The Rise of the Childfree Choice: Understanding Why More Women are Skipping Motherhood

By Jane Grey

It seemed a no-brainer when I decided to become intentionally childfree. And then announced it. 

My parents, future in-laws, childhood friends, and co-workers had a different opinion. I came to terms with the fact that “my body, my choice” is a cherry-picked opinion respected by some. 

In the end, I wear my childfree by choice badge with honor. Here, I could live my truth, which matters most to me.

However, in recent years, society has seen a growing trend of women intentionally skipping motherhood. This burgeoning movement has sparked both supportive and critical discussions surrounding the reasons for this choice, the benefits, and the stigma attached to being childfree.

I am not one to have to explain myself to anyone, but there are some thoughts that I jotted down today. I certainly wouldn’t want to convince anyone to become childfree, but here is where I stand.

Why Are Women Intentionally Skipping Motherhood?

Prioritizing Career Ambitions: With more avenues opening for women in the professional world, many choose to immerse themselves deeply in their careers, prioritizing professional growth.

Economic Factors: Raising a child is expensive. From healthcare to education, the costs can be daunting. Some women feel that their current financial situation isn’t conducive to providing a child with the life they’d want to give.

Personal Freedom and Independence: Without children, women have more time and freedom to pursue hobbies, travel, and self-improvement.

Environmental Concerns: The ongoing ecological crisis has led some women to rethink adding to the global population, seeing it as a personal contribution to curbing human impact on the planet.

Absence of Maternal Instinct: Not every woman feels the intrinsic pull to be a mother. For some, there’s a simple lack of desire to have children.

CHYLDFREE: The Rise of the Childfree Choice: Understanding Why More Women are Skipping Motherhood
Photo by Nick Owuor,

Benefits of Being Childfree

Financial Freedom: Without the costs of raising a child, women can invest more in personal ventures, retirement funds, or luxuries.

Flexibility: The ability to relocate, change careers, or take spontaneous trips becomes more accessible.

Mental and Physical Well-being: Skipping the physical demands of pregnancy and the potential mental toll of parenting can lead to a more stress-free life.

Strengthened Relationships: Without kids, couples often find more quality time to spend with each other, leading to stronger bonds.

Opportunities for Self-growth: Time can be allocated to personal development, learning new skills, or deepening knowledge in various fields.

The Social Stigma

Despite the valid reasons and benefits, women who choose to be childfree often face significant social scrutiny.

Traditional Expectations: Societal norms have long dictated that womanhood is synonymous with motherhood. Those who deviate from this ‘norm’ can be seen as lacking or even ‘defective.’

Misconceptions of Selfishness: Many assume that the decision to remain childfree is selfish, not understanding the depth of thought that often goes into making such a choice.

Loneliness Assumptions: There’s a misconception that child-free women will inevitably feel lonely or regret their decision later in life.

Embracing the Childfree Decision

Join Supportive Communities: Numerous online and offline communities and groups are dedicated to childfree living. Joining these can offer a sense of belonging.

Educate and Advocate: Gently educate those who question or belittle the decision. Sharing facts, personal feelings, and reasons can foster understanding.

Seek Like-minded Friends: Surrounding oneself with supportive, understanding friends can ease the pressure and offer validation.

Celebrate the Perks: Whether it’s a spontaneous vacation or an uninterrupted night’s sleep, enjoy the benefits of the choice.

Seek Professional Counseling if Needed: Professional therapists can offer coping mechanisms and provide a judgment-free space to discuss feelings if societal pressure becomes overwhelming.

Ultimately, the rising trend of women choosing to be childfree is a testament to changing societal norms and individual agency. 

While the decision has benefits, it’s not devoid of societal backlash. Every woman’s choice regarding her body and life should be respected and celebrated. 

By understanding the reasons, acknowledging the benefits, and confronting the stigma, society can move towards a more inclusive mindset that values all choices equally.

The end result should always be what’s best for you and not doing it because I am an insanely happy childfree woman. It is the pursuit of living your truth that matters.

About Jane Grey

A NYC native, Jane Grey has been a prominent freelance writer for over a decade, eloquently penning her experiences in business and her choice to live childfree. Beyond her written words, Jane is an avid cook, runner, and gardener, seamlessly balancing the hustle of urban life with her love for nature and the outdoors. Her work is a testament to the multifaceted journey of contemporary living, always infused with authenticity.


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