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    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 11th Feb 18, 12:36 AM
    • 84Posts
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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 6
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 13th Feb 18, 7:08 PM
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    zagfles
    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).
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Yes and I think too many men go along with this "it's the woman's decision" sexist rubbish.

    When we got married my wife knew I didn't want kids then, and we wouldn't be having any unless I changed my mind, kids should be wanted by both parents. She did want them, but it wasn't a deal breaker for her.

    But the amount of times I was guilt-tripped by friends/relatives for saying no to children when my wife wanted them...

    Few years down the track, lots of travel, friends and relatives having kids, loving spending time with nieces and nephews, I changed my mind.

    Ironically a few years after our second child was born, roles were reversed, I really really wanted another... but my wife didn't!
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 14th Feb 18, 10:34 AM
    • 3,929 Posts
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    A woman at work is forever asking me "wedding bells yet?!" But she's divorced?! People are weird.

    I'm entering middle age, a time when people question the decisions they've made so far. A major factor in my not regretting being child-free is seeing the effect of constant worrying about frail, elderly parents on my parents. They are spending their hard-earned retirement traipsing round the country dealing with constant health crises and tough decisions about care homes. When I'm ancient and decrepit, I won't be an emotional burden on anyone.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • SandC
    • By SandC 14th Feb 18, 11:17 AM
    • 3,778 Posts
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    SandC
    I've never wanted children and never changed my mind. I did always say when I was younger never say never as the only scenario I could imagine me feeling any different is if I met someone who made me feel like I wanted to have a child with them. I didn't actually think that would happen but I was open to it as I've seen it many times.

    I hate the constant mention of the word 'selfish' though. A definition of this word is "(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure". Yes, I'd agree about the second part, but deciding not to have children is in no way lacking consideration for others. That would only be the case if you had children and then continued to act like you didn't. I've yet to meet anyone who had children as an act of selflessness. They had them because they wanted them. :-)

    To OP I agree, don't worry about what other people are doing. You can never say that you've not been giving it serious thought because you are clearly are. You can only really go with how you both feel right now.
    • Loz01
    • By Loz01 14th Feb 18, 11:39 AM
    • 1,529 Posts
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    Loz01
    The only thing that slightly freaks me out is the fact you want time to think about a MAJOR LIFE CHANGING decision, such as having a baby - but then your biological clock is against you. I'm 31 and feel like I'm fast running outta time, I dont know if thats from reading stuff, seeing people talking about it on TV or maybe just one of my work colleagues who informed me you cant have a baby over 35 (although... I'm not sure thats QUITE correct is it?! )
    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
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 14th Feb 18, 1:29 PM
    • 2,925 Posts
    • 5,922 Thanks
    Smodlet
    The only thing that slightly freaks me out is the fact you want time to think about a MAJOR LIFE CHANGING decision, such as having a baby - but then your biological clock is against you. I'm 31 and feel like I'm fast running outta time, I dont know if thats from reading stuff, seeing people talking about it on TV or maybe just one of my work colleagues who informed me you cant have a baby over 35 (although... I'm not sure thats QUITE correct is it?! )
    Originally posted by Loz01

    What absolute nonsense. Cherie Blair had one in her forties and that is just one example off the top of my head. The OP has time, should she wish to change her mind. The world is overcrowded so, unless someone is absolutely certain they want a child, they should not have one on principle.

    Many who do have children should not and it always seems to be the lowest common denominators who are the most fertile. What is the point of having four children before you are 25 only to have them all removed by the state because you are unfit to be anywhere near them? Yes, I have a specific example in mind.
    Last edited by Smodlet; 14-02-2018 at 5:10 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...
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 14th Feb 18, 4:43 PM
    • 124 Posts
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    buildersdaughter
    Jumping in here - and although I would not claim to be up with the latest research, I spent a working life in family / child health.
    Broadly speaking, fertility declines with age. Factors include general health, some hereditary factors like age at menopause and some conditions. For healthy women, age 38 is roughly when fertility begins to decline, but you should allow a bit on either side.
    Any specific worries, you can ask your GP or at your local Well Woman clinic.
    I wouldn't discourage any woman from thinking about having a baby well after that (I've known plenty of healthy babies conceived and born normally when women were well over 40,the oldest mother I delivered was 47) but if you are in a situation to think about it it's best to try to conceive before 35.

    As for how much you think you will enjoy and cherish your relationship with your children, at all ages, that is for individuals to decide.
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 14th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
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    yellow218
    Thanks all. The topic of fertility is only really partly on my mind, most of my thought process i do i WANT one, not can i HAVE one.

    I guess what it does mean that IF we should change our mind and get that sudden urge for a baby, then we possibly do have some time.
    Given that we are thinking about not having children at all, if that sudden urge came at say 40, i'm sure we would think carefully about it again.
    Where i stand currently is that i like the idea of retiring early (who doesn't! and without children that's certainly more achievable- although my mum at 55 has just retired!), and that wouldn't really be possible if at the age of 55 we had a 15 yr old child.
    Last edited by yellow218; 14-02-2018 at 5:02 PM.
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 14th Feb 18, 5:22 PM
    • 124 Posts
    • 357 Thanks
    buildersdaughter
    Thanks yellow218 - as I said many posts ago, I would look around, talk to people, and keep your minds open for awhile. The right decision will come to you.
    I have never regretted the major decisions that I made in my life, and I made them by observing, listening, and thinking - NOT being told what to do by others! I made 2 of them before I was 20, and the other before I was 30.
    I personally believe that whilst we should be thoughtful and pleasant to others in our normal everyday lives, that our major decisions should be made only from our personal point of view. We have to live with the consequences for the rest of our lives.
    You my find it useful to picture yourselves at some point - at age 40 or 55 or 60, and imagine what you would like to see and how you would get there. Some people find this very useful, others don't.
    I wish you all the best, however your life goes.
    • cyantist
    • By cyantist 15th Feb 18, 2:27 PM
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    • 1,096 Thanks
    cyantist
    Where i stand currently is that i like the idea of retiring early (who doesn't! and without children that's certainly more achievable- although my mum at 55 has just retired!), and that wouldn't really be possible if at the age of 55 we had a 15 yr old child.
    Originally posted by yellow218
    Just wondering why not? My parents retired when I was 16 and they were in their early 50s
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 15th Feb 18, 4:03 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    yellow218
    Just wondering why not? My parents retired when I was 16 and they were in their early 50s
    Originally posted by cyantist
    Out of interest, how old are you now? I think it probably could have worked, but i think it works less with today's parents of teens, and even less in the future. why? Because hypothetically i do have children, i wouldn't want to retire until 1) my children were financially independent and 2) had left home so hubby and i had our freedom again.

    More and more 'children' are staying at home for longer:

    1) 16-18 yr olds now have to be in education or training
    2) uni costs more now, so more 'children' look to parents for support (not that they are entitled, but even martin lewis acknowledges that its an unwritten rule the government considered when setting maintenance loans etc).
    3) its harder now for graduates to get good jobs.
    4) even if they do, it's harder to get onto the property ladder as house prices are increasing, and not at the same rate as salaries.

    I don't think i would let myself retire until my offspring had left home. I may want to downsize, and live off the capital in my home, however that would essential make my child homeless.

    All that above my still happen irrespective of what age i have children, but lets say the 'child' leaves home at 25, if i don't have said child until i'm 40, that would make me 65 by the time they leave home.

    My parents have just retired at 55. That's a whole 10 years difference, and crucial 10 years, that are still young fit and healthy so can enjoy their freedom (from us kids and work).
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 15th Feb 18, 7:19 PM
    • 4,174 Posts
    • 5,858 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    The only thing that slightly freaks me out is the fact you want time to think about a MAJOR LIFE CHANGING decision, such as having a baby - but then your biological clock is against you. I'm 31 and feel like I'm fast running outta time, I dont know if thats from reading stuff, seeing people talking about it on TV or maybe just one of my work colleagues who informed me you cant have a baby over 35 (although... I'm not sure thats QUITE correct is it?! )
    Originally posted by Loz01
    What your collegue is trying to tell you is that some women can't not all but some can't. Also there is a bigger risk to children of problems the older the mother is.

    So at 31 why haven't you had a child? If the reasons that you tell yourself are still the same at age 40 what will you do then? Life is not fair. Not everyone gets the same chances.

    So apart from the biological clock why do you feel that now is the time that you need to have a child and didn't feel this way at say 22?
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 15th Feb 18, 7:46 PM
    • 2,576 Posts
    • 6,896 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Because having children doesn't mean you can't look great and cram loads into your life, maybe
    Originally posted by zagfles
    If you want/wanted/had kids, that's great. Nobody's trying to persuade anybody not to! It seems like you want to persuade people that they should though! Why would you want children to be born to parents who don't really want them?
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 15th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    • 12,913 Posts
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    zagfles
    Out of interest, how old are you now? I think it probably could have worked, but i think it works less with today's parents of teens, and even less in the future. why? Because hypothetically i do have children, i wouldn't want to retire until 1) my children were financially independent and 2) had left home so hubby and i had our freedom again.

    More and more 'children' are staying at home for longer:

    1) 16-18 yr olds now have to be in education or training
    2) uni costs more now, so more 'children' look to parents for support (not that they are entitled, but even martin lewis acknowledges that its an unwritten rule the government considered when setting maintenance loans etc).
    Originally posted by yellow218
    The more the parents earn, the higher their "unwritten" contribution should be. Those from families on low incomes get the full loan plus usually bursaries on top. So it's an incentive to retire early!
    3) its harder now for graduates to get good jobs.
    Not if they get a decent degree in a "useful" subject from a good university.
    4) even if they do, it's harder to get onto the property ladder as house prices are increasing, and not at the same rate as salaries.
    Salaries have gone up faster than house prices in most of the country in the last 10 years. See http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-4880966/House-prices-vs-wages-UK-ten-years.html
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 15th Feb 18, 8:17 PM
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    zagfles
    If you want/wanted/had kids, that's great. Nobody's trying to persuade anybody not to! It seems like you want to persuade people that they should though! Why would you want children to be born to parents who don't really want them?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    WTF?? I think you must have comprehension difficulties.

    Someone posts about what a wonderful life it is without kids. Yet you reckon "Nobody's trying to persuade anybody not to!"

    I post that having kids doesn't stop you having a wonderful life. Yet you say "It seems like you want to persuade people that they should though!"

    I also wrote earlier: "When we got married my wife knew I didn't want kids then, and we wouldn't be having any unless I changed my mind, kids should be wanted by both parents."

    And I'm trying to persuade people to have kids who don't really want them
    • xXMessedUpXx
    • By xXMessedUpXx 16th Feb 18, 12:15 AM
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    xXMessedUpXx
    1)You may regret it, or it may be the best thing you ever did (well didn;t do), 2)make it clear its your choice and if they don't like it they can sod off

    I'm 32 (well this year), my bf does not want kids, never has, doesn;t like them (though tolerates them), i do not want kids. Slightly more complex reasons though, i have bipolar. Posta natal depression is a near certainty for me, and i have 50% chance of post natal psychosis. This, obviously, scares the living daylights out of me. Tbh i triggle to look after myself (even in periodds of wellness), there is no chance in hell i could cope with a child AMD be ill at the same time. I just can;t go through with it. Theres also the chance that i could pass the bipolar on and i never for a second want that to be a possibility. I would never forgive myself if a child i bore had to go through what I've been through.

    My mum has brought up grandkids before and i;ve told her in no uncertain terms that she won;t be getting any from me. Thankfully i think she understands my reasons (and she has 3 healthy kids who may well go on to have children).

    I thin k if its something you're sure of, stick your ground. There will be people who will try and change your mind, there will be people who will tell you you're selfish, there will be people who say you'll change your mind. But for me if you know in yourself you don;t want them, thats your choice, and that's ok.
    "Life Is Like A Beautiful Melody Only The Lyrics Are Messed Up"
    To see the rainbow you need both the sun and the rain to make its colours appear
    "I just need to be alone right now, i just wanna take a little breather"
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 16th Feb 18, 2:38 AM
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    Cakeguts
    I am not sure how I feel about older people having children. By older I mean older men I know of someone who did this and the children were only in their teens when he died from an age related illness.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 16th Feb 18, 4:49 AM
    • 1,555 Posts
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    badmemory
    We are lucky now that whether we do or do not have children is a matter of choice. If you feel that you do not then do not, having one under those circumstances does no-one any good & does your marriage/partnership no good either.
    • cyantist
    • By cyantist 16th Feb 18, 8:20 AM
    • 531 Posts
    • 1,096 Thanks
    cyantist
    Out of interest, how old are you now? I think it probably could have worked, but i think it works less with today's parents of teens, and even less in the future. why? Because hypothetically i do have children, i wouldn't want to retire until 1) my children were financially independent and 2) had left home so hubby and i had our freedom again.

    More and more 'children' are staying at home for longer:

    1) 16-18 yr olds now have to be in education or training
    2) uni costs more now, so more 'children' look to parents for support (not that they are entitled, but even martin lewis acknowledges that its an unwritten rule the government considered when setting maintenance loans etc).
    3) its harder now for graduates to get good jobs.
    4) even if they do, it's harder to get onto the property ladder as house prices are increasing, and not at the same rate as salaries.

    I don't think i would let myself retire until my offspring had left home. I may want to downsize, and live off the capital in my home, however that would essential make my child homeless.

    All that above my still happen irrespective of what age i have children, but lets say the 'child' leaves home at 25, if i don't have said child until i'm 40, that would make me 65 by the time they leave home.

    My parents have just retired at 55. That's a whole 10 years difference, and crucial 10 years, that are still young fit and healthy so can enjoy their freedom (from us kids and work).
    Originally posted by yellow218
    I am 35 now. I was in full time education until 25 but I had to pay less fees for my first degree as my parents income was very low, and I got the full loan. Also I wasn't living at home then - I moved away to go to uni at 18 and never went back.

    My parents had expected me to go to uni so had been saving for it since I was a small child, so it didn't matter their income was lower as they could still help me out as they would have done if they were working.

    And I do agree with zagfles that with a good degree from good university you can get a good job relatively easily. I teach at a uni now, our students don't struggle.

    Also the house I bought 14 years ago is now worth exactly the same as when I bought it! In some areas it is a huge struggle to buy (we bought 3 years ago near London and it was so difficult), but in most areas that's not the case.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Feb 18, 8:25 AM
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    • 52,591 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I am not sure how I feel about older people having children. By older I mean older men I know of someone who did this and the children were only in their teens when he died from an age related illness.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    But isn't it up to the parents of those children to decide how they feel about having a child with an older Father rather than how you feel about it?
    And men do die young of various illnesses and through accidents so there's no guarantee that a child will have a Father who lives into their middle age regardless of how he is at the birth of the child..
    • yellow218
    • By yellow218 16th Feb 18, 9:12 AM
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    • 150 Thanks
    yellow218
    Zagflies and cyantist. I apologise, my comments where huge generalisations. I admit that my comments don!!!8217;t apply to all, but I think they apply to most, especially in London or the south.

    I live in the south and intend to stay in the south. As your link showed, property here is less affordable than it used to be. My house price has certainly increased more than my salary. If I was to buy it now I doubt I could afford it.

    Yes, students get support if parents have a low income. I don!!!8217;t have a low income. Any child of mine would get the minimum loans. I had the minimum loans when at uni, but parents supported me in terms of I returned to live with them during holidays, but they didn!!!8217;t top up my loan. At the time, I didn!!!8217;t consider that to be financial support but of course me living with them costed something and meant they couldn!!!8217;t down size (had they wanted to).

    Yes, graduates CAN get a good job. I consider myself one of them. But I also consider that to be rare. I went to an old polytech and got a 2:2. But I was still one of the only ones to get what I would call a good job straight from uni. For many it took a few years.

    And given that, those with good jobs can be independent. Because of m job I was financially independent (renting) at 21, married at 23, and a home owner at 25.

    It worked fine for me. But it!!!8217;s not true for many of my peers.
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