So I’ve not had even a moment to write a blog post for some time, but rest assured I do read all the very interesting responses and comments when people happen by the our childfree blog. And I’m very happy that it is still a place where we can have level-headed childfree discussion (any personal attacks and/or rude comments die in the spam folder). Thanks everyone for keeping it real!
Anyway, the other day my husband and I were coming home after stooping for a pizza and a pint at one of our favourite places. It was a very nice evening and as we both live and work downtown we decided to walk and enjoy the lighter (and warmer) evening. People were out and about… there were couples, single people, a few people with children, but mostly single.
And not for the first time it struck me… that our childfree life had been very much supported by where we had chosen to live. We had taken a conscious decision to live downtown. Years later I see what a great choice that was. Not only because we can walk almost everywhere, meet up after work and have good transport links to everywhere, it’s because we rarely see constant reminders of kids – which would be the case if we had to live in the suburbs. While we do see kids downtown, there aren’t as many because everyone wants to move out to the ‘burbs as soon as they have kids. That’s just the way it is.
Downtown we don’t need a car to go everywhere, and, more importantly we don’t have all the usual kid reminders in our face. Most down town inhabitants are singles or couples without kids. It may be a small thing, however if you are childfree you will know it can be a huge thing. Reminders everywhere are no help and even less support. I rarely watch T.V. so don’t get the “must have kids” influence from there.
Now, if you’re dreaming of the house with a big garden, two car garage, swimming pool (though we have one in our condo) and lots of room… you may need to tweak those dreams. These were things we knew we wouldn’t have. We didn’t mind because we got much more.
There are many people who wouldn’t dream of living downtown. They turn up their noses (seriously) and tell me how much they love the burbs (though not the commute) and how “it means more space for when they have kids.” I just smile.
If you live out in the suburbs your chances of being reminded of having kids are very high. It may not bother you and if you’re already living there and can’t move there’s probably not a lot you can do about it. If you live downtown (depending on where you live of course – I am talking about Toronto) you won’t have as many constant reminders, because unlike the suburbs and outside the downtown area, kids are not everywhere.
I’m from England and we lived in flats throughout my growing up years. I never saw anything amiss with that and there were plenty of spaces to play outside. Moving out to the suburbs wasn’t automatic just because people had kids.
For the childfree, where you live is important, more important than you may think. So it is worth thinking about early on. And while being surrounded by kid reminders wasn’t the reason we decided to live downtown it has turned out, almost without us realising it, to be a major support of our childfree life and childfree relationship. If you don’t have the constant visual reminders from people who have kids it is amazing how quickly you forget about them.
What do you think? Share your thoughts.