Post # 1
I just read a VERY interesting article about married couples who choose not to have children. Many of them said that parentless couples are happier, in a better financial posistion and don’t have the obligation to focus on anything but themselves. Thats fair right? Not too harsh on parents of children?
I found this article rather ironic. It seems it went from a well thought out, educated question to a child hating fest that got deeper with every comment from a parentless child. The irony in this was that most of the married couples said, “We do not want children because they will interfere with our life as a couple. I love my husband and can’t imagine children ruining our marriage. Lives without children let us focus on ourselves”. It seems as though the very reason why these couples got married is the very reason why most couples end up having children. They love them and can’t imagine there lives without them. That right there bugs me. It seems as though they are so closed minded that they don’t realize getting married is just as big of a decision has having a child and you feel pretty much the same emotions for another human bean, whether it be your husband or child.
I am not hating on childless couples. That is a personal choice. Most of the couples said “I am too selfish to have a child. I don’t like children.” Okay, thats fine, to his, his own. But who isn’t selfish? I know I am and I am a parent. I’m selfish because it keeps me, me. It keeps my head on straight to be a great mom. I’m not saying if you know that you wont be a good parent to have children. If you know that you childs life will not be enriched by yourself as a parent then by all means DON’T have children. The last thing we need is another abused child in this world. If you can’t have children this is not what so ever pointed at you. I sympathize with you and envy your strength at the same time.
I just wish people were not so closed minded. Having a child is not something to be taken with a grain of salt. If you choose not to have children then I respect that. But please respect the generation after you. Respect the mothers and fathers who are working 2 jobs, getting no sleep, and still loving and raising the next generation of doctors, teachers, firefighters who just might save your life one day.
Ok comment away!!! I really want to see other opinions!!!
Post # 3
I’m really confused by your post. Are you talking about childless couples (couples who don’t want children) or parentless couples (couples that don’t have parents)?
Either way, I don’t think it’s right to judge anyone whether they want children or not. If their reasons for not having children are because they want to live their lives traveling and focusing on themselves, you can’t blame them for not wanting children. They’re making a responsible choice by not bringing a child into the world who won’t have the attention he/she deserves.
Subsequently, for those couples who want children, it’s not right for those who don’t want children to chastise them for caring deeply for their children.
It’s all about respect for each others’ points of view.
Post # 4
Obviously people need to keep having kids or else we’d all go extinct, right? So I don’t feel like there are probably many people who think no one should have kids. But I totally empathize with people who don’t want kids. It is something I struggle with.
I think it is hard to explain to someone who doesn’t want kids why they are a good idea. The cold hard “facts” about kids don’t stack up well in their favor. They deprive you of sleep, time, and boat loads of money. They cause you grief and grey hair. They strain your marriage. They hold you back at work, socially, and in your ability to explore the world. on and on and on. So they don’t really seem to be a good investment of energy. The thing is though, kids aren’t something you can put on a spreadsheet. You can’t quantify love or happiness. I think you just need to do whatever feels right to you. I think a lot of people (most probably) feel a NEED to have kids and won’t be fulfilled if they don’t. Whereas others will never “get it” and will feel they dodged a major bullet.
Ironically it is kind of like planning a big wedding vs. eloping. On paper a big wedding seems silly, right? So much time and money wasted on a day. Not at all practical. And yet most of us want some form of that “big wedding” just because we want it…. and most of us who do it will be thrilled we did (despite lack of sleep time money etc etc). 🙂
Post # 5
I’m sorry! Yes, I do mean couples who do not want children by choice.
Post # 6
Most of my relatives chose to NOT have kids. They travel a lot, have gorgeous homes, etc. I think that is wonderful and all, but I personally would feel pretty sad if I had no one to leave it all behind to!
Post # 7
Got it! And yea, I think it’s just respecting each other. I respect the choice of those couples who decide not to have children. It’s completely their choice. It’s not going to be my choice in my marriage, but to each their own. As long as they aren’t telling me what a fool I am for having children, they can not have kids all they want!
Post # 8
Can you add a link to the article youa referencing?
Post # 9
I agree with both of you. I am NOT a kid person. You will never hear the words that I just love children come out of my mouth. This is for all the very reasons why many couples do choose not to have kids. But my husband and I did have a “surprise”. My little boy is the light of my life now and the good out weigh the bad. I am expecting my next child and even though I am dreading what is ahead, I also know that it will be worth it. Its a weird bittersweet thing. I just don’t think that children are as awful as some make them out to be. We all in fact were children at some point.
Post # 10
I will not be having children. I love children but I don’t feel the need to raise one. I will help all of my friends raise theirs. I just do not feel that maternal longing. I do not feel my life will be any less complete or fulfilled without children. I have an extremely happy life and I am perfectly satisfied with my FI and my dog. I am sure we would both make great parents but we don’t feel it is something we will miss in any way. Plain and simple. I certainly don’t feel like we are selfish people, having chidren is a choice and we choose not to.
Post # 11
I think it depends on the person. I’m not quite sure what you’re saying about “the very reason why these couples got married is the very reason why most couples end up having children.” I take it you mean their commitment to each other and their love…
Here’s the thing – rationally, economically, looking at longitudinal studies and statistics, couples who have children find themselves less close during the process of child-rearing. They have less time for each other, even as they are part of a family that in some ways is deeper than it was before kids. They’re also less happy while the kids are in the home, happiness being measured by “how happy are you feeling right now” type surveys.
Some people look at that – look at the fact that even as parenting is rewarding, the day-to-day of it is often not enjoyable and say “nope, that’s it. Child-free couples are happier. I enjoy being child-free and will stay that way and enjoy being close to myself and my partner.” Others look at that and feel nothing but the void of not having kids – if you feel a drive to be a parent, what do a bunch of statistics mean?
That’s a big “if” though. I think the desire to be a parent is an emotional one, not a rational one. I think many but not all young adults feel that drive. For those that do, the rewards are worth the grunt work and sacrifice. For those that don’t, it comes down to rational arguments and the rational argument in this day and age is that having kids is not worth it. Leave it to the people who feel an emotional pull to do so. FWIW, I fall into the “no emotional drive” category. I know I’m in the minority and as much as I can’t imagine being in the other camp, I’m quite grateful most people are.
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
Some people really just want to spend their time and money on themselves. I’m pretty sure I do. There are so many things I’d like to do that children would prevent me from doing.
Most people have kids, so I don’t really see why anyone needs to be open minded about it either 🙂 Just because your idea of fulfillment is a child, doesn’t mean it needs to be everyone’s.
Post # 13
I have a huge amount of respect for people who choose not to have children from the start. I feel like those people will always be in the minority and therefore always be a target of conversation. Some people just know they don’t want kids and thats that, but then people want explanations why and to *most* people who want/have kids they usually don’t like their answers or can think of a way to refute what they are saying or have something to argue about it. I know I personally want children but I have no problem and don’t think any more or less of a person who doesn’t.
Post # 14
@Ribbons, I am saying being “open minded” because that is just a respect thing. If you want me to respect you and your decision of not having kids then that I me being “open minded”. And I do respect your decision.
Post # 15
I think it’s cool if people don’t want to have kids. I don’t get what respecting the generation after you means?…I don’t think children are awful, but if someone truly says “i don’t want kids”, then who are we to question them? That’s ok. Luckily, you can use BC nowadays.
Sometimes, i think it’s just hard to say “wow i love X about my life SO MUCH, how can other people NOT want to do this?!” i do the same with my college experience. I had such a GREAT experience, that sometimes i wonder why everyone didn’t love it as much as i did, or even go! It’s easy to project. And then you meet people who actually completely change your opinions
You had your son, you’re biased cuz he’s yours, you love him, and he’s what you know. Now, you can’t imagine your life without him.
I have a coworker who struggled with debilitating depression most of his life. I know him very well. They chose not to have kids. For good reasons, from what he’s told me. He loves to dote on his neighbor’s kid and his nieces/nephews, but probably could not have “handled” being a parent.
Post # 16
I think a lot of people don’t take having children serously (clearly not the OP). But for many children are just the next step in the line of finishing school, getting married, buying a house, etc. Which would explain the high levels of dissatisfaction that couples with children exhibit.
I think it takes a lot of guts to really analyze that decision when it’s such a major social norm. To step outside of what’s expected and to decide if it’s right for you or not. And in my case, it’s not. I don’t think that’s selfish or wrong in any way. Marriage is not for the purpose of having children. There are plenty of people who are married and childless whether by choice or not. And conversely there are plenty of very unmarried couples and singles with children who live happy healthy lives. It’s a matter of really deciding what you want out of your life and your marriage or relationship.
There are plenty of ways to be fulfilled without having children. My life is rich and full. I have a career, my friends, family, my wonderful husband and our pets, my hobbies, and our travels. And for me, children would just not make my life better. I applaud people who make the choice to do it or feel it’s a must for them. Contrary to what many think, I love kids. I’m good with kids. I’ve been a teacher and a nanny and camp counselor and I loved those jobs. But I also loved getting to send those kids away at the end of the day and go out until all hours of the night if I pleased. Having a dog is more than enough responsibility. 🙂