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'My life is really full,' overcoming the stigma of being childless by choice

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Posted at 5:02 AM, May 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-10 11:34:01-04

ANDERSON— Julie Borden said she’s dealt with the stigma of being childless by choice for decades.

She said she knew from the time she was a kid that being a mom wasn’t something she wanted to do.

She said that decision has led to tough conversations, dirty remarks and confusion from loved ones and strangers. But even though she’s not a mom she said she cares for and nurtures the people in her life.

“Camping, traveling, I have rescue pets. My life is really full,” Borden said.

When she’s not in the salon, Borden is on an adventure.

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Borden and her husband updated this old shuttle bus and travel around the country.

“I really enjoy it. It's kind of a nice windfall that when you wake up every day, you're just like oh man I get to do what I love I get a peaceful happy fun life,” Borden said.

It’s a lifestyle she said wouldn’t be possible if she’d made the choice to have kids.

“There will be daggers coming through the screen at me I’m sure by quite a few people,” Borden said.
 
Even as a kid she tells me she knew having kids of her own wasn’t in her future.

“I knew all along I never had that urge to want to have kids,” Borden said. “I just thought that I could be here to maybe help, and nurture grown humans along the way instead of little ones.”

She said while she’s not a mother, it doesn’t mean she’s not maternal to her family, clients, and friends.

“I spend tons of time with wonderful people. I get to experience their happy times, their sad times, help them through whatever they need and sometimes they help me,” Borden said

But still, the decision to not become a mother has been met with misunderstanding and puzzlement.

“Originally, I heard a lot of ‘what's wrong with you’ and ‘who's going to take care of you when you're old’,” Borden said, “they would look shocked or kind of disgruntled and then they would smile like ‘oh you'll change your mind’ and that made them comfortable thinking that I would change my mind. I thought that was kind of weird.”

A 2016 study found many Americans see not having kids as atypical, surprising and even morally wrong.

“That's been kind of tough, but you know I know that the choice that I’m making for me it's my life, it's my world and it makes me super happy,” Borden said.

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Julie Borden shows our Kelsey Anderson pictures from recent adventures with her husband and friends

As she gets older, she believes the stigma around not having kids is changing.

“I think its more of a growing thing and more of an accepted thing and I’m really glad because the heat and the harshness was just getting old,” Borden said.

Borden hopes through this story she can continue to change the stigma for women making the same choice.

“I’m glad to be that voice that can kind of let people know that there is a different path if you choose to,” Borden said, “just be kind to people if people choose this lifestyle just try to understand and be kind.”

There are many reasons why someone may choose to not have kids.

Whether it be their lifestyle, financial, their own childhood experiences no matter the reason, Borden’s advice remains the same, be accepting and understanding.