Why I am not having kids | Opinion | The Seattle Times

It’s too bad. Seattle is a great place to live, but I wish there were more kids around.

On our last vacation, my husband and I mulled over this question: “On your deathbed, what will you regret not doing?” We listed our answers at dinner on the last night. Neither of us mentioned children.

We have decided we have other things to give to the world. We won’t be having kids. We choose to be childless in Seattle.

We are not alone here. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates, children make up 15.3 percent of Seattle’s population. We are the second-most childless U.S. city behind San Francisco, which stands at 13.4 percent.

Observers say our childlessness shapes public attitudes toward education and quality-of-life issues, such as parks and playgrounds. I’ll be voting yes for Seattle’s $1.2 billion school levy measures on the Feb. 12 special-election ballot anyway.

I’m lucky. I live in a time and place where I have the freedom not to have kids. But that doesn’t mean society has fully accepted me.

Feminism empowered women to talk about motherhood as a pursuit that deserves as much attention as men’s work. In the past 20 years, women have bravely spoken about struggles to conceive, which helped educate a generation about fertility. But society rarely hears from women who decide not to have kids.

“Do you have children?” My friend’s standard answer is, “No, and it’s not for medical reasons.” I’m cribbing it.

Will I regret it?

via Why I am not having kids | Opinion | The Seattle Times.

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