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Thread: reasons to be childfree for you and me

  1. #106
    she said destroy Lágnætti's Avatar
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    I've had women roll up to me apropos of nothing at work and both drunk and sober outside work and tell me how I'm right and clever not to have kids (or husbands!) because they wouldn't if they knew what they knew now. I'm always like, "Er, OK, thanks!" Not sure what else I can say. "Have you ever thought of retro-active abortion?" I think it's OK to admit such things to the woman who's been out and frank about not wanting anything to do with lifescript shit. Not so amongst the hordes of mombies though. Howls of outrage sure to follow. They also tend to use the word 'lucky' which I fnd odd. It's not luck, it's integrity, darlings. You stay true to yourself or you choose to do stuff you don't really want to to please some other bastard. Luck has nothing to do with it.

    One of my strongest memories of my late maternal grandmother is her turning to me a few years before she died at age 90 and saying she wished she had never had got married or had kids, that she wished she'd joined the army and seen the world instead. I can still remember the strength of emotion and brutal honesty in her voice at that point and it always comes back to me when I'm being pressured in one way or another to betray myself.

  2. #107
    and it sounds like all our lives Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPeaches View Post
    I remember spending a session with my therapist talking about my feelings on having kids (I'm on the fence - I want them, then I don't, then I do, then I don't) and I said something like, "Well I guess if I do have kids I would never regret it," and her response was to roll her eyes and say, "Are you kidding me? I have multiple people sitting in front of me EVERY DAY that regret having kids." So, yeah. They might not admit it to most people, or even to themselves, but plenty of people regret having children.

    d." Yikes!
    My therapist and I talked about this issue last night, and I am also a fencesitter though I'm like 80% "no". I told her that I was of the opinion that I feel like you have to REALLY WANT to parent, and even then, there is no guarantee you are going to like being a parent. I told her I think half the reason my mother went insane is because she resented having to parent. There was zero disagreement from my therapist on that one, and I actually left the session feeling more sure that my role in this world is not to accidentally fuck up more humans.

  3. #108
    these days just seem to crush me
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    I don't know if the decision to be child-free has something to do with our upbringing, but Christ, I grew up with a miserable mother and knew she resented us. I guess some people either think "I would never want to put a child through that" thus being child-free, while others need to prove that they need to be better than their parents so they feel the need to have kids? I don't know. I like to think I wouldn't resent the hell out of my kids, but it's hard to say.

  4. #109
    and it sounds like all our lives Kari's Avatar
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    Yeah. I come from an abusive, alcoholic household and am currently estranged from both of my parents. I would rather "die alone" - like people with kids go to great lengths to remind me could happen - than put a kid what my brother and I ultimately had to go through.

  5. #110
    she might not be so bold fullofwish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessy View Post
    I don't know if the decision to be child-free has something to do with our upbringing, but Christ, I grew up with a miserable mother and knew she resented us.
    My best friend is childfree and she has a terrible relationship with her mother (because her mother was a terrible parent), but OTOH, I'm childfree and I have wonderful parents. My relationship with my mum is more tense and complicated than with my dad, but she was a great mother. I lucked out on the parent stakes. That may be the exception to the rule though.

    I've been thinking a lot about being childfree recently, because I've been getting out a little into the dating world and almost every guy I meet has kids. Somewhere between 34 and 35 I've stepped past the threshold where I can reasonably assume a guy I meet doesn't have kids. It throws up a lot of questions for me: how do I feel about being a step-parent? To how many kids? Do I have an age cut-off under which the kids are too young? It makes me think about whether me being child-free is because I just don't want to deal with those early years before they can basically look after themselves. Or that I don't want to be financially responsible for children. Or some other factor. I'm not sure.

  6. #111
    I think my Mom enjoyed motherhood. She stayed home and while I'm sure she had moments of regret, I think it made her happy. She was hilarious when I would pester her, though. Her favorite thing to say to me was, "Go amuse yourself!" Also my parents were really great about keeping an active social life despite having kids - they went on dates nearly every weekend and were always throwing parties. So maybe they were just good at the whole kids/relationship balance.

    My brother? OMG. He has become positively wretched since having kids. I'd feel bad for him if he hadn't turned into such a jerk. He used to be so laid back and fun, now he's just uptight, stressed and pissed off all the time. I've noticed he's finding more and more excuses to be away from home (all related to work, which is legitimate, but I think he signs up for non-mandatory stuff). He and his wife NEVER do anything together - I think they've had a babysitter maybe 4 times in 8 years. It's not like his kids are hellions or anything, but it's obvious that he doesn't have the patience for parenthood.

  7. #112
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    I think my mum would have been much happier if she'd never had me or my brother, and she's been a great parent. She's quite neuortic and shy and I get the sense that a lot of that comes from having to constantly think about other people (she also nurses the elderly for a living so she never stops being a mother in a sense). Now me and my brother have left home (for now) I can tell she's having a much better time. She just came up and visited me today; we went for lunch and did touristy things and it was great. I can see her in an alternate universe living on her own and being much more confident and loving it. I don't say that she was a great mother to be disrespectful to those with more challenging relationships with their parents, but it's just that sometimes the indicators of unhappiness are much more subtle. I can't imagine her even considering not having children, but I've always felt like I've made her something of a victim in some ways. I suppose we all have these sorts of hang ups with our parents. My father, on the other hand, has no imagination and would probably have wasted away without my mother. I cannot imagine him not being married and having children, at all.

  8. #113
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    These parents who admit that they'd rather not have chosen to have children - I give them kudos for their honesty but feel really sorry for their kids. Unless the parents are super great at hiding their true feelings towards their children (which I doubt), their offspring for sure are going to grow up feeling unwanted and that's a terrible thing to do to a child.

    And as to "dying alone" if you don't have children - that is complete rubbish. Who's to say that a child is going to stick around and be there for their parents when they get old? Today tons of people relocate and live miles away from the home they were raised in - these folks have established their own lives outside of their parents and some rarely ever see them anymore.

  9. #114
    and it sounds like all our lives Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kala View Post
    And as to "dying alone" if you don't have children - that is complete rubbish. Who's to say that a child is going to stick around and be there for their parents when they get old? Today tons of people relocate and live miles away from the home they were raised in - these folks have established their own lives outside of their parents and some rarely ever see them anymore.
    Oh i know. It doesn't bother me. I just get the "dying alone" speech from IRL parents. Oh and the "your husband will die before you and who's going to take care of you then". Come to think of it, the latter was from my mother.

  10. #115
    carried by the sound emanate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyk_ View Post
    I can see her in an alternate universe living on her own and being much more confident and loving it. I don't say that she was a great mother to be disrespectful to those with more challenging relationships with their parents, but it's just that sometimes the indicators of unhappiness are much more subtle.
    I never would've thought to phrase it that way, but I can imagine my mom in that scenario too. Some elements of my own life -- my career, the places I've traveled so far, my childfree-ness -- are things that she never really got the chance to do because she was married at 19 and also has health issues that prevent her from spending large amounts of time away from home. I think some of my striving toward various things in life are encouraged by the fact that I want to do and see things she never got the chance to do or see in person.

  11. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by Kala View Post
    These parents who admit that they'd rather not have chosen to have children - I give them kudos for their honesty but feel really sorry for their kids. Unless the parents are super great at hiding their true feelings towards their children (which I doubt), their offspring for sure are going to grow up feeling unwanted and that's a terrible thing to do to a child.

    And as to "dying alone" if you don't have children - that is complete rubbish. Who's to say that a child is going to stick around and be there for their parents when they get old? Today tons of people relocate and live miles away from the home they were raised in - these folks have established their own lives outside of their parents and some rarely ever see them anymore.
    I do vacillate between loving the honesty and knowing that somehow children always pick up on these things as well. On the other end of the spectrum, I have a different friend who is very mature and cool, who has always dealt with depression, etc. She has three boys and her philosophy is that while she might fuck up many things in her life she "will not fuck up being a mother." And she doesn't! She's a really wonderful parent despite her inner-struggles.

    As to the "dying alone" factor -- I've seen too many instances of children just sticking older parents in nursing homes. If dying alone is a concern, saving all the money you would've spent on raising children in order to ensure better care and surroundings in your old age seems MUCH wiser.

    If I had to pinpoint my greatest fear about not having children, it would be the fear of missing out on deeper relationships that one might have with offspring. I'm an introvert and don't have a lot of faith in typical social ties. I am pretty confident that I'd provide great bonds as a parent though. I think I'm overall jaded about everything. lol... I guess that would be better served in another thread.

  12. #117
    What, me worry? inexcelsis17's Avatar
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    From The Oatmeal

  13. #118
    Senior Member Mori's Avatar
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    ^Most accurate depiction of what it's like to have kids. Shit and puke. all day. Everywhere.

  14. #119
    I'm a creep I'm a weirdo
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    Wink


  15. #120
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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