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International Childfree Day

International Childfree Day is observed on August 1 every year as a day to celebrate people who voluntarily choose not to have children and to foster acceptance of the childfree choice.

Some people have always known that they wanted children. They know from a young age that they have always wanted to be parents. I never had that feeling – quite the opposite, actually. I am a cisgender woman who has chosen not to have children; but honestly, I never actually decided. Similar to people who have always known that they wanted to have children, I’ve always known that I didn’t. When I choose to share this choice with others, it can be met with a variety of feelings and comments. Sometimes my disclosure is met with support and encouraging comments, and other times … not so much. I have been met condescending language, intrusive questioning, shaming, and ostracism. I have been told that I will never be a real woman, that I am selfish, and other hurtful comments. My feelings have been trivialized, dismissed, undermined, often being told that I will change my mind when I get older or that I will want them one day when I am more mature. Now, I must say, as I near 40 years old and have intentionally surrounded myself with supportive and inclusive people, I get these comments less often, but they certainly haven’t ceased completely.

In a society where the norm revolves around starting a family and raising children, choosing to be childfree is often seen as unconventional, breaking tradition, and strange. Shaming, judgments, and cruel comments are hurtful and can impact someone’s mental health and wellbeing. Kind and understanding reactions would be warmly welcomed by individuals who make the personal choice to not have children. By treating childfree people with compassion, respect, and understanding, we can foster a more inclusive and accepting society that values diverse choices and paths to fulfillment.

Being childfree is not a rejection of parenthood or a selfish choice, but rather a personal decision that allows individuals to follow their own paths. As the world becomes more progressive and diverse, more individuals are embracing the decision to lead a childfree life and for a variety of individual and personal reasons. There are countless reasons why individuals choose to be childfree, and these motivations can differ greatly from person to person. Some common reasons include no desire to have kids, financial stability, freedom to prioritize personal fulfillment, overpopulation/environmental concerns, career goals, health/personal circumstances, other caretaking responsibilities, and/or the current state of the world. Remember that each person’s experience will be unique, and the decision to be childfree is deeply personal. It is important to respect and support individuals’ choices whether they choose to have children or not; and that happiness and meaning can be found in a variety of places.

Some people find fulfillment and purpose in life through avenues other than parenthood. They may choose to channel their energy into creative pursuits, hobbies, caring for aging parents, volunteering, philanthropy, and other meaningful activities that align with their values and passions. Choosing to be childfree does not mean a life devoid of value or fulfillment. Rather, childfree individuals have the opportunity to channel their energy and resources into various aspects of their lives that bring them joy. Personally, I find so much joy in volunteering, spending time with family, going on outdoor adventures, caring for pets, and pursuing various goals.

Choosing to be childfree is a personal decision to be respected and valued. It is essential to recognize that choosing not to have children does not make someone any less capable of love, empathy, or contribution to society. By understanding and accepting the childfree lifestyle, we can foster a more inclusive and understanding society that embraces diverse choices and celebrates the pursuit of personal happiness and fulfillment, regardless of whether that includes parenthood or not.,other%20children%20in%20their%20lives.