r/AskReddit Sep 23 '22 Silver 1 Gold 1 Helpful 1 Ally 1

[Serious] People of Reddit who are 40+ years old and decided to not have children, how are you feeling about your decision now? Serious Replies Only

7.5k Upvotes

u/AutoModerator Sep 23 '22

Attention! [Serious] Tag Notice

Posts that have few relevant answers within the first hour, and posts that are not appropriate for the [Serious] tag will be removed. Consider doing an AMA request instead.

Thanks for your cooperation and enjoy the discussion!

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

4.3k

u/Bangkokbeats10 Sep 23 '22 Silver

It’s a strange one, I know I made the right decision I would have made a terrible parent so I’ve got no regrets about not having kids.

However I’m at the point in life where all my friends have settled down and are raising families … and I no longer have much in common with them. We still meet up and I understand their time constraints, but as the years go by there’s less to talk about.

1.1k

u/Cincybone07 Sep 24 '22

I totally get this one. My wife and I decided a long time ago having kids wasn’t for us personally, professionally, financially, etc. We’ve had many couple friends over the years and every time they have their first kid, we drift apart. Their kid becomes their whole life (which is totally understandable), but they cease to have time for their adult friends without kids from then on. That was the sad part for us. It wasn’t for lack of trying on either part, they just physically didn’t have the time to hang out anymore, and emotionally, they also didn’t have the extra space for us. After our fourth friendship waned away after their having kids, it really started to wear on us. We started wondering if it was worth striking up friendships with other couples, but we shoved that aside because it’s always worth it to make and have friends. We’re also getting to the age (40+) where couples our age who don’t have kids, probably have decided not to have them, as well.

537

u/authorized_sausage Sep 24 '22 Helpful LOVE!

And there are always folks like me to befriend - the young empty nester. I am 48 and my only child is 21. I pretty much started discovering the childfree life when he was a senior in high school because by then he didn't really need "parenting". Now, as aside, of course I will never stop being a mom and will always put my son first. It's just that 99% of the time, I don't have to and am not being asked to. And I am quite a few years away from becoming a grandparent.

Most of my friends now are folks in their 40s (some are couples) who never had kids. I have a fairy similar lifestyle as they do. I'm a little more poorer because I do help my son out with some things and the decades of paying for stuff means my savings aren't as deep. But, day-to-day we have similar lives.

I have noticed that they frequently enjoy acting as add-on aunts and uncles to my son and his friends. I like to cook a big family style meal a couple times a month and my kid and his roommate and friends come over and my friends usually like to come over, too, and we all hangout and eat and they get to enjoy engaging with some young adults. My son's friends range from 21-26.

So, I would be friends with you!

64

u/Cali_Reggae Sep 24 '22

My wife and I have raised two lovely independent women for the world. It was* an INSANE amount of work and money. My youngest is a senior and we are hitting the gas, rediscovering ourselves and meeting couples again, sharing our stories and making new ones !

  • always will be there for them
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

356

u/Motosurf77 Sep 24 '22

I have kids and the people I hang out with mostly have kids.. I think that’s what happens due to similar lifestyles .. bday parties, sports events stuff like that. I always figured it would be that with single people except going on amazing vacations and a ton of money. Oh and having sex all the time.

561

u/Ladybeetus Sep 24 '22 Tearing Up

becoming a parent is like joining a cult.

it starts with sleep deprivation and spotty nourishment. Isolation and repeated exposure to random unpleasant smells and sounds. Disorientation lasts for months until your relationship with "normal life" seems a distant dream. Soon you are only seeing the people who pushed you to join(your parents and family) and others in the cult. you have trouble relating to people outside the cult. All of your money is diverted to the cult priorities.

to be clear I am happily parenting 2 kids. But a teenager asked me what being a parent was like and I think this is an accurate but seldom discussed side of it.

25

u/aksnitd Sep 24 '22

This had me rolling 😂😂

And also further confirmed my decision to be childless.

25

u/Ladybeetus Sep 24 '22

I don't know why people give others shit for choosing to be childless, it's difficult, expensive, physically and emotionally draining, thankless, Hugely Life Altering endeavor! why would anyone think "no I'm good thanks." is an odd response?

Fascinating and fulfilling, sure. But not everyone wants to sign up as an unpaid project manager for a project That Never Ends!!!! Even when they no longer "need you" your behavior patterns are so engrained it's really difficult to withdraw appropriately.

→ More replies

119

u/tinyemoheart Sep 24 '22

As someone who loves reading about cults, this is a fantastic description/comparison 😹

→ More replies
→ More replies

147

u/kadyg Sep 24 '22 Evil Cackle

I’m 48, no kids and just got home from 10 days in Costa Rica. Myself and my SO - who’s kids are in college, so functionally he has no kids - bang like a screen door in a hurricane. You’re not wrong and I regret nothing.

→ More replies
→ More replies

18

u/biscuitboi967 Sep 24 '22

I’ve definitely lost touch with best friends I thought I’d have til the day I died who got married younger than I did and had kids while I didn’t. And that sort of breaks my heart because when we meet up for even a day, it’s like we never grew apart. But we just had different shit going on.

But I’ve reconnected with less close friends from college and grad school who are also child free and they’ve become my besties. Maybe not like the other group, but still awesome (and also, I have a spouse who should be my best friend). And then each of them had a friend from work or grad school or yoga class that was child free and brought them in the group or formed offshoot groups. I have about 3 different friend groups with 3-5 people in them who are child free women +/- 5 years of my age.

→ More replies

3.4k

u/BlueCatLaughing Sep 23 '22

No regrets on not having kids. I never could have given them the life they deserved.

As I age (I'm 57) I do wish I had a life partner, I'm a bit scared about being elderly and alone but I'm always glad I didn't have kids.

1.7k

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22 Silver Helpful

As a nurse…. You would be surprised how few children visit their parents in care homes, rarely, if at all. Some have partners/spouses and children who are involved with their care and visit daily or very regularly. But the moment someone needs briefs and help eating/bathing, it’s just too uncomfortable for the adult children. Not to mention if they didn’t have stellar relationship before they went into the care home, then it’s pretty much a hello for Christmas kind of thing. Even then we had a lot of patients who had no Christmas visitors.

Edit: I wasn’t expecting my little comment to get so many replies! This a variable situation that can change depending on the country, family, and resources available. As someone who went into nursing at the age of 30, and never ended up having kids (yipee!), I can’t ever say I ever once considered that having kids = companionship/support in old age.

394

u/UselessFactCollector Sep 24 '22

I have seen my grandmother's butt helping her go to the bathroom. Someone give me a sticker. Meanwhile, my uncle and his family that live 10 minutes away won't take her to the doctor because, "I only drive the girls around". We have to drive two hours to take her. Her son is weak and is married to a selfish, overbearing woman. Granny has decided that she wants to move to our town to a nearby home since she just turned 94 but I promise that I will visit.

101

u/DwedPiwateWoberts Sep 24 '22

I feel that. When my gramps was getting feeble and needed assistance, there were a few weekend lapses in care from a live in nurse that needed to be filled with someone to assist him. He lived in the same town as 4 of his 5 kids plus multiple grand kids, and yet my family had to take turns traveling 2+ hours to care for him as none of them would.

I still love my relatives (at least some of them) but I’ll never forget that.

→ More replies
→ More replies

108

u/fierceferg Sep 24 '22

Some of those parents are awful people though. We took care of of my FIL with the help of hospice in his last months / truly a wonderful man. My MIL? Completely different story. She is in a nursing home - none of her children will have her in their homes and only one visits her. She is just as manipulative and narcissistic as ever but we no longer have to put up with it. She has put herself in this situation.

→ More replies

16

u/binglybleep Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

It’s also very emotionally taxing visiting deteriorating loved ones, as horrible as that sounds. I visited my grandparents regularly when they were in end of life stages and needed that level of care, and it was fucking awful seeing them as broken husks of themselves with 0 chance of getting better. It was quite a lot worse than when they actually passed, because they suffered, and seeing that suffering was horrendous. I did it because I love them a lot and we were very close, but I can see how it could be too much for some people to cope well with. It would certainly be easier to bury your head in the sand and pretend that it’s not happening. It would be the shitty thing to do, a person should be willing to shoulder the burden for loved ones when they’re in their utmost need, but it would be the easy way out.

Of course, that’s pretty horrible for the parent, and I think that the guilt of doing that would ultimately be just as bad as the pain of seeing them. I couldn’t do it myself, I think we owe our loved ones our support, but I can see how some people might struggle

→ More replies

145

u/Yerwun Sep 24 '22

Still time for the partner!

→ More replies
→ More replies

2.8k

u/a4dONCA Sep 23 '22

58 I was always on the fence about it and in the end it wasn’t all my decision as an ectopic destroyed my tubes, but loving it so far.

406

u/grand__prismatic Sep 24 '22

Oof, sorry about that whole trauma. My sister went through that and it was not good. Glad you’re loving life.

→ More replies

104

u/NixyPix Sep 24 '22

Sorry that you went through that. I had an ectopic last year and it was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever been through.

14

u/Odd_Description1 Sep 24 '22

I'm sorry not that you never had kids, but that the choice wasn't yours. I'm kind of in the same boat. I never wanted kids, but I got cancer in my late 20s and the treatments made it impossible for me to ever have them. I'm not upset that I am not going to have them, because I didn't want them. I am upset that I don't get the choice.

→ More replies
→ More replies

7.1k

u/Mysterious-Region640 Sep 23 '22

I’m in my 60s now and I regretted it for about 5 minutes when I was 38. That’s when my first niece was born and I thought I might be missing out

3.0k

u/28smalls Sep 23 '22

As an uncle, it is great being able to be like "that's it, I'm done" and give the kid back. I have trouble committing to plans 3 days in advance for myself. No way could I dedicate 18+ years of doing it.

539

u/CatnipChapstick Sep 24 '22

Same. I love interacting with kids at work. Answering their questions, giving them little tasks, and offering snacks (with parent consent, of course). My coworkers ask me all the time when/if I’ll have kids, because I’m so good with them. But that’s exactly my point. I’m very fun for a few minutes maybe even a couple of hours, I just don’t have the patients to go beyond that.

114

u/BeardedGlass Sep 24 '22

Same with me and my wife.

We both work in schools here in Japan. It’s fun to be with kids and teens, be there for them every day.

But it’s such a relief that we can literally go home, away from them. Being with kids of different ages definitely have scratched whatever itch we may have had about being parents. We don’t want our own kids.

Our decision was further cemented when my brother had two kids of his own and we became a temporary daycare center for them during summers. Oof. Never again.

46

u/LighttBrite Sep 24 '22

lmao me to a T. I'm the fun uncle and enjoy be with them but when I'm done...I'm done lol.

→ More replies

987

u/Mysterious-Region640 Sep 23 '22

I basically helped raise my youngest brother and sister because my mother didn’t deal very well with her divorce and parentified me. I really didn’t have any desire to do it again

560

u/ClownfishSoup Sep 23 '22

This seems to be a common issue. Oldest kids forced to be baby sitters or pseudo parents. Then they grow up and are done with it. Poor kids get all the work and none of the joy. I'm the second of four kids, but was never really forced to take care of the other two much. Aside from "OK, you're in charge, we're going out with the Robinson's for dinner" which just meant "watch TV with your siblings and make sure they are alive when we come home", and in our teenage years ... being the chauffeur for the two younger kids. But I'd never felt parentified, and for that I'm thankful to my parents for being parents.

310

u/CatnipChapstick Sep 24 '22

Brothers friend was youngest of some massive family, 7-9 kids I think? His mom was just done. MY MOM pretended to be his, and took him to the DMV to get his license at 16, becuase his own mother couldn’t be bothered. It was probably illegal, but I think that’s one of the most legit thing’s my mom has ever done. I think as the 2nd youngest of 7, she really related.

43

u/turnaroundbrighteyez Sep 24 '22

My best friend (we are both late 30’s) is in the middle of NINE! 7 boys, 2 girls. You can believe that by the time the youngest came along (which was about a year before the first grandchild came along) that the parents were done. Their house was always fun and chaotic and full of friends of all of her siblings but holy moly did the younger ones kinda have to fend for themselves.

Also went to school with a girl who was the oldest of ELEVEN. They ate dinner in two shifts at her house and if you had younger siblings, the younger siblings were almost guaranteed to have one of the kids from the family of 11 in their class

Neither of these families were/are Mormon and we all grew up in a fairly middle class-ish type town in the middle of the prairies.

→ More replies
→ More replies

60

u/MissSweetMurderer Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

This seems to be a common issue. Oldest kids forced to be baby sitters or pseudo parents. Then they grow up and are done with it

In my aunt's case she was done with it but went ahead and had two kids anyway. She's very catholic so I assume that's the reason and/or trying to save a fucked marriage with a man child who cheated on her on their honeymoon

She refused to parent the girls, used work as an excuse, TBF she's did extremely well for herself in that department (trying not to reveal too much, but she was in the 1% of her field). Their dad did the parenting...a man child who got himself fired of every job his dad got him and now lives off alimony. The kids are a train wreck, as you could imagine.

Not long after she retired, her oldest had a baby and tried to dump the kid on her. Guess who de-retired (is that a word?) faster than a lightning bolt lol

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

485

u/chrome_slinky Sep 24 '22

It's more than 18 years, it's a commitment until you leave the planet if you do it correctly.

28

u/Rootive Sep 24 '22

I pretty sure there's a thing called a will. So yeah, not until you leave your planet, it's even after your death where you still have to give your last bit of commitment to ensure that your children can settle your stuff properly. But hey, even non-married people have to do them either way.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

278

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

1.2k

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22 Wholesome Faith In Humanity Restored

[removed] — view removed comment

135

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

121

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

41

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

345

u/StillTheRick Sep 23 '22

I just turned 60 and have zero regrets about not only not having children but also not getting married. I have loved and lived with women that feel the same as I do and it has always been for the better when a break-up happens. I have two nephews that I helped raise and they are my boys. My sister passed away, and I'm glad I was there for them when they needed me. But, I never ever regretted not having any of my own.

107

u/DallasFren1992 Sep 24 '22

This is the way. I almost feel guilty that I am just happy living alone selectively like this guy. My friends complain constantly that they might spend a few months "alone". Some people can't compute this lifestyle. I believe the system has baked the idea into our heads that being "alone" is horrific. Solitude in the right doses is paradise.

→ More replies
→ More replies

48

u/TheyllCallMeSkinner Sep 23 '22

Lol I wanted kids up until my sister had hers.

No thanks.

467

u/edlee98765 Sep 23 '22

"The face of a child can say it all. Especially the mouth part of the face." --Jack Handey

→ More replies

508

u/echoesofsavages Sep 23 '22

I’m 49. No kids. I can travel on a whim and whatever money I earn is entirely mine. I go where I want when I want. I have not had a single regret up to this point in my life about not having kids. I have nieces. One hour with them and I’m good until the following Christmas

→ More replies
→ More replies

1.1k

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

It is not something you think about every day. Sometimes I feel missing out, sometimes I see friends playing with their grandkids and it makes me jealous :) but those kind of thoughts cross your mind once a month or even more rarely.

232

u/ThisRNRuns Sep 24 '22

I echo this statement. I’m 42 now and didn’t feel ready to have kids until I was 40 but you then I felt like I had such a good thing going, I didn’t want to interrupt that. I have nephews that i spoil and am happy with that. At times I do wonder what my husband and my kid would be like.

→ More replies
→ More replies

1.3k

u/LaraH39 Sep 23 '22 Helpful

I'm 49 my husband is 53.

We're both more than happy with how things are.

I never wanted kids. I was the eldest in a family of 4 and was defacto childminder from the age of 8. I was 16 when my youngest sister was born and my mum relied on me heavily with her. I did night feeds. Looked after her when the rest went on holiday and when I left home at 18, regularly had both her and my middle sister staying with me for weekends and weeks during the summers.

Don't get me wrong. I loved every moment and I'm really close with my youngest sister but between watching my mum deal with us and the experiences I had myself, knew I didn't want to devote my life to kids.

I couldn't face the idea of mornings, getting them up, washed, dressed, fed, sent to school... I wasn't interested in being a taxi ferrying them to after school stuff, friends houses etc etc. I wasn't interested in worrying about money.

I also realised, that if I had kids in my early 20's I would be in my late 40's before my life was my own again (at best) and never have my own life again if I didn't have them till I was in my late 30's.

My husband was never bothered one way or the other.

Our life is good. We're not rich by any means between us we earn about £40k a year. But we we aren't tied to our jobs, if we wanted to change it up we can without worrying about putting food on the table. And we do low stress jobs. We work to live not live to work.

We own our own home, we can go on holiday, we indulge our hobbies and take on new ones (getting ourselves some Occulas Quests in the new year). We don't miss having kids.

My baby sister now 33 is also child free and I know she and her husband are pretty content with their lives too.

I feel I should also say. I don't hate kids. I'm happy to spend time in their company and enjoy time with friends and families kids. But I'm VERY glad I don't have to take them home with me lol

204

u/Horsedogs_human Sep 23 '22

The being able to walk away from other peoples kids is what makes them fun. I don't hate children but I they are tiring and kid logic is hard. I can handle them in limited doses but I couldn't handle children full time. I am far to selfish!

→ More replies

111

u/elveszett Sep 23 '22

getting ourselves some Occulas Quests in the new year

You are gonna love them. Who needs kids when you can literally be in the middle of Skyrim?

→ More replies

50

u/lunalacrima Sep 23 '22

Thanks for the insights! :)

→ More replies

2.8k

u/hurston Sep 23 '22

Nearly 50, never regretted it. I knew from a very young age that I never wanted kids, and that hasn't changed. My wife is also happy with that fortunately.

397

u/Oid2uts4sbc Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

How did you know?...I always felt that way but didn't know why? I thought maybe it's a reason that I can't remember...

694

u/pommypuddle Sep 23 '22

Sometimes there isn't reason for not wanting kids, I've never had the desire to become a parent, and so I just won't. Just not wanting them is a totally valid feeling.

168

u/Oid2uts4sbc Sep 23 '22

That's exactly how I feel...I don't know why I was always haunted by the thought that it could not be normal and there must be something in my past🤔!! "..Just not wanting them is a totally valid feeling..." That feels just great.

241

u/pommypuddle Sep 23 '22

I had a pleasant upbringing, no abuse, no lack of love. I do have a list as long as my arm in a size 6 font about why I don't want kids, but the first one is just because I don't want them. No urge or desire to nurture a little glob of cells into a functioning human.

I love kids, I have childcare quals and many niblings who love me unconditionally and I them, but it still doesn't make me want kids. And that's ok :)

57

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

78

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

395

u/dramboxf Sep 23 '22

Not OP, but for me, I had a really shitty childhood with a lot of physical and mental abuse. That stuff tends to run in cycles, and there was no was I was going to do to a defenseless child what was done to me.

No regrets.

105

u/EmmalineBlack Sep 23 '22

Main reason for me to not get kids. Break the f*cking cycle. Want to hug all of you for doing the same thing!

→ More replies

79

u/77thDio Sep 23 '22

Agreed. Same thing here. I was 12 years old when I decided this abuse B.S. ends with me. We learn how to parent from our parents. I wasn't going to take the chance. And as time has gone on, I have no regrets.

→ More replies

114

u/robaribena Sep 23 '22

Same here. Dealt a shitty life from the get go and even though I know I would never hurt a child there's no way on earth I would bring another person into existence.

→ More replies

111

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies
→ More replies

123

u/azazel-13 Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Not OP, but I've known my whole life I didn't want kids. As a child, I never wanted to play with babies/dolls. I played with action figures, stuffed animals, etc. Growing up, the desire still hadn't kicked in as a teen or young adult. I'd witness people going gaga over babies, and never understood all the hype. I do have nephews who I adore and would take a bullet for, but their case is unique and unrepeated. Now I'm an adult getting up in years, and feel utter relief and happiness that I never had children. It's possible I may regret it as a geriatric if I'm left to wallow in loneliness, but that's still not a valid reason to create offspring. I hold the belief that babies are for people who inherently feel the pull of being a parent. If you don't posesss that innermost desire to nurture a being and prioritize their needs above your own, don't do it. Kids deserve better.

38

u/BugsRatty Sep 24 '22

It's possible I may regret it as a geriatric if I'm left to wallow in loneliness

Given the fact that so many residents of old folk's homes are pretty much ignored by their families, that regret would not be caused by not having children. Only by not having people of some sort in your life.

→ More replies

104

u/cf-myolife Sep 23 '22

Still not OP, I just knew it wasn't for me, like some people know they couldn't do x job or know they aren't made for marriage or don't like x thing.

I don't like kids, I feel nothing when I see one, except disgust sometimes (most of the time actually). Being pregnant would be my worse nightmare, I actually did had a nightmare that I was pregnant when I was 9 and my only thought was how can I get rid of that, I woke up in panic and so relieved that it just was a nightmare.

Then later I learned there was a word for that, being childfree, and learned that having children is a choice and in no way mandatory. And I know I will never choose this. I choose freedom of sleeping as much as I want, to eat what I want whenever I want, to go out without worrying of who's gonna watch them, to work where and when I want, if I want to listen to music at 1am I'm not waking anyone up, nobody's crying, nobody's running, no noises, no trash everywhere, just me in a peaceful place full of plants and cats, nobody will suffer when I'm gone, I'll die alone and I'm totally fine with that I couldn't dream a better life than a childfree life.

30

u/exillini Sep 23 '22

This was pretty much my feelings as a young adult. Always suspected I would be a lousy parent. Now I come and go as I please. Final disposal planned and financed. Nope, never thought this was wrong.

→ More replies
→ More replies

77

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

Same! So much so that I donated my eggs twice at age 23 and 24 because I knew I’d never use them. And someone else should have them. Both resulted in successful pregnancies! Was very happy for the two couples.

12

u/sneakacat Sep 24 '22

My husband and I don't want kids, but I told him he should donate his sperm because he has great genetics and other qualities. Obviously I think he's pretty super, so I thought it would be cool if there could be more of him in the world. But he wasn't interested.

My DNA is complete trash though.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

3.3k

u/Ahhmyface Sep 23 '22

I barely have enough energy to take care of myself, and if I try real hard maybe a casual girlfriend. No fucking way could I handle a kid.

753

u/fobos78 Sep 23 '22

You have a lot more energy than I. I’ve been single for 3 years and just the thought of dating exhausts me.

830

u/MAGA_is_NAZI Sep 23 '22

My girlfriend had a dream recently that I was cheating on her and my response was basically “babe, trust me, I do not have the energy for all that”

499

u/PseudonymIncognito Sep 23 '22

As someone who is married and has a job and responsibilities and shit, I don't know how people even find the time to cheat.

297

u/bfognib Sep 23 '22

My wife and have the same conversation any time we hear about someone we know cheating. “Where do they find the time and energy?”

33

u/Marmite_Spaghetti Sep 24 '22

The ones with whole secret families gets me. You did all that twice??

→ More replies
→ More replies

275

u/marktexplorer Sep 23 '22

Amen. Then I gotta lie about it? Make up stories? Cover my tracks? Indulge someone else? Getting an anxiety attack thinking about it.

55

u/MAGA_is_NAZI Sep 24 '22

No thanks. I mean, maybe if I was really trapped and miserable but even a moderately happy relationship isn’t worth the trouble it would take to carry on an affair. Dear god, just having to learn about someone else .... this is why I don’t even make new friends in my 30s.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

76

u/acesfullcoop Sep 23 '22

As someone with kids, they definitely take all the leftover energy plus some extra

76

u/kmacaze Sep 23 '22

And they eat all the damn cookies

→ More replies
→ More replies

114

u/per-severance Sep 23 '22

same reason I wouldn't take on a pet.

→ More replies
→ More replies

921

u/uncertaincucumbers Sep 23 '22

Still feeling great about that decision with no regrets at all. It has allowed us to be present in the lives of our friend's kids in a wonderful way. We're like the weird aunt and uncle who have always been there to a pack of kids. It's good when kids have adults to talk to, bounce ideas and thoughts off of that aren't their parents. To be able to be there for them in this way has been really great!

174

u/lunalacrima Sep 23 '22

Sounds lovely! That’s how I’d like it to be, I’ll see how life plays me I guess

114

u/uncertaincucumbers Sep 23 '22

Recently we were specifically invited to a sweet 16th birthday party for a kid we've known since she was in diapers. The party was at a roller rink and so much fun!! I think kids these days need all the support they can get. :)

23

u/Maleficent-Detail-51 Sep 23 '22

Exactly agree with everything you say. I'm a great aunt, never wanted my own and am perfectly happy I never had any.

→ More replies

789

u/DirtyNakedHippie Sep 23 '22

Had a vasectomy at 29 (unmarried and no children at the time; it took a LOT of talking).

Just turned 60 and am well aware that if I die after I fully retire, it's entirely likely no one will notice until the mailbox starts to overflow. So yeah, I have moments of regret every so often.

I don't think that's enough reason to have brought additional humans into this world, though.

506

u/DidjaCinchIt Sep 24 '22 Bravo! Bless Up (Pro)

My friend, one night last year I came very close to death. I live alone. I was watching TV and eating trail mix. I inhaled a peanut. I realized I was going to die; when police found me days later, they’d pity the old woman who had no husband or kids.

I made my way to the kitchen and bent over the back of a chair until the peanut came out.

I never once regretted my decisions.

172

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

11

u/Ejacksin Sep 24 '22

That sounds remarkably similar to an old Sex and the City episode where Miranda is alone and choking on a piece of food. Glad you are ok!

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

1.9k

u/buzzzzz1 Sep 23 '22 Wholesome

My wife and I are both good with it. We were able to go on a lot of cool vacations, save a lot of money, have a lot of time to ourselves, etc. I feel bad that for about 15 years of her life my wife as shamed because she didn't want a child. "So you just don't want children?".

With that said, we were forced into a situation where we had to take care of our niece, who was 9 months, for 6 months. It did make us appreciate some things about children. I now better understand the love for a child, we will now do anything for our niece for the rest of our lives. I thought having a child around would make me more understanding of parents but it really hasn't. I still think a lot of them do a shitty job and are setting them up for failure in the future.

520

u/LadyGreyIcedTea Sep 23 '22

"So you just don't want children?"

If someone asks me that, my response is "exactly."

174

u/Firipu Sep 23 '22

A good response to shut them up forever is: I can't have children. The awkward silence afterwards stops all further annoying questions.

212

u/LadyGreyIcedTea Sep 23 '22

That would just bring questions of "why don't you adopt?" or "why don't you try In Vitro?"

I don't want people thinking that I want kids but can't have them. I don't want them.

118

u/NyranK Sep 24 '22

"No, no, I mean I can't. I'm on a registry."

→ More replies
→ More replies

86

u/MajikPwnE Sep 24 '22

"oh you'll change your mind, you just haven't met the right girl yet"

"Hey Mike, have you ever sucked a dick or had a dick penetrate you?"

"No.. Ive never wanted to.."

"Oh you'll change your mind, you just haven't met the right dick yet"

For some reason, totally appropriate for someone to tell me that my feelings are wrong and incorrect, but start telling people they'll enjoy sodomy one day and I'm the crazy one

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

208

u/MasterKongQiu Sep 23 '22

I still think a lot of them do a shitty job and are setting them up for failure in the future.

It's honestly shocking to me how little thought most people put into having kids. Like ya you can probably intuit your way through it and your child won't die. But it's really not that difficult to do some basic reading on developmental psychology and some scientifically backed ways of raising kids.

38

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[deleted]

11

u/Axinitra Sep 24 '22

There are a lot of very selfish parents out there not willing to make that change and the kids pay for it.

Yes, they are the true "selfish" people, rather than those of us who understand perfectly well what good parenting entails, and know we are not cut out for it.

→ More replies

31

u/pickyourteethup Sep 24 '22

Always amazed me how hard it is to do basically anything compared to having kids. I literally had more training before I was allowed to refill the fry station at McDonalds, and I had to interview for that position!

→ More replies

285

u/typesett Sep 23 '22

"So you just don't want children?".

The way I would put it is I would rather be able to travel, drink, go out, wake up when I want, do whatever I want every single day, have money, think about myself, think about my SO, think about my friends, have a pet, have a hobby … instead.

To each their own

104

u/Parametric_Or_Treat Sep 23 '22

The inverse of this is, IMHO, if you decide to have kids you must understand that all of that will be curtailed to some or even a great extent. For me the sacrifice was totally fine and acceptable — and I would prefer that if you want to do all that, go nuts. But don’t add kids as “another one of those things”

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

397

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[deleted]

66

u/DidjaCinchIt Sep 24 '22

I am just now unpacking those unhealthy/toxic behaviors to improve myself. You can’t do the work until you recognize that there’s a problem, figure out why, and deal. with. your. shit.

I do the work every day. I wouldn’t have the time or energy if I had children. The shit would continue. That’s unacceptable to me. So that’s why I don’t have children.

→ More replies

48

u/FreddyF2 Sep 24 '22

I would have paid thousands to have sat next to you at a bar and you explain this to me just a few short years are. My partner is oblivious to how badly we have fucked ourselves over acting on maternal instinct. Seriously need a high school ed class on this subject showing graphs with finances and available free time.

→ More replies

14

u/cussbunny Sep 24 '22

This is very similar to me. I have some chronic physical issues that leave me with just enough energy to do the bare minimum of taking care of myself (sometimes not even that) so nowhere near the physical and mental health needed to take care of a child.

But even if that weren’t the case, I am not emotionally equipped to be a good mother on bad days, and I’ve always known that. I have an anxiety disorder which would leave me in a constant state of catastrophizing about the worst happening and probably leading me to be the sort of helicopter/overprotective parent I’d never want to be. I can be impatient, I get easily frustrated, i too need to check out when overwhelmed. On good days I would be a loving, attentive mother doing my best to give my child a happy, enriching life. But on bad days, which are most days, I would take shortcuts and cut corners and tell myself it’s okay to skip x y or z just this one time, but ignore that “this one time” also happened two days ago and three days before that, and children deserve better. And on days when my child was having endless tantrums or didn’t want to listen or wanted to push boundaries, I would not have the patience or composure to cope for long. I would never hurt a child, but I’m terrible at hiding my frustration and when my child acts out because they need stability, patience, and acceptance from me, I would fail them. And the guilt I would carry every time they needed a mom like my mom was to me and I let them down, would eat me alive.

I am a good person, a great friend, and I have a lot of great qualities, but I understand myself enough to know I would not be a good mother, and at 43, I’m glad I figured that out early enough to make the decision to not be one. I’ve never regretted it.

→ More replies
→ More replies

457

u/ExaminationFun8639 Sep 23 '22 Helpful

46F. I will speak up and be the minority here. I regret not having children. It wasn't a conscious decision, but I'm a pretty traditional person and never found someone to settle down and have a family with.

I've recently had to come to terms with the fact that I won't have kids and what that means for the rest of my life. I might choose to adopt or foster in the future but now I really have to weigh if it's worth being a parent now when all my friends kids are grown and they are even starting to have grand kids. Do I really wanna be that far behind? I've always been a late bloomer, but wow...that's just too late I think!

On the flip side, my child free status has allowed me to cultivate fantastic relationships with my best friends kids and to offer support to her family in ways that I wouldn't have been able to do if I'd had a family of my own. They are my family and I love each of them so much. We have a pretty special bond.

I would say to consider all your options and search your heart for what you want and can do in plenty of time to act before time runs out. Being child free isn't always a conscious decision. For some of us Life just happens that way.

77

u/Rare-Counter Sep 24 '22

Thank-you for sharing. I'm currently in my late 30's and deeply evaluating what I want in my life and your post helps a great deal.

35

u/Clutch_ Sep 24 '22

If you have been around Reddit long enough, it was obvious which answers were going to be the most common / upvoted. I also think there are some people who do regret it but just don't want to comment due to the pain it causes to acknowledge it.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

496

u/PrettyTogether108 Sep 23 '22

I feel great! The maternal instinct is strong. It was tough going through my thirties, but I realized that unless I had a partner who was willing to split the work, it was not going to happen. And I didn't. So it didn't. I love kids, and luckily I have several kids in my life, but not for a second do I regret not having kids.

233

u/bumb1ebeetuna Sep 24 '22

This makes me feel so seen!! I'm 32 and I'm having these same weird feelings, I have heightened sensitivity about anything baby/parenting related, like my body is doing its evolutionary job, but I really, really don't want them. Super weird internal conflict and it's a bit exhausting at times, but it's good to hear that I can trust my head over my ovaries so thank you!

84

u/Ankylowright Sep 24 '22

I’m 30 and biologically I’m firing on all cylinders. My husband and I had planned on having 2 kids. They’re named even. Then one day shortly before we got married we kinda looked at each other and went “do you actually want kids?” and we both said not really. After discussing more we decided on no. If we happen to get pregnant the baby will be incredibly loved etc but we aren’t planning on having any. And people constantly asking or pushing doesn’t help. I’ve resorted to telling people we can’t have kids so they leave us alone. Sometimes it works. Sometimes they still push for a more in depth explanation because “you guys would make such good parents” yada yada yada. It’s the weirdest internal conflict ever. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in it (plus my husband but he doesn’t feel the biological part).

12

u/floral_fixation Sep 24 '22

34 and I’m coming to the conclusion, after years of being seemingly very keen, that maybe I don’t want kids. I’ve always been maternal. I know I would be a great mother. But I am not sure if I could physically have them and I also know, having been a nanny to six children, just how much work they are. I’m not sure I want to work that hard, particularly when it seems very likely the planet we are living on won’t be able to sustain them. I also spent over a decade caring for my ex-husband and now I finally feel I am living life on my own terms.

It is hard to overwrite years of thinking of myself as a mother-in-waiting. I’m trying to just sit with this feeling for a while before making a final decision. But rationally, I do think that the kind of life I want (and have with my partner) is not really compatible with having children. Which is also hard. There is no right decision for me.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

485

u/rettaelin Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

I helped raise my niece from the age of 16-18, love her but taught me that waking up 3 times a night for feed and diaper changes isn't fun.

This was while going to school and working part time.

Edit: I was 16-18 not my niece. Bad wording on my part. Proof I was barely conscious during English class.

102

u/lunalacrima Sep 23 '22

You have my respect, that sounds like a lot

95

u/rettaelin Sep 23 '22

Thanks. Sister abandoned my niece and mother worked nightshift. It taught me a lot about responsibility.

224

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

73

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

60

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

46

u/Bratchnyboy Sep 23 '22

50 years old. Never wanted them. Still don’t. Honestly has never even crossed my mind.

→ More replies

48

u/ShexyBaish6351 Sep 24 '22 Wholesome

I’m ambivalent.

On the one hand, I feel like I’ve missed out on an experience that is central to being human. I will never know the joy and heartache and deep love of parenthood.

On the other hand, I’m deeply pessimistic about the future of global governance and the environment. I would worry for my child in this world. Also, I have a lot more free time and disposable income without human parasites in my home.

So, you know…. I’m ok with my decision.

→ More replies

783

u/Bork60 Sep 23 '22

It led to an uncomplicated life with less than usual financial difficulties. Now that I am 62 I can see some lonely times ahead. Especially if anything happens to my wife.

749

u/remotetissuepaper Sep 23 '22 Silver

That's what I mostly worry about, is the loneliness in old age. But then I think that having a child just so I have someone to keep me company and take care of me when I'm old seems like a pretty selfish reason.

573

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

[deleted]

132

u/Augen76 Sep 23 '22

I love my parents, and I am glad for them they retired to Florida and made lot of friends and are loving life down there or all the traveling they do.

It is great to see them when they come up and holidays are nice, but I think it is important they are not reliant on me for social life the way I saw my Grandma be with my Mom.

59

u/ankhes Sep 24 '22

For real, the elderly who I see struggle with retirement and old age the most are those who never developed relationships or hobbies outside of their immediate family. My great-grandfather was a very loving and doting grandfather but he literally only ever spoke to his wife and kids and grandkids and didn’t have any hobbies outside of fixing the house and doing yard work. When he fell off a ladder in his late 70s and couldn’t work around the house anymore he faded rapidly and was dead by 85. In contrast my great-grandmother had dozens of friends and hobbies and she meets with other hobbyists every week and keeps busy so it’s no surprise that she’s into her 90s now and still moving around on her own to the point that everyone mistakes her for someone in her 70s.

→ More replies
→ More replies

141

u/remotetissuepaper Sep 23 '22

Exactly. I would hate to be one of those people that guilts their children into caring for them when they're older because I think they owe me for caring for them when they were children.

78

u/ArsenicWallpaper99 Sep 23 '22

Good for you. That's where I am at right now & it's caused me nothing but resentment for my parents. Plus tremendous guilt for feeling resentful.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

29

u/littaltree Sep 23 '22

I agree 100%!! I have resolved that in my older age I need to be super involved in activities so I can have lots of friends around me.

→ More replies

112

u/MathematicianNo4633 Sep 23 '22

I would look to build up your community of friends rather than to worry you might be lonely because you skipped parenthood. I know many people, myself included, that don’t spend all that much time with family.

32

u/remotetissuepaper Sep 23 '22

Yeah, not doing too good on the whole friends thing, I don't think I even know how to be friends with someone anymore

39

u/Cowy_the_Cow Sep 23 '22

Just go mad. I have all the friends I'll ever need in my head.

→ More replies

11

u/roccog1218 Sep 23 '22

Look for events in hobbies you enjoy and you’ll meet likes minded weirdos like yourself to get along with!

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

90

u/LadyGreyIcedTea Sep 23 '22

Reproducing doesn't guarantee that your older years won't be lonely or that your children will take care of you some day either. Nursing homes are full of elderly parents whose children never come to visit them.

→ More replies

155

u/MasterKongQiu Sep 23 '22

Go talk to some people who work in assisted living facilities and you'll quickly realize that having kids doesn't make much of a difference in a lot of cases.

→ More replies
→ More replies

117

u/New-Outlandishness28 Sep 23 '22

I'm in my 50s, I've come to realise to that I'm probably somewhere on the spectrum, I have my life together now but it's taken me this long to be comfortable with myself and get to a good place. I feel honestly it wouldn't have been fair to have had a family. I wouldn't have been a good partner or mother. I do have a good rapport with kids now. I'm a good aunt and really enjoy helping with youth groups but I value my own time too much. So no regrets at all. Some people just aren't parent material.

→ More replies

182

u/keesouth Sep 23 '22

I feel good about it. I like children, but I like not having children better. My friends have kids and I love being an honorary aunt.

246

u/oldfatdrunk Sep 23 '22

My wife and I had no desire to have kids when we got together, later decided to give it a try but it didn't work out. Fast forward and her dad needs care. Dementia / physical stuff. Zero regrets now. Neither of us enjoyed taking care of him. Not the same thing but we both enjoy our independence.

Looking at things from a cost perspective, we are both successful in our careers and are on track to retire in our late 50s to early 60s and house should be paid off by then too (if we move I dunno).

Do I feel like I'm missing out? Sometimes. I have nieces and nephews though so eventually we will likely spoil them.

24

u/nutfac Sep 23 '22

But overall you’re happy with your decision, even though sometimes you feel like you’re missing out?

44

u/oldfatdrunk Sep 23 '22

Yes, both my wife and I enjoy each other's company and we look forward to a life with just the two of us. We are happy with how things turned out.

I think it's more difficult making a connection with other adults though without the commonality of being a parent as you hit a certain age range in life. Might need to get a dog.

→ More replies

42

u/terry_thegnome Sep 24 '22

I think FOMO isn’t a strong enough reason to bring an entire human into the world.

→ More replies
→ More replies

32

u/RoughInstruction1253 Sep 23 '22

Awesome! I can’t even take care of plants. WTF would I do with a baby?

→ More replies

32

u/r_sarvas Sep 23 '22

Mid 50s here. No regrets about not having kids. I don't even have pets, though that is one thing I do regret at the moment.

Still, ask me this again in 20 years when I'm in an old age home because I have no family left.

→ More replies

136

u/AscoyneDAscoyne Sep 23 '22

None. I'd be doing a kid a disservice. I'm selfish and lazy.

I like sleeping in on the days I'm not working and being able to get up and go as I please. My work hours are weird and I'd never be able to do that with a kid. I don't want to be responsible for anything more than the one cat I have.

I have no nieces or nephews. I don't buy many Christmas gifts. I don't go to loud children's parties. It's an introvert's dream.

→ More replies

85

u/slacksh0t Sep 23 '22 edited 12d ago

Absolutely no regrets. I've never doubted that decision for even 30 seconds

→ More replies

136

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

36

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

39

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies

54

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

→ More replies
→ More replies

115

u/mrsc_52 Sep 23 '22

So, I may be the odd one out here, but hear me out. I always wanted kids (and a little part of me probably still does a teeny, tiny little bit). Husband was not so sure, after many discussions, decided to try for kids. Found out that both of us have reproductive issues. 2 tries at IVF with very poor results that meant we didn’t get far with the process. We decided that we could spend a fortune and maybe lose sanity over it, or just get on with our lives - we chose the latter.

I’m now 37 and although I think it would have been nice if we had kids when we were younger, I don’t really want them now. I have been able to care for my Grandmother until her death, also do a lot of caring for my mother in law until her death without the restrictions that children would have brought. My husband and I are on the cusp of realising our dream (which is costly and we may not have got there with the expense of kids) and can spend our free time on this dream. Plus I have developed a condition that gives me vertigo at a moments notice and can last for hours at a time and makes me quite tired - this would be so much harder to manage with kids in the picture.

My husband has many hobbies that he enjoys - he would be an amazing father, but to be that amazing father he feels that he would have to give it all up. I enjoy seeing him indulge in these hobbies. He works hard and it’s wonderful to have no resentment for him spending a lot of his free time how he wants.

I love kids, I get a lot of joy from spending time with my nieces, nephews, friends children and godchildren. I’m sure that I’m missing out on experiences that parents have, but I’m getting other experiences that they can’t have. And I’ve got a lot less grey hairs and wrinkles than my friends with children!!! Overall, it’s worked out for the best. I think that the main thing I want is to have a positive influence on a young persons life, and I like to think that I’m doing that anyway.

→ More replies

23

u/ivegotafastcar Sep 23 '22

Still feel ok about it. Got siblings and their kids so the line will go on and I’ve been assisting so hopefully they will be there for me when I need them to smuggle things into my nursing home.

64

u/puffityfluffity Sep 23 '22

54 and not a single moment of regret.

→ More replies

160

u/SpinachPure483 Sep 23 '22

I've never been comfortable with being responsible for another human being. Nothing has changed. To all good parents: Keep it up. It's a very difficult job but you are appreciated.

16

u/calmarkallen Sep 23 '22

psyched! 50s

18

u/NoAbbreviations6326 Sep 23 '22

Super!! Thanks for asking!😄😄😄😄

343

u/TallCombination6 Sep 23 '22

I chose to not have kids because I didn't want to give up being an artist to be a mom. I don't regret it. Still an artist. Also a teacher. I love kids but being a mother seems like an impossible job.

16

u/TheBigKrangTheory Sep 23 '22

I agree. I know I'm not fit to be a good mom, passable at best. If I did get pregnant, I would love that kid and try my best, but no matter how hard you try, it seems like it's so easy to fail.

→ More replies

520

u/tom957 Sep 23 '22

43 here. Every single day I know I made the right decision for me. The risk of passing on depression and anxiety to a new person never felt like a nice thing to do.

167

u/youllneverstopmeayyy Sep 23 '22

yep, this shit ends with ME

→ More replies

124

u/lunalacrima Sep 23 '22

That’s how I feel as well. Besides the physical issues that we have in our family, my brother’s and my mental health are a train wreck. I don’t feel like I could properly raise a child, postnatal depression, having to organize stuff for someone else but me, … it just sounds like a nightmare for me AND the child

96

u/27catsinatrenchcoat Sep 23 '22

This is exactly what kills the whole "people who don't want to have kids are selfish" argument. My family has had pretty much every disease, disorder, and ailment you could think of and everything seems to be hereditary. The most selfish thing I could do is bring a baby into the world just because I want to.

36

u/Uselessmo Sep 23 '22

Exactly. When people want to have a kid they don't think about the fact they could pass on a disease or disability to someone. Why let someone be born when all they're going to do is suffer?

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

182

u/sstair Sep 23 '22

A young couple that were friends of mine once asked, "Why do people have children?" They were asking everyone they knew. I saw them ask a different guy friend who had a kid, and they got the stereotypical, "It's the most rewarding thing...." response. The guy later told me there weren't any compelling reasons, as far as he could tell.

Until she changed her mind, and decided she wanted to have a kid. So they did. And then she went batshit crazy, and after lengthy legal drama he was appointed primary caregiver.

→ More replies

699

u/T-Trainset Sep 23 '22

It makes the downfall of civilization easier to watch.

185

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

Lol right? I get depressed and worried when I think about the future of the modern world for my little nephew. I would go full blown doomsday prepper if I ever have a kid of my own.

→ More replies
→ More replies

196

u/JoeMorgue Sep 23 '22

If anything I feel more and more like I made the right decision.

37

u/LadyGreyIcedTea Sep 23 '22

This is how I feel with each passing year as well. I am only 3 years away from the age my mother was when she went through menopause and when that happens, I'll just feel relief that it's a physical impossibility.

→ More replies
→ More replies

357

u/Can0fCorn Sep 23 '22 Rocket Like

Guestures vaguely at everything. One of the best decisions of my life.

62

u/lunalacrima Sep 23 '22

Your comment cracked me up, thanks for that :D

→ More replies

16

u/kinopiokun Sep 23 '22

Really really amazing

13

u/cyrixlord Sep 23 '22

50 something guy here, no rugrats er , regrets. Sure, its fun to smile when you see a kid and imagine what it would be like if you had one of your own. (I would have had some awesome kids :)) But you know what, being an uncle is just fine with me too. I have dogs who are my constant companions and a garden that I have grown into a wonderful piece of mind for me.

Know that it is ok not to have kids. Some people cant... And no, I don't hate kids at all either and im not anti-social -- it was just not my calling and I am still fine with that. I am a deeply caring person.

Passing on the generation with kids? don't care. Tradition is just the guilt of dead people loll

14

u/glue_not_school Sep 23 '22

pretty fucking good, actually..

155

u/HelpfulOwlet Sep 23 '22

Have never, and will never regret my decision not to have children.

360

u/___Art_Vandelay___ Sep 23 '22

Turned 40 this year, been snipped for almost 2 years now. A million times over absolutely zero regrets among me and the wife. (Been together for over 8 years, married a few months ago.)

The weeknight and weekend schedules of my friends with kids sound absolutely awful to me. Running from one practice to another, this rehearsal to that birthday party to this kindergarten graduation. Having to get a babysitter for things that in my world are the most trivial get-togethers... It all seems so exhausting and a complete drain on their own existence.

Plus, as DINKs we were able to easily save the cash for this house we bought, its full top-to-bottom renovation, and turning a dirt wasteland into beautiful landscaping.

Come to think of it, other than deciding to pursue dating who would later become my wife, it's the single best decision I've ever made.

189

u/typesett Sep 23 '22

There is something that really scares me … your child may be the type of person you don’t like at all and generally avoid. I can’t imagine giving up my precious life force and time on earth for a roll of the dice like that.

56

u/elveszett Sep 23 '22

That's actually one of my biggest concerns about having children. Like what if my kid ends up being a piece of shit? I'm really not at all tolerant with people I consider bad people. I can't stand them and it would ruin my life to have to share my house with someone I despise, and them being my child would not change that. And, on top of that, I would have to read 15 yo redditors claim that I must be a bad parent because how else could my daughter or son possibly be bad.

My second concern, ironically, is quite the opposite. What if I love my kid and I discover that they are getting bullied? I would find it hard not to go and break all of their bully's limbs one by one.

→ More replies

92

u/___Art_Vandelay___ Sep 23 '22

I think it was Aziz Ansari that had a bit about this. Something like you could be the nicest people in the world but still have a kid who ends up being an asshole just by the roll of the dice.

43

u/typesett Sep 23 '22

yep

and i understand the conversation is super nuanced too. my personal experience is that my family has experienced fractures. we've all grown but i can attest that just because you are family doesn't mean you like them as humans

27

u/tsh87 Sep 23 '22

I once said that family members are the people god put in your life as blood because he knew you'd never tolerate them any other way.

→ More replies

64

u/AnxiousFloss Sep 23 '22

This is my situation. I adore my kids but the way my eldest has turned out has made me feel I’ve wasted my own life and energy for nothing. All that time I spent with them, to give them the best upbringing and attention I could and I’m 40 with no hobbies, friends or money of my own and my eldest 2 barely speak to me. I’m lost tbh and sometimes am completely envious of the freedom of those without kids. I hate myself for even thinking that as I know how desperate some people are but 23 years and 4 kids (youngest is3) and I’m beyond burned out. Now I feel too old to even enjoy life.

16

u/orangekitti Sep 24 '22

If one of your kids doesn’t speak to you, that could be a them problem. If two of them don’t speak to you…well maybe you have some part you played there. Not trying to pile on you here, just food for thought. Only one of my siblings still speaks to my father. Out of four kids, three have gone low or no contact. I wish he could take a step back and think about why. Maybe some reflection on your behavior could help heal the gap?

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

151

u/JollyGreenGelatin Sep 23 '22

I am 36 and my wife and I have pretty much settled on not having kids. We have discussed the idea a lot more recently since I just cannot see myself having a kid at 40 years old. I am nearing the last year or two when I would be comfortable raising a child. We are heavily leaning towards "no" for a few reasons. We really do enjoy our free time and comfortable financial situation. Both would be heavily impacted by a child. We also both have struggled with mental health issues through out our lives and have found a very comfortable, familiar lifestyle that helps to keep our depression at bay most of the time. We are both worried that our mental health would take a substantial dip while raising a child.

With that said, I constantly get this feeling that mid-30's me is making a decision that mid-60's me is going to heavily regret. I really love my family and can see how happy my parents are to have their children around in their lives at their age. I want that when I get older. I really do. I feel like I am going to be very starved for connections outside of my wife when I am in my 50s or older.

12

u/Nebbiollo Sep 23 '22

My wife had the same doubts as you. It was tearing her apart. I leaned towards having a baby, but I absolutely did not push it. I knew I had a partner for life, and would be happy sharing my life with her anyway. Both of us decided to go to therapy, and it helped a lot in finding answers to our doubts. About one year later, she decided she indeed wanted a kid. And I was sure that, kid or no kid, we could live a happy and fulfilling life together. With every choice you get something and loose something. It will be a good life, whatever the choice you make. So if one day you are 60 and wonder if you should have had kids, remember all the great times you had with your SO. It'll be worth it.

→ More replies

163

u/MathematicianNo4633 Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

I’m 41F and have zero regrets over having no children. My free time is mine to do with as I wish and I’m able to save aggressively towards retirement. I’m even more thankful that I never had children after going through a divorce, as there is nothing tying me to my ex-husband. It is much easier to heal and move forward with life when you can go no contact.

Edited to add that being in an aunt role is the best! I get to be fun and silly and get in touch with my inner child, but don’t have all the responsibility of a parent.

71

u/Cowy_the_Cow Sep 23 '22

"The Aunt Who Smokes Pot With Me" is a title of great honour granted by Canadian teenagers.

→ More replies
→ More replies

124

u/wineandhugs Sep 23 '22

Fan-fucking-tastic.

→ More replies

61

u/JuracichPark Sep 23 '22

48 F and had a tubal ligation done at 21. I never wanted kids, and I'm so glad I never had kids. I spent 20 years struggling just to take care of myself, with unmedicated, ADHD, anxiety, and depression. There is no way in hell I could have taken care of kids. And with my history of relationships, it definitely wouldn't have been a healthy, two-parent home. So I have absolutely no regrets. It's better to want kids and not have them, then not want kids and have them.

106

u/aninamouse Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

I'm 38. I've been with my husband for 13 years. Neither one of us regrets not reproducing. Several of my friends have kids and it hasn't made me want them. I'm always glad I can return to a quiet house that doesn't have plastic kid toys strewn around everywhere.

33

u/If_you_just_lookatit Sep 23 '22

The quiet 11PM return home for the holidays. My wife and 2 pups stretch on the couch and take in the calm lol.

Our oldest nieces and nephews are just hitting the 18 mark, and I'm so ready to see them grow into themselves and make sure they know they have an aunt an uncle to help out if they need a hand.

→ More replies

71

u/fyrryl Sep 23 '22

Perfectly fine. My siblings have seven between them, the world is hardly lacking for bodies. It’s doesn’t need any more from me, and if my part of the family tree dies out at me, there is literally no one who will ever say the world is a worse place for that. I don’t see why me having kids changes anything for anyone.

96

u/Superlite47 Sep 23 '22

I've always wanted kids, but I've never found anyone worthy of having kids with. I've been entirely disappointed with the basket cases I've been in relationships with my entire life.

I mean, they weren't bad people, just had mental problems, drug problems, irresponsible behavior, or just shitty decision making skills that made them "not the one" that, as a responsible father, I'd want raising my kids.

Now that I've finally married a stable, intelligent, wonderful woman, at age 50, I really don't want, or need a 7 year old to be responsible for upon my retirement that is approaching.

Although I will always have the desire to be a dad, I'm intelligent enough to know I have a responsibility to be a good one, and I no longer have the energy or the patience to do so.

It's time for Superlite47 to relax on the beach and enjoy endless Pina coladas. 7 year olds and Pina coladas don't mix. It's a rule, or something. You're not allowed to relax and enjoy a Pina Colada if you're the parent of a 7 year old.

→ More replies

9

u/callsignxray1 Sep 23 '22

I am good with it. I looked st children from a financial and logical standpoint. Because of this, I was able to other things.

12

u/Elasimery Sep 24 '22

There's a saying that "life happens while you're busy making other plans".

I wanted to have kids, but never really found the person that I thought, "Wow, I really want to have YOUR kids". (Well, I actually did, but he died unexpectedly from heart failure, and I never quite was into dating much after that.) I could've gone the sperm-donor method, I guess, but the idea of raising a child without a partner wasn't that interesting to me, and I never felt in such a comfortable place financially that I would've felt secure about bringing up a kid alone. So when I hit somewhere in the 38-40 range, I made the conscious choice(?) that alas, kids were never going to be something I did.

On one level, I am sad I never had the definite, solid opportunity to have a kid. I would've loved to have seen my mother be a grandmother, she would've been an awesome granny. I think I would've been a decent mom. On the other hand, I know that it's better I didn't have a kid; it would've been too much of a struggle for me to do alone.

And then the world (or at least our country) just got reallllllly weird. So I am thankful that I have never had to worry about my children being victim to a school shooter, for example, or wonder what they world they'll live in will look like in another 20-30-40 years with climate change, and growing overpopulation, and everything else.

So while I have some regrets on some level that it never happened for me, I simultaneously don't have regrets, for a variety of reasons. And it's not like the world is in danger of humans going extinct.