Continuing the report back on the June On-the-Ground question, here is Part 2 of some excerpted highlights of what people said about the childfree person they admire most in their personal lives:
Married couple who were my bosses:They were fit, outgoing, successful, adventurous and knew how to live well. They were unable to conceive, and rather than waste time and money on trying they decided to make the most of what they had. They would take off every weekend in their friend’s plane for remote adventures or, by contrast, a simple camping weekend. Skiing in the winter, up to the tropical islands in the summer or climbing mountains in Africa – it goes on. They owned a yacht and it was great fun sailing with them, followed by parties at their gorgeous waterfront house. They were generous people and gave us financial bonuses – once they even paid for my trip to Europe! They were successful, interesting and liked to draw others into their world. After sailing around Asia for two years, they are now looking at opening a B&B in remote Tasmania and going all eco.
My aunt: At one point, she was my “role model” of the CF life. She and her (ex)husband had a beautiful house, and two wonderful dogs. They traveled, enjoyed fine foods/wine, and worked at fulfilling jobs. They had a great circle of professional friends, and lived their lives to the fullest with no regrets.
My neighbor’s ex wife: She and her husband were like second parents to me. I miss having them live next door.
My great aunt and uncle: They were just very cool! Since they were “older” (late 30’s, early 40’s?) when they got married, maybe it was assumed that they wouldn’t have kids since they were “too old.” It was never really discussed. It was their business, period. They were always traveling, going out dancing, and having fun. Every time I saw them, they always had a smile on their faces. Always. Everybody in the family always said that “they should have had a house full of kids.” I remember thinking “What for?” They never seemed to be missing anything. I never sensed any regrets about not having kids.
My boss: Not sure if she is childfree by choice, but I do admire her. She works really hard, gets a lot done, and is very encouraging of those lower down on the food chain. She and her husband are always going to plays, concerts, and fabulous trips around the world (last year it was India!), plus they live in an awesome house. They don’t live extravagantly, but they can enjoy the things they like, and work hard to earn generous salaries.
A high school teacher I had: I’m pretty sure she was CF. She was so amazing. She was an ancient history teacher, and she had traveled all over the world. She’d actually been to the places we were talking about, Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Pyramids, you name it. She was also so much more fun than the other teachers and somehow seemed smarter. When I was in her class, I always thought of how great her life without children seemed.
My best friend: Not only has she not had children because she knows she honestly wouldn’t make a great parent but has also chosen not to pursue long term relationships for more or less the same reason. She is such a self-contained person, and doesn’t define herself through her relationships with other people. She also has a fierce tongue and I would love to be the fly on the wall when anyone asks her to justify her decisions (It hasn’t happened in my presence yet!).
It is so clear to me that there are so many examples and mentors who need to be shared and recognized for their role in helping the childfree realize it is the right thing for them~
Want to share yours? Please do!