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Old 06-04-2009, 06:01 AM
Location: The Midst of Insanity
3,225 posts, read 6,122,282 times
Reputation: 3209


Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
I used to feel that way too. And the thing is, I just don't think people without children truly understand. There is nothing wrong with it...if you don't know what you are missing, then there is no way you will ever know.

But after having a child I will say this. I always wondered "what the meaning of life is." Once you hold a new born baby that you have given life to, you will always understand.

The meaning of life is to create life. Period.
What is it that people without children don't understand? Are you saying that people without children are somehow lacking or inadequate?

It's wonderful that worked for you, but not everyone needs to hold a baby to discover the meaning of life.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there are people who don't want children, don't particulary find them appealing, and their lives are fulfilled and meaningful without them.

Old 06-04-2009, 06:02 AM
Location: Tennessee
33,948 posts, read 32,373,038 times
Reputation: 49896
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
My husband and I do not want children-ever. We've always felt this way but made the firm decision when he came home from Iraq. We are the only married couple inside of our circle of friends without children.

When I told an acquaintance that we weren't having children, she gasped and said "Oh my God, that is so abnormal. Is there something wrong with you?"

Why is it so hard for some people to comprehend that in this day and age, there are people who don't want kids?

What are your opinions?
My husband and I chose not to have children. either, but from a person who is much older now, I can tell you it will be hard to find friends to do things with as a couple if you live in suburbia and hard to maintain pre-existing friendships once your friends have children. Women will find it hard to make friends/maintain friends with other women their age.

The people your age who have young children will be limited to where they can go, what they can do, how long they can do it because they either have a babysitter waiting, can't afford one/don't want one, can't afford to go out. Most can't go away somewhere with you and your spouse because they have kids or don't have the vacation time or money to do both a childfree and family vacation in the same year. They also can't leave the kids with anyone without feeling compelled to check in all the time (probably worse now with cell phones), never or rarely go out because they don't want to leave them after being away all week working. If the mother stays home all day with very very young children, she knows what's happening in kid world and not much else so you'll find you have less to talk about. Their conversations will be about their kids.

Then, there are the friends who are mothers/couples who will take their kids whenever you want to go out somewhere with them and that can happen until the kid is in high school so your activities will also be limited with that friend, as a result of the kid(s) tagging along. Plus, by default, not of your chosing, you will also have to deal with the kid, not just the parent, when that kid is out with you and your friend (i.e., you'll have lunch when the kid is hungry, see movies the kid can see, go places the kid likes, too, deal with kid behavior, etc.). When the kids are school age, your friends will want to talk about the kids and their school/their after school activities. From the parent's perspective, I totally understand all of it but you should be aware that finding friends or maintaining old friends will be tough if you chose to go childless in suburbia.

My ex-husband and I wound up seeking out older (me) and younger (him) friends because those people were most likely to either have grown kids or no kids yet. That hurt our relationship, I think, because that group of people together had nothing in common because of the huge age gap and my husband's solo activities/conversations with his single buddies was way different than mine with my older friends. I would think it would be easier to be a childless couple in a city but neither of us wanted to live in one.

I'm not saying you should have kids just to have friends. I'm just preparing you for what you will be dealing with in your social life.
Old 06-04-2009, 06:07 AM
15,616 posts, read 9,156,993 times
Reputation: 67792
My husband and I made the same decision and haven't regretted it. We married, waited a few years, and then he got a vasectomy. He wasn't even 25 then and it took a bit to convince the surgeon that we were sure. Like you, we were, and still are, confronted with comments, questions, and judgments about our personal decision. People can be rude and even hurtful about it. Of course, we'd both rather deal with that than conform to what others think we should do when it's not the right choice for us.

There are positive and negative aspects to either having or not having children - only you can decide what will work best for you. I do have two cautionary points for you to consider...

1. Couples who don't have children are free, if they wish, to pursue their own wants and needs exclusively and don't have to sacrifice unquestioningly for anyone else. Yes, there might be other constraints such as finances or other family in need, but that is different than how parents are with their own children. So, although not all childless couples are this way - they do seem at more risk for becoming self-centered. Some people are fine being that way but it's something I've made a conscious effort to guard against.

2. You said the two of you made a firm decision about this after your husband returned from Iraq. My husband deployed to Iraq also and we have many friends who did as well. If you are young and you're considering permanent birth control - like a vasectomy - I'd suggest that you wait a couple years. I remember when my dad had open heart surgery and the surgeon counseled him not to make any big life decisions within a year of the surgery. Coming home from Iraq is sort of similar - there are a lot of emotions, mortality issues, and other things that take time to work through and can crop up unexpectedly. Just something to consider. I'd be happy to talk to you about it more in depth through DM.

Hope this helps, toos
Old 06-04-2009, 06:20 AM
Location: MA/NH
16,469 posts, read 33,412,913 times
Reputation: 15197
Originally Posted by mainegirl View Post
I think it's your decision, and anyone that judges you for it is being unfair. A lot of people don't want to have children for various reasons, which is their business, nobody elses. There are so many children born to abusive and neglectful parents in this country, and the way that the world has become, I think it's harder on children. You can't take your eyes off them for a second because of all the dangers out there.

I say good for you and your hubby, don't let the judgmental people get you down.
I agree. Great post!
Old 06-04-2009, 06:27 AM
2,790 posts, read 5,574,157 times
Reputation: 1913
You are two consenting adults, to choose to procreate or not is no one's business, but your own.
Old 06-04-2009, 06:31 AM
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,334,463 times
Reputation: 48613
I don't identify with people who don't like or aren't interested in kids, I'll be honest. But I do respect anybody who feels that way's decision not to have children. I can't think of anything worse for a kid than being born to somebody who doesn't particularly like or want kids, but buckled under. Everybody is free to make their own decisions, whether or not I personally identify with their stances is pretty irrelevant.

I do think it's pretty interesting if people who are upset about being judged for not wanting children turn around and are judgmental of children and/or people who do choose to have them.

I don't have kids, but I plan to, and it always irritates me when people who are childless are openly rude to people with kids in public. I understand not wanting to be a parent (I don't want to be a parent at present time because I'm too young and not as financially prepared as I'd like to be). I don't understand being a child-hater (and, no, I'm not equating the two, but there is obviously definite overlap).
Old 06-04-2009, 06:49 AM
Location: Dorchester
2,602 posts, read 4,212,190 times
Reputation: 1082
Originally Posted by Robert_J View Post
I won't get to that point. I've already told my wife that I'll have a gun cleaning 'accident'. If I can't do it, she will do it for me. I'll do the same for her. We will not be apart.

We are both 40 and no kids by choice. We love our neices and nephews but after a few hours they can go back to their parents. Our cats are much easier to take care of.

The only problem with this solution is that you will simply be a statistic for the left to use to further their agenda.
Old 06-04-2009, 06:52 AM
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,285 posts, read 16,120,780 times
Reputation: 11269
in my 20's and early 30's, i always thought "later."

got to my mid-30's and started thinking, maybe not....

my now-ex and i had very busy and full lives getting our business successful and it began to be difficult seeing how a child or children could fit into that.....

at 36, i had a tubal ligation after a couple of years of much thought and discussion...... realized that i didn't have that strong maternal urge to bear my own..... and if that maternal urge did assert itself later, i could become a foster mom and maybe even adopt a child or children who were already here and in need of a loving home through no fault of their own......

am now 49 and divorced again..... but no regrets AT ALL.......

i do love children...... was always very close to nieces and nephews and they spent a lot of time with us....... and now i have my business partner's toddler in my life...... but i am content with the choice i made..... as far as who will take care of me when i am older..... if it gets to the point where i can no longer care for myself, i will jump off that bridge when i get to it........ as someone above said, there are never any guarantees with children, you can be the best parent ever and there can still be issues and rifts and estrangement....... people are unpredictable......
Old 06-04-2009, 06:55 AM
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,513,339 times
Reputation: 19858
I have lived with my SO for over 20 years and it was one of the first thing we discussed when we started to get serious as I feel often couples have mismatched expectations.
Neither of us has ever wanted children. We love each other's company far too much and a child would get in the way.

I have been decried by many women ( not men though ) for being an un-natural woman because I have no maternal feelings whatsoever.

I find children boring in the extreme, I don't like the noise, the dirt, the mess and the fact that their conversation to me is about as interesting as that of a goldfish.

Kids deserve to be fully wanted, loved and cherished and I think it is far more honest to accept your limitations rather than end up being one of those parents who neglects their kids at best.

Kids need attention at all times and I am simply not that way inclined. I have no affinity to children and babies for example have never made me coo. I simply cannot see the attraction.

For some bizarre reasons though kids seem to be attracted to me which is really weird. I get on with my little neighbours fine as I can be silly and play with them but having to cope with them longer than a few hours would drive me insane.

My Fiance and I will babysit to help a neighbour of ours with 3 little ones ( recently widowed) and to give her some breathing space and I like things like reading to the kids but after a few hours there is no relief like handing them back. They have the attention span of gnats despite being very cute, and are exhausting.

I do feel there is still even nowadays a societal pressure to have children and an expectation that a woman should necessarily want to have kids when I find this notion patronising and ludicrous.

Many women are mis-sold a dream of perfect domesticity which turns out sour because they were simply not suited to motherhood but could not admit it to themselves or others . That is so sad.

Some people are meant to have children and make wonderful parents, most IMO should not have kids and would have done better being honest about it.

I have met so many men in particular who admitted to me that they had kids because their wife/partner wanted them and they wanted to make her happy but would otherwise have chosen to remain childless.

That to me is a terrible indictment on a society which to this day cannot acknowledge that all of us are different and do not fit the same mould.

Being vilified for not wanting children is still fashionable and there is always talk of a biological imperative ( I'm 42 and still no sign of feeling broody in the slightest,the imperative is not there for me at all) and what will happen when you get older etc...

If you are only having kids so they can look after yourself in old age that is the most selfish reason of all not to say a very naive one. One only has to look at the way the elderly are treated by their children and the amount of people in Old People's Care Homes ( who have children) who are all alone and abandoned to realise this is a fantasy.

It is up to each couple to decide what is right for them. Having children should be the most considered decision in your life really and most people really ought to think about it with their brains rather than their hearts because it requires a degree of logic and certainty.

I have lived happily with my Fiance for over 20 years now and children are never going to be part of the equation.

As long as both sides are happy with the decision then what right has anyone else to say whether someone should have children if they think it will be a burden to them. Which children would be to me.

I admire and respect good parents but I do not see why I need to join their ranks to be a valuable worthy member of society. Once can be a decent,moral upright human being and have no desire to have kids.

As I said kids need unconditional love , respect and someone who truly wants them around.

I do not feel up to the task and though this might appear selfish to some people I think the most selfish thing of all is having kids you don't really want or simply to perpetuate the bloodline. That to me is the epitome of self centered behaviour.

Last edited by Mooseketeer; 06-04-2009 at 07:35 AM..
Old 06-04-2009, 07:05 AM
15,616 posts, read 9,156,993 times
Reputation: 67792
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