Childless and Happy
"People just assume because we got married and bought a house in suburbia that we are going to have children," says Aaron, who has been married to Rachael for more than three years.
 
"For us, kids just don't fit into our lifestyle," adds Rachael. She says they consider their two dogs to be their "babies."
 
The couple says not everyone is pleased with their choice. "Within a couple of days after we got married, my mother and [Rachael's] mother started to decide what the grandmother names were going to be," recalls Aaron. [AD]
 
"When I heard that Aaron and Rachael didn't want to have children, I was very disappointed," says Aaron's mother, Michele. "It had never occurred to me that they might not want to have children."
 
Noting that the couple is in their 20s, Michele says, "When you're that young, you don't really realize how important your family can be later on. When they get to be much older, they may regret it."
 
"We are happy and childless," Aaron declares with a grin.
 
"Who was the driver in this?" Dr. Phil asks the couple, referring to their decision to remain childless.
 
"I think I was the one to initially bring it up," Rachael responds. "It was interesting, because we moved out to a house in the suburbs of Denver thinking that we were going to raise a family, thinking that we were going to have children. As we saw friends and family begin to have families, we began to just think about it, weigh the pros and cons, and realize that that's maybe not for us."
 
"You don't want to trade your lifestyle," Dr. Phil surmises.
 
"Partly, but I think we don't have that initial burning desire [to be parents]," Rachael replies. [AD]
 
Dr. Phil turns to Aaron's mother, Michele, in the audience. "What do you think about this?" he inquires. "Because you were thinking about being a grandma and all of that, correct?"
 
"Oh, I was thinking about it, I was dreaming about it, I was talking about it, I was shopping for it. It was happening!" Michele declares.
 
"You want them to change their mind?" Dr. Phil asks.
 
"I want you to change their mind!" Michelle replies with a laugh.
 
"Have your really thought about the fact that you may come to regret this, and it's too late?" Dr. Phil asks the couple.
 
"Absolutely," Aaron replies.
 
"It's a much better decision to go into it now saying, ‘This is just not right for us at the moment,' rather than following society's expectation and pressures," Rachael adds.
 
"There is a fair amount of research out there that suggests that there is a significant percentage of mothers who do regret it," Dr. Phil points out. "You really need to want to do it before you do it. If you have doubts about it, regardless of how other people feel about it, you're exactly right to not do it. People who are putting these judgments on you, and these expectations on you, let me assure you, they deliver this pearl of wisdom, and then they go home. You cannot give your power away to those people." [AD]
 
Dr. Phil shares his personal reflections on becoming a father.
 
Dr. Phil advises the couple to revisit their decision each year, to make sure that they haven't changed their minds.
 
Read Dr. Phil's blog about becoming a grandfather!