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Old 05-05-2011, 05:43 PM
 
142 posts, read 163,435 times
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thought i'd add my comments to this thread, as it appears my personal experience/perspective is slightly different to what's been said so far.

i never made a decision to have kids, or to not have kids. i had no preference either way really, but i suppose i always thought i would probably have kids one day. i like and love children, and they've always gravitated towards me too. so my attitude about having kids was never a form of indifference so much as it was detachment. i never knew ahead of time that i didn't want kids, the way others have shared here, and yet a conscious choice to not have them it was, and remains in every moment, and in every relationship i ever had.

well.....i always thought i'd meet a man whose children i'd want to have. i always thought i'd meet a man that i could see being the father of my children. and i just never did. so i took the necessary precautions to ensure i would never experience an accidental pregnancy.

so for that reason, no....absolutely not one iota of regret, in fact i am deeply thankful i was never the type to want kids so badly that i had them at any cost. it always sounded so unfamiliar and so foreign to me, when my women friends spoke of their biological clock ticking, and their desire for having children escalating to desperate proportion. i suppose i somehow expected to feel my own biological urge awaken as i grew older and the clock started ticking down too, since it seems to be such a common experience for so many....but again...no. can't say i've ever felt even the remotest urge to procreate, just for the sake of procreating.

now at my age (45) i listen to many of my friends speak of how they feel like they 'sold themselves out'....by getting married and having children. they speak of unfulfilled expectations and the sacrifices they made in order to 'have it all'....to succeed and acquire all the 'things' in life they were *taught* to want.......marriage, kids, picket fence that supposedly leads to their happily ever after. many see themselves raising their children as a single parent, even if their marriages lasted.....they lament about how their husbands are absent as fathers, absent as companions and partners, overgrown adolescents who resist and resent the responsibilities they feel themselves burdened with.

now at my age, i absolutely do not want children, but that does not preclude the fact that i'd still love to meet a man whose children i'd love to have. that would still be great, lol. and in fact in a strange way, i feel like i've been a wonderful and loving mother to my children....for not succumbing to societal pressure or perhaps some vanity driven desire to bring them into this world no matter the cost (ie: with the 'wrong' person). thank god i never created a child with any of my exes, the thought of having a bond of that kind with any of them (despite the fact that most of my exes were nice guys) makes me shudder.

i would say though, that there is one thing that i find bothersome (to some degree)....that remaining childless by choice, is still looked upon as unnatural in some way......as though it is an indication of some serious, covert...almost malignant....lack of some kind in my very humanity, certainly my woman-ness.

ah well. doesn't bother me enough to make me feel any regret. i'm happier or at least far less stressed out than most of my married/divorced friends with children. even though i don't believe any of them regret having kids either.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:09 AM
 
207 posts, read 479,392 times
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Default No kids by circumstance

When I was younger, I assumed as most of us do that I would grow up and, get married and have children. Cause that's what people do right?? Well, then I grew up, got a degree, two, dated and stilling dating plenty of people, no marriage and no kids.

And honestly, since I became a teacher in the last 12 years or so, I've been happy that I didn't have kids. Every now and then I meet a child I wish I were the parent of because the child is just so amazing that you can't help but like them.

But my real issue is looking at parents. I watch them like hawks. And there is a special brand of "neurosis" that parents possess that does not work for me, I'm neurotic enough.

I've seen kids do some terrible stuff and the parents just standing in your face defending that mess with lies and TEARS in their eyes. Why cause that's their baby and they have to fight for them.

I've seen several birth videos and wondered why ANY WOMAN signs up for that more than once. I mean one time sure you're not exactly sure what will happen, but after that, COME ON, WHO GOES BACK IN FOR MORE?? lol

Next, I come from an environment of poor, substandard, ill prepared mothers who raised babies alone because the fathers weren't there so they were always, tired, angry, and frustrated and you could just tell they didn't like being a mom. And you know what, ITS OKAY CAUSE ITS HARD AS SHEET AND YOUR LIFE CEASES TO BELONG TO YOU FOR 20 YEARS.

I still have great hope and belief I'll be married, but I definitely dont want kids and since I'm 40, the chances are slim in the first place. I don't even want to be a step mom. So hoping to meet a guy whose kids are grown cause if they have a mother already, let her raise them.

Now the closest I may come is foster care, lots of kids in the system need good places to stay, but dont know how long I can do that.

BOTTOM LINE: I SPEND MY DAYS AND MY ENTIRE CAREER RAISING OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS. I DONT WANT TO DO THAT WHEN I GET HOME.

PS: I DO HAVE A DOG AND TRUST ME ITS ENOUGH.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Rochester Hills, Mi
812 posts, read 1,656,573 times
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I NEVER thought I would have kids. I remember in high school all of my friends wanted to get married, have kids and be elementary school teachers. That sounded horrifying to me! I said I was going to marry some older rich man and have the pool boy on the side!

Fast forward to mid 20's and I actually started liking the idea of "settling" down and oh! the horrors-having children! I did enjoy dating and having choices in my 20's. I was able to spend several years with my honey before we had kids and travel to some great vacation spots around the world.

We now have 2 small kids in our late 30's. I love being a mother and it was a decision we made very deliberately. I would say the only thing that gives me any pause is that it COSTS a fortune to fly 4 people to the places I want to vacation! So we have had to make some adjustments on our travels. We take the kids with us and they pretty much fit into our lives. The feeling I had when I gave birth was amazing. The love I have for them is deep!

BUT never knowing that feeling and living the life I had before kids would have been FINE! It is a choice and I wish more people that have kids and shouldn't would make!

A lot of women as they get older and get asked why they don't have kids probably use the line "I can't have children" because it is easier to say than to explain that heaven forbid YOU DON'T want KIDS for the 100th time.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:59 PM
 
13,357 posts, read 25,643,221 times
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Childfree by choice here, and at age 58, never looked back for a moment. Even as a child, I knew I wouldn't have kids. It never crossed my mind as a possibility. I certainly might have lost one great guy over it, but have yet to meet a man who already had kids for whom having another one was a priority or even an option. (I think men who already have kids think having another one is the price of having a relationship, especially with a younger woman or one who hasn't had kids).
I got my tubal at age 30 when insurance would cover it as part of another plumbing problem. I had vaguely asked about it before and been pooh-poohed by doctors, and I didn't realize I could insist. I call getting a tubal "the lack of desire made flesh."
And yet, one boyfriend still said, "We could have two kids." (He also thought I'd support him while he stayed home and cooked his great meals, was a primary caretaker, and did his artwork). I pointed out that I had a tubal and he'd known that when we met. He said, "We could always adopt." Did he think I got a tubal because I didn't want the physical pregnancy?!
I avoid children, as I don't like their company. I am always courteous to children if I must be around them, but find them boring. I like adult conversation and thoughts. Every time I do or say something very responsible (I work with troubled people), someone will say, "You would have made a great parent." I know they mean well. But I learned to say, "I could be responsible, but I couldn't love a child."
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,457 posts, read 54,875,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Childfree by choice here, and at age 58, never looked back for a moment. Even as a child, I knew I wouldn't have kids. It never crossed my mind as a possibility. I certainly might have lost one great guy over it, but have yet to meet a man who already had kids for whom having another one was a priority or even an option. (I think men who already have kids think having another one is the price of having a relationship, especially with a younger woman or one who hasn't had kids).
I got my tubal at age 30 when insurance would cover it as part of another plumbing problem. I had vaguely asked about it before and been pooh-poohed by doctors, and I didn't realize I could insist. I call getting a tubal "the lack of desire made flesh."
And yet, one boyfriend still said, "We could have two kids." (He also thought I'd support him while he stayed home and cooked his great meals, was a primary caretaker, and did his artwork). I pointed out that I had a tubal and he'd known that when we met. He said, "We could always adopt." Did he think I got a tubal because I didn't want the physical pregnancy?!
I avoid children, as I don't like their company. I am always courteous to children if I must be around them, but find them boring. I like adult conversation and thoughts. Every time I do or say something very responsible (I work with troubled people), someone will say, "You would have made a great parent." I know they mean well. But I learned to say, "I could be responsible, but I couldn't love a child."
But you do love bright dogs, and that's OK, too.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:34 PM
 
5,810 posts, read 4,805,318 times
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I've never wanted kids, my husband feels the same way as me, if not more so. No regrets here at all.

Some people just don't have the desire to have children.
And y'know what? There's nothing wrong with that.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:04 AM
 
13,357 posts, read 25,643,221 times
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Heh. Some of my adoptees are bright and others aren't. Hard to tell with the seniors I tend towards!
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:22 AM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
30,218 posts, read 16,715,085 times
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Certainly, I would expect that there are women who regret being childless in their later years. Sometimes, work/life gets in the way and we think ~ well, we have time for all that - later. And when it's finally time ~it's too late.

But all of us will have some regret, right? The path not chosen and all?

I do have a child for which I have NO regrets but I have regret for other things in my life.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:31 AM
 
530 posts, read 994,823 times
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Most of the parents I know who complain about their kids do so because human beings like to complain, and certainly complaining about kid issues is acceptable in our society. Most of the people I know who don't have kids don't complain about it because they are sick of people feeling sorry for them, even if they don't want children. I don't think the two camps will ever really understand each other. I do want to say to the teacher who posted though that having your own children is ENTIRELY different than watching or caring for other people's children. There is a biological and emotional connection to your own children that is really different than any other relationship. Your students' parents are not "neurotic." They are normal parents who are working through the ins and outs of parenting.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:59 PM
 
13,357 posts, read 25,643,221 times
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I think regrets for any "path not chosen" are foolish. After all, to regret not taking a path is to assume that, had you taken it, it would have worked out very well, been all you could have wanted, and that's just not true. In fact, when I've taken paths because I thought I wanted to, the best result was being dead wrong about what that path did and didn't offer, and after I was finished, I had no regrets- having found out what it was, not what I thought it would be.
Regarding children/childfree, I imagine that people who vaguely wanted or thought they wanted children but "forgot" to have them (or didn't have a partner, etc.) there could be regret that they didn't have that path in life. But for those of us who were so clear that we didn't want to be parents, there are no regrets, and I know lots of childfree-by-choice people, men and women.
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