A couple choosing to not have a kid may still seem shocking to many, but it isnt unheard of anymore. Choosing to not bring a kid into a world that is anything but ideal, is a choice that many couples are making. As one of them, I feel that while we do talk about the difficulties of making a decision to not have children, we rarely talk about living with it. Choosing to not have kids can be an isolating, doubtful and lonely journey; which is why you need to be prepared.For starters, remember that the decision is isolating, and theres not much you can do about it.We live in a society that is obsessed with getting married and having kids. To decide to not do so means stepping away from the norm and setting yourself up for an incredible amount of questions, judgements, and worse of all, opinions. To not feel understood, and having to constantly explain yourself can be incredibly isolating. When the questions of hey when are you giving us the good news? stop (they do, at some point), you have to struggle to find your place between family members who are caught up in the life of their kids, friends who prefer to hang out with other couples with kids, and 4PM pantry conversations where your colleagues talk about how easy your life is because you dont have a kid. You have to be prepared to deal with a sense of isolationwhat helps is connecting with other couples who choose to not have kids and family members who understand your decision.Rather than putting yourself in a position where you have to constantly explain yourself, find a safe space where you are understood, and surround yourself with people who agree to respect your decision.The decision to remain childfree can also often feel confusing.Did we make the right choice? Will we change our minds as we grow older? What will happen when one of us dies? These are the questions that you will most probably not have answers to. Having grown up with the mindset that you need kids to add meaning to your life, deciding to go against it, can be tough. You may not always be 100 per cent sure of your decision, and that is okay. Allow yourself the time to question your decision and explore other options. You should think of this from all possible scenarios, instead of deciding something hastily and feeling unsure for the rest of your life.Consider life as a single person as well. If you decide to not have kids, and your partner is not there anymore, what happens then? It can be tough to have a solution, but it is best to be aware of the fact that this will happen at some point. Instead of seeking straight answers, prepare yourself for all possible scenarios and find solutions on the go.Another thing to remember, having a child is exhausting, and so is not having them.Not to take away from the incredible work that parents do, every single day, but deciding to not have children also affects your mental health. What do you mean you dont want kids? This is the number one question we get at all family gatherings. Friends, colleagues, siblings, cousins, parents you will have to be prepared to explain your decision to each one of them, over and over again. And if you dont care to explain (which is absolutely okay since its your life), you have to be prepared to hear a list of why you need kids, how youll change your mind, how your life is incomplete right now, and how you are making a wrong decision. Over and over again until you learn to listen smile and simply walk away.Also, develop a thick skin against unsolicited opinions. Fertility problem hai? Talk to my neighbours sister-in-laws friends doctor na. People cannot grasp the fact that this is a choice you made on your own, and not one that was born out of circumstances. Oh, and not to forget the endless pity. Bechari, she must be so lonely is the tagline that people have attached to me. If you dont have kids, you are lonely and sad, and nothing you say can convince people otherwise. Which is why Id say, dont even try.Staying firm when you are constantly being told that you are making a wrong decision can be tough. However, you need to keep reminding yourself of the reasons why you choose this, and youll be okay. It is also a good idea to inform people around you that this decision of yours is not open for discussion. Most people understand and respect this. Remember to always talk about your decision to not have kids as a choice, rather than a temporary life phase. Simple things like swapping the word childless with childfree can give you the power in the conversation. It indicates that you are the one in charge, making decisions about your life.Also, remember, not having a child can be lonely.We are social beings, and we do crave company. So it can often feel like it is you and your partner, up against the world. Our society is so tuned into seeing a couple with kids, that when people see one without any, they dont know how to fit them into their lives. Which is okay, since we all are learning here. But it is a good idea to invest a lot into your personal relationship with your partner so that you can deal with the loneliness, together.Also find your own, independent, support system. My husband and I surround ourselves with colleagues, family members and friends who dont have kids, to ensure that we can exist in social situations as we are, without feeling the need to explain our decision to not have kids. Online communities are also a great place to find a sense of belonging. Be a part of online discussions, read articles, watch videos where other couples talk about being child-free; this will give you a sense of belonging as nothing else will.