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    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 11th Feb 18, 12:36 AM
    • 79Posts
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    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 2
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 11th Feb 18, 9:30 AM
    • 79 Posts
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    yellow218
    [QUOTE=ManofLeisure;73863595]
    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 .
    Originally posted by yellow218
    Thank you. As much as i agree, Biology doesn't. Yes people do have babies in their 30s and 40s. But its not always easy. I know of a fair few people my own age who already 'left it too late' and required rounds of IVF. If we are to have children I'd prefer to do it now, whilst its (probably) easier to conceive naturally without all the heart break of miscarriages and infertility.

    However, given that I'm umming and ahhing about being a mum at all, the thought of still having dependent children when I'm 50/60 scares the bejesus out of me!
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 11th Feb 18, 9:50 AM
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    LilElvis
    I'd agree with this friend. You wouldn't be wondering "whether" if you really wanted them.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    And I would totally disagree. To have a child is one of the most significant decisions a person can make, and one which cannot be changed once a child is in your life. It took me many years to decide that I was ready to become a parent,that I wasn't basing my decision on societal pressures/ fear of regrets when it was too late, that I wanted to have that child with my partner and that he would be as committed as me. Even then I was not 100% sure - that only came the day I had my first miscarriage and my heart broke for the life that had been lost. It took us 5 years until we finally had our daughter, when I was 43, after further losses, £25k spent on IVF and much soul-searching as we grappled with the decision to accept the gift of donor eggs. And though many women do conceive easily in their late 30s and early 40s there are also many, like me, who learn the hard way that emotionally and financially draining medical treatment is the only way that they will have a child. When people tell you that your biological clock is ticking it isn't just a trite phrase - it's very real and puts additional pressure on women to make the biggest decision of their lives.
    • BucksLady
    • By BucksLady 11th Feb 18, 10:07 AM
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    BucksLady
    [QUOTE=yellow218;73863628][QUOTE=ManofLeisure;73863595]

    Thank you. As much as i agree, Biology doesn't. Yes people do have babies in their 30s and 40s. But its not always easy. I know of a fair few people my own age who already 'left it too late' and required rounds of IVF.


    Many of those ladies would have required treatment whether they were 25 or 35. Fertility issues aren't always an 'age' issue.




















    O
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 11th Feb 18, 10:32 AM
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    LilElvis

    Many of those ladies would have required treatment whether they were 25 or 35. Fertility issues aren't always an 'age' issue.
    Originally posted by BucksLady
    Whilst this is true it is also a fact that fertility issues combined with age will further lessen the chances of success with IVF - the percentage of live births is already much lower than many would expect.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 11th Feb 18, 10:45 AM
    • 16,420 Posts
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    FBaby
    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
    It shouldn't be therapeutic. The only conclusion to reach is that neither you and your DH want children NOW and what you should be massively grateful for is that you are both on the same wavelength on that matter because the worse thing is when one suddenly want a child and the other knows for sure they don't.

    You are 'only' 30. I know a number of women who at 30 knew for sure they didn't want children, and then changed their mind, my sister and very close friend being two of them. They had in common that they enjoyed their freedom, partying, being selfish in addition to not feeling any maternal feelings. For both of them, babies were dirty little things who did things they didn't want to come in contact with. They were not really cute.

    My sister got the sudden click at 34 when her best friend became a mum. This came at a time she started to get a bit bored of all the things she got to do being free and spending time around her friend and baby. She was pregnant the year after and although she did find motherhood very hard at first, she is now very close to her son and couldn't imagine life without him. My best friend was clear that she could never see herself a mum, even though she was brilliant with my kids, until she turned 38, and suddenly it became a what if. She decided to let nature decide for her. She got pregnant the month after coming off the pill and took on motherhood immediately. She turned from a free spirit to mother earth who won't do a thing without her daughter!

    So don't ask yourself too many questions and when people ask, just say it as it is, not for you right now, maybe will do one day, maybe won't. What matters is that you always discuss it with your DH so that you know where each other stand and consider matters if one were to starting having different thoughts.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 11th Feb 18, 10:48 AM
    • 2,644 Posts
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    ska lover
    Although I!!!8217;m 95% sure we don!!!8217;t want children, there are two things in particular that I!!!8217;m 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 (it!!!8217;s getting annoying and making me feel guilty).

    Thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by yellow218
    1) no you wont regret it. you are 95% sure, that is a pretty high percentage - bringing a child into the world based on a 5% possibility that you may change your mind would be a bad move as is obvious that you know.

    When other people in their middle age are stressing their heads to bits about their young offspring, funding Uni places,or helping their young adult offspring to become independent, i see a future of cocktails round the pool for you. i mean have a kid late in life and your life is never your own again. Even when they are young adults there is a lot of worry and stress goes with it - being a parent literally never ends - even more so these days as young adults are taking longer to leave home and ''launch'' - its perfectly normal for people to live at home until they are mid 20s/30s and beyond - heading into their parents retirement (but thats another thread altogether)

    BTW I am not 'doing down' any older mothers, in the same light, that choice takes courage - im just pointing out the Pros of the Ops choice and why a more relaxed and ''selfish'' lifestyle would be envied (by me at least!)

    2) How do you respond? Tell them your choices - and then stop talking about it. You dont have to explain the ins and outs unless you want to. You are braver than you think - hell I would go as far as to say that i bet there are women out there that wish they had your guts and courage to admit they don't WANT to go down the expected route rather than going ahead anyway.

    Hold your head high. Tell them your choice. They don't have to agree and you dont have to explain. Then they will stop asking. And if they don't tell them to STFU!

    Having kids isn't for everyone and you dont need to feel you are going against the grain or feel guilty for it at all. Nothing is certain these days and this is a more common choice these days.

    I admire your courage and the fact you have put so much thought into all this
    Last edited by ska lover; 11-02-2018 at 10:54 AM.
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 11th Feb 18, 11:39 AM
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    Gavin83
    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.
    Originally posted by yellow218
    I agree with this. I don't think wanting children is a logical decision like buying a new car or moving house because if it was no one would have them. I think its a very deep desire that overrides everything else that you either do or don't have, I guess itís what people call Ďfeeling broodyí. Itís a unique decision in life. You either want children or you donít, there really isnít much to think about.

    LilElvis, despite disagreeing with this youíve somewhat backed it up in your post. Thereís no way youíd have gone through the significant cost and mental trauma if it wasnít something you deeply desired.

    My only real advice is to be sure in what youíre doing. I know people who didnít want children who stuck to it and are happy with the deicision. Similarly I knew people who really wanted kids who love being parents. I also know people who didnít want kids, had them anyway and now deeply regret their decision. In one case it made her mentally ill, sheís having therapy and on regular occasions states how much she hates her child. That really isnít good for anyone involved.

    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.
    Originally posted by chesky
    Why? I always thought a godparents role was to look after the child should something happen to the parents. Surely someone who doesnít want kids is the worst choice for this?

    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.
    Originally posted by yellow218
    The longer you drag this out the harder itíll be. I had parents who told me the one thing they want in life above anything else is to be grandparents and Iím an only child. I told them quite clearly we werenít having any and while it was hard at first they never mention it anymore.

    Itís not your fault your in laws moved for an event which they had no right to assume would happen. Donít let them, or your own parents guilt trip you.
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 11th Feb 18, 11:54 AM
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    KxMx
    Personally I would ignore the In Laws/ Parents.

    You mention "both our siblings are expecting" so presumably both sets of parents will be made grandparents shortly.

    It's greedy of them to expect every child to give them grandchildren, my Mum has none and is not likely to in the future, either. She is not alone in not having any grandchildren.

    Maybe if you realise how unreasonable they are being you will feel better about your choice (currently) not to have any.

    (If I've got it wrong and only one set are going to have grandchildren soon then that still makes the one set unreasonable)
    Last edited by KxMx; 11-02-2018 at 12:07 PM.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 11th Feb 18, 11:56 AM
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    Slinky
    Wow, all I can say is yellow you're getting a huge amount of horrible pressure from your parents and in-laws. How dare they assume and put pressure on you. You didn't ask your inlaws to move close to you, presumably they didn't say that was the only reason they wanted to move closer to you.

    In this day and age when you have a choice, it should be your choice, not down to pressure from expectant grandparents.

    I had friends who kept telling me I'd want kids once I met the right person. When I finally met the right person in my late 30s I told him I didn't want children very early on, and he was fine with that. Now in our 50s my friends have accepted that I knew my own mind. Most of our friends (entirely by coincidence) are also childfree.
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 11th Feb 18, 12:01 PM
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    lika_86
    I have never wanted children. I'm 31 now but even way back when I was a teenager, when I imagined my life in the future I just never pictured children. Nothing has changed since then and I know I don't want children. Luckily my boyfriend supports that decision (otherwise we wouldn't be together).

    Even if I had a doubt about that decision I know that it would be overridden by logic. I don't want children enough to do everything you have to do to have one. They fundamentally bore me and I can't imagine anything worse than having to go along to swimming lessons so the little darlings don't drown or play peekaboo over and over again or nag them about homework. I like sleep and get grumpy when I don't get a lot of it. I would be a horrible person if I had a child and I have no doubt that my relationship with my boyfriend would not survive, especially if I had to give up the things I enjoy for a child (sleep, quiet time, nice holidays, eating out, my freedom to go for a spontaneous drink after work etc).

    And all that's if everything is unproblematic. It's easy to assume that childbirth will go well and that the baby won't have any problems but childbirth is still one of the riskiest things a woman can do. The question is, if you're ambivalent about having a child in any event, could you and your husband deal with having a child with disabilities or a significant impairment? I'm not suggesting you would love them less, but life would be a lot harder than the easy family set up many people imagine when they think about when thinking about having a child.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 11th Feb 18, 12:14 PM
    • 2,335 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel
    I had parents who told me the one thing they want in life above anything else is to be grandparents and Iím an only child. I told them quite clearly we werenít having any and while it was hard at first they never mention it anymore.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    Wow, what a really horrible guilt trip to lay on you. I don't think I could truly forgive that, even if I could learn to live with it. I think I'd have had to ask, if grandchildren were so important why did they not have loads of kids to improve their odds?
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 11th Feb 18, 1:14 PM
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    Kynthia
    Not everyone has a deep yearning for children that overides anything else. My partner and I were never ready but once we got to the age where a decision couldn't be put off any more we gave it serious thought. It's difficult as it's easy to imagine some of the difficulties and hardships when choosing to have children; labour, the exhaustion, the financial cost, the loss of freedom and socialising and luxury holidays, etc. There's also the risk of heartache, of loss, or of having a child that requires a lifetime of support. The love for children you are raising, the joy they bring, how funny they are and how you celebrate their every achievement is harder to imagine.

    We decided to have children and now have two gorgeous girls. I adore them and talk about them to everyone. No-one could doubt my love for them, as not being sure whether to have children or not isn't related to how much you love them when they're here. However it's the hardest thing ever, and a massive change in lifestyle and finances. I can still see the appeal in being child-free and see the great lifestyle some child-free people have.

    So don't think the fact you haven't got a burning desire for them now rules you out completely. However that doesn't mean it's okay for people to pressurise you be intrusive or say you'll change your mind if you decide not to have them. You need to live your life for you, and if people ask an intrusive question then respond saying that it's personal or the question is intrusive.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Feb 18, 1:31 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    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.
    Originally posted by catkins
    If you are a worrier and have children, then you worry about your children, no matter how old they are.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 11th Feb 18, 1:51 PM
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    boliston
    I think it helps if you have siblings without children - my sisters are both about 50 and have never really had any interest in children and neither have i - my OH says her 4 cats are her children. Also i doubt i would ever be able to afford children - I only have a small flat and never really spend much money - having kids often means buying a house and often necessitates buying a car, both expensive things things i could simply not afford - you then have to spend a lot of money on extra food and other expensive things kids seem to expect. I don't really know anyone with kids apart from some people at work.
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 11th Feb 18, 1:59 PM
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    bugslet
    I'm 53, never wanted them, never had them, never regretted the decision for a nanosecond.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 11th Feb 18, 3:17 PM
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    Slinky
    Wow, what a really horrible guilt trip to lay on you. I don't think I could truly forgive that, even if I could learn to live with it. I think I'd have had to ask, if grandchildren were so important why did they not have loads of kids to improve their odds?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Exactly what I thought when I read it.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 11th Feb 18, 3:33 PM
    • 4,884 Posts
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    Gavin83
    Wow, what a really horrible guilt trip to lay on you. I don't think I could truly forgive that, even if I could learn to live with it. I think I'd have had to ask, if grandchildren were so important why did they not have loads of kids to improve their odds?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    They couldn't have anymore children otherwise they would have done.

    I'm thick skinned, it didn't really bother me and would take a lot more than that to upset me. However it's not a particularly nice thing to say but it wouldn't influence me anyway, I'm not having kids for someone else.
    • skint_chick
    • By skint_chick 11th Feb 18, 3:48 PM
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    skint_chick
    I don't think you should worry about it - if you do change your mind there's still plenty of time to have kids. If you don't then that's also fine - out of my group of close friends from school we're about 60/40% having/not having kids. Some of my friends with kids have a really tough time - severe ASD, child with cancer, really tough financial situation, one parent working abroad. Having kids has to be something you're sure you want as it's a bigger commitment than marriage or home ownership. If people ask why you don't have kids then it's perfectly fine to say ' actually that's a personal matter that I'd rather not discuss' and then ask them about their child/life/the weather.

    A lot more people these days aren't having kids, and you can always babysit for your friends and be a godmother if you decide it's not for you.
    "I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better." Paul Theroux
    • surveyqueenuk
    • By surveyqueenuk 11th Feb 18, 3:53 PM
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    surveyqueenuk
    It shouldn't be therapeutic. The only conclusion to reach is that neither you and your DH want children NOW..

    You are 'only' 30. I know a number of women who at 30 knew for sure they didn't want children, and then changed their mind, my sister and very close friend being two of them. They had in common that they enjoyed their freedom, partying, being selfish in addition to not feeling any maternal feelings. For both of them, babies were dirty little things who did things they didn't want to come in contact with. They were not really cute.
    .
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Really rather patronising. Would you tell OP that she might change her mind about HAVING children? Would you say "Oh my friend wanted them too but then she changed her mind when she got older"?

    If 30 is old enough to decide that you want kids then why isn't it old enough to decide you don't want them?
    • MoneysavingmadGem
    • By MoneysavingmadGem 11th Feb 18, 4:15 PM
    • 39 Posts
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    MoneysavingmadGem
    Well I can honestly say iv been and still in your boat!! I had a career which meant long hours away from home each day until I was 29 so decided it wasn't appropriate. Turned 30 last year and started to think about it, but only because my brother and then brother inlaw have had 2 littleones. Them being 25! So like u iv had pressure from my mum and mother in law about it which even though I like to please everyone I did have the courage to say im not maternal and actually like my life as it is.

    Who knows what I may think in a few years time but I do know that the time I spend contemplating and worrying about right and wrong timings is time I am not enjoying myself

    At the moment I enjoy having nephews / nieces over but I also like handing them back! I dont do well with baby babies but love them from 18 months on!

    I did think it might change my mind when my best friend has one but sadly she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had to have hysterectomy this year. So obviously big discussions with her, she feels same as me but like we said in the future you coul always adopt/ foster.

    Think our age group spends too much.time planning rather than just enjoying life!
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