Post # 1
My boyfriend and I have discussed having children passively in the past and the conversation has always had an either/or theme. It fluxuates between having children and not having children. I adore the children that are in my life (close friend’s children, godchildren, cousins etc), but I always think of the idea that just deciding to have children then realizing you werent ready or maybe wouldn’t be a good parent AFTER having children is absolutely terrifying. I am also very career-driven, so I worry about the professional implications of having a child. It’s unfortunate, but I realize it’s the world we live in as women. Not to mention, I have been petrified of childbirth and maternal death my entire life. I find myself really wanting kids one day (being excited for having a child with my boyfriend, specifically), and not wanting children the next. It seems sometimes the only reason I lean towards wanting children is out of guilt or fear that I made the wrong decision. Both of our parents always talk about grandchildren. Does anyone else feel this guilt or uncertainty? Is it ok to decide not to have children? How did you come to the realization that you wanted children?
Post # 2
Yessss, this is almost the same exact situation I’m in! I’m young so I definitely don’t want kids now, but I’m not sure I want kids at all. I’m just not very good with them and I feel guilty for saying this, but they’re totally dependent on you. Kids are forever. I’m terrified of being pregnant and giving birth with all the pain and different changes to your body it creates. I think I’d like to have kids one day, but it just freaks me out. If I were to have them, I know I’d absolutely adore them, but it just freaks me out that another person is growing inside of you. Your whole life changes and you have to worry about someone other than yourself and husband/bf/baby daddy. I feel so guilty!!
Post # 3
I have similar feelings. I also worry about having to deal with our parents constantly getting offended or upset at our parenting choices or complaining if they don’t see them enough. I have anxiety already so I know having kids and adding another level of familial complexity isnt going to ease that at all.
Post # 4
It’s totally okay to not want children. The planet is seriously overpopulated, there are enough humans to go round. Please do not feel guilty. Kid or no kid, both decisions are equally valid, and you don’t need to justify this to anyone.
Post # 5
My fance and I are adamently child-free and, nope, I don’t feel one single shred of guilt over that.
How old are you? I have found that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more comfortable with just making the decisions that are right for me and not caring so much about social pressures. So, in my early to mid 20s, yeah, I kind of allowed social pressures to make me feel like something was wrong with me for not wanting kids, but as I got older I realised that my choice to be child-free is no ones business but my own (and, now, my fiances).
Your parents wanting grandbabies doesn’t obligate you to give them grandbabies, and you’re not selfish if you decide you don’t want to.
Post # 6
Tbh I don’t think anyone goes into parenthood not terrified and I also think there’s never the absolute perfect time. The thought of labour terrifies me as well and the loss of independence. 100%want kids though
Post # 7
That’s what I try to tell myself, but I can’t ignore the constant pressure, especially here in the south that I feel and the looks of confusion I get when I mention possibly not wanting children. Thanks for the encouragement.
Post # 8
I am 22, about to graduate college. I’m not considering having kids anytime soon, but my boyfriend and I still occasionally discuss it. We like to communicate and make sure we’re on the same page.
Post # 9
When I was about 15, I realized I didn’t want kids. At first, I toyed with the idea. I didn’t like children and didn’t think I would be a good mom. Everyone said I’d change my mind. And, as I got older, sometimes I considered kids again. But I always came back to a solid no. Now I am pretty confident in my decision. FH is even considering a vasectomy.
In my mind, there is nothing wrong with not wanting kids, but people will always tell you otherwise. So here are some good reasons not to have kids:
- Not liking kids
- The desire for a career or travel, etc.
- Liking kids, but not wanting to be around them all the time
- More money and time
- Not wanting to bring kids into this uncertain world
- Not wanting to pass down diseases or histories of abuse or mental illness
- There’s no reason to actually have kids anymore (ie working the farm)
- It can be a more selfless option, in my opinion
- Not having the makeup to be a good parent
- Happiness levels decline when people have kids
- Divorce rates increase when kids leave the nest
- Marital satisfaction declines with children
- So so so many more
It’s your body, so it should be your choice. Pregnancy freaks me out. I don’t find any part of it beautiful. Your body is changed forever. Your comfort with that should come before other people’s opinions.
Fear and guilt should not determine this choice. Your parents’ wishes should not determine this choice. Being a grandparent is never a guarantee anyways.
Ultimately, you are in control of your body and your future. If you decide you don’t want kids, own that decision guilt-free. There is no reason for any guilt about that. In fact, I think more people should choose that route.
And if you change your mind, you don’t have to go through pregnancy. You can adopt. There are plenty of children who already exist that need a parent.
Take it from me, people will try to guilt you into having kids, call you selfish (not sure why this makes anyone selfish but whatever), say there is something wrong with you, and so on. It sucks. But they are wrong and unkind. The guilt is normal but unnecessary. Most people just aren’t used to the idea of happy child-free people.
So when you start feeling guilty, remember: It’s your life, your future, and your body.
Post # 10
Nope, I dont feel guilty or selfish at all lol. In fact, I think wanting a “mini me” is more selfish than me wanting to travel the world or whatever.
That said, I’m an only child, and both my husband and his brother dont want kids. So both our parents are SOL on the grandbabe front!
Post # 11
ahahahahahahaha. Sorry, read just the title and it made me laugh. I have 4 step kids and GIRL, if I could push my uterus out like a poop I swear I’d flush it and just be like Bye Felicia just so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. So no, don’t feel bad, your body your life your choice.
Post # 12
I 100% applaud you for keeping this an open discussion with your partner, even if one of you were adamantly against having kids. This is something that you and your partner have to be 100% eye-to-eye on, because becoming a parent is so final and a true desire to many. If you were to be with someone who really really really wants kids, and you don’t want them at all, for example, it is hardly fair of you to lie to yourselves and/or become someone you are not.
I don’t think you have any reason to feel guilty at all, as long as you and your partner continue to be on the same page about this for the rest of your lives, whether you end up wanting kids or not. Your parents wanting grandchildren is not incentive to become parents.
Also, you are very young and at a time in your life where you are education/career-driven. This could easily change in the next ten years, or even twenty years. I advise you to just keep your open mind on the topic, but above all, make sure your partner is on the same page, always. You don’t want to drag him into parenthood if he is not ready – and you certainly don’t want to BE dragged into parenthood, either.
Post # 13
Anytime we mention kids now, we pretty much say its one or none. I have a brother so sometimes I think having one child is sad, but my boyfriend is an only child. I just think it would be easier to give them everythign they need and not having to worry about favoring one over the other, or undercutting one with say a vehicle or school because of financial reasons. Both of us are on the fence, so we like to manintain communication about it. I’m sure the conversations will get more serious or in depth later on. Thanks for the advice.
Post # 14
This post was encouraging. Part of the reason I’m struggling is watching my parents relationship crumble after my younger brother left the house for college. It’s as if they forgot they are more than just parents. They are wonderful parents, and have been my whole life. It just worries me that parenting is so emotionally demanding that couples dont know how to live just as a couple anymore once the children leave. I worry alot about my relationship changing when I have children, mainly because my relationship is so wonderful now. We travel alot together and are the best of friends.
Post # 15
im CFBC and don’t feel guilty about it AT ALL. like – what on earth is there to feel guilty for? if anything, it should be the other way around….having children is fulfilling a selfish, egotistic desire -you’re 1) having kids so that you can have the experience of being a parent (selfish) and 2) you’ve determined that your genes are so amazing that there should be more of you in the world (egotistic). so really, if anyone should feel guilt about their decision, it should be those who have chosen to have children, not those choosing not to. additionally, it’s creating more people which creates more resources drain on a world that already has too many people. so yeah, the guilt should be placed in the parenting court.