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    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 11th Feb 18, 12:36 AM
    • 89Posts
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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 4
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 12th Feb 18, 12:19 PM
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    TBagpuss
    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.
    Thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by yellow218
    Honestly, i don't think it is weird or unnatural. I do think that there are a lot f societal expectations (particularly on women - I bet you get more questions on the topic than your husband does!)

    It isn't selfish, not is it based on selfishness; it's very responsible to decide that as you don't want children you won't have them, and that you won't give in to pressure and have a child you're not sure you want just to meet other people's expectations.

    Lots of people have children or selfish reasons, whether they are willing to accept it or not, and you will, unfortunately, meet a lot of people who will make patronising assumptions about whether you will / may regret it or change your mind later, although parents are very rarely subjected to similar comments about their choices.

    You don't owe anyone an explanation, and should feel free to let them know that you consider their enquiries rude, if it gets to you.

    (Quite apart from the rudeness of asking the question, it can be incredibly hurtful for those who would like, or would have liked, to have children but are unable for whatever reason to have them, you may find that pointing that out is away to encourage people to back of from questioning you, or others)
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 1:04 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    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"?
    Originally posted by Gavin83


    The older I get - the more it becomes clear that many people regard "Their Way" as "The Only Way" and probably don't even regard other peoples Way as "a different personal opinion".

    It's not surprising if it happens in the child or no child scenario - as so many are convinced that "Their Way = Right and it's an Absolute Fact" in all sorts of contexts and won't even accept that theirs is one "Personal Opinion" and someone else's thoughts are another "Personal Opinion".

    I guess that's the sort of mechanism that got used historically as a "gentler" way to get people to conform to a group norm - but we're a much more individualistic society in late 20th/early 21st century.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 12-02-2018 at 1:06 PM.
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    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 1:11 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I do think that there are a lot f societal expectations (particularly on women - I bet you get more questions on the topic than your husband does!)
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Mygawd - just goes to show how deep societal conditioning goes sometimes....

    But that thought honestly hadn't occurred to me - and I do see your point....and am now wondering if men do indeed get less pressurised than women by all those people who "think they can live our lives better than we do".???

    Thoughts?
    *******************
    • thriftylass
    • By thriftylass 12th Feb 18, 1:36 PM
    • 3,334 Posts
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    thriftylass


    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.
    Originally posted by yellow218
    Funnily enough, the parents of those children will probably think the same. Mother of two myself there are times when I hate soft play, miss adult conversation, just nipping down the pub or a late bbq and just life that doesn't centre around kids or has to accommodate them. Just being able to leave the house in the morning when I'm ready, just coming home from work and sitting down with a cuppa, not worrying about fishfingers...and the list goes on. There are the obvious standard benefits of having them but I thought I'd be honest about some side effect . We have ours all the time, no babysitters, grandparents etc to help or take them away for just one day. If I'd known that......I love them to bits and really wanted two (only child myself). But now I put it into perspective. Also my parents are ageing and I wasn't the youngest mum myself. So my kids will loose their grandparents and parents earlyish. I might not even live to see my grandkids. I'm dreading that already. I wouldn't mind being alone in old age as only once I was married with kids I really realised I miss time on my own, big time.

    All I'm saying, the grass is always greener......

    As long as hubby and you are on the same page, go with your instinct and it's nobody's business. (I used to hate it when we got asked: so when is it you then?)

    Plus there is no guarantee that you're not alone when you're old. I moved to a different country and my parents are alone (which saddens me but that's a choice I made to have my family). Even if they'd have more then me there wouldn't have been a guarantee for that.
    Last edited by thriftylass; 12-02-2018 at 2:07 PM.
    • Pricivius
    • By Pricivius 12th Feb 18, 1:58 PM
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    Pricivius
    I have often been asked why I don't have children and variations upon that theme. Depending on how annoying the questioner is and how inappropriate their enquiry, I have responded with the following:


    - I don't think the world needs any more of me - clearly you felt that society needed more of you and your gene pool. This has hit at the ego of several questioners as to why they felt fit to bring their mini-me's into this world.
    - I find living in this world difficult, filled with the lowest of lows, struggles and deep sadness. I would not want to inflict that on anyone else and watch them battling through life, knowing I was responsible.
    - Why do people have children? I've thought long and hard about my decision - a lot longer and harder than most people think before having any.


    I was listening to a radio show the other day where they were talking about there being three votes for every person - the mother, the father and the child. If they all had a say (obviously retrospectively) and could be entirely honest about the impact on their lives, how would they vote as to whether the child should be born? I know that I would not exist if the majority vote ruled. It was an interesting discussion.
    • Firetastic
    • By Firetastic 12th Feb 18, 2:16 PM
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    Firetastic
    Well I've not read all this thread but I do agree with the poster that said it is a big commitment. Having children is a big financial and emotional commitment which you can't just say I'm not doing it anymore.

    I don't want children and I don't see that changing in the forseeable future. I don't mind other people's children but to have to do it full time wouldn't be for me. I'm not a maternal woman and have known I don't want children for years.
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 12th Feb 18, 2:30 PM
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    NaughtiusMaximus
    Me and my partner are also child free by choice and are in our early 40s now.

    In my case I've known for as long as I can remember that I've never wanted kids. I've never really felt any connection to children, I don't dislike them, I'm just indifferent. Even as a child myself I always preferred the company of adults.

    It wasn't until I hit 30 that family members stopped saying 'you'll change your mind when your older'.
    • katiekittykat
    • By katiekittykat 12th Feb 18, 2:30 PM
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    katiekittykat
    I am child free and have even been sterilized.

    I am 34 (35 in March)

    I have never wanted children, I also had a virus that attacked by spinal cord which means that it is in fact very dangerous for me to even carry a child.

    I had to fight to be sterilized... seems like you have to justify why you don't want children to people ( very rude question to ask I feel anyway) but people never ask someone .. oh why do you want kids.

    The amount of times I have been told I will change my mind is a joke.
    Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.
    • catkins
    • By catkins 12th Feb 18, 2:46 PM
    • 5,527 Posts
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    catkins
    I think it is very unfair of your parents to try and pressure you into having children. No one in this day and age should be having children because someone else wants them to.

    My siblings had children so my parents are grandparents but I know they would have been fine if none of us had any. I am the oldest and when me and DH told them we were not having any and DH was getting a vasectomy they were totally supportive. They didn't know then that my siblings would marry and have children.

    DH's sibling does not have children so his parents have no grandchildren.
    They have never once mentioned it.

    One of my nieces is getting lots of grief from her husband's mother about the fact she doesn't want children and it makes me angry. She is adamant she doesn't want children but she should have them because her MIL want to be a granny! So selfish and stupid.

    A poster wondered if men got less grief about remaining childfree than woman. I would say they definitely do. I lost count of how many rude, ignorant comments were made to me about not having children and yet my husband never had any comments made to him
    The world is over 4 billion years old and yet you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 2:48 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I am child free and have even been sterilized.

    I am 34 (35 in March)

    I have never wanted children, I also had a virus that attacked by spinal cord which means that it is in fact very dangerous for me to even carry a child.

    I had to fight to be sterilized... seems like you have to justify why you don't want children to people ( very rude question to ask I feel anyway) but people never ask someone .. oh why do you want kids.

    The amount of times I have been told I will change my mind is a joke.
    Originally posted by katiekittykat
    You've got an obvious answer in your position - and I would be very tempted to go "Okay - you think I should have children - well I've got that spinal cord problem. So are you saying you will volunteer to be a surrogate for me then? Thought not...."
    *******************
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention

    A poster wondered if men got less grief about remaining childfree than woman. I would say they definitely do. I lost count of how many rude, ignorant comments were made to me about not having children and yet my husband never had any comments made to him
    Originally posted by catkins
    Well there's another answer to intrusive/pushy questions then:

    "Right - have you asked my husband that question as well - or are you just asking me and, if so, please explain why you are not also asking the man in this couple?".

    I bet the vast majority of people would just squirm at that point. If they didn't - they'd get a follow-up remark of "You SEXIST. Had you realised it's the 21st century - or should I bring out a calendar to prove it?"
    *******************
    • gingercordial
    • By gingercordial 12th Feb 18, 3:20 PM
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    gingercordial
    I'm another woman who has always known I did not want children. I was quite vocal about this even when I was a child myself! I expressed so much dislike of the idea that my mother even used to say if I ended up with a child she'd have to take it away and raise it herself.

    My feelings never changed even though my reasons why (and there's a long, long list - from my own selfishness and love of a lie-in, a real horror of the physical side of pregnancy, planetary overcrowding, and above all just plain not wanting to) have crystallised over time.

    At the age of 30 I requested a sterilisation and actually had very little problem getting one; I was quite surprised at how easy it was. I had made sure to mention it to my doctor at regular check-ups for repeat prescriptions of the Pill for a year or two - I asked him to note it down each time so it would be documented - then once I turned 30 I asked him if he would refer me and without any argument he did. I had it done within three months of asking. I'm now 36.

    I am lucky that I have never fallen for a man who wanted children - both my husband and ex-husband didn't want them either. That must be hard if couples disagree. I don't think I could have gone through with having a child because a partner wanted one - but equally would I have been strong enough to leave someone I loved over this? I am thankful it was never an issue for me.

    That said I have mellowed somewhat but only in terms of not being so rigid/black and white in my thinking and realising that sometimes you have to roll with the punches and deal with what life throws at you. So do I still think that having a child would be the worst thing in the world? No, I'd cope if I had to, millions do. Do I want one? Absolutely not.

    My brother has a child and so my parents get their grandchild fix that way and there's never been any pressure on me. My colleagues do ask some inappropriate questions but I've never yet had the balls to do the running off crying thing to teach them a lesson!

    I do wonder who I will have to help me if I'm old and alone but you can't rely on your children to do that anyway. I will just have to try to make sure all the money I save now goes to funding a comfortable retirement with paid-for carers if necessary. Fingers crossed...
    • katiekittykat
    • By katiekittykat 12th Feb 18, 3:34 PM
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    katiekittykat
    You've got an obvious answer in your position - and I would be very tempted to go "Okay - you think I should have children - well I've got that spinal cord problem. So are you saying you will volunteer to be a surrogate for me then? Thought not...."
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    ha ha love it xx
    Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 12th Feb 18, 3:35 PM
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    Gavin83
    A poster wondered if men got less grief about remaining childfree than woman. I would say they definitely do. I lost count of how many rude, ignorant comments were made to me about not having children and yet my husband never had any comments made to him
    Originally posted by catkins
    I've had a fair few. As well as my parents going on about it I've had others, mainly work colleagues asking when I'm having some and telling me I'll change my mind. It's certainly not exclusively aimed at women but I do accept women probably get it worse as society deems it less acceptable for them not to be a parent.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 3:49 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Personally - I'm cynical enough to be well aware of the number of women who think men should go along with any decision they make about having children (whether the men like it or no) and that may be why women are asked more (ie as the assumption is "....and the man in your life will go along with it - even if he doesnt get HIS share of the say about it".

    Which is rather sexist - as men have just as much right as women to make their own decisions about such important matters - rather than many people assuming they will go along with a womans decision regardless (ie the "If he didnt want one - then he shoulda have worn a condom" brigade - who always totally disregard the fact that he can't decide to have an abortion, unlike the woman).
    *******************
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 12th Feb 18, 3:51 PM
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    Pollycat
    Personally - I'm cynical enough to be well aware of the number of women who think men should go along with any decision they make about having children (whether the men like it or no) and that may be why women are asked more (ie as the assumption is "....and the man in your life will go along with it - even if he doesnt get HIS share of the say about it".

    Which is rather sexist - as men have just as much right as women to make their own decisions about such important matters - rather than many people assuming they will go along with a womans decision regardless.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I think the reason is more likely to be because it's the woman who carries the child for 9 months.
    • Redacted
    • By Redacted 12th Feb 18, 7:07 PM
    • 79 Posts
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    Redacted
    I always said I never wanted children. Iím not maternal. Iíve never found other peopleís children cute. My uterus has never cried over prams and baby socks. When my ohís family asked when we were having children, I said never. I was very candid about it.

    My daughter is currently 4 months old. My partner was always upfront that he wanted children. We just kept putting the conversation off for another time. We were young. We didnít need to make the choice. At the age of 33 I agreed to stop preventing pregnancy and let the chips fall as they would. I would not be obsessing over ovulation or seeking medical intervention if we failed to conceive - what would be would be. I fell pregnant after 2 months.

    I spent my entire pregnancy terrified. The most annoying question on earth at that time was ďare you excited?Ē No, no I am not.

    I love my daughter but boy itís hard work. Itís all the things I thought it would be that put me off children. Iím shattered, itís monotonous and it takes all the time I have. Mine and my partnerís relationship has taken a back burner to our new all consuming roles. There are these little moments of joy, like when she smiles or laughs, but itís mostly just hard. I have made it clear having one is my compromise. Iím not willing to do this again. I donít regret having my daughter - I love looking at her tiny face - but I would have been quite happy never having children.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 12th Feb 18, 7:56 PM
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    Pollycat
    I always said I never wanted children. Iím not maternal. Iíve never found other peopleís children cute. My uterus has never cried over prams and baby socks. When my ohís family asked when we were having children, I said never. I was very candid about it.

    My daughter is currently 4 months old. My partner was always upfront that he wanted children. We just kept putting the conversation off for another time. We were young. We didnít need to make the choice. At the age of 33 I agreed to stop preventing pregnancy and let the chips fall as they would. I would not be obsessing over ovulation or seeking medical intervention if we failed to conceive - what would be would be. I fell pregnant after 2 months.

    I spent my entire pregnancy terrified. The most annoying question on earth at that time was ďare you excited?Ē No, no I am not.

    I love my daughter but boy itís hard work. Itís all the things I thought it would be that put me off children. Iím shattered, itís monotonous and it takes all the time I have. Mine and my partnerís relationship has taken a back burner to our new all consuming roles. There are these little moments of joy, like when she smiles or laughs, but itís mostly just hard. I have made it clear having one is my compromise. Iím not willing to do this again. I donít regret having my daughter - I love looking at her tiny face - but I would have been quite happy never having children.
    Originally posted by Redacted
    I can understand someone changing their mind when they're in a relationship with someone who wants children i.e in your case.
    I'd guess that if a couple were both of the same mind and both didn't want children, it's probably less likely that they'd change their minds.
    • Loz01
    • By Loz01 12th Feb 18, 8:09 PM
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    Loz01
    I'm 31 and child free and to be honest, I can see myself staying that way!!! I dont feel old enough to have a child still - i find it crazy when I meet people who are my age and they have a 12/13 year old, I wouldnt feel qualified. I like my niece and nephew of course but just the thought of being pregnant sightly freaks me out!!!! It seems so.... Alien the movie haha. No offence to pregnant people.
    The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, is a true perversion - Harvey Milk
    • stokesley
    • By stokesley 12th Feb 18, 8:45 PM
    • 219 Posts
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    stokesley
    I think the reason is more likely to be because it's the woman who carries the child for 9 months.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    And that's the easy bit...
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