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What? No children? Fending off the final female taboo

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

  1. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    I have no kids but it was not necessarily by choice.
  2. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    Sorry michiruwater, I was projecting :)
  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I have absolutely nothing against people having or not having children. It's their choice and none of my business but that reason was just...

    It made her sound bitter, jaded and quite troubled. Like she'd in fact want them but was anxious or something.
  4. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    I would think the hardest part is with a pet, you can get rid of them legally if you just can't take it. Or crate them. Or drug them. (I'm fostering a two-year-old terrier mix, can you tell? OH MY GOD PLEASE GO TO SLEEP.)

    As for that FATHER quoted...I'm sure it's great for him. He wasn't pregnant. That's the part I'd really not like.
  5. my little pony

    my little pony war crawling into canada

    a lot of people gloss over the gory details to lure you into joining them :p

    my great grandmother used to talk about what it was like to give birth at home when that was commonplace. after her first delivery, she was so appalled that she made her husband move.
  6. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    That and just the 24/7 responsibility intimidated me for the longest time!! And you have NO IDEA what kind of kid you're gonna get. May be a sweetie, may be a monster, could be anything in between. And geez, at least with a spouse you have SOME idea of what you're getting into before you commit, but with a kid? Total roll of the dice. That said, though, I'm glad we did it.

    The first year or two were definitely no picnic, with the lack of sleep and postpartum depression and other major life changes happening with me and my hubby. It was rotten. And yes, there are plenty of times my kid is ungrateful, but aren't all kids like that? Wasn't I like that? Let's be real. They're not gonna be perfect, no more than any of us are perfect.

    The main pet peeve with me and whether to have kids is that people need to be realistic about it all. Can't stand people who are all starry-eyed about cute, sweet little babies and being a mommy/daddy and they just don't have a grasp on the reality of it all, so when it happens they're all like "oooooohhhhhhmmmmyyyyyyggooooooodddddd I can't handle it. . ." Or they think they can completely continue their previous lifestyle without a single change and then resent the kid for "spoiling" their fun. Those are the sort of people who should strongly consider NOT having children!
  7. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I'm a bit afraid, and it has effected my decision a bit, though mostly it is DH's decision. He just doesn't want them and feels his life is complete without them. "Everyone else has them" and "who will take care of us when we are old" seem to be entirely selfish reasons to have kids, so they haven't swayed him.

    Back to scared of giving birth- Due to psychological reasons, I am not willing to have an epidural. The pain associated with labor terrifies me, as my friends have told me they were in excruciating pain before they got their drugs, and none have delivered naturally, so what the heck kind of pain are you in for there?

    (I also worry about my health later in life, and feel like it is selfish to have a kid when I know I may not be able to support them into their adulthood. But that is just a total unknown and people in worse situations have managed, so it is probably an uncessary fear.)
  8. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    The thing is, a lot of people are put off by the idea of being pregnant, especially at your age. They often change their minds and end up having kids. Which means people aren't going to take you seriously even if you do know your own mind and it isn't going to change.

    I know it's annoying, but they've seen enough other people say what you've said and change their minds that it makes them kind of smug and quite willing to dismiss you.

    In my case, I always thought I wanted kids (if I could get them without being pregnant), but I wasn't sure about marriage. I remember telling people when I was around 11 that I didn't think I wanted to get married because I didn't see the advantages in it for me. I thought that if I did get married, I'd wait until I was "really old" which to my 11 year old mind was about 35.

    Of course, all the grown-ups were quite condescending about it. "Oh, honey, you'll change your mind when you discover boys." they all said. But the thing is, I never said I didn't want to date boys. I said I didn't want to get married. Those are two different things. And, while I did eventually change my mind, I didn't get married until I was in my 30s and it was mostly because I wanted to have kids and thought it was better to be married for various reasons than not be married if you were going to have kids with someone, not because I'd been dreaming since I was a tiny girl of my wedding day.

    So while I changed my mind, those grown-ups who patted me on the head weren't right either. I didn't go through puberty, "discover" boys and instantly want to get married. I didn't want to get married until my 20s and it was a gradual process of changing my mind and it had nothing to do with "discovering" boys.

    The same with you. You may change your mind some day too and decide having kids is worth the getting pregnant part. But that doesn't mean that that Gyn/OB was right either. And you might never change your mind.

    But because you are a woman there are some people who will never accept that you won't some day change your mind until you are dead and even then they will remain convinced that deep down somewhere you really did want kids. (Because they are idiots.)
  9. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    It is selfish to have kids. In is selfish to not have kids....

    Honestly, you should make that choice based on what makes you happy :).

    As for labor pain - I had an epidural and it was not that painful because of it.

    Most people in Denmark don't get epidurals, and they say it is painful, but not that bad. There are lots if techniques you can use to reduce pain if you want a natural birth.
  10. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

    My husband and I never felt the need or desire to have children. We prefer living our lives our way without worrying about babysitting and responsibilities. When I want to work late. I do. When he wants to, he does. We pack up and travel on the weekends. We avoid the grocery store and munch on leftovers and beer. We have no pets. I have no nieces and nephews. It is just how we chose to live our lives in our 20s and early 30s.

    At 35 I was diagnosed with suspected ovarian cancer and had a total hysterectomy. So at that point the choice was made for me. There are moments when I think that maybe I should have had kids earlier, but I still can't picture myself as a mom. I love kids. I enjoy taking care of friends' children. But I don't think I'd be a good or happy mom. I still get comments from people. People at work say I should adopt. My extended family bemoans my childless state. I'm used to it at this point. Just as I tell people who choose to stay single, I admire the choice to go against the norms of society. I know that my husband and I are comfortable with each other and love each other enough to know it is okay that it is just us.

    That's not a slam against people with kids. They are just as likely to have happy marriages or relationships. I just know that I feel secure in my life choices and that is what is important to me.
    CanuckSk8r and (deleted member) like this.
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

    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?
  13. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

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

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    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.
  15. Gil-Galad

    Gil-Galad Well-Known Member

    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.
    LilJen and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    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.
  18. cygnus

    cygnus Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    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. :)


    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.
  20. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    (((((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. :(
  21. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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

    l'etoile New Member

    (((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.
  23. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    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*
  24. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    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?
  25. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    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.
  26. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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

    WILLLY - female
    MAAT - female

  27. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    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.
  28. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

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

    Bunny Hop Perpetually learning Dutch Waltz

    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.
  30. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    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.