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are any of you not planning on having children?

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ficklefaye

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my FI and i talk about this topic a lot because we don''t agree. he always wanted to have kids, but i don''t. despite this, FI says he loves me enough that he''d be happy whether we have children or not. my sister tells me that i''m still young and i''ll probably change my mind in a few years, but i don''t know if that will happen. FI wants to have kids because he thinks its a given and he likes the idea of carrying on his family name. all of that just doesn''t seem like a good reason to have kids.

are there any other ps''ers who don''t plan on having kids or don''t agree with their FI on this issue?
 

AprilBaby

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To late for me, but you SHOULD decide well before the wedding so no one gets hurt later.
 

Camille

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Your sister is right.
DH and I spoke about this before getting married, agreed not to have children [TG] Around our 5th anniversary we looked at each other and boooom out of nowhere we started talking baby just a tiny bit, within weeks we were trying, so glad we waited.
Carrying family's name works for royalty, in real life, it's not a good/enough reason to bring a child into this world if both parents aren't on the same page/ideals/hopes, Kids need lots of things including material things.
 

jstarfireb

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Faye, we must be alter egos or something, because I am in the *exact* same situation. I say the same thing as you, he says the same as your FI, my family/friends all say the same as yours...and we're getting married in a few weeks.

My biggest issue with having kids is what pregnancy and childbirth do to your body. I would consider adopting, but he wouldn't. Which is funny because his mom was adopted.

I dunno about changing my mind...everyone says I will, but I'm 26 now and have never had any maternal instinct or desire to have kids. I don't even think kids are cute.
 

vespergirl

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One of my best friends is in this situation with her husband of two years, and now it''s constant fighting. She told him that she was undecided about kids, and he definitely wanted them, but he proposed anyway assuming she would change her mind. Now they have been married for 2 years, and she is thinking she does not want kids, and they are fighting all the time and haven''t shared a bed in over a year. I honestly thought it was stupid of him to propose to her, and crappy of her to not be clear on the issue before they got married. Not because there''s anything wrong with not having kids, but because having children is a big marital dealbreaker that should be COMPLETELY decided before marriage.

I think that ultimately, people who want kids are going to feel very unhappy, especially later in life, if they don''t get to have them because their spouse didn''t want them. I would definitely look at your relationship long & hard before tying the knot. I have actually seen several marriages fall apart because someone changed their mind & decided not to have kids - and most tragically, I know one woman who wanted kids, whose husband refused (vasectomy) who is really mourning not having children. Her husband was 15 years older than her and died a few years ago. Now she is in her 60s, alone, and really wishes that she had left him for someone else when she was in her 30s so that she could have had the children that she always wanted.

Like I said, I think that if BOTH people don''t want children, that''s a fine choice for them, and they can have a happy marriage because of their same goals in life. But if one wants kids & the other doesn''t, resentment will eventually occur, and it''s a bad idea to marry someone that doesn''t agree on that dealbreaker issue.
 

lovegem

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sorry what you have to go through, but you and your FI have to settle this baby issue before you get married. I don't feel like having babies. And I believe I will not have any. I am 32. My DH's opinion on having baby is neutral. He thinks that if I want them, then we will have them. If I don't want them, then we will not have any.

Edit: about family name, DH and I talked about it. What he said was that, there are thousands and thousands of people in this world with his same family name.
 

Pandora II

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Both DH and I thought we would never want children... our first is due in 4 weeks


Baby fever didn''t strike me until I was a couple of months shy of 36 - even now, none of my family can believe/imagine me with a kid (neither can I for that matter - I am not maternal in the slightest and have zero interest in my friend''s kids or even my own nephews and nieces, BUT, I am pretty sure that I will like my own!)

DH was adamant when we met that he never wanted to either get married or have children. By the time we got engaged we had an agreement that we would try for one at some point, but if it didn''t happen then we could live quite happily without - many of our friends are child-free by choice. It was VERY important that we were both on the same page, and when we finally decided to discuss TTC we actually sat down and had a proper conversation and looked at the pros and cons, financial implications and the effect it would have on our relationship - then we bought a bigger house!

Pregnancy has been very hard on me (and so by proxy on DH) due to pre-existing medical conditions, a few new problems and a huge legal battle with my employer who tried to make me redundant when I told them I was pregnant, and we almost certainly will not be having any more children.

I think that it is perfectly possible to have a very fulfilling life without children, but I would be very wary of being married to someone who didn''t have the same take on procreation. Once the bug strikes, it''s all-consuming - and it hit my DH a few months before me.

At 26 I was very firmly in the no kids camp, so you really can change your mind!
 

swingirl

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Although today your FI thinks that he could give up his dream of kids for you, in 5-10 years he might not be so happy about his choice. The desire for kids usually increases as one gets older, unless of course, the "NO KIDS" is very strong and definite. It seems people who don't want kids, period, stay firm, whereas the one's who are iffy feel stronger about having kids as time goes on.

It can really cause problems in a relationship and it's better to talk about it now so you aren't miserable 5 years from now.

And like Pandora sometimes people completely change their minds, but no one should bank on that happening.
 

plethora23

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Definitely figure it out BEFORE you get married. My husband and I know too many couples that have split up due to this very issue. It''s not wise to assume one of you will change your mind ijn the future. One of our closest friends just divorced after 7 years of marriage because the husband wanted kids and just figured one day she would come around and the wifes position always was that she didn''t want any.
 

steph72276

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I love my husband with all my heart, but if he would have told me while we were dating that he never wanted children, it would have been a deal breaker for me. I wouldn't have gotten married to him thinking that I could change his mind. It is one of those issues that you need to be in agreement on, or you should move on, because one or both of you will resent the other down the line if you're not on the same page.
 

fieryred33143

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Please take the time to consider your feelings as well as his before you get married. It''s one thing to want to have children and decide to stay with a partner who cannot have children. It''s another to be with a partner that just doesn''t want to. You cannot hold on to the idea of maybe one day changing your mind and neither can he. And he cannot hold on to the idea of maybe being able to live without children and neither can you. It isn''t fair to either of you and serious consideration should be given before you get married.

It''s possible that over the years you do change your mind or over the years he changes his, but its too risky. You can very well end up on the path of resentment as some of our PSers have experienced.
 

Tacori E-ring

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What if you don't change your mind? This is a MAJOR decision and one of the most important in your marriage. I would hate for him to start to resent you if you decide not to have children or you resent him when he doesn't let you forget he DOES want children. Just be on the same page. It will save you a lot of grief later on.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Figuring it out before marriage is obviously key, but even when you think you have it figure out the "on the fence" stance can be very tough. A good friend of mine married a man who did not want kids. She could have gone either way, but was content to spend the rest of her life with her husband travelling whenever and wherever she wished while focusing on her career. She was engaged at 27, married at 28 and divorced at 32. The baby bug hit her when she was around 30 and her husband was firm on his stance. She went through a lot of guilt and counseling to try to get passed it, but in the end she realized she''d made a mistake

Another friend of mine was adamant about not having kids--she never really even cared if she got married, but when her boyfriend proposed, she accepted. After they got married, she saw a doctor about getting her tubes tied and he had a reaction he didn''t expect: he freaked out at the thought of kids not being an option at all, in case they changed their minds. She won''t consider having children and now they are in counseling to try to work past it because he thinks he might. She feels betrayed and resentful because they''d both agreed to no kids before marriage.

It is very difficult to be the person who does not want kids because the vast majority of people do, which makes the pool of potential partners very small. I''ve also known many women who claim to be "on the fence" (myself included) and every single one has ended up wanting kids. I''d be interested to see if there are any women (or men) who have been on the fence and decided that kids weren''t for them after all.
 

gwendolyn

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Date: 4/18/2009 3:27:53 PM
Author:ficklefaye
my FI and i talk about this topic a lot because we don''t agree. he always wanted to have kids, but i don''t. despite this, FI says he loves me enough that he''d be happy whether we have children or not. my sister tells me that i''m still young and i''ll probably change my mind in a few years, but i don''t know if that will happen. FI wants to have kids because he thinks its a given and he likes the idea of carrying on his family name. all of that just doesn''t seem like a good reason to have kids.


are there any other ps''ers who don''t plan on having kids or don''t agree with their FI on this issue?
J and I have had the same discussion for years now. We are engaged and getting married next year, and J is perfectly aware of the fact that maybe I will never want to have kids--I don''t know. He understands that and sees us having a happy life together whether we have kids or not, and he says he will not feel resentful of me because I have been nothing but completely honest about it since we first started talking seriously about the future. I am 31 now and have no instincts or drive to be a mother, and do not want to pass on my genes to some poor, unsuspecting kid.

J doesn''t have a huge desire to be a father--he''s remarkably neutral on many issues--but leans a little more towards wanting one than not. He understands and respects my reasons not to want one and says he thinks we would make beautiful, wonderful children, but that he wouldn''t want them with anyone but me, so leaving me for someone with whom he could have a family isn''t an option for him. (Believe me, I thought we''d break up long ago over it, but he is steadfast in his desire to be with me.)

I have a feeling people will think our marriage is doomed to fail because of this fact, but they can think what they like. We have talked it over at least a hundred times, and has never blamed me or been angry at me for how I feel. When he tells me that he will be happy being with me, whether we have a family or not, I believe him. Even though it is guessing at the future (and his future feelings), he is the most trustworthy person I have ever known, and if he had a single iota of doubt about thoughts of a childless future with me, he would say so.

I hope I change my mind some day; one of the things I have told J is that we are so far from being settled and able to financially take care of ourselves (no house, no car, no pets, savings going towards immigration paperwork and the wedding) that the thought of having a baby to take care of sends thoughts of panic through me, not joy. When we are in a more stable environment, maybe I will feel differently. But maybe not. In the meantime, I''m going to trust in J that he''s been honest with me and continue to plan our life together.
 

April20

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This is something we talked about as soon soon as dating looked like it might get "serious". This is a make or break issue for DH. He doesn''t want kids. Well, more prefers not to have them, if that makes sense. I was, and am, not particularly passionate in either direction. There are days when I think it would be cool, but far more days when I really don''t want them. We agreed before we were married that we would not plan children. We do have a deal that if we accidently (read=mess up) get pregnant and have one, we''ll on purpose have two as I don''t believe in only children. I am very, very content in our relationship and it just being us. That does''t mean I don''t get a pang every now and then and don''t wonder what it would be like to be pregnant and have a child. There''s a part of me that wishes I could at least experience it.

All that being said, you should really talk this thru and make sure each of you is truly happy with what you decide. It can only wreak havoc on a marriage if down the road one of you changes their mind and is not in agreement with the other.
 

Feralpenchant

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I NEVER wanted kids, and actually, my mother has forbidden me to have children anyway. I still don't really want them.

SO does though, and sometimes I find myself kind of wanting to also. But not really.

People have told me the same thing, "you'll grow out of that". But I don't think so. Some girls know they want to be mommies from a young age. Some girls know they just want a nice husband and a nice house and a dog from a young age. Who's to say we have to grow out of it?

I have never even held a baby, and I haven't SEEN a baby (within 5 feet of me, obviously when I'm out in public it doesn't count) since I was like 4. I have no idea about kids.

I see it this way, I love my kitten with all my heart, and I can't imagine loving anything more than I love her. But when she keeps me up at night, I don't hesitate to scruff her and toss her into the hall.

I'm just too selfish to be a mother, and I'm proud of myself for realizing that, even if others don't think that's a good enough reason.

If for some reason I grow out of my selfishness and want children, then awesome. SO is fine with it either way.
 

rainwood

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I knew before I got married that I didn''t want to have kids and my fiance felt the same way. That was important to me because I didn''t want to be pressured or guilted into motherhood. We had lots of people tell us we''d change our minds. We didn''t and we''ve been happily married for almost 31 years. But we were on the same page from the beginning, and stayed on that same page. I''m not sure what would have happened if one of us had started to feel differently.
 

zhuzhu

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Date: 4/18/2009 8:08:15 PM
Author: rainwood
I knew before I got married that I didn''t want to have kids and my fiance felt the same way. That was important to me because I didn''t want to be pressured or guilted into motherhood. ..... I''m not sure what would have happened if one of us had started to feel differently.
Ditto on the first part. We are married only for a short time, but we do talk about "what if" one of us changes our mind, and we both agree that we will discuss it seriously should that happen. The key is communication, and the willingness to have an open mind.
 

TravelingGal

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Like Pandora, at 26 I was firmly in the no camp. As I aged, I was still in the "I don''t care for kids" camp.

The maternal instinct/desire thing NEVER hit me. But what DID hit me was the "I don''t think I want to go on with life with the option taken away from me" thing - i.e., biological clock. So I was fine with not taking BC for a couple of years and probably would have been relieved to some extent if it didn''t happen. But, of course, it did.

For other women, the drive to be a mom hits hard, all at once without a lot of warning. And sometimes it happens late. I''ve told the story before of my coworker who was very happily married for many many years. At 48 she realized she really really wanted to be a mom and adopt. Her husband liked their life the way it was. They couldn''t come to an agreement (I guess there''s no such thing as compromise on that kind of thing) so they divorced and she went on to adopt alone. It was so sad because they still loved each other but he wanted NOTHING to do with being a father and she was the one who changed her mind. So I''ve seen firsthand how it can affect happy marriages. She''s never regretted it and her daughter is the best thing that happened to her is what she tells me.

I think if you really don''t want children, you know it. It''s not that you "don''t care for them" - it''s that you actually detest children. Some people do, and I don''t see anything wrong with it (as long as they don''t harm children!) I never cared for them and still don''t for the most part. But it''s hard not to like your own kid, if only for the sheer amount of energy you invest in them.

Oh, and TGuy wanted kids and I didn''t, but I never said I wouldn''t have them. We talked a lot about it before we got married and agreed that if we didn''t have kids, we could be happy together. But I had to agree not to say "no" straight off the bat and after thinking about, I definitely was fine with "maybe."
 

iheartscience

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I don''t think you have to necessarily detest kids to not want any. I''m sort of on the fence myself, but am leaning towards no kids. (That could change if a biological clock of some kind kicks in, though-I know better than to say never!)

My fiance is on the same page as me-he knows we will be perfectly happy without kids, but he''s not 100% opposed to them, either. We''ve been dating for 6 years and living together for about 3 years, so I think we have a fairly good idea of what our life will be like without kids.

For now, though, I have no desire to be pregnant or have a kid! And I know plenty of people who are child free by choice and they certainly don''t detest kids...they just don''t want one of their own for various reasons.
 

allycat0303

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ficklefaye:

I feel exactly the same way. I''m 29 and all my life I have had no baby drive at all. Then in February my FFIL passed away. And seeing him pass away, how important his children were, etc., convinced me 100% I wanted children. And this feeling probably lasted about 2 months, and then I reverted to my non-biological clock state. Granted my life is a bit of a mess and uncertain right now, so that might be contributing to it all. It''s so hard for me to know. But that was the only time I felt like I wanted kids. And quite frankly, I can barely take care of myself, so I don''t feel strong enough to take care of another person.

My fiance wants children, but he says the same thing as yours, "I could be happy with you without" While I think it is important to discuss, and it''s good to be on the same page, I think the only part that is essential is that you are completely on divergent views i.e a woman who 100% can''t live without children, and a man who says 100% I''m against children. Because honestly, people change their minds, either way.

I''m pretty sure I''m willing to compromise. Because I do think later on, I might regret not having children, but I can''t say that I am totally *into* being a mother right now. Just writing it scares me, so I won''t have one until I feel like I can do it.
 

ficklefaye

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FI and i have had several discussions about this since our wedding is coming up in a few months, he is seven years older than me which may also be adding to our different views

with our current situation: somewhat stable jobs, no house, still renting, no pets, we both feel we are nowhere near ready to have kids even if i do change my mind

at 28, i am also pretty selfish, i''m not afraid to admit it either
 

ficklefaye

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i just wanted to add, my sister recently had a baby boy so she has fulfilled my parents wants to be grandparents

now my parents don''t care if i have kids or not so the other day my mom suggested i put money into a medical plan that will take care of me when i get older... i didn''t expect that from her at all
 

Allison D.

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I was very certain in my youth (20s) that I wanted children. I always envisioned myself married and with a family.

When 30 rolled around and I wasn''t dating anyone and sick of even bothering with dating, I think I came to an acceptance that perhaps it was in the cards for me to remain single. I''d always thought I''d have children even if I weren''t married, but with a bit of age and life experience, I began to feel that wasn''t the right choice. I wanted more for my children were I to have them, and the practical side of me realized that single motherhood would be a very hard road; it wasn''t the master plan I''d choose to embark on parenthood with. With that came the acceptance that I likely wouldn''t be a parent either.

For seven years, I lived life with the intent of always being single and cultivating my friendships and relationships and finding joy in my alternate path. Then at 37, I met my husband. I knew pretty quicky that he was absolutely the right person for me, and I began to think "well, the options have potentially shifted again - what do I really want as of now?" Much to my surprise, I realized that I no longer wanted or needed my own children. Maybe it was all the years of being a surrogate to others'' kids, and maybe some of it was feeling as though finding the right person for me was enough. Maybe it was a bit of both. We talked about children and gave great thought, and we both came to the realization that we didn''t want to be parents ourselves at that stage of the game. I don''t think I''d have the stamina or energy to do the role the kind of justice I''d like to, especially since I would be in my 40s at best.

It has been seven more years since I met my husband and five since we married. I''m just as serene and sure about our choice now; in fact, even moreso. That''s not to so that there aren''t days when we wonder what our children would look like or be like, but it''s more of a curiosity than anything. There is no regret, and we continue to choose not to become parents.

In addition to my various ''surrogates'', I have a niece and nephew now too. I feel there is plenty of meaning I can have by impacting their lives, and that brings me happiness.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/18/2009 10:06:27 PM
Author: thing2of2
I don't think you have to necessarily detest kids to not want any. I'm sort of on the fence myself, but am leaning towards no kids. (That could change if a biological clock of some kind kicks in, though-I know better than to say never!)

My fiance is on the same page as me-he knows we will be perfectly happy without kids, but he's not 100% opposed to them, either. We've been dating for 6 years and living together for about 3 years, so I think we have a fairly good idea of what our life will be like without kids.

For now, though, I have no desire to be pregnant or have a kid! And I know plenty of people who are child free by choice and they certainly don't detest kids...they just don't want one of their own for various reasons.
LOL, I probably was being a bit harsh. But you said you yourself are on the fence. Most people who without a doubt KNOW they do not want children ever ever EVER and knew this all their life really can't stand kids.

OR

They just love themselves and their lifestyle more. Nothing wrong with that.

ETA, not talking about people with medical or genetic concerns. Usually they think of what could potentially happen to the baby and think it would be better for all if they didn't go down that road.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/19/2009 1:30:09 AM
Author: Allison D.
I was very certain in my youth (20s) that I wanted children. I always envisioned myself married and with a family.

When 30 rolled around and I wasn''t dating anyone and sick of even bothering with dating, I think I came to an acceptance that perhaps it was in the cards for me to remain single. I''d always thought I''d have children even if I weren''t married, but with a bit of age and life experience, I began to feel that wasn''t the right choice. I wanted more for my children were I to have them, and the practical side of me realized that single motherhood would be a very hard road; it wasn''t the master plan I''d choose to embark on parenthood with. With that came the acceptance that I likely wouldn''t be a parent either.

For seven years, I lived life with the intent of always being single and cultivating my friendships and relationships and finding joy in my alternate path. Then at 37, I met my husband. I knew pretty quicky that he was absolutely the right person for me, and I began to think ''well, the options have potentially shifted again - what do I really want as of now?'' Much to my surprise, I realized that I no longer wanted or needed my own children. Maybe it was all the years of being a surrogate to others'' kids, and maybe some of it was feeling as though finding the right person for me was enough. Maybe it was a bit of both. We talked about children and gave great thought, and we both came to the realization that we didn''t want to be parents ourselves at that stage of the game. I don''t think I''d have the stamina or energy to do the role the kind of justice I''d like to, especially since I would be in my 40s at best.

It has been seven more years since I met my husband and five since we married. I''m just as serene and sure about our choice now; in fact, even moreso. That''s not to so that there aren''t days when we wonder what our children would look like or be like, but it''s more of a curiosity than anything. There is no regret, and we continue to choose not to become parents.

In addition to my various ''surrogates'', I have a niece and nephew now too. I feel there is plenty of meaning I can have by impacting their lives, and that brings me happiness.
Alj, I''m glad you made the choice that was right for you and weren''t cornered into it. But I am quite sure you would have been an amazing mom...you just would have had to put the kid down earlier and drink a few more glasses of wine at the end of the day (because, yes, it''s exhausting!!)
 

mrscushion

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FI and I have talked about it and we are on the same page. Neither of us has any baby fever right now and both of us are actually concerned about a child potentially negatively affecting the extremely strong bond we have with each other. That said, we both have always seen ourselves as eventual parents, so we think it's highly likely we'll end up deciding to have a baby when we reach our early thirties.
 

Dancing Fire

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Date: 4/18/2009 4:13:43 PM
Author: vespergirl
One of my best friends is in this situation with her husband of two years, and now it''s constant fighting. She told him that she was undecided about kids, and he definitely wanted them, but he proposed anyway assuming she would change her mind. Now they have been married for 2 years, and she is thinking she does not want kids, and they are fighting all the time and haven''t shared a bed in over a year. I honestly thought it was stupid of him to propose to her, and crappy of her to not be clear on the issue before they got married. Not because there''s anything wrong with not having kids, but because having children is a big marital dealbreaker that should be COMPLETELY decided before marriage.
an excellent birth control method.
 

rainwood

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T Gal -

I think you''re still being a bit harsh. I didn''t want kids of my own, but I enjoy other people''s kids (I love hanging out with my nieces) and it wasn''t necessarily about wanting a particular lifestyle either. I simply didn''t have the ambition or drive to to be a parent on a 24/7/365 basis, and I was smart enough to realize it. Parenting is an important and difficult role and I didn''t want to go into it unless I was prepared to fully commit. I''ve seen parents who probably should have chosen a different path and everyone suffers.

And the "selfish" label on the non-parent route always perplexes me. Any decision about whether to have kids or not is inherently selfish because it''s based on "I WANT to have kids" or "I WANT to not have kids." No matter which one we choose, it''s about what what WE want.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/19/2009 2:41:16 AM
Author: rainwood
T Gal -

I think you''re still being a bit harsh. I didn''t want kids of my own, but I enjoy other people''s kids (I love hanging out with my nieces) and it wasn''t necessarily about wanting a particular lifestyle either. I simply didn''t have the ambition or drive to to be a parent on a 24/7/365 basis, and I was smart enough to realize it. Parenting is an important and difficult role and I didn''t want to go into it unless I was prepared to fully commit. I''ve seen parents who probably should have chosen a different path and everyone suffers.

And the ''selfish'' label on the non-parent route always perplexes me. Any decision about whether to have kids or not is inherently selfish because it''s based on ''I WANT to have kids'' or ''I WANT to not have kids.'' No matter which one we choose, it''s about what what WE want.
It wasn''t meant to be slam and I''m not saying it''s selfish. I''m glad if people are smart enough to realize it''s not for them...I wish more people would do so because there are people out there who don''t have the drive to be a parent AFTER they become one. I think cnn.com has an article tonight on mothers and what they hate about motherhood. Honestly, it''s a ball and chain, albeit a cute one.

I think though that if you don''t have the drive or ambition to be a parent on a 24/7/365 basis, that IS prefering a certain lifestyle...one that means you can put you and your partner''s needs above having to deal with a kid. That is NOT selfish. That is realistic. It''s just a lifestyle without a kid! I didn''t want a kid because I honestly did not think I could deal with having to wake up early every single day, etc etc etc. I do it, but it still sucks to do it. Sometimes I ask myself (jokingly) how I got suckered into this one.


Anyway, it''s obviously not a scientific study and I''m happy to be wrong (happens all the time). Just that the people I''ve know who knew their entire life they didn''t want kids really strongly disliked children in general. One of them was my boss (a major career woman and my role model), who pretty well ignored any of her employees'' kids who came into visit. She once told me she''s excited when people bring in pets but really just didn''t like seeing kids around. She got knocked up at 40 and became a SAHM. Traded in her sports car for a Saturn SUV, the works. She''s 46 now and the happiest SAHM I know. It''s the freakiest thing I''ve ever seen.
 
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