Reporting Back: June 2011 On-the-Ground Question Part I

The June On-the-Ground was: What childfree person do you admire most and why?

Here’s what you said, and a tee up to the July question:

Here are excerpts of what people wrote about the childfree they admire from their personal lives (part 1 of 2):

My stepmom’s son and his wife: They are in their 60s and have been married for over 30 years. He is a retired nuclear physicist, she’s a retired lawyer. Yeah, they have money. A few years ago they built a fabulous house in the mountains, and right beside a river. They both enjoy gardening so they do a lot of that, but they’ve also traveled all over the world. They’ve lived all around the country and in Europe. They are always interesting to talk to, and have busy, rewarding lives. I don’t know if they’re CF by choice but I suspect they are. They simply have too many interests and things they enjoy doing, I doubt they ever thought children would be anything but a hindrance to their lifestyle. And that had to be a challenging choice to make when they were younger.

My aunt:  She is a very successful lawyer. She loves what she does. She is so involved with her community; from church to charities. She loves to take long bike rides throughout the country with her husband and competes in triathlons. In addition to her native Greek and English, she is fluent in Russian. She is just a happy and very accomplished person, and yet despite that, my grandma has always pressured her to have children, almost making a note of not being a complete person unless you do.

I admire her not just because she’s my loving aunt (and that is more than enough) but also because she is the person I wish to be one day, and she always encouraged me to live my dreams. Much like what she’s had to go through in her life, I too, am feeling the pressure to have kids, and I don’t want them. Like myself, my aunt has no issue with children, but just didn’t want to have any. I love exchanging e-mails with her about what I want to do in life, from my career, future education endeavors, and hobbies. She always ensures me that a life without children is not a selfish choice, that there is nothing wrong with it, and that I always have someone to turn to when that pronatalist message hits me in the face everywhere I turn.

She helped me realize that having children is a choice, and you don’t have to have them if you don’t want to. She showed me the benefits of a childfree life and she’s proved everyone wrong that she would regret her choice. Quite the opposite; she’s told me she’s met many parents who regretted having children. My aunt has no regrets about her choice and always encourages me not have any either, especially considering that they may not be my regrets but simply feeling societal pressure (a very smart lady indeed!).

A former boss: She was my mentor in my early 20’s, and she had a successful business life. She always had great looking men in tow, a fabulous house on the beach and trips overseas. But she had a lot of good, sound advice about life, people, opportunities etc, simply because she had the opportunity to make outside observations.

My aunt and uncle: They have a great marriage and from a young age I thought that for them, being childfree made their relationship a very healthy one. They are working professionals and financially stable, take yearly vacations, have plenty of hobbies, and an active lifestyle. I think I scoped them out when I was young and said to myself, “That is exactly the life I want!”

My friend: She defends the decision and with the support of her husband, follows her passion to teach German and open a used book store. I most admire any childfree person who has chosen to follow their passion regardless of society’s expectations to the contrary.

Stay tuned for Part 2! Want to share yours? Please do!

12 thoughts on “Reporting Back: June 2011 On-the-Ground Question Part I

  1. I completely forgot to send my vote for June but wanted to chime in since I didn’t hear the person I had thought of to mention. Julia Child and her husband, Paul, were childfree and I’ve always liked reading about her determination to succeed and her passion for her husband. I hope I live long enough to make a difference like they both did.

    1. Hi Jill, I love Julia Child too — I have read though that she might be considered child”less” as she did want kids but I am not sure why it did not happen…has anyone else read up on this? ~L

  2. I believe you’re correct, Laura! The way I remember one of the books I read, she did want children but I don’t know if it was ever really clear if it was because of the era (i.e. you were supposed to have kids) or if it just didn’t happen.

  3. I believe that you’re correct about the childless. From what I’ve read, she probably did want children but I’m not sure if it was because of social pressure at the time or not. She didn’t seem to get stalled in the obsession to have children. Instead, she made a name for herself because of her talents and determination. I guess that’s why she inspired me.

    Another great childfree person was Molly Ivins. Here’s a nice article about her.

  4. I’m a HUGE fan of Stevie Nicks! She never had kids OR married, which takes a lot of courage as there is tremendous peer pressure to do both.

    She’s incredibly talented and beautiful. I know she has commented on her CF status on occasion, but I wish she would speak out about it even more. She’s pretty outspoken as a rule. I know her work would have been truncated by kids.

    I also love Katharine Hepburn. She was incredibly strong-willed and ahead of her time.

  5. And I can’t believe I forgot to mention Gloria Steinem. I’m not sure if she is childless or childfree, but I know she didn’t get married until she was way past the age of conception, and is a champion of women’s freedom. Even if she’s childless, she has earned the title of childfree for being the goddess that she is 🙂

    1. rated CF! Thanks for the additions to admired childfree! Did not know about Stevie Nicks–cool~It would also be interesting to know more about Steinem’s story on how she landed with no kids….she has several biographies out there–anyone read?

  6. Dolly Parton is one of my most favorite CF people. She is rich, successful and gives back to her roots and community. Although, she has overdone the cosmetic surgery a bit *~* she is quite beautiful and has a young, happy spirit, which makes her even MORE beautiful.

  7. I just found this blog from Childfreedom and love it! I wanted to mention Emily Dickinson was childfree and someone I really like and admire 🙂

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