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Is Childfree Right For Me?

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  • I’d love to hear more from you folks on this topic. I’m child free and just turned 50, though that was not my original plan. How are other child free oldsters feeling about their child free status? I do enjoy afternoon naps and watching R-rated movies. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was sad about it too.

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    • I'll be 49 this year, and never had kids. I found other ways to satisfy my maternal tendencies, and right now, I'm pretty happy that I don't have kids to be responsible for. From time to time, I wonder about my senior years, and what that will look like with no children, but, I suppose I'll navigate that time as well as I've navigated the rest of my life childless.

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      • I'm happy this thread is part of the forums! I knew from the age of 15 that I wanted to be child-free and just turning 38 I feel even more strongly in my decision.

        While I will say that it is more common now to run into other women who have also made this choice, I don't particularly feel it is as socially acceptable as we like to think it is...at least in my experience with the peanut galleries of society. Whenever I'm asked the dreaded question, "Do you want kids?" or "When are you going to have kids?" and I tell them I choose to be child-free, the first question is always, "WHY???" Followed by a lecture on how it's just a phase and I'll eventually change my mind.

        It drives me insane and honestly I think it's rude to ask a person why. If you flip the script, how would women feel if after sharing that they want kids, the other person in the convo asks why and proceeds to barrage them with personal questions?

        I try not to get defensive but it is difficult feeling I have to explain myself to people who act like they somehow deserve to know or require justification. I had one chick I literally just met through a friend jump all into my business, essentially telling me how I should feel. I've never wanted to punch someone in the throat more than I did that day, haha.

        These days I don't explain anymore and try not to be rude about my responses but I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle sometimes to understand why it's so hard for people to just accept my decision and keep the conversation moving. That's all I want: for someone to say, "Oh, that's awesome, good for you. So where do you wanna eat?"

        I'm actually looking into getting endometrial ablation (it burns away your uterine lining) soon. That, combined with the IUD I already have in place, will pretty much make it extremely difficult for me to get pregnant. I've wanted to get my tubes tied since I was 18 but my primary doesn't want me to risk having unnecessary surgery since I am (thank God) perfectly healthy. So it's a different alternative that doesn't require a lot of recovery and I can go about my day.

        I respect women who know they want to be mothers...heck, I'm the "fun auntie" in my friends circle and I work with young people as a mentor and coach so I do enjoy kids...just not as a mother. I really appreciate this thread existing because I do feel safe in discussing my feelings on this subject knowing I'm not going to be judged unfairly or have people jumping down my throat because I don't want to do what everyone else is doing.

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        • Vanessa R. I'm with ya. I had a sense very early that I wouldn't have kids, but I did go through a brief time in my 20's when I thought I'd want to, quite strongly in fact. That phase passed pretty quickly, though, and I've never been pregnant. I wouldn't have been disappointed if it would have happened, but I wasn't hoping for it. I was told when I was 19 or in my early twenties (I don't remember when exactly) that I'd likely never conceive anyway.

          I, for one, am very happy that the tide is changing for this cultural "norm". I agree with you that breeding seems to be something that everyone thinks is their business, all the way up to touching women's pregnant bellies without permission, and harshly judging their decisions to breastfeed and whether they do it publicly.

          I think men are also feeling much more freedom to "just say no" to kids.

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          • atskitty2 thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your response and as always, it's nice to see others who are in the same boat and can actually speak from experience based on their perspective.

            Just curious, how do you (and anyone else on this thread who qualifies) answer when people ask you why you don't want to have kids? It's taken me some time to kind of figure out a spiel but essentially, I keep it simple and tell them I don't think the pros outweigh the cons and that I want to live my life for me and not anyone else. These days I'm a bit blunt about it so they get the hint that it's not a response that's open to follow up questions, haha.

            But I would love to hear how other women in the same situation respond.

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            • I don't remember the last time anyone asked me that. It's been many years. I can remember at one time telling someone that was a rather personal question that I didn't care to discuss with them...lol. I wasn't rude about it-I said it very gently.

              Typically, I'd just say something like, "it never happened for me, and I'm quite alright with that". Or, "it just wasn't something I felt strongly enough about to pursue". The way I feel about those things is, if they're bold enough to cross that boundary, I'm bold enough to go straight to the point. Generally, it never offended me, I just never quite understood why the interest in my personal choice.

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              • I'm in my mid-twenties, and I feel like I could kinda go either way about having kids, honestly. There are some times when I think I definitely want kids, and other times where the idea is so overwhelming! Having chronic health issues adds to that for me. I know that I likely wouldn't have a biological kid (unless I had a surrogate, but I doubt that would happen, honestly), and if I did, it'd be high-risk.

                That said, I've also heard from people that they didn't want kids until they found their partner, and that changed their minds. I guess it's something that I'll keep as an option and see what happens. I'm of the opinion, though, that you should really want to have a child and not make the choice out of obligation or just because you feel it's "what you should do."

                I like your approach atskitty2, I think that's probably the best way to respond. I feel like I'm not asked the question too often, but that's mostly because I'm single and most people in my life wouldn't ask unless I was married! Still, the "biological clock" is both irritating and real for me at times.

                I love hearing what everyone has to say, and I so appreciate knowing I'm not alone in my feelings!

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                • I think it's important for us to have the same boldness to answer that question and challenge those ideas, as they have in asking those questions. Not in bitterness, but rather to help people understand that it's personal, it can be sensitive and we need to respect boundaries. I've certainly been "put in my place" in the past, for speaking before thinking, and I'm glad - I learned from that.

                  There's been a lot of attention more recently to those women that have miscarried or lost a child, and may have difficulty conceiving their "rainbow baby". These women also complain about the insensitivities around this issue. I am guilty of being disrespectful of that pain after miscarriage and conception. I was corrected when I made an off-handed, ignorant comment. It hurt me to hurt her that way, and I'll never take a misstep like that again. So, I think we need to be willing to speak our mind when someone is speaking out of turn, or showing their ignorance, as I did in that instance. I learned, and others that care, will also examine themselves and correct that pattern of thought.

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                  • I really relate to this forum! I personally don't know if I ever want to have children, but feel so much societal pressure to do so.

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