artists I was part of, in the most diverse, inspirational city in the world. My life goal: to be respected and admired by those I respected and admired. To have that, I understood, meant I would not become a mother. I saw the choice my women friends and my sisters made (and I’m happy they did, with their wise and wonderful children), but there was really little choice there: they had to mother, of course, and often held down other full-time jobs as well. Even though many artists are mothers (and are artists as mothers), I knew my choice not to do both was right for me. I think I would have been a good mother, and have served as a maternal figure to students all my life – but the choice not to have children gave me the freedom from so many things that would have demanded my time – and were also boring, which I did not have time for either.

So I had the gift of all that time, only needed to take care of myself, and could pretty much create my life as I wanted, despite my financial limitations. A life-long serial monogamist with the good men in my life, I was also married twice – but never reconsidered my choice not to have children. After my mother died and I was close to retirement age, I felt free to leave the USA for my life as an expat, another choice that was right for me.

The final result? I’ve been a working artist all my life, live in a beautiful place with my dear partner (who has two grown sons), and have countless friends all over the world. Yeah, the world is going to hell – another reason not to have kids – but not today.