“I love working with children, I just don’t want to live with them.”

Sophie, 32, UK

I am a straight white cis woman married to a straight white cis man and I don’t want children. My husband and I have been together since we were 19. 13 years. We have been married for 5. I am a teacher and work across primary and secondary settings. I love working with children, I just don’t want to live with them.

I had a difficult childhood. A mum who desperately wanted children and a dad who shouldn’t have. I struggle with anxiety and periods of depressed. It is hereditary in my family and it isn’t something I want to pass on. Equally it is something I battle with daily, and I don’t want to battle that with a child to look after.

I love my life of supporting children through work. I work in deprived areas only as I want to make the most difference to the most amount of children. Colleagues can struggle with my decision not to have children as the majority have their own or as planning to. It is a very female-dominated sector and the most questioning I get is from other women. Typical responses of ‘you will change your mind’ etc. I appreciate that for some it is hard for me to like children and not want them; but it is just how it is.

When I was around 27 I went through a period of wanting children. I wonder now whether it was largely hormones-based reasoning. I am now comfortable in the decision not to have them. To spend my life with money, holidays and peace at home (all being well. And highly more likely without having a child around).