Who’s behind this Substack?

Hello, I’m Erin. 🙋🏻‍♀️ I’m 36, engaged, happily childfree and live in London, UK.

Writing has been a creative and emotional outlet for me since I was a child, and something I’ve done professionally since 2003; but for a while now I haven’t always liked what I see in mainstream journalism. It’s too fast-paced with the insatiable appetite online, there’s far too much click-bait, and things get twisted way too easily. It’s not what I thought I was signing up to when I decided to pursue a writing career.

Over the years I’ve written about music, theatre, dining and travel, all of which I still love deeply, but these days I feel compelled to also give a voice to the childfree community. To use my words to try to chip away at something bigger, one of the last taboos and final hurdles of feminism; to change the conversation for and about those of us who don’t have children, whether that’s through choice (like me) or circumstance.

I’ll write about life in general as a childfree woman but also other topics that filter in - family, friends, work, love, travel, hobbies, expectations etc. Hopefully you’ll see yourself in some of the pieces I write and we’ll get to know each other along the way.

This is definitely not about judgement of parents or children, or the idea that a childfree life is better. A life with or without children isn’t better than the other, they’re just different experiences.

Don’t be afraid to comment or email me back too, I love a good chat! 🙂

A little more personal stuff…

I’m a life-long lover of music (especially bluegrass, country and acoustic singer-songwriter types), theatre, travel (favourites so far are Melbourne, Key West, Vancouver and Stockholm), dining out, cats (fulfilling the childfree stereotype), Christmas, long walks, tea (but not English breakfast ☕️), plants, Friends and Frasier.

Currently enjoying more recently discovered passions for coffee, yoga, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Bingpot!!), Mad Men (yes, I know I’m very late to Don Draper’s party 🥃), films that aren’t all rom-coms or Disney (I’m aiming to watch at least one a week in 2022), anything Tom Hiddleston does (I was oblivious to his existence until 2021 🤷🏻‍♀️) and cooking, alongside re-discovering the joy of playing flute.

If you tell me you don’t like Kermit the Frog, Paddington Bear, Dolly Parton, any of ‘The Toms’ (Hanks, Holland or Hiddleston), or Billy Connolly, I will be instantly suspicious of you. 🤨 What’s not to like?!

Why is it called Curiously Childfree?

In short, the double meaning seemed appropriate.

To be curious can mean being eager to learn, to know more, to discover. So many childfree people that I talk to tell me that something they love most about their life is the freedom to explore the world, to study, to have experiences and live a life others often can’t. And that’s certainly a big thing that I love about my childfree life too.

The flip side of the word’s meaning is to be seen as strange or unusual, which is still very much how society views childfree people, especially those who find themselves childfree by choice rather than circumstance.

Why create Curiously Childfree?

Not having children remains a pretty big taboo and it’s time that changed.

I can hardly remember a time where I didn’t say I wasn’t going to have children.

When you make that declaration as a girl before you’ve even hit your teens, everyone is keen to tell you you’re too young, will change your mind when you meet the right man, or your body clock will make the decision for you. But I still haven’t changed my mind, I have met the right man, and I think my body clock must be broken.

This Substack is here to support the childfree community but to also encourage positive and inquisitive conversations between others who may be ‘on the fence’ about having children, and to help people who want to better understand their childfree friends.

It’s easy to say ‘stop judging me’ when people criticise your choice to not have children, but the truth is, we’ve all at some point questioned a decision we don’t understand or have no experience of. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’m met with an exclamation of, ‘What do you mean, you don’t like peas?! Everybody likes peas!’ 😱

If not liking peas can cause so much confusion, imagine what it’s like when you go against a major societal norm, life milestone and family expectation.

Shutting down the conversation and getting defensive isn’t helpful, it doesn’t help people to understand, and then the conversation never changes.

What I write here is intended to keep communication open, honest, curious and most importantly, judgement-free. People wanting to ask questions and discuss things is fine, it’s how we learn, but the tone of the conversation is what can change everything.

Why choose the paid subscription?

Most of my articles will remain free to access because I don’t think putting them behind a paywall will help to spark or change conversations.

But writing takes a lot of time and practice, and it’s becoming more and more common for media outlets to either not pay or only offer mediocre rates. I think writers should be paid just like any other job, but, that said, with a paid subscription you’ll also get access to extra content.

  • Comment on all posts.

  • Regular guest speaker sessions covering topics including travel, childfree finances, setting boundaries, finding your purpose and more. All sessions will be archived for you to access any time.

  • Regular discussion threads, where you can share your stories and experiences, and connect with other childfree, or childfree-curious people.

  • Q&A-style interviews / childfree guest writers, so you can find inspiration, advice and support.

  • If I write anything especially personal or sensitive, I’ll probably only send it out to paid subscribers.

Lastly, didn’t you used to run The Childfree Lounge membership?

Yes, I did. That was essentially the first version of this but after almost a year of the Lounge, I decided to move things over to Substack and have a bit of a re-brand.

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