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EP #114: Childfree by Choice with Therese Shechter

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What it’s like to be midlife and childfree by choice.
  • What kind of judgement there is for women who chose not to have kids.
  • Why and how the cultural norm is to have children.
  • The difference between being “childfree” and “childless.”
  • Why it’s important to understand where your beliefs come from.
  • Why a good midlife strategy is to “shut out the noise” when it comes to others telling you who you’re supposed to be and what your worth is.


Welcome to another episode of the Women in the Middle podcast!

Not all women make the choice to have children. This week, we’re using a midlife lens and talking about what it’s like to be childfree by choice.

My guest today is Therese Shechter. She’s a 57 year old documentary filmmaker and writer in New York City.  She’s been making documentaries about ideas about womanhood that are sacred and exploring aspects of women’s lives that are rarely questioned, like motherhood.

Therese is a midlife women who made a decision not to have children years ago.  She is very familiar with being on the receiving end of unsolicited comments about this choice, everything from “you’re so selfish that you didn’t have children to “who will take care of you when you’re old.”

She introduces us to her documentary in progress, My So-Called Selfish Life, which is a first-person film exploration of having children, a subject so deeply embedded in the fabric of our society we take it for granted as part of the natural order.

As a society, it’s assumed that all women want children. In our culture, this seems like an obvious next step for many women, especially in their 20s and 30s. And yet, this assumption also suggests that it’s almost hard to imagine that a woman might make the choice NOT to become a mother. Many women make this choice and this interview will shed some light on their experience.

I know you’re going to love hearing this interesting perspective, one you may not be that familiar with, and I can’t wait for you to meet this very special woman in the middle.

Don’t miss this episode!

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