About this Blog

After banging my head in frustration over the obsession everyone around me had with procreation, I went online to find a community of people who were more like me. I have met some fascinating people along the way, but I have also found that many in the childfree community are quite hostile toward Christianity and a Christian world view. I understand that, unfortunately, many of my Christian sisters and brothers have given them a lot of ammunition (undoubtedly, I have been guilty of this at times too). Not wanting to be perceived as "trolling" for expressing my Christian perspective on other people's forums and blogs, I use my own blog to share my musings on childfree life while at the same time expressing my faith.

My intention is to show support to childfree people, both Christian and non-Christian, but from my own Christian perspective. Questions and constructive comments are welcome; negativity and intolerance are not.

Monday, May 23, 2011

So, Am I Really “Childfree” Anyway?

As I navigate the childfree community online, I have found a variety of definitions for being childfree. Some of them are extremely strict -- you cannot call yourself childfree if you have or are even willing to have stepchildren, godchildren, or foster children, or even if you would be willing to take in someone’s children (nieces/nephews, for example) in an emergency. And you must be committed to having an abortion if you were to get pregnant. Some definitions are looser -- stepchildren are OK and godchildren are fine, as long as you don’t actually want to be a parent. And others don’t seem to worry too much about the details; you haven’t borne a child and don’t want to? You’re childfree.

I have spoken several times on the blog about adoption and have occasionally described how I thought I would adopt an older child someday. I have also stated that it seems that God is not asking that of me, at least not right now.

But the reality is that I am open to it. I always have my heart wide open, ready if the right circumstances presented themselves. That seems to be the way God works with me; I think he knows that I can be a little distracted and oblivious, maybe thick-headed when I start to over-analyze things, so for the big stuff, he pretty much drops clear-cut opportunities right in my lap.

A friend told me a story of a woman who opened her home for a few months to a teenager from another country as a humanitarian gesture. During that time, she fell in love with this young person and decided to adopt him. Another friend of mine adopted her first child, a teen, when my friend was in her 50s. One of my favorite stories is that of a couple who mentored a young adult and adopted him when he was in his mid-20s!  I could see any of these things happening to me and my husband.

And I think that one of the appeals of a relationship with a young adult is that I would much rather have a mentoring relationship with a young person than to be a parent. I have neither the stamina, nor the wisdom, nor the patience to be an authority figure or disciplinarian. In addition, when I see what parenthood has done to most of my friends & acquaintances, how most of them have changed for the worse with their sense of entitlement, their self-absorption, their myopia, their descent into traditional gender roles, etc., I don’t want to fall into those traps. I would be loath to have a young person refer to me as “mom.”

So I’m definitely pregnancy-free and baby-and-kid-free, but perhaps I should say I’m comfortably on the fence with respect to teen/young-adult adoption, accepting whichever way God would nudge me. And if I’m only ever nudged in the direction of mentoring, child sponsorship, and supporting the adoptions of others, that’s just fine with me.


  1. I don't really have anything of substance to add to this, but I completely agree. There is no way I would consider giving birth or adopting an infant, but someday, I could see myself with an older child or teenager. I am open to the idea. If such a thing does happen it will be pretty far in the future, but I think it's only reasonable to assume that my feelings might change in the next twenty or so years of my life. Glad to know I'm not the only childfree person who feels this way!

    Speaking of all these definitions, I wonder if a person who gave birth and put their baby up for adoption and decided never to have another kid would qualify as childfree?

  2. Amy, you bring up another good example, and I think the answer depends on who you ask. Personally, I would consider such a person to be childfree, it's just that she has made a choice to benefit someone else, according to her conscience or resources.

    I guess I tend to accept a broad definition recognizing that everyone has a unique situation. Perhaps I could say that one is childfree if no other human refers to that person as "my mom" or "my dad." I may think on that for a little while.

  3. Hi -- Laura Families of Two here...to me you are childfree, because you don't have the desire to parent. Mentoring is not parenting, to be sure!
    ~Laura http://laviechildfree.com

  4. Hi! What a blessing to find your blog. I always find it weird that when I say we don't want kids that people say we will change our minds. Only God can change our minds, and how do those people know what He thinks? Maybe He will tell us to adopt an older child in the future...or maybe he won't!

    I like kids, and work with them at my job all day. I even help a family who is new to this country with their son's homework and navigating the school system. If I had my own child, I wouldn't have time to do any of that, or the million other things that I have the luxury of doing now.

    When stumbling upon your blog, I thought, "YES! Someone who feels like me!!!" Some previous sites I visited were so critical of (bordering on hateful against) parents, Christians, breastfeeding moms, and more. I don't agree with any of that, it's just that being a parent is not for me! So thanks for your honest thoughts without the sharp negativity. Keep posting!!

  5. Thank you for your feedback, Mz. Cribb. It is definitely a goal of mine to make this blog honest but uplifting.

  6. I've been reading your blog for some time now, and it certainly is nice to read the thoughts of someone who seems to be so similar to me! I'm blessed that I have found a good Christian man who is supportive of not having children - I couldn't imagine the strife if I had loved a man who wanted children. Like you, I can see God leading me one day to adopt an older youth, or to be involved in the lives of youth. I've been standing by the notion that it is better to care for those already here than to have children that I do not want! I also can see myself servings parent-friends by taking their kids for a night and giving them a night alone. But phew, none for me!