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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:37 pm 
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. nvm.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:56 pm 
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molasses jane wrote:

That's not at all the kind of thing I intended when I wrote "personal choices". I am referring to leaves to take care of sick relatives, leaves to deal with life-shaking personal issues. It would be great if workplaces would be better about vegan food, but that's not at all what I meant.



I was saying on a different level that personal choices in the workplace have higher priority...Having a party to celebrate a coworker leaving to have a kid is OK and all fun and games, it includes the office. My boyfriend being male is not invited to go and is often left out of things due to be being a male and vegan. I think that it is crepe. No one wants to be left out. I feel maternity stuff is often a high priority and it does not always include everyone in the mix making the work place not fun.

When my boyfriend takes a day off/time off for the vet or what-ever household thing, he just states he needs the time off. He does not feel the need to elaborate. I guess they are crappy about including people in the mix at get together but are cool with leaving him alone.

People who do not have children, well we have things that need to be done too. Like someone said the vet (a big one here) and being that the boyfriend is the only one that drives he often has to take me places.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:04 pm 
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When I was younger and told people I had no desire to have children, I heard the following A LOT.

"Oh, don't worry, you'll change your mind! You're still young."

Um, hey, I'm not worried. I'm comfortable with this. And if I change my mind, then that's all well and good. Who are you to pity me on something I'm pretty damn certain, and happy about?

This comment subsided as I got older. And most people let go quickly enough. I withstood my mother in law's occasional pokings (she never made the "don't worry" comment). I didn't have any single person bother me about it very much, until my dad's most recent ex.

She was so adamant that I have kids. She could not accept that I was married and didn't plan on having kids. They would come over for dinner and she'd say "ok, you're married, then you make the house nice, and after that, babies." One day I pointed at the chihuahuas and said "see those guys? They are the closest you will ever get to children out of me". Then she gave me the "don't worry" comment and I told her that I wasn't worried and didn't appreciate her continuing on about it, and she got mad at me.

I told her to get out of my kitchen and told my dad she wouldn't be welcome back if she kept that shiitake up. She kept her mouth shut about it after but I was relieved when they broke up. I LOVE my dad's current partner, so all the better they're no longer together.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:19 pm 
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This thread has scared the bajeezus out of me, so I haven't posted till now.

J-Dub, you put that really well. That's very similar to how I feel, and you articulated it so nicely!

I am pretty certain I don't want kids, and that's the stance I've had for pretty much my entire life (sometime in middle school I told my mother that I planned to marry my career). I'm waffling slightly now that I'm in a really wonderful relationship where, for the first time in my life, I want to have a family with this person. It's not that I suddenly want kids, it's that the idea of what a wonderful family we could make appeals to me. I still feel like I don't want to have a kid, but I'm no longer 100% rock solid certain.

And I have spent so much of my life getting the response that Moon describes that even if I wake up with the violent, fervent need to have babies... I kind of want to never do it just to spite those asshats who like to tell me that I'll change my mind. But that's a terrible way to make my decisions.

As I've gotten older, I'm definitely getting much less of the "oh, you'll change your mind!" attitude. People seem to believe it more. I've also never had anyone ask me if my boyfriend is okay with that, which is nice (though I predict that will change if we get hitched, because suddenly my decisions will need to pass the husband test). I also think it's interesting that I heard that I'll change my mind so much more before I became a teacher. Now people actually seem sort of sympathetic.

Them: "Do you have any kids?"
Me: "None of my own, no."
Boyfriend: "She has 150 of them."
Me: "I'm a teacher."
Them: "Oohh. Wow, that makes sense."

That was an actual conversation I had at a winery this weekend. I guess since I'm raising 150 peoples' kids I don't need to raise my own? It's strange how saying I'm a teacher has defused every single child-bearing inquiry I've encountered since starting this job. Before that, I used to get it a lot and have to go through the rigamarole. It's bizarre.

I dig that there are awesome parents out there. I dig that there are awesome childfree people out there. I dig that there's awesome people out there.

Okay, my contribution to this thread was way less articulate or useful than I had hoped. Sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:23 pm 
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j-dub for president!

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:27 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
j-dub for president!

Especially if j-dub is in fact a pug that relaxes in a retro office chair.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:32 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
j-dub for president!


For real. I love me some j-dub.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:57 pm 
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This was brought to my attention today in a completely different context, and it made me laugh so much I couldn't resist sharing. http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2012/09/17/120917sh_shouts_allen?currentPage=all

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
This was brought to my attention today in a completely different context, and it made me laugh so much I couldn't resist sharing. http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2012/09/17/120917sh_shouts_allen?currentPage=all


this is all kinds of delightful and amazing. thank you for sharing it!

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:11 pm 
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molasses jane wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
This was brought to my attention today in a completely different context, and it made me laugh so much I couldn't resist sharing. http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2012/09/17/120917sh_shouts_allen?currentPage=all


this is all kinds of delightful and amazing. thank you for sharing it!
I think this was written by the mother of one of my former students:
"My four children—two girls, two boys—are all grown now, off at college or pursuing their own careers. I’ve let them go graciously, which is also part of a mother’s work, and I speak to each of them on the phone only seven times a day. The boys still send their underpants home to be ironed, and I FedEx sanitary napkins to the girls when they forget their periods, but otherwise they are independent adults, and a credit to their country."

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Last edited by Desdemona on Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
molasses jane wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
This was brought to my attention today in a completely different context, and it made me laugh so much I couldn't resist sharing. http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2012/09/17/120917sh_shouts_allen?currentPage=all


this is all kinds of delightful and amazing. thank you for sharing it!
molasses jane wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
This was brought to my attention today in a completely different context, and it made me laugh so much I couldn't resist sharing. http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2012/09/17/120917sh_shouts_allen?currentPage=all


this is all kinds of delightful and amazing. thank you for sharing it!
I think this was written by the mother of one of my former students:
"My four children—two girls, two boys—are all grown now, off at college or pursuing their own careers. I’ve let them go graciously, which is also part of a mother’s work, and I speak to each of them on the phone only seven times a day. The boys still send their underpants home to be ironed, and I FedEx sanitary napkins to the girls when they forget their periods, but otherwise they are independent adults, and a credit to their country."


This is my favourite and a variation on something a close friend once said to me:

"And if you’re not a mom you don’t understand that. You may understand expensive shoes, and having meaningless, drunken sexual intercourse with men who never call the next day, and trying to cheer yourself up by buying yourself baubles, but you don’t understand that it’s all about the giving."

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:18 pm 
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I really hope I've never posted in the bachelorette meal thread about stuff I make for me and my partner. I have a feeling I probably have though. Apologies!

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:20 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:27 pm 
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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.


This, so, so, so much. I'm so happy to have discovered this.

Desdemona, that was forking hilarious.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Hey all-I'm the OP and want to thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I had NO IDEA this would generate so much thought and traffic. It's comforting to hear all of your feelings on the topic. I'm impressed also with how kind everyone is being as things sometimes tend to get ugly on the internet. I wanted to post this here as I felt I'd be communicating with likeminded people as veganism is so very importnat to me.
I, like many of you have decided not to have children. Upon meeting my current boyfriend of 5 years, I hoped that he too did not want kids. Had he wanted them, I'm not sure we'd be together today. While I'm firm in my decision, I do have some worries. One, being alone and forgotten in my old age (though many of your thoughts on this have made a lot of sense in regard to why this might not be a valid concern). Two, a possible and unintentional divide occurring between my current friends and I when they do have kids. I love my friends dearly and don't want to see lifestyle changes get in the way of our relationships and really hope this does not happen. I know that things may change a bit, but I really do hope that we can all still relate as we do now.
It's good to hear that I'm not alone in my decision to not have children. I've never once felt the urge and at 38, I doubt I will.
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
j-dub for president!

Sadly, I am not American-born. And I swear far too much to ever be elected.

Moon wrote:
Especially if j-dub is in fact a pug that relaxes in a retro office chair.

I am a natural born Therapug, though!

Edit: look at my belly!

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:43 pm 
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j-dub wrote:

Edit: look at my belly!


I was going to mention it but didn't want it to be misconstrued as harassment. But I want to give your belly raspberries! PFFFFLFLFLFLFLFLFLFFFTTTTTT

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:45 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:06 pm 
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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 hear you on this. My husband is wonderful in many ways. But in the opposite way that some people think having a baby will fix everything... I often times think that things in our relationship that are tough (and times were I am the default partner) would be multiplied and even more difficult or complicated if there were children involved and I can't imagine signing up for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:07 pm 
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b.vicious wrote:
Whoa, this thread. To add to what Jordan & others said - I read it all in one go and found the majority of people responding actually aren't parents (of the 40+ individuals who responded, 30+ said they don't want kids), but the few mothers that were in here did sometimes take up a lot more thread space, by posting multiple times or writing long posts or whatever, and in the most recent pages. So that's probably what gave the impression. Do what you will with that.
.

Yep, it's really noticeable when you drop in for the first time and read the thread all in one go, although there were only 3 pages when I visited yesterday and now this thread is 3x as long – obvs a topic a lot of us want to talk about and I'm glad it was started.

mrsbadmouth wrote:
bathsheba wrote:
I have one friend who wants to have kids (probably in 5 years) and whenever she talks about it, I get this rock in my gut because I feel like I'm going to lose her. I'm afraid that not only will she not have time to do things with me, but she'll become someone else - we won't be able to relate to each other anymore.


That happened to me. I felt like a totally paranoid crasshole, and then it came true! I didn't even get a chance though, it was just like they only were interested in doing things with other families and mothers, I didn't even get invited over to watch tv anymore. Being dropped like a hot potato really sucks.


We have found this too, not always to the point where we lose them all together, but we definitely don't see them as often. Although I did stop seeing one friend, she was always a bit flaky but once she had a kid she would cancel or show up an hour or two late to our meet ups every single time and all she wanted to talk about was when I was going to get pregnant and have a baby. It became really tiring and annoying.

paprikapapaya wrote:

This has actually been a really comforting thread for me, to see other people airing their concerns and anxieties about a culture that puts parenting first, and have people say they are happily childfree and very much intend to stay that way.

I agree, it's been really great to read the different reasons behind each decision and it's nice to be able to talk about it with people who get it :)

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:28 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
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.


This is so well said. Whether I end up changing my mind and having kids or not, I still plan to become a sassy old lady with my sassy friends. We'll sit in rockers and shake our canes and cross stitch dirty patterns and drink bloody Marys. It'll be great. Because family is who you love and bond with.

wigglesmom wrote:
Two, a possible and unintentional divide occurring between my current friends and I when they do have kids. I love my friends dearly and don't want to see lifestyle changes get in the way of our relationships and really hope this does not happen. I know that things may change a bit, but I really do hope that we can all still relate as we do now.


There is an extent to which that might happen, could happen, etc. There's a degree to which it will happen unavoidably--they won't be out drinking with you till 2AM or whatever, especially while breastfeeding!--but they won't stop being your friends. If having a kid means that they give up on your friendship, they weren't great friends. There will be some growing pains while they get used to parenthood and you get used to the new things they have to consider (sometimes, they will flake because the babysitter got sick and it happens), but you'll also get to do fun new things, like be the awesome "auntie" and go out and buy ridiculous and adorable kiddo stuff to gift to them, but without having to worry about the hassle of it being your kid (I love buying kiddo gifts!). You will probably occasionally do something harrowing like change a diaper, or bounce a crying kid, or be roped into doing something really ridiculous to make a toddler happy, but it'll be fun because it isn't your life and you can leave when you want. You and your friends will still have time together without the kid(s), though, because that's what friends do!

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.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:57 pm 
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DarthCupcake wrote:
pandacookie wrote:
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.


This is so well said. Whether I end up changing my mind and having kids or not, I still plan to become a sassy old lady with my sassy friends. We'll sit in rockers and shake our canes and cross stitch dirty patterns and drink bloody Marys. It'll be great. Because family is who you love and bond with.


I'm starting to think I should picture and plan my old age like The Golden Girls. I know the three have kids, but they so rarely come up.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:49 pm 
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DrakeRedcrest wrote:
I also have a worry when I think about not having kids. Rather than worry about missing out on having kids, I worry that no one will want to have a partnership with me since I don't want to have kids - my desire to not have kids is another in the long list of things that makes me not fit the way femininity is "supposed" to be performed. And sometimes I feel bad about it, despite knowing it's absurd and I should do whatever I want.

I think it can make dating difficult but I learned years ago to put the no kids expectation up front and center. I've spent most of my life single but I preferred that to dating someone who thought my mind would change on the subject. There are plenty of people out there who don't want kids and don't really care about traditional gender roles, you might just take longer and have to look a bit harder to find them.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:03 am 
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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've thought this way too. However, as a child being on the other end of this right now I have to say it's a really sucky thing to do to your kids. My parents are separating after 30 years of marriage. Since my mom can't hold down a job, has major mental illness, and is afraid to live alone she has demanded that my husband and I provide a place for her in our home and (financially/physically/emotionally) support her. Because kids are supposed to take care of their aging parents. As a person who pretty much can't stand her mother and only wants to spend time with her partner and furbabies, I'm in a tough spot.

My husbands mom is an addict who has no money and has made poor life choices. Guess who she expects to bail her out? :-/

Not saying anyone here is like that but yeah. It's not fair to expect that from children.

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 Post subject: Re: Women who have chosen not to have kids
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:43 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.


I know that's true, and I have some good friends that I am looking forward to aging with... But there is also a little sadness for me because I am one of the lucky people who comes from an extremely close nuclear (and extended) family. My family is most of my social life and they are awesome and I love them. When my grandma died, we all worked together as a loving team to care for my grandpa and cook for him until he also died and it was, oddly, one of the best experiences of my life. It was so beautiful to see how much love and cooperation there was. And as the youngest in my family (other than my two nephews), it makes me sad they slowly all these folks will pass away... So, I know I can always make my own family, it's just that I haven't really had to do it yet.

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