Home Forums Everything to do with being childfree On the fence about having kids?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of hannah hannah 8 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #11539
    Profile photo of admin
    admin
    Keymaster

    I know most of you are here because you know 100% you don’t want children, but maybe some of you are still on the fence. This forum is a safe place for you to talk about making the decision.

  • #11879
    Profile photo of Evie
    Evie
    Participant

    I am on the fence as to whether or not to have children. My husband and I always figured that at some point we’d buckle down and have a few kids. But every time we’re “ready” to take the plunge, we find an excuse not to (ie. We want to travel more, we haven’t reached a “good” spot in our careers, we’re not mature enough, etc.).

    Now that we’re both turning 30 this year and have been married over 5 years, the question of when (not if) we’ll be having children is thrown at us from both sides of the family.

    I’ve been brushing it off for years by simply stating “not yet”. It seemed to shut them up. My husband and I both have brothers but it is unlikely that they will have children. We seem to be the “only hope” for both sides.

    I’ve thought a lot about having children. I don’t long for it. I’ve always seen it as the next step I have to take. It’s what’s expected of me. I didn’t have a particularly happy or unhappy childhood. Family has never been very important to me. I braved every family gathering, every family obligation because it was expected of me.

    My husband and I have discussed it and both feel like we would not take issue with being infertile. It’s the outright decision not to have kids that seems to fill us with guilt.

    I don’t feel my “biological clock ticking”. I feel as though I’m in limbo, constantly waiting for my life to begin, either as a mother or not. My husband is slightly leaning on the side of having children “because it’s the next step” and he feels like he’d be disappointing his parents if we didn’t.

    He has told me that for himself, he’d only be slightly disappointed if we didn’t have kids. It’s really the guilt we both feel of “robbing” our parents of being grandparents.

    He has told me that ultimately it will be my decision whether or not we have children as I would be the one to be pregnant and I’m the one with the larger concerns.

    I do feel guilty that I don’t want children more. My thought is that I’d rather regret not having a child than regret having one. But I also don’t want to take away fatherhood from my husband if it’s something he really wants.

    So, for the moment, we are childless and stuck in a limbo where our dreams and guilt locked in a battle.

  • #11882
    Profile photo of hannah
    hannah
    Participant

    Hi Evie, thanks for sharing. I know a lot of us are in this position. My family is important to me and I don’t want to disappoint them regarding having kids. About 4 months ago some things came up with my family that made me want to think about this topic more carefully. I had also assumed I would wake up one day and really want kids… that day has not come yet. So I started reading lots of books – my favourites are: Colin Beaver’s “How to be alive” and Susan Jeffer’s “I’m okay, you’re a brat”. Beaver’s books is really great, positive read that this group might like as it explores different ways of being a parent that are not just being a biological parent (parenting nieces and nephews, kids of friends, or being a parent to the world by working on social projects…) and has some useful exercises to explore whether or not you want kids.

    The most important thing, I think, is that you seriously look at this question, research it, and make a decision that is right for you. In the end, you have to lead your own life. Which means you have to know what you want. That at least lets you come to the table is a better position to negotiate with others who are important to you.

    My current status is that I have decided I don’t want to have my own biological kids. Fortunately for me my spouse feels the same. We have not been able to have an honest talk with our families about this, and I am not sure we ever will. I did however tell my parents it was none of their business. I am now really looking forward to my sister having children and my friends too (in some ways I feel like I have jumped to the grandparent position, and try not to bug my friends and family about when they are going to have kids so I can play with them…just kidding I wouldn’t do that…).

    I think the most important part of my exploration of this topic is that it doesn’t have to be either having kids or not having kids… there are some middle ground options where you spend lots of time with kids but don’t have your own. Beaver’s book explores this too. Is there any chance your parents would want to explore being involved with kids in their neighbourhood? The thing is that our parents often think we are an extension of them, but we are not. We are autonomous people that need to live our own lives. Another big lesson for me in this process is that sometimes it is okay to disappoint people, including my parents. Any route I take that does not include having or adopting kids will be very disappointing for them. I am almost at a place where I am okay with this. Hope this helps!!

  • #11904
    Profile photo of Helen
    Helen
    Participant

    Thank you for your posts. I too am very much on the fence. I too felt it would happen somewhere along in my lifetime. I’m 49, single and an only child. I bear the guilt that I am the only hope for my parents to be grandparents. I do feel like I owe my parents, grandchildren.

    I am my parents’ primary caregiver as well. My parents also bring up the topic of who will take care of me in my old age and they see what I go through taking care of them. I very honestly worry too.

    The opportunity to have children did not present itself as I never had been married. (not that you have to be married to have children) I’ve had some serious relationships…yes, but not one to have children. So, here I find myself, consciously or unconsciously not being a parent.

    (I always had in the back of my mind, that I would adopt someday and well, that I did pursue it for a bit, but had some bad experiences and never came to fruition.)

    However, due to the fact I am single and childfree, I have been so blessed to had time and money to have travel extensively. It has been a passion of mine.I am blessed to have a wonderful man in my life who became a part of my life 3 years ago and we do a lot of travelling together.

    But ugh, there is that indecision of not having kids always as a nagging undercurrent to my life. Well, actually, at my age, its no longer indecision, its been decided by nature. LOL

    I hope that I have shared my feelings, thoughts and concerns with someone else who maybe feeling like I am.

    Thank you for listening

  • #11907
    Profile photo of maria
    maria
    Participant

    I so appreciate hearing your experiences with this fence-sitting situation, ladies. I’m sitting on the same fence.

    My husband is over 30 and I’m almost 30, so we are getting asked the kid question by friends, family, co-workers, strangers, etc. frequently. We typically say “not for us (right now)” and on occasion we do not get cross-examined on that. We like kids (maybe?), but we like traveling, cats, dogs, concerts, sleeping, etc. a whole lot more.

    The one conflict I have with fully embracing child-free life is the end-of-life part – worried that I will have no one there for me during that time. (And Helen, I really connected with your worry about this part, too – thank you for sharing).

    I honestly really hate that I am so hung up on this part and I wholeheartedly believe that if my main goal for having a kid is to be cared for by him/her when I’m old then I absolutely should not have a kid, end of story. But I still don’t want to fall in my bathtub, die alone, and be eaten by my cats when I’m 82. :/

    And yet, I do not want to sacrifice the life I crave to live for a sense that love/care will be guaranteed for me in my old age. After all, me making it to old age, hypothetical kid(s) being alive at that point and them being there for me in the capacity that I’d hope for – all of these things are uncertain no matter what I do.

    Love to all of you.

    <3 maria

  • #11922
    Profile photo of admin
    admin
    Keymaster

    @rosacalabaza I nearly spit my tea out when I read your line “I still don’t want to fall in my bathtub, die alone, and be eaten by my cats when I’m 82. :/”

    Definitely one of the more compelling arguments I’ve ever heard for having children 😛

  • #11923
    Profile photo of admin
    admin
    Keymaster

    Thank you so much for the book suggestions @hannah they sound very interesting. I am definitely going to get a copy of Beaver’s book now.

  • #11941
    Profile photo of hannah
    hannah
    Participant

    You’re welcome @admin – I really enjoyed the book! I also just wanted to say how much I am enjoying the Chelsea show on Netflix. She is openly childfree and in many episodes makes fun of people with kids or asks people with kids to explain why they had kids – all in good fun as she is a comedian but it has really helped me to take this decision not to have kids less seriously. It is a big decision, but I think it makes sense to do what feels right and not agonize over it or obsess about it.

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