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Is Child-Free for Me?

Jill Zeligson Brenner & Saira John

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Is Child-Free for Me?
Is Child-Free for Me?

Is Child-Free for Me?

Jill Zeligson Brenner & Saira John

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About Us

This podcast is meant to be a forum for people who have decided or are in the process of deciding whether or not they want to have children. We hope to create a community to help affirm and validate those who are going through this process.

Latest Episodes

Episode 18 - George & Anne

EListen to our lively couples’ interview with George and Anne. This couple haschosen to remain anonymous for professional reasons so, their names have beenchanged to honor this request. George and Anne are in their mid to late 40’s andhave been together for more than two decades. They seem to share a beautifulfriendship and fulfilling partnership. They are both very loving, fun and openindividuals who are honest about their feelings and how they came to their decisionon children. However, children play a large role in their lives with them beingheavily involved in their nieces and nephew’s lives. Hear how child and earlyadulthood experiences shaped their views on what they want for their marriage andlife together. The views, information, or opinions expressed during the “Is Child-Free For Me?” podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not represent any professional advice dispensed by the hosts, Jill Brenner (social worker) and Saira John (psychologist). The podcast hosts happen to be licensed mental health therapists in the state of Texas; yet, they clearly state the nature of the podcast is for entertainment, advocacy, support and information-sharing purposes and not to be used in lieu of personal mental health services. Neither host is acting in a professional capacity in this podcast and deems their role as interviewer/host being informal and not falling within the purview of activities related to their respective professional licenses. All interviewees are aware their information, identifying demographics and content will be made public and have participated on their own free will and without coercion or external influences. All interviewees grant verbal consent to participate in this podcast. The hosts own all contents, rights and materials. This podcast is available for public listening and may be shared among individuals. However, any attempt to copy or reference specific information in the podcast for use in professional endeavors, without the express approval and knowledge of the hosts, is forbidden. The hosts assume no liability for any unforeseen implications this podcast or the impact the contents might have on its listeners and interviewees.

45 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Episode 18 - George & Anne

Episode 17 - Tanya Williams

EHere’s our exciting interview with Tanya Williams, businesswoman, digital marketing expert and author of the #1 rated book, “A Child Free Happily Ever After.” Tanya comes to us all the way from Brisbane, Australia. She found our podcast through an internet search and decided to contact us to make a connection based on our mutual interest in the childfree discussion. Tanya’s energy is so uplifting as she takes us on her journey through riveting storytelling and how she has manages her own expectations, relationships and the judgment received from others. Her positive bent on everything woman-empowerment is also inspiring and a reminder of how we need to support one another versus scrutinize and judge. Tanya shares THE perfect comeback to anyone who asks why you’re not having kids. She had us in stitches with her unflinching take on how not having kids has been right for her but she remains affirming and positive toward others who choose more traditional routes. Her quote of “wo...

26 MINJUN 26
Comments
Episode 17 - Tanya Williams

Episode 16 - Sarah & Michael

EListen to our second couples’ interview with Sarah and Michael. They heard of our podcast via Tammy (from a previous episode) who is founder of a kids-free meet up social group that they belong to. Sarah and Michael are both involved in pharmaceuticals with Sarah being a pharmacy tech supervisor at a hospital and Michael is a pharmacist. Sarah is currently shifting careers to become a radiology technician, is back in school and notes this change wouldn’t be possible if they had kids in their lives. Both of them are 31 and have been married for less than a year. Sarah and Michael are self-proclaimed “introverts” but felt compelled to participate in our podcast because the topic is of great interest to them. We appreciate their willingness to share their story with our listeners and us. When asked what has led them to decide they don’t want kids, it seems there wasn’t any pivotal event that definitively led them to this conclusion but rather an internal feeling that became stron...

42 MIN2018 APR 23
Comments
Episode 16 - Sarah & Michael

Episode 15 - Beth

EBeth Powers is a 32-year-old, married, designer and business owner. Jill and Beth first connected when she helped design Jill’s home. After their professional relationship ended, their connection continued on a personal level and they have since become good friends. Beth seems to have a Zen-like quality about her that instantly makes you feel at ease and comfortable. This must be one of the many reasons she is gifted at her job and able to manage the expectations of both spouses in what is often such an emotional process. Beth describes her evolution from automatically thinking at age 22 that she’ll have kids to more doubt regarding the issue. Her story isn’t fully told as she is not completely sure of which way she will ultimately land on the child-free topic but believes she is more on the NOT side for now. She talks about the various aspects that give her pause regarding having kids and how her career demands a large amount of time and energy that she likes having. Her husband...

33 MIN2018 MAR 19
Comments
Episode 15 - Beth

Episode 14 - Theresa & Brian

EJoin us for our exciting first couples interview! This couple is fun, successful, worldly, intelligent and grounded. Theresa Wylie is a 38-year-old who works for a software company and she is married to 35-year-old Brian, who owns a software company. They have been married for 5 years and met on the dating website okcupid.com. When they completed their profiles on this site, one of their questions asked about their desire for kids. Both of them stated they didn’t want children. This particular question seemed to be grouped with other “deal breaker” questions. And, based on a mathematical algorithm, Brian and Theresa were deemed a match. Even though the “having kids” question alone wasn’t a determining factor in their match, it certainly played a role and helped to get that issue out-of-the-way before even meeting. Theresa comes from a large, Catholic family where procreation is assumed after marriage. She noted her parents never gave her a hard time regarding not wanting kids ...

68 MIN2018 FEB 19
Comments
Episode 14 - Theresa & Brian

Episode 13 Rick

EOur interview with Rick Levinson, LCSW, is special for several reasons. Rick trained both of us in the therapeutic technique of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is something that has highly influenced our therapy practices and reinvigorated our passion for our work. Another reason this interview is a standout is because Rick has been married for several decades and has a 32-year-old son. So, he doesn’t fit the typical guest profile but he is definitely an advocate for those who have chosen the child-free life. His child-free beliefs come from his many years of work as a social worker and the themes he has gleaned from his professional experiences. Rick, who is in his early 60’s, also reflects on his formative years and how child-free couples in his neighborhood were viewed and the impression that made on him. His take on this issue is one you have to hear! Rick is incredibly smart, well-spoken, thoughtful and direct in his message. You’ll leave this int...

27 MIN2018 JAN 22
Comments
Episode 13 Rick

Episode 12 - Bill

EOur interview with Bill is filled with so many interesting twists and turns that you’ll be on the edge of your seat. He is a thoughtful individual who has formed his opinion on the topic after much time and consideration. Bill is a 50-year-old, single (once divorced), man who works for Star Flight as an EMT-P in Austin, Texas. He is our first male interviewee and his perspective certainly brings another angle to this hotly debated topic. There appears to be several differences related to how men and women are approached about this decision and what type and degree of judgment each experiences. Bill discussed his marriage in his 20’s and how the issue of having children served as an impasse they had to navigate. Bill eventually became so sure of his decision that he elected to have a vasectomy. However, even after this definitive intervention, he continued to have some doubts about his choice. The on going questioning of this decision is something that seems to arise for many of ou...

42 MIN2017 DEC 18
Comments
Episode 12 - Bill

Episode 11 Tammy

ETammy is a 42-year-old, married woman who is a designer for a publishing company. We discovered Tammy through an on-line Meetup group she founded called “Childfree by Choice Couples.” Since Tammy and her husband relocated from Florida to Austin, they were eager to meet other couples that have chosen to remain childfree, hence the creation of this group. At the time of our interview, Tammy reported 130 individuals had signed up for her Meetup group and they’ve held several successful events around the Austin area. Tammy’s story mainly involves her realization of how much emotional and physical energy is involved in raising a child. This level of responsibility does not fit well with what she has envisioned for her life. Though she also references the term “selfish” in her description, it is slowly turning that language into “self-care” that seems to be the challenge. Aside from judgment from others, it seems that trying not to judge oneself is an on-going struggle for many. T...

32 MIN2017 NOV 20
Comments
Episode 11 Tammy

Episode 10 Sezin

ETake a listen to our interview with Sezin. She is a 38-year-old woman who describes herself as a “Wear Your Voice Magazine contributor, HuffPost blogger, feminist, artist, horror novelist, tattoo collector, Frida Kahlo devotee, Third Culture Kid, who lives in Lighthouse Point, Florida after a lifetime living abroad.” Sezin is half Lithuanian-American and half Sri-Lankan and has been married to her husband for 11 years. Since she has lived abroad, she shares some interesting perspectives from around the world regarding our central question. Sezin is well versed in environmental and political issues and what part that has played in her decision. It seems Sezin has received aggressive scrutiny and criticism by strangers and acquaintances because she is vocal about her stance. You’ll hear how her experience contrasts with that of her husband’s and the double standard that is prevalent in our society. She is a real advocate for women who have decided their path and hopes others will ...

47 MIN2017 OCT 23
Comments
Episode 10 Sezin

Episode 9 - Jul

ETalk about getting to the point! Ha! Our Skype guest, Jul, is a 38-year-old, Asian-Indian, never married woman who works in the IT industry and is based in Manhattan. She grew up in Southern India and immigrated to the United States 10 years ago. Jul is fiercely independent and very open and unapologetic about her life decisions. This is especially noteworthy because of the traditional culture from which she hails. The intersection of culture and expectations are themes that weave their way throughout her story. Jul’s frank way of stating her stance is refreshing. She seems to have not wavered at all in her choices and wishes others would see that she’s good with her life, as is. Her hope is that she will not be plagued by questions related to marriage, children and who will care for her in old age. Help more people find our podcast!Rate & Review us here! Get the scoopbefore the episode comes out! Please visit our website andsubscribe to ourNewsletter! Check us out at www.ischildf...

28 MIN2017 SEP 25
Comments
Episode 9 - Jul

Latest Episodes

Episode 18 - George & Anne

EListen to our lively couples’ interview with George and Anne. This couple haschosen to remain anonymous for professional reasons so, their names have beenchanged to honor this request. George and Anne are in their mid to late 40’s andhave been together for more than two decades. They seem to share a beautifulfriendship and fulfilling partnership. They are both very loving, fun and openindividuals who are honest about their feelings and how they came to their decisionon children. However, children play a large role in their lives with them beingheavily involved in their nieces and nephew’s lives. Hear how child and earlyadulthood experiences shaped their views on what they want for their marriage andlife together. The views, information, or opinions expressed during the “Is Child-Free For Me?” podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not represent any professional advice dispensed by the hosts, Jill Brenner (social worker) and Saira John (psychologist). The podcast hosts happen to be licensed mental health therapists in the state of Texas; yet, they clearly state the nature of the podcast is for entertainment, advocacy, support and information-sharing purposes and not to be used in lieu of personal mental health services. Neither host is acting in a professional capacity in this podcast and deems their role as interviewer/host being informal and not falling within the purview of activities related to their respective professional licenses. All interviewees are aware their information, identifying demographics and content will be made public and have participated on their own free will and without coercion or external influences. All interviewees grant verbal consent to participate in this podcast. The hosts own all contents, rights and materials. This podcast is available for public listening and may be shared among individuals. However, any attempt to copy or reference specific information in the podcast for use in professional endeavors, without the express approval and knowledge of the hosts, is forbidden. The hosts assume no liability for any unforeseen implications this podcast or the impact the contents might have on its listeners and interviewees.

45 MIN3 weeks ago
Comments
Episode 18 - George & Anne

Episode 17 - Tanya Williams

EHere’s our exciting interview with Tanya Williams, businesswoman, digital marketing expert and author of the #1 rated book, “A Child Free Happily Ever After.” Tanya comes to us all the way from Brisbane, Australia. She found our podcast through an internet search and decided to contact us to make a connection based on our mutual interest in the childfree discussion. Tanya’s energy is so uplifting as she takes us on her journey through riveting storytelling and how she has manages her own expectations, relationships and the judgment received from others. Her positive bent on everything woman-empowerment is also inspiring and a reminder of how we need to support one another versus scrutinize and judge. Tanya shares THE perfect comeback to anyone who asks why you’re not having kids. She had us in stitches with her unflinching take on how not having kids has been right for her but she remains affirming and positive toward others who choose more traditional routes. Her quote of “wo...

26 MINJUN 26
Comments
Episode 17 - Tanya Williams

Episode 16 - Sarah & Michael

EListen to our second couples’ interview with Sarah and Michael. They heard of our podcast via Tammy (from a previous episode) who is founder of a kids-free meet up social group that they belong to. Sarah and Michael are both involved in pharmaceuticals with Sarah being a pharmacy tech supervisor at a hospital and Michael is a pharmacist. Sarah is currently shifting careers to become a radiology technician, is back in school and notes this change wouldn’t be possible if they had kids in their lives. Both of them are 31 and have been married for less than a year. Sarah and Michael are self-proclaimed “introverts” but felt compelled to participate in our podcast because the topic is of great interest to them. We appreciate their willingness to share their story with our listeners and us. When asked what has led them to decide they don’t want kids, it seems there wasn’t any pivotal event that definitively led them to this conclusion but rather an internal feeling that became stron...

42 MIN2018 APR 23
Comments
Episode 16 - Sarah & Michael

Episode 15 - Beth

EBeth Powers is a 32-year-old, married, designer and business owner. Jill and Beth first connected when she helped design Jill’s home. After their professional relationship ended, their connection continued on a personal level and they have since become good friends. Beth seems to have a Zen-like quality about her that instantly makes you feel at ease and comfortable. This must be one of the many reasons she is gifted at her job and able to manage the expectations of both spouses in what is often such an emotional process. Beth describes her evolution from automatically thinking at age 22 that she’ll have kids to more doubt regarding the issue. Her story isn’t fully told as she is not completely sure of which way she will ultimately land on the child-free topic but believes she is more on the NOT side for now. She talks about the various aspects that give her pause regarding having kids and how her career demands a large amount of time and energy that she likes having. Her husband...

33 MIN2018 MAR 19
Comments
Episode 15 - Beth

Episode 14 - Theresa & Brian

EJoin us for our exciting first couples interview! This couple is fun, successful, worldly, intelligent and grounded. Theresa Wylie is a 38-year-old who works for a software company and she is married to 35-year-old Brian, who owns a software company. They have been married for 5 years and met on the dating website okcupid.com. When they completed their profiles on this site, one of their questions asked about their desire for kids. Both of them stated they didn’t want children. This particular question seemed to be grouped with other “deal breaker” questions. And, based on a mathematical algorithm, Brian and Theresa were deemed a match. Even though the “having kids” question alone wasn’t a determining factor in their match, it certainly played a role and helped to get that issue out-of-the-way before even meeting. Theresa comes from a large, Catholic family where procreation is assumed after marriage. She noted her parents never gave her a hard time regarding not wanting kids ...

68 MIN2018 FEB 19
Comments
Episode 14 - Theresa & Brian

Episode 13 Rick

EOur interview with Rick Levinson, LCSW, is special for several reasons. Rick trained both of us in the therapeutic technique of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is something that has highly influenced our therapy practices and reinvigorated our passion for our work. Another reason this interview is a standout is because Rick has been married for several decades and has a 32-year-old son. So, he doesn’t fit the typical guest profile but he is definitely an advocate for those who have chosen the child-free life. His child-free beliefs come from his many years of work as a social worker and the themes he has gleaned from his professional experiences. Rick, who is in his early 60’s, also reflects on his formative years and how child-free couples in his neighborhood were viewed and the impression that made on him. His take on this issue is one you have to hear! Rick is incredibly smart, well-spoken, thoughtful and direct in his message. You’ll leave this int...

27 MIN2018 JAN 22
Comments
Episode 13 Rick

Episode 12 - Bill

EOur interview with Bill is filled with so many interesting twists and turns that you’ll be on the edge of your seat. He is a thoughtful individual who has formed his opinion on the topic after much time and consideration. Bill is a 50-year-old, single (once divorced), man who works for Star Flight as an EMT-P in Austin, Texas. He is our first male interviewee and his perspective certainly brings another angle to this hotly debated topic. There appears to be several differences related to how men and women are approached about this decision and what type and degree of judgment each experiences. Bill discussed his marriage in his 20’s and how the issue of having children served as an impasse they had to navigate. Bill eventually became so sure of his decision that he elected to have a vasectomy. However, even after this definitive intervention, he continued to have some doubts about his choice. The on going questioning of this decision is something that seems to arise for many of ou...

42 MIN2017 DEC 18
Comments
Episode 12 - Bill

Episode 11 Tammy

ETammy is a 42-year-old, married woman who is a designer for a publishing company. We discovered Tammy through an on-line Meetup group she founded called “Childfree by Choice Couples.” Since Tammy and her husband relocated from Florida to Austin, they were eager to meet other couples that have chosen to remain childfree, hence the creation of this group. At the time of our interview, Tammy reported 130 individuals had signed up for her Meetup group and they’ve held several successful events around the Austin area. Tammy’s story mainly involves her realization of how much emotional and physical energy is involved in raising a child. This level of responsibility does not fit well with what she has envisioned for her life. Though she also references the term “selfish” in her description, it is slowly turning that language into “self-care” that seems to be the challenge. Aside from judgment from others, it seems that trying not to judge oneself is an on-going struggle for many. T...

32 MIN2017 NOV 20
Comments
Episode 11 Tammy

Episode 10 Sezin

ETake a listen to our interview with Sezin. She is a 38-year-old woman who describes herself as a “Wear Your Voice Magazine contributor, HuffPost blogger, feminist, artist, horror novelist, tattoo collector, Frida Kahlo devotee, Third Culture Kid, who lives in Lighthouse Point, Florida after a lifetime living abroad.” Sezin is half Lithuanian-American and half Sri-Lankan and has been married to her husband for 11 years. Since she has lived abroad, she shares some interesting perspectives from around the world regarding our central question. Sezin is well versed in environmental and political issues and what part that has played in her decision. It seems Sezin has received aggressive scrutiny and criticism by strangers and acquaintances because she is vocal about her stance. You’ll hear how her experience contrasts with that of her husband’s and the double standard that is prevalent in our society. She is a real advocate for women who have decided their path and hopes others will ...

47 MIN2017 OCT 23
Comments
Episode 10 Sezin

Episode 9 - Jul

ETalk about getting to the point! Ha! Our Skype guest, Jul, is a 38-year-old, Asian-Indian, never married woman who works in the IT industry and is based in Manhattan. She grew up in Southern India and immigrated to the United States 10 years ago. Jul is fiercely independent and very open and unapologetic about her life decisions. This is especially noteworthy because of the traditional culture from which she hails. The intersection of culture and expectations are themes that weave their way throughout her story. Jul’s frank way of stating her stance is refreshing. She seems to have not wavered at all in her choices and wishes others would see that she’s good with her life, as is. Her hope is that she will not be plagued by questions related to marriage, children and who will care for her in old age. Help more people find our podcast!Rate & Review us here! Get the scoopbefore the episode comes out! Please visit our website andsubscribe to ourNewsletter! Check us out at www.ischildf...

28 MIN2017 SEP 25
Comments
Episode 9 - Jul