Finding Support For Your Child-Free Choice

by Kendy Paxia

You’ll change your mind. You’ll never experience real love. You are being selfish. These are just a few of the things you might hear when you tell someone you are child-free—a choice still considered taboo by far too many. However, women are carving out supportive spaces and creating much-needed community for those of us who choose to forgo having kids. From books to read and movies to watch to finding friendships online, there is something for everyone in the not-mommy circle.

Follow: For small bursts of empowering content, check out these Instagram accounts: @danni__duncan, @childfreemillennial, @childfreefirecrackers, @richauntiesupreme, and @wearechildfree_. Find new follows on platforms using hashtags like #childfreebychoice, #DINK (Double Income No Kids), and, my personal favorite, #catsnotkids. I state that I am child-free by choice in my profile because it leads to more like-minded connections. 

Connect: Looking for more interaction and a sense of community beyond tapping out hearts? You can find that online, too. Join a Facebook group such as Child Free Chicks Confidential, Childfree Bookworms, and Child Free Cat Addicts. Reddit has an active group called r/childfree that covers a wide range of topics, from sharing rants and excitement about daily child-free living to resources for finding nonjudgmental doctors.

Watch: My So-Called Selfish Life (Trixie Films) is a 2021 documentary that showcases people who have chosen not to have kids while examining why society wants us to. It’s available to rent on Vimeo via myselfishlife.com.

Listen: Chelsea Handler’s podcast, Dear Chelsea, isn’t dedicated to the topic, but Handler often talks about not wanting kids and is an unapologetic advocate for all of us non-procreators. We Are Childfree with Zoe Noble is a podcast dedicated to sharing voices from the community that make you feel less alone while being incredibly inspiring. 

Read: I think child-free women are often left out of the conversation and as someone who turns to books for comfort, I greatly appreciate ones that validate my choice. Women Without Kids: The Revolutionary Rise of an Unsung Sisterhood, by Ruby Warrington and Without Children: The Long History of Not Being a Mother, by Peggy O’Donnell Heffington use personal stories and historical research to explore why women choose not to be mothers. Now can we get some child-free fiction?

With these resources, the next time someone tells you you’ll regret your decision later, you will have new ways of communicating your choice. (But the standard middle finger is OK, too!)

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