After having second thoughts on whether to freeze my eggs before doing chemo on 2017 or not, I knew right then that motherhood isn't something I'm gung-ho about. It took me awhile to fully accept the idea as I somehow felt guilty for not desiring what most women wanted. But now I feel this sense of liberation for acknowledging my truth.
Fully embracing a life with no children in the horizon can be quite scary. It's the road less travelled because we don't want to picture the idea of not leaving a legacy behind or growing old and dying alone. But with the right preparation and state of mind, it can be one of the most amazing experiences you can ever have.
Before jumping into the NO KIDS bandwagon, here are some of my tips to prepare you for the smooth, fulfilling and un-lonely road ahead:
Be comfortable in your own company.
Now is the time to really get to know yourself and love you for who you are. Being childfree will give you lots of alone time and the right to self-invest. So take advantage! Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you like being creative or you're more into structures? Are you a homebody or outgoing? A talker or a listener? When you know how you function and what activities give your soul true joy, you can learn how to self-soothe and navigate through life's MEH moments.
Take very good care of yourself.
Without babies to take care of, another perk of the childfree life is the license to go full on in taking care of yourself. So invest in lots of self-care! Exercise and eat healthy to constantly stay strong and feel good. Read great books and watch inspiring videos that feed the mind and the soul. Indulge in pampering massages and retail therapy to spoil yourself on bad days. Since you have no responsibility of taking care of an offspring, consider yourself as your own child. So give yourself that caring you deserve.
Be active with communities.
Without a kid as you hit midlife, it's common to feel isolated from time to time. And being proactive with communities of your interest helps combat that feeling. Are you into yoga? Sign up for classes and take part in their activities to meet yogis! Do you like books? Volunteer in the library and meet fellow bookworms. Do you like the outdoors? Look up hiking groups online that you can join in. Having communities will give you that sense of belongingness even if you don't have a family of your own.
Seek childfree friends.
As you get older, finding childfree friends gets harder as everyone starts to couple up and procreate. But it's a must to seek childfree friends even if it means reaching out to new networks. Having people in the same life disposition as you offers that sense of comfort and support. No one will understand you better than they do. Because once your childhood best friend has a kid, it all changes. They transcend to the "parent" state of mind and will no longer be in the same page as you. To have childfree friends around makes you feel understood and accepted in such a way that your parent friends can never give.
Build your legacy project.
We all want to be remembered as someone who gave a contribution to the world. And there are tons of ways to do so that doesn't involve having a child. You can make art, write a book, build a business, compile a travel vlog... in short, CREATE something that you're passionate about that humanity will benefit from in the future. In my case, my decision to not have kids jumpstarted me to make this website, write blogs, do inspiring videos, and work on a book/s. That way, I have that peace in my heart that whatever happens in the future, I am contributing to history and leaving behind an inspiring legacy that people will remember by.
Strengthen your friendships and networks.
To fight that feeling of loneliness of not having little ones shower you with hugs and kisses at the end of the day, it's always good to have solid friendships who can offer you emotional support and a wide range of networks that you can tap into for companionship. So before deciding to tackle the childfree zone, make sure to nurture your friendships and networks very well and give them a head's up about your chosen path. That way, they will know what kind of support you may need from time to time and they will be well-equipped on what to offer you such as inviting you over on children or family-oriented holidays.
Get fur babies
To fulfill that itch of taking care of someone and that craving to constantly receive cuddles and love, you can never go wrong with fur babies. Having a pet/s reduces stress, alleviates loneliness and gives you the same satisfaction as having a baby but with lesser financial and emotional maintenance and worry that they will grow up and move on with their lives. Unless animals ain't your thing, owning fur babies can definitely scratch that maternal/paternal desire.
Build relationships with your siblings' and friends' kids.
It's inevitable to still crave for children's company from time to time even if you have a partner and/or a pet. Nothing can ever compare to the innocent, joyful and curious spirit they bring. So to get that occasional much needed kid fix, find ways to stay close to your nephews, nieces and your best friend's children. Establish a relationship with them as someone they can talk to, play with, turn into at times of need and completely trust. Take part in the important highlights of their lives such as graduations, birthdays, etc. That way, you still have children presence in your life even if you don't have one of your own.
Take care of your parents.
As we get so busy building and living our lives, we forget that our parents are getting old and feeling lonely as well. This is an opportunity for you to be more involved with them. Give them your undivided time, attention, love and care that gets quite limited when one has a child. Cook them a nice meal. Take them out to the movies. Visit them regularly. Accompany them at their doctor's visit. Spend quality time. With all the hard work and sacrifice they've done just to raise you in this planet, it's time for you to pay forward.
Achieve financial stability.
Raising kids are expensive. So choosing to not have them already reduces the pressure to make a lot of money. To further ensure a worry-free life, handle your finances very well. Either sign up for a secured and steady job that can sustain your childfree lifestyle or even better if you find a passive income that will enable you to travel, make art and live the kind of life you want on your own terms. Whether it's simple living or an extravagant one that you'd like to achieve, make sure you'll be living within your means.
Donate to a good cause.
Once you've attained financial stability, find a cause that you truly believe in and consistently donate a percentage of your income to it no matter how little. It boosts your sense of purpose and prevents you from feeling useless that can be commonly felt when you don't have a child. Do you support education? Offer to sponsor a student who can't afford tuition fee. Are you an advocate of wellness? Take part in funding a new recreational center. Do you empathize with cancer patients? Donate in a reputable non-governmental organization. There is nothing more rewarding than witnessing others benefit from your selfless contribution.
Adoption is always an option.
There are so many unprivileged children out there who need love, guidance, support and a home. So not only will you be fulfilling your own paternal/maternal desires but you'll also be sparing a child/children from growing up parentless and homeless. Thus, find comfort with the thought that if you do realize later on that parenthood really is something that you'd like to experience, it's never too late. You can always take the adoption route.