This topic contains 86 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by FannyBrice 8 months, 3 weeks ago.
March 20, 2017 at 4:11 pm #678766
@freckles I think it’s really interesting that you always saw yourself with kids despite not liking them. I’ve left many people aghast when I admit I don’t enjoy spending time with children, but that feeling is why I’ve always thought procreation is something I should pass on. When I have had fleeting moments of thinking about my life if I somehow had kids, I always qualify the thought with, “But I’m sure I’d like MY OWN kids.” I’m not sure if that’s always true, though. So to hear that someone could still picture their life with kids despite generally feeling the same way I do is pretty interesting.
Also, nobody’s really mentioned this, but I also struggle with the idea of bringing a child into a world that seems to get shittier by the day. :-/March 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm #678768
@dinoceros, no, that makes total sense. You should never do something because you’re afraid you’d regret the opposite. I totally agree. Sometimes it’s hard to step away and see that, when I’m busy endlessly weighing pros and cons in my head.
And dealing with worry is a good thing to bring up too. I’m already a worrier, so having a small human or two who I worry about constantly seems like it would be really draining on my mental health.
Or what if I had a child who had some extra challenges in their life, like a disability, or severe medical issues. Some people are better at handling those curveballs that get thrown their way in life, but I don’t know if I’m one of them. I know I would love my child no matter what, but that doesn’t mean I would be able to handle those challenges as well as I should be able to. Or having a child that needs me their entire life, instead of just the first 18-20 years. I think I would struggle extra hard with that. I don’t think I’m cut out for that at all. It’s one of the things that terrifies me about having kids actually. I’m so Type A, and not being able to control some of these outcomes is something I really struggle with.March 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm #678769
@copa, I agree, but the counter argument most people will give you is, “but it’s always seemed that way.” I mean, ok, but really? Because climate change is real. In 50 years, the fact is, a lot of land is going to be underwater. Like, a good portion of Boston and Massachusetts will be, just for example. There will be more and more severe storm events. Drought, famine, not enough clean water, etc. etc. etc. You can actually see it happening now, it’s not “what if” like it was for past generations. Population was more reasonable in the past too, you didn’t have too many people fighting over too few resources. And just… kids graduating now, how many of them are able to find a good job or ever afford a house?March 20, 2017 at 4:23 pm #678770
@freckles… yup, my parents have a kid with challenges that mean he can never live independently. It’s a fear they have to deal with daily, on top of the frustrations of dealing with his issues for 44 years. I know they love him a lot, and there was joy and moments of pride, but goddamn. I can’t even be around him, he drives me so nuts. I told them years ago I could NOT be his trustee when they are gone. Last year my husband stepped up and said he’d do it, because he’s like, “who else is going to?”March 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm #678771
My husband and I did think about what it would be like to bring kids into this world. We worry about it still. But here’s the problem – it’s the people like us who decide not to have kids. It’s the people who don’t think abut that stuff who have tons of kids. My husband and I think there need to be more people like us. People who think social justice is important, not an insult. People who want to make the world a better place for those who have it hardest. If the people like us who realize how bad it could get stop having kids, then what? What will the next generation be like? We see it as kind of doing our part to keep that mindset alive. I do worry what their world would be like. I try to stay hopeful though.March 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm #678772
Eh, the world has always been very shitty, and it’s not getting worse, it’s just getting pushed to the forefront. I actually think DT might be making American great again, because he’s woken us all the fuck up and now civic engagement is higher than it’s been in decades. I truly think this will be the end of the GOP. They’ve lost all credibility and any shred of integrity they ever had.
I feel good about bringing my kids into this shitty world, because I’m making good children. I’m teaching them to be kind, compassionate and empathetic. Maybe one day, they’ll make a difference. Maybe they won’t.
Anyways, freckles…maybe mentoring and helping or even fostering older kids/teens is a way that you can feel better about “isn’t there anymore?” while making a difference.
I still have my friends without kids, and we still hang out! I even have a friend who despises kids, but I haven’t let that come between us.March 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm #678773
@Copa, I think I saw myself with kids because that was the societal norm. I don’t think I ever really thought about choosing not to have children until I was in my mid-20s and it started to become more of a reality. (I’m in my early 30s now, for reference).
And even now, I think I roll it around in my head, testing out different scenarios, trying to figure out how I feel.
There are things that I really look forward to, that I would be sad not to get to experience. For instance I’m a big nostalgic, and I’m the family genealogist. So I picture talking to my kids about our family history. Or telling stories about my grandparents or parents. Or I picture them asking about what life was like when Trump was President and me telling them how crazy and ridiculous and horrible it all was. Or I picture telling them about 9/11 and what that was actually like. Things that they’ll learn in school that I can talk about. Or passing along really old family photos I have, or cool old items that’ve been passed down. (I know there is absolutely zero guarantee that they would be interested in any of this, but if I don’t have kids the possibility is zero, whereas if I do, it’s non-zero.)
I get sad when I think that all of my family history will just end with me. Both my mom and I are only children, so the idea that I won’t have another generation to share stories with makes me sad. It makes me feel like my grandparents will just be forgotten (they’re both gone now), because I won’t be able to pass their memories down.
Silly and nostalgic, I know. But family history is something I am very much into.March 20, 2017 at 4:28 pm #678775
@kate, exactly. I remember your stories about your brother, and I can’t imagine how hard that is on your parents. I just don’t know if I would be able to handle that.March 20, 2017 at 4:29 pm #678776
Also, really good point about bringing more kids like us into the world. If we had kids we would also teach them to be intelligent, kind human being who work for the greater good. And to have empathy with people who are in different life circumstances than you.
Or, we do our best and they still turn out to be assholes :\March 20, 2017 at 4:31 pm #678777
So, the 18 – 20 years… kids aren’t necessarily gone after 18 – 20 years. You might not live in the same house. Or you might not be financially responsible. But most adults I know still depend on their parents a lot. My little sis calls my mom daily. My friend’s mom lived with her for 6 months helping with her newborn. This is the friend I visited over the weekend. Another friend’s mom comes in town whenever her husband goes on a long trip. My aunt helps out a ton with her three grandchildren. Another aunt quit work to nanny her grandchild. Twice now my fiance’s parents helped him with a down payment on a condo then a house with his ex wife. This time, we’re doing it on our own. I moved back with my parents for six weeks when I was in between jobs and moving from the South back to the Midwest.
Of course, some families make a much cleaner break. This just hasn’t been the experience with my family, both immediate and extended and most of my friend’s families.March 20, 2017 at 4:36 pm #678778
There are some people who really know, but I think the majority of us (I say this as a 37 week pregnant lady who will have a child any day) are not so sure. I’m still not sure, although it’s a little late for that.
I think if you’re on the fence then you’d probably be fine either way, because there’s pros and cons to both. People who are like “motherhood is the best thing ever” well maybe they’re right, but there are plenty of good things about having your dog be your furbaby, or traveling to Europe or sleeping in on Sunday, too. But then if you did have one, you’d probably rise to the occasion, too.
Before we started trying, my husband and I talked about it in abstract and we were both of the opinion that if we got pregnant that’d be good but that we probably didn’t want it badly enough to go through fertility treatments or adoption. We got pregnant easily so I don’t know how things would have changed over months of trying, but going in we were both thinking that we had a limit to how badly we wanted to be parents. You’re looking at a much harder road than “insert penis, produce embryo” so it’s ok to feel like you don’t want to go through all that.March 20, 2017 at 4:38 pm #678779
@ktfran, that’s part of what I look forward to, though. Since I’vr had my kids, my mom and I have become so close. I feel like I understand her a lot better. And I hope the same happens between me and my kids when they’re older, whether they have kids of their own or if we just become friends as adults.