Being childless is like daffodils and rainbows

By Alexandra Newman - Contributing columnist

My parents gave up on getting biological grandkids from me a long time ago, probably when I was around 11.

Half of my life I’ve kind of known I didn’t want kids. It just never seemed like the thing for me. I have always been an adventurer and have never wanted to complicate my life too much.

We always joked about me adopting a bunch of children from all around the world and having a little rainbow tribe. It’s not just a joke though, I would certainly entertain the idea when I am older. I would love to adopt. The need for a loving, caring home for children is something we see far too often these days.

I consider myself pro-choice. I should make it clear that pro-choice does not equal pro-abortion. Having a choice can refer to many things, like deciding when it’s time to have a child, like using some form of birth control, or taking the man’s last name when you’re married. (You are a funny bunny if you think I won’t die Alexandra Mary Elizabeth Newman)

In my family we say, “You know what causes that, right?” Usually this refers to one of my young family members having a baby. My parents educated my two sisters and me on what causes babies and how to prevent one until we were ready. My sisters and I have a choice to listen to this advice or not. My parents would love grandkids, but they want us to see the world, they want us to experience life and get to know ourselves before settling down with responsibilities that might keep us from doing those things.

If I am ever ready to have a child, I know how to responsibly make that choice because I was blessed with an education and choices. Right now, I am childless and I am proud.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the percentage of childless women ages 40 to 44 doubled from 1976 to 2006, when the figure stood at over one-fifth of women. The numbers have trailed off slightly since 2006, to about 15 percent; some explanations may be more-flexible workplace cultures for women, advances in fertility treatments and increasing acceptance of unmarried women who conceive through sperm donors.

But the number has increased enough that the first NotMom Summit will take place in Cleveland this October. On their website “” it says they will address workplace issues, contraception, travel, pets, health and those pesky relationships with various significant others. If it wasn’t right in the middle of the week, I would look into going.

I was originally going to write this column about my new pet, a bunny named Daffodil, but I realized everything I said about taking care of Daffodil sounded just like taking care of a child: I have to make sure she is fed and is safe during the day and I think about her all day while I am at work. However, I don’t have to pay for a bunny to go to college and I am pretty sure she won’t climb into my bed at night because she has a nightmare. Bunnies do pee the bed, but it won’t affect me until morning.

If you’re thinking about the choices you have I suggest a bunny, or any pet really. It’ll be cheaper in the long-run. You may have sleepless nights but that is good practice if you ever do decide to have children.

It’s also OK to be childless. It doesn’t mean you’re undesirable and it doesn’t mean you’re not loved. It also doesn’t mean the people with children have wasted their lives, they just made the choice to spend their days changing diapers instead of seeing the world or have figured out how to make that combination work. The world is full of opportunity and choices for anything you may desire. Any little decision made can change the impact of your life. I’ve chosen to not have children for the time being, and thinking about all the freedom I have is just overwhelmingly exciting. And perhaps for now my rainbow tribe will consist of a bunny of every color.

By Alexandra Newman

Contributing columnist

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825 or [email protected]

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825 or [email protected]