At some point in our lives, women just get tired of parents asking when you’ll give them grandchildren, or your friends questioning when you and your partner will tie the knot. The pressure to commit to entrenched social expectations and gender stereotypes is real, and it does little good if any.
Meanwhile, more and more women are willing to take the choices of their lives into their own hands, something that essentially belongs to them. This Reddit thread shared on the Ask Women community shows a glimpse into how things are going for these women. “Women who didn't follow the social norm of getting married & having kids—what are you doing instead?” asked Redditor -Penguin_Anxiety- and the responses started pouring in.
Below we selected some of the most illuminating ones that show how rewarding it can be to live your life as you want, and not as you're told to.
#1I’m single with no children. I just booked a trip to NYC and one to Mexico in the summer, and planning a trip to Europe for the fall. I’m thinking about getting a second masters degree and after seeing these responses, I’m thinking why the hell not?
I have money and time to pursue my interests and because of that, I’ve gotten to know exactly who I was. It turns out I like me a lot.
Image credits: catdogbird29
#2Living many lives. I was a morning baker at a corner bakery in a small town. I was a stripper in a big urban city. I was a roadie for a punk rock band. I was a manager in a large packaging warehouse. Now I'm a budtender at my corner potshop. I dont like a place? I get up and move across the country, sleep in my car until I find a job. I want to live a bunch more lives. I love the freedom and never want to give a shred of it up.
Image credits: muffinmamners
#3Working to pay for my cats expenses
Image credits: hellkittyx
#4Get 4 degrees (2masters and 1 Ph.D.), buy a house, move whenever I want for a better job opportunity or a promotion, relax after work, and on the weekend coz I can have a full night sleep.
I was married which was unfortunate.
Image credits: tiny-bird-292
#5I'm 60, never got married, never had kids. What have I done instead? Lived my best life. It's been fantastic, so far.
Had a successful career. Launched a successful second career in my 40s. Retired early (which I never could have done with a spouse and children). Travelled all over the world when I was younger. Indulged all my hobbies (reading, quilting, cooking, gaming).
As someone else so aptly put it: Whatever the f**k I want.
Image credits: mosselyn
#6Enjoying a free and happy solo life, travelling around, working for myself, publishing my own books and not answering to anyone else. I’ve never wanted children because I knew it would curtail my freedom. I’m 54 with no regrets (apart from an eight-year marriage in my thirties).
Image credits: Reddish81
#7I have traveled to 20+ countries solo. Live in a poppin part of the city, bought a white couch, a luxury car, plan to retire early…but the most important thing I do is work remotely so I can visit my amazing nephews as often as I wish. I didn’t ‘choose’ to not follow the social norm of getting married/having kiddos, I’ve just dated piles of garbage that inherently prevented that from happening. Then one day I looked in the mirror and turned 40, so I suppose I’m now too late to the bio-kids party. Oh well!!!!
Image credits: ApfelFarFromTree
#8Rescuing animals. Have my own business. I read a lot. Pursue art. Wake up whenever I want. Go on long travel trips with my friends.
Image credits: crescentcactus
#9I got married but I'm not ever having kids. My husband worked from home today and we drank margaritas in bed and booked a holiday. Aside from having the responsibility of a dog I pretty much do exactly what I want to. I'm aware some of that privilege comes from money, rather than not having kids, but not having them has afforded me an incredible amount of freedom and peace
Image credits: Vegetable-Ad-647
#10Living my best life? I always wanted kids, but I have been unlucky in love and having children is not something I want to do on a solo salary with me as the only caretaker. Unfortunately, the older I get the less patience I have with men. I have stopped dating during the pandemic and I don’t know if I will ever start up again! I have so many hetero friends in unhappy marriages where the women work full time, run the household, and are basically the only children caregiver. There are so many memes about married men acting like giant children so I feel I may have dodged a bullet. I’m sad I won’t get to be a mom, but i think it’s for the best. I don’t want to “raise” an adult or be disrespected by a man who is perfectly capable in the workplace but decides to tune me out in the running of our home.
So I do what I want and I’m really freaking happy. I own my own home, I have two degrees, I take lots of trips with my friends, have hobbies, love my job and coworkers, and dote on my nieces. It’s a great life!
Image credits: adjur
#11I've worked full time in my career for 13 years. My master's degree helped that one out.
I became a homeowner at 21. I'm 38 now and am on my 3rd owned house.
I had a hysterectomy in 2020, so this whole "child free" thing is permanent.
I have a roommate; not because I need help paying bills, but because it makes my house more lively and I like the company.
I bought all the stuff to make an awesome home gym that I use 5x a week.
I do want a marriage, but am definitely not willing to settle for less than what I can already give myself. My quality of life will not diminish when I agree to be in a marriage.
Image credits: souponastick
#12Eating chips and watching tv at 3am. I will wake up around 1pm tomorrow. I will go to my job as a bartender at 5pm tomorrow. By the end of the week I will joke that I'm tired of partying. But I won't actually be - I'm gonna dance to a DJ and destroy my ear drums this weekend, like I do every weekend.
Image credits: thunderling
#13Currently, I’m drinking coffee and watching the sun rise. My house is on a mountain and I have a beautiful view. Also, I bought this house with cash.
On Friday I’m leaving for Vegas for a quick weekend trip.
Did I mention I quit my job a month ago because I didn’t feel like working there anymore? I started a new job this week but it was nice to take a month off to finish my office renovation.
Image credits: Coder-Cat
#14I just bought my dream house a month ago and got a better job making more than double what I was making with a huge bonus. That would have never happened if I would have gotten married/ had kids with the man I was supposed to marry ( I called off the wedding and split).
I can pretty much do whatever I want to do.
My bf ( not the guy I was supposed to marry) and I go exploring all the time. We just pick a trail on the map we haven't done yet, leash the dogs, and go.
I also love dancing and can easily get prettied up, pick a dress, and hit the dance floor. Anything from ballroom to club I fit right in and have so much fun. I couldn't do that if I had kids.
I love having the freedom to literally just do whatever pops in my head.
My parents had 13 kids and that put me off having kids. I've raised enough of them already.
Image credits: squigglesmcwiggles
#1549 here. Self employed massage therapist, make my own hours, my own house, and make enough money to keep my 3 feline gluttons fat and happy. I’m solidly lower middle class with my income and I would be absolutely screwed if I had kids. The odds of single parenthood were just too high and I wasn’t willing to chance it. No regrets here.
Image credits: FeatherLuck
#16Work a fulfilling career, volunteer at a wildlife rescue center, travel, cook, read, play the guitar, enjoy time with my fiancé and friends whenever I feel like it, regularly exercise, have frequent sex, invest my extra time and money into my health and skincare routine, sleep in, have spa days once a week, donate money to charity, hike, bike, ski, camp, and going dancing.
These are a few of the things I do instead of having kids lol
Image credits: Other_Ad_8844
#17Staying with my long term boyfriend for life. We may get married. We may not. I kinda just want to be engaged forever lol (and I want to get him an engagement ring too!)
We’re never having kids. Instead, we plan on traveling the world! And focusing on our careers and hobbies.
Image credits: -doobert-
#18Being a full person who isn't defined by what she provides for other people?
Image credits: HonestThoreauAway
#19Moving to different states, changing careers because I feel like it, living a reasonably good life on 30k, and enjoying a banquet of men. I'm almost 50 and I have never felt I was missing out. A marriage of less than 3 years gave me a taste of that white picket fence life, and it's not for me.
Image credits: Turnips4evr
#20Going to law school, taking care of my parents and focusing on my mental health. I’m very happy doing it and am just now beginning to accept that I don’t have to follow everyone’s expectations. There’s no reason to sacrifice your happiness making decisions that nobody but you will have to live with forever.
#21Raising lots of plant babies. Still very rewarding. Adopting and buying from the marketplace or local sellers. Still a bit on the budget, definitely finicky but they aren’t as noisy so I’m pretty satisfied. The cats don’t always enjoy new additions as they bite, scratch or swat but I think they will get used to it in time.
#22I got a PhD, traveled, lost weight got mentally healthy, focused on myself, then found the love of my life and now we are building a dream house and planning a future without kids. Maybe we will get another dog.
#23Not being stressed over something called a “fertility clock”.
#24Running my own businesses, collecting English bulldogs, going on vacations whenever I feel like it, enjoying the complete silence and solitude for most of my days (except when the dogs get going, but even then I would take that over the stress (being a parent) and bulls**t (being a wife) on any given day.
Image credits: sickerthan_yaaverage
#25I’m building my dream home - an eclectic little tiny house on the water, that I’ll never have to share.
#26Working from a tropical country, enjoying peace and quiet.
#27Working on my second and third bachelors and then onto a Ph.D. in political science with an emphasis on women's rights to get down to fixing this s**t for all of us.
Image credits: Glittering-Bat353
#28I also don’t feel the calling for marriage. I love my boyfriend and we’ve mentioned weddings/marriage, but neither of us is particularly driven to get married just to idk be married? Lol
We own a house and have three pets together so we’re pretty official already. I’ve explained it to my friends before but I don’t mind the term girlfriend or fiancée, and I love looking at engagement rings and wedding inspo boards, but I just don’t really see myself falling under the “wife” label. I kind of hate the word, probably because I tie it in with mother, as the world tends to say wife & mother, and I do not want to be anyone’s mother.
So maybe we’ll get married and he can be my husband and I can be his partner or his lady-husband, who knows what the future has in store!
Image credits: bm1992
#29I have a job which I actually like, party with friends, go alone on holidays, hookup and live my best life without a screaming poop monster holding me down.
Image credits: RequirementBright33
#30Being a lesbian and practicing witchcraft.
Image credits: Sagasujin
#31Getting two degrees, working my a** off at a job I genuinely love even it's intense and stressful! I'm also helping my parents as they get older, building a bunch of furniture, writing silly s**t to unwind, and chilling with my cats.
I did have a very brief period of being married (which I didn't tolerate for long).
Image credits: scared_nursling
#32I married fairly young (24) but we are openly childfree. I'm also the breadwinner and my husband works parttime and does almost all the household stuff.
I get to spend my evenings doing whatever I want. Playing games, chilling my my husband, going out and seeing friends.
Everything parents did before they had kids? I just kept doing that.
Image credits: humdrumflagellum
#33Halfway to a paid off house, living with my animals, successful in my career, dating someone that may or may not develop in to something long term.
There are more pros than cons for me to not being married with kids (and possibly divorced) in my 40s.
Image credits: maybenotrelevantbut
#34I live with my best friend, and it's f**king awesome.
Image credits: SledgeGlamour
#35Taking naps whenever I want haha no, seriously living life to the fullest,which includes a lot of eating out at restaurants, going on dates with all kind of different interesting exciting men, having spontaneous parties and weekend spa getaways with friends or just randomly treating myself with some shopping.
Image credits: Lazy-Swing-5325
#36Being gay, kicking goals, going to travel in the near future,
Oh, and im disapointing my parents.
Image credits: AlphaDog94
#37I am married but no kids. I raise and spoil my 5 cats and raise foster kittens. I spend the rest of my time gardening.
#38I did get married, but no kids. I'm about to start a PhD in aerospace!
#39Learning new languages. learning new skills like web design, graphic design, painting, etc.
#40I'm a pilot, I have been wanting to for years since I was young. I also despise kids so that was out of the question. Instead I have many animals as I love them.
#41Moving to South America with my hot private chef boyfriend and traveling around the world until I don’t feel like it anymore.
#4237, single. Got a couple cats. Couple of bongs. Sleep when I want, eat when/what I want and buy myself whatever I want.
#43Currently helping my sister raise her kid! She's a single mom by choice and I feel like I'm getting the best of both worlds right now. I love watching my nephew grow up and I feel like it's completely satisfying any maternal urges I have. And at the end of the day I still have my freedom and independence.
Image credits: BrittLee8
#44I spend my time on hobbies and friends! I play in my local municipal orchestra, paint, embroider, play d&d, learn shibari and other related skills, cook/bake, read for leisure, and play animal crossing. I plan trips, which can include challenging/long hikes, wine/beer tastings, and honestly last minute activities - those things are either difficult or not possible with children on vacation.
#45Living alone, loving my independence. My home is full of art, plants, and I have many hobbies.
I would be miserable as a wife and mother. It was just never going to be the life for me!
#46Laying in bed at 9:30am. Wondering if I going to sleep more or get up now.
#47Learning bass guitar, learning to enjoy/ enjoying myself as a hooman, and healing generational trauma. There's much more, however, that's a start.
#48According to my dad, living in sin, but enjoying my time child-less.
#49Traveling and having a good time.
#50Traveling the world and learning programming.
#51Partner and I both work full time and have 4 holidays planned this year with various family. We go out to eat a lot and enjoy spending time with our siblings and many nieces and nephews.
We rise at whatever time we want at the weekend and if nothing planned, take a walk in the local nature reserve, stop at the café for breakfast. It's a nice life.
#52Everything disallowed by nap schedules, diaper genies, bed/bath routines, potty training, paying for childcare, school pickups/drop offs, homework, attitude, Driver’s Ed, endless sporting or performance practices/games/events, or the never ending/omnipresent f**king CONSTANT NOISE……….and that’s not to touch on the insane financial drain, psychotic exhaustion, resentment of spouse who I likely only married because of the kids, reminders of a so-called “biological clock”, and ruining your life and bending to the ever-present entitlement for a little person who you will definitely love but may or may not even like very much. PASS.
I’m well-rested and my Roth IRA is well-fed. ;)