I loved meeting Daisy! I continue to be so inspired by young women who are choosing to live childfree.
I once told Laura that I thought the hardest part of being childfree after infertility was the fundamental loss of life’s milestones – I compared it to wandering through a big empty field. That analogy had long been forgotten until at one point in our chat, Daisy commented that making the choice to break tradition and live childfree was like running into a field and shouting, “Here I am!!” And I was floored.
I began to wonder if the very thing that I had cast as my grief, may actually be my liberation.
Daisy spoke a lot about how empowering it is to watch older childfree women live their best lives, but I will always feel empowered by Daisy for giving me that perspective.
Tell us why you wanted to share your story.
I wanted to share my story, and my choice to be childfree because for the most part, women’s stories tend already written for them from birth. We don’t all live the story that has been traditionally told to us.
I think it’s important that women everywhere tell their stories. It becomes easier to find a sense of camaraderie and you can start to feel like, “Oh, I can live my own truth. I can write my own story.”
My story is unique. Everyone’s story is unique.
How did you come to realize that you wanted to be childfree?
There was never a pivotal moment like, “This is it!”
My mom had me when she was 21. I’m the oldest child and the first grandchild, so I’ve been surrounded by children my whole life. I’ve seen them grow and I’ve helped take care of them. Somehow I became very conscious of living my own story and not letting any sort of constructs guide that story.
I wanted to be the first one to graduate from college, I wanted to be the first one to have a career. As a Latina, as a Mexican-American woman, you see the statistics that Latinas have the highest teenage pregnancy rate, and I grew up also in a place where we didn’t talk about family planning. We didn’t talk about choice, or reproductive health.
At first I was tiptoeing around the topic of not having children because I felt the need to protect my journey. And then at one point, I realized that I’m happy and complete and content with who I am, and with my life without children.
That’s also why I advocate for women’s rights and reproductive rights in my work. I just want to make sure that everyone knows that they have the choice to live, whatever life they choose to live.
Have you talked about your choice to remain childfree with your family? What was their reaction?
Given that I grew up in a Mexican Catholic household, I’m grateful to be a part of a family where they don’t ask about grandchildren at every Thanksgiving!
They’ve been so accepting; I don’t know why, but my mom has never pressured me into talking about kids. I’m turning 27, and it’s just it’s never been a topic of conversation.
My Grandmother is from a small town in Mexico, and didn’t have her first child until she was 30, which was “old” for that time. She had her own journey with motherhood, and has never once asked me about having children. I think that has empowered me to continue to live whatever life I chose to live. Maybe they think I’m just the “career woman,” or maybe they genuinely respect my choice.
It also might be part of the immigrant child experience. Some immigrant parents are just happy that their child gets to live whatever life they choose. I’m really grateful to be surrounded by that, and not feel the pressure that I know so many friends have felt.
Is childfree life something that something that comes up a lot in your friend group?
We may not have discussed it specifically, but I do notice some of my friends talking about babies more, or posting celebrity babies on their instagrams, and expressing that they have baby fever. I’m about to be 27, and am one of the younger ones out of my friends group which might have something to do with it.
It could also be a city thing. They say that in San Francisco that more people have dogs than children. I love my dog!
Many people I know from my high school have kids. I grew up in a smaller town called Gilbert, AZ. After I graduated from Arizona State I moved to DC for a year before coming to San Francisco. That was the first time where I saw career women in their early late 20s and 30s living their best lives with no shame. Happy and content with themselves. No one had kids, or even talked about it.
That was the first time where I was exposed to the idea that you can choose to live a different life and it’s totally fine It’s okay.
I’m grateful to live in an environment that respects my choices. It’s so important to have these conversations, and to model different types of life for the women around us.
Has your decision affected your relationship with your body?
I actually had this conversation with my boyfriend the other night – maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo and I never know how to turn my brain off – but I said out loud, “Am I weird for not having that thing that suddenly makes some women want to have babies? Baby fever! Is it weird that I don’t have that?”
It was one of the first times I’ve ever questioned my choice, wondering if there was something broken inside of me. Why is that switch not flipping on?
I was trying to dig into myself – wondering, is this a psychological thing? Is it growing up as the oldest grandchild and feeling like I had to help out my single mom? Did it turn me off kids? What is it?
My partner let me go through this web of thoughts, and then he nonchalantly said, “Maybe it’s none of those things.”
And he was absolutely right. It’s none of those things. I’m okay. Maybe there isn’t anything broken inside of me. It’s just a choice that I chose to live and I’m happy with that.
It’s interesting that women even have to get to that point where they’re like, “I’m super happy with my life. Is there something wrong with me?!”
The conclusion is, I’m fine!
Have you encountered any challenges in living childfree?
Not yet. And I say that because I wonder how this will be once I hit 30.
That’s when folks start really putting that timeline on. Maybe that’s when my friends will start having babies. As I said, right now I’m not surrounded by anyone that has had a child yet. So I wonder if I’ll face a different type of reaction around that time.
My best friend is family planning right now, thinking about benefits and maternity leave, which is awesome! She’s going to have a child and I’m super excited to be an auntie or godmother but she respects that this is the life that I live, and she’s still my best friend.
I’m really grateful to not have to face any challenges as of now.
What are some of the positive aspects of choosing to be childfree at this stage in your life?
I think the biggest thing about accepting this choice, and being happy and content with it is that it has lifted a weight off of my back as a woman.
It’s a weight that you put on as a young girl that tells you, “You need to procreate and if you don’t procreate you’re not whole.”
I think it has liberated me to continue to live whatever lifestyle I want to live, whether it’s to continue on with my career, to continue to travel, to continue to love my adopted dogs, to live a healthy, happy relationship with my partner, to have a happy, healthy relationship with my family.
Making the choice to be childfree has continued to open up my road and let me run freely.
How have you approached this decision with your partner?
I was very open about it early on. I didn’t want to “waste” his time. I didn’t want to take that choice away from someone. I wanted to be completely honest and upfront.
Of course we’ve had discussions about it. We’ve both made the decision to live this lifestyle, and I’m truly grateful for that.
I know there are relationships where both parties are not on the same page. I have been on dates where a man literally sat in front of me and said that he wants to be a “young dad.” Think about the time constraints that are being put on the woman in this situation!
Honestly, I really wish that men would read more about our stories, because then they would understand saying things like that to a woman on a date is never ok.
I’m grateful to be with someone who understands my choice, and wants to be a part of that choice.
If you could change something about how being childfree is perceived, what would you change?
I wish other folks could see that some women choose to be childfree!
It’s not because they’re bitter, old, single career women that just live for their jobs and don’t want to do anything for anyone else.
I see it so often in movies or TV shows – the woman who went on overdrive in her career and then she hit 40 and is like, “Oh no! Now I want children!”
I wish we could kill this notion women end up childfree because they are crazy and career driven. I love what I do, but it’s not because I’m just trying to fill a void.
I also wish folks would understand that some women might not change their mind. You don’t need to continue to tell them, “Oh, but you’ll see in a few years. Just wait until you wait till you’re this age, or wait till you get married..” or whatever it is.
There could be so many things going on – fertility issues, financial issues, etc. So saying those things is not making that woman feel better.
What are some of the things that have helped you embrace your childfree path?
I think seeing other women live their life in this way that I want to live mine is helpful.
Seeing the women I met in college, and post college living their happiest childfree lives empowers me, and it makes me feel like there is a different way to live and it doesn’t make me abnormal. It doesn’t make me weird.
Having these conversations is going to hopefully rewrite those ideas. Whether it’s in the media, or just in society – that being childfree by choice, having this choice, making this choice at whatever age you choose to make it, is perfectly normal.
You can be happy and healthy and you can find other women that are also living this as their truth. You can write your own story.
*Opinions in this interview are solely Daisy’s and do not represent any organization that she is affiliated with.