Tyra Marianiwrote for Time's MOTTO platform about children, life, and fulfillment:
I am 40 years old. And I have it all. I have a thriving career. I have a relationship with God. I travel. I have loving relationships. I live a life that keeps me healthy in mind, body and spirit. I’m single and divorced (I hate this forced choice on questionnaires, by the way). And I am childless . . . by choice.
I am not alone in this choice. In 2014, nearly one in seven women ages 40 to 44 had never given birth to a child. Despite a recent dip (ten years ago, one in five had never given birth), childlessness has been consistently rising, particularly among younger women, since the 1970s. This varies based on education level and race and ethnicity. So, too, do their (our) reasons vary. For some women, it’s an issue of timing (highly educated women are marrying later, meaning motherhood starts later, if it happens at all). For some, it’s a professional decision. And for others, they want to but are unable to have children biologically and have chosen not to adopt. But all of us are supposed to have a reason because the thinking goes that the default setting on a woman is mother.
But, in my case, and in the case of many other women, the thinking is wrong.