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Whether or not to have kids didn’t used to be a decision people were allowed to make (most of the time). If a woman or a couple didn’t have children it was because they physically couldn’t, for one reason or another, and they typically spent their adults lives feeling ashamed, “broken,” or unfulfilled because of it.
Now, though, the choice to stay child free is becoming more and more common – and though younger people are accepting of the option, older people will still claim people who opt out of parenting “will regret it one day.”
Is it true? Well, these 13+ people who made the choice years ago are about to tell all…
15. It’s absolutely no contest
My husband & I are in our 50s & have been married 19 years. We both grew up with abusive dads, were the “smart kid” in the family, got the hell out ASAP, worked our way through college & made something of ourselves before meeting & getting married. A lot of common ground & we’ve built a strong, rock-solid marriage.
We considered having kids, but after working so hard on healing from the childhood abuse & escaping the cycle of poverty we grew up in, we decided long ago that just the two of us was enough. We still consider ourselves a family and we’ve been really happy with our life together. Our home is peaceful & that’s the thing we care about the most.
If I had to choose now, knowing what I do, between becoming a mother & having the marriage & home life I now enjoy, it’s absolutely no contest. Zero regrets.
14. We couldn’t have had the adventures we did
Been married for 21 years and initially we tried to have kids but found out that it was going to be hard to do. Wife was heartbroken at first, but I was somewhat relieved. It’s a lot of responsibility and your life changes to accommodate a child.
Over the years, wife has actually said a few times that she was glad we didn’t have kids because we couldn’t have had the adventures we did. I feel like it was the right choice and we’re better off due to not having kids. We love our life and are continuing our adventures now in our 50’s and we’re starting to make plans for retirement.
13. Our money and time are our own
I am late 50s, married, no kids. It’s a great life. Our money and time are our own.
I do have a large number of nieces and nephews, as well as being “uncle” to many friend’s kids. And they are all nice as hell to a fun aunt an uncle with a lot of disposable income. In their late teen and college years we become confidantes when parent relations are strained. We help them with the occasional vacation or help them get a good used car.
We may not have kids, but the kids in the family think we are awesome.
12. Far too many cons
I go through phases where I regret not having a kid, I still have plenty of time: My wife and I are 36, but we made the decision to be childless a decade ago, maybe more.
I understand the appeal of having children and feel it on some primal level, but logically the pros vs. cons of having a kid… there are just far too many cons.
11. That day never came
I always thought I’d wake up one day and be clucky and ready to start a family. That day never came and I’m pushing 50 now so I’ve missed my chance.
I sometimes wonder if I made a mistake not having kids but its not something i really regret.
On the plus side, I am looking at retiring with a 6 figure income at 52, regularly donate and do charity work. In-fact I am looking at starting my own charity at the end of the year to dedicate more time to when I retire.
In some ways not having children has/will allow me to help more people than just my immediate family.
My suggestion is do what feels right, either way its a big decision that only you and your partner should make.
10. An important difference
For my spouse, I can only say that they have physical and psychological issues that they’ve mentioned that they’d rather not pass on to a child.
For myself, I’ve always said that while I’m occasionally afraid that someday I might regret not having children, that’s not the same as wanting children, and that’s an important difference to me. I have my own reasons to believe I’d probably not be a good parent.
Yeah, we both get concerned sometimes whether anyone will be arsed to care about the sole survivor once the other’s gone or incapacitated. But this thought is the result of our decisions, not a basis for changing our minds about having kids, which we will not. Having kids or not is no guarantee that you’ll end up cared for or not anyway, though it does probably move the needle on your odds.
Edited to clarify that last paragraph somewhat.
9. Not having kids is just as normal
We’ve been married twenty years. We are both 50. Neither of us wanted to bring children into our family.
I spent a WONDERFUL afternoon with my 16 year old niece yesterday. We talked about her boyfriend, picked blackberries and discovered a woodland clam [fingernail mussel] living in a mud puddle [vernal pool] in the woods, which we named Fred. It was magical. I just adore her.
Not having kids is just as normal as wanting kids, I’ve always felt.
8. It’s best to hold off
Not everyone wants them, and if you’re not sure, it’s best to hold off. Having ambivalent (or worse) parents does a real number on a kids self esteem.
7. A huge relief
My husband and I are 48.
Not having kids is a huge relief, still. We get to travel, have a nice house, walk around naked if we want, and I have disposable income to support causes that are important.
My life is fulfilling and happy.
6. Missing the Mommy gene
I’m a 49 year old female and have never regretted my decision to not have kids. I think I’ve always been missing the mommy gene. I like not having the responsibilities and obligations (and expenses!) that go along with having kids.
5. I would not have made a good parent
I’m not a couple, just a person.
I’ve been in lots of relationships and was married twice. I would not have made a good parent. Regret sometimes I wasn’t born into a different life, but given the cards I was dealt… I think I made the right choice in that department and have no regrets.
4. I’m not really capable of doing it alone
I go back and forth.
My SO has some significant mental health issues and I know that I would be alone doing much of the emotional labor of raising a child, and I know I’m not really capable of doing it alone. Sometimes I worry very much about what I will do when I am old. I’m an introvert and dont have many friends and am not overly likable, so I assume I will be alone. I just hope that there are some kind robots to take care of me, and that I’ll die before the robots turn on us.
3. He truly loves life
I have a professor at my university who has been married to his wife for 50 years, and they have no children. He calls us his children and always talks about how he and his wife are inseparable. He’s a really eccentric and energetic guy, even in his 70’s. He gives out candy to the entire class before every lecture he gives.
He seems like he truly loves life and has no regrets about not having any children.
EDIT: Holy hell! Thanks so much for the gold, gracious benefactor!
2. We’re good
I’m 60 now, been married for 29 years.
God did not provide me with the proper temperament to raise children. Have never regretted our decision to be child free. We’re good 👍🏻.
1. I am slowly learning to accept
My wife and I have been married for 12 years – I am 36 and she is 40, so, yeah, likely not in the cards. It is a reality that, while tough, I am slowly learning to accept.
I realized that as a guy, I always look at having kids with rose-colored glasses – ball games, working on my classic car with them, dad jokes, the fun stuff. That’s easy for me as it’s not my body and sacrifice. My wife is not on board and it’s her body and I love and respect her to much to force her hand. If either one of us are not 100% ok with a major decision, we don’t do it, end of discussion.
I look forward to spoiling my nieces and nephews and spending more time with my wife and continuing to make our world about us, forever.
Parenting is no joke, so the more information you have beforehand, the better!