Boy or girl, man or women you are generally under the assumption that one day you’ll have a child or two. But what if when the time comes you just don’t feel kiddies are for you? In a recent interview with Esquire Cameron Diaz 41, spoke out once again about not wanting children. She simply says ‘I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother’ and it seems she isn’t alone. As more women speak out about side-stepping motherhood, is it time we acknowledged that having children is a choice? Here, writer Kim Willis, 31 talks about why she’s never wanted children…
'Spreading out a world map on the kitchen table, my husband and I excitedly planned the route we’re going to take during our world tour. We’ve been together for six years and got married two years ago – so now feels like the perfect time to take a few months off work and roam around the Far East.
Except our decision seems to have confused and perplexed family and friends. Because as we plan our next life stage, our friends are preparing their own – namely, starting families. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Why? Because, and this seems to be the ultimate taboo, we don’t want children. Latest figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found one in five women in Britain has not had a baby by the end of her child-bearing years. While this is often driven by finances or not meeting the right man in time, in my case it’s a simple lifestyle choice.
I don’t have anything against children, far from it. I have two nephews, a niece and a godchild and I love them all. But after a weekend of hiking up muddy hills with them, I’m done. I just know that parenthood is not for me.
Luckily, my husband Gaz, 32, feels the same way. One conversation at a time, it dawned on us that we actually had a choice here. We didn’t have to have children, just because we wanted to spend our lives together. We reached a mutual epiphany… we could spend our lives free of the massive social and financial responsibility of raising a family.
Not that everyone approves of our choice. On our wedding day, guests asked me if we’d ‘get cracking’ now. I took great pleasure in letting them know of our plans to enjoy a different kind of life: seeing friends, going on holiday – all without a child getting in the way.
Then we bought a rambling old farmhouse and I could almost see people’s minds implode at the thought that we had bedrooms we didn’t want to fill with babies. Some said I would regret it, yet I don’t want to sacrifice my plans to travel, my intentions to pay off my mortgage early... and I certainly don’t want to have to pick my next home based on the best schools in the area.
It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly. While a recent study showed that couples like us had only one 10-minute conversation on the subject, Gaz and I have talked at length about how we’ll feel when we’re older, looking back on a child-free life. And we feel happy with our choice.
Someone once said to me that parenthood is too huge a responsibility to be given to the ambivalent. That’s exactly how I feel – hats off to everyone out there taking on the monumental life challenge that is motherhood. I’m under no illusion about what you’ve taken on: it looks exhausting, expensive and, at times, boring. You’ve got to be passionate about parenthood to knowingly make those sacrifices. If you’re not, the greatest favour you can do society, and yourself, is to choose a child-free life'
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