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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:17 pm 
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missmuffcake wrote:
I don't want kids....'nuff said.

Yup! It's really that simple. Yet people who don't want kids always seem to have their desires questioned while those who have or want kids are just accepted.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:29 pm 
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i shared my "i changed my mind" story not to be like "AHAHAH you'll change your mind i know it" but just to say "yeah for 35 years of my life i was totally on the same page and i totally feel what you're saying"
for me personally the outcome ended up being different but for other people they may not change their mind and no one should question that.

apologies if this wasnt the appropriate thread to share my own story in but i do really feel a lot of peoples' comments on here about not wanting kids and having other people shove their opinion down your throat like you're doing something wrong.

yeah i changed my mind but thats my decision (and my husbands). if someone else's decision is to remain childless than that decision should be respected.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:32 pm 
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I haven't ever really wanted kids. If my husband had wound up with someone else, I think he would have had kids. Over time, it's something he's accepted and now agrees.

Then my sister had a baby. Everyone keeps asking if I've changed my mind now. I love my niece to bits but I have no interest in pregnancy or childbirth but I do look at things slightly differently. Down the road I may be up to adopting or fostering a child but I don't know that it will happen.

The morbid side of me sometimes wonders what would happen if my husband passed away. A part of me would want his child then, as a way to still have a part of him in my life. I try not to stay in these dark thoughts too long though.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:33 pm 
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LisaPunk, I don't think you came across that way at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:35 pm 
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ok thx

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:52 pm 
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And one thing I wanted to also mention is there may be people who would be more willing to adopt as well as have their own or instead of having their own but in the US at least, it is a very costly affair. I've heard estimates around $40,000 and there is a lot of bureaucracy that goes along with it. It is an entirely different subject though.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:55 pm 
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linanil wrote:
And one thing I wanted to also mention is there may be people who would be more willing to adopt as well as have their own or instead of having their own but in the US at least, it is a very costly affair. I've heard estimates around $40,000 and there is a lot of bureaucracy that goes along with it. It is an entirely different subject though.

I think that's for infant adoption. From the minimal research I've done, it looks like the cost of adoption from foster care can be very cheap or even reimbursable.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Wow. That's an incredible amount of money for bureaucracy.
(Sounds like adopting parents are paying for the "privilege" of taking kids out of state care?)

(I don't know much about adoption, and don't want to derail the thread. I'm just surprised that the option for non-biological parents is so expensive.)

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:59 pm 
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I've never really wanted kids. I really, really like hanging out with (most) kids, but I don't want to take care of any of my own. I really just want to be able to devote any free time I have outside of my future career to doing things I want to do, like sleep or play video games, rather than take care of another person. I will be in school for at least four more years, plus hopefully a one-year internship and a three-year residency. After that, I just want to work, volunteer (something like the Canadian Veterinary Reserve or World Vets, for example, that take a lot of time), and relax.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:04 pm 
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By the way, I did have a semi-yearning for kids once. For the first week I dated my boyfriend. Which makes me believe it was hormones.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
linanil wrote:
And one thing I wanted to also mention is there may be people who would be more willing to adopt as well as have their own or instead of having their own but in the US at least, it is a very costly affair. I've heard estimates around $40,000 and there is a lot of bureaucracy that goes along with it. It is an entirely different subject though.

I think that's for infant adoption. From the minimal research I've done, it looks like the cost of adoption from foster care can be very cheap or even reimbursable.


There is still a lot of bureaucracy that goes with it either way. It isn't exactly an easy process and can still be a financial and emotional drain. I know someone who was working through the foster system towards adoption and the child was eventually taken away after 2 years due to them wanting to try with a close relative (the person was a relative but not close) and the other family I knew had a child for a year before they knew if they could adopt, and there was the threat of taking the child away the entire time. Also you have many stipulations like not being able to leave the state, having your care givers vetted, etc.

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Last edited by linanil on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:09 pm, 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 4:07 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Well, living on this planet like so many of us do is inherently selfish - with cars, boats, aeroplanes generating greenhouse gasses and destroying the environment, animals and native populations, cute dresses made by sweatshop workers, eating vegetables, fruit, coffee and chocolate harvested by slaves, using meds to prolong our lives or increase its quality that were tested on animals, living in areas where we have to expend so much energy to cool or heat our spaces, using computers and cellphones that use conflict metals that prolong genocides in areas like Rwanda and ultimately are shipped to poor countries so they can leach toxic chemicals into the earth and kill animals, ecosystems and people thousands of miles away from us, just so we never have to see it.

Having a darling kiddo is pretty far down on the parade of horribles for me. :D



A lot of the things you mentioned are things that difficult to avoid (and for the other ones: yeah, i try to avoid those as much as possible) and I don't see how one selfish thing negates another.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:16 pm 
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I'd rather regret not having kids than regret having them. Yes, I know people who regret having kids. They can tell me, while other parents would probably judge them.

wigglesmom wrote:
Thanks for all of the replies. Honestly, the only reason I can come up with in favor of having kids is that I sometimes fear being alone in my old age with no one to take care of me.


I suppose childfree people are less sad when nobody visits them in care home than those who do have children.

Jigglypuff wrote:
Yeah, sure, but then there's a whole new person who is going to do a lot of those things.

This is called mommyjacking on STFU, Parents :P


Agree! Also, there's the issue of consent. Someone who doesn't exist can't give consent to be brought into life. Life is an imposition.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:53 pm 
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I'm not a no-kids woman, but all of the reasons people have come up with not to have kids are great reasons! I really think if one doesn't have a strong desire to have kids or a strong vision of themselves as a parent, the negatives outweigh the positives (and anybody who would question your decision is a total jackass). Although I wouldn't put myself in the camp of someone who regrets having a child, I think most parents experience moments of regret (and some parents have just total regret, which is really sad - not a decision you can take back!). I definitely miss having my space and time to myself (or to me and my husband), having the ability to be totally spontaneous, to eat whenever/whatever I want, to feel in control of my body, etc. I feel like that a lot even though my child is totally delightful and it's hard for me to imagine my life without her at this point.

And the feeling of selfishness and the fear of messing up my kid are really strong for me. I often was angry at my parents for my life and what I felt were their bad decisions in having me (I still feel that way, but I've finally come to a feeling of gratefulness for my own life, but that gratefulness isn't directed at my parents, who really didn't set me up for emotional health). I also fear that my child will either suffer because of my actions or because of future disabilities or illness that I don't have any control over.

I know there are people who want children and who experience a lot of suffering from not being able to have children, but at the same time I still think it's better to regret NOT having children than to regret HAVING children.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:55 pm 
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I do have kids (three humans, one canine, two feline), and while I love and adore them, I can absolutely see the value in a number of the arguments against procreation and/or parenting. Everyone's right to make their own decision as to whether or not they become parents must be respected; no one should feel that they need to explain or apologize for having/not having children. This one of the most personal decisions we make as adults, and I feel strongly that it's frankly not the business of anyone outside the immediate situation to judge or even comment on such a deeply private matter. Everyone should feel (and be) free to make and embrace their own decisions, and should feel safe in their right to have those decisions respected. In so many ways, every life is a foreign country to everyone else: with its own language, customs, and values that may seem incomprehensible to people who are not us. But they need to be honored nonetheless. Calling people who make different choices to ours - regardless of what those may be - "selfish" strikes me as not only unhelpful but counterproductive since it does nothing but make people feel attacked, which effectively shuts down further discourse.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:01 pm 
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This one of the most personal decisions we make as adults, and I feel strongly that it's frankly not the business of anyone outside the immediate situation to judge or even comment on such a deeply private matter. Everyone should feel (and be) free to make and embrace their own decisions, and should feel safe in their right to have those decisions respected.


It feels like something I should agree with. But. Doesn't "everyone is free to do whatever they choose to do" end when it concerns other people? I guess this is my really bleak world view but for me one child born is, essentially, more suffering. Even if things work out most of the time.

Let's rephrase that: It COULD mean more suffering. I'm a utilitarian and I also am not convinced that life in itself is something positive.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:11 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
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This one of the most personal decisions we make as adults, and I feel strongly that it's frankly not the business of anyone outside the immediate situation to judge or even comment on such a deeply private matter. Everyone should feel (and be) free to make and embrace their own decisions, and should feel safe in their right to have those decisions respected.
It feels like something I should agree with. But. Doesn't "everyone is free to do whatever they choose to do" end when it concerns other people? I guess this is my really bleak world view but for me one child born is, essentially, more suffering. Even if things work out most of the time.
But don't you see that it's just the other side of the same coin? And what puts you in a position to judge others' choices when you (quite rightly) object to being judged for yours? It's no more anyone else's business whether you do have children than if you don't. Once we start telling other people what they "should" do, we veer dangerously close to the kind of rhetoric so deplorable in social conservatives who want to regulate access to birth control and safe, legal abortions in the service of what they think is "right," or "moral," or whatever. One person's choice to have a child is every bit as valid and worthy of respect as yours not to. It has to go both ways.

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Last edited by Desdemona on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:20 pm, 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 5:15 pm 
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I'm a mom so I have no business intruding on this thread, but I just wanted to add that some of the best people in my kids lives are child-free. You can be amazing with kids (or not) and choose not to have your own, there is nothing wrong with that at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:15 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Kelly wrote:
I'm a mom so I have no business intruding on this thread, but I just wanted to add that some of the best people in my kids lives are child-free. You can be amazing with kids (or not) and choose not to have your own, there is nothing wrong with that at all.

:)


rhelune wrote:
I, for one, would rather to have never existed.

:(

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:22 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
It feels like something I should agree with. But. Doesn't "everyone is free to do whatever they choose to do" end when it concerns other people? I guess this is my really bleak world view but for me one child born is, essentially, more suffering. Even if things work out most of the time.


What you do with a child already born is society's business (which is why there are children's protective agencies, laws against child abuse/neglect/labor, laws about schooling children and communal control over school curricula, social services available especially to children - ex. WIC, etc.) even though society entrusts individual parents to take on the bulk of the responsibility.

What goes on in your uterus before a child is actually born is only your business. It's not your job to police anybody else's without giving up your right to have yours unpoliced.

And there are "utilitarians" who take the opposite view - more life = more potential for happiness, even with all of the suffering that usually happens through life. This is an actual argument people make in favor of animal agriculture - it's better to have the chance at life with its attendant joys than to not have that chance. I think that argument is stupid and I think the opposite argument is equally stupid. You can't make any predictions about the worth of a life that doesn't exist (that fetus you aborted would've been Mozart! No, it would've been Pol Pot! It would've suffered! No, it would've had unending joy!) and you can't make any value judgments about a life you're not living yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:25 pm 
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It's been really great to read the responses in this thread, in particular the one about how women who choose not to have kids always have to explain why or defend their choice, but women who choose to have children don't get the same questions about their choice.

I have never felt the urge or need to have children, it's not something I think about a lot, especially compared with friends who have been waiting 10-12 years to finally get married and have a baby and that's all they ever wanted/talked abut. I don't have any pressure on me from my parents, they don't seem too bothered if I do/don't have kids. My bf has always felt the same way, although his mum is keen for grandchildren, and a few of his mates have just had their first or second kids, so we talked about it again at that stage but decided it's still not something we need or want to do.
I don't want to have one just to see if it's something we want, that's a huge risk to take, and if I don't want one, I see no reason to have one because people expect us to. 3 cats is enough for us ;)

ETA: I'm 29, bf is 34.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
What you do with a child already born is society's business (which is why there are children's protective agencies, laws against child abuse/neglect/labor, laws about schooling children and communal control over school curricula, social services available especially to children - ex. WIC, etc.) even though society entrusts individual parents to take on the bulk of the responsibility.
YES.
Ariann wrote:
What goes on in your uterus before a child is actually born is only your business. It's not your job to police anybody else's without giving up your right to have yours unpoliced.
YES.
Ariann wrote:
...you can't make any value judgments about a life you're not living yourself.
YES.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:30 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
Quote:
This one of the most personal decisions we make as adults, and I feel strongly that it's frankly not the business of anyone outside the immediate situation to judge or even comment on such a deeply private matter. Everyone should feel (and be) free to make and embrace their own decisions, and should feel safe in their right to have those decisions respected.


It feels like something I should agree with. But. Doesn't "everyone is free to do whatever they choose to do" end when it concerns other people? I guess this is my really bleak world view but for me one child born is, essentially, more suffering. Even if things work out most of the time.

Let's rephrase that: It COULD mean more suffering. I'm a utilitarian and I also am not convinced that life in itself is something positive.


We are mammals that have intercourse and give live birth to our young. Some people are driven to be parents, and truly feel it is built into every fibre of their being. Some people have no hard and fast goals set for life than parenthood. Telling people that acting on one of the most basic instincts we can have as animals is selfish because you think the world is a shitty place doesn't make sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:39 pm 
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Benatar argues, and I agree, that every sentient life is full of suffering. Every day we're hungry, we're thirsty, we're hot or cold, we need to go, and the relief is only temporary. We often get sick if only with a cold. We fear losing our health, our loved ones. We suffer when others suffer because we're capable of empathy. In the end, there are degenerative diseases, cancer, incontinence, frailty, death.

But, somebody who never is, can't be denied anything. If we don't bring another sentient being to life, we're not denying anybody anything.

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