In 2017 we decided to sell our house, pack up our life and move an hour away from our family and friends to a 565 square foot apartment. It was a huge decision and along the way my husband kept asking "are we sure we want to do this?" Fast forward to now, 3 years later and in all honesty its tough living. Our neighbours aren't the greatest, the town is full of inconsiderate people and the commuting back and forth an hour each way to see our family and friends gets old quick but I don't regret our choice. When my husband is concerned I'll regret not having kids, or people challenge me and tell me I'll regret it when I'm older, I think about the apartment. Let me explain..
Maya Angelou once said "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." We can't make decisions with knowledge we don't yet have. When I was in high school I got a tattoo on my wrist, very emo. Eventually the ink faded and bled to the point you couldn't quite read the words anymore. I recently got it covered up. I don't regret that tattoo, at the time it was the best decision for my dramatic teenage self. Now I know better, so I did better. We make the best choices we can with the knowledge we have at the time, it's not something to regret because at that time it was the right choice.
Buy a car and hate it? You can get a new car. Buy a house and you don't like your neighbours? You can move. Cut your hair? It'll grow back. Almost no decision you make is permanent, except having children. If I choose to not have children and change my mind later there are still many opportunities. We could become foster parents, adopt, become a big brother/sister or just spend our time pouring into the lives of our nephews and friends children. There are always an opportunity to connect and nurture children other than creating one. Not having children isn't permanent, having children is, and thats not something I want to risk regretting.
Decisions can't be made lightly. We spent 2 months discussing the purchase of a treadmill. We did our research, looked at all the options and eventually made a choice we were confident in. To this day, we still love it. The decision to not have children was made the same way. Many people believe that the decision to not have children is done on a whim. "Oh you'll change your mind" they say. but the majority of us think very intentionally about it. The discussions were long and repetitive and ultimately the pros of remaining childfree outweighed the cons. Are we going to miss out on things? 100%. We don't have many childfree friends, it's hard to connect when you aren't going on playdates, we are always the odd ones out. Remaining childfree gives us the freedom to serve our church and community, be available to help others financially, emotionally and physically and the space to maintain a level of self care.
I won't regret not having children. There are always things that happen that maybe didn't turn out as well as initially intended, but regretting them isn't productive. I believe that each opportunity is an opportunity for growth, change and for God to mold me further into the person I'm meant to be. Which means every experience, the good, the bad, the ugly, have a purpose if I choose to embrace them.