Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The following written interviews with childfree-by-choice women were conducted on-line in early 2008. I would like to personally thank the contributors who so thoughtfully completed the survey and contributed so much of themselves to this project. Your contributions go a long way to illuminate the pronatalist forces that we confront in our everyday lives and the truth about the joys and challenges of being a childfree woman.

Click on any name at the right to read the full interview of each participant.


Unknown said...

How come none of the women interviewed is older than 48?
Don't women older than that qualify as women anymore?
Just because some or even most of them perhaps could not (physically) bear children anymore - quite a few, I am sure, still could - it doesn't mean they don't have valuable insights to contribute.

Anyway, I am woman who decided not to have children at around age fourteen, and never regretted it.

Come to think of it... it wasn't really a decision NOT to have them; I simply never thought of it as something that would be automatically EXPECTED from me to do, or that SHOULD be done, certainly not by me. And even as a young teenager (admittedly a precocious one), I realised that "children" means not babies - who grow up all too quickly - but individuals; and that their presence in one's life means perpetual responsibility and fright for their well being.

I never could imagine myself having children (or any living being dependent on me, for that matter), even though I am told I do a pretty good job in taking care of people when needed. But the mere thought of it - having children or even keeping pets - is an unbearably heavy burden.

Here is also something I find very relevant to this question: my internal perception of myself has hardly changed over the years. I consider myself as much an ageless child now as I thought of myself as an ageless child at the age of fifteen. Some people may not like the idea, but this is my life, and it has worked very well for me and my creativity and my well being (and my looks, BTW).

And I think this perception of myself may have something to do with the fact that I was ADORED as a child, and not only by my family.
I wasn't spoilt - not at all. I was an extremely well-behaved and happy child, I am told by all who knew me. There were no tantrums, no screaming, no nastiness - either from my parents or on my part.
I enjoyed and relished being a child - and at some point I must have "decided" I would go on being just that. And children simply do not have children.

Since I am writing this, I might as well add one more thing: I don't remember anyone pestering me about not having children. Sure, there was a person or two who asked me this question (once), but I don't see any problems with that.
The immense majority of people never mentioned it at all, it simply didn't come up; or if it did, it must have been so en passant that I don't even remember it.

Unknown said...

I forgot: I'll be 46 this year. ;)

Anonymous said...

I love the collection of interviews. Obviously these are all intelligent, stable women and I think your work and the work of all of these women can serve as a great example that not wanting to have children doesn't make a woman a child-hating, frustrated, bitter person. Great job!