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Childfree by choice forum

  • #1
    Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,036 mod Faith


    I'd like to propose a forum for those of us who are childfree by choice. I envision it being a social-type forum, probably falling under the Social & Fun category. It would be a meeting space for people who have made the decision that they do not wish to have children for whatever reason. It would not be a 'struggling to conceive' type of forum.

    As we're all aware, having children tends to be the default social norm and one can start to feel like an outsider when all of their friends start having kids. Suddenly, everything understandably revolves around the children, and that can be quite isolating if you don't have your own children.

    I'd see it being multi-purpose:

    * To chat with like-minded people socially
    * To provide support and advice to people in relation to topics like relationship difficulties where one person is childfree and the other wants kids, or contraceptive choices
    * To discuss media portrayals of child free people
    * To share and discuss resources
    * To create a sense of community and belonging for people

    Childfree by choice groups exist all over the world, but there's very little in Ireland apart from one largely inactive Facebook group. I think boards could capture this gap in the market nicely.

    This forum suggestion was made some years ago but it appears to have been locked without a clear admin response. However, a great post in that thread addressed many of the "What's the point" questions, and I'll post it here:
    Why is it assumed that every topic of discussion would be some sort of rant or moan?

    As the OP requested, a forum to:
    share their experiences in a supportive, non-judgmental environment
    While I am sure perhaps one thread discussing the negative aspects might be appropriate, for support and advice purposes only ... I fail to see why it is that some of you seem to think that childfree people just want to whinge??

    I also think that for such a forum to be a helpful and active, that any negativity would need to be restricted to a 'general rant' thread, so the rest of the forum would be a valuable resource for those who are involuntary childless, have regret over choosing to be childfree or are undecided. Or quite simply, for those who are childfree, who really don't need to hear about it!

    Its difficult to compose a list of what people might want to talk about but here goes:

    (you can take it that these are all topics to be discussed from a view to being childfree, currently childless or at least considering a childfree life)

    - Childfree in the media - which would range from celebrity related articles to articles on the social, or economic aspects. There are plenty such articles published almost everyday. Books and film pertaining to the childfree choice. References therein and what you thought about it.
    Thoughts on the coverage of Jennifer Aniston's childfree choice
    Malaysia Airlines introduces childfree class
    Time Magazine: When having it all means not having children.
    Film: We need to talk about Kevin
    Links to books: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/childfree


    - The decision to be childfree; how you arrived at it, why you decided, when you decided ... perhaps you are undecided, perhaps there are factors in your life that are influencing your decision and you want advice from the childfree about how X and Y works in their circumstances or how they arrived at the choice. Steps involved therein, discussions/advice/experience on sterilisation. Recommendations of unbiased service providers, doctors/clinics/counselling.
    'Does anyone else go back and forth?'
    'She wants them, I don't'
    'Best time to bring up the subject of children'
    'Do you have any regrets'
    'What brings meaning to your life'
    'I'm 22 and I am considering a vasectomy'
    'At what age did you know?'
    'Undecided and career move forcing my hand'
    'Has anyone travelled for tubal ligation'

    -Relationship advice, dating and relationships, partners changing minds, partners on the fence. LGBT couples with difficulties in becoming parents/haven't discussed it, who have chosen to be childfree/or undecided about regrets. Relationships with parents of children and how to manage them. Social aspects, PC advice on how to keep your life as childfree as possible.

    'I don't want to offend my friend, but I won't be going to her baby shower'
    'Childfree by choice, considering foster'
    'My sister is dying and she wants me to have custody'
    'What do I write on my wedding invitation; children not allowed'
    'Maintaining relationship with friends who are parents'
    'Suggestions for an adult weekend away'

    -Legal and family related matters: Inheritance, marriage, care in old age. Business related matters.
    Article in the media recently about a new establishment in London barring children under 12... anyone even know what the legalities surrounding this are (here)?
    'What are you plans for retirement?'
    'Pros and cons of marriage for the childfree'
    (From personal experience, have a childfree friend who regrets getting married as they have shot themselves in the foot taxation wise, they both only work to support themselves)

    -Involuntary childlessness, may be as simple as not having found a partner, topics that would provide inspiration, support and advice. Perhaps you haven't really ever thought about it, and are reaching an age where you have questions.

    These are not all limited to one topic, people have different interests, perspectives and circumstances and they may want advice/experiences regarding theirs.

    Then there are all the umbrella topics that people want to pitch to a childfree audience.

    -In religion and agnosticism they discuss, relationships/ marriage/ abortion/ family

    -In farming they discuss finances/legal/taxation (and I see, philosophy )

    -In LGBT they discuss relationships/family/friends/legal/social and media related topics.

    All pitched to a forum of like-minded individuals to get the most appropriate advice/support.

    If parents can have a forum to discuss life with children, child-friendly services, restaurants and holidays - why can't the childfree have a forum to discuss the same?

    It was previously suggested that a single thread would work, but I can't for the life of me think of a suitable forum that would actually attract posters, and hiding a thread in a near-dead forum like Humanities would automatically kill it without a chance anyway. It would also need to be moderated by someone with an active interest in the topic to control potential trolls and those who just want to accuse childfree people of being selfish or hating children :rolleyes:.

    I know this is a lengthy OP, but it hopefully captures what the forum could offer!


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Comments



  • Faith wrote: »
    I'd like to propose a forum for those of us who are childfree by choice. I envision it being a social-type forum, probably falling under the Social & Fun category.

    ...

    I know this is a lengthy OP, but it hopefully captures what the forum could offer!


    +1


    With that out of the way I think there’s plenty a forum like this could offer to people who are actively disinterested in having children of their own or becoming parents. It really does take a considerable amount of effort when a person chooses not to have children and a forum for like-minded people to discuss topics related to the idea could be good.

    I know the existence of other forums doesn’t set a precedent for new forums but I think it could definitely borrow a few ideas and formats from other forums, even the idea of having a funny side of not having children thread as a sticky might be a runner. I’d probably change the title of the forum though if it was intended to be welcoming to people who don’t or didn’t have a choice in the matter, but perhaps there could be a note in the charter that the forum is primarily intended for people who share an interest in not having children? That could probably be left to the Community to decide on a more permanent name maybe, or not. To my mind it suggests that the forum is rather limited to people who actively decide they do not wish to have children, but then I’m thinking “Yes? That IS the point of the forum, for a community of like-minded people who feel the same way regarding deciding they do not wish to have children, regardless of their perspectives relating to anything else?”... it’s a difficult one to word that right :D

    It wouldn’t put me off visiting the forum though. It’s a topic I’d be interested in other peoples perspectives on, even though it’s not an idea I’d share myself personally, much like the way I have an interest in Veganism or Atheism - wouldn’t be for me personally, but I know that there are plenty enough like-minded people who are interested in actively choosing not to have children that there is likely to be enough people to facilitate the development of a distinct community on Boards, enough to warrant the creation of a distinct forum, probably best placed under the Social and Fun Category.




  • +1 because it makes sense :)




  • I’d probably change the title of the forum though if it was intended to be welcoming to people who don’t or didn’t have a choice in the matter, but perhaps there could be a note in the charter that the forum is primarily intended for people who share an interest in not having children?

    Absolutely, people who don't/can't have kids due to life circumstances would be more than welcome. I'd see it primarily as a community for people comfortable with the position of not having children, so some people might want to avoid it if they're actively dealing with the grief of infertility etc. But I can see it as a place that offers to hope to those who planned on having children but can't for whatever reason, as it would largely be focused on people who have a full and fulfilled life without children, rather than grieving the absence of children.

    Equally, we'd need to ensure it doesn't become a toxic dumpster fire full of people abusing others for making the choice to have children and using derogatory language around parents and children. It would be a "live and let live" place.




  • For now, it's a -1 from me. This request came up several years ago, and the same cons (from a Boards.ie forum management perspective) still hold true today - https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2057249364

    I completely respect and even admire the child-free movement, it's high time people had the balls to go against social norms & expectations by not bringing children into the world if they don't choose to. It's a fundamental right for people to be able to exercise their freedoms like this, and more power to them.

    BUT....in terms of a discussion forum, the scope of childfree-by-choice is simply far too vast to properly house it here - it ranges across all subjects & topics, fundamentally becoming a forum for any & all subjects minus children. I get that it'd be nice to have a community of likeminded individuals who 'have your back' in the face of what must be eye rolling social pressure to have children...but that alone wouldn't sustain a full forum. I quickly see such a forum becoming a ghost town. Similarly, it's too big a scope to be housed into one thread.

    Personally, I think the 'live & let live' approach should be applied to existing forums, to advocate for peoples right to choose...should it come up naturally in conversation. Childfree-by-choice shouldn't need to be buried in some small little forum, it should be out there at the coal-face of any & all discussions where relevant.




  • Faith wrote: »
    Absolutely, people who don't/can't have kids due to life circumstances would be more than welcome. I'd see it primarily as a community for people comfortable with the position of not having children, so some people might want to avoid it if they're actively dealing with the grief of infertility etc. But I can see it as a place that offers to hope to those who planned on having children but can't for whatever reason, as it would largely be focused on people who have a full and fulfilled life without children, rather than grieving the absence of children.

    Not to be flippant - however a forum defined on the absence or the flip side of something - is at best a difficult foundation for discussion.

    For example - a forum for those who don't support or play football - would quickly devolve or simply die.
    Equally, we'd need to ensure it doesn't become a toxic dumpster fire full of people abusing others for making the choice to have children and using derogatory language around parents and children. It would be a "live and let live" place.

    Perhaps the most relevant thing here and imo for any forum ...


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  • -1
    Not at all needed and bucket loads of cons as per the previous link. Identifying as being childfree is grand.... Wanting a forum for it is off the wall IMO.




  • gozunda wrote: »
    Not to be flippant - however a forum defined on the absence or the flip side of something - is at best a difficult foundation for discussion.

    For example - a forum for those who don't support or play football - would quickly devolve or simply die.

    This argument was made on the previous thread too and it genuinely doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps I'm missing something obviously, but the argument could be applied to anything. For example, children are part and parcel of society so why should we possibly need a Parenting forum? Just looking at the first few threads in the Parenting forum right now:

    "Smart watch For a 6 year old." - Watches & Time Pieces forum
    "Access and birth cert" - Legal Discussion
    "10 year old with no interest in reading" - Literature forum
    "What your child did/said that made you smile today" - After Hours/Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows forum

    Just because people have kids doesn't mean they need their own forum to discuss the children when plenty of forums already exist that cater for them, by the above argument.

    Next, plenty of forums exist based on the absence of something, for example:

    * Vegan & Vegetarian - shared interest in the absence of meat and animals products in one's life
    * Atheism & Agnosticism - shared interest in the belief of a lack of a god
    * Non-drinkers group - shared interest in not drinking alcohol
    * Oulwans and Oulfellas - absence of youth
    etc

    To be more flippant, the LGBT forum could be defined as absence of heterosexuality!

    Like any forum, it won't appeal to all but there's a strong childfree community out there who manage to find plenty of things to talk about! Finally, being childfree is not about "absence" and actually, to suggest that is really missing the point :).




  • What do childfree folk get up to that warrants it's own forum?

    Suggest a car for a couple without kids? Motorsforum
    Suggest a holiday for a couple without kids? Travel forum.

    There's not a singletons forum iirc for example.
    Faith wrote: »
    ......
    To be more flippant, the LGBT forum could be defined as absence of heterosexuality!
    .....

    That's being more than flippant.




  • +1

    The only thing better than the piiter-patter of tiny feet is the sound of f****** silence




  • Faith wrote: »
    This argument was made on the previous thread too and it genuinely doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps I'm missing something obviously, but the argument could be applied to anything. For example, children are part and parcel of society so why should we possibly need a Parenting forum? Just looking at the first few threads in the Parenting forum right now:
    "Smart watch For a 6 year old." - Watches & Time Pieces forum
    "Access and birth cert" - Legal Discussion
    "10 year old with no interest in reading" - Literature forum
    "What your child did/said that made you smile today" - After Hours/Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows forum . Just because people have kids doesn't mean they need their own forum to discuss the children when plenty of forums already exist that cater for them, by the above argument. Next, plenty of forums exist based on the absence of something, for example:
    * Vegan & Vegetarian - shared interest in the absence of meat and animals products in one's life
    * Atheism & Agnosticism - shared interest in the belief of a lack of a god
    * Non-drinkers group - shared interest in not drinking alcohol
    * Oulwans and Oulfellas - absence of youth
    etc
    To be more flippant, the LGBT forum could be defined as absence of heterosexuality!
    Like any forum, it won't appeal to all but there's a strong childfree community out there who manage to find plenty of things to talk about! Finally, being childfree is not about "absence" and actually, to suggest that is really missing the point ...

    I think you are mixing up actual forums and comments / queries there. I see some extraneous stuff too. But no matter.

    This was my main point from the previous comment
    gozunda wrote:
    ... a forum defined on the absence or the flip side of something - is at best a difficult foundation for discussion.

    For example - a forum for those who don't support or play football - would quickly devolve or simply die.

    That doesn't suggest that forums such as the 'parenting forum' are somehow extraneous.

    You state that "Just because people have kids doesn't mean they need their own forum to discuss the children when plenty of forums already exist that cater for them..."

    Unfortunately at best that is an example of an reductio ad absurdum argument and continues all the way up to why bother with existing forums or with boards at all?

    As a best guess "why should we possibly need a Parenting forum?" would be for parents to discuss children and family matters with other parents. Fairly simple tbh.

    Just as those who have cars
    or who play sports have dedicated forums to discuss same.

    The collerary of that is that such interest groups they generally do not define themselves as "non bike owners" or "non couch potatoes" forums for example. Those who only eat certain foods or only vegetables obviously can form interests groups on that basis ditto without having to make out that they are primarily about what "doesn't" define them. For example - being mature does not equate to an 'absence of youth'

    As far as I can see much of what you've argued above as already been dealt with in the other thread. But to clarify your examples of specific comments - it is of note some of these belong to specific forum' for the reason that they involve children interests

    And as also detailed - too often (though not necessarily always) such types of discussion which are more predicated on the 'negative' (to purloin a photography term) could indeed become a 'toxic dumpster fire" full of people specifically abusing other - as in your example a child free discussion forum where for example -

    "people abusing others for making the choice to have children and using derogatory language around parents and children" etc

    Not something that is particularly desirous tbh.


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  • Not going to vote either way as i don't care either way, if it came into existence it would just be another forum I'd never visit.

    But the idea that Childfree by Choice would also cater for people/couples who are childfree because they cannot have kids is way off, and pretty cruel in a way, to suggest that a forum could be dedicated to those who choose not to have kids, and also those who want to but can't.




  • +1




  • +1.

    I get the points made about it potentially being directionless, but on the other hand I've seen forums and groups work that are based on the absence/denial of something (ie, I've a very good friendship group that came out of atheist Ireland and the only thing that brought us together initially was the lack of belief in God(s)!)




  • Noodles81 wrote: »
    +1

    -1

    Actually make that

    -2

    for Mrs 99




  • -1.




  • As a father of an 18 month old who I didn't need but now I'd set myself on fire to keep warm, I think it's a great idea.

    This is the nature of war. By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself.





  • +1

    I think it’s a great idea.

    I’ve sometimes struggled to find information on childfree things like holiday destinations (hotels) or restaurants and such things.

    So long as it doesn’t become a place where you have to defend your choice to be childfree or nobody accidentally bores me about ‘little Johnny’.

    As someone who is part of a DINK I think it’s a great idea.

    Would be nice to know what else I can do with my extra time and extra money.




  • +1


    There are plenty of "childfree" issues - relationship problems, potential step parent roles, whether or not someone is opposed to non-biological children or the likes, family issues, acceptance issues. A big one for me is the difficulty in finding a doctor willing to sterilize you if you're an unmarried, childfree woman of child bearing age in Ireland.

    I'd absolutely love to see a forum of like minded people, where you won't see "well, you might change your mind, what if you accidentally became pregnant, you'll never know love til you have a child," stuff that's peddled out regularly to those who choose to remain childfree.




  • I would definitely follow a thread and keep track of it that way, can’t see it sustaining a forum though.

    Such talk seems to terrify some parents though, as if you’re about to assemble and go round up their kids or something, it’s not a threat to anyone, relax!




  • I don't personally see the need for yet another dead forum, that will at best have the same six posters doling out "advice"


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  • I don't personally see the need for yet another dead forum, that will at best have the same six posters doling out "advice"

    The childfree forum on Reddit has nearly 1.5 million subscribers, I dare say it wouldn't be as dead as you think.

    +1 from me.




  • +1

    I think there is scope here for a wider, lifestyle type forum. I made a decision to live my life childfree - I think there are positive ramifications and also questions to be raised within a like minded community.




  • The childfree forum on Reddit has nearly 1.5 million subscribers, I dare say it wouldn't be as dead as you think.

    +1 from me.

    You might be new here so I'll give you the low-down. Reddit is a site with a global audience, while boards.ie is very much focussed on Ireland

    In Ireland there are orders of magnitude more parents and people who will desire to be parents at some point than individuals (admittedly growing) who choose to be childless. With this in mind, the front page of the parenting forum has threads where the last posts are over a month old. I haven't counted but I'd say there are less that 30 posts in that forum in the last month, and that month was December, a particularly busy one for parents.

    If parenting can barely sustain a living forum, what chance has a niche interest like childless by choice? It would be barely able to sustain a thread imo. Even the OP says it can't even sustain a FB group.

    We have enough dead forums on this site. We don't need another.




  • Would love this! Its a bit of a chore finding holidays and even hotels here in Ireland that haven't a heavy focus on being child friendly.
    Also as much as I love friends kids and nieces/nephew etc I just find it can leave very little conversation space for solo or couple events.




  • I'd give this a +1. I'd fall into the category of being childfree by choice, and although I will be honest and say that I too would be unsure if it warrants it's own forum, I'd be interested to see how it would play out.

    I admit that I'm struggling to see how it would amass anymore than a handful of 'megathreads' (hotels/breaks for adults only, your financial situation with no kids, going to kid-friendly events with no children of your own, boardsie child-free meet up, why did you want to be child-free, nephew/niece gift guide, etc.) I still think it is a fairly serious decision people make, and I would be very interested to see how the forum would play out.

    It could turn into a bustling little metropolis of a forum (or it could be a waste of time) but I'd definitely be in favour of letting it have a year or so to see does it turn into anything of worth.




    osarusan wrote: »
    the idea that Childfree by Choice would also cater for people/couples who are childfree because they cannot have kids is way off, and pretty cruel in a way, to suggest that a forum could be dedicated to those who choose not to have kids, and also those who want to but can't.

    I don't think that's a fair comment. If a GP tells you 'you can't have kids', it might be pretty difficult news to take, if you're actively interested in having kids, but it's not the end of the world.

    Invariably you're going to look at a life without kids as your future and i think this is the sort of forum that would help with such a situation. It would be a space where someone could read up on the various discussions and 'pros' of not having children. No one is going to be putting a gun to someone's head and making them read the forum, but if they look for it, they'll find it.

    Might be just what a person needs to help them get over the bad news and accept that there is more to life than raising a child, and there are various positives that go along with not having a child.

    I would imagine there are lots of people who want to have kids because 'that's what people do', and as a result, seeing the various positive aspects to child-free living, could be beneficial to people who find themselves in a situation where they can't have children.

    I know if i found out I couldn't have kids, but was actively interested in having them, I wouldn't like to be seen as the outcast in society as those who are 'child free' aren't worth talking about.




  • KKV wrote: »
    .

    It could turn into a bustling little metropolis of a forum (or it could be a waste of time) but I'd definitely be in favour of letting it have a year or so to see does it turn into anything of worth.
    It's not going to turn into a bustling forum. Like you point out, such a forum will have three or four "big" threads that cover the entirety of this topic, and a few other threads where posters ask specific questions.

    The forum, like all small niche forums will revolve around a small group of sages that will dole out the advice and talk to themselves, generally agreeing with one another.

    You might wonder why I'd be against setting up an experiment like this? Well having loads of small dead forums kill discussion sites.. It's far better to have fewer more general but busier forums than loads of quiet niche ones.

    If anything, the site should be closing and consolidating sub-forums than opening new ones.




  • bertsmom wrote: »
    Would love this! Its a bit of a chore finding holidays and even hotels here in Ireland that haven't a heavy focus on being child friendly.
    Also as much as I love friends kids and nieces/nephew etc I just find it can leave very little conversation space for solo or couple events.

    I genuinely don't see why the Travel forum can't cater to your specific query? It's not the "Travel Forum for Kids & Families", it's the Travel forum. Ask a specific question, get a specific answer no? If it's not working like that, then that's an issue in itself.

    Why the need to segregate & potentially duplicate subjects, topics, & discussion? It's being made out that Boards.ie is not equipped to handle discussion that doesn't center around children....which just isn't true.




  • It wouldn't effect me in the slightest.. So

    +1




  • bertsmom wrote: »
    Would love this! Its a bit of a chore finding holidays and even hotels here in Ireland that haven't a heavy focus on being child friendly.
    Also as much as I love friends kids and nieces/nephew etc I just find it can leave very little conversation space for solo or couple events.

    What about poor Bert?

    It's a +1 for me.


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  • +1 from me.


This discussion has been closed.
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