Children vs Childfree. What did you choose and why? Share your stories!

posted 3 years ago in Babies
  • poll: If you could go back in time, would you still have children? (please explain why in form post).
    Yes, I wouldn't think twice. No regrets! Best thing that has happened in our lives! : (21 votes)
    34 %
    No, I will not do it again. : (1 votes)
    2 %
    I'm still trying to figure out if I made the right choice. Lots of ups and downs. : (4 votes)
    7 %
    I regret not having children, I wish I could go back in time to do it. : (3 votes)
    5 %
    I don't regret not having children. Very happy with the choice I/we made! : (32 votes)
    52 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    2696 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Personally, for most of my life, I NEVER wanted kids. Never saw the appeal in them. never thought them to be cute. I wanted to do SO many things, and having kids was not on the list.

    About 4 years into our relationship, DH, who was my then boyfriend, and I had a serious talk. If I didn’t want kids at all, he wasn’t sure it was going to work out with us.

    Luckily for him, my biological clock went of a year or so later, and I DESPERATELY wanted a child. It was a confusing time. I did a complete 180. Kids were suddenly cute, and I wanted a baby.

    We waited a number of years and did a lot of talking and thinking about having a child. It is scary, especially for men, to actually take that leap and start trying.

    We had our DD, and I will say, it’s the best thing we have ever done. I naturally fit into the mothering role. Being a mom is one of the things I am best at. I have the most confidence in it.

    Like you, I don’t have a huge social life, so there was not a lot of adjusting when it came to having a baby. Friends still visit, we still go there, but since it’s not something we do on a regular basis, it’s no biggie.

    Yes, I am tired, it’s hard getting up sometimes at 5:30am because my DD is ready for the day. Things are a bit more complicated (like when she gets sick and I need to leave work to be home with her).

    But I have never been so happy.

    Like seriously, the child keeps me so entertained. I love my husband even more that I watch how great of a father he is, and see how much he loves our little girl.

    We always had a great relationship, which i think is VERY important BEFORE having kids. Things have just gotten better since we had our DD. We’re quite a team 🙂

    That being said, I am now preggers with #2, and terrfied as to how much more TWO kids is going to restrict my life. lol It’s easy taking one kiddo with you everywhere.. 2, not so much!

    Post # 3
    Member
    3514 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    MrsJager2014:  Not having children was never a choice for us. We’re pregnant with our first child due in 59 days! So I can’t really speak about what has changed and what hasn’t as far as our going out life but I can say I want to look at this as a gain! Of course we are not going to be able to go out whenever we want the first few months but I feel like children are such a blessing and an amazing product of your love! It’s not gonna be rainbows and butterflies but at the end of the day it’s worth it all. My DH and I have found a new love for each other for sure. We just have a whole new respect for each other and our son has truly bought us closer together. You will go through every single emotion though I will tell you that. When I found out I was so super scared and although that fear turned into happiness, then excitment, anixiousness, and back to fear; it’s like freaking tenis! back and forth BUT I know our son is the most amazing thing to come out of our love. One day DH and I are gonna be old and at home in rocking chairs bored out of our old minds and then hopefully our grandchild will come flying in. Our family and it’s name will grow and grow and that’s super important to us. A family.

    Post # 4
    Member
    9532 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Well, I haven’t had any children yet, but I can tell you about my process of deciding if I wanted a child or not.

    When I was younger I kind of always assumed I would have kids because that’s what people do. But as I got older I realized that is a horrible reason to have kids. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to or not. Then my husband (boyfriend at the time) started talking about getting engaged and I knew I had to sort things out. My husband was sure that he wanted to have kids. I knew that I couldn’t get engaged unless I was on board. So I spent about 9 months thinking it through. It was really hard. I tried talking to people about, but when I asked how someone decided they wanted to have kids the answer I got most of the time was “I always knew I wanted to have kids” and the second most common answer was “I wasn’t sure and then one day I kenw I wanted a kid” neither of which was particularly helpful. But is was useful to talk to people about their parenting experience. It was also useful to talk to the women that I know that never had kids. One of the most useful things I did was spend a week pretending that I had a kid – what would I be thinking about, what I would be doing, what would I be stressed about, what would I be looking forward to? – and then I spent a week pretending that I was never going to have a kid and asking the same things. In the end I decided that I do want a kid. One. Which my husband happily agreed to. For me, I think that having a kid will make my life more rich and full. I love to vacation and was actually just thinking about planning a trip to the Grand Canyon and decided that I would rather wait until I had a kid and the kid was old enough to enjoy it to do the trip, which was kind of cool. I also think that a kid will encourage me to get out and do more of the things that I like to do (go to the zoo, on walks, to the museum) but have trouble motivating myself to do. I think a kid will give me things to look forward to. I think parenting will bring my husband and I closer together. I like the idea of being a grandmother. I like kids and think I’ll be a good mom. I will be glad to relate more to most of my friends who also have kids.

    These were all things that brought me to the decision that I want to have a child. But I don’t think there’s really a great way to make this decision. It’s just so personal. Definitely lots of talk with your husband. And it’s good that you’re actually thinking about this from both sides. Don’t let societal pressures push you one way or the other. You’ll figure it out!

    Post # 5
    Member
    279 posts
    Helper bee

    It strikes me as pretty telling that every person who has answered the poll so far has been really happy with their choice. 

    I have a son and honestly, we were married but not ttc. We always wanted children though. He is the best thing about my life, absolutely, and I say that without a shred of doubt. That being said, the changes are hard and some of them suck. He’s 15 months and my relationship isn’t the same. My self image has change and because of our financial situation and the position I was working, I’ve cut down to part time in a different role in my company. I LOVED my job and miss it, and miss the fulfillment it gave me. Sometimes I chafe against being a mommy, even though it’s what I wanted.

    I would say, don’t have kids if you don’t want them. There’s no shame in that, more power to you. However, being scared that things will change is no reason not to do anything. Things change wether you want them to or not. Accidents, disabilities, illnesses, job offers, lottery winnings… Things will always be different. Thet being said, you’ve got a long time before your time to decide is up.

    Post # 6
    Member
    526 posts
    Busy bee

    MrsJager2014:  Thank you for this post, we are having the EXACT same dilemma.  I think it is difficult if you don’t know anyone without kids, and also to get an honest answer from a friend with kids.  I am looking forward to the responses. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    247 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    Just because you have a child does nto mean you have to give up your date nights or traveling….it just means you have to plan a bit differently thats all!

    Post # 8
    Member
    4812 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    MrsJager2014:  In my first marriage we decided not to have kids. We just weren’t one of those “gotta have them” types of people. And yes, we enjoyed doing whatever we want whenever we wanted. LOVED that. I also honestly feel the world is overpopulated as it is so why would I add to that? And the world is just getting crummier, though I know each generation says that, so I didn’t want to bring anyone into that. (post 9/11, internet bullying, child porn blah blah blah)

    Having said that, it’s such a personal choice. I’m sure millions of people can attest to how rewarding it was to have kids.

    Post # 9
    Member
    4812 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    MrsJager2014: What  hkinsley:  is definitely true. But having kids changes LOTS of stuff. Because Part 2 of my story is I got married a 2nd time and his 4 kids moved in with us. Holy hell! Lol! Yes it’s different with stepkids, but not all of it. It was almost always about the kids: what we’d eat, where we’d go that day, what we could even do that day, when they needed shoes/clothes (with 4 it’s a lot of $$), they always came first. If we wanted to go out to eat or out anywhere as a family it just cost way too much so we could rarely do it. On the flip side, it was fun to see the absolute joy on their faces on Xmas morning, when we had a pinata on Cinco de Mayo, when we’d make their favorite brekkie etc etc. But that’s when they’re young and fun. Lol! Teenagers?? That’s a whole other story. Anyway, it’s such a personal decision and I wish you MUCH luck!!

    Post # 10
    Member
    121 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    We’re not having children, and we do not regret this choice. We like having complete freedom with respect to our finances and work/life schedules. We like to have more control in how we design our lives.

    Children are wonderful and beautiful, but making the sacrifices necessary to become parents is just not for us!

    Post # 11
    Member
    2184 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium

    My husband and I have a similar relationship– everything we do, we do together and we love adventures and doing stuff in general. I got pregnant last year, and we have a beautiful three- month-old. While life is different, we both wouldn’t change anything. She’s pretty portable now, and once she gets a little older, we’re looking forward to family travels and adventures. 

    ETA: And we still go on dates… we just have to plan a little more. Luckly my brother lives close by, so she stays with his family for a few hours while we go out to dinner or whatever. And my little one sleep for 12-14 hours from 6 or 7pm, so we do at home dates almost every night. It’s fun. 

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Mrs. Gremmlin.
    Post # 13
    Member
    97 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    My first impression of your post, stiked an odd note with me. You mentioned the cons of having children as being early rising and crying and tantrums all very baby-ish behaviours. These are short term consequences of having a baby. 

    I feel that more often than not people dont think about having kids as creating new people. They just think of having a cute little baby or having a child as a mini version of themselves and not about creating and shaping an individual for the rest of his/her life. 

    Perhaps you should ask yourself and your husband… What do you have to offer this new person in the way of wisdom to teach them about the world and how to survive and thrive within it? 

    Post # 14
    Member
    863 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We have an 8 month old daughter, and while we always wanted to have kids (so I can’t speak to that part) I really worried about the quality of life part. Pre-baby, we traveled all the time, ate out at nice places a lot, did fun things on the weekends, loved our time together. I imagined parenthood as me being chubby with dirty hair yelling at my husband when he got home from work, and us sacrificing weekends away for like, bathroom renos or something. Our daughter is only 8 months so maybe it will get different but ever since we had her we… travel a lot, eat out just as much, do fun things on weekends, and love our time together even more. I think that quality of life take a nosedive if you experience a huge drop in income (like one parent not working, or unpaid mat leave with no savings), or you buy a way more expensive house for example. Babies under 2 are free to fly with, so we have been all over the country and are heading to the UK in a couple weeks. Kids are really portable, so if you aren’t scared about appearing in public with them, you can do basically everything you already do. As far as finances go, we just shifted stuff around so that my husband pays all of our living expenses, and I pay daycare, vacation, and future baby expenses/college funds etc. Daycare ends, and then that money can be directed towards college savings or increased expenses. As far as vacations with school aged kids go, if we wanted to do an overseas trip, we would just pull them out of school and do it. Life with kids (or without I suppose) is what you make it. It can be as child-friendly or adult oriented as you want it to be if you plan it correctly

    Post # 15
    Member
    5351 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2009

    Your questions are the exact questions I ask myself “what is the return?” Not to sound negative, but for ME, I don’t see it. 

    My husband and I just turned 30 which means there are very few of our friends who don’t have children, and sadly I can only think of one marriage that still appears to be as strong as it was w/o kids. All of the others are really struggling with their children (ages newborn – 5.) 

    Like you, we travel out of the country several times a year, go out to a date night at least once a week, and the weekends are usually not home and either outdoors doing something or with friends. We are very much get up and go type people and like doing spur of the moment things. I absolutely love my life right now and wouldn’t change anything. This is reason we have made the decision not to have children. We are just too happy with the way things are that we both feel children would not make us happier. Plus, kids annoy me. I feel bad for saying that, but they do. My limit is like an hour and then I am bored and annoyed. 

    Overall, I feel that not everyone in this world was cut out to be a parent, and I feel in my gut that me and my husband just weren’t meant for it. We are selfish with our time and our money and after a long day at work I want to do what I want to do, not go home and take care of sweet but needy children. 

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