Public Service Announcement: Child-free couples and the holidays

Celebrating during the holidays without children is a mixed blessing.  While it’s lovely to enjoy a peaceful, quiet fire and a cup of cocoa alone with the one you love or open more expensive presents (should you choose) than your family-friendly peers, it can also be a very difficult time and a test of strength and patience.


 I find it particularly difficult when the subject of children comes up during the holidays at extended family parties, during worktime with colleagues and clients around, or even among friends or families with children.  Thoughtless comments are made again and again.  I want to shout “Honestly, it’s none of your business.” at people by the end of the day sometimes. 

So please, on behalf of the childfree and childless among you this holiday season:

-Don’t ask couples without children when they’re planning on children or if they’re “planning on children” in the near future

-Don’t ask couples without children “if they’re expecting” because you find someone’s eating habits peculiar

-Don’t nag about how they “haven’t brought home any grandchildren/nieces/nephews yet”… especially while they’re holding a baby during the family dinner

-Along those lines, don’t remark “what wonderful parents they would be” and wink knowingly

And please…

-Don’t assume that they prefer every night to be a quiet, peaceful night alone at home and DO invite them to join in activities without making CHILDREN AND FAMILY the focus of holiday celebrations. 

This can be an isolating time of the year for couples without children.  Assuming you know and understand the circumstances surrounding someone’s child”less”ness can be dangerous and hurtful.  If they’re polite and nonconfrontational, you may not know how offensive your comments were, particularly at this time of the year…



2 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement: Child-free couples and the holidays

  1. Holly says:

    Amen! I also think there is an important distinction between childless and childfree. Childless implies wanting children while childfree implies choosing not to have children.

  2. KidfreeKaye says:

    Very true, very true! My husband & I are childfree, and we were contending with these comments for years, until we got too old recently. (I’m 47, he’s 52). It’s very presumptuous of people to assume, especially when one in five Americans will NOT be having children in their lifetime! People need to get with the program these days.

    I am writing a book called “Kidfree & Lovin’ It” that discusses these issues we non-parents have to contend with. I have an online survey that over 2,600 CFs around the world have taken, and would love you and your spouse to take it too!

    Just click on this link to take you there, and you can remain anonymous if you like:

    Thanks, and enjoy your childfree holidays!

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