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That One Thing

April 2, 2012

The difference between a child-free person and a fence-sitter is that a child-free person has fully made up their mind to not have children while fence-sitters may lean one way or another, but overall there is still room for change. I wonder sometimes if many people who have made the decision has one particular thing (or person) that has made them choose to be child-free. I’m thinking a second degree, a crazy sister with four kids, or an inspirational book?

For me, the decision to remain child-free for the duration of my life is firmly in place because of one thing: traveling. I know very well that if I were to be a mother, I would not get to travel the world and see new places or learn about different cultures. I may be able to visit one or two places, but realistically I may never leave my own city. I have said it before but not having children is a first-class ticket out of poverty, and being out of poverty means your dreams can be realized not just a cloudy, faraway imagined concept.

Motherhood is an individual decision, and I don’t want to tell anyone to choose traveling over motherhood if they prefer kids. I just get all excited and gushy inside when I think about hearing howling monkeys near the Lamanai ruins in Belize or the four day trek to Macchu Picchu in Peru. It is these dreams that wake me up day after day to get to work, save money and look forward to another day. It’s knowing I’m the only one in my family who will be inside a cave in Australia’s North West or touch a manatee in Tobago. It’s hard to articulate how joyous traveling makes me–although I’m sure some of you know. I don’t want to visit places to brag about and place souvenirs all over my apartment, but to bask in the moment whether on the top of ancient ruins staring down into the azure sky and stone buildings; or making beaded bracelets with local people.

The way mothers-to-be get excited about diaper bags, I get excited about Croatia. And the way moms smile when their baby learns to walk and talk, is the smile I’ll have when I’ll be walking in Laos and talking in Uzbek.

What’s the one thing that you know makes you child-free for life?

Yosemite Park, photo credit: A.RMy sister)

Yosemite Park , photo credit : A.R(My sister)


From → My CF Life

  1. My reason is similar, but distinct, from yours: simply the freedom to do as I please when I please. Fancy a night in the local? Yep. Winging away for a romantic weekend on a random whim? No problem. Lying in bed all day at the weekends? Absolutely.

    And yes, travelling too 🙂

    Of course there’s many other reasons: one is that I have a mental illness, and my partner has a congenital sight impairment, so we wouldn’t be keen to pass these issues on to any coming generation. But behind the freedom issue is the fact that I simply don’t like kids that much. People say it’s different when it’s your own – a phrase I’ve grown to loathe over the years – but even if that’s true, there’s no way I’m going to risk my independence on the offchance!

    • icecoldblank permalink

      I can relate to the genetic concern… And I always feel just a little weird about the people who don’t seem to take that sort of thing into account. Not to say that one should breed or not breed based on Darwinian principles, but rather, think of the children! I would never wish my medical/genetic predispositions on anyone, but especially a kid!

  2. icecoldblank permalink

    This will sound silly, but my One Thing is reading. I devour books, if it was possible, I would mainline books. My day job already takes away entirely too much time from my reading, but the one thing I know, without a doubt, is that if I were to procreate, my reading time would be approximately .01% of what it is now. Considering I read an average of 75-100 books a year, that is an unacceptable loss.

    A childed friend of mine recently commented that she couldn’t remember the last time she read a book for leisure. That statement made me want to cry.

    • There is nothing like the luxury of being lost in a book. Reading is a form of traveling, going away to the era and times of that book’s destination whether the 40s Holocaust or 1855 France, or the future! And it doesn’t sound silly. People take reading for granted, yet it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures.

      • icecoldblank permalink

        Absolutely agreed! Of all the things that I love, I love reading the most. So much that it’s a deal breaker for me if my spouse or anyone else were to try to take my greatest pleasure away from me!

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