Australian model Ellie Gonsalves shares 117 reasons why she doesn't want children

Ellie Gonsalves and her list
Photo credit: @ellie_gonsalves / Instagram

In this day and age, more and more Gen Z and Millennial women are considering not having children, citing factors such as climate change, career aspirations, and ongoing inflation.

However, one woman has taken it a step further, sharing her 117 reasons for remaining child-free in response to constant questioning by her followers.  

Taking to her Instagram Story on Sunday, Australian model and actress Ellie Gonsalves, 33, shared a screen-recording of her Notes app, in which she'd written a "very honest personal list" documenting the reasons why she will remain childless.  

Captioning the footage, Gonsalves wrote: "After years of being asked why I don't want children, I compiled this as it always seemed a short reason was never good enough or understood.  

"This is in more detail for those asking. It's my own PERSONAL thoughts based on a lot of my own experiences or things very honest people have shared with me personally or online. Some people are made to be parents and that is amazing (I am so happy if you are happy!!!!) but that life is just not [for] me."  

After receiving backlash for her candidness, Gonsalves doubled down by sharing the list to her Instagram grid - a more permanent feature that doesn't expire after 24 hours - and a lengthy response hitting back at her critics.  

"I had many people saying to me today (out of love), 'Are you sure you want to post this list?'," she began. "I have also already received hundreds of dms [direct messages] criticising me, telling me how much of a horrible & broken person I am.  

"And while some of those things on my list are satirical, many are serious & factual. Societal pressure when it comes to this topic [is] truly questionable & I believe unfair towards those with differing opinions & rarely do we see a voice in support of this… because let's face it, the public backlash can be too much."   

Gonsalves added the most common question she and her partner of 15 years, Ross Scutts, receive is, 'When are you having children?' - particularly after tying the knot earlier this year.

"I have found that unfortunately, most of these responses come from a place that carries no education about my (or someone else's) personal situation, my life, my desires & my requirements for me to live a happy & healthy life," she went on.

"I get it, I understand that's how that person feels, but I don't need to accept it & I certainly don't need to accept the pressure that comes along with a loaded question, coming from someone who is clearly living a different life to me by either wanting children, having children or who has children.

"My position is NOT for everyone, it's for one person, the person I am talking on behalf of, ME. I have & will ALWAYS be respectful of people's opinions & decisions that they make for themselves on something that is not hateful or hurtful."

Gonsalves ended her message by vowing to support other women who are child-free by choice, and urged them to stand strong in their beliefs, particularly during the holidays - a time that can lead to intrusive or potentially offensive questioning at family gatherings.  

"I do think it's unnecessary, often cruel and most times hurtful to make anyone feel less than for choosing something different to this."  

Among her 117 reasons for remaining child-free were "they are your responsibility until the day you die"; "they [the child] can be bullied/can be bullies"; "there will never be a break from parenthood"; "you will watch your child scramble for already limited resources, e.g., jobs, housing"; "their suffering is your suffering"; and "children can lead to relationship breakdowns".  

Despite the ongoing backlash, Gonsalves' list also prompted an outpouring of support and messages of solidarity from other women who wish to remain child-free, with many applauding the 33-year-old's honesty and bid to normalise childlessness. Several also shared their own experiences, with some admitting that despite having children, they wished they had taken a different path.  

"I never wanted kids. Now that I have them, I know why I didn't want them. Now that they are here of course I love them and do everything for them, but the daily grind is hard. People who PUSH kids on you are miserable and want you to suffer like they do," internet personality Iva Marra shared in the comments.  

"There are enough kids in this world anyway, not every woman's job is to reproduce, sometimes we need ones like you with a really hot body that protects animals and entertains and do a million other things."  

"I was so stressed about the fact I was meant to have children as a woman, I didn't ever really think about if I actually WANTED CHILDREN. Then at 35 I froze my eggs. Lifted that societal pressure completely, and I realised within an hour of my egg collection," influencer Clare Verrall agreed.  

"[I] immediately felt that in my core I didn't want to have children of my own. I would like to foster in time. Haven't regretted that decision for a moment."