Post # 31
Try not to focus on the ins and outs of their decision. I feel that if you do, it will only damage your friendship for the resentment you may hold. I’m sure they are perfectly aware they will have to get new cars and I’m guessing they are ok with it since they made the choice to have a family. No sense on you driving yourself crazy going through that.
I get the sadness over the changing friendship. Darling Husband and I can’t have kids. I’m sure a lot of people assume we’re CFBC, but we’re not. For a long time, I just let people believe what they wanted because it was a heck of a lot easier than explaining fertility issues and the never ending intrusive questions that come along as soon as someone finds out. Whenever we meet a couple without kids, I get SO excited. Eventually the couple gets pregnant and gone is the friendship as we knew it. So I get that.
Post # 32
ladyvk : but how do you get off being angry about someone else’s life choices and justify it?
Perhaps not angry, but the same way you justify being upset if your best friend just told you she was moving to the other side of the world and you would no longer be able to be there for one another in the way that has been important to you and to which you’ve been accustomed. I’m sure once OP gets past her immediate reaction she’ll be able to congratulate her friend, but their relationship will be different moving forward and that’s a loss.
jellybellynelly : I don’t think it’s selfish to choose to not have children, it would be far worse to have children you don’t want just to please someone else. If these pushy family members want more children they are welcome to adopt some, there are plenty of children who need good homes.
Post # 33
Sansa85 : Totally! I look at it like – I want to spend my money on ME. I want to do things that *I* enjoy. When you’re a parent you *have* to put someone else first. So I guess that’s where the selfish part comes in. I also don’t think being selfish is always a bad thing lol. Especially now with such a huge push for self care – we are telling people that its OK to be selfish and take care of yourself. The word just gets a bad rap and has negative connotations.
Post # 34
Sansa85 : totally with you about how it’s “selfish”. I’ve heard it said a few times that it’s selfish to not have kids (said in passing conversation, not directly at us). I could kind of see the argument if they were saying there’s tonnes of kids out there that need homes and choosing not to take them is selfish. Which of course it is, which is why there are tonnes of kids needing homes because most people don’t want those complications. But they don’t mean foster or adopt. They mean produce more kids. I personally have no problem with people having kids but I wish people would admit that the reason they want bio kids and not adopted is for selfish reasons, they want a mini version of themselves (or their partner). I wonder if people assume that because you give up a lot of time to raise kids it’s considered a selfless act? By our nature, the vast majority of us are inhertenly selfish and we either have kids or don’t have kids for selfish reasons but at least cfbc don’t shy away from that admission.
In the event that I’ve offended the majority of the internet… I’m not childfree. I’m in the kids someday camp. I recognise the sheer number of children out there that need fostering, even just temporary homes sometimes. And I might foster but it won’t be until I’m older. When we talk of having kids, we talk about bio kids. The reason we want bio kids is to see the weird mix of us that’ll be produced. We won’t foster straight away because it’s harder than normal parenting. If the parenting gig is hard, we might not foster at all. I don’t want kids right now because I like the extra income, I like sleeping late and I like having time in my life. Our decision not to have kids at the moment is selfish but our decision to have kids in the future is equally selfish 🤷♀️
Post # 35
I have several friends who are CFBC and it does seem that the questions die down the older they get AND the more comfortable they get with saying “I don’t want to have children. Ever.”
I was just speaking with one friend about it because she is child free AND marriage free by choice and she said she checks in with her partner (of almost 20 years) about it on occasion to make sure he’s still on board because she is increasingly certain that marriage and children aren’t for her. (For many years, she said she “did not think” they were for her which left a bit of room for discussion and for her to change her mind.)
Maybe because there are so many people around me making the choice, it doesn’t seem to be as much of a constant back and forth for them to say it and, for the most part, be left alone about it. But we’re all getting to our late 30s. Now, your post makes me curious to check in with them about it again.
Post # 36
When those close to you hit certain (societal) milestones – engagement, marriage, closing on your first house, pregnancy- it can stir up ugly thoughts or feelings you yourself are shocked by, regardless of how truly happy and supportive of them you are. I’m In the thick of a very long battle with infertility. Shortly after my first miscarriage, I learned a cousin whom I love dearly was pregnant with her second surprise baby (tho both suprises, both very much welcomed)- with a due date within days of where I would have been should my pregnant had stuck. The immediate days after were very rough for me. My thoughts and feelings were certainly not a reflection of my love for my cousins, and I honestly was a bit shocked at myself. So I get it, and you are 100% validated in experiencing the thoughts and feelings you are feeling.
And the questions from your family about your plans to have child, or not to have children, are the WORST- especially when they don’t accept your answer. If you get asked these questions and they use your friends as a rebuttal, be firm and shut it down. Don’t tolerate this line of questioning anymore. A simple “yes, and we are very happy for them, however you know our position and it is not changing. I do not wish to continue or have this conversation again” and walk away. If it is brought up again, don’t even dignify it with a response and just walk away.
Take a deep breath, allow yourself a few days to ruminate in your thoughts and feelings and I promise you will begin to feel much better about the situation, and will be the best doting auntie!
Post # 37
loz24 : my sil got pregnant with number three and she didn’t do anything with numbers one and two, we were the ones to buy winter coats and shoes for the kids because she couldn’t be bothered. She had vacations and electronics and all of that though. Her getting pregnant with number three was the most selfish thing she had ever done, in my mind
It was really difficult to not be judgmental when I saw that the only reason why her kids didn’t go without was because we bought things that they needed
Post # 38
So insane to me when bees come on a post and attack the OP for venting. Guess what? OP is allowed to be as annoyed as she wants about this situation. It doesn’t mean she will direct any of her frustration at these friends and nowhere did she say she was. We all judge people all the time, we all are affected by others choices and actions and we have the right to be irritated by it privately. You can’t help how you feel, and OP can vent about it all she pleases. It’s the same as getting upset when a couple who lived close by and were great skiing buddies move away. It sucks, you miss them and the activities you used to do. Doesn’t mean your a jerk for being sad that experience got taken away from you. And yes, OP is also allowed to wonder what kind of parents they will be as up until now they have been as child unfriendly as possible. It’s normal to wonder that. I’m sorry bee this must be super annoying and I hope you can perhaps find other non kid couples in your area. Perhaps doing meet up groups in your area with activities that tend to trend towards couples who don’t have kids will help. (activities that have a high cost or require lots of time etc might end up having people at them who don’t want kids)
As for the people in your lives still making rude comments about your choices I say it’s time to get tough. Someone mentiones to you how your next, etc? “ you do realize that comments like that are offensive to me, that topic is not up for discussion ever.” Or “ we are not having kids, if you continue to bring it up we will be seeing you a lot less” or “ Why do you think it’s appropriate to continually comment on my reproductive choices. Stop” I think it will be awkward for a while but if you can clearly permanently shut down those comments maybe that will help.
Post # 39
ladyjane123 : I was going to suggest meet up groups too, I think that’s a great idea
Post # 40
I think it’s hard whenever a close friend surprises you, whether it be announcing divorce or changing CFBC status. Because we think we know people but we really don’t know all that goes on behind closed doors. My best friend and I have been friends since high school. She was CFBC (although maybe more by circumstance) and had built a beautiful child free life. Well over the holidays she told me that now- at the age of 42- she has decided she thinks she wants to have a baby. It was startling. Not because I’m not supportive of her choices but it was pretty unexpected. I’m sorry that your friendship dynamic with the other couple is likely to change. Your family needs to respect your choices.
Post # 41
- Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL
My husband and I have been together for 13 years, and for 12 of those 13 were proudly CFBC. We are now NTNP like your friends. Something changed for us when we turned 30 and got a nephew. It was like a switch flipped in my brain. I hope my CFBC friends dont judge me with as much animosity, and take care to listen to my feelings instead of getting irritated or being dismissive.
ETA I read your upates and I dont think you will treat your friends that way, but I do think you should just talk to them! Ask them what changed their mind and maybe you will see where they’re coming from and feel a ittle better. I hope it doesnt affect your friendship too much.
Post # 42
- Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK
DrAtkins : You are a better person than me if you never have confusion over your friend’s choices. We have friends with two children who don’t have much money at all. They complain about not being able to afford anything nice, go out for meals or on holiday but they told us last weekend they are trying for a 3rd this year. D.H and I wished them well but when we were alone we both said how surprised we were. Of course we wouldn’t say that to them.
The selfish thing is ridiculous. You only get one life and should live it how you want. The thought of people begging me to have kids makes me feel icky and we actually want them.
ETA: Just read your ETA DrAtkins.
Post # 43
I personally wouldn’t ask them why they changed their minds. I get you guys are friends but i just don’t think anyone has a right to know why a couple makes the reproductive choices they do. Just like you don’t need to justify why you don’t want kids, they don’t have to justify why they do.
They may choose to explain why, especially given the nature of your friendship. But if they’re not offering it up, i don’t think it’s your business to ask.
Post # 44
I like that you identified that these are irrational feelings and are appropriately letting them out on a board full of anonymous people instead of on the couple.
Post # 45
jellybellynelly : I don’t get how not having kids is selfish. You say you’re putting yourself first but who, in this scenario, are you putting yourself before? Unless you feel you you owe the world children.