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26-12-2020, 13:28   #1
Faith
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Childfree by choice forum

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:

Quote:
Originally Posted by https://www.boards.ie/mobile/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=92074250&postcount=35
Why is it assumed that every topic of discussion would be some sort of rant or moan?

As the OP requested, a forum to:
Quote:
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 .

I know this is a lengthy OP, but it hopefully captures what the forum could offer!
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26-12-2020, 14:52   #2
One eyed Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faith View Post
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

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.
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26-12-2020, 15:22   #3
Nody
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+1 because it makes sense
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26-12-2020, 16:56   #4
Faith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One eyed Jack View Post
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.
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27-12-2020, 14:02   #5
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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/show...p?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.

Last edited by Inviere; 29-12-2020 at 10:42.
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28-12-2020, 14:09   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faith View Post
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.

Quote:
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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28-12-2020, 14:11   #7
Augeo
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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.
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28-12-2020, 15:06   #8
Faith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gozunda View Post
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 .
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28-12-2020, 15:37   #9
Augeo
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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.

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......
To be more flippant, the LGBT forum could be defined as absence of heterosexuality!
.....
That's being more than flippant.
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28-12-2020, 15:50   #10
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+1

The only thing better than the piiter-patter of tiny feet is the sound of f****** silence
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28-12-2020, 17:28   #11
gozunda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faith View Post
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by gozunda
... 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.

Last edited by gozunda; 28-12-2020 at 19:26.
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28-12-2020, 23:14   #12
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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.
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28-12-2020, 23:22   #13
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+1
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28-12-2020, 23:38   #14
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+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)!)
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28-12-2020, 23:42   #15
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+1
-1

Actually make that

-2

for Mrs 99
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