People Who Did Not Have Children Reveal Whether Or Not They Regretted Their Decision

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Many people try to give meaning to their lives by building a house, planting a tree, and bringing up a child.

People Who Did Not Have Children Reveal Whether Or Not They Regretted Their Decision

Many people try to give meaning to their lives by building a house, planting a tree, and bringing up a child. There are some, though, who are content with just the first two options. Recent U.S. population surveys show that a record percentage of women do not have kids.


Reddit user throwawaygeneral8899 (currently getting married) has recently decided to find out how these people deal with the consequences of their choice. They made a post asking "Older couples that decided not to have kids...how do you feel about your decision now that years have passed?" Their responses began pouring in quickly, and one can feel the honesty behind them.


Researchers rarely collect data that distinguishes between the involuntarily childless and the consciously childfree. The 2014 census figures, though, revealed that 47.6% of women between age 15 and 44 have never had kids ― the highest rate ever tracked. A 2014 Pew Research Center report shows that19% of women remain childless by age 40 to 44.


Blackstone conducted 60 to 90-minute interviews with 31 people (21 women and ten men) about their decision to live childfree. The small qualitative study discovered that the choice is not spontaneous but rather a complex and ongoing conversation. That pushes back on critics, saying that childfree couples are selfish or flippant.


Since publishing her research, Blackstone has interviewed 44 more people, expanding the diversity of her participant pool. She wishes to continue her research in the future too, which will hopefully create a world where childfree people do not have to defend their choice to others or suffer socially for it.


More info: Bored Panda


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.


MoiraCousland


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.


Zero regrets.


piskie


No regrets. 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.


pterelas


Well...I'm a dude in a relationship with a dude. 26 years. We could have had children but didn't. Have plenty of nieces and nephews to spoil.


Also...we've been able to save and we are retiring this week. I'm 54.


dwsinpdx


Mid-40s, married for 22 years. No regrets. We’re both extremely happy - we have a great marriage, fulfilling jobs, money (and time) for all the fun things we want to do, and as much travel as we want (currently on week 6 of a 7 week road trip). I have never felt a lack in my life for not having children, and have always felt that having children would be detrimental to my happiness. I’m sure it’s great for those that actually want kids, but I’ve never been one of those people.


I also have around 16 nieces and nephews, so we get to sort of experience that whole "having a kid" thing for a week or two at a time...and then send them home, which works out perfectly.


Our two cats and one dog are as close to having kids that we will ever have, and trust me - that’s about as much responsibility for someone else’s life as we should be given. I love our pets, but having a dog has very firmly shown me that it’s a good thing we never had kids.


dalek_999


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.


henrythethirteenth


Every kid I don't have is like $186,000 I don't need to make.


toppup


I love my life. Kids never factored into it. I never wanted them, so simply didn't have them.


Having never wanted them, I don't think about having missed out on anything or that I'm lesser for it.


Children aren't mandatory


flicticious


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.


Metatron_Fallen


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.


MoonieNine


We're both in our mid 40s. When we got married in our mid 20s we were trying to have kids, until we realized that we were pretty much just doing it because it was expected of us by family. I decided to not get pregnant and my husband has supported my decision.


After a few years my husband started having spotty employment due to health issues and ended up on disability. We don't know if he'll ever be able to work again or what his long term health will be like. We were concerned that he wouldn't be able to contribute to a child's life, either financially or by providing care. Plus I found out I have fertility issues and it would be very expensive and difficult, if not impossible, for me to get pregnant. Also I've realized in the last few years that 1) my upbringing qualifies as abuse and I'm more like my abuser than I'm comfortable admitting; 2) I don't want to treat a kid the way I got treated but I'm afraid it would be inevitable without a crap ton of ongoing therapy for the entire family; and 3) I realized that I just don't really like kids that much. Having a kid around for a couple hours? Fine. 24/7 for minimum 18 years? No thanks.


Sometimes I worry that when we're old we'll be alone and regret it then, but we have plenty of nieces and nephews, and the fear of the possibility of regret thirty or forty years from now isn't a valid reason to get pregnant IMO.


MrsPottyMouth


I'm approaching 60, husband is approaching 70, and we get that question a lot. We know we made the right choice. I'm a teacher, so I've spent my life working with wonderful kids, but simply never wanted to go home to more kids after work. We don't know who will take care of us when we're decrepit, but adult children are no guarantee of having care in old age.


However, I think we both miss having grandchildren to take places, Christmas is quiet, and family barbecues are non-existant. That part is a bit sad.


LRWR


I'm 41 and chilling, do what I want when I want, no money issues, so I'm happy. I never felt like I wanted kids, I just didn't feel I would be a good parent, so I think it would be irresponsible on my part. People still like to tell me I just "haven't found the right girl yet" but I tell them the right girl is one who doesn't want to have kids. Not sure why it's such a big deal, but no one has ever said "good for you, that's awesome". Kinda f**ked up there's enough people on this planet already.


Saganic


I’m not that old (37) and I’m not a couple, but I didn’t have kids and I can say undoubtedly, I wouldn’t have accomplished the things I am very proud of in my life if I’d gone down the family route.


My nieces and nephews are enough for me, and I can give them back and won’t be held responsible for how they turn out. It’s honestly not a bad deal at all.


IHeartGeorgeConway


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


RaspyToZen


My husband and I have been together for 27 years, and we originally said we didn't want kids. Then we thought we should have some, and tried for a decade with no luck. So we had a serious talk, and decided we didn't really want them after all, and stopped trying. Now that the pressure is off and we both feel nothing but relief, we are enjoying life so much. It's wonderful to just be selfish without having to make excuses or feel resentful and be able to travel on our own schedule and make decisions that just impact us. If we could have had kids naturally, no harm, no foul, and we would have loved and accepted them, but it didn't happen, so no worries. And we also don't have to worry about f*cking up another human accidentally. Life is good, and we have the finances and resources to take care of ourselves. The only negative is that we are both the end of the line for our genetic ancestors. But that doesn't seem like a good enough reason to try the crazy fertility treatments beyond what we already did.


modernchic1977


I fear the answer to this. I'm ambivalent about kids. But I'll never forget holding the hand of a man on his last day in hospice as he said " Oh God, I wish I'd had a child."


He was married to one woman for close to 50 years, taught for nearly 40. His room was filled with cards and photos from former students, friends, and family. It's impossible to say if he was lucid, but the regret in his voice was heartbreaking.


I say now I'd be happy with children or none; biological, adopted, or step, but until the end I won't ever know.


MediocreProstitute


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.


Intersectaquirer


I wanted them but never met the right person. I'm REALLY glad I didnt have any of my previous partners- they would either have made terrible mothers or we just did not make for a healthy couple.


I have the perfect partner now, and she did fall pregnant, but we lost the baby to Dandy Walker syndrome. Getting a bit too old to try again now. I am very upset that I will not have children, but I don't regret not having children with anyone but my current partner.


shapeofthings


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.


calcuttacodeinecoma

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Thinking Humanity: People Who Did Not Have Children Reveal Whether Or Not They Regretted Their Decision
People Who Did Not Have Children Reveal Whether Or Not They Regretted Their Decision
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