Author Topic: No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children  (Read 16837 times)

skdadl

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2007, 11:41:08 AM »
I think we have to recognize that few people are entirely single-minded at most points in their lives. Don't most people have fleeting thoughts at any time of how things might have been different if ... ? That doesn't have to mean you want to leave your partner or you wish your children dead. It just means you are an intelligent human, imho.

Most of the women I know, especially mothers of adult children, have very complex feelings about parenthood and what it meant in their lives, even when their kids are great.

sparqui

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2007, 11:56:08 AM »
Quote from: skdadl
Most of the women I know, especially mothers of adult children, have very complex feelings about parenthood and what it meant in their lives, even when their kids are great.


It seems that the societal default position is that if you're a mother, your individuality is somewhat erased and pursuit of self-fulfillment is melded with your role as mom. People have a much harder time understanding a mother walking out on her children than a father for example. Given such pressure, I think that faith's friend answered honestly and courageously.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

chester

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2007, 12:02:02 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
I think we have to recognize that few people are entirely single-minded at most points in their lives. Don't most people have fleeting thoughts at any time of how things might have been different if ... ? That doesn't have to mean you want to leave your partner or you wish your children dead. It just means you are an intelligent human, imho.

Most of the women I know, especially mothers of adult children, have very complex feelings about parenthood and what it meant in their lives, even when their kids are great.


Well said Skdadl.  Its not that i regret having children, i don't.  sometimes the weight of reponsibility is almost overwhelming though.  Not just the responibility of me being a parent, the wondering if you have done enough or made the right decisions but what if things go wrong in their life and they are unhappy?  that prospect is heartbreaking.

vmichel

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2007, 12:32:25 PM »
Quote from: sparqui

The weird thing is that through most of my 30s as a single woman, I had no problem saying I wasn't interested in marriage or kids. Somehow one little piece of paper changed the attitude of people around me (or better yet, felt enboldened to share their real thoughts on the issue because of a marriage certificate).


I got that too. Prior to marriage, no one gave me any grief about not having kids. Once I got married, it seemed expected that I would be having children immediately. It seemed like school, work, etc. were just things that I was doing to kill time until I had kids, at least in everyone else's mind.  It sometimes makes me sad for the life that I had before I got married. I still take pride and pleasure in the same things, and my husband is wonderfully supportive, but I feel a lot more alone about it all. I feel like I used to be a full person before I got married, and now I'm just a half person (at least in some family's minds) until the kids come and as a mother I will get to be a whole person again.

fern hill

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2007, 12:49:50 PM »
I don't think it's odd that pressure to have kids happens after marriage. Because there's almost no stigma to living together, I think people assume, or at least I used to assume, that people who got married intended to have children. So many more younger people are getting married than in my age group. I have lots of friends that everyone assumes are married, but they're not.

I know one mid-twenties woman who went to four (!) weddings last year. All her pals were getting hitched. And she was a member of party for two of them. And the gifts. And the travel. She was pretty pissed off by it all.

arborman

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2007, 02:43:04 PM »
Quote from: fern hill
I don't think it's odd that pressure to have kids happens after marriage. Because there's almost no stigma to living together, I think people assume, or at least I used to assume, that people who got married intended to have children. So many more younger people are getting married than in my age group. I have lots of friends that everyone assumes are married, but they're not.

That was what we did, and I am seeing it in some of our friends.  Given that virginity is unlikely when a couple has been cohabiting for a decade, many seem to be celebrating the wedding by pulling the goalie instead.  A strange phenomenon I suppose.

Quote
I know one mid-twenties woman who went to four (!) weddings last year. All her pals were getting hitched. And she was a member of party for two of them. And the gifts. And the travel. She was pretty pissed off by it all.


I am sick to death of the damn things myself, and we have two to attend in the next month.  Arborwoman has been a bridesmaid about 10 times in the past 5 years (and a bride once), but we have quite enough overpriced ridiculous prom dresses in our closet now, thank you very much.  

Looking around our respective families, I am hoping for a 2-10 year lull in weddings after this summer.  Or could they at least get married in January or something, so we can do more enjoyable/less obligatory things with our beautiful summer weekends?
The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest, to console him when he has outlived the rest.

Gigi

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2007, 05:17:38 PM »
Quote from: vmichel
Quote from: sparqui

The weird thing is that through most of my 30s as a single woman, I had no problem saying I wasn't interested in marriage or kids. Somehow one little piece of paper changed the attitude of people around me (or better yet, felt enboldened to share their real thoughts on the issue because of a marriage certificate).

I got that too. Prior to marriage, no one gave me any grief about not having kids. Once I got married, it seemed expected that I would be having children immediately.


Hmm. It's tempting to get married just to test out who would be insane enough to start that convo with me ;-)

sparqui

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2007, 05:52:12 PM »
You'd probably be surprised Gigi. At times, I wondered if it was some kind of gag reflex.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

lagatta

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2007, 06:52:08 PM »
Funny how younger people (not the ones in my set) get into not only tying the knot, but going back to stupid traditions like those ridiculous matched bridesmaid dresses that don't look good on anyone and never get worn again. (Note to arborwoman - give them to a charity shop - you'll feel much better).

I only had one wedding of two friends over 40 for whom there wasn't an immigration issue involved - but she wore a beautiful red dress - a long dress, but not a wedding dress, and he a kilt (She is of Polish-Jewish descent, he an authentic Scot. Two of bride's sisters also married Celts: an Irishman and a Welshman!) We all wore nice clothes - obviously mother of bride bought something new (father of bride is dead, mother and father of groom are in Scotland and one of them was seriously ill, so they couldn't make the trip) but nobody had to wear silly wasteful things.

The other recent weddings were of a friend here whose husband is from the US, and another in Amsterdam that also involved immigraiton. These were NOT sham mariages - in case the cops are reading this - the couples are very much real, but would not have bothered with the wedding otherwise.

And I can't think of any younger friends here who have bothered to get married - there are probably some, once again for immigration purposes as many of my younger friends work in international solidarity and development. But no fancy weddings.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
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faith

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parenting
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2007, 12:27:15 AM »
Quote
Well said Skdadl. Its not that i regret having children, i don't. sometimes the weight of reponsibility is almost overwhelming though. Not just the responibility of me being a parent, the wondering if you have done enough or made the right decisions but what if things go wrong in their life and they are unhappy? that prospect is heartbreaking.


I believe that you summed up her response nicely- the weight of responsibility. This woman was responsible, most would've considered the couple successful but delve into the family history and you understand where she is coming from with her answer of 'no'. It was not said with vehemence just weariness. The 2 merged families had mutual histories of alcoholism which was under control when I knew them but the children of both parents had been raised with it. The resulting problems were predictable, and some were heartbreaking.

Drug addiction (heroin), suicide, school problems, promiscuity that was very harmful, trouble with the law - you name it they had to cope with it.
When she said this to me it was a personal, woman to younger woman real life honest comment, she would never have told her children or her step children the same thing she said to me.

I got the impression that their large family was just too much pressure and the problems too big to smile away and pretend that everything was just hunky dory.
just picture it

Gigi

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2007, 12:50:06 AM »
It took all of two weeks to plan my sister's wedding.  No matching dresses.  No church.  92 people.

2 Bridesmen.  1 Groomswoman.

No one said anything.

deBeauxOs

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2007, 01:20:03 AM »
Quote from: Gigi
It took all of two weeks to plan my sister's wedding.  No matching dresses.  No church.  92 people. 2 Bridesmen.  1 Groomswoman. No one said anything.
Not even "I do"?  :ducking:

chester

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Re: parenting
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2007, 10:52:16 AM »
Quote from: faith
Quote
Well said Skdadl. Its not that i regret having children, i don't. sometimes the weight of reponsibility is almost overwhelming though. Not just the responibility of me being a parent, the wondering if you have done enough or made the right decisions but what if things go wrong in their life and they are unhappy? that prospect is heartbreaking.

I believe that you summed up her response nicely- the weight of responsibility. This woman was responsible, most would've considered the couple successful but delve into the family history and you understand where she is coming from with her answer of 'no'. It was not said with vehemence just weariness. The 2 merged families had mutual histories of alcoholism which was under control when I knew them but the children of both parents had been raised with it. The resulting problems were predictable, and some were heartbreaking.

Drug addiction (heroin), suicide, school problems, promiscuity that was very harmful, trouble with the law - you name it they had to cope with it.
When she said this to me it was a personal, woman to younger woman real life honest comment, she would never have told her children or her step children the same thing she said to me.

I got the impression that their large family was just too much pressure and the problems too big to smile away and pretend that everything was just hunky dory.


I respect the honesty of her answer, the hardship and heartbreak she has known for the love of her kids and feel for the weariness she must have felt sometimes.

brebis noire

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2007, 11:06:49 AM »
In a kind of a related way, I've known women who've had one baby after another in such a way that I marveled at their reckless abandon or sheer determination to procreate.

Then, as I got to know more of their story, they told about some kind of fixed determination to have x number of kids ( to me, any more than 2 is sheer abandon  :wink: ) or to have their kids close together to "get it all over with", or else they had such sweet and easygoing pregnancies and babies that they got all wrapped up in the experience and just kept going. When they got to "x" number of babies, and those babies turned into less sweet and easygoing individuals, or health problems occurred, or other unplanned-for events - yes, there was a sense of "if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it differently"

I didn't get into having children with such a rosy perspective or experience right from the start, so I didn't exactly get wrapped up in the experience.

And I think it's absolutely wonderful when people decide they don't want children.

The only thing I don't like is when separate camps are set up and pitched against each other. But I have never seen this on this board - au contraire - and it's wonderful.

sparqui

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No Kid - 40 reasons not to have children
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2007, 11:27:33 AM »
Quote from: brebis noire
The only thing I don't like is when separate camps are set up and pitched against each other. But I have never seen this on this board - au contraire - and it's wonderful.


Very true brebis. It's refreshing to share experiences and feelings without fear of judgement.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

 

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