Whether you've chosen to have children or live child-free, how and when did you (or will you) reach this decision? If you're in a relationship, did you (or will you) decide separately or together?
I've known for as long as I can remember that I didn't want children but I do consider myself 'child free' and not 'child repulsed'.
One of the reasons I chose to be child free was because I've felt for as long as I can remember that I would not get married until I was in my 50's (or older). I realised then that people in their 50's couldn't have children so I just accepted that I would never have any.
It's interesting how peoples attitudes to someone who chooses to be child free has changed. Up until about 15 years ago if it ever came up in conversation people would look at me in disgust and I quickly realised that it was a topic as deadly as euthanasia or abortion - never to be spoken about! Then they would look at me sadly and tell me that I would change my mind one day when the right person came along! When I was in my 20's, one woman even bought me a book called something like 'how to cope with singleness and the denial of children!' I'd been dropping hints for years that I was fine with it all!
I did consider fostering teenagers but I also knew that until the laws changed I wouldn't be allowed as a single woman to do it. By the time the law changed Steve had come along and apparently one of the reasons he really liked me was because I told him during a conversation when we were just friends that I didn't want children. He has also never wanted them and had never met anyone who felt the same way. He's not that keen on teenagers so the idea of fostering fell by the wayside.
I love other peoples children and don't mind 'awwing' at toddlers on fairground rides. The first time Steve witnessed me doing it, I could see the sheer panic in his eyes!!! I laughed and told him that just because I was 'awwing' it didn't mean that I was broody or wanted any!!!
Steve's sister often tells me that his attitude towards the family kids has really changed for the better. I hope that I have taught him that it's all right to like children and that liking them doesn't have to mean you want them yourself.
I am happy that I am able to follow the path I have chosen - If I'd lived a century ago I wouldn't have had much of a say in the matter!
I know this life isn't for everyone and I have many friends who would love to have children. I really wish there was something I could do for them because I sometimes feel guilty about being child free and happy when It is their one wish to have children.