“Childfree life has given me so much freedom, adventure and choice.”

Rebecca, 46, UK

I’ve never ever wanted kids. Apart from the brief period where I got obsessed with a Channel 4 programme following a group of midwives around a real life maternity ward. And it got me thinking, “Hmmm maybe I could do this?” But no, I couldn’t – and didn’t want to.

I grew up along with my brother in a small house in South Wales, raised by my single mum. We all shared a single bedroom for the first ten years of my life and things were tough for mum. Single parenting is hard and she was aware of the social stigma of living as a divorced single woman, and she was sad and bitter about her lot. Her career in London had had so much potential – she was one of the first women to get a job as a geological surveyor in an oil firm in the 70s. A trailblazer. Moving back to Wales was a massive kick in the teeth. To me parenting seemed so rubbish, and depressing.

I’ve never really changed my mind, and I’ve thought long and hard to make sure I’ve made the right choice. At 46 the pressure is now off.

The hardest parts are other people’s expectations, and having to answer people’s questions- “Do I have kids?”, asked with a tone of assumption that of course I do. Me feeling awkward and annoyed that they’re even asking.

But the toughest part has been the massive loss of close friends – those who had kids disappeared in a ten year period.

Childfree life has given me so much freedom, adventure and choice. I’ve travelled the world, been able to switch careers and create the life I want to live.