Are you childless in your thirties? Let’s chat…

Photo credit: Bougie Black Blogger

Scene: Hospital, my cousin had just given birth to her first child.

Cousin to my mom: Sooo When is Cicely going to have a child?

Mom to cousin: Cicely is out there living her dope ass life! (I added a word or two in there!)

I remembered hearing this from my mom over a year ago and has stuck with me. It made me wonder, are people in competition mode when it comes to life events? Are we in a rush to see who gets married first or graduate from college first. Are we waiting to see how long someone’s marriage lasts or if someone’s kid goes to jail? Is life just one big competition?

life enjoy GIF

I was so happy about what my mother said. Her response was definitely encouraging. Like don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, just continue to do you and live your own life! She is the mother that doesn’t rush you to do things that are purely selfish. She wasn’t the one that encouraged me to date to get married or when I got married, she never asked, “So when are my grandbabies coming?”

I recently got a message asking for my address from a friend of mine so that she can send out graduation announcements.graduation GIF I sat there like oh em gee, my friends, have children that are graduating from high school! Here I am cheering on my high school students like they are my own children, feeling some kind of way, imagining it was my baby walking across the stage.

I recently shared a video stating, “My baby…” and a response I get is, “Not your baby” it kind of hurt… I responded, “It takes a village…”

election 2016 dnc GIF by Democratic National Convention

I remember a long time ago, I was the director of the youth ministry and I was holding a parent meeting. The first task was to go around, introduce yourself and say who your child was. When it came to my turn, I said, “Your babies are my babies”. I later found out that a parent was offended that I said that and I thought to myself… Would you want someone teaching your child that didn’t care for their livelihood? Would you want someone that was just doing it just because? I know when I have children, I only want adults that spend a good amount of time with them to love them and not hurt them.

I talked to a woman the other day and she asked something like, do I want kids/marriage? I told her yes and went on to state that I am talking to someone with kids. She went on to tell me, “I am going to tell you something that was told to me, blended marriages…” all I heard was don’t do it… it is hard… it isn’t worth it. I have gotten to the age where it is rare if a man doesn’t have a kid.

I remember talking to a friend who was having a rough pregnancy, and I was having a hard time getting pregnant (when I was married)… while we were talking about our struggles with pregnancy, she said, ” I would be happier if I couldn’t get pregnant than lose my child during pregnancy” Those words cut so hard, again I am thinking is this a competition to see who is worse off? Just because we don’t have the same struggle doesn’t mean my struggle is less of a struggle compared to yours.

Funny, a year ago today, I wrote a blog titled, Millennial Women: Women Shouldn’t Have Kids after 35. Here we are again, it must be that time of year, Mother’s Daypregnant GIF which was last month!

I say all this to say, being childless in your 30’s is so tough and the day to day interactions with people can definitely bring up some ill feelings, especially for those that desire to have a child.

I have a student and probably 5 times a day, she says, “You need to have a daughter” and I think if it were only that easy.

Question: I ask myself, would I be ok with having a child by myself? Do I really want to wait till marriage? The most recent question is, Do I really Want to Carry a Child? I mean, I am getting older, they say the risks are greater and my body has been changing like crazy. 

I personally am not going to encourage people with so many thoughts about other’s lives… but I will encourage those receiving those comments to just to take it with a grain of salt… knowing that you cannot control what others do but you can control the lens it is filtered through. So many people have so many things to say, but you can choose to let it tear you down or you can use it to build you up. When my mom told me what she said to my cousin, it just fueled me to live my dopest life on MY TERMS and TIMELINE…

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Bio: Cicely Renee is a young, educated black woman who is the founder of Bougie Black Blogger.  She encourage, enlighten and excite the minds of those that read her blog. Besides being the founder of all things bougie. She enjoys hobbies such as photography and social media marketing strategist.  You can find out more about Cicely at  BougieBlackBlogger.com.

47 Comments
  • Avion Anderson
    June 24, 2018

    Great article. I am thirty-eight (38) years old, will be 39, this year. I am single, childless and loving every minute of it, because I am working on me and trying to still figure what I want to do with my life, but a child or getting married were never part of the package – because since I was eight years old, I made a bet with my friends that I would never get married, never get pregnant and I would go back to my grave how I came, Well, I had three failed relationships, which I must admit 80% was my fault, but they are all happy. I am great with my life.

  • Katherine
    June 25, 2018

    I had my first kid younger than all my ‘young proffesional’ friends at 27. I lost my first baby the year before at 11wks at it was the most awful experience of my life. That meant I was terrified through my successful pregnancy and was so overjoyed at my healthy baby I was sure I didn’t want to risk having another.

    6 month’s in and everyone starts with the “ When are you going to have another?” Questions. The pressure was ridiculous! Leave me alone… I did it, I made a baby! The competitive baby making is awful, the questions are so much more personal than people realize.

    It took 2yrs for me to come around to the idea of trying again. But it took another 2yrs for it to be logitiscally/financially viable. Then I was well into my 30s and despite trying it took a while. All this time dealing with “so, are you having another?” Ugh.

    I did finally get pregnant at 35 and it turned out to be twins! So I now have 3kids and people can finally stop asking… geez, stop already! Lol

  • Joanna
    June 25, 2018

    To be honest, I do think that some of the people who “push” and keep asking about why we are not married, or why we don’t have children yet are envious about our lifestyle. Having children is hard and life can never have the same freedoms as before. I was told before by people who have children that they wish they were like me, free. I don’t really care what people think about me not having children, yet i am over 30. It’s my choice, not theirs.

  • Monique Elise
    June 25, 2018

    I think this is a very interesting topic. I’m 30 with no kids. I think what’s important is that everyone has their own path! People are too judgmental and should really mind their business.

  • Alli Smith
    June 25, 2018

    Personally, I wish people would keep their opinions to themselves. I never ask anyone such personal questions. I have a friend who doesn’t want kids and I’m just fine with that. On the other hand, my daughter has been trying to have a baby for 10 years and I get so tired of people asking her why she hasn’t had a baby yet. My daughter is strong and doesn’t let those comments get her down.

  • Sue Tanya Mchorgh
    June 25, 2018

    Wow. I am glad I found this post. I just turned 29 and I have been thinking about the “right time” to start thinking about having a child. Awesome post.

  • Melissa Chapman
    June 25, 2018

    It is always tough looking at other people’s lives and thinking they are so great I wish I had that but you have to be happy with your own life. It is normal but don’t let it get you down.

  • Tasheena
    June 25, 2018

    I honestly really dislike when people ask this question. I know they really don’t mean any harm…. I see a lot of cases where women actually may not be able to have children or don’t want to be a single parent. I think it’s really a personal decision and discussion, that should be kept personal.

  • Nati
    June 25, 2018

    I agree so very much with you and I think people should mind their own business! I was married and childless for 8 years, many reasons for that but who are others to judge me or my choices (or for what they didn’t even know about me)?
    I am planning to have a third baby, and I’m 38, so yes, I have been judge in my early 30s for being childless and I’ll be judged in my late 30s for being an “old monther”. Whatever you do, people will find something to say about and criticize. I stopped caring loooooong ago.

  • Jenn@Engineermommy
    June 25, 2018

    I agree with you – people need to care less about other’s choices. It stinks your friend was trying to compare struggles with you. Everyone has their own path with their own hardships. As women, we should support each other!

  • wendy
    June 25, 2018

    I had my kids at 28, 33, and 34 and all is well. Youngest just graduated high school and there are moms older than me out there and many younger-who cares! We have a great family are lucky and each person needs to do their own thing and it’s all good.

  • Melanie
    June 25, 2018

    Everyone shouldn’t be in everyone’s business. Everyone has to choose the road that is best for them. And it is definitely not the same for everyone!

  • candy
    June 25, 2018

    Forgive me but I don’t know what dope ass means. Who says you have to be married and kids to be fulfilled. Are you happy and content with the way your living your life. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

  • Janet
    June 25, 2018

    It’s a generational thing I think and with my own kids in their 30’s now, all of the friend’s moms ask the same thing. I don’t put any pressure on them though, it’s not my life and it’s my kid’s choice.

  • Suz
    June 25, 2018

    I turned 40 this year and have a step son who is 18. You have no idea of the comments I get from mothers because ‘Well, he’s not actually YOURS…’ I’m constantly thought of as less of a parent. It drives me nuts. Us ladies don’t live in the 40s, we get to choose what we do and when (and if) we do it.

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
    June 25, 2018

    Life has become one big competition. It really has. It’s sad. I say live your life. Have kids, if you want them, if that means marrying someone with them…go for it. If it means adoption, go for it. Live life the way you want too, and don’t listen to what others say. They aren’t living your life for you.

  • Ann F. Snook-Moreau
    June 25, 2018

    No one should be able to dictate the timeline of your life except you! Having a spouse or kids at a certain time or at all is your choice. I am in my late 20s and married with no intention of having kids which for some reason a lot of people can’t seem to grasp. It’s so frustrating sometimes!

  • Torché Nash
    June 25, 2018

    It’s totally up to that individual. I had a coworker who gave birth to her daughter after she hit thirty and she’s the happiest mother I know! I wouldn’t take what other people say so personally. I had people judge me after my second pregnancy in ONE year at twenty-two. I said that to say, people are going to talk regardless.

  • Pam Wattenbarger
    June 25, 2018

    I think you should do whatever makes you happy. If it’s waiting a while (or never) to have kids, then that’s a personal decision and you know what’s best for you. Enjoy your life! It’s no ones’ business but yours. 🙂

  • Dina Demarest
    June 25, 2018

    You do you! Yes I only want someone teaching/loving on my child that does think my baby is her baby. Good for you!

  • Veronica@inveronicascorner
    June 25, 2018

    I completely agree with you. We have so many societal pressures that weigh on us, and make us feel less than if we’re not meeting everyone’s timeline. Do you boo! Xoxo

  • Roch
    June 26, 2018

    Many adults nowadays don’t like to get married or have children because they choose career over having relationships. I think it’s their choice and everyone is entitled to choose for their own lives.

  • Carol Cassara
    June 26, 2018

    I am way beyond my 30s and I don’t have a child. I think it’s really up to you, it’s your body so you make your own rules. I’m so tired of women being pressured to find “the one”, settle down, and start raising kids. I mean, what if you want a completely different path? Why does it matter to others so much?

  • Terri Steffes
    June 26, 2018

    My daughter is 33 and wants kids, but none yet. There are a few more things on her list to do first. I don’t want anyone telling her that she’s doing it wrong.

  • kumamonjeng
    June 26, 2018

    I think this is too personal and who are we to judge whether to have child or not even married for many years. If you see someone who has been married for long and do not have any child yet in their 30s’, it should have many reason behind it and we should not make any judgement.

  • Chubskulit Rose
    June 26, 2018

    I was childless when I hit 30, in fact I just got married then. I thought I won’t be able to get pregnant because it took us two years trying before I finally conceived.

  • Elizabeth O
    June 26, 2018

    I think you do you! People should really keep their noses out of other peoples business because being a parent isn’t necessarily what everyone wants out of life! Continue being a dope ass person girl!

  • Lisa Favre
    June 26, 2018

    I have quite a few friends that don’t have kids and have reached their thirties and there is so much pressure from their parents, family members, etc. It’s really too bad that they have to justify themselves all of the time.

  • Jazzie
    June 26, 2018

    I am in my 30’s and Childless by choice & chillin’ and I still get judged. It used to make me feel like an outcast but I have a beautiful, fulfilling life. My Mother had her last baby 12 years after me when she was 42, you have time don’t worry and don’t mind others.

  • Melissa Dixon
    June 26, 2018

    I never thought that I would have kids or at least I never really thought that was for me until I met my husband. We loved each other so much that it only seemed natural for us to have a baby but we thought we wanted a boy until we had a girl and know that this is the life we were meant to live. It’s funny how we try to plan things but something completely different ends up happening and then you realize that is how ti was supposed to be. We can not plan these things if they are meant to be they will be.

  • Rachel Ferrucci
    June 26, 2018

    I have to admit that I used to be the one saying, “So when are you having a baby”. It was instilled in our minds in my generation that you grew up and had most of your kids by the time you were 30. Then my mindset went to – Women are waiting to have children to make sure they have their career. Then my youngest daughter started saying she didn’t want kids as a teen, and still when she was in her lower 20’s. My answer was- Oh, you’ll change your mind when you meet someone. One day she said to me, Mom I REALLY don’t want kids and does that make me a bad person? This was my Ah Ha moment that I was hounding her about something she didn’t want. I am now an advocate for any women who don’t have kids yet or don’t want kids. It’s fine and they are still apart of a village in the family and add so much value to the children they are around. Sorry I wrote a book, but You be YOU and don’t worry about anyone else. You can come here and share in all “our babies” (my kids are grown but there’s grandchildren, nieces, nephews)!!! xo

  • Farrah Less
    June 26, 2018

    Very well said I needed this kind of encouragement. I’m in my 30s and been trying to conceive for 2 years now, It wasn’t a flying colors journey for me and my husband. We are at the point in our life now that if it happens they good if not its ok we have to live each day with a positive thoughts.

  • Kita Bryant
    June 27, 2018

    I love my kids. I am so glad I had them when I did.

  • Terri Beavers
    June 27, 2018

    I believe as long as you are happy, that’s all that matters! People are always going to have their opinions, you can never make everyone happy.

  • Anosa Malanga
    June 27, 2018

    Funny thing that whenever you reach thirties, you will really hear this kind of questions. Glad you have a supportive mother. For me, I want to have a kid but probable after 35 when I am more financially stable and emotionally ready.

  • Aileen Adalid
    June 28, 2018

    I’m not yet in my 30s but I will soon be and I also have no plans on having kids just yet, and I don’t think I will ever do. I can understand your sentiments because a lot of people stick their noses on my business too but yea, they all need to learn that it’s our choices, our life — NOT theirs!

  • HX
    June 28, 2018

    I’m not in my thirties yet, but I definitely feel you. I agree that life isn’t a competition – honestly no one cares if you have a child or not since everyone is so busy with their own lives.

  • cait
    June 28, 2018

    100% agree to mind your own business bc not everyone wants kids but its not YOUR decision on how they run their life!

  • Ching
    June 29, 2018

    And so the question is, does it make a woman less of a woman or human being if she chooses not to have children at all? We have to live our lives the way we see it best. Society dictates so much of that. I’m doing me. No kids. 🙂

  • Adriana
    June 29, 2018

    Such a beautiful read. It’s so important to just focus on ourselves versus being in anyones business.

  • Preet
    June 29, 2018

    having child or not is not of other business. It is our lives. We should know what the best for us.

  • Jenn
    June 29, 2018

    Parenting is not for everyone that’s for sure. I was a young mom and my kids are now grown and moved on. It’s nice because I’m in my 40’s and still able to enjoy some alone time with my husband.

  • Tami
    June 29, 2018

    I can’t believe a parent was offended by that. I am blessed by those adults in my children’s lives that feel that way about them.

  • Joanna
    June 29, 2018

    It is everyone’s choice if they want to have a baby or not. I think that even if the society has advanced and people are more open minded that they were 20 years ago, a vast majority still doesn’t understand that what they think is the norm doesn’t apply to others. Getting married, having a child and being a stay at home mom is not realistic anymore.

  • Pooja Kawatra
    June 30, 2018

    I have many friends who are out of choice and some due to medical are without a child but that doesn’t make them unhappy. Everyone’s life is different and we should better not comment on it.

  • Pippa
    July 1, 2018

    I totally agree! I think there is some sort of competition (why, I don’t know). I’m pushing 30 and have no plans for marriage or children any time soon, and I think that’s totally OK. I’m comforted by the fact that things come in time and just because it’s “time” for someone else, doesn’t mean it is for you.

  • Fiona
    July 1, 2018

    This feels so personal. I have lost count on how many times people have asked me this. It like until you are not married and have kids people do not validate your life. Sad!

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