Do you ever wonder what Childfree Life really looks and feels like?

Sure, there are the party days of your 20s & 30s (which we both crushed by the way!) but what happens when things start to "slow down" at 50?

Is fun still a priority? Does the worry about the elder years increase or decrease? Does regret set in or fade into oblivion? Is building community with new childfree friends possible?

We share answers and insights to all of this PLUS, wecover topics that matter to all of us- health and wellness, relationships, investments, career, travel and lots more!


Does Childhood Affect Your Childfree Choice? Ina Garten “The Barefoot Contessa” did a recent interview where she spoke about her childfree choice and how she “did not want to recreate her childhood”. Rick and I were inspired to post about this on our social media accounts and decided to discuss if that was a reason for us as well. 

Also in this first episode of 2024, we share some details of our NYE party where I performed a choreographed dance routine for one of my best friends. Continuing on our true crime obsession, an investigation scene left Rick wondering if we “have to” say congratulations to people who announce a pregnancy. 


Rick: here we go. Happy 2024, babe.

Veronica: Happy New Year. Happy New Year. I have tried to bundle up because it is cold here in Austin. I don't like it at all.

Rick: You know, we can't complain that much because we come from New York where it was like minus 10 degrees and we're in Austin and cold for us now is 50 degrees and people that are in the northeast right now are listening to this.

Veronica: Yeah, but you know what? I think it's still valid. I think everyone's. You know, you get used to one temperature and then anything becomes cold. My mom is cold at 70 degrees now. So I agree with you. It depends on where you live. But yeah, I'm going to say that I'm very cold today. Uh, but I'm excited. We actually posted, uh, something earlier about how.

Childhood, um, may or may not have affected your life, uh, as far as choosing to be child free. So we'll talk about that later. But, um, yeah, I just wanted to start off [00:01:00] by saying happy new year to you as well. And we have so much to talk about. It's exciting. We're starting the year off. We launched our podcast a few months back.

So we haven't had an official new year podcast yet. This is our first one and I'm really looking forward to it. Are you?

Rick: Yeah, I mean, I'm I came into this first podcast of 2024 with excitement, joy, gratitude, and I have a lot on my mind.

Veronica: I know. I know. Uh. I have a lot on my mind. Before you start. Yeah, I know.

You have a lot. But before you start, I just want to remind people that we are going to be, um, having guests on the podcast this year. So if you want to be a guest, an expert guest, and what we're looking for is really people who we want to talk about all the topics that are important to us, whether it's, uh, real estate finances, health and wellness.

Food, fashion, uh, travel, anything, [00:02:00] um, under the child free umbrella. So if you're interested in that, if you're an expert in, in those fields and want to talk to us about it, we put up a form both on the podcast page of our website, and we'll put it in the show notes as well, which you'll find in the description.

Rick: Yeah. And that's a good point because one of the reasons why we called it the child free connection plus is because not only are we just talking about being child free and what goes along with that, but. Also, everything outside of your life, right? It, everything that encompasses your life. So that's why we added the plus just throwing that out there.

Veronica: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that we also, uh, talked about having some of our members of our, um, membership community here on the show as well, so that they can share the story. So it's going to be a. fun, interesting year for our podcast and I'm really looking forward to it. But I did want to bring up, we were watching a show last night.

And if you don't know yet, Rick and I are obsessed with true crime. We watched true crime, everything on the sun. It's to the point. I think [00:03:00] we've watched almost every true crime documentary or docu series that exists.

Rick: At least on Netflix. I mean, here's the thing. It's, we don't just watch true. Crime documentaries, we watch true crime, scripted shows that are like television show, like everything, is that a weird thing that we're obsessed with true


Veronica: Um, well, some of our community members are on board. Some are not. We have friends that absolutely refuse to watch it. We love it. To me, it's like this warm, cozy blanket, and we usually watch it right before bed, which is probably the worst time as you're falling asleep. You're listening to someone just, you know, talking about a murder, but I don't know.

We're into

Rick: it. Let me ask you a question. Do you feel That you have enough information in your arsenal that if you wanted to commit a crime, that you would know what to do and what not to do to a certain degree.

Veronica: Uh, I know why you're asking this, because [00:04:00] this came up the other night. Did it? I don't even remember.

Remember we were talking about, we were watching a show and the person threw the gun like out the window that they just shot from a window. And we were like, well, what, that's so dumb. What would you do with a gun? And we live in front of a lake. And you were saying how you just dump it in the lake. And I was like, I don't think that's the best place.

So anyway, we started having this in depth conversation about how we would hide the weapon or where would we, so to answer your question, I think that, um, I just. It's not so much on the murder side, thank goodness, but I think that I feel that I would ask the right questions when investigating a crime at this point.

So, I don't know. I'm more on that side.

Rick: I'm happy you're not thinking about murder. That's good. But, I mean, I do want to say, when you said throwing the gun in the lake. You were like, no, I would drive [00:05:00] upstate and I would go somewhere else and I would throw it. And I was like, what about all the cameras that would be taking pictures of you going through tolls?

So like, there's a lot that goes into this and you really got to take all that to account. Um, you could go and break that down as much as you want. And another thing we've realized is that, God forbid, we're ever in the wrong place at the wrong time and we get arrested. And we go, what's the first thing we say if we get arrested and we're being interrogated?

Lawyer. Yeah.

Veronica: Lawyer. Or even if someone comes to our door and wants to ask us a few questions about something. Lawyer. Lawyer. Lawyer. Because also we've seen too many shows where people get convicted of a crime they didn't commit. So, that's what we're referring to here. I mean, we've seen so many of those.

So yeah, lawyer. If you don't watch these shows, that's what you want to say every time. Do not answer any questions.

Rick: Every show is consistent in that regard. It is always about they talk too much before their lawyer is there and it just buries them and sometimes falsely, you [00:06:00] know, it's like, it's crazy, but yeah, the obsession of true crime docuseries and scripted television is real.

And it's very, uh, abundant in this household on a, on a daily basis.

Veronica: So we were watching a show where the detective goes to see, I think it was a suspect's house with the wife and the wife was pregnant. And the detective said, when he saw the wife, he said, Oh, congratulations. And then Rick pauses the show and looks at me and says, Why do we have to say congratulations?

And that's where it all

Rick: started. So that sounds very harsh and rude right off the top, just the way it comes out like that. But let me just

Veronica: break it down a little bit. You didn't say it harsh and rude, but yes. I know. No, no, no.

Rick: I posed a question, but I do want to bring this up in a sense that, okay. I'm, I think congratulations is, is a very polite thing to say.

So I'm going to preface by saying that on anything, really, if you do, you know, any kind of [00:07:00] accomplishment. But what I questioned in this case is just that it's just very routine that the minute she, Oh, I'm pregnant. Oh, congratulations. And I'm like, I'm coming in hot on in 2024 with this, with this thought.

Is it really worth the congratulations? It's, you know, breathing is involuntary. So like, you don't congratulate someone on breathing every day. And I'm not saying it's equal to that, but my thought is, is it's like, it's just kind of what people do that want to have children is have babies. And does it warn a congratulations?

It's open for discussion. What are your thoughts? I know this is probably a hot topic, but,

Veronica: uh, you know, I always say congratulations, and I think we always say congratulations, but after you mentioned it, because when you 1st said it, I thought it was a little bit harsh, but then I thought about it and I was thinking, is it something that we're just [00:08:00] conditioned?

To do, like everything else around this topic. Um, and I see your point in saying that two people had intercourse and created a Had sex,

Rick: had intercourse. What are you, what are you, 80? Two people had intercourse, therefore, jeez, they had sex. Alright, continue, I get it.

Veronica: Try to be polite about

Rick: it. Alright, well, I'm clearly calling you out on that.

Alright, go ahead.

Veronica: Alright, two people had sex, they created a human, and now We're congratulating. I feel like, let me pause here. I don't know. I'm on the fence

Rick: with this one. Let me, let me actually stop you there. Okay. I do think that when the baby comes out, when you deliver the child, that kind of warrants a congratulations because there's this new human being there, whatever.

Well, not

Veronica: to mention what the mom just endured for the past 10 [00:09:00] months.

Rick: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Great point. Great point. I'm talking about just the fact that. The pregnant part. Congratulations. You're pregnant. I'm gonna wait. I'm gonna wait to when the baby's there. If I've, you know, friends, family, kids, then I'll say congratulations.

But, but now it's what do you say when someone says I'm pregnant? You're like, Oh, that's cool.

You know, like, oh, that's cool for you. Actually, that's better. That's cool for you. Now, I wouldn't want that, but that's cool for you. Right. What do you think about that?

Veronica: Is that rude? Like, what do you, what do you say instead? Or do, or what do I think about it?

Rick: That's cool. What do you think about saying, yeah, that's cool for you?

That's kind of rude, right? That's going to come off. It feels

Veronica: rude. I don't know. I don't know. I mean, why don't we ask our listeners and if you're watching YouTube comment and or hit us up on our social because I'm not sure. I'm not sure about this one. I don't know what what else we can say. I'm not saying you're wrong.

I'm just [00:10:00] saying, um, I need to think about whether Um That's something we've been conditioned into doing, which clearly we have, but is it, is it the right time to say it? I'm not sure. It's a good question. What about, what about,

Rick: I think, yeah, what about this, you know, oh, I'm pregnant on purpose or accident?

Oh, God. Is that bad? I'm being serious.

I mean, because most people, no, most people, no, listen, I, I wasn't trying to be funny. I really mean that a lot of people don't, they, they self admit that, oh, this is an accident, but we're a happy accident if they want to, so, you know, we weren't trying.

Veronica: I think I just thought of it. Oh, go. I think I would say, all right, you tell me you're pregnant.

Go. Tell me you're pregnant. I'm pregnant. Good for you. Go. Go.

Rick: Oh, that's pretty good. Yeah. Yeah, I like that.

Veronica: I think that's a good, that's [00:11:00] a good alternative. Because you're being honest, right? Because you're not saying great or congratulations if that doesn't feel right for you. But you are good for you.

Rick: That's good for you. No, no, no, no. Good for you. That's good.

Veronica: Yeah, just good for you. But

Rick: what do people say sometimes? They just say, what's that movie called? Oh, it's

Veronica: the show. Oh, um, I love that for

Rick: you. I love that for you. That's it. I love that for you. We just came up with it. The Child Free Connection Plus just added the, just justified our plus.

When someone says, I'm pregnant, you can say, I love that for you. And then when they have, when they have the baby, you can say congratulations. All right, off babies. We didn't want to start 2024 talking about babies, but I just thought it was funny. We watched the show and this came up.

Veronica: Yeah, exactly. So I did want to bring up New Year's Eve [00:12:00] because we went to one of our best friends, Holmes, who Who turned 50.

So we were celebrating her 50th birthday on the 31st and also obviously New Year's Eve. So as a present, um, we do whenever she has parties. For some reason, I'm going to say we, but I'm going to say me, I end up doing some kind of ridiculous dancing. The last time that you had a party, I did, I danced along to the, um, what did I do?

Oh, the Milli Vanilli Girl You Know It's True video, and if you're

Rick: You also did a little dirty dancing move, too, at that point. Oh yeah, I

Veronica: did some dirty dancing move. This definitely ages us, but if you don't know who that is, Millie and Millie were huge. Actually, there is a really good documentary out on them right now.

Yeah, there is. I forget, but it's really, really interesting. So, so anyway, for her birthday, I thought, and she had mentioned before, it would be great to see To see a choreographed routine or something and she said this month ago and I just remembered it so I asked one of our other mutual friends [00:13:00] if she would do a choreographed dance routine as a present for her because I knew that she was just going to crack up the whole time so that's exactly what we did we her husband gave us a list of her favorite songs we picked Five or six songs.

We created a choreographed routine. We had about three rehearsals. We died laughing the whole time. We had so much fun doing it and we performed it for everyone on New Year's Eve.

Rick: Yeah, I was really impressed. I mean, from the rehearsals, I mean, you literally went down into the building and like, you know, into the studio and you really worked it out.

Her name's Kristen. Yeah. And, um, you and Kristen killed it. Like you really did. I think you should post it on social. You haven't posted it. No,

Veronica: no, I'm not posting it on social. I did post it inside our membership community. So if you're thinking about joining our membership community, there's a reason to. I was too embarrassed to put it on social media, but I did post it in there.

We had all these like 80s and 90s [00:14:00] moves in it, uh, mainly a little salsa action. So, uh, it was really fun to do. But I was thinking about it cause we, I posted it. I don't know if I posted yesterday or this morning and it made me think into our community platform and it made me think about the fact that.

We had the freedom to do that, right? We just had a silly idea. We spent the time doing the choreography. After one of the rehearsals, we went out for drinks after. Like, it was just such a natural, flowy thing for us to do. We had so much fun doing it. And it ended up, you know, being great for Vanessa. But, yeah.

So I just thought it was a lot of fun. I'm glad that you liked it. It was meant to be silly and fun, and it was. But, yeah. It was,

Rick: it was fun. It was, it was very good. I think you should not think it was too silly because I thought it was fantastic. Um, and, you know, it was a child free New Year's Eve too.

Well, not necessarily. There was one couple there that had a baby, but most of the people at the [00:15:00] party were child free, which was really interesting.

Veronica: Um, and which we've talked about before that we have a lot of choppy friends here in Austin and just sort of worked out that way. But go ahead.

Rick: Yeah, no, no, no.

I was just, I was just saying, you know, Coming out of the holidays too, I am just so grateful. They were easy and they were easy for a lot of reasons. I mean, of course, you know, you buy your nieces and nephews and some family, some gifts and stuff like that, but ultimately it was so nice and peaceful and relaxing because you don't have that, those obligations being a child free person that you would, if you had children, you know, it was just, I just want to just.

recognize that express a little gratitude. Yeah. And, um, we also talked about giving gratitude to 2023. So many people are like 2024 new year's resolutions. What am I going to do in the new year? And they forget about the old year and what it's given them. So we, we really expressed a lot of gratitude to 2023.

So I'm coming out very grateful as you can tell. Yeah.

Veronica: I think the past few days have been really good here. We've had some great positive. Vibes, we [00:16:00] just had two people join our membership community tonight. We have our first, um, membership community meetup live meetup, which we have twice a month at least.

And I'm excited to do that. And also just quick mention. I start my program next week as child free for me, uh, which is my favorite thing to do. I love holding my program. And, uh, if you're listening or if you're watching and you're about somewhere between, so if you're watching 60 percent and 100 percent sure that you want to be child free, but something is holding you back.

You can't figure it out. Maybe it's fear, maybe anxiety, maybe it's pressure. And you're also not sure, okay, I'm going to make this child free choice, but what the hell does that mean? So all that discovery we do in my program, it starts next week. Uh, and if you go to, is child free for me. com, you can take a look and book a free call with me.

So I'm excited about that too. I love starting a new year off with, um, with actionable steps.

Rick: Yeah, I'm excited for your January class. You got a bunch of people [00:17:00] signed up and it should should be good. Can't wait to hear all about it. By the way. Yeah, I just took a sip of coffee. Does that sound gross? Can you hear it in your headset?

Me drinking? No,

Veronica: you can't. You know, I can't hear any kind of


Rick: Coffee at one o'clock in the

Veronica: afternoon. Um, Yeah, and what we won't get into your coffee addiction.

Rick: It is a true addiction

Veronica: But it actually you have been saying lately that you are absolutely in love with your child free mornings So I don't know if coffee is Part of that. It is thing that you're feeling lately.

Rick: Actually, I won't say coffee is part of it. I'll say this You know, and it really hit me over the holidays. Yeah, my mornings are my new Moment of gratitude that I'm gonna practice [00:18:00] Every single day.

Okay, because There are so many things about waking up and the routine that I'm on that I've kind of created over the, over the past couple of weeks that I, it just, it just reminds me every day that I made the right decision to not have children. One is the actual art of waking up, which is slow rise, no running kids, no nothing.

So, and I've witnessed this with my family and friends, they have the kids come in, or you have to just get up out of obligation to go handle stuff. That's number one. So it's a slow rise, gentle alarm clock. Then I do this new thing where I go get my coffee and then I come out into the kitchen right actually here where we're doing this podcast because we have a small apartment.

Our studio you mean? Our studio. And in the kitchen, I, I'm tall, I'm 6'2 so I need some space. So it's this long space is I sip my coffee and I stretch for [00:19:00] like 45 minutes just every morning. Maybe a half hour, 45 minutes along, and I just stretch and sometimes it's before the sun rises. Sometimes it's right after, but depends when I wake up and I just have this peaceful moment while I listen to meditation music and what a day, what a way to start your day.

How lucky are we that we can start our days with peace and quiet and I'm adding gratitude as I just mentioned your thoughts. Yeah,

Veronica: extremely lucky. I mean, we love to, um, roll into our mornings, but don't forget that not only has to do with the fact that we're child free, but also that we right now work from home and you and I have had, um, different moments in our lives when one of us is working from home.

The other one isn't. And now we both happen to be working from home. So we do get that luxury and we do take full advantage of it because it is really nice to start your day just like how you described and to be able to take our time, [00:20:00] especially with our bodies and with what we put in our bodies because it's so important for us.

So I love it. I think stretching is a great idea as you know, and also I, um, I want to bring up that I'm starting to, I haven't, I used to teach yoga. I taught for about six or seven years. And I've been really wanting to, and I finally, um, starting to teach class, uh, next Saturday. I'm going to teach every Saturday at 9 a.

m. And I'm really excited about it because I think that I was just making excuses, obviously with work and everything. I didn't have time to teach during the week, but it's something that I've been wanting to do and then I just said I'm going to do it and I think that it rolls into the whole thing we were talking about last year where as child free people, a lot of times we're like, Oh, we have extra time and we can pursue our passions and our hobbies, but sometimes we get like in this frozen state where we're not taking action on any of that.

Uh, so [00:21:00] this is. It's my way of saying like, this is something I'd love to do. I've always loved to do it and I didn't think too deeply about it because then I was going to analyze it to death. I remember I came to you and I'm like, wait, can I teach when I also have my program, right? You know, it was just so much going on and I was like, you know what, I'm just going to say like, and I put it on the schedule.

I put myself on the schedule and it's happening and I can't turn back now. Uh, but it's really nice to have that time to say like, you know what, I'm going to start teaching yoga again.

Rick: I'm proud of you, you know, because I know that you loved doing it when I first met you, even though you had just kind of stopped doing it, but you really enjoyed it.

And, um, and I think it's going to be good. I think, you know, this year we're, me and you talked a lot about, you know, pushing ourselves to go out there and do more, create more hobbies, create more with the time that we have. And of course, you know, I should compliment that effort. By really, and I'm gonna, once it starts getting warmer, and I, I, I'm [00:22:00] marking it down on this podcast, so I have to stick to it.

I'm going to go take rowing lessons that I've been talking about for four years. I'm gonna go do it because we have this lake right outside. Are you sure? Because

Veronica: I could just play this clip for you.

Rick: Okay. You can play the clip, the listeners or viewers, if you're watching on YouTube, you can hold t me to, itd tbd that by, I'll give myself a timeline.

By July, I will be rowing on Lake Austin. Not Lake Austin. Not Lake Austin. Lady Bird. Bird Lake Lady Bird, late Lady Bird Lake. Yeah. And, um, at least, you know, a couple times a month. I'm gonna try it. I'm, I'm not gonna try, I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna do it. Okay.

Veronica: All right. I'm gonna hold you to it. It's

Rick: up to you.

Yeah, it's great exercise. And it's a hobby that I've been, I've been talking about and I've just been putting it off. Procrastination. Big problem. Yeah.

Veronica: Oh, and that also reminds me of something that we did during the holidays that we had never done together before, which is pick a ball. We played pick a ball with our friends.

Rick: You know, I went into that like, Oh, everyone said it's the trendy thing to do. It's all the hype, you know, and [00:23:00] I was a little skeptical and our friends, you know. Gabriel and MF invalidated us out and it's addicting. Yeah, it's fully, it's, it's fun.

Veronica: I'm buying paddle. Yeah. Well, paddles. Paddles. Paddles. Because I need winter.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Paddles. Uh, so I had been taking some lessons last summer and, but I hadn't played, and if you take lessons, you don't play, it doesn't really mean anything. Uh, so I'm very excited to get back to it. It is. Too cold for me right now to play. But, um, this weekend might not be so bad. So we can pick that up as well.

I'm looking forward to playing pickleball with you. And, um, you're very

Rick: good, by the way, you took a couple of classes prior to I've played tennis before, so I've, I'm familiar with some of it, even though it doesn't all translate, but I was. I was very shocked at how good you were. Thank


Veronica: Yeah, I was like, wow.

I was trying really, I was really into it. I was really trying, as I was learning, I was like, okay, this is something that I need to take seriously because I'm going to be doing [00:24:00] it for a long time. Um, so thank you, I appreciate that. Uh, And I also wanted to ask you, um, you were telling me last night and I was like, Oh, you can just tell me on the podcast about you listen to an 80 something year old woman talk about,

Rick: yeah, so there's, yeah, there's a, she's like a motivational speaker type of personality on Instagram, maybe on tiktok, I don't know.

But, um, you know, from an 80 something year old woman giving kind of life Advice based off of everything she went through, but she's very blunt and direct about it, which I really appreciate. Yes, and she just said, well, I watched one that was talking about really, you know, quit feeling Sorry for yourself was the was the topic.

Yeah was the theme and it just really hit me because She just really went into the fact that there [00:25:00] we have a limited time on this planet And time goes by quick, and there are times to grieve. Like when there's something, you know, someone dies and, you know, but then there are times that we just feel sorry for ourselves because it's easy and, you know, it's, it's easy.

I mean, I did it. I'll admit right now. I didn't have a great 2023. I spent a lot of time. We said we would be honest on this podcast. So I'm going to hear it goes. I spent a lot of time in 2023 feeling sorry for myself, you know, whatever, whatever it was, there was a million things, health, career, you name it.

I just constantly was just in this kind of rut. And I watched this at the perfect time. Cause it was towards the end of the year. It was like on the, I think it was New Year's Eve and I watched it and it just hit me. It was just like, you know what? We make this choice to be happy. You can really make this choice.

Now, like I said, if you're grieving, if it's something serious, you have the right and you should, it's healthy to take that time to grieve, [00:26:00] but if you really just wake up every day, even if you're having a bad night's rest, like I did last night, we talked about it over coffee this morning and just make up your mind that I'm going to be happy today and fight that feeling of like, Oh, you know what, this is wrong in my life or that's wrong in my life.

I mean, as. Animals and as organisms, we tend to focus on the negative, not because it's a negative thing, but because we want to self improve. But in that can come with a lot of negative self talk, you know, beating yourself up, making yourself feel horrible and just because you're not doing enough, but you can, you can throw, you can really.

Push yourself to be better, but also keep it positive and make yourself happy. You can't physically make yourself happy. And that's what she was saying. She was like, you wake up and you just say to yourself, I'm going to be happy today. I'm not going to let anyone bring me down. And I know it sounds easy.

But it's hard to do and so I've been [00:27:00] practicing it just in two days and it's been working and look at me. Look how happy I am today. I'm a happy guy right now. And why? And guess what? I woke up in a bad mood. I had a bad dream and I had a bad night's sleep. And I woke up and I said, you're going to be happy today.

You're going to spread joy in Veronica's life. Today, make her happy. This

Veronica: is all true because you did wake up grumpy and then you did turn it around and this is why I'm finding out now and I was thinking about it because when you woke up, you know, sort of grumpy, I was just kind of. And it's like, here we go.

You're going to be complaining all day, but it wasn't the case at all. And I want to say thank you to you as well, because you, this is something that you came to me a while ago, but not being a New Year's Eve, not being a New Year's resolutions, but just being a lifestyle change that you wanted to make, and you started probably like a month ago or two months ago, just trying to really work on your mindset.

Because it [00:28:00] really does revolve around your mindset. You tend to lean negative and just trying to lean positive as best as you can. And I really have seen a huge difference, um, in you. And also, of course, that comes over to our relationship and to our day because if you're in a crappy mood all day, then that's not great for me, right?

Or if I'm in a crappy mood, it's not great for you. So, um, I'm liking this Rick 2. 0 and I hope that we continue to work on this moving forward.

Rick: It's, it's just healthy overall. I feel better. And, um, yeah, like I said, it's a work in progress. If I can do, I'm looking to have an 85 to 90 percent year, meaning I'm giving myself 15, 10 percent to, you know, you're going to have your weekdays where you just can't pull yourself up and that's okay.

I really feel like that's okay. But you gotta just, you know, you gotta give yourself the day and then wake up the next day and just say, all right, [00:29:00] that was it. I'm done. I'm moving forward. And, uh, that's my plan. I

Veronica: like it. I'm into it. I like it. I like that we're saying this publicly, . Yeah. I

Rick: love the whole thing.

I'm, I'm being held accountable. Yes, exactly. And by the way, I give you per, I give you permission to, to call me out on this podcast throughout the year. If I have these negative, you're gonna be like, you

Veronica: did it. I mean, I'm all over it. I'm loving it. So thank you. I'll definitely do

Rick: that. And I know you'll.

Veronica: And I'm looking down at my phone because we're getting a lot of responses because we, um, as I mentioned earlier, we posted a reel earlier today. I think it was this morning, right? That we posted it? This morning, yes. It was this morning and, um We posted a reel about Irina Garten who is the Barefoot Contessa for Some of you out there who watched her cooking show.

She's amazing and she has [00:30:00] a Her and her husband live a child free life and they she specifically talks about in this latest interview I can't remember who was I think it was the BBC But I don't think I wrote it down and that she said that her decision to remain remain child free free was largely due to the fact that she did not want to recreate her childhood.

So we did a wheel on this and we asked people, how much did your childhood affect your decision to be child free? And I want to talk about it. I want to read actually some of the responses, cause I'm just seeing my phone here. Um, go for it. Getting it from them, but I want to ask you first I want to ask you in your opinion, and I don't think that we've ever really talked about this before That I remember and you know how my memory is so we could have talked about it ten times But do you feel that your childhood affected [00:31:00] your decision to not have children 1,

Rick: 000 percent yes

Veronica: Okay.

And how so?

Rick: So, I'll say this. I didn't know it then. It's not like I was going through my childhood and being like, I don't want this. I don't want that. But looking back, I can see why I ended up leaning in the direction of not having children and living a child free life. Yeah. So, you know. Uh, I don't want to go too deep unless you want me to, as far as,

Veronica: you know.

No, I mean, we could go, I, I, I don't think this is about, I mean, obviously she's talking about a, uh, traumatic, uh, childhood with trauma, but I mean, when you look at many of us, a lot of us had traumatic childhoods. Right. Um, I think it was more in the, if you put it in a very light terms, like happy or unhappy childhood.

Um. Right. And those are just really simple categories we can put them in to differentiate, but that's obviously a million other things [00:32:00] around it, but yeah, so go ahead.

Rick: So, well, I mean, I won't go, look, you said, and I've talked about this on other podcasts about like my childhood, so we won't even go there, but I'll just say this, you know, and like you said, great point.

Everyone has, you know, a lot of people have gone through trauma and, and that has led to not just child free, a child free decision, but other decisions that you make in life being good or bad. And in my case, I made a lot of bad decisions and I've learned from them. That's the good news. But ultimately, the reason why I say now I look back is because I do remember, and I wouldn't have noticed it at the time, but I do remember thinking often That my parents job raising the five boys, you know, I have two half brothers, two stepbrothers.

That's a whole other story the way that family came together, but our family came together, but you shared it

Veronica: by the way, I think episode number two or something or

Rick: something. Yeah, two or three, but I remember thinking that having [00:33:00] this vivid memory of this looks like a lot of work, like as a child, like, like this is just so stressful.

My mom looks stressed. She looks like she's going through it. My dad is, you know, absent, you know, my stepdad's absent, um, and because of work, not because of, give him that credit, we traveled a lot, but, you know, it was just, it just left like, oh, I remember thinking, I'm not looking forward to this phase of my life when it comes.

It's not. Oh, I don't have to do this. It's Oh, I got to do this. And this is gonna suck when I hit that age. It was almost a countdown to doom for me. So that's how I reflect was this like, you know, This feeling of, of, oh my gosh, when I hit 24, you know, that's what I assumed I would have kids, that seemed old.

I know, we all did. That seemed old when you were 12. Um, when I hit 24 or 25, and [00:34:00] I, and I quote unquote, have to have kids. Yeah. My life's over. That's the feeling I had. Yeah. Now, I don't know if that's normal. And people just, as you get older, you realize like, you know, oh, I can or I want to or don't want to have children and that becomes a little more rational, but looking back that my childhood directly had an impact on that choice in the sense that.

I didn't have kids and that I recognized it just in time before I made the mistake of having kids.

Veronica: Yeah. Well, first of all, let me just say that, uh, cause people bring this up a lot. Like whether that's normal or not, doesn't matter. That's one of my most hated words. I hate that word because it makes us all feel like we're not normal whenever we, uh, share a certain feelings.

Yeah. Yeah. No, I know. I just want to clarify that, that everyone's. It's normal because they're doing whatever it is that they want to do, or they're thinking whatever way they want to think. But

Rick: you keep us so responsible on [00:35:00] this point, you're so, I love you for that. See, I don't think like that and I'm not that I'm mean, it's just that I'm just kind of like diary of the mouth a lot of the times and you're so calculated, like, hold on, let's make sure.

Those who are listening, this is what Rick meant. So moving forward in 2024, if I'm blabbing, I apologize in advance if I say something insensitive. And I know you'll correct me, but it's not that I mean it. It's just that I just say what's in my mind. I have no filter. I don't know how you were born with that filter.

You think before it comes out of your mouth. I don't have

Veronica: that. I do. I do. And it's not even about correcting you. It's just about like clarifying, right? Clarifying. You know,

Rick: that's, I, I'm so happy that I have you in my life to fill that weakness. I'll call it a weakness, that weakness that I have, you fill.

So thank you, but continue. Sorry. I am your

Veronica: filter in life generally, but I [00:36:00] think the first thing I want to say about this, because it is a sensitive topic, but it's also an important one, but it's one that's shed. It sheds a dark light on child free people sometimes, and I just want to be able to remove that, um, because childhood from my what I have read and for my research or a traumatic childhood is more of a, um.

Perhaps a factor or a reason for someone choosing to be child free, but it's not the sole cause, right? So, um, to give an example for, I looked it up today and I, I, I was thinking about the Pew Research Center, which is something that I refer to a lot whenever, uh, maybe here or when I'm teaching or, uh, whenever I'm discussing studies because I read so many of them and they listed the reasons that People generally list for not having [00:37:00] kids and I saw that they did mention, so I'm going to go through them.

There's 11 of them and I just want to list them really quickly because I'm sure that whoever's listening or watching is going to relate to some of this. So it's no desire, career, environment, state of the world, uh, kids are expensive, health and medical reasons, uh, other caretaking responsibilities, desire to travel.

Lifestyle timing or partner doesn't want kids. And lastly, it's family history, uh, and definition of family. So

Rick: by the way, those are all great podcast topics. I think we should, we could literally break those out into hours. Those are very valid reasons.

Veronica: Yeah. I mean, they really are. And I know that some people feel because they've been cornered so much because of they asked.

But they've been asked so much they feel like they don't want to share their reasons and that's absolutely fine. But sometimes it is important to share the reasons so that [00:38:00] people start to understand why we chose this lifestyle So people understand where where we're coming from so, um, so yeah, it is it can be a factor but it's not the whole reason and and From the research, I think what I was saying before from the research that I have seen is that so the way that it can be looked at is, uh, from both perspectives, right?

It's really 50 50 in, uh, in, in what direction child free people go. If you have a traumatic childhood, you could even go in the direction of I am. I do not want to repeat any of this family stuff. I do not want to act like my mother or my father did. I do not want to continue. It's in my DNA. Maybe there's a mental issue, generational trauma, like you just are set that that, that is the reason that you do not want to continue and have your own kids and build your family in the traditional sense of family.

On the other side, [00:39:00] we have Just as many child, free people with extremely happy childhoods. There was no problems. There wasn't really any significant trauma that has altered them throughout their lives. They really were happy with the way that their parents treated them. They have fond memories, but they still decide not to have their own children.

So it is not a, um, I think that. The media or people may put it as a sole cause. Oh, you had a bad childhood. That's the only reason that you don't want to have kids. No, it may be a factor, but it's not the sole cause. So I think that we're seeing that even as people answer us, um, In our real and in our short that that's not the case because I'm seeing people say they had great childhoods They had amazing childhoods They were so happy when they were kids and some people say that There was a lot of trauma that they didn't want to repeat.

And by the way, I did a video on YouTube called The reason I almost had a baby where I [00:40:00] talk about my personal experience with this trying to figure out Do I want to repeat this? Is this a good enough reason to have a child? so in case you want to check it out, it's up there and yeah, so I don't think that it is a A sole cause at all, it definitely is a factor, just like adding to your list, maybe finances is important, is a big reason why you don't have kids and maybe it's at the top of your list, maybe it's in the middle, maybe it's at the end, uh, but it's not saying that child free people are, there's something wrong with them or they're damaged or they're not willing to take up the responsibility.

That is just Yeah, I

Rick: mean, well, you listed 11 main reasons right there, and I think, you know, sometimes obviously it makes sense what you're saying, by the way, and, you know, it makes sense that it's probably a combination of a lot, right? I mean, there's, there's a lot of factors like, yeah, looking back, like I had mentioned, you know, my childhood Definitely [00:41:00] had an impact on me, not wanting children and making this choice.

But there are others things on that list that also, namely financial. That was a big one for me. Jesus. I'm thinking about that all the time.

Veronica: And also, I think that, because some people are writing that they decided not to have kids because they did have traumatic childhoods, but they decided to, and I think I actually won, um, I wrote here.

Oh, this one is from Julie. She posted on our Instagram. She said, I'd rather spend the rest of my life devoting my time and energy to healing and giving myself what I didn't get, which is some very similar to the story that I share in that video I just talked about. And. A couple of people said, I just wanted to really focus on myself, I had a lot of healing to do, or I needed to work through a lot of the trauma, I hope that doesn't sound crazy, I hope that doesn't sound selfish, and I just want to clarify here too, I just wrote back to some of them, but if anyone is listening or watching, I It is not selfish and it is not crazy to take care of yourself to [00:42:00] love yourself and to be thoughtful and to be mindful and to realize what it is that you need as an adult to feel safe, to feel loved, to feel fulfilled.

There is nothing selfish or crazy about that. So please do not think that and know that we support you 1000%. You are 1000 percent also validated here in this. space. So just wanted to clarify that as well.

Rick: I completely understand what you're saying. And I do appreciate you bringing up the selfish thing because for a long time I was selfish.

Now I wasn't selfish always in the right reasons because I was focused on myself and my career, but I realized later that you can be selfish in things that are healthy for you, like mindset and taking care of yourself. And that I've. Shifted completely from less about like, Oh, it's all about me and only me, but it's also about making myself a better person and feeling happier.

And I think that's

Veronica: important. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And [00:43:00] I'm glad that you feel that way. And uh, I did want to, um,

Rick: share one. I will say this. Yeah. I often think. What would I be like if I had made a mistake and had children, you know, if I had just done that, because I thought it was supposed to. Right.

And I definitely, I can know this, I know this a thousand percent that I would not. Mentally be in a good space, physically be in a good space. I think that I would be self destructive. I think I would have continued drinking. You know, I've been sober for five years for those who might not have heard some of the other podcasts.

So that's like it was a big thing of me getting rid of. I think I would have been a lot more negative as we were mentioning earlier at the top of this podcast. I would have been. In a worse version of myself, I really would have been. So in a way, I'm going to say something really dramatic. Okay. Being child free has saved my life.


Veronica: [00:44:00] that's not dramatic at all. Well, I mean, it is in a sense. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rick: It's also very vulnerable. Yeah, I'm also being very vulnerable because it shows that I wasn't, I'm not strong enough to juggle having kids and taking care of myself at the same time. Yeah,

Veronica: and that's what I meant. I didn't mean dramatic.

I mean, to me, dramatic is like you're over exaggerating something. What I meant was that it's completely valid and you're completely right. You know, it did. Save my life, save your life, you know, considering you feel that way, because you know yourself now so well that there are certain aspects of parenthood, um, that just don't flow with your personality, uh, with some of your correct characteristics.

So, yeah, you're absolutely correct. And that's the whole point, right? The whole point is that we have to, we know ourselves the best and we have to look within and we have to see like, okay, what am I? Like now, am I able to handle different [00:45:00] situations? Am I able to, and then you just go through the different lists and you have done that and you are very clear in the fact that this is not for you.

And if you feel that it has saved your life, that's absolutely 1000 percent valid. Yeah.

Rick: I mean, reflecting, I'm just, I'm very lucky, you know, cause there were times where I could have easily gone down that path and I didn't know the path of having kids and I didn't. So it's.

Veronica: Well, I think a lot of people feel the same way that you do. Um, so before we go, I did want to answer, someone wanted to, um, know, they sent us in a question over DM about how our ceasefire was going. So for, if you missed the podcast, um, a few podcasts ago, we talked about how we were in a. ceasefire going into the holidays.

I think it was early December or late November, um, where we decided that we were going to be nice to each other, [00:46:00] be kind to each other because we were really stressed with work, with life. We're in a very tight space right now. We're in a transitional space and we were just. Had been getting on each other's nerves.

We were not getting along and we really wanted to have a nice holiday season. So we decided to call a ceasefire where we're just not allowed to not be nice. And if you're going to say something that's not nice, then don't say it at all. Basically. And I think that someone,

Rick: go find someone else to say to them, but not the

Veronica: person.

Right? Right. Because we live together. And I have to say, I mean, you'll, you'll have your own opinion. I actually think that it worked really well. Because in my opinion, we had a really nice holiday season. And we've been really nice to each other. And we've been very cuddly and wuddly. And I really appreciate it.

And I think that Did you say

Rick: wuddly? Is that a thing? Cuddly and wuddly? I like it. I'm just I want to make sure I heard you correctly. God. [00:47:00] I don't know. Sorry, go ahead.

Veronica: It's okay. So, um, I think that we should continue the ceasefire for the remain of us living in this apartment, which we're a few months away from leaving because the space is just too tight not to be nice to each other.

How do you feel about continuing the ceasefire? For the remainder of the time that we live in this very tight

Rick: space. I think the ceasefire should end. We should start being mean to each other again. That's what I think. Of course I want him to continue the ceasefire. I don't, I don't want to end it. You know, I mean, uh, peace is good.

We, we've been very peaceful. We've been, you're, like you've said, we've been more, um, you know, All right. Cuddly waddly. We'll go with it. Um, we've been more Looking it up. We've been, we've just been nice. We've been, it's been nice. It's been, it's been a nice reprieve from the three quarters of 2023, the first three quarters of 2023, which we were just, it was a lot of stress.

You [00:48:00] know, I'm happy it's a new year.

Veronica: I just want to point out, cause I just looked it up. It is an adjective. Cute and cuddly is cuddly wuddily. It's Anyway I could, cuddly is a word. It's, it's cuddly. Cuddly. It's like together, cuddly. Oh, I've never heard that. Yes. It's slang for cute and cuddly. Okay. Alright.

Rick: Well there it is. There it is. I won't be using that in in night.

Veronica: Every day. But anyway, thank you so much for the person who asked. I don't remember their name. Sorry, I should have written it down. But so kind of you to wonder where our ceasefire was. It's working out really well. We're doing really well.

It's wonderful. Yes, yes. As we said, we're going to continue going. And, uh, yeah, thank you so much for

Rick: listening. Yep. We're looking forward to this year. Thank you all. And we'll see you next time. Bye.