“I am forever grateful for following my own path.”

Jo, 45, UK

While I played with dolls as a young girl, I never envisaged those dolls being real babies.

As I got older, I saw people with children and the responsibility it brought, as well as the limitations it imposed on the parents’ lives and realised it wasn’t something I really wanted.

When I married my first husband, aged 28, I was on the fence but mostly leaning towards no kids. His views differed and I almost gave in… but luckily (as I view it now) the marriage broke down irretrievably. I made a decision then that I would never have children.

I dated some people with kids and realised that it wasn’t just about not having any of my own, I didn’t want to be a mum to anyone else’s children either. Having children in any way was just not compatible with what I wanted to do with my life.

Being childfree has negatively affected me in some ways- you’re not part of ‘the club’ and I have found the expectations upon my flexibility at work can be far greater than parents I work with.

However, the benefits of being childfree far outweigh this. Being able to travel when and where I want, freely. Not having to consider anyone’s future but mine and my husband’s (I met a fellow ‘team no kids’ person) as well as being able to choose to spend my free time as I wish, and not being bound by children’s activities. Being able to spend my last tenner on a bottle of wine and not a kid’s club.

I am forever grateful for following my own path.