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Navigating the Holidays When You’re Childfree by Choice

The holiday season is here – which means a lot of family time and heightened levels of stress. Between logistics for get-togethers, trying to figure out who’s cooking what, and of course – navigating uncomfortable conversations with family members we don’t see regularly. One topic that I constantly encounter is:


“Amy, when will you FINALLY have kids?”


As someone who is childfree by choice, it can become overwhelming and anxiety-provoking trying to respond to the question on-the-spot, without constantly feeling like I have to defend a choice that is right for me. Over the years, I’ve found that having some prepared canned responses can help ease my anxiety (and sometimes downright frustration) when I feel as though I have to explain myself for making a decision that feels right for me. I want to share a few tips I’ve learned along the way:


Be Honest:

  • “I’ve chosen not to have children, and I’m content with that decision.”
  • “It hasn’t happened for us yet, and we’re okay with that.”

Express Your Feelings:

  • “It’s a personal matter, and I’d appreciate it if we could talk about something else.”
  • “I’m focusing on other aspects of my life right now.”

Provide a Gentle Deflection:

  • “Let’s not dwell on this topic; it’s not the only measure of happiness or fulfillment.”
  • “I’d rather talk about something positive and exciting happening in my life.”

Educate and Raise Awareness:

  • “Not everyone can or wants to have children, and that’s a choice people should respect.”
  • “There are many paths to happiness and fulfillment in life, and not having children is one of them.”

Set Boundaries:

  • “I’d rather keep my personal decisions private. Can we talk about something else?”
  • “This is a topic I’m not comfortable discussing. Can we change the subject of this conversation?”

Use Humor:

  • “No thanks, I’m trying to reduce my trauma footprint!”
  • “I do have kids – they’re just covered in fur!”

Share Your Future Plans:

  • “We’re considering starting a family, but we want to be fully prepared when we do.”
  • “We’re exploring various options for family planning, but we’re not in a hurry.”

Remember, setting boundaries when discussing personal matters like family planning is perfectly acceptable. You don’t owe anyone an explanation; you should feel comfortable deciding how much or how little to share.


If you’re still feeling anxious, talking through it with a licensed professional can be extremely helpful. Reach out to our office for a free 15-minute consultation and we’ll match you with a counselor who can support you!