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Old 07-20-2011, 07:08 AM
 
10,810 posts, read 10,420,937 times
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We are in unique situation. We adopted two children. If people think having their own is difficult than they should try adopting. We went through nine challenging years before we were done. It was emotionally wrenching, nail-biting, and expensive.

I wouldn't change it for all the gold in Fort Knox. The best things in life never come easily.

Now, DW and I are committed to educating those children and trying to see that they have the same opportunities that we have had. The kids have been a marvelous addition to our lives. What's also been incredible is the change my wife and I have seen in one another during this period. Perhaps, there is something to working for a larger goal than simply maintaining oneself. I think looking back on it that having the kids has made us both work harder, budget more carefully, and be more health conscious.

I would be the first to admit that having children is not for everyone. However, we have never had a single regret about becoming parents.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 3,940,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post

I would be the first to admit that having children is not for everyone. However, we have never had a single regret about becoming parents.
I guess you were successful. I'm so glad that we had two. Since we never seemed to be able to do things right for the first one no matter what we did, it was nice that we had a second who verified that we were doing something right.

I still love her, but its real hard when she won't communicate with me no matter what I offer or do, no matter if I follow every step that any book or therapist lays out(she's 31, I'm 62, and I do know these things as I am a multi-degreed professional recently retired after 40 years in mental health services). And if I really had done anything seriously wrong, I could understand. We've tried to figure her out, our family members have tried to figure her out, no one understands except with various speculations such as her being the 2nd case of lyme disease in my state). Recently she posted some photos that were momentos from our family albums on facebook(we have no contact on facebook but her cousins do). We wondered what happened to them. When the cousins asked where she got them, she proudly stated that she stole them. If she'd asked we would have given them to her; there was no reason to steal them. She knows that.

So if working hard gains success, its great. If working your tail and your money and every avenue known doesn't work, its pretty demoralizing.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 25,074,246 times
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I never considered whether or not I'd be a good parent, because I knew I didn't want to be one. I don't like to be around children and avoid them, although treat them with respect if I must be around them (and then people marvel, "You're so good with children, I thought you didn't like them." I don't like being around them, but they can't help that, so I am very good with them. It's very draining and I am very glad to be finished with it.
If a child is pre-verbal or a baby, I have no idea what to do and no desire to find out.
I honestly think that someone as confirmed as I am in this has some sort of biological not-imperative. Of course, I could have blundered into parenthood with some idea of reliving it and making it better, but that would be a mistake all around, and I was never tempted.
I got a tubal at age 30 because no one would do the surgery earlier. I call it "the lack of desire made flesh."
As for "meaning of life," or bio imperatives being denied, well, I can't say anything polite, so I won't say anything. But I think that is just absurd.
I repped you on this. I couldn't have said it better.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:15 PM
 
361 posts, read 657,036 times
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Agree with the comment up-thread that we are all basically alone in this life...
I like kids, glad I had them to raise, even though they put me through hell.
They educated me in the process.
Agree that some people are not cut out to be parents. My own parents for example.
Think they had kids because, in their generation, that's what you did.
As an adult, I was fairly close to my mom... my dad was long gone.
Still miss my mom...
Aren't families strange? After my mom died, never heard from any other family member again....aside from my beloved brother.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,931,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHartphotog View Post
Being child-free was the best decision we made, and neither of us has ever regretted it. We don't enjoy the stresses of children, and we do need some sort of financial security--though the years we live though are certainly not good for any working class Americans.

While all our peers are hopelessly locked into endless payments associated with their children, in particular the cost of college that did NOT result in any job or career, we are paving the way for "Going Galt" in the next few years--despite the massive burden of extreme over-taxation by both local government (NH) and federal government. We know we can never "retire" like our parents generation, since our economy and the Middle Class was systematically destroyed, and all the stores of wealth available to us were decimated thanks to government gross fiscal mismanagement (housing, investments, savings, devaluation of the dollar), but we should be able to side-step the hellish fate of "salary slavery" that keeps our peers locked into 80 hour weeks until they die.

While every possible financial roadblock has been thrown in our way (and if we had been born at any time other than the Depression we'd be out of the salary-slave game already), at least we still have a plan to escape. If we were burdened with the costs of even one kid, we would have no hope.

In our parents generation, we put ourselves through college, and were totally self-sufficient the year we graduated. In our generation, just the opposite. Our peers paid for their kids college, and those kids are STILL looking for jobs years later. I doubt those kids will ever stop being a cost to our peers--who couldn't afford the cost like OUR parents could (they had increasing wages, great benefits, pensions, etc.)

And my spouse and I also noted, as we expected, that having children did NOT give happiness to the vast majority of our peers who did so. The exception were those few who truly are enraptured with children, and that is an obsession--like sports and religion--that I could never comprehend, let alone feel.

As a student of human psychology, I think we experience the same range of feelings whether we live lives full of children, or just have dogs and cats. I know we didn't "miss out" on any things that we would have experienced with children--other than the depths of human nightmare, when faced with the death or severe illness/injury of a child. And those lows, I can do without.
Having been brought up with no money and "marrying poor," nonetheless I always knew I would have children. It was not even a conscious choice, I just knew that there were these specific beings out there who would be born through me. I am not religious, so don't get me wrong. My husband and I just knew we were destined to be parents, and of these in particular. We took care of them very well, devoted ourselves to their health and well being, and in those days you didn't have to have a lot of money to do this.

After the death of one of my children in infancy, it was devastating to loving parents like us. We were done, or so we thought, with having kids. A surprise pregnancy (despite birth control) brought us our youngest child. Although we don't compare our kids, I have to say that this son was truly meant to come to earthly life. He is vibrant, hard working, loved by all and surrounded by many who admire him. I can't imagine him not being.

IMHO, kids choose us as much as we choose them. I could easily see how we could have done much better financially (and on other levels as well) without kids. We were artistic and creative and had many outlets besides parenthood. I sometimes feel sorry for my kids that they did not draw rich parents! But it was their destiny and ours to be with each other, and I don't question that.

Kids provide plenty of challenges and heartache and expense. It's not for everyone. My firstborn, a wonderful daughter in her 30s, has absolutely no interest in having children, she is simply not cut out for it and no one questions it. I think only one of my kids will have children, and if that happens, wonderful, if not, then that is good for them too. There are many ways to parent besides having one's own children.

Last edited by RiverBird; 07-21-2011 at 05:45 AM..
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:43 AM
ifa
 
294 posts, read 391,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Having been brought up with no money and "marrying poor," nonetheless I always knew I would have children. It was not even a conscious choice, I just knew that there were these specific beings out there who would be born through me. I am not religious, so don't get me wrong. My husband and I just knew we were destined to be parents, and of these in particular. We took care of them very well, devoted ourselves to their health and well being, and in those days you didn't have to have a lot of money to do this.

After the death of one of my children in infancy, it was devastating to loving parents like us. We were done, or so we thought, with having kids. A surprise pregnancy (despite birth control) brought us our youngest child. Although we don't compare our kids, I have to say that this son was truly meant to come to earthly life. He is vibrant, hard working, loved by all and surrounded by many who admire him. I can't imagine him not being.

IMHO, kids choose us as much as we choose them. I could easily see how we could have done much better financially (and on other levels as well) without kids. We were artistic and creative and had many outlets besides parenthood. I sometimes feel sorry for my kids that they did not draw rich parents! But it was their destiny and ours to be with each other, and I don't question that.

Kids provide plenty of challenges and heartache and expense. It's not for everyone. My firstborn, a wonderful daughter in her 30s, has absolutely no interest in having children, she is simply not cut out for it and no one questions it. I think only one of my kids will have children, and if that happens, wonderful, if not, then that is good for them too. There are many ways to parent besides having one's own children.
It's nice that you understand that even though it was the right thing for you, it is not right for everyone. Most people just know they will have kids, and that is the most natural and normal thing. But some of us are exceptions and thank God now we don't have to get pressured into it.

When I was in my 30s and still married, I talked about it and thought about it. I didn't think I would regret not having kids, and it turned out I don't regret it. It does bother me when I'm around parents who can talk about nothing else.

Having kids is a giant sacrifice, and parents want to feel it was worth it. Most of the time, it probably is. But it would be nice if they didn't try to prove it's the ONLY worthwhile thing anyone can do in this life.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
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Originally Posted by ifa View Post
.

When I was in my 30s and still married, I talked about it and thought about it. I didn't think I would regret not having kids, and it turned out I don't regret it. It does bother me when I'm around parents who can talk about nothing else.
life.
Its only worthwhile in those instances if you have at least one child who was super-motivated to really put themselves out in front of the pack. Otherwise talking about your children can be less fun when other people are talking about theirs.

Like how many parents will want to admit proudly that their kid is serving 10-15 for armed robbery, or that s/he is filming porn in Los Angeles?
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:36 AM
ifa
 
294 posts, read 391,554 times
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Its only worthwhile in those instances if you have at least one child who was super-motivated to really put themselves out in front of the pack. Otherwise talking about your children can be less fun when other people are talking about theirs.

Like how many parents will want to admit proudly that their kid is serving 10-15 for armed robbery, or that s/he is filming porn in Los Angeles?
If your child is a great success and rich and famous, that is HIS/HER accomplishment, not yours. I don't like to hear bragging, and I doubt anyone else does either. Especially when you're bragging about something someone else did.

I don't mind parents talking about their kids, as long as it isn't the ONLY thing they ever talk about, and as long as they don't brag and take credit for every good thing the kid does.

I had an aunt whose son became slightly famous. Well he had a local TV show. And my aunt was obsessed with talking about how famous her son was.

I was just a kid then, and whenever she bragged about her son, I felt like she was telling me I was nothing, since I didn't have my own (local) TV show.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:23 PM
 
150 posts, read 232,202 times
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One thing I like about this forum is that people always talk to each other with respect. No flame wars or swearing. It's good to have a place like this where one can turn to for polite conversation. Just an aside.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 25,074,246 times
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I have had conversations with young people who say they do not want kids and are encouraged by the fact that as an old lady I have no regrets. This comes up from time to time on other message boards to which I belong. I think they like the fact that older folks such as myself did not bow to the sometimes crushing pressure to procreate even back in the day when one was often considered a pariah if they didn't.

One thing I am curious about is that the topic of this thread is "Still pleased with being childless by choice as an elder?" But some people are posting just the opposite: why they are pleased that they have had children.

This seems to be the situation in every forum I have ever read where this subject comes up. Not that anyone here is being preachy or scolding as I sometimes see on other forums. Everyone is polite and respcetful of other peoples' comments. But I just wonder why those to whom the question is not being addressed feel compelled to answer just the reverse of what is being asked.
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