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  Reply # 1987537 3-Apr-2018 11:41
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I look on in envy at my childless friends .. they go about flounting their money and free time!  ;-)

 

For reference I have 3 boys (twin 10 year olds and one 3ish year old) ... not found the shop where I can trade them in for a jetski yet ...


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  Reply # 1987553 3-Apr-2018 12:17
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For me, this thread is really unusual because of the honest responses, lack of judgement and, where needed, the obvious active moderation.

 

 

 

Deciding to have a family including kids was one of the two best decisions I made in my life.

 

If I had not had kids then I would now be a lot more selfish, a lot less empathetic, minimally compassionate, and probably just as arrogant as I ever was. Watching my children grow up has taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible. In my workplaces, I could have got by with not changing my more negative/destructive behaviours but having kids forced me to become a better person to be around.

 

I was fortunate because I had no real barriers to forming a family and having children. I had supportive family and sufficient income and assets. My parents were very loving and I had a very happy childhood so I didn't have any negative outlook on children or family life. I also find it hard to dislike people which helped a lot when I see kids at their worst.

 

I was nineteen when I decided I wanted to have a family. I made a plan based on what people had told me and what I'd observed:

 

  • I eliminated some things that would hinder my objective. So out went things like expensive sports/hobbies and overseas travel.
  • I decided the sort of person I wanted to have children with and started looking for someone with those five characteristics/outlooks. Those commonalities certainly helped us during the tougher times when bringing up a family. We did things like spending a few years before kids to ensure that each of us had a professional career we could continue with if we unexpectedly became single parents.
  • I'd already decided I wanted to be a young dad (20s-30s) because I had several friends who really wanted their older dads (50s to 60s) to be younger. It helped that the science back then supported this - as far as I know, it still does. We realised that a woman's age when having he first child would be very important. So we aimed to have our first child by 27 before the risks starting increasing. We also avoided chemical contraception because we didn't want the recovery delays for fertility to become a problem for us.

Now with adult kids and in-laws, I am very aware that being around kids keep older people connected to the younger activities and outlooks. We don't need our own kids to get this but we do need to be involved with people younger than our generation. I value those connections and hope that I will continue to have them so I won't be an old fuddy-duddy with a negative outlook on what the new generations of children are like.


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  Reply # 1987597 3-Apr-2018 13:07
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40 now, and neither myself or my partner ever wanted kids. I'm pretty sure I was in my late 20s when I had "the snip". Haven't regretted it for a second.


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  Reply # 1987598 3-Apr-2018 13:12
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We had our kids in early to mid 40's.

 

In earlier life we were very career focus with professions requiring alot of time commitments.

 

My partner wasn't pushing for kids so we chased the career which was financially rewarding and had interesting experiences.

 

Late thirties decided to have kids and go to there in the end.

 

Pluses of late parent hood is that, financially we are very comfortable and having young kids keeps life interesting. There are only so many trips you can go on and eventually career become less important. I also think I spend more quality time with my kids than I would have if I had them earlier where there would have been stress of conflict between parenthood and career advancement. Despite what business and politicians says work places aren't sympathetic to mothers and my partners career would have suffered.

 

Downside of late parenthood is you are rolling the dice in terms of reduced fertility, complicated pregnancies, and adverse outcomes. You need to be honest about this and how / whether you could cope with disabilities if they happened.

 

 

 

As life goes on things sometimes change. Kids might be something you decide on later or you might be happy without them.

 

It's a personal choice and friends and relatives who care about you shouldn't ask why you haven't had kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1987600 3-Apr-2018 13:26
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I'm 31, partner is 34, been together 9 years and we don't have kids. I've never been much bothered, my partner would like them but most likely can't due to medical conditions. Been lucky to have no pressure from families. I can't remember my parents ever saying anything about grandchildren and my partner's parents seem happy enough with the 2 they have from her sister who live much nearer whereas they would only see us a handful of times a year at the most.



Currently we couldn't possibly afford to provide for a child anyway so are happy enough seeing friend's kids and my partner's niece and nephew a few times a year and being able to hand them back. Don't feel like it would be fair to bring a child into a renting situation where you can't decorate or modify a place for a child and end up having to move every year or so either. I also imagine having young children puts landlords off as they expect more damage so it makes it more difficult to secure a home too.

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  Reply # 1987611 3-Apr-2018 13:41
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afe66:

 

It's a personal choice and friends and relatives who care about you shouldn't ask why you haven't had kids.

 

 

I know that we can say and do silly things. People with children often flaunt their little wonders and their selflessness. People with out children can flaunt their freedom, hedonism or whatever. But when it comes to understanding each other, I think that not asking is less reasonable than asking. Part of understanding who my friends are is why they have made the same or different decisions than me. More than half of our friends have no children for many different reasons, controllable or uncontrollable. Understanding their attitudes towards children allows my family to be involved with them in mutually beneficial activities and we can all avoid unpleasant associations.

 

It might help people without kids to know that the questions don't stop even when you have kids. They just change depending upon the number of kids.

 

Once you have one at least one pregnancy/child:

 

  • Are you going to try for a girl as well?
  • Are you going to try for a boy as well?
  • Are you going to stop at two?
  • How many kids are you going to have?

Once you have two pregnancies/children they add in:

 

  • Are you stopping now?
  • Why aren't you stopping now?
  • Why did you stop now?
  • Why don't you have more?

When you have more than two pregnancies/kids a lack of empathy and compassion becomes more obvious:

 

  • Do you know what causes it?
  • Have you worked out how to stop it?
  • Are you Catholic?
  • Did you go to Catholic schools?
  • Are you crazy?
  • You've got more money than sense?
  • Haven't you heard of abortion?
  • ... and so on into the crass and vulgar

 


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  Reply # 1987615 3-Apr-2018 13:44
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Heh, I've said the "OMG don't you know what's causing it a lot, as a joke. 

 

I dunno about the rest, it's a tough balance being interested but not being nosey or overbearing. I'd rather someone care enough to ask than show no interest. 

 

We were hounded about having kids everyone talked about how cute they would be and how many baby sitters we could rely on. Had a kid, crickets! No family really interested at all. Was horrible :) 

 

 


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  Reply # 1987626 3-Apr-2018 13:53
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Interesting thread and surprising that there are so many with no kids.  I am another with no kids, and whilst it wasn't exactly a conscious decision it just worked out that way for me.   

 

I'm really glad we haven't descended into the "...but who will look after you when you get older?" question as that is the most stupid one I've encountered over the years.  My normal response is "I will look after myself and pay a nurse if I need to".  But when I look around friends with kids there are so few where their kids would actually 'look after' them anyway for all sorts of reason.  In theory I should be looking after my elderly parents, but as they are in the UK and I'm in NZ that's pretty much impossible and I'm sure I'm not alone in that type of scenario.

 

Hopefully in this current day and age we have moved on from the need to have kids who will take care of us in our old age.

 

 

 

PS I have animals, are they my child substitutes?  or is that my husband tongue-out 


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  Reply # 1987629 3-Apr-2018 13:55
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My wife and I have two kids, a girl aged 3 and an 18 month old son. In my 20's I couldn't see myself as a parent but in my early 30's my wife and I started discussing a family and felt it was the right time. We travelled young, had about 15 years of carefree 'fun', bought a house, established our careers so it felt like a natural progression. It's been challenging but the best experience ever. Seeing two mini me's running around is surreal. I enjoy caring for them and teaching them how to do things, and seeing them beam with joy when they learn something new is a great feeling. I wouldn't change anything.

 

Most of our group has kids, in fact of around 20 couples only 1 or two don't have them. Close friends split up over kids. She was against it and he wanted kids and hoped she would change her mind. After about 12 years together he couldn't lie to himself any longer and initiated a split. He found a new partner about 6 months later and they now have a daughter together and he couldn't be happier. 

 

A family friend who never had kids recently lost his wife. I think he regrets not having a family cos he's in his 60's now and is very lonely. 

 

I also know older couples who are childless and very happy in life with no regrets.

 

I think it's important you want to be a parent though. It's so challenging and you really need two parents to have the best chance at success. I don't know how single parents do it. 

 

To people worried they won't know what to do, how to care for a little person, you learn, fast! lol...


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  Reply # 1987633 3-Apr-2018 13:58
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Heh, some of my no-kids friends have pets and those pets do seem to get treated akin to children. But some don't have pets and they couldn't as they are away on too many vacations to have a pet!

 

I wouldn't expect my kids to "look after me" but I do expect they will stay socially engaged with me. That's just passing down the chain how it's worked from the generation ahead of me.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1987650 3-Apr-2018 14:17
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Horseychick:

 

Hopefully in this current day and age we have moved on from the need to have kids who will take care of us in our old age.

 

 

I don't think children caring for their elderly parents is too common in western culture.   It is a little sad really, but that's the way it is. 

 

It is often more about having social contact in general.  My grandma for example.  All her friends and her husband had died by the time she reached her mid 90's. But, she had children and grandchildren visiting all the time. She never got lonely, and even managed to stay in her own house with a bit of help from relatives and government care services. 

 

I'm pretty sure she didn't have children necessarily to keep her company in old age. Back then, it was to have more workers for the farm. 


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  Reply # 1987661 3-Apr-2018 14:33
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Horseychick:

 

Interesting thread and surprising that there are so many with no kids.  I am another with no kids, and whilst it wasn't exactly a conscious decision it just worked out that way for me.   

 

I'm really glad we haven't descended into the "...but who will look after you when you get older?" question as that is the most stupid one I've encountered over the years.  My normal response is "I will look after myself and pay a nurse if I need to".  But when I look around friends with kids there are so few where their kids would actually 'look after' them anyway for all sorts of reason.  In theory I should be looking after my elderly parents, but as they are in the UK and I'm in NZ that's pretty much impossible and I'm sure I'm not alone in that type of scenario.

 

Hopefully in this current day and age we have moved on from the need to have kids who will take care of us in our old age.

 

 

 

PS I have animals, are they my child substitutes?  or is that my husband tongue-out 

 

 

 

 

That really is silly, if people are still using that one as a genuine thing.

 

 

 

     

  1. My father (like many) died in intensive care after spending 9 months there - so the nurses looked after him
  2. If my mother is expecting to be looked after, she's certain to be disappointed since all her sons now live in different countries from her

 

 

 

It most certainly was a reason to have plenty of children back in earlier times, partly because many died young from disease, partly because they provided free labour on family farms or businesses and partly because they looked after the elderly. We have contracted that out to the State now, so that reason well and truly no longer exists.

 

 






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  Reply # 1987761 3-Apr-2018 16:41
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Geektastic:

 

That really is silly, if people are still using that one as a genuine thing.

 

 

I don't think you should be calling people 'silly' though.  

 

I've known a few people who have cared for their ailing parent(s).  It is not that uncommon.

 

Usually people choose to have children for a number of reasons.   If one of those reasons is that they fear ill-health in old age, then that is not silly at all. Especially from their viewpoint. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1987778 3-Apr-2018 17:28
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surfisup1000:

 

Geektastic:

 

That really is silly, if people are still using that one as a genuine thing.

 

 

I don't think you should be calling people 'silly' though.  

 

I've known a few people who have cared for their ailing parent(s).  It is not that uncommon.

 

Usually people choose to have children for a number of reasons.   If one of those reasons is that they fear ill-health in old age, then that is not silly at all. Especially from their viewpoint. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is as silly as having children because you want an astronaut in the family.

 

You have no guarantee that - assuming the child lives long enough to care for you - it will be interested in doing so, capable of doing so or willing to do so - any more than you have any guarantee that the child will have the intellectual, physical and mental equipment to be an astronaut (to say nothing of the opportunity).

 

You're not going to convince me that "because I want someone to care for me when I am old" isn't a silly reason to have children.

 

I'm not saying it is never done, or that some children will willingly do it. I am saying that if that is the reason you're having them, it's not sensible. It would be more sensible if old age care is your primary concern to have no children and invest all the money you would have spent on them in an old age fund to pay for guaranteed care.






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  Reply # 1987781 3-Apr-2018 17:41
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Geektastic:

 

We have contracted that out to the State now, so that reason well and truly no longer exists.

 

 

Those sorts of reasons for having children well and truly continue to exist.

 

There is quite a lot of research on the benefits of children for life-expectancy and well-being. While I don't think that the researchers have adequately identified and explained all factors, the benefits from having children remain significant.

 

Health care and aged care are not fully contracted out to the State. Aged care funding is tested for eligibility and is only a subsidy. If such care were fully contracted to the State then there would be more active monitoring of each person and a proverbial ambulance at the top of the cliff.

 

Many elderly people only receive the help they need because of the advocacy of their relatives and friends. Those who don't have such support often die neglected and alone without even an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.


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