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Childless by choice-advice pls.

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Old 08-04-2007, 12:36 AM   #1
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Default Childless by choice-advice pls.

I know this is wayyyy of OT of any kind, but I'd like some advice. I am 28..be 29 in a few days. I'm happily married, and I'm a happy person.

We don't have kids. I'm not sure if I want kids. I don't feel that maternal sense and my biological clock doesn't tick.

Even though I"m ok with this, so many people I don't even know lecture me about how it's horrible and selfish of us not to have children.

I don't feel I should have to explain-- or defend myself to people who don't know me and only want to judge me....

Anyone else have similar experiences?

I'm just feeling a bit down about it, since I've had so many run ins with people who want to 'convert' me, even telling me that I should have kids and then my mind will change. Yeah...that's a real good reason to have children..

Thanks so much for letting me vent!
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:52 AM   #2
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I can completely relate to everything you said! I am also going to be 29 in a few days, have been married for 4 years, and have no children. People are always bugging me about it. They always ask how long we have been married, and when they find out we have no children, they start the lecturing. I've learned to just ignore them. They want to "convert" me too...having children for the sake of having them is just ridiculous!
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:54 AM   #3
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Yeah, I think this is one of those topics that you get to say "Mind your own darn business, we don't have to defend ourselves to you."

My mom was putting a lot of pressure on my husband and I to have kids, even though we're not in the best of health. One day we were teasing each other (very sick joke) about getting pregnant and because of all of the medications we're on, having our "squid baby," Otis (named after the elevator).

OMG, my Mom was so ANGRY we were joking about such a thing that she nearly popped a lung. Funny, though she has never brought up the subject of our having kids again.
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:07 AM   #4
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I'm 42, married with no kids. Probably would have had one if we'd married younger but my husband is older and doesn't want to be 75 with a kid in high school. Seemed pretty reasonable to us but to nobody else apparently.

I've actually had people tell me I should have had them so that I wouldn't be lonely in my old age. Now that's a great reason to procreate; so somebody can take me to the grocery store when I'm old.

I've actually asked people how they could possibly think this is any of their business. It shuts them up pretty quickly; nobody likes being called on their rude behavior.
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:08 AM   #5
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No advice - just another sympathizer - just turned 27 & married for 5 years now. It's so annoying...

months after we met we were being asked when we are getting married -the moment that happened it was when are you having babies!? The answer is - MYOB!!

I always want to retort... "So, the next major step in your life is death... when do you plan on doing that?!" but of course... I don't want to be rude.

You are not alone! Perhaps a lecture to them on why it is socially irresponsible to have TOO MANY children would do the trick? Although when it comes to breeders that are that pushy I somehow doubt it.
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:33 AM   #6
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It's a pretty sensitive situation, in my mind. There are a lot of couples out there who are financially stable, responsible, wonderful people who would be amazing parents, but who are unable (my brother and sister-in-law are great examples). Some have spent TENS of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments and other attempts to have children, and been ripped off more times than should be legal trying to adopt a newborn (the mothers in these situations have "better rights" than the would-be-adoptive parents).

For people like that, and people who sympathize with those families, it can actually seem a little painful and frustrating that other couples don't even bother. From a certain standpoint it CAN seem selfish and antagonistic, even though you obviously would never mean it that way. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to convince these people to come around, you know?

I guess you aren't required to explain yourselves to people who shove their noses into your business unasked-for, but just keep in mind there may be a painful reason behind their badgering. Not appropriate behavior, but sometimes understandable, I guess.

EDIT: For reference, I haven't wanted kids my entire life (I'm too selfish, genuinely, and also think I am too scatterbrained and mean and would make a HORRIBLE parent). My BF feels differently and with him I think maybe I could do it, but I'm still not anywhere near convinced! So I feel ya there.
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:43 AM   #7
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Great to meet some fellow Childfree by Choice folks on TFC! Optical Goddess, that's one piece of advice I would give you: if you want to plug into online communities of your nulliparous fellows, search the web for "childfree" rather than "childless." The Frequently Asked Questions page of the usenet group alt.support.childfree includes some hilarious responses to those rude accusations of selfishness, ranging from politely deflecting the question to bawdy snarkiness. You will find in the CFC community, as in all other groups of human beings, a range of positions from the moderate "I respect others' choice to reproduce as long as they respect my choice not to" to the fire-breathing "down with all breeders and sproggen" types. Find your place along this continuum, and enjoy the support of others who have made the same childfree choice that was right for you.

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Old 08-04-2007, 02:16 AM   #8
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Old 08-04-2007, 02:57 AM   #9
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I understand what you mean. I can't imagine having children either...I am selfish and irresponsible LOL (this coming from the girl who works in a nursery with kids age 0-4 every week hehe)...MAYBE I will adopt an older child one day, but when I tell people that I am interested in adopting they make me feel like some kind of freak "Don't you want to have a child of your OWN?"..Ummmm...an adopted child would be mine LOL. I figure there are enough unwanted children in the world..So I would love to adopt one day if those maternal instincts ever kick in.
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Old 08-04-2007, 03:10 AM   #10
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Mary,

The adoption topic is a personal one for me, as I was an adopted child. My aunt actually told my parents that they shouldn't adopt because they wouldn't know what they were getting. My dad shut her up quickly, with a straightfaced reply of "I assume it's going to be a baby."
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Old 08-04-2007, 03:21 AM   #11
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LOL You don't know what you're getting when you actually concieve the child yourself either! (that's what I would have told her, but I like your dad's reply alot too LOL) I really would like to adopt an older child because they have such a small chance of being adopted at all..I know they are more likely to have emotional issues that need to be dealt with...but who doesn't?
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Old 08-04-2007, 03:37 AM   #12
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There are a lot of couples out there who are financially stable, responsible, wonderful people who would be amazing parents, but who are unable (my brother and sister-in-law are great examples). Some have spent TENS of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments and other attempts to have children, and been ripped off more times than should be legal trying to adopt a newborn (the mothers in these situations have "better rights" than the would-be-adoptive parents).

This would be another reason for people to mind their own business!! Can you imagine how someone who would give anything to have a child would feel if they were asked "why don't you have any kids?" or "are you planning on having kids someday?"
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Old 08-04-2007, 03:38 AM   #13
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the 1st paragraph is a quote from another post. I guess I didnt do it right??
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Old 08-04-2007, 03:50 AM   #14
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I am 38 and still waiting for my biological clock to kick in; I think the batteries must be dead. I swear, at least once a week, my SO and I look at each other and say "thank God we don't have kids."

Lucikly, I don't get a lot of pressure about this; my family knows better (and it's more the norm in my immediate family to not have kids than to have them--I have two older step-siblings that are both married without kids), many of my friends my age also don't have kids, and it helps that my SO and I aren't married (despite the fact that we've been together longer than most of our married friends). But when it does come up, I usually make a joke of it. Here are a few of my favorite responses:
  • We don't think we should have kids because it's all we can do to take care of our houseplants. I swear, it's always "water me, water me!"
  • When I think about having kids, mainly I think about how I would punish them when they are bad. I think that is a sign that I probably shouldn't have kids. (BTW--this is totally true, this is mainly what I think about when I think about having kids).
  • The only reason I can think of to have kids would be so that they could take care of me when I'm old but, you know, you really can't count on that. I finally figured out that a good retirement plan is a lot easier.

I had one friend who just would not let up. Finally, in a more serious tone, I pointed out that I used to worry that maybe I would be missing something in my life if I didn't have kids but recently I've realized that I know a lot of couples that have chosen not to have kids and that seem perfectly happy. It's made me realize that I don't have to have kids to live a fulfilled life. He finally agreed that I was right and that if I didn't want kids, I probably shouldn't have them.

And you know, it's never people that are trying to have kids and can't that pressure me about this. If anyone pressures me, it's always the people that already have at least two of their kids of their own and are always complaining about how much work they are and how much easier life was before they had kids. It's like they are miserable and they want to suck me into their misery.
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:04 AM   #15
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I would just say or indicate that you don't think its any of their business. I've had this to happen to me too every single time I see a family member other than my mom. These questions started as soon as I announced my engagement 3 1/2 years ago. I'm now 23 and have been married for three years. I just stand my ground on why I don't have or want kids and ask to change the subject. I'm not saying that my choice to be without kids is permanent. It could very well be and it could be possible for me to have one.
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