Having no kids ' wonderful way to live' - couple

Lee Slater and Sarah Bennett say having no children gives them time to focus on their relationship.
Lee Slater and Sarah Bennett say having no children gives them time to focus on their relationship.
A Wellington couple says not having children is "a wonderful way to live" that has given them time to focus on themselves and their relationship.

Self-employed travel writers Sarah Bennett and Lee Slater, both 42, have been married for more than half of the 20 years they have been together.

They openly discussed whether they wanted children early on in their relationship, and have no regrets about choosing a "child-free" life.

Ms Bennett said she never felt any pressure from her family to have children, and although friends had suggested over the years she would eventually regret the decisions, she had never wavered.

"I have never looked at a beautiful baby in a pushchair and thought, 'I want one.' I just didn't feel the urge."

Ms Bennett said children took a lot of time and financial commitment, so being child-free had given them more time to focus on themselves and their relationship.

"We are very well-formed individuals who work together in a relationship - we're not defined as the mother or the father. We can clearly be defined as individuals. I think that's really quite healthy.

"Some of our friends who have children say they never get a moment to themselves - hardly ever. It does feel like a luxury, but it's one that I would never have any regret about. It's a wonderful way to live."

Mr Slater said he loved his nieces and nephews and thoroughly enjoyed watching them growing up.

The couple had weighed up the pros and cons of having their own children, and were now making the most of what they had.

Mr Slater said the decision meant they had an equal division of labour and responsibilities. He also felt they spent more time together than the average couple - and had more time to themselves to pursue their own interests.

 

Family/No family

I think it is true when children are young, it can be hard to find time together.  When they are older it is different.   Another way of looking at this, is having really great adult friends.  I have a great companion in my husband, but my older boy has a sense of humour like me and is a really good companion too.  I would not swap having a family for anything. I do not think either is better, just different.

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