“I am happy to be a childfree woman. I enjoy my choice and freedom that it gives to me.”

Anna, 26, Ukraine

I grew up with the idea that I would have children.

Why? I don’t know, just because I had to, that’s how it was for everyone. My dad always told me to take care of my health just because one day I’d give birth to kids. I guess he didn’t think it was possible to want to be healthy just for no reason.

Somewhere around the age of 18 or 19, I started to clearly realise that I didn’t want kids, ever. A lot of that had to do with my coming to feminism. It opened my eyes to a lot of things, although it can be very difficult to live with that realisation.

When I was 21, I started dating a guy. I loved him, but one day he wrote in some message “I hope our kids will love us as well.” I knew this was going to happen, but it was hard for me to imagine this situation. It was even harder for me to text him that I didn’t want kids and, if it was important to him, I would accept whatever choice he made, implying that we would have to break up over it.

I gave him time to think about it, but I couldn’t calm myself. Later he wrote that he loved me and would accept my choice, even though it would make him sad, and he hoped the situation would change. We continued to date and later to live together, but I felt the weight that lay on me every day. I felt guilty, flawed, wrong, and often cried because of that. I started reading different social media groups that dealt with the difficulties and dangers of pregnancy and childbirth, parenting, and so on.

And now I am 26 years old, my boyfriend and I have been living together for over three years, and we will be celebrating our fifth anniversary this year. My boyfriend supports me in absolutely everything. Of course, I can’t know all his thoughts, what he’s really thinking, but I hope I’ve really managed to change his mind at least a little bit. And now I am 26 years old, I am happy to be a childfree woman. I enjoy my choice and freedom that it gives to me.