Why you don't need to be a parent to live a satisfied life
More and more people are choosing a childfree life. Ronny Maye explores how you can lead a rewarding life without being a parent
Quite some time ago, I decided that having children were no longer a part of my life’s plan. Although it was something I imagined for myself in my formative years, as I began to grow in womanhood it became clear to me that I did not to be a mother.
I enjoy the freedom of being childfree
From my observations, society struggles with the thought of women being autonomous. It seems absurd that we can function without being of service to someone else. Or that for many of us, motherhood is not the ultimate accomplishment. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard, “You will change your mind when you meet the right man,” as a rebuttal to my decision to remain childfree, I could lavishly frolic through the streets of Europe for months on end.
Being childfree gives you the freedom to sleep in on a Sunday or go on a last minute holiday
There is this misconception that women need to be mothers to be fulfilled in life—I do not find that to be true. Truthfully, watching my mama friends contributed my decision to skip motherhood. Most of them, though married, are single parents. Whether through conflicting work schedules or subscribing to traditional gender roles, the day to day physical, mental and emotional labour of parenting is their sole responsibility.
We often have candid conversations with the recurring statement being, “If I could do it over again, I would not be a mum yet.” This feeling is attributed to not having the opportunity to truly live for themselves, go after their dreams or pursue their passions. And that is exactly where I am in life. I am living for me.
"I am absolutely in love with the life I have built and thoroughly enjoy only having to take care of me"
While my friends are breastfeeding in the middle of the night, getting up at 5am to pack lunches or shuffling off to a football game after a 10-hour shift, I am in a completely different reality. I can sleep in during the weekend. There are days when I wake up and decide to head on holiday at random. There are weeks where every meal of the day is dining out or take away.
I do not have to always be conscious of what someone else needs and how I can provide that as a caregiver. I am absolutely in love with the life I have built and thoroughly enjoy only having to take care of me. I don’t want to change that.
The legacy I am leaving behind
I try to live my life in such a way that there will be no regrets. In fact, I have a tattoo that reads Die Empty to serve as reminder to give it my all, take the risks and go for it. I have been a part of passion projects that changed the communities I lived in.
Career wise, I have been able do impactful work that I am proud of. I can only hope that at the end of my life when people remember or learn of all the incredible things that I have done, it will not be diminished or overlooked simply because I am not a mother and have no one to pass anything down to.
You don't need children to have a legacy
Legacy is defined as the amount of money or property left behind in a will. However, the phrase “leaving behind a legacy” has been adapted to mean giving something that will be valued or treasured by those who survive your death.
My legacy as a childless woman will be bestowed upon my nieces, nephews and godchildren.
"The true legacy that I leave behind is knowing that I did my part to break generational curses, trauma and pain"
Yes, they will have the traditional legacy of assets, but the true legacy that I leave behind is knowing that I did my part to break generational curses, trauma and pain. My relationship with each of them reflects grace, love, truth and being everything to them that I needed at those ages. They will be able to value and treasure the safe space that was created for them. A place where they were able to find refuge, comfort, peace and reassurance. A place of forgiveness. A place where they were able to be heard and seen for exactly who and what they are.
They will have the lifelong memories of baking cookies at 2am, taking their first flights and holiday traditions. They will have an example of someone who found peace and happiness before it was too late. All these things are far more valuable than any monetary amount and a level of wealth that many never unlock in life. This is a legacy I am honoured to be leaving behind.
Many monumental women in history are childfree
My decision to be childfree often comes across as a feminist revolutionary rebellion against the patriarchy and what has been deemed a societal norm.
However, there are many childfree women such a Dolly Parton, Oprah Winfrey and Tracee Ellis Ross who have made tremendous contributions to their industries, communities and the world.
Each of their impacts will be felt by generations to come.
Time for a new relationship?
If you are looking for a new relationship try eharmony today. eharmony claims over two million people have found love through their site. It’s free to register and download the app, send ‘smiles’ and pre-written Icebreakers to get the conversation started. However, you need to subscribe for customised messages and unlimited access to your match’s profile. Subscription costs from £7.95 per month for 24 months.
Users are required to fill out a short quiz to determine their core values in relation to others, and this powers many useful tools to help them find love (including compatibility scores, personality profiles, and relationship advice).
Read more: How can I help a friend with infertility?
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
*This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Loading up next...