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Why did you decide to be childfree?

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Comments

  • #2


    Ive never had a desire for children, as a teen and older you'd especially notice just how many things friends parents couldn't do because they were looking after small kids, or as I entered the workforce you'd be working with lads who hadn't taken a holiday in 5 years getting excited about how their frankly mediocre hotel choice and bargain basement flight was only costing them 2 grand for a week etc.. with the kids. Im sure people feel a draw to have kids but to be honest all I can see are negatives, there is just nothing in me that can genuinely see the benefit of having a child until elderly age where you force them to take care of you for some sick reason.

    Ive gotten to that point now in my early 30s where My friends are starting to have children and while I congratulate them honestly on getting pregnant etc.. But Im really still finding it hard to come to terms with ‘im pregnant’ being a joyous occasion and not the ‘ahw f*ck what are you going to do’ that it used to be.


  • #2


    Great thread, thank you to the poster for setting it up and to the moderator for keeping the discussion on track and non judgemental from people who have chosen other routes..Think as a society we have a long way to go before we go accept ‘less traditional’ choices..

    My husband and I are late 30s, together over 15 years. We thought many years ago perhaps we might get to a day when we wanted kids, then that faded out.. it was never a definite plan or even thought and I would say neither of us are strongly maternal/paternal.

    We like kids, but equally like our lives as we are. We are accustomed to the freedom we have, our careers are very busy, in non covid times we travel a lot. Don’t get me wrong, if you really wanted kids you would sacrifice all that in a heartbeat. But we think we don’t and so it would just be a big compromise to simply satisfy what society thinks we should do.

    Parents and in laws are aghast. People assume we ‘cannot’ have them or avoid the topic. It’s almost forbidden to say you don’t want them as somehow everyone assumes you hate kids, are some kind of inhuman freak, or decides you have nothing in common... Some of our friends with kids, want to hang out less as they don’t seem to think we are happy to hang out with them and their kids, which we are. But it seems to be a clickish mindset which you are either ‘all in’ or ‘all out’.. In work it often means our ‘personal lives and time’ seen as less important because we don’t have kids.. There are so many inaccurate stereotypes and discrimination about women in particular who don’t have kids.

    I hated the idea of being pregnant, and being in labour... Some women can’t wait to experience that. I really like kids from about 2 years up but not so keen on the baby stage, even though I like friends babies etc.

    I do worry I will regret the decision when in 60s etc. We don’t have a big extended family and that can feel a bit lonely. But I don’t think that’s the right motivation to consider bringing a child into this world. We have 2 dogs and they make us deliriously happy. I know some people think that’s sad, but it’s true and works for us..

    It would be nice if people accepted each other’s choices more and could see that different find happiness in different choices and none are better or worse.. I’m not sure we will get there in my lifetime however.

    Maybe we will still get hit with the urge, it’s still maybe a 10% thought from time to time. But that’s prob more because of the societal pressures and worry re regrets etc.. maybe we just need to get another dog (any parents reading this - I’m not comparing your child to a dog! 🀣🀪)

    Anyways each to their own I think but would love to see a lot more writing and discussion about this in mainstream media that is more open and accepting.


  • #2


    i'm 37 years old, childfree and while i get mushy and gooey around babies and go awwww that's so cute, i literally don't have the urge to have children. and while i've been told its a wonderful feeling, i still don't have the gra at all. my thinking has been i love kids, i will chat with them, play games with them but as long as i can give them back to their parents i'm good.


  • #2


    Betty's post has just reminded me that i often get semi-snide comments from family and friends with children along the lines of "oh you're always at a gig or on holiday or something! Don't you have the life!"

    Yes, yes I do thank you.


  • #2


    Mollyb60 wrote: »
    Betty's post has just reminded me that i often get semi-snide comments from family and friends with children along the lines of "oh you're always at a gig or on holiday or something! Don't you have the life!"

    Yes, yes I do thank you.

    giphy.gif


  • #2


    Only really the last few years my desire to have kids has gone. Seeing the way the country is going (and most of what would currently be decent places to live) really doesn't fill me with the desire to bring someone I'd love more than anything else in the world into the ****show.
    That and the more I see friends in relationships and reflect on what I've seen over the years the chances of me getting in a relationship which I'd want to bring kids into are slim to nil. I wouldn't consider having a kid alone, not sure I can think of a guy who's done it who I've thought "That's a cool guy" :pac:


  • #2


    I have gone on and off about having kids over the years. In my teens / early 20s it was a no way. Then for a short period in mid 20s-30 I thought may be with the right person. Now though I think its a definite no for me. Pre-pandemic i ate out 4 evenings a week and traveled every two months or thereabouts.

    And in line with what @Buttonftw said. Given how things in this country and the world are going at the moment, I cant imagine my views will change.


  • #2


    Mollyb60 wrote: »
    Betty's post has just reminded me that i often get semi-snide comments from family and friends with children along the lines of "oh you're always at a gig or on holiday or something! Don't you have the life!"

    Yes, yes I do thank you.

    this right here. before the pandemic started it was great and it will be great again once we are allowed to travel again


  • #2


    sunbabe08 wrote: »
    this right here. before the pandemic started it was great and it will be great again once we are allowed to travel again

    Please let travel and gigs start again soon :)


  • #2


    Hello, long time reader of boards, but it's been years since I made a post! I'm really interested in this topic however.

    I'm in my late twenties and when I was a teen and in my early 20's I was a definite "no way". Now I'm more "never say never" but if I had to pick tomorrow whether to have any or not, I'd choose not to.

    I really like my life the way it is, but there's still loads I want to do. I've never done any proper stint of travelling for example. I'm qualifying as a professional this year, so my career is only getting started. An earlier post mentioned still figuring out who they are and what they want in life, and I relate to that so much. I just don't know if I see children in my future.

    I do have nieces and nephews and I love them. My friend asked me recently if they make me broody and the honest answer is no. The only thing I am broody for is a kitten!

    I'm in a long term relationship and in the past year or so we've started getting the "hehe ye are next" comments when a family member announces a pregnancy for example. I just laugh awkwardly! I'm also terrified of the whole pregnancy thing. Pregnant bellies make me uncomfortable, imagine having one myself.

    Anyway, I've rambled on enough! I'm glad to have found this forum, been such an interesting read


  • #2


    For me it’s not something I ever wanted nor will I ever dwell on.. in my early 40’s now (female) and couldn’t be happier with my choice .. well our choice (married 13 years now)

    Was never on my radar - have absolutely no interest in kids, being around kids, listening about kids .. that’s the truth!

    Yes I listen to friends talk about their kids, which is fine as they are important to them and part of their lives which I understand .. I have numerous nieces / nephews who I’m very good to and spend lots of time with ..

    but when I see a baby .. honest to God they give me the shivers, I’m looking to get away ASAP .. no interest .. I’m allergic to babies and kids that’s the truth!

    however when I see a puppy or dog I’m go all gooey .. I’m 100% a dog person always have been .. I’ve been like this since I was very young.

    Truth is most people I see with kids .. for the most part look stressed, unhappy, tired, never ending circle of day in day out family tasks and struggle and strife .. sucking the life out of them .. and that’s just not something we want.. most people say they wouldn’t change it for the world.. truthfully I don’t believe that I do think lots of people if they could go back they would .. but they could never admit that as in society that’s not acceptable..

    we’ve made a choice and will live / die by that decision.. what I would love is though that society wises up and stops assuming if you don’t have kids there’s something wrong with you .. no .. I’m choosing to LIVE my life .. ..
    my life


  • #2


    Simple I want to spend my money on me lol


  • #2


    I've always wanted kids but partner didnt, partner then had a changed of mind, so we've been trying for a couple of years, I was enthusiastic at the start but as the time passed my desire has just disappeared. I'm now at at a age where feel I'm just to old to be father. Partner wants to keep going until it works, which there is only a small chance statically considerering both our ages. She is now all consumed in the process, taking eastern herbs, accupucture every week, heat pack every night, strick diet. I've to give up alcohol ( haven't got drunk in over a year) give up sugar, take my herbs, give up cycling (it affects sperm quality ). Another ivf session down the line. In my head I've decided I've just had enough now, I just have to get it through to my partner.


  • #2


    Where I used to work was mainly a female environment. The younger women stressed out with small children, working overtime to pay for holidays, Christmas, etc. Older women retiring knowing they would be pressured into becoming childminders for the grandchildren. I looked around and thought I have only one life, and that is not the way I want it to be.


  • #2


    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'.
    Thanks for making this post. I had a similar situation in a disintegrating relationship over 20 years ago, when abusive bf started hinting about having children. It made me think seriously about the issue, and I concluded I did not want to remain with this person or have a child with this person. I also concluded there might be a very limited set of circumstances when I might want to have a child. I'm the youngest of 7 siblings and spent a lot of my free time in teenage and 20s years minding nephews and nieces, sometimes solo for extended periods (like a week or more), and I'm not adverse to caring for or being around children. Now in my 50s I'm in a long term and happy relationship (childfree) and still get the occasional pitying remark from some family members but that has thankfully diminished over the years. To be honest female work colleagues were much the worst with the constant wittering about the importance of being a mother, you will end up a cat lady, no one will love you when you are old, you are so selfish ( they knew i was caring for disabled elderly parents at the time) type of stuff.


  • #2
    It's not a decision I ever actively made. When I was much younger, it was something I passively wanted to happen "some time in the future". I'm pushing 40 now and it's still something I think passively about maybe wanting at some point in the future. Unless I end up with someone who really wants kids, I don't see myself ever being persuaded to think of it as a "now" thing.


  • #2


    Ive always been open to either outcome, my partners have never wanted kids, fine by me.


  • #2


    Both myself and my partner (for very different reasons) don't want children.

    We have also had the 'you'll change your mind' comments.

    When we bought our home we also had it pointed out to us that the house (2 up, 2 down) wasn't going to be big enough for when we started our family :rolleyes:

    We have a dog and are getting a second soon. A colleague who doesn't even know me that well asked me 'why a second? Is one not plenty?' The cheek, like. I actually responded to her with 'you would never say that to someone expecting their second child'. She just agreed that she wouldn't and I never answered her question. Lol.

    I'm 37 now and even if I thought I wanted a child now, (I don't) it's too late. I don't mean biologically (although that too), we are both just FAR too set in our ways to be able to adapt. We take afternoon naps, have 3-4 hobbies each and while our salaries are decent because we are childless and live in a small house, we would be very very strapped for cash (and dealing with all of the mental health anguish that comes along with that) if we had children


  • #2


    Bananaleaf, that's my position exactly!


  • #2


    Personally for me, my main reason for not wanting to ever have children is to not end up tied to someone, you have a child with someone and your forever tied to that person, the thought of that makes me shudder.

    I also value my freedoms, for instance my time, financially, space etc...I don't want that upset, but I would also extend that to relationships, I don't want a long term, serious relationship with anyone because again it would encroach on those things.

    Bringing people into your life is just messy, I've seen so many people end up with nothing due to marriages gone wrong.


  • #2


    I'm in the "undecided" camp (am I allowed to post in here? :o:))

    I'm 36, with a relatively new partner, and the more life experience I get, the more I question why people have kids at all. When I look at the circle of women having kids around me, all I see is exhaustion, depletion, stress, anxiety, and a lack of freedom that feels so alien to me. For the most part, careers step back and mommy brain takes over. For those who keep on track career-wise, the complete and utter lack of time or personal space seems unsurvivable to me. You work a ridiculous work day and then you're left with your second, even more demanding evening and night and weekend shift. I'm a bit of a loner, I prefer to be on my own and pottering for the most part and I also work in a stressful, chaotic job so time to unwind and relax is essential. I can't see how that's compatible with raising kids, now or ever.

    It feels like the unmentionable, but I hate the idea of what would happen to my body if I went through a pregnancy. The incredible changes, the stomach that never quite returns to normal, the violence of childbirth and the physical trauma seems...daunting. I also grew up with an older sibling who has a profound mental illness and I can't contemplate parenting a child where something like that could happen and I'd be leaving my family with the same life sentence that my parents have.

    The prospect of losing the ability to have them as I get older does make me think a lot more deeply about these things and the overwhelming feeling I get is, "why? Why is all of this sacrifice the default, the expected?" I've never been broody and have little exposure to kids, it's more an overwhelm of "what if I regret it down the line?"


  • #2


    bitofabind wrote: »
    I'm in the "undecided" camp (am I allowed to post in here? :o:))

    I'm 36, with a relatively new partner, and the more life experience I get, the more I question why people have kids at all. When I look at the circle of women having kids around me, all I see is exhaustion, depletion, stress, anxiety, and a lack of freedom that feels so alien to me. For the most part, careers step back and mommy brain takes over. For those who keep on track career-wise, the complete and utter lack of time or personal space seems unsurvivable to me. You work a ridiculous work day and then you're left with your second, even more demanding evening and night and weekend shift. I'm a bit of a loner, I prefer to be on my own and pottering for the most part and I also work in a stressful, chaotic job so time to unwind and relax is essential. I can't see how that's compatible with raising kids, now or ever.

    It feels like the unmentionable, but I hate the idea of what would happen to my body if I went through a pregnancy. The incredible changes, the stomach that never quite returns to normal, the violence of childbirth and the physical trauma seems...daunting. I also grew up with an older sibling who has a profound mental illness and I can't contemplate parenting a child where something like that could happen and I'd be leaving my family with the same life sentence that my parents have.

    The prospect of losing the ability to have them as I get older does make me think a lot more deeply about these things and the overwhelming feeling I get is, "why? Why is all of this sacrifice the default, the expected?" I've never been broody and have little exposure to kids, it's more an overwhelm of "what if I regret it down the line?"

    You'll have to keep in mind this is the Childfree by Choice forum so the feedback you are likely to get here will be very different to what you would get in, say, the parenting forum or newborns forum.

    What I will say is you will have second thoughts whichever way you decide. Thats natural and its to be expected with such a decision especially if you are unsure.

    I'm childfree and happy with the choice I have made but there is the odd time I think I'd love to be a father, but the thought is fleeting. I am confident I made the right decision for me and my partner is happy too. I know I am happier now than I would be with kids.

    If you haven't done so, you should discuss it with your partner. It could be the case they are baby crazy or totally anti-kids, which may figure into your decision.


  • #2


    bitofabind wrote: »
    I'm in the "undecided" camp (am I allowed to post in here? :o:))

    I'm 36, with a relatively new partner, and the more life experience I get, the more I question why people have kids at all. When I look at the circle of women having kids around me, all I see is exhaustion, depletion, stress, anxiety, and a lack of freedom that feels so alien to me. For the most part, careers step back and mommy brain takes over. For those who keep on track career-wise, the complete and utter lack of time or personal space seems unsurvivable to me. You work a ridiculous work day and then you're left with your second, even more demanding evening and night and weekend shift. I'm a bit of a loner, I prefer to be on my own and pottering for the most part and I also work in a stressful, chaotic job so time to unwind and relax is essential. I can't see how that's compatible with raising kids, now or ever.

    It feels like the unmentionable, but I hate the idea of what would happen to my body if I went through a pregnancy. The incredible changes, the stomach that never quite returns to normal, the violence of childbirth and the physical trauma seems...daunting. I also grew up with an older sibling who has a profound mental illness and I can't contemplate parenting a child where something like that could happen and I'd be leaving my family with the same life sentence that my parents have.

    The prospect of losing the ability to have them as I get older does make me think a lot more deeply about these things and the overwhelming feeling I get is, "why? Why is all of this sacrifice the default, the expected?" I've never been broody and have little exposure to kids, it's more an overwhelm of "what if I regret it down the line?"

    So much of this is similar to me except I'm definitely in the decided camp!

    The impact on other women is so profound. I know as a feminist that the world shouldn't be the way that it but it is and that won't change during my childbearing years! It is a sad fact that women face most of the parenting work, the emotional labour of the household etc.

    The physical aspect too is terrifying. Even the changes you can have in your mind. I have a close relative who had PPD and it was scary. She was a different person. We know it changes you physically permanently but who knows about mentally.

    Again, i have first had experience of parents who ended up parenting when they should be enjoying their retirement. It is a life commitment, not 18 years.

    But there are many who accept all that and make a go of it. People who really want to be parents tend be the good ones. People who think long and hard about it. That should be the default. Best of luck with your journey!


  • #2


    There's a guy I work with who is a very active outdoorsman. Loves cycling, enjoys building and being outside. He's a lovely guy but I can tell by how he talks about his children and his life that he regrets having them. He loves them but it's pretty obvious that he resents them for the restrictions on his freedom that they've caused.


  • #2


    Mollyb60 wrote: »
    There's a guy I work with who is a very active outdoorsman. Loves cycling, enjoys building and being outside. He's a lovely guy but I can tell by how he talks about his children and his life that he regrets having them. He loves them but it's pretty obvious that he resents them for the restrictions on his freedom that they've caused.

    This.

    I have a relation who is similar, you can see the novelty has worn off.

    Poor kids are going from one house to the other, being past from pillar to post, mothers house, father's house, grandparents house, always trying to get someone to take them off him, it's sad and not fair on the kids you can tell when the grandparents can't take them for the weekend he gets in a huff, it's obvious.


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