Being Childfree has soo many perks! Most of the Childfree Besties will mention freedom, time to themselves or their spouses, clean homes, extra sleep, and extra spending money as the main benefits. I agree with all of those, but for me, the biggest benefit is the time I get to spend with my parents.
I grew up with both my parents. We were a close-knit family, and I was well loved by them both. Of course, as a teen and young adult, my parents were not my favorite people to be around (all those “stupid” rules). In my mind, they were getting in my way of me spreading my little ignorant wings. As a woman closer to 40 than not, I now have a much deeper appreciation of my parents. We differ on several topics, and I have diverted from the plan I’m sure they envisioned for me as a child, but what can I say? I do my own thing! They have watched (likely through partially shielded eyes) as I have navigated my way around adulthood and grown into the person I am today. They don’t seem embarrassed, so I guess we all did pretty well.
As an adult who has made adult decisions and pays adult
bills, I find myself needing adult conversations with my parents now more than
ever. It’s such a blessing that I have them and that I have the time to connect
with them as adults and not the authority figures they were for me in my
younger days. I can ask them questions about how they handled situations in
their adult lives and mistakes they made. If I was busy with kid schedules and
a spouse, I doubt that I would have that kind of time to spend with them.
I have always understood that our time here in this plane of existence is short. Knowing that I won’t have my parents in this plane for eternity makes it even more imperative that I have special conversations and moments with them. My parents live in Missouri with their spouses, and I live in New York with my candles. My mother had back surgery about a year ago and she and I got into the habit of a FaceTime call every night. This stemmed out of my concern and need to monitor her progression and hopefully distract her from any discomfort she was dealing with while healing from her surgery. Those nightly calls are now part of my evening routine, and it is a precious time that I look forward to.
She has shared so many stories with me about her life, her parents, and her relationship with her parents. This all gives me a little insight into who I am as well. It’s proof that character traits can be passed down from generation to generation. There is a lot of my mother’s father’s energy in me with my quest for freedom and demand to be independent, occasionally to my own detriment. I regale her with stories about my life and let her see more of my personality than I had in the past. She and I share a love of “smell goods” so we send each other boxes of goodies we have collected over a course of time. Frequently during our nightly FaceTime chats, one will tell the other “I got something for your box today, you’re gonna love it.” Once the boxes are filled, we ship the boxes. The most fun part is we do an “unboxing” video where we open the boxes we received and show what we found in our box (think low budget social media influencer unboxing videos). Most of the items are surprises, so it is really fun for us to watch the other enjoy the little gifts that are discovered. If I had kids, that money would have gone to them for food, toys, diapers, clothing, whatever. Now, I get to share fun stuff with my mom. I’m not a fan of giving gifts because of holidays. I like to give when I truly want to. It makes the gift more authentic.
My father and I don’t quite have the gift giving type of relationship, but he is still my chief life consultant and monster slayer. I get to have philosophical conversations with him and get to know the side of him that I also inherited - the introvert. Dad and I are both introverts, love our solitude, are rarely rattled by anything, and abhor drama and theatrics. Recently, one of our conversations drifted into a chat about being Childfree. I was telling him how much I appreciated the fact that I don’t have kids and asked him if he had always wanted kids or not. He said he was initially very much against marriage and kids. As he was moving through college and getting his degree in education, it was impressed upon him that he should get married and have kids as it would look better for him to be a family man if he wanted a good teaching job. Things worked out to where he met and fell in love with a girl who was interested in having a family while he was still in college. He married the girl (my mom) and had two kids with her... me and my older brother.
My brother is married with two amazing young boys who I love to pieces. He’s busy with family life and his demanding corporate job. He has a very different relationship with our parents than I do. He and I both have busy lives, but where he is wrangling kids for bed, I am pouring a glass of wine and having silly conversations with mom.
Not having kids has been the best decision I have made in my life. It was a conscious one that I made early. Initially, I wanted to wait until I got married. Then as I saw my girlfriends have kids and what caring for babies really looked like, I put thoughts of having kids in the garbage disposal and let it run for a while. I was never interested in actually carrying and birthing a child. I always told my mom I would grow the baby in an incubator or get a surrogate as the thought of carrying and birthing a child frankly horrified me. My decision to not have kids is not one of “the right man just hasn’t come along yet” - it is truly a decision I grew into as I found I really enjoy my solitude and I don’t feel like I would be any kind of good full-time mother, regardless of if there is a man around or not. I often find myself in need of adult supervision. What would I do with a child? This way, I get to remain my parents’ baby girl with everything that entails. I also get the privilege of getting to know them as adults and have them as my life consultants.
Lauren Epps resides in New York and supports many childfree platforms, including, #NoBibsBurpsBottles. She eats all vegan foods, gives health tips, and loves hitting the gym, hiking, and running outdoors. She has a serious funny bone which makes others critically think and bust out laughing at the same time. You can follow Lauren on Instagram @thefastingvegan. *Please take the time to leave a brief comment below - let us hear your thoughts!
#NoBibsBurpsBottles thanks Lauren for her personal contribution to our blog.