Author Topic: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?  (Read 54948 times)

Nancy

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2015, 08:17:18 AM »
What a great thread! It's interesting to see how many of us had similar experiences/conclusions. I was 10 and 12 years older than my younger siblings and helped raise them through high school ("parent" teacher conferences, the works). I also babysat for the neighborhood and was a nanny. I love children and especially love my role as the fun aunt, but I've known since I was 11 that I didn't want to have children or be a full-time mother. I get a lot of flak about it from friends/family, but I know myself and love my life. SO has his own reasons, but we've been on the same page since we were friends. I'll likely always volunteer/spend time with children, but CFBC is right for me.

Cookie78

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2015, 09:24:22 AM »


You'll NEVER EVER regret having a child. You may regret remaining childless?


Maybe no one's trusted you enough to tell you that they regret their children. I know at least three people who regret having children (which is a different thing from not loving your children). It's not the kind of thing you say to your child, or to a stranger, or to a sanctimonious asshat.

Just came in to say exactly this!!

I know quite a few people who regret having kids! So many that I am more often warned not to have kids unless I'm very sure I want them, than I am to be pressured and questioned why I don't have any kids yet.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2015, 09:48:44 AM »
Married, child free by choice, can't type more right now as we are going snowmobiling and don't need to wait on a babysitter :-)

Cpa Cat

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2015, 09:51:45 AM »
How many of you made the decision before your current relationship vs. after? 

I married my husband at age 20. At that point, I knew that I didn't want children, but was young enough that it hadn't really become a hard and fast decision. Up until that point, I would say things like "I don't think I want kids" and I would hear "Oh, you'll change your mind! Wait til you turn 30/meet the right guy/have a pregnancy scare/hold one/blah blah blah!" I heard so many times that I would change my mind that I thought maybe they were right.

Even so, early in our relationship, I know I had enough of a discussion about our mutual ambivalence that my pre-husband and I discussed whether we would have an abortion if there was an unplanned pregnancy (there never was).

When we got married, DH wasn't sure and I know that I told him that if he really wanted a kid, I would have one (and only one), but that he would have to accept that the brunt of childcare responsibilities. I told him, for example, that if he wanted a stay at home parent for his child, it was going to him or a nanny. While I was sure I would love our child - I'm not the warm, nurturing mothering type.

So every year we would have a general discussion about it and then say, "Well, not right now. Let's talk about it next year." We kept looking for that "hole" that people say children will fill - and we never found it.  Eventually our annual conversation came around and our ambivalence had solidified into a decision not to have children. Now we have an annual discussion about sterilization.

It's been interesting how other people have changed the tone of their conversation with us, too. We don't hear people say, "You'll never regret having children!" so often anymore. Now men tell my husband, "You'll never regret getting a vasectomy!" And as others have mentioned, I sometimes feel like a priest taking confession: "I love my children, but..."
"... I only had them because it was so important to parents/grandparents."
"... I only had them because my spouse wanted them."
"... I wish I had waited/had fewer."
"... Thank god I got a vasectomy after that last one."
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 09:56:09 AM by Cpa Cat »

madgeylou

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2015, 10:26:32 AM »
It's been interesting how other people have changed the tone of their conversation with us, too. We don't hear people say, "You'll never regret having children!" so often anymore. Now men tell my husband, "You'll never regret getting a vasectomy!" And as others have mentioned, I sometimes feel like a priest taking confession: "I love my children, but..."
"... I only had them because it was so important to parents/grandparents."
"... I only had them because my spouse wanted them."
"... I wish I had waited/had fewer."
"... Thank god I got a vasectomy after that last one."

truth! i guess people told me i'd change my mind up until i was around 20 ... then it became obvious that i was a big weirdo and they gave up.

but one great thing about never having kids is that you never have to stay with someone for the kids. i have seen a couple of up-close and personal situations where people stay together for the kids and it is never pretty.

one of these situations was a couple who, after falling in love and marrying at record speed, quickly fell out of love as well. but by then they'd had three kids, all of whom have special needs, and they were stuck, oftentimes locked together in a cycle of mutual hatred and regret that was absolutely awful to witness.

the other was a on-again/off-again couple who had one child who was seven. their relationship was always tumultuous -- the dude honestly seems like a total dipshit (won't work and also tries to pull the traditional gender roles bullshit which is a hilariously bad combo). anyway ... it had taken her years to get him out of her house but still in their daughter's life, and they had an unsteady equilibrium. then they got drunk one night and had sex and she got pregnant, and decided to give him another chance for the kids' sake. now he's moved back in, is being a dipshit, actively making her life worse with these two kids instead of pitching in, and she's got to either just deal with it, or go through all the BS of getting his temper-tantruming ass out of her house again.

i never want to feel like i'm stuck with anyone. which to me at least is another compelling reason not to have kids.

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2015, 10:44:14 AM »
I never wanted children until later in my 20s.  Now my only real regret in life is that I did not have more.

I don't see what point you are trying to make in a thread about who's childfree by choice on MMM.
I wouldn't think of posting on the infertility/miscarriage thread saying "Hi, I am happily childfre by choice and sterilized", it would be rude, insensitive and not relevant to the thread's subject.

If you have children are you prohibited from posting because of this?  Who makes those rules?  I don't see how a voluntary choice to not have children equates to a thread on involuntary infertility in any way shape or form. 

I note you failed to quote the remainder of my post in your response.  As you will note, my mind changed from being opposed to children to wanting them in my late 20s.   I am not the only person out there who experienced this shift and maybe some people here will too.  Others will not.   

There are also a number of people who did go with sterilization and then regretted this choice later and the stats show it is higher for woman and men who were sterilized under 30: 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10362150
http://www.uptodate.com/contents/permanent-sterilization-procedures-for-women-beyond-the-basics
https://www.bestvasectomy.com/vasectomy-regret-real-but-often-delayed-risk-of-vasectomy/

Given how much I've ended up loving having children and wishing I had had more, despite my earlier strongly-held beliefs, I think the possibility that regret could arise later and birth control might be a preferable option until past 30 for some should be considered and mentioned.  Reversals are uncertain and expensive and are frequently requested operations.

And yes, I have read the recent article by the woman who was furious with her doctor for telling her she needed to wait until 30.  I agree, the choice should be available.

arebelspy

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #56 on: January 01, 2015, 11:29:34 AM »
MOD NOTE: People with and without children are free to post in any thread, as long as they are following forum rules.  There's no need to be rude to each other, even if you are at different stages of life or have different opinions about how best to live your own life.  Let's have no more discussion of who is posting, but rather the content of their message.  Thanks.
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Zikoris

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #57 on: January 01, 2015, 11:34:48 AM »
I note you failed to quote the remainder of my post in your response.  As you will note, my mind changed from being opposed to children to wanting them in my late 20s.   I am not the only person out there who experienced this shift and maybe some people here will too.  Others will not.

This is the difference between childfree and childless people. Childfree people know what they want in life and pursue it regarding kids, rather than flip-flopping. Even you said you weren't adamant enough about it to pursue sterilization, which is really the litmus test of whether someone wants kids or not.

Quote
There are also a number of people who did go with sterilization and then regretted this choice later and the stats show it is higher for woman and men who were sterilized under 30: 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10362150
http://www.uptodate.com/contents/permanent-sterilization-procedures-for-women-beyond-the-basics
https://www.bestvasectomy.com/vasectomy-regret-real-but-often-delayed-risk-of-vasectomy/

Interestingly, the first one indicates almost the same level of regret between women under 30 who never had kids (6.3%) and women over 30 as a whole (5.9%). The "regret" problem is basically heavily women who already had a kid or two then decided they were done, rather than people who never wanted kids to begin with.

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #58 on: January 01, 2015, 12:28:54 PM »
I note you failed to quote the remainder of my post in your response.  As you will note, my mind changed from being opposed to children to wanting them in my late 20s.   I am not the only person out there who experienced this shift and maybe some people here will too.  Others will not.

This is the difference between childfree and childless people. Childfree people know what they want in life and pursue it regarding kids, rather than flip-flopping. Even you said you weren't adamant enough about it to pursue sterilization, which is really the litmus test of whether someone wants kids or not.

Quote
There are also a number of people who did go with sterilization and then regretted this choice later and the stats show it is higher for woman and men who were sterilized under 30: 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10362150
http://www.uptodate.com/contents/permanent-sterilization-procedures-for-women-beyond-the-basics
https://www.bestvasectomy.com/vasectomy-regret-real-but-often-delayed-risk-of-vasectomy/

Interestingly, the first one indicates almost the same level of regret between women under 30 who never had kids (6.3%) and women over 30 as a whole (5.9%). The "regret" problem is basically heavily women who already had a kid or two then decided they were done, rather than people who never wanted kids to begin with.

I think you are probably right about level of certainty Zikoris.  You knew very early on that you definitely did not want children and pursued sterilization rigorously.  I thought I didn't want children but was never so motivated as to pursue sterilization under 30.  Someone with your level of motivation/certainty should have the option.

I'm not sure if I agree with the definition of "childfree" and "childless".  There are cases of people who believed they were "childfree", went through sterilization and then regretted this choice and became "childless". This may have resulted in them spending a lot of money on reversal attempts.  Women under 30 are about 8 times as likely to undergo a reversal than those underwent sterilization after 30. http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824(05)00314-8/abstract

I also am not sure I agree with your interpretation of the study.  The first study shows much lower regret for those who never had children 14 years after  the sterilization, but the cumulative probability of expressing regret during a follow-up interview within 14 years after tubal sterilization was 20.3% for women aged 30 or younger at the time of sterilization and 5.9% for women over age 30 at sterilization without separating out childless from those with children.   I would suggest that decline in regret after 14 years partially represents a normal acceptance curve that comes with the end of biological possibility.
 
I'm not sure how accurate the vasectomy link is because there is no underlying data linked but it states:

"Although sterilization regret is not the most immediate risk of sterilization, it is the most common.

Large studies of female sterilization have demonstrated less than 4% of women will regret their sterilization in the first several years. With the passage of time, these same studies have demonstrated the percentage of women who regret their sterilization procedures will increase and as many as 30% will regret their tubal ligations.

It is estimated that up to 20% of men may regret their vasectomy procedures. Regret changes with time.

Regret can be transient and normal and regret can also be persistent and abnormal."

It may be a more economical and practical solution for a percentage of the population to wait and use birth control until they are out of the higher risk group if you believe in the stats.

Villanelle

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #59 on: January 01, 2015, 12:37:30 PM »
Don't have children b/c "everyone else in our area has them"

However, I wonder why you're asking this question on a forum?

You'll NEVER EVER regret having a child. You may regret remaining childless?

This quote was taken from my nephew's father's FB page. He didn't become a Dad until well into his 40's when MY sister 'mistakenly' became pregnant with his child. After the birth he wrote:

"A child fills a hole in your heart you never knew existed."

I was truly touched.

P.S. My beautiful, spunky, lively, ADORABLE, nephew is now 7. :)

I'm sorry that your life  and your nephew's father's life had a hole and you weren't complete in and of yourself.  That must have been difficult.  I'm thankful I was never in that position.  I don't have a hole in my heart or my life, and thus I don't need to reproduce to fill it.  But I'm glad that it was an option for your Nephew's father, and that he made a choice that worked for him, just as I made a choice that worked for me.  I respect his choice.  I wish you respected mine, rather than insulting my by suggesting that my choice is likely to be regretted, while implying your's is somehow regret-proof.  It isn't.  Plenty of people regret having children.

I won't regret not having kids any more than you regret having them. What is I said,  "I will NEVER EVER regret not having kids.  You might regret having them"?  You assume you know my mind and my life better than I do.  You reality is not everyone's.

Your choices are yours and I respect them, and I respect you (as a random stranger) enough to not suggest that I know better than you do whether or not you'll regret something you've put thought into.  Show me the same courtesy.  Just because you are happy with your choice doesn't mean I'd be happy with your choice, too, any more than I could say that because not having kids has made me happy, it's the right choice for everyone. 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 12:41:37 PM by Villanelle »

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #60 on: January 01, 2015, 12:58:32 PM »
Discussions like these are always interesting to me. I appreciate the honesty I've seen here.

When my wife and I first met it did not take us long to realize that we had a very similar vision as to what our lives together would look like. Somehow, without even discussing it much, we both knew that having children was not the path we wanted. We have spent perhaps 10 minutes in our 10 year marriage pondering the merits/downsides to having them. It is just UNDERSTOOD between us.

It is only really around the Christmas season that my mind wonders what parenthood would be like - these are not regretful feelings necessarily... just whimsical thoughts about how our lives would be DIFFERENT. I am fairly confident that our lives WOULD NOT be better overall... just different.

To us, complete personal freedom to live our lives as we want is the most important thing. I think such thinking is what gets the "childless by choice" people the SELFISH label. I think it's just who we are. I do know that many parents of our age look at our life with poorly disguised envy. It is a wonderful lifestyle - one that we have carefully crafted. Kids would not be compatible with this.

We want to be able to skip down to Mexico for 3 months. We want to be able to launch our kayaks and camp out on different west coast islands for weeks on end. These are the types of experiences that we LIVE FOR. Some people choose to LIVE FOR their children and that is admirable - that is the life my sister has chosen. It's just not for us though.

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #61 on: January 01, 2015, 01:19:15 PM »
Yes, and you may not have retired as early!

I've never every thought of childfree people as selfish.  Why in the world is it a selfish choice?  It is a personal choice and one that has merit for many reasons.  Not the least of which is that having children without really wanting to seems potentially disastrous.

Given my change in feelings I have thought that some of those that don't have children by choice may not be fully aware of how excellent it can be. Then again, others have posted that they have been envied by those who regret having children. 




Cpa Cat

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #62 on: January 01, 2015, 01:40:50 PM »
If you have children are you prohibited from posting because of this?  Who makes those rules?
...
As you will note, my mind changed from being opposed to children to wanting them in my late 20s.   I am not the only person out there who experienced this shift and maybe some people here will too.  Others will not.   

There are also a number of people who did go with sterilization and then regretted this choice later and the stats show it is higher for woman and men who were sterilized under 30... 

Given how much I've ended up loving having children and wishing I had had more, despite my earlier strongly-held beliefs, I think the possibility that regret could arise later and birth control might be a preferable option until past 30 for some should be considered and mentioned.  Reversals are uncertain and expensive and are frequently requested operations.

I think that the reason you received such a negative reaction is that your opinion is a common one that childless-by-choice women hear. And while you mean well, it comes across as patronizing and infantilizing.

"Oh, you'll understand how wrong you are once you have some baybees!" "LOL - I felt that way when I was young too - once I grew up, I understood how empty my life was without children."

Even in posting the study that said that 20% of women who are sterilized under 30 express regret - you ignored what the results actually said. The study specifically notes that among women who never had children, only 6.3% expressed regret when they had been sterilized under 30. 94-95% of women who never had children never expressed any regret, regardless of the age that they sought sterilization. It turns out that these regretful women are mothers who wanted more children.

I am not commenting on the vasectomy link. It doesn't cite sources and it appears to exaggerate the level of regret among sterilized women, which casts doubt on that link as a source.

In essence, it seemed as though you were coming to this thread to argue "Women who love babies regret not having (more) babies, therefore, you too may regret not having babies (when you grow up and realize how much you love babies)." It came across as trolling - which I don't think was your intention. But it was taken that way.

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #63 on: January 01, 2015, 02:47:22 PM »

Even in posting the study that said that 20% of women who are sterilized under 30 express regret - you ignored what the results actually said. The study specifically notes that among women who never had children, only 6.3% expressed regret when they had been sterilized under 30. 94-95% of women who never had children never expressed any regret, regardless of the age that they sought sterilization. It turns out that these regretful women are mothers who wanted more children. ...

In essence, it seemed as though you were coming to this thread to argue "Women who love babies regret not having (more) babies, therefore, you too may regret not having babies (when you grow up and realize how much you love babies)." It came across as trolling - which I don't think was your intention. But it was taken that way.

Actually I do not believe sterilization study shows that only 6.3% of women who were sterilized under 30 and childless expressed regret.  It showed that this percent expressed regret after 14 years.  The rate for women with children was also much lower 14 years later.  Likely in part because of acceptance and biological/aging limits.   

The 20% rate of regret in the first 14 years was the combined childfree and women with children rate.  There was also no separation of sterilization for medical reasons.

There would need to be separate study of childfree and under 30 sterilizations and voluntary (not medical) to have more accurate data.   The rate of regret is likely lower than 20% for childfree.  I just don't think there is good data on it.  Canada is in process to develop clinical guidelines for young fe/male sterilization - none currently exist which is frustrating.

In the CREST study (referenced in the link), the 14-year cumulative probability of requesting reversal information was as high as 40.4% in women who underwent sterilization between ages 18 years and 24 years— almost four times higher than for women older than 30 years at the time of the procedure. Similarly, men who underwent vasectomy at young ages were more likely to have the procedure reversed than those who underwent vasectomy at older ages. http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Fulltext/2013/02000/Practice_Bulletin_No__133___Benefits_and_Risks_of.41.aspx

And I never said "when you grow up you will love babies".  What I said was that I changed my mind in my later twenties and that there certainly is a percentage of those who go through sterilization at a young age because they don't want kids that will later regret it and try to reverse it.  An expensive and stressful process.  I don't know what separates out those who will change their mind from those who won't or even if it can be done.  I think a set process with a checklist for self-identification would help but, ultimately, it is an individual's choice.

I'm not sure why those who are childfree and want to remain that way are offended.  It is a statistic, not a belief.  Being childfree and being sterilized are not synonymous.

It may be that my comments on changing my mind are simply unwelcome by those who do not have the same feelings.  And I was childfree by choice until my later twenties by the definition - not childless.  I certainly respect this choice but I also understand that the desire to have children can arise later in life for some.


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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #64 on: January 01, 2015, 02:57:03 PM »
Discussions like these are always interesting to me. I appreciate the honesty I've seen here.

When my wife and I first met it did not take us long to realize that we had a very similar vision as to what our lives together would look like. Somehow, without even discussing it much, we both knew that having children was not the path we wanted. We have spent perhaps 10 minutes in our 10 year marriage pondering the merits/downsides to having them. It is just UNDERSTOOD between us.

It is only really around the Christmas season that my mind wonders what parenthood would be like - these are not regretful feelings necessarily... just whimsical thoughts about how our lives would be DIFFERENT. I am fairly confident that our lives WOULD NOT be better overall... just different.

To us, complete personal freedom to live our lives as we want is the most important thing. I think such thinking is what gets the "childless by choice" people the SELFISH label. I think it's just who we are. I do know that many parents of our age look at our life with poorly disguised envy. It is a wonderful lifestyle - one that we have carefully crafted. Kids would not be compatible with this.

We want to be able to skip down to Mexico for 3 months. We want to be able to launch our kayaks and camp out on different west coast islands for weeks on end. These are the types of experiences that we LIVE FOR. Some people choose to LIVE FOR their children and that is admirable - that is the life my sister has chosen. It's just not for us though.

This is more our situation I suppose. I would be a pretty awful mother. I am not sure I would trust me with a pet or a houseplant for that matter. But when houseplants wilt from lack of care, no one much minds except a few deeply compassionate plant people who take them off my hands. My husband raised his younger sister and has had enough of raising children (though he is much better with them than I am). Sometimes I contemplate what it would have been like to take the path that led to having children, but some of us were just not made to be good parents. I do like children in small doses, especially if they are reasonably smart and well-behaved, which my nieces and nephew always are. But enjoying other people's children on occasion is not the basis for planning a life around raising ones own.

Like others here, we've always pretty much known we didn't want children. My husband knew from his early teens and I did as well. He got a vasectomy in our twenties. In my late forties, I spent one year with terrible regrets but was glad to emerge from that year with a greater understanding of how lucky I was to have chosen as I did.

Zikoris

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #65 on: January 01, 2015, 03:06:35 PM »
I'm not sure why those who are childfree and want to remain that way are offended.  It is a statistic, not a belief.  Being childfree and being sterilized are not synonymous.

It may be that my comments on changing my mind are simply unwelcome by those who do not have the same feelings.  And I was childfree by choice until my later twenties by the definition - not childless.  I certainly respect this choice but I also understand that the desire to have children can arise later in life for some.

It's offensive because there's no such thing as "used to be childfree", any more than those people who claim they "used to be gay", or any number of things. You weren't childfree. You never were. You didn't know what you wanted. If you did, and it was NO KIDS, sterilization would have been an obvious thing to pursue.

"Childfree" does not mean you don't want kids now because you're focusing on your career or travel or whatever. It doesn't mean you don't want kids now because of your financial or life situation. It doesn't mean you don't want kids now because of your current partner, or lack of relationship. It means you've made the conscious choice to never have kids, generally involving sterilization. Period. There's no flip-flip "maybe I will, maybe I won't".

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #66 on: January 01, 2015, 03:20:18 PM »
You didn't know what you wanted. If you did, and it was NO KIDS, sterilization would have been an obvious thing to pursue.

I find this to be a surprising claim. Not everybody likes submitting to unnecessary medical procedures.

Additionally, if you don't plan to ever have sex, sterilisation offers no benefits except in the case of rape, which is a real threat, but not a threat that I would have have a medical procedure in anticipation of.

Furthermore, if you change your mind about wanting to raise children (and I'm not saying you will), you could still adopt. So sterilisation has not committed you to being childfree.

My point is that whether you undergo a medical procedure is a distinct issue from whether you are childfree.

Sure, there would be VERY few and far between exceptions - people who can't have surgery done for whatever reason (blood problems, reaction to anesthetic, etc), or people who would never have sex (what percentage of the population would that be?). But overall, as a childfree person who's done a lot of dating and had to weed out people who thought they were childfree but weren't actually, the most accurate way of telling someone's true feeling about kids is the sterilization question.

I do sympathize with childfree people who have tried to have the procedure done without success. But if someone hadn't even attempted yet called themselves childfree, I'd assume they were not.

Zikoris

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #67 on: January 01, 2015, 03:33:27 PM »
I find this extremely disturbing. You are saying that unless there is a medical reason that a person cannot submit to this surgery, they are not serious about their position. Basically, a person cannot be serious about their identity unless they "back it up" by risking their life on an unnecessary surgery.

There are no medical reasons why I cannot submit to some sterilisation procedure. But I'm not going to. I also never plan to have sex, but I'm not going to mutilate my genitals to "back that up". I find it very disturbing that you would even suggest that willingness to submit to a surgery is relevant to somebody's identity.

I'm not saying they have any sort of obligation to, I'm saying that the nature of being childfree leads a person to WANT sterilization. It's an easy and fast procedure with minimal recovery. Lifelong abstinence is not realistic or desirable for the vast majority of people, though it certainly is a viable alternative.

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #68 on: January 01, 2015, 03:46:32 PM »
I find this extremely disturbing. You are saying that unless there is a medical reason that a person cannot submit to this surgery, they are not serious about their position. Basically, a person cannot be serious about their identity unless they "back it up" by risking their life on an unnecessary surgery.

There are no medical reasons why I cannot submit to some sterilisation procedure. But I'm not going to. I also never plan to have sex, but I'm not going to mutilate my genitals to "back that up". I find it very disturbing that you would even suggest that willingness to submit to a surgery is relevant to somebody's identity.

I'm not saying they have any sort of obligation to, I'm saying that the nature of being childfree leads a person to WANT sterilization. It's an easy and fast procedure with minimal recovery. Lifelong abstinence is not realistic or desirable for the vast majority of people, though it certainly is a viable alternative.

All right.

I wonder, though, do you consider somebody who adopts children to be childfree?

It seems like most of the life decision around having children is really the raising of them -- that's a many-year commitment. The actual pregnancy and giving of birth is no easy task either, but it takes less than a total, compared to at least 16 or so years of daily involvement with the child once it is born.

So I would speculate that being childfree is really about not wanting to raise children, in addition to not wanting to give birth to them. Under that rubric, somebody who adopts a newborn and raises it through all stages of life is not childfree.

In some alternative reality where I was in a romantic relationship and wanted children, I'd probably want to adopt rather than creating my own because there are already so many children in need of loving families that it almost seems cruel to create more. I wonder if anybody else feels that way, and that is why they don't want to create biological children and so get sterilised, but they are still open to doing a good deed and raising some adopted children, or being foster parents or similar.

I think it's awesome when people adopt and I wish more people would go that route rather than have their own given how many kids are starving to death in the world, but a kid is a kid - adopters are not childfree.

Daisy

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #69 on: January 01, 2015, 04:01:41 PM »
I find this whole discussion interesting - taking in all of the opinions on the child free by choice to the ones that regretted their earlier decision to be child free, etc. It's good when people have options....unless they don't as the child-free-not-by-choice, as me.

I started my life thinking I'd have children, until I found out as a teenager that I couldn't. I come from a culture where you are just "supposed" to have children. I knew people that didn't have children, but always thought it was because they were unmarriable, or someone who would have a child in the future (yes, this was my limited childhood thinking).

I was told by my mom to keep my infertility quiet, so it was quite devastating. I entered the dating world thinking every guy I would meet would obviously want children as I thought everyone felt this way. So it damaged certain relationships because I felt unsure to announce my child-free-not-by-choice status.

As I grew up, I started to see people adopting and hearing infertility talked about more openly. I still thought I was going to meet my dream guy and end up going through IVF or something to then have a baby. But I was having a pretty great life waiting for this to happen, so continued to put it on hold.

Then as I got even older (well I am still mid 40s) and I still hadn't met my dream guy, I met a lot of women that were active in sports that told me they were child-free-by-choice. These were women that were married or divorced or never married. It blew my mind! After talking with them about it, it actually helped me accept my infertility completely. I can have a complete and fulfilling life without children!

It was an emotional rollercoaster to go from someone who (obviously) wanted children, to being child-free-not-by-choice, to being child-free-by-choice (kind of because it's not really a choice but a full acceptance). I wish more people would talk more openly about this so that women like me could accept their fate sooner and live a more open life.

Accidentally, I have discovered that being child-free is very FIRE friendly.

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #70 on: January 01, 2015, 04:11:01 PM »
I'm not sure why those who are childfree and want to remain that way are offended.  It is a statistic, not a belief.  Being childfree and being sterilized are not synonymous.

It may be that my comments on changing my mind are simply unwelcome by those who do not have the same feelings.  And I was childfree by choice until my later twenties by the definition - not childless.  I certainly respect this choice but I also understand that the desire to have children can arise later in life for some.

It's offensive because there's no such thing as "used to be childfree", any more than those people who claim they "used to be gay", or any number of things. You weren't childfree. You never were. You didn't know what you wanted. If you did, and it was NO KIDS, sterilization would have been an obvious thing to pursue.

"Childfree" does not mean you don't want kids now because you're focusing on your career or travel or whatever. It doesn't mean you don't want kids now because of your financial or life situation. It doesn't mean you don't want kids now because of your current partner, or lack of relationship. It means you've made the conscious choice to never have kids, generally involving sterilization. Period. There's no flip-flip "maybe I will, maybe I won't".

I'm not sure what you are saying as you seem to have created your own definition.  Your definition implies no possibility of changing your mind or making a different choice and, further, that sterilization might be proof of this.  I did look up the definition and this is not what it is currently.  Childfree covers those who choose not to have children.   It does not mean a permanent orientation for everyone nor is desiring sterilization required. 

I do believe there are innate differences in orientation towards having children, but, so far, childfree does not include an element of permanence or sterilization, but it does require voluntary choice.  Maybe one day soon this will be defined or clarified - it probably should be if it is indeed a specific orientation/mindset that must contain an element of permanence. 

As it is what you are saying is that I am not permitted to self-define as previously childfree, as in I had made a choice between the ages of 14 to 26 to never to have children, informed others and partners of this, and then changed my mind - even though this is what occurred and even though I fit the dictionary definition of childfree as a result.   

This reminds me of people needing to label other people's sexual orientation into a category.  The truth is that the lines are grey for many - some people are asexual or gay or bisexual or whatever - sometimes this changes - for example, someone without a marked preference might find a compatible partner of a specific gender and identify a specific way as a result.   Some of us are not so definable.

I note that if an element of permanence is required you could truly never be labelled "childfree" until death.  I would suggest that, at this point, it would be respectful to  permit an individual to self-identify, just like with gender as the complicated interweavings of socialization, biology, and psychology do not always lend themselves to labelling by others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childfree
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/childfree
http://www.yourdictionary.com/childfree
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 04:23:04 PM by totoro »

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #71 on: January 01, 2015, 05:46:41 PM »
I understand some of your level of frustration in that the conversation veered off from a response to your original question and involved responses from people you did not want to hear from with views you may not share. 

That is the way posts work on a public forum though.  They often morph into other interesting discussions related to the original post and if it gets too off-topic the moderators will move that portion of the conversation to another thread.  I can recall a number of posts that started out with a simple question and evolved into a discussion of the various issues related to the question.  I generally learn a lot from them and appreciate the free speech and open discussion.

You'll probably feel quite frustrated if you try to control or limit the content of a post here.  You can't and you don't have the right to limit free speech. 

What you can do is appeal to a moderator to move a section of the discussion to its own thread if you feel strongly that it should not be part of the original topic.  It may get you further than what you are doing, I'm not sure - they follow their own guidelines.

Elliot

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #72 on: January 01, 2015, 05:58:45 PM »
This thread sure is something now. Sure is something.

Zikoris

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #73 on: January 01, 2015, 05:59:56 PM »
I'm not sure what you are saying as you seem to have created your own definition.  Your definition implies no possibility of changing your mind or making a different choice and, further, that sterilization might be proof of this.  I did look up the definition and this is not what it is currently.  Childfree covers those who choose not to have children.   It does not mean a permanent orientation for everyone nor is desiring sterilization required. 

I do believe there are innate differences in orientation towards having children, but, so far, childfree does not include an element of permanence or sterilization, but it does require voluntary choice.  Maybe one day soon this will be defined or clarified - it probably should be if it is indeed a specific orientation/mindset that must contain an element of permanence. 

As it is what you are saying is that I am not permitted to self-define as previously childfree, as in I had made a choice between the ages of 14 to 26 to never to have children, informed others and partners of this, and then changed my mind - even though this is what occurred and even though I fit the dictionary definition of childfree as a result.   

This reminds me of people needing to label other people's sexual orientation into a category.  The truth is that the lines are grey for many - some people are asexual or gay or bisexual or whatever - sometimes this changes - for example, someone without a marked preference might find a compatible partner of a specific gender and identify a specific way as a result.   Some of us are not so definable.

I note that if an element of permanence is required you could truly never be labelled "childfree" until death.  I would suggest that, at this point, it would be respectful to  permit an individual to self-identify, just like with gender as the complicated interweavings of socialization, biology, and psychology do not always lend themselves to labelling by others.

Maybe you're not familiar with the movement, but the ENTIRE PURPOSE of "Childfree", the reason it exists in the first place, is to differentiate us from the "I want kids but can't have them" and "I have no clue what I want" people.

It's really irritating to have people use the term incorrectly. Reminds me of people who are "vegetarian" but eat chicken, fish, and pork (the other white meat) - just represent yourself for what you are. There's a term for what you were, and it's "fence sitter". Not a bad thing, but not childfree.

Philociraptor

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #74 on: January 01, 2015, 06:04:47 PM »
I'm not sure what you are saying as you seem to have created your own definition.  Your definition implies no possibility of changing your mind or making a different choice and, further, that sterilization might be proof of this.  I did look up the definition and this is not what it is currently.  Childfree covers those who choose not to have children.   It does not mean a permanent orientation for everyone nor is desiring sterilization required. 

I do believe there are innate differences in orientation towards having children, but, so far, childfree does not include an element of permanence or sterilization, but it does require voluntary choice.  Maybe one day soon this will be defined or clarified - it probably should be if it is indeed a specific orientation/mindset that must contain an element of permanence. 

As it is what you are saying is that I am not permitted to self-define as previously childfree, as in I had made a choice between the ages of 14 to 26 to never to have children, informed others and partners of this, and then changed my mind - even though this is what occurred and even though I fit the dictionary definition of childfree as a result.   

This reminds me of people needing to label other people's sexual orientation into a category.  The truth is that the lines are grey for many - some people are asexual or gay or bisexual or whatever - sometimes this changes - for example, someone without a marked preference might find a compatible partner of a specific gender and identify a specific way as a result.   Some of us are not so definable.

I note that if an element of permanence is required you could truly never be labelled "childfree" until death.  I would suggest that, at this point, it would be respectful to  permit an individual to self-identify, just like with gender as the complicated interweavings of socialization, biology, and psychology do not always lend themselves to labelling by others.

Maybe you're not familiar with the movement, but the ENTIRE PURPOSE of "Childfree", the reason it exists in the first place, is to differentiate us from the "I want kids but can't have them" and "I have no clue what I want" people.

It's really irritating to have people use the term incorrectly. Reminds me of people who are "vegetarian" but eat chicken, fish, and pork (the other white meat) - just represent yourself for what you are. There's a term for what you were, and it's "fence sitter". Not a bad thing, but not childfree.
I dunno about this. One can be childfree, that is adamantly against having children, and yet still change their mind later. That doesn't mean they don't know what they want, they do, just that their wants change. Just like an atheist can "find God"; it doesn't mean they weren't an atheist before, but they simply changed their mind.

(of course, this whole conversation is foam in a thread of introductions)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 06:06:56 PM by Philociraptor »

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #75 on: January 01, 2015, 06:33:14 PM »
I'm not sure what you are saying as you seem to have created your own definition.  Your definition implies no possibility of changing your mind or making a different choice and, further, that sterilization might be proof of this.  I did look up the definition and this is not what it is currently.  Childfree covers those who choose not to have children.   It does not mean a permanent orientation for everyone nor is desiring sterilization required. 

I do believe there are innate differences in orientation towards having children, but, so far, childfree does not include an element of permanence or sterilization, but it does require voluntary choice.  Maybe one day soon this will be defined or clarified - it probably should be if it is indeed a specific orientation/mindset that must contain an element of permanence. 

As it is what you are saying is that I am not permitted to self-define as previously childfree, as in I had made a choice between the ages of 14 to 26 to never to have children, informed others and partners of this, and then changed my mind - even though this is what occurred and even though I fit the dictionary definition of childfree as a result.   

This reminds me of people needing to label other people's sexual orientation into a category.  The truth is that the lines are grey for many - some people are asexual or gay or bisexual or whatever - sometimes this changes - for example, someone without a marked preference might find a compatible partner of a specific gender and identify a specific way as a result.   Some of us are not so definable.

I note that if an element of permanence is required you could truly never be labelled "childfree" until death.  I would suggest that, at this point, it would be respectful to  permit an individual to self-identify, just like with gender as the complicated interweavings of socialization, biology, and psychology do not always lend themselves to labelling by others.

Maybe you're not familiar with the movement, but the ENTIRE PURPOSE of "Childfree", the reason it exists in the first place, is to differentiate us from the "I want kids but can't have them" and "I have no clue what I want" people.

It's really irritating to have people use the term incorrectly. Reminds me of people who are "vegetarian" but eat chicken, fish, and pork (the other white meat) - just represent yourself for what you are. There's a term for what you were, and it's "fence sitter". Not a bad thing, but not childfree.

Except that I wasn't a "fence sitter".  I get to define my experience, not you.  I did not want children by choice.   

Changing your mind is part of free will.  And "the movement", like any movement, has a radical element that is required to spur needed social change imo.  People who feel oppressed or discriminated against rise up in solidarity and push back with black and white fervor.  Every movement in my lifetime has worked like this that I can recall - including feminism. 

What you may not realize is that a dogmatic and radical approach to people who support your choices is alienating and obscures other's truths. There is oppression in every movement that requires you to fit within the rules.

In addition, those who are on the grey zone are excluded - those of us who may change are mind are "not part of the group".  The "stats are all false and only relate to those who have already have children or who were really fence sitters all along".   The truth is the stats are what they are: stats.  Some who are sterilized will regret it.  A minority, but they exist.  Would you devalue their lived experience?

You may feel you are part of a "movement" that requires permanent choices and being pro-sterilization.  My response is that you are part of a subgroup that does not own the definition of "childfree" and it feels like you are using your righteousness as a tool to control my reality. 

Villanelle

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #76 on: January 01, 2015, 06:43:47 PM »
Um, I'm childfree and pretty adamantly so, and I've never once given serious thought to sterilization.  I don't want to under go a no-insignificant medical procedure when there are plenty of other methods of preventing children.

I think the notion that one isn't serious about being CFCB if she isn't sterilized, or that we are somehow less committed, or whatever it is you are asserting, is pretty silly.

I don't want kids.  I never have and I never will.  I am childfree.  My assumptive ability to conceive has nothing to do with that.

Dee

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #77 on: January 01, 2015, 08:18:40 PM »
This is starting to remind of the internet retirement police MMM posts about. I wanted to post but as the thread progressed, I felt more uncomfortable about it given some of the strong views expressed about what the criteria for child free by choice are and whether one might properly share thoughts on the topic if one has not been unwavering in one's choice. But then, I thought fuck it, if MMM is retired, then I am child free by choice.

For a long time, I adamantly and resolutely did not want children. When I was a teenager, I did think about getting sterilized but never shared that thought out loud, because I felt I would never be taken seriously.

I remained firm in my desire to NOT have children for some time, well into my 20s.

Then, late in my 20s, I thought I *did* want to have and raise a child (or children) with my partner at the time. But the timing was just never right between us. We broke up when I was in mid-30s and hadn't had children. And I did feel a loss at the time, thinking it was unlikely that I would be able to find a good relationship in which to have and raise a child.

Sure enough, I partnered up with a man much my senior. He didn't already have children and thought it was pretty late in the game to have some now. He might have indulged me in having a child if I'd insisted but, on a balance of probabilities, I have decided that I would rather not try to have a child than to try to do so. So I consider that a choice not to have children and therefore that I am child free by choice.  I will be 40 this month so it is very, very likely that I will never have children.

So at this point in my life, I am comfortable with my choice not to have had children because I do think it was the overall best option for me. But I was not the only option I considered throughout my procreative years. I am somewhat different from the original poster and other here because I have pondered the option of having children more seriously than those who have known all along they didn't want any and remained unwavering in that knowledge but I nonetheless consider myself to have chosen not to have children (and, ergo, to be childfree by choice).

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #78 on: January 01, 2015, 10:58:15 PM »
I am also child-free and intend to remain so. I don't like children, never have, have zero maternal instinct. I always figured I would start wanting them when I got older but the opposite has happened - I dislike children more now than ever. That said, I love animals, so I am a typical crazy dog lady.

My ex wanted kids and I was never sure how we would handle the issue when the push comes to shove. Fortunately (?) we broke up for other reasons before that point. And I sighed with relief because it resolved my dilemma once and for all. I am quite happy to remain single and child-free... I have this conviction that most guys my age do want to have kids and it would be too difficult an issue to navigate, so admittedly I don't bother with dating etc.

Does anyone remember the movie Man Overboard with Goldie Hawn? That is my biggest nightmare - waking up one morning to find myself a mother of 2 or 3 kids. I had a nightmare once that I was pregnant... I woke up absolutely terrified - it's the fear of losing my freedom, I think. That, and the fear of having to listed to the fucking Dora the Explorer for the rest of my life like my childey friends.

JLee

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #79 on: January 01, 2015, 11:02:26 PM »
When people ask if we have kids, I always answer..."No, we've been very careful."
haha, totally stealing that.

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #80 on: January 02, 2015, 12:12:26 AM »
And fair comment is free speech and is not trolling. 

There was no intention to offend, if you re-read my posts you may see that.  Maybe not as you appear to be offended simply by having someone who is not child-free post here, which appears discriminatory on its face and is definitely exclusionary.  The discussion arose from the comments and, in my view, was both relevant and informative - I learned some things from others, including Zikoris who I disagreed with on some points, which I appreciated.   

Disagreement and differences should not require rejection.  If you want a closed discussion that you control on this topic this is not the site for it.

You may wish to review the rules of this site which are:

"The overriding principle here on this site: Be a human being and treat others respectfully.
That includes, but is not limited to:
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Attack an argument, not a person.
3. Your posts must not break any laws.
4. Be respectful of the site and other members.
5. No spam.
While we encourage open discourse, enforcement of the above rules will be done solely at the moderators' discretion.  If you have any questions, feel free to PM a moderator."

Your remedy if you believe the behaviour to be "trolling" or contrary to the rules is to PM the moderator.

I would note that what you are doing in calling me a troll appears to be name-calling and a personal attack. 


totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #81 on: January 02, 2015, 12:36:54 AM »
You seem a bit over-focussed on my comments.  You are reading an intention into my posts that simply does not exist, which is sometimes easy to do online.  Perhaps if you stopped asking me questions the thread might naturally take a turn more to your liking.

former player

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #82 on: January 02, 2015, 01:47:53 AM »
1. Don't be a jerk/

This.

I do agree with you that "child-free" does not require sterilisation.  Your point is now on the record of this thread. I don't think you need to repeat it again.

I don't understand (but don't need you to try to explain) why you ever felt the need to tell your personal story about not being child-free in what was started, and I would have liked to have become, a safe space for the child-free (however defined).  Nothing said here can "control your reality": you do not need to post on this thread to protect your personal right to procreate.



Elliot

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #83 on: January 02, 2015, 07:28:29 AM »
Totoro, it seems like you're being antagonistic for the sake of being antagonistic. And I'm confused why you keep referencing freedom of speech. I wasn't aware the government was trying to limit your speech in this thread.

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #84 on: January 02, 2015, 09:23:38 AM »
I'm not sure whether I should continue to reply or not but:

1.  I was interested in the topic because I never wanted children and I strongly support this as a choice.
2.  My feelings changed later in life in a manner I would not have predicted at 20.
3.  I posted only in response to the comments on very early sterilization, not on being childfree.
4.  Had I undergone early sterilization it would have been extremely expensive and difficult later.  I quite likely would have regretted it for a period of time and spent money trying to fix it.  I would have ended up happy without children too, but there would have been unnecessary angst and cost and I value the fact that I did not have to go through this.
5.  My comments were never aimed at changing anyone's mind about being and remaining childfree, they were aimed at raising awareness of the possibility of later regret with early sterilization given my experience and the the stats that show this occurs at a statistically significant rate.  My intention was to raise a real life example of the possibility that minds can change when decisions are made at a very young age while recognizing that, for the majority, this will not be the case.  My concern was someone who was like me reading this thread at 20 and feeling encouraged to go ahead with a permanent decision.  I believe this could occur.
6.  Free speech was mentioned as I was told if I was not child-free I should not be here and that only people who wanted sterilization at an early age were really childfree and my former decision not to have children wasn't relevant.  This set up a subsequent debate on that.  Perhaps an attempt to censor would have been more a more accurate description.

To be clear, I support those who are childfree by choice and recognize it is a permanent choice for the majority of those who make the decision, and a vehement preference for many posting here. 

Cookie78

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #85 on: January 02, 2015, 09:32:18 AM »
Childfree by choice. Want children less as I get older.

When I was younger I thought I'd want children, and I'm not sterilized, so many by some people's definitions I am childless as opposed to childfree. Don't know. Don't care. Not really a fan of labels.

Just wanted to say I appreciate this discussion and thank you totoro for your participation. I'm not sure why the others are finding your comments hostile, but I've learned a lot from the discussion.

Elliot

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #86 on: January 02, 2015, 09:35:44 AM »
I didn't see that the majority were annoyed by you simply posting here. For me personally, it seemed that after your initial post, you were determined to "prove" to OP that most CFBC would regret it. That is, of course, a potential event, and it is natural to occasionally mourn the road not taken. When OP tried to explain that she had intended the thread to be a sort of meeting ground for the CFBC, you started quoting forum rules at her and it seemed very condescending from my point of view. I'm not the emperor of the internet, but but if I were in OP's place I would be very annoyed by the way you interacting.

I agree with you that medical sterilization is only loosely related to the overall discussion, and doesn't alone signal the decision to be CFBC.

AvisJinx

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #87 on: January 02, 2015, 09:37:57 AM »
Does anyone remember the movie Man Overboard with Goldie Hawn? That is my biggest nightmare - waking up one morning to find myself a mother of 2 or 3 kids. I had a nightmare once that I was pregnant... I woke up absolutely terrified - it's the fear of losing my freedom, I think. That, and the fear of having to listed to the fucking Dora the Explorer for the rest of my life like my childey friends.

LOL! When I first saw it I remember wondering how people could possibly think that was a cute movie. The female lead was kidnapped, held under false pretenses, and manipulated into taking care of a pack of obnoxious kids. Yeah, that's "cute."
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 01:13:19 PM by AvisJinx »

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #88 on: January 02, 2015, 09:55:09 AM »
I didn't see that the majority were annoyed by you simply posting here. For me personally, it seemed that after your initial post, you were determined to "prove" to OP that most CFBC would regret it. That is, of course, a potential event, and it is natural to occasionally mourn the road not taken. When OP tried to explain that she had intended the thread to be a sort of meeting ground for the CFBC, you started quoting forum rules at her and it seemed very condescending from my point of view. I'm not the emperor of the internet, but but if I were in OP's place I would be very annoyed by the way you interacting.

I agree with you that medical sterilization is only loosely related to the overall discussion, and doesn't alone signal the decision to be CFBC.

No. That was never my intention and nothing I posted stated or supported that "most CFBC will regret it".  Nothing.  in fact, the stats I posted support the opposite conclusion for the vast majority.   

As far as quoting the forum rules, my intention there was not to be condescending but to let her know that she could contact a moderator but that calling me a troll was perhaps in breach of those rules.

getgoing

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #89 on: January 02, 2015, 10:11:18 AM »
So, my husband is getting snipped soonish (most likely about a year out, but I'm researching ahead and I currently have an I.U.D.), and I'm pondering whether I should continue taking hormonal birth control or not. As far as I see it, there are some benefits (reduced risk of some cancers, reduced period associated nastiness, etc) and some draw backs (increased risk of some cancers, increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, etc). I don't personally want to get sterilized because I really don't like medical procedures and I don't see the need when my husband is getting snipped.

Has anybody had this choice? Any suggestions?

Villanelle

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #90 on: January 02, 2015, 11:24:33 AM »
I'm not sure whether I should continue to reply or not but:

1.  I was interested in the topic because I never wanted children and I strongly support this as a choice.
2.  My feelings changed later in life in a manner I would not have predicted at 20.
3.  I posted only in response to the comments on very early sterilization, not on being childfree.
4.  Had I undergone early sterilization it would have been extremely expensive and difficult later.  I quite likely would have regretted it for a period of time and spent money trying to fix it.  I would have ended up happy without children too, but there would have been unnecessary angst and cost and I value the fact that I did not have to go through this.
5.  My comments were never aimed at changing anyone's mind about being and remaining childfree, they were aimed at raising awareness of the possibility of later regret with early sterilization given my experience and the the stats that show this occurs at a statistically significant rate.  My intention was to raise a real life example of the possibility that minds can change when decisions are made at a very young age while recognizing that, for the majority, this will not be the case.  My concern was someone who was like me reading this thread at 20 and feeling encouraged to go ahead with a permanent decision.  I believe this could occur.
6.  Free speech was mentioned as I was told if I was not child-free I should not be here and that only people who wanted sterilization at an early age were really childfree and my former decision not to have children wasn't relevant.  This set up a subsequent debate on that.  Perhaps an attempt to censor would have been more a more accurate description.

To be clear, I support those who are childfree by choice and recognize it is a permanent choice for the majority of those who make the decision, and a vehement preference for many posting here.

If I popped in to a "Let's discuss the great things about parenthood" thread to remind people that they might later regret choosing to have kids, how do you think that would be received?  And would you maybe wonder why the heck I felt the need to post that?  My concern would just be that someone at age 20 might make a permanent choice they might regret, so it would be okay, right?

That's that you've done here.  I have no issues with a parent posting in this thread.  But what you've posted is pretty off-putting.

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #91 on: January 02, 2015, 11:27:08 AM »
Probably getting the snip sometime this year. Probably not absolutely necessary because my wife knows her fertility cycle and tracks it scientifically with thermometer and a neat little chart... but still, our current methods restrict our "fun time" a little too much for our liking. I really don't want my wife having a risky procedures when a vasectomy is comparably simple - the thought of it still gives me the heebie jeebies though.

totoro

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #92 on: January 02, 2015, 12:39:21 PM »

If I popped in to a "Let's discuss the great things about parenthood" thread to remind people that they might later regret choosing to have kids, how do you think that would be received?  And would you maybe wonder why the heck I felt the need to post that?  My concern would just be that someone at age 20 might make a permanent choice they might regret, so it would be okay, right?


I personally would welcome your comments if you have relevant stats or if you had personally had a child and regretted the choice - and were respectful in your tone.  The fact that your experience might have been different from mine does not make it less valuable.

My view is that parenting is also a choice and that people should think long and hard about it before making the decision.  Even more, I believe there should be much more in the way of parenting education.  There are many downsides to this choice.

There probably are quite a number of people who had children but really would have preferred to remain childfree.  I'm pretty sure we all know some. 

Had the option of remaining childfree or searching out a compatible partner been accepted by others or even raised as a positive and viable option, they may well have made other choices. 

Daisy

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #93 on: January 02, 2015, 01:00:20 PM »
Had the option of remaining childfree or searching out a compatible partner been accepted by others or even raised as a positive and viable option, they may well have made other choices.

+1

I mentioned my story before. If I would have seen childfree as a viable choice and accepted by society instead of constantly being asked when I was getting married and having kids, I would have had a much smoother ride through my teenage years and my 20s.

My niece has the same medical issue I do and she also found out as an early teenager. I've tried to tell her that adoption is an option, but that she should also consider being childfree as there are a lot of advantages.

I was the first in my family to encounter this infertility so it was a shock to me and took me a long time to accept. I figure it's my duty to help guide my niece on her options. She seems to be handling it a lot better than I did!

Metta

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #94 on: January 02, 2015, 04:05:32 PM »
So, my husband is getting snipped soonish (most likely about a year out, but I'm researching ahead and I currently have an I.U.D.), and I'm pondering whether I should continue taking hormonal birth control or not. As far as I see it, there are some benefits (reduced risk of some cancers, reduced period associated nastiness, etc) and some draw backs (increased risk of some cancers, increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, etc). I don't personally want to get sterilized because I really don't like medical procedures and I don't see the need when my husband is getting snipped.

Has anybody had this choice? Any suggestions?

I continued taking birth control for about a six months after my husband's vasectomy to ensure no accidental pregnancies. After that I didn't use it. If you plan to be polyamorous or plan to swing or something like that, you will, of course want to keep up with the birth control. Otherwise, why add the chemicals to your body if you don't need to? If you have painful periods or other medical problems that you are using birth control for, of course you should take it. Otherwise, why?

The Borgs

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #95 on: January 02, 2015, 04:17:12 PM »
So, my husband is getting snipped soonish (most likely about a year out, but I'm researching ahead and I currently have an I.U.D.), and I'm pondering whether I should continue taking hormonal birth control or not. As far as I see it, there are some benefits (reduced risk of some cancers, reduced period associated nastiness, etc) and some draw backs (increased risk of some cancers, increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, etc). I don't personally want to get sterilized because I really don't like medical procedures and I don't see the need when my husband is getting snipped.

Has anybody had this choice? Any suggestions?

I had to stop hormonal birth control, so went to be sterilised (husband couldn't have vasectomy). The were reasons for me stopping it, the first is I have a tumour in my leg which has affects the circulation there (increasing risk of blood clots), the second is I've been on it for more than 20 years, and recently I've noticed changes in mood and absence of a withdrawal bleed which I found unsettling.

The pro to stopping, well, obviously reduced risk of clots is high on the list. I also have noticed improved mood and an improved libido. As for cons, instead of 4 days of a light bleed I have 2 days of "oh my god" with some pain (very manageable) and 3 days of not much. My skin has gone to hell in my opinion (spots, but I'm wondering if that will balance out), but other people have said I look generally perkier. As for cancer, my end result would differ from yours, since I had my fallopian tubes removed I've drastically reduced the risk of ovarian cancer.

Just mentally though, I feel a bit better taking 1 less medication, having one less reason to go to a doctor and not messing around with my body in that fashion.

Don't know if that helps, but it's my 2 cents.

As for some of the other discussion on this thread, pretty much any conversation regarding being childfree is going to include someone who says they changed their mind, look how wonderful life is for them now and are we sure we're not missing out.

To me this is sometimes motivated by them not wanting other people to miss out on something good they've tried (reminds me of my Grandma "What do you mean you don't like broad beans?? You just haven't had them cooked well, you'd love them"), sometimes it's also motivated by them having made a different choice that they're still trying to justify to other people ("see, this is why I changed my mind, and I was right, so you should do it too"). Whatever the reason though, no matter how innocent and genuinely well meaning the person saying it is, when you've had your choice questioned for the thousandth time it can grate.

And sometimes a child-free persons reaction to this can seem out of proportion, but it can be a case of the straw breaking the camels back. I've been told I'll change my mind, I'm selfish, I'll never know *REAL* love unless I do, I'm evil (that was interesting), it'd be different if it was my own, I'm unnatural, I'll regret it, I'm missing out on the experience, I'll never know self-sacrifice, I'm not a real woman, I'm not achieving my true purpose, I'm failing the economy.... etc. So that one innocent comment comes in that particular context, where a childfree person having been attacked previously feels they have to be constantly on the defensive.

As for my personal definition of childfree, I don't include the necessity of surgery, but I'd say if hypothetically someone could give you a one off tablet that had no side effects but could guarantee you'd never conceive would you take it? If you could answer yes, that to me is childfree, anything else is a bit on the fence (my opinion only).

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #96 on: January 02, 2015, 05:59:48 PM »
MOD NOTE:
I thought I was clear earlier. 

Late me state it again.  Anyone is free to post their opinion in here.  You are free to disagree with that opinion, politely.  You are not free to continually, rudely, insist they have no right to an opinion.

This is especially true after a warning was issued by a moderator; temporary bans have been issued.

Please stop it, and get back on topic.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 06:01:52 PM by arebelspy »
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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #97 on: January 02, 2015, 07:08:18 PM »
I am single, female, and child free.  I guess I always felt on the fringe, different, and couldn't ever see myself married and a mom.  I think I would be a good mom, but instead got to be a pretty good aunt to several nieces and nephews.  I also did a stint as a social worker, and worked primarily with kids.

I find that being single and child free at my age (early 50s) has its challenges, in that it's so "not normal".  Hence, I still feel that I am on the fringe and different.

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #98 on: January 02, 2015, 07:19:24 PM »
Ninety Four,  I also never saw myself as married or a mother. I never dreamt of the perfect wedding or picked out names for potential future children... yes, sometimes it feels like I was born without some crucial feminine gene...

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Re: Any other Childfree by choice people like me?
« Reply #99 on: January 02, 2015, 07:43:25 PM »
Glad to have the company, Pants.  Thanks.