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Simkie
Dec. 24, 2009, 06:38 PM
My mom died about 6 years ago, and she was my only family. Since she died, I feel like I have no place, or history, or ... well, any sense of belonging.

I always said I never wanted kids, but after mom died, that changed. I'm not sure now that I DO want kids, but I'm not sure that I DON'T, either.

So, those of you who are kid-less...where do you get your sense of family? Do you have parents/siblings/other relatives? Are your friends your family?

I'm just not sure I can commit to NO KIDS EVER, which might be a dealbreaker on this relationship I'm in right now. It's otherwise pretty damned fabulous, and I'm hesitant to deep six it on something I'm really not sure about :confused:

Would appreciate any advice!

wsmoak
Dec. 24, 2009, 06:48 PM
Happily childfree here. :) My parents live back east. DH has his parents, also back east. His two brothers are married with children and live in Texas. We see a subset of them every couple of years, and occasionally, like last summer, the whole group manages to get together.

I'd say have kids if you want them, but don't do it _expecting_ them to fulfill your need for family connections. That kind of pressure may just drive them away!

TrueGrit
Dec. 24, 2009, 06:51 PM
fwiw - It's just me & hubby - and new horse! My mum passed a few years ago, and my dad before her, and all of our relatives are either hundreds of miles away (on hubby's side), or across the pond on my side. So really it's just the two of us now. I don't regret not having children at all - nor does he - and we're very satisfied and happy with the status quo. We do not envy our friends w/kids at all... and we have much more disposable income than they do... but ymmv. :winkgrin:

danceronice
Dec. 24, 2009, 06:57 PM
I have my parents and my brother. Children would depend on finding a husband, and I honestly wouldn't be drawn to someone who had or wanted a passel of kids anyway. I had two cats, a fish, a horse, and a dog, and I'm investigating a second dog (there's a promising candidate with the local Animal Rescue League-my dog is happier with a multi-dog home.)

pintopiaffe
Dec. 24, 2009, 06:57 PM
well, the choice *may* have been out of my hands--was told I probably couldn't conceive... but I'll never know since there are actually pre-requisites to children like... um... a date? sex? :lol: :uhoh:

I get much of my sense of PURPOSE & BELONGING from my work and volunteer work. To me, that feels much like a sense of family, but that might be due to the nature of the job(s). Working in Law Enforcement you rely on your partners, peers etc. You get mighty close to them in some situations. Face it, you trust them with your life at times.

There are two songs I love on the radio that I listen to, one is http://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/john_waller/the_blessing-lyrics-966236.html The Blessing, and the other is http://www.christianlyricsonline.com/artists/nichole-nordeman/legacy.html Legacy. They sum up my desires for what I do in this life pretty well.

So in that regard, I never felt a loss of not having children. But I don't think I'm wired for it anyway. Puppies, foals, lambs... and of course ITTYBITTYKITTIES make me mush. Baby humans? 'eh, not so much.

Sorry, I'm not much help. But thought the perspective of purpose/belonging vs. 'family' might be a vaguely helpful tangent.

Rhyadawn
Dec. 24, 2009, 07:15 PM
I'm childless, but at 24 that doesn't mean a whole lot to many people. But I am childless by choice. I can't say for sure that I will *never* want children, but at this moment in time. NO WAY!

I was told by my goddaughter's grandmother on my birthday last friday that I needed to learn to be a proper submissive woman if I wanted to find a good husband before it was too late. Uhh... thanks for that advice... I think... :confused: :lol:

Louise
Dec. 24, 2009, 07:28 PM
pintopiaffe :lol: Date, what is that? I'm 61, my parents are gone, I'm an only child and have no relatives that I am close to except one Aunt.

My circle of friends and my volunteer work are what are important to me. I never felt or heard any clock ticking, and have never missed having children. I know too many people who have kids -- kids who don't pay the slightest bit of attention to their parents.

One thing I am sorry about is that there will be no one to pass the family stories on to. My family is Irish, and the greats and parents were wonderful storytellers. I had a great Aunt who could tell family stories for hours, and I would sit and listen as long as she would talk. Such a shame that there will be no one to whom that family legacy of tales can be passed on to.

JanM
Dec. 24, 2009, 09:12 PM
Louise is right about not relying on children to fill the holes in your life. Like I told a friend of mine who was questioning his decision not to have children because he wondered who would take care of him when he was older--I know many people with lots of kids who never visit them or take care of them. The nursing homes are full of people who sit and wait for visits from relatives and never see them, and they live in the same town.

If you don't have a family of your own you have to go find one-people who care about you aren't limited to blood relatives. People who are with you by choice are your family, not people who just happen to have some DNA in common.

Blackberry Farm
Dec. 24, 2009, 09:27 PM
The feelings you describe are similar in ways to feelings I had some time ago. My brother, sister, and I went in different directions, and none of us live near "family" anymore. My sister's been in Europe for about 10 years. I really didn't want kids, but didn't have my mind made up against it when I met my husband. He did NOT want kids for personal reasons. I thought it over for some time. We married after 3 years. I agreed, after that time, that I didn't feel like I needed to have kids. We also got a lot out on the table before we married so that we knew what we were in for. :) There were times when I felt a sort of physical need, but have never regretted marrying him. I'm 40 now and he's 47. We spent the day travelling around in the snow in our truck. We bought His/Hers ATVs! We are both very happy as family to one another. We have quite a few animals on a small farm, and both of us have several very good friends. Kids are wonderful, but I have a family here with my hubby.

dressagetraks
Dec. 24, 2009, 11:07 PM
Very happily childless here. Also in Pintopiaffe's situation on the prerequisites, but believe me, it's a rock-solid deal breaker for me. No kids. Period. Mr. Otherwise Perfect would lose all chance on that one.

I've been thinking about sense of family a lot lately, though, because I always got mine from my wonderfully close relationship with Mom, as much best friends as mother-daughter. However, I do have siblings and extended relatives, and the frustrations with them the last few years as I held the front lines pretty much alone dealing with Mom's illness brought it home to me even more strongly that your biological family may be determined by DNA, but your sense of family might be determined by other factors, even if there is biological family available. The fact that they are there does not mean they will BE there.

So where do I get the sense of family? Church. My music groups. My true friends. Also, keeping the memory of Mom alive by doing things we used to do as a family, like caroling in nursing homes. Those are the things that over the last few years have been there and have kept me sane and feeling plugged in and part of things rather than left on the fringe.

And, of course, the horses. ;)

StefffiC
Dec. 24, 2009, 11:32 PM
A neighbor at work and I were discussing this last week. She's 69 and has one living relative - a 67 year old sister. She's childless by choice, husbandless by choice, and very happy with her decisions.

I'm childfree - and looks like I *can't* have them, which is fine with me, I didn't want them anyhow. Sometimes I wonder how I'll feel in 20 years when my parents are gone and I'm famililess.

However, I've been pregnant and even with those wonderful hormones I was terrified and pissed that I was pregnant and considered giving the baby up for adoption, abortion, or making him stay home and me work full time.

DakotaTA
Dec. 24, 2009, 11:41 PM
I'm 56 and never wanted kids. DH has 2 from a previous marriage we never see. My parents are both deceased and I have a passing relationship with 1 sister, but haven't spoken to my other sister in probably 6 years. They're both considerably older than me. I do have nieces and nephews so the family stories have already been passed down, such as they were.

DH and I have 4 cats and 3 old horses. His dad is dead. His mom is 93 and I suppose will pass someday, though she's had so much replaced she's practically bionic and sharp as a tack...she may outlive all of us.

Never wanted kids and don't miss them. I'm too selfish to have kids and at least I'm honest enough to admit it. Other people's kids crawl up my nerves something fierce. I have a full life with my DH, my job, my critters, and my hobbies. As far as old age, I'll cross that bridge when I get there. As long as I have a good book I'm fine.

evntr06
Dec. 25, 2009, 12:36 AM
I am trying to work out that same dilemma right now. I am not sure I would ever want children, and I don't really want them right now, but IF I do want to have them in the future, have to do it sooner rather then later due to age. I am really happy having a horse, and he fills all my voids. I have a human partner as well who makes my life complete. And when I think of having children, all I can think of is all the hardships and stress that kids cause, not the joy that they supposedly bring. Its a hard decision, and its also hard to know what you will want in the future.

I've never heard anyone who has children regret having them, but most of people without kids by choice never regret it either. So, I believe happiness can be found on both sides, it just depends on what you want out of life. Sometimes it is the hardest question to answer.

ESG
Dec. 25, 2009, 12:51 AM
Childless by choice here. I've never been the maternal type, never even tempted to have one (got cured of that very early during a babysitting job). I don't feel the lack; in fact, I thank providence fairly frequently that I made the decision I did.

My mom has always said that the only reason to have a child, is that you desperately want one. The stresses of parenting can easily outweigh the rewards. If the same singleminded love that keeps you with the horses doesn't exist for motherhood, don't do it.

And I've had more than one parent tell me that if the decision were to be made over again, it might very well be different.

pintopiaffe
Dec. 25, 2009, 02:00 AM
Such a shame that there will be no one to whom that family legacy of tales can be passed on to.


Write some of them down... share it with us. ;) You're a lovely writer.

I too think I'm too selfish NOW. I've lived in my own house for more than a decade. Before that, my own apt for a decade. I love my solitude. Maybe I'm a hermit. But my jobs deal *intensely* with people (generally at their very worst moments) so when I'm home, I'm home.

meupatdoes
Dec. 25, 2009, 05:44 AM
You know, kids are not always fulfilling.

I never wanted kids and still don't, though who knows if I "meet that special person" hell might freeze over so I won't say never.

That said, I know SO MANY people whose kids are a Complete. Drag, and they are stuck with this Complete Drag forever.

So many of the kids I went to school with grew up to be eff ups, or had Big Issues while they were growing up.
This in an environment where everyone had the Best of Everything, too.


One was anorexic and tore the family apart for a couple years while they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get her to eat a boiled egg.

One of my best friends went to Oxford and some of the other best schools in Europe, and now owns her own apt in Munich, so the parents must be capable of doing SOMETHING right; her brother is 20 now, is completely OCD, won't leave the house, graduated highschool on a technicality, and gets so violent when asked to leave his room and shower that his mother has had to call the police on him numerous times. Same genes, same family, same everything.
She is stuck dealing with this, indefinitely.
Total crapshoot.

A partner at the law firm I work has a daughter who was in a car accident that exacerbated latent, unknown Lymes disease. She has been in treatment for years, did not finish college, he is at a loss at how he is going to afford $10k per month of immune boosters when she goes off her mother's insurance, his long term relationship ended when his ex-wife had enough and said Tag-You're-It and the daughter moved in with him, the daughter apparently needs him to take off work all the time to drive her to the hospital (in NYC where there are taxis) BUT! she does have the energy to go on plenty of internet dates. His relationship ended, her dating life is thriving, and he goes to work every day to save up for her ongoing retirement.


Another friend had every opportunity handed to her and is on her parents' continued "payroll" complete with apt on Central Park South as she works at a prestigious, but unpaid, internship. Just got a half million dollar wedding to a similarly paid intern. Discovered four months after the wedding that she was 7 months pregnant -WHOOPS! Now the parents can pay for private school AGAIN in three years because she and the husband certainly aren't going to do it; they can barely pay the maintenance on the apt mums and pops bought for them.

My one brother is a dentist with a wife and two lovely kids, financially secure, happy family, everything hunky dory.
My second brother is happily single with a teaching job he loves.
I am twenty years the youngest, went to law school, got laid off and am looking for work but am still supporting myself and not on my parents' dime.

My third brother has been trying to write movie scripts for 20 years, has been supported by his wife all this time, and is now leaving her for another woman.
Some turn out right, others don't; you just don't know in advance what it will be.

My father's nephew has two grown kids he never speaks to anymore.
One lives off German welfare; her brother lives spectacularly beyond his means, is horrendously in debt, and beats his love interest into the hospital every so often.

Meanwhile, every time I go on a trail ride in the afternoon parent after parent after parent is lined up by their mailboxes to make sure that kiddo doesn't have to walk all the way up the driveway by themselves when she gets off the bus.

Not only do you have to deal with YOUR KIDS, who may turn out well OR! may end up being totally screwed up indefinitely through any fault of your own or not, you also have to deal with the OTHER PARENTS, who will make a dramatic display of out-martyring you at every turn, and THEIR KIDS, who may do everything in their power to drag your kids down with them.

You could martyr yourself with the best of them, be the best parent a parent can be, and probably your kid will turn out fine but if you get stuck with a dud you are STUCK WITH IT.

And God will not give you the time back, either.

butlerfamilyzoo
Dec. 25, 2009, 07:59 AM
Boy, i have to agree with Meupatdoes here... :) That being said... I have a 1yr old son. I am not happy, it was not my master plan, daily life is such a struggle, dreams and goals out the window... Worst nightmare being lived... etc...

My husband wanted kids, agreed that we wouldnt when we got married, then pushed that he wanted them again 8yrs later, and i had to cave or lose my marriage. Now ask him if he's happy... NOPE. He's had a rougher time with this life than i have!

Do i love my son? Yes. Is he cute and adorable and melts my heart now and then? Yes. Its not that i dont like HIM, its the life. Will that change? I dont know, i really think it wont, but i'm a glass is half empty kind of gal.

Some people are really wired to have kids. Some not. If you decide not to have kids, down the road regret it, consider adoption. You can miss the baby stage if you want to, i sure wish i could... But those family stories can still be passed down. I know so many kids that were adopted (and adopted out one of my own as i was a pregnant teen) its such a super option. I've always been one to say, why have one of your own when there are so many kids in this world that dont have families. And to be honest, i always thought i would adopt a 10yr old when we were settled down. An age i could handle, i hate babies, and those family stories would pass on to someone.

For a lot of those screwed up kids/adults though. I'm sorry, but its usually in the parenting. I dont care if they had everything, everything was usually not what they needed. A selfless parent is more key, good upbringing, morals, discipline. It is SOOOO hard to raise a good one in families where both parents have to work, or one parent works so much that they are not really key in the family. Seems even worse in wealthy families where the parents have more money for babysitters, private schools, etc and are capable of still having a life of their own. Well, i'm sorry, that first 20yrs is for your kids. Its not about you.

Do i want a vacation? YES. Do i want a babysitter more often? YES. Do i want a life? YES. I get date night now and then, its necessary. I do take lessons when i can and ride when i can, its very slim. I do do some things for me, very few. But you need them to stay sane. Otherwise, my life is for him right now. When he moves out, my life can return.

So if you arent ready for that kind of life to raise a GOOD one, dont do it, the world doesnt need more screwed up ones. If you lay awake at night with nightmares that you had kids and woke up in a sweat (me), dont have them. One day i hope i live to say it was worth it. Right now its not.

Not to be a downer here, but just realistic. :)

BTW, i have family, but live a 12hr drive from them, have always lived far away in various states since i was 18, and only see them maybe once a year, sometimes not. I have 8 dogs, 3 ponies, a cat, and a ferret. Animals help keep you normal, or maybe others think i'm insane... one of the two. :) I never felt i needed family really, and yes i love my parents, but if they died today, not much would change here. I still wouldnt have wanted kids... :)

meupatdoes
Dec. 25, 2009, 08:27 AM
For a lot of those screwed up kids/adults though. I'm sorry, but its usually in the parenting. I dont care if they had everything, everything was usually not what they needed. A selfless parent is more key, good upbringing, morals, discipline. It is SOOOO hard to raise a good one in families where both parents have to work, or one parent works so much that they are not really key in the family. Seems even worse in wealthy families where the parents have more money for babysitters, private schools, etc and are capable of still having a life of their own. Well, i'm sorry, that first 20yrs is for your kids. Its not about you.

Possibly, but in the stories I personally mentioned in my post, except for my Dad's nephew, there are multiple kids in each family and only one is messed up.

The anorexic has a sister who never had any problems and still doesn't.

The violent OCD kid has a sister who went to Oxford, the Sorbonne and other great schools and now works abroad in finance; the second brother is doing great at school in CA and is brilliant.

The partner with the kid with lymes has another daughter who is doing great.

Three of my father's kids support themselves and have healthy relationships with people (whether currently single or not), the fourth has never supported himself, was a house husband (which I am one of the only ones who thinks this is still a valuable contribution), but is now the jackass tearing his family apart.

Some kids with the exact same parenting turned out great and others didn't because it is just a crapshoot sometimes.

As for, "You owe your kids 20 years..."
I am personally glad that my parents never played the Selfless Martrydom card to the hilt like some parents do. I was NOT a little princess; they could have afforded to buy me plentiful horses and a car but they did not. No horse for me until I bought my own at 21, no car till I got my own at 25.
People ask me all the time (as recently as last week), if I am pissed that my parents could easily have afforded a horse or six and I never had one, much less a junior career. So many of them are like, "I would have been so PISSED!" Well, I just didn't, and don't, feel I was "owed" a horse.

Similarly we had three people in our family and three cars: one each for my parents, and one 'winter' car they shared between them which sat in the driveway 95% of the winter and 100% of the summer. NOT MY CAR. I could use it by permission if I asked and if my parents did not need it; no I could not take it to school with me, period end of story.
And friends say, "Wow if my parents had done that I would have been so PISSED!"
I didn't get pissed, I got a job and bought my own.

It was made clear to me that while I was very much loved, Life did not Revolve Around Me. Even though I was 11 and really wanted to ride all the time did not mean I got to demand rides to the barn 6 days a week. Too bad, so sad, here's a book.
Nobody would have stood their @ss outside at the mailbox waiting to escort me to the front door either; I was fortunate to possess two legs and could walk. I actually DID walk a mile to summer camp and back every day, by myself, at age 10.
Since, as I mentioned, rides to the barn were not a given, I rode my bike 40 minutes one way. The other parents were horrified.

Also, if I wanted something, standing there with my palm out was not the way. Putting my heinie to work and earning it, however, was a good start.

I had to respect other people's lives and wants too, even at a young age. It is possible to teach even young children that they do not have staff, and that they can be loved without people dedicating their whole existence to them, or that the limits on presents and privileges are only what CAN be afforded, not what NEEDS to or DOES NOT need to be afforded.

I don't think ANY relationship is healthy if the expectation is that one party is the be all and end all of another person's existence. For either party.

A very large part of the reason I personally don't want children is because of the martyrdom expectation so prevalent in other parents. (Paradoxically, it is the very martyrs who portray parenthood as such a completely unappealing Total Abnegation Of Self as the Most Rewarding Thing Ever, who then are the most aghast when others get 'selfish' and don't want to sign up for that gravy train. Well, maybe if the parenting expectations weren't so ridiculous and having some degree of perspective were a socially acceptable parenting trait those on the fence would be more easily convinced.)


Btw, my brother who never supported the family and was a house husband all this time? They have three kids. Never ONCE, EVER, IN THEIR LIVES hired a babysitter. He practically runs PTA in his state, dedicated himself to getting up before dawn to take everyone to hockey practice, etc etc etc. Wow did he work that one to the hilt -and now look.

Mara
Dec. 25, 2009, 09:11 AM
"Owing the kids 20 years" is but one of the reasons I don't want kids. I hate babies (I hide when co-workers bring their new babies in for everyone to admire and coo over) and am not the slightest bit interested in anything that small children find fun. And I know if I had teenagers that I would end up in jail for abuse after said teenagers showed me attitude.

My recurring nightmare used to be finding out that I was pregnant. I'd wake up to find myself frantically poking at my abdomen.

No, I don't know really what I'll do for family once I age. My parents are both only children, so I have no cousins, and my younger sister committed suicide last year (she was a fragile diabetic, and when her kidneys failed she'd had enough).

But that's up to me to fulfill my life. Not anyone else. As another poster pointed out, there are nursing homes full of people whose kids never visit. I am 42 now and am so glad I haven't wasted my prime years on something I know I'd have hated.

JanM
Dec. 25, 2009, 09:39 AM
I think the saddest feeling of all would be growing up knowing that you were unloved by your parents and they just had you because people have kids and don't have to want them. Or the kids who grew up in bad homes and knew the parents only stayed together because of the kids.

Actually there are so many adult care alternatives that people are voluntarily moving to the apartment complex types for the activities and the friendships. Not all retirement homes are for the chronically ill anymore.

kellyb
Dec. 25, 2009, 10:25 AM
Wow Butlerfamilyzoo, thanks for your honest post. I rarely come across anything like that...usually when a woman has a baby (regardless of whether it was planned or not) all you hear about is How Amazing It Is and how it has changed their lives...and how you just Do Not Understand what it is like until you have one of your own...that was a really sobering view on having children, and a good reminder to stick to your guns if you really don't want kids...it doesn't seem fair that you and your husband agreed on not having them, only for him to threaten divorce if you didn't comply later on. When you did decide to have a child to save the marriage, did you just hope things would be as wonderful as everyone says they are?

DressageFancy
Dec. 25, 2009, 10:39 AM
My church family is my greatest joy! Especially during the holidays. I have a sister who lives some distance (other side of the state) and she fills her holidays with her church family also. Then she and I take a summer vacation together somewhere new every year. I also have several close neighbors to share with--holidays and all year long. I feel very blessed!

cowgirljenn
Dec. 25, 2009, 10:48 AM
I'm struggling with this, too, right now. We don't have kids. I was briefly pregnant once but lost the baby. And nothing since then. My husband doesn't want kids, and somedays I do, somedays I don't. Because of my vision and all, having them would be so very tough. And I would have to give up most of what I do now. I don't know that I can live with that.

And my family is spread out, and I don't have many friends where we moved (haven't lived there long). And I'm just lonely right now. (My mom died 2 1/2 months ago and I'm just struggling with that).

Anyway.. I don't know the answer. I'm searching for it myself!

msj
Dec. 25, 2009, 10:53 AM
I never wanted children. My parents are also dead and I only have a brother that I have very little in common with except the way we were raised. I have a cousin, who after our Mother died, had my brother and I join her and her hubby, her Mom (my aunt) and their 2 sons at X-mas time. Both her sons eventually married.

I stopped going to X-mas with the family several yrs ago. Partially because I had a horse with heaves that had to have all his hay soaked and trying to find someone to spend that amount of time for several days was virtually impossible. Also, the married sons started having children. Originally just one and now 4. I can only stand to be around young children for, at most, a couple of hrs and certainly not several days so I have no desire to join the rest of the family for X-mas until those children grow up to be at least 10-12 yrs.

I don't need a shrink to tell me why I don't much like children (after all I once was one :eek:) but it doesn't matter.

Like several have said, your children may not be there for you when you need help. I was for my Mother but my brother sure wasn't. :(

Like Louise, I have friends whose company I much prefer anyway and to be honest, I much prefer my horses and dog and cats (none right now) to children.

I've always joked about it saying "I can legally sell or euthanize my horses and house pets but you can't do that with children. You are stuck with them until they turn 18 yrs old and that's a LONG time to deal with one that might turn out to be a failure or worse." :sigh:

translation services
Dec. 25, 2009, 11:12 AM
actually, aside from producing ready made caregivers for when you are a doddering old fool- what the hell is the charm in children? They cost a lot, they are noisy, dirty and irresponsible and frankly there are too damn many of them on the planet as it is. The breeders out there may say otherwise, but they can't take their unwanted kiddies to the slaughterhouse when they turn out to be ungrateful wretches who leave them to live in a box some cold winter future.

Be happy and be childless. It will save the world.

msj
Dec. 25, 2009, 11:21 AM
actually, aside from producing ready made caregivers for when you are a doddering old fool- what the hell is the charm in children? They cost a lot, they are noisy, dirty and irresponsible and frankly there are too damn many of them on the planet as it is. The breeders out there may say otherwise, but they can't take their unwanted kiddies to the slaughterhouse when they turn out to be ungrateful wretches who leave them to live in a box some cold winter future.

Be happy and be childless. It will save the world.

Welcome to COTH translation services! Since this is only your 4th post, you are definitely a newbie. :D You'll find this is a good bb and a lot of good people on it. :)

FatPalomino
Dec. 25, 2009, 11:33 AM
Be happy and be childless. It will save the world.

Bravo!

Simkie, you can borrow a kid ;) In fact, I've got one that will be available for borrow this summer. He's 10 (none of the diaper junk), and he's already used to being left alone by himself (no separation anxiety).

I love kids. But I don't want any of my own. I want a career :) One day, I'll go to Tibet for a few months spaying and neutering street dogs and come home with an adopted kid. Until then, I refuse to contribute to the overpopulation of the world and will continue to borrow kids that can use a little extra help.

We just went to Keystone last week with: www.sosoutreach.org and helped some innder city Denver kids learn to snowboard. :D Then they go back home!

BlueEyedSorrel
Dec. 25, 2009, 11:35 AM
...usually when a woman has a baby (regardless of whether it was planned or not) all you hear about is How Amazing It Is and how it has changed their lives...and how you just Do Not Understand what it is like until you have one of your own...that was a really sobering view on having children, and a good reminder to stick to your guns if you really don't want kids...

I don't want human kids, never have. I get my dose of reality from facebook. I am of an age (late 20s) where it seems like all my friends are madly popping kids out like rabbits. Here is a sampling of ACTUAL facebook status updates I have seen within the last 6 months:

....is in transition and at 9cms. The dr says we'll be ready to push soon. Thank goodness for epidurals! (WTF???? you send status updates from your iphone while in labor??!)

.....is mad because her husband forgot to put a diaper on the baby and now the crib is filled with poop (again, WTF????)

....is making friends with the breast pump (TMI, TMI!!!)

....is going to bed at 7 and will get up at 11....and 1...and 3...and 5. Tell me it gets better (followed by comment from another mutual friend that her 1 year old "only" wakes up once each night, and of course IT'S ALL WORTH IT....where's my barf icon).

It's the best birth control ever. Every time I read stuff like this, I think that I would throw myself off a bridge if this were my life.

As for purpose and belonging, I get that from lots of places.....my scientific career, my family (parents + 2 sisters), my pets, the horses, friends, hobbies. I can't see how anyone can say my life is not full and fullfilling just because I don't have a kid hanging off my side.
BES

translation services
Dec. 25, 2009, 11:37 AM
Welcome to COTH translation services! Since this is only your 4th post, you are definitely a newbie. :D You'll find this is a good bb and a lot of good people on it. :)

bull pucky. been lurking longer than you've been here. you obviously don't read ALL the posts.

translation services
Dec. 25, 2009, 11:39 AM
oh yeah, and for good measure

Bah Humbug!

EponaRoan
Dec. 25, 2009, 11:51 AM
....is in transition and at 9cms. The dr says we'll be ready to push soon. Thank goodness for epidurals! (WTF???? you send status updates from your iphone while in labor??!)

Just be thankful that it wasn't accompanied by photos! :eek: Although the birthing stuff doesn't bother me - I find some of it rather fascinating, but in a really clinical and not a "ooooh baby!" way.

The ones that get me go something like this:

"Oh, the kids are happy and shrieking and running all over the house trashing everything. Aren't they just the cutest ever? LIFE IS GREAT!!! isn't it? AND YOU ALL ENVY ME! don't you?"

Those make me happy to be childfree in my quiet clean home. :lol:

JumpQH
Dec. 25, 2009, 11:57 AM
So, those of you who are kid-less...where do you get your sense of family? Do you have parents/siblings/other relatives? Are your friends your family?



I chose to be kid-less and am SO happy that I did! I have my parents, and a brother who is married with kids. I also work with my family. I consider my family to also be my boyfriend and my horses, cats, and dogs. Both my boyfriend and I have chosen to be kid-less our entire lives, and both of us are very happy with the choice and freedom.

AppendixQHLover
Dec. 25, 2009, 12:02 PM
When I was a teenager I wanted a baby badly...


When I was in my early 20's..I wanted a baby...

I got pregnant several times and each miscarriage got worse each time.

Than in my 30's I saw a dr and found out the news that I have a medical disorder. Hubby and I decided that it was not worth the risk to have a baby. I was 35 when we got married. I have had several people tell me it is not to late.

Now..I don't want a child. My friends are going through the horrible teenaged years and the toddler years. Teenaged years are the ones that reproduced young, toddler years are the ones that waited like me. I would rather shove sharpened needles in my eyes than deal with that. Hubby and I have a good life. We have a lot of disposable income. He is gone for two weeks a month for his job...and I work a lot. I have a demanding career.

I have a very full life. I do a lot of with animal rescue, helpding those that can not speak, I donate $$ and time to kids that have nothing. My 3 brother's are idiots but two of them might have kids. One of them won't because he can barely take care of himself never mind a munchkin.

I have friends that fill my life.

Appassionato
Dec. 25, 2009, 12:10 PM
I'm childless by choice for several reasons: health/genetics and personal reasons. Also, having my own offspring doesn't define "family" for me. Besides, at every barn I boarded at I was "Auntie Suzanne" to plenty of kids! Best part about it, they went home with their parents! :lol:

I don't have a natural family anymore, and I'm OK with it. I have friends that I am close to that serve as my family, and as far as I am concerned, I'm extremely lucky in that I got to choose my family! Everyone else got stuck with whatever they got. :winkgrin:

BuddyRoo
Dec. 25, 2009, 12:24 PM
Simkie...I can totally relate.

I LIKE kids, but never really thought about having them. I'm "Miss BuddyRoo" or "Aunt BuddyRoo" to many of my friends' children. But I had pretty much decided that I would not have kids. I think it was because I was never in a position that met my criteria/standards for having kids...but that has changed.

I met a really wonderful man. He already HAS two kids..and is "fixed"...and all of a sudden, I had this sinking feeling like, well..I didn't necessarily WANT kids, but I guess somewhere in the back of my mind, I always thought I still had the option. And I kind of panicked at the thought of giving up the option altogether.

We have discussed it and we still do have options for having our own (he's on board and did all the research)...and I had always planned on fostering, so that's still out there too. But now that the option is back...I don't feel that hard pressed to have kids. It's having the choice totally removed that I was most opposed to I think.

So I guess my thoughts on your relationship and the "finality" are that if it *might* be important to you and you want that option to be on the table, you've got some thinking to do....and then some talking.

Now, on the other hand regarding "family"...my family is small, we're spread out all over the world, and I don't get to see them much. We honestly don't have that much in common anyway. So I've created a "family" of friends. And for the last 15-20 years, it's THAT family that has seen me through. I love my mom...love my brothers....but the familial closeness is not there with them like it is with my family of friends.

Blood may be thicker than water, but water can pour into the cracks, fill up the gaps, freeze and thaw as the environment changes...and it is all around us, all the time. So I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss friends as being great family.

Griffyn
Dec. 25, 2009, 12:47 PM
Just had Christmas dinner - on the 24th with my "family" Bio-brother and mom, and several really good friends ( and spouses) who come every year for dinner and small gift exchange. So, you fill your life with people who have lost their parents, or chose not to have kids, or a bit of both. Its a little lonesome around the holidays which seem to center around kids, but my chosen family is just as valuable. All the better that my Mom is the matriarch of our "tribe"- embraces it all and having a full house of people who want to be together- thats family.

terasa
Dec. 25, 2009, 01:18 PM
My parents had two of us. And it was never a secret that they didnt really want children...seems it was just the thing to do at the time I guess. They blamed us for having to stay together when they couldn't stand each other (Big production was I had to sleep on the couch so my dad could have my room every night)
If I sound bitter, not so, it was a good thing. Forced me to be independent, search out my own goals and ideals and acheive them for myself.
I'm still in contact with my parents, and they've both changed..mom is remarried and almost unrecognizable as the person I grew up with. Dad, it turns out, has a severe mental illness and keeps mostly to himself. It sounds harsh but I'm pretty ambivalent about the pair of them. I dont think there was ever a feeling of closeness from either side, mine or theirs.
My brother and I were close simply because we grew up together in trying circumstances. As we've gotten older, however, its become apparent we have very little in common. He's currently very interested in reestablishing ties with my parents, I'm content with a quick call every few moths. They appear to be bonding over vent sessions about me, so at least I'm being of some help :lol: He's feeding them misinformation about me to make himself look like the perfect son. Its all very sad.

Long story short, people related to you by DNA certainly cant be guaranteed to give you the sense of family you've been looking for. I'd be reluctant to have children to fill that void. They're individuals too, who may or may not identify with you. And thats a lot of pressure.
My sense of purpose and belonging comes from having a career I enjoy, my hubby who's amazing and wonderful, and the horses and the various clubs and organizations I belong to. I get my kid fix working with theraputic riding. For my good friends, hubby, etc, I'd go to the ends of the earth for them. Family? Not so much ;)

msj
Dec. 25, 2009, 01:19 PM
bull pucky. been lurking longer than you've been here. you obviously don't read ALL the posts.

There are a LOT of posts I don't want to read and when lurking on some, just have to laugh my a$$ off!!!!! That, plus I have a couple of horses and a small farm that keeps me plenty busy. I check in periodically when I'm in the mood, have time and there's nothing on TV I want to watch.

But really, there are a lot of good knowledgeable people on the board as well as a few trolls and some that fit somewhere inbetween. :D

JanM
Dec. 25, 2009, 05:11 PM
I hate to rain on anyone's parade (OK so I really do like it) but why does anyone assume a kid only stays for mommy and daddy to support until they're 18? They even have a name for it-boomerangs. Some kids never even leave for college or get married, reproduce and then return home with the kids and they never leave.

msj
Dec. 25, 2009, 05:41 PM
I hate to rain on anyone's parade (OK so I really do like it) but why does anyone assume a kid only stays for mommy and daddy to support until they're 18? They even have a name for it-boomerangs. Some kids never even leave for college or get married, reproduce and then return home with the kids and they never leave.

When they turn 18 you can kick them out on their own! :D :D :D My neighbor did that with her oldest and probably the youngest as well. :sigh:

pintopiaffe
Dec. 25, 2009, 05:55 PM
I will admit to some sort of hormonal issue...

When the IttyBittyKitties came, I had this absolutely inexplicable and UNDENIABLE urge to kiss Tadgh's tiger belly.

I had never, EVER understood the making-stupid-farty-sounds-on-the-baby's-belly thing.

Tadgh's belly MUST be kissed.

I guess that's it. That's all the inclination I have. I don't understand it one bit. I am not a kissy person. But I do have the slightest, merest glimmer of why some women must kiss baby bellies.

I think.

:lol: :uhoh:

Melyni
Dec. 25, 2009, 06:00 PM
Seriously, not on a permanent basis, but you can adopt a kid if you really feel the need.
Older ones are great!

I am childless, my family all live in the UK, BUT I have a theraputic program in my barn with 120 kids enrolled.
With that and all the teenagers who help with the TP, I have more than enough kids around. In fact at the end of the day I want peace and quiet and to be alone, and not to have to interact with anyone.

You can get a sense of family from friends, animals and those around you. I have my horses, as well as those kids.

I have a cousin who every Christmas goes up to London and volunteers at a homeless shelter for 3 days, he says it stops him from feeling lonely at Christmas (mind you he is Jewish so he wouldn't be celebrating anyway).

Children are great as long they go home at the end of the day.

Best of Luck
Yours
MW

EqTrainer
Dec. 25, 2009, 06:02 PM
Well, I have kids so I don't know if my opinion counts. But it's OT day so here it is.

If you are ambivalent then don't have any. You can ALWAYS adopt one later if you change your mind.

The day-to-day little things that make you glad you had kids (in that oh! I'm so glad I had you! way) would never make up for an overall dissatisfaction with having had them in the first place, if you were not 100% about it.

I do think it is possible that womens feelings on this subject can change, and not necessarily in a "oh, it's a bayyybee I want one!" way. I think you may meet someone and think "hmmm.. I might like to experience that with this person!" Which honestly seems to be the situation in which everyone is happiest w/their decision to have kids. IME anyway.

IMO one of the best things about being a woman in this time and this country is choice. You have a choice, you have a choice even if you end up oops! pregnant. Thank God!

vacation1
Dec. 25, 2009, 06:50 PM
I'm single and childless, and my sense of family comes from my surviving parent and my siblings. I'm always baffled by the argument that friends are JUST as good as family. The idea seems to be that well, my BFFs totally stepped up when my blood family moved away/is indifferent/has a different favorite color/hates them/says mean stuff behind their back/talks funny/etc. Seriously? If you don't work at family relationships, they will die. If you let painful arguments and squabbling and backstabbing and generally insane behavior lead you to sever family ties because 'it's too painful and besides, I have my DH/DD/DS/BFF" - well, as a scarred veteran of many family wars, I can say with complete assurance that you wussed out. Okay, you say, but why not leave a toxic relationship? Oh, sure, you can. But are your friends really better, and if so, can you tell me where you found them because friend wars have always, always been worse in my experience.

Sakura
Dec. 25, 2009, 07:48 PM
Well, I have kids so I don't know if my opinion counts. But it's OT day so here it is.

If you are ambivalent then don't have any. You can ALWAYS adopt one later if you change your mind.

The day-to-day little things that make you glad you had kids (in that oh! I'm so glad I had you! way) would never make up for an overall dissatisfaction with having had them in the first place, if you were not 100% about it.

I do think it is possible that womens feelings on this subject can change, and not necessarily in a "oh, it's a bayyybee I want one!" way. I think you may meet someone and think "hmmm.. I might like to experience that with this person!" Which honestly seems to be the situation in which everyone is happiest w/their decision to have kids. IME anyway.

IMO one of the best things about being a woman in this time and this country is choice. You have a choice, you have a choice even if you end up oops! pregnant. Thank God!

:yes:

Butlerfamilyzoo, it gets better. I almost lost myself when I had my son (I was also one of those never gonna have kids people...ooops), but I refused to put my life on the shelf (despite the PPD). He was strapped on me when I cleaned stalls, he toddle around when I worked horses, now at four he helps me make feed buckets for the horses.

Personally I can't stand brats, well behaved and mannerly children are fine, but the ones who are manipulative, whiny, clingy, lazy, can't do for themselves imps drive me crazy... and my friend who is staying with us has one of those :eek:... Parents make the monsters... many are NOT born that way.

Case in point... above mentioned friend's eight year old can't get himself ready for school in the morning without constant hovering from his mother, she practically spoon feeds him his breakfast, puts his clothes out for him and escorts him out the door to the bus... my four year old can dress himself, feed the cats and remind me to put a snack in his lunchbox for preschool. I often tell my four year old that it is my job to make sure he has a house to live in, food to eat, and a secure environment where he can love, learn and become secure and independent... his job is to listen to his mother and say "yes ma'am".

My friend's eight year old also never had a chore in his life before moving here... Auntie Sakura has him cleaning stalls, making his bed and clearing the table of dishes after meals... thinking about giving him dusting and vacuuming duty too. He is changing little by little the increasing responsibilities he's given... I won't let him be lazy like his mom allows (I don't allow him to give up and use the word "can't", I expect more from him)... Well... this sure turned into a twisted ramble.

Have kids if you think you can do right by them and mould them into responsible and valuable members of society... folks who don't think they can do that need to do the rest of us a favor and not reproduce... it's a tough job and not for the faint of heart.

BohemianRN
Dec. 25, 2009, 08:55 PM
I am happy and childless. I am a very maternal person but I do NOT want my Own kiddies...I work as a pediatric nurse so I can enjoy kids all I want there!
Also, sense of family: friends who have no kids, friends w kids, brothers in law with kids, my husband.

JanM
Dec. 25, 2009, 09:27 PM
Vacation-some of us for a variety of reasons don't really have family any longer, so we make our own families of friends. And blood relationships don't guarantee that people will care about you. It's wonderful when a family is supportive but some people just don't have that situation.

Sakura-I know what you mean about hovering parents-they call them 'Helicopter Parents' and the article in Oprah magazine about this and I think in Time or Newsweek more recently was very scary. Some children are praised for everything, never do anything for themselves, and never learn a sense of accomplishment for achieving anything on their own. It appalls me that parents won't teach their children a work ethic or responsibility, or discipline them in any way, and then are shocked when the kids grow up and don't listen to them. And it's a big shock for the kid when they have to live in the real world and everything they do isn't praised to the skies and they actually have to work for a living.

Simkie
Dec. 26, 2009, 12:30 AM
Thanks, guys. You've given me a lot to think about. I need to figure out if I (might) want kids because I actually WANT KIDS or if it's because of a hole I think that would fill or if it's just the whole "biological clock ticking" thing. I just don't know. But I'll work to figure out what I really feel before I do anything rash!

translation services
Dec. 26, 2009, 11:51 AM
I'm single and childless, and my sense of family comes from my surviving parent and my siblings. I'm always baffled by the argument that friends are JUST as good as family. The idea seems to be that well, my BFFs totally stepped up when my blood family moved away/is indifferent/has a different favorite color/hates them/says mean stuff behind their back/talks funny/etc. Seriously? If you don't work at family relationships, they will die. If you let painful arguments and squabbling and backstabbing and generally insane behavior lead you to sever family ties because 'it's too painful and besides, I have my DH/DD/DS/BFF" - well, as a scarred veteran of many family wars, I can say with complete assurance that you wussed out. Okay, you say, but why not leave a toxic relationship? Oh, sure, you can. But are your friends really better, and if so, can you tell me where you found them because friend wars have always, always been worse in my experience.

Being a scarred veteran of many family wars doesn't make you any better than anyone else, or your choice to stay in a terrible situation, a better choice.

Some people were meant to transcend their DNA and forge close ties away from the blood feud. In fact for many its far healthier.

Intolerant and guilt inducing attitudes like that are toxic and keep people in awful bonds that are not good for them or anyone around them.

All relationships are temporary, even those in families. There is no merit to staying within the family if it doesn't enhance your and their life and make you all feel and cope better. And yes, you can get that as easily if not more so, from well chosen friends. That is better than staying at war and calling people names like "wussed out" should they choose differently than you. Seriously who taught you that? Your family? :confused:

JSwan
Dec. 26, 2009, 11:55 AM
So, those of you who are kid-less...where do you get your sense of family? Do you have parents/siblings/other relatives? Are your friends your family?


Would appreciate any advice!

Not giving you advice - it's too personal a matter.

But I never wanted kids and neither did Mr. JSwan.

We just celebrated our 23rd anniversary.

We have a close circle of friends, some of whom have kids, some don't. We've got extended family.

Life is good - we're very happy.

AppendixQHLover
Dec. 26, 2009, 02:15 PM
I thought about this overnight while I was dying of a earache and hubby was blissfully snoring the night away.

Family bonds are sometimes weaker than the friend family bonds. My brothers only contact me when they want something--my friends if they don't hear from me for a couple of days start emailing, calling or text messaging me.

vacation1
Dec. 26, 2009, 03:14 PM
Okay, I will admit my earlier comment should probably have included one of those tedious exculpatory codas about how I know some people's family are simply evil/useless/etc. and breaking ties is either out of your hands or the only safe way to proceed. It just seemed so obvious to me that I wasn't talking about people whose entire family was dead or pedophiles. I was talking about people who have made a virtue out of not having communication with their families for petty, run-of-the-mill reasons. Their mother didn't call them on their birthday. Their dad never came to visit their new house. Their artist/stockbroker brother doesn't value their choice of finance/art as a career. Their sister told their kid he was obnoxious. Getting past stuff like this isn't staying at war, it's growing up and realizing that in order to remain close to people who people who aren't evil, just annoying, you sometimes have to deal with maddening behavior.


That is better than staying at war and calling people names like "wussed out" should they choose differently than you. Seriously who taught you that? Your family? :confused:

Could we call a moratorium on using the 'confused' icon when we're just being passive-aggressive? :lol:

Adelita
Dec. 26, 2009, 03:34 PM
I am 39, no kids (and no hope of any since I had a hysterectomy last Feb) and no husband. I am not close to my sister or brother or their kids, and my Dad died a few years ago. It's only my Mom, and I do worry about what happens when she dies...I truly will have no one. So I know about which you speak. I just don't think about it, I guess...I am having thoughts as to what is the true meaning of my life, why am I here...and no answers. So, we will see. That's all I can tell you....we will see! :)