Talk

Advanced search

For those of you childfree , do you regret not having children?

(359 Posts)
Seaair2 Tue 19-Jan-21 13:55:53

Interested to hear from those of you who are slightly older.

I’m mid 30s and I have never really seen myself being a biological parent. I like children, more so in smaller doses! I am open to step children in the future or even adoption sometimes, or being a teacher , sort of feel like my calling is to help children who are already here does that sound silly?

I just don’t think the full time responsibility (obviously this would happen with adoption) is something that is for me. I don’t know how parents balance it all! I can be quite an anxious person and I think I’d be worrying non stop!!

But my view seems to be looked down on in society because it’s still the norm to have children. I wish it was more common for people to be childfree for there to be more balanced views!

OP’s posts: |
wibblewombat Tue 19-Jan-21 13:59:00

No, I totally get that. I have always fancied fostering or something similar.

Wibbled for years, felt better the minute I turned forty & now I'm menopausal, grateful I don't have kids as I have the concentration span of a gnat.

FredaFox Tue 19-Jan-21 14:00:22

No like you I’ve never felt the urge to have kids, I’ve plenty of friends with them and I’m not envious but I am happy when I’m in their company and like spending time with them.
Also like you I’d be open to being a step parent.

I’m mid 40s now so very unlikely to happen (unless i have a shock!!) and don’t feel sad about not having kids though my mum dies sorry saying who will look after me when I’m older hmm as I have to do a lot fir her due to her disabilities

dayslikethese1 Tue 19-Jan-21 14:00:38

I'm only 33 but no regrets. My plan is to use all the money I saved not having kids to retire early smile

FredaFox Tue 19-Jan-21 14:01:02

Does worry- this blimmin phone!!

HoboSexualOnslow Tue 19-Jan-21 14:01:24

Late 30s, never regretted it. My friends having babies cemented my childfree leanings!

BobbinThreadbare123 Tue 19-Jan-21 14:02:02

No. No urge, never have. Been a teacher too; no other job like it for reinforcing reasons not to have any! grin

TuxedoPuss Tue 19-Jan-21 14:05:29

I am in my late 30's too and have never regretted it. If anything, any tiny shred of doubt (which may have been some sort of mirage to be honest what with everyone projecting onto me) has dissipated completely.

StCharlotte Tue 19-Jan-21 14:15:01

Well I have no children although not by choice. But it wasn't the end of the world when it didn't happen. However, I'm now in my 50s and I (normally) have a lovely life and am generally happy with my lot.

I do like interacting with small people although there aren't any in my immediate life at the moment.

I am also very glad in these times not to have to worry about educating or entertaining them as well (and good on you for doing that!).

No one can know for sure but it sounds like you'll be fine smile

Tiggyyy Tue 19-Jan-21 14:20:36

Thanks for starting this thread - I was thinking of starting one recently too. I'm in my 30s and leaning towards staying childfree too, but it's always the fear of being older and lonely that keeps me on the fence.

I'd love to hear from some older childfree people about how they feel now.

slashlover Tue 19-Jan-21 14:20:44

I'm 42 and have never regretted it. I'd be a terrible parent anyway, I just don't have the patience for it.

Notadramallama Tue 19-Jan-21 14:21:06

not for one single second. I'm 43

LadyOfTheCanyon Tue 19-Jan-21 14:23:52

Jesus no, I'm 50 and sometimes get annoyed at having to look after my cat.

I haven't a maternal bone in my body, and watching my friends who have had children struggle with money, childcare, their careers and their time has just cemented the idea that we were right not to have any. I find children fundamentally boring, plus our financial situation would have meant that I would have had to stay home with any kids which was never going to fly.

I do sometimes wonder what will happen when we're old, but I also realise that you don't have children to provide care for you when you're elderly.

Notimeforaname Tue 19-Jan-21 14:27:24

*I'm only 33 but no regrets. My plan is to use all the money I saved not having kids to retire early*smile

Yep same for me!
I have often thought about adopting or fostering but that's only if I were to get the 'sudden and alarming fear' that most women with children tell me I'll get,further down the line hmm
I'm happy with my decision and I trust myself.

Whatnext8901 Tue 19-Jan-21 14:28:40

I never wanted kids and was always focused on my career and personal goals, by admission I was and still am selfish with my time and energy. Then in 2017 that changed with my first born closely followed by my second. I’m now married with 2 amazing kids. Amazing because they’re mine and I love them both unequivocally, I would die for them both. However, if I could click my fingers and go back to my life before children, you bet your bottom dollar I would, in a flash. Hindsight is a wonderful and completely unrealistic part of human life because you have to live something to know it. Walk a mile in my shoes type of thing. Before kids I would sit and look at friends and family members with young kids and think “nope” my parents would say “oh you’ll change your mind” and I would say “nope”. Not to give you my life story but I did end up with the 2 and I genuinely honestly sit here with nothing but love and care for them but I will never stop pining for my old life back. My time, my energy, my sleep, my sanity. I’m not the same person I was before kids, I’ve lost an edge I had in work, foggy. My marriage has suffered unimaginably since having kids and we’ve discussed divorce a number of times. In my opinion it’s probably a matter of time but right now I’m here because we have young kids together and we’re very financially tied in together. I endure the day to day and I’m never not tired. I’m a very determined person but marriage and children was not for me. By the way I’m 40 and male.

Notimeforaname Tue 19-Jan-21 14:31:38

but it's always the fear of being older and lonely that keeps me on the fence

I'm always threatened with this..by people with children. 🤣
Even if I had kids, who's to say we'd have a great relationship when I'm in old age?
And how do I know they wont have moved to the other side of the world and I'll be old an alone anyway?

IDontMindMarmite Tue 19-Jan-21 14:33:07

Hi OP, I've pondered this too and am so on the fence that my arse has splinters. The thing is, regret doesn't destroy people you know? You can get over it. And it's not the same as the pain people feel from infertility. Also, would it be better to regret having children, or not having them?

I did a poll on here once asking how many people regretted having kids 85% didn't regret it. So there's my really inconclusive thoughts at this point in time.

HilaryBriss Tue 19-Jan-21 14:33:42

LadyOfTheCanyon

Jesus no, I'm 50 and sometimes get annoyed at having to look after my cat.

I haven't a maternal bone in my body, and watching my friends who have had children struggle with money, childcare, their careers and their time has just cemented the idea that we were right not to have any. I find children fundamentally boring, plus our financial situation would have meant that I would have had to stay home with any kids which was never going to fly.

I do sometimes wonder what will happen when we're old, but I also realise that you don't have children to provide care for you when you're elderly.

This, with bells on grin

Notimeforaname Tue 19-Jan-21 14:35:50

Whatnext8901
That's very honest of you.
That's the thought I've always had in my mind. That although I would be able to love a child who was here..I think I love my life more.

AubergineIsMyFavourite Tue 19-Jan-21 14:36:02

Absolutely no regrets whatsoever. There’s part of me that would have liked some aspects of having children such as helping them with school and nurturing them with other activities. I also feel I would have been a good support to children emotionally and practically. But, do I want the overall impact on my life...no!

You just don’t know how your children will turn out. You can do everything ‘right’ but there is no guarantee at the end of it that you will have children who are decent, caring human beings. I have seen friends and colleagues try to support their children through difficult times including drug addiction, petty crime, violence and worse and seen how heartbreaking it is when their efforts to be a good parent are rejected. It doesn’t even have to be that dramatic..sometimes their children have just been pretty unpleasant, lazy and ungrateful despite the sacrifices their parents have made. I used to think that good parenting could change that but I know a lot of great parents who have had the most challenging relationships with their children with a devastating impact.

There are of course some very positive tales to be told but the risk is too high for me.

CleverCatty Tue 19-Jan-21 14:36:19

I do and I don't.

In my case, I didn't meet the right person, or if I did, then I wasn't ready to have DC then. I also was always half and half re having kids, strange though that sounds, I liked them, but also didn't want to give up freedom etc.

Also in my family my DM was one of the only divorced, single mother's of my childhood, there was a bit of stigma around that, but also in my family there are more kids and divorces than you can shake a stick at, and I always wanted DC within a marriage, not otherwise, as it is bloody hard being a single mother, even though I've had a stepdad for years, which isn't the same.

Honestly if you have your feelings now - don't let society pressure you into having kids if you feel the way you do. I'm not saying you'd regret it but it's not the end of the world to not be a parent. I also know a few parents with really shitty, horrid kids too so you can't guarantee they'll always be sweetness and light.

BobbinThreadbare123 Tue 19-Jan-21 14:36:37

I'm sure that most of us dislike the assumption that we don't know our own minds, too. How many have heard "you'll change your mind" or similar? Why would I? I have never been considered a flip-flopper in my life!

JingsMahBucket Tue 19-Jan-21 14:41:34

I just turned 40 last year and I’ve never regretted it. I knew by the time I was about 14 or 15 that I didn’t want kids. I wanted to be able to travel and have a nice place to live. My husband and I went through a lot of family deaths on his side recently and I said, “Can you imagine doing all this shit if we had kids too?” His reaction was “No fucking way.”

He was always willing to go with whatever I wanted and I told him within the first month of us talking/dating that I didn’t want children. His response was “Your body, your choice.” We’re both happy with this decision.

CleverCatty Tue 19-Jan-21 14:41:51

To give you another scenario, I've got a very close friend, a year younger than me, is youngest by 7 years to her older DBro and DSsis. She has 5 DNephews and DNieces and 2 godchildren.

She's always been of the opinion (and she's quite religious, RC, too) that she didn't ever want kids, was happy being an auntie and godparent.

In fact only once, with one man she met and briefly dated recently there was a speck of 'babies' but it was only a glitch and that was that.

She's never had a single regret as far as I know and as far as she tells me. Just not there, the urge to have kids.

She's the sort of woman if you saw her or knew her you'd think would be the perfect mother, ironically.

ultragroupie Tue 19-Jan-21 14:43:28

I'm 45 - never regretted it at all.
When I met DH I did think seriously about it but came to the same conclusion as I'd always had.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in