This Canadian influencer is child-free by choice: 'I most certainly never had that maternal instinct'

The 46-year-old influencer talks embracing a child-free lifestyle as Canada's fertility rate hits an all-time low.

Dominique Baker decided to go child-free in her 20s. (Images via Instagram/Canva)
Dominique Baker decided to go child-free in her 20s. (Images via Instagram/Canva)

In a society where the traditional family model often sets the standard, Dominique Baker, a Canadian influencer, stands out for her decision to live an independent, child-free life.

In an interview with Yahoo Canada, Baker, 46, reflected on her journey and the pressures that come with opting out of parenthood, especially as a Black woman. With Canada's birth rate declining, Baker's child-free lifestyle sparks a broader conversation about choice, identity and gender roles.

"I love children, and obviously we need kids to keep the human race going, but the pressure — especially on Black women — it's just, it's just got to stop," Baker said.

Baker's upbringing was a mix of warmth, discipline and high expectations. Her childhood experience, particularly her relationship with her mother and the arrival of her younger siblings, played a significant role in shaping her perspective on motherhood.

“My mother was definitely loving, but sort of cold. She wasn't the most huggy, touchy-feely person. I felt like I inherited that from her,” Baker confessed. “It was all about grades and acting on the straight and narrow. Children are to be seen, not heard.”

Baker never felt the urge to follow the same path as her childhood friends.

"Even as a kid, all of my little girlfriends; their goal was to find a nice guy, get married, and have children, and I never had that biological clock ticking away...I most certainly never had that maternal instinct,” she admitted.

Baker also said the sacrifices her parents made to support their three children financially also impacted her decision.

“I decided not to [have children] so that I could live my best life,” she said. “I just wanted a little bit more for myself. I wanted to travel the world. I wanted to be able to get a good education — which my parents provided for me — and really focus on my career.”

In her 30s, Baker became "really comfortable" with her child-free decision. The Ottawa-based content creator disagrees with the idea that having children ensures there's someone to take care of her in her golden years.

“It's very, very selfish to have a kid for the sole reason of having a caregiver when you're old and you're dying," Baker said. “If I'm dying... my kid would probably be in their 50s. Why should she spend her retirement taking care of me? What if my dying process takes 10 to 15 years? It's just unfair.”

Stop making [women] feel bad if they want to put their career first..Dominique Baker

She also says society needs to stop pressuring women.

“Stop making [women] feel bad if they want to put their career first... Mind your own business. Stay in your own lane," she said.

Canada's fertility rate is on the decline — but is it by choice?

A new report from Stats Canada noted that the country's fertility rate reached an all-time low of 1.33 children per woman in 2022. According to Kate Choi, the director of Western University's Centre for Research on Social Inequality, this shift is not a statistical anomaly, but a reflection of complex social, economic, and gender-based factors influencing individuals' decisions about parenthood.

“Places where there is a rapid rise in housing prices, those are also the types of places where people tend to have lower fertility rates,” Choi said in an interview with Yahoo Canada.

Choi points to the "rapid increases in cost of living" as another contributing factor as to many young people's decision to delay starting a family or opting out of parenthood altogether.

“In particular the cost of things like daycare as well as the cost of raising children overall,” Choi noted. “We are seeing parents report that they're having a hard time finding affordable and high quality child care access.”

Why are Canadians deciding to go child-free? The rising cost of living may play a factor. (Image via Getty Images)
Why are Canadians deciding to go child-free? The rising cost of living may play a factor. (Image via Getty Images)

According to Choi, a recent Statistics Canada report indicated that on average, before reaching the age of 17, “A two parent middle class family spends roughly $300,000 CAD per child.” Furthermore, that figure increases by 29 percent “if they're supporting the child until they reach the age of 22.”

According to Choi, Canadians aren’t childless by choice, but because it’s simply not within their means.

“Raising children is becoming a lot more expensive, so a lot of the Canadians, particularly young couples, are really thinking about whether or not they can have children,” Choi explained.

Choi points to the rise in “precarious jobs,” often filled by newcomers and young adults facing significant economic uncertainty."

This uncertainty, coupled with the competitive nature of securing long-term, high-paying jobs, causes women and couples to delay starting families, leading in some cases to foregone fertility altogether.

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