It’s Time To Stop Judging Women Who Don’t Want Kids

The idea that women’s purpose in life is simply to have children is ridiculous, reductive, and completely wrong. However, that doesn’t stop people from being extremely judgmental towards women who don’t want kids. There are plenty of us out there, and we’re sick of being made to feel as though we’re broken or in the wrong because we’re loving our childfree lives. Enough is enough.

  1. Motherhood isn’t the only thing that gives women’s lives meaning. I’ve had so many people give me a pitying look when they hear that I don’t want kids. They never ask why I feel this way (not that this is any of their business anyway). Instead, they automatically assume that my life is somehow sad and lacking meaning because it’s not going to include a bunch of rugrats. It’s like the idea that women exist for anything other than childbearing is foreign to people. It actually blows my mind.
  2. Not all women want to give up their lives for children. Frankly, part of the reason I don’t want children is that I like my life as it is. I like spending my money on whatever I want to spend it on. I like using my time as I please. I like coming home after work and not having screaming children demanding my attention. I like being able to put myself first and think about what I want to do in life.
  3. The planet has enough people on it already. The UN predicted that the world population will reach nearly 10 billion people by the year 2050. That isn’t very far away. Overpopulation is a complicated issue and I certainly wouldn’t judge anyone who does want to have kids. However, I think there are many good reasons not to have them. For those of us who don’t want kids anyway, shouldn’t that be encouraged rather than looked down upon?
  4. It’s the 21st century and being childfree is our right. This isn’t the 1700s when women were forced to give birth to as many children. We don’t need to populate the world and secure familial bloodlines. It’s 2022 and last I checked, women do still have some rights. The government has attempted to take away our rights to our own bodies, but we’re not quite at Handmaid’s Tale level where women are forced into birth (yet). I’m allowed to not want kids. All women are.
  5. Women are some of the most judgmental of other women. What’s crazy is that some of the people who are most judgmental about women who are childfree by choice are other women. It’s absolutely maddening when a woman whose entire life revolves around her brood of offspring gives you that judgmental look or starts lecturing you about how kids give your life meaning. That’s not how feminism works, ladies.
  6. Not having kids doesn’t make women less loving or worthwhile partners. For many men, women who don’t want kids must be lacking in something. It’s as if lacking a maternal instinct (or simply not wanting to use that instinct) means we’d be terrible girlfriends or wives. It’s fine not to date someone who has different life goals than you, but assuming that childfree women are incapable of having meaningful relationships is pretty obnoxious.
  7. No, women who are childfree by choice won’t regret it when it’s too late. This is another thing I’ve heard a lot (and I know other women have too). From physicians to family members to my own close friends, being told that I’ll eventually change my mind or that I’ll end up regretting not being a mom when I’m old and dying alone (because apparently, that’s what will happen) really grinds my gears.
  8. Some women aren’t meant to be mothers. What some people fail to realize is that some women don’t want to be mothers because they know that they wouldn’t be very good at it. Maybe it’s because they value their careers more. Maybe it’s because they have trauma from their own childhood that they don’t want to pass down to their own kids. They could be choosing to remain childfree for pretty selfless reasons. Why should a child be brought into the world when it’s not really wanted?
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill