I do not want children!

ldy_solana

Cathlete
don't you love in-laws??!! if its not about having kids then they are telling you HOW to raise your kids!! its like a damn if you do damn if you don't. i don't think even if you wanted to have kids that they would be completely happy with that decision either. what mean ppl! ppl have to do what is right for them, my hats off to anybody who do not pursue the route and those that do.

kassia
 

binky2017

Cathlete
I don't want to have children either. It took quite a bit to get my in-laws to finally understand this concept. My in-laws started pressuring me about this before my DH and I were even married. I'm just glad that my parents support my decision.

I am a music teacher and I see over 450 kids a week. I know, people tell me it's different when they are your own, but come on! Kids will always be rude and disprespectful in some why whether they are yours or not! I know I was a kids once but I just don't see the point. I have four cats and they are as much of a handful as kids. Cleaning the litter boxes daily, feeding them, cleaning up throw-up...etc. I am COMPLETELY on your side. Don't let anyone ever convice you to change your mind. It is a life changing and money sucking event.
 

marnski

Active Member
you are not a bad person! I can tell you that for years I swore I would never have children, even my family thought that I would just make a really cool aunt, but never a mother. Then one day I decided to give it a shot and if I got pregnant it was meant to be. Well, now I have a wonderful almost 2 year old and am thinking of trying for another soon. I will tell you that it is totally a personal decision. For me I'm glad I did it, but I have a girlfriend who says she will never have them and I believe she won't. What people don't understand is that they are not the ones that will have the responsibility of raising the child, that will fall to you. And so if you do not want children, no one should hold that against you.
 

Evie

Cathlete
You are not a bad person because you don't want children. As another poster (or two!) has mentioned, you are displaying good judgement. If you don't think that parenting is for you, then it isn't - period.

I see a lot of posters here have mentioned that you may change your mind over time, and you may. But then again, you may not. I'm almost 48 years old, and I have never wanted children. I have never felt that my clock is ticking away and that I'd better hurry up and have kids while I still have time. I still don't want kids. Even my gynecologist keeps asking me why I haven't had children.

It seems that lots of families put pressure on women to produce children. My sister still tells me that I haven't stepped up and taken on the responsibilities that I should have because I didn't have children. Apparently, she thinks that all women have a responsibility to have children. I find this a bit amusing, since I was with her when she delivered her second child - her exact words to myself and my mother were, "I only had this kid because my husband wanted one." They have since divorced (surprise!) and she's working on her fourth marriage. But - she accepted her responsiblity, I guess.

It's not for me, and if it's not for you, don't worry about it. You'll have to develop a thick skin, though, to let all the remarks go by. It's better to just let it go by than to argue about it with your in-laws.

You'll also find that at work, those with children get preference over those who don't. I've experienced this at every place I've ever worked. Apparently, those of us who choose not to have children are automatically assumed to have no other life, since children are apparently the only thing that matters. It's discriminatory, but it happens - people don't even realize they are doing it. When days off are scheduled, those with kids almost always get preference over those who don't have kids. Parents are expected to stay at home when their kids need them, and those who don't have kids don't really have any special reason to need time off.
 

netsnotes16

Cathlete
No,it doesn't make you a horrible person at all, for not wanting children. We are women first, mothers second. We grow into womanhood. So keep being the same sweet person that you are.
 

LaughingWater

Cathlete
...her exact words to myself and my mother were, "I only had this kid because my husband wanted one."
Ugh. I just shudder when I hear stuff like that.

To those who haven't experienced being the full time, primary caretaker of a child, it's really quite hard to explain how difficult the job is. Though judging from the comments here, I suspect many of you can guess well enough.

To say it's exhausting emotionally, mentally, and physically is way too much of an understatement.

One woman said it's like pulling your heart out of your chest and letting it run around, completely unprotected, and taking whatever hits come its way. That really only addresses 1/3 of the job though ~ the emotional aspect ~ so again...it's impossible to describe parenting and its demands.

So all that said, I feel a twinge of pain when I hear or read comments that equate having a child to...oh...buying a car. "He wanted one so I had it." You ultimately want the best and hope these are simply careless words said at a time when the mother or father is exhausted or at their wit's end, but you can't help but wonder if it betrays a true lack of respect for life in general.

(This post is what happens when one's children are sick and sleeping late, leaving one to philosophize about stuff and making one prone to typing long, boring observations on message boards. :p Had today been our usual day, my reply would have been shortened to, "Dude, I hate when I hear people talk like that." )
 

dragonf1y

Cathlete
I agree with everyone else. Your in-laws do not have a say in whether or not you and your husband have children. I think being pressured into having children that you do not want / are not ready for would make you a worse person than stating what is right for you and your husband.

Another perspective I have heard on in-laws though: most in-laws are interested in blaming all decisions that they do not agree with on that "other" person their precious darling married. They may be bugging you, not because your the woman, but because their sweet, wonderful son would never dissappoint them so much. It may be worth getting your husband involved to tell HIS parents that if they have problems with your decision to take it up with him instead of hassling you.
 

TeTe

Cathlete
I am past my child-bearing years (post 50 really DOES have its advantages), and DH and I told family and friends for years that we didn't want kids (only after being asked, pressured, and told we'd live to regret it). Oh, my GOD! The sheer disbelief, the attempts at making us feel guilty, the nodding-of-heads with the self-satisfied smirk of "oh, you'll change your mind" were enough to make us break all ties with some of them. Well, after almost 20 years of marriage, there are no kids and absolutely no regrets! Hey, I don't dislike kids---I was a nanny AND I am the favorite "aunt" of a few of my friends' kids--I just didn't want them as a permanent fixture, nor did I want the responsibility. Horrible person? Hell to the no.

Go with your gut...you may change your mind, but there's a good chance you won't. Either way, do what YOU and your husband want to do; those but-inskers will leave you alone around the time you hit menopause.
 
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Connie07

Cathlete
I'm 48, been married 23 yrs, no kids and no regrets! My mother is very supportive of my choice, M-I-L mentioned grandchildren only a couple of times (she's very nosey and I let her know right up front I would not tolerate interference in our personal lives) My biggest gripe is women who assume that because I don't have children I sit on my ass all day with nothing to do! I have full time job, live on a farm with chores that have to be done when my public job has ended for the day, I take care of ALL the yard work.....drive tractors on weekends, build-mend fences, etc. I know parenting is a full time job in itself, but don't assume those of us without kids have endless time on our hands (not saying anyone on here assumes that) Choosing not to have childern does not make one selfish or lazy for that matter.
 

LaughingWater

Cathlete
My biggest gripe is women who assume that because I don't have children I sit on my ass all day with nothing to do!
:D !!!!!!!! Oddly enough, I have the same problem. There are a couple of people in my family who think since I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, I watch TV all day. :rolleyes: (I have very un-Buddhist thoughts about those people sometimes.)
 

FourAM

Cathlete
Thanks so much for all the support...I really needed it.
There are so many aspects to this story it could be on Jerry Springer.
Really I used to get along with my in-laws very well.
My FIL was always very private and in turn really respected our privacy. My MIL was always the one to pressure and say little quips about children.
Everything changed 2 Dec. ago when my sister, who is really mentally incapable of raising herself, had a child. She unexpectedly had to move in with us for a little while and DH and I were basically taking care of our nephew.
This was a total shock to our entire life and turned everything upside down. We work together ,so I had to take off work to stay home with my sister and the baby to make sure everything was OK...
Anyhow to try to make a long story shorter, both of the in-laws and the babies paternal grandparents started pressuring us to adopt my nephew...I told you it gets weird.
There was pressure coming from everyone, and then on my side of the family, some of my family members were accusing us of trying to steal the baby. So we had to step out of the situation completly just to keep sane and try to get some normalcy back in our lives.
But now this can of worms that has just been slightly ajar before now is wide open and spilling out all over the place.
I am sorry this is so long but I just need to get it out and since I live in a small town it is so hard to talk about it without everyone already having a preconcieved notion about it.
Rachel
 

LaughingWater

Cathlete
Wow. You and your DH are good people for helping your sister out the way you did. Your nephew is lucky to have you in his life.

I hope the situation improves. Whatever happens, don't feel bad about setting personal boundaries and saying, "Enough."
 

Shelshula

Cathlete
There is nothing wrong with not wanting children.

Do your in-laws have other kids they can pester? If so tell them to hang their hopes on them and leave you alone.

If not, tell them badgering you is not going to make you change your mind. It will only make you more adament. You might want to suggest that if they leave you alone, you might gradually come to the decision they want on your own. Then again you might not. But your much more likely to change your mind if no one is harrassing you. Even if you "know" you will never change your mind, the future is a strange thing. So it isn't really giving them false hope. It is just pointing out the truth, that people need to make decisions on their own without the interference from their in-laws, and leaving you alone is more likely to get the results then nagging you. Even if more likely is only changing the odds from zero to a million to one.
 
I grew up in a family where religion dictated that you have as many children as God saw fit to give you. Most people in the community were of the same faith, so there were many families with lots of children. My mother had more children than she could handle, and my father worked part-time jobs because of the financial burden. Although we were never made to feel that we were unwanted, I think my parent's lives, and my sibling's, would have been vastly different if there had been fewer of us.

I no longer practice that religion and strongly feel that my reproductive rights belong to me and my husband.

I like to imagine a world where all children are planned for and wanted. I think that absolutely means not having them if you don't want them.

For years, my MIL blamed me and resented me for not producing grandchildren. Somewhere in the last five years, she finally seemed to forget about it.

Stick to your guns and do what's right for you.
 

JeanneMarie

Cathlete
My opinion, for what it's worth... :)

It is really not about whether you want children or not. It's about having toxic people in your life. You are in charge of how those people affect you. You are letting them rent space in your brain and it's affecting your life. Only YOU can change that.

I am sorry it has been so difficult for you. I understand. It's tough when it's family. The best thing you can do is quit letting them dictate how you feel. Your reactions to what they say and do are what has taken charge of your life. Change your reactions and change how you let them affect you, and you will be so much happier.

Good luck!
 

ladysaraii

Cathlete
My opinion, for what it's worth... :)

It is really not about whether you want children or not. It's about having toxic people in your life. You are in charge of how those people affect you. You are letting them rent space in your brain and it's affecting your life. Only YOU can change that.

I think that is very profound and something I need to remember as well.
 

Gayle

Cathlete
My opinion, for what it's worth... :)

It is really not about whether you want children or not. It's about having toxic people in your life. You are in charge of how those people affect you. You are letting them rent space in your brain and it's affecting your life. Only YOU can change that.

I am sorry it has been so difficult for you. I understand. It's tough when it's family. The best thing you can do is quit letting them dictate how you feel. Your reactions to what they say and do are what has taken charge of your life. Change your reactions and change how you let them affect you, and you will be so much happier.

Good luck!

Great post, JeanneMarie!

Rachel - I wish you and DH the best of luck with this situation. It's apparently very complicated. Feel free to vent away... :)
 

peytonsmommy

Cathlete
i don't think even if you wanted to have kids that they would be completely happy with that decision either
I think that is right on. We have one child who will be 4 in June. We are D-O-N-E. The input (that I didn't even ask for btw) I have gotten on having an only child is just mind blowing. Everyone from the IL's to friends, to neighbors to freaking people we don't know at the supermarket. Why people feel the need to but into the reproductive systems of other people is beyond me.
 

LaughingWater

Cathlete
Everyone from the IL's to friends, to neighbors to freaking people we don't know at the supermarket.
Isn't that amazing? I don't get why complete strangers feel the need to a) ask personal questions, b) pass judgment and then c) push unwanted advice. Bad enough our family and friends do it, but random people off the street?!

I used to catch it about homeschooling, though that has stopped (most likely because they can see my 13 y/o has managed to turn out pretty normal). Now family and friends judge me quietly. :p
 

Timber99

Cathlete
I give you a lot of credit for making that decision! Having children is a big responsibility and one that you must be ready to undertake. If it is not something that you want, you should not have them! I have a lot of respect for people that make that decision.

Your in-laws have no say. If they want children in the family, they can have more.
 

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