“I was raised in a subculture where marriage/babies were the pinnacle of life.”

Cait, 47, USA

As a kid, I never played with baby dolls or babysat. I never saw myself as a mother. This was tricky, because I was raised in a subculture where marriage/babies were the pinnacle of life. Evangelical Christendom just doesn’t have a lot of room for anything else. I mean, if God wants you to work and have kids, he’ll make sure you have the money for a nanny. People told me – wait – it’ll happen.

So, I married the first time at 21. I kept waiting for my biological clock to go off. I hosted ALL the baby showers. No clock. I thought maybe it was the wrong guy. We divorced, I married again (because that’s what you do). When a few years in, I missed a few months, I thought bleakly… maybe the decision is made for me. When the doctor told me I was NOT pregnant, I felt like I’d just received a get-out-of-jail free card. Won the lottery. Rainbows and butterflies everywhere.

And that confirmed it. Some people are born to be astronauts. Chefs. In my case, some are born to be chaired business professors at Penn – with the best friends, a guy who loves to travel (who is not my 2nd husband – but that’s another story), glorious freedom and no guilt.

And I finally figured it out – you can have a wonderful life, with or without kids. Or a miserable life, with or without kids. They’re not the determining factor. Authenticity, learning, love, freedom and connection seem to be much more important to me. And I am so happy to have now found “We are Childfree” :-)