“Take it from me that life will still be good without children.”

Amanda, 54, New Zealand

I have always known that I did not want to have kids. My earliest memory of this is when I was about 13 years old. Now I am 54 years old and I have never regretted it. Even when I went through menopause and it hit home that I REALLY don’t have any choice any more.

I always knew that I wanted to travel and having children would stop that. I spent several years living and travelling around the world which I absolutely loved. When I came back home I then started doing adventure racing, which I loved, but it takes up all of your spare time. I did not feel like it was being selfish. If a stranger said that I was being selfish I was not offended. I don’t know them, they are not my friend and I will probably never see them again so I don’t care what their opinion is.

My reasons for being child free range from never having the “want” to have kids to not wanting to pass on defective genes. Parents always question my reasons, but this is mostly them wanting to justify their reasons FOR having children. My stance is; you don’t criticise me for not having children and I won’t criticise you for HAVING children. I do like kids and I enjoy being an Auntie as I get to do all the fun things with my nephews. But I also value my solitude and I don’t feel the need to be surrounded by people all the time. Even non-parents can influence a child’s life. I say this because I can remember as a child meeting other unrelated young adults and being inspired by what they were doing with their lives.

I met my husband through multi sports and I broached the subject about children with him before we got married. As he was ambivalent about children he was happy to go with whatever I wanted. At first I thought he was just trying to be nice and I told him straight that if he really wanted kids then I was not the wife for him.

I feel that I also do help out parents but not in ways that they seem to appreciate. For example, I have lost count of the number of times I have worked unpaid overtime because a parent was at home with their sick child. I always end up doing half of their job as well as my own. I don’t mind because this is my way of contributing. What I do mind is then being criticised by this same parent because I don’t have kids! You have no idea, do you?

For all you women out there still within child bearing age don’t worry, take it from me that life will still be good without children.