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Are we selfish for having no kids?

marko
September 10th, 2007, 10:20 AM
Another something that made me go hmmm.

A close relative of mine suggested that my wife and I are selfish for choosing not to have children. (I'd rather not get into our exact reasons - we do get IMMENSE joy from the children of our relatives and of course from our furkids) I have heard this statement before from different people as well. He meant no malice whatsoever, it was just an off the cuff remark and I was NOT offended. It did make me go HMMM however.

It got me thinking if indeed choosing not to have kids is selfish...I mean the world surely doesn't need more people. We are not depriving our community of workers/soldiers/helpers etc. In terms of a logical argument if NOT having kids = selfish, doesn't it stand to reason that having kids = altruism. For me that logic does not hold. I think more often than not people have kids 'just because that's what people do'. They Don't think about it, they just 'know' or feel that's that what they want. But they are not being altruistic are they?

OR IS having kids selfish and my relative is just wrong to begin with? I mean why do people have children anyway? Of course part of the reason might well be the biological need to reproduce. But isn't another part of the reason the possible quest for immortality - the will to leave something of ourselves behind (our genes, our businesses, our kindergarden projects, last names etc.) If so, that's selfish...isn't it?

So what do you honestly think of all this? Are couples that choose not to have kids selfish? Does selfishness even play into the decision to have or not to have children? :shrug:

Thanks members!

Marko

hazelrunpack
September 10th, 2007, 10:40 AM
hubby and I chose not to have kids because we both believe there are too many people in the world already. It took humans over a million years to increase population to a billion--in what? The late 1890s or later? And now we're over 6 billion only a century or so later! No one mentions population when they talk about global warming--but you can reduce emissions all you want, and if the human population continues to mushroom, there will still be a human component to that warming. :shrug:

Nope...the world didn't need our contribution to the overpopulation problem--my brothers and sisters had enough kids to replace our presence on this planet when we kick the bucket. :o

If that's selfish, then so be it.

Besides, we can afford more dogs than we could afford kids and we never have to worry about the Pack crashing the car or sending us to the poor house from college tuition! :laughing:

mummummum
September 10th, 2007, 11:40 AM
There is nothing selfless about having children. Reproducing oneself in the form of offspring is in and of itself a self-centred action. The person who states they have children solely for the good of adding numbers to the human race and producing workers who will become a tax base is using false logic as self-justification for their own desire to reproduce.

krdahmer
September 10th, 2007, 12:04 PM
I think having or not having children are both selfish, I mean really what other decision can be more based on reasons of 'self'!

I want to have a child, and I am most certainly, in that desire and decision, being selfish.... I want a piece of me to live on, I want someone to love me and care for me when I am old, I want to know that when I am gone I will be missed, I want to care and nurture and mold a life, I want to have someone to pass my experience and wisdom to. And I am fully aware that all these things can be acheived in other ways, but I have the desire to be a parent. I want nothing more than to be just like my mom. I want to give my parents a grandchild.

With the world the way it is today such a decision is downright terrifying and I completely understand those that don't have children and any reasons they have for that decision, it is their right not to. Children are not the measure of a good life lived, as the millions who can't have them will agree. There are many many wonderful ways to leave your mark on the world and children are simply one choice.

(And should I be one of those unable to have a child.... I know that I will be happy and proud to be a furmommy as I am now, and although I may be disappointed, I will not be any less of a contributer to society!)

:D

crazydays
September 10th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Hi Marko-

I know you weren't offended by the comment, but I sure would have been. For someone to honestly say that to my face ,would be self righteous and rude and offensive! Family or no family, don't outwardly disrespect me that way. I have heard this type of statement given in a group where people are strangers, and they still are so judgemental.

Maybe it because they are jealous. After all, we get to sleep in, we have more money for big screen TVs, we travel more, and we have better sex lives!!!!!!!! Its as if those with kids need excuses for why their own lives are out of control. Who better to to attack than the non breeders!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for over stating my point but, this 46yr old childless female has to draw the line somewhere.

clm
September 10th, 2007, 12:57 PM
I've heard the same thing many times over the years too Marko. I don't know how someone could consider it to be selfish. My husband and I chose not to have children too. No specific reasons, neither one of us is crazy about kids and never wanted to have any of our own. We each have a niece and nephew from our sisters and that's always been fine for us.

We've been asked and told some downright rude or thoughless things over the years.
When are you going to start a family (used to get this one, too old to be asked it now :laughing:)
Your selfish not having kids. (still don't understand that)
Too bad you couldn't have children (we're both more than capable thank you, we chose not to.)
Who's going to look after you when you're old (having kids is no guarantee they'll look after you when your old)

I don't get offended, people with kids wonder how on earth someone couldn't want to have them. People who don't want them wonder how on earth someone could want to have them. My hubby and I are perfectly happy and if other people think we're selfish for not having children, then so be it. One thing that comes with age.....you learn to not care what other people think, what's important is what you think and what is right for your situation.

Cindy

Rick C
September 10th, 2007, 02:38 PM
Carol C and I have no children . . . . medical issues. Didn't feel like adopting. That's the way it is.

We're probably past the point in our lives where any biological imperative might have been making us uncomfortable. I'm 48 and she's 50. The next seven years or so are focussed on lining up for retirement (hard to believe) rather than lamenting about what might have been.

The curious thing about having no children is that one year seems to meld into the next and then the next . . . . without any benchmarks to make you fully aware of the passage of time.

A strange observation but true.

I was kidding around the other day with one of the assistants in the office about an industry course she had to take, remarking I'd passed it in 1983. She said "I wasn't even born then!!!" I was momentarily stupified and then burst out laughing. It was hilarious. She was 23 years old. It had never occurred to me that she might have been born after 1983. I don't know what I might have been thinking but it wasn't that.

Then I thought back to the Grade 9's I had been teaching Junior Achievement one year. They told me at the time their birth year was 1976, which was the year I graduated from High School. All this seems like yesterday except those Grade 9's would now be around 31 years of age, well along in life themselves. Startling. It seems like yesterday.

It occurs to me that next year will mark my 30th annual participation in hockey pools!!! Remarkable.

Lots of stories like that.

For Carol C and I, there are no kids around, going through the Terrible Two's, the first day of school, moving into junior high, graduating from high school, getting bigger and bigger all the time, etc, etc. One year blends into the next . . . .

The only measurement of time might be the lives of pets, the two 15 year old cats who are now long gone, the ten year old Sheltie we had and now Abby and Keeper, nine years old themselves.

If I ever missed not having kids I'd have to say I've gotten over it long ago. Ditto Mrs. C. Probably moreso with her.

We didn't make the choice, other than not adopting (and I got a nice card in the mail yesterday from an otherwise childless cousin who had just adopted two kids on the same day), which would make us somewhat different than Marko.

But who cares? If that's what you want, then do it.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

BusterBoo
September 10th, 2007, 03:27 PM
I want to have a child, and I am most certainly, in that desire and decision, being selfish.... I want a piece of me to live on, I want someone to love me and care for me when I am old, I want to know that when I am gone I will be missed, I want to care and nurture and mold a life, I want to have someone to pass my experience and wisdom to. And I am fully aware that all these things can be acheived in other ways, but I have the desire to be a parent. I want nothing more than to be just like my mom. I want to give my parents a grandchild.

With the world the way it is today such a decision is downright terrifying and I completely understand those that don't have children and any reasons they have for that decision, it is their right not to. Children are not the measure of a good life lived, as the millions who can't have them will agree. There are many many wonderful ways to leave your mark on the world and children are simply one choice.

:D

Well said......

I have two "kids" (age 34 and 28) and two grandkids (age 4 yrs and 8 months). Could I see myself without them in my life...No! I feel that I worked extremely hard to make both my children successful, proud, independent, polite, wonderful adults. After just losing my Mom, and seeing my Dad "alone" now, I can't see myself being completely alone when I am in my 70s or 80s.

To those who don't want children, that is your decision and no one should ever question it. You must do what is right for you and you only. I honestly don't think there is a right or wrong answer here.....:shrug:

TeriM
September 10th, 2007, 03:35 PM
Hubby and I also had medical issues that prevented us from having kids. We did not want to pursue adoption so basically the fur family got expanded instead :D.

The curious thing about having no children is that one year seems to meld into the next and then the next . . . . without any benchmarks to make you fully aware of the passage of time.

A strange observation but true.

I think I agree with this observation from RickC :).

I think we all basically make the best decision for ourselves and in that way it could be looked at as if we are all selfish.

chico2
September 10th, 2007, 03:55 PM
I believe today,it's very different from when I was young,it is great that you have a choice,in our days,you just had kids and that was it..
I was pregnant when we got married and now we are 63/64,our sons are 45,41 and 37,do I regret having them,no,but if I had a choice,I probably would only have had one child.
3 sons,2 with serious healthproblems,was very hard on our marriage,very hard period,but of course I loved them a lot and still do,sort of:laughing:
I don't think parenting is for everyone,it's probably the most difficult job you will ever have,expecially teenagers.
Also,there is absolutely no guarantee,your kids will be there for you when you are old and feeble,we are hoping they will be.

CyberKitten
September 10th, 2007, 04:47 PM
I do not think you are selfish at all and even consider it rather unkind of that relative to even suggest such a thing. In fact, it says more about than than you.

Of course I do not have any children - not out of choice (medical reasons) but then I do have a career that takes me around the world so would I have had that career with children? Probably - I see many others who have managed.

I do firmly believe in that old African proverb that got Hillary C into so much controversy - it takes a village and we all must do our part to ensure the next generation gets a good start in life. That can take many forms, including parenthood. I suppose my views are also coloured by the fact I have seen many abused and neglected children come into the ER and wonder why their parents were allowed to get away with it for so long. We do have a society that is not all that kind to children but that has zero to do with anyone choosing not to have or adopt them. The same people who are critical of people not having children also see nothing wrong with landlords who refuse to rent to families or believe they should be served first in a store before a child.

But I digress...

Like you, I feel I can do good as a pediatrician and have a wall full of pictures of wonderful children who have made my life so much richer. I also have my nieces and nephew. There are so many worthy causes that people can do - and so many ways in which we can mentor young people that the suggestion that one must be a parent to make a difference is not valid. We can choose to help our families but also do other things that make a difference for children - changing laws re safety for example (my latest involvement, lol).

Re the above comments andf the ER, there are so many more excellent parents too of course and they give me hope that the world is a great place.

I really think the relative in question of so off base!

happycats
September 10th, 2007, 08:58 PM
I think "having" kids is selfish. Anyone who says your selfish for not having kids is "misery loves company" kind of person:rolleyes:

Yes I have one child, and I wouldn't change it for the world, but it is a pretty thankless job, it's VERY costly, and is difficult on a marriage. Your heart no longer belongs to you or your spouse, that child will own it hands down, and because of that you may do and say things you would have never even fathomed as a childless person.

I believe that if you REALLY want a child then by all means do it, but if your sitting on the fence......DON'T JUMP!!:D the grass isn't greener on this side.

Schwinn
September 10th, 2007, 09:13 PM
I was lurking earlier in the day, and some have since stole my thunder, but here goes...

Are you selfish for not having kids? Yes, just the same way I'm selfish for having them. I've always felt the answer to the question "Is it selfish to have kids, or not have them?" is, generally, "yes".

We make the choice based on what we want.

Okay, now that the philisophical answer is out of the way...

It really bugs me when people take the high horse, whether it's those who have kids, or those who don't. Each to thier own. No, I can't understand why someone wouldn't want kids. Nor do I understand how people can like country music, enjoy asparagus, or not realize the comic genius that is Spongebob.

What's right for me, may not be right for you. And that's okay. I think our purpose on this earth is to feel fulfilled, whether that's with children, without, married or otherwise.

But to really boil it down...no, there is nothing wrong with you for not having children. What would be wrong would be to have them out of some misplaced sense of obligation, rather than want.

Oh, and Rick C, being someone now from both sides of the crib who can still remember a life where I didn't have to wipe someone else's bum...you're absolutely right. Everything that happened "BG" (Before Gracie) seemed to have just happened. I had to constantly remind myself I was over 30. Now, I relate time to how heavy Gracie is, or back to oh-so-long-ago when something happened when Gracie was "just this big". It also has made me feel a sense of urgency to do all the things I wanted to before I got old...time is now actually passing. Yet, Mrs Schwinn says I'm still not growing up...strange...

Dogastrophe
September 10th, 2007, 09:14 PM
Having children is a punishment for shoplifting in a former life. :crazy:

Wife and I have been married 11 years and have no plans for kids ... we like to practice but not ready for the olympics.

Frenchy
September 10th, 2007, 09:14 PM
I think it's a personnal choice. I don't have kids because , I just don't ... like .... them .... very ... much :sorry:

And the fact that now , there's a 50% chance of getting divorced / separated , I wouldn't want to have a kid under these conditions. Week days with me , week ends with the father ... having to rush all the time because I have to work 40 hours , my kid with others to take care of him most of the time .... no thanks. Not for me.

JanM
September 10th, 2007, 10:01 PM
I think it is nobody's business but yours whether you want to have children or not and it is your business only on the whys of either choice. I don't believe it is a question of selfishness (as commonly used that is) either - it is simply what is right for you and yours.

CyberKitten
September 10th, 2007, 10:07 PM
was kidding around the other day with one of the assistants in the office about an industry course she had to take, remarking I'd passed it in 1983. She said "I wasn't even born then!!!" I was momentarily stupified and then burst out laughing. It was hilarious. She was 23 years old. It had never occurred to me that she might have been born after 1983. I don't know what I might have been thinking but it wasn't that.

I laughed when I read that Rick. When I lecture to med students and new Residents, I am finding I have to change my benchmarks and dates. Like they do not know where they were when Paul Henderson scored the winning goal for Canada because they were not born yet! (Never mind Bobby Orr, lol) And they do not know what vinyl records, rotary phones - I am wondering about phone booths some days, lol - and "old fashioned" means a CD player. And oh, I have no idea how they will work in a hospital with an Xray machine and no MRI machine or ultrasound!

erykah1310
September 10th, 2007, 11:40 PM
Hrmmm? Intersting topic indeed.
I dont have kids, I wouldnt mind having some though. Medically its a bit of challenge, but not something that is impossible, just would mean increased chances of multiples, Now, I do not want twins or triplets so there fore have decided against Clomid. I would like to have one or 2 kids, just not at the same time. So, perhaps I am selfish? Denying a life?
I figure, If I was destined to have kids, I will have them NATURALLY, with out medical sciences and test tubes.:shrug:
If I have some other calling... so be it.
Honestly I think its ludacris how some couples become so consumed with having kids, that they will go to great lengths and through thousands of dollars and then once the kids arrive... the novelty and challenge wore off... sometimes ending up as "bad parents" ( dont get me wrong, some of those couples are wonderful parents and remain a close knit family.. Im not "lumping" everyone in my statement)

So no, having kids or not having kids IMO is not selfish.
In regards to children, I find it selfish when someone you know just keeps having more to increase the monthly check that comes in and does very little with their children, takes them for granted, and just plainly doesnt see the longing in someone elses eyes or the pain they may cause by insisiting on or announcing another pregnancy.:frustrated:
Babies for pay is selfish.... not babies to love.

(sorry this sort of went off topic, more of a erykah rant:o)

marko
September 11th, 2007, 08:12 AM
Wow those are some honest answers everyone...Thanks!

Now that the answer to the thread title does seem to be clear...there may be one lingering issue that's related...and that's how at a certain point in time you can no longer (realistically) change your mind.

For now i suspect those that like myself, answered that they have chosen not to have children, may (or maybe not) possibly regret that decision in the future. I mean we cannot predict how we will think and feel in the future. And i suspect that although we are comfortable with our decisions now, 20 years from now we may well have occasional regrets. This thought does indeed occur to me regularly. I suspect that most of us (myself included) will still be happy with our decisions...but we may wonder if the grass would have been greener. But I that's just human nature, I guess.

The last thing that intrigues me is the passage of time. I think time feels like it's passes faster when you have kids. I think this is so because kids hit all kinds of milestones (first smile, first fart, first tooth, first day in school etc.) all the time. So you're always looking back at their milestones and going, holy crap I can remember the first time.... When you don't have kids, the milestones are measured in different ways and they are less frequent. Of course time in general passes more quickly as we get older, but I suspect it feels super quick to those with kids.

want4rain
September 11th, 2007, 09:53 AM
Frenchy- I think it's a personnal choice. I don't have kids because , I just don't ... like .... them .... very ... much

HAHA Frenchy!! thats just too funny!! my mom (gee) was one of those people who didnt like kids and had them anyway. kudos to you for making a decision that was right for you.

as for being selfish for being kidless... i think the scope of deciding to reproduce or not is way beyond selfishness or selflessness. its not like you can take it back, change your decision later, cut short your participation or anythign like that.

talking about adding to the population or taking care of you when you are old or passing on your genes seems like poor reasons to have children. the folks who send their children to the ER are those kind of parents. most parents make the decision to have kids because of the joys of raising a child. seeing your little person grow and change into a beautiful adult. all the 'firsts' are really great too.

not having kids? i can totally vibe with that. being able to sleep in (hehe), the total focus you can have on your partner, the lack of crushing responsibility... your career (let me say i can not understand SINGLE career people but folks with someone else is understandable)... desire to travel... 'living life to its fullest' has millions of meanings. having children just happens to be one of the most common.

could i have made any other choice? if you asked me before i met Chris i would have told you no. my children are everything. now that i have Chris? ive learned that where many marriages go wrong are with parents putting the kids first instead of the person that they will spend the rest of their life with. it seems like there was this movement in the 70's and the 80's for parents to focus all attention on their children at any cost. you can not raise a child with a partner you dont put first.

if you want my personal opinion Marko?? i think you would ahve made a great father, especially since you are asking these questions but more so than that, im sure you make a fantastic husband and if 'thats all' you do with your life on a 'family' scale... its more than 50% of the population manages. :)

anyways, lots of non-parents opinions, heres a parents. also please note its before my 2nd cup of coffee. :D it took me over an hour to write because MY CHILD HAS BEEN A ROYAL PAIN IN THE RUMP!!

i will say though, kids are way easier than large alpha dogs.

-ashley

p.s. happycats - I think "having" kids is selfish. Anyone who says your selfish for not having kids is "misery loves company" kind of person

*whispers* thats why us parents hang out with other parents.... we love knowing they had all this nastiness to deal with too!!!:evil:

want4rain
September 11th, 2007, 10:06 AM
Wow those are some honest answers everyone...Thanks!

Now that the answer to the thread title does seem to be clear...there may be one lingering issue that's related...and that's how at a certain point in time you can no longer (realistically) change your mind.

For now i suspect those that like myself, answered that they have chosen not to have children, may (or maybe not) possibly regret that decision in the future. I mean we cannot predict how we will think and feel in the future. And i suspect that although we are comfortable with our decisions now, 20 years from now we may well have occasional regrets. This thought does indeed occur to me regularly. I suspect that most of us (myself included) will still be happy with our decisions...but we may wonder if the grass would have been greener. But I that's just human nature, I guess.

*chuckles* if it ends up bothering you, find reincarnation. find solace in knowing in your next life you could end up a spider and having thousands of babies. :laughing:

The last thing that intrigues me is the passage of time. I think time feels like it's passes faster when you have kids. I think this is so because kids hit all kinds of milestones (first smile, first fart, first tooth, first day in school etc.) all the time. So you're always looking back at their milestones and going, holy crap I can remember the first time.... When you don't have kids, the milestones are measured in different ways and they are less frequent. Of course time in general passes more quickly as we get older, but I suspect it feels super quick to those with kids.

this measuring time thing... it can be measured in kisses, places traveled, people you met... as a person, everyone has milestones. to slowly take life for what is is a precious gift. having the time and mental moments to take in your surroundings and know and understand those that are a part of your life... what a wonderful thing! i wish more of my life was made of things i WANTED to do instead of what i HAD to do. :) bottom like for me, all the things i have to do are worth the big giant morning hugs i get from Jeffrey, the look on Cailyns face when she completes a project for school... seeing how much she missed us after a week at camp... :) to each his own?

oh and for the record, i dont remember either of my kids first fart but i DO remember the first time Jeffrey blamed it on the dog. :laughing::laughing::laughing:

-ashley

luckypenny
September 11th, 2007, 01:21 PM
I, too, believe it's a personal choice. Sometimes out of selfishness, sometimes not.

I never questioned early on whether to have, or not to have, children was the right thing for me. Or whether it was or wasn't selfish. We also never made a conscious decision nor planned on having children. Our attitude was "if it happened, then so be it."

But, several years ago, when my 85 year old father-in-law was dying of cancer, I watched the Sandman (my younger son) help with bathing and massaging him. When we were done, the Sandman tightly wrapped his arms around his grandfather and said, "I love you soooo much, Grandpa." In his deep scratchy voice, and his eyes welled with tears, my father-in-law replied, "After all these years, I finally know why we had children. It was for times like this."

So I never regret for a moment having my boys. Along with some hardship and suffering, comes an inexpressible, overwhelming feeling when my children can bring so much love and joy to others' lives, including our own.

Tazette
September 11th, 2007, 01:31 PM
K....lets try this again. I took too long writing last time and got the boot.

This is a sensative subject with me cause it seems as though my husband never gets asked about having kids, but I seem to get asked once a week and it drives me absolutely crazy.

I think this is a personal choice and to each their own. I won't bash an individual either way, as it's none of my business. I'm in an office next to a guys who will say black if you say white just for argumentative sake and he annoys me at times. He told me that we were put on earth for this and it was our job to reproduce....at that I tore him a new @ssh0le. I told him some may agree with him, however it wasn't my job to reproduce, nor do I have any interest. If he wanted 10 or more, I would never say a thing, because simply...I don't really care about his life, as it doesn't concern me. He wasn't too happy about that, but it's the truth. He's very old school and thinks everyone needs to have kids regardless if you want them or not. I told him I got married because I love my husband and we wanted to commit our lives to each other, not to have childrent and went on to say what we do with our lives is none of his concern.

Since DH and I got married a few years ago, everyone seems to think that we should have kids and the only reason we got married was to have kids. I simply tell them in this day and age society is changing and people don't always get married to have children, but a large number still do and that is their choice. We are a heavily over populated planet and I'm more than happy not to add to the sky rocketing numbers.

I think I get asked or comments made at least once a week on the subject, regarless of me saying we're not having any. I'm sick of the "It's different when it's your own", "Oh, you'll change your mind", "If you don't have kids you're being selfish"...WTF? K, it won't be different when it's my own because I'm not having any, I won't change my mind because I'm 35 and never had and inkling, DH is 40 and getting fixed soon, and selfish??? What is selfish? If I'm being selfish by not bringing a child into this world that I'm not prepared for and don't want is selfish, than so be it. My sister has 3 and I see how hard it is and don't want any part of it, that is my opinion.

My ultimate favorite is when you tell people you're not having them and they try to convince otherwise, they think they'll be the one person to convince you to make a life altering change....grrrrr I was showing a guy at work my Sprocket Photo Album on FaceBook and made comment purposly saying here are the pictures of Sprocket, my kid since we don't intend on having any kids. This guys disregarded what I said and made comment on having kids, I told him we weren't that's why I made the obvious comment to him, so we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place. He was so suprised that he got his cell phone out, showed me a picture of his daugther and said it was great being a parent and everyone should try it. I told him, it may be great for him, but it's not for everyone, I also told him he should get a dog, it's the greatest thing he could do in his life, they bring you so much joy and happiness, what could be better. After my long winded story on dogs, he told me he didn't like dogs and never intened getting one, I told him I wasn't smitten on children and never intended on having any...end of story, he never bothered me again and said he understood where I was coming from.

Now I just simply tell people I can't have kids, once they hear this, they feel foolish from asking, as they don't know if it's medical or a choice and they don't need to know. I could go on forever, but I'll spare you all!

I guess it's just one of those many things in life that never change. Lol and to answer your question Marko, Nope!!! I don't think anyone who decides not to have children is selfish, it's a personal choice and there are many reasons people decide not to and it's no one else's business but your own....

crazydays
September 11th, 2007, 01:50 PM
I will try the honesty thing! Love kids-volunteered in many programs over the years. Was a RN at Hospital For Sick Kids-Toronto and specialized in Oncology. I always believe I would have kids. In my early 20s I came to terms with being gay-major kick in the pants if you want kids. I could adopt or do the invetro thing. You know my life just wasn't set up for it. I had hard times re no kids and what does that mean( in my 30s and early 40s). I am in a pretty good place at 46. I have a 17 year relationship-the love of my life and....we have dog children!!!! Cags and Rio are our major priority...we love them. I never chose not to have kids. My life circumstance took me on a different path. My partner and I have close family so at least we can appreciate the birthdays, holidays etc.

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 01:55 PM
I come from a Latin family. From the time I was a child, getting married and having kids is something that's always been something people have to do! At least, that's what's been ingrained in my brain. I mean its almost unheard of to not get married and have kids.

My parents married when they were 19 and 21, had kids a few years later. My brother got married at 19, and my three cousins at around the same age.

Well my brother is divorced, remarried and he shares custody with his ex. One of my cousins is also divorced and remarried.

I'm 40 years old, and for the last 5 years I've constantly fought with myself about whether I do or don't want kids. At this point in my life, I don't think I have the patience for kids. I see my best friend and her struggle with her kids who are 7 and 5, and I regularly tell her she probably needs medication, as they drive her nuts.

I like my life. Sure I don't have kids, but I'd rather have a husband or boyfriend to go out and do things with and have fun.

My furbabies are my kids right now. My sacrifices are for them and I don't mind at all. Maybe I am a little selfish. I just can't see changing my life to incorporate a child. Yes I've made some changes in my life because of my cats, but the changes haven't been great, and I don't mind doing things for them. I might sing a different tune if I were being kept up all night changing diapers and feeding a baby.

Heck, my genes can live on in my brother's kids. Who knows, I might get married and decide I want to have a child. But I don't see that happening any time soon.

ownedbymypets
September 16th, 2007, 09:12 PM
I am new (just today) to this forum, and was scanning subjects before diving into the waters. This one caught my attention. My husband and I married in our 30's. No prior children for either of us. We decided not to have any. My husband had "the procedure," to save me from surgery. We did not rule out the possibility of a future adoption; however, we wanted to be much more financially secure before that .... and besides, there were a lot of things we wanted to do (and buy) for ourselves.

I will freely admit to selfishness, and being completely self-centered, on my part. My mother and 2 sisters had all had complications during childbirth, my youngest sister died at 5 weeks. As if that didn't make me think twice, I had heard somewhere .... that it hurts like hell!!!!!!!

Looking back, there were other reasons (besides the totally selfish ones):


I would have been terrified to send my child out the front door, let alone to public school (and even private ones are scary.) I don't think I'm smart enough to home-school, and I know I don't have the patience for it.

I see the way my, now adult, nephews can hold one sister's emotions, and bank account, hostage by giving a hint of even the slightest possibility of withholding their affection and attention, if she doesn't "pay for the privilege." "I'd come visit you, but ..... I can't afford the plane fare, my car needs new tires, gasoline, etc." These behaviors were present when they were young, as well. Both sisters are now divorced; and, their children learned young, how to play their parents.

Frankly, I am also afraid of children I don't know. With all the horrors of abuse children have faced from predators; it seems, now, some have become predators themselves. Everyday, in the news, it seems that an even younger child has committed some horrible violent act against their own families. One day, I half expect to see one pop out of the womb, grab the scissors and attack their own mother. Before retiring, I rode public transportation every day for 32 years. Most of us regulars dreaded when school was out, and the kids were running in packs.

I have watched, and criticized, children's behavior many times in the past. I have also made comments about their parents' lack of control, and sometimes care, about that behavior. But, to be completely honest, I doubt I would do any better as a parent. There are so many other distractions and worries, in our daily lives; it is not surprising that some parents are simply too tired.


Perhaps I will regret our decision in future, as my husband died suddenly, in 2003, at age 54, and I'm sure times ahead will get very lonely. In the meantime, I have my two kanine kids, and recently acquired kitty kid. My husband and I poured all our parental love into our pets, and never had a regret for it. As for having children to take care of me in my old age ..... I have long term care insurance.

I do not dislike children. I know and love many, and have often wished that child could have been mine. But then, they would have been a different person. Being a parent is a way of life, not just a moment's choice. Knowing myself, as I do, I believe I would have been a poor parent. My attention span is to short for it.

chico2
September 17th, 2007, 09:15 AM
OBMP,Welcome to our Forum:thumbs up
Wow,a very well written,well thought out post,I really enjoyed reading it.
So sorry about your husbands premature death.

krdahmer
September 17th, 2007, 11:12 AM
:sad: Sorry for the loss of your husband. :grouphug:

And a life with pets is never lonely... :cat::dog:

TMac
September 17th, 2007, 11:42 PM
Marko,

I think its rude that your relative needed to weigh in with his opinion about whether or not you have kids. I think its a very important decision either way and its nobody's business what the reasons may be. And as others have already said, the 'selfish' argument could be made both ways (kids/no kids)! If it makes you go 'hmmm' and makes you ask yourself the question "should we/shouldn't we?", then the only thing you can do is a bit of soul searching. The grass might indeed feel like its greener on the other side no matter what you end up doing. But if you think long and hard about your decision you will no doubt feel comfortable with it in future. People often don't give enough thought to these things, so I think you are being more responsible than most!!

Schwinn
September 18th, 2007, 10:50 PM
For now i suspect those that like myself, answered that they have chosen not to have children, may (or maybe not) possibly regret that decision in the future. I mean we cannot predict how we will think and feel in the future. And i suspect that although we are comfortable with our decisions now, 20 years from now we may well have occasional regrets. This thought does indeed occur to me regularly. I suspect that most of us (myself included) will still be happy with our decisions...but we may wonder if the grass would have been greener. But I that's just human nature, I guess.

Maybe...but then, 20 years from now, will I regret I couldn't buy the motorbike I wanted, pack up and go on the bike trip to Ireland, call up Heather in...ah, never mind...;)

The point is that it doesn't matter wether you have kids or not, there will still be the danger of saying, "what if..." The other side of the coin is that it is feasible to have kids later in life than before (not saying physically possible...I think having kids at 60 is stupid). It used to be that you had kids in your 20's, or you were too old. Now, though, we are a lot healthier a lot longer than ever before. Mrs. Schwinn was concerned when we first got together about being "old" with kids. But we don't become "old" until much later. How would people look at my grandfather if he bought a bike in his thirties when he had a car (never mind spending over a grand on it)? They'd say he was a little old for bicycles. Yet, the last couple of years, I was the youngest guy on my 24 hour race team. The decision can be delayed longer than it used to...if you ever decide to change your mind. If not, then live life to the fullest, and you'll always have the "but if we had kids, we wouldn't have..." to fall back on. Just like I'm going to make sure to enjoy mine to the fullest, so when I'm old and looking back and wondering what if, I'll think, "but I wouldn't have enjoyed this with my girls..."

The last thing that intrigues me is the passage of time. I think time feels like it's passes faster when you have kids. I think this is so because kids hit all kinds of milestones (first smile, first fart, first tooth, first day in school etc.) all the time. So you're always looking back at their milestones and going, holy crap I can remember the first time.... When you don't have kids, the milestones are measured in different ways and they are less frequent. Of course time in general passes more quickly as we get older, but I suspect it feels super quick to those with kids.

It truly is amazing. A year ago, Grace was barely walking. Now, I'm racing her down the street. Whereas, BG (before Grace), the only milestones I had was university, drinking, getting my license, and going to highschool. Now, the milestones are coming every few months. The down side? It does seem to put a sense of urgency on my part to achieve my goals. I'm much more aware of the passage of time, now.

rjesak
September 19th, 2007, 12:07 PM
I selfishly want to have kids. I admit it. I want to do it for selfish reasons. I want to be a mum! That said, I don't necessarily care whether I find those kids under a cabbage patch, or if I birth them. At this point, I will, frankly, take what I can get. Since I'm single (and I know a lot of people will judge me harshly for considering having kids because of that) I am limited.

The problem is, I've waited too long so having kids has been quite a problem. Adopting them is quite a problem because I'm single (unless I want a ten year old and, though I love ten year olds, I want at least a little bit of the little bit time)! Funnily enough, I could get a special needs child, and the special needs child needs a two-parent home more than anyone simply because of the ability of one of the parents to stay home.

It's a real problem.

What it comes down to is that I'm REALLY selfish but I would also be a REALLY great mom. And I think I would have REALLY great kids that would benefit society, adopt lots of stray pets, and generally be good influences on the world.

chico2
September 19th, 2007, 04:49 PM
rjesak,I hope you will be able to have a child:pray:
To be absolutely honest,although we had nothing(beeing 18/19 yrs old),not even a crib for the baby,beeing pregnant having this little boy was an absolutely great experience:stork-baby:
We had 2 more boys later,every olympic year to be exact:laughing:
Although I often wished in their teenage years,they'd never been born(kidding!),beeing pregnant and having babies is something very special and unforgettable.