Being Childfree at 30

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Here I am, a few weeks after my 30th birthday, divorced and childless. Not exactly the image I had of myself when I was in my early twenties. I was in a stable long-term relationship throughout my twenties and truly believed I would be a mother by my early 30s. This is something that has been weighing on my mind recently. So let’s talk about it.

As my marriage came crumbling down around me, I have had to get used to the feeling of discomfort. And one of the major sources of this discomfort has been the realisation that motherhood may not be on my radar. I have not cancelled out having children altogether. Not by a long shot, but right now I am single and it is certainly at the forefront of my mind.

Here are some of my recent thoughts on whether to have children in my thirties or not:

It is Okay to be Unsure, Even at 30

For lots of women, their maternal instinct is strong. They have this deep sense of urgency to be a mother from an early age. They know that starting a family is their calling and have zero doubts about it. Take my mother as an example. She met my father at 19 and by 22 she had me, with no doubts in her mind. The idea was not intimidating to her and it felt 100% natural. However, for me, I have moments of broodiness. I catch myself tearing up at photos of babies and longing to be a mother. But I am also used to being childless. The idea of having a baby to look after 24/7 is terrifying. And I am selfish. I enjoy my weekends, brunches and spontaneous city trips despite my ticking biological clock. And I know I am not the only one like this.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

At the age of 30, almost everyone I know is either married or has children or both. I can count on my hands, the people I went to school with who haven’t started a family yet. However, comparison is the thief of joy. As happy as I am for my friends when I see their swelling bellies and baby scans, I am also happy to wake up late on a Saturday. I like to do my yoga unbothered and spend the day how I want. It is ok to do things in your own time. Do not feel pressured to join the club, just because it is society’s expectation of you to be a mother.

Educate Yourself on Fertility/Options

By this age, you’ll definitely have heard comments like “So any plans for starting a family?” And while these comments can get really irritating and feel like a personal attack on your womanhood, it is important to educate yourself on future options.

Only recently have I really started to think about different future options. At around the age of 30, our fertility decreases and at 35, we have an even sharper decline meaning the chances of falling pregnant naturally can be difficult. Modern medicine is our friend here. Thanks to the miracle of freezing eggs, IVF, surrogate mothers and of course fostering/adoption, we have plenty of options for the future. However, it is important to educate yourself if you think you may want kids in your late 30s.

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Being a Mother Does Not = Womanhood

Your womanhood is not determined by having children and there is still a stigma around women who choose not to have a family. We are portrayed as lonely, cold and unlovable, while men who choose not to have kids are “career-driver” and “successful.” However, the reality is that more and more women are choosing not to have children nowadays. We are going to break the stigma by having conversations about it.

And while I myself am still undecided about whether or not I will have kids, I am open to having the conversation. I am starting to look at my options and educate myself to get a better understanding of what my future might look like!

I hope this advice is somewhat useful and would love to hear your opinions on the subject of motherhood and fertility in your thirties!

9 Comments

  1. This is a great post and something that’s come at a good time for me. I’m 29 this year and in a relationship. I never thought I wanted kids but over the last year, I’ve just felt like urge and need to have one and experience motherhood. It’s a weird feeling – not one I’ve had before and it’s a very confusing time!

    1. Hey Kayy! Thank you for the comment, I’m not sure how it slipped through the cracks! You’re definitely not alone, but it can feel pretty isolating at times, being in your 30s and no children. Thank you for reading!

  2. I was a young and clueless teenage mother. After that experience I never had the desire to have anymore children. Make sure you want to be a mother for the right reasons. Good luck and thank you for sharing ❤️

    1. Hey Dragthepen! I can only imagine it must have been an extremely difficult thing to be such a young mother (although I’m sure very rewarding). Absolutely! It’s a lifetime decision! Thanks for reading and the comment 🙂

      1. Yes, it was difficult. I had a poor support system. But in the long run I have an amazing son who forgave my mistakes as a mother and I have three beautiful grandchildren.

  3. All the best to you as you make this important decision. Motherhood certainly changes your life.

    A successful professional, my sister-in-law married late and had three beautiful daughters in her thirties. The twins were premature, but they and their sister have grown up healthy and athletic and are in high school.

    I married the week I turned eighteen and had a daughter just before I turned twenty. My marriage ended after 18 years. I married again seven years later and we adopted two children from Russia when I was forty-five.

    My husband died seven years after we adopted them and I was a single mother for 12 years. My fiance and I have been together for seven years and plan to marry later this year. We are 71 and 72.

    You might say I had children very early and very late. My children are 52, 32, and 30. None of them have children.

    Whatever you decide, you can have a happy life. <3 All the best!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank you so much for reading and sharing your story.

      Wow, what an interesting journey you have taken, you’ve experienced adoption too later in life, so you’ve definitely experienced both young motherhood and older motherhood!

      Thank you ❤️ for now I am enjoying being single and childless, but if one day I do have children, I’m sure I will share my story on here too!

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