Best of Season 1!

Best of Season 1!

Highlights of the first season of We are Childfree, and some big news about what’s coming next!

Zoë: Hey lovelies! Welcome back to We are Childfree, a podcast that celebrates childfree lives and shares our stories. This episode is going to be a bit different. It's the end of season one and boy, what an eventful year it's been. I launched We are Childfree in January 2021, and it's been featured on the front page of the New York Times Style section, we've won Childfree Group of the Year and now 1600 people are waiting to share their stories with me. I can't tell you how incredible this year has been for me, and this first season was just amazing. Thank you for all of the incredible feedback, the reviews... I really do love hearing about how these conversations are helping you live authentically.

In this season, I spoke to 20 women and gender diverse guests about their childfree choice and what it's meant for their lives. I've heard from people of all ages from 22 year old Rubi, who is a badass, to 78 year old legend Marcia. My guests have been from all over the world from America to Australia, India, Kenya, and China, just to name a few. It's so important to represent the diversity in our experiences, so thank you to everyone who has had the courage to share their story with me. You are normalising the choice to be childfree. This episode will feature some of my favourite highlights from all of these incredible guests. So let's get into it.

My very first guest on the pod was Dr. Kate Tomas, the women's spiritual empowerment mentor. Kate has lived all over the world and worked as a professional psychic for 20 years. She spoke about her journey from trying to get pregnant, to save her second marriage, to leading her best ethically non-monogamous childfree life.

Kate: It is such a pernicious belief, that you're not valuable if you're not producing, and especially if you're not producing children. There's this belief that you have to produce something else. You just live - just fucking getting up every day, getting dressed, eating food, and existing, is enough. That is enough. And if you manage to do something that brings somebody else joy, then that's even better. But you don't need to earn your keep on this planet, you know?

Zoë: Wow. Those are words I want to live by. They remind me of a tweet I saw recently from @melatoninlau: "western cultures believe we must be alive for a purpose. to work, to make money. some indigenous cultures believe we're alive just as nature is alive: to be here, to be beautiful & strange. we don't need to achieve anything to be valid in our humanness." Wew, that is - it gives me shivers. It really does. You are enough.

Next up another inspiring woman who struggled with the pressure to become a mother. Donna Freitas is the writer of the incredible novel The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano. The book asks the question, what if you always knew you didn't want children, married someone who felt the same, and then they changed their mind? Donna faced that dilemma in real life and was incredibly open and honest about her struggles with the childfree choice.

Donna: It was like my entire body and my brain just resisted everything to do with this conversation. I have wondered, are some women born without a maternal instinct, are some women born without a biological clock? Because my body sure resisted the idea of becoming a mother, because I did try to change my mind. I tried really hard. I tried for years, because I knew that, it seemed like my marriage wasn't going to survive unless I did change my mind. And I felt very trapped, I think, and it felt so unfair that everything rested on me, you know, fixing this. Like, "Everything could be great if I would just do this one thing that every other woman does", like that was sort of how it's presented. Everybody is like this - why are you the one woman in the world who's different?"

Zoë: OK, so many of us go through this. We think that we're the only ones feeling this way. You know, we feel like we must be abnormal. Like there's something wrong with us. And this is why the podcast and why sharing our stories is so important, because when you know that you aren't alone, it gives you that strength to be able to stand in your truth, to live authentically and to make the choices that are right for you.

I loved my conversation with this next guest so much. Mohita Solanki is one fierce feminist. She was born in India where it's really hard to live openly childfree, and this is the big reason why she moved to Australia with her husband to live the life they wanted. In this next clip, Mohita breaks down how internalized misogyny keeps us locked in our gender roles.

Mohita: Society will tell women things that are good for society.... What's good for you? You got to ask that question. What's good for you? What's good for me? And women force women to go down the wrong path. Women force women. It's not just men doing that. Why do you think my mum keeps on telling me? Because it's in our head - "Oh, she is supposed to do that". That's the hold of patriarchy in our society. In our brains.

Zoë: You know, Mohita has a really important point here. And I faced this myself, when other women have judged me, they've told me I will regret this, that I'll change my mind. And it really hurts a lot. It hurts a lot more than if a man would say it to me because we feel like we should have support from other women. And I have to keep telling myself that from a very young age, we are conditioned to live a certain way, to think a certain way, to minimise ourselves and to follow the path that patriarchy sets out for us. So I hope that we can break down these patriarchal structures and empower and inspire those raised as girls to start thinking outside of the box that society would put us in.

Now for more feminist fire from Doreen Caven. She is the co-founder of The Girls Like Me,, a really wonderful platform which amplifies the voices of African women who are too often left out of the narrative around female empowered. She was raised in a Catholic household in Nigeria, where she saw the role she was expected to fill and rejected it wholeheartedly.

Doreen: I do not subscribe to organised religion. Because I grew up in that environment, because I grew up seeing a lot of women get their wings get clipped by their beliefs - by believing that they were supposed to be lesser, by believing that their natural instincts to rebel and be themselves was a negative thing to pray away, by seeing them lower themselves from men who were so much lower than they were. So, to me, I'd grown up seeing the women be, you know - my mind rightfully saw those things and I never let my mind be molded into seeing it in a different way as the world would want me to see it, you know? If you tell me that a man is supposed to be greater than me, then why isn’t he?

Zoë: Wow. I am nodding furiously at this amazing, amazing quote from Doreen. I've heard from a few guests about their religious upbringing and how it shaped them. And from the outside most organised religions look like the ultimate patriarchy, with the men on the top and the women at the bottom. Doreen saw at a young age that women aren't inherently lesser than men, and she's dedicated her life to challenging this idea and helping women to see just how amazing they are. What an icon.

From one icon to another, here is Marcia Drut-Davis. For a long time, Marcia was the childfree movement. In 1974, she appeared on the news show 60 Minutes, "coming out" to her in-laws and the American public as childfree. The backlash was incredible. She lost her job as a teacher for 15 years and received death threats. She spent the next 47 years fighting to show the world that childfree people are valuable and can be as loving and nurturing as any mother. At 78 years old, Marcia looks back on her life with no regrets.

Marcia: It's a life worth living. It's a life well-lived. That's everything. When you come to that part of your life, when it's over - that feeling of, “It's been good. I've done what I want to do. I've been where I want to go. I've helped how I want to help. I've lived what I need”. That is the biggest joy of this thing called life. And if it's a child that you've had, and you've given your love, and you've enjoyed that, more power to you - we're not against that. We're against defining us as less, barren, unloving, hedonistic, selfish, godless. No, no regrets.

Zoë: What a legend. Women like Marcia, they made it possible for women like me to live my life the way I want to live it. I didn't have any childfree role models when I was growing up, and I wish I'd known about Marcia. I wish I had seen someone like her just out there living their lives, loving their childfree life and having no regrets. You know, I wouldn't have experienced so much turmoil if I'd had that positive childfree representation in my life. That's why it's so important to have our voices out there, and I feel so lucky Marcia shared her story with me.

That was season one of We are Childfree. I'll be back in 2022 with season two. And when I come back, I'll have some really exciting things to share. I'm building a new website that will help me share even more childfree stories and connect you with other childfree people all over the world. So far, there are 1600 of you waiting to share your stories, which is truly amazing, but it might surprise you to know that there isn't a big team behind We are Childfree - it's just me and my husband, James, who edits the podcast and portraits. We found a way for the thousands, maybe millions of childfree people out there to share their stories with the world and connect with each other. And we're very excited to share this with you.

This is a true grassroots passion project, and I do appreciate your support and patience while I do the behind-the-scenes work that will empower us all to live our best childfree lives. So we have a lot of awesome stuff in the works, but until then I'll be sharing my favorite episodes from season one in the pod feed.

And to play us out, here's a song called "CHILDFREE" from podcast guest, Lili Roquelin. And you can head to to download and stream. What an anthem. See you in 2022 lovelies.

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