Voluntary childlessness is the choice not to have children . From a young age, many women are socially conditioned to desire the emotional rewards of motherhood and, of course, there are many. Some women genuinely can’t wait to have children and feel nothing but excitement towards this prospect. However for some, having children feels like less of an opportunity and more of a burden.
Every woman has the right to choose. The blog We Are Childfree  explains the perspectives of women who have decided that motherhood is not for them.
Lucy  believes motherhood is a small part of what it means to be a woman, not the purpose. She feels fortunate to live in a part of the Western world where the decision is hers, with progressive parents who don’t pile pressure on her.
Olga  stands by the fact that women are more than an opportunity to have children; they are not just bodies to bring children into the world.
She is quoted saying, “one life basically ends and another life begins”. Like many women who have made the decision to be childfree, there are evident beliefs that motherhood could mark an obliteration or the loss of identity.
Of course, having children can mean losing some freedom. Children’s needs must be met to ensure they are healthy , however the belief that this must be at the detriment of the mother is a harmful cultural narrative that can impact a woman’s decision to have a child.
Motherhood isn’t something every woman has to agree on. Every woman will feel differently about being a mother and therefore, it is down to each woman to decide what she would prefer. It really is a case of each to their own, and as it is such a highly personal choice, no decision is wrong.
The most important thing to recognise is that it isn’t selfish either way. Progression in society, in specific, the growth in women’s rights and power, now means that more women have the ability to choose motherhood rather than be forced into it. It shouldn’t be thrusted on women to have to adopt the traditional lifestyle of school, work, marriage, kids, pension.
There are many reasons that a woman may choose to be childfree, too many to name. Another possibility could be due to a family history of addiction. A story in The Guardian details the struggle of one writer’s family, dealing with a genetic predisposition to alcohol addiction. Statistics read that children born to parents with addictive tendencies are 60% more likely to develop tendencies themselves. Regardless of whether this might be a case of nature or nurture, it’s an understandable reason to remain childfree. To this particular writer, it felt like a moral decision, to prevent unnecessary suffering.
Another story in The Guardian speaks to the experience of how a woman may dislike the idea of becoming a mother due to having a difficult relationship with their own mother; in this story, this struggle had run in the family for generations . Seeing your own mother as a villain or someone who caused you so much pain may lead a woman to never wishing to be a mother herself. This particular story showed how the writer was victim to parentification by her own mother. This refers to the role reversal where a child is obliged to act as the parent, which burdens them with emotional needs and exhaustion. This experience of parentification can give a sense of what it’s like to be a parent, which, in this case, put the writer off of having kids of their own.
These are a few of many stories. No reason for wanting to remain childfree is more valid than any other. There ought to be no pressure for a woman to become a mother. Refusal and the choice to remain childfree should not be a debate.
Being childfree doesn't mean that a woman has failed – as a The Guardian interviewee Sabrina  writes on the matter, “there’s no wrong way to be a woman”.
1. Definition of Voluntary Childlessness in Sociology
2. We are Childfree
3. We Are Childfree: Lucy, Berllin
4. We Are Childfree: Olga, Berlin
5. Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Childfree | Psychology Today
6. Why I don't have a child: I refuse to pass on my addiction genes | Life and style | The Guardian
7. Why I don't have a child: I watched my own mother struggle with parenthood | Life and style | The Guardian
8. Being childfree: five women on why they chose not to have kids – video | US news | The Guardian
Written by Kacy Sutton
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.