Learn more about Mario Amaro, Childfree Man of the Year in this Q&A:
How did you come to decide you did not want children?
I decided not to have children because I grew up most of my life with children. I have a four siblings – three older and one younger. All three of my eldest siblings have children, and had them early in their lives. I have four nieces and three nephews, and I enjoy and love them. At one point we all lived in the same household, and that impacted my decision to not want children. Also watching my oldest siblings’ lives come to a halt to raise their children convinced me that this is something I didn’t want.
What is your work life like?
For the first six years in the Navy I was an Aegis Weapons Systems technician/supervisor stationed in Norfolk, Virginia onboard the USS Monterey CG-61. As a junior sailor I spent countless hours fixing advanced computers for our radar and weapon systems until I moved up to a supervisor position. I was on board when the ship was deployed twice for eight months.
In 2013, I transferred to the Navy Recruiting District of San Francisco where I am the Leading Petty Officer for the logistics department. I manage and supervise all government property that is owned by the district and work with about 200 recruiters and support staff to ensure they have the equipment to be successful. I spend a lot time traveling up and down northern and central California doing inspections on the facilities and government property.
Tell us a bit about your involvement in volunteer groups focused on improving Navy personals’ lives.
Onboard the ship I was a Sexual Assault Victims Advocate. I was a trusted sailor that everyone knew so I was sent to be trained on how to handle a sexual assault case. I was one of the few people a sailor could go to in the unfortunate circumstance that they were raped and needed someone for assistance. Every quarter I also led trainings on sexual assault to about 350 sailors.
At the recruiting command I am the President of our Morale, Welfare, and Recreational program. I seek out or create local events for the morale of our sailors. I work with a local civilian group, Operations Care and Comfort to get sailors free tickets to fun events, such as major concerts, sporting events, and festivals.
How do you deal with the pressure that family, friends, colleagues give you to have kids?
I just say no. I refuse to have children no matter how much they try to pressure me. I tell my family they have plenty of little ones to love and do not need any from me. I tell my friends that I can go out and do whatever I want whenever I feel like it. I tell my some colleagues that I can stay late at work if I need to and I have no need to stress about getting home. And to all I say it’s my choice and they just have to accept it.
What advice would you give to the childfree on dealing with these kinds of pressures from others?
Don’t give in, and believe in what you want for yourself. Show others that you can have a happy and successful life without children. People with kids have to sacrifice a lot of time and sometimes years of their lives, so please take advantage of every moment you can without children. For me I try to travel and experience the world; I have been to 20 states and 17 different countries. I continue to go school, have a social life, I am learning a new language, to play the guitar and so much more. And sure, I could do some of this with children, but not all of it. Having children is a life changing experience with unexpected results. The world is huge and there so much to accomplish in a lifetime.