Welcome to Curiously Childfree
Why this, why now, why here?
As for many people, the ‘Covid Years’ gave me a lot of time to reflect. Sometimes the result was overthinking mundane things but there were also times of stark clarity, and Curiously Childfree was one of them.
I suppose it really started over a decade ago when I started to realise that the judgement I faced for not having children probably wasn’t going to let up any time soon, and wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place to meet other childfree people?
The backlash I’d had in the past, combined with the harshness of social media made me far too scared to actually act on any ideas I had for creating said place, either in-person or online.
But then I hit 35; everyone around me seemed to have or be having children, I was due to get married and knew the questions about having children were bound to follow, and I had finally reached a point in my life where I was, albeit tentatively, starting to find myself giving less and less f*cks about what people thought of my life choices.
I wanted to help people, to advocate for change, to build something, to leave a mark, to speak out, to channel my inner Loki and find my glorious purpose.
So, in 2021, the Childfree Lounge was born, over on Mighty Networks and it was good for almost a year but something niggled.
Keeping everything within a paid subscription wouldn’t ultimately spark conversations, get my voice heard or change anything. Sure, I used and still use Instagram, and I’ve met some awesome people over there but it’s not really the place for article-writing, it’s designed for quick consumption.
I started pitching magazines and newspapers, trying to share my story and change the conversation, get rid of the taboo and stigma, in the hopes that those of us without children might be better understood. And I had some success but more often than not, I was either met with silence or the feedback that, ‘we don’t think this will be of interest to the majority of our readers’.
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’ve had people try to steer my story and comments down paths I refuse to take, and as a result, I’ve lost out on potentially valuable PR for what I’m doing here. I won’t fulfil the trope of being angry or bitter, hating parents and children, having a meaningless life, or thinking my life is better - if that’s what you’re looking for, I am definitely not the writer for you.
Right, back to that thing that was niggling at me when I was running things on Mighty Networks.
I desperately missed writing, and I mean long-form writing, not text for social media graphics, not short captions in an attempt to stop people scrolling and hold their attention for more than three seconds, I wanted things I could really get my teeth into again.
Enter, Substack and the creation of Curiously Childfree.
I decided to move everything over to a place that worked well for me and my subscribers.
So, that’s how I came to be here, writing for you.
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.
I hope you’ll join the conversation, say hello to fellow readers and me, share the newsletter with others you think might like it, embrace your childfree life, and if you want some bonus content (guest speakers, guest writers, and additional posts from me), you can sign-up for a paid subscription too.
Let’s change the conversation.
Thanks for being here.