“I had to escape this small town, its mindset, and motherhood.”

Kandi, 29, USA

I grew up in a small town of 300 people located in the Ozarks.

During childhood, girls are ‘moulded’ into housewives; responsible for all house chores, while males do nothing to contribute to the housework or childcare.

I was an observant child, which led me to the realisation that I could not happily continue living the way I grew up. I consciously made decisions knowing that that was what I had to do to escape the small town, its mindset, and motherhood.

Most people do not escape this town. I’m sure the same is true across all small towns in rural America. It is a place where dreams die.

No one, including teachers, expect anything of students who graduate from that sub-par public school. From the time I was in middle school, I was determined to go to law school and that’s what I did. I am the only person from that high school who has graduated from law school and only one other person (also a female) has become a medical doctor.

I began dating my husband shortly before I graduated high school. Our relationship is non-typical. He grew up in a religious cult and I helped him escape. Early in our relationship he thought we would have kids.

As a teenager, I knew that I did not want kids. I wanted my own life and career. I did not express my feelings about kids until I was older and married. With age and education, I grew more confident in expressing my feelings about not having kids. The idea of birthing was repulsive to me. Why would I want to destroy my body?

I love my childfree life.