“Deciding to be childfree came with a bonus: my autism diagnosis.”

Lis, 32, Netherlands

Deciding to be childfree came with a bonus: my autism diagnosis.

I never wanted kids, but also never gave it real thought until a few years ago. I got engaged when I was 22 and my husband wanted kids. At the time, I figured it was something I would be willing to do at some point, but we both agreed it was far away.

A few years ago, a doctor told me that I should consider not waiting any longer if I did wanted kids, because I would likely have a hard time getting pregnant with my PCOS. So me and my husband started the process of making that decision, and this time he wasn’t really in the same place, and we started considering a childfree life.

Decision-making has always been super hard for me, and with this type of life-changing decision, it’s especially challenging as I can’t possibly have all the information to make a logical choice. I was frantically researching about everything (life with kids, life without kids, how to make decisions…) until I came across some autism in women videos and realised – that’s what I was!

The diagnosis and the childfree decision came together and complemented each other, it made it so much easier to understand my life. I realised there were things about the life with a child that I wanted, but these reasons were not significant enough. And I learned that I had to mourn the loss of these things I wouldn’t have.

Now I have the freedom to live my life without the weight of the “maybe someday”. I know I am childfree and I love it!