DINKs = Us!
We are DINKs! If readers aren’t familiar with that term, it means Dual Income No Kids (DINKs). TIME magazine coined the term a couple of years back when the magazine was describing different types of income groups among Gen-Xers and Millenials. Apparently, the DINK segment of the population is large enough now to warrant a unique name. I’d like to take this chance to explain why we are DINKs and love it!
Why are we DINKs?
The reason I often hear from folks is that my husband and I chose not to have children and be DINKs so we could retire early. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We chose not to have children because we liked our lives just fine without any children in them. We never felt like we were missing anything or wanted anything more. This was a conscious decision made long before we got married.
I will say my husband and I get a lot of crap from people for not having kids. I get the brunt of it more because I am the woman and therefore should want to bear and raise children. However, I’d like to point out we are just as normal as the couple with children. We can both be happy and live with our choices.
I think of it like this. Some people wanted to grow up and be doctors. Other people did not. It’s simply a choice of someone pursuing what he or she wants to do.
Did your husband know you didn’t want kids?
I get asked this question a lot, and I mean a lot! As a matter of fact, why yes he did. And he married me anyway. Much like most people talk about wanting to have kids before they are married, we talked about how we thought life would be fine without children. I really wanted to travel and raise puppies. Those were the two things (and still are the two things) that really interested me. My husband agreed.
The idea of having and raising children never really was something I was interested in doing. I never played house or pretended to be a mom, but instead played veterinarian. My friends would think of their baby names and talk about their weddings. I would instead read an atlas and plan trips. It doesn’t mean we couldn’t be friends. It just meant we wanted different lives.
Even as I grew older, I didn’t like learning anything about labor and delivery class in nursing school. Then, viewing a live birth made me nauseous. I saw it and thought, never, ever will that be me. I have seen bones sticking out of people and gaping head wounds, which didn’t bother me at all. But a woman in labor, no thank you.
Again, I think of it like this: It’s like some people enjoy running marathons and others have no interest and would rather watch from the sidelines. I’d rather watch from the sidelines when it comes to raising children.
DINKs must hate kids!
Quite the contrary. I like kids. My husband likes kids. Kids like us too. We know many other DINKs who also like children. In fact, I worked as a pediatric trauma and pediatric oncology nurse for a long time, because I wanted to help kids.
We have nieces and nephews and friends’ kids who we love very much. We like to play with them, get them all riled up, and then give them back. Much like grandparents do with them.
What will we do when we’re old?
Another interesting question I get asked quite often. Apparently not having children will ruin any plan for us to retire in good health and live independently.
This question boggles my mind. First off, many children don’t live near their parents and aren’t able to help out every day. (My husband and I are two of these types of children. We are over 1000 miles from our closest relatives) So it’s not like having children provides an automatic care taker. Nor, in my personal opinion, should giving birth to a care taker be the reason for having children.
Just because we won’t have children doesn’t mean we won’t have anyone around us to help. DINKs have friends. DINKs have family. I also imagine there will be healthcare, with people who are paid to help us, available wherever we live. My grandmother was active in her garden into her late 80s, so hopefully we will be as lucky.
How can you be happy without kids?
I also get this question a lot. I’ve never had children and I’ve managed to be happy. Very happy in fact. I feel happy when I hike outside with my dogs, who I consider my babies. Skiing and diving with my husband brings a huge smile to my face. Splitting a bottle of wine with friends and a few hours of girl-talk is something that brings me great pleasure. I love soaking in the hot tub under a starry sky. And more than anything, I love traveling the world to new destinations with my husband and friends. I’ve been happy almost 36 years without children. I see no reason to rock the boat.