Entertainment And News

Child-Free Woman Embraces Life After Her Relationship Ended Because She Didn't Want Kids—'I Had No Idea What My Life Would Look Like'

Photo: TikTok
Jackie Dives on TikTok

Jackie Dives is a photojournalist, an artist, and a solo traveler. She’s also child-free, a title that she overtly claims in her life and her social media presence.

Jackie made a stitched video with someone who asked, “Tell me what your life is like now,” and stated in her caption that “women are shown one way to live their life because entertainment media never features child-free narratives.”

As a child-free woman, Jackie’s long-term relationship ended as a result of her choice, and at the time, she couldn’t envision how her life would unfold.

Jackie explained that she often gets called out on TikTok “for saying this is how a child-free person does ‘XYZ’ or this is a day in the life of a child-free person. People are like, ‘why do you need to put in there that you’re child-free? What difference does it make?’ And the reason I do that is because I want women like the person who I’m stitching to see what a life without children can look like.”

RELATED: 29 Reasons I Envy People Who Decided Not To Have Kids



“I’m 39 and I’m child-free,” Jackie said proudly. “My experience of being child-free was that when my partner decided that he wanted to have children, we’d been together for five years, and he actually left our relationship. So I had to decide very, very sure that I was willing to let my partner go in exchange for living a child-free life.”

Jackie had to create a whole new narrative for herself as a child-free woman. Her relationship didn’t end for lack of love, but rather, because she and her partner ended up wanting different things.

“I really loved my partner a lot,” she said. “And a lot of people were telling me that it was crazy to let him go and not just have a baby with him. I knew in my heart and my gut that I didn’t want to be a parent but after we separated it was really hard for me to visualize what my life would look like. I could see what my life would look like if he and I had stayed together. I would be with him and we’d have a house and a baby and a family and great in-laws and a white picket fence, the whole thing.”

RELATED: Mom Says She's Against Free Daycare Because 'Every Family Needs To Take Care Of Their Own Children'

Jackie explained that one reason it was hard to picture a child-free life was the lack of representation in media of women who don’t have kids. 

“Because we are never shown examples in media or pop culture about what it looks like to be a woman who doesn't have children, I had no idea what my life would look like, if I didn’t go down the path that everyone expected me to go down,” she stated. “It felt really lonely and strange.”

Jackie stated that she found an intentional community of other women who also chose to be child-free; she had to “go seek out other women who had also made that choice.”

A 2021 Pew Research Center Survey found that 44% of non-parents ages 18 to 49 will most likely remain child-free. Among that percentage of people, 56% state their decision to remain child-free is because they just don’t want to have children.

The decision to become a parent is an incredibly personal one. In an era where women are increasingly losing the right to decide what to do with their own bodies, deciding against parenthood can still be seen as a radical choice. 

But it’s a choice more and more women are making, and it deserves to be viewed respectfully. The more visibility child-free people have, the more normalized the decision will become.

As Jackie explained in her post, visibility is still a major concern. She reiterated, “That’s why I always say in my videos this is what the day in the life of a child-free artist looks like. Because I want women who don’t want to have kids to have an example of what your life can look like.” 

RELATED: Woman Calls Out 'Child-Free By Choice' Community For Hating On Kids & Moms

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.