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40 and single with no kids? Of course you have time to baby sit, join a committee, run this group, come to my meeting, have a perfect home, cook for the potluck, sit home all day and wait for something, the list goes on. When people hear I have no kids and no husband they're just sure I have a laid back life of luxury where copious amounts of free time are at my fingertips for any cause they think worthy.

It gets even worse when they find out I'm self employed with a home office. I mean, it's not like I work 40 hours a week, or have any demands on my time without a husband or children, right?


I love children. All things being equal, if things had gone differently, I wouldn't have minded being a mother, but I also don't feel like a failure or that I'm missing something because I have no kids. In lieu of the motherhood experience, I am having an equally valuable experience as a single, childless person in the world, and that means I am actually living a pretty full life. I understand it's hard to recognize it if your experience is different, but I don't doubt you when you claim to be exhausted from your maternal and wifely chores, please extend me the same courtesy when I complain of exhaustion from my own life. I have different issues, and they don't map one to one. I also have empathy for you, I know being a mom is hard work and time consuming. This comes from a basic place of respect many moms don't have for single childless women.

No, I didn't choose a harsh lonely career life in lieu of motherhood, but yes, since I don't have kids, I do have my job a little more in the center of my world than I would with kids and a husband. It's also not that harsh nor that lonely. I didn't make the choice not because I want to make more money, although sometimes I do, it's because I choose to draw different kinds of rewards from my work life than the person who says "Well, I hate my job, but I don't mind because it gives me tons of family time." And as any single adult can tell you - it costs a lot more to be single than it does to be a couple. No one else contributes to the household income, no expenses are ever split, and it's true two can live as cheaply as one, which means it costs almost as much for one to live as two. Insurance, medical, household costs, those don't cover as many people for singles.

Motherhood is a choice, as is non motherhood, and I have nieces and nephews I adore and spoil because I can and I want to. I have a housekeeper because I'm lucky and can afford it, and having that chore off my plate gives me more recreation time to hang out with my friends and do my job, and maybe even help you out here and there. It doesn't mean I'm lazy or opulent or glamorous, it just means I made a different choice.

No one complains when I say yes to things.

For all the times I did make time to baby sit, or cook a few extra dishes for the potluck or host the neighborhood watch meeting, no one thought my lifestyle was objectionable. It only gets called into question when I say no. I don’t think I have it any harder than anyone, I know that life can’t be measured in ounces, and trying to compare one life to another is a fool’s game. So maybe when your single friends can’t join your committee, cook for the block assn, watch your kids for a couple hours, or handle all the paperwork for your club, don’t assume she’s being difficult. Her time is getting used in ways you can’t imagine just as she doesn’t know exactly how long school shopping for three takes.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      40srock wrote Sep 7, 2008
    • Ah! A women here with no kids!  Not many of us out there!  I searched “Childless” and found your blog!  Great blog!  I actually “JUST” created a group called “Over 40 - No Kids”  We’ll see how that goes....

      Yay for no children!  You go girl!

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