Kyo

Childfree - A Discussion

70 posts in this topic

Holy crap this topic stirred up quite some discussion. I've not gone and read it all, but I figure that I place my two cents in this thing too.

 

Lately around me there has been an avalance of babies (hehe funny mental image), my brother had one two years ago, a my cousins and nieces are having them, even the (divorced and now rehooked) mother of a friend of mine decided to have another after 15 years. And I must say that I'm starting to see the charm of having a little one.

 

I haven't got any girl in my life at this moment, but I think that somewhere in the future (assuming I ever get a girl) there will be babies for me. There is just this kind of attraction to having a little one reflect all your quirky habits and stuff. And to have a complete focus-point in your life, filled with love and gentleness. But that said, I think the decision to have babies is a giant one, they will consume your life for the next 16 years at least and anyone deciding on having them should be prepared, mentally, physically and financially.

 

Val raised an interesting point though, when he said that he would love an adopted child as much as his own. I'm not sure I could do that, I don't know if it's my ego or whatever, but raising a child that's not my own is not something I think I can do. I've seen some single mothers around there looking for a guy in their life that will both love them and their child(ren), but the idea of dating such a woman is just strange to me. I'm not saying I couldn't love the child, but as I said, a child is the center point of a person's life, and when a woman I date loves a child from an earlier relationship, it's just... weird to me.

 

That said I'm sure that if I truly adopt a child, which is new to both me and my girl, I would love it very much. But even so, I'd rather have a child or two from my own making before adopting.

 

...I don't know, I guess it's still far away from me, not having had any decent long-lived relationship so far. But yeah, these are my two cents, for whatever they are worth.

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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.

I'm not saying I won't change my mind. I don't think I will, the way I feel at the moment. Considering how I feel about it, I'd say it's safe for me to minimise the risk of it happening at this time. Especially since there is always adoption. This topic is interesting mostly because people are becoming more vocal about it, for good or for bad. 

 

 

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.

 

And yet there is a fairly large Childfree community. The community is not absent of the things that bring them together. People share their furstrations about the people who make them feel that their decision is wrong or misguided. They share their frustrations at people who do talk incessantly about their children (yes, you're right, not all parents) and the pressures they receive from family members. They discuss the social pressures to have children which do still exist. For example I would be hard pushed to find a doctor who would give me a vasectomy at this age. At least without paying for private surgery. There are also other issues that childfree people discuss, such as how allowances are made for parents, they receive benefits, they get priority on certain waiting lists. God forbid a childfree person go on vacation during summer break or some other school holiday, because parents are given priority in a lot of work places during those times. I'm not saying I agree with those statements, I understand why parents need allowances at times, but that is how some people feel, not everybody. 

 

 

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.

 

You are right and I apologise and I retract that inference. However a lot of parents talk about their kids quite a lot. Especially when they are young children. This is because the younger the kids are the more attention they require, the more of your day they take up. It's only natural to talk about what's going on in your life, and when your life is overrun with children, then what else is there to talk about? 

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And yet there is a fairly large Childfree community. The community is not absent of the things that bring them together. People share their furstrations about the people who make them feel that their decision is wrong or misguided. They share their frustrations at people who do talk incessantly about their children (yes, you're right, not all parents) and the pressures they receive from family members. They discuss the social pressures to have children which do still exist. For example I would be hard pushed to find a doctor who would give me a vasectomy at this age. At least without paying for private surgery. There are also other issues that childfree people discuss, such as how allowances are made for parents, they receive benefits, they get priority on certain waiting lists. God forbid a childfree person go on vacation during summer break or some other school holiday, because parents are given priority in a lot of work places during those times. I'm not saying I agree with those statements, I understand why parents need allowances at times, but that is how some people feel, not everybody. 

 

This is a list of grievances that I have difficulty feeling any empathy towards.

 

People make you feel like your decision is wrong? Maybe you should stop insisting at twenty-something that you've made a life-changing decision and that there's absolutely no way you'll ever change your mind, no sir. When you start acting like an adult (which includes acknowledging that you are not an oracle of the future), people are probably more inclined to treat you like one. I know you said that it's just the way you feel now, which is reasonable, but there are lots of other people - including in this thread - who've made much more definitive claims.

 

People keep talking about their kids? Have you tried speaking to those people about it instead of whining behind their backs?

 

Family members keep pressuring you to have kids? See the first point.

 

Doctor won't give you a vasectomy at twenty-something? See the first point.

 

Parents get preference for things over other people? Wow, it's like society acknowledges that parents are maybe responsible for more lives than their own, or something. "Sorry, Ms. Johnson, but you can't go on vacation to spend some time with your kids because we really need to give that vacation time to Bobby Smith so he can marathon some anime or something". Oh, woe is me!

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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.

 

I don't know. I've been on Facebook once or twice....

 

 

And Bleck, instead of debating things for two seconds, what side of the fence are you on?

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I don't think Bleck's taking sides in the matter. He's just arguing the illogic of certain thoughts, and I'm sure that if he took a side right now he'd be going against his own argument, cuz what he's saying is that we shouldn't be declaring our choices so firmly, right now.

 

Or something. Sorry if I misunderstood.

 

I agree somewhat with Bleck's points, however Bleck, do understand that you're getting sarcastic on this matter, and while you mayn't acknowledge what other people consider as strong beliefs, it's not very nice to show it so plainly.

 

Also it's weird that I see Freya's involved in this conversation. XD

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Like I said I don't necessarily agree with people who think parents shouldn't be given priority at times. I was just highlighting that like a lot fo viewpoints there are lot's of opinions in the mix. I get that you don't empathize with the points, which is fine, because nobody is asking you to. I was merely pointing out that there are common issues that people within that community discuss.

 

As for talking to those people about the issues. Easier said than done in some cases. Those points were examples on my end. I have supportive parents, I don't need to have words with them, they get it, they don't care, which is the reaction I would prefer from most people. The thing is on the odd occasion I do mention that I do not want to have children I don't get "oh, okay." I get the third degree. I am treated with condescension. I appreciate that I'm still young and yeah I'm probably going to change my view on a lot of stuff in the years to come. But somebody telling me "oh you will change your mind" is no better than saying I 100% won't. Ultimately nobody can predict the answer to that one. Which is why it'd be nice if people just accepted the decision I have made in the present, and not what one I will or will not make in the future. This shouldn't be a big deal, and yet, whenever it is brought up in my life, it is rarely skimmed over without it turning into a god damn debate about how I should be having children. Sure not everybody is like that but my experience tells me that a lot of people are. 

 

As for convincing a doctor who won't operate on you to operate on you. That's just not happening. A Doctor is well within his/her right to refuse surgery on such grounds. Despite what people may think, a vasectomy is not easily reversible, or rather it is but there is no guarantee that you will continue to produce sperm like you used to, if at all. So I understand and respect a doctor's decision to refuse me, despite it being age discrimination. Even if I am certain, I guess there's a chance I will change my mind some day and try to sue the doctor or something, I dunno. 

 

Also you assume this is all just whining behind people's backs? Let me be clear, I almost always speak my mind with people (If I'm at work/representing a company/business/whatever then I'll hold my tongue more often than not) and I don't beat around the bush when I disagree with people or their remarks. I am fortunate that my family are pretty okay with it. However my girlfriend is not quite so lucky. And people like that are just difficult to a degree where you will be hard pushed to get through to them. 

 

Anyway you've provided interesting food for thought all the same. Perhaps a lot of what this is, is people getting frustrations off their chest about how they are treated. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, is it? 

 

EDIT: In regards to HH's comment I'd just like to point out that I'm not overly bothered or upset by any comments being made. I actually enjoy that Bleck seems to challenge my opinion more often than not. Keeps things interesting and allows me to re-evaluate my stand point and make amends where I have perhaps spoken out of turn or made sweeping statements. When you're in a discussion like this it's probably not a good idea to imply tone or infer characteristics more than you can help. 

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I don't know. I've been on Facebook once or twice....

 

I don't think this is a fair example. In facebook the point is to talk about your life and your interests. If you dislike what a person's life involves you can simply stop following their feed(you can do this without unfriending them for the record), by reading it you are making a conscious decision to be a part of that "conversation."

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I don't think this is a fair example. In facebook the point is to talk about your life and your interests. If you dislike what a person's life involves you can simply stop following their feed(you can do this without unfriending them for the record), by reading it you are making a conscious decision to be a part of that "conversation."

I think ack's remark might not have been completely, totally, 100% serious. I might be wrong though. 

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By the way, my lecturer in class was complaining of a similar problem. XD She has a son, and basically 1 of her Facebook friends happens to be a devout father and does all sorts of awesome things for his child. And whenever she reads his Facebook statuses she feels extremely ashamed as a mother, and so she pretty much blocked his feed just to retain her self-esteem and sanity. XDD

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50/50. A lot of my friends are having babies right now. So 90% of their posts are either pictures or statuses of their kids. I realize that's not fair to say at all, because the shit I talk about is 100% stupid and a waste of everybody's time, but there's just something about babies... Man. I dunno. And I don't want to hide them because if they actually say something NOT baby related. I haven't tried to hide anybody in awhile, but the last time I did, the filter for hiding updates from somebody is either "keep it all" or "only show life changing events like I JUST GOT ENGAGED" etc.

 

I'm not going to hide and say that that doesn't make me an asshole, but I do feel like it is a sort of validation to the claim that a lot of parents talk about their kids a lot.

 

And yes yes yes, we all talk about things we're invested in and love and yadda yadda, so I don't really know how to defend this viewpoint at all, so I'll just take my asshole ticket now. Danke.

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My reason for not wanting children is a little complicated. Part of me just doesn't want children because I just don't want the responsibility (selfish I guess?). The other part - the bigger part - is because I'm considered a high risk pregnancy because of my medical condition and the medication I take. Not only that but I would just stress and worry that I'd pass my horrible genes onto my kid and I don't want to do that.

 

So then the awkward part is explaining this to people who ask without making people feel bad for asking. This got way harder to do once I got married since people assume marriage means having kids. I usually just tell people we might adopt, or just make jokes about how my dog is my baby (seriously, she kind of is though). That seems to get people to back off a little. I've been fortunate enough to not encounter the "you'll change your mind someday" speech. I feel like the people that would say that kind of thing are just wanting to validate their own choice to have children.

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What you don't get from the "you'll change your mind EVENTUALLY" I get atleast like, twice a week.

 

I don't want kids. I thought I wanted kids, and have had pangs in my head where I've said, "yeah, ok, having a kid would be cool" but those pangs shrivel up and die the minute the actual responsibility of caring for a child comes into play. Simply put, I have zero patience for children. None. I don't even have the patience to LOOK at a child for more than 10 minutes. They're irritating. They're gross. They say stupid things. They are stupid. I'm stupid too, I can't teach for shit so what business do I have attempting to impart knowledge onto someone 10x stupider than me? 

 

And I'm selfish. I don't want to spend money on a kid who's going to get sick often, outgrow their things, break their toys, who constantly needs and wants MORE all the time. It's taxing enough coming from a big family that has little resources to spare.. I can't even stomach the thought of repeating the cycle of endless poverty and grief by bringing a child into my life. 

Besides that, I have no maternal instincts whatsoever. The only thing I've felt any LEGIT motherly love toward is ducks. I want a swarm of ducks. Can I PLEASE have ducks instead of children? 

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My reason for not wanting children is a little complicated. Part of me just doesn't want children because I just don't want the responsibility (selfish I guess?). The other part - the bigger part - is because I'm considered a high risk pregnancy because of my medical condition and the medication I take. Not only that but I would just stress and worry that I'd pass my horrible genes onto my kid and I don't want to do that.

 

So then the awkward part is explaining this to people who ask without making people feel bad for asking. This got way harder to do once I got married since people assume marriage means having kids. I usually just tell people we might adopt, or just make jokes about how my dog is my baby (seriously, she kind of is though). That seems to get people to back off a little. I've been fortunate enough to not encounter the "you'll change your mind someday" speech. I feel like the people that would say that kind of thing are just wanting to validate their own choice to have children.

 

Honestly. It's super insensitive to ask that kind of stuff to people who maybe want children but aren't in any position to have them for various reasons. I hear of a lot of CF people who lie about being medically unable to have kids just to get people off their backs about it. Sucks that they even have to resort to that just to stop the invasive pestering, though.

 

Speaking of insensitive, my stepsister really wants children but she's religious and waiting until marriage. Thing is she's nearing 40 and this doesn't seem to be happening any time soon. You'd think people would understand, but no, even my stepmom always makes passive-aggressive comments about her being a spinster and people still repeatedly ask when she's gonna have kids (my other stepsister has three). Back off, wow. :c She's a great person who leads youth groups, volunteers, and leaves lasting, positive imprints on lots of kids, yet apparently she's not good enough to her family because she doesn't have one or two of her own? :\

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What you don't get from the "you'll change your mind EVENTUALLY" I get atleast like, twice a week.

 

 

Mom used to give me that sometimes before I explained to her my reasons and then she has seemed to back off. Usually when people ask, I follow it up with "I'm considered a high risk pregnancy and have concerns about having a child. We might adopt someday though." People usually change the subject after a semi-awkward "Oh that's nice, there are a lot of kids that need homes in the world". 

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This topic is old, but I realised I never actually posted in it.

 

The idea of giving birth terrifies me, but I still want children one day.

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I wasn't aware there was a word for the decision not to have kids. But I have plans to have two children maximum when I find the woman I love and trust enough to do so with. Call me old fashioned, Brutal has a bloodline to carry on.

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For those wanting children - How come?

 I love family, I love life. I guess it's psychological the desire to be a mother, to care for young, to love and nurture. I can't see living my entire life without eventually having children. The idea of being an old woman and living with only my significant other is unappealing, I want children and grand babies to visit, to spend holidays with, to spoil rotten. It's just part of the life experience to me, just like falling in love.

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Yeah, that whole arguement of people who sagely say "You'll change your mind!" really piss me off, as if they know better.  Or as I like to sarcastically think to myself in response, "You just have regrets and it bothers you that I haven't taken the plunge yet!"  Kind of mean-spirited, but I'm an asshole sometimes when it comes to people who think they know better than me what I'll want out of life.  In all honesty though, I'm not ignorant enough to say that I WON'T ever change my mind.  But for the moment I look at it this way.  I'm 30, I still haven't gotten up off my ass and gone to school.  I work two retail jobs to make a living.  I get by just fine for being by myself, and I wouldn't even be critical of what I do if I were to hook back up with someone and live together again, even be married.  But when you factor in starting up a family... I'd rather be responsible and have done more with my life, be just a little more financially secure, so that I can better provide for a family before I make that kind of a plunge.  I grew up being dirt-ass poor and it was rough on us kids.  I look at friends my age who are in about the same financial position as me, and they're having a really hard time and their relationships are strained because of it.  I'm not about to willingly walk that same path until I'm a little better equipped to do so.

 

Besides, as I joked with my brothers.  My older brother had his two kids.  Then they skipped me, and my younger brother who's the next oldest of us all just had a kid with his wife.  So I told our youngest brother that it's his damn turn now, not mine lol.

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