Jackie Dives always knew she didn’t want children. She is an artist, photojournalist and traveler who shows what the life of a woman who has not decided on motherhood can look like. “Women like me are told they will change their minds. You may have a strong belief that you don’t want children, but if everyone in your life is telling you that you will change your mind or that you will regret it, staying true to your beliefs can be difficult.” – underlines.
“I’ve heard all my life that I’m sure I’ll change my mind”
39-year-old Jackie Dives knew from early childhood that motherhood was not for her. “When I was 8 my little brother was born and I guess I was old enough to fully grasp the realities of parenting and knew it wasn’t for me. It hasn’t changed. I don’t want children.”
Like many women who choose not to have children, Jackie was constantly told that she would change her mind about motherhood, which ultimately led to the end of a long-term relationship.
“Throughout my life, people have rejected my beliefs about childlessness and said that I would change my mind someday. For many years, I experienced deep regret and alienation because I consciously chose not to become a parent.”
Jackie Davies has long since decided she doesn’t want kids @jackiedavies
Photo: Tik Tok
The decision not to have children affected her last relationship. “My partner decided that I wanted to become a father after all. We were together for five years and I had to let him go even though I loved him very much.” Many of Jackie’s friends said at the time that a woman must be mad to leave the man she loved so much rather than give birth to him. “I knew she didn’t want to be a mother. We decided to end our relationship because I couldn’t visualize a life where we were together and raising a child.”
“I wanted to show other childless women that they are not alone”
To cope with the immense sadness and grief of breaking up with her partner, Jackie began documenting her daily life and sharing the recordings on TikTok. In all the videos she posted on social media, she emphasized that she was childless by choice. One of the most popular was the “Day in the Life” series, in which she showed what her everyday life looks like: cooking, creating art, meditating and meeting friends. “That’s why I always say ‘this is what life can be like as a childless artist’,” concluded Dives.
“I want women who don’t want children to have an example of what their lives can be like.”
Jackie added that she could not find examples of women in pop culture and media who chose never to become mothers. “I had no idea what my life would have been like if I hadn’t followed the path that everyone expected of me,” she said. “I felt really lonely and weird, and I had to look for other women who had made that choice as well.”
“The sooner we normalize the fact that not all women want children, the better.”
“Finally found my TikTok account,” one woman wrote. “I’m 42, no kids, no partner, and I often feel like I don’t fit in. Thanks for being you!”
“Thank you for doing this,” added another. “I was afraid of having kids until the internet said ‘you don’t have to have any’.
Others agreed that you don’t usually see childless, fulfilled, happy women in movies or TV shows. “You made me realize that I’m not crazy or lonely for not wanting kids.” another observer wrote. “I also think it’s also hard to find childless women in the media who aren’t portrayed negatively,” added another.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, the 39-year-old additionally emphasized that people should “stop asking women” if and when they will have children. “Women need to be encouraged to do what the hell they want to do with their lives,” she said.
“The sooner we normalize the fact that not all women want children, the better. People need to stop telling women that they know better than they do what their lives should be like.”
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