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 Post subject: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:16 am 
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I'm looking to communicate with women who have chosen not to have kids and thought this might be a good place to open that discussion. I'm 38 and live with my partner of 5 years and our two dogs (plus a revolving foster dog). I've never had the urge to have children and feel like I have a very full (and busy!) life. We really enjoy down time and relaxing together and love our freedom. I don't think I could give up the spontaneity that we have now. Anyone else feel the same way? I should add that I'm a teacher and appreciate good parents so very much. I know what goes into parenting and know it's so very much work. I'm just not sure that I'd be able to dedicate the time and energy and still get what I currently want out of life.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:27 am 
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Im only 23 but I have been with my boyfriend for 2-3 years now (known him a bit longer) and in the past year or so I was really weirded out by people asking me about me wanting to have children. And it was always about ME wanting children, not us. As a matter of fact we're both too misantrophic (or just pessimistic, maybe) for children and having children sounds rather nightmarish to us.

I guess, please don't take this personal if you're a parent, wanting to have children always seemed a bit of selfish thing to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:30 am 
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I totally felt that way until my mom died. I was happily child-free and determined to stay that way and then when I turned 37 and my mother died, I started thinking that I wanted to try for a kid, because I didn't want to miss out on the experience of birthing and parenting.

I liked a ton of things about being child-free, vacations where you can do a lot more stuff, time, money, energy, space in your bed and in your home that isn't filled with toys, quiet time with no screeching, the ability to read books and the newspaper at my leisure in bed, the ability to eat more complicated food that a kid palate wouldn't appreciate and go out to restaurants in the evening. I was glad I got to enjoy those before I had Leela at 40.

I read a quote from the NYT that said that if you don't have kids you are de facto well-off because you have a lot more disposable income but more than that, you have the time to do things that parents don't always have.

That said, I have loved being a parent more than anything in my life and I'm so happy I did it.

ETA: for Veganinberlin's post - I don't think its selfish to have children. I think the world could always use more kind souls in it. At the end of the day all the conversations about animal cruelty are going to continue in the future, and I want people like my kid to be part of it, guiding it in the direction of more rights and protections for animals and the environment. And second, I do see it as a choice for me personally (not that it is for everyone) - like buying a sports car or going on vacation - it gives you pleasure to have children and watch them grow, and is no more selfish than many other choices people make.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:01 am 
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I'll be 38 in a couple months and having children wasn't completely off the table for my husband and myself but neither of us felt a strong desire. I personally would probably want to adopt more than have my own as I have no interest in going through with the pregnancy/birth aspects and I'd probably want to start with a slightly older child vs a baby. My uncle and his wife adopted 3 kids of varying ages (~6 months to 4) and I thought that was a pretty cool thing but again, we just never felt a strong desire. I also know the dynamic between my husband and myself that if I wanted a child, I would be the more responsible parent in the relationship. That isn't to say he wouldn't be a father but I think a lot of the responsibilities would rely on me. Who knows though? we could change our mind in the next few years and look into adoption but I say that is doubtful.

I say do what you want. I think there is a strong societal push to have children and sometimes it can be difficult to navigate, just as being vegan can be difficult to navigate. You just have to be strong and let people know that no, its not happening. They will leave you alone (for the most part).

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Last edited by linanil on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:01 am 
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Well, again, it's probably my pessimistic world view. I hate living in this racist, ignorant, misogynist world and the thought of bringing another person into this world makes me feel guilty, especially when I think of all the lonely children in the world. And when adoption isn't available, there's still guardianship.

I definitely think it's a personal choice, sure. But I don't see why it's not selfish. Buying a sports car is selfish in my eyes, too, it's not an either or thing. But bringing a kid into the world isn't definitely a bigger responsibility than that. And frankly I don't think most people in this world are well enough prepared for that or have realistic expectations of themselves as parents.

Edit:

Thinking about, it's also selfish to choose not to kids (and not to adopt, etc). I don't know the degrees. But my personal selfish idea is that forking up a childhood would be too much to bare for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:09 am 
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I agree with you VeganinBerlin. I'm a philantropic antinatalist, for the very same reason David Benatar is:
http://www.amazon.com/Better-Never-Have ... 0199549265


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:14 am 
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You know, giving my child a very happy childhood is healing a lot of my wounds and makes me really hopeful for the world. She is such a beautiful soul and watching her discover the world on this small scale makes me rediscover its beauty.

Its all a choice and people should do what feels right for them. In my experience, what feels right for you can shift, but the most important thing is to make a conscious choice and to embrace whatever you have freely chosen and find the joy and grace in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:27 am 
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I was always all about having children. It's all I ever wanted. Then I got a mental illness. If it persists I won't have children because I wouldn't want to pass on my crumby genes or risk going through a pregnancy on medication. I don't know how I would cope with the stress and lack of sleep but then I might not always be mentally unhealthy. But judging by the past year, kids won't be in my future.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:30 am 
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rhelune wrote:
I agree with you VeganinBerlin. I'm a philantropic antinatalist, for the very same reason David Benatar is:
http://www.amazon.com/Better-Never-Have ... 0199549265

This looks good! Im going to order it from the bookshop.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:34 am 
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It's not off the table completely for me and my husband, and I'm only 28, but I have been with him for 12 years and I get the question all the time. Truthfully, the more I go along in life, the less desire to have kids I have. I think the world is pretty ugly, and I hate to see what kind of burdens the next generations are going to deal with. Also, I like the freedom and disposable income. And like daisychain, I have a mental illness and I'm truly not sure I could cope with some of the stuff I read about in The Playground without cracking.
However, it IS for some people, and that's great.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:44 am 
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We've been married for 23 years and are childless. Not a big deal. I was never desperate to have kids. I know of three women who were desperate to have a child. A real yearning need to have one. None of their husbands wanted kids. So eventually two of them got one child each, one got a dog. So since I never had that yearning need for kids I didn't have any. No one asks anymore since I'm old now, but when they did I just told them I couldn't get pregnant, which is true.

I have an online friend who decided after seven years of marriage, it was time to have their first child. So they did. For her it was the best decision she ever made. The child is now 5 and is the light of her life, as she keeps telling me. If I knew I would feel that way about a child, I'd have one. But something tells me I don't think I would.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:52 am 
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I think I understand the yearning they get. I sometimes get a yearning for a cat. Then I remember that I have no means to adopt a cat (and the landlady doesn't allow it) and that cats are messy, destroy things. But they're so cute and fluffy. I enjoy other people's cats.

Regarding human children, what would I have that for?


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:59 am 
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I'm feeling like it's probably not going to happen for me. I adore children of all shapes and sizes but I know I don't have the mental energy (especially right now) to deal with having children. I'm happy to see if I change my mind in the future, but I find it unlikely at this juncture that I will.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:03 am 
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Well we adopted 2 dogs and 2 cats, our initial intent was 1 dog, 1 cat but things change. I think that was a level of responsibility we felt comfortable with and although I'd want more cats, my husband wouldn't so that is where we are at. I don't think if you don't have the strong yearning for a child that you can fully understand those that have. I think I had a hormonal yearning for a child in my early 20s but I think it was just my body messing with me. I am not sure that everyone even gets that.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:12 am 
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I don't think I ever had a strong yearning for kids. It just became another set of experiences I wanted to explore. I dated a few people where we expressly agreed we would never have kids, and even my current partner and I both agreed for several years that kids were not for us. But then we thought it would be fun to parent together and here we are.

You can come to having children from a strong yearning, but sometimes its just a choice to explore another area of the human experience. At least that is how it was for me - travel, eating well, sports were my passion in my 20s and 30s and I loved that so much and wouldn't have kids because that would have interfered with that. That said, I'm stoked for when L is able to travel with me.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:40 am 
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I am firmly on the bandwagon of not having kids. I am 28, my husband is 30. We have been together for 10 years, married for three.

He is the oldest of 5, and his parents have been together since they were 13 (on and off) and married for almost 30 years. He an his brothers were all born 2-3 years apart. He always lived in the same house until he and I bought our home. He lived in the suburbs where friends were always nearby.

I am the youngest of 4, but my siblings are from my parents' previous marriages. They are all 5-8 years older than me. My relationships with my siblings are amicable but distant. I lived in the boonies, and rarely saw friends outside of school unless arrangements were specially made. I was never the girl who played with baby dolls, animals were always my focus and a huge part of our family as well. I felt it was more unnatural for people to not have pets than to not have children.

So I don't think that it is odd that when we started dating, he wanted 4 kids and I wanted none. I talked him down to two, at one point, but still never pictured myself as a mom. A few years ago when his brother had his first daughter, Mike was turned off the whole idea, and realized that having kids would mean less time or money for other things - snowmobile, boat, other toys of that nature.

Our friends and family members and closer acquaintances have stopped asking when the babies are coming. And if we do get the question we point to the dogs.

We have talked about maybe one day adopting older kids, if financially responsible. My leanings towards animal rescue make adopting kids feel like the more socially responsible choice. We enjoy spending time with our friends' kids, and I've always pictured myself as "the cool aunt" more so than a mom.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:02 am 
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It wasn't any sort of inner conflict or much of a conscious decision for me. As a young girl, I idly figured I would have kids, but more because everyone else did and it seemed the thing to do, but the impetus or desire never came to me in any real way beyond that when it came time to make things happen. I think a child could be a beautiful thing in someone's life but my desire to pursue my ambitions uninterrupted always surpassed having a child. Maybe I'll regret it, but I haven't yet and don't think I will. I'm 45.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:08 am 
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The only thing I have always held as an absolute no in my life is having kids. Never. No way.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:16 am 
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Totes agree that what you want may shift. I'm just happier on the side of not having kids and that may change to wanting one some day than the opposite.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:23 am 
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pandacookie wrote:
The only thing I have always held as an absolute no in my life is having kids. Never. No way.


Yep, this is how I've felt since I was 8. I took permanent steps to prevent pregnancy, and that's one part of my life I'm absolutely thrilled about.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:27 am 
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Dr. Apricot wrote:
pandacookie wrote:
The only thing I have always held as an absolute no in my life is having kids. Never. No way.


Yep, this is how I've felt since I was 8. I took permanent steps to prevent pregnancy, and that's one part of my life I'm absolutely thrilled about.

I so wish I could. If I ever have health insurance I am going to look into it.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:39 am 
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i also never was into the idea of kids. i accept that people do change their minds on this matter, and there's nothing wrong with that, but i don't think that's going to happen with me. several of my personality traits and my history of depression have pretty solidly convinced me that parenthood is not something that i would take well to. hell, i even got worn out looking after my sister's dog for a weekend.

also, i don't really care for children all that much. i disliked most of my (very sporadic) babysitting experience, and i have yet to meet a child that genuinely makes me want to have one. (cats, on the other hand...)
my mom often tells me "it's different when they're your own", which i'm sure has a lot of basis in reality, but i really would rather not take the chance. if some people think that makes me selfish, i can live with that.

ETA: i'm 31, if it helps for reference.

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Last edited by EmperorTomatoKetchup on Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:43 am 
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I'm 25 and never want kids. MAYBE if I end up with someone who really really wants one, I'll be open to adoption (current partner is not interested in kids at all). I like kids, but not enough to want to be around one 24/7. I'd rather be a fun aunt who can take the kids away for the day and bring them back to their parents when they get on my nerves XD My parents divorced when I was 11 and I lived with my Mom, seeing her struggle made me realize being a mom is not fun and roses, it can end up being nothing but self sacrifice, and there's no guarantee your partner will always want to be involved. She's 51 now and only now is she really doing what she wanted to do with her life career wise. Love my mom, but I know she doesn't want me to end up like her, I think she's hoping I end up with a woman or become a nun XD

Besides, knowing my luck I'll try to raise my kid to be hippie dippie and they'll end up rebelling by eating meat and voting right wing.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:44 am 
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i was very VERY firmly anti-child until around maybe a yearish or so ago and now im 6ish months pregnant.
i never played with dolls as a child, i LOVED stuffed animals (and still do). i did play with Barbies if that counts but never baby dolls. i never baby sat growing up. ive never changed a diaper. i dont related to children well

in my 20s i had a deep deep yearning for pets (a dog is what i wanted but i ended up with a guinea pig first) the way a lot of women in their 20s get broody for babies.
when i see babies i dont get all ooey gooey gushy and maternal but when i see a puppy or a furry animal of any sort i basically pee myself with delight and want to immediately attack it with love.

my husband and i have been together for almost 15 years, married for over 7. when we decided to get married i threw it all on the table and said I DO NOT WANT CHILDREN and he had to be ok with that because otherwise we had no business getting married.

so for the first 13 years of our relationship we lived as unattached people do with 2 incomes. we did whatever the fork we wanted. we werent/arent wealthy by any means but we did ok. we traveled a good deal (usually one big vacation a year and a smaller long weekend trip for our wedding anniversary after we got married) we were fortunate enough to travel to a lot of great places and experience a lot of different things.

we also have a house full of pets, many of the animals that have come through this house have had issues that i dont think a lot of other people would have dealt with. especially my sick guinea pigs. most people see them as disposable pets. i dont. currently we have 2 dogs and 3 guinea pigs. a lot of our disposable income has gone into problem animals.

despite loving all of the things above i wouldnt describe myself as a happy person. i hate hate HATE my job. ive never had a job i liked and im pretty much miserable most of the time. i have no idea what i want to do with my life and suffer from pretty bad anxiety. i knew i needed a big change in my life. around my mid-30s the idea of having children didnt seem as awful to me as i once did. i saw other people having babies and having a family and being happy and i loved all the happy moments they had. i wanted the happy moments for myself but it took me several years to overcome the idea of the not so great parts. it started to invade my brain that maybe i should have a family. finally i realized the biggest thing keeping me from it was FEAR. fear of not being able to control everything and not knowing if i would be a good mom or if my kid would turn into a crackhead or whatever. so finally i realized that i didnt want to be 60 or 70 and regret not having a family. last year i turned 35 and i finally broached the subject with my husband and i kinda felt like we either needed to jump in or just decide we were never gonna do it. so we decided to go for it. soooo here i am 28 weeks pregnant and still terrified at the idea. ;-) i know many many people who were never kid people but love their own kids beyond anything else and are so glad they did it. i hope im one of those people. i still have all my animals and they arent going anywhere, in fact my biggest fear (other than being a terrible mother) is that this baby will be allergic to my animals and ill be forced to make the most awful decision ever).


the thing i hated most about not wanting kids was OTHER PEOPLE. (which is still the thing i hate most about being pregnant, lol). my whole world was filled with people who were liek "when you gonna have babies" like it was my biological destiny as a woman to pop out babies. and "oh you dont understand you dont have kids" like there is some sort of super cool secret "parents club" that you get inducted into so you can look down upon the childless with scorn. i dont want to be part of that super cool club. i understand there is a whole different world you enter when having children and there are things that are hard to understand unless you experience it but dont throw it in my face. i have enough empathy and brains to figure out raising children is hard.
i hate the idea that people have kids cause thats "what you do" when you reach a certain age and marital status. i wish people put as much thought into having children as i did.
some people KNOW they want to have kids and a family and i think that's so awesome. some of us need a few extra years to get around to it. and some people never get there and THATS TOTALLY FINE. the whole planet is over populated so if someone doesnt have kids they shouldnt get shiitake for it.

i really hated how every once in awhile i was treated (thank goodness it wasnt often) because i was of a certain age and childless. people were always like "dont worry one day..." its so insulting. people have brains and can make decisions and if that decision is not to have children theres nothing wrong with that!

ugh. sorry this is obviously a sore subject for me! ;-)

i almost never brought the subject up with my husband of changing our minds because i didnt want to have to stab people who told me "i told you so"
thankfully people have been so shocked that we changed our minds that the "i told you so's" never came out of their mouth.

im looking forward to raising this child without trying to cram her into the same box people tried to cram me into my whole life. and teaching her it's ok to have different opinions and ideas against the norm of everything and just because you're a girl doesnt mean you need to want to be a disney princess and play with baby dolls but if that's what you want then that's ok too (god help me personally if that happens)

sorry i think i went on a major rant but im right in the midst of dealing with many things related to this subject ad i have cranky pregnancy hormones.

my closing statement is people should be free to decide to do whatever the fork they want and other people should just cram it.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:46 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:

Besides, knowing my luck I'll try to raise my kid to be hippie dippie and they'll end up rebelling by eating meat and voting right wing.



this is a very serious fear i have. my husband thinks im nuts.

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