I'm about halfway to 40. No kids. Do not want. I have a little different perspective -- not only do I just not want to "swim upriver and spawn" (sorry, fish biologist) but as a conservationist/biologist, I see and know the effects of sprawl, overpopulation and resource use so I could not, in my mind, ethically add to that. Should I have some sudden flood of oxytocin (highly doubtful), there are literally tens of thousands of children who die every day from lack of care and I would pursue helping one in need.
And I agree with JER -- you can say that there is NOTHING that comes close to your kid-love FOR YOU. But that is individual. What builds love for you over time is in no way an absolute measure of what does the same for someone else. Despite protests, our culture is STILL one of which reproduction is a default. I try not to let it bother me too much, but I wish it would become less of an assumption and more of a well-thought-out choice (which for some it is).
you can say that there is NOTHING that comes close to your kid-love FOR YOU. But that is individual. What builds love for you over time is in no way an absolute measure of what does the same for someone else.
But ... would I regret it when I'm 50? 60? 70? Not having a next generation to enjoy and watch/help grow? Having lived my life selfishly and done the things I wanted to do when I was young, but potentially being lonelier as I get older? I mean, I like kids. I coach Pony Club a lot, enjoy having them around, seeing them be successful and grow. Perhaps they could be my children by proxy .
What did you choose? Why? How old are you now and how do you feel about it?
In my 50's and SO and I discussed kids and animals before we marroed. Both of us are OK with kids but he didn't want any. I didn't care much one way or the other (except 2 was the limit and no natural childbirth) BUT I required animals - horses as long as would could afford it.
It has been freeing. While friends had to rush home to kids we could go to movies, dinner, long drives, and European vacations. I bought a warmblood, he bought a sailboat. Lots of money to spend on things and no resentfullness - if we lcaked the money it was because we saved or spent it on something else - not because we'd made an obligation to our children.
I always say - horse trouble? You can sell a bad horse - you atr stuck if your child is bad.
As for my "kid" fixes - I have tught the children of a few friends the safe and proper way to ride - and have enjoyed it. Bad kid? I have no time for them. Good kid? Lots of "extra's" like Xmas presents, taking them (free) to shows, etc... Like a childs grandparents - I can spoil them and send them home.
As we age we can always see his nieces and nephews, and our friends age and their children leave - so they have just started to have more time to relax and enjoy themselves without having to take the kids to soccor practice, etc...
Children are not for everyone - the hardest part was the pressure from others to tell us what we were missing - I just know what we were missing (2 am teething, sick children, dating, etc...) and had "enough" of a fix from those (once) children I have seen and helped grow up.
So I would not change a thing in my decision - I do not regret it at all, just do what we did - look at the good and the bad before making a decision you have to live with for the rest of your life.
I see this on here all the time and really, having kids or not is something that only you can decide. Some probably regret not having them and some won't give it a second thought. Kids are not something to be pushed into having. Kids are not life sucking parasites that feed off their parents. Kids are a joy to have and a blessing. Kids do change things 100%. But, it is not forever. You will have a life of your own again when the kids get older.
I had my first at 30 and I mourned the loss of my freedom to do as I pleased, but I don't regret having them. Time goes by so fast and before I knew it I had my " me time" back as before. Don't go off other peoples experiences and opinions. If you want kids, have them when your ready and want them. If that time never comes then you have your answer.
But I would think that if someone doesn't want children then they wouldn't be concerned about "missing out" on anything, would they? I'm not being cheeky, that's an honest question. Like if you don't want kids (and more power to you if that's your choice) why would you even consider it a possibility that you were missing out on anything?
Because people in your life tell you that you're missing out, that you'll regret it as you age, that you're making a big mistake. That nurturing kids is part of being a woman. That you will never feel the love for your own kids, unlike anything else, that you mention in your first para.
I think it's not hard at all to feel like as best you can predict you don't want kids, yet still have some anxiety as friends and family assure you that you are making a terrible mistake.
Do what you think is right at the time with the information you have OP and no one (even you!) can't fault you.
That's the best you can do. It might not be very useful to ask people if they have regretted NOT doing something - as you can see by the responses; people don't know what they might have "missed" if they never did it in the first place.
I think if you chose not to have children, you would find other ways spending your time and meeting your emotional needs. I hope that if I hadn't become a parent, I would not be regretting it as much as I would be living my life to the fullest the way it was.
I would caution you, however, against waiting until your late 30s to "decide" whether or not to have kids. Many women do have successful pregnancies in their late 30s but fertility starts to decline rapidly after the early 30s. But you definitely don't need to decide YET - you are still young!
there are no guarantees. Dont have a child expecting it to "fulfill you" as so many do, or make a crappy marriage better or give you something to love.
Even the best parents sometimes raise crappy children that are parasites on society so dont count on someone to take care of you when you are old, etc.
Some horsey parents have kids that want nothing to do with horses.
when I was in my late 20's and hormones were rocking, my first husband and i talked about having a baby. We were about to buy a house and I was starting a new job with a probationary period of a year. So we decided to wait that year and then discuss it again. Well in the meantime he decided he didnt want to wait and got someone pregnant (not me) and now we are divorced thank God. Every morning when I open my eyes I give thanks to God that I did not have children with that man. We were married 7 years.
My current husband and I are approaching our 12th anniversary in May. We discussed children, but he was deploying a lot with the military and I was not doing the single parent thing. Raising children is hard enough with two parents actively doing it, tyvm.
I suppose if i had just always felt that having a baby was just something i had to do i would probably feel differently but I always felt that i liked my life just the way it is. If I want to go have a lesson or go ride at the beach, I go. I dont have to worry that someone needs to be picked up at school, or day care, or needs a nap or whatever, and i can live my life the way i want. I was never really that into the whole kid thing after being 10 years older than my sister.
But you have plenty of time and dont let anyone pressure you into having a baby or make you feel like you "Should". It's a personal decision and one that you should make for yourself. Having a baby is something you should only do if it is something you really really want.
As others said, you could adopt if you really wanted, but that was not an option for me. There are also big brother big sister programs and stuff like that, and of course Pony Club.
I'm 44 now and no kids. I have a 9 year old niece that i think the sun rises and sets in and I am very much enjoying being the cool aunt with the farm and the horses. I get her for spring break and usually two weeks in the summer, more if ican get the time off work and we go camping and ride the horses and have all kinds of fun. She wears me out then i send her home it's awesome.
Her birthday is in march and she said she wants to go see Aunt Jaegermonster for her birthday
"Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin
26 is definitely still too young to make the call! You still have so many years of youth and freedom ahead.
I actively dislike babies ("Want to hold little Ms. My Perfect Baby?" Me: "Hell no.") and never wanted kids. My hubby and I have been together almost 10 years, and he already has a son (now 10) and has been desperately (like, really) wanting another since 2 years into our relationship.
My friends and cousins started having kids, and I thought that would make me want them, but nope, still zero maternal instinct. However, my doctor said I was getting oldER and if kids was on the table, we should at least start trying. Ha ha, 10 weeks off my IUD I was preggo. When I saw the heartbeat for the first time, hubby was getting all misty eyed and I was like "Wow, it looks like an alien!".
Although I know how much work it will be, I like to think of him/her as a compliment to our life, a welcome addition like a new friend who, even though it wasn't love at first heartbeat, it could very well be love at first sight (but if not, I'm okay with that too, the kid and I will figure it out. )
You can set goals in life, but sometimes you just gotta roll in life and see where it leads. I like to think of this more like a new, exciting adventure!
I know this topic comes up most OTDs. Personally, raising children is really hard and there are many selfless times. There are also some children that need even more parenting than others. If you don't seriously desire children, please don't have them. I think we have far too many children that have parents that are not up to the task.
As a parent, I would never in a million years make anyone who did not have children feel that they missed something. Not everyone needs to parent to be happy and satisfied in this world.
This is a topic I could write volumes on! I'm 38 and my hubby is 36 and we both are 100% positively, absolutely sure that we do NOT want any children. I've felt this since I was 9. Helping raise two siblings probably cured me of any desire to want my own! I don't like them, can't relate to them, am uncomfortable in their presence and have never had any misgivings about what I might "miss out on."
I've heard all the lines like "Oh, it's different when they're yours," "You haven't met the right guy yet," and so forth. I call BS on that. I know how I feel and nothing is going to change it.
You have plenty of time to decide, just enjoy your life right now and if it's something you want, I think you'll know it and won't wonder anymore.
I think what irritates me the most is people who have them for the wrong reasons like to take care of them when they are older, or b/c "it's the next step" or to have someone love me...be comfortable with who you are and have them to enhance your life, not make it. They are a lot of effort and you need to be sure you are all in - too many of my friends think spending time with their kids is being in the same room with them while they are playing video games and parents are texting or something...sad.
Never had kids, never wanted them. I'm in my late 50's, and unmarried. You have plenty of years to decide you want kids, and many years to decide not to. You need to have kids because you want to raise and love them, and not for any other reasons. I see too many people who have kids but don't really want them, or want to raise them well, and that's sad. I have a lot of reasons for being single, and being childless, and that works for me. There are times where I wish I had someone else around, but there are no guarantees that a relationship or a child will be good, or will be fulfilling. I've had friends that said they want children to take care of them when they age, or be friends, but there are no guarantees of that either. I also had family reasons not to have children. I don't know of any way to keep my mother and the rest of my family permanently away from a child, and the thought of something happening to me, and then them getting their claws in a child gives me nightmares. Some people are not born to be parents, and my parents are two of them. Growing up unloved and unwanted, or knowing you are a constant disappointment to your parents is awful, and too many children do.
Don't have children unless you are 100% committed to them, and want them forever.
I am 54 and I always thought I would have kids, never did (I'm a firm believer that you need a father/husband to do this, never worked out before biological clock bit the dust). I don't regret it at all and I suspect I might not have been a great mother.
I'm like Oliverreed, EXCEPT, I very much regret it. I would've been an excellent mother (I come from a long line of excellent parents). I was an excellent instructor of small children and I would've been capable of homeschooling.
But to YOUR point, if you are not willing to change your life, to sacrifice YOUR needs for your child's (and I do NOT mean spoiling them or giving them everything they ask for), then don't have them. I spent my 30's and 40's dreaming about what I would show my daughter, where I would take her. If you don't dream about doing things like that, don't have them.
Children ARE a lot of work. So are horses. Everything worth having is a lot of work. Including a career and a house.
Someone raised a good point about children not being there for you when you're old and gray. Well, that all depends on how you raised them. My brothers and I were there for our parents. We wouldn't have been anywhere else, but we were raised with a sense of duty and loved our parents. Don't have them to be your caretakers. Have them because you want them. Your world will be new again when you look through the eyes of your child.
~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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