Author Topic: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?  (Read 57597 times)

mjs111

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #150 on: March 03, 2015, 02:17:45 PM »
Never had an interest in marriage or kids.  Child free here.


Mike


Milizard

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #151 on: March 03, 2015, 02:20:16 PM »
The thing I'm genuinely curious about is why people consider being childfree as "selfish." I'm not being snarky, I honestly don't see the logic of that comment.

I've worked in childcare/youth services for many years, enjoy young people and respect parents enormously. What I've noticed is that most kids don't have enough non-parent adults in their life. I wish we had a culture/society that gave kids more access to healthy caring adults - it'd be a wonderful for kids (and parents too!).

Like getgoing and MLKnits, I plan use some of my time in FIRE to support foster kids, especially those who are aging out of the system (often long before they're ready to handle full independence). Here in pre-FIRE, I'm an involved auntie for my best friend and my brother - both single parents (one by choice and one a widower).

I'll probably get creamed here in present company for answering, but this sounds like an honest question, so I'll try (despite the previous jokes).  If someone gives a reason for not wanting children that focuses on me me me, then it sounds selfish. Go figure! If someone gives an answer that isn't focused completely on themselves, then IMO, it doesn't seem selfish.

IMO, selfish sounding: 1) I want to have complete freedom to do whatever the hell I want and a kid would interfere.

2)  I don't want to have to support/consider other people.



IMO, not selfish sounding: 1) I have a calling to do x, and a kid would probably interfere, or it wouldn't be fair to the kid.

2) I don't feel capable of properly supporting/considering other people.

On the other hand, it's impossible to justify having a child without using the words "I" or "we."  "I wanted a baby."  "We wanted to start a family."  And everyone thinks that their child is going to be the president or Bill Gates when more often than not they'll be a corporate middle manager looking at spreadsheets all day.

It's a personal decision, so the focus on self is always there.  The difference between the two, is one is solely focused on the self, while the other is focused on other things as well. 

And really? To have value in the world, you have to be Bill Gates or the President? Really?  That means none of us here matter. 

yandz

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #152 on: March 03, 2015, 04:01:24 PM »
We are childfree by choice as well.  Based on my upbringing and some cultural factors, I kind of struggled with the "decision," - maintaining for a long time that I was "50/50" about having kids.  In reality, I just needed to give myself permission to (what I thought would) disappoint my folks.  They ended up being so supportive.  And I have 5 sisters and a brother having babies, so there are always kids around.

There is a book I read as I was mentally/emotionally working through it - Two is Enough.  I love it because it has survey data and interviews from almost 200 couples about their decision process, life now, fears (if any), etc.  I loved the different perspectives. The author divides the childfree up into 4 categories that I see represented throughout this thread: Early articulators (know early they never want to be a parent), Postponers (who keep putting it off, but ultimately decide they are happy without), Acquiescers (who were neutral, but defaulted to a partner's stance) and Undecided (those who To-Date are childfree by choice but openly state they may go either way in the future). The book is respectful of all and I loved it - not to mention I got to breathe a huge sigh of relief at the end feeling like I no longer "had to" have kids.  It took me awhile to verbalize, but now I am happily and respectfully open about it with anyone who asks when the babies are coming. They aren't.

Edit to fix typos, though I surely left some.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 04:04:02 PM by yandz »

mrshudson

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #153 on: March 03, 2015, 04:25:01 PM »
I think not having kids is no more or less selfish than having them.  People tend to frame not having them as selfish, seemingly because it is a choice about the lifestyle one wants for him/herself.  But of course, having a kid is the same thing.  Most just fail to see that, in a likely attempt to validate their own choice. (Which Guitar touched on in such a great, funny way). 

Either choice can be framed as selfish, or as simply self-aware.  I really can't think of any argument that actually suggests that having them is in any way less selfish that having them.  They are both choices about the best life one imagines for him/herself.  I don't see that as any more selfish than on person deciding they want a dog, another a cat, a third a snake, and a fourth no pet at all.  Or someone wanting a loft condo and someone else wanting a rural farmhouse.   Just lifestyle choices, and generally value neutral.  How you enact those choices might start to have moral values one way or the other, but the choices themselves don't. 

How is "I've always imagined myself as a mother" (and similar explanations give for having kids--I think DH will be a great gather, I want to pass on our genes, having a large family is important to me, etc.) any less selfish than, "I like the freedom"?  Of course it isn't, even if personal biases want to suggest otherwise.

+1

And another Childfree by Choice and extrovert here. What is it about age 14 and deciding that you do not want kids? It was around then that I decided no kids for me.

MLKnits

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #154 on: March 03, 2015, 04:30:09 PM »
I'll probably get creamed here in present company for answering, but this sounds like an honest question, so I'll try (despite the previous jokes).  If someone gives a reason for not wanting children that focuses on me me me, then it sounds selfish. Go figure! If someone gives an answer that isn't focused completely on themselves, then IMO, it doesn't seem selfish.

IMO, selfish sounding: 1) I want to have complete freedom to do whatever the hell I want and a kid would interfere.

2)  I don't want to have to support/consider other people.



IMO, not selfish sounding: 1) I have a calling to do x, and a kid would probably interfere, or it wouldn't be fair to the kid.

2) I don't feel capable of properly supporting/considering other people.

This is the thing I never quite get, though--surely you don't WANT people who don't want kids to have kids?

Isn't it the more selfless choice to say "man, I'd like my one short life on this earth to be about me" and then STICK to it, rather than going "wait, that's selfish, better get pregnant"? Surely it's much more selfish to have a child--a human being who depends completely upon you--unless you're really, really, really sure you both want that and can handle it?

Also, there are 7.5 billion of us, so I tend to think not having kids is pretty selfless from that perspective.

Milizard

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #155 on: March 04, 2015, 07:23:09 AM »
I'll probably get creamed here in present company for answering, but this sounds like an honest question, so I'll try (despite the previous jokes).  If someone gives a reason for not wanting children that focuses on me me me, then it sounds selfish. Go figure! If someone gives an answer that isn't focused completely on themselves, then IMO, it doesn't seem selfish.

IMO, selfish sounding: 1) I want to have complete freedom to do whatever the hell I want and a kid would interfere.

2)  I don't want to have to support/consider other people.



IMO, not selfish sounding: 1) I have a calling to do x, and a kid would probably interfere, or it wouldn't be fair to the kid.

2) I don't feel capable of properly supporting/considering other people.

This is the thing I never quite get, though--surely you don't WANT people who don't want kids to have kids?

Isn't it the more selfless choice to say "man, I'd like my one short life on this earth to be about me" and then STICK to it, rather than going "wait, that's selfish, better get pregnant"? Surely it's much more selfish to have a child--a human being who depends completely upon you--unless you're really, really, really sure you both want that and can handle it?

Also, there are 7.5 billion of us, so I tend to think not having kids is pretty selfless from that perspective.

I was only addressing the question about why it may be viewed as selfish.  A definition:

selfˇish
ˈselfiSH/Submit
adjective
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.


So, if the definition applies, then it's selfish.  If the definition doesn't apply, then it's not.  Now, whether considering being selfish is good or bad in regards to having children is a value judgment.  However, once you start considering the welfare of the children in question, or of the planet, then the focus is shifting away from the self.  Therefore, once you consider outside factors, it no longer qualifies as selfish.  I'm not sure that you could say it's selfless, though, unless you are not considering the self at all in the decision.

bako_frugal

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #156 on: March 04, 2015, 11:47:12 AM »
..

...

Also, there are 7.5 billion of us, so I tend to think not having kids is pretty selfless from that perspective.

I so agree with that comment.

Villanelle

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #157 on: March 04, 2015, 01:56:17 PM »
I'll probably get creamed here in present company for answering, but this sounds like an honest question, so I'll try (despite the previous jokes).  If someone gives a reason for not wanting children that focuses on me me me, then it sounds selfish. Go figure! If someone gives an answer that isn't focused completely on themselves, then IMO, it doesn't seem selfish.

IMO, selfish sounding: 1) I want to have complete freedom to do whatever the hell I want and a kid would interfere.

2)  I don't want to have to support/consider other people.



IMO, not selfish sounding: 1) I have a calling to do x, and a kid would probably interfere, or it wouldn't be fair to the kid.

2) I don't feel capable of properly supporting/considering other people.

This is the thing I never quite get, though--surely you don't WANT people who don't want kids to have kids?

Isn't it the more selfless choice to say "man, I'd like my one short life on this earth to be about me" and then STICK to it, rather than going "wait, that's selfish, better get pregnant"? Surely it's much more selfish to have a child--a human being who depends completely upon you--unless you're really, really, really sure you both want that and can handle it?

Also, there are 7.5 billion of us, so I tend to think not having kids is pretty selfless from that perspective.

I was only addressing the question about why it may be viewed as selfish.  A definition:

selfˇish
ˈselfiSH/Submit
adjective
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.


So, if the definition applies, then it's selfish.  If the definition doesn't apply, then it's not.  Now, whether considering being selfish is good or bad in regards to having children is a value judgment.  However, once you start considering the welfare of the children in question, or of the planet, then the focus is shifting away from the self.  Therefore, once you consider outside factors, it no longer qualifies as selfish.  I'm not sure that you could say it's selfless, though, unless you are not considering the self at all in the decision.

It sounds like you do have kids, yes?  Why did you decide to have them?  Do you consider your choice selfish (by your definition and application as above)?

Also, I disagree that the definition of selfish that you posted applies.  Deciding not to have kids because you like freedom isn't lacking in consideration for others.  It's a decision that doesn't really have anything to do with others.  There aren't considerations that one is disregarding.  Again, is it selfish to live in a loft condo because you find it aesthetically pleasing and good for your lifestyle?  Not by most connotations of "selfish", I don't think.  Because you aren't choosing the feelings of yourself over those of others.  It's just that only the feelings of yourself matter in an especially significant way.  By your interpretation, my decision to have oatmeal for breakfast was selfish because the only real criteria I used what that oatmeal sounded good to me.  Because I didn't use the feelings of other to make my culinary decision, it was selfish?  Of course not.

MLKnits

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #158 on: March 04, 2015, 01:58:27 PM »
Also, I disagree that the definition of selfish that you posted applies.  Deciding not to have kids because you like freedom isn't lacking in consideration for others.  It's a decision that doesn't really have anything to do with others.  There aren't considerations that one is disregarding.  Again, is it selfish to live in a loft condo because you find it aesthetically pleasing and good for your lifestyle?  Not by most connotations of "selfish", I don't think.  Because you aren't choosing the feelings of yourself over those of others.  It's just that only the feelings of yourself matter in an especially significant way.  By your interpretation, my decision to have oatmeal for breakfast was selfish because the only real criteria I used what that oatmeal sounded good to me.  Because I didn't use the feelings of other to make my culinary decision, it was selfish?  Of course not.

This is so well-put! I was struggling to articulate why I didn't think that was accurate, and you found the exact right words.

riverffashion

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #159 on: March 04, 2015, 02:54:48 PM »
Also, I disagree that the definition of selfish that you posted applies.  Deciding not to have kids because you like freedom isn't lacking in consideration for others.  It's a decision that doesn't really have anything to do with others.  There aren't considerations that one is disregarding.  Again, is it selfish to live in a loft condo because you find it aesthetically pleasing and good for your lifestyle?  Not by most connotations of "selfish", I don't think.  Because you aren't choosing the feelings of yourself over those of others.  It's just that only the feelings of yourself matter in an especially significant way.  By your interpretation, my decision to have oatmeal for breakfast was selfish because the only real criteria I used what that oatmeal sounded good to me.  Because I didn't use the feelings of other to make my culinary decision, it was selfish?  Of course not.

This is so well-put! I was struggling to articulate why I didn't think that was accurate, and you found the exact right words.

Yes, exactly.

riverffashion

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #160 on: March 04, 2015, 03:01:17 PM »
Yandz- thanks for mentioning the book, I will check it out.

Also, it is incredible to me that there is so much debate on the subject of a person choosing to not have kids! Really?! Whose business if a person chooses to not have kids. As far as I can see, this in no way would affect a person with children...  Personally, my choice does not mean I'm against people having kids in general. Just it is not for me.

yandz

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #161 on: March 04, 2015, 03:22:11 PM »
Yandz- thanks for mentioning the book, I will check it out.

Also, it is incredible to me that there is so much debate on the subject of a person choosing to not have kids! Really?! Whose business if a person chooses to not have kids. As far as I can see, this in no way would affect a person with children...  Personally, my choice does not mean I'm against people having kids in general. Just it is not for me.

Sure thing. I hope you like it. 

I agree, there shouldn't be so much "right or wrong" to the debate and feel the same way that my decision has no impact on how I view others' decisions.  I think it gets tricky because of assumptions - sometimes based off of experience even - that get extrapolated to assume everyone feels that way such that individual decisions feel like deep judgments.  For every person with a child who has called me selfish or said I will never know what real love is, I assume there is another person without a child that called that parent thoughtless for overpopulating the earth. So I just keep my heart open and dialogue with other open hearts and keep my head down/mouth shut for the rest of it ;)

riverffashion

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #162 on: March 05, 2015, 12:45:42 AM »
You know, I actually began to lie about not wanting kids after receiving several negative comments from people, usually at work. ( "the meaning of life is having kids." "You must have an issue from your childhood you need to work out."...) . I began to smile and say " not yet." when asked if i have kids to avoid having to hear it. But I'm not going to do that anymore because its not something that needs to be hidden, actually a decision I'm very happy with.
Been very interesting reading this thread
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 12:49:29 AM by riverffashion »

Cookie78

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #163 on: March 05, 2015, 08:59:57 AM »
You know, I actually began to lie about not wanting kids after receiving several negative comments from people, usually at work. ( "the meaning of life is having kids." "You must have an issue from your childhood you need to work out."...) . I began to smile and say " not yet." when asked if i have kids to avoid having to hear it. But I'm not going to do that anymore because its not something that needs to be hidden, actually a decision I'm very happy with.
Been very interesting reading this thread

I used to say 'not yet', but now I'm old enough that the response to 'not yet' is 'well you aren't getting any younger'! I'm lucky enough to not get any brutally negative responses since I switched to 'not interested in having any kids'.

Kris

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #164 on: March 07, 2015, 09:52:33 AM »
I have, more than once, replied to someone judging me for not having kids, with: "You know, there are a lot of reasons why people don't have kids.  Some of us have tragically lost a pregnancy or have tried desperately to have them, and your comments bring up unspeakable pain."

The babbled apologies and red faces were satisfying.  I hope it made them think twice about asking people to justify their childlessness.

Not that that's true for me.  But fuck people who need to assume things about others' choices.

Sibley

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #165 on: March 09, 2015, 01:59:00 PM »
I have, more than once, replied to someone judging me for not having kids, with: "You know, there are a lot of reasons why people don't have kids.  Some of us have tragically lost a pregnancy or have tried desperately to have them, and your comments bring up unspeakable pain."

The babbled apologies and red faces were satisfying.  I hope it made them think twice about asking people to justify their childlessness.

Not that that's true for me.  But fuck people who need to assume things about others' choices.

I know someone for whom that is true. You're right, every time someone mentions having kids it's like they stabbed her. Some people never figure it out though.

octavius

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #166 on: March 14, 2015, 10:54:48 PM »

Childfree by choice, but both of my ex-wives and many of my ex-GFs all wanted children. This always left me with the impression that I was in the minority, and that women wanted, on average, children more than men did.

Cookie78

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #167 on: March 15, 2015, 01:18:47 PM »
I have, more than once, replied to someone judging me for not having kids, with: "You know, there are a lot of reasons why people don't have kids.  Some of us have tragically lost a pregnancy or have tried desperately to have them, and your comments bring up unspeakable pain."

The babbled apologies and red faces were satisfying.  I hope it made them think twice about asking people to justify their childlessness.

Not that that's true for me.  But fuck people who need to assume things about others' choices.

Holy man, I was bombarded last month when I went home to my small town for my brother's funeral. My parents, brothers, and even for the most part extended family haven't asked me about having kids in a very long time, but apparently my small town still thinks I need to get on that. I always read stories in threads such as this one and was thankful to not have to deal with those comments. But in the 6 days that I was there I was asked no less than 20 times if/when I was going to start having kids. At the time I wasn't in the right frame of mind to come up with any quick witted comments, I mostly just half smiled and said no thank you. Afterwards I thought about using something similar to the phrase Kris mentioned above. Maybe next time.

riverffashion

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #168 on: April 20, 2015, 04:51:17 PM »
I am in the middle of reading "Two is enough:A couples guide to living childless by choice" by Laura Scott (As recommended by a Mustachian upthread. thank you.)  . I will say that I would love to read a book about or by childfree by choice people who are not partnered, if anyone has any suggestions. Thx.
There are a couple points I find interesting so far. One is the "Eighteen motive statements", which naturally I find myself comparing motives. Its something I've not thought about in too much depth, but I like a book that causes me to reflect a bit. My top four motives based on her questionnaire are the following: 1. I value freedom & independence. 2.I have no desire to have a child, no maternal instinct. 3. I want to accomplish/ experience things that would be difficult to do if I was a parent. 4. I want to focus my time and energy on my own interests needs and goals.
Scott also writes about the "four ways in which people come to remain childless by choice" . 1. early articulators. 2. postponers. 3. acquiescers .4. undecided. I also had never thought about this much, but realized I was an early articulator (closest of her few options). I never thought about being a mother, not even as a little girl. I played with dolls and played house (amoung a lot of other things..) but was always focused on being a teen with sisters (I have brothers) , friends, boyfriends, not a parental figure.. I recall telling my parents when I was 18 that I was never having kids. as an adult having had a (failed) marriage and other LTR's I feel strongly in my decision to not hav kids, and I this point only want to date those who feel the same way or who maybe already have kids but don't want more...

riverffashion

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #169 on: April 20, 2015, 04:54:16 PM »
Also, Scott had a interviewee who mentioned that the only downside to not having kids for her is the negative comments she gets from other people, and so far I have to agree.

riverffashion

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #170 on: April 20, 2015, 04:59:58 PM »
I found this list of books on the topic:
http://www.childfree.net/books.html

Kris

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #171 on: April 21, 2015, 09:49:21 AM »
Also, Scott had a interviewee who mentioned that the only downside to not having kids for her is the negative comments she gets from other people, and so far I have to agree.
We've been getting a lot of "you're next" from our neighbors because our next door neighbors just had a baby.  We've been in our house for less than 6 months, so we don't really know how to respond.  We make jokes about our poorly behaving dog, which would translate to horrible children. 

Last night my husband asked me how many years we have to put up with people asking about when we're having kids.  I guessed another 20 years (when we're in our 50s).  Any thoughts from the rest of the thread?  When did people stop asking you about kids?

Divorce helped (lol). 

Seriously, though, When it stopped for me was when I got remarried to a guy who had two kids from a previous marriage.  Because THEN, the "received wisdom" is that if you get pregnant, you're "taking away" from the children from the first marriage.

Cookie78

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #172 on: April 21, 2015, 09:52:26 AM »
Also, Scott had a interviewee who mentioned that the only downside to not having kids for her is the negative comments she gets from other people, and so far I have to agree.
We've been getting a lot of "you're next" from our neighbors because our next door neighbors just had a baby.  We've been in our house for less than 6 months, so we don't really know how to respond.  We make jokes about our poorly behaving dog, which would translate to horrible children. 

Last night my husband asked me how many years we have to put up with people asking about when we're having kids.  I guessed another 20 years (when we're in our 50s).  Any thoughts from the rest of the thread?  When did people stop asking you about kids?

I've only had two or three comments in the last year or so. To me that feels like it's stopped. I'm 36. I'm also not married and now that all my remaining siblings have kids the pressure is off me (not that my parents were ever very pushy about it). I think if I got married it might be different, at least for the first year or two.

Cookie78

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #173 on: April 21, 2015, 11:53:46 AM »
Also, Scott had a interviewee who mentioned that the only downside to not having kids for her is the negative comments she gets from other people, and so far I have to agree.
We've been getting a lot of "you're next" from our neighbors because our next door neighbors just had a baby.  We've been in our house for less than 6 months, so we don't really know how to respond.  We make jokes about our poorly behaving dog, which would translate to horrible children. 

Last night my husband asked me how many years we have to put up with people asking about when we're having kids.  I guessed another 20 years (when we're in our 50s).  Any thoughts from the rest of the thread?  When did people stop asking you about kids?

I've only had two or three comments in the last year or so. To me that feels like it's stopped. I'm 36. I'm also not married and now that all my remaining siblings have kids the pressure is off me (not that my parents were ever very pushy about it). I think if I got married it might be different, at least for the first year or two.
My family and in-laws aren't the problem.  We've been very clear with our families that we're not interested in kids, and they haven't made any comments. 

It's coworkers, neighbors, friends, and acquaintances.  I find it hard to bite my tongue when I hear "you'll change your mind," "that's so selfish," or "aren't you worried your husband will leave you for a woman who wants kids?".  I have a few friends that are desperate for me to have kids.  They're so invested that it makes me uncomfortable.  My husband jokes that our friends want us to be as miserable as they are.  Lately our neighbors have been making comments too.  To be fair, we haven't told our neighbors that we don't have kids on purpose.  Maybe the comments will die down once we get to know people better.

That really sucks. What horrible and intrusive comments. I don't know my neighbors well enough, nor my coworkers. At my last job I knew my coworkers much better, but they'd only make comments about when I was going to move to Phoenix and marry my boyfriend (because in their minds they would already be gone south if given the opportunity, and everyone mistakenly things immigration is sooo easy if you just get married). Most of my friends are in their 20s and also do not have kids, many of them also claim to never want kids. Generally, I feel like I lucked out.

Occasionally I get comments from extended family, distant friends and acquaintances who I rarely see, or my ex-boyfriend's mom (apparently his new girlfriend gets it more than me and is just as irritated). Now that I'm thinking about it, at my brother's funeral a couple months ago, which was packed with people from my home town who I rarely see and barely know (but they all remember me somehow) I was bombarded by questions about when I was getting married and when I was having a baby. I'd forgotten all about that. Maybe I shut it out or have selective memory. (And one reallllly inappropriate comment about whether that piece of cake I was eating was part of my diet. I'd lost 65 pounds since I'd seen her last. You'd think a single piece of cake at my brother's funeral would have been permissible without snarky comment).

former player

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #174 on: April 21, 2015, 01:18:38 PM »
Also, Scott had a interviewee who mentioned that the only downside to not having kids for her is the negative comments she gets from other people, and so far I have to agree.
We've been getting a lot of "you're next" from our neighbors because our next door neighbors just had a baby.  We've been in our house for less than 6 months, so we don't really know how to respond.  We make jokes about our poorly behaving dog, which would translate to horrible children. 

Last night my husband asked me how many years we have to put up with people asking about when we're having kids.  I guessed another 20 years (when we're in our 50s).  Any thoughts from the rest of the thread?  When did people stop asking you about kids?

I've only had two or three comments in the last year or so. To me that feels like it's stopped. I'm 36. I'm also not married and now that all my remaining siblings have kids the pressure is off me (not that my parents were ever very pushy about it). I think if I got married it might be different, at least for the first year or two.
My family and in-laws aren't the problem.  We've been very clear with our families that we're not interested in kids, and they haven't made any comments. 

It's coworkers, neighbors, friends, and acquaintances.  I find it hard to bite my tongue when I hear "you'll change your mind," "that's so selfish," or "aren't you worried your husband will leave you for a woman who wants kids?".  I have a few friends that are desperate for me to have kids.  They're so invested that it makes me uncomfortable.  My husband jokes that our friends want us to be as miserable as they are.  Lately our neighbors have been making comments too.  To be fair, we haven't told our neighbors that we don't have kids on purpose.  Maybe the comments will die down once we get to know people better.

Try telling them that you are members of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement - http://www.vhemt.org/

Motto: May we live long and die out.

sunday

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #175 on: April 21, 2015, 02:17:29 PM »
DH and i are also childfree. Our parents luckily don't bother us too much about it, as our siblings have children. Whenever someone asks if I have kids, I put on a big smile and say "Nope!" They don't ask much follow up questions after that.

TheFixer

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #176 on: April 21, 2015, 03:35:54 PM »
<raises hand> Us too!
We're in our late 40's. Been together for 25+ years, both were CF pretty much as far back as we remember.
We had a tough time finding a doc to snip me at age 23, but eventually found a guy.  BTW, sex was much better after snippage because we were both no longer worried about accidents.  I think since we were young at the time, the worry was due to having spent the previous 6 years focused on not having an accident.

Some of our responses to THE question have been:
"We're gonna skip the parenting part and going straight to the fun part: being grandparents."
"We can't manage to feed ourselves on a regular schedule, so taking care of kids is right out."
"Thanks for your interest. Actually, I'm gonna try to get her knocked up tonight. Maybe you could coach us?"

Villanelle

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #177 on: April 22, 2015, 06:42:25 AM »
I recently used, "my house is so messy, if we had kids CPS would take them away.  I don't have time to clean, much less to care for a baby."

I find that humor is a nice deflection, as it prevents the moment from feeling tense and yet also suggests I'm not really interested in having a meaningful conversation about the subject.

madgeylou

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #178 on: April 22, 2015, 06:50:14 AM »
Dunno what it is, but basically no one has ever given me shit about this, at least not beyond simply asking me if I have or want children. I say no, explain how that I come from a big family and have done my baby time, and then the subject is dropped.

I think the fact that I am generally a big weirdo helps on this. :)

Villanelle

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #179 on: April 22, 2015, 03:14:27 PM »
Dunno what it is, but basically no one has ever given me shit about this, at least not beyond simply asking me if I have or want children. I say no, explain how that I come from a big family and have done my baby time, and then the subject is dropped.

I think the fact that I am generally a big weirdo helps on this. :)

Just curious... are you married?  Your user name is "Miss" so I am guessing maybe you aren't.  If so, that may be a huge factor in why you don't get a lot of push on the subject. 

unmetamorphosed

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #180 on: April 22, 2015, 05:16:10 PM »
I'm 22 and will definitely never want or have kids. I want to be able to live my life on my terms: aka travel whenever/wherever I want, not be legally bound to a dependent for 18 years, etc. Also the idea of being pregnant has always freaked me out and I just find children annoying exhausting. I've openly stated this my entire life (from age 10 onwards!) so my family at least has never really given me crap for it.

Being child-free by choice definitely helps to weed out potential future partners, that's for sure.

pbkmaine

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #181 on: April 22, 2015, 05:41:12 PM »

<raises hand> Us too!
We're in our late 40's. Been together for 25+ years, both were CF pretty much as far back as we remember.
We had a tough time finding a doc to snip me at age 23, but eventually found a guy.  BTW, sex was much better after snippage because we were both no longer worried about accidents.  I think since we were young at the time, the worry was due to having spent the previous 6 years focused on not having an accident.

Some of our responses to THE question have been:
"We're gonna skip the parenting part and going straight to the fun part: being grandparents."
"We can't manage to feed ourselves on a regular schedule, so taking care of kids is right out."
"Thanks for your interest. Actually, I'm gonna try to get her knocked up tonight. Maybe you could coach us?"

Love these. My responses vary according to the way the question is asked, but here's a sample:
"I never had the urge, but if I did, I'd lie down until it went away."
"When someone asks me that question, what I hear is: 'Why don't you try going to prison for 18 years. You might like it.'"
"Because I'd be a terrible mother."
"As soon as someone tells me I have to do something, I can think of a hundred reasons not to do it."
"I'm too lazy and selfish."
"Isn't it great to live in an era of effective birth control?"
To my religious friends: "God said: 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.' Well, the earth is full."

Jon_Snow

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #182 on: April 22, 2015, 09:03:56 PM »
Instead of increasing regret as time moves along, I am feeling more and more certain that a child-free life was the right path for us. Wife concurs.

MMMaybe

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #183 on: April 23, 2015, 03:40:36 AM »
I am child free but not by choice. It does cheer me up though to hear all these stories of the "road not taken"...

 Its good to know about all the people out there enjoying a happy child free life because you never seem to hear about it. Its like we all don't exist!

madgeylou

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #184 on: April 23, 2015, 05:38:34 AM »
Dunno what it is, but basically no one has ever given me shit about this, at least not beyond simply asking me if I have or want children. I say no, explain how that I come from a big family and have done my baby time, and then the subject is dropped.

I think the fact that I am generally a big weirdo helps on this. :)

Just curious... are you married?  Your user name is "Miss" so I am guessing maybe you aren't.  If so, that may be a huge factor in why you don't get a lot of push on the subject.

I am married, but I didnt marry till I was 39 (we'd been together for 4 years by then).

Before that, maybe in my 20s, I got "oh you'll change your mind when you meet the right fellow" but of course that didn't happen. The right fellow for me doesn't want kids either. :)

Cookie78

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #185 on: April 23, 2015, 07:51:48 AM »
I am child free but not by choice. It does cheer me up though to hear all these stories of the "road not taken"...

 Its good to know about all the people out there enjoying a happy child free life because you never seem to hear about it. Its like we all don't exist!

This is so true. I used to worry that maybe I would regret not having children when I'm much older. But the older I get the more I am sure I made the right decision. Or more accurately, the more I am glad a string of circumstances made that decision for me. It's really uplifting to hear stories from people who are enjoying the benefits of life without children, and do not have regrets.

Tami1982

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #186 on: April 23, 2015, 09:24:14 AM »
. Actually, since I've been sterilized, I feel more free to express this and interact with kids, since people are less likely to tell me how wonderful I am with children, how I really should have them and how I'll change my mind.


THIS.  You almost feel like you have to be, "Ew CHILDREN!"  Otherwise people see you be nice to one and they say you need to have one.  So you overcompensate with the, "ICK! BABIES!"  I love how people feel they get to express their opinions on your life choices all the time. 

I did not want kids when I was younger, then I went through a brief period where I thought I might, but I realize that I don't want that commitment.  I can barely care for myself and my dogs sometimes.  And I'm 33 now.   I had my annual recently and she asked if I wanted kids and I said, "Eh. I'm too old and tired." And she laughed at me.   I feel like I am being responsible by not having them, although part of me really longs for that bonding and love.  But I realize I only want the fun, loving parts.  None of the crap parts, LOL! 

Let the people who truly, clearly love them and want them have them. 

Thank you so much for this discussion, even the parts that were heated and all over the place.  It gave me a lot of food for thought.  I'm realizing that I don't know exactly who I am in a lot of ways, that I still struggle with identity and acceptance.  When I think of becoming a mother, I imagine myself as this type of person defined in a certain way.  The idea of becoming part of a community, of finding a way of instantly bonding with other people, is what is attractive.  Not necessarily the child.   I have lots more thoughts to think.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 09:46:58 AM by Tami1982 »

Exhale

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #187 on: April 23, 2015, 07:49:38 PM »
...I still struggle with identity and acceptance...The idea of becoming part of a community, of finding a way of instantly bonding with other people, is what is attractive.

I think you just described some of main reasons people have children: instant community, socially-lauded role and "meaning." A friend of mine just adopted a child because she and her husband wanted a feeling of meaning and belonging (their words). It was a surprise to us all because they'd never wanted a kid. I'm sure they'll be good parents, but worry that it's a lot for the kid to deliver (after all, kids tend to grow up and have lives separate from their parents).

I think that more people would opt to be child free if there were ways to have meaningful longterm relationships with kids. So much of our society is age segregated so contact across ages (with non-relatives) isn't the norm.

Anyway, I'm in my mid-40s and so glad that I've stayed childfree. I enjoy hanging with my nieces/nephews, but wouldn't want that all of the time.

Cressida

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #188 on: April 23, 2015, 08:09:01 PM »
A friend of mine just adopted a child because she and her husband wanted a feeling of meaning and belonging (their words). It was a surprise to us all because they'd never wanted a kid. I'm sure they'll be good parents, but worry that it's a lot for the kid to deliver (after all, kids tend to grow up and have lives separate from their parents).

Yes, agreed.

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #189 on: April 23, 2015, 08:20:03 PM »
Yup. Then again, being a married lesbian couple we don't even need to be careful. :) Some lesbian/gay couples who want children may not think so, but we personally think it's a blessing. I do like children, but only from about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while I'm on the job (I'm an elementary school teacher). I cannot imagine coming home to more of them!

Never wanted them, never will. My wife luckily agrees wholeheartedly. Now to get on the same page about saving money...

Shamantha

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #190 on: April 24, 2015, 02:43:56 AM »
No children, sterilised at 34 because whilst I knew I did not want children, I also know that when something went wrong with contraceptives, I also could not opt for an abortion (not religious, but can't even swat a fly, strict vegetarian bordering on vegan).

I think having children has to start with wanting them. If that start is not there, why would I question that, or wonder about, or or even try to force myself into wanting them? If the initial desire, longing, want for children is not there, I see no reason to think any further about it.

trailrated

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #191 on: April 27, 2015, 01:30:04 PM »
I have a kid so I cannot relate, but this article might be interesting to read for the rest of you. It is from Cracked.com titled 6 Weird lessons you learn when deciding not to have kids.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-weird-lessons-you-learn-when-deciding-to-not-have-kids/

iris lily

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #192 on: May 25, 2015, 08:09:54 PM »
...
I think having children has to start with wanting them. If that start is not there, why would I question that, or wonder about, or or even try to force myself into wanting them? If the initial desire, longing, want for children is not there, I see no reason to think any further about it.

That's it for me. I had an absence of wanting children, so why try to whip myself into a frenzy of wanting them?

I "want" pets, I have a yen for them, I enjoy them, I love them. So I recognize the yen, its just not for human babies.

Sibley

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #193 on: May 25, 2015, 08:13:52 PM »
...
I think having children has to start with wanting them. If that start is not there, why would I question that, or wonder about, or or even try to force myself into wanting them? If the initial desire, longing, want for children is not there, I see no reason to think any further about it.

That's it for me. I had an absence of wanting children, so why try to whip myself into a frenzy of wanting them?

I "want" pets, I have a yen for them, I enjoy them, I love them. So I recognize the yen, its just not for human babies.


Yeah, me too. I want kittens and cats (self-limited to 2 though). Not interested in human babies so much, though I'm good with short doses.

Kris

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #194 on: May 26, 2015, 08:02:51 AM »
...
I think having children has to start with wanting them. If that start is not there, why would I question that, or wonder about, or or even try to force myself into wanting them? If the initial desire, longing, want for children is not there, I see no reason to think any further about it.

That's it for me. I had an absence of wanting children, so why try to whip myself into a frenzy of wanting them?

I "want" pets, I have a yen for them, I enjoy them, I love them. So I recognize the yen, its just not for human babies.

Last week, my stepdaughter had a baby.  So, I'm now a grandma, without ever having kids myself. 

Not having any maternal instinct for human babies, I am now having to do the appropriate things/make the appropriate noises of delight at my new grandson (who is cute and everything, for a baby, but you know...)

So, I decided I could "pass" by saying the same things I would say about a kitten (minus talking about fur, of course).  E.g.: "Look at that little face!"

What cracks me up is, my husband figured out exactly what I was doing before I even told him.  He knows me well. 

iris lily

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #195 on: May 26, 2015, 08:35:42 AM »
...
I think having children has to start with wanting them. If that start is not there, why would I question that, or wonder about, or or even try to force myself into wanting them? If the initial desire, longing, want for children is not there, I see no reason to think any further about it.

That's it for me. I had an absence of wanting children, so why try to whip myself into a frenzy of wanting them?

I "want" pets, I have a yen for them, I enjoy them, I love them. So I recognize the yen, its just not for human babies.

Last week, my stepdaughter had a baby.  So, I'm now a grandma, without ever having kids myself. 

Not having any maternal instinct for human babies, I am now having to do the appropriate things/make the appropriate noises of delight at my new grandson (who is cute and everything, for a baby, but you know...)

So, I decided I could "pass" by saying the same things I would say about a kitten (minus talking about fur, of course).  E.g.: "Look at that little face!"

What cracks me up is, my husband figured out exactly what I was doing before I even told him.  He knows me well.

I think newborns are boring and not cute. I like them at 8 months.

Sibley

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #196 on: May 26, 2015, 01:53:10 PM »
...
I think having children has to start with wanting them. If that start is not there, why would I question that, or wonder about, or or even try to force myself into wanting them? If the initial desire, longing, want for children is not there, I see no reason to think any further about it.

That's it for me. I had an absence of wanting children, so why try to whip myself into a frenzy of wanting them?

I "want" pets, I have a yen for them, I enjoy them, I love them. So I recognize the yen, its just not for human babies.

Last week, my stepdaughter had a baby.  So, I'm now a grandma, without ever having kids myself. 

Not having any maternal instinct for human babies, I am now having to do the appropriate things/make the appropriate noises of delight at my new grandson (who is cute and everything, for a baby, but you know...)

So, I decided I could "pass" by saying the same things I would say about a kitten (minus talking about fur, of course).  E.g.: "Look at that little face!"

What cracks me up is, my husband figured out exactly what I was doing before I even told him.  He knows me well.

I think newborns are boring and not cute. I like them at 8 months.

Well, they don't do anything, don't interact with you at all, and require near 24/7 attention. Plus, they're usually weird colors and have squished faces/heads. They need some time to get interesting and cute.

riverffashion

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #197 on: May 27, 2015, 11:15:09 AM »
...
I think having children has to start with wanting them. If that start is not there, why would I question that, or wonder about, or or even try to force myself into wanting them? If the initial desire, longing, want for children is not there, I see no reason to think any further about it.

That's it for me. I had an absence of wanting children, so why try to whip myself into a frenzy of wanting them?

I "want" pets, I have a yen for them, I enjoy them, I love them. So I recognize the yen, its just not for human babies.


Yeah, me too. I want kittens and cats (self-limited to 2 though). Not interested in human babies so much, though I'm good with short doses.



I aspire to be a crazy cat lady one day. Just know kidding, but seriously will love to hav at least two maybe five. No animals for now tho, I'm too busy to hang out !

Cpa Cat

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #198 on: May 27, 2015, 01:29:30 PM »
...
I think having children has to start with wanting them. If that start is not there, why would I question that, or wonder about, or or even try to force myself into wanting them? If the initial desire, longing, want for children is not there, I see no reason to think any further about it.

That's it for me. I had an absence of wanting children, so why try to whip myself into a frenzy of wanting them?

I "want" pets, I have a yen for them, I enjoy them, I love them. So I recognize the yen, its just not for human babies.

Last week, my stepdaughter had a baby.  So, I'm now a grandma, without ever having kids myself. 

Not having any maternal instinct for human babies, I am now having to do the appropriate things/make the appropriate noises of delight at my new grandson (who is cute and everything, for a baby, but you know...)

So, I decided I could "pass" by saying the same things I would say about a kitten (minus talking about fur, of course).  E.g.: "Look at that little face!"

What cracks me up is, my husband figured out exactly what I was doing before I even told him.  He knows me well.

I once accidentally said, "Oh, hello Kitten-Head" to my niece. My husband just sat there smirking at me, because he knows that "Kitten-Head" is the nickname we used for one of our cats when we hadn't yet chosen a name. No one else seemed to notice.

Squirrel away

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #199 on: May 28, 2015, 05:11:46 AM »
I'm very happily married and we are child-free by choice. I will be 40 next year and think not having children was one of the best decisions I've ever made.:)