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!


Are parents happier than those without children? If you had asked either of us in our 20s and 30s, we likely would have answered yes. I can still hear the refrain in my head: "You'll never be truly happy until you become a mom." This concept was so deeply ingrained in my mind that the possibility of it not being true didn't even occur to me. I simply assumed that my lack of desire meant I would never experience true happiness.

In this episode, I share the results of some recent research studies which answer this question and of course, we share our own thoughts on happiness and living a childfree life. I also report on Rick’s latest stunt that resulted in a broken TV set and how he (annoyingly) won our 24 Hour contest.


Veronica: [00:00:00] Are you happy Rick? Most of the time. Good. Good. I'm happy too. And today we're going to talk about who is happier, parents or the child free. Ooh, good topic. And I'll share some of the results of recent studies and what happiness means to us in general. I 

Rick: love your attention to detail. Have I ever told you that?

Veronica: I also share my not so happy moment last week when Rick broke an important item in our home. home. Plus, we had a 24 hour contest and very annoyingly, I won. Rick won. Here we go.

Rick: All right, here we go. I did my stretches right before this podcast. I'm feeling good. How are you? 

Veronica: Yes, I am ready. I have a green juice with me to give me a little energy. And I'm ready to go. 

Rick: Good, you sound a little down. 

Veronica: No, I'm a little cranky. 

Rick: You're cranky because of something we both don't have control of.

For those who, you know, [00:01:00] before we started this, we're having very 

Veronica: technical issues. Oh, I just can't. We're not going to complain about it to our friends 

Rick: here, but we're not going to complain about it. But I'd love to know other people that have podcasts that might be listening if they have as many frustrations setting up to do a podcast.


Veronica: worst. But anyway, we're here. We made it. Hopefully this is recording. 

Rick: Yeah, let's lift the mood. There's a smile. There'd be a beautiful smile. Let's lift the mood. Here we go. All right. Episode 10. Yes, by the way. Yeah. No 

Veronica: way. Yeah. Wow. 

Rick: That is exciting. Um, I want to bring up something before we get started.

Uh, I was in the gym this morning. Uh huh. I'm running on the treadmill and about three machines down was an elliptical machine and there was a gentleman on the elliptical having a full blown loud conversation Like he was at work like he was in a meeting. Yeah, [00:02:00] we got a look at those figures Yeah, check the charts before we move forward and circle back and all that crap.

Yes My question to do you is is to do do you my question to you is is that acceptable? No, no, 

Veronica: I can't stand that you think that no, I just had that happen to me at the doctor's office. I was there yesterday We're all in the waiting room nice and peaceful and quiet and one person just gets on the phone and starts having a fight Full blown conversation as well with like a family member, a niece or something.

Oh, and you know what they were doing that gets under my skin even more when people don't realize that they have speaker on or maybe they do and they don't care. So they're talking to whoever and you can hear both sides. Oh, 

Rick: yeah. And I'm going to say this, that's unacceptable when you have this other, it's one thing if I'm hearing a one way conversation.

But if you're hearing their response, it's like, it's the worst and this guy was having this conversation and because he's on the elliptical and it's kind of [00:03:00] loud, he's got to speak higher in volume. So I have my headphones in and I'm listening to my music and I can still hear him. 

Veronica: Yeah. I don't get it. I would never, I don't understand why people think, I guess they're not thinking right because they're just.

Being disruptive. Maybe they assume. Oh, well, everybody has headphones on so they can't hear me and they're just not realizing how freaking loud they're being. But I agree with you. It's just so, so inappropriate and so annoying. 

Rick: Yeah, I wanted to walk up to him and be like, let's just. Take this outside. Why don't you offline this outside of the gym and not Take what outside?


Veronica: his conversation. His conversation. Oh, I thought you were saying like, let's take this outside. Oh, like 

Rick: I'm gonna fight him at 52 years old? I would have lost. Actually He might have been a little older. I mean, maybe I would have stood a little bit of a chance, but probably would have got my ass kicked.


Veronica: yeah, so I'm excited to chat today. I am too, 

Rick: but I have one more thing. I witnessed this yesterday. I actually meant to bring this up to you [00:04:00] yesterday and I forgot. So I'm gonna bring this up to you on the podcast. Impromptu moment here that I had. I was in the grocery store. I was somewhere in public and I saw, uh, Child.

It was a mother and a child and the son, like, was upset and frustrated and just stepped on the mom's foot and she looked like she was in a lot of pain. But and that happens. I get it. That's not my point. My point is, is I'm I often think, yeah. You know, how many physical altercations or physical damage do we not have as child free people due to having children?

Because they throw 

Veronica: Oh, you mean like less injuries 

Rick: we may have? Less injuries, thank you. Physical 

Veronica: damage. Because we don't have like a toy, plastic toy being thrown at our 

Rick: heads. Yeah. And I was thinking, like, if you look at the statistics, we probably have less things hit us, you know what I mean? 

Veronica: Yeah, you're definitely right.

I think, I don't think, I don't know if I brought it up on the podcast before, but we've [00:05:00] had, um, several, uh, incidences, pool. Incidences where kids were playing with their toys in the pool and I got popped in the head. It's happened to us more than once while we've been on vacation and I've gotten hurt at one time.

I got seriously hurt because the toy was plastic and it hit me in the face right by my eye. So you're right. I mean, I can only assume that parents probably have Some bodily injuries that we have no idea about. So, yeah, I see your point there. 

Rick: More bodily injuries. Statistically, I'm gonna that should be a study.

I mean, there's been so many studies around, like, child, right? That should be a new study. 

Veronica: Yeah. And that goes into the topic we're discussing today because it was a new article that Came out about, uh, who's happier, child free, or parents. And this is a topic that's been going on for a while. There has been several research studies done, and I definitely wanna dive into that.

But first I want to share with our friends here what [00:06:00] happened recently in our home. And it's regarding you and your gaming. Is it even called gaming when you're in the Metaverse? Is it called gaming? I don't even know. Okay, so let me just like set, let me just set the stage here. So, Rick spends a lot of time playing in the Metaverse.

And We have, and as you may have heard before, we're in an interim apartment, which is really frustrating because it's really small, and that's how we got in each other's nerves last year, and we were hoping to get out of here in March, but it sounds like we're going to be here a couple of months. But anyway, we're in a very tight space, and I recently decided to remove our coffee table from our living area because We've been used to in the past when we're watching TV at night, watching a movie, watching a show, I really, or we both do enjoy stretching while we're doing that.

And I haven't been able to do that. And it's been really driving me crazy. So I asked you, can we just remove [00:07:00] the coffee table from the living room and just shove it to the side of the wall? And we decided to do that. And it's been working out well now what I did not know and what I was not aware of was that You would decide that this is now an arena space for you to play Whatever it is that you play and combat and do your sword fighting and Uh, I guess a week and a half ago, I was doing laundry and I hear this big bang coming from the living room and then I come in and I'm like, what happened?

And you had slammed, because you were about to kill whoever you were killing in your game, you slammed your sword down and hit your hand with your controller on top of our, how big was our TV? 65 inch TV and broke [00:08:00] it.

Rick: Okay. There's so much to unpack here around this. So let me just start with, yeah, let me just start with, let me start with, um, the fact that for those who don't know what the metaverse is, so it's, it's actually virtual reality. Um, and if you put these goggles on and it's this immersive experience where you.

Feel like you're there. Um, it's the Oculus, uh, it's the Oculus goggles that Meta puts out, the Facebook Meta puts out. And, um, I'm a little obsessed with this technology and this gaming platform. Just because it's so realistic. And there's this new game that came out, uh, called the Wrath of Asgard 2, I believe, and there's a lot of fantasy sword playing kind of things that are going on.

So. Having said that, it's kind of not my fault. Uhhuh because like, you know, you can create these guardians. I don't wanna go into this whole thing, but you can create these guardians. Yeah. , [00:09:00] you, you can create these guardians that keep you from bumping into your normal living household items. Mm-Hmm, . Um, I didn't have that guardian on for several reasons.

I won't bore why I didn't have that on bore you. Why I didn't have it on, but you know. I was into the game and I was trying to get past level six and I really felt like I could do it at that moment and I knew I was moving a little bit around where I should be because there were, because we're in such tight quarters and I was giving a crushing blow to kill the last guy and I came down hard and then I hit the top of the television.

So, I mean, technically I broke it and I went and replaced it. Couple days after and it's weird that it broke, by the way, because I took my goggles off and it was this tiny little, yeah, 

Veronica: we didn't think the TV was broken at beginning. We were like, it's just a little tiny crack. And also let's mention that.

I mean, it is glass, right? Because your hand was bleeding that I know you're having this blood running down [00:10:00] your, 

Rick: you know, I took it. I will admit I took it too far, but I don't know if I'm going to take full responsibility for that. I mean, what? Of 

Veronica: course you're gonna take full responsibility for that.

Well, I mean, I mean, I, for the broken 

Rick: tv, I took responsibility for the broken tv. Yes. But like my, you know, being in that immersive experience, I, how am I supposed to see what's around me? You know? I mean, I guess I'm, I guess I'm a fault. 

Veronica: Well, I think, I think the takeaway is just be more mindful when you're playing and be able to set those boundaries and remind yourself.

Like, did I set them before you start playing and break more electronics around the house? Fair, fair. 

Rick: I own it. And I'm about to tell you something you don't know. I swear to God, I have not, you do not know this. So I went out and bought a new TV, you know, we went out and had to replace the television because it was that, 

Veronica: it was broken.

It wouldn't even turn on. fun to spend money on something you're not. And I 

Rick: actually had a little P meeting to sign money on. Yeah. And I had a little PTSD from that because I was really upset. So I haven't been playing the game. [00:11:00] Okay. And yesterday I put it on and I started getting into it and I bumped the TV again.

The new one. I've been serious. I know. I didn't tell you. Yeah, I did it last night when you were out to dinner with the girls. I was playing and, and I was another sword battle. It was another thing and I hit it. Now, the new TV just moved a little. I hit the front of it, not the top of it, and I didn't hit it as hard.

Have you watched it since? That it works? Yeah, yeah, it's fine. I checked it. But I took the goggles off and I said, okay, it's done for a little while. Oh my god. I know. Anyway, moving on. 

Veronica: Anyway, I think we'll question if I'm child free. For the remaining of this podcast. 

Rick: Oh, because I'm the child? Is that what you're referring to?

No, I'm not saying that. Wow. You've been coming at me all day, by the way. Let's just start by saying that we love each other very much. So we can change this, uh, this emotional narrative around. 

Veronica: We do, we do, we know we've actually had a really good morning. Um, it's once again, beautiful and [00:12:00] awesome. Thank goodness.

Cause we've been freezing and we're having a beautiful 70 degree day. So after the podcast, we're going to go out and enjoy some sun. Um, we had a new member join our membership community this morning as well. And just as a reminder, if you're interested in joining our membership community, it's a childfree connection.

com you'll get all the info. Oh, lots going on in there. Lots of fun. And, uh, there's testimonials in there from our members. If you want to find out how they feel, it's only 10 97 a month. And sorry, nine 97 per month. And, um, yeah, according to one of our members and I quote, it's worth every penny. So, so, yeah, check that out when you get a chance because we're really growing and, uh, it's, uh, it's really good.

And I 

Rick: share, and I share a lot of video of me in the metaverse too. I'm gonna start putting that on there so people can really see. I mean, it's, it's a fun thing. Oh, that'll 

Veronica: really get people to join. 

Rick: Fuck. Alright, forget that. I won't put that up. [00:13:00] Anyway, alright. Oh, by the way, before, while we're on that, I wanna, I wanna say, uh, big shout out to you this weekend.

You're launching your program. Yes, you have your, you have your January, you have your January 

Veronica: class group. Yeah. Of is child free for me, the essential guide to exploring a child free life. We have our first meeting on Sunday and yeah, super excited about that. You know how much I love running through that program.

And if any of you out there, uh, we're thinking about booking a call with me or joining, you can just go to is child free for me. com and find out when I'm running the program next. Very excited about 

Rick: that. It's, it's, it's an amazing program. I've, I've, I can't say enough about it. All right. So you already mentioned this a little bit earlier before I cut you off, but today we're going to be discussing, are child free people happier than parents?

Yeah. So this is something that comes 

Veronica: up a lot. Or are parents happier than child free or who's happier? I mean, it goes, it's [00:14:00] like a never ending question. 

Rick: There's a lot of studies on it. I was actually watching a today show clip before we did the podcast about this and they were discussing going back and forth.

They had only a mom representing on that show though. They didn't have the other side. So it was like, Okay. That's weird. That was, that was weird, but go 

Veronica: ahead. Yeah, no, I mean, this is something that is especially someone for me who took, you know, 10 years to make this decision and was really trying to figure this out for myself and having people constantly.

And I mean, constantly tell me that. I would never be able to find joy. If I didn't have kids, I would never be able to find fulfillment. And just hearing those words so much. And so often you just begin to, um, think it's true, right? Because you're so conditioned to believe that that's the case. So I always used to wonder, Oh my God, am I going to be happy?

Am I going to be able to find any joy? And long story short, the answer is yes. It's a resounding yes, [00:15:00] but I think it's really important to bring this up because people based on no fact are constantly saying you'll be happier if you have kids. Have you heard this before? Did people tell 

Rick: you this? Yes. And I'm just going to combat that right now for me.

Yeah, I know. I am so much happier that I chose not to have kids than have kids. So I'm going to say that out loud. Like I am happy. I did not have kids because that would have been a huge mistake for me. So for people that are out there saying, you don't know what joy is going to be, you're not going to be happy if you.

Don't if you if you don't have kids, that's false. That's just it's factually incorrect. Right. Exactly. Because I'm 

Veronica: living proof of that. Right. But I'm wondering if you ever heard it, like, didn't anyone ever tell you did your mom or anyone you were friends with or say, well, you know, because you didn't get a lot of pressure and judgment like I did about not having children.

But but but was there any insinuation of You're not gonna be happy if you don't have 

Rick: kids. Yeah, bored and happy. You're not gonna be happy and you're gonna be bored That's what I heard. 

Veronica: Okay. [00:16:00] Okay. Yeah, I wasn't sure if you did so, I mean I like when these studies come out I try to really keep on top of them because it's really important to see See the facts, especially someone like me.

I'm really analytical and I really like facts and I like data. Clearly 

Rick: I'm not more like, let me just say what's on my mind right now. And I'm not going to back it up at all. 

Veronica: So I wanted to say so if we talk about happiness right and I was I was I was looking around like what is the definition of happiness and I found this one it's a mixture of positive emotional experiences and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life and I like this definition because it's It doesn't just talk about positive emotional experiences, but it's that deeper sense of meaning and purpose, which is another word that is weaponized against child free people like that.

We're never gonna find our purpose, right? That's a big word that people used, um, by [00:17:00] insinuating that by having Children is the only way to have purpose. 

Rick: So I think there's an argument to To bring up that you can, no matter what your situation, whether it's you have kids or you don't have kids, no matter what it is, I feel like as human beings, we tend to try and find purpose no matter what.

So even if you're, you know, imprisoned in, you don't have. Resources and you don't have the luxuries of life like you're going to figure out a way to adapt and find purpose in that environment. So I find it really ignorant when people are like, Oh, if you don't have kids, you won't find purpose. No, I know.

Veronica: Yeah, I mean, purpose is something that people struggle with. But what I think is that it just gets tacked on to the reasons of having kids just because It's been passed down for hundreds and hundreds of years as the primary source of purpose, but we know better now, right? Like you and I know better. The people listening to us know that that is not a, [00:18:00] um, sole source of purpose that if you don't have kids, that doesn't mean you're not going to have purpose in life.

But I do like that they're starting to do these studies. I question them a lot. I feel like there's just so much more to do, but the issue is that There haven't, there hasn't been this much conversation around the child free community and child free people. So I think that as the years go on, these studies are going to get, um, more refined.

Last year, Michigan State University did a study and I just wanted to share with, um, our friends here in case they hadn't read about it. So that's. study examined, uh, the characteristics and statistics of adults who don't want children. And the result of that study was that they found no difference in life satisfaction and limited differences in personality traits between child free people and parents, not yet parents or childless individuals.

So this [00:19:00] study came out with. There's no difference, right? It doesn't matter. This is not a factor that's really going to, um, alter your overall happiness. But what the biggest takeaway from this Michigan study was is that they realized that in this area of Michigan that they tested that, um, I believe it was, yeah, one in four people identified as child free.

And it, they had thought earlier that it was much less than that. So one out of four is a pretty large number. It's a lot of people. Don't 

Rick: you think? Yeah, it doesn't surprise me at all. I am actually thinking, I actually thought maybe it would be a little higher. I thought it. Ah, one out of four. That's less than 50%.

It makes sense. Never mind. But yeah, it doesn't surprise me. Yeah, I 

Veronica: thought, I thought so too. And then a new study came out and they were trying to answer the question, Does having children make you happier? [00:20:00] And I read through the study. I'm going to give you some of the details, but the simple answer is no.

And I really want to put that out there and make sure that people know, because once again, we're so conditioned to believe that you have to. have kids to be happy. And what happened in this study is that they found that women who are child free by choice, I'm obviously reading here. I just want to, I don't want to mess it up.

So I'm reading directly what they said. Studies in women who are child free by choice show that most feel they have a good sense of identity and individuality. They don't feel defined by their role within the family and feel they have more freedom and control over their bodies, life, and future. Child free women also report greater financial stability, although higher socioeconomic status isn't necessary to be satisfied with the decision to be child free.

[00:21:00] So none of this surprises me either. This is, um, I'll read about men in a second, but this is what they come up with women. And I really sense this. Um, I sense it in the people that we talk to. I sense it in our own child free community. I sense it in my program that these, that women who decide to be child free.

Really? Um, like it said, have a good sense of identity, have control of their bodies, freedom and all of that. Everything I just mentioned now, they did mention that there's limited research on men and their personal experience of being child free, but one study of men who were child free by choice reported that most were satisfied with their decision and happy to have more freedom.

Only a small number of men express regret about their decision. And this was largely because of blank. [00:22:00] I'm going to have you guess.

Not super happy about their decision not to have kids. This is something that is Good. 

Rick: I'm gonna say because carrying on their bloodline

Veronica: Yes, that's absolutely correct. It's largely because they wouldn't have a legacy. And that's what's holding it back. And it's so interesting, right? Because even after they've decided to be child free, now they're part of our study. And they're, you know, figuring out how you feel like men have a really hard time letting go of this legacy thing.

Like, that's how strong it is. It's really, really interesting. I know you don't feel that way. But it's really interesting how rooted men are. With that part of being child free. 

Rick: Yeah, you know, I, I, I just feel it's so ego driven. Like I want to carry on my gene pool and it's just, I [00:23:00] don't know, it's just ick to me.

I don't, I never really, I never really got it. It's so ego driven. It's right. 

Veronica: I also think it's part of, um, I think it's part of how you were raised, too, right? Like, and it could go in either direction. For example, like, let's say you were raised, you're John III, right? And then you have the second, your dad, your granddad, and your great granddad.

And there's just, like, a lot of, um, there's a lot of power put in between the family name and, and you being the third and having to carry on. So I can sort of understand that when there's a lot of history in the family. 

Rick: More the reason not to continue the bloodline. Like, be like, do we need a fourth?

Right? We have the first, the second, the third. Like, we really need a fourth. Like, let's, let's slow this down a little bit. It's ridiculous. It's stupid. I'm sorry. I gotta call it out. 

Veronica: Or it could happen in the exact opposite way. Somebody comes from, um, maybe they're alone. Maybe they never had, [00:24:00] maybe they never lived with a parent or a sibling and they feel that they want to start this so called lineage and have their DNA.

So there's really opposite ends of the spectrum where a man could feel like this is something that might do. I know you don't believe in that. No, 

Rick: no, no. I actually understand that a little bit more because I actually have a friend, um, that his parents had died and he. Really told me he wanted to have kids because he did for this reason.

And I actually see it. He's, you know, he was through a lot of emotional trauma because his, both of his parents had passed away and, and he felt so alone that he wanted to have a, have, he said, I wanted to carry on my name and I can understand that a little bit more, you know what I mean? But I'm not saying.

I'm not saying that's a reason to have children, but I can, I get it. If you want to be a father, that's really important to someone, but yeah, the whole entire, like, let's keep just going with this whole family [00:25:00] gene pool. It's so cringe to me. Um, I did want to bring up one thing, though. You know, it was interesting in that clip that I watched earlier that I mentioned about the Today Show.

The woman had said that women, a lot of women that had children, when they asked, you know, what makes them the happiest, it was their answer was synonymous. I mean, their answer was anonymous as far as, not anonymous, what's the word? Unanimous. Thank you. I couldn't help you there. Yeah. It was unanimous. Yeah.

That, um, that they all said my children make me happy and bring me the most joy. Yes. Now, having said that, I found it a very interesting statement, and this woman brought it up. Yes. It's that they said that, but when they were asked about, are they happy with themselves? The answer was no. So they were saying that they were not as happy, but because their children, so it's almost like they're relying on this, [00:26:00] this extended family member being their daughter or so this extended, yeah.

It serves to make them personally happy. And I was like, Ooh, let me dive into that. Cause we hear that so much. Like your kids are your greatest joy, but. Is it really making you feel happy? And I'm saying this one woman was talking 

Veronica: about. Yeah, no, I mean, it is a different question. You're right. I mean, I have a specific memory.

I was on a yoga retreat once and we were all sitting around in a circle. And the question was brought up, like what truly, what makes you happy? And besides me, the, um, person who was doing the training and one other person, everyone else. And it was really, really interesting to me because I was just deeply, um, I guess at the time I was just both confused and baffled yet interested in that answer because where do we [00:27:00] treat, right?

So we're being really introspective. We're going in being very mindful. And that was the answer that most of the women gave. So, yeah, anyway. That happened to me and I, I was always, what was, I was always baffled by that. What, what did you answer? Oh, that's a good question. I don't remember 

Rick: Empanadas for, for those who don't know, Veronica is obsessed with empanadas 

Veronica: Anyway,

Anyway, so I have heard. Um, women say this a lot and you're right. It is a different thing to say like what makes you happy, right? Because maybe my home can make me happy. My dog can make me happy. My whatever you own can make you happy, but are you happy with it? It's definitely a different question. 

Rick: And I think that's the purpose, especially of a retreat or true happiness is they always say that as you, you internally need to be happy before external things should make you happy.

Yeah. And, um, yeah, you know, I mean, [00:28:00] that's what's. brought me the most happiness is nothing external, whether that's, you know, obviously not a child in my case, but yeah, I would assume a child will not make me happy. It might bring me some joy at some point, you know, because they do something and I'm like, Oh, I used to do that or I'm living through them or whatever it is.

But um, ultimately true happiness comes from within, in my opinion, I don't have. The case studies and the data to back it up like you do 

Veronica: you're on my nerves today. 

Rick: I know I really am bothering you. I'm just being myself. 

Veronica: No, I know. Okay. I'm kidding. You're not on my nerves. 

Rick: Okay. This, this podcast was about to take a serious downturn.

Veronica: No, but shoot. I just had a thought about, um, what you were just saying about internal happiness. Oh, okay. I remember. Yeah, this is so important because I have spoken to, and maybe some of us have read about, we've seen it in movies, we've seen it in shows, where there comes a point in certain [00:29:00] people's lives where there is a lot of suffering, there is a lot of doubt of what their purpose is, there is, everything just seems to be going wrong for them, and They think about why don't I have a baby so I can bring some joy into my life and that That really scares me when people do that, because 

Rick: I equate it to equivalent to, I'm having a bad day.

I need a drink. You know what I mean? And I mean that like, yeah, reaching for something to bring you, you're reaching outside of yourself to bring you peace, some, some solace, some are to numb you in some sort of way. So I said biggest mistake because. That is the last thing you should be doing when you're in a place of confusion, you know, is to just [00:30:00] say, I need to have a baby.

That's going to bring me happiness. I mean, I'm guilty of it. I've been in relationships where they were starting to go bad in the past. And I think I brought this up, but I'll say it again. I thought to fix the relationship was to have a kid. 

Veronica: I mean, you and thousands of other people, I mean, it happens all the time.

Rick: It doesn't fix it. It actually makes it 10 times worse. And that's from 99. 9 percent of the people I guarantee it. 

Veronica: Yeah, absolutely. So that really gets me upset when people do that. And the thing that gets me upset about that is for someone to have the mindset of, okay, I'm really struggling right now. So why don't I have a baby to fix things?

That says that. They don't hear from us right from our voice. They don't see the data that we're talking about today They're not hearing the message that kids do not equal joy and happiness a thousand percent I'm not saying they can't bring you joy and happiness, but that they don't equal so they're making that [00:31:00] decision based on A reality that is not true, which is their reality, which they've been told.

If you have a baby, you'll be happy. Right? So if everybody was educated and informed that this, in fact, is not the case that we wouldn't have those people having babies. And the second the baby's born, it has all this pressure to bring joy to the, to the mom or to the dad or to the parents. If you 

Rick: could go back in time and find that first person that started that rumor.


Veronica: I have to go back. 

Rick: Way back. Like how far? Way back. When did this narrative start? When did this messaging 

Veronica: start? I wish I could dig back as far. I mean, my research takes us back centuries and centuries and centuries. Um, but, I don't know. I don't have the date for that. But I'm surprised every time I dig deeper and I go further and I still find evidence of this.

So, so, yeah. It is something that People make decisions on based [00:32:00] on thinking that this is a fact. So we're what we're talking about today is that this is indeed not a fact and no research was ever done before. This was only based on assumption. Obviously it has, um, obviously it has. patriarchal on overtones, religion, all all of the things.

But that's the reason I love studies like these coming out. And I think there should be a lot more I would love to be involved in some of these honestly to be like, this would really make me happy to do because I have specific studies in my head that I would love to do. So anyway, if anyone's listening, 

Rick: I'm sure that there's plenty of Universities that would appreciate your insight on these.

Veronica: Um, so hopefully, yeah, hopefully I'll be able to in the future. But another thing which isn't going to bring us a lot of like, whoa, surprising facts here is that they said that women and men who are child free are also less stressed. [00:33:00] on average and report greater satisfaction in their marriages. And those are two things that we see all the time.

I mean, we experienced it ourselves. We see it in our community. I see it in my program and we talk about the fact, and we even did a podcast on it, I think, about child free in our relationship and how we love the fact that because we're child free, we can focus on our relationship so much. 

Rick: Yeah. And again, it comes back to, you know, what we fill our time with, you know, as child free people, we can pick and choose what we fill our time with because we don't have the resource, these responsibilities.

If you listen to my podcast, that's what I call children because that's what they are. They're responsibilities and, and we don't have them running around causing havoc and, and, and craving all this attention that we need to give them as parents. I threw in the havoc as a dig, I threw in the havoc as a dig.

I was just messing around. Um, gosh, we're like in a really negative, dark mood today. [00:34:00] Um, but no, in all seriousness, I think, yeah, exactly. Um, I, I think that, I think it really comes back to, we're going to fill our time, and because we have, 

Veronica: Well, we don't have to fill our time. We don't have to fill our time, right?

We can choose not to do anything with our time. Well, we can do nothing. 

Rick: Yeah. I mean, doing nothing is filling our time, technically. You're doing nothing. You're doing Your time is spent doing nothing. So, you know, I think like just because you have a clearer path ahead of you as far as responsibilities and, you know, you can really focus on different things.

And a lot of those things we seek out bring us joy, right? I mean, I'm not gonna, yeah. I mean, I guess you could seek out negative things like drugs or alcohol, which would be hot or horrible and. I can understand that on a personal level, but, you know, if you seek out the right things, it's going to bring you happiness.

It's going to bring you a sense of freedom and you're going to live your life to the best. Listen, we only get one of these lives. You know, I keep coming back to this as I get older. I'm 52 years old. [00:35:00] 

Veronica: I know. But just so everyone understands this, like Rick is 52, but he thinks he's 92. I mean, 

Rick: I know 

Veronica: you feel like you do, but you're only 52.

I think you think you're 92 by the way you act, by the things you say to me every day. Like I'm like, Oh my God. And the thing that I think about is with you for, you know, until You could be a hundred or more and I'm going to be hearing about the fact that you're old. 

Rick: I'm just, I'm not saying I'm old. The reason why I bring it up is because it reminds me to appreciate every single day because in 20 winters from now, I'm going to be 82.

And I think of it in those terms because I'm living my, I'm living my best life and I am happy that we're back on this topic. Like I am a happy person because I'm aware of my time frame, 52 years old, you know, but I'm not complaining about it. I love being this age. I [00:36:00] actually feel better than I did in some ways when I was younger.


Veronica: well, that's true. Well, that comes to that is, um, really relates to my next point where they were talking about like, okay, so if we are happy, right, we do have all the benefits of being happy and fulfilled, which one of them is, of course, health. And I have a little list here that they wrote. So it said, um, when you're happy, the benefits improved heart health, your favorite, uh, better immune functioning, longer life.

Span, slower disease progression, faster recovery from injur, injury or illness, reductions in pain, lower levels of stress and anxiety and better sleep. So these are all fantastic things. I mean, don't you agree? 

Rick: Absolutely. I mean, it's, it's pulling at my heartstrings, to be honest with you. Every single one of those.


Veronica: yeah, right. And I think that [00:37:00] because people ask us all the time, like, are we happy that we're child free? And yeah, of course the answer is yes. We actually both really love and enjoy our child free life. I mean so much. We talk about it just ourselves, not even on the podcast, but we talk about it all the time, just in our own time.

So it is absolutely true. But it's not like we're not doing the work, right? Like we're still doing, um, for example, we're prioritizing our relationships overall, like our relationship with each other, with our family, with our friends, like we're doing things that make us happy and mindfulness being this is something that you've struggled with in the past, like just being in the moment and not Super focused on the past or the future.

That's something that we bring up all the time to keep the happiness going. And, um, lastly, one thing, sorry, go ahead. 

Rick: I was going to say, I think it's a great point. I want to reemphasize that point. I mean, you said it, but I'm going to say it again, is [00:38:00] that for those who are younger that are listening, your future is bright, but.

And the big but here is you need to put in the work, as you said, because it's very easy. There's no guarantee of happiness if you just don't have kids. You have to really put in the effort of creating a community for yourself, um, doing healthy things for yourself, you know, writing out exactly what makes you happy, being internally happy.

I mean, there's so many factors that lead to the success of being happy. And I just want to re emphasize that because I like to, at 52 years old, you know, I want to pass down some of, some of my wisdom. So, uh, 

Veronica: And I think that's important, right? Because we've had that question so many times. Are you happy?

Are you both happy? Are you each happy? And yeah, it's um, it, it, it concerns me sometimes that The idea of joy and [00:39:00] happiness and fulfillment can all be put into the bucket of whether you have kids or not, right? So, I think that by us making it clear that it is not a guarantee, and I'm going to say it. If just because you're job free, it doesn't mean that you're going to be happy.

Um, quick fix for anything. Yeah, exactly. You know, but sometimes people, I, I, I mean, people have reached out to us and dm doesn't, and they're under the idea that because we chose this lifestyle, we're not really dealing with any, um, hardships or, or stress or which Which I think I can see if you're in a space where you're trying to make this decision, and you want to be very rigid about like joy, fulfillment, happiness, right?

Like which one? Um, I can see why people ask us that question, but the, the, the answer is that yes. We are very happy, but we work at quite a 

Rick: relationship and we work on, you know, [00:40:00] self control and, 

Veronica: you know, it's gratitude. Gratitude is a huge one because I have a big gratitude practice and I think that over the years we've been together for How long have we been together?

Eight years now? Almost nine years. No, we just turned eight years. This year. Yeah, that's true. This year is going to be, the end of this year is going to be nine years. She says it's a long time. 

Rick: How do you feel about coming up on nine years? It's weird. It's very strange. How many times do you regret it?

Because I annoy you all the time. 

Veronica: Oh, we should. Tell them about the 24 hour contest, but put that on hold for a second. Um, but, um, so, oh, shoot. I forgot what's gonna say. Oh, gratitude. So I think that since we've met, I'm not trying to give myself credit, but it's just because I've seen it. Your gratitude practice has definitely increased because I don't know that you had a gratitude practice when we first met.

Rick: I had none. I didn't. I'm not. I [00:41:00] was in a dark place when we met, you know, I didn't understand. Yeah. You know, I, we've talked about this before. I used to roll my eyes at like, you know, self improvement and gratitude. I'm like, Oh, let me go to therapy and deal with it. It's awful of me. I'm not even making a joke about that.

That was. It was just, you know what it was, my own insecurity and fear of addressing what was inside of me. So therefore, 

Veronica: that's what we've all done, right? It's freaking scary to dive into all 

Rick: those things. So I used to just brush it off, which was not the right thing to do. And I encourage anyone not to do that.

Right. But, um, 

Veronica: but now we have this, but now I see you have this. beautiful gratitude practice, which you share with me often. You say, I'm really grateful for XYZ. And I really appreciate that. I have a gratitude practice in my head all the time. I'm probably not so vocal about it, but I do think about it. So yeah, these are steps that we take, um, all the time and I'm excited for these research studies to [00:42:00] continue.

And my big dream would be that people understand that happiness does not depend on one's Solitary thing that it's a process that it evolves that it has ups. It has downs. It has beauty in it. And, uh, and hopefully some of that is coming across 

Rick: today. Yeah. I mean, I really have spent even just the short amount of time we've been spending in 2024, like almost.

Obsessively every day, showing gratitude to everything, almost to the point where it's becoming a problem. Like, I'm just like looking at things like I'm so grateful for that because I'm 52 and I only have 20 more years before I'm 82. I'm going to be so grateful for that right now. I'm so grateful for door handles.

I mean, there was a time where they didn't exist. So grateful for. I am. I'm grateful for 

Veronica: all these things. No, I'm laughing because I know that you're telling the truth, because I know 

Rick: you. I'm like so grateful. But it's just really funny. Yeah. I'm grateful to be alive during this time. Mm hmm. You know? Yeah.

I mean, we could have [00:43:00] easily been born in the 1700s, and it wouldn't have been as easy to be grateful back then, I would think. 

Veronica: Right. I mean, yeah. I mean, think about it. I mean, who knows? 

Rick: Yeah. I mean, you gotta walk to your neighbors, and it's 75 miles away, because you don't have a car. I know. It's true.

Those people that, you know, can show gratitude at that time, wow, hats off. 

Veronica: You're right, definitely much more difficult to show gratitude back then. Um, and then also I probably want to add for the people that are just getting to know us is that Rick is extremely extreme. So Rick goes from one end of something to the other.

So this is a perfect example of no shows, like has no regard for gratitude, doesn't show it, doesn't think about it, too, is like a gratitude 

Rick: guru, right? Well, I, I, we always said that if I was to write a book, it would be called, you had a great title for it, but it was something about [00:44:00] living in moderation, learning to live in moderation, learning, 

Veronica: oh, learning to live in the middle, I think, or something like that was the name of your book, yeah, living in the middle, something like that, I can't remember, but yeah, so, 

Rick: living in the middle, because I either live in Yeah, on either 

Veronica: extreme.

Yeah, extreme. But, um, but yeah, so I want to get back to before we forget our 24 hour contest that we recently had. I'm so happy you could set it up. 

Rick: Okay. So we had a contest. So for those who know us, like you were saying earlier, I tend to annoy Veronica, just fun annoyances. Like I just, you know, fun for me, I guess.

So we had a contest. You know, sometimes she gets frustrated and I shut it down because I just know that you're like getting really annoyed, right? So around 10 o'clock the other night at 10 o'clock at night. I said to her Why don't we have a contest where we're not allowed to say we're not allowed to make fun of each other in a playful way Yeah, we don't we never 

Veronica: [00:45:00] We're 

Rick: not we're not allowed to poke fun at each other for 24 hours nothing Yeah, no, like, Oh, that's how you are or anything like that.

You know, just let's go 24 hours. And it's really cold in Austin. It's like 20 degrees or even less, it was like 14 degrees. And in that 24 hour period, whoever lost had to walk Eddie, our dog, both morning and night. Right. We usually take shifts. Yeah. Which 

Veronica: is a very huge. Yeah, it was a huge thing. I mean, it was cold.

It was cold. You 

Rick: were like, you were like, 

Veronica: this is a pretty. I was questioning it. Yeah. You know, I actually thought like, I have this in the bag because you make fun of me 24 seven. I I also did think that I know you well enough to know that you're going to be like so laser focused on not Losing the contest either and i'm like I don't make fun of you very often so it could just organically slip So I def I definitely didn't feel like I have this and when we said, okay whoever loses has to [00:46:00] take eddie out for the walk twice and like Eight degrees because that's how much it was early in the morning late at night.

But anyway, so So I won, yeah 

Rick: So I won. And why don't you tell them what you said? 

Veronica: Well, well, well, the funny part is, is that I did, we made this bed at like 10pm, whatever. Next day, doesn't even cross my mind. We don't discuss it. I don't think about it. And then some point the next afternoon, you say to me how much you've struggled all day.

Uh, because it's been really hard for you not to make fun of me. And I was laughing and I actually went, I went ahead and posted in our membership community that we were having the contest and that you can't contain yourself. Um, and you've been really struggling. I haven't thought twice about it. And then I lost.

Yes, I was the last that did it. We were watching a Seinfeld rerun. We'd like to watch Seinfeld when we're, when we're, um, having dinner, if we watch [00:47:00] TV and, um, and there was just something, I can't even remember what it was, there was something happening in the episode and I said, Oh, that would be you because you're so blah, blah, blah like that.


Rick: was okay. I remember it. So it was Kramer had a free gift card to, uh, get as much coffee as he wanted. And I love coffee. And he was like jittery and freaking out. And you'd be like, that'd be you if you had all the Starbucks you wanted. And I said, that And this was at nine o'clock. You had one hour left.

One hour. And I said, that is a dig. You totally poke fun of me. You lose. And you just lost it. 

Veronica: I did. I did. I know you were very happy. You're very happy. I did walk Eddie that night, but It's funny, obviously it's out the window because it was only a 24 hour period and we're back to our regular life of you making fun of me 24 7, but it was fun while it [00:48:00] lasted.

It was fun. To have 

Rick: that freedom. And you know, first of all. Yeah. I'm gonna just give you. Mm hmm. Some serious love here and say you are such a great sport at dealing with my poking fun. You're just, you're very good at handling. You never get defensive when it comes to joking stuff. Yeah. And I know you've been around a lot of people like that's how you kind of grew up.

It's like people always making fun of each other. So that, so I'm very lucky to have you as a partner considering that you take it so well. So I appreciate you putting up with me. I want to end on that note because I love you and I'm very happy that you can take my constant. Barrage of jokings and funds of, if that makes 

Veronica: any sense, I can, I can, I can.

And hopefully that will not interfere in our joy and happiness as a child free couple. Oh, I want to bring up one more thing before we go is that I've been doing interviews with the members of my program is child free for me. And they're. Child free journeys are amazing, um, [00:49:00] and unique and you really have to hear their story.

So I think what I'm going to do is in the week when we don't do our podcast, I'm going to upload those videos here so that this audience can also listen to these stories, because I think that so many of you will relate to what these ladies had to say. So I don't know how we're going to do it yet. Maybe we'll call it a bonus episode.

Bonus episode. Yeah, yeah. So that's going to be happening in between our regular episodes starting next week, probably. No, that 

Rick: sounds great. I look forward to hearing them myself. We'll leave 

Veronica: it at that. I'm excited to go somewhere with you. It's so sunny out, and I think that we should go enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Rick: Let's practice our child free freedom by taking a nice long walk in our warm 72 degree day. Let's do it. All right. We'll see you next time, everybody. Bye.