Feeling bad about not wanting kids

posted 3 weeks ago in No Kids
Post # 2
624 posts
Busy bee

You are absolutely NOT WRONG for not wanting kids!

Your mother has a horrifically backwards mind set when it comes to YOUR decision on whether you want to be a mother. I am not trying to offend you, but she sounds like an absolute moron. All of her “reasons” that you should have kids-you will be alone/she wants to be a grandmother (!!!) are disgusting.

First of all, just because you have kids does not mean you won’t be alone. Secondly, if she wants to be a grandmother so bad, why doesn’t she foster one of the 400,00+ kids in foster care??

I know it is easy for me to say because she is not my mom, but if I were you I would avoid contact until she understands loud and clear that you and your husband do not want kids. 

There are many people who have kids and then regret having them (if you do not believe me, google “I Regret Having Children”) because they folded to societal/family pressures instead of making their own decisions.

Good for your and your husband for being responsible adults and recognizing you do not want kids!

Post # 3
686 posts
Busy bee

No.  Having kids has to be a choice, not an obligation.  Your mom may have wanted kids, but that doesn’t mean you do.  Times have changed and you are not any less of a family for not having kids.

You can tell your mom that she does have a grandchild despite you not having kids.  That there’s no guarantee that you would get pregnant even if you tried.  That it takes a desire to be a parent to be the best possible parent and give the child their best life.

Having a child is primarily about the desire of the parent to have that child.  Having their parent be a grandparent is secondary.  Your mom is entitled to her opinion but she can’t force you to adopt that opinion to suit her.  It’s not fair to you.

Post # 4
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

View original reply
@jenna516:  Your mom and Mother-In-Law are in the wrong. It is your body, your life, and your (and your husband’s) decision on whether or not to have children. You are not an incubator and you don’t owe them grandchildren. If you did have children, I would be willing to bet they would problematic overbearing grandmothers given their current lack of respect for you as an adult with the right to make your own decision on whether or not to procreate.

I can understand your mother’s concern that you might regret it one day. Personally, I always wanted children. As someone who feels that way, it’s hard to imagine a fulfilling life without children. But ultimately I respect the fact that not everyone feels the same way that I do. Your mothers should also respect this and drop the subject. If I were you I would tell them that you and your husband have decided not to have children and that if you would like their input on the subject you will ask. Otherwise please stop bringing it up. If they don’t stop after that, I would back off seeing them. 


Post # 5
692 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 1996

It is TERRIBLE for parents or anyone else to try to pressure you into having children.  That is between you and your husband.  PEEEEEEEEEEEERIOD.  This issue makes my blood boil every time it comes up.  Your mother has treated you very, very badly about this and about other things.  I think you need to put a lot of distance between yourself and her.  She certainly deserves it, and that might be the only way to get her to understand that this simply is none of her business and that she is TOTALLY OUT OF LINE.  It doesn’t matter if your mother wants you to have a child.  We just don’t always get what we want in this life, and she has no business holding it against you if you don’t. 

You are obviously feeling awful about it, and that makes me feel bad.  I think you might benefit from a visit to a therapist to talk this over and get perspective from an unbiased person.

The decision of whether or not to have children is, in my opinion, the biggest decision of one’s life.  Career choices are reversible.  Marriage is reversible.  Once you have a child, that’s not reversible (except in very extreme cases).

MILLIONS of people are childless by choice.     Sometimes those people are open to the idea of children in the future.  Sometimes not.    These are all legitimate choices.   If having children is not something that a person wants, that’s what birth control, and ultimately sterilization, are for.

I happen to be childless by choice, and I was sterilized at age 25 when I was still single.  I knew that regardless of what man might ever be in my life in the future, and he might want a child, I did not want children under any circumstances.  I am 67 now, and you can tell your mother (who says you’ll regret not having kids)  that I have not regretted my decision for one single nanosecond.  We have to do what is right for each of us in this life.  And NOWHERE does that apply more than on the subject of having children or not having them.

Post # 6
366 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Both of kids just crapped their pants at exactly the same time so, no, you aren’t wrong for not wanting kids. It’s wonderful but it’s really hard and it takes over your ENTIRE life. 

You need to be firmer with your mom/MIL. “Hey, mom, I understand that you want what you think is best for me, but you made your choice to have kids and I don’t want any. This is my life. I am not willing to talk about this anymore.” 

Post # 7
9562 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

No, you are most definitely NOT wrong. Do not let anyone else in this world feel like you are. None of those people would be raising your child, YOU would. It blows my mind how people can think it’s perfectly fine to guilt someone into having a child — one of the biggest, most life altering, personal decisions one could make. And I will never understand how they think the mere fact of becoming a parent elevates you to some higher existence. F that. We all find our own meaning/passion in life and that doesn’t always involve having kids. 

I could’ve always gone one way or the other when it came to having a kid, but dh wanted one, so that tipped the scales. I love my son, of course. But I can absolutely imagine living a perfectly happy, fulfilling life in the alternate universe where we had never had him.

Post # 8
3680 posts
Sugar bee

Just stopping in to say that I never wanted children and got my tubes tied at 32. I am much older now and have no regrets.

As for your mother. I’m sorry she’s being so difficult about it. I would just completely change the subject every time she brings it up.

Post # 9
1047 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
@jenna516:  girl, you do you. I think it’s great that you and your husband are in agreement! I have 3 kids and I LOVE it. But you know what? It would seriously suck if I didn’t want kids but had them, because they are a LOT to handle. You lose sleep, share your body and time with them, you give so much of yourself and it’s exhausting. To me it’s all worth it and it’s everything I ever wanted. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But it is life changing. So have them only if you want them. You are a whole, complete person and you don’t need to have children if you don’t want them. 

Post # 10
2801 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Tell your mother it’s none of her business and that you will not tolerate any further discussion on the subject.  Then when she brings it up again, hang up or leave.  No warning, just end the conversation then and there.  Do this as many times as need be until she gets the message.  It’s not her decision, it’s yours and your husband’s alone.

Post # 11
87 posts
Worker bee

Tell your mom you’re doing the same as she did: making your own decision and choice! It’s just a different choice!

Post # 12
1703 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

Your mother sounds horribly toxic. This goes beyond the normal wanting to be a grandma/not respecting boundaries. You are NOT wrong for being child free by choice. 

Post # 13
1221 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

Your mum is wrong, and frankly, she’s behaving like a dick. The only people who get a say in your decision about whether to have children are you and your husband. It’s nobody else’s business, and you don’t owe anyone else an explanation.

Deciding not to have kids is a perfectly normal and valid life choice. I made the same decision, and I’m happy and fulfilled, and don’t regret it at all. 

You may find it keeps getting brought up in the future, you just have to stand firm, reiterate your stance, and end the conversation. My Mother-In-Law was asking us about it just this weekend – my husband is 51, you’d think she’d have taken the hint by now that there are no little ones on the way!

Post # 14
1122 posts
Bumble bee

I’m 45, and child free by choice, and have absolutely positively no regrets about my decision. Sounds like you’re repeating yourself to her like a broken record, at this point. Next time she brings it up, don’t discuss it. Change the subject. If she persists, tell her she can call you back only if she has something else to chat about.

Post # 15
7312 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I spent a while thinking I wouldn’t have kids and then I met (probably) the one person that changed my mind. Even now, as I’m pregnant with our second (10 years after our first because it took me that long to say yes again), I was just telling my husband that I could have been fine if I’d never gotten pregnant again. We would have found other activities and things to fill our lives. Many of my friends are child free and very happy and fulfilled in their lives.

In your place, I would stop allowing my mother to even speak to me on the subject. As soon as she gets started, just interrupt and say “I’ve heard your thoughts on this issue. We aren’t going to change each others’ minds so I’m not willing to discuss it any farther.” And change the subject. If she keeps going, end the conversation (get off the phone or leave). If she starts talking about wanting grandkids, tell her to find a place to go volunteer – there are always people and places who can make use of the love and support (energetic and financial) we have to give.

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