“I was never the girl to dream about my wedding or life as a mom.”

Laura, 44, USA

I grew up in a two-parent, religious household in Virginia. While all I knew were moms and many stay-at-home moms, throughout my childhood I was never the girl to dream about my wedding or life as a mom.

I moved through my 20s feeling largely indifferent or confused as to why I wasn’t feeling the urge to have kids, as too many people told me I would. I was the only woman in my friend group who didn’t desire to have them, which at many times felt isolating and lonely.

I got married at age 29 to a man who also felt indifferent about having children. We have now been married for 14 years and love our life, which doesn’t include children.

Over the years, I’ve intentionally sought friends who also do not have children, and of course have many who are parents. I’ve built such an interesting and diverse (in interests and geographic location) social circle.

I travel often, host dinner parties, practice yoga, spend a lot of time outdoors, and hang out with friends and family. My husband and I can take professional risks, knowing we don’t have dependents who rely on our salaries. I have children in my life who call me Aunt Laura, including my brother’s two kids. This role feels fulfilling and plenty!

I’m firm in my decision not to raise children – it’s a question I regularly come back to for about 20 years, and then land on the same answer.

I’ve built a life that is full and that I love and don’t believe ‘my own’ children would make it any more full despite societal pressure.