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Why did you decide to be childfree?

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  • #2


    For me, I think once I realised having kids was optional, I never actually wanted them. I used to speak about "getting married at X age, having kids by Y age", but certainly by my early 20s, that shifted to "No kids for me, thanks!". I don't remember the change, but I do remember speaking to my new boyfriend (now husband) when I was about 21 and telling him it was important that he knew I didn't want kids. Happily, he was fine with it.

    It never felt like there was a particularly clear reason why I didn't want kids, but I quickly realised that an absence of desire is reason enough. I work with children, and one belief I hold firm is that children should only be brought into this world when they are actively wanted, with parents who are willing and able to put their children front and centre.

    I always wondered whether I would change my mind when I got married, when my friends had kids or when I hit my 30s, but I'm now 34, 5.5 years married and the only one of my close friends not to have kids, and if anything, I only feel more resolute about not having them! I've never ruled out changing my mind if my feelings changed, but that definitely hasn't happened.


  • #2


    I decided to be childfree in my twenties.

    Ironically, once I met the right person I ended up being the person to suggest having a child, which we did, and now seven years later my wife is pregnant on our second.

    Turns out parenting is hard work. We're lucky to have a great daughter, but I see so many children brought up in challenging environments, and it's no wonder that some people decide to go childfree (which sounds like some form of diet fizzy drink which does not contain children).

    To those who don't want children at 20, be aware, you probably will want them when you're 40 (I'm 41).

    Kids are not the be all and end all, they don't define you and they're not a must have accessory to life, but they will test your character and personality like nothing else on earth.

    Personally, I'm a much better person for having children, but YMMV.


  • #2


    Hi The One Doctor-

    I would be grateful if you could be cognisant of the raison d'etre of this forum and considerate towards posters who have made an active decision to be childfree (for whatever reason). While your post is polite and thoughtful, it does come across as preaching to a certain extent- lots of people do not have children for various reasons, they do not need to be told how much they are missing as they are often told in other fora on Boards.

    The purpose of this forum is to give a space to people who have decided to remain childless, where they can discuss any topics specific and pertinent to them, in a space where they are not going to be constantly questioned or have opinions foisted on them, by people who are not in a similar position to they.

    Please keep this in mind if you wish to continue posting here.

    Thankyou.


  • #2


    I always wanted kids, was mad to have them. Then I got into a long term relationship. One day she came home with books on pregnancy and it dawned on me that if I wanted kids, I really didn't want my partner to be their mother (very, VERY short fuse) so I pulled the plug on the relationship.

    I was in my early 30's when I made the final decision. I wanted to start a family when I was young and I decided that if it happened accidently I'd be ok with it, but I wasn't going to look to start a family.

    Just after turning 40 I met my current wife who married VERY young and had 2 kids before she was 20 so she had no interest in more, that suited me and we've been happy ever since.

    Do I regret not having kids, not really. I REALLY wanted kids when I was younger, but once I made that decision, that was that. I have extended family, all of whom have kids and pre-covid I made time to see them regularly. I'm quite happy to visit or babysit or do little outings with them but I've never, ever, once felt like I am missing out on something.


  • #2


    It wasn't a decision for me, it was completely innate. I've just known my entire life that I never wanted children.

    I find that sometimes childfree by choice people can be a bit at pains to be all "I don't dislike kids, I just don't want my own!" but I'll be 100% honest here and say I'm pretty much entirely disinterested in being around children. I just don't find them particularly cute or interesting or engaging in any meaningful way. I love my nieces and nephews and have done plenty of minding of them over the years but given the option, I wouldn't choose to spend much of my time in the company of children.


  • #2


    It's interesting DaCor that you knew you didn't want your ex-partner to be the mother of your children.I have never heard that kind of thinking before.Quite a brave thing to do, although maybe it didn't feel that way at the time.
    (For disclosure....I have kids).


  • #2


    I always said I didn't want them but part of me thought, privately, that I might consider it if I met the right person, but I didn't. I remember one aunt saying this to me when I was in college, and feeling like "ok, so you're saying this fundamental thing about me could be changed by another person."

    As I a woman, I do feel like I have to justify it much more than a man would, even though I'm not in a relationship and am over 40.

    Genealogy Forum Mod



  • #2


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    It wasn't a decision for me, it was completely innate. I've just known my entire life that I never wanted children.

    I find that sometimes childfree by choice people can be a bit at pains to be all "I don't dislike kids, I just don't want my own!" but I'll be 100% honest here and say I'm pretty much entirely disinterested in being around children. I just don't find them particularly cute or interesting or engaging in any meaningful way. I love my nieces and nephews and have done plenty of minding of them over the years but given the option, I wouldn't choose to spend much of my time in the company of children.


    I could have pretty much written that post, word-for-word, myself.

    I also think that, as I live in a somewhat rough area, the amount of scumbags around is something I'd be conscious of, if I had a child. I would be very much aware of the risk of him/her becoming a scumbag, getting involved in drugs/crime/etc and pretty much just wasting their lives on nothing.

    I think it would be incredibly frustrating and annoying to watch that unfold, knowing the invariable end-result.

    So on top of just not wanting kids around me in general, that would be an extra reason for me to want to stay as far away from having children as possible.

    To be honest, in general, I think we all live in a crappy world, and I see no reason to deliberately opt to inflict that on someone. I am not sure I grasp what it is that people feel they 'achieve' (for want of a better word) by having kids, with the exception of perhaps someone that may take care of them as a pensioner, but I'm sure the logic goes beyond that... perhaps a question for another thread, though. :o


  • #2


    I always assumed growing up that I'd have kids. It's just what people do. I discovered through working with kids that I'm not all that keen on them, and I definitely don't want to live with them. Pretty lucky as it turned out, because I've health issues, I've never had a boyfriend, and I'm quickly approaching mid 30s. I barely manage to look after myself.


  • #2


    For me, I don't think it was a conscious decision. I haven't chosen to be child free, rather I have chosen not to have children. The default option for me was always no kids.

    I don't think I'm any less of a person for not having kids, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything either. I'm happy with my life as it is.

    When I met my partner, we spoke about kids very on in our relationship. I raised it as I didn't have any major desire to have a child. He already has a son that he had quite young (his son is in his 20s now), so he was happy he had that part over and done with. He has asked me a few times over the years if I am still happy not to have a kid, and I have never felt that burning desire for a child. I've seen friends who end up broken hearted every month when having trouble to conceive, and I've never had that desire.

    I have nieces and a nephew, 2 godchildren, and am very close with my best friends daughters (they call us their fraunt and fruncle - friend aunt/uncle), and I love them all. I am happy to be able to hand them back to their parents at the end of the day though.


  • #2


    shesty wrote: »
    It's interesting DaCor that you knew you didn't want your ex-partner to be the mother of your children.I have never heard that kind of thinking before.Quite a brave thing to do, although maybe it didn't feel that way at the time.
    (For disclosure....I have kids).

    Truth be told it was a relationship that had gone past its sell by date and I was only in it for convenience at that point.

    It did come out of the blue for my ex, but after we sat down and I explained in detail my reasons, she accepted them, then stole thousands of euro from me, go figure lol.


  • #2


    "You'll change your mind"

    The above was always said to me, in my 20s And 30s and I genuinely thought I would!

    I'm in my mid 40s now (female) still haven't got the urge. Whenever I see parents with their kids I can only see hard thankless work and misery.

    When I'm 50 maybe I'll change my mind and be regretful, but somehow I doubt it. I think I got an extra dose of sarcasm rather than maternal instinct ;)


  • #2
    I said years ago that once I hit 30 it was a definite no to having children and I haven’t a single regret even l now about making that decision.


  • #2


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    It wasn't a decision for me, it was completely innate. I've just known my entire life that I never wanted children.

    I find that sometimes childfree by choice people can be a bit at pains to be all "I don't dislike kids, I just don't want my own!" but I'll be 100% honest here and say I'm pretty much entirely disinterested in being around children. I just don't find them particularly cute or interesting or engaging in any meaningful way. I love my nieces and nephews and have done plenty of minding of them over the years but given the option, I wouldn't choose to spend much of my time in the company of children.

    This is me too. There is a real expectation when a stranger's / colleague's kid is around that you fawn over them and think they are adorable, but that's not me at all. I find myself thinking, if I wanted to spend 30 minutes on zoom entertaining a child whilst I'm at a work meeting, I would have had one myself thanks! :rolleyes:

    The number of people who have said to me "You'll change your mind" or "I thought that too, but having kids is the best thing in the world/you're not complete until you have kids" etc. I mean I don't think I have ever heard a childfree person saying "I think you really made a mistake having children"! :pac:


  • #2


    I never had a big pull to have kids, just wasn't a big thing for me.
    Had an ectopic pregnancy in my early 30s, unplanned pregnancy, had to lose an ovary, & the hospital gave me a few pamphlets on bereavement, I really wasn't upset and was relieved really!

    Always said if I got to 40 without them, I wouldnt have them.
    Nearly 46 now, no regrets and the older I get, the happier I am that I am childfree


  • #2
    shesty wrote: »
    It's interesting DaCor that you knew you didn't want your ex-partner to be the mother of your children.I have never heard that kind of thinking before.Quite a brave thing to do, although maybe it didn't feel that way at the time.
    (For disclosure....I have kids).

    I also felt this way. When my ex started to talk about maybe wanting a child my heart was filled with dread. The relationship wasn't a good fit for either of us anyway but the idea of him being the father to my kids? God. No way. I remember sleepless nights of thinking 'do I stay with him and not have children because I'm concerned about the type of father he will be, and why can't I be brave enough to walk away'.


  • #2
    For me, it's a decision I haven't made. For as long as I can remember I wanted kids. I like them and they like me. When my best friend had her last child I was very involved and loved it. I was so happy sitting on the couch holding a newborn, could stay there for hours. My intention though was always bookended with '..but not now, later'. If I met the man I'm going to marry 10 years ago, if I didn't experience the life I have, if my career got off the road sooner, if if if.

    I am where I am now at 39. There's been an awful lot of figuring stuff out and I just don't know if I have the space inside of me to be a mother. I see it as being such an important role, and I have a professional insight into how easy you can destroy a developing self. If I found out I was pregnant now I would not be happy. That's a very strong intuitive feeling I have. There is no biological clock ticking, no yearning. Even though I'm a year off 40 I still have that view of wanting kids but not now.

    Something I do keep in mind is the potential for feeling loss in the future. Grief isn't only reserved for death. It wouldn't be good though to base such a huge decision on the possibility of how I might feel in the future. Right now life is good.


  • #2


    I have comorbid ADHD/Bipolar and I don't wish to have kids as I don't want to pass my conditions down.

    A lot of people might think that's a ridiculous reason, and that's fine.


  • #2


    Child free here as well but it might be in the pipeline which I realise might not be in keeping with the theme of the thread and without derailing the thread but does anyone get the casual comments about being infertile or shooting blanks being called a jaffa etc. I'm married but its surprising the amount of friends(?) who think it's ok to comment slyly about such matters since I've gotten married


  • #2


    BuboBubo wrote: »
    "You'll change your mind"

    The above was always said to me, in my 20s And 30s and I genuinely thought I would!

    I'm in my mid 40s now (female) still haven't got the urge. Whenever I see parents with their kids I can only see hard thankless work and misery.

    When I'm 50 maybe I'll change my mind and be regretful, but somehow I doubt it. I think I got an extra dose of sarcasm rather than maternal instinct ;)

    Oh god. That's immensely frustrating for a man, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for a woman. My old boss used to say it, he meant absolutely no harm at all. He was just a bit old fashioned and we got on great but it annoyed me. I find its usually an older person saying such things.

    I thought during my teens I'd never have/want kids. And I knew for certain by my early 20s. There are a number of reasons, quite personal so I don't want to post them, but I'm very happy with my life and the freedom I have. Im 32 now. Luckily I met a woman who made a decision to never have kids before we met and we are very happy together.

    Just recently my fiancee found out one of her friends at work has decided to never have kids and I could see the relief on her face as she was chatting on zoom. Her and her fella made the decision together.

    It's becoming more normal thankfully


  • #2


    Child free here as well but it might be in the pipeline which I realise might not be in keeping with the theme of the thread and without derailing the thread but does anyone get the casual comments about being infertile or shooting blanks being called a jaffaetc. I'm married but its surprising the amount of friends(?) who think it's ok to comment slyly about such matters since I've gotten married

    I had one male friend who used to pass comments like that (not to me) until he and his wife took over a year to conceive their second child.That put paid to his smart comments, to be honest.It is an incredibly rude and personal thing for people to comment on.


  • #2


    Child free here as well but it might be in the pipeline which I realise might not be in keeping with the theme of the thread and without derailing the thread but does anyone get the casual comments about being infertile or shooting blanks being called a jaffa etc. I'm married but its surprising the amount of friends(?) who think it's ok to comment slyly about such matters since I've gotten married

    What the jaysis fook is a jaffa???


  • #2


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    What the jaysis fook is a jaffa???

    Seedless ...


  • #2


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    What the jaysis fook is a jaffa???

    Seedless orange


  • #2


    Anyone else in that zone where they're just not sure? The problem for me as a guy is that being uncertain about having kids, in my mid 30's, makes it incredibly difficult to think about meeting someone.

    There's plenty people who are resolute about not wanting kids, some open to it, but I've no idea where I fit in and it's making me hesitant. As a guy, I can change my mind at any time....women don't have that option past a certain point.

    As of now, I feel zero urge and have never been a great kid person, but you never know.


  • #2


    dobman88 wrote: »
    Just recently my fiancee found out one of her friends at work has decided to never have kids and I could see the relief on her face as she was chatting on zoom. Her and her fella made the decision together.

    It's becoming more normal thankfully

    A few months before I left my last job, a colleague joined who was also childfree and my god did we bond instantly. Both same age and in long term relationships too, which helped, but I was bloody devastated to leave her behind when I moved back to Ireland. I’m part of a childfree meet-up group now, all online for the moment, in an effort to make more friends in the same boat because it’s lovely to have people on the same page in your life.


  • #2


    Faith wrote:
    Let's kick it off with one of the most obvious topics for discussion - why did you decide on a childfree life? And when?

    Autistic, find relationships very difficult and painful, so childless, but to be honest, I don't think it's for me anyway, as I'm prone to elevated levels of anxiety and depression, I guess you could say it was chosen for me


  • #2
    Wahey an entire forum !

    They thread I started years ago wasn't so crazy after all ! I just checked it the other day to see the poll results and it's actually interesting but in line in what I was thinking !

    Personally never had the desire or passion for kids of my own, hitting the end of my 20's now and still only starting to live a life and really can't see myself with a father title. The hope is to find a partner with the same mind frame, wherever she is ! Ha


  • #2


    I've always felt like kids just weren't for me. Too much hard work, responsibility, financial drain and I just simply don't enjoy their company tbh.
    I thought maybe it was because I'm a lesbian but many of my gay friends want/have kids. I've four sisters who are all over 30 as well, hetero and none have or want children either, which people often find odd I guess. Maybe it's genetic :pac: my two bros have children however so just the females.


  • #2


    coathanger wrote: »
    Seedless ...

    That makes much more sense than where my mind was going *trying to remember everything that was on the Derry Girls blackboard*


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