Choosing to Stay Single and Childless - FamilyEducation
Choosing to Stay Single and Childless
06/28/2007 at 01:58 AM

I may be the only person on this Website and message board that doesn't have any kids, but I just wanted to let you know that it was the wisest thing that I ever did.

I was raised in a family of eight kids (six brothers; two sisters). Four of my brothers are mentally handicapped (unfortunately, one of them passed away seven years ago), and it wasn't that easy. I used to babysit the youngest handicapped brother out in the back of my parents' house from when I was 13 until I was 17, and he was very hard to handle. My mother had to lock the both the bathroom and front doors, as well as tie him at the bottom of the step, in order to protect him. (Mentally, he has the mind of a six-month-old baby).

Being raised in a Catholic Christian family, my mother taught me about sex, marriage, and relationships from a Catholic/Biblical point of view.

When I was 16, we had some tests done to find out why my mother was having retarded children, and they couldn't find out why.

I was a teenager during the 1970's, and it also the time of the feminist movement. Although Green Acres was my favorite show growing up, That Girl with Marlo Thomas inspired me to be a single career woman. I did not want to stay home and be a housewife and a mother; I wanted a career and travel. Being raised in a family of handicapped brothers wasn't that easy, but with the grace of God, my parents got through it.

Also, during the early 70's, there was an episode of the Bill Cosby show, in which a woman has her baby during a thunderstorm. I have had a fear of thunderstorms ever since I was a kid, and I just couldn't picture myself being in that situation. It was this episode, plus my Catholic Christian upbringing, being raised in a family of eight kids, especially with handicapped brothers, not  having patience with children, and my desire to have a career and travel, made me decided that I did not want to get married and have kids, and I don't regret it one bit..

Being single and childless gives me the freedom to do what I please. I can go to work knowing that an employer can count on me to stay the entire day without having to worry about if my child is sick or any of the other demands that come with raising a family. I can come home to a peaceful household, and I'm saving the thousands of dollars that it costs to raise a child today. I know some people have told me that I should have  become a nun, work and career is my calling. Give me the single and childless life anytime.

Thank you for letting me share my views on this subject.

     Hey nanlisa,

it"s me again .Sounds like you had a pretty busy  child hood  , and that you had to grow up fast .Sorry to hear of your brother"s passing .My child hood was no piece of cake either .  I   grew up in foster homes since I was 2 years old my mother was an alcaholic   but I still loved her even though she wasn"t in my life . Ibelieve just knowing where God has brought me from makes me a strong person  and I don"t regret any of it .If you choose to stay single and childless than good for you thats what makes you happy then stay the way you are don"t let anyone make you feel guilty about the choices you made .As for me I chose to be married and have children  my family means the world to me and I wouldnt  trade thm for  a million dollars  .... on second thought......... no just kidding .I think you have a distorted concept of having children it"s not  as  bad as you believe my kids do not stop my husband and me from doing what we want to do in life we travel  we eat out we go on cruises we do lots of things . speaking of cruises we are going on a cruise in august  for seven days six nights  . well I don"t want to write a book  so talk to you later.




Today I took the day off of work. I woke this morning to my 6 year old climbing on top of me and saying “I love you daddy”. I fed them breakfast, and we went out for a day of fun. We were out long enough to stop at our favorite restraunt for lunch and when we got home they wowed me with their bike riding abilities. I live for this stuff.

Very few people you meet have had a great childhood. It’s not the people who shelter themselves for the rest of their lives who are the victor’s, but rather the ones who move on and enjoy their lives despite what may have occurred in their past. To place such value in being at work and having an employer know you are always available, over having a child, I would say you made the right decision. A selfish parent is not a good parent.


Hey nanlisa,


Welcome to the boards.  My husband's sister is 44 and decided to not have children a number of years ago.  Although it is hard for me to understand that decision since I always wanted children, I admire her knowing enough about herself and what she wanted to make the decision not to have children.  She is a doting aunt to my daughter and has wonderful career and a very busy and fulfilled life. 




Hi Marti and thank you for welcoming me.

I'm glad that you understand the reasons why I chose to remain single and childless. And I give your sister-in-law credit too

Although I'm glad to hear that you're happy being married, not everybody is cut out to be married and have kids. St. Paul said that the single person does what pleases The Lord while the married person does what pleases the spouse.

I used to be a hospital/nursing home dietary aide, so I fed the sick and the elderly.  I was also a workshop aide, so I helped the handicapped. I presently work as a market research interviewer and I'm speaking to people all over the country. I've donated my money to religious and conservative causes, as well as to the needy. I gave away some old clothes of mine to the Salvation Army. I gave some non-perishable food to my church to replenish the local food bank.

When my father was in the hospital two years ago, I stayed overnight at my parents' house to watch one of my handicapped brothers, and I made sure that he got his medicine. (My uncle said that I I did a good job right there.) My mother is also in a nursing home due to a stroke that she had at Christmas five years ago, so I had to step in. (All three of my handicapped brothers are in facilities geared toward the handicapped, and they're being cared for by trained professional people.)



hey nanlisa its happy , I felt the need to respond to your last entry .its not that noone understands why you choose to stay single and childless,and its not up to us to understand .  we all have different choices in lifeand the choices we make we have to live with .  you wantd input from us or else you wouldnt have posted  your discussion . now don"t get me wrong it"s a great discussion  and people are going to give you feed back .N ow you wrote what St. Paul said im going to write what my GOD said .....Marriage is sacred .... Be fruitful and multiply .   but like i said your decision is your decision .  My advice to you is GET OUT  and HAVE SOME FUN!!!! you  are never to old to have some fun.


nanlisa a couple things i forgot to mention after reading your post again . My husband is the youth pastor for our church  He serves the lord  and  so do i.   I dont want this to be a battle of religion  lets just stick to the topic. you mentioned in one of your  previous lettrs that you come from a big family you have any nieces  or nephews?



Don't ever let anyone make you feel guilty or like you are missing out on life because of your choice. God made us intelligent for a reason, and variety is what makes this world so interesting. You made the exact right decision for you and everyone has the right to enjoy a productive, happy, life. 

Since I was an only child raised by a very busy single mom in a neighborhood with no children, having a family was the right thing for me. I lived a very quiet childhood. I wanted that family experience. But, I didn't realize that until I was 31. Before that I had little interest in little children. I didn't even like to babysit. Then at 31 I became both a mother and a teacher.  In the past 19 years my house and our property has been full of kids, my boys and their friends.  And during the workday I am surrounded by teenagers. What a blast for me. But that life would probably drive you to the looney farm.

Happy: Thanks for asking.

I do have a little six-year-old niece (she's my sister's child), and she's the only grandchild of my parents. My sister has been married for 9 years to a great guy with a sense of humor. But they live in Atlanta so I don't get to see them that often.

I do go out. I work part-time at night as a market research interviewer, I go swimming at the local YMCA, and up until April, I was going to the library to do my freelance writing. Yesterday, I went to one of the malls that I haven't been to in the last several months, and I needed a change of scenery.  I had lunch there, took a short walk around the mall, browsed through some of the stores, and went to Confession and Saturday nght Mass (for Sunday obligation) at a nearby church.

I also love to travel, but I'm on a limited income, and I can't afford to be too extravagant. So yes, I do go out, but whenever I can. My job has been taking up a lot of my time, especially where I work at. If we have a lot of projects, they want as many hours in as possible because they have client deadlines to meet. But they do understand that I'm on Social Security Disability, and that I can only make so much per month.


great!!!! that sounds wonderful  .  i love to go to the mall and im an excellent swimmer i used to be a life gaurd a couple summers back  at a summer camp in upstate Pa.  having a niece is good and i know it"s hard not seeing her as much as you would probably like but i know she loves you . its crazy because i used to live in atlanta about 4 years ago it was actually Georgia , norcross to be exact but i have to be honest with you I was bored out of my mind  i also love to travel  .and as far as working do what you do goahead and make that money !!!!  (smile )  talk to you later


You appear to be looking for validation for not having kids or a husband on a board filled with people who are happy to be parents and are trying to be better parents. There are plenty of boards out there for people who choose to be single and without kids. I am sure they can provide you with plenty of validation there. I wasn't going to respond to this, but I see that you had another post on disciplining in public. And in that one, you seem to be seeking validation as well. Anyone know any boards they can recommend for "single and childless by choice"?


Hey Cristi,


I think it is fine that nanlisa is here on parenting message boards talking about parenting and her choices.  I think we can all learn from each other and perhaps all learn to be more tolerant of each others choices. 


I hope that everyone will stick around and talk---that is what message boards are all about--sharing and discussing!




Hey Marti, thanks for the compliment. I really appreciate it.

Cristi, people who choose to remain single and childless were also raised by parents too, as well as went to school and the did the same things that any other kids do. Therefore, I have the right to express my own opinion as anybody else on here does.


Marti, I totally agree that we can all learn from each other and learn to be more tolerant. I noticed that her boards weren't about being more tolerant. It seems she is looking for validation, not a discussion. Anyone know any boards where she can get what she is looking for? 


I do have to wonder, why are you on this board? I read through your post and the replies. I can see both sides. Yet, what do you hope to gain from this board? What are you here to offer? If it is the story you originally posted with, I applaud your efforts for helping people see the other side.


I would hae to agree as well.  It seems to me as well as she is looking for validation.  How about sharing her own life experiences for tips on how you would deal with dealing with your decision to be childless and single and enjoying it?


Hi, Nanlisa!!! Just wanted to post a reply to your Blog!!! I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your viewpoints on marriage and children!! I am a 30 year old male that is not married and has no children and I have no desire for marriage or children!! I respect the fact that you want to focus on your carrer and traveling instead of getting married or having kids!! You are not being selfish at all!! Now if you were married with kids and devoted more time to yourself and your carreer instead of your husband and kids, then that would be selfish!! I too am a Christian and I have always known (ever since I was a little kid) that it was not my calling before God to serve in a marital or fatherly capacity. My second reason for sharing your views are even simpler!! I have simply never had the desire for that life!! I, like you, love being able to come in and go out as I please, call a friend without having to "clear it" first, go hunting or fishing whenever I like without having to check with "The Boss" first, etc. i couldn't agree more with you!! However I have an immense amount of respect (as I am sure you do too!!) for people who do wish to get married and have children!!! They have certainly taken up a noble and challenging enterprise that will bring them lifelong rewards!! I personally give immense amounts of credit to folks who voluntarily and willingly take up that mantle!! There is a gentleman at my church that I am good friends with and he has six kids!!! (and he still has hair!!) I can barely remember my own name after 8 hours of work little own coming home to a wife and six kids!!! YIKES!! So if you were looking for validation of your views: You have herby been VALIDATED!!! And to all the married folks out there with kids, GOD BLESS YOU!!! You folks are most worthy indeed!!! You guys are doing a job that some of us could never do!!! Kudos to you!!! You fine people are much tougher than I could ever be........... Catch you on the web........... Steve Timm

Wow! I am glad I came accross this post. When I was a kid I LOVED "That Girl" and I wanted to be just like her. I had my first child when I was 18 and my life has been challenge after challenge ever since. I'm almost 40 now and I want a husband and the family life. I admire your self awareness and I think it comes from years of having to be responsible for your handicapped siblings. God bless you. Do you date much?

Each to their own, but you say that 'work and career is my calling' so what happens when you have to retire?

Nobody has to retire. You might have to find a different job that uses different job skills, or you might find a way to use your job skills on a part-time or volunteer basis if health problems start interfering with work, but nobody has to retire.
Or, you might write a book, or if you have savings, you can travel or indulge other hobbies, or you might find a divorced, widowed, or other single friend to spend time with, or even a married couple who is large-hearted enough to enjoy the company of someone who is not in their same demographic.
Although I am the (married) mom of a large family, I don't see being single and childless as being any weirder than being engaged in a family, just different.

Two of my sisters are childless by choice. One just got married last month to a man who has 3 needy children who just love her. The other has never married and is helping care for my invalid parents by choice. She adores my parents and says that caring for them is fulfilling to her. She has a great job, lots of friends, and plans to eventually get yet another degree. I ham happy with my decision to have my children, but respect the decision of my sisters.