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Old 03-18-2016, 12:57 PM
 
7,094 posts, read 3,790,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
I think people hear and see the struggles of parents, and don't get the appeal of bringing something into your life that is so life-changing and difficult.

I think people see kids acting up, crying, carrying on, talking back to their parents, getting pregnant, getting in trouble with the law, etc and wonder what is so fun about being a parent?

I think at times, HONESTLY, all of us parents have wondered the same thing. Yes, there's been times I've wanted to run away, especially when our boys were teenagers. It was no party, but we got through it and now they are beautiful human beings we are so proud of.

BUT, again HONESTLY, if you ask most parents, they love their children so much they'd do it all over again.

If you aren't willing to accept that your life will change and you'll go through many hard times raising children, then by all means, don't have them. I totally respect people who choose not to have children.

BUT I have to add, if you never become a parent, you'll never know the incredible love you have for your own child, no matter the trials and tribulations you go through raising them.

It's a totally different love... a deep love you'll feel for no other person, not even your spouse. Only other parents can understand this love.
Of course you love your children once they're here. But if you had never had them, you wouldn't be pining for them as if you'd loved them and lost them. They would be non-entities, and your love would go elsewhere. Hopefully to someone who's not crying, spitting up, acting out, getting pregnant, etc.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:53 AM
 
Location: USA
859 posts, read 926,321 times
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OP,

How much experience do you have with small children? Did you ever take care of younger siblings, nephews, nieces, etc.?

The reason why I ask is because I find myself in a similar situation and think my ambivalence toward having kids is owed in large part to the little time I've spent with and around children.

I am the youngest of three and don't have younger cousins. I've never babysat or changed a diaper in my life. I now have a niece and nephew whom I love dearly but see only on special occasions.

This is just my theory, so don't quote me on it: If something isn't instilled in you from an early age, you're less likely to be interested in it later on. For example, if my dad hadn't cultivated in me a fondness for sports, I probably wouldn't be as interested in baseball as I am today. Now that I hardly see him and am interested in other pursuits, I find my interest in sports waning. Many of my male friends care little about sports, and I'm sure it has to do with the fact that no one in their family instilled that in them. (I know that genetics can play a role as well.)

Perhaps if I had been tasked with taking care of children throughout the years, I would have grown to love them and would find myself more inclined to have my own.

Inexperience with kids isn't the only reason why I lack a paternal itch. I'm also introverted, value peace and quiet, and have anxiety issues. I admit that I'm selfish with my time and want to have more of it available for reading, writing, traveling, etc.

I think it's safe to say that not having kids ensures you'll have a much simpler life. Whether you view that as a fulfilling life is a different matter altogether.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Arizona
323 posts, read 251,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
OP,

How much experience do you have with small children? Did you ever take care of younger siblings, nephews, nieces, etc.?

The reason why I ask is because I find myself in a similar situation and think my ambivalence toward having kids is owed in large part to the little time I've spent with and around children.

I am the youngest of three and don't have younger cousins. I've never babysat or changed a diaper in my life. I now have a niece and nephew whom I love dearly but see only on special occasions.

This is just my theory, so don't quote me on it: If something isn't instilled in you from an early age, you're less likely to be interested in it later on. For example, if my dad hadn't cultivated in me a fondness for sports, I probably wouldn't be as interested in baseball as I am today. Now that I hardly see him and am interested in other pursuits, I find my interest in sports waning. Many of my male friends care little about sports, and I'm sure it has to do with the fact that no one in their family instilled that in them. (I know that genetics can play a role as well.)

Perhaps if I had been tasked with taking care of children throughout the years, I would have grown to love them and would find myself more inclined to have my own.

Inexperience with kids isn't the only reason why I lack a paternal itch. I'm also introverted, value peace and quiet, and have anxiety issues. I admit that I'm selfish with my time and want to have more of it available for reading, writing, traveling, etc.

I think it's safe to say that not having kids ensures you'll have a much simpler life. Whether you view that as a fulfilling life is a different matter altogether.
So...I come from the opposite end of the spectrum. My brother and I are 12 years apart (I'm the eldest) and I grew up changing diapers, helping him walk, feeding him etc. When our parents passed away, he lived with me and I was the football/wrestling/tennis "mom" for him.

From the time I was 8, I didn't want children and even after raising my little brother, I still didn't want them. Now, 6 years after he graduated from high school, I still have no inclination to be a mother. So I don't think it comes from exposure. I think some people are just wired to not want them and there's nothing wrong with that.

I've had people say "Oh you'll feel differently when you have them," but that's a risk I'm not willing to take. This is a human life, not a goldfish.

I don't think there's anything wrong with not wanting children. Some people are meant to be parents and really want to be and others aren't. That doesn't make you any less of a person.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:59 AM
 
7,094 posts, read 3,790,608 times
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To me, this is like asking, "Why don't some people like coffee ice cream?" or "Why don't some people want to raise a garden?" Because they don't. So what? It's perfectly fine. To suggest that it needs explaining - with "theories," no less - suggests that it's an abnormality, which I don't agree that it is.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:26 PM
 
Location: USA
859 posts, read 926,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
To me, this is like asking, "Why don't some people like coffee ice cream?" or "Why don't some people want to raise a garden?" Because they don't. So what? It's perfectly fine. To suggest that it needs explaining - with "theories," no less - suggests that it's an abnormality, which I don't agree that it is.
Great post. I agree 100%.

I think so many people here seek validation for a couple of reasons:

1. Not having kids is generally frowned upon by society. If you don't want kids, people assume either you or your partner is sterile, or they insist you will change your mind soon enough. People don't want to feel ostracized in this way.

2. People don't want to feel as if they're missing out on something. They fear they'll regret never being able to experience the Kodak moments. The worst one is fearing they'll have no one to look after them when they get old.

Not having kids is essentially going against the grain -- violating the herd mentality so prevalent in our society. It seems taking other unconventional paths -- like dropping out of high school/not going to college or having kids without getting married are more acceptable than choosing not to have children.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:59 PM
 
Location: USA
859 posts, read 926,321 times
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Having kids is a little like jumping out of a plane.

Everyone is scared to do jump at first, and many of the ones who finally muster the courage to do it will end up saying it was well worth it, and that they'd do it again. The people who chose not to jump will never know what it's really like until they do it themselves.

I think no parent would ever admit that having a child was a mistake. Considering all the time, money, and effort involved, they'll always try to find ways to validate their decision.

I think most people have children without considering all the opportunity costs of doing so. Many of my friends have told me that it involves far more work and sacrifice than they'd anticipated.
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Old 03-22-2016, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Mid-Michigan
171 posts, read 102,402 times
Reputation: 160
I haven't read many of the posts above, so I'll just answer the original question of why some people don't want them.

I'm not going to give a "theory," I'm going to give my actual reasons, not in order of importance.

1. More money, obviously
2. Better quality of life (nicer apartment, location, time to take job opportunities, etc.)
3. Less responsibility
4. More freedom
5. Better love/sex life with husband (If I am lucky enough to have one someday.)

Being completely honest with myself, I feel like if I had children, it would ruin my life. Not saying having kids is bad in general, just would be bad for myself.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:01 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,729,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corgifreak View Post
Another thing that makes me glad I didn't have children is seeing how competitive parents have gotten with each other. It seems as if there are no normal ordinary kids anymore. Kids aren't supposed to "fit in" anymore, they have to stand out. If they're not an academic genius, then they are special needs. Being "average" is no longer acceptable.
There's a really good read called "Quiet" written by Susan Cain that touches on this. How we've become a society that rewards extroverts, and raising our children to fear being failures if they are not extroverts. And as parents, if we are introverts or our child is an introvert, there is pressure from society to conform or risk being treated as inferior. To fake being extraordinary, even if by nature we are not. It's a really interesting book.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:34 AM
 
Location: USA
859 posts, read 926,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
There's a really good read called "Quiet" written by Susan Cain that touches on this. How we've become a society that rewards extroverts, and raising our children to fear being failures if they are not extroverts. And as parents, if we are introverts or our child is an introvert, there is pressure from society to conform or risk being treated as inferior. To fake being extraordinary, even if by nature we are not. It's a really interesting book.
I read it a few years ago. Great book.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 6,834,271 times
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'theory'?

Why is this theoretical? Just ask someone. Like, you know... yourself.

We're not clones or automatons. Different people want different things. Some people don't want children.

I don't see how this is such a mystery. I have children. I wanted children. I'm glad I had them. But I'm certainly able to understand that some other people, with other interests and motivations, will reach different decisions than myself.
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