5 reasons I’m happy not to be a mother

You’ve probably noticed the latest Facebook tag-a-friend picture game called the ‘Motherhood Dare,’ where mothers are nominated to publish pictures that make them “feel happy to be a Mom.” So you post some pics of the kiddos, of you with those kiddos, and share a little something about why you are happy to be a mother. Lately it seems like every time I scroll through my news feed, all I’m seeing are these posts (well, these and all the other usual political rants and raves). Don’t get me wrong. I don’t begrudge a woman who wants to celebrate her choice to be a mother. Just as I should be free to choose to remain childless, you should be free to share with the world your joys of motherhood. (And in an ideal world, neither group would be judged for whichever choice they’ve made.)

Still, I can’t help but think someone should start a thread called the “Childless by Choice Dare,” where women would share pictures of what makes them happy not to be mothers. For instance, travel photos. Pictures of empty pizza boxes celebrating the joys of being single, child-free, and able to consume entire said pizza by yourself. Snapshots of fun times with friends around the campfire, the pool, or the stripper pole. Photographs that showcase just how amazing these childless women are, each in their own unique ways.

I’ve selected several photographs for my own “Childless by Choice Dare.” And please, keep in mind this is all in good fun (if my above joke about gatherings around the stripper pole didn’t convince you of that, nothing will, so maybe you should just stop reading here).

5 Reasons Why I’m Happy Not to Be a Mother:

1. I can continue my hardcore drinkin’ and druggin’ lifestyle guilt free.

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2. I can enjoy a trip to the bathroom in peace and quiet, without any little ones banging on the door and demanding their turn.

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3. With no kiddos vying for my attention, I have ample time to work on improving my culinary skills (and can then eat all those goodies myself).

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4. I have time for these…

….And all of these….


5. I’m happy to be child-free for many more reasons…I can travel anywhere, anytime I’d like, just so long as I can find the funds to do so, which is made more possible by the fact that I don’t have the financial burden of providing any children with food, shelter, clothing, or any of those other essentials. If I ever need a cute-baby fix (and a reminder of how much work those little cuties really are), all I have to do is go see my niece. My life is filled with wonderful people, work I enjoy, and ample time to read and write and be the woman I’ve always wanted to be. A woman who values freedom. A woman who can (and will) eat an entire pizza. A woman who makes her own dreams reality without giving into the pressures and demands of mainstream society. A woman like this:


So, if you are also child-free by choice, join in! Tell me one reason why you’re happy to not be a mother (or a father). And remember – having kids and not having kids are deeply personal and varied decisions, and we should all respect everyone’s right to make those choices.

Now, time to enjoy my child-free evening curled up on the couch with a good book.

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And, for a sample of my fiction writing, follow the link to read my original short story, “Lost and Found,” recently published by the Hawaii Pacific Review: https://hawaiipacificreview.org/2015/12/10/lost-and-found/



Shannon Bowring

About Shannon Bowring

I am 26 years old. I was raised up in the County, in the tiny town of Ashland. I attended the University of Maine in Orono and graduated in 2012 with a BA in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing. Reading and writing have always been the greatest loves of my life. I am most at home in the dusty corners of used bookstores, surrounded by forgotten books. One day, inspiration struck when I decided I wanted to combine all my loves – writing, reading, traveling, exploring these beloved shops – to create an outlet in which I can share my bookish adventures with an audience of like-minded readers who could appreciate my love of words and stories.