krakenimages on Unsplash

The desire to raise a family can either make or break a budding relationship, no matter how much a couple is in love.

However, there are times when things don't necessarily go as planned and a couple conflicted about having kids suddenly find themselves having unexpectedly crossed the threshold into parenthood.
And they wind up having no regrets after they realize they happily raised a family in spite of everything.

But there are couples in which the two people involved are mutually on the same page about not having kids.


Would they have regrets when they are older?

That is something Redditor ADreamyNightOwl wanted to explore and asked strangers online:
"[Serious] People over 50 that chose to be childfree, do you regret your decision? Why or why not?"

The following Redditors explained why they have no regrets in their decision to not have kids.

Lacking Parental Instinct

"I explain it to people like this - you know that feeling you get where you just can't wait to teach your kid how to play baseball? or whatever it is you want to share with them? I don't have that. Its basically a lack of parental instinct. Having children was never something I aspired to. My SO is the same way."

"Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against children. And I get really angry at people who harm them or mistreat them. I just never wanted my own."

– IBeTrippin

Better Off Without Them

"Yeah same, it took me years to really come to terms with this whole 'I completely lack a desire to have kids' thing. First i thought I would magically develop the desire when I got older, and then I thought I was broken in the head, and then I thought I needed to just 'talk myself into it,' or have a kid and hope the feeling came."

"But I'm in my mid-thirties now and still don't have ANY desire to have a child. People always ask 'why' I don't want kids. Like, I have 100 reasons why."

"But the most important reason is literally 'because I don't want them'. As in: 'I don't WANT them'. As in: it is simply not something I actively want. Why would I force myself to do something that I have no natural desire to do. Seems like a good way to mess up my life and some poor kids."

– PaganDreams

A Perfect Match

"No and I found a partner who feels the same. We are the cool aunt and uncle."

– laudinum

These people gave their affirmation that life is good without being a parent.

Words From A Septuagenarian

"I'm in my mid 70s and happily child-free."

– civex

The Good Life

"I'm 52 and I'm in bed watching the morning sky over the ocean with a mug of tea and a book. Quiet music and no one is demanding cereal or needs a diaper change or the car or to sleep in my bed."

"Later, I will walk around a museum without a stroller and a screaming, hungry, wet baby or a gloomy preteen. Yes, there would be times that the kids would behave, but what's the percentage? BI will cook for one, not one vegan, one who only eats chicken nuggets, and another who will burn water if I let them near a pot."

"I've never regretted my decision ever."

– Fredredphooey

Mixed Feelings

"I have mixed feelings. I don't care much for children and I think it would have been disastrous for us to have them. I was also able to retire at 52. Pretty sure that wouldn't have happened with kids. So yeah, absolutely the right decision."

"But I love my family and I do wonder what it would be like to have my own, to teach my child the things I know and not to be without someone who cares about me at the time of my death."

"But again, absolutely the right decision and at 55 I'm very happy NOT to have them. This is reinforced every time I'm exposed to other people's kids."

– ProfessorOzone

The "Wisdom Of Her Decision"

"57 years old and childless. I don't regret it at all. I sincerely believe that I would have been a piss-poor mother. I'm an extreme introvert, and seeing my sister with her sprogs clinging to her all the time, wanting something or other -- food, attention, a toy, whatever -- and calling to her, mommy mommy mommy, convinced me of the wisdom of my decision."

"If I had had children, I would have been driven to suicide or homicide in short order. My sister's kids are grown into wonderful young adults, and I love them to death, but I need lots of alone time to remain sane, and you don't get that with kids."

"If I'd had them, I might have become one of those horrid humans who feed their kids Benadryl to make them sleep, just for some peace and quiet. Childless is better for me."

– booboocita

These Redditors were indifferent about their views on parenthood.

Part-Time Parent

"I'm almost 50 so I'll chime in. I never wanted kids, just never had the urge. But I wound up helping raise my niece and nephew after their mom, my sister, died in a car accident when they were 7 and 5 respectively."

"I didn't have the full time, but split housing them on weekends while their father worked and his b*tcha** wife didn't want them around. I had them every other weekend and about half of each summer for years. They're now 21 and 19, so I wound up as more parent-ish than aunt."

"They were a handful so I'm glad I didn't have any of my own, it was exhausting enough being a part-time parent substitute and, of course, I wish their mom hadn't passed away."

"Full time parents, you're awesome, I couldn't do it. At least their dad gave me money for all the time I took care of them, sharing my sister's social security benefits so I could feed and clothe the kids and give them some fun activities and camps."

"I love the hell out of them, but still glad I didn't have babies of my own. They're good kids, I love them to death, but they've also broken my heart a fair few times acting up, making dumb decisions, but all kids do that. I'd beat the ass of anyone who messed with my niece and nephew."

– gambitgrl

An Uncertain Future

"My wife and I chose long ago not to have children, but always left it open for renegotiation. We're 40 now and feel absolutely no regrets about not having children. Still feels like the right choice for us. Hopefully, we'll still feel that way long into the future."

"Lots of folks ask us questions like, 'who will take care of you when you're old?' or 'what if something happens to your spouse?' No judgement, but to us, those have always felt like pretty selfish reasons to have children."

– lyingliar

Possible Regrets

"I don't necessarily regret not having them, but I regret the fact that I wasn't in a healthy enough relationship where I felt I COULD have children. I regret not being stronger to leave the abuse earlier, if I had been stronger, I think maybe I could have had the choice at least."

"So yeah... I have regrets."

– MerakiStudioMe

A Bonus

"No. I knew what I was getting into when I agreed to marry my husband. He had two sons from his first marriage and a vasectomy. He was worried because I was so young (comparatively, he's10 years older)."

"I did think it over seriously and concluded that a life with him compared to a life without him but (perhaps!) with a baby I didn't even have yet was what I wanted. It worked out for us, we've been together for 26 years. As a bonus I have 9 grandchildren. All the fun without the work of the raising!"

– ZubLor

Generally, the people who never wavered in their decision not to have kids early on seem to be happy.

And while some in the thread expressed concern about who would take care of them when they become elderly or widowed, it didn't seem to cause enough anxiety to have any regrets.

Because as someone mentioned, basing their decision to have kids just so they are taken care of is an unfair, and selfish, approach to parenthood.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

Photo by Jonathan Roger on Unsplash

Dream of the sea of lights, of the opportunities, the nightlife, and all of the things you've been dreaming of living in your adult life since you were a kid. Being in a city as an adult can afford you those opportunities.

But oftentimes the city will just afford you more expensive housing with no real way to keep up your standard and quality of life. Unless you make major budget cuts, you might often find yourself at odds with your own city, and growing to dislike it.

Sound familiar to anyone?

Keep reading... Show less
Ramy/Unsplash

Have you ever wondered what job people would pick if they knew they'd be financially stable?

Not rich; we're not talking "retire-in-luxury to Buenos Aires" level coin; just comfortable and with growth potential if you're smart about things.

If any job in the world put you at the precipice of stability - what would you *choose* to do?

Keep reading... Show less