Living Child-free by Choice
The first time they went out, Chris told his date he had no interest in ever having babies. That was fine with then-19-year-old Amy, and even better now that she's 24 and has been married to Chris for three years. "Both of us are only children, have really busy jobs (Amy is a business operations analyst; Chris is a copier service technician), lots of outside interests and love to travel," Amy said. "In fact, I'd been engaged before I met Chris, and a large part of why that relationship broke up was because my fiance wanted me to be a traditional homemaker."
Clearly Chris and Amy are happy with their plan, but what do their family and friends think? Amy's mother, a devout homemaker, is sad about her daughter's decision but has held her tongue. Chris' mother, however, is relieved, feeling that being a grandmother would make her a little too old a little too soon. Amy's best friend, however, thinks Chris's vasectomy last February was "insane." "She keeps asking, 'Who's going to take care of you when you're old?'" Amy said. "Chris is nine years older than me, so odds are he'll go first, but if the only reason I'd want a child is to have someone to visit me when I'm decrepit -- well, that's not good enough."
They've put a lot of careful consideration into this subject, and both Amy and Chris have realistic expectations. They understand and even expect that Amy might experience a grieving period as her biological clock ticks down, but otherwise they're happy with their decision. "When there are no children all the energy in the marriage goes toward your spouse," Amy said. "When we're home, we're home together. Chris and I are also aware that we can't just sit in the house, so we found a social club in Atlanta called No Kidding. There are 80 couples, all who have decided not to have children. It's great. Someone can email us at 4:30, 'Want to have dinner tonight?' and we're there."
"This couple have a made a difficult decision that runs against the current of society. They must be able to stand up to the pressure they receive from others and from their family and be secure and at ease with their decision. By directing the extra time and energy available as a result of not having children to each other, they are ensuring that each receives the benefits of this decision, not only the losses. Also, they have been creative in filling up their lives, by joining this club of other like-minded couples to enjoy time with and have support from."