Defending your childfree life
More about Jennifer:
Jennifer has been a small business owner since 2003. She is the daughter and sister of serial entrepreneurs and small business owners. An Iowa native, now living in Texas, Jennifer has learned to integrate “y’all” and “fixin’ to” into her vernacular so she sounds like a Southerner. (Unfortunately, her vast wardrobe of Iowa Hawkeye t-shirts gives her true heritage away.) Jennifer is a known Dog-aholic who allows her four rescue dogs to run her life.
Connect with her here:
Jennifer Rogers never felt that ticking biological clock. So she and her husband (who also doesn’t want kids) decided to focus their love on their four rescue dogs, their nieces and nephews, and their friends’ kids.
Jennifer told me that she used to be quite confrontational and combative when people would tell her that she’ll change her mind about having kids or she won’t know for sure until she’s married. But once she got more comfortable in her decision, she was able to see that the people who kept telling her she was making a bad choice needed to feel secure in the choice they made for themselves. (It didn’t make the comments any less annoying, though).
Jennifer shared a lot of hard-won wisdom about what it’s like to step outside of the mainstream, what it’s like to challenge the belief of “that’s just the way things are” and really stop to think for a minute about what you want and why you want it.
I’ve seen a lot of that combativeness about being childfree on social media, and honestly it makes me a bit uncomfortable. I don’t think it’s necessary to say that a childfree lifestyle is better than a parenting lifestyle to show that you’re proud of the decision you made. You made the right choice for you, they made the right choice for them.
But...childfree folks have been defending their choices (from people who want them to become parents) for so long that I can understand the impulse to loudly proclaim that their lifestyle is amazing, that kids are the worst, or that they get to sleep in until noon.That’s not my style, but I get it. If you want to hear my thoughts on this in an episode from Season 1, listen to my interview with Maggie Reyes in the episode Childfree by choice.
I feel the same way Jennifer does: everyone just wants to feel like they belong. The people who tell you you’re wrong, that you’ll change your mind, that you don’t know your own mind: it says a lot more about them than it does about you. And truly, they want to feel like the choices they made for themselves are the right ones. Bringing you to “their side” is about them and it’s about social expectations. It has nothing to do with you.
Discussed in episode 27 with Jennifer Rogers:
Jennifer’s impressions of what she pictured her future looking like
How media and journalism have shaped Jennifer’s life
Jennifer recognizing it was abnormal in her circles to want to be married, but not want children
How Jennifer has learned to stand up for her own choices
The way in which reproductive health and rights weave their way into the decision to have children
Jennifer’s thoughts on how child rearing can be used as a control to keep women in their place
Why Jennifer thinks women need to continue to stand up for themselves
The importance of really stopping to ask yourself why you want, or don't want, children
Challenging the misconceptions that come with not wanting children
Jennifer’s life now with her husband and her rescue dogs