Love and Life, Mindset

It’s Time to Take the Risk and Find Our Kidfree Community: Why Half Assing it Doesn’t Work

I’m struggling, and have been for a little while. As a childfree adult, and having recently moved, I feel like I lost my sense of community.

That’s the thing with living the kidfree life – you miss out on the readymade community that comes with having a child. The playgroups, school groups, hell even connections at work, since children make for easy small talk.

All this isn’t to say I’m friendless; I have friends I talk to daily, weekly and even those who pop in an out of my life. But I feel like perhaps I don’t exactly belong.

This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve felt like this. In fact, I once spent years looking to belong to something. I signed up for jewelry making classes, cooking classes, the odd exercise class, but nothing seemed to click.

I would go to these classes. Alone. I would sit and learn the lesson. Alone. I would leave. Alone. My community was not going to be found in these places.

I thought I was putting myself out there, risking something on myself, but in hindsight, they were all such half-assed attempts. I didn’t risk anything, but a little bit of money. I was just showing up, not even trying to make a real connection. But, at the time, just stepping out of my home felt scary. I couldn’t imagine doing much more.

As time went on, I eventually did actually put myself out there, by asking for help with my weight-loss, and that changed everything for me. During weekly meetings, I shared my pain, celebrated my and everyone else’s joys and I found a place I belong to. In these meetings, I felt at home. Finding a place where you can contribute, feel heard, and most of all, feel welcome is the start of belonging.

So now that I’ve moved, it’s time to find something a little more local. And for some reason, I started back to the old ways. I signed up for a Pilates class at the local community center. Where I go. Alone. I exercise. Alone. I head home. Alone. I enjoy the class, and it’s great for my body, but it’s not the community I am searching for.

Sometimes, it’s not until you see it in writing, but see it, I have. It’s time to put myself out there. Make myself uncomfortable, and take a risk to find where I belong again. And part of that is sharing my life with you all, in hopes that you’ll feel comfortable sharing too.

Looking for a community? Take that risk, and introduce yourself below!

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10 thoughts on “It’s Time to Take the Risk and Find Our Kidfree Community: Why Half Assing it Doesn’t Work”

  1. Yeah I worry sometimes about the lack of connection I have with people. Although I’m not bothered about many of the parents I know because I don’t really like them – e.g. my offspring-obsessed, blah office mates – I have a couple of really good friends who are parents and on a low day I think: do they suppress things about their kids that they would normally talk about, because I’m a non-parent; do they feel relieved when they are back chatting to a fellow parent again? And the ease of smalltalk if you can ramble on about kids… I’m introvert and despise empty smalltalk: I live in a country where strangers seem to be fixated on what you’re doing/did at the weekend (agh STFU). I don’t really know where to find ‘my people’ in real life. London came pretty close, as a very diverse place to live – more interesting, outlying people seem to end up there and there are so many more older childfree and single people in plain sight than in other cities, so I’d recommend that, Sour Girl (although depends whereabouts you are..there can be some pretty insufferably trendy-yummy-parent communities too). Anyway, hello!

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    1. I know the feeling – I am so quick to question what someone thinks of me sometimes. I forget who said it (It may have been Mel Robbins?) But “other people’s opinions are not your business”. I take that to mean, that if I am enjoying my time with a friend, it’s not my business if they are really wishing they could talk about their kids. I am not stopping them from that, so that is their hang-up/business if they do not feel comfortable talking about it. That being said, I try to make sure they know I have no issuing hearing about their children and their family life.

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  2. I’m an Oregonian who now lives in the southeast in the “bible belt,” and it is quite a change. I have to say I don’t miss Oregon much and quite enjoy it here with the warm weather, but I do feel quite isolated. I often find myself wondering about how I will find my community. I haven’t been working due to my health issues, and I fear judgment and ignorance when I finally rejoin the work force. I suppose I’ll have to push away the anxiety at some point and continue the search!

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    1. I spent 6 months off of work once, due to injury. It was very tough, and I had to find my purpose again. It’s funny how often we tie work (and some family) to our life’s purpose. The best thing I did for myself, was that I kept pushing through and kept searching for ways to contribute, even if I couldn’t work. I learned a lot of cooking techniques and even became a mentor for caregivers of someone going through a Crohn’s diagnosis.

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      1. Are you also in the UK? I wish there was some sort of definitive list of places that are best for childfree and childless people I even wish there were childfree communities that were adults only I don’t see if as discrimination Frankly my desire to be as far away from children and their parents as possible comes from the fact that society has become far too ‘family friendly’ and seemingly nowhere is a safe refuge

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      2. No – I’m in Canada, just moved the the suburbs outside of Toronto. I’m not used to how conservative it can be up here, in terms of family values. I’m pretty sure my husband and I stick out a little bit, but at the same time, we aren’t going to break.

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      3. That’s interesting I lived in Rochester (NY) for 3 years and visited Toronto several times and loved it but then again, I never really ventured into the suburbs and only travelled places where the subway/ streetcar system would take me easily. Aside from Rochester itself, Western NY was very conservative and I didn’t like it.

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