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Why did you decide to be childfree?

124

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,862 ✭✭✭✭ markodaly


    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.

    Correct, but then on the other extreme, one can also wrongly deny that humans have any hardwiring built into them as if we are a white piece of paper, unshackled from billions of years of evolution.

    It is equally lazy to suggest everyone has absolute free will and nature has no interference whatsoever in peoples lives and the choices they make.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭ Nodferatu


    Was never really an option or a decision, I've known my whole life I had zero interest in children. I have no interest in wanting to be a parent and spending my life dedicated to raising a baby/child right to way to adulthood.
    I think if your going to bring a life into the world you better be damned sure your gonna love and nurture and spoil that child and do right by them.
    I'm happy to be free, I have total freedom, I'm not tied down. I have money, I have time. Our dog and cats are our children. And that's the way we both love it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,862 ✭✭✭✭ markodaly


    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

    I think the poll is about right, tbh.

    Most people who do have kids are not angst-ridden, stressed, hating life and are depressed with the fact they have kids
    Most people who do NOT have kids are perfectly fine with their decision and happy out with their choice and live life the way they want to.

    Only a small subset on both sides have any regret for their decision. But as has been said, many people in the 'I dont have kids' question may well be young, free and single types.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,862 ✭✭✭✭ markodaly


    cee_jay wrote: »
    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.

    Fair enough, but ill say one thing. It goes on from the 'other side' as well. When I told my extended network about having my first, almost all without fail went on about the sleepless nights, the stress of it, the nappy changing. Many of my friends who don't have kids especially were eager to tell me about their sleep-ins and stress-free lifestyle.

    I found it all a bit odd, to be honest, until I talked to other would-be parents about it.

    People I think, seem to try to extenuate the negative of ones life choices, be it having a child or not having a child.

    For every comment about people choosing a child-free life and getting a 'sure who is going to look after you when you are older' remark, there are people who will pass comments to new parents about 'get your sleep in now before....'

    Maybe it's an Irish thing as well, we can be a negative judgmental bunch.
    Each to their own. I couldn't give two ****s if a friend of mine choose not to have kids, or have five.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,232 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH


    markodaly wrote: »
    Fair enough, but ill say one thing. It goes on from the 'other side' as well. When I told my extended network about having my first, almost all without fail went on about the sleepless nights, the stress of it, the nappy changing. Many of my friends who don't have kids especially were eager to tell me about their sleep-ins and stress-free lifestyle.

    Yeh. They're just the cliches that everyone thinks about regarding kids.

    On the other hand, the "why don't you want kids" crowd ask it like there's something wrong with you.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,862 ✭✭✭✭ markodaly


    Tony EH wrote: »
    Yeh. They're just the cliches that everyone thinks about regarding kids.

    On the other hand, the "why don't you want kids" crowd ask it like there's something wrong with you.

    You missed the point.

    Many people are just negative and judgemental. It doesn't matter if you tell someone you are having a child or telling them you never want to have one, they are equally likely to come out with that type of negative comment about your choice.

    And, no not everyone thinks about children that way. Maybe the negative types do, but not everyone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,232 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH


    markodaly wrote: »
    You missed the point.

    On the contrary, I didn't miss "the point" at all. EVERYONE will talk about "sleepless nights, the stress of it, the nappy changing" whether they're having/had a kid or not.

    However, only one side will ever ask "why don't you want kids" in that accusatory fashion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,008 ✭✭✭ Sunny Disposition


    It’s true, you do get a lot of people telling you how hard raising a child is going to be, gets totally exaggerated to the point people think it’s much more difficult than it actually is.
    Am sure you get some idiots also telling you that you better have kids or you’re going to be miserable, which for course isn’t true either.
    People are going to spout nonsense, best not to get too affected by it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,008 ✭✭✭ Sunny Disposition


    Tony EH wrote: »
    On the contrary, I didn't miss "the point" at all. EVERYONE will talk about "sleepless nights, the stress of it, the nappy changing" whether they're having/had a kid or not.

    However, only one side will ever ask "why don't you want kids" in that accusatory fashion.

    Not everyone talks like that, some people will tell you how lucky you are, congratulate you, tell you to enjoy parenthood. Many others, who almost never mean any harm, tell you you’ll never sleep again and won’t have a cent for 25 years.
    But you shouldn’t get too affected by this or anyone saying you should want kids, people probably usually don’t mean any harm, and if they do it says it all about them and not anyone’s decision to be child free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,723 ✭✭✭ YellowLead


    Tony EH wrote: »
    On the contrary, I didn't miss "the point" at all. EVERYONE will talk about "sleepless nights, the stress of it, the nappy changing" whether they're having/had a kid or not.

    However, only one side will ever ask "why don't you want kids" in that accusatory fashion.

    It’s not only one side that will be accusatory. I remember a child free friend commenting when having gotten the news that a 28 year old married friend was pregnant ‘oh my god, what’s WRONG with her, what a waste of a young life, why have kids in your 20s’ as if it was the weirdest thing in the world and said pregnant ladies life was about to end. Trust me there is as much smugness and choice bashing that comes from the child free side.

    Some people, as has been previously pointed out, are just negative and egotistical and will always look down on others because of their choices, regardless of what they are. I know this forum is for child free by choice - but I couldn’t let that one go, that only parents are accusatory of choices, because I have seen both at play in equal measure.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,862 ✭✭✭✭ markodaly


    Tony EH wrote: »
    On the contrary, I didn't miss "the point" at all. EVERYONE will talk about "sleepless nights, the stress of it, the nappy changing" whether they're having/had a kid or not.

    However, only one side will ever ask "why don't you want kids" in that accusatory fashion.

    The bit in bold makes no sense. Why would a childless couple be talking about nappy changing?

    Anyway are speaking from experience or talked to every parent in the country?
    In my experience this didn't happen, so by that example alone, you are wrong.

    I also have married friends who stated they didn't want kids and I didn't badger them as to the 'Why!'.

    Maybe you hang around with negative people who conform to the stereotype I mentioned previously?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,232 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH


    markodaly wrote: »
    The bit in bold makes no sense. Why would a childless couple be talking about nappy changing?

    What? :confused:

    These are common talking points with almost everybody regardless of whether they have kids or not, or are going to or not going to. Most people who have conversations about children will mention the common issues that will arise from it and changing nappies will be one of them.

    This isn't hard to understand.

    Anyway, forget it. You don't seem to be able to grasp what I'm saying here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Balmorhea


    During the first lockdown, one of the things I was very grateful for was that I didn't have kids. I had always been 50/50 but once I realised kids weren't for me, I instantly told my gf at the time. We were only dating a short period of time but instantly connected.

    We never had a conversation in relation to kids etc so she needed to do some soul searching. She was in her late 30s and decided she wasn't going to give up on having a child.

    It's nearly a year now and miss her loads but I'm glad I told her as she'd end up resenting me if I didn't. Still glad I don't have kids as every day I see couples struggle to cope.

    I really wish rather than asking couples why don't you have kids, people start to ask why should you have kids!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,223 ✭✭✭ dobman88


    Balmorhea wrote: »
    During the first lockdown, one of the things I was very grateful for was that I didn't have kids. I had always been 50/50 but once I realised kids weren't for me, I instantly told my gf at the time. We were only dating a short period of time but instantly connected.

    We never had a conversation in relation to kids etc so she needed to do some soul searching. She was in her late 30s and decided she wasn't going to give up on having a child.

    It's nearly a year now and miss her loads but I'm glad I told her as she'd end up resenting me if I didn't. Still glad I don't have kids as every day I see couples struggle to cope.

    I really wish rather than asking couples why don't you have kids, people start to ask why should you have kids!

    As much as it hurts now, you've made the right decision together and try to focus on you. Breaking up with my ex was the hardest decision I've ever had to accept. But we both agreed it was for the best. She wanted kids, I don't.

    It will take time. Took me almost 2 years but I got there and have a great life now with a fiancee and 2 dogs. Do the best for you and dont rush anything. When something happens, you'll just know it's right.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,021 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor


    Hi markodaly, in a thread dedicated to people outlining their personal reasons for deciding to be childfree, what is the objective of your posts?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,862 ✭✭✭✭ markodaly


    Tony EH wrote: »
    These are common talking points with almost everybody regardless of whether they have kids or not, or are going to or not going to. Most people who have conversations about children will mention the common issues that will arise from it and changing nappies will be one of them.


    As I said, are you talking from experience here when you had kids?
    It wasn't my experience nor others as been posted in this thread.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 44,000 CMod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    markodaly wrote: »
    Each to their own. I couldn't give two ****s if a friend of mine choose not to have kids, or have five.
    i'm beginning to get the impression that the above may not actually reflect your state of mind. for someone who doesn't give two ****s, you seem to be quite invested in this topic?


  • Registered Users Posts: 147 ✭✭ Bodjhrjekekr


    I've always known I never wanted kids, honestly was never a fan of them as harsh as that sounds.

    Also I get stressed easily just looking after myself - I can't imagine looking after a child on top of working and housework - I really value my time off and weekends.

    I also am very independent, love just taking off on the weekends to hike on my own etc without consulting anyone or worrying about things. So yeah I guess it's also down to my personality.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,781 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty


    Mod Note:

    Can posters please keep to the topic in question. I understand this is emotive for people on both sides, however raising kids is not the subject of conversation here - we have other forums for that.



    Thanks
    S


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,034 ✭✭✭ secondrowgal


    There's another similar thread to this that I posted the following in:

    I remember being in school, about 16 or so, and one of my friends planning her wedding and how many kids she was going to have. She turns to me and says "how many kids do you want?". I had never even thought about it before, and out comes "none" there and then. Never looked back. Never changed my mind. Never had an inkling to change my mind.

    Did have a little Ard Fheis with myself around 38 to check in as the ol' biological clock was ticking away and still nope.

    Happy out, just myself and my husband.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,503 ✭✭✭✭ Also Starring LeVar Burton


    I had never actually thought about it until I was 24, up until then I probably assumed that I would settle down get married and have kids as that seemed to be the done thing...

    Then one night was sitting around with a group of friends and talk about "the future" came up and the majority of them were so confident that they wanted children that it just dawned on me that I didn't feel that way at all and for the first time said the words "I don't think I ever want kids".

    After that I consciously started thinking about what it means to have children, and quickly realised I neither had the instincts nor the desire for it, and ten years later I've never even second guessed that decision once, it's just simply not for me. Nothing against kids, have all the time in the world for my Niece and Nephew, but just know I never want any of my own.

    Ultimately, being forced to think about that was what led me to actually acknowledge other aspects of my life, which set me on the road to not only figuring out my gender identity and sexuality, but just learning what I wanted to get out of life, thinking outside the box and not merely existing in the way that society essentially expects us to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,808 ✭✭✭ madmaggie


    I've never had that maternal instinct. My mother didn't have it, she left me and my father when I was 5. She wanted her life and freedom back. Neither of them wanted to be parents, it was a mistake.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 118 ✭✭ bunny_mac


    madmaggie wrote: »
    I've never had that maternal instinct. My mother didn't have it, she left me and my father when I was 5. She wanted her life and freedom back. Neither of them wanted to be parents, it was a mistake.

    I'm the same, no maternal instinct. My mother and her mother the same. I wonder if we all have some sort of mutated gene or is it more psychological.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,781 Mod ✭✭✭✭ shesty


    Nature or nurture???


  • Registered Users Posts: 614 ✭✭✭ notsoyoungwan


    I’ve never, ever felt a desire to have children. It just has never been on my radar. I didn’t have to make a decision as such, as I just never wanted them.

    Ive been plagued by other people, all parents themselves, telling me about how utterly transformative it is, how wonderful it is, how I’ll regret it when it’s too late, how I’ll never know true love and other such bull5hit, but I have never wavered in my thinking.

    I can honestly say that there would not be one single positive thing for me in having children. I can fully accept that there are many positives for others, but there aren’t any for me.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 44,000 CMod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    the thing is, from reading this thread, and from having friends who don't have kids (and not because of issues conceiving); i think it basically just boils down to 'i just never really *wanted* kids'. everything else seems to be window dressing, just something to create a structure or justification around that lack of a want/need.for most people i know who don't have kids and never had the desire, there's really nothing more than that.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,481 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Faith


    the thing is, from reading this thread, and from having friends who don't have kids (and not because of issues conceiving); i think it basically just boils down to 'i just never really *wanted* kids'. everything else seems to be window dressing, just something to create a structure or justification around that lack of a want/need.for most people i know who don't have kids and never had the desire, there's really nothing more than that.

    This is absolutely true, and I am so pleased every time I hear someone who recognised that in themselves and had the courage to stick with that decision. I really believe a lot of people have kids because "that's what you do" rather than because they desperately wanted them. There's so much pressure from society to just go along with the norms and have kids, with all this nonsense about "You'll never regret having kids!". It's a blatant lie and potentially deeply damaging to both the person and any children they do end up having.

    I really hope we can help foster a culture where people start to think about *why* they want kids before they start having them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,502 ✭✭✭✭ eviltwin


    the thing is, from reading this thread, and from having friends who don't have kids (and not because of issues conceiving); i think it basically just boils down to 'i just never really *wanted* kids'. everything else seems to be window dressing, just something to create a structure or justification around that lack of a want/need.for most people i know who don't have kids and never had the desire, there's really nothing more than that.


    And that should be enough, people shouldn't have to justify it. I've an adult child who has decided to be child free and I've always told her that no is a sentence. She doesn't need to add on her reasons, a no should suffice.

    Faith wrote: »
    This is absolutely true, and I am so pleased every time I hear someone who recognised that in themselves and had the courage to stick with that decision. I really believe a lot of people have kids because "that's what you do" rather than because they desperately wanted them. There's so much pressure from society to just go along with the norms and have kids, with all this nonsense about "You'll never regret having kids!". It's a blatant lie and potentially deeply damaging to both the person and any children they do end up having.

    I really hope we can help foster a culture where people start to think about *why* they want kids before they start having them.

    Don't get me started on that "you only regret the children you don't have" nonsense :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,274 ✭✭✭ Mollyb60


    My mother had 5 kids and came from a big family herself. She's great with kids, loves her grandson and totally dotes on him but she almost threw a party for me when I told her I didn't want kids. So maybe deep down she also didn't wants kids but felt societal pressure to have them? Who knows. But she has never once questioned me about it and often defends my choice to my nosy aunts who feel like they should have a say in my reproductive choices.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,008 ✭✭✭ Sunny Disposition


    the thing is, from reading this thread, and from having friends who don't have kids (and not because of issues conceiving); i think it basically just boils down to 'i just never really *wanted* kids'. everything else seems to be window dressing, just something to create a structure or justification around that lack of a want/need.for most people i know who don't have kids and never had the desire, there's really nothing more than that.

    This is a good point, we come into the world child free, it's a perfectly natural state of affairs. Tbh even the most committed of parents should be able to acknowledge it is perfectly reasonable to want to remain childfree.


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