Twenty-six. 26. What does this number mean to you? In spirit of my recent 26th birthday, I wanted to compile a list of 26 things relevant for families.
And then this fact fell into my lap…Experts say that a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant drops 10% at age 27. In other words, women who are 26 years of age are in their last year of optimal fertility.
Ok, so what does that mean? Well, for some women, that means your “clock” is ticking and you might be suffering from a severe case of baby fever (the desire to have a baby). However, for a number of women, it means absolutely nothing. Why? 19% of women remain childless. This number has doubled since 1980 and could continue to rise as more women are seeing the child-free life as an acceptable option for them.
Here are 26 reasons why the child-free life course may be right for you.
Reason #1: FREEDOM! The absence of children leaves the opportunity to pick up and travel on a moment’s notice, the freedom to make poor (but fun) choices, and the freedom to a long list of things you cannot do with impressionable children looking up to you for answers.
Reason #2: Less stress.
Reason #3: Being able to sleep in!
Reason #4: Higher education. Go after the college degree you want!
Reason #5: You crave independence.
Reason #6: You have plenty of siblings and get your child-fix through nieces and nephews.
Reason #7: Living up to societal norms is not your thing.
Reason #8: Valuing intimacy. Remaining child-free offers you more time to focus on your intimate relationship.
Reason #9: Pursuit of an active lifestyle.
Reason #10: The possibility of child support, visitation, and other legal issues involving child custody concerns you.
Reason #11: Rejecting society’s attempt to define women by the act of motherhood.
Reason #12: Your career demands your full attention.
Reason #13: Parents are judged harshly and you want no part of that.
Reason #14: You feel sick thinking about changing diapers and potty training.
Reason #15: Enforcing rules and implementing discipline is not how you want to spend your nights and weekends.
Reason #16: Being at home makes you stir-crazy.
Reason #17: The price of childcare ($8,859 a year for an infant in Iowa) is outrageous.
Reason #18: Not having the “mommy” or “daddy” gene.
Reason #19: Not worrying about finding a quality school district.
Reason #20: Because you can achieve happiness and satisfaction without raising children.
Reason #21: More time for your interests and hobbies.
Reason #22: No grocery store tantrums!
Reason #23: Financial security and freedom. Being able to buy a house, car, or other items you dream of.
Reason #24: You enjoy being spontaneous without having to worry about arranging childcare or babysitters.
Reason #25: Child-free families are an acceptable family form.
Reason #26: It is your life; only you know what is best for you!
 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-112136/The-female-fertility-clock-starts-ticking-27.html Bulcroft, R. & Teachman, J. (2004). Chapter 7: Ambiguous constructions: Development of a childless or child–free life course. (Pp. 116–135). In Coleman, M. & Ganong, L. H. Eds. Handbook of Contemporary Family: Considering the Past, Contemplating the Future. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pub. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/norma-lizeth-morales/child-free_b_1951991.html See footnote 2 Smock, P. & Greenland, F. (2010). Diversity in pathways to parenthood: Patterns, implications, and emerging research directions. Journal of Marriage and the Family: Decade in Review, 72, 576–593.  Sassler, S. (2010) Partnering across the life course: Sex, relationships, and mate selection. Journal of Marriage and the Family: Decade in Review, 72, 557–575. See footnote 2 Bogenschneider, K. & Corbett, T. (2010). Family policy: Becoming a field of inquiry and subfield of social policy. Journal of Marriage and the Family: Decade in Review. 72, 783–803. http://www.naccrra.org/sites/default/files/default_site_pages/2012/iowa_060612-3.pdf  See footnote 1**Picture citation: https://www.google.com/search?q=no+children&client=firefox-a&hs=zFi&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=TxeEUbGBDdHi4AOZ7ICgAg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=638#imgrc=e5NTTo2-I2mHCM%3A%3BdPT-0VRxmHJHJM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.slate.com%252Fcontent%252Fdam%252Fslate%252Fblogs%252Fxx_factor%252F2012%252F06%252F14%252Fchoosing_to_be_child_free_there_are_other_kinds_of_babies_%252F1339693532623.jpg.CROP.article250-medium.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.slate.com%252Fblogs%252Fxx_factor%252F2012%252F06%252F14%252Fchoosing_to_be_child_free_there_are_other_kinds_of_babies_.html%3B250%3B229