Not wanting children... How did you know for sure

(261 Posts)
Labyrinthian Wed 14-Sep-16 06:33:29

Background - mid 30s. Together 15 years. Lots of nieces and nephews, friends with children. Play a team sport where we regularly mind/ watch/ chat to all ages of children.

For years we put aside idea of kids - when we get married, when we move country, when we buy a house then we will think about it. But...

Reality is I've never ever been broody. No interest at all. I enquire about my friends kids, appear v interested, but honestly I don't have a real interest in having my own. (I should say kids seem to love me, even babies, unknown why, but even stroppy teenagers like me).

He is worse than me, really no interest at all. Has a huge moan every time one of our friends gets pregnant and always assumesits an accident! Basically mindset of 17 year old (oh and he's great, I'm just being honest about this side of him).

So as far as I see it we are not good candidates for parenthood, but society says otherwise. So does my family.

I feel like we are at decision age. I don't like the risk that either of us would be bitter if we had kids, and I don't mind ignoring the mainstream view of society...

But has anyone felt they really missed put and regret it later in life? Or was anyone like us but then has a surprise pregnancy that changed everything?

I will be inheriting a business and property and feel guilty that I am being given this, but would not have a family to pass it to (as I know how my parents would like me to have kids)

Labyrinthian Wed 14-Sep-16 06:38:51

Oh god, swing that written down screams no kids!

But someone tell me about your experience after making the decision not to have any???

OccasionalNachos Wed 14-Sep-16 06:49:15

Watching with interest, as I am in a similar situation barring a business for any potential children to inherit!

If you have no interest then don't have them!

ConvincingLiar Wed 14-Sep-16 06:57:03

The world is full. Babies and children are hard work. They would likely cause your relationship to suffer. I wouldn't have one because you felt you ought to. Although your own children are more interesting than other people's.

phillipp Wed 14-Sep-16 07:06:12

I have 2 kids but can't answer your question.

I have a couple of friends who chose not to have kids. They liked their lifestyles too much. Their reasoning was that they would much rather take the chance that one day they will regret not having kids, rather than take the chance that they regretted having them.

They generally felt it wasn't fair to risk bringing a baby into the world if there was a chance they would regret it and then resent it. They felt it unfair on the child and was setting themselves up for horrendous relationship with the child.

I can see their point.

madcapcat Wed 14-Sep-16 07:10:54

I (now 48) am childless by choice. Been with dh 26 year, love other people's children and have lots of dnieces nephews and now great nieces and nephew. Never been broody particularly and don't regret our choice. Dh was anti because didn't want to pass on health problem (no evidence that there's a genetic element) but would have agreed if I wanted children. I would rather be with him than have children with someone else. And we've had two of our nieces for a minimum of one night a week every week since eldest was 2weeks old. She's 21 now and her sister is 11. I'm still really relieved when the 11year old is asleep finally and I can have peace. For me, it's like dishwashers (or perhaps I should say sports car given the expense...) I can see them in shop windows or other people's homes and admire them quite genuinely, without any desire to have one of my own. Doesn't mean I don't occasionally wonder what any progeny of ours would be like, (shortsighted, big nosed and intellectually patronising I fear....) but those are only fleeting thoughts and no more prevalent than wondering what would have happened if I'd made different choices at other cross roads in life. Different first job? Married first man who proposed? Different degree?

Skiver123 Wed 14-Sep-16 07:12:53

I'm like this. My DP has bipolar and I have an anxiety disorder and ADHD so we can just about cope with life ourselves. We are also in our 30's. I also love my freedom and we have an excellent life together. I've never really been that broody but just assumed I would have kids as everyone does. But now I think why should I? I think it would be too stressful and I'm also an introvert so love my own space. So I think once the novelty wore off I'd regret them and I don't want to do that.

RawPrawn Wed 14-Sep-16 07:15:02

You don't want children. So don't have them. It really is that simple. Other people, in laws, society - none of that matters.

I recommend you start noticing all the people who don't have kids. There are lots of us about, quietly having a great time...

ncayley115 Wed 14-Sep-16 07:18:38

I don't really like other people's children! But I thought about what life would be like without a child and decided I wanted one. We now have a gorgeous little boy of 20 months who is very very hard work bit utterly worth it. Having said that we are not having another one! We only wanted one anyway. If you are not sure and do isn't interested then don't do it. You may well end up on your own with a baby which is exhausting!

AmandaK11 Wed 14-Sep-16 07:22:43

Honestly, what do you even care what society says? Will that same society look after you child when it's born?

user1471552005 Wed 14-Sep-16 07:28:12

I spent most of my adult life not wanting children, I had a great time.

Suddenly I found myself in a new relationship at the age of 38 and motherhood became an overwhelming desire.

I'm not saying that will happen to you- but all things are possible.

skiver123- you talk of the "novelty wearing off" with kids.
It doesn't work like that.

Being a parent is challenging, frustrating, can be banal, a physical, emotional and financial drain.

But- they can be transformative, show us parts of ourselves that we never knew existed, bring out the best ( and worst ) of us, but above all else most parents adore their children and would lay down their life for them.

Children are not like a "novelty that wears" off like a christmas puppy or a new ipad. They are part of us.

Mari50 Wed 14-Sep-16 07:37:14

I got to 35 before I decided I really wanted a child. Up until that point I had no interest in having a child and no maternal instinct at all. Not entirely sure what happened and why I suddenly decided I wanted a child but I did and it was a revelation. Absolutely adore my DD and I'm so glad she's in my life. However something did click with me and I wanted a child I didn't have one because of external pressures or expectations. If your both happy and have no inclination then stay as you are, it's a very valid choice to be child free.
My only addition to this would be that men can have babies(technically) whenever they want and can afford to be indecisive.

user1471552005 Wed 14-Sep-16 07:43:56

My only addition to this would be that men can have babies(technically) whenever they want and can afford to be indecisive.

I have to agree with this.
Men have the luxury of being able to wait as long as they like.

My ex ( who also didn't want children at) has just become a first time father at the age of 54.
That's not a choice a woman has.

EmpressKnowsWhereHerTowelIs Wed 14-Sep-16 07:47:31

OP, you might find this thread on why MNers chose not to have children helpful.

AFAIC, I know I'm strongest and happiest single & childfree.

habibihabibi Wed 14-Sep-16 07:48:11

I was very much like you OP but my DH was broody .I knew he'd be a good father as was very interested in babies and other peoples children.
Even though I have two lovely children , I can honesty say I wouldn't have bothered if my DH had been like yours.
I'd have been perfectly happy with pets.

VioletBam Wed 14-Sep-16 07:49:05

You don't need a family to pass on your business one day OP...you can either leave it all to charity or to a good friend.x

I'm almost 51, married for nearly 30 years and child free by choice. I've never wanted kids, not really interested in other people's either

I guess it would have been ok if we'd had an accidental pregnancy, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out!

If you don't want them, you don't want them, none of anyone else's business

andadietcoke Wed 14-Sep-16 07:56:16

I didn't want children. Neither did he. Then one day I changed my mind. I can't remember what did it. I ended up leaving because I didn't want to pressure him if it was something he didn't want to do. Not ultimatums, nothing, I just went, I didn't feel like it was fair for me to renege on a decision we'd made together. In the months that followed he changed his mind too. He spent time with his friends that had had kids and were pregnant and realised that our social lives would have changed too, even if we didn't have kids. Eventually I came home and we decided to try. I had a miscarriage, and then fell pregnant with twins. The very first thought I had was that this was more than he'd signed up for. Pregnant, in the back of my mind I'd always thought that if he didn't take well to it then me and the child would just do our own thing. That's less of an option with newborn twins.

There have been times when I've wondered what we've done, but they were normally in the middle of the night with stereo screaming. They've just turned three and I don't regret a thing.

brasty Wed 14-Sep-16 08:02:07

I remember someone on MN saying don't have a child unless you really really want one. I think that was wise advice. It is life changing, and not something to do on a whim.
You don't want one, so don't have a child.

Labyrinthian Wed 14-Sep-16 08:19:54

This has been so helpful in getting my thoughts together. And that link was fantastic, thank you.

This helps me realise that not only is it a valid choice, it can be a positive one. I've wondered about how to hide it\ not address it but this helps me feel that not having children can be just as positive a decision as the decision to have them. That there is no need for me to feel guilty or apologise for how we feel. Let's just hope this feeling lasts with me during the next bout of family pressure.

I had thought about freezing eggs, just in case we change our minds later and its too late for me, but not him. I guess it would be an insurance policy I I suddenly woke up broody and couldn't roll back the years.

Thank you all so much for your insights

PeachBellini123 Wed 14-Sep-16 08:27:11

Just re: men having kids whenever they want. Lots of new studies are showing that mens fertility falls after 40 - and the chances of having a baby with downs syndrome might increase with a man's age just like with a woman's.

I honestly think you should have a baby because you both really want one not in you're unsure.

Trills Wed 14-Sep-16 08:30:35

I really hope that in 20 years time the next generation will not think that you have to be sure to choose not have a child, but that you have to be close to sure to choose to have one.

MistyMeena Wed 14-Sep-16 08:40:20

I'm a teacher and do genuinely like kids and they like me. I also have my own.

Children are generally on their best behaviour when talking to other adults, you usually get the best of them! With your own you get the sleepless nights, the tantrums, the teenage angst, the school worries. They often go through long phases of not liking you, however much of a cool, lovely parent you think you aregrin. Often you get the worst side of them. Of course you love them whatever and there are some great bits but it's hard, hard work.

If you don't want them, don't have them. If only more people were sensible enough to think it through properly like you are, the world would be a better place I'm sure.

Barefootcontessa84 Wed 14-Sep-16 08:50:46

OP just on the point you raised in your last post - freezing eggs is an option, but the success rate if/when you decide to use them is surprisingly low - please bear that in mind if it's just a way for you to put the decision off a little longer.

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