AIBU to never want kids??

(225 Posts)
Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 14:47:43

So I don't want to have children and I am incessantly judged and patronised for it. It doesn't help that my reasons are unusual.

The following are my reasons for never wanting kids-

-I have severe tokophobia (pathological fear of childbirth). I cannot even contemplate the idea of a vaginal birth.
-I love my career and have high ambitions. Becoming a SAHM or a housewife would be a slow death for me. Also, I don’t like the idea of being economically dependent and answerable for how much I spend and why. It’s important for me to have my own money.
-I’ve seen children take couples further and further apart. I’ve always kind of perceived them as a threat to a strong relationship because of the challenges they bring.
-I have always had body confidence issues. Due to my PCOS, I have always battled with maintaining my weight and I already have things like stretch marks and acne scars. The thought of having a major acne breakout during pregnancy (I’ve heard that pregnancy can make acne worse) makes me literally want to cry. As does the idea of putting on weight which won’t come off.
-The idea of developing issues like melasma and severe morning sickness really terrifies me.
-I just HATE hospitals and invasive medical procedures. I’m an extremely private person and the idea of being poked, prodded and being so vulnerable is just awful to me.
-Due to my PCOS, there’s a chance that I might need hormone therapy and/or IVF and that too makes me sick to the stomach for the same reasons mentioned above.

Vaginal birth, weight gain, the changes in the body, and the possibility of having to give up job just make me hate the idea of ever having children.

In my culture, EVERY man wants kids. I know at the back of my head that I will have to have them whether I want them or not and this does tend to disturb me immensely.

So what do I do??? AIBU to not want to have kids??

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 15:10:18

GirlOutnumbered- did you choose to have c sections? I didn't know we could do that...

NatashaBee Fri 08-Feb-13 15:10:25

YANBU - you have perfectly valid reasons, and it's not mandatory!

racingheart Fri 08-Feb-13 15:10:31

Of course YANBU. It would be far more unreasonable to have them if you didn't want them.

But I'm curious - why on earth post on Mumsnet, of all places, if you have no interest in having kids?

It may be typical of men to want kids in your culture, but there must be some out there who don't.

But, it may be worth allaying your fears about some things. I too am intensely, obsessively physically private and really loathed the intrusion of medical checks during pregnancy. But memories of them fade. They are not important.
Our relationship has been absolutely cemented by DC. DH and I are generally compatible and would have chugged along together happily but we are closer, have more common views and passions now than we did before DC.

In place of our very sociable life style we have a very busy, vivid and extremely fun family life. It can happen. Not saying at all that you shoudl want it, just to reassure you, if it happens, you may well find you deal brilliantly with it.

namchan Fri 08-Feb-13 15:10:35

I have never heard anyone judge a woman for not wanting children.

Yanbu at all for the reasons you've listed. It's really not compulsory smile no matter what culture you're from.

Kids are a massive change and a giant pain in the ass - far too many people have them and do it badly.

Ariel24 Fri 08-Feb-13 15:12:59

Judged do you mind me asking, do you think it's your phobia that makes you not want children? FWIW I was granted a c/s on the NHS.

amyboo Fri 08-Feb-13 15:13:29

You don't want kids. You don't have to justify it to us or to yourself. It's your decision. Neither of my two elder siblings (who are both in happy long-term relationships) want to have kids. I have kids. It's a personal choice. But, in the long run I figure it's better that they're honest with themselves and don't have kids than end up living a life that they never really wanted to live in the first place. That's just going to make their lives, and and childrens' lives, miserable.

On the plus side, both of them/their partners are great aunties/uncles to my kids, and they get to live any maternal/paternal urges out through them. So, everyone's a winner :-)

DizzyZebra Fri 08-Feb-13 15:13:49

YANBU - I have children and cannot stand being a SAHM so i've started working again. I love my kids i just can't be doing with the SAHM thing and the sort of people you end up having to spend time around.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 15:14:54

Racingheart- I posted here on mumsnet because there are mums on here who've been through the things I've described. Perhaps I'm looking for reassurance that it isn't as bad as I think...

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 08-Feb-13 15:17:08

Dizzy- what sort of people would they be???

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 15:17:53

Ariel24- it very well could be. My phobia of a vaginal childbirth is intense and so is my aversion to invasive medical procedures. Add in the fact that I don't want to be a SAHM and my body confidence issues... maybe all these things have convinced me that I don't want kids?

I don't dislike children at all. I quite like them and I think babies are adorable!

EldritchCleavage Fri 08-Feb-13 15:18:50

I would say if you actively don't want children, then you mustn't have them, for your sake and theirs.

I would try really hard not to list reasons if the subject comes up, because it draws people into a (bullying) debate about how bad your reasons are. It really doesn't matter about the reasons, the fact is, you just don't want children.

I know how it is, my father is from a culture where having children is very important. I was trying to explain to him (again) where my best friend was coming from as she's not going to have any. I think he was starting to get it, a bit. He does judge her for it though (as he would a man who said the same) and that's very hard if you're on the receiving end.

Just stick to your guns. Quite apart from anything else you've said, having children is something that can really get you stuck, especially in cultures that don't support women: stuck financially, stuck in a bad marriage, stuck adhering to all kinds of unfortunate traditions.

photographerlady Fri 08-Feb-13 15:20:23

YANBA but why you on a site called MUMSnet

Ariel24 Fri 08-Feb-13 15:21:55

Judged I asked because I used to try and convince myself that I didn't want children because I was so terrified of giving birth. I'm not saying I was the same but when you asked about c/s I wondered if your phobia is the main issue.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 08-Feb-13 15:22:14

Two points-Firstly- you don't have to give up work. Secondly, the other reasons are medical concerns that could be overcome. I think they are different to someone who doesn't want children because of say their lifestyle or no maternal longing.

plummyjam Fri 08-Feb-13 15:23:07

YANBU. But notwithstanding your phobia of childbirth and body image changes etc, do you think you would change your view if you were in a relationship with the right person? I say this as someone who never imagined getting married until I met my husband, and hadn't really given too much thought about having children until I was married.

I wasn't against the idea of either before BTW, all I'm saying is that being in the right relationship made me very much want to do both.

SolomanDaisy Fri 08-Feb-13 15:23:15

It sounds more like you're not sure whether the benefits of having children will outweigh all your perceived negatives. Unfortunately no-one can tell you. Some of your worries are easily dealt with - you can have a c section, plenty of women combine motherhood and a successful career. But that still doesn't mean having children would be the right thing for you.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Fri 08-Feb-13 15:23:33

I think there are probably more men that you think who don't actually want children either - they're probably not saying so because they're under the same pressure you are to reproduce. Are you in the UK?

Maryz Fri 08-Feb-13 15:26:29

photographer, she has as much right to be here as anywhere else. I would have thought this was a good place to talk about it, as she will get a wide variety of opinions.

How old are you op? Because I suspect as you get older you will get less "stick" about it. And also, as you get older you will be more likely to meet men who are divorced, and may either know they never want children, or already have children that you will be happy to have a step-mother-type relationship with.

So really, it's not worth worrying about.

If you do change your mind, you will find that none of your issues are insurmountable.

CunfuddledAlways Fri 08-Feb-13 15:27:55

just a thought if you are set against it for all the reason said above would you consider fostering / adoption??

Viviennemary Fri 08-Feb-13 15:32:28

If you absolutely do not want kids then there is no point whatsoever in having any. I agree with trying to find a partner that wants the same things as you do.

PrivatelyPeaceful Fri 08-Feb-13 15:33:20

Op it strikes me that many of your reasons are fear/ anxiety related. That is not the same as not wanting (you may be too anxious to contemplate having them). Just want to make that distinction, although you give a few reasons to not related to anxiety.
Eg career

As a general rule, I don't think fear is a good basis for making ANY major life choices.

CailinDana Fri 08-Feb-13 15:35:01

You don't have to have a vaginal birth and you certainly don't have to be a SAHM so if those are the main reasons for you not wanting children then they're not really valid. If it's the case that you genuinely can't imagine being a mother and don't want that for yourself then fair enough, there's no law that says you have to have children.

IMO it's very hard to judge whether you genuinely want to have children or not until you meet someone with whom you can see it happening. When it's completely theoretical it's easy to be fairly convinced by abstract thoughts about a potential pregnancy - it's a different kettle of fish when you're in a loving relationship with someone as the desire to start a family with them can override these fears. That said, plenty of couples choose not to have children.

If you meet someone who insists you have children against your will, why would you stay with him? Why would anyone force someone they supposedly love into something so life changing? It is totally possible to meet a man who doesn't want children, you just have to keep looking.

Timetoask Fri 08-Feb-13 15:38:45

Maybe you should get some CBT to work on your fears and anxieties?
As to becoming a SAHM, you dont HAVE to become a SAHM if you dont want to. Regarding couples pulling away when children come, that is true. Children are hard work, you need a strong strong relationship BEFORE having them. You both need to be on the same page.
If you ahve the right man with you, then its the best thing ever to bring up a family together.

YANBU to make whatever choice you want and is right for you, and you should not allow yourself to be coerced into anything.

But some of the issues you highlight are potentially manageable (not necessarily easily), IF you ever wanted to consider the matter further:

-I did not want a vaginal birth either and I had an elective C/S, which was just fine, if rather expensive (went private to be sure of getting it).
-I too love my career, had high ambitions and am now pretty senior in my field. I did not give it up. My DH however has had to significantly change his working life. I am the breadwinner in the family.
-Having a child (even though he has autism, which certainly brings it own stresses) has possibly brought us even closer together in the shared desire to do the best we can for him. I won't say there are not challenges to the relationship, but it depends how you manage them.
-The weight will come off if you decide to manage it properly. Not everyone gets acne or stretch marks (I had neither). Nor melasma or morning sickness.
-You would never "need" IVF, that is a choice you would make if you did decide to have a child and there were certain fertility issues. You could at any point decide not to take it any further.

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