April 29, 2013

living childfree: when life offers too much to do and see

the "living childfree" series is about learning about the experiences, motivations and opinions of childfree women and couples - whether it is by choice, by circumstance, or still undecided. if you are interested in sharing your thoughts, please drop me a line at yael.santo(at)gmail.com.

today's feature stars kristin from the forgotten map! she and her husband are spending 2013 on the road, and you can follow along on their adventure (i know i am!) right here.

photo by -snugg- via compfight

tell me a litte bit about yourself.
I am 28 years old and my husband Kevin is 29. We have been married just over a year, but we’ve been together for almost eleven years. We took our time with marriage, because we didn’t feel any need to rush it. We lived together for six years before we got married so not too much changed after the honeymoon. We already had our home, and our dogs and our things. We didn’t have the common struggle of combining everything from “mine” to “ours”.  

About a year and a half ago we started talking about leaving our home for an adventure. We both love to travel, and I become very restless when I stay in one place too long. At the end of last year we sold everything we owned, packed up our Subarbu and our pups, and headed out for a yearlong adventure traveling the United States.

when did you first know you weren't interested in having children? what was your reasoning for choosing a childfree life?
The first clear moment I remember wanting to be childfree was when I was 20 years old. Kevin and I had moved into a house in a suburban neighborhood. It was full of families and stay at home moms. I remember feeling a little uneasy in my surroundings.

Then a neighborhood mom asked one day “When are you getting married?” The question caught me off guard. I was only 20 and I focusing on school. Why would I be thinking of marriage and a family so soon? I answered, “Oh..I don’t know.” To which she responded sympathetically “Oh honey, that’s okay it will happen soon!”

I was offended that she assumed that my education was just busy work until I could get a ring on my finger and start a family. I think it was then I realized that I had no desire for that type of life.

As the years have passed, I feel even more confident in my decision. Kevin and I like our life. We are able to travel. We have our own time to do the things we enjoy. We would not be traveling the country seeking adventure, if I had chosen a different path.

what were your family and friends' reactions like when they found out? did they take you seriously?
We have had mixed reactions, but overall I feel as if a lot of people are waiting for us to change our minds. My sister has been very supportive because she knows that just because we have chosen not to have kids, it isn’t a direct attack against her or her family. She knows I love her little boy and that I think she is an excellent mom. It’s a personal choice every couple needs to make based on their own feelings and not let society’s pressure of conforming to the norm influence that.

did you face any other kind of opposition regarding your choice?
I feel extreme judgment sometimes…even from strangers. When we first told people about our plan to travel the country they would always say “Do it now before you have kids.” When we’d explain kids weren’t in our future we were met with sour, disbelieving faces like we’d just told them we like to drown kittens. It’s just absurd how many people see a different life-style as a threat.

Now I just nod my head and agree. It’s much easier than trying to explain the “why” and that just because we are choosing not to have kids, it doesn’t mean that their decision to have kids is wrong.

do you see your choice changing at all in the future?
I can’t say I won’t ever have kids. It’s only natural to evolve and change and want something different in life. I can say confidently that if we ever change our minds, we would most likely adopt. As of now and the foreseeable future, I am happy with our decision and don’t see it changing any time soon.

childfree women and couples are often described as "missing out" or "being selfish" - do you feel this way at all?
No, it’s quite the opposite. I feel like if I had kids I would be missing out on the things I love most. We would not be on this amazing adventure. I would not have free time to go to the gym. Kevin and I would not have the inseparable bond we share. I would miss weekend cuddle mornings. I would miss the spontaneous trips we take. There is just too much I want to do and see that I would not be able to if kids were in the picture.   

what do you enjoy the most about your childfree life?
I enjoy spending undivided time with my husband, and the ability to go wherever we want, whenever we want. We have chosen an unconventional life style, and I feel very lucky for all the experiences. I love to travel and feel like each new place we visit adds fulfillment in my life and a greater understanding of the world.
what would you tell someone wanting to live childfree, but under pressure to have children?
Don’t make a life changing decision based on anything other than what is right for you and your partner. It’s not fair to bring a child into this world without the full intention of being the best parent you can be. If you don’t have that maternal instinct, it’s okay. It’s not wrong, it’s just different. Be brave and live the life you want!

thanks so much for joining us today, kristin! keep up with her and kevin as they tour the united states on their blog: forgotten map.


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I used to feel the same way as the author! Then my biological clock went off. Once upon a time I thought that was some made up concept of sentimental saps. It's real. Now I have a child and it definitely changes your life, lifestyle, view of the world, of how you were and of how you will become--in a completely life altering and wonderful, but thoroughly challenging way. I just wanted to say with regards to the perceived sour faces of people disbelieving you not wanting to have kids, it's not necessarily that the people were offended or think your choice is wrong, they just know what that "I'm not having kids" is like and how quickly and suddenly everything, everything can change. "Yeah I said that too, once..."

But there is nothing wrong with being an Amazon! More power to you. Have a blast on your journey of self-fulfillment.

Knatolee said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Great post! I never regretted not having kids. I wish more people would realize that some people just don't want to have children, and there's nothing wrong with that. Being judged gets really tiresome. My biological clock never went off.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Everything ok, Yael?!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hey Yael. I used to check your website almost daily and now I check it weekly. (Yes since April 2013 I've checked your website weekly)

Where R U??

Did your blog move?

assholeswatchingmovies.com said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm late to the party but love the spirit of this post.

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