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In 2024, the birth rates in the United States hit a new low, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. While many find joy in parenthood, it’s clear that more adults are choosing not to have children—for various reasons, such as the high costs and emotional demands of raising them. This decision sometimes draws criticism from those who see having kids as the expected thing to do.

In response, many people who have embraced a childfree lifestyle are using social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) to share their thoughts. Today, we’ve gathered some of their most insightful and often humorous tweets that shed light on the joys of life without children. Find them below!

The term ‘child-free’ has been around since the early 1900s, but it became more popular in the 1970s when feminists started using it to describe women who chose not to have children. The word ‘free’ highlighted the freedom and lack of obligation felt by those who made this choice.

Elizabeth Hintz, an assistant professor in communication at the University of Connecticut, US, who’s studied perceptions of childfree identities, explains that there are different ways people arrive at this decision. “There are people who know early in life that they don’t want children and they never waver. There are people who come to the decision later in life and then proclaim it as a part of their identity. And then there are people who are sort of on the fence about whether to have children that might flip-flop back and forth.”

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A 2021 poll by the Pew Research Center showed that 44% of non-parents aged 18 to 49 say it is unlikely they will have children someday, a significant portion of the population. However, many, especially women, encounter criticism for wanting to remain childfree.

“I love children. But I don’t plan on having any of my own,” writes Ursula Taherian for the Los Angeles Times. “It took me a long time to be able to say that out loud. And by ‘out loud’ I mean whispering it with a hint of uncertainty so as not to offend. Because when you’re a married woman of a certain age with no kids, people have questions. Fertility advice. Pity. Judgment. Lots of judgment.”

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“At gatherings I respond to the anticipated, ‘When are you having kids?’ with a teasing, ‘Ohhh, we’ll see hahahaha,’ and hurry over to the snacks. Because if I’m honest about not wanting kids, I’m never getting to the snacks,” shares Taherian. “I’m getting cross-examined. ‘You’ll regret it.’ [...] And someone will promise I’ll feel different once I have my own. But what if I don’t?”

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Diandra “Mss Didi” Blackthorn
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6 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I did that and at the end of 1 year, took pics of all of the things I bought with that money and shared with all of those single-happy-and-free h8ters!

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A 2017 study by Indiana University confirms that many people genuinely disapprove of others who don’t want to have children. “Consistent with many personal anecdotes, participants rated voluntarily childfree men and women as significantly less fulfilled than men and women with children,” says Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, an associate professor of psychology, who conducted the research. “This effect was driven by feelings of moral outrage—anger, disapproval and disgust—toward the voluntarily childfree people.”

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Ample Aardvark
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My neighbours have two of each and them two on their phones on speaker, I need the Raider of The Lost Ark's boulder

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Luke Branwen
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6 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's right. Family can be anything, whether it's a married couple with three kids or three weird roommates and their cat.

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However, some individuals are more understanding. For instance, Viktoria Lubbock, a mother of two adult men aged 38 and 40, says she and her husband respect their sons’ choice not to have children. They haven’t asked why either, believing it would be “intrusive and potentially judgmental” to do so. “Our role as ‘grandparents’ is therefore limited to cat-sitting for their households, and we are very content with that.”

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“I think people who choose not to have children think about having children a lot more than those who have them. Because every decision has an opportunity cost—the value of the options you forgo,” says Taherian.

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And the reasons people decide to go childfree vary widely. Some say they’ve never pictured themselves as parents and never developed the desire to have a child. Others prioritize the freedom to travel and focus on their careers without restrictions. Additionally, some believe that the current state of the world is not safe or welcoming enough to raise a child in. It’s a lot to consider.

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Zoey Rayne
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I find it funny that people call having kids "settling down," because kids only add chaos, and parents are often yelling at them to "settle down!"

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Luke Branwen
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6 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Y'know what's selfish? Caring about your bloodline and whatnot without considering whether you'd be a good parent first and foremost.

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Deciding whether you actually want children can be truly challenging. Ann Davidman, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is an expert at helping people figure it out. She believes, “If everyone paused and pondered whether or not motherhood or fatherhood was for them—no matter how certain or uncertain they felt about the answer—the experience they would have of coming to an ultimate decision would feel more expansive and have fewer fears attached to it.”

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If you’re unsure whether having kids is right for you, Davidman offers some advice. Start by taking a break from thinking about it or discussing it for 1 to 3 months with your partner or friends. Understand that it’s normal to have doubts because it's a complex issue.

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Avoid making pros and cons lists, as they can keep you stuck. Instead, recall three decisions you made because you knew deep down they were right for you. Reflect on how good it felt to make those decisions. This is the sensation you should aim for when considering whether to have children.

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You also need to create a distinction between your desire and your final decision. “[They] are not always the same, nor is the goal for them to be the same. The goal is to know your truth about each of them. You may want to become a parent and decide not to for a variety of reasons.”

To do this, make a list of your fears about having children. Then, write down things you can’t stop thinking about or factors beyond your control (like age, health, career, relationship status). Set these lists aside and refrain from focusing on them until you know exactly what you want. “The why is important, not because you owe anyone an explanation but because you need to know what is driving your desire from the inside out so that you can be honest with yourself.” It’ll be easier to make the decision afterward.

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And if you’re concerned that not having children will make you less happy in the long run, consider the following. Studies indicate that there’s no significant difference in life satisfaction and only minor differences in personality traits between people who choose parenthood and those who don’t. Moreover, single women without children seem to be the happiest group of all.

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Luke Branwen
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6 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Shout-out to my uncle for being like a parent to me since I was born (I'm a son of a single mom). He loves penguins, so I'm gonna put one here. 🐧

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So, whether you choose to stay childfree or not, remember that the decision is yours to make and shouldn’t be judged by others. Everyone’s journey is different, shaped by personal desires, circumstances, and beliefs. It’s important to listen to your heart and focus on what brings you happiness and fulfillment in life.

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Francis
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

when my nephew was a few weeks ols, my brother told me to hold the baby. i did. i hated it LOL. when my nephew shat in his diapers, i gave him back to his father "he seems to leak, hope you still have some warranty on him" my brothe rlaughed. his wife looked at me like i was mad... i love my nephews and my niece, but i don't wanna hold babies

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Beak Hookage
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6 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The choice of avatar just makes this even funnier if you know that's Princess Carolyn, whose main character arc is trying to realise her dream of having a kid.

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KatSaidWhat
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6 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or just lying in the sun in the garden, or eating whatever I want when I want or booking spontaneous travel. That's the abridged version

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BMXemplary
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Lucky, lucky, lucky me! I'm a lucky son of a gun, I work eight hours, and sleep eight hours, That leaves eight hours for fun.

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Savahax
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate those people. Almost as much as those who just make rhetorical statements all f*****g day and expect an answer. "This time last year the weather was different." "Hasn't rained in a while." s**t like that. Maddening

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Vicky Phenny
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6 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

😒 I already did that as the child of two chainsmokers. No kids, no smokers is a pretty solid rule I have lived by since then.

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Magpie
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"I want a tubal ligation" dr " but what if your future/ non existent husband wants kids?" Some fantasy guy I don't even know has more control of my body than I did.

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BMXemplary
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5 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nobody's mentioned the wasted hours spent unclogging sewers from the tonnes of discarded diapers and non biodegradable wet wipes.

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