What? No children? Fending off the final female taboo

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Aussie Willy, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    But I don't want a natural birth- I hate being in pain and do not handle it well. However, I don't think I can mentally handle an epidural. When I broke my neck I was fully (but thank God, temporarily) paraylzed. Since then, even waking up with my arm 'asleep' can upset me so much that I can't function that day. I can't imagine how I'd react to not being able to feel my lower body for an extended period of time, so I don't think an epidural is an option for me. They'd end up having to treat me for panic attcks rather than getting me to deliver a baby...

    Since DH doesn't want a kid, it's moot :) I think it is actually okay that I have these issues, because sometimes I really do want kids, and having so many worries and fears makes it easier for me to accept DH's decision. If i didn't have any reservations, I think it would be really difficult, because while he's said if I want him, he'll deal with it, you can't compromise on kids- it's an all or nothing.
  2. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the whole, "I have this supernatural knowledge of all things, insight into the human psyche, a selfless personality and spotless morals because I have kids!" Considering that about 90% of adults in the world have kids, how is it that we live in such a screwed-up world?
  3. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever considered fostering? Involves NO labor pain, and can be done for a finite amount of time :)
  4. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    It depends on how the epidural "works". With both of mine, I had areas of tingling and wasn't really completely numb. Which didn't make me happy. Anyway, there are a lot of things going on during a birth and that part of it can be over rather quickly so I wouldn't let that stop you.

    The real reasons not to have kids IMO are all about the stuff that comes afterwards. The birthing part and even the pregnancy part is pretty short and, as has been pointed out, can be side-stepped even. But kids are FOREVER. So that's the part you have to worry about.
  5. Gil-Galad

    Gil-Galad Well-Known Member

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    I was never sure about having kids. And I never had a perfect life-plan that included marriage, mortgage and kids. But I also thought that I might have some with the "right" bloke.

    Last year, at the ripe old age of 27, I was diagnosed with a fully blown case of Premature Ovarian Failure. No therapy possible, no interventions (IVF) promising.

    And I broke down. I cried for days and days, I yelled at the world about the how unfair everything was. Me - the girl who was always quite relaxed about these things, who has a promising career in the making and never thought that children were essential for my happiness. I was devastated, I think I even frightened my parents with it, who know me as well-balanced and even rather stoic.

    Was it because deep down I really wanted kids? Was it simply because the choice was taken from me before I could even make it? Whatever it was / is - I think that this question, whether to have kids or not, is so intimate, so profound - that it cannot be answered easily. I don't want to tell anyone that I don't believe that they don't want to have kids. But I'd like to say that maybe this issue goes a lot deeper than we might think.

    I do believe that you can be happy without children, I have to believe that. But if I had been given this diagnosis with a little positive twist ("You might have one fertile year left"), I might have considered asking my gay best friend for a favour.
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  6. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Well, my husband doesn't want kids, so I'm not sure that would be a good option for us.
  7. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    Epidurals shouldn't leave you numb IMHO. You want to feel the contractions so you know when to push - just not feel PAIN IT BURNS!!! For me, the biggest issue was trusting someone to put a 15cm needle in my spine ...

    And I agree, it's all the stuff after that should stop you - and it seems like that is it.
  8. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    I didn't have an epidural either time, due to timing issues. Neither labour was especially painful, although both were hard work (it's called "labour" for a reason!) Nor was parenting especially hard, they were both good babies and kids. They have both grown up now into lovely young people. Not that there weren't issues along the way (try being the only non ADHD person in a family of 4!), but I can't imagine life without my kids.

    But my choices (although number one cygnet wasn't actually a "choice"- more of a surprise! ;) )suited me, and everyone has to make their own decisions- taking into account their own relationships, finances and temperaments.
  9. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Seriously. :lol: The responsibility of raising a good citizen is very intimidating to me right now, although part of me also acknowledges that we'd likely be pretty chill and supportive parents, because we've been so chill and supportive towards each other. But you never know - I could end up with a sociopathic axe murderer! :eek:

    Also, we might never feel settled enough to have kids. Both Alf and I are in the middle of career changes and we live in a studio. I know it's possible to raise good kids while still figuring out your career (exhibit A: my grad student coworker raising 2 young kids basically on her own), but her life is just SO hard, that I'm wondering why make it harder for everybody if we have the choice to wait?

    Lastly, I hate throwing up and my mother had really bad morning sickness. But I'm sure I'd survive. :p

    That's somewhat reassuring. :)

    :rofl:

    I'm sorry. :( It's always hard to have a decision made for you in such a way, before you're ready to really decide.
  10. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    (((((Gil-Galad))))) :( I'm sorry. Childbirth is a huge risk for me because of heath problems, and the risk of me miscarrying, having complications, or still birth, is also really, really high. I agree with you that it's a really personal thing. For me, I don't want to explain things to people. Everyone thinks I should adopt a Chinese baby and then it will all be fine. :(
  11. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    I really don't care if other people have children or not. Like...who has time to think about that?
  12. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

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    (((Gil-Galad))) Just don't know what to say.

    I personally don't see myself with kids or having kids in any future and I used to love kids to death. Surely it will be a precious experience, or if anything, the most precious one, that a person can go through but choice is choice.
  13. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I met a new choir member this morning -- after we'd introduced ourselves, the first thing she said was, "Do you have kids?" :lol: Church ladies can be a hoot sometimes!

    And Gil-Galad, I'm so sorry. *hugs*
  14. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    It is funny-I had started trying to get pregnant in 2008 and did not actually get pregnant until 2010. People all the time would ask me why I did not have kids yet, and I finally started saying "I would really like children but I am having a problem getting pregnant."

    I know that makes for a seriously awkward moment but asking someone why they don't have kids is just really rude. I mean the answer is either "I don't want them" or "I can't have them"...I mean...what other answer could their possibly be? I guess there could be the answers like "I am going back to school, going to travel. etc..." but like does the person who is asking really care that much?
  15. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes social conventions need to be challenged and people need to be put out of their comfort zone. It doesn't hurt them and they might actually learn something from the experience.
  16. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    My god, you people are such deceptive, evil child hating gits.

    WILLLY - female
    MAAT - female

    >.>
  17. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    haha, I have been tripping people up, but Maat is from the Egyptian goddess of truth and justice (she is the one that weighs your hear against a feather in the underworld). The funny part is I originally took it form a historic fiction book written in the 70's that erroneously used her as a goddess of wisdom and books and gave her wings.
  18. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    :lol: I am just Willy because my surname is Wilson.
  19. Bunny Hop

    Bunny Hop Accept no substitutes

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    This!! I love my cat, but at least when he's annoying I can put him in another room and lock the door, or spray him with water if he's behaving badly. Social services tend to frown on you doing the same to children. :D

    From my early twenties I realised I wasn't interested in having children, but I also recognised that it was possible I would change my mind (I'd seen it happen to others), and warned my husband of that when we got engaged. What actually happened was I became more and more convinced that children weren't the right choice for me. There was no big decision or anything, and I also wouldn't call myself a career woman (two things people often assume about the childless-by-choice) - it was just a natural evolution in my life.

    I'm fortunate that I don't move in the type of circles where people question my choice, although on the rare occasions this has happened, it's always been someone who doesn't know me. Friends and family just accept it and don't feel it needs discussion. This includes my parents, despite the fact I'm an only child so our line dies with me.

    Just lately I've developed considerable admiration for the women I know who manage to combine demanding jobs with bringing up children. With some of the days I've had at work lately, with people making a lot of demands on my time, I cannot imagine then having to come home and deal with small demanding people as well.
  20. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

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    This thread reminds me of a joke the comic, Rita Rudner told a while back.

    She and her husband couldn't decide if they wanted a dog or a child, before adding, "We don't know if we want to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives."

    For the record, I'd make a terrible parent.
  21. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    That's a tough one. I hope you can find some ways to get involved with some kids in your community or church. Kids need MANY good adults in their lives to love 'em.

    ((((Gil-Galad))))
  22. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    We were ready to have kids (psychologically and emotionally) when I was 50 and Mr. Japanfan was 45, but by then it was too late. Our reasons were first financial - just couldn't seeing bearing the economic cost of having a child, which included renting a bigger space. But we couldn't even afford an extra bedroom, not to mention all the other costs that go with having a child, which ends up in the thousands over a lifetime. Add to that me being self-employed and earning a really low income, and there being no family support available (my mom was dead and MIL completely unavailable). There was no mat leave coming for me and not working wasn't an option, so we'd have needed to pay for daycare as well. Second, in addition to the cost there was the work and responsibility of it, which I wasn't sure I was up to.

    Third, we married when I was 33 and he 27, and his primary commitment was to his education for about 10 years.

    Fourth, I did fear pregnancy and giving birth. Fifth, as a youngest child who had never been around babies - I babysat one time only as a teenager and remember being really uncomfortable as I was a stranger to that baby - I didn't trust myself to be able to raise a child well, especially given the daily stressor or having to earn a living.

    This led to my fifth reason, my fear that Mr. Japanfan and I would not co-parent well and he would always be the one 'in charge', as he had experience with his sister's son already. I could see our fights about parenting driving us apart.

    I do admit that now I have some regrets. Some people just go ahead and become parents anyway, regardless of how ready they are, and sometimes it works out. Mr. Japanfan never achieved what he wanted with his education and in retrospect, a child might have set him on a new life direction as a parent that was more rewarding than he current child-free life.

    It's looking at others with grown kids and grand-kids now that leads me to have some regrets. Part of it is having good relationship with adult children and grandchild - no, not everyone has them, but it is wonderful for those who do, the reward of having parented.

    Then, there's knowing that some part of you lives on after you die, there must be a certain comfort in that.

    And, sometimes children can be of a great help when one is old and unwell. A child can be your primary advocate at a time in life when you are unable to advocate for yourself. Those of us who are child-less will not have that option, and at time I find it scary.
  23. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered adoption? There are lots of children, especially those past the baby stage, who need good parents.
  24. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Not for me. I never understand that reason for having a child either.
  25. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    If I ever become filthy rich, I will build a hospital or a school or library, and stick my name on it. That way I get to help kids (whether or not I have any of my own) AND have a personal legacy. :lol:
  26. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I guess I feel like I have a personal legacy. It's not like I lived my life as a hermit and never impacted anyone in any way. ;)
  27. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    I agree. I'd never have children just so a part of me could live on, nor would I find comfort in that. Or a library. My legacy is the work I've done, the life I've lived and the lives I've touched through that. At least, I hope it will be. :)
  28. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Like this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ffj8SHrbk0
  29. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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  30. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that true for every life choice though? Usually going down one path excludes the others. Maybe in your rocking chair you'll fondly look back at everything that you have done and would have missed out on if you had had children. :)

    :rofl: Ziggy, if you're a shit parent they'll be ungrateful when they are adults. However, as small children they will be "ungrateful" even if you are the most caring, loving, intelligent, sensitive and angelic parent in the world.

    This is because being grateful requires perspective, it requires not taking other people for granted. Children don't have the life experience or empathy to have the necessary perspective and they always take their parents for granted. They feel entitled to everything their parents do for them and indeed usually they are. Hopefully they love you, but that seems independent of how much work you do for them or how many sacrifices you make. JMHO.
  31. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    Agree. It takes a while for them to even understand that other people have feeling and needs. Children are not adults, and start out with no sort of empathy at all. My son at 2 is beginning to understand that his friends have wants, but it is all me,me,me,mine,mine, mine... (And I see nothing wrong with this at 2). It is a process - children are simply not 'done' - especially compared to other species. :).

    As for 'something of me will live on' - I think there are 2 things at play here for most people. One - you can have children without having money for a library or whatever, they are cheaper. Two - I think that in general, as a species, we have some sort of biological imperative to pass on our genes, that is how the race survives. That tells nothing abut how an individual might feel, of course.
  32. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    You think having a child is cheaper than building a library? I don't! Especially those parents who pay for their child's private education and/or college.
  33. Hannahclear

    Hannahclear Well-Known Member

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    I think when parents say something like "you're lucky that you don't have kids," they are often just trying to be affirming of that choice. That's what I would mean if I said that, though that's probably not how I would phrase it. But let me say, I understand why some people take a pass on parenting.

    Not that I don't love my little treasure. But I no longer wonder why parents would choose to have one child. Still making up my mind on that issue.
  34. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    I honestly don't know how people have more than one. My son will be 2 in a few weeks and I cannot imagine having another. At least with one you can still have some "me" time and although you make sacrifices and it is life changing, I think it is easy to...um...maintain sanity? I don't really know hot to put it but I can imagine myself not being sane with a 2 year old and a newborn LOL.

    I guess it also depends on what type of child your kid is. My sister's daughter is the same age as my son and she talks like a 5 year old and is very independent, potty trained, etc... My son is on the autism spectrum so obviously...I guess it wold be easier for her than me to have more than one.
  35. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Apparently some people do really care that much because when I try to politely address the questioning my politeness goes over some people's heads and they seem to take it as an invitation to pursue even further questioning. And then I get to hear all sorts of original gems like:

    -They're different when they're you're own!
    -You'll change your mind later, you'll see!
    -You just haven't met the right guy yet!

    So, yeah. Some people really don't give a crap about what you do (I love you people), but some get rather offended when they hear "No thank you, I'll take a pass on all that!" to the kiddie question and take it as a personal affront. The polite answer to the initial "Why don't you have kids?" question doesn't always politely shut down the dialogue. In other words people don't always STFU when you give them the polite chance to STFU and move on in the interest of social harmony. Then when they don't STFU and you start taking a more clear and concise and assertive approach with the questioner (and maybe even come right out and say STFU because they're being particularly annoying) you get accused of being angry and bitter and of COURSE you're angry and bitter, if only you had kids then you wouldn't be so angry and bitter. Tsk tsk tsk, your life is so empty and sad, I really pity you. Kids would fix all that. It's not too late, you know.

    Or the other approach is to lie and say that maybe one day you'll have kids just to shut them up quickly, but I don't use that tactic. I'm not going to lie about liking sushi and I'm not going to lie about wanting kids. I am who I am. If someone asks me if I like sushi and I politely say naw, not a fan of the seaweed and they start saying "Well, why NOT? You don't HAVE to get seaweed you know, there are all different kinds! You just haven't had GOOD sushi yet! You should try sashimi! You really need to try the tuna!" they're going to get the same sort of conversation out of me. :lol:

    For the record I had sushi once and it made me vomit. So there. Good sushi, bad sushi, sashimi, I don't care. I puked. I'm not eating it. End of story.
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  36. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    Glad I'm not the only one who gets that argument. Gets worse when they try to condescendingly explain spending some quality time with kids in some volunteer activity would really open my eyes to how wonderful they are.
    "Erm, I volunteer coach learn to skate classes at least twice a month."
    "And aren't the kids just :swoon:?"
    "Some are great, some aren't. I don't leave the rink pining to have some of my own."
    "Hrumph, hrumph, cold-hearted and un-motherly creature."
    "eff you too"

    This could have ended very peacefully if they'd just left well enough alone. But nooooo, I must be enlightened an converted into a baby-loving woman.
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  37. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Or when they try to rope you into spending quality time with THEIR kids. Because their kids are uniquely special and have The Power To Make You Change Your Mind And Swell Your Grinch Heart.
  38. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    This. I am grateful every day now for what my parents did for me, but I was a brat and didn't think of their needs until I was about 10. And I wasn't spoiled. I said "please" and "thank you" and was quiet in restaurants. I just didn't have the perspective of "Mom has to go to work and then come home and cook us dinner and then listen to us practice piano. Wow, that's exhausting!" It just didn't occur to me, because they made sure our needs were met first. I don't think that's bad parenting. It's just kids getting older and gaining perspective. My mom LOVES having us around now that we're adults and can do cool things with her and teach her things. :lol:

    I tell my coworker this, she's sometimes upset that her kids take her for granted, but they're still so young. I assure her that they will be incredibly thankful for what she's done for them when they're older, although it's hard not to get acknowledgement now.

    Depends on the library! :lol:
  39. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    Well, having a 2 year old and getting ready for number 2 feels like insanity at times... but after not being sure about wanting kids I knew right away in the hospital (literally minutes after I gave birth) that I wanted another one (hormones are weird, I say :p). In addition, after having seen my 2 year old interact with my friends 3.5 year old I knew it would be awesome to have 2, they entertained each other so well. My brother is 8 years older than me, and we have very little in common, so I wanted them close together.
    I honestly also think I would spoil my son a little to much if I only had one...

    Definitely true. While my friends with the 3.5 year old was entertained by the 2 boys, they will not have another. He was a very fuzzy, colicy baby, and basically screamed for hours the first 6 months, no matter what they did. Our boy, on the other hand, has a basically happy temperament, nothing makes him upset for very long, and he was a relatively easy baby

    I can't imagine the extra work you have to put in with a kid on the autism spectrum!

    ugh :( meddling people!
    I admit I have personally experienced the first one, but I usually only talk about it to people who (like me) are unsure and wants to talk about motherhood.
    the second one I hate, that is the stupidest shit - the whole biological clock thing is so not true for everyone. Besides, I think it is annoying when people come off as better knowing about your personal life choices at random - like if you said you wanted to study classical roman literature and someone thinks that you should study archeology instead - do they really say ' You will change your mind later, just wait'? Well, that is just silly.

    In addition, I feel that in general it is rude to ask why someone don't have children. I might ask close friends or ask if they feel ready yet if they have previously said they wanted kids 'later', but in general I would worry about touching a sore issue if people can't have kids - I don't ask other people details about other medical issues unless they volunteer.

    I think a lot of people ask because they might not always feel happy being parents and they try affirm themselves of their choices, but it is much better to do this with other parents, and talk about how wonderful your kids are, much better not to bother your childless friends with that ;).


    oh, and the more I think about all this, I think it ties into MacMadame's statement a few pages back (think it was her) - the taboo of enjoying sex. If you are having sex, and in a relationship, you should be having kids. Otherwise are you just doing it for fun ??
  40. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    Well as a mother I can say that my son would totally do this for you. ;)

    Kidding aside, spending time with your own child is 100% different than spending time with someone else's kid. So when a parent says "it is different when it is your own" that is a 100% true statement.

    I have nephews and nieces and before I had my son, I enjoyed spending time with them but only for like an hour LOL. My son I just cannot get enough of and sometimes I am even sad when he goes to bed and I miss him at night.

    So anyway I guess my point is that I don't see how spending time with other people's children would make someone want a child because it is just not the same thing at all. Other people's children are annoying! :p