Choosing a Child-Free Life: Exploring the Reasons and Perspectives of Gen Zers

Choosing a Child-Free Life: Exploring the Reasons and Perspectives of Gen Zers

Breaking away from societal expectations, a growing number of Gen Zers are embracing a child-free lifestyle for various reasons.

In a society that often places a high value on marriage and parenthood, more and more young adults are defying traditional norms and opting for a child-free life. Bri Conn, a 26-year-old from South Dakota, shares her journey and the reasons behind her decision not to have children. Her story sheds light on the changing perspectives of Gen Zers and the factors that influence their choices.

Challenging societal expectations

Growing up in a community that emphasized faith and family, Bri Conn was exposed to the belief that marriage and having children were the ultimate goals in life. However, her mother, who had a different perspective, taught her that there is more to life than conforming to societal expectations. This upbringing instilled in Bri the idea that it’s essential to live life on one’s own terms and pursue personal goals rather than succumbing to external pressures.

Balancing career and family

As her peers started getting married and having children in their early twenties, Bri focused on her education and career. She realized that she was the type of person who dedicated herself fully to her work. Considering her partner’s demanding job as an airline pilot and her own busy schedule, Bri recognized that balancing a career and raising children would be challenging. The prospect of hiring a nanny or sending their child to daycare didn’t align with her vision of being present and actively involved in her child’s life.

Pursuing personal aspirations

Bri made a career pivot and is now working towards becoming a certified financial planner. This decision allows her the flexibility to travel with her partner and enjoy the freedom that comes with being child-free. She appreciates the ability to focus on her own goals and aspirations without the added responsibilities of parenthood.

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A joint decision

When Bri and her partner met six years ago, they both agreed that having children wasn’t a necessity for them. They envisioned a future where they would wait until their thirties, establish their careers, and achieve financial stability before considering parenthood. However, as her partner’s career as an airline pilot took off, they realized that the lifestyle of being parents would be challenging. The couple gradually transitioned from considering children in the future to firmly deciding to be child-free.

Financial considerations

While finances were not the primary reason for their decision, Bri acknowledges the financial implications of raising a family. She understands the expenses involved and wants to provide more than just the basics for her child. Bri envisions a privileged life for her hypothetical child, with opportunities like purchasing a first car, funding education, and providing a solid financial foundation. However, they are currently focused on paying off student loans and saving for a house, which further influenced their choice to remain child-free.

Shifting perspectives of Gen Zers

Bri’s decision is reflective of a larger trend among Gen Zers. Many young adults in this generation face challenges such as student loan debt and a competitive job market, making it difficult to envision supporting a family financially. Additionally, concerns about the climate crisis, political divide, mental health, and LGBTQ+ rights contribute to the hesitation to bring children into an uncertain world. Gen Zers are reevaluating traditional notions of family planning and prioritizing personal well-being and societal impact.


Bri Conn’s story sheds light on the growing number of Gen Zers who are choosing a child-free life. Their decisions are influenced by various factors, including career aspirations, financial considerations, and concerns about the world they would bring children into. As societal norms continue to evolve, it is essential to respect and understand the choices of individuals who opt for a different path. The decision to be child-free should be seen as a valid and personal choice, empowering individuals to live life on their own terms.

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