“Some people think of it being offensive to themselves that we don’t want kids.”

Lissa, 32, Belgium

I am 34, female and had a tubal ligation early this year. I was thrilled, as I had been asking for this surgery for over a decade. I knew from a very young age I was going to be childfree, and when I met my boyfriend (now husband) it became clear we were both on the exact same page.

Our family and friends overall were mostly understanding. They all know we don’t want children. Some even know about my sterilisation, but not all. Some people think of it being offensive to themselves that we don’t want kids. One friendship was lost as she could not cope with me not wanting kids (though I loved hers very much), she just kept stating I was not on the same level as her or not as ‘mature’ as her as I don’t want to have kids.

But the thing that strikes me most is what the desire to actually have children can do to friendships and relationships. I lost a friendship due to not wanting to have children. But more and more I see friendships fade or breakup due to people really wanting children and not being able to cope if someone else close to them is ‘first’. Or seeing couples fight because they are frustrated about not being able to conceive. They both want kids, but do they want kids together?

It breaks my heart. I’m really excited for pregnant friends, but it seems a lot of female friends can’t be bothered or they are make the whole thing about themselves. One of my friends is even hesitant to ‘overshare’ about her kid to our other friends as she is afraid… I mean, it’s so sad.