(Closed) So much flack for not having kids

posted 8 years ago in Married Life
Post # 17
Member
938 posts
Busy bee

@sienna76:  I have to say, I am one of those people that want kids. I can’t picture my life without being a mother in the future. That being said, everyone’s wants/needs/aspirations are different and I wish people would understand that parenthood is not the be-all-end-all of life for everyone! Some people just want something different out of life that doesn’t include children. It’s not a bad mindset to have. And it doesn’t mean you hate children, but loving children and wanting to raise them are two completely different things. And I don’t understand people who say you’re “selfish” for not having children. Who are you inconveniencing? The world, which is already overpopulated? Them, because they just couldn’t wait to raise your children for you? Or a child that you would have because of societal expectations that may or may not come into the world being wanted? Honestly, I doubt your would-be children are sitting on some spiritual plane crying because you won’t have them.

Of course, I could also rant the other way about people who don’t believe children should ever be allowed in public because (God forbid!) they cry at an inconvenient moment. Personally, I think the decision to have kids or not to have kids should be something that everyone respects as the personal choice that it is.

Post # 18
Member
1465 posts
Bumble bee

You know, I knew I wanted to be a mom since I was a little girl.  I’m not kidding.  I was right!  I did want to be a mom so I am one.

You knew since you were quite young that you didn’t want to be a mom, and you know what?  You are absolutely right to not give in to pressure.

I have so much respect for people who know they don’t want to be parents.  Not everyone feels the need to procreate and try to produce a mini-me.  There is nothing wrong with that.

My very, very devout Catholic Mother-In-Law (she’s gone now, but was super cool) had 6 kids and one miscarriage in just under 7 years.  I did say she was devout, right?  She jokingly referrred to pregnancy as that chronic infection the first 10 years of her marriage.  She had one more child 6 years after the first 6 were born.

She had a terrible time with my BIL’s decision not to have kids.  This all happened prior to me getting in the family, but I guess she didn’t take it well at all!  She finally got over it and she adored his wife, but it was very hard for her to accept.

I don’t mean to generalize or stereotype, but being in Utah, is your family Mormon?  Is this part of why no one seems to respect your decision?  My stepdaughter has lived in Salt Lake City for about 5 years now and has no intention at all of having kids of her own.  She seems to hear about how wrong she is too, quite often.

Maybe it’s time to write all these people a firm but loving letter from the heart and let them know how much they are hurting you.  Let them know you want to be an awesome aunt, you love your family, but you will not tolerate any more comments about the child issue.

It may be time to take a tough approach.  Let them know the topic will no longer be discussed, ever.  It is closed.  When they bring it up, leave or hang up.  Every single time.  Sooner or later they are going to get the message that you won’t tolerate this any longer and if they want a relationship with you they need to stop, now.

Post # 21
Member
2803 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@sienna76:  I’m sorry people are so rude.

But possible try to keep in mind that your decision makes them feel defensive about their own decision and it can be hard for some (rude) people to not feel immediately defensive about their life choices, which leads to them saying awful things. 

Post # 22
Member
182 posts
Blushing bee

@sienna76:  yes, I hate dealing with this, too. I just got the condescending “you may change your mind, never say never” speech from my coworker yesterday. DH cannot have kids due to a genetic condition and he’s a private person so I generally don’t tell people that so I can’t help being pissed when I hear these speeches. It’s really uncomfortable.  When you confide in someone about the inability to have kids with your spouse, they start going on about adoption. Then I have to remind them, yes I have 5 adopted cousins, I am very familiar with adoption but why would I do that when I DON’T WANT KIDS! Sorry for the rant,  I definitely feel your pain! Hang in there!

Post # 23
Member
1906 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@sienna76:  I’m 25 and not ttc or anything yet but sometimes say to my friends were not sure if we actually want kids, and they always say “oh you’ll change your mind, you’ll have kids etc” and it really annoys me for the simple fact that what if we don’t want kids? They act like that’s crazy and make me feel bad. I’m like instead of shoving that idea down the drain to my fce why not say “oh real fair enought kids aren’t for everyone ” or something else supportive!!! People are idiots 

Post # 24
Member
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I hate dealing with that as well.  I don’t want kids because I absolutely NEVER want to be pregnant, ever.  It sounds so horrible and there are so many things that can go wrong.  That, and with my history of depression I’d be at risk for PPD.  

 

Of course with the stigma against people with mental illness, I have to pretend I don’t want kids because they annoy me… which isn’t really true.

Post # 25
Member
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@sienna76:  I can’t personally relate (I have 2 kids and we want more) but I cannot believe that people are being so awful to you about this! Having kids is a very big, personal decision and if you don’t want then then you shouldn’t have them. Parenthood isn’t for everybody. 

I’m glad that you’re not letting this knock your self-esteem and I hope that your friends and family stop being so awful. 

Post # 26
Member
1076 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Yep.

 

We’re undecided right now on kids, but Fiance knows I currently don’t have a strong desire to have children.

 

Most people just can’t believe I may never want children. I think it’s a ‘better to be safe than sorry’ mentality for them- once you reach a certain point you can’t have kids, and what if you regret it? I’m 21 though and have PLENTY of time to change my mind if I’d like to, but I still get people who make a big deal out of it, so maybe the reason is that people freak out when you don’t conform to societal norms. Who knows?

 

My friend was going on and on about how I’d love a baby if it was mine, they’re so precious blah blah blah. I had heard this numerous times before and had had enough, so I just sort of went ‘Everyone just ASSUMES there will be some kind of suppah speshul bond, but what if there’s not? What if I don’t like my kids, and what if I resent them because I’ll have no time for anything else, and they’re a financial burden? Then you’d tell me I’m a horrible person for not magically loving my kids, which I didn’t want but was pressured into having because you told me I’d just love them so much!!1!?’

 

She has since stopped trying to change my mind.

 

Post # 27
Member
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

@sienna76: ” I did hear there are more dogs than children in Seattle though.”

Having lived in Seattle, I can vouch for this. Apparently most people move to the burbs to settle down and have kids, leaving the city gloriously child free (nothing against kids, but it’s so nice to sit down at a restaurant without listening to a screaming child or five). And yes, I feel like everyone in Seattle has an adorable Boston terrier or French bulldog. If you ever feel like moving, I highly recommend it (for other reasons, not for the childlessness).

I get a lot of the same from my circle. It’s very frustrating. I’ve never wanted to be a mother. I like kids. I’m great with kids. But I don’t want to be a mother. It has nothing to do with being afraid of pregnancy/child birth or with hating children. It doesn’t make me selfish, immature, or mean spirited. My tactics with my family vary, but if I get tired of the “I love your kids, but I don’t to be a mother and I never have” line, I try other things. If they imply I’m immature, I’ll say something like, “Look at Teen Mom. I don’t think having kids is the hallmark of maturity.” Or if they say I’m selfish not to have kids I’ll say, “It would be pretty selfless of me to have kids just to make you happy.” Or the ever valuable, ” I wouldn’t go around guilting people who say they are not having kids. You never know if they don’t want to, or if they physically can’t. You could really hurt someone’s feelings.”

Do whatever you have to do to make yourself feel better and get them off of your back. Some people are pretty much incapable of seeing beyond their own situation. Feel lucky that you are one of the few who can!

Post # 28
Member
653 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Honestly I’ve never gotten any flak with my ex-husband or now even though I’m headed towards my mid 30s.  I think it’s because:

1. Most (no joke) people think I’m younger than my age and “have time”.

2. Having lived most of my life in the SF Bay Area (especially Berkeley), not having kids is not that big of a deal.  Though the birth rate seems to be higher in Portland, being childfree(less) doesn’t get more than a shrug.

3. Fiance is older, divorced as well but doesn’t have kids.  When he mentions he used to be a teacher, no one says a word about him not having kids (kind of been there, done that). 

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