“This is how I would love it to be for everyone! Choice without pressure.”

Gabby, 46, UK

I have never felt having children was something I wanted in life, it has just never been an urgent or important thing for me.

It feels quite strange to hear other female friends talk about this ‘desperate need’. I feel really lucky not to have felt any pressure from myself, or indeed my family or friends who have never made a thing about it. This is how I would love it to be for everyone! Choice without pressure.

If children had been a wish, my preference would have been to have them with a partner. I have never had a longer-term romantic relationship in my life where children might have been on the cards – and I’m now in my mid 40s, so despite my life-long feelings about it, it’s possible I could have considered that decision had I been in a more viable partnership. However, it definitely wouldn’t have been something I felt I needed in my life to in any way improve it.

I really love having the freedom and flexibility of being childfree. I see my friends with children who seem to have lost themselves and have very little personal agency – more women but also men – as everything they do is for their kids or around family life. I can see there could be a joy in that to some extent, but it also looks very constricting and they rarely seem to get much time for themselves.

Children are like adults – some of them are incredible and some are just not for me.

I have the time to spend with those I love, and wonderful and exciting interests which make me feel really fulfilled.