The Childfree Wealth Podcast, hosted by Bri Conn and Dr. Jay Zigmont, CFP®, is a financial and lifestyle podcast that explores the unique perspectives and concerns of childfree individuals and couples. In this episode, Dr. Jay talks with childfree content creator, Tiffany J. Marie about advocating for the childfree community.
They discuss the challenges of handling negative comments and judgements in the childfree space, both online and offline. Then they dive into the significance of International Childfree Day and the need for greater recognition and inclusion of the childfree demographic in marketing and everyday life. Tiffany highlights the disconnect between businesses targeting parent content creators while hesitating to work with childfree content creators.
Listen to the conversation as they explore how society can become more inclusive of this diverse and growing community.
Connect with Tiffany J. Marie here!
Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational & entertainment purposes. Please consult your advisor before implementing any ideas heard on this podcast.
Alright, for all you Childfree Wealth listeners today we have Tiffany J. Marie joining us, and if you've been on Instagram and looking at childfree stuff, chances are you've seen her there. How long have you been doing the Instagram thing?
Just a few years now. Actually. I think I started kind of taking it seriously during the pandemic 'cause I didn't really have much else to do. And here we are.
And you got like, I don't know, like 5 billion followers or something like that.
I think it's up to 126.
But who's counting?
Yeah, I try not to think about it. 'cause when I think about the fact of like visualizing a hundred thousand people in real life, it like freaks me out too much. So I just try and pretend that that number doesn't actually exist there.
And you're better at it than I am. I am not good at social media. That's why Bri does most of our stuff. But like, I just can't take the comments. Now I'm in the deep south in Mississippi and the amount of people praying for my soul because, you know, my childfree soul is…
And I'm like, how do you handle that?
A lot of the time, and I, I think maybe that's one thing that kind of differentiates me from some other people is like, I. 99% of the time, I know it's not really about me, like any of the comments, it has nothing to do with me. It's other people projecting their own fears or own insecurities.
Like if someone were to say, you're gonna end up alone, maybe, but I love being alone. Like that is my dream life being alone. So like if they're afraid of ending up alone, that's, that's fine. And you have kids and you build a family and you make sure you never have any time alone. But it's not about me. I don't have that fear.
It doesn't really affect me that much. And the other 1% of the time, Sometimes I'll just delete content. Like if things are getting too hostile, I'll just be like, I'm not willing to put up with this and I'll delete it, and the problem disappears.
Okay. So I just saw this on your screen, you just deleted the comments about Barbie.
I get the childfree icon in the movie. I haven't even seen the movie. I don't know. But I had saw your original post and then what people are getting all hot and bothered about Barbie.
Yeah, like it's, it's one thing to disagree with. What my opinion is and whatever. And there was a lot of really great discussion going on, so it's actually kind of sad that I felt like I had to delete it, but people kind of stopped dealing with the opinion and the issue and the perception and started sort of like personally coming after me and like, you're wrong and your opinion is wrong.
And like I just, I'm in a place today where I'm like, I just don't wanna deal with it, so I'll just delete the post and. I'll just move on with my day and not have to think about it anymore. So it's, it's a shame, but when people can't have sort of a respectful discussion and respectfully disagree, it's just, it's not worth my time.
That's fair. I'm in the financial world. I can't delete the post. Like literally we have to, we have to like, keep copies of it for years and, and I said to my compliance person, I'm like, “What do I do when people are throwing stones and being jerks?” And he's like, yeah, those you can hide or delete or whatever.
But that's more like, 'cause it has nothing to do with the post. It's just, you know, whatever. You know, I have somebody over there. Well, you know, we have to have kids. So you have taxpayers and warriors and I'm like, what the heck does this have to do with, but now I, I'm with you for those following us.
We're actually recording this just before International Childfree Day and Tiffany was one of the volunteers or voluntold, depending on who we look at it, to be on our billboard in Times Square. So if you haven't seen that, you can check out our Instagram. It's on there. Tiffany and I were talking a little before they started recording and one of the interesting things we found was that people didn't wanna be publicly, like in the middle of Times Square on a billboard saying, hi, I'm childfree.
But you're fine with it, right? Hopefully, yeah.
Public on the internet. I don't think you can really get any more public than that.
I think by the time this airs, we'll know what happened, but one of the things we're debating is how much. People are gonna get, get cranky about the billboard. I mean, just even say, Hey, we're enjoying our childfree life seems to upset people, but hey, we have to do it, Tiffany, you know, August 1st, international Childfree Day.
For those who don't follow that, but what does International Childfree Day mean to you? It could mean nothing, could mean something, I don't know. But what's it mean to you?
I think it's nice to have a day to just sort of appreciate this life because, I think when people say like childfree, everyone kind of thinks of the people who don't like kids or don't wanna be around kids, but I came from infertility and I still categorize myself as childfree and a lot of other people do.
And I think it's nice to have a day to celebrate that. Like there's Mother's Day and Father's Day and Grandparents' Day and Valentine's Day for the married people and whatever. Like why? Why shouldn't we have a day? To celebrate and appreciate not having kids and connect with other people who don't have kids.
Like I can understand people not wanting to like put their face on a billboard. That's a pretty vulnerable thing to do. I am already sort of a public figure, so to speak, in the line of fire, so it doesn't mean much to me, but I don't see why that has to be like a shameful thing to carry.
I'm with you. I mean, literally it's everything in my business. I mean, like, you know, but I have people, you know, just because I say, Hey, I'm the, I do, I help people that are child free or whatever. The judgment immediately comes. I, you know, I get people, even I like try to buy software for 'em in the financial world, and they're like, oh, you hate kids?
I'm like, no, I don't hate kids. I just happen to serve people that are childfree. Like, it's amazing to me. But I think for me, my goal for International Childfree Day and, and maybe you have enough platforms so you can make this happen. That one day we can walk into the drug store and find a Hallmark card that says Happy Childfree Day.
Like that's when we would know we'd be there. You'd think 25% of the US is, the number I use are childfree, permanently, childless. You'd think they'd wanna have a card for 25% of the us
Yeah. I was actually just talking to somebody and she was saying that, you know, she's also a childfree content creator, and companies are really hesitant to work with childfree content creators, but have no problems sponsoring like babies.
So like, it's weird that like, I get the parent market is huge, but you would think most people without kids have slightly more disposable income. If you're gonna try and go after a market that is gonna bring you business, it's gonna be people without kids. We are like living a life of leisure over here.
Like it, it's funny to me that they wouldn't, businesses from a strictly business sense wouldn't wanna tap into that. Especially as birth rates have dropped, like this seems to be an emerging market that I don't know, I think companies are missing out on.
I think part of it is the baggage that comes with it.
So right now in the US, as far as I know, I'm the only life and financial planning firm that exists for childfree folks. And the fact that there's one firm serving 25% of the US is just crazy. Like, I mean, there should be hundreds, nevermind one. But one of my colleagues, uh, he actually tried serving the childfree market.
He happened to be a parent himself. And like literally he went to church and people like, oh, you hate kids. You're doing this, that, and the other. And they started judging him just for serving the population. So, It may be the baggage that comes with it, but you know, Laura Carroll did a whole piece on this around Christmas time and said, Hey, you are missing out if you're not marketing to, in her case, you were talking about women, you know, childfree women.
She's like, the market is so huge and you're avoiding it. And I just don't know. I mean, part of it is there's not a great way to reach the mark, all of the mark. I mean, you got 126,000 people or whatever it is. Frankly, that's only a small percentage of the childfree folks. And you're probably the largest content creator, are you? Is there anyone bigger?
I think there's a few more that are kind of within the same range.
Right, but statistically you are, oh, tiny. I don't know 1% of the population of childfree folks. I don't know. I mean, what's your answer? You want people to come to you and say, Hey, you know, Tiffany, we'll do sponsored posts with you and you can sell, uh, Barbie dolls.
Or, I don't know what we're selling today.
But I think it'd just be nice if there was less, like, maybe not less, but more sort of, I guess general marketing even. Because like even going to the grocery store, it's very parent oriented and like, I think one of the slogans recently was “Shop like a Mother.”
And I'm like, what does that even mean? Like I'm trying to save money on groceries. Have you seen the price of fruit lately? Like just because someone is a parent doesn't mean they necessarily shop differently. And I would even just love brands to not shy away from that. If you see a content creator out there who's gonna help your brand and they're kind of gearing their stuff towards people without kids, why is that harmful to you?
We even… I challenged a post, it was like a sock company and it was specifically targeting parents and it was kind of borderline insulting to people without kids 'cause like it, it's socks. Everybody wears socks. So they're like, you know, if you don't have kids, keep scrolling. This isn't for you. And I'm like, really?
This is socks. Are you saying that like, people without kids don't deserve to buy socks? It's just so weird. And surprisingly, the, the company actually apologized and said they were gonna pull the video and whatever, but the fact that I even had to be called out was just ridiculous. So they're fine alienating, childless and childfree people, and they don't see a problem with that, but they aren't fine working with us.
It's just, it's so strange to me.
Well, and you think from a business standpoint, I mean, it just makes sense. I can't, you know, say 25% of the market I'm gonna ignore. And the, the stat I use that comes out of a study in Michigan, they found 25% or so are child free. On that same study, they found about seven and some odd percent were LGBTQ+.
So we're triple the size of the market, which by the way, I'm all for pride. There were great advertisements of pride. All the companies were advertising for pride. I guess they can't advertise for Childfree Day, I guess, or to childfree or even acknowledge us. I saw something online, somebody was really happy 'cause a commercial for pregnancy tests actually showed people happy for a negative.
And she's like, this is a huge thing that people are, you know, it's okay to be happy. And I'm like, good point. Makes sense.
As a woman, even when I did want kids, I can promise you that most of the pregnancy, like pregnancy tests that are sold, people are happy to have a negative, all this advertising for like, oh, it's so exciting.
Like I think the stat is approximately 50% of pregnancies are quote unquote accidental. I really doubt that most of these sales are women who are actively trying to get pregnant, and it's women who are like, oh no, my period's late. Maybe some of it is met with joy, but I'm gonna say quite a bit of, it's probably also met with relief.
That's fair. Let's go down this path. So if you were giving advice to companies and saying, okay, here's how you should reach out to the childfree community, what would your advice be?
That's a tough one. I'm not really a marketer. It's a hard call,
But, well, I mean, but this is the whole point. You're a content creator in this area and whether we want to consider, you know, whatever your role is, however you wanna look at it, you are someone that's talking to this market.
Frankly, you are a marketer. You just don't, you might not call it that, but you are. How do we make inroads for companies to go, okay, well then how do I it?
I think even just showing like families, people without kids and enjoying that and acknowledging us, like for every 10 parent geared ad why not have one non-parent geared ad like it?
We shouldn't be. I guess I should say we shouldn't be relegated to the sort of more controversial items either. I would love to see laundry detergent marketed to people without kids, or like cleaning supplies or, you know, I don't have a family that makes quite as bit of a mess, but when messes do happen or like, I don't have kids, but when my nieces and nephews come over, I wanna make sure things are disinfected.
I don't know, something like, I just dunno why it's so hard to say. Like at least one ad every so often, specifically targeted to us, everybody else sort of has ads specifically targeted to them and then we're kind of just the leftovers, I guess.
Well that's fair. I mean, I don't know. I've been studying marketing to childfree folks 'cause in my business, that's what I do. And you know, I've had to write some books and everything. 'cause in the financial literature it all assumes you have kids. When I was becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, never once was there mentioned it doesn't exist. No. It's all pre-kids, post kids, all the financial advice you got online.
I mean, 99%. I can't say a hundred percent, but close enough. Assume you're gonna have kids. Yeah. I'm like, this is ridiculous. I had to go out and actually figure this out and I'm still figuring it out. But I started working on, okay, well then how do I reach child free folks to say, yeah, by the way, And there's not great tools.
There's some small communities online. There's some, when I say small, I, I mean, I, I don't mean to downplay, but a hundred thousand people is small outta the population.
Oh, it's minuscule.
I'm going, okay, cool. So how do we actually talk to 'em? So I started doing a lot of press and saying, “Hey, childfree, people have a different life.”
And I spend time talking to childfree people have their finances and talking to financial people about child free people and saying like, don't say stupid stuff. Don't mistreat 'em. Let's start with the basics.I'm amazed by how many people go, oh, I guess I am childfree. I didn't know that was the term.
They didn't even know what to Google or you know, like, yeah, Wall Street Journal did an article on financial planning without kids and then, and I had somebody call, he goes, that's me. And I'm like, yes it is. I didn't know there was a concept of… it was an older gentleman, but I'm like, the term itself, people don't even know.
So they were saying, okay, let's market to people because it's really hard to say, I, I call my firm Childfree Wealth. It's really hard to say people who don't have kids and don't plan on having kids wealth, you know, like it just, yeah. Doesn't market the same way, but I struggle. So you've got a hundred and some odd thousand followers.
If you were in the mommy blog world, you'd have people trying to sponsor your ads and getting you to like do sponsored posts. Do you do that now?
Uh, I don't, but I also like, haven't actively sought it out. One thing I. Was really kind of adamant about going into this is I didn't wanna become just like someone who just advertised a bunch of stuff all the time.
Like I'd be open to working with brands who I actually already use or actually believe in. I wouldn't just kind of, market for the sake of marketing. That's actually one of the things that drives me crazy about a lot of the mommy blogs and stuff is like after a while you can see like, oh, they've hit it big and now they're just a social media advertising company.
It's less about their kids and it's more about here's the 15 codes that you can use and whatever. So I haven't really been intentional about that, but I would like, I'd be open to it. I would love to work with a brand that's not afraid to kind of. Come into this space. Kit's eyewear ended up reaching out to me and they gave me a promo code and I was actually pretty surprised 'cause brands don't do that.
But everybody was asking where I got my glasses. So they decided to kind of take that bold step and like I love 'em for it. I'm even a bigger fan of their stuff now that they weren't afraid to be like, oh, these are kind of controversial videos, but this is a marketing opportunity for us.
Yeah. And I think my, my question where I was going with that is, I have a feeling if you were in a different area and you had a hundred thousand plus followers and some good engagement, you'd already have brands reaching out to you.
I'm just kind of, you know, thinking it through and going Tide or whatever would be reaching out to you 'cause you're talking about cleaning supplies.
Yeah. I don't doubt that. I think they'd probably be actively seeking out partnership as opposed to me having to like, justify why I'd be a good partner.
I just wonder how we get past that. I don't know. Are we just too early in the market in talking about childfree stuff.
I think so. Like I think the fact that the birth rate has dropped is probably gonna lend itself to more acceptance. But sort of, the boomer generation, for lack of a better way to put it, still kind of dominates everything.
There's still the people that are saying, “You have to have kids. What do you mean you're not having kids?” And especially in the states with the kind of uprising of the ultra right-wing and like so much religion being interwoven in that. Like they also like to use that to justify a lot of stuff. So it is a weird place to be.
I think we are a little bit early, I guess, in making this sort of normalized, but hopefully it won't take much longer. It's not like this isn't a new thing really. Maybe this is the first time it's been popularized, but people have been opting out of having kids for decades like it. It's really not like it's suddenly happening.
Well, I mean, this is actually the 50th anniversary of International Childfree Day, which originally was non-parents day. I don't know. Is it like the term, because I give you context though. I'm in Mississippi where all this post Roe world cases came from and it's a hard place to be childfree. Let's just put it that way.
So I recently sold my house. I had to take down all my signs because I was worried people would either not buy the house or vandalize it. I'm like, no, I'm not talking about it. Like, you know, and my wife works for a university and like, we have to keep our lives separate so that my work in the childfree community doesn't negatively impact her.
Oh yeah. Like you don't have a clue how crazy it is. We are deep red. But is it the term, is it we're not accepted? Is it the what life we're living? I mean, I had somebody the other day I asked questions about this and they, they said, we were talking about, my company said, you have two terms that are like taboo together, childfree and wealth.
Both of those are bad terms right now. And I'm like, why? What do you think? I mean, is it the term, is it the lifestyle? Is it just?
I don't know. I think people do maybe take the term child free to heart a little bit more like I. I think there's really no winning. I kind of was thinking about this this morning 'cause I saw a clip of Ellen Pompeo and she said, you know, women are either the victim or the villain.
And it's so true within the childless and childre community because people love when you're childless. They love putting you in that box. And I don't. Personally know as a man how different it is, but like people love when they can be sad. For me as a woman, it's you, poor, barren, sad woman. But if you say child free, it's, oh, suddenly you're a child hater.
And what do you mean you wanna be free of children? As if children are a burden and like children are a burden, they're a big responsibility. They like, there should be weight attached to parenting. Like I don't think there's a good. Sort of neutral term that has been invented. I think child-free, to me obviously is not offensive at all, but I think maybe some parents or people who want to be parents could maybe see that as offensive, like a direct insult or their choice.
I, I really have no idea. I think people overthink it a little bit.
Well, and I think it truly matters by location and where you are and what culture and the state and the, in the US example or religion, all the reactions get just amped up. You know, I have people explain what I'm going through in Mississippi and they're like, they, they'll be in California and they're like, it's not like that.
And I'm like, yes, it is here. Yeah. You know, like, but oh, I live in San Fran. It's not. Oh, okay. How much difference do you see in the US versus Canada?
I think if you would've asked me a few years ago, it would've been pretty dramatically different. But post-Trump, a lot of that has really bled over the border and it's definitely more conservative.
People have become more vocal in our area. I think we're really lucky. There's… I get this sort of standard, people always asking me if I have kids and giving me kind of weird, looks like I was at the doctor's office the other day and he is like, oh, so like, do you have any kids? And I'm like, no, no kids.
And he is like, oh, well I see you're married. How long have you been married for? And I'm like, oh, coming up on 10 years. And he is like, and no kids yet. I like, Nope, no kids. I think anywhere you go, you're gonna get that. It's still. I don't know why it's a big deal, but people still make it into a big deal.
But definitely I think a lot more hostility and sort of the Bible belt and the really red states, Canada, I guess, is maybe a bit more liberal, like we do still have a lot of rights, but there's definitely a lot of that leading up into Canada. I.
I don't, I don't know. The US has got some weird stuff going on.
Let's just be real on that. It's just messed up and down here in the south it is just screw you. One of the debates my wife and I are having is do you stay and fight from the inside or do you go somewhere that reflects your values and it's one of those.
That’s a tough question 'cause there's a lot of people who are now moving to a state that sort of represents them and like, In and of itself is gonna probably cause a lot of issues if that gets too outta hand.
Yep. My firm's heavily regulated. I'm a registered investment advisor. I had to actually move it from being under the state of Mississippi to being under the SEC to protect the privacy of my clients. Our governor came out publicly and said, hey, I'm not tapping your phones and, and reading your mail, but…
Like, but what? Like, you know, there shouldn't be a but after that sentence.
And as a regulated industry, they could come in and read all my files and, you know, find something about reproductive health and cause issues for both being my clients. And I had to, like, I spent tens of thousands of dollars to move my firm just to protect the privacy of my clients.
And I'm like, I should not have to worry about that. Like, I'm just talking about their life and finances. Who cares? But in the US if somebody moves for the reproductive rights, like in Texas, that could in theory be against the law, and it's like, it's getting ridiculous. I just, there are days where I get up in the morning and I have the fight in me, and then there's other days I'm like, I'm gonna let Tiffany fight best one.
Like, and, and I, I just don't know. I, I've been joking about it, but I, I think it's true that we as a childfree community need kind of like a leader to be out there all constantly, you know, banging the drums and saying, yep, we're here. We're proud of our life. We're just out there. But I think we might be talking to the wrong audience.
We need to be talking to the whole world, not childfree communities. In childfree communities, were already accepted. We need to be out there and going, yep, we're here and it's fine. And we're good. You know, I was at a conference, financial conference, you'll get a kick outta this. And they're, these are boring as heck.
Conferences. I mean like…
Oh, they're dull. My husband's a financial advisor and I went to one and snooze fest.
Yeah. Boring. This guy gets up there and speaking he goes, well, working with people without kids is the worst. And I'm like, you can't say that. Could you imagine if he had changed the words of working with blank group?
Just fill in the blank is the worst. Literally. Anything else.
I complained to the conference, I'm like, Hey, blah, blah, blah. And they're like, yeah, well, he should have worded it better, like
He shouldn't have said it at all.
Are you gonna be our cheerleader and lead the group and, uh, say we're all here or we gotta find somebody else to do that one?
Oh gosh. I don't know. More and more I end up in these positions where I'm like, I hate public speaking. Being out in front of people is like my worst nightmare. And like, here I am being out in front of people living my worst nightmare. It's hard. I don't know. I'm the same way where there's days where I have so much fight in me and I'm like, fight for the cause we can make change.
And then there's other days where I'm like, This is just exhausting. These people are awful. Everybody is unduly cruel. Like, what's the point? And I just wanna throw my phone into a lake.
Okay. You gotta answer this though. When you started your Instagram presence, what was the point?
Honestly, it was like selfish of me because I like, once we decided, okay, we're not gonna pursue a life with kids, we're gonna embrace.
Life without kids. We sat down, had a lot of really intentional discussions like, okay, we don't have kids, so what are we gonna do to make sure our life isn't totally me focused. Generosity was a big thing. We were really intentional about our choice, and when I went to search for other people who decided to not have kids, it was like two dramatically different camps. It was the childless camp and the infertility and the majority of that camp was still sort of grieving. They were in their sadness. It was hard. They were still getting sad over pregnancy announcements, and I'm like, I'm, I'm past that. I don't wanna sit in grief forever.
And then it was like, and maybe this is my mistake, but I ended up looking on Facebook and stuff and then it was like childfree stuff and it was just so hateful. There were literally posts about violence against children and I was like, I want nothing to do with that. Like, I don't hate kids, I just wanna bond with other people who don't have kids.
I started it 'cause I was like, I just want a positive space that encourages people without kids. Isn't hateful towards parents and it kind of just sort of blossomed into what it is now. And I think the best thing we can do is like, and I don't think people think about this a lot, but when you advocate for childfree people, you're also advocating for childless people.
People don't think about the fact that, okay, if we make it known to women and men, 'cause I think like 50% of infertility cases are all like due to males. So like, if we make it known that you can have a happy, fulfilling, joyful life without kids, that's gonna not only make it great for people who choose to not have kids, but also for people who don't choose that like, they're now not gonna remortgage their house 15 times so they can pay for fertility treatments and they're not gonna like slip into this sort of hopeless depression because that's not an option.
Like if I were, if I knew going into infertility that regardless of whether or not we had kids, my life would be incredible. Maybe it wouldn't have been so hard, like maybe it would've been this sucks. I wanted to have kids and I'm not. I know there's still joy there. So like it's, I think it would be nice if the child, this in childfree community could also sort of come a bit closer together 'cause we're more or less fighting the same battle.
I think we can learn a lot from the LGBT community and I kind of like want like a, I haven't figured it out 'cause it'll just be like C C C C C CCC for all the different childfree, childless childhood child, like all like there's not a great term for it to be inclusive and.
I have people, you know ask me, well, does your firm only serve for childfree people? Like no it serves people who don't have kids and don't have plan kids. But the interesting thing to me is you have to, if, if you're on the childless side, I talk a lot with Katy Seppi from Chasing Creation. She says that the childless people need to grieve the life they thought they would live before they could live a new life.
And I'm frank with you. I'm like, if you haven't gone through the grief process, You're not ready for childfree financial planning. You know, like it's just, you're still 'cause trying or whatever else is cool. Stay on the standard life plan. Once you've gotten past it and you've grieved and you worked through it, let's talk about what your new life looks like.
And I have these great conversations with people that are like, I didn't know I have options. Yeah, you have every option in the world. They're like, huh. And I, and you're right. The two communities, they're flip sides of the same coin. It's just a different path to get there.
It is. And when you're sort of in like the depths of the grief, you don't wanna hear about how great life is without kids.
It is hard, but I think it is important to have a path between the two. And I like to think that I'm somewhat helpful in that. Like I have parents that follow me. I have childless people that follow me. I have childfree people that follow me. I have, you know, families with childfree or childless relatives that just wanna understand.
So like I think we need to. Still be respectful to all of the communities, but it is important to still work together. 'cause every win in the childfree space is a win in the childless space as well.
Absolutely. And that's where my take on is. Yes. And we need to talk to the general population, not to our, the childfree convention is this weekend and the childless convention, uh, collective that Katy does, they both had sessions on just debating the terms.
And I'm like, that's not the argument we need to be having. You know, I do a lot of press and I did an interview with somebody and on something for finance, I said, oh, by the way, you should talk about childfree finance. It's a good topic. And he says to me, he says, well, I gotta check with my editor 'cause I'm not sure we can use that word in print.
I'm like, what? He says like, the word suicide, we're not allowed to say it. 'cause people might do it. What? And I'm like, okay.
Like it's a cuss word.
I don't know, but like, 'cause I think we just need to get out there and talk about it and be okay with it and just say, yep. It's just, just who, part of who we are.
It just is. It's not that we're, you know, my pitch in the public is childfree life is not better or worse. It's just different. You know? I'm not saying you should or shouldn't, I'm not recruiting people to the cause. I'm just saying if you live a childfree life, it changes your finances, it changes your life plan.
That's all. I'm not saying it's…
It's hilarious that people think you're like trying to recruit people or something. Like I've, I've been told more than once by miscellaneous commenters that they feel like I'm just trying to start a cult or something. I'm like, I am recruiting nobody bringing awareness.
I'm making this a safe space for other people to connect and like, if you wanna be kind of combative, I think parents do more of a job trying to recruit others. Than we ever do. I've never gone up to someone and been like, oh, you're planning on having kids? Are you sure? That sounds like a really bad idea yet.
I've been given the parenting elevator pitch by almost every parent I come in contact with. So like who's really doing the recruiting here?
I laughed. 'cause you got it right. I worked in healthcare before and I had a staff member stop me in the hall. The person that works for me says, hey, I've been thinking about you and your wife.
You're both really smart. You really need to have kids. And I'm like, just do the inverse of that. Like, if I stop you in the hall, I'm like, I've been thinking about you and your spouse. You're really dumb. You shouldn't have kids. Like, I couldn't, like you can't invert it. Yeah. No, not at all. So I told somebody this story and they said, well, did you go to HR for this issue?
And I said, we were in the HR department. Like, you know, like, oh, but it's, it's a cultural norm and it's just, It is. I mean, let's be real. Women get it much worse than men. But even us guys, we get it too. It's just, it's different guy to guy. I don't get it. Women come to men and complain about it.
Oh yeah. It like, it's weird to me that people get so offended by asking them to just change certain things.
Like there's so many times that people have been like, well, they have good intentions when asking that. And I'm like, I acknowledge that the intentions were good, but it still doesn't make it okay. I'm not even asking people to not ask if people have kids or not talk about it. Like I'm asking for a simple change of language.
Instead of saying, when are you having kids say, do you want to have kids? You still accomplish the same outcome, but you're being significantly less offensive. Like, and people get so mad about that, like I. I should have, like, they should have authority over knowing what goes on in my womb or something like that's, it's ridiculous that this is just normal everyday conversations.
I was doing a financial article writing for Financial Peaceful, say childfree, people exist and you know, kind of who we are and how it changed the finances and back and forth with the editors and other things and just kind of how it's going and. I put in there, you know, whether they're childfree, childless by choice, not by choice.
It doesn't really matter how they got there. Doesn't change the financial plan in the long run. Yeah, and the person I was writing this article with was like, well, but I think me knowing why they don't have kids is going to help. And I was like, no, not so much. We're going back and forth on this. And I said to him, I said, okay, cool.
My wife has a 50/50 chance of dying if she gets pregnant. How does that change my financial plan? He's like, I was like, you don't wanna know the answer now, do you like, no, but I think it's just like they can't understand it, so they're like, well, I need to know. No, you don't need to know any of that. On my intake forms, I actually have, you know, do you have kids?
Yes. No. And if it says no, it says, cool. Are you childfree? Childless? I'll never ask you about it again. Intentionally to allow people a safe space to share or not. I mean, people have their stories and other things. Yep. But it doesn't change a thing. How we work with them as clients or whatever else it is.
But people are nosy,
Yeah, and it's, it's almost like they, like, you need to have a justifiable reason. Like, well, I need to know why. Okay, it doesn't change the financial plan, but maybe it changes how you perceive me if I physically can't have kids or if I have risk of death or chronic illness or whatever.
Suddenly it's, it's okay. To not have kids, but if you're just a completely fertile person who opted out of it, well, maybe that just changes how I feel about you. It doesn't actually change anything else.
I don't know. I never thought I would be. Arguing about, uh, you know, how to work. I call it an underrepresented minority group with childfree folks.
I didn't think I'd be arguing with it. And I did an article for, a journal for finance of talking about DEI and I was talking about the term childfree with the dash without, and the editor was fighting with me again. I'm like, listen, you, I'm literally writing an article about how to work with a population.
I use it without a dash. 'cause I think the dash implies something's missing. But you're fighting me because the AP style guide says it has to have a dash and has to have this media. I'm like, listen to the community. Who's telling you how to work with that? And finally they put a footnote at the end saying, we used it this way because the, and I'm like, Okay, fine.
Like the, the financial world is just so far behind. I'll give you one more example and then we'll wrap up. I, I was at another conference talking about how to help women with their finances. Cool. And the person up front goes, well, if you're getting divorced, you don't have kids. It's not as bad. And I'm like, you sure you wanna stick out?
It’s different, it is different. I'll give you that. Not as bad. That's a huge judgement. So I reached out afterwards and she's like, huh, I never really thought about it. I'm like, all these things are just,
I said it on a stage in front of a bunch of people, but I never really thought about it.
I was like, wow.
It's just these things that come out that pronatalist bias. That is just hard. I mean, I don't know, maybe you'll find the answer on how we promote the community? And next time I talk to you, you'll have done like the public speaking you don't wanna do, and like the, so what's your future for the, for your Instagram and all your work and where are you going?
I just started a sub stack, so I'm gonna do more sort of long form writing. I'm starting online book club, come the fall. I'll be posting the sign up for that and I'm not quite sure the details yet, but I'd love to read some good books that are gonna just create good conversation and then hoping to maybe in the future get into more sort of like.
Interviews or something along those lines still kind of percolating, I guess. I'd say stay tuned for more information on all of that.
And with the amount of books you read, I figured you'd be writing one by now.
Oh, well lots of people keep saying that, but I think they may be misjudge how difficult it is to write a book.
Oh, I'm, I just finished the first draft of my second book and I source books as a publisher. And, you know, once you get into publishing line and all that, it, it is, it's 18 months from the time you sign a contract at the time book exists and all the amount of work that goes in it. And the problem with the book is either make no money or lots of money and there's nowhere in between.
No. You know, like, not at all. I think like John Acuff came out and he said like on one of his books, he literally made $14,000 after like the publishing fees and all of that stuff. And like he's. A well-known name within the Christian community. So like coming away the 14 grand, that's really not that much money.
Yeah. I will say when you're looking down the the barrel and going, okay, I need 75,000 words done by August 30th, that's my deadline, that 75,000 words starts hurting. Yeah, it looks a lot better than it seems, but, uh, I'm with you. So where can they find you? Where's your sub stack, Instagram, all that fun stuff.
Might as well give it a plug and we'll include the link in the show notes.
Yeah, so Instagram, Tiffany, period, j Marie, and everything else is just through the link in my bio. Make it nice and easy for people.
Awesome. And if I'm summing this up, I'm gonna call this advocating for the childfree community 'cause that's really what you're talking about. You know, if you're a great brand who wants to do marketing, now we know the person to go to. You know, you just gotta make sure something that Tiffany's already using. But thank you very much and uh, appreciate having you here.
Yeah, thanks for having me.