Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

Why did you decide to be childfree?

135

Comments

  • #2


    Faith wrote: »
    Being parentified as a child seems to send people quite firmly into either camp, as far as I can see. Either they grow up thinking “I want a big family of my own” or “I never want children”. Not many who grow up around loads of kids seem to be ambivalent about kids as adults, in my experience.

    I'd never thought of that before, but I think that might have been what "triggered" it off for me too


  • #2


    Because kids are annoying.


  • #2
    Long time lurker, decided this forum deserved an account setup!
    I'm a 27 y/o female, which may seem young in terms of childfree decisions but I'm fairly adamant on my decision and my age has no bearing on it.
    To be honest, I never really actually liked children that much. I was dragged to babysit cousins and neighbours whenever I was a teenager and I can remember just counting down the seconds until their bedtime because I just found entertaining them so boring. Like others, I had it at the back of my mind that I'd probably miraculously end up liking children sometime in my life and having them, but that really hasn't happened at all. I find them really boring and annoying. I interact well with them and they always like me, but I'm dying of boredom inside.
    I don't intend to share my childfree decision with others purely because it's really nobody's business. I was really taken aback a few months ago when a colleague started asking me if I wanted children, etc. She probably thought it was harmless enough but I really would never dream of asking anyone it. Anyway, it turned out that she was really heartbroken because it didn't seem that she and her partner were able to have children, or so it appeared to them anyway after years of trying. I was really heartbroken for her- she'd make a fantastic mother- but for me, it just cemented my childfree stance. Without meaning to cause offence, being infertile etc wouldn't be a major issue for me at all.
    On another note, I think it's great that people seem to be mulling over the children decision now. I know countless people who seem to have "fallen into" having children, without giving it any great thought, and seem constantly exasperated at parenting and longing for freedom. On the other hand, I think back to my school days and many of the people who had issues with their parents- divorced parents, etc- are now parents themselves and seem to really dote on their children.
    Finances are also a big factor for me. I make an ok salary but after my mortgage etc. is paid there isn't a huge amount leftover. I have friends etc who pay for childcare and it all just seems extortionate.
    Finally, there's the fact that I'm really independent. I love being able to go when I want, where I want (pre covid obviously) and the thoughts of running kids to music practice or sports training just drives me bananas. The thought of parent-teacher meetings, making lunches etc is imprisioning for me!


  • #2


    To me it was based mainly on what some people may view as selfish reasons, meaning I just wanted my time for myself. It did not work out that way in the end as it happens, but you learn to get on with things.


  • #2


    Long time lurker, decided this forum deserved an account setup!
    I'm a 27 y/o female, which may seem young in terms of childfree decisions but I'm fairly adamant on my decision and my age has no bearing on it.
    To be honest, I never really actually liked children that much. I was dragged to babysit cousins and neighbours whenever I was a teenager and I can remember just counting down the seconds until their bedtime because I just found entertaining them so boring. Like others, I had it at the back of my mind that I'd probably miraculously end up liking children sometime in my life and having them, but that really hasn't happened at all. I find them really boring and annoying. I interact well with them and they always like me, but I'm dying of boredom inside.
    I don't intend to share my childfree decision with others purely because it's really nobody's business. I was really taken aback a few months ago when a colleague started asking me if I wanted children, etc. She probably thought it was harmless enough but I really would never dream of asking anyone it. Anyway, it turned out that she was really heartbroken because it didn't seem that she and her partner were able to have children, or so it appeared to them anyway after years of trying. I was really heartbroken for her- she'd make a fantastic mother- but for me, it just cemented my childfree stance. Without meaning to cause offence, being infertile etc wouldn't be a major issue for me at all.

    On another note, I think it's great that people seem to be mulling over the children decision now. I know countless people who seem to have "fallen into" having children, without giving it any great thought, and seem constantly exasperated at parenting and longing for freedom. On the other hand, I think back to my school days and many of the people who had issues with their parents- divorced parents, etc- are now parents themselves and seem to really dote on their children.
    Finances are also a big factor for me. I make an ok salary but after my mortgage etc. is paid there isn't a huge amount leftover. I have friends etc who pay for childcare and it all just seems extortionate.
    Finally, there's the fact that I'm really independent. I love being able to go when I want, where I want (pre covid obviously) and the thoughts of running kids to music practice or sports training just drives me bananas. The thought of parent-teacher meetings, making lunches etc is imprisioning for me!

    I know several couples who have "fallen" into parenthood. It's a box ticking exercise, house - check, partner - check, 2.4 kids - check. A parent will only admit they're miserable and unhappy to childfree folks, never to other parents. That's a whole other topic, but sometimes there is regret.

    Just seeing my brother in his (never gets cold) sprogwagon, driving here there and yonder to sports training, kids playmates gaffs, the older teenagers boyfriend's place, after school study, etc, etc, wears me out. No thank you very much ;) not for me.

    He has (jokingly?) said, "will you take them for a few months, I need a break" :D


  • #2


    BuboBubo wrote: »
    A parent will only admit they're miserable and unhappy to childfree folks, never to other parents

    That's not true in my own experience.

    I have often come across friends etc. who will openly talk about this, and I do so myself. Sometimes the decisions that you take do not align to the way that reality pans out and you find yourself living with it.


  • #2


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    I'd be very surprised if that was in Ireland, and perhaps Weisses might confirm.

    There are doctors who will refuse, and they are perfectly within their rights to do so. No doctor should be forced to carry out a procedure which does not fit comfortably with them.

    It is certainly possible to get it done though, a good friend of mine had the snip in his mid 30s.


  • #2


    Hi all, 28 years old female here. Having kids has never appealed to me anyway, enjoy being my own person too much which could be considered selfish!

    I also have severe PCOS, to the extent it wouldn't be possible anyway. I am happy with the decision as is my partner. I have nephews and nieces that I absolutely adore and spoil, because of this people think I will change my mind about having my own kids. Also with the PCOS, I keep getting comments from MIL about needing to 'protect my ovaries' as if I have done something to cause the condition. Can be frustrating sometimes when people cannot respect our decision.


  • #2


    29 female and also have never wanted children. Cannot find a single logical reason to have them and have never felt the biological need either.

    I am single and don't find that many men (or at least the ones I have met) like that a woman can be so adamant about it. A lot say not now but maybe someday... and don't want the door shut completely.

    I don't even think I could date someone that had kids already and didn't want more as I would probably play the evil stepmother role waaay too well.


  • #2


    skallywag wrote: »
    That's not true in my own experience.

    I have often come across friends etc. who will openly talk about this, and I do so myself. Sometimes the decisions that you take do not align to the way that reality pans out and you find yourself living with it.

    Yeah I would only discuss the hardships of parenting with other parents.


  • #2


    o1s1n wrote: »

    Plenty of people genuinely regret having children too, it's just such an absolute taboo it's never discussed and I'm sure a massively repressed feeling for most parents who feel that way.

    Do they do? Is there any stats on this or is it just a made-up viewpoint?


  • #2


    markodaly wrote: »
    Do they do? Is there any stats on this or is it just a made-up viewpoint?

    I doubt there are stats, but there's plenty of people sharing their experiences online and through other forms of media. You can look at the Facebook page "I regret having children" or https://www.reddit.com/r/regretfulparents/ as two examples.


  • #2


    markodaly wrote: »
    I don't want to drag this thread off-topic, but the odd Facebook forum or Reddit group wouldn't be any real indication of 'plenty' of people regretting having children. Whether we like it or not, humans are biologically predisposed to want to have children, otherwise there would be no humans on the planet. :) It is just biology.

    One thing I will say is that children complicate things, especially relationships. If you are not secure in yourself, your partner and your relationship and you bring children into the equation, then it can be a very rocky road, hence why I understand from many posts here people just don't want the hassle and want to remain childfree which is fine and probably actually very wise for all concerned.

    I see having kids as a high risk, high reward venture.

    Do you have the stats to back up that parents don't regret their kids?

    Would you like to share your opinion or scientific biological reasons that there are abandoned and abused kids in the world?

    It is great that you like having children and enjoy it. But spare a minute for how opressive it might be for someone who wants to express their less than enthusiastic feeling on their children to be told that it is 'biological'.

    Do you actually want to hear the other side or are you just here to patronise us childfree people . 'Wise for all concerned'. You're some boy.


  • #2


    Do you have the stats to back up that parents don't regret their kids?

    Would you like to share your opinion or scientific biological reasons that there are abandoned and abused kids in the world?

    It is great that you like having children and enjoy it. But spare a minute for how opressive it might be for someone who wants to express their less than enthusiastic feeling on their children to be told that it is 'biological'.

    Do you actually want to hear the other side or are you just here to patronise us childfree people . 'Wise for all concerned'. Your some boy.

    ... I'm patronizing when you write a post like that? OK.


  • #2


    markodaly wrote:
    ... I'm patronizing when you write a post like that? OK.


    Your post is pretty patronising, when you surmised from the thread that people just don't want the hassle of kids. Most of the posts are about how they never felt that urge to have children and are comfortable enough in themselves to not have children just because society says so.
    Generally when people conclude that it's a good idea for someone not to have children, they tend to be implying that that person is in someway defective as a human. Not saying you're doing that, as per say, but it's often meant that way.


  • #2


    markodaly wrote: »
    I don't want to drag this thread off-topic, but the odd Facebook forum or Reddit group wouldn't be any real indication of 'plenty' of people regretting having children. Whether we like it or not, humans are biologically predisposed to want to have children, otherwise there would be no humans on the planet. :) It is just biology.

    One thing I will say is that children complicate things, especially relationships. If you are not secure in yourself, your partner and your relationship and you bring children into the equation, then it can be a very rocky road, hence why I understand from many posts here people just don't want the hassle and want to remain childfree which is fine and probably actually very wise for all concerned.

    I see having kids as a high risk, high reward venture.

    You see that... for you.
    Looking at our meaning of life is to reproduce is one evolutionary viewpoint only. If you look at it on an individual basis, or even moral or environmental, it is not the meaning of life. In fact, it could be argued by not having children we are actually saving the planet. From a biological point of view, having children is probably one of the most selfish things you can do. You’re stealing resources from others in order to perpetuate your genes. If we continue the way we are going, there won't be a planet left for us to reproduce on.

    If we do look at a pre-disposition to having children, that doesn't necessarily mean you don't regret it. Relationships are complex, and just being a parent doesn't necessarily mean you will have a loving relationship with your child, and there are many reasons why you might have a regret around this.

    I am quite secure in myself and in my relationship. My relationship status was never a reason for me not to have children. I never had this biological urge you claim is the reason for my existence.


  • #2


    markodaly wrote: »
    I don't want to drag this thread off-topic, but the odd Facebook forum or Reddit group wouldn't be any real indication of 'plenty' of people regretting having children. Whether we like it or not, humans are biologically predisposed to want to have children, otherwise there would be no humans on the planet. :) It is just biology.

    One thing I will say is that children complicate things, especially relationships. If you are not secure in yourself, your partner and your relationship and you bring children into the equation, then it can be a very rocky road, hence why I understand from many posts here people just don't want the hassle and want to remain childfree which is fine and probably actually very wise for all concerned.

    I see having kids as a high risk, high reward venture.

    This might help you understand


  • #2


    Your post is pretty patronising, when you surmised from the thread that people just don't want the hassle of kids. Most of the posts are about how they never felt that urge to have children and are comfortable enough in themselves to not have children just because society says so.
    Generally when people conclude that it's a good idea for someone not to have children, they tend to be implying that that person is in someway defective as a human. Not saying you're doing that, as per say, but it's often meant that way.

    My post was not meant to be patronizing. As was already mentioned in this forum, everyone is born childfree, until they either shed their mortal coil or become parents.

    Many people have also alluded to the fact that they are happy out in their routine of living their own lives and don't want to upset that by having children. Not wanting the hassle of kids is a pretty apt description of many of the comments, but not all and I wouldn't say that it's patronizing to state that.

    I don't own a pet or a dog for example, or have a bunch of chickens out the back garden because I don't want the hassle of it. Each to their own.


  • #2


    cee_jay wrote: »
    You see that... for you.
    Looking at our meaning of life is to reproduce is one evolutionary viewpoint only. If you look at it on an individual basis, or even moral or environmental, it is not the meaning of life. In fact, it could be argued by not having children we are actually saving the planet. From a biological point of view, having children is probably one of the most selfish things you can do. You’re stealing resources from others in order to perpetuate your genes. If we continue the way we are going, there won't be a planet left for us to reproduce on.

    Well, that is one way of looking at it, perhaps an extreme way, which taken to the logical conclusion humans will make themselves extinct. However, how many people that want to be childfree, are actually trying to save the planet? A tiny tiny fraction id say. But it is a point of view I have heard from some people online, although I dont know if its actually done in practice.
    If we do look at a pre-disposition to having children, that doesn't necessarily mean you don't regret it. Relationships are complex, and just being a parent doesn't necessarily mean you will have a loving relationship with your child, and there are many reasons why you might have a regret around this.

    Of course. LIFE is complicated. Some people who have children may regret it, just like people who don't have children may regret it later on in life. Both are true statements. Again, each to their own. It's a wonderful thing that people are alive in 2021 where there is actually some choice to be had.
    I am quite secure in myself and in my relationship. My relationship status was never a reason for me not to have children. I never had this biological urge you claim is the reason for my existence.

    It is not my claim at all, we have evolved over millions of years from apes that lived in trees. We, humans, exist more so by accident but also by hardcoded biological urges that in some way are still with us today. Why does it feel good to have sex, for example? That is nature telling us to do it again and again because it wants to reproduce. However, today we have contraception and the like to counter that natural consequence of having sex. A couple wanting to have a child-free life in 1921 would have found it incredibly difficult than a couple in 2021.


  • #2


    markodaly wrote: »
    Why does it feel good to have sex, for example? That is nature telling us to do it again and again because it wants to reproduce. .

    Why does it feel good to drink alcohol. Is it a nature telling us to be alcoholics?

    Or why does eating feel so good? Obese people are often not healthy and if we indulge we would become unhealthy.

    Is it what nature wants for us?


  • #2


    markodaly wrote: »
    Well, that is one way of looking at it, perhaps an extreme way, which taken to the logical conclusion humans will make themselves extinct. However, how many people that want to be childfree, are actually trying to save the planet? A tiny tiny fraction id say. But it is a point of view I have heard from some people online, although I dont know if its actually done in practice.



    Of course. LIFE is complicated. Some people who have children may regret it, just like people who don't have children may regret it later on in life. Both are true statements. Again, each to their own. It's a wonderful thing that people are alive in 2021 where there is actually some choice to be had.



    It is not my claim at all, we have evolved over millions of years from apes that lived in trees. We, humans, exist more so by accident but also by hardcoded biological urges that in some way are still with us today. Why does it feel good to have sex, for example? That is nature telling us to do it again and again because it wants to reproduce. However, today we have contraception and the like to counter that natural consequence of having sex. A couple wanting to have a child-free life in 1921 would have found it incredibly difficult than a couple in 2021.

    It is done in practice. One of my best friends has chosen not to have kids for this reason. She lives a very sustainable lifestyle, and the impact of having one child is higher than any other activity we do. I don't think it is an extreme anymore. The science is there to show the negative impact our growing population is having on the planet.

    It is each to their own. Which is why I don't understand the need for people with children to question someone's decision not to have a child.
    In my case, I argue I have never made a decision to have a child (I didn't decide not to have them) as my default position was childfree. I am not maternal, I have no desire to hold a baby etc. That isn't wanting "hassle". It is not wanting a baby. The "hassle" had nothing to do with my decision.


  • #2


    markodaly wrote: »
    It is not my claim at all, we have evolved over millions of years from apes that lived in trees. We, humans, exist more so by accident but also by hardcoded biological urges that in some way are still with us today.

    People are not animals. As you said. We are humans and contrary to animals we can be creative in an abstract way.

    Bringing kids to the world is an act of creation. But it is only one kind of creation, while people can be creative in many other ways. Someone can create a great place to live, or beautiful garden. Or someone can introduce new inventions and solutions at work. Or someone can create pure art like painting, films, books or musics, which can be extremely rewarding and which can bring happiness to millions of others listening, reading or watching it.

    I believe that in future only people, who love kids will have them and it will be a win-win situation for everyone involved. Happy kids, happy parents and happy other people realising their lives in their way.


  • #2


    the 'nature says X' argument reminds me of the lazy 'it's adam and eve, not adam and steve' argument that you'd have occasionally heard in relation to same sex marriage and related arguments.

    pointing to nature as an example is a foolhardy exploit. nature frequently contradicts itself, and is not a mutually coherent set of rules. and it also does not map to right/wrong either.


  • #2
    I mentioned this before but for the sake of the discussion taking place here now,

    I started a thread about kids before and also added a poll with 4 choices. Here are the results

    I have kids and think it's great - 184 votes (40%)
    I have kids and regret it - 21 votes (5%)
    I don't have kids and think it's great - 228 votes (49%)
    I don't have kids and regret it - 28 votes (6%)

    I'm pro not having kids etc but even I was amazed at these results from the forum users


  • #2


    I mentioned this before but for the sake of the discussion taking place here now,

    I started a thread about kids before and also added a poll with 4 choices. Here are the results

    I have kids and think it's great - 184 votes (40%)
    I have kids and regret it - 21 votes (5%)
    I don't have kids and think it's great - 228 votes (49%)
    I don't have kids and regret it - 28 votes (6%)

    I'm pro not having kids etc but even I was amazed at these results from the forum users

    The only surprising thing in that for me is the amount of people who have kids. I think it's a bit counter productive for them to read/post on a childfree forum as they usually wouldn't understand or agree with the decision to not have children which takes away from the "safe space" that this forum is supposed to be.

    Hopefully it doesn't go that way, but there has been some posts to suggest it will already.


  • #2


    dobman88 wrote: »
    The only surprising thing in that for me is the amount of people who have kids. I think it's a bit counter productive for them to read/post on a childfree forum as they usually wouldn't understand or agree with the decision to not have children which takes away from the "safe space" that this forum is supposed to be.

    Hopefully it doesn't go that way, but there has been some posts to suggest it will already.

    I think the poll came from a thread posted on After Hours a few years ago, not this forum :)


  • #2


    dobman88 wrote: »
    The only surprising thing in that for me is the amount of people who have kids. I think it's a bit counter productive for them to read/post on a childfree forum as they usually wouldn't understand or agree with the decision to not have children which takes away from the "safe space" that this forum is supposed to be.

    Hopefully it doesn't go that way, but there has been some posts to suggest it will already.

    I’m super surprised it’s not locked down like the dating or sexuality forums. I mean locking them down kind of means they suck because then nobody really posts in the because they’re don’t know they exist. But still.....


  • #2


    Faith wrote: »
    I think the poll came from a thread posted on After Hours a few years ago, not this forum :)

    Ah. Fair enough. Thought they'd had a poll on a thread I'd missed here. Ty


  • #2


    regardless, you're not going to get any sort of useful poll on boards, unless you break it down by age. asking a 25 year old if they have kids and what their attitude is, is very different from asking a 40 year old.


  • #2


    JoChervil wrote: »
    Why does it feel good to drink alcohol. Is it a nature telling us to be alcoholics?

    Or why does eating feel so good? Obese people are often not healthy and if we indulge we would become unhealthy.

    Is it what nature wants for us?

    With alcohol, well for some people it makes them feel bad but drinking alcohol does release endorphins in the brain, which triggers a pleasure and reward loop.

    https://www.livescience.com/36084-alcohol-releases-endorphins-brain.html#:~:text=Drinking%20alcohol%20triggers%20the%20release,to%20a%20small%20new%20study.

    Eating some foods feels good because we are hard-wired for it. We are not built with modern food production in mind, that is why some foods taste so good to us, like sugar or carbs which were in rare supply thousands of years ago.

    Humans need to eat to live. Humans need to have sex to reproduce. We are hardwired to do both (eat and sex). This is not exactly a controversial statement.


Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.