Dancing With The Stars

How an unconventional upbringing led to Ricki-Lee Coulter's decision not to have children

''You worry if people will judge you or try to talk you around.''

By Faye Couros
Ricki-Lee Coulter met her husband and manager Richard Harrison in a very millennial fashion in 2009.
The singer was with a friend when they "pulled up" their Facebook and went through their "friends [list]", and Ricki-Lee saw the man who would become the love of her life.
Ricki-Lee and her husband met in 2009. Instagram
In a feature with Stellar magazine, the Australian Idol star recounted exclaiming, "Oh. My. God. Who is that?"
Perhaps it was fate or through their mutual friend, but Ricki-Lee finally met Richard at the Esplanade Hotel two months later.
She recalled, "It was midnight, we'd been drinking. The classy girl I am, I was standing on a chair sculling a jug of beer and in comes that face I'd seen on Facebook. It was like a bullet to my chest. He smiled at me and it was like my knees went from under me. We clicked straight away."
They tied the knot in 2015 in France. Instagram
In 2015 they wed in France and began a life together as partners in love and business.
The duo has everything they ever dreamed of and more, but for a while, the Australian public questioned why they didn't have children - an unrequited query Ricki-Lee had to address time and time again.
Her decision to not become a mum became public in 2014 when she was asked about children in a radio interview, which the Do It Like That crooner described as "insensitive."
In the same year, she revealed to Fitzy and Wippa how her unique upbringing led to her decision because she felt like she had already experienced enough child raising coming from a large family.
"I'm the eldest of like 30 grandchildren, my mum is one of like, fifty thousand kids. I was the eldest of all these grandkids and I was the one looking after them," she explained.
"My mum had me when she was really young and so I was dumped with whoever – aunty or friend or cousin, who would take me while she went out partying, being an 18-year-old."
The singer captioned this sweet snap, "Aunty time." Instagram
Any reason is valid not to have children, but Ricki-Lee's public explanation didn't dissuade the media and fans from querying her choice.In her 2019 interview with Stellar she stood up to critics for their nagging and pointed out how irresponsible it is to ask women about having children.
"It's a completely personal decision," she said. "You can't tell people how to live their lives. You don't know what people are going through, if they can't have kids, or are trying, or have lost a baby."
"For me, it's simply: I don't want kids. People on the street ask me, 'When are you and Rich having kids?' Stop!"
Ricki-Lee's strong and blunt admission was assertive and shut down the constant questions, but she told TV WEEK that it hadn't always been easy for her to speak about it with confidence.
"It took me a while to get to that point of being that blunt about it," she revealed. "You worry if people will judge you or try to talk you around. But now I just say how I feel. There's no story, there's nothing to talk about with them. Generally, people are all right with that."
It's well appreciated that being an aunt or uncle is more fun than being a parent because they get all the fun and hand back the baby for the hard bits like changing nappies.
That well-loved role is one Ricki-Lee is exceptional at, and with a much-younger half-sister, Emily, and another called Jodie, who has children of her own, the 36-year-old has many children in her life to adore.
"My mum and my sister had babies around the same time. I love being an aunty. We'll stay up all night eating pizza, we'll wake up and have a tub of ice-cream for breakfast and send you back to your parents — bye," she told Stellar.
Of course, how could fans forget about adorable Yumi! The daughter of Ricki-Lee's best friend is without a doubt the light of her life, as she constantly shares pictures of their playdates and gushed over her while they were separated during lockdown.
Ricki-Lee and her husband pose with Ricki-Lee's bestie's baby Yumi. Instagram
When the bub was born, she adorably took to Instagram to share their first picture together with the besotted caption, "When your best friends have a baby, a crazy amount of love takes over your entire body," she wrote.
"My heart is exploding with love for this little princess 🥰 Welcome to the world, Yumi...Aunty Ricki & Uncle Rich can't wait to cuddle you!"