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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:32 am 
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DarthCupcake wrote:
wigglesmom wrote:
Still-I have to admit, there's just an ever so tiny bit of doubt, and it's because of this-I never was into dogs, ever. Must have passed tons of them on the street and never even noticed them. Then, at 29 years old, I met a guy who had the most amazing dog. This dog transformed me. Soon, I was loving up every dog I saw. Soon after that, I adopted my own dog. Then, because of the love for dogs, I became vegan. And, now-we foster about three dogs each year. I can't imagine my life without dogs in it as they bring me so much joy. So, what I'm saying is had I not been exposed to this dog, I might not have discovered my love for dogs.
I'm just hoping that the same isn't the case for me and babies. I don't think so though as I've never been very interested in babies or young children.


Something similar probably IS the case for you and babies. If you were to have a baby, you'd probably love it to death.

But the point is that it's a CHOICE. You can choose to never have the baby and therefore never have that transformation. Don't be afraid of the fact that you have the potential to love a baby--there's nothing wrong with love! Be pleased with the fact that you know your own mind enough to know that you don't want to go down that road. I used to tell people that I just don't feel any attraction to or interest in babies, and they'd tell me over and over, "But it's different when it's your own!" And I had a knee-jerk rejection of that for the longest time. Then I realized that they are probably right--but that doesn't change my mind about wanting kids. Knowing that, were I to have a child, I would love it doesn't obligate me to then have one.


I love this, DarthCupcake! This is really well put. I have no doubt that I would love my own kids if I had them. That's not the point. The point is, I don't want to be a parent. I used to have a lot of people tell me "But you'd be a really good mother!" Maybe that's true. But I wouldn't be a happy mother.

As for the "you'll change your mind when you get older" thing, because I was single for most of my 20s and 30s, the version I heard was "you'll change your mind when the right guy comes along", which irked me on so many levels. Turns out, when the right guy came along, I thought "Woohoo! Finally an excuse to get spayed!!"

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:40 am 
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I keep on re-loading this thread.

For me, it's really ... comforting, and a bit relieving, to see so many other people whose perspectives I value weigh in on this topic, often with opinions which support mine. As I said earlier, I've been quite sure about not having kids for a long time. It doesn't really come up in a practical way (e.g. I've had one sexual relationship with a dude, and it lasted all of 6 weeks a few years ago), but somehow, in the past year, it Keeps on Coming Up. Maybe because I'm finally at the age when lots of my friends and peers are having children? Or a cultural thing? e.g. When I lived in India, I got questions about marriage all the time, except when I stayed in yoga centers. I'm 27, and suddenly almost all of my friends in long partnerships are pregnant or have small kids. Life is amazing, and I love hearing about it. But every single friend but one** has asked, and then been perplexed, when I've said: No, I don't want kids. I don't even think about not wanting kids (kind of like I don't even think about not wanting non-vegan food; it's just, not a thing). and I've started to feel like a terrible person for having this opinion about something which is ultimately my choice.

I'm really grateful the OP started this thread and so many others have spoken up. j-dub, jopa and desdemona have all said things which have helped me understand the issue in terms of "our role" in society, and why it's such a contentious issue. If I'd really thought about it, I like to think I could have said a similar thing. But hearing their perspectives in particular has been nice.

**eta that I'm referring to friends I've known for a while/in person. And also to say that I was also perplexed when I was younger and my older-lady-friends had chosen not to have kids. I think I was responding to the cultural narrative jopa mentioned, but I'm not sure since it was a really, really long time ago. It'd be nice to get a bit of relief from society's expectations on what 'being a woman' means. And to not have jobs or the government automatically assume that kid-less means 'being able to make up for parents when parents have parenting stuff to do'.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:59 am 
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Thanks, Darthcupcake for your awesome response to my concerns. It was logical and helpful.
This post sure got a lot more comments than my liquid vegan foundation one did a couple weeks ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:02 am 
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pandacookie wrote:
ameyfm wrote:
molasses jane wrote:
And then my biggest worries are that I will miss out on the experience of having a kid, and that I'm so curious as to what it might be like. And I worry I will get old and have no one to help care for me.


And the getting old thing is definitely on my mind. I have this fear of ending up all alone in a nursing home, with fatigued staff people taking care of me and not having any reason to love me or take care of me like I am special. But, I also know that having kids is NOT a guarantee that someone will love you and care for you, so maybe even parents have these fears. I am hoping my best friend's daughter will care about me, and maybe even some of my yoga students, when the time comes.

I know I say this all the time but I will say it again. Love makes a family. The queer community has known this shiitake for years. It isn't for everyone but I prefer the idea of a community of peers being my family. I had always kind of looked forward to being old with a group of friends together who sit around and yell at people to get off the damn lawn and have power crafting sessions. That may or may not happen but the idea of the nuclear family as this rock solid unit has kind up been proven to be just another myth. Some people may get that but as you said, there are no guarantees. I think if you're living your life well, you are setting yourself as best you can for what may come.


And this is why we need our commune <3

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:14 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:
j-dub wrote:
Most of all, though, I don't trust that even the most feminist of men would step up to the plate in the same way that women are expected to. And I do not want to be the default parent, the one who makes sure shiitake gets done because no one else is going to do it. I don't want to be tasked with the mental work because men are raised to not even think about it. And I don't want to be left with the bulk of the childraising if the relationship ends.


Honestly I'd be a *little* more open to the idea of children if I were with a woman. Maybe its because my mom ended up saddled with everything before and after the divorce, and I've seen it happen with others, but as much as I love my boyfriend, I don't think he could say anything to convince me that it would be 50/50, even though he totally might be honest and believe he would.


I already mentioned that I think my husband and I would be an unequal relationship but if we didn't have pets, I'm not sure I would've realized that. I realize that he expects me to clean any inside messes (poop, vomit, etc). He might help if he is available but I'm the one that gets up in the middle of the night if our cats/dogs need anything. I established myself as the cook early in our relationship which is fine but my husband also sees me as the person who should be the primary caretaker of the house and cleaning. Not that I think he realizes it in that he is expecting me to perform a traditional role for women but he does. So with any kids, I'm sure he'd see me as the primary caretaker and himself as the 'do fun stuff with' dad. That is why I'd really have to want them badly to go down that path.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:40 am 
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My SO doesn't want any pets, so if I adopt, the pet will be solely my responsibility. That's how it should be. Regarding the house, we both loathe household chores, so whoever's tolerance of the mess is lower tidies up. I hope one day we'd be able to pay somebody else to do them.

Is this thread for childfree humour, too? I mean, can I post a comic without parents becoming all defensive and explaining that their lives are not at all as depicted?


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:48 am 
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DarthCupcake wrote:
Something similar probably IS the case for you and babies. If you were to have a baby, you'd probably love it to death.

But the point is that it's a CHOICE. You can choose to never have the baby and therefore never have that transformation. Don't be afraid of the fact that you have the potential to love a baby--there's nothing wrong with love! Be pleased with the fact that you know your own mind enough to know that you don't want to go down that road. I used to tell people that I just don't feel any attraction to or interest in babies, and they'd tell me over and over, "But it's different when it's your own!" And I had a knee-jerk rejection of that for the longest time. Then I realized that they are probably right--but that doesn't change my mind about wanting kids. Knowing that, were I to have a child, I would love it doesn't obligate me to then have one.


I love this so much.

I was talking about this thread last night with a friend of mine. She is adamant about the fact that she wants kids, and we used to sometimes gush together about how bad we both wanted them. I shared with her my recent-ish discovery that I don't think I do want them after all, and while she was surprised, she got it. Reading this thread (the constructive bits, not really the bits from parents saying just what all the parents in the real world like to tell us) has comforted me greatly. It has made me realize that I am not just some defective for not wanting kids after all. It has made me realize that it's ok to like being around other people's kids and still not want your own! And even though I never really thought about being old and alone before I started reading this, because...cats and dogs, it has made me realize that as long as I maintain strong friendships and relationships with my brothers and their kids, that it will all be ok in the end.

So anyway, thanks for being so awesome, awesome ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:59 am 
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Another thing that's shitty about the 'what if you change your mind' bs is, it's kind of accidentally anti-adoption, especially in regards to those that have been sterilized. Let's say you do change your mind in your 40's or even 50's. People are allowed to change their mind about things. That doesn't mean that you immediately need to find someone to impregnate you. You do not have to give birth to be a mother, nor do you have to raise someone from babyhood. I know a lot of people who wouldn't call themselves child-free but are more freaked out by the idea of having and raising a baby. It's kind of an extension of what PC said, you can have a family without having biological children.

I'm just going to adopt a couple of ten year olds to bake and watch movies with.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:13 am 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
Another thing that's shitty about the 'what if you change your mind' bs is, it's kind of accidentally anti-adoption, especially in regards to those that have been sterilized. Let's say you do change your mind in your 40's or even 50's. People are allowed to change their mind about things. That doesn't mean that you immediately need to find someone to impregnate you. You do not have to give birth to be a mother, nor do you have to raise someone from babyhood. I know a lot of people who wouldn't call themselves child-free but are more freaked out by the idea of having and raising a baby. It's kind of an extension of what PC said, you can have a family without having biological children.

I'm just going to adopt a couple of ten year olds to bake and watch movies with.


Well whenever asks if I'm going to have children, I automatically assume adoption is part of that but that is just me because I'd say if we chose to have kids, we are way more likely to adopt and adopt a slightly older kid. So of course you could change your mind although there is a point that I wouldn't want to adopt due to my age.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:22 am 
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linanil wrote:

I already mentioned that I think my husband and I would be an unequal relationship but if we didn't have pets, I'm not sure I would've realized that. I realize that he expects me to clean any inside messes (poop, vomit, etc). He might help if he is available but I'm the one that gets up in the middle of the night if our cats/dogs need anything. I established myself as the cook early in our relationship which is fine but my husband also sees me as the person who should be the primary caretaker of the house and cleaning. Not that I think he realizes it in that he is expecting me to perform a traditional role for women but he does. So with any kids, I'm sure he'd see me as the primary caretaker and himself as the 'do fun stuff with' dad. That is why I'd really have to want them badly to go down that path.


This is DEFINITELY a concern for me too. I know that I reproduce the horrible sexist split in chores in all of my relationships. I have always been the main cook, the person who knew how to remove spots from shirts, who knew which temp. the washing machine should be for a certain load, who remembered to buy toothpaste and toilet paper and it's really annoying because I AM A forking GOOD HOUSE KEEPER, but i DON'T WANT TO KEEP ANYONES HOUSE BUT MINE.
This is definitely why I don't want to move in with my current boyfriend for a long long time. He's never lived alone, or had to take care of himself; he's an only child, he hasn't worked for a year and his mom has just supported him. He stays at her apartment and drinks her expensive alcohol and eats her high end food and it is driving me batshit crazy. Because I can see that he will never be the same kind of person as me. He is not used to taking responsibility on if he can get away not doing it.

I grew up with a mother who 1) told me men cannot be trusted to do anything right (which was true in her case, but she had an awful taste in men) and 2) who basically told me that only horrible people can't keep their house clean.
This is definitely something that has stuck with me. I moved away from home at 16 and I've taken care of my shiitake since then. I've never been the type who ran out of clean underwear. I have always chosen to buy food before anything else, and to pay my bills on time.

So it is definitely a concern for me. Because on one hand I love my boyfriend very very much, but I know I reproduce this behavior, and he's all too willing to let me. I mean, he's basically been staying with me for the past year without paying any bills, and yesterday I found out that the apartment he's waiting for is not available until september. And I cannot imagine who the fork stays with their mom for almost 2 years when they're past 20. Part of me wants to scream "FIX YOUR shiitake, DUDE!". But I also don't want to be the one taking responsibility for the situation.

Okay, I'll quit ranting now, but my point is, even as a feminist, I have a hard time not reproducing these gender-divisions in my own life. And I never want to be anyone's caregiver, unless I specifically choose to do so. And it's REALLY hard to avoid it when having a baby. Because now, I can just decide to ask him to leave, and I don't cook for him very often, and even though some shiitake is messed up he will get his apartment where I have NO responsibilities. But if we had a baby.. Oh shiitake. I mean, I see him as pretty helpless every so often, with things I find very basic and easy to do, and I cannot imagine how horrible the dynamic would be if we had a baby.

I keep hearing/reading these stories about men who were pretty awesome before the baby, and after the baby they just don't know what to do, how to react if they're alone with the baby, when to change diapers or feed etc. And nothing is a bigger turn-off - mentally, sexually and partnershippy - than the other person not acting like an adult and taking responsibility.

Also, I am pretty sure that I am going to be a super career-minded person - I have ALWAYS loved working, one way or another. And I have pretty amazing success with everything I do. But I also love living a stressed life where I move from one place to another during the day, and I want to travel and I want to do a lot of stuff which just doesn't match up with having a child. And my boyfriend is a rock musician, and while that probably won't last forever, his other skill is photography, and it's one of the things I love so much about him - that he is a talented, and visionary creative person - but I mean, an architect/culture political person and a rock musician/photographer? Who loves spending time at literature and art festivals, galleries, concerts, art museums, and who drinks wine almost every night and who finds the biggest pleasure in learning new things and evolving intellectually?

Yeah, I just don't see it happening. Not because it couldn't, but because I am pretty sure it would wreck my identity and ruin my dreams. And besides from the fact that no person deserves that, no child deserves to be the child who killed mommy and daddy's awesome life.

Does this even make any sense?


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:37 am 
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yeah I can relate because in my relationships I am also the one who does cleaning, cooking, and other household chores, because it seems like I'm the only one who knows how to do them and sees that they need to be done regularly. I tried really hard in my current relationship to make my boyfriend learn how to do stuff, in the beginning, but for now I've sort of given up. I have also thought about the fact that having a baby would only exacerbate that problem. I think I would become angry and bitter about it and I don't want to be that way. I honestly think i would rather have a baby by myself, if i was ever gonna do it, because at least it would remove that relationship dynamic.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:58 am 
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I'm so happy this thread exists. This is something I've been struggling with lately. I've always been in the no/didn't think too much about it camp, until I turned 35 this year. It's not AT ALL that I suddenly have an actual desire to have children, but more like I feel like I'm SUPPOSED TO have that desire, and I just don't, and time is running out. And part of me feels like there's something wrong with me because I don't have that desire, and part of me feels like "well, if you're not going to have kids then you better have a damn good career or do something worthwhile to make up for it!" Which is just some sort of societal BS that I've swallowed, which peas me off but there it is in my head anyway.

My younger sister had a baby a couple of months ago, and I was honestly a little scared to hold him for the first time because I keep hearing about women my age who don't think they want children, and then they hold a friend's baby and are suddenly filled with mad baby-craving. But I just felt happiness for my sister and her husband, and I think my nephew is amazing and adorable and I look forward to seeing him become a person and being part of his life, but I still don't feel any sort of "OMG I want a baby now!" I've always thought that if the most positive feelings I can muster about the idea of having children is "maybe it wouldn't be so terrible", then it's not a good idea, since parenting looks like an incredibly difficult job and I think you probably need more positivity than that to get through it. I'm not an absolute never, but I'm definitely not a yes either, and it's kind of a difficult place to be.

I keep hearing/reading stories about how anything over 35 is considered "advanced maternal age," and how it's doing your future children a grave disservice to have them when you're older because then they have to take care of you when you're old just when they're supposed to be starting their own life, and see the statistics about birth defects and other problems and it's scary. And even though I have really no actual desire to have kids, and a list a mile long about why I don't (most of which have been listed by others in this thread already), there is a tiny tiny part of me that wonders what if? What if I end up regretting not having kids? What if I am missing out on an incredible experience? I hate the biological facts in the matter, this unavoidable deadline, because who knows what I'll want when I'm 50 and it's too late. I want a dog, and I never thought I would have wanted to have a dog. Who's to say the same thing won't happen with wanting a kid? I guess we could always adopt if that happened. But in the absence of an actual positive desire to have children, there is nothing but fear-based reasons for it, and it's never good to do things based out of fear.

And what if I did have kids and regretted it? Nobody ever admits to it for fear of seeming like a terrible person, but I'm sure there are people who are parents who wish they weren't. Even people who say they never wanted kids but ended up having them seem to say "oh, it ended up being awesome and I'm so happy!" I can't help wondering if it's true or if it's just after-the-fact rationalization because it's better than being miserable and regretful.

I think part of the problem is that I can picture a happy and fulfilling life for myself without kids, because that is the life I have now. I spend time with my boyfriend. I make art and do hobbies that I love. I travel. I take naps and eat what I want and have lots of alone time. And I feel like with a child all that would go away or at least be changed beyond recognition (e.g. of course you can travel with children but it's not the same, at all). It's easy for me to picture the negatives of having children because they're obvious (like not getting enough sleep) and involve negative impacts on things I enjoy in the present. But it's hard for me to picture the positives because they are theoretical and intangible things I've never experienced, like "the first time your baby smiles at you" or "pride at your child's accomplishments." It's hard to imagine something like that compensating for the obvious loss of things like quiet time by myself, because I know what that feels like and I don't like it.

Anyway, it's nice to know I'm not the only one.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:15 am 
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Oh god, pixel, that all speaks to me SO MUCH. Wow.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:55 am 
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linanil wrote:
mrsbadmouth wrote:
Another thing that's shitty about the 'what if you change your mind' bs is, it's kind of accidentally anti-adoption, especially in regards to those that have been sterilized. Let's say you do change your mind in your 40's or even 50's. People are allowed to change their mind about things. That doesn't mean that you immediately need to find someone to impregnate you. You do not have to give birth to be a mother, nor do you have to raise someone from babyhood. I know a lot of people who wouldn't call themselves child-free but are more freaked out by the idea of having and raising a baby. It's kind of an extension of what PC said, you can have a family without having biological children.

I'm just going to adopt a couple of ten year olds to bake and watch movies with.


Well whenever asks if I'm going to have children, I automatically assume adoption is part of that but that is just me because I'd say if we chose to have kids, we are way more likely to adopt and adopt a slightly older kid. So of course you could change your mind although there is a point that I wouldn't want to adopt due to my age.


Yeah, but most people don't assume that. The line of thinking seems to be 'even if you think you don't want kids (but of course you really do, winknudge) you should have them anyway because eventually your ovaries will shrivel up and die and then you'll be alone and full of regret'. I think the majority of people, at least in america, think that adoption should be a last ditch effort, after fertility treatments and years of trying, not the first option.

I know adoption isn't cheap or easy, i'm just saying that when people are like 'omggggz you'll change your mind and then it'll be too late', no it won't be. There are other options for motherhood beyond getting pregnant in your most fertile years. Also there are cats. Lots of cats.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:58 am 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
linanil wrote:
mrsbadmouth wrote:
Another thing that's shitty about the 'what if you change your mind' bs is, it's kind of accidentally anti-adoption, especially in regards to those that have been sterilized. Let's say you do change your mind in your 40's or even 50's. People are allowed to change their mind about things. That doesn't mean that you immediately need to find someone to impregnate you. You do not have to give birth to be a mother, nor do you have to raise someone from babyhood. I know a lot of people who wouldn't call themselves child-free but are more freaked out by the idea of having and raising a baby. It's kind of an extension of what PC said, you can have a family without having biological children.

I'm just going to adopt a couple of ten year olds to bake and watch movies with.


Well whenever asks if I'm going to have children, I automatically assume adoption is part of that but that is just me because I'd say if we chose to have kids, we are way more likely to adopt and adopt a slightly older kid. So of course you could change your mind although there is a point that I wouldn't want to adopt due to my age.


Yeah, but most people don't assume that. The line of thinking seems to be 'even if you think you don't want kids (but of course you really do, winknudge) you should have them anyway because eventually your ovaries will shrivel up and die and then you'll be alone and full of regret'. I think the majority of people, at least in america, think that adoption should be a last ditch effort, after fertility treatments and years of trying, not the first option.

I know adoption isn't cheap or easy, i'm just saying that when people are like 'omggggz you'll change your mind and then it'll be too late', no it won't be. There are other options for motherhood beyond getting pregnant in your most fertile years. Also there are cats. Lots of cats.


Yeah, I agree. I think some people think they want the 'full' experience. I'd personally prefer to skip the entire pregnancy thing. And there are lots of cats, I already plan to be the crazy cat lady.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:02 am 
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Unfortunately, a lot of countries have a cutoff date for adoption. In the Netherlands, for example, it's very difficult to be accepted as an adoption candidate if you're over 42, and pretty much impossible past 46.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:02 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:03 am 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
Yeah, but most people don't assume that. The line of thinking seems to be 'even if you think you don't want kids (but of course you really do, winknudge) you should have them anyway because eventually your ovaries will shrivel up and die and then you'll be alone and full of regret'. I think the majority of people, at least in america, think that adoption should be a last ditch effort, after fertility treatments and years of trying, not the first option.

I think there's a lot of truth to this. I've avoided saying anything in this thread mostly because I'm not entirely sure about whether I want kids, but I know for sure that if I do, I want to adopt them. No question. I've never really had a desire to have kids biologically, and I don't see that changing. And a lot of people seem to think that that's basically the same as not wanting kids. The attitude is something like, "Don't you want one of your own?" and that makes me pretty angry.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:14 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
Unfortunately, a lot of countries have a cutoff date for adoption. In the Netherlands, for example, it's very difficult to be accepted as an adoption candidate if you're over 42, and pretty much impossible past 46.


Really? That's odd. I can understand not wanting someone 60+ to adopt a young child, and much past 60 adopting at all, but someone who is 46 isn't about to drop dead.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:15 am 
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I wouldn't say this to any parents, and I totally understand that adoption is way too expensive to be a realistic option for many people when you can make your own child basically for free... but I can't help but thinking of having kids in the same was as I think about pure-bred dogs... there's plenty of dogs that need homes - I could never NOT adopt a dog. Honestly, same thing for kids. I know that is idealistic and too narrow to be real-world friendly. It's a shame that adoption is such an incredibly expensive and difficult option. The foster care system is a more affordable option of course but that often comes with much greater challenges as the children have been through so much trauma and dysfunction that they need to work through.

I have a good friend who was childless until she fostered and then adopted a child from the foster system and it turned out to be a very challenging and disappointing experience for her. Yes, she is a very smart woman and knew it would be challenging and that it would not necessarily turn out all perfect. She wanted to help. She did her absolute best. She provided a great education, support, structure, and the child attended counseling basically his entire life. But it did not turn out well. The child had such a poor start in life it really seems that it could not be overcome, at least so far, and that is very sad. And the now adult child is certainly not going to be around to Take Care of Her When She Is Old.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:20 am 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
lepelaar wrote:
Unfortunately, a lot of countries have a cutoff date for adoption. In the Netherlands, for example, it's very difficult to be accepted as an adoption candidate if you're over 42, and pretty much impossible past 46.


Really? That's odd. I can understand not wanting someone 60+ to adopt a young child, and much past 60 adopting at all, but someone who is 46 isn't about to drop dead.


I know. It's ridiculous, isn't it? My sister looked into it before she got pregnant (at 42) and I was really surprised when I heard this. But maybe it's stricter here than elsewhere?

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:40 am 
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We have been thinking about the kids/no-kids thing a lot lately. My mum is visiting and her first grandson was born last April (my sister's), and she is over-the-top crazy about the baby, and wants MORE BABIES NOW. My fiance and I don't have a very stable financial situation--we're fine but we live paycheque to paycheque, and I am very unsure if I would be a good mother. So that's what I told my mum, and she thinks that is ridiculous. I love kids and I'm fascinated by the experience of raising one, but like many of you, I've never felt the pull. Pregnancy and being responsible for a baby terrifies me. Better to leave it to those of you who really, really want it, right? I mean, I'm dealing with my one cat pretty much 24/7, both emotionally and financially. Throw a kid into the mix? Gah!

That said, my fiance would be an amazing father, and I'm sure that if we accidentally got pregnant, we would never regret it. My closest four girlfriend's all had babies recently and watching their joy and wonderment makes me question whether I am missing out, but yeah, I go through waves of feeling like having children might be kind of selfish, and I don't know that we'll ever be financially stable enough. I hate that it all comes back to money.

One of the aforementioned friends got pregnant through a donor. It was really, really interesting witnessing her go through that decision, but she has always felt the strongest push to have a child and I don't think her decision was selfish at all. She gave birth to a boy who is going to be raised by the most giving, compassionate, creative, and loving person. She just never met the right partner, and about five years ago she decided to start thinking about trying with a donor.

I kind of think that maybe all of us have a feeling if we are meant to bring a new life in this world, and I'm not staunchly but mostly on the no side.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:55 pm 
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I love reading all of this. I think choosing to not have kids can feel so lonely--it certainly does for me a lot of the time, so this conversation is very welcome. Sometimes I think it would be a lot easier socially (though certainly not practically, financially, or emotionally) to just get married and have a kid, if only because it gets tiring explaining it all the bloody time, and even more tiring/lonely-making when people no longer ask, but just make certain kinds of comments that indicate they've "given up"....

One thing that is emerging as I read all of these thoughtful comments is that there are different kinds of pressures and societal expectations (as well as internal ones) for childfree people in committed relationships, and for childfree single people in their 30s/40s.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:29 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:41 pm 
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molasses jane wrote:
One thing that is emerging as I read all of these thoughtful comments is that there are different kinds of pressures and societal expectations (as well as internal ones) for childfree people in committed relationships, and for childfree single people in their 30s/40s.


I think there definitely is. People have not asked me in quite a while - I'm single/never married and 39. I always used "I'm single" as a reason why I didn't have kids - bit of a cop-out really, but it stops them asking.

I do not see any reason why I should have a child if 1) I don't enjoy young children (they make me nervous) 2) I have no strong desire to have one and 3) I don't think I'd be particularly good at it. Why not leave it to people who truly want children and would be good parents? It's not like we are in desperate need of more humans.


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