FOR some, a baby is an unplanned surprise yet others try for months or even years.
But for an increasing number of women having a child has, and never will be, on their to-do list.
Getty – Contributor Since the 1960’s, the world’s birth rate has halved as more women choose not to raise a family
Recent statistics show global birth rates have halved since 1960 as many women choose to be child-free.
Experts are calling it Generation Childless.
Critics claim it is selfish not to reproduce and, in August, tennis star Serena Williams said that giving birth to her first child would make her a “REAL woman”.
Those on social media slammed the mum-to-be, saying that choosing to not have children does not make them any less of a woman.
Getty – Contributor Experts have labelled the group of women deciding to not having babies ‘Generation Childless’
With the average cost of raising a child in the UK now totalling £230,000, is it any surprise so many of us are choosing to think twice about starting a family?
Here, three women who are child-free by choice tell JENNY FRANCIS and HARRIET BULLOUGH why they made the decision not to reproduce.
Samantha would rather go for meals or the theatre
WELLNESS coach Samantha Fields, 33, doesn’t have time for children between hobbies, socialising and date nights with her partner, maintenance supervisor Kevin Goodfellow, 49. Samantha, from Woodley, Berks, says:
“I’m very busy. I like spending time with friends and being able to be spontaneous about it.
INS News Samantha would not want to give up socialising and date nights for a child
“I hate the idea of having to rigidly schedule time with people and being limited to two hours before my childcare runs out.
“At least twice a week, Kevin and I go out for dinner or see a show. Our time is precious and we fill it as much as possible. We drink with friends and have dinner parties and weekends away.
“I like kids but I don’t see how they would fit in. I have no idea how we would juggle childcare with our social life. We wouldn’t be able to afford it.
“If we decide to stay out or crash at a friend’s place after a late night, we can.
INS News The wellness coach dreads the idea of rigorously scheduling her time with her friends
“I’d hate to feel like I had a curfew to get back to a babysitter. It would ruin everything. It’s not the life I want.
“I have thought about the future and it does worry me. Financially, it could be a huge burden without any children to help. I can tell that some women judge my choices.
“I’ll often get asked when I’m going to have children. It’s always a bit awkward explaining that I don’t want any kids.
“I have been called selfish. I don’t think it’s selfish to not have kids. You’re just making a choice and there’s nothing wrong with that.
INS News Samantha finds it awkward explaining to people that she does not want to have children
“We love our life and we’re not going to change it for something we don’t want. I surround myself with supportive people who understand my choices, so strangers don’t really bother me.
“My mum was fine about my decision. If she had the same choices available to her as we do today, she wouldn’t have had children herself. It’s great she understands my perspective.
Prescilla would rather concentrate on her career
Prescilla Annoni, 25, from Hull, East Yorkshire made the decision not to have children because she does not want a family to ruin her path to career success in social work. Single Prescilla, who has a degree in
Law from the University of Hull, says: “I’m hoping to go on and complete a Masters degree in social work so I can peruse my dream of becoming a social worker.
“I know it won’t be an easy road to get there so I have made the decision early on not to have kids. People think I’ll change my mind, but I’m clear on it.
Oliver Dixon Prescilla does not want to lose focus on her career in social work to start a family
“I want to put in a lot of time and commitment to be the best at my job, and I know that if I plan on having kids it will side-track me.
“As soon as I made the decision to be child free, I felt a weight had been lifted as I could just focus on my career.
“Unlike lots of women, I won’t have to worry about maternity leave or arranging child care.
“Knowing that I have a clear path ahead makes me feel focused. While social work is a high pressure,
time consuming career, it can also be massively rewarding.
Oliver Dixon The social worker would rather invest a lot of time in her occupation and be the best at her job
“I want to be the best at what I do without any distractions. If I had a child I wouldn’t last in the
industry. The moment you go on maternity leave there will be someone younger, someone able to commit the time, to take your place.
“I’m not willing to risk a career I’ve spent years building. My ex-boyfriend always wanted kids.
“I’d never wanted a family but I did consider it – for him. Then I found out he’d cheated on me.
“Now, I refuse to give up the things I want for someone else. I simply don’t want children, I want a career.
Oliver Dixon Prescilla is fearful on going on maternity leave and someone younger snatching her job
“My family don’t get a say. My mum understands it’s my life but I know she’s disappointed.
“I think she was hoping for grandchildren. people judge you for not wanting kids but I try to ignore it.
“I’m not worried about getting older. I have a plan for my future so won’t need to rely on children to look after me.”
Mina would rather see the world
TRAVEL addict Mina Renoir, 29, is unwilling to sacrifice her jet-set lifestyle for children and says she will never change her mind – and her partner promotions worker Nick Blair, 28, feels the same.
PR worker Mina says: “Travelling is my favourite thing to do. I live for holidays and going abroad. I love how free Nick and I are to jet off somewhere at the drop of a hat. He doesn’t want a family either. We’re happy with the future being just the two of us.
Sonja Horsman Mina Renoir refuses to give up her lifestyle of travelling to be stuck at home with a baby
“I also have a job in PR and get to constantly fly around the world, from Azerbaijan to Monaco.
“Travel opens so may doors and you really experience life – I don’t see a child giving me the same thing.
“There’s a huge pressure from my family and friends to have kids, but also from strangers. The first thing someone will ask me is, ‘do you have children?’ I always think would they ask a man that?
“It’s infuriating that people won’t accept my decision. I mean it’s not even their body.
Sonja Horsman The PR worker does not see a child giving her the same life experiences that travelling does
“I’m involved with a cat charity in Turkey and I go over there in my spare time. Having a child would mean that would have to stop and there is no way I’d be able to take a baby around the world. I’d have to rethink my whole life.
“The cost is extortionate too. I can’t imagine spending over £230,000 on just one person.
“I guess it’s about sacrifice and I am just not willing to make it. I’m not a ‘soccer mum’ type. I’d also hate to have children and tell them they have to take care of me in future.
“A perk of not having children is I have extra money to look after myself. I want to be one of those old people who does yoga and is active. My mind is made up, and I think people need to understand that.
Sonja Horsman Mina says having a child is about sacrifice, and she is not willing to do that
“You either do or don’t want children.
“In my case, I don’t.”
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