Women are sharing the reason they don’t want to have children

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“I want to know what your number one reason is for not having kids.”

Danni Duncan, a social media influencer who has amassed over four million likes on TikTok and describes herself as “your childfree friend”, asked that now viral question.

Danni stipulated that no one owes an explanation for why they’ve decided not to have children, but she was eager to hear other women’s reasons.

“My number one reason is I love being alone. Ironically, people use that as a threat, like you’re going to be so lonely, but I really love my time for myself,” she said.

Duncan’s question amassed 63,000 likes and over 13,000 comments from women sharing why they’ve chosen not to become mothers.

The responses came rolling in.

“I don’t want to be a primary parent. If I could be a father, I might have had kids. Motherhood is too much work and responsibility.”

“Every parent I know is stressed out of their eyeballs, dead tired, and without alone time. I’m 32 and feel like I’ve only just started living life for me.”

“I don’t like people, and I don’t want to make one.”

“Never met a mother whose life I’d love to live.”

“I’m way too lazy … waking up before 8am and having to constantly clean are my worst nightmares.”

“My mental health just can’t handle it. I’m anxious and easily overstimulated. I don’t like messes and things throwing off my routine. I’m just entirely incompatible with kids.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the fertility rate has been decreasing in Australia for decades.

In 2020, there was a slump, with only 294,369 new births being registered, but there was a slight increase in 2021, with 300,996 new births.

The official birthrate in 2023 was 1.784 per woman. In comparison, in 2008, the birthrate was 2.02 births per woman.

Women aren’t just having fewer children, but more and more women are choosing not to have children, and yet when women speak about choosing to be childfree, it often is met with criticism and seen as controversial or taboo.

In November last year Australian model and actor Ellie Gonsalves shared a list on Instagram of 117 reasons she doesn’t want to have children.

She stressed that the list was “personal” and wasn’t intended to speak for any other women, but since she had been with her now-husband Ross Scutts, for 15 years, she said the question of when they’d have children “is probably the most frequent one I get”.

“After years of being asked why I don’t want children I compiled this as it always seemed a short reason was never good enough or understood,” she wrote.

Ms Gonsalves had a range of reasons for not wanting to reproduce, from the simple desire to avoid being tired all the time to the fact that the world is overpopulated.

The model attempted to have fun with the list, and while she raised genuine concerns, she also threw in stuff she was happy to miss out on, like experiencing post-partum hair loss or dealing with her body swelling up.

The response was swift, and Ms Gonsalves was flooded with messages from people telling her she was a “horrible and broken” person.

Her list went so viral that she ended up on The Project to discuss why the backlash was so severe, especially considering she was just sharing her own personal choice and certainly wasn’t telling anyone if they should or shouldn’t have children.

“I think the backlash that comes along with someone being so honest and candid about it is terrifying to people,” she told The Project.

Ms Gonsalves said that she has always found it “strange” that people don’t talk about why they choose not to have children, but after she shared the list, she understood it far more.

“So the backlash that comes along with that and the vilification and the Judgement, I think is scary to a lot of people,” she said.

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