“We don’t need to have a child to ‘start a family’.”

Rachel, 30, Australia

My choice to be childfree has gradually unfolded over time, becoming clearer and clearer, year by year. I remember as a child being obsessed with taking care of my ‘baby born’ doll… playing with other little characters and creating large, pretend families for them… I took child studies in year 10 at high school and had to take care of one of those creepy fake babies who are programmed to cry… I quite enjoyed it for the three days I had it! I always assumed that I’d have children, but it turns out this assumption was simply wrong.

Nothing specifically ‘clicked’, or obviously changed. I just kept living my life, my priorities and my values continually developing, and it turns out that in fact, I don’t want children of my own. Despite what I’ve been told by acquaintances and strangers, I don’t believe I will change my mind ‘one day’. And even if I did change my mind, then so be it… I will deal with that if it happens, which I highly doubt it will, because I trust my own judgement about my own life.

My definition of a family has broadened from what I assumed it was as a child. A single person and their housemates is a family. My husband, my cat, and me – we are a family. We don’t need to have a child to ‘start a family’. It’s ok to create your own family however you want to.