“My motherly instinct exists but it goes beyond my own reproduction.”

Emma, 39, UK

My decision was a life of adventure and dedicating my energy to work and passions which have included study, global humanitarian work, classical music and mountaineering.

I have always known I didn’t want children. My energy comes from wanting to give to the world at scale and help children that already exist. The environmental impact was also a big factor of consideration.

Working with children has provided me with a solid understanding of what parenting involves. It was a case of weighing up the other things I could do and the impact I wanted to have. My motherly instinct exists but it goes beyond my own reproduction.

I have battled with the conditioning and voices that came from prescribed social norms. I considered loneliness particularly in older age and women my age (mothers) not feeling they can bond with me. I considered disappointment from family and bewilderment from colleagues and friends or potential assumptions.

It can be a challenge to extract your true feelings amidst conditioning and hold true to them.

I currently live my best child free life by working in a research role for the prison service which has me travelling around 13 prisons. On the side I work as a Musician (performing and teaching). I’m currently also training as a mountain leader and bagging all of the Scottish Munros with the goal of helping kids explore the outdoors more.

Keen to do some volunteer mentoring work in the future as time allows!