CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHILDREN

We don’t have children. When we talk about work-life balance, we are often told “it’s different if you don’t have children.” We completely agree; in our case, not having children was a deliberate choice. Neither of us has a rare genetic disease that prevents pregnancy; rather, we decided early in our relationship (in our 20s) that we didn’t want to have children. We agreed to revisit this decision once a year, and did so, until deciding in our early 30s to definitively not have children, and we haven’t regretted that decision at all.

We believe that each individual has the power to make choices about their lives, and that your attitude can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you have time for something, or you think you don’t, you’re right. If you think you can just press pause on your relationship for a decade or more while you both focus on raising children and having careers, it’s likely that you won’t have a relationship to pay attention to when you’re finally ready.

We get a lot of “it’s easy for you because you didn’t have children,” which completely overlooks the fact that our choice not to have children was just that—a conscious, deliberate, thoughtful decision that we didn’t believe we could figure out a way to have the work life, relationship, and the individual lives we wanted and have children, too. We don’t believe you can have it all, and that there are trade-offs to any decision. The decision not to have children did make things easier ...

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