(Closed) Wanted: Success Stories from Women Without Children

posted 6 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
Member
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I LOVE this post!! I am not decided on kids (I’m 27, will be 28 when we get married), and neither is Fiance. I truly am 50/50. I don’t think my emotions will change on this topic – if we decide to have kids, it will be a conscious choice made logically, not a strong baby urge.

I think one of the scariest things about not having kids is that you have to come up with SOMETHING meaningful (to you) to do with your life besides kids. It doesn’t have that built in “This is why I’m here” like you get with kids.

Can’t wait to hear people’s responses and love talking to people in similar situations. The other thing is it seems like a lot of people are either 100% yes or 100% no. When you’re sort of on the fence, it’s a little bit trickier.

Post # 4
Member
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Posting to follow this thread. I’m totally the same way – I have never had any urge to have kids but its like what do you do if you don’t? 

Post # 5
Member
3182 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m 31, the hubs is 33 and we don’t see children in our future. Part of me is torn, because I know if we don’t decide to have children soon, we will likely lose the opportunity. I don’t hate the idea of having children, I am just happy right now doing what I’m doing. And having children would defintely alter my ability to do whatever I want in my free time (which I really enjoy). And I just think that having children because “I might want them later” seems like a a bad idea. 

Post # 6
Member
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@chipper_bride:  I’m curious about what people will have to say as well.

I’m on the fence… but probably going to take the plunge. I’m 27. Won’t be for another few years, but the thing that gets me is the idea that I don’t want to be all alone in my old age. It would be so nice to have a grown child. I am not a HUGE fan of babies, but I do like kids.

There are plenty of successful women who don’t have kids… and plenty of successful women who do. I think you just need to figure out what you want, and you have plenty of time. If your mom keeps hassling you to have kids, just try to tell her to butt out and that you’re not ready and she will be the first to know if/when you are. It isn’t her business. If you bring a kid into this world that you don’t want, it isn’t fair to you or the kid.

I imagine that if you don’t have kids, you just continue to fill your life with the things you do now. It’s not like all of a sudden you feel a huge void and need to do something to replace that missing child. I think if you don’t feel that void, it probably means that you don’t want to have kids.

Post # 7
Member
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo

I am 29 and have never wanted kids. Fiance is 30 and honestly is 50-50 on it. He would have them if I wanted, but doesn’t feel an urge to have them himself. I am happy to say that I have a very fulfilling and full life, and I think I like my life a lot more than some of my friends who have kids. Don’t get me wrong, they love their kids and wouldn’t not want them, but the day-to-day of parenting can be draining. I can choose to go out, take a vacation, see friends, sleep all day, have cheese and wine for dinner, on a whim, without having to plan around a babysitter or having to keep an eye on and feed a kid. I also have a very demanding but very fulfilling job and I think that I would not be able to do that and have kids. At least, not without one or the other getting sacrificed somehow. We have dogs, we love our dogs, we refer to them as “the kids” but they’re not kids. We can go out and leave them for a few hours, and all they do is sleep on the couch.

Also–I will only admit this because this is anonymous–I don’t like kids. I don’t think they’re that cute, you can’t have a conversation with them, they have entirely too much energy and require constant entertainment and monitoring, and their squeaky little voices annoy me. Having kids would be cruel to me and to them.

Society (and our parents) put pressure to have kids, but it’s our life. I honestly don’t think it would be fair to have a kid that you don’t want or are indifferent to. And I know myself and I am selfish enough (pragmatic enough?) to know that I would slightly resent the things I would lose in my life if I had kids. Things like freedom to come and go, extra spending money, time to myself or with Fiance or my friends, etc etc. I wouldn’t want to go into parenting half-assing it or not 100% committed, and I wouldn’t be, and that isn’t fair to a kid.

As far as the downsides, I honestly do worry about what will happen to us when we get old. I’ve worked with older adults and my family is going through this with my grandmother right now. I worry that we’ll be too old to take care of ourselves and won’t have someone to tell us it’s time to go to a nursing home, or check on us to make sure we have groceries, or pick a decent nursing home for us. But we will set up living wills and we extra double super nice to any kids our sisters have and hopefully they’ll be guilted into taking care of us. (I am at least halfway joking about this.)

Post # 8
Member
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@canarydiamond:  I’m totally the same way!! A young family isn’t really that appealing to me, but having grown kids (and at least 3 – 4 of them!!) sounds awesome.

If I could go straight to being a grandma, I’d totally do that. If I have kids, I want to get started by 30. My mom was only 22 when she had me and I LOVE having young parents.

I’m not posting this for those that don’t want kids, but for those on the fence, this is an interesting article:

Like Overall and Benatar, Bryan Caplan believes that people need to think more rigorously about the decision to have children. And Caplan, too, draws on an academic discipline—economics, in his case—to provide some clarity. The result is “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think” (Basic).

According to Caplan, a professor at George Mason University, the major mistake that parents (or prospective parents) make is overvaluing the present. This is a common enough error. Workers in their twenties and thirties don’t save enough money for retirement because it seems such a long way off. Then their sixties roll around, and they wish they’d spent less on S.U.V.s and HDTVs and put more into their 401(k)s.

Couples, he argues, need to think not just about how many children they might want now, when they have better things to do than microwave Similac, but how many they will want to have around when they’re old and lonely and watching “The View.” Caplan recommends what he calls the “take the average” rule:

Suppose you’re thirty. Selfishly speaking, you conclude that the most pleasant number of children to have during your thirties is one. During your forties, your optimal number of kids will rise to two—you’ll have more free time as your kids assert their independence. By the time you’re in your fifties, all your kids will be busy with their own lives. At this stage, wouldn’t it be nice to have four kids who periodically drop by? Finally, once you pass sixty and prepare to retire, you’ll have ample free time to spend with your grandchildren. Five kids would be a good insurance policy against grandchildlessness.

Caplan does the math and concludes that in this case “the best number of kids is three.”

Although the figure may vary from one family to another, the same calculation, Caplan argues, applies across the board. Kids are a pain in the ass when they’re small. They require lots of care just at the time their parents tend to be busiest establishing themselves in their careers. As a result, most people stop producing children before they’ve reached the number that would, over the long haul, maximize their self-interest. “Typical parental feelings paired with high foresight imply more kids than typical parental feelings paired with moderate foresight,” Caplan writes. (Unfortunately, he does not explain what parents should do if their ideal number of children includes a fraction.)

Post # 9
Member
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@NAvery:  Interesting! I’d totally love to be a gramma too lol. I joke about it with people since I’m 27 going on 80 😛

Post # 10
Member
4520 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I don’t have a success story (I’m hoping to have kids), but I just wanted to say, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. If you don’t have kids, that doesn’t make you any less of a person, any less fulfilled, or whatever other bs society tells us. It bothers me how much implicit pressure there is to have children — it just comes out in the way some women who are mothers talk to women who aren’t. 

There is so, so much in the world, so many ways to spend your life, so many people to love…. you do not have to have children in order to be fulfilled. I believe this strongly. 

Post # 11
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I just got married for the first time last month.  I’m 44 and my husband is 43 neither of us has children.  Although we’re technically not too old to have kids we don’t plan on trying.

This gives us time to do what we want.  The evenings and weekends are our’s.  No scout meetings, soccer/lacrosse/football/field hockey practices or games.  No help with homework. 

We can travel when we want where we want….even in the off season…yippee!  We can eat out anywhere and anytime we want without having to consider that it might not be child friendly.  If we want to sleep until 10am…we sleep until 10am. 

We don’t have to worry about paying $100K college tuition in a few years or worry about working until we’re 80 to pay off all the child-related expenses.  In fact, we can and probably will put that money toward retirement.  🙂

We also don’t have to write outlandish checks for childcare every week.  Buy new clothes every 2-3 months, pay for diapers, and on and on.  Money flies out the door.

Personally, I’ve worked my ass off to get where I am in my career.  As I look around me at work, most of my actual professional peers are men.  So many of the women are part-time and are 1-2 career levels below me.  That’s not to say you can’t have a career and kids.  There are a few at my level with kids but most are childless. 

Best of all…we’re happy.  We have dogs, we have full lives, we have fun.  I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not having kids.

Post # 12
Member
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I am only 23, so I’m not a long-term success story like you are looking for, but I just have to say that I absolutely love our childfree life and I don’t feel like I’m missing a thing – I feel like I’d be losing things if I were to have kids. Our lives have purpose, are meaningful and fulfilling, and I can’t imagine what our lives would be like otherwise. We love having freedom to do what we want, when we want, time to devote to our careers and each other, fun hobbies, and not having to worry about babysitters or daycare or college funds. My friends with kids are constantly telling FBook about how wonderful kids are but their day-to-day just seems so stressful and draining and I do not envy that.

That said – Because we are still young I am open to having kids if we end up wanting that (years down the road after my career is on the go), but for now, I am just thrilled with our lives and wouldn’t give in to any pressure from family or otherwise. Do what is right for you.

Post # 13
Member
1227 posts
Bumble bee

I’m 37, and have known my whole life I didn’t want children. I don’t regret my choice at all.  I relish the flexibility, freedom and choice I have.  I’ve never had to hesitate to leave a job I hate because I was more worried about having to feed someone else. I can come and go as I like.  I can afford to take 2-3 vacations a year. My time is my own to do what I like with it. I enjoy being able to sleep in when I choose.  

I look at my FS&BIL and think about how that is sooo not what I’d want for my life. I know they find having their entire life outside of work revolve around soccer, volleyball, and other child related activities rewarding, but I really don’t think I’d find that enjoyable.

Having children is not a guarentee that you’ll be cared for in your golden years. There’s plenty of elderly people shoved in homes and all but forgotten about.  There are plenty of old people who are taken advantage of financially by their kids.

That said, Fiance has 2 children from his first marriage, so somewhere down the line I’ll likely be a step-grandmother. That suits me fine.  Likewise, my mother has step-children and step-grandchildren, so there’s no pressure from her.

I think it’s perfectly ok to not want children, and if you have children, it should be with the full understanding that until they are out on their own and self-sufficient, your time will rarely be your own.  That suits many people, but I’m not one of them.

Post # 14
Member
3182 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@NAvery:  A young family isn’t really that appealing to me, but having grown kids (and at least 3 – 4 of them!!) sounds awesome.

Me too!  I could even deal with them if I started at high school age, but only if they were boys. 

ETA – Also as I’m typing I have one dog that is trying to close my laptop if I don’t pet her and another one that I believe to be eating a bug off the floor. And now he’s licking my end table. So I think they are keeping things busy enough for me. 

Post # 15
Member
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Piney River Ranch

My fiance and I have had this talk a lot lately.  We’re both 27 and will be 28 by time we’re married.  We are having tons of fun right now exploring our state and have lots of plans in the future to explore the US and world, especially when it comes to our main hobby of mountaineering.  Having kids would hold us back both time-wise and financially.

I have never really been a “kid person” – I am awkward around babies and kids and don’t know how I would be as a mother.  I know both of our moms want to be grandmas, but I’ve talked to my mom about it and she said to do what makes us happy and don’t have kids because others expect or want us to.

Basically here’s where we’re at right now:  continue having fun and re-evaluate in 5 years or so (we’ll be 32).  If we decide we want kids then, awesome.  But if any fertility issues come up, so be it.  We’re not going to go through IVF or anything like that.  If we don’t want kids then, we’ll wait a couple more years.  If by 35 we haven’t decided to have them, then I think we won’t.

Just wait and see where things go.  But definitely don’t have kids because anyone else expects you to.  That’s not good for you or for your children.

Post # 16
Member
4659 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m younger too, 24, but have decided to never have kids. Fiance is happily with me on that. I love kids, I’m actually an elementary school teacher and so is he, (I actually think he’s better with kids than I am, I teach almost exclusively 6th grade) we both love kids but just don’t want any of our own.

My mom wishes I’d change my mind but is nice about the fact that I don’t expect to and we’re considering sterilization surgery after the wedding. He’s the second oldest of 7 kids so that takes the pressure off us a little. (Surely some of them will decide to have them!)

People will say a lot of things, like “who will take care of you when you’re old?” Well, there’s no guarantee that kids will even do that or do it effectively. Use the money you save to hire a visiting nurse.

They’ll call you selfish or irresponsible or any number of other bad things, which you aren’t – if anything, you’re less selfish because you THOUGHT about whether or not you really wanted to make a life, and your decision happened to be no. (Not the not having kids part being unselfish, I mean the careful consideration makes you unselfish.)

Your life can be just as fulfilling without them if you don’t want them. You can have more time and money to make other contributions to the world that may outdo what a child could have done, if legacy is your concern.

Besides, don’t feel so rushed to decide — NOT having a child is a much easier decision to reverse (by having one.)

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