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LINK To have or not to have, children

Here’s a subject that always ruffles feathers. I have one daughter who I love and care for. However, she was an oops baby (my brother and dad’s fault – long story). She was taken from my life for a long period and my next partner and I decided to not have any children (she was alcoholic and it ran in the family and she did not want to take a chance of passing on this disease on another and I never had the procreating bug) and we joined this group. Lots and lots of stories and we became aware of how family and society push people, overtly and covertly to have kids. Also, a study was made and it was found having kids actually worsened relationships.
[parenting.blogs.nytimes.com]

JackPedigo 9 Feb 4
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11 comments

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1

Like most everything else in my life - filled with all the stuff I did not want or want to do - in order.

  1. Act like a girl. Power tools would have been better instead of Barbie dolls
  2. Church - quit by the time I was 12 or 13. In my life now it really is a NO CAN DO thing.
  3. Sex, and figuring out how not to get pregnant when sex ed class is no help at all. Without religious dogma one is much freer to be a normal human being. I always honored me and no meant no, it has to be a mutual thing.
  4. Never really wanted children and the biological clock never started ticking. There was a lot of push on the "So, when are you going to settle down and have kids?" By the time I was 41 it was "Get a clue, ain't gonna happen". I saw the societal pressure to reproduce. It was always easy to know what I did not want, it was the finding what I did want that has proved the challenge.

Did you ever get your power tools? We have a woman here in her early forties and the biological clock's alarm is going off. She broke up with a great guy because he didn't want to have kids. She went online and actually found a guy who was like her and they got married. Funny thing is they are both really concerned about the environment. No luck with them yet.
I remember years ago reading that world wide something like 3 times as many women get sterilized as men. That made me mad but then I realized I too was guilty so I went out and got a vasectomy (by a Dr.Wonderly). No big deal. What in the hell is the matter with us men???

1

I have two children by my first husband and they were both planned. I think part of that was because it was just what people did after they got married. My first marriage was only six years and when I remarried I wanted to have another child with the man I was so in love with. He had two children by his first marriage and was wise enough to say we have enough on our plate now. Hindsight tells me, if you want children be very careful who you have them with..

My daughter was from my first wife (of 7 years). I was able to escape that mess but my daughter was not. My wife married the guy she was having an affair with and they had a child right away and my daughter was the unwanted one. Later, she told me she lived the Cinderella life waiting for the frog prince.

1

I had mine, both ‘accidents’, but not unwanted. That was 81 and 82. They’re here, and I love them.
Both have chosen not to have children, and I’m fine with it. It’s their choice and with climate change: I’m glad enough not to see more kids left to deal with it.
If I were to make the decision now, I would not have children.

Thank you for your candor. It's funny but when women are educated they have fewer children. During the depression the US was one of the few countries in the world where the fertility rate actually went down. I think kids that wish not to have children really need support. Too often it's just the opposite.

2

I was once told, by a friend's father, that since I was an intelligent, educated woman, that I had a moral obligation to have children.
At that time I was in my 20s, and I had no interest in becoming a parent.
Roughly, a decade later, I was trying to have children.
It didn't happen. Turns out, I never could all along.

Now, I'm glad things happened the way they did, or didn't, depending on your perspective.
I have nieces and nephews. That is more than enough.

I think it's wrong to try to guilt, or otherwise coerce, people into having children,
for ANY reason.
There are already too many people on this rock.
Far too many idiots, who have NO business even being near children, are
procreating as it is.

My aunt, who was like a 2nd mother didn't want to have kids and she took lots of precautions. She liked to party, was beautiful and was sent to work in Europe (Paris and Heidelberg). She married very late but then discovered she could not have kids (I was her kid).

When I was in ZPG (zero population growth) there was a couple that were well off and she wanted a big family. After she learned about overpopulation she stopped with 2 sons. She got an award for having given a class to school aged kids an average of 1 a day for a year. She would ask other women about the overpopulation issue and they would agree we need to reduce their having children but they would also say that minorities are having more kids so they felt the need to procreate less the minorities become the majority. Yes, that is racist but fertility is often used as a weapon. To counter the high Jewish immigration rate I have heard the Palestinians have lots of kids. This keeps them from being a minority.

@JackPedigo People are idiots. Humans should just stop procreating for a couple of years. There are enough of us.

@KKGator That would be nice but sometimes when people have nothing having a child gives them something, so they think. I support a group known as EngenderHealth [engenderhealth.org]. It is a family planning group that works mainly in developing countries (surgical contraception's). They also have an education program called MAP men as partners. In a lot of places men strive to have as many kids as possible to show their virility. The education program tells them what kind of men are they when their children are starving and they are spreading STD's.

@JackPedigo Good of you to be involved in that.

@KKGator They and FFRF are in my will. My partner designated Planned Parenthood and the Humanist in hers.

1

I have a son from a previous marriage, and a 9 year old from my current marriage. I love them both very much. They are very precious to me. I can't imagine my life without them in it. We spend gobs of time together. When my oldest was little, we hiked every peak in NH and ME including Mt Washington and Katahdin. I'm planning to do the same with my youngest son when he's ready. We do a lot of other stuff together such as bike riding, swimming, exploring, traveling. They're good kids.

Sometimes thing do work out. I think my parents were glad they had 7 kids. However, the stress killed my dad at 67 and my mom also died at 67 due to not taking care of herself. I don't regret having my daughter but if I had it to do over again I wouldn't.

2

I never had a desire to be a dad, and have never regretted that decision. Folks should have children because they really want that experience.

It should be a choice but often mistakes are made. When that happened to me it made me resolve to take more control and I never had another. Unfortunately, nature instills 2 strong instincts in life: survival and procreation. This is how evolution works.

@JackPedigo Maybe folks like me pop up when there are too many people. I never ever entertained the idea of being a parent. I am sure there are a lot more people like me, but they gave into the pressure from society, family or a spouse to have children they didn't want. I lost a wife because I wouldn't change my mind over that issue. She knew before we married how I felt, and said she felt the same way. I have also paid for or helped pay for two abortions.

@Sticks48 My late wife had had 2 abortions and then got pregnant with a 3rd child. She had it and then got sterilized. I asked her about having 2 and she said that it was the man's job to take care of family planning. That was not her but I didn't push it. At one conversation on this site I realized the reason was marital rape. They were Iranian and that is common (and he was a jerk).

2

I'm so mixed on this for several reasons. One, I believe that the majority of people choosing not to have children are the ones intelligent enough to raise them properly. We desperately need intelligent people to have more children, not fewer.

Second, I was in the "I don't want kids, will never have kids" boat up until the day I had a kid. I would never dream of forcing people to have them, but I do feel like there are at least some people, like me, who would feel that way up until the child is born. I couldn't go back, it's such an awesome clusterfuck of randomness, happiness, tears, joy and pain. I don't think I could go back to not having it.

At the same time, I do miss the freedom of not having kids sometimes. So I can see both sides. It is a massive commitment.

I am not a kid person at all. But when my daughter was born things changed. I did most of the work as the mother never really bonded with her. i didn't mind changing diapers or feeding or dealing with accidents (she once fell out of her high chair and bit her tongue. Blood everywhere and I had to rush her to the hospital. She still bears the scar. I guess I got lucky (but not her) as my wife had an affair, divorced me and took our daughter across the globe and I didn't see her for years. When I did it was just for visits. We have a great relationship now but she tells me she wishes she would have known some things (which she didn't get from her mother because her mother wasn't there for he) and she wouldn't have made so many mistakes.

0

For me personally kids have totally enriched my life. My kids are amazing adults now. One of my kids doesn't want to have kids. She has never wanted kids. She is the most amazing auntie, she dotes on her niece and nephew, but loves to send them home as well. I don't think kids changed my relationship with my ex, but it did extend the relationship. I'd have left him long before except for the kids.

I know that happens a lot. A recent episode of "Adam Spoils Everything" (on Netflix) mentioned how being in a bad relationship is often more harmful for the kids then separating.

3

In the 44 years of my relationship, I have not once regretted not having children...one argument I heard a lot was that you needed someone to care for you when you got older...this is not a reality...many kids have their own families and no financial way to care for you...who is going to quit their job in their prime? It is not a good reason to have kids...

Don't let outside pressure affect you...I think both people in the relationship must want to have kids above anything else: jobs, relationship, etc. They will be in your life forever...I watch as my friends are now consumed with grandchildren and great grandchildren...I am not knocking it...they love it...but they acknowledge it is their lives...and it is not a lifestyle I want...

I have also heard the insurance statement. There is a couple that gave o quarter of a million $ to FFRF. He was a former priest and they were both teachers. They didn't have kids and the money they saved has been going for charity. I know another couple here on Lopez that lived on a small island in the Strait of Georgia. They were also teachers and saved enough money to buy a nice home here and do lots of traveling. People don't realize how much it costs to raise children and to have that is an insurance policy for their old age is not only crazy it also comes with absolutely no guarantees.
Thank you for your comments. My late partner had 3 kids but she also said, even though she loved them she would not do it again. Sometimes knowledge comes too late for some.

2

I was once married, have a son, a daughter, 4 grands and 5 great-grands and we are a loving, caring family. Knowing what I now know about myself, if I could do it over, I would not marry and I would not have children. Your mileage may vary of course.

What do they say about hindsight? It's 20/20.

2

I never wanted any....they seemed like they would just interfere with my career and my goals...and they were a time/money/energy suck for everyone I knew that had them.

I'm 52 and have never regretted my choice.

7.6 Billion humans on a dying planet.....if you bring another human onto the planet, you are, in all honestly, responsible not only for any pain/suffering they experience....but also for their carbon footprint.

It just seems like extreme selfishness and vanity to breed more humans.

see my comment to mzbehavin. Thank You. I usually get a lot of criticism on this. Your comments were just a couple of stories I heard when I was a member of CbC. Our thinking is too often so much a product of peer pressure and propaganda. People like me don't question things but then something comes along and starts a snow ball effect. One open door leads to a room full of doors to be opened.

Forgive me in advance, this is a pet peeve of mine.

Obviously it is your choice not to have children. You need no further reason and no justification at all. I think it's great we have that choice.

However, the planet is not dying. Nothing we've done or are doing to this planet is killing it or even hurting it in any meaningful way. The only thing we're doing is making it less hospitable for us to live on. The planet is going to be fine.

Nor is this planet even remotely overpopulated. It's not selfish to reproduce if you have the means to care for your offspring. We produce enough food to feed billions more people than currently exist with our current food supply, and we could easily produce more. There is more arable land, more ways to use existing land for agriculture and ever-increasing efficiency thanks to things like GMOs.

The problem isn't the ability to make food. It's the ability to transport it.

The "first-world" is the best place that has ever existed to create children. We can care for them, feed them and educate them better than any generation ever.

Don't have kids if you don't want to, but please do not use falsehoods to justify it.

@Xuande ok Trumpster....climate change is false, the bees and butterflies aren’t going extinct, there isn’t a mass exctinction happening—-in fact there are plenty of black rhinos and white rhinos—- the oceans are clean and bright and all the reefs are healthy, there aren’t clean water shortages from California to South America to Africa, poverty has been eliminated, and no one starved to death yesterday. Right?

No. False.

Unless you’re a Delusional ass.

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