Kyo

Childfree - A Discussion

70 posts in this topic

It can be upsetting though as many people say so condescendingly, and imply that your choice is somehow wrong or naive. Correct, people may change their minds, but pointing it out or implying it doesn't change that, so why say it? It's disrespectful. I don't feel everyone who does say that does so out of malice, however, ignorance is not an excuse. You can't just forgive everything because it was well intentioned.

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Yes I do have Mitral Valve Prolapse which is really just a fancy way of saying I have a faulty heart valve. It sticks open occasionally and allows the blood to backflow. But knowing that and thinking of pregnancy concerns me. Thankfully the FH agrees with me not to have kids

 

I have it too. Also my mother does, though I'm not sure if she had it when she had me and my brother. I also don't actually remember if it's something you're born with anyway or whether it can just happen randomly later in life. Er, I guess that's not much help.

 

 

Anyway on the topic, I do intend to have kids, most likely. I don't actually know what else I would do with my life otherwise, I'm not particularly interested in traveling and whatevs, nor do I intend to have some all-consuming career. And I think I'd be an okay parent. As is my usual gauge for things: there's plenty of less capable people than me doing it, so surely I can too.

 

As far as people not doing so, I really don't care whether others do or don't, it's not my business. I've never heard the term "childfree" before though. It seems weird to me to have a special term for it, but then again I can quite imagine how people must simply assume everyone will have kids eventually, and so a special term is facilitated by the perception that it's not a "normal" or mainstream choice. If anything the world is becoming overpopulated so I don't know why it is thought to be so rare and unusual for people to forgo adding to that issue.

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1) I'm glad most of you understand that tubal ligation is invasive and more dramatic, it restores my faith a tiny bit.

 

2) It is not appropriate to come into this space and use your perception of the matter to silence feelings of frustration. The society normative (and perhaps, indeed, a majority of the population) is to have children. We know that side of it. We know the reality of changing minds, how people may find it more relevant in life than previously expected. There is no need to bring that here, and no amount of "you need to hear this" or "don't take it personally" makes it any more appropriate.

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Well... for me I guess I'm okay with having children. I'm not very strongly swinging either way, but I guess I probably would in the end, because life can only get so drab without something new to spend your time over. And if I've a family and children I find it more motivating to work, so I can earn cash to support them and all. And it'll be nice to have someone think you're great. XD And I do hate babies, but as my mother says when I broached the topic with her, "they grow up. You've grown up now. Are you very noisy and irritating? You tell me."

 

My parents think of having children as a duty (maybe the Asianness is coming through here). The whole idea of your parents raising you, so you have to do your duty and raise a life in return, and teach them to be useful to society and all. I do want to add a good person to this world, and I hope I can do that through my child.

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This is something I think about rather often. I guess I have pretty strong views on things that are or aren't good for children, mentally/emotionally, and the way my parents raised me had a lot to do with that. Things like "when/if I have a child, this is something I will explain to them in this certain way" cross my mind a lot. I'm not saying that my parents did a bad job at all - basically the opposite. Parenting is really, really tricky and taxing, but I think I can safely take a page or several from my parents' book, if I have a child. 

 

And I have a pretty deep desire to do so. I think motherhood is really... I don't know, I likely glorify the concept because I don't truly know what it's like at all, but the bond between a mother and child seems like one of the most beautiful and meaningful things in the world to me, if the mother makes it so, and I have a lot of love and.. ideals? I want to try to pass on. I hear what everyone's saying about overpopulation/adoption, and if it turns out I can't have children (because my mother had a lot of fertility issues, I was a "miracle baby", and the only living one she had), I wouldn't be against adopting a child in need. But I do have a desire to sort of continue my family line. Sure, I've got cousins that can do that too, but I think mine and my parents' genes could make a smart little cookie - that and I'm the only one of my cousins left with the surname Clark, since my dad had only sisters. On that note, while I do want to have a child someday, I don't really have any desire to get married. That's another topic altogether, I know, but most people lump the two together and I don't really think of it that way. If I do get married, though, I'd seriously consider keeping my surname, because yes, I do want to make another little Clark for the world to behold~ 

 

All that said, I'm still very young. Maybe I'll come to learn that I'm thinking of this the wrong way somehow. I know parenthood is essentially giving up your life so that you can prepare someone else for theirs, in every way, and I have no idea when I'll be really, really ready to do that, because I've barely done any living myself yet. My parents had me when they were very young. While I don't think they regret it now, I know my mom missed out on a lot because she had to take care of me. At the same time I thought it was kinda great having young parents. So, I don't know. I wouldn't want to have kids at 35 just as much as I don't want to have them right now. 

 

But I understand not wanting to have them at all. I personally think it's sad when people say they wouldn't make good parents, purely because the people I've heard say that are good people, but it's their life, and good person â‰  good parent (not always, that is). Having a child is a HUUUGE decision and responsibility and it's not like procreating a person's sole purpose, or the only way they can make an impact on the world/leave a legacy. If someone changes their mind about it later on, they change their mind about it. Someone saying to them "oh, you'll change your mind" isn't going to change their mind, or make them very thankful you said so. It's a little pointless and insensitive imo. 

[/novel] >__> 

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I would argue that good person does not equal to good parent all that much at all. You can't raise a child on good intentions alone. I don't think people are bad, as a whole. I like to think that most people are good when it boils down to it. However I have seen first hand many kind and decent people who are terrible parents. No disrespect to these people, because parenting is really hard. I've seen kind and well intentioned people end up with the shittiest children. For example kind and generous people will often spoil their child. Those with financial wealth make spoiling the kid all the easier. Arguably this is a case of passing on good values, however some people are soft hearted. I know fine well that if my dad were super rich he'd give me everything I ever wanted. But what good would that have been to me as a child? I'm actually pretty lucky my family aren't rich in the case...

 

finances aside, kids can push you to places you've never seen yourself in before. Kids can make grown men and women throw tantrums, pull out their hair with frustration and often to tears. Being good is not enough, you have to be incredibly strong willed as well. You also need patience and perseverence. And to have those things you have to want that kid. If you don't then there always be a part of you that hates all the stress and resents the child for it, to some degree or another. 

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Very true, Kyo. I was saying the same thing, maybe you thought my does-not-equal sign was an equal sign? : P Either way, we agree. 

 

 

I've seen kind and well intentioned people end up with the shittiest children. For example kind and generous people will often spoil their child. Those with financial wealth make spoiling the kid all the easier. Arguably this is a case of passing on good values, however some people are soft hearted. I know fine well that if my dad were super rich he'd give me everything I ever wanted. But what good would that have been to me as a child? I'm actually pretty lucky my family aren't rich in the case... 

 

Definitely this though. When I was a kid I was a little spoiled, because my parents are softies and we had the money at the time, but poverty snuck up on us eventually. I definitely learned a lot about appreciation when our financial situation changed. So this is a valid point for sure. (Not that poverty is good for kids, but yeah, you know that I'm sayin'.) 

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If you're going to talk to someone to a point where you're discussing the fact that you're childfree you take the chance that they might make this comment, you are after all discussing with them your reproductive choices. I mean unless you go up to people "Hello, I'm childfree, how are you?" Then I guess it would be odd for them to throw that at you, but it's just as odd to throw that at them. 

 

I realize it's a stereotype and it's an annoying one, but it's not like it's negative; it just doesn't seem worth getting so upset over. 

 

Picture this:

A beautiful holiday dinner scene, the table filled with food and drink and the people all around in good spirits.

A: Have you seen little Johnny lately? He's getting so big!

B: Yeah, I can't believe he's already three. Time passes so quickly!

A: So, B, when are you having kids?

B: Uh... well, never. I don't intend to.

A: You're still young, B. You'll change your mind.

That's it. That's all it takes. No deep conversation to get there, just a common thread of talk among friends and family. I don't go around going "HEY I'M CHILDFREE!" I don't have to, because when you're CF, it comes to you. Just as Meheres said, it's the normal thing in society to have children, so it's just assumed; with the growing amount of CF people, however, it really shouldn't be. Well-intentioned or not, it's uncomfortable and frustrating.

B: No, I'm pretty dead-set on this. I just don't have the desire to.

A: But why! You have to!

B: No, I don't....

A: [completely ignores] We'll get you knocked up! I need to become [an aunty/uncle, grandma/grandpa, etc.]! -wink-

Rinse, and repeat for the next family gathering.

 

tumblr_lzv2dzoTm51rn95k2o1_250.gif

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We'll get you knocked up! I need to become [an aunty/uncle, grandma/grandpa, etc.]! -wink-

 

 

 

you-dont-say-rage-face-nic-cage-meme.png

*begins plotting their doom*

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It sounds ridiculous but I have personally heard a variation of that one more than once. It's repulsive. :c

 

I mean seriously I just imagine some person coming into my room at night with a turkey baster. :cccc

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Fair enough. I'm not arguing your frustration, it's perfectly valid, but, I personally, when one of my beliefs or opinions is challenged, I don't let it get to me, people will always have different opinions and to take it personally, well for me at least, seems silly. 

 

I mean seriously I just imagine some person coming into my room at night with a turkey baster. :cccc

This needs to go into quotes, I just died laughing. XD

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Very true, Kyo. I was saying the same thing, maybe you thought my does-not-equal sign was an equal sign? : P Either way, we agree. 

 

 

 

Definitely this though. When I was a kid I was a little spoiled, because my parents are softies and we had the money at the time, but poverty snuck up on us eventually. I definitely learned a lot about appreciation when our financial situation changed. So this is a valid point for sure. (Not that poverty is good for kids, but yeah, you know that I'm sayin'.) 

 

It's crazy how we're similar in that regard. As I mentioned in one of my posts, apparently my mother had fertility issues and had two or three miscarriages (things I've only read in my baby book I found in the basement--my dad has mentioned in passing, but I feel too awkward to ask him much more about it). I was the "miracle" baby too, and because of it, I was pampered and spoiled, etc. etc. That all kinda stopped when my mom passed away. I loved my mom, and I still miss her, but I have no idea how I would have turned out, or the relationship I would have had with her, if she was still around.

 

So yeah, parenting isn't easy. It doesn't sound easy. Props to all those parents that can successfully raise a functioning human being. I forgot to mention that the only reason why I would EVER want kids is to also pass on my name (lol Kels and me are so similar). My dad and I are the only few (if the only two) in the US that have our last name... And that's pretty fucking awesome. But it's no reason at all to have a child. At all. But if I do get married, I'm keeping my last name, that's for sure. :P

 

I actually had the "family gathering conversation" scenario outlined above. My dad has never asked me about kids, nor has my step mom... But my step mom's daughter was driving us around a lot when we were out west last week, and they have a child. They were mentioning how their daughter was saying Zien and I need to get married and have a kid so she can have a cousin. We mentioned we didn't want to have kids, and they said they were child-free too... Then shit happens. Haha. Still always an awkward conversation, especially under the circumstances we were in... But... Yeah.

 

I dunno. I don't have a huge family at all, and we all don't really talk much anyway. So I've never really gotten the grilling and the pressure some other people have.

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Fair enough. I'm not arguing your frustration, it's perfectly valid, but, I personally, when one of my beliefs or opinions is challenged, I don't let it get to me, people will always have different opinions and to take it personally, well for me at least, seems silly. 

 

Usually I don't like to let this stuff get to me, but there are a few aspects of my life that tend to come under this same sort of challenge way too often, and it's hard not to get frustrated after a while. :\

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And this is how it would go down in my house, if they tried:

 

burglar.jpg

 

670px-Deal-With-an-Intruder-in-Your-Home

 

signs-baseball-bat-o.gif

 

 

No means no.

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No means yes.

Yes means anal.


Also, I feel bad for CF people who have no siblings and their parents are of the pestering type. Luckily I have an older brother with the niece and nephew so after that some of the pressure was lifted. Just some, though. :[

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Usually I don't like to let this stuff get to me, but there are a few aspects of my life that tend to come under this same sort of challenge way too often, and it's hard not to get frustrated after a while. :\

 I get you, I apologize if I was making it worse/frustrating you. I never meant to offend, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. ^^;

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In terms of broody, religious parents who want grandchildren I am their worst nightmare I guess. I am not getting married. I am not having children. Simple as that. Luckily my parents are pretty cool about it. 

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I'm so sorry about your mom, ack. I can't imagine how that would have affected me/my family. /: It was the same with my mom, though, yeah, about the miscarriages and stuff - though she told me she did have an abortion before I was conceived that she didn't recover very well from, so that may have had something to do with it. But she's also got endometriosis, so... I'm a little worried about inheriting that from her. S: 

 

And I've always thought it was the coolest thing your surname is so rare here. Such a cool name, too.  B)

 

Also, maybe I'm just lucky (actually I'm probably just not quite old enough yet), but my family doesn't pester me about having kids. They pester me about not having them (or rather waiting ten - fifteen years to do so), lmao. Which I assume is because my older cousins had accidental kids at a young age. I guess once I hit 25 or so I'll understand more about what you guys are going through with that. 

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Quickly on the subject of "you'll change your mind" thing, to me it's an unintentionally insensitive way to dismiss the choice that i made. (totally not bashing on you EE) Everyone has their own reasons for being CF whether they plan to change their mind or not but using that phrase is (again to me) like saying that my choice goes against yours and therefore it's nonsense and immature. Just as Sono pointed out, most of the time people don't wait or inquire for more details and just completely dismiss you for their own views. I wouldn't find it so bothersome if even half of the people who asked me for my reasoning behind my choice but absolutely no one (aside from my parents who needs no explanation) does.

WARNING ANNA TALKS A LOT ABOUT SOME PERSONAL THINGS

I've always wanted kids, but looking at my father I've also always had this nagging feeling that I'd turn out to be a shitty dad as well. Especially when everyone tells me I remind them of him. Either way it's still a ways off before that'll happen so I have plenty of time to make up my mind.

This is pretty much the basis behind my choice. My parents were definitely not even ready for me (first born) let alone my two brothers and one of my sisters. They were pretty horrible and it honestly really ruined our lives. Luckily Abigail was young enough to recover/forget and my mom learned from her mistakes to take better care of my other two sisters (just babbies).

Things are better between us kids (mostly all adults now anyways) and our parents but because of this I've always been paranoid of becoming a horrible parent myself and even if I wasn't, just the thought of upsetting my kid in the least would put me in a spiraling depression because of all of what I've been through. And on the subject of depression, my mother has a long history of depression including the postpartum kind and bipolar disorder all of which are pretty threatening to a possible future me who already deals with severe depression.

So though really I would ideally like to have a couple of kids and be a cool mom I don't have any desire to and don't plan to any time soon and I'm sure if people knew that information about me they wouldn't be throwing that phrase at me so casually. But even if I decided not to have kids just cuz i dont want any it's my choice that should be respected and not just dismissed so easily.

I really have more to this subject but I'll be ranting for dpays, so that's it.

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Childfree - "I've decided to make not wanting this thing a core part of my identity because there's absolutely no way that I could change as a person as I no doubt already have hundreds of times already like every single human being in recorded history has and will continue to do for the foreseeable future."

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Childfree - "I've decided to make not wanting this thing a core part of my identity because there's absolutely no way that I could change as a person as I no doubt already have hundreds of times already like every single human being in recorded history has and will continue to do for the foreseeable future."

 

Can't speak for anyone else but this goes a long way from being something that defines me. This is a decision people make, because people make decisions, y'know. The only time it becomes an issue is when people imply that this decision is wrong or misguided, for whatever reason. But ultimately that's down to respecting people's beliefs and I guess that's a whole other issue altogether. 

 

While I think childfree communities may come across as creating a label for themselves, this is ultimately no different than communities that collect pokemon cards, or parent communities that sit and talk about how awesome being a parent is all day. The reality of this factor is that outside of an agreed community or discussion about the topic, I don't really mention this decision of mine, nor have I noticed many others. A perfect example being I did not realise so many people on this forum were Childfree until this discussion came about. However like I say, I don't tell people this unless it is somehow instigated by the conversation. 

 

Meanwhile parents, especially new parents, will talk about their children excessively and will make less than subtle attempts to steer the conversation into talking about their children some more. Ultimately nobody cares about your damn kid half as much as you do. All the same I understand this, because a baby becomes such a huge part of your life. By not having one this is actually such a small part of my life, and not one worth mentioning on a day to day basis. That said it's an interesting topic (hey, 3 pages in less than 24 hours) and I figured it would be fun to talk about. 

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This is a decision people make, because people make decisions, y'know. The only time it becomes an issue is when people imply that this decision is wrong or misguided, for whatever reason.

 

What I'm saying here is that it doesn't matter. It's wrong to say that the decision is wrong, yes - but it's wrong because it's irrational to say that someone will definitely change their mind about something in the future, because you're essentially saying that you can see into the future, to which the only reasonable response is a pronounced rolling of the eyes.

 

In the same vein, saying that "I'll never have kids, ever" gets the same reaction from me, for the same reason.

 

While I think childfree communities may come across as creating a label for themselves, this is ultimately no different than communities that collect pokemon cards, or parent communities that sit and talk about how awesome being a parent is all day.

 

It's fundamentally different from both of those things, because those examples are groups of people who are joined together via their mutual interest in a thing, which is how a community works. It's virtually impossible to form a community out of the absence of a thing.

 

 

Meanwhile parents, especially new parents, will talk about their children excessively and will make less than subtle attempts to steer the conversation into talking about their children some more. 

 

What's happening here is that you're annoyed at specific people and you're turning it into a thing about all people who share a certain quality. It's unreasonable to say that all new parents constantly talk about their children, because the implication is that you've spoken to literally every new parent on the planet.

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It's virtually impossible to form a community out of the absence of a thing.

 

Atheism, baby.

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1) Atheism is a philosophical standpoint that posits a set of ideas. This is different from the idea of not having children, in which the defining characteristic of the idea is a lack of children.

 

2) Anyone who'd go out of their way to identify themselves as part of the "atheist community" is probably also sporting a neckbeard and a fedora and writing up a Men's Rights Activism pamphlet to pass out at their local Shop That Sells Little Statues Of Dragons out of their trenchcoats as we speak.

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