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Jude's avatar

For those of you who decided that you don't want to have kids, do you remember when you made that decision and (if you feel like sharing) why?

Asked by Jude (32198points) November 3rd, 2011

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20 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My girl and I made the decision early in our relationship that we weren’t going to have kids. We just weren’t sure we’d be good enough as parents to raise kids and do it well. We saw too many messed up situations. Turns out we were most likely totally wrong, but that’s life.

OpryLeigh's avatar

About 6 years ago I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t particularly maternal and my feelings haven’t changed yet.

syz's avatar

I pretty much knew by 14 or so. I was a built in baby-sitter for my two younger sisters from age 7 or so. As a matter of fact, my mother would loan me out to her friends as a babysitter, without consulting me about my plans or wishes.

When I was married, my husband knew in advance that I didn’t want kids, and he agreed. He later changed his mind, and I considered this a topic for which there was no compromise. It’s not like I could send them back if I didn’t like having them and he sure as hell wasn’t going to take care of them himself. We divorced for many reasons, but that was certainly one reason that was simple to articulate (my mother’s only comment about my divorce was that I was selfish for not having kids).

And by the way, I asked my gynecologist for a tubal ligation for more than 10 years (“you’re too young”) until I had an ectopic rupture while on birth control and almost died.

I now have a niece and three nephews, who I adore. And I have never regretted my decision.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I haven’t wanted kids pretty much as long as I can remember. Why? I see no reason to have them.

jrpowell's avatar

When I was fifteen I I threw my shit in a garbage bag (clothes/radio) and walked to the greyhound station to go to my sister in Oregon. My mom decided meth was more important than I was.

Well, My sister was 7 months pregnant at the time and the dad bailed. So I helped raise the kid for about four years while I lived with her and finished high school. Seven years later she had twins and I helped with them since I lived down the street. I have spent more time with the twins than the dad has. I already feel like I raised three kids. I am done.

boxer3's avatar

I’ve never really had a desire to have kids, I’m not sure why… maybe that will change, but probably not.

john65pennington's avatar

Question: if a couple decides not to have children, could this be a greedy decision on their part, if having a child poses no health problems?

syz's avatar

Greedy, why? It’s not like the human race is at any risk of extinction. Wouldn’t it be greedier to have a kid and use up just that much more of the world’s finite resources?

YoBob's avatar

Well, my wife and I decided we were not going to have kids at the beginning of our relationship. However, about a decade later full of that Jamaican “no problem” attitude, the lord, in effect, said “Thou shalt have children!”... so we did. And after having one, you might as well have another because you are already a parent.

So… even though we had decided to be childless, we had kids anyway, and as it turns out (for us), having kids is one of the best parts of the whole human experience. Your mileage may vary,,,

Blackberry's avatar

It was gradual. It was from seeing some of my friends from high school struggling, knowing I’m simply not ready, seeing my own mother struggle with me, simple finance logic, and observing the behavior of children up until about….age 21.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yeah, I find that people who take the time to assess themselves and say ‘I might not be the best parent’ are almost always okay parents and it’s the people who are like ‘woo, babies’ without a second thought are the kinds that end up unprepared.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@john65pennington Maybe, if you think marriage is for procreation. I can see people of certain religions feeling this way.

NostalgicChills's avatar

I made that decision a couple months ago actually. Yes, I realize I’m only 16 and I also realize that I may change my mind again. But my reason is mainly because I want to travel and explore the world and live life to the fullest, therefore with a child (or few), my opportunities will be restricted and limited.

Qingu's avatar

I wouldn’t characterize it as a “decision,” I’ve just never had any interest in having or raising kids.

@john65pennington, I fail to see what’s greedy about it. Having kids strikes me as greedier than not having them. (Edit: I should walk this back a bit: I don’t begrudge people who have kids or think of them as greedy. But by any standard which you’d call the non-kid-having person “greedy,” I don’t really see how having kids is less greedy. They take up resources and they are a sponge to replicate your genetic and cultural identity.)

Facade's avatar

I made the decision at a young age; I think I was about 14. I’ve never understood children, even as a child myself, and I knew that being a parent would be too much for me to handle. Not having children will allow me a better chance at living my life they way I want to.

Coloma's avatar seems to be a gradual evolution in my family. haha
I was an only child of an only child, and I have an only child. My daughter however is sure she does not want kids as is her BF. She has felt this way for years now, and so, we have 4 generations from one to none now. haha

Admittedly I’d love to be a grandma, but, I fully support her decision and actually, feel it is MORE responsible to NOT have a child than to feel pressured for the wrong reasons.

I do think there is a trend now days, for many reasons. lending itself to more & more couples/people choosing to be childless and while I loved having my daughter, I too, was not cut out to raise multiples.
I do have a very cute cat grand daughter though. haha

Kardamom's avatar

I knew when I was 3 or 4 years old that I didn’t want to have children. I have never felt any maternal urges to bear or raise children. I don’t hate kids, I just don’t feel particularly excited to be around them all the time. To me, kids are mentally exhausting rather than being mentally stimulating. I love going to my family’s parties and holiday gatherings and being with the kids for limited periods of time, but I can’t imagine having to spend more than a few hours with even one kid. But when I’m around them, I’m a fun and caring auntie. I only want the best for my nieces and nephews and friend’s children. I just can’t see myself as a mother, any more than I can see myself as an astronaut or a rock star. It’s just not in my genetic makeup. But I have nothing but respect for people who are parents.

I am a very patient and caring person, but I don’t have the right kind of patience when it comes to dealing with kids. I also like order and organization and quiet.

On the other hand, I cannot imagine living without animals, and I really enjoy hanging around with old folks and have spent some time caring for sick and elderly relatives. Cleaning up poop and vomit and blood or tinkle or dead birds doesn’t faze me. Some of my friends have even referred to me as the dog whisperer or the cat whisperer, because I’ve been known to be able to befriend animals that would never come near anybody else without growling or biting.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@john65pennington I suppose it could be argued that way. Society could view it as a lack of contribution to its sustainment owed from having provided for the non-parents for example (though clearly there are other and I would argue greatly more significant ways to contribute). From what I would consider the more likely standpoint, that of the couple in question as it relates to them personally rather than society as a whole, sure it could certainly be argued that they want their efforts in life to benefit themselves rather than offspring. But I’m not sure if that would really be greedy so much as selfish and it would have to be labeled as situational so. After all, they’re a couple so it’s likely (though I suppose no guarantee) that they care, at the very least, for one another.

lonelydragon's avatar

@john65pennington I don’t think it’s greedy. I agree with Coloma that it’s more responsible not to have children than to do so for the wrong reasons.

Scooby's avatar

I agree with @Coloma too…. just saying…. :-/

For me, I realised I didn’t want a family before I even entered my teens…… when my sister gave birth; she was still living at home. That kid would, scream & scream & scream. When I left for school; it was screaming. When I got home; it was screaming. When I was sat trying to study, scream, scream, scream!!! Then on weekends!, baby sitting! :-/
That kid drove me nuts for over a year…. I was soooo relieved to see the back of that kid; when my sis married her squaddie fella & moved out…. Then my brother moved his girlfriend in & they started knocking them out!! One, two, three…. I gave up; I moved out…. I was sixteen! I’d had enough of kids by then! Over the years I’ve seen how both my brother & sister have struggled financially; neither had great jobs, I feel the kids held them back tremendously. Although they would be reluctant to admit it themselves (DUH!! :-/)
My brother ended up with five girls ( nightmare ), my sister, three girls & two boys.. Only my brother works now; he has one daughter still living at home…. My sister & her husband have both been out of work for several years now & are living off what little benefits they get from the state & his disability allowance; still paying a mortgage, leaves them very little to feed & house her three that still live with them; although one of the lads does work now & contributes to the household bills (not much)….. Anyway; back to me! When I got married at twenty eight; I’d already had well over twelve years experience of what having a family (kids ) entailed. What stuck in my mind was the hardships; also from my own upbringing, we struggled too, my mother had nothing, very little in fact, the kids came first, us; She went without . The very same applied to my brother & sister… I knew long ago I wasn’t going to follow in their footsteps…. Besides, I’m really not patient enough with kids; other peoples, to a certain extent. Because I know they’ll be going home. Kids twenty four seven, I’d go insane! :-/
I’ll keep my cats thanks…. Kids are stupid!!, or is that dogs? :-/

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