46 People Who Decided Not To Have Children And Are Proud Of It Share Why
Let's face it, increasingly more people decide to turn down the prospect of parenthood. As a Pew Research Center study has found, around 44% of Americans who are not already parents say they’re unlikely to have children — ever. But even though they consciously choose to forego having kids and feel comfortable with the decision, childfree people often face pressure from those in their social circle who believe they will definitely change their minds.
"You still have time" is up there with some of the most frustrating remarks people who chose a different life path have to hear. Thankfully, there’s a great way to fight stigma in society — see the positivity in their child-free freedom and be proud of their choice. This is something that hundreds of people expressed across various threads on Reddit, and their stories are nothing but honest.
We at Bored Panda have wrapped up a collection of responses where people open up about how this decision affected their lifestyles. Some explain their overwhelming joy and happiness, while others reveal slight doubts and regrets. So sit back, relax, and enjoy reading through their experiences. Be sure to upvote your favorite answers and if you want to weigh in on the topic, we’d love to hear your thoughts right below in the comments!
Psst! If you’re interested in even more childfree content, take a look at our earlier piece where people reveal what made them decide to never have kids.
#1I am 47 and life is great. Was married once (very young) and engaged once, but never had kids. Started my own business a decade ago and that's gone great. It's currently providing me income while I work on a start-up with a partner. I travel a lot (when there's not a pandemic), have tons of hobbies, and have built up a wonderful chosen family for company and support.
I have no regrets and no complaints. I get plenty of sleep and take good care of myself. I volunteer and give back to the community however and whenever I can. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Image credits: GracieLikesTea
Vacations are a breeze, particularly if you go to another country. If I find a place, I can just up and move without worrying about if the school is any good, or how big the house is.
Image credits: Gonstackk
#31. My body already is pretty screwed up, I don't need it MORE screwed up
2. A lot of folks seem to hate their children. Like, A LOT of people seem to hate their children. Or at least mildly resent them. I don't want to do that.
3. I am an 'all in' type of person. A 'anything worth doing is worth over doing' type of person. I'd probably be a great parent because of this--all in for my kids. But it also means I'd be a terrible ME. I'd lose being an individual in the process, and that's not good for me OR any mythical children.
4. I really, really, really like quiet.
Image credits: Lyeta1_1
#4I’m a 46 year old auntie to a wonderful little boy and I’m fine with that.
My husband and I didn’t each hit 6 figures until about 4 years ago, so we’re not really swimming in money yet (we live in NYC). I love sleeping in. I love finishing dinner and then playing video games. I love going for long walks. I love peace and quiet. I love all my disposable income. My brother and his wife ask all the time when we’re going to visit so they can just toss my nephew at us for a week so they can go on vacation and you know, that just makes me extra happy I didn’t go that route.
Image credits: cuntpunt2000
#5Retiring to me means never working for anyone but myself.
Thanks to the stars aligning with my childfreedom, the real estate boom, and a deep seated drive to be both lazy and selfish I'm about to live my dream - moving across the country, renting out an ADU for passive income, and freelancing when I feel like it.
Of course, there are no guarantees this will last forever, but at 35 it's the closest thing to retirement I've ever experienced. So excited.
Image credits: atypicala
#6Boyfriend and I are both 45 and life is pretty cool. We met when we were 39 and on our second date I had to ask the dreaded kid question. Thank god his response was a vehement no. It’s crazy to think people don’t ask that question right away and have terrible break ups over it. I figured I didn’t want to waste a minute with him if he wanted kids!
Image credits: bionica1
#7Fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better life. I wouldn’t trade my current status for the greatest child in the world and I like kids. Me 44 and hubby 38, almost mortgage free. Stress from jobs are there but I feel like it’s nothing compared to my friends with kids.
Image credits: commentaror
#8I am 38, my wife is 42. Our marriage is fantastic and our jobs are stressful, but lucrative. We worry and stress about normal things just like others, but just not about kids, obviously.
Like any major life decision, there are pangs of regret -seeing my friends enjoy ballgames and major milestones with their children that I know it won't experience with my own, but I know I am also sidestepping the negatives as well.
In the end, my wife and I chose each other and are endlessly happy. Could a child have improved that bliss? Possibly - but we collectively were not 100% all-in and didn't want to risk our happiness together to find out.
Image credits: Intersectaquirer
#9I’ve recently started dating again, and the amount of men my age (35) with kids is disheartening. I started talking to one guy, and he mentioned having kids, so I told him we weren’t compatible. He told me I was being negative, asking how I knew we weren’t compatible, etc. Well, cause you have kids and I don’t, I don’t want any. I had another guy tell me he had a 22-month-old. He has not mentioned anywhere in his profile about having kids, and then when I tell him it’s a no for me, he resorts to insults. I’m honestly happy with my life and where I am, and I refuse to settle for anyone who wouldn’t add to my life. I’m complete. If I die alone with my cats, that’s better than settling for a miserable life
#10My biggest factors in not wanting kids are SLEEP and SPONTANEITY! When telling my coworker this, she’s like “it’s not as hard as you’d think it is” then, a couple weeks later, she comes in talking about “the baby is sick and can’t sleep” or “the baby was up at 6am today” (we work nights) and she has to plan [things] way in advance, and she can’t handle her car issues because she has no money because of the baby.
Luckily! My sister, my mom, and my close friends who have kids are very honest with me about what their lives are like, and they don’t blame me for not wanting kids! The only people who seem to REALLY want my husband and I to start pumping ‘em out are my coworkers, which is extra weird because like… they would never even see my hypothetical baby ??
Image credits: BetEqual2993
#11Me 46M and wife 46F.
In a word, amazing.
We both work in Finance and our household gross income is about $200k with about $48k/yr in expenses (and half of that is discretionary...bare bones expenses are about $24k/yr)
Debt free except for the house, which will be completely paid off by this time next year.
Pretty much buy whatever we want, when we want it.
Go where ever we want, when we want to.
Our jobs are ultra-stable and we have both been with the company for 10 years and get 1.5 months of paid leave, plus 10 paid holidays per year (almost unheard of in non-union jobs in the US).
We live next door to my wife's parents and they are awesome people that treat me like the son they never had.
About the only thing we really need to fix, is we both put on too much weight during covid and need to get that shit under control this summer...so...salad & hiking summer it is.
Luckily, we live in the paradise of our choosing, Alaska, and there is truly epic hiking up here.
Image credits: [deleted]
#12Love my life. Wouldn’t trade it with anyone. I’m 70 with no children, never married, and no regrets. Several long term relationships (11 yr. & 17 year ... still friends). Loved my never relinquishing my personal freedom. Several things informed my decision:
Watching the relationships of parents and children, where children became a**holes. 2. Watching marriages that were okay go bad or boring 3. Watching people lose themselves in stressful marriages. 4. My inability to take shit and pretend that it’s not happening. 5. Not enjoying the feeling of having to negotiate everything from social events to meal choices. 6. Unwillingness to relinquish personal freedom
Image credits: Kwelikinz
#13I had an experience that annoyed me apartment hunting last year. The lady showing my boyfriend and I the apartment kept prying why we would need a second bedroom, and saying things like if it’s just the two of us why isn’t a 1 bedroom enough. Even after explaining we both worked from home, she kept trying to push the smaller units. I guess the building has less 2 bedrooms so they like to keep them open for people with kids?
As crazy as it sounds, people without kids also like space.
#14I was told at an old job that I’d be such a great mom because I was so patient and kind to coworkers, especially the new ones who had A LOT of questions. The difference is I can get away from my coworkers, but kids are a different story! My mom said I would be a fantastic mom— IF I wanted to be one, because ultimately, I wouldn’t be if my heart wasn’t in it. My mom gets it, and I appreciate her so much for it.
Image credits: Brain_Stew12
#15I was getting to know a (female) doctor my partner used to work with. She asked about my dream job and I responded that I don’t dream of labor; my dream is to be financially secure enough that I can retire ASAP.
“Retired? Do you mean at home with babies?”
“…Um no. Retired meaning I have enough savings to not have to work anymore while living comfortably.”
Image credits: PM_ME_PDIDDY
#1630 F, besides every other answer already provided here… I am legitimately terrified of the idea of pregnancy and giving birth. Even if I felt the burning desire to mother a child, (which I do not) I could never get past the fact I would have to grow it, and “have” it.
Image credits: IndependentWinner992
#17Utterly delightful. We can do what we want, when we want. Zero debt except the mortgage. 10/10 would do again.
#18When my current manager found out I don’t want kids his response was “well you’re young and still have time to change your mind”. When I told him my husband and I want to retire early he said “but why would you retire early if you don’t have kids? What would you even do..?”
SMH these people are so brainwashed. There’s more to life than going to a job everyday then taking care of kids for the other part.
Image credits: Chipotleislyfee
#19Almost 40, no kids, never married. I work about 50ish hours a week. Life is good. Money just sits in the bank since I don't have to spend it on children, I have a bunch of free time that I use however I want because I can't ask a significant other how they want to spend time together or have to cater my schedule around sports practice, or academia. I use my vacation days to extend some weekends, travel somewhere nice, stay in a bed and breakfast and enjoy the nightlife the place has to offer.
Image credits: nocoolname42
#20Yes, I had people who say, “You will never save enough to have a baby, so just have one anyway.” I also had people shame and laugh at me for having pets and treating them well. Then those petless people finally got a pet and treated it like a baby too. I was always amazed and wondered how some people afford hair, lashes, nails, etc., every month, but I think we all prioritize what we want to spend our money on. I have other hobbies, so I put my money there instead.
#21I've never had any desire to be a mother. I don't want to give up my freedom and spare time. I can't afford it. I don't want to grow a human inside my body. I have [bad] mental health problems that I would probably pass on to them.
Image credits: sporkchop24
Can't even imagine having children. I'm not built for it.
Great with other people's kids (in short bursts) but ultimately very glad to be able to walk away from that cacophony of neediness.
I sleep as much as I want (as well as game/work/etc) eat whatever I want go where I want (or more importantly don't go where I don't want).
One of the few decisions that made very young (before I was a teenager for sure) that I've not wavered on and has paid off dividends.
Image credits: VyrPlan
#23My significant other went to his father for advice when I told him I didn’t want kids. He was young and had not given much thought to the topic yet. His father’s advice was that his mother didn’t want kids either, but then she changed her mind! What kind of advice is that? Luckily, he came around to my side. I mean, the hundreds of reasons not to have kids are so compelling. I just don’t see how anyone could NOT be convinced to lead a glorious child-free lifestyle. I told my significant other within a month cause I didn’t want to waste our time if he really wanted them. If he really wanted them, it just wouldn’t work out.
#24I overheard my sister-in-law telling my brother-in-law that we should write everything in our will to them because “We need it; they don’t have kids (on both sides). What do they need it for?” They’re trying to get my father-in-law to facilitate the conversation. If they think you’re entitled to my money, don’t be shy. Tell me to my face! The joke is on her because my side of the money is locked up in a prenup. Our will, as it stands now, a nice sum is set aside for education, down payment, etc., for my nieces. Most of it is being distributed to charities. Planned Parenthood is on the list! The audacity and entitlement make my head spin! Just because I don’t have kids doesn’t mean it automatically goes to them.
#25When I was past my thirties, my dad, in an eventful tone, said to me, “I’m very worried about you. You haven’t married, you haven’t started a family, you don’t have children. I’m not going to be happy until I see you happy.” I could not hide my surprise. I could not believe what he had told me. I never considered that one should marry or have children to be “happy”; I still do not consider it necessary, although I am happy with my partner and our dogs. I love children. I like working with them, teaching them, and playing with them, but my decision not to have children is still steadfast. It has nothing to do with whether or not I will be a good father. There are already too many of us in this world, and if we all wanted to have children, we would be accelerating the road to self-destruction.
#26Coming up in a year since my husband and I bought our first house! 4 beds, 2.5 baths. I absolutely love it. We consider ourselves very lucky and grateful. Since then, when the topic comes up in casual conversation, I get the same response from breeders. It doesn’t help we’re the only child-free couple on the street. “Oh, so much space, making room for kids?” “That’s a lot of space for just the two of you.” “What about families with children that needed that home?” I’m sorry, I wanted space for separate offices and a space for visitors. Oh, the reactions I get when I say I turned the den into a cat room. “A whole room just for your cats!?” “Must be nice to live that way” Yes. Yes, it is. It would also be nice to share accomplishments without judgment.
#27I never wanted to have children.
My relatives and acquaintances would tell me: "When you grow up you will change your mind. Children are a blessing in life," or stuff like that. I always replied that I didn't see myself as a mother. 15 years have gone by and nothing has changed.
#28I decided when I was 18 and I agree with it. People will tell me: "Who is going to take care of you when you are old?" followed by this little gem: "You have to start your own family," as if my boyfriend and my dogs don't count.
#29I have an aunt who recommended I go to a specialist. For her, it’s because you’re not okay if you don’t want to have a partner or children. I think she thought of it as being immature and insecure. I’m not offended if she questions my mental health, but there were better grounds than “I don’t want to start a family.” Anyway, not to put her down, she’s a sweet person. She was just raised with different values.
#30My friend (30F) is apparently very invested that I (30F) have a child ASAP. She claims it is the hardest but most rewarding thing she has ever done. If my husband and I were even to try to have a child, it would be very expensive due to fertility issues. Assuming we got pregnant, we’d have to pay for the baby and all its expenses for 18+ years. I told her I did not want to be in debt just from trying to get pregnant alone. Also, I love having the freedom to do what I want when I want. I am too “selfish” to sign up for that lifelong responsibility.
My friend reassures me that children are not that expensive. However, she complains that no childcare can accommodate her work schedule and that she cannot afford it... says the woman who gets her hair, nails, eyebrows, and lashes done regularly. I also do, but I don’t have to budget for supporting a child. She complains about this constantly yet still wants me to hop on board the crazy train? No, thank you. Do anyone else’s friends contradict themselves when trying to convince you to have children?
#31When people who have children start talking about them, they suddenly look at you and say: “And when are you going to have children?” And when you answer that you don’t want to have children, they tell you that that’s selfish, and they ask who will take care of you later. They also say you need to have children to have your own family, or that you say that because you are too young.
#32Pretty sweet. Sometimes it can be a bit boring, but not nearly enough to think "wish I had kids" or some shit like that.
#3345 F, I love it. Also never been married, or never lived with someone (except roommates). I love the freedom to do as I please, spent my money the way I want.
#34I'm 48 never wanted kids, no regrets. The majority of the parents I know are stressed AF! My best friend has 4 adult kids and they all cause her grief. She is on her way to a mental breakdown.
The happiest married couples that I know, besides me and my spouse, is a retired couple no kids. They go on dates several times a week, travel and just love each other so much.
Having kids isn't a guarantee that they will take care of you when you get old. My mother works in a nursing home. Most of them are abandoned by their kids and only visit on Mother's Day for Facebook photos.
Image credits: sagicorn2791
#35My last ex was like this too. We only dated for 2 and a half months, thankfully. Toward the end, he sent me a text about how we could "get a surrogate so that we could both be happy." because he could have a biological child for us to raise and I wouldn't have to give birth. (not the point, bud.)
Then when we discussed it a couple days later in person, it came out that he didn't think I meant it as strongly as I did when I said I didn't want kids. He thought I just didn't want to give birth. And when I tried to point out that we had discussed this, he tried to imply that I was lying about the content of the previous conversation because "well you didn't say that clearly enough". And when I asked him point blank if he was okay with never having kids if he stayed with me, his response was "I guess I'm fine with that".
Nope nope nope. I'm not tolerating an "I guess" on a topic like this. So I bounced. He did not respond to that very well. Tried to contact me again a month after the break up to talk. When I said that if he was trying to get back together, it wasn't going to happen, he got super pissed. Saying that I was making way too big of a deal on the kid thing because he didn't actually care about having kids. That was definitely not accurate... lol
#36I always thought the urge to have children would eventually hit me. Maybe next year, I'll start trying, I always thought. It was never the right time. Turns out, the right time never came, because I have no active interest in having children. The only reason I wanted them was the worry that I'd regret it if I didn't. And here I am, close to 50, aka I don't feel regret at all. I actually love being independent. I love not having to worry about someone else. My humans is on a business trip And while I really miss him, I realize I actually like being on my own, being able to do i whatever I want, whenever I want. Contrast that with my colleagues with children and their needs and desires always come second. Absolutely no regrets here
#37I'm 39, child free, and had surgery to make sure it stays that way.
Very pleased with my life - solid job, zero debt, own house, own car, plenty of nerd toys, and plenty of sleep.
I do what I want, when I want, how I want and it's fantastic.
The funny part to me is seeing people now having kids, who really have no business having them. One person at work she's young, was going to dump her guy, then magically she's pregnant and staying with him, or a long ago friend whos my age but got pregnant and still lives at home with her parents even though she's mid to late 30's. To me the shocking part is how people think creating a human life can just solve all their problems and sadness when all it will do is create more problems and difficulty.
#38Fan-Fucking-Tastic. No regrets. Time, travel, money, hobbies, peace, & little stress. We do what we want when we want to and can vacation any time of year. Married 30+ years now and we feel we did the right thing.
#39I’m financially in good shape, but my life feels somewhat unfulfilling. But I honestly don’t think children would fix that, or a wife… I don’t know. I feel very bad when I hear my coworkers talk about how little time they have for themselves. It is a little bit lonely, but I am very good at keeping myself occupied.
#40I love children. I love holding them, I love playing with them and I love talking with them. Very neat group of people. Totally recommend them to anyone who thinks having a child is right for them.
What I do not like is being responsible over another human being 24/7. I also don't like the thought of having to leave work to pick up a sick child from school or nursery school. I don't like potty training, I don't want to be unable to travel without a massive amount of planning, I don't want to fight with a 13 year old over... anything really, 13 year olds do not listen to reason. I don't want to get up at 7 AM on a Sunday to take my child to their football training, I don't want to spend all my money on somebody else's damn shoes that they will have grown out of the week after anyways.
Basically, a child is not compatible with the lifestyle I want.
#41I’m selfish with my time and don’t want to be held down like that.
Also I’ve felt since the 80’s that I’d witness the downfall of mankind so there’s that too: not wanting to bring a child into a world I feel is turning to s**t.
#42I've been taking care of my siblings basically all of my life. Too many times I made sacrifices for others sakes. I really enjoy not having to worry about others too much and having alot of alone time. For the most part of my life I don't see myself having kids.
#43I'm 37 and never had kids, and I am single. I feel it is too late in life to have children. And I have always been on the fence about them. I don't feel I the empathy or temperament for children.
#44I teach, and people have used my patience with students as evidence that I’d make a great parent. They don’t seem to understand that I get paid to be patient, and that I get to go home at the end of the day
#45Cringe answer but i don’t wanna bring someone into this world and force them to deal with problems just cause I wanted pride of having a child
#46Let me get this straight... Tale as old as time. Older people are warning us when we were Teenagers and young adults to enjoy it while it lasts.. Vacation, lots of free time and less responsibilities etc... The highlight of a Good life.
So all those older people reminding us, are amazed we remind them the good times are NOT in the past and you could work on it as a (Life)goal. I already here Aunty May gasping, holding her pearls.
We always hear the moaning of the Ghost of springBreak-past, how it was so much fun "back in the days" and now they can't even afford fun things. complaining how bad they have it and jealousy on young adults is free, so that's their collective fun thing to do.
WHY is it such a sin to work on it (let alone ***think*** it can be done) and Gain back that privilege to the 'less responsibilities, more free times' ??
I save a seat at the Bonfire and a Margarita glass if you get here, no bad vibes here and no bad behaving kids!