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Is Childfree Right For Me?

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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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          • no response from quoted individual

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            • This is a great discussion everyone! I thought I would chime in as a man.

              I agree with both sides of the coin. For most of my life (and to a lesser extent now) I NEVER wanted kids -- I was so happy living my own life, fulfilling my passions, hopes, dreams and being selfish -- but in a good "contributing to others" sort of way and not in a self-destructive one.

              I had interests in health, fitness, business, entrepreneurship, personal training, personal development, and helping others completely transform their lives, and that brought me and still does, so much joy and fulfillment.

              What I will say though, is that when I met one of my exes, and we thought she might be pregnant, for the first time in my life, I was like "oh, cool! I might be a dad!" and I was shocked...REALLY?

              What I realized was that the PARTNER completely changes everything! When you're with someone you can trust, that you love, that brings out the best in you, your perspective completely changes and I finally "got" what people had been talking about for so long... it just clicked.

              Unfortunately, (or fortunately!) things didn't work out with that person, and she was NOT pregnant, and now I am back in my previous mindset about "take it or leave it" in terms of kids, but now when someone asks me, instead of saying "I do not want kids" I instead say "I am open to children." which is true...

              But there are deep and powerful caveats with regards to the PERSON and more so, the RELATIONSHIP which has to be out of his world, rock-solid and amazing before I'd consider bringing a child into our dynamic.

              Then, there is another factor that I tell women I am dating or about to date: Because I've spent so long being single and searching for a partner to share my life with, when I finally find them, the LAST f-ing thing that I want to do is have a child come into our lives right away and totally change our focus from each other, to raising a child and the attendant stress....

              So, full circle -- let's just say the bar is really high in my mind and while I am open to kids, it is not an imperative for me, and if I don't have children, that's ok too - there are so many ways that my partner and I could give back to society and feel just as fulfilled.

              Great discussion all!

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              • Zoë T. I definitely hear ya about the societal pressure. I can't tell you how many times I've had people question my decision to not have kids but in the same breath, complain about all the stresses of being a parent. Not the best way to try and "convince" me, haha. But I do think it's unfair and a bit tone deaf for society at large to continue to paint the picture of not having children as some "abnormal" occurrence or that there must be something wrong with us as the reason why we've chosen a different path.

                I really appreciate your perspective as a man JonnyR! I especially love your statement about being selfish but in a good contributing type of way and not a self-destructive one. Such a solid point that I'm going to weave into my narrative when asked. It is entirely possible to have kids for selfish and self-destructive reasons as well. Unfortunately, a lot of parents don't realize this but that's another story entirely.

                I love mentoring and working with young people. There are so many youths who don't have good role models or parental figures and they need assistance/guidance NOW with how to become positive contributing members to society and that's how I want to use any maternal instincts I have while I'm on this planet. Guiding the generations coming up is such a huge task and it does take a village, which I'm all for. I don't need a blank slate form of life to feel purposeful and give back. I'm totally comfortable and confident in my abilities as part of the village/tribe to set up young people to pursue a successful future.

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                • Vanessa
                  I am amazed at your level of awareness. If everyone so clearly understood their deepest motives, perhaps the world would be a better place.
                  What hurts me most in life is that sometimes people who abuse their children are judged less than people who decided not to have them. Something is wrong with this world.

                  Leopoldo Bertoletti
                  Consulting Manager,

                  Last edited by Alison H.; 09-08-2021, 08:05 AM. Reason: outbound link removal

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                  • Leo_Opolain Wow, Leo, thank you SO much for the thoughtful response! As confident as I am in my decision, it can still be unnerving to speak my mind when it comes to this subject. I hate feeling like I have to go to battle. It shouldn't be that way. We should be able to talk about our lives, choices and preferences without it turning into a debate or a lecture. There's a lot wrong in the world but I'm thankful for forums and sites like this one that allow all of us to be ourselves and find support from others. Change isn't always immediate or on a huge scale but having conversations like this one make me feel a bit better about the people I'm sharing this earth with. Oh, and your name is absolutely amazing, btw! :-)

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                    • I made also the decision to be child-free. Being a mother is really not something that I ever dreamed about or felt was the right thing for me.

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                      • I am child-free and have no regrets! I have a niece and nephew that I love, and tons of my friends have children, so I have plenty of kids in my life. After a certain age, people get off your back about it because you physically cannot have them anymore, so that's one great thing about getting older!

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                        • Julia W. this is how I feel! So many nieces and nephews to spoil and there's no shortage of tired parents who don't mind having a babysitter every now and then if I need to get a "kid fix"...which isn't on my radar much these days, haha. And it's not a kid fix as in I changed my mind and want to have kids but more so like I feel like being the fun auntie and enjoying the company of kids (who I can then return afterwards). Their energy and the way they think (not to mention the things they say) are often really awesome to have around when I'm available and in the right headspace to entertain tiny humans.

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                          • I'm also childfree by choice. I never felt the desire to have kids. I also have some other health issues that would make pregnancy and care for an infant very difficult. Years ago, I sort of believed the old rhetoric "you'll change your mind when you're older/once you're in your 30s". Well, here I am in my mid-thirties and I haven't changed my mind. I don't care a lot for societal pressure, I can ignore it easily. It does help that I managed to surround myself with plenty of friends who are also childfree by choice.

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                            • never wanted to get married let alone have kids

                              after being married for several years, did change my mind much to my surprise
                              Last edited by amy40; 09-28-2021, 11:28 AM. Reason: tmi

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