(Closed) How do I convince myself that it's ok that I shouldn't have children?

posted 6 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

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Aghill:  Can you tell us a bit more about your situation?

I don’t see any reason for you to not be a mother just because you have reached a certain age without reaching your financial goals. I have to admit, I used to think people who had kids at 40+ years old were crazy, but then I met one of my professors in college. She was the head of my department, so I saw her and her child a lot. She became pregnant at 40, and though it is riskier, she has to be one of the best mothers I have ever met. She has had so much time to learn from the mistakes of others and to really think about which things were important for her to impart upon her daughter. Her daughter is 5 now, but she speaks and acts like an adult because she was raised to be one. 

Post # 4
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

There is nothing “wrong” with not wanting kids. A life without parenthood or childrearing is more than OK. There is simply more to life than popping out babies. It is not a woman’s “duty” to have kids or be a mother. And those that tell you otherwise are selfish F**ks who have absolutely no business telling you how to live your life.

Furthermore…I will tell you this. Raising kids and being a parent is NOT ALL IT IS CRACKED UP TO BE.

Kids are an enormous responsibility and stress. And if you have them, you better be damned sure you have a damn solid relationship or partner to raise them with, because if you don’t the stress of childrearing WILL DESTROY a relationship if it’s on shaky ground.

I’ve seen it time and time again. My best friend in the whole wide world has 2 boys, and I know she loves them, but the ONLY thing i ever hear from her, the ONLY THING…is that she can’t stand how stressed out and sleep deprived her life has become. That she feels she has missed out on alot in life as a result of having the kids. And to make matters even worse, she is no longer in love with the guy she had the kids with. She goes on and on constantly about how she wants to leave him, but she simply can’t, because she doesn’t have the finances to be able to do so. If the kids weren’t in the picture, that wouldn’t be a problem. And she is no exception…her story is pretty much the norm rather than the rule. 

So please, if you don’t want kids and don’t think they are for you, please know there are ALOT Of women out there who are making the choice to not breed (and MANY men as well).

If you need a bit of support, I can definitely recommend the REDDIT childfree group. There are alot of likeminded people on there and you can find all sorts of moral support if you need it.

Post # 5
9209 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I think you and your husband need to sit down together and work out a life plan. If you want kids and it really does sound like you do then work out a plan to make it happen. Look at your situation and figure out why you are going backwards and not forwards and take steps to make change.

it might mean moving, it might mean cutting things out, it might mean fostering an older child later in life to fit your don’t want to be an old parent thing. It might take some compromise but you will be able to work it out.

I think it is good to remember that most people have more stuff than they need in today’s materialistic world. Separate needs from wants and you will probably find that you really can afford children now. Children don’t need ipads, the latest toys or designer clothes they just need love, food, education, healthcare and a roof over their heads. 

Post # 6
3277 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

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I know it may seem like your finances will ever improve. I have been there and I want to tell you that as long as you have good work ethic and money management skills, your financial situation will probably get better. My husband and I always said that we would never become homeowners because of our debt but we will be buying a home for our fifth anniversary.

Plenty of people raise their children in apartments. If you live in any large and expensive city in North America, you will see that home ownership is impossible for many because of the high cost of living. Maybe you and your husband can move out of Chicago if you want to buy and have access to better schools. So many couples migrate to the suburbs to buy property that it has almost become a rite of passage in North America.

I can understand why your husband would want to be financially stable before having kids; children are very expensive! However, it sounds like you do want children someday. You owe to it yourself to come to an agreement about having kids with your husband, so that there will be no resentment on both sides. 

I am also childfree and I can tell you that making that choice leads to inappropriate comments and questions. The disapproval of others isn’t enough to shame me into wanting children. I have no desire to be pregnant, give birth or raise children. I love my freedom, my disposable income and ample time with my husband. I have also been around many women who deeply resented the sacrifices that came with having kids. Some parents even tell me that I am smart not to have kids and I shouldn’t do it. I hope that they were just upset when they said those things. 

Post # 7
2155 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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Aghill:  If you want children, I would NOT work on ”not wanting children”, I would work on getting to a place in your life where you can have children.

There is nothing wrong with renting and bringing up a family (my parents did it for 10 years). But if you are struggling to make ends meet, you might need to reevaluate your careers, look at moving to a cheaper area, etc etc. Work out a life plan, work out what you spend money on, work out how you can budget… make it happen.

Post # 8
9795 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

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Aghill:  How old are you?  If you want kids you should come up with a plan to make it happen.  It might mean moving to a lower cost of living area.  Plenty of people have children in apartments.  Babies don’t need a lot of space.  There is nothing wrong with living in an apartment for awhile before moving somewhere bigger when the time comes you do need more space.  Or it might mean being an “older” parent (how old are we talking here?).  There is nothing wrong with not having any kids, but if you do want them you should come up with a plan to make it happen.

I also understand not wanting to get pregnant after 40 or something where you are much more likely to have troubles, but there really isn’t an issue for most people getting pregnant 30-35 and I would not consider that to be an old parent.

I don’t know what kind of debt you have, but if it is school loans I wouldn’t worry.  As long as you can afford the payments you are fine.  Sure it’d be nice to have them paid off, but that isn’t the reality for a lot of people.  It takes time and there is a certain point where you either have them (with loans) or you never have them.

Post # 9
1083 posts
Bumble bee

People have debt, people have loans, and they still have children. People had children during the Great Depression.

i don’t see this as any reason to not have any kids.

maybe plan to have one child and budget around it. That might mean no cable. That might mean no fancy clothing for the child, only target and Walmart, ext. But it’s managble. maybe it means moving to the suburbs where the cost of living is cheaper. Maybe it means one parent having a part time job on top of their fulltime job, ext. 

But I don’t know anyone who children that dis nor need to re-budget their money to be able to afford children.

people find ways

Post # 10
7308 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

If you want kids, you are not going to be able to talk yourself out of it. In fact, that want will become a need over time, and you will feel it with every fiber of your being. So rather than fight a losing battle against your own desire, figure out a way to make it happen. What can you change to advance in your careers? What can you cut bvack on to save money in order to achieve your long term goals?

Post # 11
3751 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

“My brother leans pretty hard on my parents so I feel like I would need to be 100% self sufficient because they all have more than enough on their hands.”

Yes, you should be 100% self sufficient, regardless of whether or not anyone else relies on your parents. You are an adult, your parents are not a security blanket anymore. You need to be in a solid place in life whether or not you decide to have children. If things aren’t working financially for you right now, you need to sit down and take a hard look at what you’re doing and figure out a way to fix it. There are a lot of really good blogs and websites out there about living frugally and what people have done to significantly lower their expenses and live a less financially strained life. Yes it means sacrifice and giving up things that right now you may think are important. But I promise you, most of it is not important. It’s material, it’s artifical, superficial, it’s things you don’t NEED to survive. You can make it work if you really want to. 

I struggled with finances all through my twenties, I finally am in a good place and bought my home and paid for half of my wedding and have my first child due in a couple of months. It wasn’t easy and it took a lot of hard work to get here, but here I am. You can do it. 

Post # 12
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

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j_jaye:  All of this.

If you wants to have children, I’m sure there is a way, you’ll just have to do things differently.

Post # 13
363 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

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Aghill:  If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you now and what age is your cutoff age? I ask because my idea of my age 5 years ago is very different than it is now. Very often, our views change as we get older.  I’m not old at all, but just a couple of years ago I would have felt very differently about my current age.


Also, while Chicago Public Schools do have some terrible schools, they also have plenty of schools that rank among the best in the state. There’s a large range of school options here. Even if your kid doesn’t test into the the selective enrollment schools, they still offer several alternative options for enrichment. You can also petition to get your kid in to a better neighborhood school. CPS gets a bad rap, but it doesn’t deserve all of it.

Post # 14
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Sit down with your husband and look at your budget, every single one of your expenses. Track it for a few months and see exactly where all of your money is going. If you have debt, work out how long it will take you to repay it and what kind of debt it is. If you and your husband are unable to pay all your bills and provide for just the two of you, then see what changes you have to make to get to a point where you are financially stable. If it’s just that you can’t afford a house yet, that’s okay. Millions of kids grow up in apartments and they end up okay. You don’t need a house. If you live in an unsafe area and you need to move first, work on being able to do that. If there is no way for you and your husband to become financially stable (being able to pay all of your bills and have some savings) any time soon, then don’t have a kid but if you can work on your finances, then most likely you’ll be able to raise a kid. Don’t look at it as a huge lump sum – you’re not going to need a million dollars right away. I’m sure lots of people with less than you have kids and make do. Maybe you’ll only be able to have one kid (PERFECTLY OKAY, NOT HARMFUL TO THE CHILD) or maybe you’ll have to move to the suburbs or somwhere with better schools (that is important) but if it’s so important to you, don’t give up yet. There might be a way.

If ultimately you really cannot afford to raise a child though, then you’re doing the right thing by not having one.

Post # 15
160 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve always been of the opinion that I could and would have a wonderful & fulfilling life without children, but that if I were ever in the position where I could be a stay at home mom and I was financially stable and in a loving, stable partnership, I would seriously think about it. 

I honestly never thought that would be the case for me. I was married for awhile, and while we had good incomes and traveled a lot and had fun, my husband wasn’t the sort of man who I thought would be a good father. He was bipolar and wouldn’t have been able to be there for me and any potential kids in the way I would have wanted. So, I just always thought I wouldn’t have kids, and I was ok with that.

Now, I’m 30 and marrying a wonderful, stable and supportive man who also happens to be a high earner. He really wants at least one child and is on board with my being a Stay-At-Home Mom. It’s been really strange for me to adjust my thinking about having kids when I always thought I wouldn’t. I have agreed to have one child with him, provided we are still at a great place after a few years of marriage. I guess it’s a little once burned, twice shy sort of situation. I feel acutely aware of the possibility of being a single divorced mom should this relationship go south…but that’s a possibility for everyone. That fear shouldn’t hinder me from living my life.

The more I think about the idea of having kids, the more I realize how much fear I have around the thought. Fear of being a financially struggling parent (we were poor growing up and I don’t want my kid to know what that feels like) fear of my quality of life suffering, of resenting my kid, or hating my body. I haven’t worked through all of this yet, but I wanted you to know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way. 

Depending on how old you are, I might wait awhile to make any sort of decision. I think there are enough kids in the world already without people having more that aren’t 100% sure they want them or can take care of them. I admire that you’re self aware enough to ask these questions.  

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