I’ve always known that I didn’t want to have kids. When I was a teenager, my friends would talk about getting married and wanting a family. Those comments never resonated for me.
People always protested that I should want kids. Friends and family often assure me that I’ll change my mind. But increasingly, I have company. A Pew Research study found that 1 in 5 women don’t have kids, up from 1 in 10 in the 1970s. The Childless by Choice Project, now two decades old, explores how and why men and women around the U.S. have decided to not become parents. Check out their documentary and book, “Two Is Enough.”
While some people say that women have less pressure to procreate, I think it also has to do with the way women today define a fulfilling life. We have more options (as do men). I run on instinct, and my instinct is telling me not to have kids. Instead, I’m raising a business that I’m passionate about. I’m creating every day. My books and videos are my birthing process.
I don’t feel guilty about the long hours I devote to my career—or about traveling whenever I want. I fear I’d feel too guilty if I had a child.
I’m also lucky that my fiancé has a child from a previous marriage. Being a stepmom for the past nine years has given me a taste of motherhood. In some ways, I have the best of both worlds.
Named by Oprah as a new thought leader, Marie Forleo‘s mission is to help you use your unique talents to change the world.