As told to Kathleen Guthrie Woods
Forty-four and single, Louisa* never really had a “goal” to have children, she simply thought “life would just happen.” There is some sadness as she reflects on not getting to have children of her own, but when I asked what she would want other people (such as moms, younger women, or strangers) to know about her being childfree, she answered with enthusiasm, “That it is okay!” I love her positive attitude. Here’s more of her story.
LWB: Are you childfree by choice, chance, or circumstance?
Louisa: I guess childfree by chance, and a little by choice (because most of the time I say I didn’t want children). I had friends who wanted to be married by a certain age, and then have children by a certain age; it just didn’t happen for me. I have never been married, and never really met anyone who I thought I wanted to have children with.
LWB: Where are you on your journey now?
Louisa: Once in a while wishing I could have had a child, wishing I could have experienced a baby of my own. But then accepting that I’m past the age of having children. I am trying to love and accept myself as life goes on.
LWB: What’s the hardest part for you about not having children?
Louisa: Seeing a cute baby or child, and seeing the glorious expressions on its face as it learns the world and experiences the love it feels. [Sometimes it’s hard] when I’m holding a friend’s baby and it looks at me with innocence, love, and a smile!
LWB: What’s the best part about not having children?
Louisa: I know I would be a very over-protective parent and I would worry tremendously!
LWB: What have you learned about yourself?
Louisa: That it’s important to take advantage of time with family and friends. Love them, and always keep them in my heart.
LWB: What advice would you like to give to your younger self?
Louisa: Maybe to take a bit more control of your life and try not to be a late bloomer.
LWB: What do you look forward to now?
Louisa: I want a good year! I want to get my ducks in a row, create a secure future, feel secure in my life and decisions. I look forward to loving my dog and taking care of her, and living life!
*Not her real name. We allow each respondent to use a fictitious name for her profile, if she chooses.
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Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is mostly at peace with her childfree status.