“We’re not just baby-makers, child bearers, or caretakers.”

Sibu, 33, Costa Rica

My name is Sibu, and I have considered a childfree life for about 20 years now (since I was a teenager), until recently. I got my fallopian tubes removed last week. It was by far the one decision in my life that took the most courage and self-awareness. A permanent decision, that would impact the way that I am perceived, forever. Especially since I am a woman of color, and my backgrounds are extremely religious.

That was the scariest part, really: having to deal with people’s expectations. We talk about not wanting kids, but we’re never taken seriously. We’re told over and over again that we’ll change our minds, that there’s nothing more rewarding and satisfying than having children.

Why become biologically childfree at age 33? When I’m single and I’ve never had kids? The list is long.

One of the main reasons is that we glorify parenthood. It’s something that we’re all supposed to want, no questions asked. It is OUR duty as part of society, after all. No one ever talks about how hard it is, about the regret that might follow. About how we tell ourselves that it is rewarding because once it’s done, what other choice do we have? If people were to speak out loud about how they’re afraid that they made a mistake, or can’t deal with the pressure, they’ll be deemed as monsters in front of society.

Being a woman is not conducive to motherhood. We’re not just baby-makers, child bearers, or caretakers. These are the roles that we have been given over and over again. I know people who have had children because it was expected of them, who didn’t want any but felt pressure from their partner, families, or even surroundings to do it, and they feel trapped now.

I vowed to always be true to myself, my feelings, and my needs. Taking this step is simply that. By being vocal with my story, I hope to inspire other people, to help them realize that they’re not alone and that there are choices. And most importantly, that there is a growing community of childfree people out there.

As a childfree person, my intention is to continue living my best life. I don’t need to leave a legacy, to live vicariously through my children. Everything I intend to do, I plan on doing it myself. I am a full-time traveler, I work remotely, and my plan is to continue inspiring others to enjoy the beauty that this world has to offer.