This week, Jonathan, a member, sent me an email with a provoking subject matter: “The first 1000 days of childlessness”. He told me about having felt like an “outsider” when he and his partner decided not to have kids.
“In younger years, we had to explain again and again why we didn’t have children. Happily that dies down at a certain age. We were pitied, we were wished good luck, we were told ‘never mind’,” he wrote. “People who do not have children are defined by being childless, by *not* having something. It has always interested me that we define people by something they have not done.”
I am so grateful that Jonathan reached out. Thankfully now there is a word that describes those who decide not to have children: childfree. (Childless is usually referred to those who want kids but cannot have them.) However, the issue is the same: we describe childfree people as those who decide *not* to have children. The starting point is that children are the most expected outcome of our adult lives.
If you read my previous newsletter where I discussed why we decide to have (or not have) children, you will know that I don’t write about the first 1,000 days of life for parents *only*. We were all children once, and even those who do not have children should be interested in their future neighbours, colleagues, and leaders.
So, my question is:…