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    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 11th Feb 18, 12:36 AM
    • 79Posts
    • 107Thanks
    yellow218
    Child free by choice?
    • #1
    • 11th Feb 18, 12:36 AM
    Child free by choice? 11th Feb 18 at 12:36 AM
    Hubby and I both turn 30 this year and this seems to be timely for our decision re babies.

    Out of all our close friends and siblings, we are the only couple without children or not pregnant. The question of parenthood has been on my hubby and my mind for a while, do we or donít we want children? When we got married 7 years ago we both assumed children would be in our future, itís the Ďnormalí thing to do. But as time has gone on itís never felt right. And to be honest I feel weird. It feels very unnatural, un-womanly even, to be giving it thought, and even weirder to be coming up with the conclusion of Ďprobably notí. It seems to us that most people donít need to think about it. Itís not a decison to make- of course they want children. Some have given timing some consideration- when to have children. Others just start trying asap once a ring is on their finger.

    One friend of mine said to me that if we were having to think about it, then perhaps thatís telling us something, that we donít want children because if we did we would just know.


    I know this isnít really a money saving topic, but I though you friendly lot may help give some unbiased advice please. I know thereís a range of people,ages, back grounds on here so hoping to hear peopleís views on choosing to be child free.
    Although Iím 95% sure we donít want children, there are two things in particular that Iím struggling to shake. 1) will we regret it whenn we are 40,50,60 etc etc 2) how do we respond to the friends and family that keep asking us when we are going to have children (itís getting annoying and making me feel guilty).

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • starting_again_in_the_sun
    • By starting_again_in_the_sun 11th Feb 18, 1:09 AM
    • 107 Posts
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    starting_again_in_the_sun
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:09 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:09 AM
    I think being child free by choice is becoming increasingly popular. You certainly shouldn't have children because it's the 'thing to do'. I used to want 5 kids...Now I'm pretty sure we'll stick to the one we have .

    My opinions on your questions;
    1. You may regret it, but at the moment you have time to change your mind. You could live to regret any decision you take in life and personally I'd rather regret not having kids than regret having them!

    2. Tell them to mind their own business! I find it amazing that people think it's OK to ask these questions - for all they know you could have been struggling to conceive for years.

    I hope that you both make a decision that works for you.
    • just trying
    • By just trying 11th Feb 18, 1:33 AM
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    just trying
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:33 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Feb 18, 1:33 AM
    I would say 40 isn't to old to have your first anyway, everyone is different. You may change your mind, why not tell them the truth, we enjoy our time together and we're not trying, though it's got nothing to do with them.
    SEALED POT CHALLENGE MEMBER 098
    WILL SAVE ATLEAST £500!.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 11th Feb 18, 2:21 AM
    • 10,085 Posts
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    hazyjo
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:21 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Feb 18, 2:21 AM
    Several of my friends are child free through choice. Me too, although it wasn't through choice, it was just never the right time. I've had no desire to have kids with my BF though and we've been together for 6-ish years - we look after each other which sometimes feels like we're each looking after kids lol.

    A couple of friends had kids in their early 40s so I think you have years to decide yet providing you're in good health and presuming you don't have any probs conceiving - it obviously gets harder the older you get.
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets
    • chesky
    • By chesky 11th Feb 18, 7:06 AM
    • 954 Posts
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    chesky
    • #5
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:06 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:06 AM
    You are very lucky that you both seem to be approaching the issue TOGETHER and from a similar point of view. It is nobodys business but yours but you will probably have to get used to people having an opinion on your decision.

    However, if your friends have any sense about them, they will be lining you up as potential god parents for their children - nothing so useful as a godmother with no kids of her own.
    Last edited by chesky; 11-02-2018 at 7:08 AM. Reason: Predictive texting
    • custardy
    • By custardy 11th Feb 18, 7:12 AM
    • 32,983 Posts
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    custardy
    • #6
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:12 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:12 AM
    All my 'heavy with disposable income' friends are child free
    I never planned to have kids,love my boy to bits and never regret having him. However my life plans were never centred around having kids.
    Last edited by custardy; 11-02-2018 at 8:28 AM.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Feb 18, 7:31 AM
    • 30,142 Posts
    • 56,640 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    • #7
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:31 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:31 AM
    I think whatever you decide, do it together and your decision is no-one else's business.

    We had one child when I was 30. (Many years ago now!). We'd been married over nine years. He was planned; however for most of that time we were happily child-free by choice and had we have found we couldn't have children we'd have just got on with our lives without.

    I wish you well with whatever you decide.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 11th Feb 18, 7:35 AM
    • 3,088 Posts
    • 3,263 Thanks
    cjdavies
    • #8
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:35 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:35 AM
    35, never wanted wanted children and still don't.

    I love my nephews, spending time with them, taking then out, but full time no thank you.

    As for question 2, just say children are not for us, that question is very cheeky anyway.
    • alba7
    • By alba7 11th Feb 18, 7:51 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 143 Thanks
    alba7
    • #9
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:51 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Feb 18, 7:51 AM
    People asking "When are you having kids?" are intrusive and presumptuous!

    I have no children - by choice, as I have a genetic neurological condition and I don't want any risk of passing it on - but it is irritating to be looked at as if I'm unnatural or to be pitied.

    You don't owe anyone explanations for your choices. You still have time if you decide to change your mind but nobody else should try to change it for you.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 11th Feb 18, 7:52 AM
    • 514 Posts
    • 514 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    Child free here too. No, never regretted it. However, it does sometimes cross my mind that i'm going to end up on my own, old with no-one "close" to visit or even to have as my POA if I get to that stage (DH is older than me, and statistically I might out-live him by a few years)

    However, just having someone to care for you in your old age shouldn't be a reason to have Children.

    Our N&N's will be off making their own lives, and won't want the hassle of dealing with a Dotty old Aunt.

    I too find it quite 'intrusive' when people ask about children.
    It usually starts with the casual "do you have kids?"
    Me: No.
    Them: Oh...why not?
    Me: (((( mind your own business )))) in my head. Like others have said, it could be ANY reason from not wanting them, or trying for years unsuccessfully.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • catkins
    • By catkins 11th Feb 18, 8:07 AM
    • 5,494 Posts
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    catkins
    Me and DH decided not to have children. We had many many discussions about it and decided, for various reasons, not to have any.

    That was almost 40 years ago. I can honestly say neither of us have ever regretted our decision. We both like children and have looked after our nieces and nephews even having them for weekends and, occasionally, taking them on holiday. We were always glad though to give them back!

    We know quite a few childfree by choice couples and not one of them has ever said they regret their decision. On the other hand, quite a few of our friends with children have said they would choose not to have any if they could go back in time. I think better to regret not having children than regret having them.

    Now in my 60's I do sometimes worry about being alone if DH dies before me but I am a worrier so would probably still worry if I had children. Also, obviously, you should not have children to look after you in old age. It can be of course that you fall out with your children anyway or they move abroad or even die before you. My elderly neighbour had 4 children but they are all dead.
    The world is over 4 billion years old and yet you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 11th Feb 18, 8:23 AM
    • 618 Posts
    • 1,931 Thanks
    Detroit
    Why do you want children?

    Not a question I'm asking you to answer here, but one for yourself and partner to reflect on.

    Rather than seeing children as the default and wondering if you're wrong not to want them, maybe see your current circumstances as the 'norm' and ask yourselves what would be the benefit of changing them.

    I don't share your friends' view that if you have to ask you're not ready. This is just a cliche. Having children is a huge decision, and questioning it is both natural and responsible. It doesn't mean you shouldn't, or that you should.

    Put all else aside other than your own and your partners wishes. What are your compelling reasons for wanting children? In what ways will your lives change for the better?

    The ease with which you answer should give you an indication of what you both want.

    As for regrets, there are so many possible paths in life, and we can't go down them all. Every choice we make involves bypassing other options, and its natural to wonder what if...? whatever our decisions.


    Put your hands up.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Feb 18, 8:34 AM
    • 14,848 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention

    One friend of mine said to me that if we were having to think about it, then perhaps that!!!8217;s telling us something, that we don!!!8217;t want children because if we did we would just know.


    .
    Originally posted by yellow218
    I'd agree with this friend. You wouldn't be wondering "whether" if you really wanted them.

    To me it sounds like you are wondering this because your peer group all have them and they are putting pressure on you.

    Just because your relatives/immediate friends all have them doesnt mean you have to do so as well. If you had a different peer group (eg more career-oriented perhaps?) then the norm might be rather different. Don't go and automatically fall in with the norms of this particular peer group you have around you at the moment.

    I never had the slightest wish for children and was fortunate not to have much pressure put on me (ie because I've always been single) and in my peer group it is very much regarded as a "matter of personal choice" and quite a few don't. I've now reached my 60's and have no regrets whatsoever about not having them. I was totally right that it would be the wrong thing for me personally to do.

    I look back now and think "Thank goodness that:
    - I've had no sleepless nights looking after them
    - I've not gone through pregnancy or childbirth
    - My body hasn't been affected by pregnancy or childbirth (both of which can and do permanently worsen many womens bodies)"

    Don't let them pressure you to do so - just because they have.

    Thinking of some recent pressure that has been/is being applied to me currently (in a very different direction) - I've come to the conclusion that those doing the pressurising often know very well that they are "pressuring" and, whether they do or don't know that that is what they are doing, the pressuring is designed to undermine your self-confidence and manoeuvre you into doing what suits THEM (it's certainly not for your welfare). Don't let your confidence in your own judgement (ie that it's not the right thing for you) get undermined. They are not entitled to make YOUR decisions about YOUR life for you.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 11-02-2018 at 8:40 AM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Feb 18, 8:48 AM
    • 19,006 Posts
    • 50,194 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I was child-free by choice many years ago when that was considered distinctly odd.
    My choice (shared by then-husband and also by new partner) and nobody else's business.
    Do what suits suits you.
    Personally, it's a decision I've never regretted.
    • tessiesmummy
    • By tessiesmummy 11th Feb 18, 9:09 AM
    • 73 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    tessiesmummy
    I had my children at 21 23 and 26 and was one of those annoying people asking all those childless couples when they were having kids so they could join me in my stress, pain and madness!!!

    Now I'm 30, kids are getting easier and lifes settling down a bit and I completely understand why people don't want to go through all that. Yes having kids adds a lot to your life but it also takes a lot away. Mainly your freedom, sleep and money.

    If I put a pound in a pot everytime i said ill be free when I'm 43 id be rich!
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 11th Feb 18, 9:10 AM
    • 618 Posts
    • 1,931 Thanks
    Detroit
    Child free here too. No, never regretted it. However, it does sometimes cross my mind that i'm going to end up on my own, old with no-one "close" to visit or even to have as my POA if I get to that stage (DH is older than me, and statistically I might out-live him by a few years)

    However, just having someone to care for you in your old age shouldn't be a reason to have Children.

    Our N&N's will be off making their own lives, and won't want the hassle of dealing with a Dotty old Aunt.

    I too find it quite 'intrusive' when people ask about children.
    It usually starts with the casual "do you have kids?"
    Me: No.
    Them: Oh...why not?
    Me: (((( mind your own business )))) in my head. Like others have said, it could be ANY reason from not wanting them, or trying for years unsuccessfully.
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    Are you never tempted to reply 'Oh, so you have children? Why is that?'


    Put your hands up.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Feb 18, 9:20 AM
    • 19,006 Posts
    • 50,194 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Are you never tempted to reply 'Oh, so you have children? Why is that?'
    Originally posted by Detroit
    Or better still reply with:
    "I desperately wanted children but after many tests, I found out I was infertile. It has destroyed my life".
    Then rush off to the toilet in tears.

    That should make them feel as crass and awkward as they deserve to feel by asking such a personal and impertinent question.
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 11th Feb 18, 9:20 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    yellow218
    Thanks everyone for comments so far.

    And most of you have hit the nail on the head. And its answers your question Detroit. What reasons do we have for wanting kids? My immediate thought was 1) so we don't regret not having kids and 2)to fit the norm/ enjoy the way things are changing with friends and family. 3) to not be lonely in later life (we have a small group of close friends, but spend alot of time with our parents and siblings. Sadly parents wont be around forever, and siblings will have their own lives.)
    But none of these seem to override the fact that we just dont have the 'urge' and we enjoy our lifestyle (good food and drink, motorbikes, nice cars, travelling(a mixture of back packing, luxury, skiing, motorbike tours).

    We love spending time with family and friends, and enjoy spending time with their children (in small chunks). Both our siblings are expecting their first babies this year, and we are both really excited about become auntie and uncle, but its still not giving us any procreation urges.

    However, inevitably, how we spend time with our friends and family, and some of these changes are not enjoyable. No longer is it a nice meal and some wine/beers of an evening, its now meeting up at soft play (yikes!) with a burger and coke. And our family events are now going to change when our siblings babies arrive this year. What if we don't 'fit' anymore? Family is family- they are stuck with us. But it feels like we may be drifting from our friends, which saddens me. I fully appreciate that we need to be accommodating for the children, and most of the time we enjoy the time, but we do miss the adult time, adult conversation.

    As rude as it is, people do ask. With strangers it seems more acceptable when they ask, and its easier to give them an honest answer of 'we are on the fence' or more recently 'we don't think parenthood is for us'. But when family ask it is so difficult. A rather tipsy mother in law was recently in tears asking me why we hadn't given her grandchildren yet and said that was the reason they moved back (they used to live a good 5 hours away but moved back four months after we got married)!!!

    We usually just laugh it off and say 'not yet', but deep down i really just want to tell them how we feel, but i'm scared to. One, if we say we don't want kids now, but in 10 years change our minds we will look daft (although im not sure i want to be 50 with a 10 year old) but two (and most importantly), i feel guilty. In addition to the crying mother in law, my mum has already said to me (and i quote) 'your dad will be very disappointed if you don't have children'. Although this makes me think that she must know it's on our minds, the comment hurt. She knows that i adore my dad and would hate to disappoint him with anything, but that being said i don't think that's a good enough reason to have children.

    Writing this feels very therapeutic. Its making it much clearer that we do know we don't want children, but are struggling with the pressure and the fear of regret. I guess it's something we just have to put up with.

    From a more MSE perspective. Those without children, what did you put in your wills?

    Thanks for listening and sharing- very much appreciated.
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 11th Feb 18, 9:21 AM
    • 435 Posts
    • 946 Thanks
    ManofLeisure
    [QUOTE=yellow218;73862952]Hubby and I both turn 30 this year and this seems to be timely for our decision re babies.



    30 is no age at all and the way you feel at this point in time, well may change. Enjoy what you have now and let life take it's course .
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Feb 18, 9:29 AM
    • 14,848 Posts
    • 41,050 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Are you never tempted to reply 'Oh, so you have children? Why is that?'
    Originally posted by Detroit
    Ooooooh....

    Please do - and report back what the response is...

    If I'd been married/in their eyes "should have done so" - then I certainly would have made that response to their pressurising/thoughtlessness (delete as applicable).

    EDIT; I don't see Wills as a big deal. Obviously a couple will make it out to leave everything to each other first and foremost. As a single person - I've just left mine to a charity of my choice (and the main reason for that is in order to have somewhere specific it's going to - as my brother would be after it otherwise and I don't want him having it).

    As for those comments from parents/in laws - mygawd = words fail me at just how selfish they were to make those comments. Well their selfishness is THEIR problem - don't let it be yours. They don't have your welfare/happiness at heart to make those comments I'm afraid. I was fortunate that my mother didn't expect me to want children - as she hadnt wanted any and nor had her mother. My father does like children - he likes them far too much to feel very happy at the thought of someone bringing them up that didnt want any....and so he never said a word either.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 11-02-2018 at 9:35 AM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
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