In our Money Mic series, we hand over the podium to people with controversial views about money. These are their views, not ours, but we welcome your responses.
Right now, most 50-somethings are cashing out their savings to send their kids to college.
And a great deal more are paying for their kids’ weddings, embracing grandkids, or supporting Millennial children who are returning to the nest.
Me? Let’s just say my life doesn’t exactly fit into the typical mold.
Many years ago, I decided to opt out of having kids so that I could devote myself to building my career and growing my income. The choice, which seems unusual to some, has brought me happiness—and financial success.
At 51, my bookkeeping business is netting me six figures a year, and I have all the time in the world to explore my passions and live what I think is my best life.
Had I been on the hook for everything from diapers to tuition, there’s no way I’d be enjoying my current life.
Many women feel a natural calling to motherhood. I think that’s wonderful—the world needs as many nurturing, devoted mothers as it can get.
I simply don’t fall into that camp.
When I was about 9 years old—and testing my mother’s patience—she uttered something most moms find themselves saying to their kids at one time or another: “I hope you have kids just like you when you grow up,” she said with a laugh.
And I remember thinking even then that I didn’t want to be a mommy when I grew up.
When I voiced this response to my own mother, she assured me that I’d change my mind when I was older.
But I didn’t.
By the time I hit my 20s, I felt certain motherhood simply wasn’t in the cards for me.
The shorthand reason was that I just didn’t feel a maternal longing to have children. What’s more, my desire for independence and self-discovery seemed to outweigh the allure of having kids. I was also skittish when it came to the enormous responsibility of actually raising children.
But I’d be lying if I said that finances didn’t also play a huge role in my decision. I was brought up in a stable, middle-class neighborhood in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley—and my work ethic took shape very early on.