“I’m nearing the end of my child-bearing years and have no regrets.”

Jo, 51, USA

I always knew I didn’t want kids, from an extremely young age. In high school, then college, the question would come up about marriage to ‘a nice boy’ and having kids – from my parents, well-meaning older relatives, etc. My response was typically met with something between horror and pity.

I was made to suffer with crippling endometriosis because the doctors (numerous) insisted I would want kids later, I would change my mind (because treatment would reduce or eliminate fertility). So I suffered all these years – nearly every sick day, personal day, and most vacation days I used because I was bed-ridden with endo whenever it came. I’m hoping that the Millennials, Gen Zs and those that come after get a better shake than I did when I was young.

Now I’m nearing the end of my child-bearing years and have no regrets. I see the mess the world is in, I understand the ugly genetics I have (lot of genetic diseases I managed to evade, but my kids may not) and I do not for a moment regret my decision. I don’t have to be afraid of how my kids will make their way in an ever more hostile world – economically, socially, politically. It’s a lot less stress being concerned only for myself. I can go anywhere at any time my finances will allow me to go. Also – fewer gray hairs!

Don’t let anyone guilt or bully you into such a life-changing decision – they aren’t living your life. At the end you have only yourself to answer for.