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To have kids or not to have kids...

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Old 11-30-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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Lately, I have been feeling a bit of a moral dilemma. I am young, and newly married. Obviously, talk about kids comes up. People want to know what my plans are regarding children. I know I have a long time to decide... which is something my husband is constantly reminding me of. But, I still feel this internal struggle going on. I don't want kids. I just don't. I don't hate kids... I think they are great... but just not for me. I have so many dreams, so many places I want to see, and so many people I want to help through charity work, that I couldn't ever imagine children fitting in there. In my mind, if I have children, I give up those dreams. The Catholic church would consider me to be a selfish person, because according to them, you MUST have children- it is your duty. My parents, when I told them I didn't ever want kids... sounded shocked and disappointed, and my dad even sounded angry. My in-laws don't even know... they just assume we will have them. My friends tell me- "you say you don't want kids... but you're having kids. Either you'll change your mind, or you'll just wind up pregnant." IS there really something wrong with just not wanting kids? Am I a bad person? Am I really selfish? I feel like I am, but my heart tells me that kids just really aren't for me. Any insight from either moms, or women who maybe chose not to have kids? Any thoughts, advice, regrets? I know many of you will say give it a few years... and I will. But I am afraid a few years will pass, and my thoughts on kids won't change, and I'll be attacked by everyone I know.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:40 PM   #2
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I have so many dreams, so many places I want to see, and so many people I want to help through charity work, that I couldn't ever imagine children fitting in there. In my mind, if I have children, I give up those dreams. The Catholic church would consider me to be a selfish person, because according to them, you MUST have children- it is your duty.

It's a very personal and individual choice, but to me, your dreams sound anything BUT selfish. I think it's selfish to have children for the wrong reasons (too many people do this). I think Jesus would love a person wanting to help others through charity as you do.

Also, what about priests and nuns? Are they "sinners" who are eschewing their duties simply because they aren't procreating? They are doing God's work, just as YOU are and will continue to do, right? NOT having children will enable you to do MORE in God's name, right?
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:41 PM   #3
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No, there isn't a thing wrong with you. I struggled with the same thing when I got married. I have a wonderful stepson but DH didn't want anymore children. Although I was undecided when we got married, (due to my assupmtions that everyone had to have kids in my family, what choice was there to make?), we discussed it and decided against having any additional children. I still haven't told my mom that DH has been "neutered". I don't think it's anyone's business but you and DH. If accidental pregnancy is a concern, I recommend DH go get snipped.

It's difficult for some people to except that as much as I love my DSS and children in general, I don't feel the need to produce any of my own. I will admit that when I held my new niece this week that I was tempted, but I know I've made the right choice for me. Only you know what's in your heart.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:42 PM   #4
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We had a "childless by choice" thread going - it might have some insight for you.

Childless by choice-advice pls.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:48 PM   #5
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"But I am afraid a few years will pass, and my thoughts on kids won't change, and I'll be attacked by everyone I know."

Yes, people often seem to have an (outspoken) opinion on whether or not you have children. This is not the most diplomatic approach, but I tell them to go to H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks. When people have the nerve to ask me now why I have no children (or, my personal 'favourite': "How come you guys have that big house and no kids?!") I tell them: "We tried for more than seven years. Thanks so much for bringing that up. My dog died in February, too - want to talk about that?" It's rude of me, but frankly, seven years of playing the two-week-wait game nearly killed me.

I tell you this because we DIDN'T want children. And then we thought we might as well, before I 'ran out of time'. Whether or not you change your mind - it is your body, and your (and your husband's) decision. Everyone else really can just butt out.

It's a bit like people who TOUCH pregnant women - what gives them the RIGHT? People are bizarre. Good luck to you.

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Old 11-30-2007, 12:56 PM   #6
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Who cares what others think?! All that matters is what you think and want. Myself, I couldn't imagine my life without kids but everyone is different.

I don't think you are being selfish for not wanting any. It's your choice, you and your DH and no one elses. Who knows,maybe somewhere down the line you might change your mind, but if you don't again, that is your choice.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:10 PM   #7
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Slightly off topic, but why is it acceptable for someone voice their opinion on your choice not to have children when it would be completely unacceptable for me to ask my cousin when she plans to stop having children that my tax dollars are supporting, considering neither she or her husband work? (Rant over.)
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:19 PM   #8
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I'm almost 24 and have been married for 3 years now. I feel the same exact way that I have all these dreams and things I want to do and it would be selfish to have kids. I think kids are fun to play with but by the time 3 or 4 hours have passed I'm done and tired and it's time for them to go back home with their parents. :-) I get asked a lot when I'm going to have kids and I just say someday whenever I'm ready because it IS possible that I might change my mind and it's the polite response that I have come up with.

Dixiedieter-That's a really good point you make. And that type of thing bugs me too!!
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:29 PM   #9
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Everyone is right.
All of that is a very personal choice between you, your husband, and nobody else. I'm reminded of a very useful phrase "Why on earth would you want to know something as personal as that?" Usually it gives the "asker" pause... they may say "Oh, I was just curious." You may then easily change the topic.

Dealing with your parents and in-laws may be the most difficult. But, I mean come on... if you had kids would they be the ones raising them so that they could have their grandchildren? Didn't think so.

It's possible that years down the road your mind may change, but who cares? My mind changes every five minutes. And even if it changes it is again... Nobody's business!

Go. Enjoy your life. If it happens to involve your own children at some point down the road, so be it. If you decide not, then also, so be it. And if you are hounded by other's comments regardless of your choices just tell them with all sincerity that they should get their own life.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:30 PM   #10
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I must have missed the part about being Catholic that involves having children. I was raised very strictly Catholic, and I always got the idea from my indoctrination with it that celibacy was the most holy thing to aspire to. Anyway, I have never had children and have no regrets. Of course, I am not married either, so that took away any pressure along those lines.
As others have said, I do not understand why anyone would care if someone decides not to have children. They have their own lives to decide about, they have no business to decide for you.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:03 PM   #11
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I'm a mother, and couldn't picture it ANY other way for *MYSELF* (and husband), BUT there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you. IMO, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be childless. As someone else said, it's much much worse to have one when you don't want one, just because you feel you "should" .. you only have yourself to answer to, kwim? Don't worry if people think you're doing something "wrong" ... you know what you want in your heart, and that's truly all that matters.

My husband and I are BIG-time travelers. Not so much since our daughter came (she's almost 21 months old)... but we have certainly traveled with her! She's been to the Niagara Falls.. she's been to Rhode Island, to CT.. is it harder? Absolutely. Instead of "us".. it's ALL her. Planning things around HER nap, around HER mealtimes.. knowing something we plan just might not "work" because she's being whiny, or doesn't wanna do something. And traveling 5+ hours in the car with a toddler is tough stuff! It's no longer about me sleeping in the backseat when DH drives... it's about me trying to entertain a toddler and hope she naps in the car! haha

But really, I wouldn't change it for the WORLDDDDDD.. because the love I have for her is worth anything we had to change with our lives.

That said- I DO look forward to the days where it's easier to travel and do things more "our" way... and we'll get there someday in the future. Until then, I treasure the days I have with a young child... because they go so fast.

But won't it be nice when she's a teenager and my husband and I can just GO out when we want and leave her home? hehehehe

But seriously-
There's absolutely NOTHING at all wrong with your decision- I know plenty of people who don't have children and don't want them.. from the age of the early 20's, to the 40's.. it's what they want (or don't want) and I totally respect that.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:26 PM   #12
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There are plenty of couples at my Church who have chosen to not have children and NO ONE views it as them not fulfilling their "duty". In fact, it is not an issue. Most of these couples have dedicated their lives to God's work and charity (as you said). Personally, more power to you. There are plenty of people who have children and shouldnt have - abuse and neglect. I'm not saying that would be your situatin BUT I wish more people would make a conscious decision to have or not have children and many children would be better off! I think it os great that you are giving such a serious issue some serious thought
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:33 PM   #13
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Whether or not to have kids is just as much as choice as how many to have -- it's a personal choice between you and your husband and ONLY you two. Amazing when you date people ask "when are you getting married" and when you do get married, it moves on to "when are you having kids" -- drives me crazy.

I have a sister who is unable to have children -- after 10 years of trying -- I can't count the number of times she was asked "when are you having kids" -- it's just one of those rude, "stepping over the boundary" kind of questions that people ask. Come up with a few cute, "none of your business" answers to the question and move it along -- like "as soon as you offer to pay for them, they are on their way". I have two boys, which is exactly what I wanted and I still get asked -- don't you want another one so you can have a girl -- like my two handsome sons aren't good enough.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:49 PM   #14
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I dont think anyone should have kids that is not 110% sure they want kids deep down. Kids are a lot of work. It is a thankless, time consuming, nonstop, expensive, stressful, and at times frightening job to be a parent. I think if you had kids and YOU werent the one that truly wanted them, then you would become bitter and resentful. You may sit and fester about the fact that, you have an opportunity to...(fill in blank) but cant because you dont have a sitter, or cant afford it because the kids need new clothes, etc. I think it is rediculous for people to pressure you into having kids....doesnt sound like YOU are the selfish one.

Dont get me wrong, kids are great and i would lay my life down in a heartbeat for mine. BUT you should have them ONLY after you are sure YOU want them. It is no one elses job to raise them. Its yours. If they are so worried about kids, let them have their own.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:55 PM   #15
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Considering that the world is overpopulated, I think that viewing having children as a "duty" is poor logic. Dh's family is Catholic and I have never heard that said, but I can see how some people might think that way.

I know plenty of people who are living productive, happy, childless lives. I wouldn't consider any of them selfish. In fact, many of them have jobs that really help out the community.

Myself, I didn't want kids when I was younger. This was good, because I was in no way ready to have them. I did change my mind in my mid-20's, but that doesn't mean that everyone does. Dh and I aren't planning on having kids until we've been to Europe once without children, although honestly this is a dream that although important, I would be okay if we had kids and then went to Europe with them. I just want to go is the main thing.

It's your Life! Do what is right for you. The only person whose opinion matters (besides your own) is your husbands (some people may disagree with me on this.) If he wants kids you may have some things to work out. If he doesn't then I don't think it matters at all. You need to make the choices that you can live with. Everyone else should just butt out!
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