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Mon. Jan 1, 12:00am

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I never planned to have children for basically the same reasons you described. I did end up having one, and I turned out to be a much better parent than I thought I'd be, but one is plenty for us - and we still get crap from people saying we should "give her" a sibling and that we're so horrible for "making her" an only child. Blah blah. Only you know what's right for you.

There are several long-married, happy, fulfilled couples in my family who never had children. And I'm sure they, like you, would be wonderful parents if it ever happened, but I'm also sure that they're not "missing out" by not having children. Your life is your life, and you should fill it how you want to.

I personally think that it's much better for someone to choose not to have children for their own reasons than to have children even if they don't want to and end up being unhappy and raising unhappy children. There are a lot of people out there who shouldn't have kids and do. THAT is a real tragedy.

Sunday, December 24, 2006, 1:27 AM

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I'm not married, but have also chosen to remain child-free. My own mother was wonderful, my sister is a wonderful mother, but that always just threw into starker contrast that it has never been "my calling." Could this change in the future? Never say never, but it's been the way I've felt since I can remember so chances are it won't. I even got flack for it when I was a little girl, because I didn't want to play house or have baby dolls. It's just not for some people. It is hard to understand for some though, especially of an older generation. You'd think the survival of the species depended on little ol' me! Anyway, take heart. We're a growing number.

Sunday, December 24, 2006, 1:48 AM

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I married later in life and neither my husband nor I have children. My parents had a terrible marriage while we were growing up, it's much better now that all the kids have left home (what does that tell you?). I am a pediatric nurse and my husband works with special needs children so we have kids in our lives in addition to many nieces and nephews. It is enough. We have looked at fostering once I finish graduate school and would probably choose special needs children because of our backgrounds. But I have never really wanted my own. I went through a few "phases" where I thought I would want kids but it never lasted. I only wish more people would listen to their internal voice about having kids. I see tragic stories every day about children born to parents who should have remained childless. That's not to say that everyone who is childless would be a bad parent. But those are extremely personal decisions and should be respected.

Sunday, December 24, 2006, 8:04 AM

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I respect your views but I think that life would have been very boring without the joys, troubles & responsibilities of raising my 2 children. Also my grandson is the best thing that ever happened to me, he just fills my heart!

Sunday, December 24, 2006, 10:22 AM

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I think that if anyone in this society, which is so pushy when it comes to having children, decides that they want to remain childless - then it seems to me that that is definitely the right decision for them. Because I reackon in order to stick to your guns about it, it's obviously very clear to you that kids aren't for you.

Sunday, December 24, 2006, 1:02 PM

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LOL! Just in time for the holidays when I traditionally get grilled/lectured by the relatives.

"Oh, you'll change your mind."

"You'll regret it."

"I can't imagine my life without kids."

"You'll be a wonderful parent" (as they're sure that I'm just having jitters about parenthood)

"You don't really mean that"

"What will you do when you get old? Won't you be lonely?"

"Gosh, what do you guys talk about without kids?"

"Still telling people you aren't gonna have kids huh - haahaa"

This is where I paste the smile on my face because I realize (or at least I truly hope) that people don't know how smug, condesending, patronizing and just downright f*-ing irritating they're being. It sometimes takes all my self-control not to lash out, but I can't imagine that would do any good. I mean I get all these comments and I do my best to stay away from the "when are you going to start a family?" conversations or any talk of family planning at all, but darned if you do and darned if you don't. I am absolutely shocked by the number of people who make my family planning their business. I mean seriously?

I try to stay out of any discussions re: my reasons for remaining child-free because that just invites conversation, and the people who want to get into those reasons with me are usually doing it so they can show me the error of my ways, not because they are really interested in why I feel the way I do.

Sunday, December 24, 2006, 6:43 PM

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Oddly enough, the comments are just as annoying on the other side of the coin...
As the mother of four young children, I get:
"Aren't you guys done yet?"
"How many do you plan on having???"
"So, you must be done now, right?"
Apparently people flip out if you don't have kids; they're bothered if you only have one; and they can't comprehend why anyone would possibly want more than two.

I think the issue here isn't "kids or no kids," but nosey, inconsiderate people who don't know when to keep their mouths shut and mind their own business.

Sunday, December 24, 2006, 9:00 PM

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^^--great point!

To address the OP's question - I am childfree and for similar reasons. I have simply never felt that 'tug'. I do not hold babies and long for my own, nor do I care for the company of children in general. I have attempted to contemplate having children but the idea just leaves me rather unmoved with a tinge of aversion. I also understand the time, energy and resources involved in raising a child (both brother and sister have them, so pressure is off for me), and I am happy to leave that to others. I do enjoy the time I spend with my neices and nephews, but it leaves me happy that I am able to be their aunt and that I can return them to their parents when it's time. I am glad that there are people in this world who are interested and able to have children and raise them responsibly, but it's simply not for me.

It's an interesting topic though. Never before in history has this option even been a possibility so I can understand why it might cause some degree of consternation.

Sunday, December 24, 2006, 11:16 PM

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I have never wanted children, although I love being with them for short periods of time. I've just gotten married, and have a stepchild who lives with his mother and stepfather. I adore the little guy, and we have a great relationship. Ditto for all my nephews and nieces. My husband and I talked about it before we were married, and decided that we don't want more kids. I've always been given a hard time because I chose not to get married, and chose not to have kids. And I got all the usual comments, as other posters have mentioned above.

Then my husband pointed something out that I hadn't even thought of (having never seriously contemplated parenthood). I'm on a shitload of medication for a mental disorder, and I can't really come off it. I also can't have a kid while I'm on it. Problem solved. Now, when I get those stupid questions about when I'm going to start a family, I just say I can't...and give the reason. That shuts them up in no time. Isn't it so silly that something "medical" is a good reason to stay childless, but a simple case of well thought out CHOICE is not.

I applaud people who have enough self-awareness to realize they don't want children, or that kids won't fit into their lifestyle. And for those who do choose to have kids, I applaud you too. Free choice :-)

Monday, December 25, 2006, 10:45 AM

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if you feel bad for not wanting kids, look around you... at the overcrowded schools, at the bumper to bumper traffic on the highways, at the whiny annoying kids in restaurants and theatres and think, what does this world need more of us for???
the flip side to that, however, is that a lot of intelligent women (and in some cases, extremely strong-willed) decide not to have kids because they are aware of there incapabilities as a parent, or of the realities as described above. So the intelligent ones stop breeding while all the ignorant ones pop out kids every two years.. because condoms don't feel as good as the real thing.. give me a break!

Monday, December 25, 2006, 5:14 PM

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I have been married for 8 years now, and no kids. I just got back from a week stay in Cancun. One of the best vacations hubby and I have ever took. We were talking about how we have everything we have, and why we do not want kids, and that is mostly because we are both selfish, when it comes to our time, our money and everything else. We just don't want to share. We like our "simple" life. Our plan is to keep it that way. I could not imagine, life with 2 kids, a dog, and a minivan. I just could not do it.
The most entertaining thing about not having kids is the parents, co-workers, etc is that they cannot figure out how I can afford to go on a vacation or do the crazy things I do on the weekends, (50 mile bike rides, long hikes, etc) and that is because I do not have the commitments they all have, that is how.
Vast in yourself. Your marraige, and Your time.

Monday, December 25, 2006, 8:18 PM

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What would happen if no onw had children? It is selfish and against nature to choose not to have children

Monday, December 25, 2006, 10:53 PM

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9:00 PM I totally agree! I had 4 children. Who turned out ptretty good. I was stopped and ask if I was on welfare once.( My husband has a good job!) I was told haven't I ever heard about cabbage patch dools. What ever. We really ought to live and let live!

Monday, December 25, 2006, 10:58 PM

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I agree that people need to mind their own business when questioning people about personal life choices. I have the same issue with people questioning why I'm not yet engaged (in a 7 year relationship), even though the issue is actually medical in nature, and people commenting about what they think I should do for furnishing my home! Sometimes the reason people do not have children is not by choice but because of medical problems, so to ask about it is really rude and corners people to defend what their reason is! Why should someone explain something that private?! Sometimes people are self aware of their own personalities and circumstances, and sometimes working for a good cause doesn't leave enough money for raising a larger family. Whatever it is you enjoy, whether children, travel, or both, is what is important. For now, I'd rather enjoy the cute children other people have and give them back. Maybe later on that will change, but who really knows.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 12:30 AM

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10:53, I'm not sure it's really something the world has to worry about. While several European countries are in negative population growth, the numbers are more than made up for in immigration. In countries where this becomes problematic (e.g. Russia) the goverment always steps in with some kind of incentive for people to have children, incentives than many people avail themselves of. We're just so lucky to live where and when we do, and that it's a choice we can make at all. Whether we wish to use science to stay childfree or to help us conceive, never before in history have we (in the Developed World that is) had so many options.

P.S. As we're a fairly opinionated bunch here at PT, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the "a-word" yet and had all hell break loose.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 4:14 AM

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10:53 was just trying to get a reaction out of people by posting a response like that. One of those silly people who have nothing better to do than pick fights on anonymous posting boards. If she/he were smart, he/she would have raised the a-issue instead (as mentioned by the previous poster). That would cause a bunfight.

Other than that, these responses are interesting. I had no idea that there were so many people who feel the same way I do about remaining childless. (Not that I'm the OP, just to clarify.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 10:06 AM

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no children will be born to me by way of my own body, by choice. i figure that i recycle cans/bottles/paper/cardboard as much as possible to help out the world and it's future for the next generations and i don't understand the idea of having children instead of "recycling" those who are already here and need help. why not provide for these valuable resources, children & the families that bore them, instead of bringing yet another child into this world? would you go build a car or would you instead buy one that has already been built? if/when i am financially capable and if/when i feel that i can contribute to and become responsible for the upbringing of another human, i will foster or adopt a child who needs and deserves a loving, healthy home. thanks for raising the question, OP!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 10:19 AM

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4:14, sorry for being stupid, but what is the "a-word"? I can't begin to guess....

Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 3:12 PM

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 3:21 PM

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I'm the poster (3:12) who asked what the 'a-word' is. Thanks for the answer.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006, 4:43 AM

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I am not child free nor would I want to be but I commend you on knowing what you want! If you don't want children you don't have to conform to society's pressures of having them. I hear people say things like that couples not having children are selfish, wtf? It seems to me they would be more selfish if they had children to appease society or someone else views of the way it should be. I have a huge amount of respect for couples who realize that they don't want children. There are already enough unwanted children in this world. Live the life you want, you only get one shot at it, at least in this lifetime, lol!

Thursday, December 28, 2006, 3:35 AM

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I have 2 sons and one grandchild which I couldn't imagine my life without. I have a sister who does not like children even though she has a daughter, she has never been a good mother to her. I think you should to able to choose which is best for you and others should respect your decision.

Thursday, December 28, 2006, 9:25 AM

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I am a young, 20 something who does not want children, and I'm always getting the "oh, you'll change" response. It's quite annoying and patronizing, considering I've known since I was a little kid that I don't want any children (I don't want to inherient my mother's parenting skills), and I'm spending a lot of money on my graduate education. Why would I waste 100k in education for something I don't want?? I also am kind of annoyed with women who are in my future profession and have children, because many of them actually leave the field to have kids, so employers look at me and think that it's only a matter of time until I do the same.

I also am, quite honestly, too scared to bring up a child in today's society. There's just too much to watch out for, and the cost of education/competitiveness of colleges is getting too crazy for me. But I do have a lot of respect for people who choose to have children.

I'm sure I'll spoil my friend's kids, and I do feel bad that my father won't have a grandchild, bcz he just adores children. I will say, though, that if an accident did occur, I would keep it. But the likelihood of that happening w/ my safeguarding is pretty low, so it'd probably be the most resilient and lucky child ever.

Friday, December 29, 2006, 2:10 PM

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I'm in my mid-30s and decided 20 years ago that motherhood was not for me. Maybe it's because my mom did so much for us and stayed with a fairly useless-but-loving husband/father (useless = no job since 1978) because we needed to live off of his parents. Maybe it's because from a ridiculously early age I craved travel and adventure -- as an adult, I've pursued that and found it to be everything I thought it would be, and will never give it up. Maybe it's because at age 15, I babysat 3 little boys aged 1, 4 and 6 while their parents partied it up in Montego Bay for 8 days and experienced firsthand how hard it was to do anything outside of the house - or even take a damn shower! - when you've got little ones. I also discovered how pathetically little $300 felt for that job, and mothers do it for free.

Thinking of having a baby makes me claustrophobic, I honestly feel my throat start to close up. I wish I weren't this way about it because it severely restricts my dating options. It seems like men hate when women have a ticking biological clock, but they also hate when we don't want children at all.

I thank the powers that be that I am in a position to have so many options and choices. In a few generations, when we as a population are fully acclimated to this state of affairs, I believe that women will truly come into their own.

Friday, December 29, 2006, 2:30 PM

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