“I wanted to explore people. The world. Myself.”

Mindi, 46, Australia

  • Where are you at on your childfree journey?

I’m male, 46 now, and had my vasectomy last year.

  • How did you get here? Are you childfree by choice, by circumstance, or are you still making up your mind?

I’m childfree by choice.

  • Have you always known you wouldn’t have children, or is this a more recent realisation?

I’ve always known, perhaps since my own childhood, perhaps 8 years old or so, is when I first recall thinking I never really wanted children of my own.

  • What reasons did you consider when you made this decision?

There were a multitude of things which contributed. It’s quite a story as it ties to my embracing of feminism from a young age. I was initially raised religiously, and quickly found myself not fitting into my environment. Around 6 or so years old I suddenly became I aware of the segregation of women from men in the temple, and this where the roots of my feminism began. I could see women had a designated role and to my 6 year-old mind, it didn’t sit right. As I grew older the segregation between girls and boys, women and men, became more apparent. For a time I thought I’d never want a son, only a daughter. Then as time went by, and I came to my mid-late teens, I knew I never wanted a child at all. I wanted to explore people. The world. Myself. I felt there was too much around me to experience to want to pause and have children. And frankly, from perhaps a selfish perspective, I wasn’t willing to give up any aspect of my life to want to raise children.

  • How do you live your best childfree life? What has your decision meant for your life? What has it allowed you to do?

I focus on me. The things I love, the people I love. I enjoy the space in my life to pursue whatever I wish to, no limits or restrictions.

I made my decision to get a vasectomy last year. My delay to get it done was entirely my own fault – I didn’t understand the procedure properly, but also, especially in my 30s, the focus in dating on having families was intense. The males at work in my age group were all having children, and I wondered whether my feelings were valid. Would I have to let go of my childfree feelings in order to find a partner? In the end I knew what I had felt was valid all along. I often sense or experience remorse from others, both men and women, for being 46 and childfree. I’ve had comments, some extremely insulting from males, for choosing a childfree life.