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Not wanting or having children


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Old 07-05-2013, 15:23
Leicester_Hunk
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We don't have any, we are 40 and 39.

My o/h (funnily enough I don't recall being asked the question) is often asked if she has children and when she replies that she doesn't, is asked why.

What I want to know is why people think they have the right to ask such a personal question!
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:27
Ben_Copland
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Maybe they're trying to find something they have in common to then further engage in conversation?
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:28
TardisSteve
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someone asked me if i ever wanted have children, i said not really, have enough stress and worry in my life right now
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:28
scottie2121
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I don't know why people think they have the right to ask such a question but I think it shows they're probably lacking in social skills and a bit of imagination. They don't seem to realise that there could be lots of different reasons and some of these could be very personal. Some people also seem not to be able to understand that not having children is as much a choice as having children.
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:32
scottie2121
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Maybe they're trying to find something they have in common to then further engage in conversation?
Like a husband with a zero sperm count? Or if someone else had a hysterectomy? Or if she's also on the sex offenders register? Or there is some genetic reason?
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:33
Ben_Copland
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I was referring to the having children part, I'm a skim reader.
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:34
Any Ideas
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Out of my 100 or so Facebook friends, at least 4 off the top of my head have a baby now. I went to school with them - but we only left 5 years ago! I just think that I'd want to do something for myself without the responsibility of a child hanging over me. Maybe I'm weird.
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:35
malpasc
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I hate the "if you had children, you'd understand" mindset when someone, for whatever reason who doesn't have children is thought to have not sympathised or understood something a parent has said.

Just because someone doesn't have children doesn't make them an emotionless robot, just as just because someone has children doesn't automatically make them perfect.

I personally don't like children and therefore don't want any. I am perfectly fine with this, and my friends and family are too. I'm honest about it. I'm not hostile towards children, or people who have children. I'm just not fussed by them myself.
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:41
Victoria Sponge
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I think it's ok for people to ask if someone has children, but asking 'why not?' is out of line. Imagine, for example, how hurtful it could be if the asked person is infertile and devastated at not being able to procreate. One just doesn't know what's going on in someone else's life and should therefore think before speaking or being too nosey.

People do ask me all the time if I have kids, I don't mind. I'm childless. I was kinda rudely reminded (though i think she didnt mean to be rude) by my pedicurist the other day that I'm getting old and I should have started having kids at a younger age because its better. But that's Asians for ya. Less tact than westerners.
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:42
woodbush
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We don't have children. I have been asked occasionally why we don't have any and I just tell them the truth. My wife has gyne problems and can't reproduce.

You then get the sympathy vote, we didn't want children anyway.
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:49
venusinflares
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We don't have children, we don't want them.

I get asked a lot why I don't have them (or why I don't want them). It really annoys me as I would never dream of asking a person with children why they wanted them or why did they bother having them? It's a very personal thing and I don't see why people think it's OK to ask someone. Some people have even said to me (in all seriousness too) 'go on, just have one before it's too late! It'll be the best thing that'll ever happen to you!'.

I have resorted to telling people that it's mine and my husband's business as to why we don't want/have children and is nothing to do with them. The previous tactic was telling people that I hate children and would most likely be a bad mother but to that they just say 'oh no you don't hate them and you wouldn't be a bad mother at all!!'. Prior to that I would say I'm too old (I'm 40, I know myself I'm too old to be dealing with babies/toddlers) but they'd just tell me I'm not too old at all (I don't know myself apparently).

I've even been called odd for my lack of maternal instinct, have been told it's 'not normal'.

So, it's best just to tell such people to mind their own as they will argue against any other reason you give them, apart from maybe that you've had your menopause already but even then they might tell you to use a surrogate!
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:50
ladymoanalot
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We don't have any, we are 40 and 39.

My o/h (funnily enough I don't recall being asked the question) is often asked if she has children and when she replies that she doesn't, is asked why.

What I want to know is why people think they have the right to ask such a personal question!
I get it about kids and about marriage. I just tell them the idea disturbs me.
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:52
patsylimerick
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I hate the "if you had children, you'd understand" mindset when someone, for whatever reason who doesn't have children is thought to have not sympathised or understood something a parent has said.

Just because someone doesn't have children doesn't make them an emotionless robot, just as just because someone has children doesn't automatically make them perfect.

I personally don't like children and therefore don't want any. I am perfectly fine with this, and my friends and family are too. I'm honest about it. I'm not hostile towards children, or people who have children. I'm just not fussed by them myself.
I think people say that because it's true. There is no other relationship like that of parent and child and no other feeling like the one of protection and love you have for your child. It's not possible to know it without experiencing it. I think that's a fair enough observation, to be honest. If they're telling you they're perfect because they have children that's a different discussion altogether, but it is impossible to explain how you feel about your own children. It's a whole other level of love and fear and anxiety and joy.

I find it odd that you don't like children. We were all children at some point - it's like saying you don't like people. All children are different, too; in the same way as all adults are different.

I think it's ok for people to ask if someone has children, but asking 'why not?' is out of line. Imagine, for example, how hurtful it could be if the asked person is infertile and devastated at not being able to procreate. One just doesn't know what's going on in someone else's life and should therefore think before speaking or being too nosey.

People do ask me all the time if I have kids, I don't mind. I'm childless. I was kinda rudely reminded (though i think she didnt mean to be rude) by my pedicurist the other day that I'm getting old and I should have started having kids at a younger age because its better. But that's Asians for ya. Less tact than westerners.
Absolutely stupid question to ask, the 'why not' part. It's nobody's business but the people involved.
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:58
molliepops
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I always felt it badly when I was asked if I had children and why not, it's almost worse now with people asking if I have grand children and why not No one in all his years has ever asked my husband).
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Old 07-05-2013, 15:59
ladymoanalot
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I find it odd that you don't like children. We were all children at some point - it's like saying you don't like people. All children are different, too; in the same way as all adults are different.

Maybe "do not like" is a bit harsh for me but I do not enjoy being around them. I find them hard work. I just like to be around adults who I can have an adult conversation with.

I hate having to watch my language and what I say and I just do not have enough patience with them wanting to play and the attention they need and try to get.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:03
malpasc
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I think people say that because it's true. There is no other relationship like that of parent and child and no other feeling like the one of protection and love you have for your child. It's not possible to know it without experiencing it. I think that's a fair enough observation, to be honest. If they're telling you they're perfect because they have children that's a different discussion altogether, but it is impossible to explain how you feel about your own children. It's a whole other level of love and fear and anxiety and joy.

I find it odd that you don't like children. We were all children at some point - it's like saying you don't like people. All children are different, too; in the same way as all adults are different.



Absolutely stupid question to ask, the 'why not' part. It's nobody's business but the people involved.
I'm gonna disagree. Other people have no idea about how other people feel about people in their lives. Yes, I can understand there will be a certain bond and love between a parent and a child but you can't say that someone who doesn't have a child doesn't feel like that about someone in their lives. The truth is, nobody knows exactly how other people feel.

Ok, saying I dislike children is OTT maybe, but I really don't have any strong positive feelings towards them either. I don't want to interact with them, I'm not interested in seeing photos of people's children, or worse still, the pregnancy scan (seriously, they all look the same).

I probably dislike some parents, the type that take their children out but don't keep them occupied, or don't realise that not everyone is as fond of their children as they are. I also get bored of people who go on about their children all the time. I'm sure to them, their children are a constant source of fascination, but not to everyone else they're probably not.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:04
Indigo Louise
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No one has ever asked me why I did not have children, but if they ask me firstly if I have any, I usually just tell them the truth - would have loved them but it just did not happen for me - usually that sets the record straight and we can move on.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:06
patsylimerick
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I'm gonna disagree. Other people have no idea about how other people feel about people in their lives. Yes, I can understand there will be a certain bond and love between a parent and a child but you can't say that someone who doesn't have a child doesn't feel like that about someone in their lives. The truth is, nobody knows exactly how other people feel.

Ok, saying I dislike children is OTT maybe, but I really don't have any strong positive feelings towards them either. I don't want to interact with them, I'm not interested in seeing photos of people's children, or worse still, the pregnancy scan (seriously, they all look the same).

I probably dislike some parents, the type that take their children out but don't keep them occupied, or don't realise that not everyone is as fond of their children as they are. I also get bored of people who go on about their children all the time. I'm sure to them, their children are a constant source of fascination, but not to everyone else they're probably not.
Bit in bold - quite . They irritate me too. Some parents find other parents complete bores on the subject too. Also, badly behaved children in restaurants are a poor reflection on their parents, certainly.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:07
trevgo
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I do not have a paternal molecule in my body, and I don't believe it's anything to do with my sexuality. When I see some of the parenting that goes on, I wish more would resist for everyone's sake, not least the poor kids.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:12
f.georgina
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Children and raising a family is so completely life changing and altering.

I have children myself, and I love them and being a mother, but I can 100% respect and understand people, woman or men, who choose to never want children.

My aunt never had kids, she works in a primary school, adores my children, and others that she knows. Yet she insists that, though at times is a little sad, overall she is grateful for that choice of not having her own children.

There are plently of people in this world, and ever decreasing resources. Humans can be monsters.

I back anyone's right to not have children. It should be respected, not questioned.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:15
trevgo
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Children and raising a family is so completely life changing and altering.

I have children myself, and I love them and being a mother, but I can 100% respect and understand people, woman or men, who choose to never want children.

I back anyone's right to not have children. It should be respected, not questioned.
Excellent post. I wish everybody had the same attitude. None of the arrogance that can come from the "trophy breeders" sometimes.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:17
DianaFire
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I've never wanted them the same way I've never wanted a dog or a cat. Not that I've been asked often, as people tend to volunteer that information when they want others to know. I'd never ask anyone; it's too personal a question for me.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:17
Rednell
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I've never wanted them. On the occasion I have been asked, I've just replied 'I just don't want them.' I don't have the patience or the personality for them, to the point I will actively avoid them. It can be difficult as OH has 6 grandchildren, and seemingly like cats, if they sense you want left alone, they're the first to try and find you and follow you incessantly. I just can't relate to them, or understand what i'm supposed to do with them, and their squealing is like nails down a blackboard on my frazzled nerves.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:36
Pretzel
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I can't imagine asking someone why they haven't got any children, it seems quite rude TBH.

I don't have children, which was not quite a deliberate decision but I don't dwell on it or feel particularly bad about it now. In fact I quite enjoy my freedom and I know that I'd find it difficult to cope with a small child now.

As for my view of them; I think that some children are great and some... not so much. Bit like the rest of the population really.
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Old 07-05-2013, 16:40
The Wizard
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I don't mind people asking it's when they can't respect your opinions and take no for an answer and then proceed to try and tell you what's good for you.

A stupid girl at my son's nursery asked us if we planning to have any more children and we said no were quite happy with just the one. In fact the truth is I didn't actually want any at all and it annoys me when people bring it up because it's a touchy subject as I know my wife would want another but it ain't gonna happen. Besides we can't afford and don't have the room.

It's when people say, 'oh you can't just have one' Why the hell not? Then they bang on about them being sad and lonely etc like only children are not capable of making friends. No matter how much you keep saying, no I won't be having any more they just keep saying, no you must have more than one. You feel like saying, 'what the **** has it got to do with you?'

For all this stupid girl knew maybe my wife is not able to have any more kids and maybe it upsets her to talk about it. Someone who works in a nursery really should mind their own business. Not everyone is a baby machine constantly churning out kids.
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