Is the idea of having children something that you are open to, or were open to at some point in the past? Is the fact that you don’t have children the result of a deliberate decision or just the way your life happened to work out? If it was a deliberate decision, can you tell me something about how you made this choice, the circumstances, your reasons, whether it was easy, hard, etc.?
I knew as young as high school that I wasn't going to have children. I just never felt a maternal instinct. It was a very easy decision for me. I married at a young age, 18, and I told my future husband how I felt early on. After 24 years of marriage so far, it's never been a factor.
What are the three most important factors that influenced your decision to be childfree? Do you enjoy being childfree? If so, why? If not, why not? Are there any bad things about being childfree? If so, what are they?
I'm not sure what influenced my decision. It's just how I am I guess. We greatly enjoy being child-free!
Please describe the kinds of reactions you have received from others in response to your not having children. How supportive and accepting have your friends and family been? How accepting do you feel society as whole is of the voluntarily childless ("childfree") lifestyle? Do you feel childfree individuals suffer from unfairness, prejudice or discrimination in society? Do you feel there are common misconceptions about childfree individuals or the childfree lifestyle?
Early on, I don't think anyone really believed we would stay child-free. But after several years went by it was accepted as "just the way it was". I have never personally felt descriminated against.
In retrospect, how do you feel about your decision to be childfree? Do you still feel the same way as always on this issue? To date have you had any regrets? Do you think you may have regrets later in life? Is there any possibility you may change your mind about having children at some point?
No regrets at all. I won't be changing my mind.
Have you had any childfree role models during your life? Please explain.
No, I haven't! All of my siblings had several children of their own!
When you compare your life to the lives of women you know who have children (family, friends, co-workers), how would you evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, and overall life satisfaction associated with each kind of lifestyle?
I can't really compare it at all, I can't imagine my life with children of my own.
Do you perceive that there are any dominant messages expressed in our culture about having children? If so, what are they?
Oh, I strongly believe that it is assumed one will have children, without a doubt!
Do you feel these messages are for the most part accurate, inaccurate, misleading or something else? Please explain.
Have any parents ever spoken to you about the "downside" of having children or told you if they had to go back and do it all over again, they wouldn't have kids? Have any parents expressed that they are jealous of you for being childfree? If so, please describe the conversation(s).
I have had moms be very jealous of my child-free status but I have also been been show pity for what I supposedly missed out on.