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    Child-Free Adults Are Sharing Their Experiences, And This Needs To Be Normalized ASAP

    "I have mental health issues that I would never want to pass on to a child."

    Hi, I'm Morgan! And this is my partner, Bradley (and our dog, Dandelion). The older we get, the more often people ask us when we're going to have kids. And the answer is always the same: Never!

    I'm always interested to hear from other child-free adults. So when I was scrolling on Reddit this week, one thread immediately caught my eye. Reddit user u/Tiiiimmmooo posed the question, "Adults with no kids — what’s it really like? How old are you and what was that decision like?"


    And there were so many honest responses! Here are some of the most thought-provoking answers:

    1. "I'm 31 and my wife is 36. We don't want kids at all. It's pretty great, actually. Being able to spontaneously plan a trip without worrying about entertaining a child is pretty nice. Being able to buy something without worrying about affording to feed your kid is also nice."

    "Don't get me wrong — I don't have a problem with kids. I just like them more when I'm able to give them back lol. I'll gladly be the fun uncle."


    2. "A 38-year-old woman here. There was a time where I wanted kids and was with someone I could have imagined having a family with. It didn't work out, I didn't meet anyone else where it felt right, and my life kind of moved on from the idea."

    "I think I'm okay without kids. I enjoy filling my life with other things, and I play a part in my friend's children's lives. The older I've gotten, the more people I've known who've had bad experiences with pregnancy/childbirth or with their children, and it sort of put me off too."


    3. "I have never once in my life had any desire at all to have children. It would be like me purposely going into a career I hated, only I could never change my area of study or ever switch jobs, no matter what. So I stayed on birth control, then got sterilized."

    "I have a tight-knit social circle. Some of my friends have children. I have many hobbies and interests and my life is fulfilling. I feel no sense of loss or could-have-beens. My mark on the world, if any, will be through art, craft, or writing."


    A woman writing in a notebook
    Dusanpetkovic / Getty Images / iStockphoto

    4. "Mid-40s. Honestly, being DINKs (double income, no kids) is awesome. We have two full-time careers. We have a ton of extra money and a nicely organized budget, a great retirement setup, a fulfilling social life, a clean house, and all the free time we want to do whatever we want."

    "We don't feel 'alone,' miserable, or sad like all the people who pressured me for years told me I would (as a woman, I dealt with constant harassment). I knew as a teenager I didn't want children. I don't dislike them, just never had the urge and don't really have any interest. When I met my husband, the subject came up early on, and we were in agreement. It worked well for us. Many of the people I know with kids are perpetually broke and always complaining about their kids or something kid-related. I just don't know how most people do it."


    5. "I'm a 41-year-old woman and married. I don't know if I would have deliberately been childless if I were a man. Fatherhood looks so much better than motherhood, which looks like a taxing burden full of endless sacrifice."


    6. "I'm a teacher, so I have 150 kids and don't feel like I need one 'of my own.'"


    A teacher doing an activity with toddler students
    Kali9 / Getty Images

    7. "I was pretty screwed up from a traumatic childhood and knew I wasn't emotionally equipped to raise a child. I've barely been able to keep my own head above water. Also, I got bullied a lot growing up, so I didn't like kids even when I still was one."

    "The only downside was nosy people telling me that I would change my mind or regret it when it was too late. I'm eight years postmenopausal at 56 and haven't regretted it for an instant."


    8. "A lot of people assume I hate kids because I don't have any. I don't. I just always knew it wasn't for me. At 33, I'm very content with the decision."

    "Most of my friends have kids now, and it hasn't bothered me yet. It's fun to hear about their experiences and, on occasion, to meet a toddler with no parental expectations from me. It's a lot like when a friend gets a cat or dog."


    9. "I am 44, never really wanted kids, and can’t imagine having them now. My husband and I have a very quiet life and a clean house!"


    A clean, modern living room
    Asiavision / Getty Images

    10. "I’d always kind of assumed I’d have kids, but my future wife told me early on she didn’t want kids. I kind of weighed the balance of 'This person is awesome; I’d love to share more of my life with her' and 'I think I’d like kids.' Ultimately, I found I didn’t have a really concrete idea of why I wanted kids."

    "I think I was just going along with what I saw as the norm in society. I don’t love or hate kids. Sometimes they are great; sometimes, not. I didn’t feel a strong personal need to pass on my genes, family name, or anything else along those lines."


    11. "I'm a 43-year-old man, married for 13 years. My wife and I make life decisions that work for us. We both have jobs and activities in life that involve a lot of social responsibility (working in healthcare and domestic violence) and do a lot of community work."

    "It meant having more time, energy, money, and flexibility for the things I really have a passion for in life. I find myself doing a lot of community work where I’m one of the few nonretirees involved (voluntary local government work for the most part). For me, it’s been great to be able to represent a younger voice in those environments and to have the time and energy to do that work."


    12. "Hi, 35 here. I’ve known since I was 14. I have no desire to have the responsibilities of a pet, much less a kid. Life is awesome. I’m planning three trips out west to finish the 50 states."


    A man looking out an open car window while parked in front of a beach
    Dean Mitchell / Getty Images

    13. "Will be 40 in 10 days. Never, ever wanted kids. I had a great childhood but never had interest in being a parent. I wondered if that would ever change. Off and on, I have wondered if I would ever regret it years in the future, even if I didn't regret it at the time. But I have decided I am not going to worry about a potential future regret when I absolutely love the life I'm living now."

    "I am renovating a 100-year-old house, and my friends with kids are envious because 1) they don't have the money to do what they want for their house because kids are expensive, and 2) they know even if they did renovate/decorate their house the way they want, their small children would unintentionally destroy it right now. I do love my friends who are parents, and I recognize it is the absolute hardest (and most rewarding?) job someone will have. But I often hear of their parenting challenges and am always relieved that I will never be in their shoes."


    14. "I'm 30. I've never had the desire for children, ever. I don't have the patience. I also have mental health issues that I would never want to pass on to a child."


    15. "I spent most of my 20s helping my sister raise her five kids. She had her first child when she was 17, so I was an uncle at 12. Seeing it basically ruin her life for years, I was terrified of becoming a parent. After helping her raise those five kids, I'd had my fair share of parenting. Got a vasectomy at 27."

    "I’m now 43 and not regretting it one bit. I’ve experienced parenting, and it had its good and bad moments. I learned a lot about myself and life in general. I’m good now with having cats."


    A person nuzzling noses with a cat
    1001slide / Getty Images

    16. "I'm 33. I came to terms with my decision not to have children when I turned 21. I prefer to be on my own and pick up and go whenever I please. It’s not as easy to do that with kids. I also have zero patience, have emetophobia (fear of vomiting), and can’t handle loud sounds or injuries."


    17. "Got married at 39. We decided to at least try, and my body immediately went into perimenopause. Like, NOPE! We thought briefly about adoption, but our friends were going through that process, and it was a nightmare for them."

    "Now, at 61, I am so grateful my body and the universe made the decision for me. I was cut out to be the the all-loving eccentric auntie, who has blue hair and is seriously into the Woo. I would be a different person if I had the stress of raising a child, and I can see (in hindsight, of course) how it would have been challenging parenting with my partner."


    18. And finally, "You know how some people see kids and have baby fever? Yeah, I don't feel anything. On top of that, I like sleep and despise babies or children crying. I can't stand it."


    A crying baby
    Dimitri Otis / Getty Images

    Did you decide to have kids? Or have you chosen to remain child-free? Share your experience in the comments below!

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.