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meghane_gw

Any childless by choice married couples out there?

Meghane
20 years ago

Hey all, I was just wondering how many of you are CBC, and what experiences you have had with other people because of it.

My story: I'm a vet tech. I was chatting with a client who was having trouble with her neighbor's Husky. Huskys are notorious for being high-strung, which can sometimes translate as snappy. If you get too close to their food, in their territory, they don't know you... some will bite in those situations. So anyway, I was saying that I have a Husky and although he's very good, I don't allow children or those acting like children near him because he has been known to snap (although the people at risk didn't even know it, but that's another story or two). So this client asked me what if I had kids? I told her I'm not having kids. She again asks but what if I did? Now I don't like kids much at all, and her ~10 year old boy was standing right there, so I didn't just want to say I don't like kids. Finally I just said "what if you didn't have kids- would you have a Husky?" and she looked at me like well duh, I have a kid. Then I said "I'm sure I won't have kids, as sure as your boy is standing right there." It's like she never heard of a woman (and my DH) who simply refused to propagate. Aren't there any others like us?

Comments (106)

  • MatildaS
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ive been holding off on posting here but I seem to have a different perspective to offer the people posting about (at least some of) the childless by choice couples. I was never pushed or even encouraged to have children  there were no hints or innuendos. My mother adored her children but knew we all had paths that were right for us and (although she never regretted having us) she always valued choices. She understood that having children was hard and not for everyone. I thank you for your admiration, but for some of us, it is the path of least resistance, so it is not admirable so much as what we have chosen naturally. I can imagine for others it is admirable (to go against the grain) but not for all of us.

    One more thought  about the holding babies perception that we are harboring some displaced animosity. On the contrary, my reaction is about inexperience and awkwardness. I have had very few baby encounters (no doubt by choice and I am approaching 40) and I have never been compelled to hold a baby. So, when one is handed to me, I look awkward and distressed because I am. Not all of us are raised around babies and learn to appreciate their less than desirable qualities along with their enchanting ones. So, I am not drawn to them, and when handed a baby, it is generally not my choice but I manage. Perhaps I will gain a comfort level some day, but no maternal instinct grips me and compels me to enjoy the experience and want my very own.

    I guess we are all different, and that is my point.

  • jamie_mt
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Phyllis, it's not that we don't want to share our friend's joy, but listening to women talk about being pg, and later all about the up's and down's (mostly the down's, it seems like) of having kids *all the time*, would be like making a parent listen to a 45 minute monologue on something they have *absolutely no interest in*. I don't mind discussing kid stuff with women who also have other things to talk about (crafts, news, other hobbies and goings-on), but when the baby is *all* they talk about, it's boring to those of us with no interest in such things - just like me going on at length to you about my lizard and his eating/pooping habits, or the really gross thing my dog barfed up yesterday - you don't care, you have no interest, and while you wouldn't mind me mentioning it briefly, you'd probably be really annoyed if it was all I talked about. So just like we have to realize that parents want to talk about their babies sometimes, parents need to realize that we aren't interested in a lengthly conversation about them. Often when *we* try to change the subject to something less "kiddish", parents switch it back - and *that* is what gets old.

    I have two pregnant friends right now (I'm 29 - *all* of my friends either have kids or are pregnant), and while I can handle them for awhile, the pregnancy tales (I had to pee in a jar *thiiiiisss* big last week) get really, really old. I'm actually looking forward to the babies being born just so I can have new stuff to get bored listening to! LOL That, and kids grow fast...I don't care for babies, but I don't mind toddlers, and parents tend to get more interesting when the kids reach "toddler" stage. :-)

    I also have friends who's kids are getting older - I handle that much better, because they have other interests besides just thier kids. So we can talk about thier kids and what fun stuff is going on, but other things too - it's more balanced. I like balance. :-)

    As for holding babies - do you like lizards? If I just hatched a nest of baby geckos, and put one in your hands, cooing over how absolutely adorable it was (because I do think baby lizards are very cute), would you be comfortable with that? I didn't think so. Same thing for me and babies - I don't like or want to hold them. It's a matter of perception - not everyone thinks the same things are "cute" or desirable in life...it's not an "attack" on you or your baby, it's simply a different viewpoint that should be respected.

    Try to remember that not everyone is comfortable with babies, and not everyone thinks they are "cute" - all you have to do is *ask* before handing them off, rather than just assuming, and try not to be offended if the other party would rather not take a turn holding them. Remember that *they* could be handing you a baby lizard in return. :-)

    I have to say, other than listening to all the pg/baby stories, my friends are *super cool* as far as respecting our decision to be child-free. None of them bug us about it, none of them tell us we'll regret it, or that we'll change our minds, and we *really* appreciate how lucky we are to have friends like them. And I must say, so far, they are all great parents too...I have no complaints about being around thier kids either (and hey, we have an endless supply of popcorn, girl scout cookies, and seasonal wreaths for at least the next 18 yrs, without having to do any of the work! LOL). :-)

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  • phyllis_philodendron
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, I do happen to think iguanas are cool, as long as it doesn't bite. Although I've never seen a gecko up close. : [)

  • queenofmycastle0221
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My husband and I thought we coudn't have kids and we did just what most of you are doing. We got a dog and made it our baby. Then we got the biggest shock of all time. (My husband had to take some vacation time to adjust to the fact we were going to have a baby!) My family and friends told us we would have to give up our spoiled rotten dog (the only one I know who eats filet mignon) not scraps. I told them they could take the baby I was keeping the dog (Only kidding!) of course. It was an adjustment for us and the Cocoamos. It was the best thing that ever happened to us. Brett is now 7 yrs old and Cocoamos is 10 and undergoing surgery tomorrow, we are scared to death.

    My point is that if you are using the animal to hold back your maternal urgings, one day that animal will be gone and those maternal feelings will still be there.

    My dear sister in law is cbc but everytime we get together at dmils for dinner she brings it up, not someone else. She claims she has two dogs and two cats to love. I told my dmil recently that she's not trying to convince me its the right choice, she is trying to convince herself. The things she says reminds me alot of what you guys are saying.

    The one thing that Cocoamos can't do that Brett can is look at me with those gorgeous eyes and say "Mommy, I love you!" I didn't know what I was missing before.

    Good Luck!
    Queenie

  • Gina_W
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hmm, I don't see anything I said as coming across as maternal instinct re-directed to owning pets. Like I said, to each her own. No right and wrong. No judgements.

  • rivkadr
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This was an interesting thread to read. My husband and I are also childless by choice, for multiple reasons:

    - we don't like kids. At all.
    - we do like having money and free time :)
    - genetic and health reasons; don't want to pass on our bad genes
    - there's enough kids out there that need good homes. Why bring more into the world?

    I'm also the youngest of 9 children. I have 17 nieces and nephews, on just my side. I think my family has done enough breeding without me needing to contribute :) The upside is that we get to spend time occasionally with some of those nieces and nephews; it's fun, but just reaffirms for us that we've made the right decision.

    It is hard, though, dealing with societal expectations. Hubbie and I are nearly 30, been married over 7 years. We know our minds pretty well, but we constantly get the "Oh, you'll change your mind," statements from family and friends. I personally think that people that make that statement are trying to re-affirm their own life choices, by seeing you follow the same path. At any rate, it gets old fast.

    So far, my mother-in-law doesn't know we're not having kids. I haven't the heart to tell her...as the years pass, though, I think she may be catching on ;)

  • maddie_in_ky
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "I personally think that people that make that statement are trying to re-affirm their own life choices, by seeing you follow the same path."

    Bravo! Well said.

    And Queenie--good luck?? For what?? For having the sense to realize what we want, and not bow to society?

    And I ***do*** know what I am missing---which is the exact reason I don't have kids.....

  • janetm_md
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have not read this entire thread so I may be missing out on some of the comments. I was childless by choice along with my husband for many years. My reasons were the same as many of yours-Rivkadr your sentiments matched mine exactly. I have to admit that DH and I were so bad about being vocal about disliking kids that our friends that did get pregnant were actually afraid to tell us. During my many years of not wanting kids we did hear a number of doozies from people: you're SELFISH for not wanting kids, etc, etc. We happily bucked societies expectations of us and simply chose to socialize with others without kids.

    And then the following happened... see the thread below where both my DH and I posted over two years ago I am the same Janet and Greg is my DH...

    We did stick with the decision made in that thread but I will say that giving birth permanently changed me and it ultimately changed Greg as well but it took about a year and a half-we are currently trying to conceive.

    I suppose now that I'm in a position of having been on both sides of the fence, for truly thats where I am now, I see things in a way I couldn't possibly before. The desire to have children for many people is not a rational choice, it is instinct pure and simple. Sure for some its about other things but for many its biology pure and simple. If you don't feel that drive I think it is nearly impossible to understand people that do. I know that was me. And the same goes for people that have that strong instinctual drive-they can't possibly understand why others don't have it. Its like there is an unbridgeable chasm that the childless by choice folks and people who choose parenthood simply cannot bridge not really understanding each other.

    I feel that as a birthmother at last I do see both sides in a way I never would have otherwise. Giving birth turns on a primal instinct, an instinct I tried to will away after my husband posted in the thread below.

    I guess what I'm trying to say, in a very long-winded way, is consider the fact that there are a lot of reasons why both "sides" don't understand each other, and a lot of them go beyond rational thought processes.

    That said I don't think that this excuses rudeness from anybody and I think people have every right in the world to refuse to tolerate rude remarks. Whether one decides to have children or not is a highly personal choice and IMHO there is no right decision, merely what is right for you.

    -Janet

  • Purple_Jade
    18 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is the first time I've visited this forum, and the first thread I've read. I read every post too, and can relate totally.
    My DH and I tried to have kids early in our marriage. I went through hormone treatments and even Artificial Insemination. None of it worked, and during the process or trying we both finally realized we didn't WANT kids. We feel fortunate that we had those 2 years to think about it, or would have been parents of young teenagers by now!
    For years people used to ask when we were going to have kids, never IF, always WHEN. My favorite response was to put on a totally shocked and horror filled face, look down at my stomach, and say "WHY, do I LOOK pregnant???"
    That would embarrass the person asking, end of conversation.
    I love some kids, I've been teaching piano for 24 years, but couldn't imagine spending 6 hours a day with all those kids, and the rest of my time with my own! I want a life too, that doesn't involve kids in every single thing I do.
    I believe we're raised in society to believe we will just get married and have kids. I fell right into that trap, but luckily had time to change my mind!
    It's easier now that I'm 40, most of my friends have teenagers now, so don't constantly talk about their kids. I used to think it rather pathetic when a couple of my friends with very young kids could talk of nothing else. I thought of them as sheltered, and while they were feeling sorry for me because I had no kids I was feeling sorry for her for not having any interests or hobbies of her own, other than her kids, and wondered what she would do with herself once her kids started to develop lives of their own.
    I know not all parents are like this, so please don't jump all over me for this.
    Anyway, after reading all those posts what sticks in my mind most is the woman who said it was far worse for a couple to have a kid that they shouldn't really be having than a couple who decides they wouldn't be ideal parents and to NOT have kids. But those of us who feel we couldn't offer all it would take to raise a great kid are ridiculed and called selfish. I think selfish is when people have kids so they'll have "someone to look after them" when they get older, or to "carry on the family name", and other reasons others have already mentioned.
    I regret taking hormones to try to get pregnant (had nasty side effects that lasted long after I stopped taking them), and now believe in fate. If it was meant to be it would have been, and there are lots and lots of kids that CBC people can offer their time and love to without having to create their own. I've even had people say to me that they wouldn't want to adopt because they want a kid that is their own flesh and blood and who looks like them. How selfish is that?
    One last thing, bravo to all the great parents out there, someone has to have them!

  • IdaClaire
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "My point is that if you are using the animal to hold back your maternal urgings, one day that animal will be gone and those maternal feelings will still be there."

    So then ya drive down to the shelter and get yourself another animal to love and care for.

    Y'know, there are so many other ways to have children in your life, without having to birth them and raise them yourself. I applaud those folks who know what they really want out of life -- whether that means having children or not!

  • queenofmycastle0221
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Maddie, I think you completely took offense where none was meant. I said "I" didn't know what "I" was missing. I have no idea about "you". I often sign off on my posts with "Good Luck!"

    This was nothing personal! Your life is yours! If my dh had known he could impregnate me, I would never have gotten pregnant. DH & I had been married 2 1/2 yrs and never taken any birth control.

    I was not judging anyone! Just trying to share my thoughts about my SIL.

    Queenie

  • Meghane
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    wow, what a difference 3 years makes. NO I'm not pregnant, nor do I want to be, but my situation has certainly changed. Instead of working, I'm now in vet school. Which means I'm expected to be a professional woman. Which means I'm expected to not have children. How odd that moving up in your career suddenly makes it OK, or even desirable, to not have children. I'm still happily married, that certainly hasn't changed either. It just struck me as odd that just because I'm going to school to have a "real" career, my purpose in life is no longer procreation (according to society). I know what my own purpose in life is: to help people take the best care possible of their fur-scaly- feathered- other non-human kids. So now if I became possessed by an alien and decided that I wanted kids after all, I would be looked down upon because despite it all, it's still EITHER a career OR motherhood for women. I just don't get it.

    Good thing that I don't really care what society thinks.

    "Subvert the dominant paradigm"

  • JerriEllijay
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Meghane,

    Funny that we both ended up on this forum in the last couple of days. Just thought I'd chime in since you're still reading the replies. I am childfree by choice and have never regretted the decision... ever. My first husband wanted a divorce because after 15 years of marriage he HAD to have a heir. I'm now happily married to someone who feels the same way I do. WOO HOO!

    From your posts on the pet forum I know you are the BEST mom to your furry and scaly kids, let someone else make the 2 legged babies.

    You go girl,

    jerri

  • junebug1961
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am childless and do not regret it for one nano-second. I travel alot and enjoy many activities that would be difficult if not impossible to enjoy if I were burdened with children. Occasionally I have had some women say to me that they regret having kids. As for the "selfish" comments, I think they are b.s. I know some couples who have had every unnatural medical procedure in the world performed on them because they so "needed" to have a child that was part of them. No consideration to adoption at all. Our earth has reached a point of saturation when it comes to feeding the billions already here- having more children seems by far the more selfish act to me.

  • houseful
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So, because I have 5 kids and will probably have more, I am selfish?

  • junebug1961
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    An amusing thing about these forums is this...somebody wants to vent to other like-minded individuals and the dissenters crash it. Yes, you're selfish.

  • caroline94535
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I tell people I was born without the "Mommy gene." I love children; I enjoy their company; I love their views on the world in general. But...

    I have never, ever, not-for-one-second, wanted to have a child. I have never, ever, wanted to be pregnant. I feel so bad for people that long for children that never come.

    I was married briefly when I was 19. I didn't want children then. We divorced; I joined the military. I was single, surrounded by eligible men and had a happy and healthy social life...I certainly didn't want to have a child then.

    I married a wonderful man at age 36. He was 30. On our first date we were talking about what we wanted in life. I told him I wanted to fall in love, get married, and never have children. He said he didn't want children either; he was adopted and wouldn't feel right having children and not knowing his own background.

    Three year later we married. Fourteen years later we're happier than ever and still childless...except for the wonderful Harry Dog.

    I have 10 nieces and nephews. Our house has a revolving door. One nephew lived with us for six years. One neice spent five summers with us. We get our "kid" fix; we send them home. Everyone's happy.

  • bill_h
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    5 kids! yea selfish, if any of my tax money has to go for support at some point. if not, knock yourself out. just think you could have had a really nice power boat instead.

  • rktj
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "I travel alot and enjoy many activities that would be difficult if not impossible to enjoy if I were burdened with children"

    Good thing your parents could be "burdened" with children or else you wouldn't even exist.

  • asolo
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "Good thing your parents could be "burdened" with children or else you wouldn't even exist."

    Oh fine! Here we go. Is that a "pro-choice" advocate writing?

    I think people should do what they want child-wise. I also think they should be responsible for what they do. Alas.

  • popi_gw
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My children have made me a better person.

    I am more patient, loving, creative, resourceful, clever (!).

    My son introduces me to things I never would have thought about. He is into the electric guitar..and now I am interested in Led Zeplin ! I know all about making wine...cause he was interested. So many other things over the years. I now know how to score at cricket (I'm in Australia) and I even enjoy it ! So many doors have been opened to me "cause of my children.

    And then there is the endless funny times, a souce of much happiness.

    Having your own children opens another dimension to your life, you understand your parents, and why they did certain things, and how much they loved you.

    I respect people who dont want children.

  • bill_h
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    wow i`ve been married 4 more yrs since this started, and in those 4 yrs you know what happened? yep you got it. we paid our mortgage off early, and i bought a vette. haha fooled you!

  • spruce
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I was smart enough to know I was too dumb to have children.

  • coolmama
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I dont even think this should be a debate. If you dont want children,it is your choice. In fact, statisticly speaking,those who have marriages without children are deemed less stressful and altogether happier! Did any of you know that?
    my husband has 4 kids including our one that we have together.He came from a poor family that was pretty disfunctional,and didnt even really have his parents in his life.So no one really told him about safe sex.They all get pregnant at young ages and have alot of kids they really cant afford.
    After my husband and I married he had a vasectomey so he cant have any(more)kids,and he says it was the best thing he ever did.People in his family give us crap about it,including his own dad who also has 4 kids and hasnt been in any of their lives really.We get comments like,"How could you do that? dont want to have some more?"
    Although my husband loves his other kids,he wishes someone would have talked to him about birth control and supported him in not having any.
    You are making the right choice for you,and that is all that matters.Even if you didnt have a big career,I think it is good you realize you dont want any,and it is your right to do so.Not everyone are children-oriented.

  • mandy_g
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi, All!

    Wow, I can't believe this thread is still going on. I read this thing 2-3 years ago! I didn't comment then, but I will now. I'm another that is Childfree. My husband and I have a thriving business, we are both work-a-holics, and both like quiet when we get home. Call us selfish if you want (my "friends" do), but I had much rather have a nice quiet evening when I get home with my husband, than live my life around a child. We have 2 pugs that we love and that's enough for us.

  • jenny_alabama
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I know this is a late addition...but to the ones who "bad mouthed" the South..in the earlier comments..if you are still here and do not like it...please go back to where you came from. Sorry for the rest of you, but I am very sensitive when it comes to someone who moves from the North and especially California area, who think they are better than us in the Southern states! You don't want to be here...we do not want you here! :)

  • gemini_aut
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have found this thread very interesting. I grew up in a home with two severely alcohol-and substance addicted parents who both suffered from depression and were emotionally absent and incapable of parenting. In this dysfunctional environment I witnessed many disturbing things, including suicide attempts and acts of violence. My mother died when I was just past 20 years old, my father died 12 years ago as a late consequence of his self-abuse. I have no biological family other than an older brother who lives on another continent (no uncles, no aunts, no cousins, no grandparents). As a result, I have felt isolated and alone many times in my life.

    During my childhood I grew up without parental guidance, interest and acceptance, something that has affected me my entire life. I left my home at 20 and actually moved to another country and tried to build a new life for myself, away from the destructive environment I had grown up in. Along the way I always said "I'll never marry, I'll never have children". I had simply never experienced family life and have always considered myself incapable of being a parent.

    Well, I am married today, to a husband who I have known for 12 years. That's the good part. The bad part is that unfortunately I ended up marrying someone who wanted children. For the last 8 or 9 years, since we got engaged, I have been tormenting myself every day about the fact that he wants children and I don't feel capable of giving them to him. I feel as if I am robbing him of his life's dream.

    On the outside I am a competent, successful, well-educated woman, but I have a serious lack of self-acceptance and constantly doubt myself or feel that I am "different" - in a bad way. It's so refreshing to hear other people say that they are completely okay with their choice not to have children. I have gone through several phases of depression in my life, and now in my early 40s, I am no closer to loving and accepting myself for who I am, despite the fact that I know I am essentially a good person. I also experience feelings of anxiety and fears of loss, and my husband and I experienced major marital problems earlier this year because he is reaching his mid-40s and his biological clock is now seriously ticking.

    All I can say is that there is no right or wrong decision about having or not having children. This is everyone's personal decision. But based on my own situation, the key thing is that the most important person in your life, your significant other, must be on the same page. In my case, our difference in life goals and preferences has led to nothing but self-doubt and guilt on my part and a persistent lack of inner peace.

  • Jonesy
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My this thread has a life of it's own. It's very interesting when people think your selfish for NOT having kids. I think it's kind of like going to a party where everyone is drinking and they all want you to drink with them. I can't stress enough how much I admire people who know they don't want children and follow through with that decision. I only know one family that seemed perfect, but the bubble there has burst. I am talking about my sister in law. She is now having problems with both of her kids which are close to 50 years old, all of her grandkids. Grandkids pregnant by the time their 18 or their girl friend is. My SIL who is 80 is doing day care for their great-grands. When they found out about the latest pregnancy, my SIL's husband broke out in tears and said "my wife is not raising any more kids, you have them you take care of them". And the daughter and her husband are losing their home because of their big spending. I won't even go into their son's problems. I would never have kids if I could do it over and keep the knowledge I have now. But I also know if I could not have had kids I would have been heart broken, because I wouldn't have known what I know now. There would have been a big void in my life. Either way it can break your heart.

  • scarlett2001
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm a parent (of one), but I think it's great that people have so many choices today, one of them being to opt out of parenthood if that's what they want. With the planet in such ecological danger, it's far more responsible not to reproduce than to keep overpopulating. Keep educating folks like the husky lady, sounds like she needs to open up her mind a little.

  • okieladybug
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This thread is so interesting! I have read most of the posts and wanted to chime in. DH and I have not had children, but want to at some point. When people ask DH (and they DO ask him!) he asks them if they're paying for it. ;) That usually shuts them up. I have tried it and people just laugh and ask again. It's incredibly frustrating.

    I have always believed it to be very rude to ask people about this issue. I have a dear friend and they tried to conceive for almost 5 years before the baby came along. During that time people were always asking her when they'd have children. It was heart-wrenching for her. There are several people who continually ask me about our child bearing plans. I usually walk away. People have even started asking my parents when we're going to have children!!! It's insane to me that people honestly believe it's any of their business.

  • tony41
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My wife of 14 years & I don't have any children.
    I'm in poor health & she enjoys a career.
    She thinks she would like to have a child but one of the 2 would have to suffer because she couldn't handle both.
    I'm just not physically able to handle the pressures of child raising. Speaking for myself when your weak physically then your also short on nerves.

  • twosticks03_yahoo_com
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Can't really say I'm a CBC.More like childless by circumstance. After initially suspecting treatable menstrual glitches, I had advanced rectal cancer at age 31.Radiation and chemo meant we would need to adopt if I lived.Ten years later, I'm still here,but husband no longer wants to adopt. He's grown used to being unencumbered by mess, noise, confusion,etc.I feel like I crossed the finish line only to find the prize was stolen. I really love the hubs, but am heartbroken at his change of heart.I am trying to let go of long-deferred expectations and focus on the future, but see more of what will be missing or lacking in our life than what will make it uniquely worthy in the 'freedom' of being child-free.After 16 years of marriage, I am honestly trying to learn to accept what is, rather than regret what might have been. It's great to be alive, and I know to cherish that,but I'm a bit lost. Comments, suggestions are welcome. Anybody out there????????????

  • jmzms
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I keep finding new message boards on this site; for years, I just stuck to my garden board. So glad I stumbled on this one, and so glad this post had been resurrected. Have to agree with soooooo many of you.

    My DH and I are CBC. We're not fond of children, but can deal with them as long as they're well-behaved (no screaming attitudes, etc). Love my nieces and nephew, but even too much of them drives me crazy. We love the freedom that comes from not having children. We can say "let's go out to dinner" and then go...without the hassel of lining up a babysitter, etc. We can AFFORD to go out to dinner.

    I belong to a small group at my church who call ourselves CWOK (Couples With Out Kids). Most in the group are young/newly married and just haven't started down the family path yet. However, there is one other couple who is like us - Don't want 'em. And another couple that is "pretty certain" they don't want 'em. In the past 6 months, we've "kicked out" (jokingly) 4 couples who have had a bay, with a fifth couple trying. Baby showers are getting expensive. Which is ANOTHER point. Why do I have to spend so much money on gifts for their baby? No one has given me a puppy shower for my "baby."

    When I was in my early 20s, I used to get some of the "you'll change your mind" stuff, but it eventually faded off. It never really bothered me. The one and only time that a comment got to me was just a few months ago. A friend (the 5th couple above who are trying to get pregnant) said to me "I don't think you're weird for not wanting to have kids" while we were at a baby shower for one of the other couples. The way she said it implied that someone (or someoneS) had expressed to her that they thought I was was weird for not wanting children. I was so taken aback by the comment that I didn't know what to say....I think I just laughed? It still crawls under my skin when I think about it. Why is it weird? I don't think it's weird that someone would take DRUGS to get pregnant? I don't think it's weird that someone would have 5 kids (crazy maybe, but not weird :-)). Just irks me.

    ~Michelle

  • popsicle_toe
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    DH and I are also childfree (I prefer this term to childless) couple by circumstance. Five years into our marriage we discovered that we have infertility issues, almost went through with IVF-ICSI twice, then stopped both times. We talked about adoption, even went to one adoption seminar, then stopped. Now, ten years into our marriage and looking back, I realized that deep down inside neither one of us were really serious about having a child. If we really wanted it, we would have had one by now, biological or not. It's not meant to be and I felt so much at peace after I admitted this to myself. I still look at kids fondly (only the cute ones, the bratty ones.. eh.. not so much..lol), but I don't have that longing feeling anymore. I think it's good that there are people who know enough about themselves to decide not to have children. I believe firmly that children need to be needed and wanted, and if you can't offer both, don't have one.

  • lostsoul
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    this might be off the subject of having kids, but i read that you have a husky, and i was confused a bit on how you discribe them. i have a pure bred AKC siberian husky, that animal can't be but the most gental dog there is. i have kids, young and older, and my husky is nothing more than a loving dog to them.
    the worst that my dog has done was overly lick my kids. its true that husky are not a type of dog to be kept inside, but if you give at least 20 mins of hard play each day or every other day, inside the house they are fine. they only get aggressive if they are not played with. all their energy will be build and then they can be a little strung out then, huskies need to run. they where bred for that. to run and to work. but if you read about them, you will find out they are not an agressive dog, and if you are looking for a protector dog, huskies are the worst for that. they are packed oriented, and not apt to being an attacking dog. so many dogs are misunderstood. the only thing a husky has goning for it as being a protecting dog is his looks. they look mean, but are just a big puppies.

    sorry if this didn't have to do with wanting kids or not. i needed to put my two cents in and defend having a husky and kids.

  • Meghane
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lostsoul, many people do not properly exercise or train their Huskies. Huskies have very high prey drives (ask my Tatyana who has so far caught 2 birds in mid-air, while on a leash). I simply worry that an untrained and/or unsupervised Husky would think a small child is a small animal and chase it. I have known many Huskies to be intolerant of certain things, such as being pet in certain places, being pulled on, etc; things that small unsupervised children may do. I think that it works a lot better if the Husky comes AFTER the children, so the dog is not displaced from its pack order. I have seen disasters when people have had kids after having the Husky first. Just personal experience. My own Huskies are pretty good, although my Aleksander did not allow my brother to take his son back; I had to get Aleks away from the child. Aleks would not have hurt the child, but almost took my brother's face off. He was being overly protective. I think that if Aleks had grown up with kids it would have been different, but again I have seen so many instances of Huskies interacting badly when children were introduced later that I don't recommend it. They are great when the kids are already in the household and the dog is trained properly.

    I also think that it is very difficult to have a happy well trained and well exercised husky when time is being spent on kids. Just IMHO and from what I have seen. I know my own dogs require a LOT of time; time that I wouldn't have if I was raising kids too. I wouldn't want to neglect the dogs or the kids. My Rottie would be better with kids- more obedient, requires less strenuous exercise, etc. Of course, it's all moot because I still prefer dogs to human children.

  • demeron
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Twosticks, I'm sorry I didn't see your post before. I wish I had some real wisdom to offer you. Just a couple things comes to mind-- pastoral counseling, therapy or just a heart to heart with your husband over what the decision not to adopt means to you. The second is to volunteer with children in some way-- become a Big Sister for example. Babysit for fun money. Life does not always take the course we plan. It is as you say a gift to be alive and with someone you love. I hope your wish for a child will be fulfilled in some way, even if it not by adopting one of your own. Children need loving adults and even a little bit of affectionate companionship can make a huge difference in the course of a child's fate, whether your own child or someone else's.

  • cjaneg
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am 56 years old, married, and childless by choice. I have never once regretted my decision. I knew from my teens I didn't want children. I watched the adults around me and it struck me they didn't really have any time for themselves. The were very busy every waking moment (and many moments when they should have been asleep) doing things for their children. As I got older and my friends started having babies, I saw the same thing. These people hardly had time to shower, let alone anything else. Few of them ever read a good book, went to a concert, joined any kind of adult oriented group, or even went on the kind of vacation that meant no child-related work. Face it, a holiday at the beach with the children is just as much busy work as being at home. All that busyness prevented them from growing as people, working on their marriages, their careers, and often even simple things like home maintenance and gardening were forgotten.

    In addition, most parents are very bad advertisements for parenthood. There's a lot of carping and complaining. I know parents love their children ... they fall in love with them and it's an overwhelming feeling. But there are evidently a lot more unpleasant aspects to the job.

    I think our society does us a disservice. We are taught that we grow up, get married and have children, usually in that order. Diverting from that plan draws criticism or concern. Yet there are many of us who would not be good parents. Just because a mother loves her children doesn't mean she is a good mother. We see plenty of bad parenting all the time. I feel we should be encouraging people to do what is right for them. It's a wise person who knows she or he shouldn't be a parent. Why does it have to be an issue?

    There is something that happens to me, and I think it's because I don't have children, and people feel safe saying this to me when they might not want to say it to another parent; over the years I have had the experience many, many times, of a woman telling me something like this, "I love my children and I can't imagine a world without them, but if I had known before I had them what being a parent was like, I probably wouldn't have done it." I guess I was able to see, before having children, what my life would be like. My friends all expressed surprise at various aspects of being a parent ... to me it shouldn't have been a surprise ... I could see it, why couldn't they? However, I guess the human race would die out if everyone were like me!

    I have been accused of selfishness in not having children. Well, let's see. A person who really wants children has them. A person who really doesn't want children doesn't have them. How is one selfish and the other not selfish?

    I have also been told I'll lead a very lonely old age without children. Yet some of the lonliest old people out there have children. Children are not a guarantee of a happy old age. Being a good person, kind to others, interested in the world, positive in nature ... these are things that will give you a good old age.

    Just as there are rewards when one has children, there are rewards when one does not. They're no less important, just different.

  • annast
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am 33 and I married young - my husband and I have been married for 15 years. I quite like children but my husband and I have no desire to have children of our own, and we never have.

    We have received constant pressure to have children from our families (never from our friends), and a surprising number of people told me that I should be thinking about having children "before it was too late", even when I was in my mid-20s. Possibly I was a very raddled-looking 25-year old.

    Something I find very interesting is the mixed messages that we have received throughout our marriage from our large, traditional families. I remember my future mother-in-law sitting me down when I was 17 and telling me that it was very important that I didn't have children straight away. I remember nodding and saying to her earnestly "Actually we don't think we want to have children at all", which of course she laughed at (at the time!).

    I think that part of the problem was that we did everything else in our lives in a very conventional manner. When we got our first university degrees in our early 20s we started getting pressure to have children. We lived on baked beans and spaghetti for our first eight years of marriage and managed to pay off our first house in our mid 20s, and got even more pressure to have children, because we were now "financially stable".

    After we paid off our mortgage I continued working in a job I adore while my husband went back to university to do his PhD, which was very much frowned upon by our families ("Why is he being so SELFISH," said my mother-in-law. "How is he going to support you if you get pregnant?". Easy solution - it's called birth control.)

    We are very lucky in that we are very close to my husband's two nieces and particularly my nephew. My sister's partner died when my nephew was a baby, and my husband and I are consequently very close to my nephew. He receives a lot of our undivided time, which he would obviously not if we had children. This relationship is extremely important to me and it is in a way a factor in my decision not to have children.

    I also want to refute inferences that have been made on the board that having children makes people better (kinder/more tolerant etc). Possibly that's true (although I must say that some of the most unpleasant and selfish people I know are parents), but having children does mean that you have less time and resources to devote to good causes. I volunteer for three charities, and all of the women - we have only a few men involved - have entirely given up their volunteer work after having children, and only return after their children have left home, basically because they don't have the time. And while I'm sure that many parents develop understanding, patience, tolerance and compassion while being parents, I can honestly say that spending extended periods of time in developing countries have developed these qualities in us.

    I don't know for certain whether or not we will regret our decision not to have children when we are older. I think there probably are a huge number of things that I will regret not doing. For example, I have travelled a great deal in developing countries in Asia and South America, and I am quite certain that had I not travelled at all, I would regret it deeply when I am older. We each have only one short life, and it is a matter of trade-offs. Having children can close off a lot of options.

  • rivkadr
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We each have only one short life, and it is a matter of trade-offs. Having children can close off a lot of options.

    That sums up for me basically why my husband and I don't want to have kids. I posted in this thread 4 years ago, and we still haven't changed our minds. If anything, we're more firmly entrenched in our choice to not have kids. We have so many things we want to do -- travel, start our own businesses, and just have the free time to do what we want to do, that having kids is just not part of our plans. I watch so many other people my age having kids, and putting their own dreams aside because raising children takes up so much time and money, and I just know that it's not for me. They may not regret having made those sacrifices, but I know I would.

  • gardengrl
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wow, I remember reading this post 6 years ago! My DH and I married last year (2nd marriages for both) and neither of us had kids from our first marriages. We sort of sat on the fence about kids when we were dating, but now we're sure we've made the right decision to not have any.

    From what I've observed, and this is not true in all cases, is that many of the people we know who have kids just don't appear to be very happy. They're tired, irritable, overworked, broke, have no sex life, and are stressed out more than not. One or both partners always seems to be resentful of the other and the husband usually takes rank in the family somewhere next to the dog.

    I don't know how many families I see at restaurants where the mother and father don't say a single word to each other through their meal. And I think, "What exactly am I missing out on here?" Doesn't seem to be very much to me.

    I do love kids, but just don't think that having them is all what it's cracked up to be. I've never known someone who has proactively chosen to NOT have kids regret their choice; however, almost every parent I've known has had moments of regret at some point for whatever reason.

    Again, this is not true for all cases, but it seems to be a more prominent trend.

  • webmaster_nochildrenbychoice_com
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The longevity of this post really speaks to the number of people that have made the decision not to have children or those that at least do not consider it to be an obligation to society.

    My wife and I decided not to have children well before we were married over 20 years ago, and we've never regretted the decision. In fact, we've found that our personal decision has made our lives richer and more fulfilling and has afforded us the opportunity to do a lot of the things our friends with children can't do, either because of the costs involved or the difficulty getting time away from the kids.

    With this in mind, we recently launched a website called No Children by Choice that focuses on living a life of quality and enjoying the finer things in life. We're not an anti-child site - that's a personal decision and we don't consider it a right or wrong choice. Instead, we're looking to offer information on our experiences with food and dining, travel, etc. and to build an interactive community for child-free couples to meet.

    If this sounds interesting to you, you can visit the website at www.nochildrenbychoice.com.

    Happy New Year!

  • vala55
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't understand, "it's selfish", how is it selfish? And how can you be sorry if it is a decision both of you made. If you have children that's no guaranty they will be there for you when you age. Personally I think when a couple make this decision, they are making a wise decision. I wish I had been that smart.

  • legalsandy_aol_com
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I never wanted kids and have had the good sense to make an informed choice on the subject. When I was married to my first husband I had an abortion because neither of us was gung-ho about being a parent. Now that I'm married to my second husband, I am so glad I made that choice. No one that I know who has kids has much joy from it and it seems like they had kids without thought. Thank God I understood that it's an option

  • victorine72
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Soooooo happy I found this post. I just got off the phone with my mother after a heated argument about my long-standing decision not to have children. Actually, it was just a repeat of the same argument we've been having for *years*. I'm confident in my decision, but I often feel like I'm the only 31-year-old woman in my area code who does not want children. I know there are others out there, but they are completely absent from my current sphere of influence. It gives me such peace to hear that many of my opinions/positions/frustrations/etc on the matter are shared by other reasonable, conscientious, and (seemingly :)) well-adjusted people.

    For me, the CBC decision sprang from deeply rooted environmental concerns. That angle never works with anyone I know, so I usually defend myself by employing the standard "we're not thinking about that right now", "we might adopt at some point in the future" and/or "we don't think we'd make good parents" non-committal-type responses. This post has armed me with so many great arguing points, I'm tempted to call my mother back. She, too, loves the "childless people are selfish" argument. I always counter with the notion that, if all childless people possess that character flaw, perhaps their reluctance to bear offspring serves a greater societal purpose. Selfish people would most likely be crappy parents. I don't feel as though I'm selfish, nor do I think my friends and family regard me as such. I imagine if I *had* to raise a child I would be at best, an average parent. If Mom's postulate is true, and I am innately selfish, I thinks it comes from the belief that I would be a far more creative, useful person without children in my life-- as would most people, if they were really honest with themselves.

  • b_harman_ecu_edu_au
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am currently researching childlessness - voluntary and involuntary - and would be ecstatic if you would consider completing my 5 minute online survey http://www.tinyurl.com/noparent

  • lee676
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Filled out your survey. Not Australian but don't think much you're asking about would be different in the States (save for having to change insurance plans to one that would cover my vasectomy).

  • djw22812_gmail_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Does anyone else have the issue of being around others who talk about their kids constantly (IE in my spin class and other exercise classes) and it makes a person like myself feel left out? How do you handle these situations? Also, anyone have any suggestions how I can make some women friends who don't have kids? Thanks!
    Debbie

  • rivkadr
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My friends are all starting to have kids now, and yeah, it does get pretty boring to hear about the kids all the time. I usually let it go on for a while, and then find a way to steer the conversation to something else (i.e. Hey have you heard about/seen whatever?)

    As far as finding child-free friends, try checking out meetup.com; there's various child-free groups on there that meet regularly...

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