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Old 10-19-2006, 03:43 PM
 
15 posts, read 111,936 times
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I'm also grappling with the "should I have kids" issue. I'm glad to read that I'm not alone. I mean, it's really only relatively recently - in my lifetime - that a choice even existed.

I just finished reading a fantastic book about this subject, called "Maybe Baby" - put together by Salon.com editors who said the idea was borne from the passionate views people expressed in a forum - just about the most heated topic they'd seen at the time.

In the book, there are 3 sections - one holds stories from people who didn't have kids and were happy, one from people who did and were happy, and others who are somewhere in-between. It was a wonderful read.

I don't know how to know what the right answer is even for myself. I am sure that most people, even if doubtful, love their kid and wouldn't change the past. I have also heard that studies show people who never had children are just as happy throughout their lives and later years as people who did.

My shrink says that everyone in life mourns the path that they didn't take, no matter what it may be, even while they simultaneously find joy in the path they *did* take. (It's a limitation of being human that we cannot split into two and do multiple things at the same time!)

It's nice to hear what people have to say about this and I enjoyed reading all of your posts. It does sound like being financially well-off makes things easier.

spleen
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:07 PM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,286 posts, read 13,113,982 times
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I'm 42 and never had kids. I knew when I was a teenager I wouldn't have them and I have never regretted my decision. I thought, if I want to raise children one day I would adopt but my life has not led me that way financially or in a relationship that we both wanted that. There are so many kids no one care about waiting for a home, I wouldn't have been able to have my own without feeling bad about that. Over the years people have made comments, that people that don't want to have kids are selfish. In some cases that may be true but I think it's a lot more selfish to bring a human being into the world without much thought or discussion about it and I see that all the time. Some people spend more time deciding on what type of car to buy then how they are going to raise their kids. The worst is the people that have kids because they want someone to have fun with or they "think" they are going to take care of them when they old. That's not reason for me to bring a person into the world.
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Old 10-19-2006, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Jersey
2,098 posts, read 5,782,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapture View Post
I'm 42 and never had kids. I knew when I was a teenager I wouldn't have them and I have never regretted my decision. I thought, if I want to raise children one day I would adopt but my life has not led me that way financially or in a relationship that we both wanted that. There are so many kids no one care about waiting for a home, I wouldn't have been able to have my own without feeling bad about that. Over the years people have made comments, that people that don't want to have kids are selfish. In some cases that may be true but I think it's a lot more selfish to bring a human being into the world without much thought or discussion about it and I see that all the time. Some people spend more time deciding on what type of car to buy then how they are going to raise their kids. The worst is the people that have kids because they want someone to have fun with or they "think" they are going to take care of them when they old. That's not reason for me to bring a person into the world.
I absolutely agree with you that although not having children can be selfish (depending on the reason/situation) having children can also be a very selfish act if you're doing it for the wrong reasons. If you want a child it should be because, well, because you truly love children and want them for a number of reasons. You do not have children as bait to keep a man, you do not have children because it sounds like fun or all your other friends are doing it, you do not have children so that you can slack when you're an old fart and have someone to take care of you. Those are such wrong horrible reasons. You also do not have children just to prove you're an adult (I know a few people who've done any and all of the above). It is definitely something that takes a lot of consideration, however, should one end up having an uplanned pregnancy, I would hope that one would completely embrace the privilege and honor of being able to bring life into this world. Too many people take advantage of the fact that they can bear life and the result is a large amount of beautiful, wonderful children that have no mommy and daddy (anyone can be a mother or father, only special people can be called mommy and daddy). I always wanted children, I didn't think I'd start as young as I did, but that was my path and I embraced it and nothing better has ever happened to me since I looked into the eyes of each of my children.

But deciding to have children or more children, no, is not an easy decision.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Traverse City, MI
622 posts, read 2,500,968 times
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these are all great posts! i didnt think i would get so many reponses! thank you everyone!

yes, pixie- i'm totally with you about the abortion issue. i would never get one unless for a really important reason (like my health). i have been living with my fiance for 6 years and we are very careful! we both came from single parent households, rough childhoods, and we want to make sure that if we do have kids someday, they can have the life we never did... and i dont mean lots of material possessions- i just mean a loving family... a dad and a mom... heathly surroundings, a positive life.

i know in my heart i want kids. i love my nephews so much i just want to cry because i'm 400 miles away from them! i lived with my sister for a year and i helped take care of her kids. i feel like they are my own. family is SO important to me.

but i also know in my heart that i am not ready to devote my life to children! and it wouldnt be fair to have kids until i was ready.

maybe its like you say, pixie- you just make the best choices that you can, everyone has their own path in life! so maybe yes, it is better to have kids when you are young... but oh well, if i wait, then i wait. theres no need to put pressure onmyself! if i just follow my heart, everything will turn out right.
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Old 10-20-2006, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Jersey
2,098 posts, read 5,782,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariatherese View Post
these are all great posts! i didnt think i would get so many reponses! thank you everyone!

yes, pixie- i'm totally with you about the abortion issue. i would never get one unless for a really important reason (like my health). i have been living with my fiance for 6 years and we are very careful! we both came from single parent households, rough childhoods, and we want to make sure that if we do have kids someday, they can have the life we never did... and i dont mean lots of material possessions- i just mean a loving family... a dad and a mom... heathly surroundings, a positive life.

i know in my heart i want kids. i love my nephews so much i just want to cry because i'm 400 miles away from them! i lived with my sister for a year and i helped take care of her kids. i feel like they are my own. family is SO important to me.

but i also know in my heart that i am not ready to devote my life to children! and it wouldnt be fair to have kids until i was ready.

maybe its like you say, pixie- you just make the best choices that you can, everyone has their own path in life! so maybe yes, it is better to have kids when you are young... but oh well, if i wait, then i wait. theres no need to put pressure onmyself! if i just follow my heart, everything will turn out right.

I don't think it's necessarily better to have kids simply when you're young or simply when you're older...each person is different. For me, I'm glad I did it young (for many reasons). But others may look at me and think I should've waited...whatever. Like I said before, no matter what your stature is in life, no one is ever completely "ready" for kids. Not money, not a home, not babysitting experience, none of it, can prepare you for what it's like to actually be the parent and the person responsible to that new little life. I thought I'd make a great mother because I had been babysitting since I was 14....hello!!!! A totally different experience. I was petrified of my daughter the minute we left the hospital. That bond thing people talk about? There are no fireworks going off and bells ringing. It's something that happens over a course of time. So, you sound like you know you want them but are not ready....you have the beginning of a plan....that's important. There's nothing wrong with not wanting them yet or wanting to "live" a little more of your life before devoting yourself to parenthood (I actually think it's mature to admit you may not feel "ready" yet). So go about your business and when you feel like you want to try, try. You may not get pregnant right away, you make get pregnant quickly or like I said, if it's meant to be it'll happen when it's supposed to. But do not going having them now if you don't feel ready just because someone is making you feel like you "should" by now....no way. Good luck.
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Red Sox Nation
660 posts, read 2,417,813 times
Reputation: 428
Default Would have had 'em sooner had I known

My husband and I were married almost 13 years before we had kids. We married while in college and thought we had all the time in the world. Then we got settled into a pretty nice routine...vacations to Europe, Vegas, a condo at the beach, and sort of backed away from the idea of kids. Then, it was like a light bulb just went off in my head! It was time. Now I regret waiting so long to have my 2 angels in my life. Don't get me wrong, it changes things, and it isn't always sunshine and cherry pie. but go back? Never. Having kids completes you like nothing else can. One look at that small little face, and you are smitten for life.
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:26 PM
 
156 posts, read 637,720 times
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I have never regretted, not even one day or one minute, the moment I became a mother. It is the most rewarding, wonderful, frustrating job in the world, but this mother's day, when I was woken up at 6:00am, the first thing I saw was my 3 year old beautiful little daughter, saying in the sweetest voice ever "I love you, Mommy" as she stroked my face!! So sweet!!
Noone will ever love you like your children, noone feels you are by far the greatest thing in the world they have ever known! It is quite a powerful feeling!! I have three girls, and wish I was 25 so I could have 2 more. (I am 37 and my oldest is 10, so I'm done). Good luck!! The future will certainly be exciting for you!!
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Outer Space
1,525 posts, read 3,355,084 times
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I had my daughter a few months ago at 24. Maybe it would have been better to wait, but whatever. Life tends to have a way of working itself out.
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Old 11-01-2006, 04:09 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,002,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapture View Post
I'm 42 and never had kids. I knew when I was a teenager I wouldn't have them and I have never regretted my decision.
Childfree here. I knew from the time I was given the birds 'n bees lecture from my parent that I didn't want kids. Passed thru puberty with all my friends talking about how many kids they'd have and what their names would be (such names usually taken from whoever was the top cover boy on Tiger Beat magazine ). After college and into my early career years, I was very wary of dating, thinking that I needed to be upfront with each potential mate in telling them that I was not going to be the mother of their children. Watched my siblings marry and have kids, saw friends drift away as they moved into family mode, and stood fast against all the lectures: "when you find the RIGHT MAN, you'll want to have kids / you'll regret it when you are old and alone / people who don't have kids are selfish / what happened in your childhood that makes you hate kids? (I never said I did )"

Today, 20+ years into a marriage with a mate who feels exactly the same as I do, we have.absolutely.no.regrets. In fact, relating this subject to this relocation board, we watched as our childed co-workers faced an enormous amount of stress when our company up and decided it was going to shift everything from St. Louis to Charlotte. They had to dither on whether or not it was the right move, since they'd be leaving behind a family support system and uprooting their kids from friends and school. The parents worried about the quality of schools in a totally different state, if the family would survive financially since it meant one parent would have to find a new job down here ..... It was awful. We felt sorry for those folks. For us, it was "yeah, sure, we'll go", and just packed up our stuff, our critters, and moved down here.

If the decision is made to not have kids, just know that it's a lot easier to be childfree today than it was 20-30 years ago. 6 months after I married, I walked into work to find people congratulating me on being pregnant. When I screeched in horror "WHO SAID I WAS PREGNANT! ", I got funny looks and the answer "well, you're married now, we just thought .... " At my declaration "don't want 'em, ain't havin' 'em, don't EVER scare me like that again! " I got funny looks and the feeling that people were going to start wearing garlic and carrying holy water. Childfree people were just beings that they didn't know how to relate to.
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Old 11-01-2006, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Central Jersey - Florida
3,314 posts, read 12,257,802 times
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I wouldn't think of not having my kids. In hind sight the only thing I would do different would be to start having them when we were a little bit younger. If that was the case I would have had one more. Anyway who would change my diapers when I get old. That's what kids are for. Remember the saying "once a man twice a child"
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