Once you become a fully committed couple, the questions start pouring in. "When are you gonna have kids?" "When are you having kids?" "When are the kids coming?"
The hardest thing to say is they might never come, but that isn't always a bad thing, as evidenced by the stories below.
Reddit user, u/throwawaygeneral8899, wanted to know:
Everything Should Stop With Me
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.
No Need To Pile On The Issues
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.
Be Self Aware Of Your Own Limitations
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.
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.
You Don't Always Have To Spend Time With Your Own Kids
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.
Seriously, Hang Out With Other People's Kids
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.
Sometimes, You're Escaping From Old Wounds
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.
You Learn To Deal With It Everyday
I (43F) and my husband (41M) tried unsuccessfully for about 2-3 years to conceive. We did clomid and 3 IUIs. We stopped short of IVF due to the cost and low chance of success at my age. Adoption also was eventually ruled out for a number of reasons but chief among them was I didn't feel called to it (and I'm adopted myself), I wanted to have a child that was half me and half my husband which adoption would not have given us, and the sheer cost of adoption which still does not guarantee you a child (I have friends who have been waiting 2 years now for a child).
We're slowly coming to peace with the decision and it gets easier day by day but I still have many days where it's hard to realize that we won't have what so many other people have attained so easily. Infertility really does change you and breaks down your entire sense of who you are as a woman. Ironically I didn't even want to have kids for years until I met my husband.
Kids? Or Sports Cars?
Me and my girlfriend don't want kids
we want sports cars and to live debt free.
There's too many kids out there without parents so we may adopt one day
"Just fine with it."
Just fine with it.
I'm retired and my wife will be retired next year.
Almost all of our retired friends that have kids are still dealing with some sort of dysfunction or drama with at least one or more kid that should allegedly be "grown up" by now.
One couple actually went to court and fought to gain custody of their grand-kids, taking them away from their dangerously irresponsible parents. Grandparents were well into their sixties raising two teenagers, but both are doing very well now.
Sometimes, You Just Need To Cheat The System
I'm 53, and has a vasectomy when I was 28. Never regretted not having children. I married a woman 10 years older than I am who had two grown kids (17 & 21 when we married,) and now I get GRANDKIDS! We've been married about 20 years, and I have three granddaughters, 10, 8 and just 7.
So I sort of cheated the system. But I am glad I didn't have to raise small children, and I get to enjoy being a grandfather.
Why Make Them Fix Our Problems?
We are both around 30. Both of us don't have the wish/urge to get kids.
I think we would be great parents, but its just so much work. So much time, risk and what not.
And [I] really don't [want] my kid/kids to go through school and fix (if possible) climate change.
Oh Yeah...The World...
Wife & I are older than 60 and retired. Neither of us ever wanted kids.
We are extremely happy we never had any kids. I am reminded every day I read the news that it was a good thing not to have kids.
Freedom Is More Important
I'm 33 and my partner is 43. Neither of us have ever wanted kids, nieces and nephews are enough.
My family constantly tell me I'd make an amazing parent and yes I'm wonderful with kids and kids adore me, they always have but I just know myself enough to know I'd resent them at times.
I'd want my freedom back, I'd rather focus on my life, my partner and my career. Instinctively I know eventually I'd get so frustrated I'd just become one of those jaded parents who can't be bothered and ends up treating their teenagers like a couple of friends just out of laziness. The teenagers would love it but that'd be some god-awful parenting. Plus financially? F-ck that in a bucket.
I honestly believe I'd be terrible. There is so much I want to do with my life. Raising, feeding and educating another whole human being is not f-ckin' one of 'em.
Braver To Take The Road Not Walked
It's braver to realize you shouldn't be a parent than it is to have kids and do a sh-tty job of raising them.
You Most Definitely Need An Even Temperament
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 👍🏻.
You Find Love Elsewhere
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.
What's a reason why you don't want to have kids? Tell us all about it.