“It really is the best life.”

Jade, 32, UK

I’ve known from a very young age that being a parent isn’t something that I wanted to be.

Even in my first years of nursery and school I can remember having zero interest in playing with baby dolls and rather wanted to build things or draw or climb stuff. A lot of my female friends at the time thought I was weird for preferring to play with stuffed animals or wanting to run around but eventually I found friends that accepted it.

Fast forward to my teens and I still never got the desire to be a parent, all my friends talking about how many kids they wanted and that just never resonated with me. It probably didn’t help that the age gap between myself and my youngest sister is 11 years and I was often made to help my mum out with feeding, changing and babysitting. Responsibility I didn’t want or should have been given to me- I didn’t choose to be a parent after all! But even though I loved my baby sister, and my friends cooed over her, I never developed any maternal feelings.

Even into my 20s when some of my friends had children and more of my boyfriends were asking about having kids, I wasn’t interested. I kept being told by people I’d change my mind and I’d never know love like a parent has for their child…

I’m now 32 and my boyfriend (of 5 years) and I discussed about a month or so in about our desire to never have children. It works perfectly for us, we get to do what we want and not worry about the responsibility. However he definitely gets an easier time than I do about choosing to be childfree, he’s never been called selfish or had his character brought into question.

But the people we know with children always try to convince us it’s the best thing to do, like they need us to feel tired all the time to be in the same club. I love my friends and their kids but I’m so so so happy with my decision to never be a mother.

My boyfriend and I once discussed adoption but came to the conclusion that we just don’t want the responsibility- we make a better aunt and uncle duo than we would as parents and we are really happy with that. Plus, we get to sleep in and do the things we love without worrying about the needs of a small human. It really is the best life.