Feeling guilty for not wanting to become a Dad

(93 Posts)
YouSirName Sat 13-Jul-13 22:42:37

...and am wary of starting a relationship with anyone who might want to have children as I feel it's too much to ask of them. I'm 39 & male.

Are there women of a similar age who don't want children either?

It's not that I don't like children, I love spending time with nephews, nieces, friend's little ones etc., I just don't want to be a Dad to one.

With thanks in advance for any advice.

outingmyselfprobably Sat 13-Jul-13 22:45:26

You know what you want. As long as you are honest, what's the problem? It's not something to discuss on a first date but it is something to bear in mind if a relationship becomes serious.

If I met my DP and it later transpired he didn't want kids that decision would be for me to make.

bearleftmonkeyright Sat 13-Jul-13 22:46:27

My friend of many many years was always adamant she was not having kids. She is happily married to a great guy and they remain happily child free. Yes, you will find someone smile

KatOD Sat 13-Jul-13 22:47:46

Absolutely what outing said. Yes there are women who don't want kids of your age. Just be honest. I was honest with my DH (who desperately wanted kids) that I wasn't sure I I did... He went away and decided he'd rather have me without kids than someone else with kids. There will be someone else like this for you, you just have to find them!

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 13-Jul-13 22:49:08

I know plenty of women of that age who haven't had children and don't appear to want them either. That's fine, isn't it? I really wouldn't expect them to feel guilty about it.

AnAirOfHope Sat 13-Jul-13 22:49:55

I know two women who are 30 yo that do not want children.

Not every women wants to be a mother hmm

Just state it when dating.

Ezio Sat 13-Jul-13 22:51:18

Just be honest about it, if you dont want them, then dont feel guilty about it, if you are with someone who then decided she wanted kids, then she'd have to accept your decision and move on.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 13-Jul-13 22:52:38

As the others have said as long as you are honest and upfront you will find someone who feels the same way.

GetStuffezd Sat 13-Jul-13 22:54:43

My best female friend and I are 35 and 28 respectively and both childless and don't want any. She's started seeing a lovely guy we knew at uni who doesn't want any either. I personally don't know any childless men in my kind of age range.
Just make it clear when you start dating someone. There are women out there who don't want to be mothers.

Smartiepants79 Sat 13-Jul-13 22:55:24

As long as you are very clear that you don't want children and will not be changing your mind about that then it is up to whoever you meet to decide if that is right for them. I would expect anyone of a similar age to have a good idea if they want kids or not so should not turn round in 5 years time and accuse you of denying them children.
Just be wary of people who think they can change your mind!
What about step children?

expatinscotland Sat 13-Jul-13 22:55:50

Be true to yourself. If you truly don't want to procreate, have you taken appropriate steps to ensure you don't (a vasectomy and using condoms every single time, too)?

Nothing wrong with how you feel. My ex never wanted any children and now, age 46, he is still happily childfree. He remarried a woman who never wanted children and had had herself sterilised when she was 35, before she met him.

I have two female friends who did the same, no regrets. Both are near 50 now and in happy long-term relationships, marriages. They were VERY upfront, however, in any relationship and met men who felt the same.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 13-Jul-13 22:56:50

AnAirOfHope I wouldn't set too much by a 30 year old woman who doesn't want children. I didn't at 30. Many don't. Plenty of women don't feel the urge till they're in their late thirties.

YouTheCat Sat 13-Jul-13 23:00:37

Both my brothers and their wives (all in their 40s now) decided a while ago that they didn't want any children.

There are bound to be women out there who don't want any. Just be honest about not wanting kids.

RaisingChaotic Sat 13-Jul-13 23:02:52

So long as you're honest about it from the start I see no problem.

YouSirName Sat 13-Jul-13 23:06:13

Thanks for speedy replies (new to this site (and the acronyms!)) with the sensible thoughts.

It's the timing of letting someone know that's always been tricky. In our 20's it wasn't a problem but just in the last couple of years it's understandably been less welcomed news. Balancing the 'not wanting to dupe' and the 'giving a new relationship time to establish' is always at the back of my mind.

I've had 3 long term relationships and 3 short terms and the finding of someone who feels the same isn't going so well. Any pointers?

Thanks also for not minding a none Mum's presence.

expatinscotland Sat 13-Jul-13 23:09:11

Yes. Get a vasectomy, get the all-clear and then it is patently obvious to all you date that you do not want to procreate. And use a condom on top of that, every single time.

I've been on this site for years now and there have been a number of men who swear up hill and down dale they don't want children or any more children, but leave contraception up to the woman, even just once. More fool them.

Poogate Sat 13-Jul-13 23:09:36

I'm 39 and don't want children. Same as you, OP, I don't dislike children, in fact I actually like some children, and love my nephews v much and vice versa, but I just don't want to live with any of my own and have no urge to bear my own offspring nor no intense curiosity about what 'they' might look like. The thought of being responsible for another being for 18+ yrs scares the hell out of me and the thought of my happy, fun, free life changing terrifies me.

I'm 100% comfortable and happy with this decision and know that i will not suddenly yearn for a baby. However, be mindful that body clocks can change and someone in their early 30s may change their mind.

Poogate Sat 13-Jul-13 23:13:07

I would make it clear from the off start how you feel as a lot of women feel differently to me!

RaisingChaotic Sat 13-Jul-13 23:14:50

Agree with expat you have to take responsibility for your own fertility. Plus having a vasectomy will make it clear to women that you do mean what you say and there's no hope of you changing your mind. All you can do really, other than that, is to be honest. Not saying you should say something on the first date, unless the conversation goes in that direction, otherwise you could have them running for the hills grin but don't leave it to late either.

RaisingChaotic Sat 13-Jul-13 23:15:21

*too late

MrsOakenshield Sat 13-Jul-13 23:15:44

my best friend and another female friend don't want children. BF likes children, and at one stage thought of adopting an older child, but really is happy to hand back at the end of the day. Other friend just doesn't like children! Both are lovely (though both are married, sorry!).

complexnumber Sat 13-Jul-13 23:16:35

In your 20's? You may well change your mind; however at your age I was having far too much fun.

Also, there's no hurry. I had a similar number of relationships to you at your age, tbh I had no idea what I wanted.

So, I didn't rule anything out (or in)

Now I am a very, very happy daddy.

CatsAndTheirPizza Sat 13-Jul-13 23:21:05

I think there are quite a few non-mums on here these days.

I agree with NeoMaxi lots of younger women don't think they want children - if you aim for your own age group I think you will come across people who have already worked through that and come out the other side still not wanting them.

Poogate Sat 13-Jul-13 23:21:35

OP is 39, complex

RaisingChaotic Sat 13-Jul-13 23:23:00

complex the OP says he's 39 in his op.

PosyNarker Sat 13-Jul-13 23:24:06

I'd just be really honest but be a little careful - some people think kids = c

SelectAUserName Sat 13-Jul-13 23:25:19

I'm early 40s and have never wanted children of my own. I have stepchildren and love them dearly but have never wanted more than that.

I agree that it's something that should be brought up relatively early - not 1st/2nd date but before too much emotional investment has been made in the relationship, to establish whether you're on the same page or not.

Also agree about getting a vasectomy. My DH was relieved I wasn't hankering for him to start a second family (he is several years older than me so would have been an 'old dad' second time around) and was happy to get the snip once reaasured I wasn't going to change my mind.

expatinscotland Sat 13-Jul-13 23:25:23

This man is nearly 40, complex.

Flojobunny Sat 13-Jul-13 23:25:49

Get a vasectomy then, simple. Date women who definitely don't want children or date women who have had children and don't want any more, lots of single mums about.

LadyBigtoes Sat 13-Jul-13 23:29:56

I think there are interest groups and dating agencies for people who don't want to have kids - can't remember the name of them but I have a friend who's involved with one. Have a google - not that I'm trying to send you internet dating if you don't want to! - but it would be a way to get the issue out of the way before you start IYSWIM.

Poogate Sat 13-Jul-13 23:32:11

Ladybigtoes (love the name) that's v interesting, I'm gettiing googling even if the OP isn't !

PosyNarker Sat 13-Jul-13 23:33:30

I'd just be really honest but be a little careful - some people think kids = commitment.

I don't want kids. I think I hang out here in part because all my friends do and I'm a 30-something woman so many posters are my peers (oh that and AIBU) For my I was upfront from date 2. I actually know he'd be up for kids, also know I'd have all the hard work unless massive payrise. I won't lie, it's a worry - he's 31 and do good with others kids (I'm rubbish), so get involved with a woman who's fertile and age may change her mind. Maybe you would too, but I hate it when people say that to me grin so I think the best you can do is be completely honest.

Worth also considering (dark I know, but when I was 21 and met DP I had this clear), is what happens in the event of an accident.

Ezio Sat 13-Jul-13 23:37:39

Im curious as to how a posters friend got sterilised at 35 and childless, when the doctors wont sterilise my sister, at 32 and 4 kids.

YouSirName Sat 13-Jul-13 23:40:08

Yup, the snip option is definitely coming out tops and I think you might be right. Have heard the odd poor report of side effects (loss of sensation/erectile disfunction) but I guess compared to an 'unexpected' surprise it's a small price.

Not sure what the 'kids = c' means, poseynarker. Like I said, I'm new to all this so forgive ignorance.

Thanks for your feedback Complex. Realised you must have misread earlier on. Also nice to hear male viewpoint.

complexnumber Sat 13-Jul-13 23:41:01

This man is nearly 40, complex.

Sorry, completely misread OP.

expatinscotland Sat 13-Jul-13 23:43:41

She was in the US, Ezio.

allaflutter Sat 13-Jul-13 23:47:27

I've dabbled in online dating (don't really like it, so very on and off) and I found it impossible to meet men there around my age (40ish) who don't want children, or at least those who haven't already got kids from previous r-ships. That wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me, but they are normally still considering another child in with a new partner. As a result (I stated there that at 40 I didn't want to start having kids), I get lots of interest from much older men - 15-20yrs older. Hence no joy from the dating sites, as I don't really want a much older bf. Men who are 35-45 and who I like the sound of, invariably put 'yes or maybe' to children, so I don't initiate any contact with them, what's the point?

Where do you meet women? I agree that if you meet the normal spontaneous way, the chances are very small that you meet someone who doesn't want dc and is below, say, 36 - some even want to take the risk at 40. If you do go on dating sites, you can search by this 'box' and see who comes up. It helps if you are in a big city - many single, and more of unconventional women there.

Ezio Sat 13-Jul-13 23:52:07

Ahhhh, that be why then Expat.

expatinscotland Sun 14-Jul-13 00:00:07

You can have it privately done here, too, Ezio. Even in the US, the people I knew who were childfree had to pay for it.

PosyNarker Sun 14-Jul-13 00:03:25

By kids = commitment what I mean is that in both directions people make assumptions that is committed, will wanted children, but also if willing to have children (or mon careful sex) also committed.

For me I wanted to be absolutely clear that I was committed to the relationship but would not commit to procreate. When we got engaged (after 10 years, we're slack and had do many house expenses) I was absolutely clear about this because we are broadly the same age do clearly he has longer than me.

StuntGirl Sun 14-Jul-13 00:04:01

I agree a vasectomy + condoms is the bare minimum. And just be honest with the women you date. I'm a woman who doesn't want any children too, I don't think we're such a rare commodity, there are plenty of us about.

WafflyVersatile Sun 14-Jul-13 03:10:48

allaflutter I've generally read 'mabye wants more' children option on online dating (OKCupid) to mean that they would be willing to have more children if their partner did.

I can't imagine any scenario where waiting until you've spent time getting to know and like someone before tell them that would be better? If you use online dating put it on your profile. Saves everyone time. Maybe it narrows your pool of potential dates but it narrows it in a good way.

GetStuffezd Sun 14-Jul-13 08:15:23

Have to say, I find it quite frustrating when people say "you'll change your mind" with regards to not wanting children. I may only be 28 but I do know my own mind. I work with kids in my job every day and although I think they're wonderful and often heartbreakingly sweet, that's enough for me. I have never felt any maternal desires and if I was in a LTR with a guy who then decided he wanted children, it would be a deal breaker for me.

ComtessedeFrouFrou Sun 14-Jul-13 08:43:00

You're perfectly entitled to feel that way of course. The route of vasectomy plus dating through sites that are geared towards those who don't want kids would make the point absolutely clear. But I think the OP would also be wise to be on the look out for signs that a woman he is dating has ignored what he has said and thinks she can change his mind.

We've all read those heartbreaking threads on here, either about kids or marriage. The man (because it usually is) repeatedly says no kids/no marriage and the woman hangs around for 5 years hoping that he will change his mind.

Of course, if a woman with whom you've been perfectly clear does wilfully ignore what he's said, it's not the OP's fault. But it would be as well for him not to be wilfully ignorant to the "warning signs", for want of a better expression. A lot of men seem to choose to ignore the evidence and avoid having the conversation because they feel (quite rightly) that they were upfront at the start of the relationship.

YouSirName Sun 14-Jul-13 09:21:45

Seems like some of you have an insight into my last LTR!

Started when I was 30 and my choice of no children was accepted. All was great in every department for a long time but a few years later any humour about benefits of being child free were frowned upon. Probably should have nipped it in the bud then and there.

It didn't work out in the end for a number of reasons. She's now happily married with a 4mth old which pleases me as she'll make a great Mum.

Thanks for more good advice. Nice to see a chat room arena that doesn't regress into either right wing militancy or irrational hate male.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 14-Jul-13 09:24:06

I know plenty of people who dont want kids ranging from 23 year old to 40 year old.Nothing wrong with that,they dont hate children but they dont see children as part of their everyday life.Honestly is the best thing.I think its a wuse thing to know if you want kids or not dont agree with people who nag their partners for babies because its so life changing x

TroublesomeEx Sun 14-Jul-13 09:39:44

How would you feel about dating someone who already had children?

Not all mums are looking for someone to be a dad to children they already have. I have 2 children 15 and 7 and although I wouldn't expect anyone to step into the role of being an extra parent .

Any relationship I have would be between me and the man. My children have a dad and don't need another. And a lot of women feel this way.

So is that something you'd consider?

I'm the same age as you, so young enough to have more children, but I absolutely wouldn't even consider it.

ARealDame Sun 14-Jul-13 10:06:43

I think its good that you are clear about this! There will be women who don't want children or can't have children, as well as women who already have children! So, obviously this will only be an issue for women who do. And Expat's practical advice might be helpful too.

Trills Sun 14-Jul-13 10:08:53

It's silly and unreasonable to feel guilty for not wanting children.

It will of course limit your pool of potential partners, but every preference does.

BlueStones Sun 14-Jul-13 16:17:29

I'm a similar age to you, OP, and I've always known that I don't want kids.

I'm single, and I was interested to read what allaflutter said. Whenever I've tried online dating I find I only get approached by much older or much younger men. Hadn't occurred to me that the reason may be that my profile states "doesn't have kids, and doesn't want any". Maybe that's it ... interesting!

Anyway, we DO exist! Best of luck: I know it's not easy.

CatsAndTheirPizza Sun 14-Jul-13 17:21:45

Anyone else tempted to do a bit of matchmaking here? blush

fluffyraggies Sun 14-Jul-13 17:38:49

I think being clear on your feelings about kids as early as you can is best.

If you're getting on well by date 2/3 with a woman and chatting easily it shouldn't be too hard to bring up family. Get in a comment in about your nieces and nephews and how much you enjoy their short term company and how you've never wanted to be a parent yourself. Keep it casual.

I would echo the poster who mentioned that not every woman with kids has little ones and are looking for a co-parent. I had my all my kids in my early 20's. If you're looking for women of a similar age to yourself who also had their kids at that age their children may well not still even be living at home - let alone needing a father figure!

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sun 14-Jul-13 17:43:55

Don't worry about the side effects of the snip. My husband had it done almost a year ago and aside from some discomfort while everything healed, there were no long term detrimental effects. In fact I'd say our sex life is better than ever because we're not anxious about contraception failures anymore (I'm looking at you, dc4!).

Over all as long as you're honest about not wanting children, you will be fine. There are many women in your age group who don't want children. It's not an automatic thing to yearn to reproduce because you're female.

LemonPeculiarJones Sun 14-Jul-13 17:44:26

You need to tell the women you date immediately. People can get emotionally invested quite quickly.

It's a real deal-breaker so it's best to be honest straight away. Someone who genuinely doesn't want kids will beam and say, "Hey, me neither!" Or the like.

Good luck.

SlimePrincess Sun 14-Jul-13 17:50:56

There are social networking sites for people that identify as childfree and even specialized dating sights. It might be something worth investigating.

allaflutter Sun 14-Jul-13 18:26:37

hi BlueStones - for me it became apparent fast just by reading profiles of men in this age group and most have 'yes/maybe' to kids, and if he hasn't got children yet, then especially it's a no-go. I'd definitely date those with kids, but if I'm honest - with older kids (at least nearing end of school), so I would consider those up to 50ish. Yes, much younger men are just hoping for a flingwith a woman who states 'no' to kids, they feel that's a no-pressure situation. Mind you, there is shortage of single men in this age group generally (minus the total commitment phobes) - most are coupled around 40 - or on a short break between r-ships! My own break has been a bit longer than ideal grin, but am more chilled about it than before.

allaflutter Sun 14-Jul-13 18:27:35

Cats - haha, well Op certainly has a choice on here already!

I know plenty of women who dont what children of their own. Some are happy to be step-mums, and some would not consider even that.

One friend of mine was very happy to find a man who was very clear he did not want to have children. Both professionals in the banking industry. A decade and a half, a couple of Siamese cats, a horse, a few cabriolets and a holiday home later, he discovered his paternal side and they had an almighty longwinded row splitting the assets, most notably the pets, and most spectacular the horse.

The horse was just mean, come on she rode it, and he wanted to ride off into the sunset on it, with his new pregnant woman....

YouSirName Sun 14-Jul-13 18:48:12

Am not sure I approached this as a match making service but it's good to know I'm not going solo on the big wide sea. Kind of you all the same and puts a spring in a man's step!

Have looked at some of the mentioned social networking sites for possible routes forward (sounds a bit technical but ykwim (woop woop first acronym - I'll be wearing pull-me-ups next!!)) and there's not much, if any, to cater for dating. It's not what they're there for so can see why. If anyone has successfully explored this further and can share I'd be grateful. America seems more geared up for it than uk websites.

Sorry to repeat myself but thanks again for the advice (lighthouse guidance etc. - ok sorry, no more maritime analogies!)

pleiadianpony Sun 14-Jul-13 18:52:10

Are there women of a similar age who don't want children either?

Probably not on mumsnet

YouSirName Sun 14-Jul-13 19:04:53

Just to confirm, I'm not trying to find a date on Mum's net, just to garner some advice on a site that is clearly open to this kind of issue.

pleiadianpony Sun 14-Jul-13 19:12:34


lots of women don''t want children.

I didn't. Then i met my husband and totally changed my mind! My DH has colleagues who are positively childless. Spend a lot of time travelling, have a fantastic lifestyle.

Is it o.k to ask you why you don't want children?

CatsAndTheirPizza Sun 14-Jul-13 19:15:23

Oh dear - is your inbox heaving YouSir? grin

MadBusLady Sun 14-Jul-13 19:18:04

I know from past threads on the subject that there's quite a few of us 30-something women here who don't want children, or are ambivalent about it. I always assumed I would have children "some day", and now I'm 34 and "some day" is very much here, but it still doesn't really appeal. If we exist even on Mumsnet, there must be a fair few of us around in real life too. I'm just here for the craic really smile

BlueStones Sun 14-Jul-13 19:21:05

pleidian - we are on Mumsnet, ya know! It's a nice place to chat about all kinds of things.

I know you addressed the question of "why you don't want children?" to OP, not me, but to me it is a meaningless question. There is no "why", no reason - I just don't. I think it's the same for many non-parents.

MadBusLady Sun 14-Jul-13 19:28:14

Yes, you might as well ask "why DO you want children?"

pleiadianpony Sun 14-Jul-13 19:33:35

yes fair point! bluestones and madbuslady !

trinity0097 Sun 14-Jul-13 19:54:09

I am happily married and have no desire to have children, hubby doesn't mind either. I cannot stand small children and can't deal with the whole passing round a new baby thing that goes on when someone as work has a baby!

WafflyVersatile Sun 14-Jul-13 20:23:50

I need a man who doesn't want (more) children. And we have the same issue when browsing online dating or whatever. It narrows the pool available to us but so do other things.

Whothefuckfarted Sun 14-Jul-13 21:24:00

I didn't realise there were so many childless women on mumsnet grin Out of interest.. what was it that got all the non mums interested in signing onto mumsnet?

Mumsyblouse Sun 14-Jul-13 21:31:04

You don't need a specialist dating service, if you join one of the ordinary (but expensive) dating agencies such as Drawing down the moon, you can select and be matched with other people who feel similarly about having no children, I have a friend who met her partner this way and they do enjoy being child-free.

GrendelsMum Sun 14-Jul-13 21:43:25

I back off shuddering and claiming to have a cold coming on when the new babies get handed round at work.

I'm on Mumsnet because, being child-free, I've got a lot of free time wink.

Mendi Sun 14-Jul-13 21:45:52

Nothing wrong with this choice OP. a good friend of mine was adamant from when I first met him at uni that he didn't want kids. He went on the establish a very successful career, had good long term relationships but still was sure he didn't want kids. He had a vasectomy in his late 20s (after 2 years of counselling about it) and has never looked back.

He's been in a relationship for the past 3 years and has just got engaged. TBH I think she would actually like kids but he's always been very clear what's on offer and she's obviously decided to take it.

I really think honesty is key. I have 2 or 3 female friends in late 30s who don't want kids. I'm sure you will find someone.

Whothefuckfarted Sun 14-Jul-13 22:04:13

GrendelsMum Who is Grendel?

I'm going to guess at a pet? grin forgivemyignorance

MsJupiterJones Sun 14-Jul-13 22:11:59

My advice would be to find someone your own age. Don't go out with someone ten, twenty years younger and then be surprised if they feel differently later on. Some women know from a younger age that they definitely don't want children but others find that their feelings change as they get older.

MsJupiterJones Sun 14-Jul-13 22:15:29

And as others have said take absolute responsibility for your own fertility.

GrendelsMum Sun 14-Jul-13 22:27:23

smile Whothefuck - Grendel is a monster in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. The hero Beowulf kills the terrifying monster Grendel, and they all sit back, thinking 'job done'. Then Grendel's mother comes after Beowulf in revenge and they're really in trouble...

I chose the name as a bit of a joke about the number of people with the names 'X's mum' on the site, but also as a reflection on the way that mothers are represented in fiction. Someone did once say that they thought that Grendel would be a lovely name for a baby girl, though.

YouSirName Mon 15-Jul-13 00:04:25

No, inbox is just fine thanks, CatsAndTheirPizza, just felt I should be honest about intentions.

Interesting that there are others in the same situation on mumsnet and am glad I've posted the question as have picked up more general thoughts about it in 24hrs with you than in god knows how long elsewhere.

- and things i didn't realise I needed to know about names from far flung times. Curiouser and curiouser!

Thanks for the pointer Mumsyblouse, might well give them a look.

YouSirName Mon 15-Jul-13 00:37:34

Sorry, meant to answer plieadianpony's question.

Reason for wanting to remain child free is the responsibility. It's the obligatory (and rightly so) requirement of decades of emotional stability that is required, and which I was lucky enough to have myself from both parents. By the time you're approaching the 4th decade of life you begin to get more than an inkling as to what type of character you are, and the fathering kind I'm not.

Some friends have said it's immature not to take on such responsibility but I feel it's almost the opposite. I know I'm not built that way and to have a child would actually be irresponsible, not to me but to the child, who has absolutely no say in the matter. I have friends with whose parents i can relate to in not offering a stable parental role and the effect on my friends' childhoods has been tricky to say the least.

I realise from the reactions some people have given that this is not always seen a PC opinion but I'm trying to be honest. Apologies in advance to anyone not enamoured with reason as I'm not having go.

Investigations into medical intervention begin this week. See this space for imminent euphemisms!

WafflyVersatile Mon 15-Jul-13 00:44:11

Sounds perfectly sensible to me. I'm sure there are many, many mothers and daughters on MN who wish the fathers of their children/their own fathers had recognised themselves as not being the fathering kind and kept well away.

CatsAndTheirPizza Mon 15-Jul-13 00:58:04

Sounds sensible and insightful to me too.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Mon 15-Jul-13 08:39:54

I have a male friend who is childfree. Fascinating to see so many women on here who are childfree or know women who are childfree because he's been online dating for ages and the pickings are incredibly slim. I thought he was making it up and just being ridiculously fussy, so I went and had a look. He wasn't wrong.

Not much help, OP, but if you suddenly find where all these childfree single women hang out, let me know so I can pass the info along!

QueenStromba Mon 15-Jul-13 12:12:08

My DP and I are child free. I managed to get sterilised on the NHS just before my 30th birthday. I actually found it surprisingly easy, possibly because I'd spent a lot of time thinking about it and researching the different procedures.

digerd Mon 15-Jul-13 13:08:08

My friend at work was married and neither wanted children. She knew and told me why, without me asking < I wouldn't as just accepted it>.
Reasons were
We enjoy our life as it is.
It would change completely with children.
We would hate to resent the child because of this.
We are both selfish and want to live our lives without having to consider children needs.
Having children just so they can look after us in our old age, is the wrong reason to have them - friends and relatives had mentioned this point to them.

I admired her honesty and her principles.

QueenStromba Mon 15-Jul-13 15:31:26

My reasons are quite different digerd. Mainly I just don't have the desire for them. I used to think that maybe if I met "the one" and he desperately wanted kids then I might agree to have one if he was willing to deal with the day to day reality of kids/pay for a nanny. So if anything, as I've gotten older I've gotten more firm in my view that I don't want children.

Here are my reasons besides "I just don't want them":

If I don't average at least 8 hours sleep a night over the course of a week I'm a zombie - whenever I've had a job that I needed to get up before 7 for I'd end up sleeping most of Saturday.

I'm really sensitive to high pitched noises which means the sound of a baby crying gives me a headache in less than a minute even if that baby is on the other side of e.g. Primark (as a guide for room size).

I can barely manage my own life sometimes (depression and anxiety) let alone someone else's.

The rigmarole of not being able to go to the corner shop without taking the baby would likely result in me barely leaving the house which would be terrible for my mental health.

The whole idea of pregnancy and birth terrifies me even without the long term effects that a lot women have afterwards e.g. urinary incontinence.

If my relationship with my DP broke down I wouldn't want to tied to him for life through children.

I'd be constantly terrified of DP leaving me and me ending up a single mother like my mum - she didn't do well and I'm very similar in personality to her.

Once you have one you're stuck with it even if it ruins your life.

Having said all of that, I concede that there is a chance that I would love being a mother. I'm not willing to take that chance though because there's a high likelihood that it would not only make me miserable, but some poor innocent too.

Ezio Mon 15-Jul-13 19:14:18

Queen, they refused to sterilise my sister on NHS, shes 32 and 4 kids, but they said she was too young, despite being certain on no more kids.

Must be the area i suppose.

KittensoftPuppydog Mon 15-Jul-13 19:18:22

Some women would find this a huge relief.

Xales Mon 15-Jul-13 19:21:28

As long as you are open and honest then there is nothing wrong with your not wanting children as far as I am concerned.

If you date younger women then you do run the risk that they may change their mind and want them later as you already have done.

If you date women of a similar age to you then what about the option of a woman with older children who are close to leaving home age who has been there, done that and won't want any more?

Good luck finding someone.

Meow75 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:50:27

I'm child free too. 37 years old, married to an equally CF and same aged DH for 15 years next month.

And I use Mumsnet, like someone else said, for the craic. This is, as far as I'm aware, the largest and most diverse women's internet community and so it's the best collection of my peers even if most are parents.

A bit like the OP, I don't want to be a parent because of the responsibility, the time involved, the expense, the stress.

But I'm also a teacher ...

Meow75 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:51:59

Oh, and I've been requesting sterilisation since I was 23, just after uni. Lincolnshire says no. sad

Trills Mon 15-Jul-13 19:55:37

I don't want a child the same way some people don't want a dog, or don't want a motorcycle, or don't want to go caravanning, or don't want to go on a beach holiday, or don't want a tattoo, or don't want to eat oysters, or don't want to go on the internet and spend hours having text-based conversations with strangers about online shopping and the correct way to wipe your bum.

Except most of those things are undo-able, or temporary, or both, and having a child is permanent.

Different people like different things. From the information I have gathered, this is a thing that some people like that I would not like.

QueenStromba Mon 15-Jul-13 21:24:39

Thank you very much Trills - you have put that far better than I did.

For anyone who's interested, this was my path to getting sterilised:

1. Have too high blood pressure for the normal pill.
2. Get the implant and react to it so badly I had it out after 23 days.
3. Not really get on with the mini pill to the point where it probably contributed to my depression
4. Have too heavy periods for the copper coil to be an option
5. Not be willing to entertain the idea of a mirena due to 2 and 3
6. Jokingly mention to the contraceptive nurse that my only option was to get DP to have a vasectomy.
7. Her suggest that I get sterilised instead.
8. Think about this carefully for several months, come to the conclusion that this was definitely what I wanted.
9. Research sterilisation methods, decide I'd like Essure but nobody in my PCT was doing it.
10. Go to see the doctor at my surgery who's best at gynea stuff.
11. Answer all of her "what if" questions really easily because I've obviously put a lot of thought into it.
12. Get referral to my local hospital, meet consultant who said come back when you've lost a couple of stone but told me that I could be referred to a doctor outside of my PCT.
13. Go back to GP, get referral for a consultant that does Essure.
14. See a registrar under said consultant's service who didn't seem convinced but had a quick word with the consultant who OKed it.
15. Got sterilised 6 weeks later.

I first talked to my GP about it mid August and I had the op at the end of February so the whole process only took about 6 months. I never actually met the consultant despite her having intimate knowledge of my reproductive system.

pleiadianpony Tue 16-Jul-13 07:37:57

Thanks Sir

I had exactly the same sorts of reasons, not feeling secure enough, being immature and depression and anxiety. That has changed. My husband and i both said the other day though 'it won't be long until little baby arrives and ruins our lives forever!' 'Its too late to put him back!' I don't think that it is a bad thing to acknowledge that we are going to miss the freedom of spontaneous nights out, travel and basically doing what we like with a good disposable income with which to do it!! But the love that I feel and the joy of pregnancy and shifting responsibilities and priorities feels like a natural transition to a different phase. Pace of life is changing and it feels like a special time.

I hope reasons based on negative perceptions of yourself are far outweighed by other more positive reasons like you are having too much of a good time too and that fulfilment you get from being child free, (there is loads !) is great!

Loads of people I know are child free. I will probably spend the rest of my life being slightly envious of their holidays and freedom!

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