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??

MovingOnMaybe Fri 08-Feb-13 14:52:04

YANBU. Probably best you don't have them.

ouryve Fri 08-Feb-13 14:52:43


You do what works for you.

pjmama Fri 08-Feb-13 14:53:38

Of course YANBU - there's no law saying every woman should beat mother. If it's not for you then that's your right to say no. I think to have a child you don't actually want would be a huge mistake. Stick to your guns if its something you feel strongly about.

pjmama Fri 08-Feb-13 14:54:18

Be a mother!!! Not beat mother.

sooperdooper Fri 08-Feb-13 14:54:36

YANBU, you don't need to list reasons, if you don't want kids don't have them, there's no rule to say you have to

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 08-Feb-13 14:55:25

It's up to you. If you feel the negatives outweigh the positives that's absolutely fine. I have children, I love them to death and having them was completely the right decision for me, but not everyone has strong maternal instincts and there's nothing wrong with that.

ubik Fri 08-Feb-13 14:55:34

You are not being the slightest bit unreasonable.

I have friends who have not had children - it's not a problem. They are actually very good company and very nice to my children.

CartedOff Fri 08-Feb-13 14:56:27

"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."

Why do you think this? Because the pressure from your family will be too great? Because you believe that you won't find love without them?

There are people out there who don't want children.

You can choose not to have children if you don't want to, there are contraceptive choices that last for years and years and are extremely reliable.

I think the belief that you have no choice over this is making you very unhappy.

Is marrying out of your culture something you couldn't contemplate?

It sounds like you have done your thinking. However, I was very afraid of childbirth and I had a DD. It took a lot of time and thinking but I did it.

FlorriesDragons Fri 08-Feb-13 14:57:56

You don't have to have children, there is no rule and thinking that it's inevitable when you obviously feel so strongly against the idea is probably making you feel even more out of control and scared. It's your body and your decision. Yes lots of men will want children but some like you, won't. So long as you make your feelings clear from the start of the relationship, you can't do any more.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 08-Feb-13 14:58:20

Oh i don't know - have a biscuit instead. I find it a bit odd that you would come to a parenting website to vent your spleen, but hey. Just keep your legs crossed and use contraception. Its that simple.

WileyRoadRunner Fri 08-Feb-13 14:59:03

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

Tbh if this is truly the case then you need to find a partner outside of your culture.

Nobody has to have children if they don't want to (I am presuming that you are in a modern democratic country)

PippinWoo Fri 08-Feb-13 15:00:42

YANBU - of course you're not. It's completely up to you. There's no point giving us all the reasons you don't want children because no matter what you're reasons are, it's still your choice and I doubt anyone here would tell you otherwise.

What you don't do is mention what on earth has happened that has made you post this now? Who are these people who are judging you and patronising you? Perhaps if you give a bit more detail you could get some advice on how to deal with that.

sleepyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 15:01:15

YANBU. Never have children that you don't want. Not fair on you or the children.

Most of my female friends, fwiw, don't have children. Some through choice, most through circumstance. Most are in their 40s and 50s now so likely will be child free. They have a different life from me in some ways, more money, more free time - not better or worse, just different.

It wouldn't cross my mind to judge someone for having children or not.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 08-Feb-13 15:01:52

Sorry, i didnt read the last paragraph - you don't have to have children if you don't want to. In any culture i think it is about finding a partner who wants the same thing so obviously someone who really doesn't want children would not want to be be with someone who really does, it would never work, so these people don't get together, they find someone who feels the same way and if you are compatible then it will work.

Believeitornot Fri 08-Feb-13 15:03:27

It's not a question of being reasonable or not.

This: ^ I’ve always kind of perceived them as a threat to a strong relationship because of the challenges they bring^ I found sad though. Children as a threat? No, I think they expose weaknesses but they themselves are not a threat.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 08-Feb-13 15:04:43

Of course YANBU! Not everyone does smile

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 15:06:26

I'm posting this now because nobody understands that I have many concerns about having children.

I feel constantly judged and patronised. I keep hearing things like "You'll change your mind", or "Don't be silly, everyone gives birth, why do you want a c section?", or "Children are the best thing ever and you are being selfish to say you wouldn't want to be a SAHM."

I don't have an objection to marrying outside my culture, but I have genuinely not been able to find very many men who don't want children.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 08-Feb-13 15:06:31

You don't want children, then don't have them.

I have a couple of married friends who don't have kids and don't want them. No one really cares. They have their dogs and lots of money instead!

Ariel24 Fri 08-Feb-13 15:07:16

YANBU to not want kids OP, not everyone does. Just wanted to say though, I also have extreme Tokophobia and had my baby girl by c/s. It doesn't have to mean you can't have children. But you sound like you have other reasons too. Nothing unreasonable about that.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 08-Feb-13 15:07:18

And on your last post....
Why would you have to be a SAHM? I have two children and still work.

I also had two C Sections.

ReallyTired Fri 08-Feb-13 15:08:44

Kids turn your life upside down. Its not unreasonable and its your decision. You have the right to change your mind later on in life.

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.

Surely you want to be an equal in a relationship. Prehaps you need to find a boyfriend outside your culture.

Its really important that you find somone who wants the same things in life as you. Children are not an area that you can compromise on. (ie. you can't have half a child)

StuntGirl Fri 08-Feb-13 15:09:13

No one has to have children if they don't want them. I don't. Could give a rats ass what people make of my choice.

You could take control of your own contraception, don't leave it up to the man.
You could never get married if there's some no sex before marriage thing.
You could marry outside of your culture.
You could marry someone within your culture who agrees with your views.
You could get sterilised so there's no chance of ever getting pregnant.

You don't HAVE to do anything.

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 15:09:26

Which culture do you come from?

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.

DizzyZebra Fri 08-Feb-13 15:41:32

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

Not to tar everyone with the same brush, I'm only speaking from my own experience, But the sort of people who have nothing to do except live their life through their child.

People who turn everything into a competition, People who witter on about BF v FF, People who act like having a child = world must stop for you, people who think the world revolves around them and their DC. Etc etc.

I just can't be doing with it. I need to spend time with people who aren't so up their own arses.

And i can't bear the incessant moaning about their other halves, or seeing how they speak to them too tbh.

Obviously, not everyone is like this, but the majority of the people i met were and it drove me mad.

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 15:44:51

op, I am trying to work out your main reason for posting this afternoon.

And, bearing in mind you have chosen to call yourself judged, and you feel you are constantly being judged and patronised for it, I think that is your main reason.

You have not said what culture you come from. I can only go by what you are saying. So yes, it does sound like that you are being judged and maybe patronised right now.

What to do about that. Again, I dont know the culture. I dont know what you can do about it.
Have you told a few people around you the real reasons? I assume that if you were to tell a few, they would tell the rest.
Mind you, again I dont kow, but I assume the questions would keep on coming?

sieglinde Fri 08-Feb-13 15:44:54

Op, of course YANBU. Though for the most part you are saying you can't bear the idea of pregnancy and childbirth rather than the idea of children.

As others have said, you def. shouldn't give up your career to be an SAHM unless YOU want to. And you can be a WOHM. I am.

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Feb-13 15:49:26

Seems kids aren't for you then.

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Feb-13 15:50:56

Oh and I'm sure not EVERY man in your culture wants kids either.

Maebe Fri 08-Feb-13 15:55:56


However I do agree with privatelypeaceful that some of your reasons are about a fear of something. Many of the things you list can be approached and possibly dealt with in various ways - c-section for birth, returning to work f/t afterwards etc.

I'm just thinking that if you've got this list of worries, looked at them, and thought that they add up to not having children, that's not quite the same thing as not wanting children and then finding reasons to justify that decision - if that makes sense?

But if you don't want children then that's fine, you don't have to justify yourself or your reasons to anyone. There is no law that says you have to have children, and I bet most people who don't have children themselves are fantastic aunts and uncles and godparents - they just get to hand the overtired and screaming kid back at the end of the day grin

sleepyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 15:58:27

Well, reading your later responses it sounds like you might want to have children but have reservations (listed in your op). That's a totally different thing.

Most of those reasons are not insurmountable:

- tokophobia is a legitimate and accepted reason not to have a vaginal birth for a start.

- Don't be a SAHM if you don't want to . It never crossed my mind. If your parter is the lower earner then it might make sense for him to stay at home with the children, or he might want to no matter what he earns. It's something that more and more men are doing. Or, childcare works for many thousands of families.

- I disagree that children are a threat to a strong relationship. They may well expose the cracks in a shaky one.

- My skin is always much better when I'm pregnant. I'm dreading the hormonal spots coming back after giving birth this time! If you eat sensibly during pregnancy then weight gain can be fairly minimal post-birth.

- Some people get dreadful morning sickness, that's true and something you can't predict. Pregnancy does mean things happening to your body that you can't control. There isn't any way round that, but equally you could said through it.

- PCOS can make it more difficult to conceive. Again, not a certainty. You don't have to have fertility treatment if you don't want it though. Dh & I struggled to conceive dc2 but we had decided that we wouldn't go down the IVF route. You don't have to try to get pregnant at any cost.

I also agree with what MaryZ says about it being less of an issue (if you don't want children) to meet men who feel the same as you the older you get. It's also less likely to be something that people comment on as you get into your late 30s/40s etc. (Of course it should never be something that people comment on - so rude)

GregBishopsBottomBitch Fri 08-Feb-13 16:05:32

YANBU, theres no law that says every woman should be a mother, if you dont want kids, then that choice, people should be so patronizing and smug about it, i know people who dont have and never want kids, my DD's school Headmistress doesnt have kids, i think that makes her a better teacher IMO.

zzzzz Fri 08-Feb-13 16:08:59

So how would you feel about adoption? Is it cut ally just pg/child birth that you hate the thought of or is it you hate the thought of kids in your life?

There is no need to have children if you don want to. hmm

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 16:11:25

I know this sounds totally crazy, but my complexion is my pride and joy- I am literally petrified of melasma sad Does everyone get those hormonal spots during pregnancy and after birth, or does it just happen to some people? Any way of preventing it?

You ladies might be right in saying that perhaps I might want children, but I am too focused on the negative....

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 16:12:37

zzzzz- I would prefer adoption. I wouldn't have to be pregnant, give birth etc. But them again, I still wouldn't stay at home. I would want to be able to afford childcare so that I could continue working.

Maebe Fri 08-Feb-13 16:17:45

There is no way of knowing what might happen to your body during pregnancy, but I have to say that out of everyone I know who has been pregnant, most people have sailed through with no problems. I don't actually know anyone who has had melasma, I know one person who had SPD, and I'm the only person I know who has had hyperemesis. For the majority of women morning sickness won't even involve them throwing up, it will just be a month or two or nausea.

Sites like MN can give a twisted view of pg because women who are suffering from one of the problems I've listed above are more likely to post than those who don't. If all your pregnancy is causing you is to feel tired, unweildy and unable to be more than 30 ft from a toilet, you don't really come online to talk about it. If you are throwing up 20 times a day, or walking with crutches, you do come on and ask for support or advice. So don't take what you read on MN as examples of what happens in most pregnancies.

jennymac Fri 08-Feb-13 16:17:48

YANBU to not want kids - loads of people have very good reasons for not wanting children and anyway, the world is over populated as it is therefore having kids is a bit of a selfish thing to do anyway. I would say though that you sound a bit obsessed with your appearance and if you did decide to have kids, you would probably gain a bit more perspective about life in general and realise what really is important.

sleepyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 16:19:14

I had to google melasma - I've never had it and I don't know anyone who has confused.

If it's common then it's obviously not very noticeable to the casual observer!

Maryz Fri 08-Feb-13 16:21:16

I do wish people wouldn't mention adoption as if it was a "solution" for people who don't want children hmm.

There is no way the op would be approved for adoption as things stand. Obviously if she decided that she really, really wanted children, but couldn't physically cope with pregnancy, it might be worth looking into.

But adoption isn't "parenting lite" you know.

<jumps off hobby horse>

sleepyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 16:23:14

This says it can be prevented by using sunscreen

Sounds like it's more common in countries where there's actual sun to get exposed to hmm wink

StickEmUp Fri 08-Feb-13 16:24:14

I dont want to have children. I thought i might have, once, then for a few personal reasons decided against it.

As for the man thing, we never discussed kids in the early stages of our relationship.
We wanted eachother.
Now, actually being honest, a part to play is the fact yes, we are both challenged in that area.
After discussing pros and cons after a number pf years, we decided against it.

Again, 12 years on, we still want eachother.
If he wanted to find someone else more willing to see a doctor over it, i would have let him go.

Way its turned out, we are very happy together. Just us 2.

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 16:26:48

Maryz, why wouldnt the op be considered for adoption as things stand?
Not saying she would or wouldnt, no idea, but why do you think she wouldnt be?

HecateWhoopass Fri 08-Feb-13 16:29:48

I don't think you are.

The only people who should have children are those who want them. I don't know why that is difficult to grasp.

Tell people to mind their own business.

If all you can think of are reasons not to have children, and problems and negatives - children aren't right for you - and you wouldn't be right for them.

There's nothing wrong with that at all.

There are plenty of people in the world. We don't have a shortage. grin We can cope with some of us not bringing more on board.

StuntGirl Fri 08-Feb-13 16:34:07

We can cope with some of us not bringing more on board.

This is how I feel if people clutch their pearls at my lack of maternal desires grin

You don't have to have them whether you want to or not. No one (especially someone who loves you) can ever force you to have a baby if you don't want one.

Can I ask, how old are you?

PearlyWhites Fri 08-Feb-13 16:36:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Fri 08-Feb-13 16:40:55

YANBU at all.

You do not need to justify your reasons. If people bug you about it tell them to mind their own buisness or just be very evasive and ignore them. I know people who lead happy and fulfilled lives without children. It is your life and you should do what you want. The only thing you need to do is be honest with any partner you may have.

HecateWhoopass Fri 08-Feb-13 16:41:08

I've never understood that. WHY it is expected that every woman should be burning with the desire to reproduce?

You don't see that attitude about men. At the most, it's a bit of a shame.

But there's not generally thought to be something wrong with them. hmm It's not shocking and unnatural if a man chooses to not have children, but you can see it in some people's faces if you're a woman who doesn't want kids. They Judge.

I am maternal. I'd have a dozen. grin I am one of nature's breeders grin

I think it's a natural population control thing in a species. Some are there to breed and the rest perform other functions.

I think it's far more of a problem when someone who really shouldn't have/doesn't want children feels they have no choice but to have them, than it ever is for someone who knows they don't want them and so doesn't have them.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Fri 08-Feb-13 16:43:37

PearlyWhites. Wow, that was an uncalled for post.

I have PCOS and after slimming down from 18 stone to 11 stone in 2001, put on quite a lot of weight during pregnancy (2010 - 4 stone, DS born March 2011) but have lost over half of it now and am looking to be back in my size 12s by christmas at the latest. The idea of putting the inevitable weight on upset me quite a lot, but I love Dominos after a few months I got over that and just enjoyed my expanding bump. I had no problems conceiving (1st month of trying, got pregnant on honeymoon). I already had stretchmarks from my teenage years, so DS didn't give me any new ones at all. If you don't want a baby, don't have one. But the PCOS doesn't always mean you'll have problems smile

Maryz Fri 08-Feb-13 16:50:06

amillion, she wouldn't be considered for adoption at the moment if she gave her op to a social worker, for two reasons. Firstly she says she isn't prepared to take a step back, to take time off, to take a career break. Unless her partner was prepared to stay at home for at least a year, then adoption isn't an option. The second reason is that from her post it seems to me that she would find the adoption process extremely invasive of her privacy, much more so than getting pregnant.

There are many, many more hoops to adoption than most people think. She would need to prove that she really wants children, not that she is prepared to have them if they don't change her life, if that makes sense? I'm not of course saying she could never adopt, but she would have to sort out her anxieties and also know for certain she wanted children before starting.

People are proposing adoption as an easy answer - oh, if you don't want to get pregnant you can adopt; oh, if you don't want to cope with a small baby, you can adopt an older child etc. In reality adoption is a much harder and more stressful way to parenthood for both parent and child.

Maryz Fri 08-Feb-13 16:50:46

PearlyWhites - that was unnecessary hmm and probably untrue. The op doesn't sound self-obsessed to me, she sounds anxious.

HecateWhoopass Fri 08-Feb-13 16:55:17

That was mean.

And anyway - so what if she was, anyway? At least she is aware enough to not inflict herself on a child! That's good.

Get over to the stately homes threads to find out what happens when self absorbed people actually have children.

(sorry, OP, not agreeing that you are. just making a point)

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 16:56:01

I didnt know that one person had to stay at home full time for the first year if they wanted to adopt.

PearlyWhites Fri 08-Feb-13 17:02:55

Maybe a bit mean but that wasnt my intention. I was just being honest. I have never read so many "I's" in an op.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 17:08:07

If I already was a parent, then thinking about myself only could be considered selfish. I don't understand it when people say I am selfish to not want kids....
Being selfish is about doing something that's good for you even if it harms other people. Who am I harming by not having children?

Maryz Fri 08-Feb-13 17:08:44

Many children being adopted have been moved around a lot amillion, so need stability for quite a while.

zzzzz Fri 08-Feb-13 17:09:01

I wasn't asking about adoption as a having children lite shock.

I was trying to tease out what the stumbling block was. I see no reason why anyone has to have children at all. But OP says she likes children and finds babies adorable but is petrified of financial dependence and pg. I was interested to know which bit was driving her stance.

Adoption is IMO a totally different ball game to fertility treatment, however many people who are sub fertile have already thought a lot about it rather naturally.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Fri 08-Feb-13 17:09:09

pearly. The OP's dilemma is her dilemma confused. Of course, her OP has to contain lots of I's. How could it not ?

Maryz Fri 08-Feb-13 17:09:50


You are harming no-one. And you are benefiting the rest of the world, there are far too many children in it as it stands.

Lottapianos Fri 08-Feb-13 17:12:32

YANBU at all OP. I'm pretty sure I don't want children either. I hear you on the judgment issue - I have had some people make really rotten comments. But I've also had lovely comments, and total indifference too, which is fine by me. If someone is being incredibly critical of such a personal decision, I think it says more about them than about you. There are lots of non parents on here by the way so stick around!

Absoluteeightiesgirl Fri 08-Feb-13 17:13:38

Am surprised you have to ask.

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 17:14:36

The people around you should not be judging you.
You are not doing anything wrong by not wanting to have children.

Agree with Maryz, there are too many children in the world already, you are balancing it out a bit.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Fri 08-Feb-13 17:17:38

OP, Do people actually tell you that you are selfish for not wanting kids ............

or is it just that you think they think you are selfish?

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 17:17:42

I do have to say one thing.

Where I used to work, there was a person who was adamant she did not want children. Fair enough. She bought up the subject quite often. OK.
But no matter how many times her work colleagues agreed with her that she it did not matter if she did not have children, she kept bringing the subject up.

In the end we realised that she had a problem with it herself.

thebody Fri 08-Feb-13 17:22:40

Why would you feel you 'have' to have kids.

Lots of women choose not to. Do what suits you.

Who should care but you. It's your body and your life.

My dss didn't have kids! Didn't want them. So what!

You seem quite clear that for a number of reasons you don't want children.

And that you'll be looking for a partner who doesn't want them either.

That's good, you know what you want. Start from there !

Personally I found having two babies and raising them was a fab (if tiring) life project, but I do know as well that there are a thousand other things you can do with your life - either instead or as well smile

NumericalMum Fri 08-Feb-13 17:36:45

YANBU for not wanting children.
I do think your reasons are a bit odd tbh.
Childbirth, whilst not any fun, was pretty easy compared to recovery from major surgery.
I am not a SAHM. I hated maternity leave. I am not financially dependent on anybody. I have a pension and own half a house, car etc. the small time out I had on maternity leave (11 months) was a tiny insignificant part of my whole career.
My DH and I did find our DC caused a wedge in our relationship but to be honest that was there long before DC, she just meant we couldn't hide from it anymore. After significant counselling and a lot of hard work our lives as a team of 3 are so much better than the individuals we were pre-DC!

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 17:40:58

NumericalMUM- I don't really want to get into a debate about a vaginal birth v/s recovery from a major surgery. I'm quite well researched on the subject and I have a severe phobia of birth. I simply cannot do it vaginally. It's a c section or nothing. I suppose you have to have the phobia to understand what I mean.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 17:41:30

No, I don't think I am selfish, but plenty of people have called me that for not wanting children.

I really think anyone who calls a woman selfish for not wanting children is a bit dim hasn't thought things through at all

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 08-Feb-13 17:45:24

I don't think you sound at all selfish. You do sound quite fearful, which might end up being a bit limiting for you in the long run. I'd say this if the issue weren't having children.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 08-Feb-13 17:46:02

I meant, I'd also say this if the issue weren't having children

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 08-Feb-13 17:47:10



Yanbu, we are all allowed choices & your choice works best for you and if you are happy then that is all that countssmile
I have 4dc and i love my large family, but we are all different, with different wants, needs & ambitions. I'm very maternal but i know women that aren't and i sometimes wonder why they took the plunge iyswim.

It's better to make a decision not to have children, than have them and not be "in it" iyswim.

Power to you op, my favourite Aunty chose never to have children & embraces life to the fullsmile

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 17:55:46

It sounds to me like you are feeling hurt by all of this.
Is there someone in particular that has hurt you emotionally?

sunshine401 Fri 08-Feb-13 17:57:59

Your body will be forever changed when you have had a baby. Not just by the way it looks. However for MOST women the lovely little bundle of joy is worth every second of the pain and definitely worth any change you have to put up with after. If you do not want a baby do not have a baby. If you are thinking this now even when you are not pregnant, I would say you were pretty sure of your decision. Some women just do not want them. There are plenty of men who feel the same smile Do not feel that society has a right to tell you want to do as a women.

sunshine401 Fri 08-Feb-13 17:58:57

what to do rather

pinkbananabread Fri 08-Feb-13 17:59:56

No YANBU at all.

BUT - reading through your list of reasons, it seems like there are a lot related to your body and the medical side of things. I'm not trying to underestimate this at all, but I'm concerned that you're letting the experiences of a small amount of time (in the grand scheme of things) dictate the life-long experience that is children.

If you didn't have to get pregnant and give birth, would you still be against having children? If so, maybe you should look into dealing with those issues and then reassess whether you want children. You don't want to grow old and regret your choice.

I'm not trying to persuade you into it AT ALL, and totally understand that some women just don't want children (and that's totally fine!), but it's just something that jumped out at me from your post.

If that's not the case, and I'm miles up the wrong tree, then I'm sorry, and encourage you to be proud of your choice and enjoy your child-free life.

Ariel24 Fri 08-Feb-13 18:03:54

Judged your reasons aren't odd, you have a recognised phobia. I've got the same phobia and know and understand how horrible it is.

I'd also say that my recovery from c/s was brilliant. I felt far worse when I had a stomach bug 2 weeks ago. But that's my experience.

pinkbananabread Fri 08-Feb-13 18:06:35

Also - I presume from your post that you're single?

Without wanting to patronise you or belittle your worries, your view might change when you meet the right man. I never wanted kids: I still don't particularly like other people's children (despite having a 2yr old and being almost 38wks pregnant with #2!). But I wanted children with my husband. I wanted his children, and a family with him. For me, meeting him changed my views on children. And that might happen to you.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 08-Feb-13 18:13:37


Yes, for me too, wanting children was in verry large part about wanting to have a family with one person.

porridgewithalmondmilk Fri 08-Feb-13 18:23:26

Interestingly it was always the other way round for me, I wanted children/family and wasn't that bothered about the man part grin I suppose we are just all different.

chandellina Fri 08-Feb-13 19:00:24

There are plenty of reasons not to have children. Do what you want. But it is possible to have a c section / excel in your career / get in shape. These are things millions of women do all the time so I think maybe you need to get over yourself.

Shagmundfreud Fri 08-Feb-13 19:10:05


But some people do have amazing careers, a wonderful marriage, and children too.

I haven't managed the career bit and do feel a bit gutted about how poor having children has made me. However - my children have given me more pleasure than a 10 squillion quid lottery win, so I can live with this.

Want to add, that I'm more secure in myself as an individual and a mother than I was a childless woman.

Even childless women lose their youthful good looks eventually. It's nice to have something else to value in yourself than the transient physical stuff, and knowing I've bought three incredible people into this world has made me feel valuable as a human being.

RubyrooUK Fri 08-Feb-13 19:10:43

Judged, have you posted on here before about your tokophobia? Your story sounds very familiar.

You are not being unreasonable if you don't want children. I know a number of people who don't want kids and I don't think they're selfish. Why would I care? My friends have never expressed an opinion on whether I should have kids or not. They like me for who I am and vice versa.

So no YANBU.

Unless, as you suggest later in your posts, that you are undecided. In which case, I think some of your concerns are unfounded - I never had bad skin during pregnancy and I went back to my normal weight afterwards. But for me, having children outweighed these concerns and was worth the risk of bad skin or weight gain. If it isn't for you, then pregnancy is probably not the way forward.

Shagmundfreud Fri 08-Feb-13 19:12:47

Judged - I wonder how you'll cope with getting old and crepey if body confidence is a huge issue for you?

Having sprogs has reconciled me to ageing.

KenLeeeeeee Fri 08-Feb-13 19:17:19

You would NEVER be unreasonable to not want children.

However, much of what you've posted suggests it's pregnancy and giving birth that you don't want to do, rather than having children. The bit at the beginning is a tiny fraction of life as a parent, so I wonder if you're dwelling too much on that bit when asking yourself if parenthood is for you.

WRT to being a SAHM, again not everyone chooses this path. I have and sometimes it's soul destroying, but much of that is my own fault because I'm not very creative with my time. I could find lots of stimulating things to do with the children instead. I'm looking forward to going back to work p/t when the youngest starts school in a couple of years.

Mumsyblouse Fri 08-Feb-13 19:22:44

There's no issue as far as I am concerned with not having children, I have at least three female friends and one male who have, for one reason or another, not had children, ranging from an out and out preference (and finding a partner who also doesn't want children) to running out of time and being not that fussed.

All have found partners who were happy with their choice as well, and all are enjoying their late thirties/early forties child-free.

I do have a friend with tokophobia as well as a fear of bodily 'invasion' and she has had three children! All by elective and with considerable consultant support.

I am not sure about your posts, you don't seem to want to elaborate on who is putting the pressure on you, and why in your culture it is inevitable you will have children, I think this is the greater story really, because I have not found it that unusual to choose not to have children at least in my social circle. And definitely not within my profession where it is relatively common, especially for women.

rollmopses Fri 08-Feb-13 19:28:09

YANBU. Do not have children.

Floggingmolly Fri 08-Feb-13 19:39:25

You are not unreasonable at all not to want children. You are ridiculously unreasonable to be resigned to the fact that you'll "have to" have them at some point, regardless of how you feel.

PurpleStorm Fri 08-Feb-13 20:41:23


Whether or not you want children is a very personal thing, and it's not unreasonable to decide that you don't want them. There's plenty of women out there who don't want children and are happy being child-free.

But I do agree that you seem more worried about the pregnancy / birth process and their side effects than the actual child bit. (And I'm another one who's never heard of melasma)

Would you want a child if you didn't have to go through pregnancy and birth? If the answer to that is yes, then maybe look into getting help to deal with your worries.

Also, I know plenty of women, including me, who have both a job and children. It doesn't always have to be a choice between a baby or a career, although obviously a lot depends on how supportive your partner is and what kind of field you work in.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 20:47:44

I guess I'd have children if I didn't have to be pregnant and be a housewife.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 20:51:32

In response to the person who said that growing old also involves body changes: I know it does. But it's one thing to deal with that at 60, and another to deal with it at the prime of your life. Besides, growing old is inevitable and I can't change that.

monsterchild Fri 08-Feb-13 20:51:34

YANBU. I just had a kid, and I'm back at work now after 6 weeks off. You don't HAVE to be a SAHM.
And you don't have to justify why you don't want kids. Why not get sterilized so that you can just not become pregnant?

monsterchild Fri 08-Feb-13 20:52:34

Also, I just turned 42 with my first child, so I am getting the age related and child carrying changes all at once!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 08-Feb-13 20:54:17

I don't know how you'll manage that then, OP? Hire a surrogate and then send them off to a nanny? grin

You can post anywhere you like and ignore anybody who tells you differently. People have children for their own sake, it's not altruistic by any means and certainly not for the child's sake. I don't like comments like "best you don't have them then" when somebody posts a thread about remaining childless. It's a bit sneery really.

Ask people in real life that you know, OP, ask them for a warts and all account and decide that you'll give yourself time to make a decision - whatever that is - and not be pressurised by anybody else.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 08-Feb-13 20:55:08

I think, with the way you feel it's best not to have them but make sure you are not trying to convince yourself you don't want them if it is the fear that stops you.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 20:57:49

Can I hire a surrogate and then a nanny? grin

I guess I am just looking for an assurance that I can have a c section, I won't become overweight and I won't have to be a SAHM.

GetKnitted Fri 08-Feb-13 21:02:14

for a genuine phobia, you can have a c-section,but if you're prone to over-eating and getting over weight, then having a baby will not help you at all. You won't have to be a stay at home mum, but you will have to look after them sometimes, and at the times when it is hardest, e.g. you are tired or stressed from work.

ThePinkOcelot Fri 08-Feb-13 21:04:05

No, ynbu

sleepyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 21:04:55

Well, I'd say that of all your reasons for not having children, those three are completely within your control (read the NICE guidelines on elective c-section for a start).

If you don't want to pay for childcare then finding a partner with an interest in staying at home with the children/flexible job would be a good idea - after all, that's what men have managed to have for all these No reason that your career shouldn't be the family priority.


Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 21:07:07

GetKnitted- I am not prone to overeating, I eat quite healthy. I do have PCOD and some other medical issues which have made me prone to weight gain if I am even a little indulgent.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 08-Feb-13 21:08:11

C Section can be asked for.
You can exercise and eat well during pregnancy so you only put on baby weight, then it will disappear when you have given birth.
Surely no one can make you be a SAHM!

The only thing I have after two pregnancies is a weird belly button (and a scar), but the scar is disappearing and my belly button was a bit weird anyway.

However, some women are prone to varicose veins and stretch marks. You can't control that.

Eurostar Fri 08-Feb-13 21:09:26

As far as I know, guidelines have changed to make elective caesarian available (if you are in the UK) so with your tokophobia that shouldn't be a problem, no one can say if you will become overweight or not, body shapes change with age anyway. As to if you have to become a SAHM, depends on where you are and who you marry, if you are in country where women have few rights or in one where they do but have to marry within a closed culture where dominance of women is accepted, maybe you have no choice.

Meanwhile, you do seem to be overly worried about your looks and feeling out of control about them. Have you been bullied in the past about your looks or made to feel insecure by people close to you?

As for those who call you selfish, they are probably people who aren't altogether happy with their own life choices or people threatened by women having a voice so they go on the attack with you. It's ridiculous calling not having children selfish, world is over populated.

So are you thinking you would like to have a baby/child then OP ?

I wonder if part of you does as you're posting about it on Mumsnet ?

Of course I could be quite wrong about that, as there's plenty of wise impartial advice to be had here too.

It's just in your last post you seemed to be saying you might want a baby if the problem aspects could be overcome.

I have to say I'm not sure they can be entirely. I think having a baby does change your whole life quite dramatically !

Maryz Fri 08-Feb-13 21:13:40

Sorry Judged, have I missed it or did you say how old you were?

Because imo that makes a massive difference.

If you are mid-twenties, there is a lot of time to find a partner, sort out your thoughts, make decisions etc. You don't have to decide now about anything.

Obviously if you are mid to late 30's the whole thing becomes a bit more urgent.

I know a lot of people who were adamant in their twenties that they would never want children (bleurgh, disgusting, all that blood and dripping boobs and shitty nappies, why would you want to?) who then changed slowly over time, especially when they meet someone they have wanted to settle down with.

I guess what I'm saying is, take your time, don't make rash decisions, don't have arguments with people about it. If you state categorically "I'm never having children", people are bound to say "oh, you will be missing X, Y and Z". If you just never comment either way, neither will they.

At least until about 6 months after you get married, at which point the whole world seems to feel they have a right to pat you on the stomach and say "Anything stirring?" hmm

HollaAtMeBaby Fri 08-Feb-13 21:18:46

YANBU but "my complexion is my pride and joy" has really made me snort. How are you planning to avoid aging? grin

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 21:28:35

I am 25.

RubyrooUK Fri 08-Feb-13 21:41:33

Is this you, OP?

Forgive me if not but I read this thread on Mumsnet some time ago and your post reminded me of it. If it is not you, it is an interesting read which you should look at. If it is you, let us know.

Maryz Fri 08-Feb-13 21:46:21

As you are only 25, if I was you I would refuse to discuss it at all irl. If anyone asks you about having children simply say "I haven't even though about it".

And over the next five years or so, I think you will change a lot. And you can use the time to copper-fasten your career, have some fun, save some money, and possibly get some counselling to bat around your thoughts.

Take your time.

I wish I was 25 envy again.

sleepyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 21:47:23

Well, at 25 I'd park the whole thing for the next 5 years. Don't give it head space.

I had my first at 34, am now pg with my second at 40. At 25 I was single and while I had vague expectations of being a parent at some point, it certainly wasn't worth angsting over.

However I get that you're from a cultural background that seems to be putting specific pressures on you, perhaps to partner up and start a family at a relatively young age.

OxfordBags Fri 08-Feb-13 22:05:09

YANBU. It is actually commendable to not have children if you don't want them. The world is overpopulated and IMHO, many of the messed-up people out there are messed-up because they were unwanted (my Ex was abusive and it's pretty clear that this was the reason for his issues - his mother used to openly chat in front of him about how she never wanted children and always regretted being a mother, like she was discussing the weather, the cow). 3 of my and DH's closest friends do not want children and, in fact, we set two of them up and they are getting married this Summer! They are great with our kids and others but don't want their own, end of story.

However, this does sound more like the problem is that you have extreme anxiety and the focus of that anxiety has become about pregnancy and childbirth. No doubt something in your past couple with your cultural pressure to be a mother has made it the focus. I think you would benefit with some counselling about the issue. Not just to sort out how you truly feel, be that not ever having kids or you do actually want them but feel overwhelmed by your anxiety in many issues about it all, but also to deal with the extreme anxiety and phobia in themselves. No-one should be carrying around that much stress and upset, you poor thing.

Stop worrying about what others think about you or expect of you. At 25, you are very, very young. To me, anyway! I had my child at 40. Perhaps in your culture you are expected to have children younger, but again, you don't have to follow those rules. You have at least another decade before you have to worry about your fertility waning. I hate be a patronising old biddy but how you feel at 25 and what worries you then is not what you necessarily feel or worry about when you are 35, or even 30. Trust me.

If you feel like you would have kids but don't want to go through pregnancy and labour or be a SAHM, then work on that. You are young enough and driven enough to really concentrate on your career and make a shedload of cash. Which you could use towards using a surrogate, an international adoption (I don't know if your culture is from another country where poverty is an issue, but if so, you could adopt from there, say), or have the best private care and an elective CS if you decide to get pregnant. And you do not have to be a SAHM. I am a SAHM and love it, but would never, ever suggest that someone else do it if they don't fancy it.

As for the complexion thing then, hmmm. I hate to break it to you, kiddo, but the face will not stay perfect forever. I've always had great skin - I am that rare thing, a ginger with no freckles and no propensity to early wrinkling - but I am in my 40s and time has taken its toll. It's still better than most people of my age, if I am allowed a moment of vanity, BUT it cannot compare to my 25 yr old self. It would be daft not to get pg because of your complexion, although I know that's not really your reason, you're just fixating on that (I suffer from anxiety, I know how it works). I have never known anyone get melasma. I know that Kirsty Allsopp got it and it went away (my mind seems to store trivia!). And when I was pg, my complexion was the best it has ever been. Ever. I looked like an airbrushed teenage model! The rest of my looked bloody awful mind, and yes, I had hyperemesis, stretchmarks and am still working out the babyweight nearly 2 yrs on, but it was worth it.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 22:05:54

RubyRoo- I haven't posted here before smile

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 22:14:06

I suppose I do have a bit of time to sort out my feelings on this...

I am not at all opposed to marrying outside my culture and my family isn't putting any pressure on me at all. They're quite laid back actually. It's just that the social circle I have is unfortunately a bit weird. Funnily, I've just never met a man my age who didn't want kids. confused

morethanpotatoprints Fri 08-Feb-13 22:20:19


I was the same but had different reasons. A doctor even told me I'd probably not have any and it didn't bother me. I never showed an interest in babies, thought they were all ugly, omg the thought of nappies and yukky stuff, not for me.
I have 3 wonderful dc, eldest 21 youngest 9. I never realised how maternal I was until I had ds1. I love them and really feel like I would have missed out on so much in life without them, but of course I would never have known.
I think all women are maternal, but for some they don't realise until after birth.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 22:23:03

Actually, I am maternal. I looked after my baby cousins when they were little and I am tender towards children, especially little girls.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 22:23:31

I do think nappies are disgusting though. And I don't like the idea of breastfeeding.

sleepyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 22:25:49

You can be like that and not have children of your own though. Ds's favourite person in the world just about is my child free friend. She completely concentrates on him when they're together, partly I think because small doses are a lot more fun grin.

I'm the opposite, I adore ds and will adore ds2 when he comes along, but <whisper> I'm not that bothered about other people's children blush

MsVestibule Fri 08-Feb-13 22:27:42

Just focusing on one thing - what makes you think you'll have to become a SAHM confused. I'm one, and I'm in the minority where I live!

Is it a cultural thing for you? Do you live in Britain? At 25, I can't imagine that all of your friends are SAHMs already. And surely if you work at the moment, you must have many colleagues who are WOHMs, so you can see that it's the norm. I could have understood your concerns about this more if it were 1953, not 2013...

MsVestibule Fri 08-Feb-13 22:29:08

sleepyhead <whispers back> most of us aren't wink.

CrispsCrispsCrisps Fri 08-Feb-13 22:35:01

Judged, I don't think yabu at all. It's your life and your body.

I do think you are driving yourself crazy agonising over this. I felt very similar to you and although I don't have a phobia of vaginal birth the thought of it did repulse me. Same with nappies and bf and body changes etc. I also felt family and cultural pressures didn't help and made me feel bad for not wanting to have children. The more I felt pressured and questioned, the more negative I felt about it.

Do what feels right for you. Just wanted you to know you're not alone and others do have similar thoughts

CrispsCrispsCrisps Fri 08-Feb-13 22:38:32

Saying that, I now have 1 DC and fell pregnant because I was ready and not for others. I have a career and I'm respected in my role at work and also in my role at home as a Mother. A lot of the concerns you have just show you're human.

CheerfulYank Fri 08-Feb-13 22:40:19


I always knew I wanted loads of kids, and wanted to stay home. But that's my life and those are my choices. ( I don't have the loads of kids yet, just 1 DS and DC2 on the way smile )

I have a few friends who say they never want kids, and I support them totally. We're not meant to live the same lives.

PurpleStorm Fri 08-Feb-13 22:46:12

I'm pretty sure that I remember reading in the news that NHS guidelines now allow elective CS for women with tokophobia. If I'm wrong about that, then going private would almost certainly allow you to choose a CS, if your finances permit this.

No one can offer you a guarantee that you won't become overweight with a baby - but no one could guarantee that anyway. Gaining weight certainly isn't inevitable if you have a child.

And plenty of mums work, including me and many of my friends. Being a mother doesn't automatically mean that you have to be a housewife.

However, as you're 25, you don't have to decide anything right now.
You have a bit of time to think it all through and work out for yourself what you want, and ways to work towards getting what you want - whether that turns out to be no kids and a man who doesn't want them either, or kids without vaginal birth and a career, or whatever. I think that figuring that out is probably the most important thing, and no one else can answer that for you.

RubyrooUK Fri 08-Feb-13 22:48:03

Fair enough Judged.

Sorry for the mistaken identity - you should read that other thread though. It has some interesting parallels - you're both in your mid-twenties, currently single, tokophobic, from a culture that really reveres marriage and kids, very anxious about a future that hasn't happened yet for you.

I think if you don't want kids, absolutely don't have them. If you do, then most of the things you are worried about are either avoidable or you learn not to care about them.

If you feel like a fear of getting fat, or bad skin, or anything else is putting you off, then you don't have to have a baby. If you want one, then it might be best to start some counselling about these worries if they are big enough to prevent you from having children you do actually want.

Is there anything about having children/babies that you DO like the idea of? Anything at all?

OxfordBags Fri 08-Feb-13 23:02:31

Hey, who says you have to breastfeed? I do, but I wouldn't dream of suggesting anyone else does if they don't want to.

The good thing about motherhood - and you do need to get a bit of a thick skin to know this secret, which is why having kids when you're older can help, as you naturally stop giving a shit what people think as you get older (or I do!) - is that mothering is as individual as you are and as each child will be. You do not have to SAH, breastfeed, use cloth nappies, go to baby groups, even send to school (homeschool).

I was almost phobic about the thought of sorting out nappies, but when it comes to your own kid, you truly don't care. Well, not that much. It's like how everyone secretly likes the smell of their own farts but gags at anyone else's wink

Don't get hung up on baby girls though, it is sod's law that you would have a son if you ever did get pg, ha!

But I am sounding now like I am trying to convince you into motherhood and I am not.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 23:11:07

VisualiseAHorse- Well, babies are very cute smile And it is a unique bond to experience. I can't deny that.

shesariver Fri 08-Feb-13 23:13:35

I looked after my baby cousins when they were little and I am tender towards children, especially little girls

But not so much baby boys then, whats the difference?

Mimishimi Fri 08-Feb-13 23:22:20

YANBU at all. It would only be unreasonable if you wished or allowed a man who did want children to marry you. You would have to make it very clear from the start I would think. Having had kids, even though I do not regret them at all, I can completely understand why someone might not want them. They do require an enormous amount of time and attention.

Posterofapombear Fri 08-Feb-13 23:23:52

Judged, you have spent the last two years at least asking these same questions on at least 2 different forums.

Do you think it might be time to get some professional help?

It really has taken over your young life and it makes me sad to think of you sitting there worrying about prolapses and internal examinations instead of living your life.

Please get help, none of us have the magic answer for you I'm afraid hmm

Yfronts Fri 08-Feb-13 23:26:13

I respect all your reasons but must add that you might actually like it when it comes to it? You never know.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 23:26:38

Posterofapombear- confused Umm, excuse me???

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 23:27:14

If it is your friends that are the problem, that isnt so bad. You can change them if you wanted to!
And you are only 25. So lots of time for all sorts of things to change.

I think, fwiw, that you may change your mind over time. Maybe not.
But you are 25, not 35 or even 45.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 23:29:07

shesariver- I didn't mean that the way it sounded. If I do decide to have children I wouldn't care if it was a boy or a girl as long as the child was healthy. I have a soft spot for little girls perhaps because I haven't been around them as much since all my cousins are boys and I have nephews but not nieces. So there is just some curiosity about little girls. That's all.

Posterofapombear Fri 08-Feb-13 23:34:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 08-Feb-13 23:34:11

I personally find your attitude towards the work that goes into having and raising children distasteful - and breastfeeding offers a baby so much comfort and goodness it is a same you cannot see beyond that.

If all you want to do is rush back to work too, why bother? You don't really sound like you want children - children need so much love and care and the place to start is actually wanting them.

garlicblocks Fri 08-Feb-13 23:37:47

YANBU. But it looks to me as if the problem is your thinking you will "have to" have children, and being afraid you won't be able to - either through infertility or fear. It is weird, in this day & age, to feel obliged to have babies.

I've got some sympathy: my dad was one of those arseholes who reckon a woman isn't a woman if she doesn't have children; I also had PCOS and an enthusiastic career; I did not in the end have children and life's OK. I never mope about it, truly. I've done so many amazing things that I couldn't have with kids.

While I see we might have some parallel issues, you and I, yours are much more intense. No wonder it's giving you grief. I really feel you need to rationalise this belief that you might somehow be forced to have babies. So I, too, am recommending counselling to help you think it through smile Good luck.

shesariver Fri 08-Feb-13 23:38:32

If all you want to do is rush back to work too, why bother?

Regardless of the OPs issues with having children I find this really quite offensive - sounds like you are saying Mums who go back to work are in the wrong!

garlicblocks Fri 08-Feb-13 23:39:44

Pombear grin

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 08-Feb-13 23:41:28

Do others honestly care that you will or won't have kids? I doubt it. I would be more worried about you having any with your attitude such as nappies are disgusting/worrying about being home with them than anything else [hmmm]

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 08-Feb-13 23:43:29

Shesariver - no I didn't mean that the way you think - it just feels like the op would rush back the next day! That's what I meant - why have any if you want to be away from them is more what I meant. Of course some people go back to work but they also love being with their children. The op sounds like she wouldn't.

Judged Fri 08-Feb-13 23:45:10

gimmecakeandcandy- I don't think anybody thinks nappies are flowery and lovely. Most people would agree they aren't any fun. But please don't imply that the reason I don't want children is because I think nappies are disgusting. I've actually changed quite a few nappies of babies that weren't even my own.

I have nothing to say to the posters who are implying that there is something wrong with me going back to work. I'd go crazy as a sahm. I like my work and I need to work. If that makes me selfish then fine.

shesariver Fri 08-Feb-13 23:49:00

gimmecake thanks for explaining!

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 08-Feb-13 23:51:31

There isn't anything wrong worth going back to work but I find nothing in your posts to indicate why you would want children. You seem to be over thinking how much people 'care' about you having kids. They don't. They are too busy with their life and raising their children.

Having children means giving your all to them. They take up all your time and energy. They are wonderful, amazing, fantastic but they will change your life and you will understand the word 'worry' (you will always worry about them) if you have them.

And if you don't want them don't have them! But never ever get with someone who does and try to change their mind as if a partner wants them and the other doesn't it won't work.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 08-Feb-13 23:53:13

My pleasure shesariver! grin I hope what I said made sense. And a tiny newborn needs their mum for a few months at home at least right?! Good for both mum and baby!

extracrunchy Fri 08-Feb-13 23:54:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

amillionyears Fri 08-Feb-13 23:54:21

Judged, I cant see that you actually have a problem.
No one is forcing you to have children.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 08-Feb-13 23:54:30

Oh and judgEd, you have NO idea how you will feel - you can only know if you are a mother. What you think now can totally turn with the arrival of your own baby.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 09-Feb-13 00:05:15

Hello and top of the morning to you all
A quick reminder of our talk guidelines, anyone?

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 00:15:12

What is the problem, Judged?

You don't want kids. Fine

Why are you on a parent forum wanting affirmation for not having kids?
What's the problem?
You've decided it's not for you,so....?

If your partner wants kids, then that is an issue.
Sorry to be hard-nosed & clinical,but if that is the case then you are not suited.

Drama over.

Btw- yanbu. Your choice, your body.

Haven't read the whole thread but you don't have to give up your career. I was back working a 45 hour week when my baby was 19 days old. I have LOADS of stretchmarks. From the sound of your OP you aren't in a relationship anyway so why not wait and make your decision for when you are in a relationship and not paint "every man in your culture" with the same brush x

zippey Sat 09-Feb-13 00:25:57

Judged - You seem to be fearful of having children and not being able to find a man to marry who feels the same as you. Its a bit obvious sounding, sorry, but I just wanted to say that you do not have to have children if you dont want to, and you dont have to marry if you dont want to.

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 00:32:01

zippey- I know I don't have to marry but it just so happens that I want to. smile

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 00:45:53

Judged, sorry to be a pest, why are you posting that you don't want kids on a parenting forum? Confused.

If you don't want kids fine.

If you have issues about wanting to find a husband that doesn't want kids,also, then you'll probably be more fruitful with finding advice on a dating forum or something similar?

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 00:53:30

Zondra- looking at the rest of the posts on the AIBU forum I can see that not every post is from people who are parents. I wasn't aware that this website os only for women who have already had children. Since my problem is related to a phobia of pregnancy and birth and my problem pertains to having children I can't imagine a better website to gain some insight than a parenting website.

If you'll read my posts carefully, you will see that not once have I mentioned anything about my love life. I haven't even confirmed whether or not I am single. All I have said is that all the men I meet seem to want children and that is adding to my problem. I haven't asked for dating advice, I haven't expressed concerns over getting married. Those are all just assumptions and speculations being made by other posters.

Greensleeves Sat 09-Feb-13 00:59:57

Zondra, wind your neck in. OP is completely right to post here, as it is advice around childbirth and parenting that she is looking for. And even if she weren't, it wouldn't be your place to tell her whether or what to post! Rude hmm

OP your reasons are perfectly sound and not that uncommon I think. But more importantly you don't HAVE to have a set of arguments marshalled ready to produce them when someone puts you under pressure. You shouldn't be under pressure to do anything you don't want to do - you're an adult and it's up to you how you spend your life. Can we help with that at all? Is it family, or local community you feel trapped by? What hold do they have over you?

The only other thing I would say is: don't close the door. Leave yourself a chink of open-mindedness - things can change, people change, and you might feel differently one day. But I think it's easier to accept that when you aren't having to defend and justify your current choice.

Maryz Sat 09-Feb-13 01:02:32

Oh do go away Zondra.

This forum is for everyone.

If you don't like the thread, don't post on it hmm

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 01:23:22

Judged, you said earlier that you want to get married.

I gave my thoughts on that.

Greensleeves, Maryz: it's AIBU. I don't think I've been rude?! This is the straight talking area of this site. I gave my opinion & wondered why op wanted to post here?

My confusion is- if your very sure about something,why post on a forum that is mainly about that "thing".

I ain't going to post on a sausage making forum, that I hate making sausages & am I being unreasonable...

I don't like making jam on a jam-making website, I don't like making emo music on an emo website, I don't like crotcheting on a crotchet infinitum...

And you don't have to decide yet. At 25 you have years.
It's not selfish to decide not to have a child.

Fwiw, I have a fear of invasive procedures.
I had my baby at 39, in a pool at home. No vaginal exams.
I have no stretchmarks or skin marks.
I lost the weight and got stronger afterwards.
I look better now - but more tired - but my skin is better than it ever was. Periods less painful too.

I have a child who is a blessing and a joy and it has brought me and dh even closer.

But I am glad I waited, worked, lived, loved, travelled and did not have a baby at 25. Enjoy your life and try not to worry. It is all right not to be sure, either way.

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 01:28:27

Zondra-Yes I posted that I wanted to get married, but it was in response to a question posed to me. Nowhere have I asked anyone for advice on searching for a husband or anything to do with my love life really.

If you think that I shouldn't be posting here you can always email the administrators of the website about your concerns.

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 01:34:00

Greensleeves- I think the pressure comes from friends and extended family more than from my immediate family. Perhaps I am just unfortunate in that everyone I meet seems to think that not wanting children makes me an alien. That kind of marginalization over the years has made me very conscious of how I feel. In addition to that I have tokophobia and various other issues which perhaps make me even more complexed.

I realise this isn't a dating forum, but just to explain my point further I would like to add that all the men I have dated in the past have wanted children. It is just depressing to think about how limited my options are going to be if I come out openly with the fact that I might not want to have a baby.

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 01:35:52

TrucksandDinosaurs- I have a fear of invasive procedures too but I also have tokophobia. So a home water birth isn't really an option for me. Furthermore since I already have stretch marks, I doubt that I won't develop more during pregnancy since I already have a tendency.

Hooya Sat 09-Feb-13 01:45:28

Hi Judged, I can empathise with some of your concerns.

I am a complete wuss about any kind of pain (as in I cry when I stub my toe), emetophobic, vain, love my quite full-on career, have a near-perfect long-term relationship, and am pretty selfish.

My partner and I had always agreed we never wanted kids, but something just changed last summer. We sat down and discussed how it would all work and whether it would ruin our lives, but we just knew we'd regret it if we didn't. We agreed that he would stop work, I would go back to work after not very long, and I could have an ELCS and breast surgery in the future post bf if I want it and if the risks seem acceptable.

I'm now 8 weeks pg, have thrown up loads of times, have spots on my previously spot-free face, have put on weight already , am having hardly any sex, and have had to run out of important meetings to spew up. But... it's f**king brilliant! I am so excited and amazed and scared but in a good way! I can't describe how good it can actually feel to let some of your fears materialise, and give yourself the challenge of dealing with them instead of just thinking about them. As someone who used to suffer from anxiety disorder before CBT and a long recovery, I totally believe that fear of fear is worse than anything else.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Mimishimi Sat 09-Feb-13 01:49:59

OP, if you have someone specific in mind that you would like to marry and he has made it clear that he wants children, I really think you ought to break it off with him rather than marry and hope you can change his mind. If it is noone in particular right now but you can see yourself getting married one day, why not simply find a man who also does not want children? There are loads of them around. Perhaps even a divorcee who already has some and doesn't want more? That way you get the best of both worlds actually. In my experience those who harp on loudest and repeatedly about not wanting to have children ( and putting down those who do) have always been girls that noone is particularly interested in having children with anyway wink. Probably realising this they come up with lots of reasons why the whole thing is a horrid idea anyway. Those who don't want them but who can attract loads of men who do usually don't make an issue of it because they just wait until they meet someone who feels likewise.

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 01:51:43

Judged- why would I want to report you?
You haven't breached any guidelines & I can assure you that I'm not appalled your here. Was just confused...?

I'll still stand by that I think it's odd, creating a thread on a parenting website that : AIBU not to want to be a parent. I actually concur with you, you are not being unreasonable not wanting a child.

Go with your fears. Don't give birth. That's ok. It's fine. You've decided that. Thus, carry on.
There is no problem.

So, I have answered your op clearly & definitely- you are not being unreasonable to not want kids or give birth.

You've got your answer from me & I actually support you.

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 01:52:27

Hooya- Congratulationssmile May I ask if you've already been able to arrange the cesarean (that is what ELCS means right?blush )

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 01:54:12

Mimishimi- Umm, thanks. I guess hmm

Hooya Sat 09-Feb-13 02:03:25

Thanks Judged.

I don't currently live in the UK and have private medical which covers it, so I just asked the obstetrician what happens if I don't want a vaginal birth? He said well there are only two ways of getting the baby out, and if you want a c-section and you have read up on all the risk factors and made a decision, I'd be happy to do it!

I know it is different in the UK, but depending on your financial circumstances there is always the option of going private if the NHS won't do it.

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 02:07:48

Hooya- the op is scared not only of the birth, but of having to deal with acne & the scars that can follow from that & also having to suffer from more stretchmarks, a slump in work oppotunities, etc.

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 02:09:36

Hooya-I have sent you a message. smile

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 02:12:58

Also, the op is scared that having a child shall disrupt a relationship.
Anyway, not being horrible but, the op gives many points not to have a child.

I agree that she is not ready/wants to.

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 02:15:35

Thank you for the synopsis Zondra. I'm sure everyone read the OP before posting so while helpful, the precis version was rather unnecessary. hmm

Mimishimi Sat 09-Feb-13 02:17:52

My skin improved dramatically during my first pregnancy (24) and the pimples never really came back after that except for the odd one just before my monthly until I was about 30.

Hooya Sat 09-Feb-13 02:33:40

Hi Zondra - yes, I know the fears aren't the same, and I think mine were / are more trivial in some cases, but I think the principle is the same. There is no worse fear than the fear of fear itself. And when you're in the grip of that fear, it's very difficult to get perspective on the inevitable upsides.

If there are no upsides that's different, but I thought that because Judged is asking, and has pointed out some reasons she might want to do it, she might have the same doubts as I did and therefore my experience may be helpful.

Hooya Sat 09-Feb-13 02:45:02

Oh Mimi I'm envy of you for the good skin! Though I had forgotten how fun squeezing spots can be grin

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 02:47:37

No worries, Judged.

A lot of people grab onto the gist. Didn't want that to run by.
Your not just scared about giving birth, but lot's more . It's a long thread & wanted to highlight for you the all the things you are afraid of/ don't want.

Acne scars & stretch marks are a total viable thing to be scared of. Gaining weight & losing your body structure,too.

Also, being scared of relationships failing because of being pregnant/giving birth is also a completely valid reason not to give birth.

Giving birth can be easy, it can be hard. It's a an awesome experience. For what it's worth my experiences are very different. Both hard.
However, a lot have a wonderful time.

I personally had a rubbish time with both births, but there you are.

Btw- I am scarred from stretchmarks. My face is a riot. I have a bucket fanny. My work life has gone to pot. Sex life is zilch. And even after this whole caper, my kids hate me, my husband thinks I'm disgusting.

It was all for fuck all.

Aye, right.

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 02:50:06

Are you drunk perhaps?

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 02:54:56

Btw- Judged, you set out a convincing argument in your original post.
Don't get pregnant! Don't have kids!

Job done! You DON'T need to have them & no one is forcing you.

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 02:58:56

Haha!!! Brilliant!

Are you?

Unfortunately, I wish I was.

Greensleeves Sat 09-Feb-13 02:59:43

Zondra are you ok?

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 02:59:55

Why would you think I were?

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 03:02:34

Greensleeves- I'm fine. Thanks for being concerned.

Greensleeves Sat 09-Feb-13 03:04:21

I hope so xx

Sorry I was sharp with you earlier. Sometimes it's hard to judge someone's tone on here, and I am spectacularly bad at it.

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 03:11:40

No probs, Greensleeves. We all can be at times.

Feel bad for haranguing the op, now.

However, my final word on this thread is, Judged, do what you want. It's your body & as I've said a few times already yanbu.

I think you keep missing that fact...

Judged Sat 09-Feb-13 03:24:20

Zondra- I have read and acknowledged your opinion and advice. However, to me it seems more like you are mocking my phobia and my concerns rather than actually trying to be helpful. I sense sarcasm and derision in your posts, which is why I would request you not to offer any further advice.

Zondra Sat 09-Feb-13 03:58:34

Judged- I have not once mocked your phobia.

As for derisory comments, accusing me of being drunk...I would certainly say that was derisory on your part...

For what it's worth, answering your original question- you are not being unreasonable.

InTheNightGarden Sat 09-Feb-13 04:08:30

YANBU - I think it would be cruel to yourself to have them... then once they're here it'd be cruel on them, Especially as you wouldn't be happy.

FellatioNels0n Sat 09-Feb-13 04:12:04

You do NOT have to have children whether you want them or not, and frankly if you really believe that to be true then there are far bigger problems in your life than other people judging you for not wanting children.

allbie Sat 09-Feb-13 09:55:57

Judged, you sound like having a great career would be totally fulfilling for you. Concentrate on that and I'm sure the right man who doesn't want children will come along. Why should it be unreasonable to not want kids? Don't spend your time justifying yourself to others!

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 09-Feb-13 18:24:43

The more I read the more I think you should not have children.

extracrunchy Sun 10-Feb-13 11:21:31

Gimme - absolutely.
And she doesn't sound as if she'd make the children particularly happy either.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 11:39:56

I think you should stick to talking TO the OP rather than passing comment ABOUT her. She will be reading this, and that last comment sounded terribly judgemental.

gimmecakeandcandy Sun 10-Feb-13 11:49:21

I happen to agree with extracruncy

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 11:51:04

You happen to agree with her? That's fine. But perhaps a politer way of putting it might have been "Op, I'm afraid it doesn't sound as though you would make children particularly happy either."

Jux Sun 10-Feb-13 12:22:01

Judged, I think that if you don't want children then don't have them. i won't judge you. Before we moved and lost touch, our closest friends were a couple - young, fit, everything going for them - who each got sterilised as they didn't want kids (and, tbh, once in a while I envied them their lifestyle).

There are good men out there who don't particularly want children, but they generally feel that women want them so they should too.

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