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27-05-2012, 21:54   #1
The Sweeper
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Child Free - what do you put in your life instead?

Didn't want to derail the 'broody monster' thread, but thought I'd put this up there because it's on my mind lately.

Am 35, no kids, no plans (married eight years). OH also has no desire for kids. However we're surrounded by people with small children and while they have more sense than to pressure us, I'm starting to feel like I need something else in my life because somehow I'm not taking sufficient advantage of the free time and the good money I have to myself.

I have a plethora of pets, I give money to charity and I work full time in a career job, but what else?

See, OH joined the army in his mid thirties. He left his day job (which he hated) and decided to finally do something he felt was extremely fulfilling. He still loves it and he's in nearly two years. He loves the camaraderie, the career path, the structure and the exercise. Other friends of mine who are child free and have booming and social careers have found Jesus. (Honestly. I dunno if he was down the back of the couch with the carkeys or what.) So their free time is often spent socialising in Christian groups.

Still more friends of mine who are willingly child free spend their free time in a combination of nerdy and creative pursuits - D&D games, role playing groups, writing, editing, so on.

The point is that if you hit your mid thirties with no kids and you're lucky, you have a good job, plenty of money and nobody to spend it on, and all the free time you could possibly want. However, if you still managed to grow up in that time, you're also past the wild partying days of your 20s and now you're looking for some more meaning in your life, but what do you fill it with?

So there you go, here's the question. If you don't want kids (and there seem to be a lot of loungers on here who are child free), what are you going to fill your life with instead? (And this is open to people who have kids too, because I'm sure there are occasional wistful moments amidst the chaos where you think 'if I didn't have my little darlings I'd be off doing xyz right now...')
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27-05-2012, 21:57   #2
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? (And this is open to people who have kids too, because I'm sure there are occasional wistful moments amidst the chaos where you think 'if I didn't have my little darlings I'd be off doing xyz right now...')
Dunno about anyone else but I'd be sleeping.
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27-05-2012, 21:58   #3
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Learn how to play karate.
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27-05-2012, 22:03   #4
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I had a ball (before junior arrived) traveling, dining out, cinema, museums etc etc and would have been more than happy continuing in the same vein if I never had kids. Right now time for ones self is the most precious commodity for me as I was so used to having it but don't anymore..

I don't think you have to do anything extraordinary every day because you don't have kids - just enjoy time and freedom.
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27-05-2012, 22:06   #5
Princess Peach
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I'm not at the child having age yet so haven't made any firm decisions, but one thing I am always thinking of is my love for travel! I lived and worked in Ireland last year but went out of the country 3 times and mini trips in Ireland a bunch of times. This year I'm living in Canada, next year, I'm not really sure yet.

I love being able to agree to a holiday with only myself to think about. And I'm mad for travel and am always adding to my list of places I want to go. I'd love to save up more money and take off for a year or so in the future. And in between travels I make intricate memory scrapbooks

So right now that's my main swing about not having children. Maybe an age will come when I'm bored of it, who knows!
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27-05-2012, 22:11   #6
Giselle
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If you're looking for more meaning then indulging whatever altruistic tendencies you might have would be fulfilling for you.

Are there charities whose work you particularly admire that you could get involved in? Is there some voluntary community project you could find yourself lost in?

Are you interested in developing a talent you have? A musical instrument you always wanted to learn, or a choir missing your voice?
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27-05-2012, 22:15   #7
Snoopy1
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Travel.
I love seeing new places, and i can go where i like.
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27-05-2012, 22:19   #8
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My children will be horses! They take a lot of care, and a lot of time. I'm hoping to buy youngstock and break and train them, then sell them on, so that will essentially take up all of my free time that would have been devoted to kids.
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27-05-2012, 22:59   #9
pwurple
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Well, we had been told we were infertile, so I was very busy packing our lives with fun stuff before we got knocked up.

I was a complete hoarder of skills.
Got a second hand slr camera, and did some photography classes. Joined some photography groups that did night shoots once a month, or trips.

Cooking, cooking classes, inviting friends round and cooking for them. Baking things for people is pretty rewarding.

Fishing, gardening, sailing, surfing. Found people who were into them and tagged along. Gardening I was always into thanks to my grannny.

Sewing! Get an old sewing machine and alter some clothes. So much fun. Very rewarding.

Shooting. I can now take out a pheasant from a decent distance.

Drive everything. Motorbikes are fun. Next on my list was the HGV license.

Look up the local adult education classes. They are cheap enough. I did a local history one, book club, photoshopping, opera.

Running, cycling, orienteering or other sports.

Meet as many people as you can and find out all about them. The world is a VERY interesting place.
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27-05-2012, 23:19   #10
beks101
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Here's an idea: run a marathon.
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27-05-2012, 23:41   #11
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27-05-2012, 23:50   #12
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I did a Masters degree. It was purely for selfish reasons because it's not really something that would help me in a career-furthering way. I just decided to do it for me and because I had an interest. I thinking of doing another in history when I have a bit of extra cash, just because I'd like to learn a bit about it. The Open University has a great range of courses than can be fit around work, real life, etc. http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/index.htm
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28-05-2012, 00:38   #13
Princess Peach
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Here's an idea: run a marathon.
This is a good one! My mother is pretty different from you OP, has 4 children but the youngest is 18 now and in the last couple of years she became fitness mad, which was not like her at all! I know she is a mother, but she doesn't have children to raise anymore and had to find ways to fill all her free time.

She walked the Dublin city marathon last year and loved her training. asked all her girlfriends to take turns keeping her company on her walks during the week. She loves to cycle when the weather is good and goes to the gym and aqua-aerobics. She puts me to shame and I'm 30 years younger!

She wouldn't have any interest in video games or any traditional hobbies. She reads like a fiend and does a lot of volunteer work and evening classes.
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28-05-2012, 00:59   #14
beks101
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This is a good one! My mother is pretty different from you OP, has 4 children but the youngest is 18 now and in the last couple of years she became fitness mad, which was not like her at all! I know she is a mother, but she doesn't have children to raise anymore and had to find ways to fill all her free time.

She walked the Dublin city marathon last year and loved her training. asked all her girlfriends to take turns keeping her company on her walks during the week. She loves to cycle when the weather is good and goes to the gym and aqua-aerobics. She puts me to shame and I'm 30 years younger!
I trained for one recently and it's been hands-down the most confidence-building, positive, time-consuming exercise I've ever taken on. It completely changed my outlook on myself and my abilities and I can't think of another challenge I've taken on that changed my life in the same way.

And there's a great social opportunity in training with others, sharing tips, even just smiling at joggers that pass you on the street in a sort of knowing, 'I'm one of you ' type of way.

It's also addictive and a lot of time has to go into planning your runs, your nutrition, building up your mileage, cross training, even the rest days have to be planned in terms of getting adequate sleep and liquids and eating the right things.

So if you're looking for a way of killing time in the most productive of ways - give it a shot. You might surprise yourself
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28-05-2012, 10:48   #15
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Given you've loads of animals I'm thinking travel is not really on the cards for you, never mind your job probably not being too up for it. What about college TS? A subject that you would have interest in, learning for learnings sake kinda thing. You could do that part time and at weekends with college work during summers and the like. Plus would open up a whole new social group for you and at the end you'd have yet another string to your bow.
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