My name is J.J. and I’m a DINK by choice.
DINK – Acronym for Dual Income No Kids. My husband and I are two working adults with no children (unless you count the furry variety) and our lifestyle reflects that. We like it that way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-child. I’m just anti having my own child. I think children are great—in small doses and when they belong to someone else.
At times I feel like I’m missing some nurturing gene. The lives of so many of my friends and co-workers are centered around their children. For the most part, I’ve given up sitting at the lunch table at work because the conversations always revolve around child-rearing. People often look at me in disbelief when I express that I just have no interest in having children. Of course, now that I’m edging in on 40 many just assume it has to do with my age. Although several times since Mark and I married I’ve heard, “Hey it could happen. Women in their 40s have babies all the time now!” My typical response is, “If it does, I’m going to have a very stern talk with my doctor!” Because, believe me, we are doing everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t. What boggles my mind; however, is that so many women feel this way. When the comments come from someone in my mother’s generation, I understand it. That’s what was expected of you—you grow up, get married, and have babies. But with the choices women have today, I’m surprised that so many women—so many couples—opt to have children. Again, I mean no offense to parents. I just feel like we certainly can’t be such freaks of nature! There must be other couples out there who choose DINKdom. Children are expensive and time-consuming. They are life-consuming. I feel like Mark and I have such freedom. We just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico where we only had to focus on what the two of us wanted do to. We go to restaurants where you could never take children. And when we spend a little more than we should there’s never any guilt that we’re spending our kid’s college fund.
The reactions to my self-chosen DINKness are varied. I’ve heard everything from envy to insult. Yes, that’s right, I’ve been told that by choosing not to pro-create I’m being selfish (once I was even told that I’m holding my uterus hostage). Personally, I think the opposite is true—I’m being as unselfish as I possibly can by admitting I’m way too selfish to be a parent. I would be a bad parent. I don’t want to spend my Saturdays at soccer practice. I want to spend them going on hikes that you could never take children on—or at wine tastings. I don’t want to go to McDonald’s—I want sushi! And I want my career to be a top priority in my life (as soon as I figure out what I want to be when I grow up—but that’s a topic for another blog).
The only downside we find to DINKness is that it can be lonely. No, not because we don’t have a house full of lil’ ones running around. It can be lonely because all of our friends are busy with their children so they can’t come out and play with us. We go on some great adventures—weekends in the mountains, caving, kayaking, rappelling—it would be fun to have another couple along with us. It would be nice to simply enjoy dinner out with some adults—but without a month’s notice for their babysitter it’s hard to schedule. So, for the most part, we adventure alone.
People sometimes ask me who’s going to take care of us when we’re old. I can’t answer that question. Hopefully, we won’t spend too many of our senior years in need of being taken care of. If we do, we’ll address that when the time comes. There’s no guarantee your children are going to be around for that anyway. They could live 2000 miles away by then.
DINKdom isn’t the life for everyone. I think a lot of people need to have children—it fulfills them. For us, living in the kingdom of DINKS is pretty fulfilling. I think we’ll stay.
- J.J. Kunkle
- I am the owner of The Fit Life, LLC. The Fit Life, LLC offers fitness instruction and nutrition counseling in a holistic way. I focus on personal training using mainly your own body strength--very little equipment. I also hold a certification in holistic nutrition. Because nutrition counseling regulations are very strict in Ohio, I'm still working on what nutrition services I can provide to my clients; however, I'm happy to provide general nutrition information. I enjoy teaching TRX, Indoor Cycling, and Boot Camps.
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