This week I’m really wanting to hone into this conversation about a childfree life with my guest Jenn Lyles. You’ve all heard our story about choosing to be childfree, so I thought I’d be cool to bring on Jenn and hear her story.
Who is Jenn?
Jenn Lyles is a marketing professional residing in Nashville. She and her husband, Nick, have been married 15 years and have chosen a marriage without children. Jenn's recent TikTok sharing her choice went viral and became very controversial. She hopes to break down barriers and normalize couples choosing a childfree life.
She moved from Toronto to Alabama all by herself at the age of 18. She ended up dating a lot of christian guys who were all about having kids, but thought it was crazy being only 18. Her friend set her up with this guy Nick who was the only guy in her world that didn’t want to get married or have kids. There were several times in their marriage where the conversation came up, but they could never come up with a good reason to have them. “We just didn’t think that having them to fit in with friends was a good enough reason. We just never thought that was going to be fair to a child.”
Why does she feel like those conversations about questioning their decision to be childfree came up?
There were always 2 things that would happen in her life that would make her bring up having a kid. One, she was unhappy with work. Second, when she was unfulfilled with her body, any time she was heavier or didn’t feel great about herself. When she was unhappy in her life, she would try to chase something that might bring her happiness. Which is why she’s so glad, that she married someone who was wise and who understood her need to wanting to have children.
How can social media go when you’re childfree?
Jenn posted a TikTok that went viral about being childfree, and how some mom’s dream day is her every day. Some of the comments were… not good. She travels a lot, has a lot of free time and is just out there living her best life, and there are just a lot of jealous people. It’s not that she doesn’t get it, if you’re scrolling instagram and you see someone living their best life, I can imagine that can be hard to see if you aren't able to do that. But, we don’t share everything on social media, and it's really easy to judge people for the highlight reel.
What advice would Jenn share with someone who’s on the fence about having children
Number one, it’s okay to change your mind. It is okay to say early in a marriage that you don’t want to have children, but change your mind later on. Number two, is have a reason to do it. Don’t do it for anyone else except for you. There can be pressure from family or friends, but they’re not the one raising the kid, you are. If you are on the fence and you aren’t going to be able to jump in and completely take care of your child no matter what health conditions they might have, then you aren’t ready to be a parent.
What is the difference between Childless and Childfree?
Childless is someone who wants to be a parent, but for whatever reason they aren’t or can’t right now.
Childfree is the choice to not have children.
What are some benefits to being Childfree?
Travel, sex all over your house whenever you want, being able to be more present in so many things, spending your days, weekends, and vacations how and where you want, basically it's freedom.
It's time we normalized the choice to be childfree.
Ovulation tracking app
Connect with Jenn!
Instagram & TikTok: @Jenn_Lyles
Connect with Rachel!
Facebook: Rachel Maine