Any childless by choice married couples out there?

MeghaneJune 16, 2002

Hey all, I was just wondering how many of you are CBC, and what experiences you have had with other people because of it.

My story: I'm a vet tech. I was chatting with a client who was having trouble with her neighbor's Husky. Huskys are notorious for being high-strung, which can sometimes translate as snappy. If you get too close to their food, in their territory, they don't know you... some will bite in those situations. So anyway, I was saying that I have a Husky and although he's very good, I don't allow children or those acting like children near him because he has been known to snap (although the people at risk didn't even know it, but that's another story or two). So this client asked me what if I had kids? I told her I'm not having kids. She again asks but what if I did? Now I don't like kids much at all, and her ~10 year old boy was standing right there, so I didn't just want to say I don't like kids. Finally I just said "what if you didn't have kids- would you have a Husky?" and she looked at me like well duh, I have a kid. Then I said "I'm sure I won't have kids, as sure as your boy is standing right there." It's like she never heard of a woman (and my DH) who simply refused to propagate. Aren't there any others like us?

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my wife and i, dont have children, except for two of the furry kind. and the reason is plain we just dont care for children, they get on my nerves big time and my wife has no paithence with them, dont get me wrong i dont hate children, i just dont like being around them. we have been married now for 15 yrs and have never once regretted not having kids. we get many different reactions our parents both said if you dont want them dont have them,some people we know with children have confessed that they wish they never had them.not having children allows you alot of freedom.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 3:18AM
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I say each to their own. I have two children and two dogs and love them both. I have a sister that her and her DH have decided not to have children (she says she is just too lazy lol) and that is fine with me. Just as I could never imagine not having the children I am sure there are those out there that cannot imagine having children. With all of the abuse and neglect around I think there should be more people that take that option. (Don't take that as the people that choose not to would abuse) Everyone has options in this world and others should just accept them.

I know there are days I wish I didn't have children but the days that we have a fun day or just a hug from one of the kids far outweigh the bad. I don't regret my decision and I don't put anyone down for not having children either.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 11:09AM
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My wife and I don't have kids either. Technically, it's not by choice but if not for physical limitations, I think it might be. My wife had one of her tubes removed about 8 years ago we think the other is blocked. We haven't used contraception since we've been together and, as of yet, no buns in the oven. We both love kids and we both think the other would be a spectacular parent but the more time that passes the more we're enjoying our freedom. Some might call us selfish but hey, it's not like we're NOT trying. The long and the short of it is, if we end up pregnant that would be great; and if we never get pregnant that would be great too.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 11:51AM
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I am CBC with my husband. I just never had that "maternal pang" that other woman have. I don't coo at strange babies. I don't hate kids, I adore my nieces and nephews and wish they were closer so I can be "the cool aunt" lol! But I have a wonderful life full of travel and culture and I don't want to change it, its more like a choice to me to change your live and have kids, its funny we are the ones called "by choice" when we are not changing anything. I have no friends like me, and that is hardest for me. All my friends are in a baby mode right now, some working on round 3, and I am kind of lonely being outside of that world. I wish we had some friends who are like us just to socialize with and have our own community like parents have theirs.
I just read "Families of Two" by Laura Carroll, and I recommend it for those who feel a lack of community like myself. Its interviews with CBC couples who have been married a while, and I enjoyed reading their stories just to remind me that I am not such a freak and that we can have a long happy marriage without offspring.
Only one person has given me a hard time about it in an embarrassing way, browbeating me about why? and not getting it. I used to hide it ("oh, well see!" "Maybe later!") but now I just lay it out and let people deal with it. I find that people don't know how to talk to you after you admit that you don't plan on kids, like all potential small talk subjects were just removed! :) Of course then I launch into our travel plans, and we are the proverbial "if we didn't have kids we could jet to Paris" couple, becuase we do that stuff, and people don't like that either, because they get jealous! So we just remain left of center, which is actually OK with us. We also have two kitties who we nurture then leave them alone for the weekend. If I could do that with kids I guess I'd have them, LOL!

Thanks for posting this Meghane, I always feel better when I see other CBC stuff out there. I am not hardcore enough for No Kidding! but I do like to see that I am not alone.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 5:17PM
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lpolk, it IS nice to see we're not the only ones either. We go out whenever we want (as long as the 3 dogs, 2 iguanas, and an aquarium full of poison dart frogs and misc. lizards are taken care of first), vacation in fun places doing fun things like scuba diving in Hawaii and Bon Aire, skiing in Jackson Hole, a weekend at the beach, just fly up to MD to visit friends and family. Our friends are mostly in baby-mode too, except some of the younger ones, and the ones that have grandchildren on the way. We have 2 nephews and a niece in MD, which is fine- we never have to babysit. I never had a maternal instinct either. I joke about the biological clock going off and me throwing it against the wall to shut off the alarm. It's funny how many clients think that because I'm good with their critters, I'd be good with kids too. I'm not. I either wind them up too much or make them cry. We just can't imagine staying home every night (or most nights), not doing what we want to do. Seems like everyone else is missing out on all the fun, and they think we're the ones missing out. I guess to each his/her own. But I do get tired of people being sad for me not having kids after 10 years of marriage. We're not sad! We're glad! Yeah birth control!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2002 at 9:49PM
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I have two grown children and grandchildren. This was my choice and I have never once regretted it. I will not put anyone down for not having children because that is their choice in life. As for going places we went with our children and they stayed with their grandparents when we needed time alone. We went places such as restaurants, lakes, and beaches. In fact we still have a daughter who lives at home at age 22. We still have privacy because she works a full time job and a part time job and she goes out with her friends. We take trips as a couple to the beach and sometimes we take a family vacation with our daughter/daughters and grandchildren.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2002 at 12:46PM
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Me, me! I went through some baby pangs in my late thirties, but quite frankly was way too busy with other things at the time - plus I was in a disintegrating marriage. Had I been secure & happily married then I may have tried to get pregnant. I'm 44 now. When SO & I first got together we discussed it & decided no kids - he got a vasectomy, no worries. :)
No regrets now, at all. My SO & I have no kids together - he has two from a previous marriage, but they are teenagers so we only see them 2-3 times a month (hanging out with Dad in the country is soooo boring!! haha.) Like lpolk I am a loving auntie, wish I saw more of my 2 nieces & nephew. I really enjoy being around (most) children, and love when the teenagers come to visit. I like talking & doing stuff with them & finding out what makes them tick. I'm also quite happy when they leave.

I have to say, I have rarely encountered any sort of unwanted attitude because of my choice. I do adore my dogs rather a lot though. When other people tell kid stories, I have to bite my tongue to avoid responding with dog/puppy anecdotes because most people would think that was weird. My sister had a baby shortly after we got a puppy, so we had a deal - she could tell baby stories if I could tell puppy stories. Hers is still not potty trained & gets her up at night. Mine is potty trained, sleeps all night and works as a therapy dog & in obedience. I tell her she should have got a puppy instead, haha.

I know several lesbian couples who have extremely adored and pampered dogs. Most kids should be as lucky!

I imagine I would have no regrets if I'd had children either.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2002 at 7:24AM
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Well, I guess I lack the gene for maternal instinct. I start to enjoy children about the time the get really good at talking. Babies are nice, but touchin gone doesn't spark any urge to have one myself.

I'll stick with my 4-legged kids, thank you very much.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2002 at 8:50AM
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Another one here with absolutely no maternal instinct. I like my life, my freedom, my spending money, and so does my DH. I do like well behaved kids (which is becoming more and more rare these days, and I am very, very fortunate to volunteer with some wonderful kids), but I have never had the desire to have any.

And at 39, I still get the same, tired lines of "oh, you'd be such a goooooood mother" (Why? I don't want any! I would think that would preclude any chance of me being a good mother) and my favorite: "oh, you'll change your mind" (really, so when are you going to become gay? Don't worry, you'll change your mind eventually!) (No offense to any gay readers!)

I think what I resent the most is the sheeple attitude of most people, and the fact that I get flack for not following the program (which I didn't write any part of). I say to each his own--live and let live. I won't harass you about your lousy parenting skills (or lack thereof), if you won't harass me about not propogating my DNA (which is not that special!)

(PS--these are a generalist "you", and not meant towards any of the other posters--none of which I know personally.)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2002 at 11:06AM
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LOL Maddie, I like your attitude.

I get lots of "You'll change your mind" too, which irritates me completely. What if I couldn't have kids and just don't want to volunteer that? I'm sure its harder for those who are infertile regarding those comments.

I also gets lots of "You'd be such a good mother". Which actually I agree with. I think its because I am passionate about what I like to do - so if I wanted them I would be totally into raising them. But as you said, not wanting them is sort of the key thing. And DH and I decided that if we ever changed our minds, we would adopt, since people who don't want kids still have them all the time, which seems far more of a shame than us choosing not to have them.

And you are right on with the flock thing. Like I said, people are kind of afraid of you once you state you aren't having kids because obviously there is some deep dark bad secret behind it! Amen to live and let live. I don't cook or clean the house really either, so I am a total flock "omega female".

And Carina, I think the same thing, if we had kids, we wouldn't regret it, there are many paths to choose from. And I know a lesbian couple with a baby(sperm bank) so I can't even hang out with my gay friends LOL!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2002 at 9:57AM
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LOL several others I don't get all gooey around babies. I like children when they've had a chance to develop more of a personality, as long as it's a nice one!

A friend of mine has a 4 year old son who I just adore. I tell her that if she ever gets tired of Bryce, I'll take him in a heartbeat, he is just an awesome little kid. I always thought that if I were to have children, I would want to be around for them 100% until they went off to school. Guess if I had any deep dark side, it's just that I've grown a bit selfish about my time.

And people don't realise how hurtful it can be to get insistent about one's childless state. My sister and her husband had a terrible time getting pregnant (he has an extremely low sperm count.) They tried IVF for three years, and she had two miscarriages, it was a very difficult time for them. Plus she was hormonally addled from all the hormones she was taking, which made her tired and weepy. They live in Israel, where EVERYONE has children by the time they're 25, so at almost 40 she had no childless friends. They finally adopted, quit IVF, and she promptly got pregnant! She now has an active toddler and a 7 month old baby and her life is completely centered around them, which is just what she wanted.

Yep, and I get the "you would be a good mother" thing too. I probably would be, but it's a moot point now. No regrets at all, either.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2002 at 6:16AM
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Know something, honestly? Many people out there don't enjoy other people's kids and don't think babies are cute but go on to be wonderful parents. I didnt' think much about having kids and figured it would be years down the road and it was within a year of graduating high school. I was just telling my SIL today, who just had her first a week ago, that I didn't like kids until they were toddlers and could talk and I thought they were so funny. But once my son was born, I loved him and I loved every stage he was in no matter how difficult. Things change when you do have kids. The stuff that bothers you now, doesn't because they are yours. Everything about you changes and really you don't mind that you can't pick up and go anywhere and everywhere. Kids tend to make you less selfish in a way and you don't mind giving things up for them. You honestly can't picture your life after kids before they are actually here. It's a learning experience. I'm not saying that any of you are wrong for not chosing to have kids, it's just that some of the stuff you are saying are things we've all thought. Not everyone loves caring for or loving up someone else's baby, whether they are your neice or nephew or a friends. I never really paid attention to babies or got excited when someone was pregnant or just had a baby until I had my own. My fiance' hated his neice and nephew and couldn't stand other kids out in public at all but things changed once DS was born. I was scared to death to tell him I was pregnant because of his reactions to kids. He's much more tolerant and deals better with kids.I guess the parenting genes often don't kick in until after the fact, really and that's normal as far as I've noticed.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2002 at 2:14PM
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Never had any and not going to. People tell me I will regret it. My answer is this. There are many people who have children that shouldn't, and there are many that want children who can't. And many that have children and want them. I'm okay with not having any as it's a concious decision and I never had the urge. I know my own childhood as made me not believe in parenthood. If that makes sense. Sadly, my sister is the same as me and Mom will never be a Grandma. Mom even suggested we have kids and she'll raise them. Can't do that either. Anyway, it's nice to know I'm not alone in this!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2002 at 10:33AM
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Hey CBC here. Mine stems from just the plain case of "Mother's Curse: I hope your children will be just like you." Although, I love my mother, and I take a great comfort in knowing she loves me enough and has faith I can raise them right to wish more of me, I scared myself by thinking of how rambuncious I was.

I also believe there is a time and a place, and if in time Nature feels it is time to bless me with one, then I'll cross that bridge then. Until then, if I am allowed to be a little selfish a little longer then Thankful prayers. If she feels I am not worthy then I thank her again for giving me the opportunity to find what it is I am worthy of.

When the comments come at me (and at 35 they still do) I reply with a simple: Please respect this choice of mine, as I respect yours for having them.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2002 at 10:24AM
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I've seen the term 'selfish' appear in other posts, and personally, I think it's selfish to have kids (if deep in your heart you don't want 'em or are unsure) to please your hubby, to 'improve' your marriage, your parents want grandkids, the church says so, etc....etc....etc.... My personal fav reason is to "have someone to take care of me when I'm old". I don't think I'm selfish because I am honest enough with myself to admit that I would be a terrible mother. And I would--I think it would be much worse to sucumb to society's pressure to have a kid(s), and then resent it.

There are really great parents (that I truly admire and respect) out there that have the kids because they want to love and raise good kids, but sadly, in my experience, I've seen/heard much more from the first paragraph.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2002 at 2:15PM
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We were childless by choice for 7 years of our marriage and yes we hated people's kids. I am talking - having plane seats, restaurant seats, etc changed when we saw the little weiners eanywhere near us. When we had been married 11 years, our first was born and 16 months later, her brother. I, too, hated all the comments from family, friends, etc. But now - I know that they were right and I shudder to think what I might have missed in life because everything else is fluff compared to this. I still dislike some(many ... ok most) other kids, but my family and my DH always tell me that I am the best Mother they have ever seen. I still feel inadequate and feel I have made mistakes, could have done better, if I knew then what I know now, etc- but the kids are now 15 and 16 and they are two awesome human beings so I think I couldn't have done as much damage as I thought by my inexperience. I could have done worse. However - the worst case scenario would be - if they hadn't come along at all!!! Doesn't mean its best for you - but when I read this thread it reminded me of so many feelings that I had then that now I think were totally STUPID for me. Living is growing and changing and learning and I have learned never to say "Never".

    Bookmark   July 7, 2002 at 2:02PM
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After posting this, a bunch of us at work started talking about bad dog breeding (I work in a vet hospital) and the conversation turned to people breeding and how sooooo many people should not have children. It may have been influenced by the Darwin Award book somebody brought in. People like that shouldn't be allowed to breed, but nobody stops them. Also people who are abusive, can't possibly afford to support the children, are unable to emotionally, physically, mentally care for children... there doesn't seem to be any one taking responsibility for what they put into the gene pool. I mean, between my family and my husband's, we have alcoholism, cancer, heart disease, male-pattern baldness, and who knows what other genetic disasters, so I think it would be wrong for us to have children. Neither one of us is a stellar artist or incredibly intelligent or even all that healthy (genetically), so we wouldn't be contributing anything positive to the gene pool. And it's not like Earth Mother can support any more people anyway. Personally, I think that is the most selfish- people who don't think about the effect they have on our only planet and just have kids because they happened to get pregnant.

My family and friends know better than to make any comments to us about not having children. It's just the nerve of some people who don't even know me (or my husband) telling me I should have children. I could be an ax-murderer for all they know! Just because I'm good with animals doesn't mean that I'm good with people. In fact, for the most part, I prefer animals to people, but that's another story.

Anyway, it's been really interesting to read all the posts, even the ones about you changing your minds. It really is nice to know that Dave and I are not completely weird (well, actually I think we are). lpolk, we'd adopt too if we ever changed our minds. But I can't imagine changing my mind on this one. There are too many things DH and I enjoy doing that children simply cannot be a part of, and I wouldn't want to leave my kids with someone else all the time. You can't just not come home from work until midnight because you wanted to hang out with friends if you have kids. You can't go to Vegas for a long weekend (I just went and trust me, that is NO place for children, despite the surprising number of them I saw). Can't go hiking, unless you want to carry them around (and I always get stuck carrying most of the stuff already). Most important, I want to run my own business some day, and I don't want my kids being raised by someone else. I'm not going to vet school until I'm 35 so I can stay at home (which is what I would have to do if I didn't want someone else to raise my kids), even for a little while. I've come too far to give up on my dreams, and having kids would simply ruin it for both of us.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2002 at 6:09PM
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hey meghane, ditto ditto ditto you read my mind!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2002 at 7:55PM
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Marcia Thornley

Married 24 years. No children by choice. Would rather have puppies, thank you! No regrets.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2002 at 10:44PM
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This may sound strange, but I remember that even as a small child, I knew that I never wanted to have kids. It's not that I feel I have no maternal instinct, as it manifests itself in other ways. But I have ALWAYS known that having children was not for me. I didn't marry until I was 42, so at least nobody bothers my husband and me about it.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2002 at 8:45AM
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I'm 26, my husband 29. Neither of us feel the need to reproduce and we both get SO much hassle about it. My grandmother say it is selfish but I think you should crave a child. Not just have one because it is expected. We talk to our animals "come to daddy" or "moma's girl" but we don't want the two-legged kind! It's nice to see that there's other normal DINKs out there (double income no children).

    Bookmark   September 11, 2002 at 11:17AM
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Seeing "DINKS" reminded me of another one that I read recently-- "THINKERs" = Two Healthy Incomes, No Kids, Early Retirement.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2002 at 11:51AM
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Maddie - I love the THINKERs, well I did until I realized how many years it will take for our Pension and 401K to revitalize. Early retirement, nooo, we Want to work until we're 80!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2002 at 10:41PM
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If ANYONE out there has ANY doubt that there are a lot of people out there that quite frankly have NO business having kids - just go to the "Grandparents" forum site and read all the postings about "Grandparents Raising Grandkids".

It's enough to make you want to cry for the grandparents; and sign up the uncaring parents for birth control classes so they can't have any more children!

Honestly, I don't want to get into a "Pro Life" or "Pro Choice" debate here, but I truly believe that most of the world's miseries are caused by unwanted/unloved/uncared for children. Just because you CAN have children doesn't always mean that you SHOULD have children.

Any society (or religion, for that matter), that condones or encourages/demands rampant childbearing should stop for a second to consider what gross overpopulation is doing to our planet. We have entire societies and countries that are literally on the brink of disaster; all because they won't take a look at what overpopulation is doing to their environment.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 9:53AM
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Yes, my DH and I are childless by choice too. We like other peoples' children but have no desire to have any of our own. When we recently bought a house, the seller's lawyer said..."oh, so when are your going to fill it up with children". I had a great urge to put on a show by bursting into tears and say we can't (but I didn't...and I probably can have children but who knows...maybe I really can't). We still get comments all the time from relatives too. It got even worse because my husband actually encouraged me to leave my old job while we were househunting and I was a "stay at home WIFE". You would have thought that no one else on the planet was a stay at home wife WITHOUT being a mom too. I heard "What Do You Possibly Do All Day??" just about every day...well let me see... packing, painting the old house to get it ready for sale, looking for new home, tossing out clutter from the old house, plus doing all the stuff my husband didn't have time for, since he has a very demanding job, such as mowing the lawn and taking care of all the finances. It's funny how things have come full circle from the 1940's - 1980's when women had to defend themselves for having a job and NOT being a stay at home I have to defend myself FOR being a stay at home wife and NOT currently having a job. I would definitely go back to work if my husband said I needed to for financial reasons but right now he thinks we are actually saving money by having me stay at home (we eat out less, don't need as much dry cleaning, and possibly will be in a lower income tax level). At least I have a very supportive husband which is more than many of the women who keep telling me to "fill up my home with children" AND "then go back to work" (???) can say.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 3:12PM
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LakeEffect, I was laid off for 3 months, and boy was I BUSY! :) I would do it again in a heartbeat, I loved not working. I can't call it stay at home, because I never was! So I get it. And with kids, I would have accomplished none of what I got done during that time! :)

I sure wish I were a THINKER, but I'm currently just a DINK!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2002 at 9:53AM
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Childless by choice and loving it. I used to get the "you'll change your mind" crapola from some people, but I just rolled my eyes and figured they didn't really know me. This one woman used to give me all this sappy stuff about having kids and what a joy it was. :/- Whatever. I finally had to tell her to back off, and we'll just have to agree to disagree. Just not for me. I've always said that if a couple wants kids, they can have as many as they want, but parenthood isn't for me and never was. (although I have no use for the hard-liners like No Kidding). My husband kind of likes kids, but he doesn't mind not having any of his own. Luckily for us, both of our moms have lives and respect our decision. I made the Decision (ie, no kids) when I was 17. Here I am at 38, and do not regret it. I even got my mom a magnet several years ago that says "ask me about my granddog". Tongue in cheek, of course.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2002 at 3:57PM
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LakeEffect, I recently took almost a month "off" from work (I'm self employed) in order to do some serious work around the house & yard. My goodness, I was really busy! I had so many projects going, it was really fun. But I felt odd not going to work & making money (even though my SO makes more than enough, he's a doctor - but I have Issues not earning a living) and I had a bunch of work obligations, so I went back to work.

The house isn't as tidy, and the garden is looking a bit more raggedy when I'm not playing in it all day!

My mom has pictures of us and my dogs up on her "grandchildren" photo wall. :)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2002 at 7:54AM
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Like DawnStorm, I have a little bit of a problem with the "hard-liners." I don't feel those of us who don't have kids should put down those who do, and vice-versa. There is no one "right" way to live your life.

I'm amused by the people who call themselves "child-free" rather than "childless." There is nothing negative about the words "fearless" and "painless," for example, so what's wrong with "childless?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2002 at 9:23AM
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I prefer the term 'childfree' b/c 'childless' (to me, at least) implies that I do want kids but for whatever reason, don't have them. It also conjures images of sympathy ('poor darlin', she's childless'). Childfree is considered to be a lifestyle choice, while the other term may not be.

I don't have problems with the so-called hardliners--

    Bookmark   October 8, 2002 at 11:19AM
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I ditto everything that has been said here about us couples who have decided to live our life child-free. Unfortunately, I do not have any friends or family that have chosen the same lifestyle that my husband and I have so it's hard trying to "convince" everyone that this is what we want. Everyone thinks that it is "unnatural" not to have children-you get married and then you have kids. I was so glad to see everyone's posts to know that there are other couples out there like us.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2002 at 10:50AM
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CBC here (late to this thread cuz I just paid my membership - yay!). Anyway, as someone else here said, even as a child I knew I didn't want children. I didn't even like to play with dolls. I am the oldest of 6 children, and as a child I was totally annoyed by having 5 siblings. I loved peace and quiet and being alone. Not a good sister at all. More like a distant aunt. I still do not have an affinity to children - anyone's children.

We have lots of friends who are also child-free or child-less (were willing but it never happened and they're okay with that). There are many of us out there. I also have friends who's children have grown and moved out. I guess they're also CBC - childless by college!

I feel luckiest because I had a choice. I do know couples who are trying desperately to have children and have been unsuccessful. I also know older single or divorced, childless women who are faced with the awful realization that it may not happen for them due to time running out, not finding a mate, etc. I wouldn't wish that heartache on anyone.

As far as other's reactions to my personal choice - I've never worried about it. I grew up with a healthy F*U* type attitude towards anyone questioning my lifestyle.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2002 at 5:44PM
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Gina, you mention being the oldest of 6 siblings. I'm the oldest female (I have one older brother) in a family of 8. I remember reading somewhere that it is very common for the oldest girl in a large family to choose voluntary childlessness as she grows up. I wish I could remember where I read this - I think they mentioned that we get our fill of childrearing responsibilities when we're young and have a more realistic view of the hardships of raising kids.

My feelings as a child were similar to yours - I never felt that I had any privacy and tried in a lot of ways to distance myself from my siblings in nonphysical ways - retreating into books and music, for example. I also remember destroying lots of stories and letters that I had written, as I was always afraid that somebody would find them, read them and make fun of me. If only I could have developed more of that F*U* attitude you were lucky enough to have...

    Bookmark   October 18, 2002 at 2:55PM
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Cecilia, for me it was probably a combination of being hard-wired this way, and having the experience of taking care of younger sibs when it was something I didn't intrinsically enjoy. I too, loved to "escape" into books and music and other solitary pursuits - I treasured my time alone and my privacy too.

The F*U* comes in handy when I get comments from near strangers about my not having children. But I never take it personally. People can be incredibly rude about all kinds of personal things, like how you look, your political views, etc. When you take uncommon paths in life, you get more rudeness and personal attacks. It's human nature I guess.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2002 at 9:01PM
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Ah yes, the FU attitude. I couldn't live without it. But it's not exactly appropriate at work. DUH, which is exactly what I should have said to the lady in my original post.

The FU attitiude also works for being Green in a Republican state, being Pagan in the Bible belt, and being married without (human) children by choice in the USA.

How about some more snappy responses to people who should just MYOB in regards to your refusal to procreate? I could certainly use some for the work environment. Believe it or not, it came up again recently. Am I just lucky or what?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2002 at 9:54PM
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Meghane, it's not easy. Even with the attitude, I mainly just keep quiet, because most people aren't worth my time and energy starting up a whole discussion with. I smile politely and change the subject. Or just let them think I CAN'T have children, which to many folks is easier to swallow.

Some people DO get bent out of shape over our decisions to be CBC. But that's their problem. If pushed in an inappropriate manner I just walk away. It's usually complete strangers who push.

Friends and acquaintances are more fascinated than anything, and are interested in discussing it openly, like we're doing here.

Family is a different issue because they feel they have the RIGHT to know why you made your decision, and to try to talk you into changing your mind. But I dealt with that issue many many years ago and they know not to even bring it up now. Out of the 6 of us, only one has had children so far, so it's not like I'm the only one in the boat.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2002 at 2:10PM
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Most people have stopped asking, thank heavens! But I still get the ocassional "Do you have kids"?, and I put on my biggest smile, and in a perky, cheerful voice reply "Nope!". Works everytime. I, personally, refuse to act like I can't. I would rather be scorned than pitied.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2002 at 3:03PM
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Hi Maddie. I didn't mean that I purposely tell people I can't have children. But some strangers just assume that when you say you don't have kids. If they ask me about it of course I tell them I choose to be childless. Like you though, most folks have stopped asking about it. (They still have not stopped commenting on how thin I am though. I guess you just can't win!)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2002 at 3:15PM
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Can't just walk away at work. That where I'm really stuck. I would love a way to say "none of your business" without sounding rude. It's strangers that want to talk about it. It never happened in MD, must be something about the south that people want to talk about stuff all the time. I'd rather stick to animal health, since that's why these people are at the vets, but I also don't want to seem unfriendly.

Do you think "I'd rather not discuss it" seems too rude? Or that it would open up more questions? (why don't you want to discuss it, you poor thing, can't have children, etc).

I haven't gotten the you're too thin thing in quite a while I'm afraid LOL!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 9:29AM
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Hi Gina--

I sorry, my comment did come off as sounding pompous--sorry about that; I didn't mean it towards anything that you wrote. I've had folks assume that I was infertile, and start the cooing and pity-party talk, and that cr@p will just get my dander up and going. So, I try to cut 'em off before they ever start any sympathy show.

I don't know what to say to the rude boors at work who refuse to let the subject drop--my co-workers are (fortunately) very good about respecting my choice, just as I am about theirs. I tend to have a very clear, no-nonsense voice, and a fairly penetrating gaze, so when/if I say something about me in the personal dept., it usually sticks, and they will leave me alone. I think I would try something to the effect of "That's personal, thank you", in a tone that is borderline friendly, but implies that they have crossed the line. (I know this may sound silly, but if you can practice this in front of a mirror, it will work, but pay attention to your tone, your expression and your body lanauage; don't come off as defensive, rather go for the 'I can't believe you are that nosy' stance.)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 9:51AM
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I didn't take it that way, Maddie :-)

Meghane, that sounds tough. I guess folks are a bit "friendlier" where you are now - LOL.

Of course it's the way you say things that can soften a "hard" comment. You can say (smiling sweetly), "Well, it's not something I really want to discuss... but how about that last customer - what a cute doggy!" And change the subject consistently when the question is asked of you. And if pushed further, say "It's a personal subject, let's not talk about it."

Would that work, or are we talking all out pushy here?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 2:44PM
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Yeah, sometimes the "friendliness" just annoys me more than anything else. It wouldn't be so bad if they were sincere.
But enough on southern culture...

Gina, that sounds like it could work. I've tried "I'm more of a doggie person than a child person" but that just brought up the "whys" and "you'll feel different WHEN (not if) you have your own." Like I'd have children despite my feelings toward them. I think I'll try the "It's personal" approach. It might work without inviting more comments, especially if I do like you said and change the subject quickly back to the critters.
Thanks for the good advice.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 3:55PM
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Here's an interesting aside to all this - I see all the posters here are women (did I miss anyone?) Anyway, my DH has NEVER been questioned about not having children - ever! Double standard?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 6:54PM
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Very much a double standard--like how many times have you heard comments to the effects of "Gosh, she has 2 kids, and works full time; I don't know how she does it." No mention of him anywhere. In my personal experience, with friends, the dads did try to help at first, but the moms pushed them away from the childcare b/c of perceived incompentence, and I guess the dads just gave up in frustration. Can't say I blame 'em, though. And then the moms b!tch about having to do it all.

My DH made the comment about us (ME!!) having kids, to which I replied that maybe he should volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters to get a feel for kids. (2 things here: 1) I don't advocate this fine organization for this purpose; it's not fair to the kids involved to use them as "guina pigs"; and 2) I already knew what his answer would be before I brought this up, otherwise I would't have said it.) DH proceeded to tell me that *** he didn't have time for *that* stuff***. (Bingo! Beautiful babe! Just what I knew all along, but wanted you to say.) Oh, really, no time, huh? Then what would make me think that you'd have time for our kid? I told him that I had NO desire to have kids in the first place (he knew before we married), but if one did pop up, I didn't think it was fair the the kid or me that I play both mom and dad b/c he **was too busy**. And that was the end of that.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2002 at 10:31AM
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We belong to a fundamentalist church, and you could not BELIEVE the pressure put on us in our twenties and thirties to have kids (although the pastor never bothered us). Once we reached our forties, the pressure stopped. Now they're all envious that we have our house paid off, go on nice vacations and have NO money worries, while they're all taking out second morgages to put their kids thru college. My husband has a good paying job, so I only worked half time and have plenty of time and money to enjoy hobbies and other things I want to do. I love being able to take off for a few days on my own, I'd NEVER have that freedom if I'd had kids. I've never wanted to do anything with children, never even played with dolls as a kid myself. My husband feels the same way, it was one of the major things that attracted us to each other to begin with.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2003 at 8:49PM
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I'm another CBC Yankee living in the South. Try "I do have kids, what to see their pictures? And bring out the puppy pictures." If they say, no I mean real children, Look very hurt and say, they ARE real children. Eventually they'll get the point.

I'm a reproductive health epidemiololgist (study patterns of pregnancy outcomes). My line is 'I like my babies as data records." It usually draws a laugh and ends the conversation.

When really pressed, there's Ms. Manners suggestion: Slightly raise the eyebrows, smile cooly, and say "Thank you so much for your concern."


    Bookmark   December 18, 2003 at 7:04PM
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I could've written, practically word for word, what so many of you have expressed here. When I was in my 20s and early 30s and married to my now ex-husband, I felt as though I spent so much of my time in defense mode. Neighbors, co-workers, church friends ... I can't even begin to count how many people had something to say about the fact that my husband and I had decided to live our lives as a couple, and not have children. I believe that we were looked upon with a strange mixture of pity and jealousy, and it really did make it difficult for me to truly connect with people - women, especially - who were my peers.

Now that I'm in my 40s, divorced and living with a man 6 years my junior (who doesn't want children either) in a completely different kind of environment than the suburban "utopia" which was once my home, things are much, much different than they used to be. Now I know people who are interested in me for who I am -- not looked down on or viewed as being "strangely different" for what I'm not.

I think it's common for people who are in the same "culture", so to speak -- same age group, same socioeconomic bracket, same spiritual beliefs -- to want to really connect in a like way. I have often wondered over the years if people realize how hurtful and insulting some of their comments can be. I have to believe that people who make the inappropriate statements aren't truly out to hurt us or alienate us, but because of our awareness of how different our lifestyles really are, perhaps our sensitivities exacerbate their flip statements into something that really stings us.

I'm now at the age where my friends - those who pestered me about not having a child at the time when they were - have teenagers. Let me tell you, there's no more of the "Oh, you'll be sorry!" comments coming from them. Now they roll their eyes as little Britney flounces out of the room in a huff, turn to me and say, "Oh man - you don't know how lucky you are!" ;-)

My youngest brother and his wife have blessed our family with a beautiful little girl, now nearly 18 months old. I would not trade a moment of time that I have spent with that baby. But I don't regret not having had one of my own to raise.

Life is such a wonderful experience -- so much to savor, with or without children of one's own. I say don't let the insensitive comments of others bring you down. I know I suffered more than I should have by allowing others' ideals to haunt me. I'm now eagerly looking forward to all the many, many things I have left to do ... and my only regret is that I know there will never be enough time to enjoy it all, or to show those that I care about how very deeply I love them.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2003 at 3:30PM
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I guess I've had the best of both worlds. My DH had a vasectomy B4 we met - was already the father of teenage boys. So, I did some step-parenting for almost grownups and am now a step grandma. I love the kids, their wives and the grands, but I also love when they go home. I love our quiet, clean house and our dogs and our freedom... My DH offered to try to reverse his procedure or adopt when we got married if I needed to have kids, but it's just not something that called to me - ever.

Now, the only place I ever had trouble was at work - with the nosy ones asking about WHEN???? I always looked sort of shocked and said that's not something I want to talk about. They usually went away after that. If they didn't, I asked them why it was important to know such a personal thing - paused, and walked away.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2003 at 2:35PM
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I stumbled on this thread just today (procrastinating the painting that awaits me).

No kids for us! Like so many others, I've NEVER wanted them. I thought about it in my late 30s, but was able to find a reason to answer the "why not?". No regrets.

Again, echoing the thoughts of others, we are now financially secure and looking at capitalizing on our increasing saving capabilities while our friends with kids struggle to pay off the mortgage, save for college, AND retirement.

I used to particularly loathe the, "you'll regret it when you're older" line. Maybe I will. And the, "you don't know what you're missing" line cracked me up, too. No arguement from me, I DON'T know what I'm missing... but neither do those with kids know what THEY'RE missing... it's a question of perspective.

I've never objected to being called a DINK, but THINKER is even better. I call myself, "child-free" because childless connotes the premature death of a child or the inability to have one when one is desired.

You know what I really hate? being handed a baby without first being asked if I'd LIKE to hold it... the assumption that because I'm a woman I want to hold one has always bugged me. :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2004 at 12:47PM
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Awwww..... Chelone---doncha know that because you have a uterus, you should be just *thrilled* to have a baby dumped on you?? And to listen endlessly about the horrors of labor, the sleepless nights, the leaking breasts, the no-time-for-s3x/personal hygiene/sleep, the screaming, colicky baby--and then they turn to you after a 45 minute diatribe and ask "so, when are you going to have one?" (I just went through this scenerio a week or so ago, so it's fresh in my mind.)

And when parents say to me--"you don't know what you're missing"; I reply that I certainly **do** know what I'm missing, which is why I chose not to have any. :):)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2004 at 10:58AM
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We are childless--partially by choice and partially by inability (although we are contemplating adoption--still not sure about that yet). When everyone at work was having babies and I kept getting asked over and over when I was going to have one, I finally told them that I couldn't bear children but was looking for a surrogate--would they be interested in voluntering their womb! That quickly shut them all up.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 2:17PM
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I've been following this thread off an on just to get an idea of what motivates some people not to want to have children, which is totally your choice, yes. But some of the most recent replies make me think you criticize parents you've talked to because they talk about their kids as if they having nothing else to live for, which is unfair - as if because I have had a baby I nothing else to offer this world other than my 'leaky breasts' and prolific uterus. I hope that if these people are your friends, you can enjoy their happiness as they would probably enjoy yours; and if not, then you have just walk away if it bothers you that much instead of "enduring" it. Although I think they would tell you that all of those things are worth it. It also sounds that there is some displaced animosity towards the baby you have been "forced" to hold. I guess some people feel that everyone, old, young, childless or not, would want to hold a baby for two seconds, not just because they expect you to have some overwhelming surge of maternal instinct.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2004 at 2:34PM
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I have to say I admire the ones who admit they don't like or want kids. It takes courage to buck the traditional way of doing things. Our kids have drained us emotionally and would have drained us financially if I had allowed them. I cannot think of one reason to have children.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 7:38PM
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Wow. It also takes a lot guts to basically say you regret having them. What happened?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 10:25AM
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I assume you are talking to me. My husband's three kids come to see him once a year at Christmas time (I throw a great Christmas party) and they all live within a 15 minute drive. Being the step mother I blamed myself, but when I got to know his ex wife, she told me it wasn't my fault, they didn't vist her either except when they need money. They finally ended up with every dime she had. The ex told me she was disgusted with her daughters, when she needed a roof over her head she tried living with her son, she finally called me and asked if she could rent one of our rentals. She said, "I can't live with my son". I know he verbally abuses his wife and probably abused his mother. They weren't at the hosptial when my husband/their dad had by pass surgery, I sat there by myself. The last time he was sick the girls were really scared he was dying and offered to help with their Dad, all I had to do was ask. I asked because he was hyped up on meds, walked the hospital halls at night, pulled out his IV and I had to go home to get some sleep. One of the daughter said, "if he is that bad he should be in lock up", didn't hear from the other one at all. As for my kids, one is an alcholic and living a homeless lifestyle because he doesn't want to work. He is almost 50 and hasn't worked a year on the same job. My other son, doesn't communicate because after years of borrowing money from us I finally said no more. He was 45 at the time.

I know most people will say they weren't raised right, mine were, my sis told me, "you were the best Mom I have known, I don't know what happened to those sweet little boys of yours". My older son is just like my dad and my youngest is just like his dad. My husband's children did not bond with their parents and I can understand why, but that's another story. I have adjusted to all of this just fine, but wouldn't have children again for anything.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 7:07PM
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I admire ALL of you who have not had kids by choice! What ever the reason is not for you to have to explain to any one. It's YOUR choice..period. Better for you to NOT have them and live a happy life, than to have them and wish you hadn't. I applaud you!!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 9:51PM
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Ive been holding off on posting here but I seem to have a different perspective to offer the people posting about (at least some of) the childless by choice couples. I was never pushed or even encouraged to have children  there were no hints or innuendos. My mother adored her children but knew we all had paths that were right for us and (although she never regretted having us) she always valued choices. She understood that having children was hard and not for everyone. I thank you for your admiration, but for some of us, it is the path of least resistance, so it is not admirable so much as what we have chosen naturally. I can imagine for others it is admirable (to go against the grain) but not for all of us.

One more thought  about the holding babies perception that we are harboring some displaced animosity. On the contrary, my reaction is about inexperience and awkwardness. I have had very few baby encounters (no doubt by choice and I am approaching 40) and I have never been compelled to hold a baby. So, when one is handed to me, I look awkward and distressed because I am. Not all of us are raised around babies and learn to appreciate their less than desirable qualities along with their enchanting ones. So, I am not drawn to them, and when handed a baby, it is generally not my choice but I manage. Perhaps I will gain a comfort level some day, but no maternal instinct grips me and compels me to enjoy the experience and want my very own.

I guess we are all different, and that is my point.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 7:24PM
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Phyllis, it's not that we don't want to share our friend's joy, but listening to women talk about being pg, and later all about the up's and down's (mostly the down's, it seems like) of having kids *all the time*, would be like making a parent listen to a 45 minute monologue on something they have *absolutely no interest in*. I don't mind discussing kid stuff with women who also have other things to talk about (crafts, news, other hobbies and goings-on), but when the baby is *all* they talk about, it's boring to those of us with no interest in such things - just like me going on at length to you about my lizard and his eating/pooping habits, or the really gross thing my dog barfed up yesterday - you don't care, you have no interest, and while you wouldn't mind me mentioning it briefly, you'd probably be really annoyed if it was all I talked about. So just like we have to realize that parents want to talk about their babies sometimes, parents need to realize that we aren't interested in a lengthly conversation about them. Often when *we* try to change the subject to something less "kiddish", parents switch it back - and *that* is what gets old.

I have two pregnant friends right now (I'm 29 - *all* of my friends either have kids or are pregnant), and while I can handle them for awhile, the pregnancy tales (I had to pee in a jar *thiiiiisss* big last week) get really, really old. I'm actually looking forward to the babies being born just so I can have new stuff to get bored listening to! LOL That, and kids grow fast...I don't care for babies, but I don't mind toddlers, and parents tend to get more interesting when the kids reach "toddler" stage. :-)

I also have friends who's kids are getting older - I handle that much better, because they have other interests besides just thier kids. So we can talk about thier kids and what fun stuff is going on, but other things too - it's more balanced. I like balance. :-)

As for holding babies - do you like lizards? If I just hatched a nest of baby geckos, and put one in your hands, cooing over how absolutely adorable it was (because I do think baby lizards are very cute), would you be comfortable with that? I didn't think so. Same thing for me and babies - I don't like or want to hold them. It's a matter of perception - not everyone thinks the same things are "cute" or desirable in's not an "attack" on you or your baby, it's simply a different viewpoint that should be respected.

Try to remember that not everyone is comfortable with babies, and not everyone thinks they are "cute" - all you have to do is *ask* before handing them off, rather than just assuming, and try not to be offended if the other party would rather not take a turn holding them. Remember that *they* could be handing you a baby lizard in return. :-)

I have to say, other than listening to all the pg/baby stories, my friends are *super cool* as far as respecting our decision to be child-free. None of them bug us about it, none of them tell us we'll regret it, or that we'll change our minds, and we *really* appreciate how lucky we are to have friends like them. And I must say, so far, they are all great parents too...I have no complaints about being around thier kids either (and hey, we have an endless supply of popcorn, girl scout cookies, and seasonal wreaths for at least the next 18 yrs, without having to do any of the work! LOL). :-)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 5:30PM
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Well, I do happen to think iguanas are cool, as long as it doesn't bite. Although I've never seen a gecko up close. : [)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 8:51AM
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Jeez, this thread is getting old! Anyway, I already posted 2 years ago, but just wanted to add that my choice/situation is just my choice and not a call for anyone to admire or loathe me one way or another. There's room for all of us.

And another thing - my small dog has offically become my baby. Dang him - so cute - he comes with me everywhere. So now people probably look at me as that childless woman who babies her dog, poor thing. LOL, snort!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 6:20PM
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My husband and I thought we coudn't have kids and we did just what most of you are doing. We got a dog and made it our baby. Then we got the biggest shock of all time. (My husband had to take some vacation time to adjust to the fact we were going to have a baby!) My family and friends told us we would have to give up our spoiled rotten dog (the only one I know who eats filet mignon) not scraps. I told them they could take the baby I was keeping the dog (Only kidding!) of course. It was an adjustment for us and the Cocoamos. It was the best thing that ever happened to us. Brett is now 7 yrs old and Cocoamos is 10 and undergoing surgery tomorrow, we are scared to death.

My point is that if you are using the animal to hold back your maternal urgings, one day that animal will be gone and those maternal feelings will still be there.

My dear sister in law is cbc but everytime we get together at dmils for dinner she brings it up, not someone else. She claims she has two dogs and two cats to love. I told my dmil recently that she's not trying to convince me its the right choice, she is trying to convince herself. The things she says reminds me alot of what you guys are saying.

The one thing that Cocoamos can't do that Brett can is look at me with those gorgeous eyes and say "Mommy, I love you!" I didn't know what I was missing before.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 12:54PM
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Hmm, I don't see anything I said as coming across as maternal instinct re-directed to owning pets. Like I said, to each her own. No right and wrong. No judgements.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 2:15PM
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This was an interesting thread to read. My husband and I are also childless by choice, for multiple reasons:

- we don't like kids. At all.
- we do like having money and free time :)
- genetic and health reasons; don't want to pass on our bad genes
- there's enough kids out there that need good homes. Why bring more into the world?

I'm also the youngest of 9 children. I have 17 nieces and nephews, on just my side. I think my family has done enough breeding without me needing to contribute :) The upside is that we get to spend time occasionally with some of those nieces and nephews; it's fun, but just reaffirms for us that we've made the right decision.

It is hard, though, dealing with societal expectations. Hubbie and I are nearly 30, been married over 7 years. We know our minds pretty well, but we constantly get the "Oh, you'll change your mind," statements from family and friends. I personally think that people that make that statement are trying to re-affirm their own life choices, by seeing you follow the same path. At any rate, it gets old fast.

So far, my mother-in-law doesn't know we're not having kids. I haven't the heart to tell the years pass, though, I think she may be catching on ;)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 7:39PM
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"I personally think that people that make that statement are trying to re-affirm their own life choices, by seeing you follow the same path."

Bravo! Well said.

And Queenie--good luck?? For what?? For having the sense to realize what we want, and not bow to society?

And I ***do*** know what I am missing---which is the exact reason I don't have kids.....

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 7:02PM
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I have not read this entire thread so I may be missing out on some of the comments. I was childless by choice along with my husband for many years. My reasons were the same as many of yours-Rivkadr your sentiments matched mine exactly. I have to admit that DH and I were so bad about being vocal about disliking kids that our friends that did get pregnant were actually afraid to tell us. During my many years of not wanting kids we did hear a number of doozies from people: you're SELFISH for not wanting kids, etc, etc. We happily bucked societies expectations of us and simply chose to socialize with others without kids.

And then the following happened... see the thread below where both my DH and I posted over two years ago I am the same Janet and Greg is my DH...

We did stick with the decision made in that thread but I will say that giving birth permanently changed me and it ultimately changed Greg as well but it took about a year and a half-we are currently trying to conceive.

I suppose now that I'm in a position of having been on both sides of the fence, for truly thats where I am now, I see things in a way I couldn't possibly before. The desire to have children for many people is not a rational choice, it is instinct pure and simple. Sure for some its about other things but for many its biology pure and simple. If you don't feel that drive I think it is nearly impossible to understand people that do. I know that was me. And the same goes for people that have that strong instinctual drive-they can't possibly understand why others don't have it. Its like there is an unbridgeable chasm that the childless by choice folks and people who choose parenthood simply cannot bridge not really understanding each other.

I feel that as a birthmother at last I do see both sides in a way I never would have otherwise. Giving birth turns on a primal instinct, an instinct I tried to will away after my husband posted in the thread below.

I guess what I'm trying to say, in a very long-winded way, is consider the fact that there are a lot of reasons why both "sides" don't understand each other, and a lot of them go beyond rational thought processes.

That said I don't think that this excuses rudeness from anybody and I think people have every right in the world to refuse to tolerate rude remarks. Whether one decides to have children or not is a highly personal choice and IMHO there is no right decision, merely what is right for you.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2005 at 9:30AM
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This is the first time I've visited this forum, and the first thread I've read. I read every post too, and can relate totally.
My DH and I tried to have kids early in our marriage. I went through hormone treatments and even Artificial Insemination. None of it worked, and during the process or trying we both finally realized we didn't WANT kids. We feel fortunate that we had those 2 years to think about it, or would have been parents of young teenagers by now!
For years people used to ask when we were going to have kids, never IF, always WHEN. My favorite response was to put on a totally shocked and horror filled face, look down at my stomach, and say "WHY, do I LOOK pregnant???"
That would embarrass the person asking, end of conversation.
I love some kids, I've been teaching piano for 24 years, but couldn't imagine spending 6 hours a day with all those kids, and the rest of my time with my own! I want a life too, that doesn't involve kids in every single thing I do.
I believe we're raised in society to believe we will just get married and have kids. I fell right into that trap, but luckily had time to change my mind!
It's easier now that I'm 40, most of my friends have teenagers now, so don't constantly talk about their kids. I used to think it rather pathetic when a couple of my friends with very young kids could talk of nothing else. I thought of them as sheltered, and while they were feeling sorry for me because I had no kids I was feeling sorry for her for not having any interests or hobbies of her own, other than her kids, and wondered what she would do with herself once her kids started to develop lives of their own.
I know not all parents are like this, so please don't jump all over me for this.
Anyway, after reading all those posts what sticks in my mind most is the woman who said it was far worse for a couple to have a kid that they shouldn't really be having than a couple who decides they wouldn't be ideal parents and to NOT have kids. But those of us who feel we couldn't offer all it would take to raise a great kid are ridiculed and called selfish. I think selfish is when people have kids so they'll have "someone to look after them" when they get older, or to "carry on the family name", and other reasons others have already mentioned.
I regret taking hormones to try to get pregnant (had nasty side effects that lasted long after I stopped taking them), and now believe in fate. If it was meant to be it would have been, and there are lots and lots of kids that CBC people can offer their time and love to without having to create their own. I've even had people say to me that they wouldn't want to adopt because they want a kid that is their own flesh and blood and who looks like them. How selfish is that?
One last thing, bravo to all the great parents out there, someone has to have them!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 12:18AM
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"My point is that if you are using the animal to hold back your maternal urgings, one day that animal will be gone and those maternal feelings will still be there."

So then ya drive down to the shelter and get yourself another animal to love and care for.

Y'know, there are so many other ways to have children in your life, without having to birth them and raise them yourself. I applaud those folks who know what they really want out of life -- whether that means having children or not!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 12:30PM
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Maddie, I think you completely took offense where none was meant. I said "I" didn't know what "I" was missing. I have no idea about "you". I often sign off on my posts with "Good Luck!"

This was nothing personal! Your life is yours! If my dh had known he could impregnate me, I would never have gotten pregnant. DH & I had been married 2 1/2 yrs and never taken any birth control.

I was not judging anyone! Just trying to share my thoughts about my SIL.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 10:13PM
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wow, what a difference 3 years makes. NO I'm not pregnant, nor do I want to be, but my situation has certainly changed. Instead of working, I'm now in vet school. Which means I'm expected to be a professional woman. Which means I'm expected to not have children. How odd that moving up in your career suddenly makes it OK, or even desirable, to not have children. I'm still happily married, that certainly hasn't changed either. It just struck me as odd that just because I'm going to school to have a "real" career, my purpose in life is no longer procreation (according to society). I know what my own purpose in life is: to help people take the best care possible of their fur-scaly- feathered- other non-human kids. So now if I became possessed by an alien and decided that I wanted kids after all, I would be looked down upon because despite it all, it's still EITHER a career OR motherhood for women. I just don't get it.

Good thing that I don't really care what society thinks.

"Subvert the dominant paradigm"

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 8:08PM
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Hi Meghane,

Funny that we both ended up on this forum in the last couple of days. Just thought I'd chime in since you're still reading the replies. I am childfree by choice and have never regretted the decision... ever. My first husband wanted a divorce because after 15 years of marriage he HAD to have a heir. I'm now happily married to someone who feels the same way I do. WOO HOO!

From your posts on the pet forum I know you are the BEST mom to your furry and scaly kids, let someone else make the 2 legged babies.

You go girl,


    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 2:33PM
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I am childless and do not regret it for one nano-second. I travel alot and enjoy many activities that would be difficult if not impossible to enjoy if I were burdened with children. Occasionally I have had some women say to me that they regret having kids. As for the "selfish" comments, I think they are b.s. I know some couples who have had every unnatural medical procedure in the world performed on them because they so "needed" to have a child that was part of them. No consideration to adoption at all. Our earth has reached a point of saturation when it comes to feeding the billions already here- having more children seems by far the more selfish act to me.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 3:46PM
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So, because I have 5 kids and will probably have more, I am selfish?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 12:09PM
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An amusing thing about these forums is this...somebody wants to vent to other like-minded individuals and the dissenters crash it. Yes, you're selfish.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 11:46PM
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I tell people I was born without the "Mommy gene." I love children; I enjoy their company; I love their views on the world in general. But...

I have never, ever, not-for-one-second, wanted to have a child. I have never, ever, wanted to be pregnant. I feel so bad for people that long for children that never come.

I was married briefly when I was 19. I didn't want children then. We divorced; I joined the military. I was single, surrounded by eligible men and had a happy and healthy social life...I certainly didn't want to have a child then.

I married a wonderful man at age 36. He was 30. On our first date we were talking about what we wanted in life. I told him I wanted to fall in love, get married, and never have children. He said he didn't want children either; he was adopted and wouldn't feel right having children and not knowing his own background.

Three year later we married. Fourteen years later we're happier than ever and still childless...except for the wonderful Harry Dog.

I have 10 nieces and nephews. Our house has a revolving door. One nephew lived with us for six years. One neice spent five summers with us. We get our "kid" fix; we send them home. Everyone's happy.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 1:40AM
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5 kids! yea selfish, if any of my tax money has to go for support at some point. if not, knock yourself out. just think you could have had a really nice power boat instead.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2006 at 9:12PM
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"I travel alot and enjoy many activities that would be difficult if not impossible to enjoy if I were burdened with children"

Good thing your parents could be "burdened" with children or else you wouldn't even exist.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 4:49PM
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"Good thing your parents could be "burdened" with children or else you wouldn't even exist."

Oh fine! Here we go. Is that a "pro-choice" advocate writing?

I think people should do what they want child-wise. I also think they should be responsible for what they do. Alas.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 12:02AM
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My children have made me a better person.

I am more patient, loving, creative, resourceful, clever (!).

My son introduces me to things I never would have thought about. He is into the electric guitar..and now I am interested in Led Zeplin ! I know all about making wine...cause he was interested. So many other things over the years. I now know how to score at cricket (I'm in Australia) and I even enjoy it ! So many doors have been opened to me "cause of my children.

And then there is the endless funny times, a souce of much happiness.

Having your own children opens another dimension to your life, you understand your parents, and why they did certain things, and how much they loved you.

I respect people who dont want children.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 10:59PM
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wow i`ve been married 4 more yrs since this started, and in those 4 yrs you know what happened? yep you got it. we paid our mortgage off early, and i bought a vette. haha fooled you!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 3:36AM
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I was smart enough to know I was too dumb to have children.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 5:44PM
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I dont even think this should be a debate. If you dont want children,it is your choice. In fact, statisticly speaking,those who have marriages without children are deemed less stressful and altogether happier! Did any of you know that?
my husband has 4 kids including our one that we have together.He came from a poor family that was pretty disfunctional,and didnt even really have his parents in his life.So no one really told him about safe sex.They all get pregnant at young ages and have alot of kids they really cant afford.
After my husband and I married he had a vasectomey so he cant have any(more)kids,and he says it was the best thing he ever did.People in his family give us crap about it,including his own dad who also has 4 kids and hasnt been in any of their lives really.We get comments like,"How could you do that? dont want to have some more?"
Although my husband loves his other kids,he wishes someone would have talked to him about birth control and supported him in not having any.
You are making the right choice for you,and that is all that matters.Even if you didnt have a big career,I think it is good you realize you dont want any,and it is your right to do so.Not everyone are children-oriented.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 7:47PM
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Hi, All!

Wow, I can't believe this thread is still going on. I read this thing 2-3 years ago! I didn't comment then, but I will now. I'm another that is Childfree. My husband and I have a thriving business, we are both work-a-holics, and both like quiet when we get home. Call us selfish if you want (my "friends" do), but I had much rather have a nice quiet evening when I get home with my husband, than live my life around a child. We have 2 pugs that we love and that's enough for us.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 3:23PM
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I know this is a late addition...but to the ones who "bad mouthed" the the earlier comments..if you are still here and do not like it...please go back to where you came from. Sorry for the rest of you, but I am very sensitive when it comes to someone who moves from the North and especially California area, who think they are better than us in the Southern states! You don't want to be here...we do not want you here! :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 12:58PM
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I have found this thread very interesting. I grew up in a home with two severely alcohol-and substance addicted parents who both suffered from depression and were emotionally absent and incapable of parenting. In this dysfunctional environment I witnessed many disturbing things, including suicide attempts and acts of violence. My mother died when I was just past 20 years old, my father died 12 years ago as a late consequence of his self-abuse. I have no biological family other than an older brother who lives on another continent (no uncles, no aunts, no cousins, no grandparents). As a result, I have felt isolated and alone many times in my life.

During my childhood I grew up without parental guidance, interest and acceptance, something that has affected me my entire life. I left my home at 20 and actually moved to another country and tried to build a new life for myself, away from the destructive environment I had grown up in. Along the way I always said "I'll never marry, I'll never have children". I had simply never experienced family life and have always considered myself incapable of being a parent.

Well, I am married today, to a husband who I have known for 12 years. That's the good part. The bad part is that unfortunately I ended up marrying someone who wanted children. For the last 8 or 9 years, since we got engaged, I have been tormenting myself every day about the fact that he wants children and I don't feel capable of giving them to him. I feel as if I am robbing him of his life's dream.

On the outside I am a competent, successful, well-educated woman, but I have a serious lack of self-acceptance and constantly doubt myself or feel that I am "different" - in a bad way. It's so refreshing to hear other people say that they are completely okay with their choice not to have children. I have gone through several phases of depression in my life, and now in my early 40s, I am no closer to loving and accepting myself for who I am, despite the fact that I know I am essentially a good person. I also experience feelings of anxiety and fears of loss, and my husband and I experienced major marital problems earlier this year because he is reaching his mid-40s and his biological clock is now seriously ticking.

All I can say is that there is no right or wrong decision about having or not having children. This is everyone's personal decision. But based on my own situation, the key thing is that the most important person in your life, your significant other, must be on the same page. In my case, our difference in life goals and preferences has led to nothing but self-doubt and guilt on my part and a persistent lack of inner peace.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 4:39AM
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My this thread has a life of it's own. It's very interesting when people think your selfish for NOT having kids. I think it's kind of like going to a party where everyone is drinking and they all want you to drink with them. I can't stress enough how much I admire people who know they don't want children and follow through with that decision. I only know one family that seemed perfect, but the bubble there has burst. I am talking about my sister in law. She is now having problems with both of her kids which are close to 50 years old, all of her grandkids. Grandkids pregnant by the time their 18 or their girl friend is. My SIL who is 80 is doing day care for their great-grands. When they found out about the latest pregnancy, my SIL's husband broke out in tears and said "my wife is not raising any more kids, you have them you take care of them". And the daughter and her husband are losing their home because of their big spending. I won't even go into their son's problems. I would never have kids if I could do it over and keep the knowledge I have now. But I also know if I could not have had kids I would have been heart broken, because I wouldn't have known what I know now. There would have been a big void in my life. Either way it can break your heart.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 11:24PM
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I'm a parent (of one), but I think it's great that people have so many choices today, one of them being to opt out of parenthood if that's what they want. With the planet in such ecological danger, it's far more responsible not to reproduce than to keep overpopulating. Keep educating folks like the husky lady, sounds like she needs to open up her mind a little.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 2:38PM
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This thread is so interesting! I have read most of the posts and wanted to chime in. DH and I have not had children, but want to at some point. When people ask DH (and they DO ask him!) he asks them if they're paying for it. ;) That usually shuts them up. I have tried it and people just laugh and ask again. It's incredibly frustrating.

I have always believed it to be very rude to ask people about this issue. I have a dear friend and they tried to conceive for almost 5 years before the baby came along. During that time people were always asking her when they'd have children. It was heart-wrenching for her. There are several people who continually ask me about our child bearing plans. I usually walk away. People have even started asking my parents when we're going to have children!!! It's insane to me that people honestly believe it's any of their business.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 9:48PM
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My wife of 14 years & I don't have any children.
I'm in poor health & she enjoys a career.
She thinks she would like to have a child but one of the 2 would have to suffer because she couldn't handle both.
I'm just not physically able to handle the pressures of child raising. Speaking for myself when your weak physically then your also short on nerves.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 2:15PM
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Can't really say I'm a CBC.More like childless by circumstance. After initially suspecting treatable menstrual glitches, I had advanced rectal cancer at age 31.Radiation and chemo meant we would need to adopt if I lived.Ten years later, I'm still here,but husband no longer wants to adopt. He's grown used to being unencumbered by mess, noise, confusion,etc.I feel like I crossed the finish line only to find the prize was stolen. I really love the hubs, but am heartbroken at his change of heart.I am trying to let go of long-deferred expectations and focus on the future, but see more of what will be missing or lacking in our life than what will make it uniquely worthy in the 'freedom' of being child-free.After 16 years of marriage, I am honestly trying to learn to accept what is, rather than regret what might have been. It's great to be alive, and I know to cherish that,but I'm a bit lost. Comments, suggestions are welcome. Anybody out there????????????

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 7:40PM
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I keep finding new message boards on this site; for years, I just stuck to my garden board. So glad I stumbled on this one, and so glad this post had been resurrected. Have to agree with soooooo many of you.

My DH and I are CBC. We're not fond of children, but can deal with them as long as they're well-behaved (no screaming attitudes, etc). Love my nieces and nephew, but even too much of them drives me crazy. We love the freedom that comes from not having children. We can say "let's go out to dinner" and then go...without the hassel of lining up a babysitter, etc. We can AFFORD to go out to dinner.

I belong to a small group at my church who call ourselves CWOK (Couples With Out Kids). Most in the group are young/newly married and just haven't started down the family path yet. However, there is one other couple who is like us - Don't want 'em. And another couple that is "pretty certain" they don't want 'em. In the past 6 months, we've "kicked out" (jokingly) 4 couples who have had a bay, with a fifth couple trying. Baby showers are getting expensive. Which is ANOTHER point. Why do I have to spend so much money on gifts for their baby? No one has given me a puppy shower for my "baby."

When I was in my early 20s, I used to get some of the "you'll change your mind" stuff, but it eventually faded off. It never really bothered me. The one and only time that a comment got to me was just a few months ago. A friend (the 5th couple above who are trying to get pregnant) said to me "I don't think you're weird for not wanting to have kids" while we were at a baby shower for one of the other couples. The way she said it implied that someone (or someoneS) had expressed to her that they thought I was was weird for not wanting children. I was so taken aback by the comment that I didn't know what to say....I think I just laughed? It still crawls under my skin when I think about it. Why is it weird? I don't think it's weird that someone would take DRUGS to get pregnant? I don't think it's weird that someone would have 5 kids (crazy maybe, but not weird :-)). Just irks me.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 2:17PM
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DH and I are also childfree (I prefer this term to childless) couple by circumstance. Five years into our marriage we discovered that we have infertility issues, almost went through with IVF-ICSI twice, then stopped both times. We talked about adoption, even went to one adoption seminar, then stopped. Now, ten years into our marriage and looking back, I realized that deep down inside neither one of us were really serious about having a child. If we really wanted it, we would have had one by now, biological or not. It's not meant to be and I felt so much at peace after I admitted this to myself. I still look at kids fondly (only the cute ones, the bratty ones.. eh.. not so, but I don't have that longing feeling anymore. I think it's good that there are people who know enough about themselves to decide not to have children. I believe firmly that children need to be needed and wanted, and if you can't offer both, don't have one.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 2:48PM
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this might be off the subject of having kids, but i read that you have a husky, and i was confused a bit on how you discribe them. i have a pure bred AKC siberian husky, that animal can't be but the most gental dog there is. i have kids, young and older, and my husky is nothing more than a loving dog to them.
the worst that my dog has done was overly lick my kids. its true that husky are not a type of dog to be kept inside, but if you give at least 20 mins of hard play each day or every other day, inside the house they are fine. they only get aggressive if they are not played with. all their energy will be build and then they can be a little strung out then, huskies need to run. they where bred for that. to run and to work. but if you read about them, you will find out they are not an agressive dog, and if you are looking for a protector dog, huskies are the worst for that. they are packed oriented, and not apt to being an attacking dog. so many dogs are misunderstood. the only thing a husky has goning for it as being a protecting dog is his looks. they look mean, but are just a big puppies.

sorry if this didn't have to do with wanting kids or not. i needed to put my two cents in and defend having a husky and kids.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 4:17PM
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Lostsoul, many people do not properly exercise or train their Huskies. Huskies have very high prey drives (ask my Tatyana who has so far caught 2 birds in mid-air, while on a leash). I simply worry that an untrained and/or unsupervised Husky would think a small child is a small animal and chase it. I have known many Huskies to be intolerant of certain things, such as being pet in certain places, being pulled on, etc; things that small unsupervised children may do. I think that it works a lot better if the Husky comes AFTER the children, so the dog is not displaced from its pack order. I have seen disasters when people have had kids after having the Husky first. Just personal experience. My own Huskies are pretty good, although my Aleksander did not allow my brother to take his son back; I had to get Aleks away from the child. Aleks would not have hurt the child, but almost took my brother's face off. He was being overly protective. I think that if Aleks had grown up with kids it would have been different, but again I have seen so many instances of Huskies interacting badly when children were introduced later that I don't recommend it. They are great when the kids are already in the household and the dog is trained properly.

I also think that it is very difficult to have a happy well trained and well exercised husky when time is being spent on kids. Just IMHO and from what I have seen. I know my own dogs require a LOT of time; time that I wouldn't have if I was raising kids too. I wouldn't want to neglect the dogs or the kids. My Rottie would be better with kids- more obedient, requires less strenuous exercise, etc. Of course, it's all moot because I still prefer dogs to human children.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Twosticks, I'm sorry I didn't see your post before. I wish I had some real wisdom to offer you. Just a couple things comes to mind-- pastoral counseling, therapy or just a heart to heart with your husband over what the decision not to adopt means to you. The second is to volunteer with children in some way-- become a Big Sister for example. Babysit for fun money. Life does not always take the course we plan. It is as you say a gift to be alive and with someone you love. I hope your wish for a child will be fulfilled in some way, even if it not by adopting one of your own. Children need loving adults and even a little bit of affectionate companionship can make a huge difference in the course of a child's fate, whether your own child or someone else's.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 11:18PM
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I am 56 years old, married, and childless by choice. I have never once regretted my decision. I knew from my teens I didn't want children. I watched the adults around me and it struck me they didn't really have any time for themselves. The were very busy every waking moment (and many moments when they should have been asleep) doing things for their children. As I got older and my friends started having babies, I saw the same thing. These people hardly had time to shower, let alone anything else. Few of them ever read a good book, went to a concert, joined any kind of adult oriented group, or even went on the kind of vacation that meant no child-related work. Face it, a holiday at the beach with the children is just as much busy work as being at home. All that busyness prevented them from growing as people, working on their marriages, their careers, and often even simple things like home maintenance and gardening were forgotten.

In addition, most parents are very bad advertisements for parenthood. There's a lot of carping and complaining. I know parents love their children ... they fall in love with them and it's an overwhelming feeling. But there are evidently a lot more unpleasant aspects to the job.

I think our society does us a disservice. We are taught that we grow up, get married and have children, usually in that order. Diverting from that plan draws criticism or concern. Yet there are many of us who would not be good parents. Just because a mother loves her children doesn't mean she is a good mother. We see plenty of bad parenting all the time. I feel we should be encouraging people to do what is right for them. It's a wise person who knows she or he shouldn't be a parent. Why does it have to be an issue?

There is something that happens to me, and I think it's because I don't have children, and people feel safe saying this to me when they might not want to say it to another parent; over the years I have had the experience many, many times, of a woman telling me something like this, "I love my children and I can't imagine a world without them, but if I had known before I had them what being a parent was like, I probably wouldn't have done it." I guess I was able to see, before having children, what my life would be like. My friends all expressed surprise at various aspects of being a parent ... to me it shouldn't have been a surprise ... I could see it, why couldn't they? However, I guess the human race would die out if everyone were like me!

I have been accused of selfishness in not having children. Well, let's see. A person who really wants children has them. A person who really doesn't want children doesn't have them. How is one selfish and the other not selfish?

I have also been told I'll lead a very lonely old age without children. Yet some of the lonliest old people out there have children. Children are not a guarantee of a happy old age. Being a good person, kind to others, interested in the world, positive in nature ... these are things that will give you a good old age.

Just as there are rewards when one has children, there are rewards when one does not. They're no less important, just different.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 2:40PM
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I am 33 and I married young - my husband and I have been married for 15 years. I quite like children but my husband and I have no desire to have children of our own, and we never have.

We have received constant pressure to have children from our families (never from our friends), and a surprising number of people told me that I should be thinking about having children "before it was too late", even when I was in my mid-20s. Possibly I was a very raddled-looking 25-year old.

Something I find very interesting is the mixed messages that we have received throughout our marriage from our large, traditional families. I remember my future mother-in-law sitting me down when I was 17 and telling me that it was very important that I didn't have children straight away. I remember nodding and saying to her earnestly "Actually we don't think we want to have children at all", which of course she laughed at (at the time!).

I think that part of the problem was that we did everything else in our lives in a very conventional manner. When we got our first university degrees in our early 20s we started getting pressure to have children. We lived on baked beans and spaghetti for our first eight years of marriage and managed to pay off our first house in our mid 20s, and got even more pressure to have children, because we were now "financially stable".

After we paid off our mortgage I continued working in a job I adore while my husband went back to university to do his PhD, which was very much frowned upon by our families ("Why is he being so SELFISH," said my mother-in-law. "How is he going to support you if you get pregnant?". Easy solution - it's called birth control.)

We are very lucky in that we are very close to my husband's two nieces and particularly my nephew. My sister's partner died when my nephew was a baby, and my husband and I are consequently very close to my nephew. He receives a lot of our undivided time, which he would obviously not if we had children. This relationship is extremely important to me and it is in a way a factor in my decision not to have children.

I also want to refute inferences that have been made on the board that having children makes people better (kinder/more tolerant etc). Possibly that's true (although I must say that some of the most unpleasant and selfish people I know are parents), but having children does mean that you have less time and resources to devote to good causes. I volunteer for three charities, and all of the women - we have only a few men involved - have entirely given up their volunteer work after having children, and only return after their children have left home, basically because they don't have the time. And while I'm sure that many parents develop understanding, patience, tolerance and compassion while being parents, I can honestly say that spending extended periods of time in developing countries have developed these qualities in us.

I don't know for certain whether or not we will regret our decision not to have children when we are older. I think there probably are a huge number of things that I will regret not doing. For example, I have travelled a great deal in developing countries in Asia and South America, and I am quite certain that had I not travelled at all, I would regret it deeply when I am older. We each have only one short life, and it is a matter of trade-offs. Having children can close off a lot of options.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 6:28AM
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We each have only one short life, and it is a matter of trade-offs. Having children can close off a lot of options.

That sums up for me basically why my husband and I don't want to have kids. I posted in this thread 4 years ago, and we still haven't changed our minds. If anything, we're more firmly entrenched in our choice to not have kids. We have so many things we want to do -- travel, start our own businesses, and just have the free time to do what we want to do, that having kids is just not part of our plans. I watch so many other people my age having kids, and putting their own dreams aside because raising children takes up so much time and money, and I just know that it's not for me. They may not regret having made those sacrifices, but I know I would.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 7:22PM
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Wow, I remember reading this post 6 years ago! My DH and I married last year (2nd marriages for both) and neither of us had kids from our first marriages. We sort of sat on the fence about kids when we were dating, but now we're sure we've made the right decision to not have any.

From what I've observed, and this is not true in all cases, is that many of the people we know who have kids just don't appear to be very happy. They're tired, irritable, overworked, broke, have no sex life, and are stressed out more than not. One or both partners always seems to be resentful of the other and the husband usually takes rank in the family somewhere next to the dog.

I don't know how many families I see at restaurants where the mother and father don't say a single word to each other through their meal. And I think, "What exactly am I missing out on here?" Doesn't seem to be very much to me.

I do love kids, but just don't think that having them is all what it's cracked up to be. I've never known someone who has proactively chosen to NOT have kids regret their choice; however, almost every parent I've known has had moments of regret at some point for whatever reason.

Again, this is not true for all cases, but it seems to be a more prominent trend.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 1:17PM
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The longevity of this post really speaks to the number of people that have made the decision not to have children or those that at least do not consider it to be an obligation to society.

My wife and I decided not to have children well before we were married over 20 years ago, and we've never regretted the decision. In fact, we've found that our personal decision has made our lives richer and more fulfilling and has afforded us the opportunity to do a lot of the things our friends with children can't do, either because of the costs involved or the difficulty getting time away from the kids.

With this in mind, we recently launched a website called No Children by Choice that focuses on living a life of quality and enjoying the finer things in life. We're not an anti-child site - that's a personal decision and we don't consider it a right or wrong choice. Instead, we're looking to offer information on our experiences with food and dining, travel, etc. and to build an interactive community for child-free couples to meet.

If this sounds interesting to you, you can visit the website at

Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 11:47AM
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I don't understand, "it's selfish", how is it selfish? And how can you be sorry if it is a decision both of you made. If you have children that's no guaranty they will be there for you when you age. Personally I think when a couple make this decision, they are making a wise decision. I wish I had been that smart.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 8:45PM
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I never wanted kids and have had the good sense to make an informed choice on the subject. When I was married to my first husband I had an abortion because neither of us was gung-ho about being a parent. Now that I'm married to my second husband, I am so glad I made that choice. No one that I know who has kids has much joy from it and it seems like they had kids without thought. Thank God I understood that it's an option

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 11:31PM
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Soooooo happy I found this post. I just got off the phone with my mother after a heated argument about my long-standing decision not to have children. Actually, it was just a repeat of the same argument we've been having for *years*. I'm confident in my decision, but I often feel like I'm the only 31-year-old woman in my area code who does not want children. I know there are others out there, but they are completely absent from my current sphere of influence. It gives me such peace to hear that many of my opinions/positions/frustrations/etc on the matter are shared by other reasonable, conscientious, and (seemingly :)) well-adjusted people.

For me, the CBC decision sprang from deeply rooted environmental concerns. That angle never works with anyone I know, so I usually defend myself by employing the standard "we're not thinking about that right now", "we might adopt at some point in the future" and/or "we don't think we'd make good parents" non-committal-type responses. This post has armed me with so many great arguing points, I'm tempted to call my mother back. She, too, loves the "childless people are selfish" argument. I always counter with the notion that, if all childless people possess that character flaw, perhaps their reluctance to bear offspring serves a greater societal purpose. Selfish people would most likely be crappy parents. I don't feel as though I'm selfish, nor do I think my friends and family regard me as such. I imagine if I *had* to raise a child I would be at best, an average parent. If Mom's postulate is true, and I am innately selfish, I thinks it comes from the belief that I would be a far more creative, useful person without children in my life-- as would most people, if they were really honest with themselves.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 11:23PM
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I am currently researching childlessness - voluntary and involuntary - and would be ecstatic if you would consider completing my 5 minute online survey

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 12:08PM
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Filled out your survey. Not Australian but don't think much you're asking about would be different in the States (save for having to change insurance plans to one that would cover my vasectomy).

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 10:18AM
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Does anyone else have the issue of being around others who talk about their kids constantly (IE in my spin class and other exercise classes) and it makes a person like myself feel left out? How do you handle these situations? Also, anyone have any suggestions how I can make some women friends who don't have kids? Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 7:00AM
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My friends are all starting to have kids now, and yeah, it does get pretty boring to hear about the kids all the time. I usually let it go on for a while, and then find a way to steer the conversation to something else (i.e. Hey have you heard about/seen whatever?)

As far as finding child-free friends, try checking out; there's various child-free groups on there that meet regularly...

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 1:35PM
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