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    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 11th Feb 18, 12:36 AM
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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 3
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 11th Feb 18, 5:31 PM
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    Pollycat
    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?
    Originally posted by surveyqueenuk
    Because some people think their way is the only way.
    • 74jax
    • By 74jax 11th Feb 18, 5:36 PM
    • 4,635 Posts
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    74jax
    I have a child, husband doesn't. When we got together I never wanted anymore and he had no interest whatsoever. When I asked him how he knew he didn't want them - as I was adamant I was having no more - he said he was too selfish. We had a chat and I realised I was too. We love our holidays, our weekends away, we can afford a lifestyle I never could bringing up a child and I didn't want to go back to sleepless nights and having to put someone else before myself again.
    I have friends with kids and without but I would never ask those without what their plans were, but it does remind me of when we got married and I was asked if we were planning children. When I asked why they wanted to know if my sex life was either protected or not, they mumbled something and said it was only a question. To which I said something like 'a really personal one' . I didn't even know them that well and just thought what I get up to between the sheets is nothing to do with them......
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 11th Feb 18, 5:51 PM
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    NeilCr
    Because some people think their way is the only way.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Surely not....




    And, yes, Fbaby is patronising

    Meanwhile, back on topic.

    My ex could not have children. We had the conversation before we got married. I was neutral about it, to be honest. Kids would have been fine but, equally, I was happy to continue with our life and not having to feel constrained. For us, in that relationship, for all sorts of reasons it was the best thing.

    Now. In my mid 60s, with absolutely no living relations and separated (although we still get on well) it would be nice to have kids around. Not because I want them to look after me (well at least buy me a few beers) but to have people I can talk about the past with. My partner has a large family and itís good too see the interaction and memories.

    But, it hasnít happened so not point in dwelling on it. Live in the now - not in the past or the future. And, believe in your own decisions - do not be influenced by others when you are happy with where you are.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 11th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
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    Primrose
    If people ask you about why you dont have children, just throw up your hands, open your mouth in shock and exclaim Goodness, what an incredibly personal question! I wouldnt dream of asking anybody about their sex life! ....and stare at them so accusingly they want to squirm !
    Last edited by Primrose; 11-02-2018 at 5:56 PM.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 11th Feb 18, 6:29 PM
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    NeilCr
    I think you have hit the nail on the head and would agree that some people are just 'too selfish' and would not be able to put the needs of another person before their own. Just saying
    Originally posted by ManofLeisure
    Which is absolutely fine, surely, when we are talking about bringing a child into the world. And as long as both agree.
    • barbiedoll
    • By barbiedoll 11th Feb 18, 6:52 PM
    • 4,861 Posts
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    barbiedoll
    Itís all very well for grandparents to be demanding that you start supplying them with grandchildren but would they be so keen when you ask them to do the childminding for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week because you canít afford the mortgage on your bigger house on one wage?

    This is emotional blackmail of the worst kind, no-one can make the decision to have children for you. As for moving closer in anticipation of grandchildren, words fail me. You may want children but may not want or need the input of an overbearing and interfering grandmother, who undermines your discipline, feeds your kids with rubbish and insists on cutting their hair and dragging them to church etc, etc. (Not suggesting that your parents/in-laws would actually do this!)

    Now that women can control their child-bearing, of course there are women who donít want children. There always have been, but back in the day, they werenít lucky enough to have the choice. Thereís nothing wrong with choosing to remain childless, and itís absolutely no-one elseís business.

    As others have said, you both have time if you do change your mind. It happened to me, I had always intended to remain childless, then suddenly, at 32 years old, I changed my mind. My son is the best thing to ever happen to me, but I donít think any parent can honestly say that they donít see the appeal of a child-free life. It may be the best thing that I ever did, but, without question, it was also the hardest!
    "I may be many things but not being indiscreet isn't one of them"
    • 74jax
    • By 74jax 11th Feb 18, 7:12 PM
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    74jax
    I think you have hit the nail on the head and would agree that some people are just 'too selfish' and would not be able to put the needs of another person before their own. Just saying
    Originally posted by ManofLeisure
    Totally agree, hence why I posted it.

    There's no way we could have a child, I have 1 child, couldn't imagine another at all.

    We are both way to selfish, I love my work, my holidays, spoiling ourselves and my daughter. Another child? Not a chance would I do all that again.
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
    • surveyqueenuk
    • By surveyqueenuk 11th Feb 18, 8:53 PM
    • 559 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    surveyqueenuk
    I think you have hit the nail on the head and would agree that some people are just 'too selfish' and would not be able to put the needs of another person before their own. Just saying
    Originally posted by ManofLeisure
    So why did you have children then? Chances are, the answer starts with "I wanted...". Chances are, you created a human being purely to satisfy your own desires.

    Fair enough but who's paying for your choice? Given that you're on MSE, I'll assume you don't have private healthcare or send your children to private schools and probably get CB.

    So maybe think on before you describe the childfree as "selfish", there are several of us who have actively chosen not to place any further stress on the NHS, the government and indeed the environment.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 11th Feb 18, 9:22 PM
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    suki1964
    I'm 53, never wanted them, never had them, never regretted the decision for a nanosecond.
    Originally posted by bugslet
    We could be twins Bugslet, exactly the same here

    Totally reinforced tonight after 3 days baby sitting our 4 yo granddaughter. I'm totally shattered and could do with a vey stiff drink or three

    Don't get me wrong, I love her, but I really don't have a maternal bone in my body

    Husband already had 2 kids before we met, I was adamant I didn't want kids, step mum was something else I didn't plan for but that's a whole different thread .


    I think I've also been very lucky as I've never had people ask me why I've never had children. Perhaps they have but its not made an impact because I've always been clear in my own mind I've never wanted children
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • ManofLeisure
    • By ManofLeisure 11th Feb 18, 10:50 PM
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    ManofLeisure
    [QUOTE=surveyqueenuk;73867032]So why did you have children then? Chances are, the answer starts with "I wanted...". Chances are, you created a human being purely to satisfy your own desires.

    Fair enough but who's paying for your choice? Given that you're on MSE, I'll assume you don't have private healthcare or send your children to private schools and probably get CB.

    So maybe think on before you describe the childfree as "selfish", there are several of us who have actively chosen not to place any further stress on the NHS, the government and indeed the environment.[/QUOTE

    You have taken my reply out of context - probably to cause trouble.
    With respect to my own circumstances - sorry to disappoint, but what you say couldn't be further from the truth. My 4 children were all educated privately and all work in professional fields. Actually, I do have private healthcare - not that it's any of your business.
    • BucksLady
    • By BucksLady 11th Feb 18, 10:57 PM
    • 428 Posts
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    BucksLady
    [QUOTE=surveyqueenuk;73867032]So why did you have children then? Chances are, the answer starts with "I wanted...". Chances are, you created a human being purely to satisfy your own desires.

    Fair enough but who's paying for your choice? Given that you're on MSE, I'll assume you don't have private healthcare or send your children to private schools and probably get CB.

    You obviously don't visit the savings and investment board
    • Mr Costcutter
    • By Mr Costcutter 11th Feb 18, 11:12 PM
    • 309 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Mr Costcutter
    So why did you have children then? Chances are, the answer starts with "I wanted...". Chances are, you created a human being purely to satisfy your own desires.

    Fair enough but who's paying for your choice? Given that you're on MSE, I'll assume you don't have private healthcare or send ydour children to private schools and probably get CB.


    So maybe think on before you describe the childfree as "selfish", there are several of us who have actively chosen not to place any further stress on the NHS, the government and indeed the environment.
    Originally posted by surveyqueenuk
    The lady in the post before yours actually stated that she was too selfish in wanting any more children. A very honest and brave admission, which many people may understand.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 12th Feb 18, 2:59 AM
    • 30,508 Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    I found child rearing to be drudgery and could never understand how anyone could enjoy playing with small children. I did play with my son, I did my duty, but my word, the hours dragged. The older he got, the better I liked it!

    My son his now 38; he and his partner have said they don't want any children. Suits me down to the ground (although I'm sure I would love them if they came along). I am quite happy to remain grandchild-free.
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 12-02-2018 at 3:02 AM.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 12th Feb 18, 6:41 AM
    • 679 Posts
    • 907 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    I agree about the selfishness - yes, I guess I am a bit selfish in remaining child free.

    But the flip-side is that many women want a child "at any cost", regardless of their relationship or financial status, even putting their future childs wellbeing at risk. That to me is equally (if not more) selfish.

    If you look at the state of the world at the moment and the diminishing resources....I think us childless ones should get a rebate from the government for not adding to the population!!
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 12th Feb 18, 7:11 AM
    • 16,625 Posts
    • 41,184 Thanks
    FBaby
    What is patronising about saying that indeed, OP might change her mind, or might not, but either way is fine? Because people DO change their mind and there is nothing wrong with it if they do, just like there is nothing wrong if OP never change her mind and remains childfree. My point was that what matters is that her and her OH remain in agreement in terms of what they want.

    Just because a couple of you don't like what I said on another post doesn't mean you have to read what you want to in every post.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 7:41 AM
    • 15,369 Posts
    • 42,847 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I agree about the selfishness - yes, I guess I am a bit selfish in remaining child free.

    But the flip-side is that many women want a child "at any cost", regardless of their relationship or financial status, even putting their future childs wellbeing at risk. That to me is equally (if not more) selfish.

    If you look at the state of the world at the moment and the diminishing resources....I think us childless ones should get a rebate from the government for not adding to the population!!
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    I expect we can all think of families like that awful American couple in the press recently with all those children - mis-treating them very badly. It never ceases to amaze me when people like that want children - whilst I can understand people wanting them that are obviously a "parent type of person" and look after any they get to a good standard.

    Re the diminishing resources - I've never understood either why people get "rewarded" for having children and no "reward" for not having them - as we're in an overpopulated country in an overpopulated world. I was/still am gobsmacked at the fact I had to use my own money (many years back now) for a sterilisation operation (as the NHS was refusing to do it) - whilst they would have covered the costs of me having children.

    It's basically down to "who yells loudest" as to what priorities get set though at national level and the "louder voices" might be the "other set of voices (ie ours)" in 10 years time/20 years time as it becomes steadily more and more blindingly obvious what the effect of overpopulation is. But, right now, they're yelling harder than we are.
    Fastest way to get a headache = try and make someone that thinks for themselves conform to local "group think"
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 12th Feb 18, 8:09 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 357 Thanks
    buildersdaughter
    Have only skimmed -so apologies if this has been said - but you do still have a few years to change your minds.
    You've certainly got enough ideas to reply to people who ask intrusive questions - and i would say, don't give any detail, just say you don't want to talk about it.
    As for regrets - you won't know until you get there, but here's my suggestion:
    Look round at people you know and like, talk to them about their choices. Especially talk to any older family members you trust. Don't ask specifically if they regret / are glad that they did / n't have children - but talk about their lives, what makes them feel their lives were worthwhile / regrets etc. You may garner quite a bit of wisdom about life choices that may inform you.

    And, whether you have children or not, there are always people about who reckon they can live your life better than you do!
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 12th Feb 18, 11:31 AM
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    NeilCr
    We were only children of only children and had very few relatives. I think there was a bit of an expectation (particularly from one of my grans) about carrying on the bloodline. But, no pressure was bought and nothing was said.

    I understand that this happens regularly and you should not have children for other people. I am much more aware of this situation now than I was at the time. While I have no regrets I do feel a little sad for my gran who would have absolutely loved a great grandchild.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 12th Feb 18, 11:37 AM
    • 5,036 Posts
    • 8,137 Thanks
    Gavin83
    What is patronising about saying that indeed, OP might change her mind, or might not, but either way is fine? Because people DO change their mind and there is nothing wrong with it if they do, just like there is nothing wrong if OP never change her mind and remains childfree. My point was that what matters is that her and her OH remain in agreement in terms of what they want.

    Just because a couple of you don't like what I said on another post doesn't mean you have to read what you want to in every post.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Out of curiosity if someone on here (or in RL) said "I'm planning on having kids in a couple of years" would you respond with "You might change your mind though"?
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 12th Feb 18, 12:08 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 439 Thanks
    JayJay100
    Tricky question, and for me, it depends on when you ask it. Technically, I'm child free, but I do have a stepson, who means the world to me. As I was growing up, I always assumed that I would have a wonderful husband, a lovely home, a couple of fantastic children and the well-behaved, but adorable golden retriever. It didn't work out that way. I never had the obsessive cravings for a child that some of my friends did; I can remember one friend in particular crying over baby clothes, and bursting in to tears at the sight of pram.

    When I met my OH, he already had his son. He said that he didn't particularly want any more children, but would be willing to, if I wanted them. I thought about it, but I was in my late thirties, he was already forty and I decided against it. A big part of that decision was based on the fact that every previous relationship had unexpectedly failed, and I thought my OH could easily leave in the same way. That didn't happen either. In addition, I liked my lifestyle, as I had the best of both worlds; a relationship for most of the week, and time to spend with friends, when the OH was with his son. That changed when the OH became the primary parent; if I wanted to stay with my OH, I had to make room for his son too.

    Ironically, the doubts on my decision sometimes creep in, because of my stepson. He has brought more to my life than I would ever have thought possible. Yes, it was hard work when he was younger; I lost count of the things that we missed out on, because it meant tickets for three, rather than two, and we couldn't afford it. I got fed up of choosing restaurants based on whether they did burgers, rather than a highly recommended Italian or Chinese. I vividly remember sitting in a drizzly Blackpool, watching the OH and my stepson going on all the rides, with one friend sending last minute city-break photos of Venice, and another of Paris. Was it worth it? Yes it was, but it took a while for me to realise that; (pass the sick bag), I feel as though he's made me a better person and I have a greater understanding of myself now. I always thought I'd be a rubbish mum, and that I was too selfish to be a good one: neither are true.
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