My wife and I never had kids. It didn't happen naturally, and neither of us was driven to pursue the whole fertility thing, or adoption. We like kids, but that insatiable drive that seems to be there with some people, was not there with us.
Our animals were definitely kid substitutes. The best part is, they never grow up! We got a dog first, a wonderful German Shepherd named Jessie. Then I got involved with horses, first lessons, then leasing at a commercial barn, a series of other horse situations, then we bought a different house with some land and built a barn. In the meantime, my then-10yr old niece Samantha came to live with us because her mother (my wife's sister) was ill and couldn't care for her. I really didn't think that I had the time, money, disposition or inclination to raise a kid, but this was just doing the right thing, for a short term.
Well Samantha's mom died, so she is with us permanently now. She is now 13. She is horse crazy like me. I am 50 yrs old, male, with no experience with kids and have almost nothing to talk about with a 13 yr old girl. Almost, that is, except horses. Horses are our common love, and are the catalyst that makes this family work. Whatever we disagree about in the house, we can almays find something to agree about at the barn. In retrospect, it seems like it was all part of a miraculous plan. The money. although tight at times, seems to be just enough. The time just seems to make itself available.
We now have two horses, one Samantha's and one mine. We have a boarder with a third horse, she is 21 and is like a big sister to Samantha. We also have two more dogs and three cats.
So, to make a long story short, I'm a convert. Didn't know what I really wanted but I recognize it now that I have it.
As has been said before, it's only a job if you'd rather be doing something else.
I sent my mom a picture of hubby and me at the hunt ball. All dolled up. My mom, the dog breeder who actually utters aloud such phrases as "fine breeding stock" about people, said about the picture "People who look like that should have children". I said, with a big smile, "People *can* look like that because they don't have children." She was tweaked. This was after a long string of not so subtle hints. (Disclaimer: I know some couples who have kids and look and feel great and can afford what they want. More power to them.)
Camstock, I have the sdame reaction. make no move to take the baby. They'll get the hint.
On a funny note, I once dated a guy, for quite a while. He was Italian, and you know what their mothers can be like about the whole baby thing.
Well, after over a year, he says to me"I've decided its time for you to get pregnant." and that's a direct quote. No discussion, no have you changed your mind, just I'VE DECIDED! I mean, really. In this day of enlightenment. I put on my coat and walked out. Am I supposed to be treated like a baby factory just because I have the equipment? Creepy.
Count me in too! I'm an Aunt and that is ok with me. My horses, Dogs and cats are perfect children.
Dancing lawn: I am embarrassed that your BF said that to you. What a Stromboli!! You are right about Italian mothers about children. My mom says I'm selfish for not having kids. I do not want to be a broodmare thank you!
Honestly, I think I like kids better than adults but can't afford them and have no support system, which I think is essential when you have children... Also, I look at my older brothers and am glad I didn't feel the need to perpetuate my family's genes--they are marginal human beings, at best... My greatest fear is that any kids I might have would turn out just like them... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...n_rolleyes.gif
All my life I had wanted a horse and finally got one after waiting thirty-five years... I know I can't have both...
As a child I also wanted to do something to help animals that were homeless--I have taken in countless stray animals (from cats to guinea pigs) and we had two Cocker Spaniels cousins (one paid for, one adopted) at one time, so I gotten to live out my childhood fantasies... I wouldn't have had the time or the money if I had had children and some people just ought not to have kids...
Having children is a tremendous responsiblity that the majority of people just don't understand, but they go ahead and have kids anyway--I think that's what's wrong with this country... Anyway, I have no problem with children and have even thought about being a mentor, so I have no regrets about not having my own... There are plenty of children to go around that need guidance and love, even if they belong to someone else... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif
"Everything looks good until you start to examine it!!!", uttered by me on more than one occasion
"We want to raise our children so that they can take a sense of pleasure in both their own heritage and the diversity of others." ~Mr. (Fred) Rogers~
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cherry:
Having children is a _tremendous_ responsiblity that the majority of people just don't understand, but they go ahead and have kids anyway--I think that's what's wrong with this country... Anyway, I have no problem with children and have even thought about being a mentor, so I have no regrets about not having my own... There are plenty of children to go around that need guidance and love, even if they belong to someone else... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Hahaha, I'm in the opposite boat. I'm 23 and right now, and am not ready to have kids yet. But, I want to have my first child early enough that she/he will be able to ride/show my horse before my horse is too old and she's 14 right now!! I know, I'm crazy! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_biggrin.gif
However, my mom has always said that I will have the child dressed in Wal-Mart clothes and the horse standing in the pasture in a Rambo blanket!
It is really funny this thread. I saw a survey a couple of years ago on this and the result came out this way: 34% of female rider prefer an new horse to another kid. That survey was conduct throughout America, let's say 7 years ago.
There was other thing mentionned as they hide the real horse expenses to their husband.. and bla bla. We had a good laugh at the barn.
From the time I was a child myself, I "knew" that I didn't want children. I still don't. I put my heart and soul into my horses, and I just would not have time or interest for children. I am an all or nothing kind of person. (I think I would drive human children nuts with my worry and safety consciousness). There was a fleeting moment during my graduate thesis when I thought I might like to just stay home and have kids - I think it was the pressure getting to me. I have since realized that raising children has got to be one of the most challenging things anyone could take on. Also, in my twenties I read an article in the New York Times Magazine (I wish I had saved it) that really made me think. The author was looking back on her child raising years and although she claimed not to regret having children, she encouraged women to not have kids unless they felt such an incredible desire to raise them that they couldn't imagine life without them. She (paraphrasing here) suggested not having them unless you absolutely could not live without them. I wonder about the society we would have if everyone thought this way. Just a thought, not a critique on my part...
I have heard the pitter patter of little feet- just this morning as a matter of fact! But it was the pitter patter of PUPPY feet!! Ah the best kind!
I have never really wanted to have kids either. People said that will change now that you are married. So I thought about it. Last year this time I gave it a great deal of thought. DH is lukewarm but willing if that is what I want. He has a son and likes the *somewhat* freedom we have. After much thought I decided I was right originally- a new puppy was in order instead! We love her to pieces and treat all the dogs/ puppies/ horses like they were our kids.
On a funny side note I found out one of my mares was pregnant by my colt... so I spent the night calling all my relatives to tell them.
If for some reason you do feel some guilt (and no reason you should) and/or want a comeback, why not think of something you'd buy for your never-to-be kid and make a donation? For example, I had figured (before I had a kid) that the least I would do was send the mythical child to horse summer camp, so I sponsored a kid at Horses in the Hood as a Christmas present for Mom. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif
I was ambivalent about being a "mom" since I was a teenager. Then I married an older man who made it clear he didn't want kids. After a few years we both began to reconsider. But the whole idea of incubating an alien being inside my body, which will then erupt forth... http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...ilies/dead.gif
I did weigh horses vs. a child. Even though I was a teacher for several years, and found it very rewarding, kids were never at the center of my universe. Horses and animals have defined my life.
Then I got diagnosed with a potentially fatal and hereditary immune system disorder, and underwent years of treatment that would've damaged a fetus or made raising a kid impossible, so there ya' go. Decision made, forever.
Les and I have a beautiful daughter who is the light of our life. I couldn't ask for a better or more wonderful child.
This being said, we also decided to have another "child", Sweetie. We feel very blessed to have our daughter and a really wonderful mare (well when she get's out of the hospital...she cut her leg on a fence). We feel very content with the decision to have one child and a horse.
I understand not having the desire to have children. I, too, did not have the desire to get pregnant. My husband basically had to "knock" me up http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_biggrin.gif.. However, I am soooo glad that we did decide to have a child. She is just a blessing.
A different perspective from someone who decided to only have one child AND a horse. Believe me, I still get the questions about having a second child. My response is, "I have one. She is three years old and off the growth charts at 1200 lbs." That seems to shut them up in a hurry. http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...s/winkgrin.gif
I, too, was one of those women who was never interested in children (maybe being an only child living far away from any relatives had something to do with that). It wasn't a case of choosing horses over children. I got my first horse at 25 and already knew that I wasn't interested in kids. But not having children sure makes it easier to afford the horses.
Fortunately, Mr. OH felt pretty much the same way. I do think that if I had wanted them, that would have been fine with him. I am a little sorry for my in-laws though. It's unlikely that they will ever be grandparents since Mr. OH's only sibling is in her 40s and unmarried. But my MIL has never mentioned it to me, except to sigh when she called herself grandmom to our toy poodle. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif
I did wonder if I would regret being childless, but at 51 that hasn't happened. My dad and I had a great relationship (my mom died many years ago) and I know that I'll never have that kind of parent-adult child relationship, but so be it.
Just My Style: Nothing wrong with only children. If I had wanted children, it most likely would have been one. I survived just fine and was not spoiled rotten. I even bought my first horse (although my dad felt really guilty that his only child had to buy her first horse and more than made it up to me over the years).
tcgelec: You had parenthood thrust upon you and I do so admire what you're doing. Good luck.
tcgelec ,now that is a good story! I got teary, just imagineing you with your new preteen!
I never thought about haveing kids at all, horses /boys/school.... then i got pregnant!
Well we are happily married now for 6 yrs have a 6 yr old and a three yr old and three horses.. I am now just finally being able to enjoy the horses, one child is in school and the other day care so I can have so real me time. Me and my horse that is.
I will say it is hard, but the children arent the hardest part, just relationships in general are, living in a marriege is the difficult part.. The kids are so much fun, being a family means more to me then anything ,I had cut down to one horse for a time because of time problums(a month)(well I tried right?) I guess I just like to have a full life....
I Used to be a "don't want kids" kinda person because I was stuck in this really bad relationship for 4 years with an internet sex addicted freak who saved (yes saved) all of the IM sex chats and book marked all of the porno web sites dating back to 1994 on there lap top work computer in addition to having tons of credit card debit and private college loans who later on in life "forgot" to open a 401K retirement with the company (who would have contributed even if you didn't) and still works for that company for 7+ years ..... who thought they could publish a high end "horsey" magazine by financing it on credit card ........meanwhile, supporting an elderly mother by sending money back home and continuing to buy stupid materialistic items on ebay and spending the days at work surfing the internet (or magazines at Borders) for high end horse real estate which they will never be able to afford........ did I mention they told me when we first met that they *knew* how to ride and used to take lessons.... ummm, that was all part of the "dream world" they live in. Did I mention that they know anything and everything about Ferrari's although couldn't and never have owned a car at the age of 30+ years? This person's sister even warned me that this person was a "dreamer" while we were all on vacation in Florida........ phew, thank goodness I woke up out of that nightmare and got out of the relationship although it took a while as our lives were very intertwined.
Anyway, you get the point. I was smart enough to NOT have a child with that kind of a person. It was they who never wanted to have children and I just convinced myself to not want children on account of being afraid to "rock" the boat or cause a problem in the relationship which is stupid because I never even loved this person to begin with. So...after reading all of the hundreds of sex chats on this person's computer and putting a lot of information together and doing a bit of searching and background checking I truly think they were a victim of some kind of childhood trauma or sex abuse and in addition having a hard time with there own sexuality and hiding as a "closet" gay but leading a double life as a straight person and this I think being the reason they never wanted children.
While I was setting myself up during the last 7 months of the relationship I got to be very good friends with a former horse trainer and Polo player ...... shazam...... we hit it off and now almost a year and 5 months later the former trainer and I are in love and planning a wedding in October 2004 and want children ASAP! I am 30+ years and my former trainer is 9 years older than I..... so no time wasting!
Funny, but I never loved the person that I was in the relationship for 4 years..... perhaps it was just a way of passing time or God's way of bringing me to the other person or maybe it was low self esteem or what ever which kept me bound to it. My friend's tell me I got sucked in by a very sick person. I look back and think or rather panic about all the warning signs I didn't or avoided seeing ....... I desperately tried to make the relationship work because it was doomed from the beginning on account of this person's past and "extra curricular activities" which they were never honest with in the beginning or at the end of the relationship and continue to lie to themselves about even as I write this. The whole relationship was a lie lie lie lie lie.
So it goes to show you that sometimes you make decisions for different reasons and for different reasons life takes you on a journey and those decisions change for one reason or another. I changed from not wanting children to really wanting children with the person I have fallen in love with and have an incredible relationship where I don't have to "work" to make it right as it happens naturally on it's own. While that other person is still dreaming dreams while my dreams are coming true...... I found someone who loves horses, knows how to ride and train horses, has a very well established career and retirement plan has a house and 25 acres, horses, car/truck/trailer and best of all he doesn't even know how to turn on a computer!
Maybe after time goes on some of you will join me in the once "no child" category to the "wants children" category?
Interesting topic! From the age of 6, I decided I did not want children and my "adopted" aunt was my role model. She had been married for years and had no kids. Before I got married, I made it clear to my husband that I did not want kids and he said "fine". I had always mothered animals and was never attracted to babies. Then when I was 39, a special person in my life was in a coma and when I went to the hospital to see him, his son was there comforting his wife and it changed my mind. I went to a therapist to discuss my success at mothering animals and lack of maternal instincts towards children. He told me that he recommended that prospective parents get a dog before they have kids, as "practice". Well, I had lots of that kind of practice! I went home and told my husband that I wanted to have a kid and he said "fine". I had a son when I was 40 and have no regrets. Well, sometimes I'm jealous of my friends who don't have to race to school to pick up a kid....
This is the funny part about my having a kid: I had quit riding a few years prior when I decided I could not do it on the budget I had set for myself. When my son was 3 yrs old, I decided to cut back my work to 4 days a week. I started going to a friend's barn (who had a 5 yr old daughter) to ride and ended up buying one of her horses. Now I work 3 days a week and have 2 horses. I ride while my son is at school on the days I don't work plus one weekend day. I never would have been able to justify working 3 days a week if it wasn't for my son and now I have a kid AND more time to ride. Perfect!
Congrats on getting out of such an ugly relationship an into a great one. I can see why you didn't have kids. There are so many women I hear of that have mulitple children with these guys in order to "cement" the realtionship (my sister, for one). It never works and it's the poor kids who suffer.