I’m a 34-Year-Old Married Woman and I Love My Childfree Life. Why Do I Feel So Weird Talking About It?

will i regret not having children

Over the weekend in my Facebook group, a member posted something that felt like it was pulled from inside my brain.

She wrote:

Real talk here… Is there anyone that didn’t have kids because life got in the way and then it was too late? I’m not sure if I want to have kids, but I also don’t want to regret it.

Everyone around me has kids or wants to have them. I see pros and cons to both sides. It is a wonderful thing to be a mom. I just don’t know if I want to have that responsibility. I don’t have anyone that I know to ask, thought I would try here. Any regrets? Do you love your childless life?

I can’t tell you how much this resonated with me. It’s something I’ve grappled with for many, many years (particularly the “I don’t have anyone to ask” part) and it’s also something that I’ve felt a little weird talking about. I’ve always assumed I was the only one who felt this way.

When I saw the post, I immediately checked to see if anyone had commented. I figured it was a situation that not many people could relate to. (You know, other than me.)

But wow. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The comments actually began pouring in—and I was shocked to see how many other women felt the same way. For the first time in my adult life, I felt less alone in my indecisiveness. And what I learned after reading through all the responses was that a lot of other women felt very alone in their indecisiveness too.

The timing of the whole “childfree-by-choice” conversation was oddly coincidental: a few days prior to the Facebook thread, I had actually started writing this blog post. The subject of having kids/not having kids has been on my mind more than ever over the past few months, because I’m about to begin the process of freezing my eggs. It’s something I have thought about doing for a while, and after many years of putting it off, I finally made the decision to move forward.

I’ll be documenting the entire journey for you in a separate post, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some context around my decision in hopes that it might be insightful for anyone else in a similar position.

Before we get into it, I just want to start out by saying a few important things.

First: fertility can be a really tricky, really emotional subject, and, more than anything else, it’s also really personal. If the topic is at all triggering for you, please know that I’ll be speaking very candidly about a lot of it below.

Second: I want to make it clear that I have the UTMOST RESPECT for moms. Like, truly—I do not know how women do it. When people say that moms are superheroes, I really do believe that. Even though I’m not sure that motherhood is for me, I still think it is one of the most incredible, selfless, amazing things in the world.

It’s time to normalize things that society sees as “abnormal.”

I’m going to be as vulnerable as possible with you in this post because I truly believe that the more we talk about this stuff openly, the less alone many of us will feel.

My goal here is to normalize the idea that it’s OK IF YOU ARE IN YOUR 30s AND NOT SURE IF YOU WANT TO HAVE KIDS, normalize being single and not feeling pressured to find *the one* just because your biological clock is ticking, normalize wanting to put your career first, normalize the conversation around egg freezing, normalize lobbying your employer to cover it…

And, I guess more than anything else, I want to help normalize my own feelings.

A bit of background on me…

If you’re new around here, welcome!

I’m Lindsay, a full-time blogger, influencer, and founder of Hotel Lobby Candle, which is the luxury home fragrance brand I launched last year.

I’m 34, and have been happily married for nearly five years to a wonderful man named Matt. Many of you know him as Instahusband. He is a saint! We met at a night club in Mexico during college spring break. (Not a joke.)

Matt & I are different in a LOT of ways but we have very similar values. We’re both extremely focused on our careers, we love our families, we love to travel, and we love our independence.

We live in New York City, where we bought our apartment in 2019 and have spent a full year turning it into the home of our dreams. We often fantasize about retiring early and buying a second home on a beach somewhere. Preferably St. Barths. (Aim high, you know?!)

One thing we do not fantasize about—pretty much ever—is what our lives would look like with children.

My stance on having kids.

As a woman in my mid-30s, society has pretty much ingrained in me that having kids (or at least starting to think about having kids) is like… the thing I should be doing at this point.

Everyone asks when I’m having kids. Even complete strangers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done a Q&A on Instagram and fielded the “when are you guys having kids?” question. (It’s a rude and intrusive thing to ask someone, for a lot of reasons, and yet people still continue to do it.)

The truth is, both Matt & I have zero interest in children right now, and I honestly don’t know if that will ever change. It’s a really weird feeling, especially when almost every one of my friends has kids. And while I absolutely LOVE seeing how happy they are with their own families (and I also like seeing cute pics of their babies) the idea honestly just does not appeal to me.

Sometimes I wish it did. I think that having clarity on such a big decision would be easier than not knowing. Because let me tell you—when you feel like you’re the ONLY one who doesn’t want all of the “traditional” things that you’re supposed to want at this age, it can be a real mind-fuck. It can also feel really lonely. So if you’re reading this and you feel the same—I’m with you.

Sometimes I’m convinced there’s something wrong with me.

I often wonder if I’m missing the gene that biologically makes you want to be a mom. I’ve always been under the impression that our desire to procreate is part of human nature, so like… why don’t I have it?

Almost all of the women in my life have kids, or know that they want to have kids, or follow 100 cute kids on Instagram, or have a list of future kid names saved in their phones, or work with kids they adore, or—at the very least—know how to act around kids without seeming like a complete clueless weirdo. (It me.)

I’ve never had that “warm and fuzzy” feeling around motherhood. I’ve never thought about baby names, or thought about what my kids would look like, or how fun it would be to watch them grow up. Mostly, I just think about how much work it would be, how my life would never be the same, and how I’d have to give up so many of the things that make me happy.

It sounds incredibly selfish—I’m aware—but that’s my truth right now. Having a child would force Matt & I to uproot our otherwise fulfilled, happy, and unencumbered lives. Neither of us want to do that.

childfree by choice

I feel guilty saying it out loud because I know how many women want children so desperately but can’t have them. I also feel guilty when I think about how much I’m disappointing my parents. I know they would die to have grandchildren, and they would truly be the best grandparents ever—but I also know the decision is one that Matt & I need to make on our own, since “feeling guilty” is not exactly a compelling reason to have a child.

(To my parents’ credit, they’ve never once pressured us or made us feel bad about it. I am very grateful for that.)

I keep waiting to have a change of heart.

When I was in my mid-late 20s, I remember telling my mom (who, by the way, is the most loving, maternal human on earth) that I was worried I had no maternal instinct, and I wondered if it would ever change. She told me that I was still young, and it was normal, and that she felt the same way when she was my age—but one day she just woke up and felt differently.

With each year that has passed since then, and with each baby shower I go to, and with each friend that gets pregnant and gives birth, I keep thinking… are my feelings changing? Do I want to have kids yet? Can I picture it for myself?

If I’m being completely honest, my feelings still haven’t changed, and no, I still can’t picture it. I kind of figured that by 34, I would at least start to be able to wrap my head around the idea at this point… but nope. Hasn’t happened yet. And the older I get, the more I think that maybe it never will. And maybe that’s ok?

One thing I do know is that if more women talked about their desire to not have children, I wouldn’t feel as abnormal or alone or weird talking about it myself. There are only a handful of people I know (through social media!) who have shared their thoughts on this openly — my friend Grace Atwood has a great blog post from a single woman’s perspective, and my friend Jennifer Lake has talked about her childfree-by-choice perspective as a married woman.

I also recently listened to two podcasts that were super insightful: Girls Gotta Eat did one called “Childless by Choice,” and Kate Kennedy of Be There in Five has a two-part series called “Childless Millennial.

So, why the hell am I freezing my eggs?

By now you’re probably wondering… why bother freezing your eggs then? Great question.

I guess the best way I can explain it is… it’s an insurance policy? My fear is that eventually, if I ever do change my mind, or if Matt changes his, it’ll be too late. (Fertility declines with age, and the older you get, the more difficult it becomes to get pregnant.)

If at 40 I suddenly feel like I want a want a child of my own, I’ll have a much better chance with my frozen 34-year-old eggs than I would with my eggs as a 40-year-old woman.

I am VERY aware that being in the position to do this is a privilege in and of itself, and for many women, the financial commitment takes it off the table completely. (Kindbody, the fertility clinic that I’m using, has a lot of great options to make the process more accessible, which I’ll talk about in my next post.)

So, yea—this is where I’m at right now. It feels REALLY good to put all of it out there, despite how scary it is to be vulnerable in such a public forum. At the very least, I know it’ll be interesting to re-read this post in 10 years, wherever life takes us. Maybe we’ll be watching the sunset in our beach bungalow on St Barths. Or maybe I’ll be enjoying a glass of wine while I watch Matt change our newborn’s shitty diaper (because you know I sure as hell won’t be doing that.) We’ll see what happens…

If you’re interested in following along during my egg freezing journey, make sure you’re following me on Instagram. I’ll be saving everything to a highlight and sharing all of the details as I go.


  • Jessica S.
    April 3, 2021 at 2:27 am

    Thank you for being vulnerable and putting your thoughts and feelings out there about this! At 32, I have very similar feelings–selfish for not wanting to alter my life, guilty for not wanting want so many friends want desperately, and fearful of changing my mind later. I thought of freezing my eggs as an “insurance policy” as well this year as I near by birthday, but it’s just not financially something I feel ready to invest in, especially because neither my husband nor I feel like we’ll change our minds. I feel confident in my choice, but it sure would all be a whole lot easier if this were more talked about and normalized. In many ways, the biggest struggle has been not letting what other people say and tell me I should feel affect me and the choices I want to make for myself. So thank you for your openness–I look forward to watching your journey and celebrating your choices!

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 4, 2021 at 10:16 pm

      Yep, right there with you. No one I know talks about it. But what I’m realizing from all of these comments, and from chatting with women in the #SilbSquad community — it’s much more common than we realize!

  • Vanessa Wood
    April 3, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    My husband and I made a choice shortly after we were married, that we didn’t want to have children. I don’t regret our decision. I’m more 48 and enjoy being able to go and do and buy whatever without worrying how it would affect a child. You’re young at 34, so you still have time to ponder whether or not you truly want children. But in the meantime, enjoy your life!!!

  • Katie H
    April 4, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    Now can it be my turn to say “get out of my brain!”?!? I am a very soon to be 38 year old, happily married, childless woman by choice. Recently I had to visit a low-rent sr living facility that left me shaking in my shoes .. realizing that if we really don’t have children, then we better start getting itn a waiting list for a luxury sr living facility knowing we wouldn’t have the option for our adult children to care for us or at the very least, figure those things out for us.

    But in all seriousness, I always assumed I would have children – b/c growing up that is absolutely what I was shown as normal & expected – and the older I get the more I realize the huge & distinct difference b/t assuming you want them and longing in your heart for one.

    As each day goes by, I am learning more & more that having them so you don’t regret it can be just as bad as having them and regretting it. It all feels selfish to say out loud & put out into the universe but it is a very real thing.

    And I also just told my husband within the last few days that I envy women and couples who just KNOW. Either knowing they want a child or knowing they don’t want a child. But living in what feels like a state of limbo & indecision is a tough spot to be in.

    We’re in this together! xo

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 4, 2021 at 10:15 pm

      OMG I’m not even joking, the assisted living thing… I think about it ALL the time HAHAH maybe there’s a fancy home that all of the childless old people can move into together lolol

  • Rachel
    April 4, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    This resonates big time! Thank you for making this 35 year old feel less alone 🙂

  • Bailey
    April 4, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    This. Completely. My friend and I were just talking about this yesterday. I’ve felt the same way, and it feels like as time goes on I’m even more indecisive about it. I’m 32 and when I was younger I always thought I would probably have kids, but now that I’m older, and it’s more real, I’m not sure what I actually want. Also- when you talked about feeling guilty because of your parents? I feel the same 100%. They also have never pressured me, but I know they are wishing they had a grandchild. It feels nice to know other people feel the same way!

  • Kara
    April 4, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    I am 36 and married and feel exactly the same way. I read your post and just was just nodding at everything. My husband and I have an amazing life with money and time to do whatever we like- and it’s just not something we are willing to compromise. We have lots of nieces and nephews and we’re just hoping a few of them will visit us in the old folks home 🙂

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 5, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      Hahah tbh I’m very much looking forward to being the “cool aunt” lol

  • Shannon
    April 5, 2021 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for writing this post! I’m 31 and have an almost two year old and I believe now more than ever that you should deliberately decide IF and/or when to have kids. I do love being a mom but I DO NOT wish parenthood on anyone who does not want it or isn’t ready. It’s hard. It’s really really hard. It’s incredibly fulfilling to me but that may not be the case for everyone. Do it when you are ready/if you are ready and if that’s never, who cares?! Be deliberate in all the choices you make in life, and don’t let anyone shame you or judge you for the choices you make.

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 5, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      thank you for saying this!! really refreshing to hear that perspective and all so true.

  • Judy Werner
    April 5, 2021 at 2:32 am

    I think freezing your eggs or embryos is a great idea. I wanted children in my 30’s but was not married and did not want to be a single mom. The pressure to find “the guy” just so I could have a baby was ridiculous. In those days egg freezing was not really a good alternative so I missed out and I live with a lot of regret. I got a great husband at age 49 but no children of my own. Do what is right for you and your husband. You will never regret that decision.

  • Miriam
    April 5, 2021 at 2:48 am

    I recently realized I do want to have kids, but I actually feel selfish having them! I want to have them for me, but i cannot stop thinking about what this world is. It seems so unwelcoming at times, filled with conflicts, and it’s slowly getting destroyed. What is the unselfish reason to have kids? If you find out along the way let us know!

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 5, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      i think about this A LOT too. its a very scary time to raise a child!

  • Britney
    April 5, 2021 at 4:56 am

    This post had me in tears because I felt this exact way for so many years (I always thought If I regretted it I would adopt later in life) but I decided to have a child after all. If you want the honest reason I changed my mind it was not this sudden sense of clarity, it was curiosity- what was this overwhelming love everyone keeps talks about? I had never met anyone who said they regretted having a child but I’ve met many who say they regretted not having one. Well, sure enough, my son was the best thing that has ever and could ever happen to me and I cannot imagine my life without him. I didn’t think I had a maternal bone in my body- I can’t even care for plants, but it’s the most indescribable feeling of love. I could never comprehend it or understand it until I experienced it. I do want to note that if you have one child it’s actually very manageable and with childcare/school you still do get a lot of time to yourself to pursue your goals – I am a career woman and that was a big concern of mine. My son loves to travel with us and gives us a whole new life by getting to experience the world through his eyes. This is just my experience but wanted to share because I’ve been there. Whatever you decide will be right for you 💕

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 5, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      all so true. this gave me a lot to think about. thanks so much for sharing your honest perspective!

  • Miriam
    April 5, 2021 at 6:42 am

    I’m 39.
    No kids.
    Didn’t freeze my eggs.
    No regrets, I love my life

    Just in case it adds any value, a man probably would never write a blog post like this or feel he has to freeze his sperm. We are a victim of patriarchal society.

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 5, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      you are most certainly right. I guess it’s only different in that men aren’t on a biological timeline the way we are

  • Michaela Gordon
    April 5, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    This resonates so much. And thank you for writing it! It’s nice to have something to read like this when the “ I’m alone without the maternal gene” thoughts come creeping in. Also not something you specifically talked about but I’m from the Midwest. Finding a man/life partner (I’m 30) that’s ok with not having kids can also feel incredibly alone. Awkward topic for date 1-2 lol. But your Matt feels the same as you, and women commenting with husbands in the same boat is sooooo reassuring! So thanks for helping me feel a bit less alone in this choice to be child-free.

  • Sarah
    April 5, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    First of all, thank you for sharing. But also, not wanting kids is just as “selfish” as wanting kids. The world does not need more people, and having a child is a personal, “selfish” decision. I also don’t think “selfish” means bad. It’s just making a decision in our own best interest. Which both parents and non-parents alike do. 🙂
    And I so wish I would have frozen my eggs at 34. I was in the same boat – not sure if I wanted kids – and now I’m 40 and struggling with a low egg reserve. I love that you said it’s basically an insurance policy, and it gives you options. I wish someone would have written/talked more about this when I was in my 30s.

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 5, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      love this point of view. it’s so true. trying to open the conversation so that women know what their options are. so important!

  • Adrianna Iafolla
    April 5, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    Lindsay! Did you hijack my brain and write this? Literally every single thing you said is exactly how I feel. I just turned 31 and am like am I gonna wake up on my birthday one year like YES I’m ready for kids let’s do it! That’s what my husband hopes happens lol I’m so glad you wrote this. I feel like I finally have a friend that can relate to me and I can talk this through with (besides my therapist who is the only other one who validates my feelings). I wish it was normalized and I hope it becomes that way. Thank you, thank you for sharing!!

    • Lindsay Silberman
      April 5, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      hahaha i feel you so much! our feelings are all very valid!


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