Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Childfree by Choice!
The BUST Lounge > Forums > Friends and Family
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
Hydrochlorine
When I say I don't want to have any children, some people, mostly parents themselves, get angry with me. I don't see why, as it is not upsetting to them in any way, that I don't want any. At one point a guy actually said to me that I did not know what I was talking about, as I was "only" 26(I'm 27 now)! Geez, some people already have an entire family by the age of 26, it's 26, not 16.
turbojenn
Yep, hydro, I think a lot of people just try to validate their own experiences, so shock, and persuasion are often the reactions you get.

We had the most perfect, child-free thanksgiving yesterday. Went to my relatives' house in the burbs, hung with my cousins who are now all grown-up and pretty cool peeps to spend time with, and drank pomegranite 'ritas with dinner. YUM.

The only annoying thing....3 'ritas into the evening, my aunt announces that my mom is really pissed that I don't want children...nice. I mean, I know she's disappointed, but the fact that she was airing her anger to my aunt, whom she claims to not even like...*that* is what pisses me off. That information is not dirty laundry appropriate for bitching to other relatives. Sometimes, my momma is one bitter woman...
Hydrochlorine
Hm, she really should keep things like that to herself indeed, at least not share it with people like your aunt. Weird.

I myself have no clue how my mother feels about things, she once mentioned to me that I could be a good mother. Which was a nice thing to say, but how she ever came to that conclusion?
pho#1
QUOTE(Hydrochlorine @ Nov 24 2006, 07:34 AM) *

When I say I don't want to have any children, some people, mostly parents themselves, get angry with me. I don't see why, as it is not upsetting to them in any way, that I don't want any. At one point a guy actually said to me that I did not know what I was talking about, as I was "only" 26(I'm 27 now)! Geez, some people already have an entire family by the age of 26, it's 26, not 16.



yep, i think they try to validate their own experience like turbojenn said. i also think alot of them are a wee bit jealous of us, and feel kind of like "if i have to go through this then everyone should".
Hydrochlorine
Hahaha, they are probably so jealous indeed, as I did not feel the agony of giving birth to something. And when I go to sleep, no whining kid is going to wake me up and no poopy diapers! As much as I sometimes adore cute little kids, they're only cute a couple of hours a day and even then...
ratgrl
Hmmm...some thoughts:

I guess I'm pretty lucky in that my parents (long-divorced and both remarried to other people, BTW) were really cool when I "came out" to them about not planning to have kids. If they were disappointed about it, they didn't let on at all. As for my sister, who has two school-age daughters, she hasn't outright criticized me, either, but I've gotten the sense from her that she thinks I made the wrong choice. When she was pregnant with her first kid, we had a conversation which included her assertion that "children are our future, and all the babies that are being born now are going to be providing your health care, running businesses, and governing our nations when you're older"...etc., etc. She basically was trying to say that by procreating, she was performing an altrustic act: having kids purely for the survival of our species. Please: She and her hubby had their kids for the reason most people do: to create a "mini-me" and "because it's just what you're supposed to do."

A few years ago, I overheard her lamenting to our grandma about how bummed out she was that her daughters were going to grow up without any cousins on our side of the family (we don't have any other siblings) because of my decision to be childfree. Sorry, but giving your nieces/nephews a cousin (or giving a parent a grandchild, for that matter) aren't good enough reasons to have kids if you truly don't want them!

I agree with what some have said in here about people with kids criticizing the childfree as a way of validating their own (possibly regretted) choices to propagate. I have a cousin who's exactly my age, and he and his wife had 4 or 5 kids in an eight-year span. At a family reunion one year, he and I were chatting, the subject of kids came up, and I mentioned that ratboy and I had decided not to have any. My cousin then told me that at a business-related party, he had met a somewhat-older childless couple who said to him, "Yes, we have lots of money and material things...but very empty lives." I guess he convinced himself that that was what the future held for me. In the same conversation, though, he also mentioned that his wife was going to take a trip to Italy (to visit her sister, who was living there at the time), and that purchasing an international plane ticket had involved considerable financial sacrifice on his part (his wife is a SAHM, so he's the only source of their family's income). I couldn't help but feel smug about the fact that ratboy and I travel across the pond almost every year! cool.gif

Oh, and that "you'll change your mind" statement has always set my teeth on edge! What an incredibly condescending thing to say. I used to hear it occasionally when I was in my 20's; now that I'm over 40, and ratboy and I have been married for almost 17 years, I think pretty much everyone has done the math and figured out that, no, I'm actually *not* going to change my mind! But I've seen others in this thread mention that they've recently been on the receiving end of that comment, and I just think that it's a way of telling a woman, "Oh, you don't know what you really want yet; someday you'll come to your senses!" Gah! So. Very.Patronizing. mad.gif
Hydrochlorine
So even at 40, people still whine about it? Ah, what glorious future awaits me. sad.gif

I'm just going on about this. In the Netherlands, at the Ikea stores, they actually have special parking places for families with small children! I ranted and raved about it, while a family with....small children, was standing behind me. You could see the amazement in their faces. I don't hate parents in general, but the ones with entitlement issues I can't stand! Just because you procreated and pushed something huge out of your loins, does not make you a better person.

One of my friends is a mother now and she hates parents like that too, the poor thing sees them everywhere now.
ratgrl
Hydro, here in the States, the reserved parking spaces "for expectant mothers/parents with small children only" have been in the parking lots of many stores for at least a decade! It completely reeks of the sense of entitlement some parents have, IMO. There have been times that I deliberately parked in those "reserved" spaces just for spite. Nobody could do anything about it, either; it's not like they could force me to take a pregnancy test or something. laugh.gif But doing something like that is my passive-aggressive way of telling the world, "Hey, guess what? We non-parents are people, too!"

Those stupid parking spaces have been a thorn in my side for years. I mean, how truly necessary are they? When I was a kid and my parents took me shopping, we actually sometimes had to make long treks across the bigger parking lots. And we all lived through it (and are probably in better physical shape for it, too)! laugh.gif
doodlebug
turbo, I'm sorry your ma is going on and on about this - to other people now! ARGH! It would be nice if your mama got some counselling to help her get over your decision, but she prolly wouldn't see it as her being the one needing counselling, *le sigh*

I feel so blessed that I don't get that kind of pressure from my family. Mind you, I've been saying "I don't want children" since I was a child myself! At the time, lots of people were naysayers ("oh, you're young, you'll change your mind"), but my mom was never like that. My mom didn't really get to choose her life; it was more foisted upon her, which has a lot to do with the generation of women she is from...so she always wanted me to make my own choices in life. Not that she didn't want kids, but I think she wanted a lot of other things in addition to kids, which she wasn't allowed to go after. So she's always enouraged me to go after the things I wanted, and to lead a life with broad interests.

I am always the one telling young people now, "Well, you don't have to have kids if you don't want them." It's such an assumption that people make - even parents generally assume that their kids will grow up to be straight, get married, and have babies. I get the feeling sometimes I'm the first "heretic" adult some of these young folks have met! But I think it's important to keep planting seeds of "you don't have to."

ETA: I think the family parking spaces are actually a good idea if they are closer to the store, b/c little kids are short and the less they stray into the general parking lot, the less likely I am to back into one. Plus let's be fair, it is a lot of hassle to manage shopping with kids, even babies, and kids get tired, whiny, and unpredictable, and if they can walk, they WILL run out in front of cars...it's not always the parent's "fault" - anyone who's had an accident knows it only takes a second. Public transit has always had designated seats for pregnant women (pregnancy can be very disabling for walking and standing), disabled people, and seniors (and I was taught to stand for those folks, no matter what seat I was in), so I don't begrudge pregnant women and families with small kids closer parking stalls, as long as there are equitable ones for seniors and disabled people.
hellotampon
Ratgrl, your sister's comment that "children are our future, and all the babies that are being born now are going to be providing your health care, running businesses, and governing our nations when you're older" and is therefore an act of goodwill made me realize that part of the reason I don't want kids is that I don't like people. Even if having children wasn't environmentally destructive and contributed to an overpopulation problem,
I still don't like the idea of bringing more people into this world. The mental image of a new generation doing all of those things didn't make me feel warm and fuzzy- it put a bad taste in my mouth! I know it's mostly because I'm a crotchety bitch, but people suck. I generally have an all-around feeling of disgust towards everything people do. I know working as a cashier doesn't help at ALL, but I think I would still feel that way anyway.

It's also funny how people with children think that the childfree have empty lives, because so many childfree people think the same thing about them.

I had Thanksgiving with my boy's family this year there were only a few little kids there- nice ones. He has some other little cousins who are loud and obnoxious and exhausting but they weren't there this year, and I think his sister's adorable beagle/jack russell mix got more attention than any of the kids yesterday. I was sitting there thinking about how there are so many kids in that family of all ages and how they interact, and it's nice that they all have a cousin who's around their age to grow up with. I never had that, but I would never expect anyone to have children just so their nieces and nephews have cousins.
lucizoe
Word, hellotampon. Word.

Rant deleted.

Blah. I had a stressful holiday.
pollystyrene
I went out last night with my parents, grandparents and some other relatives who weren't able to make it to Thanksgiving on Thursday. We were having a delightful evening and at some point in the conversation, one of these other relatives made some humorous comment about future generations of the family, like a joke. My sister and I are the only two grandchildren of my grandfather, and he only has a sister, so the family name is ending with us, since neither of us wants kids. After this relative made the joke, my dad said, "Oh no, neither of them wants kids, so it ends here!" My parents, as I've said before, are supportive of our decision to remain childfree, but my grandmother has a hard time dealing with it. She laid into us (me, really, since I was next to her and my sister was farther down the table) about how sad it is that we don't want to have children, and how shocking it is, considering what a fabulous mother we had growing up. I sort of looked at my mom, who was on my other side, and rolled my eyes, and she just laughed.

What the hell does my mother's parenting skills have to do with my choice not to have kids? Like people who had terrible mothers are destined to be the same way, and the same with people who had great mothers? I just don't get the connection between the quality of your parents/childhood and your desire to have or not have children. I think people who want kids are going to want them whether their childhood was wonderful, average or bad, and the same goes for people who choose not to have kids. If you want them and you had a terrible childhood, you want to do more for them, and maybe re-live your childhood through them (I'm not talking about people who live their dreams through their children, or something psychotic like that, I just mean you enjoy their childhood as much as they do.)

Gar! Anyway, the conversation devolved into my grandmother pointing out how unusual it was for a mother-in-law to pay such a compliment to her daughter-in-law.... rolleyes.gif


turbojenn
Oh man, polly, grandmother guilt...that is the worst. I avoided that this week at least! heh. That's awesome that your parents back you up on your choices! I dunno...is it the holidays that makes families wax nostalgia and get greedy for more genetic material?

(((((luci))))) I wish you peace and the foresight to navigate the best way through your wedding planning issues...it can be rough, I know. I think everyone runs into road blocks with these things, and I just took it as an indicator of how each of our families operates, and turbomann and I just tried to take an objective view, and strategize our way through it to get the best result for our desires, and not incite more hositility. It worked pretty well, in time.
sybarite
You know, I often count myself lucky that I don't get pressure about having kids (especially reading some of the stories here!), although my future MIL may start soon. Because the mister has his own child though I'm hoping it won't be too bad.

What has happened over the last few weeks though is that two women who are, I guess, becoming good friends, asked me seriously, and with respect, why I thought I didn't want kids. They were two different conversations (in two different countries) but it was just so cool, because I really felt in both cases we learned something more from each other. I learned about their reasons for wanting kids: one is passionate about it, one is kind of undecided but is going to go for it anyway, and in a way I saw both their arguments as persuasive, but ultimately I didn't feel swayed. Because I'm so rarely challenged on this, the discussion was good for me; it showed me my decision was pretty cemented.

It felt good to talk about it as a basic, either-or thing, rather than something supposed to be inherent and organic that I was bucking the trend on. I'm so fortunate to know these people.

Hopefully this is helpful in a small way; there are other perspectives out there.
ms.gb
after having to deal with two cats fighting tooth and nail, the vet visit, the cost of the visit, the med giving, the temperature taking, cleaning up puke from said meds, and arming myself with a squirt bottle to break up pre-emptive fights, and the potential upcoming visit for one of the cat(possible abscess) i am now more firm than ever that i do not want kids....period. if you have ever been woken up from a dead sleep by a screaming mammal, you know what i mean.

why do people assume you'll be a good mother when the only comparision they have is your own parents? my own mom said "you've always been good with kids and animals. i don't know why you don't want kids."

maybe cuz animals you can put down if they get cancer.....(i'm getting morbid here)(i'll stop now.)

i'm just saying..... dry.gif

plus, the thought of something that looks like a mini-me running around causing chaos just makes my head spin.
humanist77
Y'all remember that horrific article-101 Reasons For Having Children-that I posted a couple months ago? I was looking through the website and discovered SO much more to be disturbed about..
The website is for a magazine edited by the woman who wrote that list..it's called Above Rubies..it is "a magazine to encourage women in their high calling as wives, mothers, and homemakers"..
I began with her own little-biography, in which she pretty much summarizes all of her offspring, and her offspring's offspring, and who they are all married to, and what their husbands do (because god forbid any of these women do anything but give birth and raise children) Get a load of all the wacky names!

Then I ventured into articles written by her daughters and readers of the magazine..here are some good ones:

An informative article entitled Why Not Submit? told me why and how I should submit to my husband. There were many little disturbing details within, too many to list. Here are a couple more HILARIOUS articles on the topic of submission:
Seven Secrets For Wives
Submission-How Does It Work?
They remind me of that widely circulated article A Good Wife's Guide..

And my favorite, pertaining more to this thread, Where Is My Maid?, which describes some pretty terrifying (and disgusting) adventures in childrearing.

I notice that hardly ever are women actually called "women" but rather "mothers" and "wives", and men are always called "men". It's not that I've never known of this culture, but to read this firsthand stuff, and all the details making it up is always jarring..They are obviously one of those creepy communities of amish-ish (ya'know, besides the website and the cars) people living all together in the woods, they all wear bonnets and long skirts and dark clothing, the women get married and start having babies at 12 (to 40 year old men)..
Anyway, I really do feel very sorry for these women, they are completely and utterly brainwashed, with little to no chance of ever changing, and that's how it will go on for generations. They live in isolation so that their children will never see another perspective. I have so much awe for people who go to these communes and rescue women and girls who WANT to leave.

Explore through the other articles..there's a whole lot more creepiness..
mouse
*delurks*
(i lurk here, i also lurk in the mommmies thread...my fate as to mothering or not is still undecided and luckily i haven't been given any pressure)

just curious, those of you who are against reserved parking for mothers with small children re: the "entitlement" issue--what do you guys think of european countries where the mothers are given a year paid leave to raise their kids?

not wanting to start a melee at all, just wondering.

lucizoe
humanist, I hope you bleached your brain after all that. How utterly revolting.

Heh, thanks turbo...although I was rather hoping that I got to that before it was read. We are a-teetering on no party and spending the money on travel instead. Hopefully we can spend a few weeks at the cabin near the UP this summer for our not-honeymoon.

It would be really really awesome if they would complete our building's boiler replacement today and turn the heat and hot water back on. It's been two days now and I'd like to do dishes without boiling gallons of water. Oh, and wake up at least halfway warm tomorrow. See, if we had kids we would be out several hundred extra dollars this week because we had little warning about this situation and we would have had to get a hotel room for a few days. As it is, we and the cats can just suck it up. But still. Brrrr.

ETA - I really don't care about the parking situation. And as for the paid leave...nope, just don't care. smile.gif I do think that option should be available to everyone in some capacity, because there are certainly pursuits worth a year of someone's time just as much as caring for an infant might be worth someone else's, but I don't think I'm going to see that kind of enlightened thinking anywhere in my lifetime. But I'm cynical.
doodlebug
humanist, thanks for posting those....I look forward to reading them later this evening.

A feminist colleague and I have this dream of renting a helicopter and dropping leaflets over Bountiful, which is a Mormon polygamist commune here in B.C. The problem with these communities is not only the lack of choices for women and girls, but the ages at which they are initiated sexually. The Mormon polygamists have been practising sexual abuse against teen girls in the form of non-legal "marriages," and have also trafficked hundreds, maybe thousands of girls over provincial borders and the U.S.-Canada border, for the purpose of illegal "marriages." I met a woman who escaped Bountiful - she's quite well-known in Canada - and the stories of how they are indoctrinated are quite scary...they are actually taught that they cannot get into heaven without a (sanctioned, approved) husband! Just try leaving your religious community if that's what you're taught to believe!
humanist77
my pleasure, doodle-it's overall for the amusement factor. Luci, do you really think I'm that weak-minded to fall for that crap? tongue.gif

Yet another article attributing not having children to more happiness (despite the author insisting that the search for happiness is futile):
"What about the joys of having children? Parents recall those years with fondness, but studies show childrearing takes a toll on marital satisfaction, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert notes in his recent book, "Stumbling on Happiness." Parents gain in satisfaction as their kids leave home, he said."

I like that we've been seeing more and more of these statements and studies surfacing more lately..
lucizoe
Of course not, darling! But you know, sometimes it's nice to just whitewash the bad right out wink.gif Heavy drugs will do the trick too. Sigh.
humanist77
doublo posto
humanist77
Oh I know, Luci-my reply was in good fun ; )

And yes, I do believe I will go have a martini..at 2:30 in the afternoon..tongue.gif

ETA~In searching for A Good Wife's Guide, I found that article is disputed some by Snopes.com-they argue that many fake articles of this nature are written, humourously, to show 'how far we've come along'-how enlightened we are now..I understand that, but that's what's so scary about Above Rubies, is that it's real people, right now..they are still living in that certain 1950's (or Victorian, more like) era, and it's all bound together by religious extremism..
oceandessa
QUOTE(mouse @ Nov 27 2006, 07:49 PM) *

just curious, those of you who are against reserved parking for mothers with small children re: the "entitlement" issue--what do you guys think of european countries where the mothers are given a year paid leave to raise their kids?

not wanting to start a melee at all, just wondering.


Personally - I don't have a problem with either. I think paid maternity leave is essential to allowing women to remain in the workforce and not have to choose between family and career. Having more women in the workforce is still essential in my book.

One more week until my IUD insertion! woot!
doodlebug
(ETA: as a feminist, as well as Marilyn Waring's biggest fan, I view paid maternity leaves as positive, because they acknowledge women's reproductive labour as well as women's productive labour. The economic system is fucked up big time, in terms of what it values and what it ignores. I think paid mat leaves are a huge advance for women's equality rights and feminist economics, because those kind of policies are based on public recognition that 1) most women, unlike most men, have to choose between paid employment and unpaid reproductive work; 2) the wage gap means women are more likely than their male partners to become primary caregivers, due to financial considerations for the family; 3) statistically, women all around the world do the majority of all paid and unpaid work in any given society, and they do the majority of unpaid work in most families; 4) women's unpaid reproductive work is a valuable contribution to society AND to the economy; and 5) women's role as reproducers should not affect their job security...in the old days, not that long ago, if you got pregnant - even if you were married - you could be legally fired for that reason only!)

Ok, I've read some of those articles, and.....ACK!

First of all, the bible says wives submit unto your husbands....and husbands submit unto your wives! Hello! Conveniently, this is mentioned NOWHERE in the articles on submission.

Secondly, I just finished the Seven Secrets article, and when I read this line, I nearly jumped backwards out of my chair like Joaquin Phoenix did in Signs when he saw the alien video footage for the first time: "To be a Christian at home one must learn to ‘keep sweet’."

"Keep Sweet" is the name of the book written by the woman I mentioned below...the woman who escaped the Mormon polygamist commune (Debbie Palmer). And the title comes from the exact same sentiment that the children and wives are taught...that they must always "keep sweet!" EYAUGH!

Also don't miss the article on Disciplining God's Way: "Children are not blank tapes who learn evil from elders. They pick up sin, not only from the environment but it is in their hearts from conception. Children are not little bundles of innocence but Proverbs 51:5 says that they are little bundles of depravity. If they are not trained and disciplined according to God's Word, they can develop into unrestrained agents of evil. Selfishness, violence, lying, cheating, stealing and other such behaviour are some of the foolishness from the vast store in their hearts. Spankings drive these manifestations out of the child's personality lest they become permanent fixtures."

AND, Let Girls Be Girls: "I purpose (sic) we let the little boys have their trucks back. Let's give our little girls the most beautiful, precious doll we can find or make. Then when our little girl plays with her doll, encourage her to be a loving mother. Don't allow her to let her baby to be unkept. If you love her doll it will be even more precious to her."

Um. My mama encouraged me not to let my paintbrushes become unkempt, thank you very much.
pollystyrene
The downside of this discussion is that it's tr**l bait.

turbojenn
I'm cool with tr*llbait, yo. Ignore takes care of that little asshole.

Like most people, I'd agree that maternity and paternity leaves are a social good, and necessary to help parents adjust to the new wee one in their home, and their new routines. And, I'd like to see family leaves extended beyond 12 weeks, because I think its important for parents to have time to really get comfortable in their roles as parents, and learn who their babies are.

However, I do not agree with special parking for parents of small tots. A child is not particularly a handicap, if it is, then half the population is plagued. It seems a bit entitled, yes, and so then -- how many spaces do you leave at the mall where it seems half the shoppers have strollers? I dunno...I don't have any real intellectual reason for feeling that special parking for parents is offensive to me, its just a gut feeling.
mouse
okay, fair.

and i'm sure the parking spots are misused, but i would agree with it for a very pregnant woman or a woman with a newborn. and i would consider that a feminist issue as well, as would i consider being allowed to bring one's child (as long as he or she was well behaved, or was removed as soon as he or she started to misbehave) to class with them.

i'm not even going to look at that "above rubies" link, i'm scared enough already.
turbojenn
Nah, I don't think the classroom is a place for any child either...no matter what age, or how well behaved. Its really just a distraction issue for me...no matter how quiet the child is, I find my gaze and attention wandering toward the child...if you're paying to be in the classroom, then it should be a professional learning environment.

I took a web dev class a couple years ago at night, and it was $1200 for 8 weeks of intensive training, and one of the other students brought her child several times, and I just really had an issue with that. It was hard for me personally to learn, with a squirming child in a stroller two computer screens away...not the best environment for coding, I'll say. I ended up talking to the head of the school, and told him that one of two things had to happen - no more children in the classroom, or I get my money back. And the child didn't come back...and I got to learn. And you know, I don't feel bad about it, because the other 6 people in the class had as much frustration as I did, but no one else was willing to be honest about it.
mouse
see. i understand that up to a point, and that point comes with the single mom trying her damnedest to get an education so she can get a better job and pay for childcare and give her kid a decent life and upbringing. and i think that--the combination of first of all the high rate of men who walk out of their kids lives leaving the mothers alone to cope, and the fact that education is ridiculously expensive in this country, and the fact that women tend to have to be more qualified than men to get the same jobs--is an issue i am concerned with. of course this is less about the parent in question and more about perhaps the fact that universities need to have childcare available.

but, like you say, it's your money that you're paying for your education. it's a fine line.
turbojenn
Yeah, I hear you, mouse...I still think there are places where kids are welcome, and those where its just not appropriate, and the classroom is one of them. The class I was in was 6-9pm, and that was hard enough for me after work...sometimes I wanted to cry, just like that woman's baby - 'cause I was tired too!

I definitely think education should be more accessible for everyone, parents included, and that child care is another issue that really needs addressing - because child care should also be safe, accessible and affordable, so that its easier for parents to continue with work and education.

humanist77
Oy, Doodle-I didn't even see the Girls article..how delightful..What does 'Keep Sweet' mean, exactly?

I know we've listed many here, but I think we need to compile an official list of 101 reasons not to have children, and send it to Ms. Nancy Campbell..Although, if we can't actually think of 101 reasons (which wouldn't mean anything, because each individual reason is important enough) that's fine, because at least half of the "reasons" on her list are repeats, mostly having to do with creating another little JesusFreak, or how precious babies are. Maybe we can all post all of our reasons, and one person adds them all to a master list? (I can do this if no one else wants to)

I am aware of the futility in actually sending it to her-it wouldn't do a damned thing..but I'm interested in actually having a list of everyone's unique reasons, and it can be there for everyone's own use-whether it's helping someone else discover how they feel about having children or not, or for argumental purposes : ) It's certainly a personal issue, and no one needs to voice their reasons for it, so no pressure...but it is all in the name of research!
faerietails
1. I can go to sleep/wake up as late as I want!

2. I can eat whatever I want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without worrying about having someone else's nutrition in my hands.

3. Paying for grad school is hard enough without having the added expenses of childrearing.

4. The whole consumption of the earth's resources thing...

5. Pets don't talk back to you!

6. There are already a whole lot of kids in this world who would die to be adopted and have a family. Do we really need to keep birthing more?
doodlebug
"Keep sweet" basically means to never complain, to never argue, to "keep a sweet smile" on your face while always, always, always submitting to the patriarchs, to male authority, i.e., husband, father, church leaders. And to do so no matter what - even in the face of abuse of that authority. (Which would not be considered abuse of authority, b/c men are never wrong unless the church leaders decide they're wrong...which is rarely...it's so complicated, I wish I could explain more about the Mormon fundamentalist culture without taking up a metre of the page.) Members of Mormon fundamentalist (i.e., polygamist) communities are taught to "keep sweet" from the time they are 18 months old, and it's enforced with some heavy duty corporal punishment that goes far beyond spankings. I remember reading that crying children are held under cold water till the crying stops, because "crying is an offense to God." So anyway, "keep sweet" is a shorthand brainwashing tool, basically - used as a constant reminder, just as ordinary to them as "sit up straight" was to kids like us.
mouse
faerie, i think the number one reason to not have kids is overpopulation. i totally agree with you. i like the idea of having my own kids, i'll admit--though not sure if its an idea i'd ever follow through on even if overpopulation weren't an issue--but i feel like if the time comes that i really want to have children, i'll adopt. it's so hard to justify bringing yet another person into the world.
humanist77
That's horrifying, doodle! Again, it's not that I've never been exposed to this way of life, but to be reminded of it is like learning about it for the first time.

Faerie, I love all your reasons so far! And I agree, that overall, the most important reason for not reproducing is overpopulation. But that's just me thinking on a global scale. The second one, pertaining to global issues, is definitely that there are millions of kids in orphanages waiting to be adopted. It really breaks my heart. If there were EVER the tiniest, nano-possibility of me changing my mind, I would only adopt. There is 100% zero possibility of me ever having my own. Anyway, thinking personally, I think the most important reason is that I feel I have so much more important things to do, for myself, others, and the rest of the world (what though, I have not figured out yet) than to raise children.

I'll keep track of the list : ) Soon enough I will hurl up a wealth of my own reasons~
faerietails
Yeah, that list wasn't in any particular order. But come to think of it, I think I've always thought of being childfree in global terms, even when I was a kid myself. I remember being little and watching a special on 20/20 about the kids in Romanian orphanages and just being horrified. It was cemented pretty early on in my life that if I ever had kids, they would be adopted. Actually, after watching that special, I'd decided that if I ever adopted kids, they'd be from a Romanian orphanage. Everything I ever read about those places gives me nightmares. Then you read about children in Africa and India and China and the problems being caused by consumption of global resources--and really, just about the way this world is generally going to shit--and I couldn't in good conscience bring a kid into that.

But really, I just don't want kids. If my brother or sister died and left me their hypothetical children, then hell yeah I'd step up and do it. Outside of that scenario, though, I just can't see myself with children. I feel 100% the same way as you when you say that you feel there are so many more important things to do. And I have other interests in how I'd like to spend my discretionary income (like animal shelters)!

total subject change...I know it's a fictional tv show, but have any of you seen "Big Love?" All that stuff doodle wrote about the fundamentalists reminds me of the bad guys on the show (fundamentalists who live on a fundie compound). In one episode both the dad and one of his wives tells Bill Paxton to slap around their daughter a little bit when she talked back because she was too "strong-willed." She's a total bitch on the show, and I'll admit there are times I'd like to smack her myself, but it still makes me shudder to think that that's the advice parents would give to keep their daughter in her subservient place!
pollystyrene
This site has a nice list of benefits of remaining childfree.
katiebelle2882
i am a mean person. I got an email from my cousin about her going to see santa with her kid and in her email she included the link to her friends blog which is all about......her one son jack. yes thats right, this woman blogs about her single and only child (from as far as i can tell). she celebrates his "due date" anniversary which should not be confused with his actual birthday.

SO LAME. So lame in fact that i must include it here for my favorite women's reading pleasure if you have a moment.

http://littlemanjack.blogspot.com/

turbojenn
I dunno, I don't think there's anything wrong/silly/indulgent with blogging about your child...if your role is primary caregiver, and that's what's happening in your life - then its no different than any other blog in my mind. Blogging is a pretty navel-gazing affair, but if you're sharing the blog with your family and parents, I think its an easy way to stay in touch, post pictures of the tot as he grows up...I think its kind of nice. I wish my SIL had a blog or somewhere that I could see piccies and hear about my neice and nephie, since I only see them at Christmas, and they grow so much between the times we see them.

I don't really see a family blog as anything different than all my single friends jabbering on about their lives via blogs and live journals...or on bust, for instance.
katiebelle2882
these people are snooty on top of everything else though. I just think it shows you really need something to do with your time. its one thing to email pics out, alot of my cousins do, but its another to show an extreme amount of overinvolvment in your kids life to the point of telling him birthing stories about when he was born on his "due date anniversary". i just see it as so painfully cheesy. apparently, alot of other people on the email list do as well bc i have gotten a few random emails about it.
doodlebug
Heh. I have an entire website devoted to my decorating projects and pictures of my cats. Speaking of obsessive navel-gazing! smile.gif I'm thinking of switching over to a blog format, actually.

humanist, I agree - it's always shocking to learn new aspects of these things...I think what really shocks me, though, is that our governments here in Canada have let it go on so long...it's only because of people like Debbie Palmer going to the women's movement and to the media - and she's spent years and years trying to bring attention to Bountiful - that any investigations are starting to happen at all.
lucizoe
Well, to be fair, any blog is obsessive navel-gazing, isn't it? And the internet is the internet is the internet, so if you choose to post chunks of your life online, you need to accept you're opening yourself up to unsolicited opinions and potential mocking. After all, mocking is fun. I skimmed it KB, and I get what you're saying. I had to stop after the picture caption listing the three really pretentious names. rolleyes.gif

I haven't heard from a couple I used to know back in East Nowhere for months and then boom! Damn ugly baby pictures in my inbox. Seriously ugly. I know newborns are beautiful to their parents, but damn. Wrinkly, red, splotchy, dry patches, drooling. This infant looks like an old naked sick chihuahua. And why? They stopped talking to me before I even moved, too wrapped up in the pregnancy to answer phone calls or emails, or even to actually show when we managed to connect and make concrete plans. Incredibly rude behavior on their part and now I'm supposed to what? Coo over this grizzly thing they've graced me with? I'm confused by this turn of events to be honest. Am I allowed back in their lives now as a repository for baby pictures and stories?

Blah.

My personal reasons for not having kids, in no particular order -

1. Big old fuck you to the fundies
2. Serious mental illness; no wish to inflict that on a child
3. Money
4. Environmental concerns
5. Pressure on mothers in my culture enormous. I'm already fucked by just being a woman and I'd rather not invite further scrutiny and unrealistic expectations and scorn.
6. Other parents.
7. Time - Thus far I have spent much of my life starting and stopping, starting and stopping, starting and stopping. I don't want to give that freedom over to anyone.
8. I don't much care for kids at certain ages. I have no experience with them and no attraction to them and being around them makes me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. I guess we could call this part of the social anxiety disorder.

At Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law's house I had this distinct feeling of being very closely watched around the little kids, like I was being tested as a woman based on how I behaved with them. Maybe I was being paranoid, but this is a very kid-focused family filled with SAHMs and once or twice comments were made about our future reproductive plans, and I felt very uncomfortable. I mean, I do not know these people well at all and they feel it's appropriate to discuss my body and health and - in a way - our sex life? It's weird and presumptuous and not a little bit rude.

I was wondering about this idea that people who don't like dealing with kids are akin to racists and sexists and that really makes me bristle. To my mind there is a tremendous difference between not liking (or downright hating) someone because of their secondary sexual characteristics or skin color, and not liking being around people who are developmentally and socially incapable of acceptable behavior in certain situations. I guess I'm just trying to say I could give a crap if other people want to have kids, but it would be nice if people would keep them away from places at which they do not belong, and not act all shocked and put-out that some women might not be as enamored of kids as others.

I'm currently contemplating ditching theater and going back to a more academic path, namely women's studies. A tiny part of me wants to be the voice of dissent in those discussions which invariably make Women's Issues synonymous with Mother's Issues. While the latter are obviously important for many reasons which have been discussed to death, and the two necessarily overlap, it really chaps my ass that in general they are not viewed as separate.

I have to say I am really fucking sick and tired of being physically bullied by people with those enormo-strollers. They're not battering rams, people! Whatever happened to those folding umbrella strollers? Are they not safe anymore? Stupid yuppie neighborhood.

I'm hangry and starting to foam. Must eat something and calm down.
katiebelle2882
you live in NYC just like me luci and i TOTALLY know what you mean about being bullied by strollers! I have a friend who pointed the whole thing out to be to begin with. He was like just bc they procreated doesnt mean they always have the right of way, or the right to hit other people in an attemp to move the giant thing around.

also, I am thinking about heading back to academia too. except going and getting the old Phd in political science with a concentration in international humanitarian/womens issues. thinking about doing the masters in europe since THEIR educational system doesnt require you to pay loads of money to take the GRE and a GRE class. but i digress.


i hate the idea that if you dont like kids you are exactly like a racist/bigot. they are in NO WAY similar. ugh.
missladyj
faire - I agree with number 3 on your list. How the hell anyone can afford childcare and gradschool is beyond me!


the number one reason I love being childfree is hubby and I can screw whenever and where ever we want!


about the parking spaces. I have never seen parking especially designated for pregnant women or for parents. but I wouldn't have a problem with it at all. I was in a parking lot at whole foods and was parked next to a woman who was getting her kids bucked into the car. She apologized to me because she saw me waiting to get to my car. I told her no problem take your time. How could I get pissed off about a mom doing what is right for her kids? It is a lot to handle sometimes and I don't mind having some patience for that.



I was at an extra long day at work ( parent teacher conferences for four hours after teaching for a full day of school) and I was saying how tired I was only to be told by a mom that I just don't know what it is to be tired. So because I haven't popped one out I can't be tired? I told her just because I don't have kids doesn't mean I can't be tired.

It really pissed me off. I have a lot shit going on I work full time, teach excersize classes partime, grad school, tutoring, swim team practice, etc. It takes alot of nerve to think that just because you have kids that you are so much more entitled to being busy and exhausted. Besides which having kids is a choice, you choose to get pregnant and I choose not to so don't fucking tell me that I just don't understand how exhausting it is. screw you!


I also find the stupid stories about the precocious things your boring children said, did, as tiresome things and only for the sake of polietness I endure them. You do not need to repeat the lame ass story because I wasn't in the room and you have nothing else to talk about. These stories are not interesting to me and no I don't want to look your power point presentation of your ugly baby.

I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN !

there I said it

thank you

rant over.
uplate6674
Oh yes, the strollers-as-battering rams. When I lived in Park Slope I called them Yuppie Attack Strollers.
sybarite
It seems to me that the childfree and those with kids are becoming increasingly polarised from each other, to what might be an unprecedented degree. I think one reason those without children are becoming so annoyed at kids and their parents is that society is becoming more child-centric, which means that kids have less behavioural boundaries than they used to. I also think parents (in couples and single) are under more pressure than before, not only to earn enough but to be 'good' parents. Somehow parenting itself became accountable to others.

One reason I don't want kids is because, in the US and UK at least, now is an odious time to be a parent. All that pressure, on everything from stroller choice to TV watching to food to schools and more. I admire and applaud parents who can resist that pressure and trust to their own instincts and experience.

A result of the stress of that pressure, however, seems to be a lack of discipline/ boundary enforcing, leading to badly behaved kids in public places, which in turn reinforces the childfree's perceptions of childrearing as difficult and small children as noisy and annoying.

I don't want kids, partly because I don't want to face all that pressure along with sleepless nights and loss of freedom and agency in my own life. I do like some kids though, and lately I admire the nice kids I've met all the more, because, to be honest, I wouldn't want to be growing up now. Too confusing and too much entitlement culture.

I guess what concerns me is that the childfree and the child-rearing are getting very far away from each other ideologically, which makes sense when one half is perceived to be getting benefits (greater flexibility at work for example) that the others lose out on simply through not having kids. My bottom line though is that most people who are parents (excluding the wealthy, with staff and other help) probably have it considerably harder than I do. While bratty kids annoy the hell out of me, lately I'm trying hard to see the big picture.

/leaves soapbox...

lucizoe
ha, uplate, I see your Park Slope and raise you Brooklyn Heights wink.gif If you're still in New York, there's a thread in Friends & Family...not too active, but there if you need the locals.

So, I thought of another reason this morning. My very short temper. I would probably hurt a child. Case in point: I woke up at 5:20 this morning, having been made aware by a really weird dream involving my period, that I had gotten my period, with raging, crying, whimpering, ready to puke cramps. I didn't want to wake the mister so I went downstairs to make raspberry tea and huddle on the couch with the heating pad.

Two-and-a-half hours later, the cramps finally subside enough to sleep when his alarm clock starts blaring. The thing is violently loud, right next to his head, and he's not waking up. Meanwhile, I'm getting angrier and more frustrated (the bedroom is up in the loft, which is open, so the alarm clock is in the same room as the couch), so I storm up the stairs all banshee she-devil like and start beating the shit out of the alarm clock and snapping at Mr.Luci to wake the hell up.

Then I started crying. I was tired and crampy and hungry and cranky and I felt immediately guilty for yelling at him when he was freaking sleeping. I am bad meanie wife and he is a lovely saint of a man.

But see? Sleep-deprived Luci + crying baby = felony. Bad.

ETA - I agree with every sybarite just said. I never do that. Word.
pollystyrene
I'm the same way, luci. You wouldn't like me when I'm sleep or food deprived. It's ugly.
missladyj
just because I don't have kids doesn't mean that those with kids and can assume that I don't have alot going on . The assumption that can't have a fully, busy and tiring day and that is what upset me about the comment from this coworker.

while my responsibilities don't include child care and all of the entrapments of childcare that doesn't mean that I can't feel tired. I am just so sick of hearing people with kids complaining all the time about how hard it is . I am sure it is but they made the decision to reproduce and yes I understand that we live in a world that doesn't truly support famlies.

I get it thanks for asking .

I will not tolerate being subtly insulted ( because that is how the comment felt to me) because I don't have kids. That is bullshit.

This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.