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    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 11th Feb 18, 12:36 AM
    • 89Posts
    • 155Thanks
    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 5
    • Jackmydad
    • By Jackmydad 12th Feb 18, 9:02 PM
    • 2,751 Posts
    • 8,397 Thanks
    Jackmydad
    We're a couple both around 60. been married for 40 years.
    No children.
    No regrets.
    It's nothing at all to do with anyone else including close family. It's a couple's own choice.
    If you want children then have them. If not then don't.
    We're fortunate enough to have the choice in this age.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 12th Feb 18, 11:37 PM
    • 4,416 Posts
    • 6,351 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    The big problem that I see is the old saying of "you can't choose your parents." No one would have chosen my mother for a parent if they could. I have depression almost certainly caused by my childhood. She was the abuser. My highly disfunctional family had a golden child and a scapegoat child as well as an enabler (my father.) In case anyone doesn't know about the golden child/scapegoat problem it goes like this. There is one child who is perfect. They are brilliant at everthing and get praise from the parent. The scapegoat on the other hand is useless at everything and can never do anything right. I was the scapegoat. People who are scapegoats have the most terrible childhoods. Because of this the children of parents who are like this do not have a role model for parenting.

    I do not have any children. It never happened. I also had premature ovarian failure. I consider that not having children was extremely lucky for the potential children. They would have got a mother with no idea of how to be a parent who then got a serious mental illness. No one would choose that!

    My mother had 3 children. She was a terrible parent. I don't think she even liked children. She had them as an extension of herself. She wanted them as something for herself not because she wanted to have children for the children.

    What I worry about quite a lot are the people who become obssessed with having a child at all costs. Even risking the health of the child in order to get what they want. What worries me is a totally self absorbed person having a child that could be disabled but has to be got at all cost because that is what the parent wants. The baby has no rights at all. From my own experience very self centred people do not make good parents. They don't put the children first.

    There seems to be an increase at the moment of people deciding to have a child "in case they regret not having one later." Who wants to grow up in a family where they exist simply in case someone got a regret? Not because they were wanted but in case someone else got a regret. What happens if the parent regrets having the child?

    Babies have no rights and no say. They don't get a choice in how they are born or if they are likely to be healthy. They also don't get the choice in whether to have treatment if they are terminally ill. Think of the recent court cases of terminally ill children.

    If people don't want to have children they should be applauded for their decision. At least they have thought about it. If you don't have children the only people affected are you and your partner. If you do have children then that decision affects you and your partner and the new person who is only a baby for very very short time but could live to be 80 and is the person who has to live with that decision. It means that the decision to have children should be made for the best interests of the child not the best interests of the parent.
    • username12345678
    • By username12345678 13th Feb 18, 12:46 AM
    • 215 Posts
    • 111 Thanks
    username12345678
    I work with 2 couples who are all in their 50s and child free.

    They look amazing for their age and have crammed so much in to their lives.

    Makes you wonder why, beyond the reproductive urge, anyone bothers having children.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Feb 18, 6:48 AM
    • 15,843 Posts
    • 43,861 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    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.
    Originally posted by Loz01
    Well - I do find the 20's a rather young age to have children personally - as people have barely started on the adult sector of their life.

    I'm quite serious when I say that "If I'd wanted children - then I would have had both of them in my early 30's".

    In my mind - one finishes education, buys a house and is married to your partner (yes...I know some will regard that as old-fashioned) and generally got your Life on track/decided who you are as a person and what you want/etc before having the child or both the children.

    One thing I have found, in my own experience, is just how common it is for other people to try and make your life decisions for you. If only for this reason - ie it takes a while for many of us to realise this - one needs to have enough time/"space" to be quite sure that any decision one makes is one's own (and not being pressurised into it by other people). Hence leaving a major decision like that until later as well - when you've had enough time to figure out whether it's genuinely your own decision or no.

    I say this as someone in my 60's that can see that - even at my age - there are still people around that will try and pressurise me to do what they want, rather than what I want (if in a much more minor way - ie trying to tell me what hobbies I should spend my time and my money on).
    *******************
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 13th Feb 18, 6:57 AM
    • 20,187 Posts
    • 54,174 Thanks
    Pollycat
    The big problem that I see is the old saying of "you can't choose your parents." No one would have chosen my mother for a parent if they could. I have depression almost certainly caused by my childhood. She was the abuser. My highly disfunctional family had a golden child and a scapegoat child as well as an enabler (my father.) In case anyone doesn't know about the golden child/scapegoat problem it goes like this. There is one child who is perfect. They are brilliant at everthing and get praise from the parent. The scapegoat on the other hand is useless at everything and can never do anything right. I was the scapegoat. People who are scapegoats have the most terrible childhoods. Because of this the children of parents who are like this do not have a role model for parenting.

    I do not have any children. It never happened. I also had premature ovarian failure. I consider that not having children was extremely lucky for the potential children. They would have got a mother with no idea of how to be a parent who then got a serious mental illness. No one would choose that!

    My mother had 3 children. She was a terrible parent. I don't think she even liked children. She had them as an extension of herself. She wanted them as something for herself not because she wanted to have children for the children.

    What I worry about quite a lot are the people who become obssessed with having a child at all costs. Even risking the health of the child in order to get what they want. What worries me is a totally self absorbed person having a child that could be disabled but has to be got at all cost because that is what the parent wants. The baby has no rights at all. From my own experience very self centred people do not make good parents. They don't put the children first.

    There seems to be an increase at the moment of people deciding to have a child "in case they regret not having one later." Who wants to grow up in a family where they exist simply in case someone got a regret? Not because they were wanted but in case someone else got a regret. What happens if the parent regrets having the child?

    Babies have no rights and no say. They don't get a choice in how they are born or if they are likely to be healthy. They also don't get the choice in whether to have treatment if they are terminally ill. Think of the recent court cases of terminally ill children.

    If people don't want to have children they should be applauded for their decision. At least they have thought about it. If you don't have children the only people affected are you and your partner. If you do have children then that decision affects you and your partner and the new person who is only a baby for very very short time but could live to be 80 and is the person who has to live with that decision. It means that the decision to have children should be made for the best interests of the child not the best interests of the parent.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Do you have anything to back up the bit in bold?

    It sounds like you have/had a narcissistic Mother.
    Lots of threads about this.
    • davidwood681
    • By davidwood681 13th Feb 18, 9:51 AM
    • 313 Posts
    • 944 Thanks
    davidwood681
    Look amount of single people in their 20's who got married far too early and started having children because their friends are/think that's what they should do.

    They rushed marrying the wrong person, they then rushed having a better wedding than their friends, rushed into having children after the honeymoon period and then realise it's all been done with the wrong person.

    They then start their lives all over again but unfortunately you don't have the same options when you're 29 with two kids and an ex.

    Wait, live your life, experience new things. There's plenty of time for the rest.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 13th Feb 18, 10:08 AM
    • 2,778 Posts
    • 7,415 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel

    I say this as someone in my 60's that can see that - even at my age - there are still people around that will try and pressurise me to do what they want, rather than what I want (if in a much more minor way - ie trying to tell me what hobbies I should spend my time and my money on).
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    : rotfl:
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 13th Feb 18, 11:03 AM
    • 5,160 Posts
    • 8,392 Thanks
    Gavin83
    Well - I do find the 20's a rather young age to have children personally - as people have barely started on the adult sector of their life.

    I'm quite serious when I say that "If I'd wanted children - then I would have had both of them in my early 30's".

    In my mind - one finishes education, buys a house and is married to your partner (yes...I know some will regard that as old-fashioned) and generally got your Life on track/decided who you are as a person and what you want/etc before having the child or both the children.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I do know a girl who had kids in her mid 20's but then again she owned a house and was married before this occurred, some people know what they want young.

    I personally wouldn't want to be having a kid any older than 35, I think people who have kids into their 40's are a little crazy to be honest. I used to work with a guy who had their first kid at 50, just couldn't get my head around it!
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 13th Feb 18, 11:25 AM
    • 745 Posts
    • 1,758 Thanks
    NaughtiusMaximus
    I personally wouldn't want to be having a kid any older than 35, I think people who have kids into their 40's are a little crazy to be honest. I used to work with a guy who had their first kid at 50, just couldn't get my head around it!
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    Obviously there are exceptions but the impression I get is the majority of people who have kids in their 40s didn't plan to, the big give away is a very large age gap between said child and older siblings.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 13th Feb 18, 12:04 PM
    • 5,160 Posts
    • 8,392 Thanks
    Gavin83
    Obviously there are exceptions but the impression I get is the majority of people who have kids in their 40s didn't plan to, the big give away is a very large age gap between said child and older siblings.
    Originally posted by NaughtiusMaximus
    Not necessarily. I'd assume in your example above it's more a case of them realising it's their last opportunity to have a kid. I know quite a few people who have a large gap between the oldest and youngest.

    For others they don't have their first kid until their 40's. I'd imagine another common scenario is people having children, getting divorced, meeting someone else and then wanting to have children with them. I know a couple of people who had kids in their 40's for this reason.
    • Cinny91
    • By Cinny91 13th Feb 18, 12:33 PM
    • 5,878 Posts
    • 25,162 Thanks
    Cinny91
    I'd just be as honest with your family as you are with strangers when you're asked about kids. My Brother and his girlfriend have no desire to have kids, it's not on their radar and our family accept it just as we accept my sister wants 4 kids. My parents love us for us, and obviously never had us thinking "grandkids!"

    Also don't feel guilty!! My MIL liked to layer on the grand-baby guilt trip, especially around holidays, but to be brutally honest in the last year she's seen our son 4 times. Obviously everyone is different, my parents see him every day, but she was so full on about grandkids prior to his birth that I had a special section of my maternity leave budget that would have been fuel to her house.

    For your wills my sister currently has things left to my son/her niece, so that might be a route to go down if you have a good relationship with your future nieces and nephews? Or a couple my grandparents knew didn't have any children and left things to local charities, which is nice.

    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.
    Originally posted by yellow218
    Ew, no. My son is 2 and while I love a good soft play with my mum friends I'd be mortified to suggest meeting my no-kid friends there. I'm all for accommodating kids but imho that's pretty selfish. It takes no effort to just take your kid to the park to blow off steam/build up an appetite before you go for a sit down meal. Next time you see them suggest a local pub with outdoor space / a chain place. No one needs to unnecessarily suffer soft play food.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 13th Feb 18, 12:47 PM
    • 4,416 Posts
    • 6,351 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Do you have anything to back up the bit in bold?

    It sounds like you have/had a narcissistic Mother.
    Lots of threads about this.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Yes correct about my mother. Not a nice person.

    The bit that you have put in bold came from an article on people having IVF. What it said was that people left having children late and then when they realised that they were running out of time decided to have a child in case they regretted it later. Having had my childhood I didn't think that this was a good reason to have a child. It felt a bit as if it was a tick box exercise that went something like this.

    "Got career, good career with plenty of spare cash
    Got partner
    Got house
    Got cars
    Nice holidays
    What haven't I got? Oh probably ought to have a baby now in case I regret it later."

    Then they discover that they have left it very late and have to have IVF. There are risks to the child from older mothers and there are risks from IVF so what these people are doing is risking the health of the child in order to complete their checklist of what they want from life. This just feels wrong to me because if you were interested in having a child in your life you wouldn't put it after everything else and then leave it so late that you needed IVF.
    • aussie in wales
    • By aussie in wales 13th Feb 18, 3:55 PM
    • 29 Posts
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    aussie in wales
    It's so sad that other people including our families question important life choices, such as having children and try to force their own opinions and beliefs about this onto us.
    I replied to Tweet by Kate Humble about this last year (she also doesn't feel the desire to have children) and almost instantly had a message form a journalist asking if she could call me and interview me as to why I didn't want children. So I emailed her back and asked her if she wanted children? She said yes so I asked her why and her answer was because it's normal. I refused the interview.

    You should not feel guilty, this is your life and you should be free to make important life choices for yourself without pressure from others.

    As you can see from this thread there are plenty of other women and couples like you who have decided that having children is not for them, so it isn't as 'normal' as some people would like us to think.

    Good luck with sticking by what you feel.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 13th Feb 18, 4:13 PM
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    Cakeguts
    There is also an argument that I have read somewhere (I can't remember where) that the "biological clock" that some people talk about is cultural rather than natural. Pressures from outside to have a child rather than from the person themselves wanting one. I personally think that people should mind their own business and not try to impose their choices on others.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 13th Feb 18, 4:41 PM
    • 1,813 Posts
    • 1,963 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    Talk through with your husband. How will it change your life / do you feel the same/ what are your future plans etc and make a decision based totally on what the two of you want. Don't consider other peoples opinions! Whatever you do, people will comment. I've been called selfish to my face for having one child. The person who said this told me I was cruel in denying my child a sibling! I have a colleague and every time he says he has 4 children people comment how it must be so difficult like they feel sorry for him. Another friend has 4 girls. Several people asked her if she had a boy would she have stopped at 2!
    My point is whatever you do, someone will think you are wrong. Its your body, your family, your future. Its not weird not to want children. You can still be a great auntie and still interact with kids if you want and if you don't want to that's OK too. There are advantages to having kids and advantages of not. Good luck.
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 13th Feb 18, 5:01 PM
    • 2,419 Posts
    • 2,889 Thanks
    chelseablue
    I had my son when I was almost 31, he's 3 now.

    I'm in the 'one and done' camp.
    I absolutely adore my son but found the whole newborn stage very difficult.

    I do love the age he is now though, if I could've given birth to a 3 year old and skip the newborn bit I would of

    My cousin had her second when she was 42 (and her first when she was 27) Her sons are now nearly 23 and 8 so quite a gap.
    Mortgage starting balance £231,000
    Mortgage after Year 1 £225,000
    Mortgage after Year 2 £218,000
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 13th Feb 18, 6:33 PM
    • 13,196 Posts
    • 11,202 Thanks
    zagfles
    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.
    Originally posted by JayJay100
    Re food and travel - we never had those problems. I really don't think kids are fussier eaters than adults unless they're made into fussy eaters. If we went for a curry, the kids would have curry, and they loved it from right the age of about 2. Chicken Tikka Massala, Pasanda, Korma, sweet and creamy, I find it hard to believe any young kid wouldn't like them! One of my proudest days as a Dad was when my daughter ordered her first Vindaloo at age 10

    Don't think we ever ordered anything off the kids menu when we went out - the kids had what we were having, when they were small we'd just ask for a separate plate and we'd give them some of ours or they'd share, and sometimes restaurants would do smaller portions.

    Travel isn't really that much more expensive with kids, other than you're restricted to the school holidays once they're in school, but as my wife worked in a school we were anyway! We did change the type of holidays - more short haul than long and more driving than flying, but the holidays were just as good.

    I did think being a parent would come with quite a bit of self sacrifice and being less able to do what we loved to do. It didn't. It's really not stopped us doing anything, and if anything it's enhanced those experiences. On our tenth anniversary we went away together, without the kids for the first time since having them, and we spent half the time saying things like "ooo the kids would have loved this..." and basically missed having them with us

    Sorry that was too much waffle - point was - kids won't stop you doing stuff you love to do (within reason).
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 13th Feb 18, 6:39 PM
    • 3,171 Posts
    • 6,291 Thanks
    Smodlet
    At the age of 14 I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I did not and never would want children. My mother (who, like Cakeguts' mother, it seems, scarcely merited the title) told me I would change my mind when I was older. I never have and have never regretted my decision for one second.

    If I could go back in time, there are few things I would not do differently but not having children and marrying my wonderful OH are the two things I would not change. Guess at least I got the really important stuff right.
    Last edited by Smodlet; 13-02-2018 at 9:36 PM.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 13th Feb 18, 6:40 PM
    • 13,196 Posts
    • 11,202 Thanks
    zagfles
    I work with 2 couples who are all in their 50s and child free.

    They look amazing for their age and have crammed so much in to their lives.

    Makes you wonder why, beyond the reproductive urge, anyone bothers having children.
    Originally posted by username12345678
    Because having children doesn't mean you can't look great and cram loads into your life, maybe
    • Redacted
    • By Redacted 13th Feb 18, 6:59 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    Redacted
    This was meant to have quoted Pollycats post #81 in reply to my original post - its gone wrong somewhere...

    Im not sure I can even describe it as changing my mind - my feelings were unchanged. But we were at an impasse and I am of an age when fertility begins to decline. I think the best way to describe it is that I relented. I also genuinely thought it would take us a long time to conceive, if ever, as I only really hear stories about people struggling. I was so shocked that it happened so quickly.

    If he had also not wanted or not been bothered about children, I would not have had one - youre correct about that.
    Last edited by Redacted; 13-02-2018 at 7:02 PM. Reason: Apple 8217 apostrophe error
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