You know what's cute? Babies. You know what else is cute? The handsome stranger eyeing you from the end of a bar in Milan, where you're able to vacation because you don't have any kids to cramp your whimsical style.
Being child-free has its pros and cons, just like starting a family, but it carries a wide range of stigmas and assumptions in our society, most of which stem from the idea that people who decide not to have kids are somehow incomplete. These stereotypes tend to center on women: The "crazy cat lady" (which is doubly problematic for its stigmitization of mental illness), the "lonely career woman," and so on. Motherhood is simply seen as the norm.
However, a growing number of women are choosing not to have children. In 2010, a study by the Pew Research Center reported
that almost one in five American women never have a child, compared to one in 10 women in the '70s. Despite the perception that childless women are unhappy with their situation, research has shown they don't tend to feel distressed about it — although they do feel pressure from family and friends to procreate.
Obviously, choosing to have kids is up to you and your partner if you have one, and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. But if you'd like some validation from other people enjoying the child-free life, here are 14 quotes about choosing not to have kids.
"I have... not one regret about not having children because I believe that it is the way it's supposed to be."
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"That she bear children is not a woman's significance. But that she bear herself, that is her supreme and risky fate."
"I realized that so much of the pressure I was feeling was from outside sources, and I knew I wasn't ready to take that step into motherhood,
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
""I don't think it's a compromise to have children. I don't think it's a compromise not to. I think it's just a different choice."
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"You may not have a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t mothering."
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"It was not my destiny. I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but I never did, and I didn’t care what people thought."
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"We talked about it for a minute, about four years into the relationship, but we just decided we like our conversations not being interrupted and our furniture without sticky grape juice on it."
Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Now I’m just going to watch how my life unfolds and see what happens. I’m not going to be less of a person if I don’t have children. It will work out the way it is supposed to.'"
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"I don’t feel alone. I feel very un-alone.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"I don't have the lifestyle conducive to having kids the way that I would want to have kids. ...I have no regrets."
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images News/Getty Images
"I always thought: there are a lot of children in the world. I didn’t need to add to that, you know?"
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"I'm a great aunt or friend of a mother ... I don’t have the time to raise a child.”
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"The chance that we'll regret it doesn't seem like a compelling enough reason to do it."
Robin Marchant/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"Why do I need to have reasons? When someone decides to have a baby, people don't go around asking what her reasons are."
Ben Rose/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images