Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › How to decide if you want kids
- This topic has 86 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 2 months ago by FannyBrice.
I lean more towards not having kids, but I’m on the fence. I envision a life without kids more than a life with them. But then I think about the things it would be fun to do with kids, and wonder if I’d be missing out. But I’ve never had that biological urge to have them, and while I do find certain kids cute, overall I don’t gush over friends’ kids and babies.PortiaParticipant
“Even if the parent has a good game face, something crucial will always be missing from the relationship and the child will always sense it.”
When I was growing up, my oldest friend and her sister had a very tumultuous relationship with their mom and I never quite understood it. At one point I heard that she told the younger sister she’d never wanted her, so I thought part of it was having too many kids. I found out recently that their mom didn’t want kids at all but the dad did. She had quit her job and become a stay at home mom, too, which sounds like a terrible way to approach the situation. Both daughters seriously rebelled, and I’m not talking a little bit – one ended up getting in trouble with the law and finished high school in an alternative way. There isn’t a clear line between a parent who didn’t want to be a parent and this behavior, but it’s hard for me to see no relationship.
In the last maybe 5 or so years, it’s seemed like their relationships have improved and it looks to me like they relate better as adults, but it was painful to see all that growing up.ktfranParticipant
@k – I mentioned this earlier, but I always thought I’d have kids. Just in the last four years or so, I decided children are something I no longer wanted. But I do enjoy children. So…
I have fun with my nieces and now new nephew! My older niece came and stayed with me for a few days when she turned 10. We’ll do the same with the younger niece. The nephew lives in my same City so I fully intend to have him come and stay the night with us occasionally. I also took the older niece to her first concert. We take them to plays and musicals, etc. The fiance and I decided that when each of them graduate high school, we’re going to take them on a trip to nearly anywhere of their choosing.
Basically, I get to have fun with children I love (and I know it’s not the same as having my own, but I LOVE these children) without all the parenting stuff. For me, it’s a win!KGuest
I’m an only child so I have no biologically related nieces and nephews. My boyfriend has some nephews and a niece and we see them occasionally but don’t really spend time with them without their parents around. But that could happen more in the future. My aunts and uncles were a big part of my childhood and still are very present in my life, and I think having caring and fun aunts and uncles is such a great thing for a child! Also, you can talk to them about things that you can’t talk to your parents about 😉RedRoverRedRoverGuest
My mom has told me she never wanted kids. But in her day and age, it was just an expectation. And I can’t imagine a better mother than her. She did a great job, under extremely tough circumstances (my dad is a mess). Five kids plus my dad plus she was the main (and often only) breadwinner. I think people used to just accept it as a fact and deal with it. There was a lot less worry about “what if I regret it” or “what do I want my life to be” or that kind of stuff. You just dealt with whatever came your way. And since BC wasn’t common yet, kids were often one of the things that came your way, whether you wanted them or not.KateGuest
And of course back then it was totally socially acceptable to kick your kids out of the house and tell them to be back for dinner. There wasn’t this expectation that you’d entertain them, or drive them to a dozen activities.VathenaGuest
@Kate – I think the fear of having the police called on you definitely contributes to that phenomenon. It’s like, okay, CPS might come and take our kids away if we tell them to just go play in the neighborhood, so now we’re stuck with them all the time! There was a well-publicized case in the DC area recently where two siblings, 10 and 6, were picked up and held by the police TWICE, while walking home from a public park.
It does feel like society is more insular generally. Family units keep to themselves, and having kids can be that much more isolating. Witness the way that friendships change when people have children. And communities are more transient; not everyone stays in the same place and makes connections over a lifetime anymore. I’ve had to be a lot more proactive and intentional in building/keeping up social connections since having a kid, because I CAN’T just do things spur-of-the-moment right now. And I think it’s hard to find the energy to be that proactive all the time.Northern StarGuest
I don’t have any advice to give about this subject. But I know that when I start thinking and obsessing, I can take a good thing and rationalize it to death. Don’t try to play devil’s advocate until you’ve tangled yourself up in logic knots and don’t know WHAT you think anymore.
I think if you were likely to NOT regret having children (or at least trying a few fertility options), you wouldn’t have made the deliberate decisions that you’ve already made so far.CopaParticipant
“The fiance and I decided that when each of them graduate high school, we’re going to take them on a trip to nearly anywhere of their choosing.”
…can I be your niece!? 😛 That’s amazing, though.RedRoverRedRoverGuest
@Kate, yep, that’s true too. There’s a LOT more pressure on parents now. Although I’ve noticed in my area, kids are out alone. I see what looks like 8-year-olds walking home from school, or waiting for the city bus on their own. So at least it hasn’t reached the pitch of craziness here that it has in some other places. My kids are getting one activity each. If they want more they can have them when they’re old enough to get there themselves. We’re lucky too, in that we bought a house right beside a pool and skating rink. That’ll help, lol._s_Participant
It was my mom – who loves her existing grandchildren and would also love more – who told me that the worst thing you could do is to purposefully have a child you know you do not want.
@fannybrice your mom is a smart lady.
The “not having kids is selfish” bingo is the one that’s most perplexing to me. So having a kid because you want to perpetuate your DNA and have someone to take care of you when you’re older ISN’T “selfish,” but choosing not to bring an unwanted child into the world IS “selfish?” Believe me, choosing to become a parent is just as “selfish” as choosing to remain childfree is. Both the parent and the CF person are making the decision that will make THEM the happiest.KateGuest
The whole “not having kids = selfish” thing is so outlandish, it’s not even on my radar. I’ve never heard anyone say it in real life except this creep at work who made several gross comments to me, one of which was that I had an obligation to have kids, because too many stupid people have them, and I’m smart.