To have kids or not to have kids.

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by PEteacher07, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    I am struggling with this right now. I don't want to have children of my own and it has been something that has been building inside me since I started teaching full time. My husband understands but it very hurt.

    I am 26 and I have been married for 3 1/2 years to my husband who is a police officer. Our careers are crazy and I can not imagine going through my school day and then having to take care of more kids at home. My job is very stressful anyway and will be more so b/c instead of three of us, there will be me and one other person will be teaching elementary physical education to over 500 students every day with upwards of 90 kids at one time. I am literally on my feet all day long and I am moving and monitoring at all times. My downtime is my lunchtime in which I eat quickly to set up for my afternoon classes and the conference that I get in the morning and I usually spend a large chunk of it setting up for my morning classes. When I go home everyday, I am EXHAUSTED. But, I love my job.

    My life could be easier if my husband had a 9-5 Monday-Friday job, but he doesn't. He is a police officer who works the midnight shift and his days off are in the middle of week. So what that adds up to is if I were to have a child I would:

    1. Spend most nights by myself with a child without help from my husband after coming home from school. In the middle of the night, I sleep alone, so there would be no taking turns on who has to get up and take care of the kid. It would be me and me alone getting up every time.

    2. Spend my weekends off by myself with a child without help from my husband b/c he works on the weekends.

    I am afraid that having a child at home would effect my performance at school. I can't be tired at school b/c I unlike a majority of other teachers, have upwards of 90 children in one class so I can't slack off or something bad is going to happen.

    Please tell me there are other teachers out there who have struggled with this....I feel all alone b/c I see so many of my friends having children, and I think, thats a cute kid, but I have NO DESIRE to have one of my own. I think I would be miserable in fact.
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I also have no desire whatsoever to have children. RIght now, my life is too chaotic. I'm going back to school for a second degree and credential. And, even when I was working, I would come home so exhausted, that the idea of having to get up and feed my pets and do chores was sometimes excruciating. Plus, my hubby and I have plans to travel. THis would be very difficult to do with a child. I would be constantly on alert and terrified that something would happen while we were away in another country. My husband feels the same way. I guess neither of us really grew up. We still are focusing on us and our own goals and dreams. We're not ready. If I were you, I wouldn't feel bad or pressured. Bringing a kid into this world is a huge decision. It's not one to be taken lightly. Raising another being takes a lot of time and effort.
     
  4. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    As peachyness said, don't let ANYONE pressure you into having children if you don't want to. It's way too big of a decision to have children because everyone else is, or someone else wants you to! I don't really think I want to have children of my own. I don't tell people that very often, because I've found that if you're a teacher who tells people you don't want kids of you own, you tend to get a lot of funny looks. I love teaching - having a room full of kids from 8:30-3 and then sending them all home is perfect for me - but a lot of people don't understand that. Oh well. My mother tells me fairly often how much she hopes for grandchildren. I hate that she is laying on the guilt about this! Having children because my mother wants grandchildren would be one of the dumbest reasons I can think of! Anyway, I can see where you're coming from, and I can assure you that there are others of us who have struggled with similar situations. Do whatever is right for you, and don't worry about what others think.
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    My mom does the exact same thing! I can't stand it.
     
  6. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I wish more people thought through this decision as responsibly as you are thinking about it.

    I do have children, and, while I'd never try to sway you, I just want to ask if you've looked long-term down the road. The up in the middle of the night thing only lasts a year or so. The responsibility does last a lifetime. But do you think you'll get to 36 or 46 and regret it?

    I desperately wanted children, but, still, before I had one I really didn't know how it would all work out. If, in your heart, you really don't want children, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if, in the past you've wanted children but now your exhausting job is making you rethink it, then don't let that hold you back.
     
  7. peachieteachie

    peachieteachie Comrade

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    I have always wanted to have kids, at least two, but since I started teaching last year I have changed my mind. I'm in the same boat as Peachyness - there is just so much other stuff to do! My boyfriend and friends said that my mind might change when things settle down, but I don't know if they will. I'm a busy person who is very focused on my career. Like you, I will think through my decision and be responsible. I don't think it is awkward for anyone to feel this way so just take your time!
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I understand where all of you are coming from. I am on the fence though about having kids. I probably only have a few more years to decide since i'm older. I hate the idea of having a baby then putting him in daycare while i'm at work. There's no way we could afford to keep our house if I didn't work. We would probably have to win the lottery or something but that's not likely! :unsure:
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I've never wanted children of my own, which is good because my husband has always felt the same way. Thankfully, my mother only gave me a hard time once when I stated this fact. All I had to do was remind her that it WAS NOT my "wimping out on her" and that it was a carefully considered decision. We have a cat and two guinea pigs, so we have plenty of little feet to pitter-patter. We also have a niece, which has satisfied my parents' grandparental urges.
     
  10. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    If you really WANT kids, there are many ways to make it work out great.

    If you really DON'T want kids, that is the only reason you need.
     
  11. cwp873

    cwp873 Comrade

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    I was sure I didn't want kids of my own, my students were enough. Then I hit 29 and the biological clock thing struck- all of a sudden I DID want one! My son's thirteen now, and I've never regretted having him.
    One thing I did that helped was job share for the first two years- worked half days for haf pay, full benefits. It was great.

    Definitely, wait until you feel ready! For disappointed hubbies, there are TONS of kids out there who have no positive male influences in their lives. Kids who could really use a male mentor! Your men would truly be making a difference in someone's life...and you get to send them home at the end of the day!;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  12. scienceteach82

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    You might change your mind in a few years...for now concentrate on your career and your husband. I'm sure you are aware how crazy police officers schedules can be...and as he gets promoted...it will change again. He might reach a point where it is a desk job during the day...and not be on patrol at night. Or be on patrol during the day...leaving the nights free with you.
    I want kids...but not right now. Granted...I'm not married either...but I know there are certain things I want to do before that. You have many more child-bearing years ahead of you. You don't have to decide right now. Good luck :)
     
  13. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I switch back and forth about wanting kids. I want them than I dont' want them. I'm not a baby person. If I could get them at 3 I would be happy. haha. I know there is adoption. We actually talked about it this year. And DF (fiance) said he didn't want to start with a six year old. He wanted to start with a baby.
    So now we are back to having children in a two or three years. I'll be around 35 at that time.
     
  14. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I agree with Missy 100%. If you want kids, you can make this work. Don't let your reasons scare you. Every mother struggles at times, especially the first year. Many mommies with husbands who are around have to do it all anyway. Some moms have bigger jobs than yours. They rush into daycare with seconds to spare before closing and then get home and have to be totally "on" until 9pm when they can finally get out of their work clothes! But if you truly want to have kids, it is all worth it.

    Only you know if you want kids. Don't let anyone convince you to have them if you don't want them or aren't ready. Heck you are only 26, you have lots of time to mull it over.
     
  15. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    I knew I always wanted them but I always thought there was never a good time. We just made it happen and it all worked out. Jaime, I understand the wanting them when they are 3 years old!! LOL That's how I was until I had one. Then of course I thought the itsy bitsy ones were great too. A hand over at 3 or 4 months would be good.
     
  16. ParaPacker

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    Thanks

    I appreciate this topic.

    My husband and I are both teachers and we have gone back and forth on this topic. We have been married for 8 years this July. A couple years ago, it was a definite no. We were not ready and our job and hobbies were too busy for a little one. Now things are changing, my masters is complete, our friends are having children and we are seeing that when/if it happens we would be okay.

    This is such a big decision that needs to be thought though on many levels. Yes, my mother would love a grand child, but for now, she will have to settle for my 5 year old dog. :p
     
  17. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    And there are adorable Packer outfits for the babies too. I hated seeing my kiddos grow out of them. We had the tiniest Favre jersey ever:)
     
  18. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I would love to have a baby. We have been married over 9 years now, and it seems like there will never be a good time to start trying (according to dh). Everyone always brings it up, and everyone I know has kids. I am trying to not let that effect me, but it still hurts.
     
  19. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I actually never even planned to get married, much less have children. I'm just not actually the "kids" kind of person. Yes, I love my middle school students, and I loved my high school students . . . but anything younger than that, NOOOOOOO.

    I don't have siblings, and I never had any younger cousins. I was never a babysitter. They consistently want to give me little kids at VBS "because you're a teacher", they say. Yes . . . with the TEENAGERS. I'm always very uncomfortable with the younger ones. About half of my friends have children. Their pictures are on my fridge, and I go to their ballgames & birthday parties.

    I got married at 30. DH actually didn't want to have children ourselves, he wanted to adopt. (He's adopted.) Then a year into the marriage, I became seriously ill. As it stands now, having children would put me at a high risk for a few serious--possible fatal--health issues, so that made the decision final for us.

    My parents were supportive for whatever. DH's mother did the "poor me never having a grandchild" thing until DH basically told her to quit or he'd stop coming to visit as often. (I'm surprised he had that much backbone, honestly.)

    I'm old enough now that nobody really asks me if I'm planning on having children. It was awful for awhile. It really wasn't anybody's business, so I came up with two standard answers. "I'm too busy to think about that right now." and "Teaching middle school is great birth control." I tended to use the second in most cases. I used the first one to a lady at church, and she told me I needed to get my priorities straight! EGADS!!! I've never quite come so close to coming unglued in church. LOL

    It's your life and your decision.
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Some people (usually older people) do not realize that having children the second after you get married is NOT a priority for certain people. It is a private matter that only they can decide upon. In my family, it seems a given that you will have children if you get married. Some relatives have even had children NOT being married. The only option that is frowned upon is not having any. Times are changing but to some people it is just not acceptable for you not to have a baby or two or three, etc. Personally, I would love to say MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Especially to that church lady! LOL
     
  21. Ruby731

    Ruby731 Rookie

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    children

    I was going to post about this. I think the sad part is that as women we have to defend our decision to not have children. Society assumes that you will have children, and there seems to be a stima for those who don't. Going through my first year of teaching in a low income school has really shown me how difficult good parenting can be. It truly is the biggest decision of ones life, and it kills me that some people take it so lightly. I know so many kids who need good parents and they just aren't there. Some parents say it has given them a purpose in life, but I already know my purpose- teaching!
    Like another poster said, you'll make it work either way, but don't let anyone pressure you. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  22. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    semi-hijack:hijack:UGHHH that is bad and how about, "so when do you plan on getting married?" when you don't even have a boyfriend! I hated it when people, after finding out I had two boys, would say, "aw, so are you going to try for a girl?" as if having 2 boys with no girl is a failure of some sort.
     
  23. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    The department where my husband works changes shift every year. And as long as you stay in the position you are at and have seniority over new officers, you can start having more preferred days off. but the second you test and promote, you go back down to the bottom again and start getting week days off. My husband does not want to work the day shift b/c he finds it boring and a majority of the day shift officers have been on the force for years and don't have "the drive" that DH has. I don't want him to work the evening shift b/c its from 3PM-11PM and I would never see him. So his only options are working the 2 night shifts options.

    I am not a baby person either. If I could have a kid at aged 2 or 3, I could probably handle it. We have talked about adoption at one point but that costs a lot of money that we don't have. The only way that we could do that would be to sell our house that we just bought a year ago and move into something smaller.
    ________________________________________________________

    In reading the other comments about your mothers in MIL's wanting grandchildren, my mom nor my MIL has said anything to me. My mom has been teaching for 28 years and my MIL (who already has a grandchild courtesy of my husbands older brother) was a teacher and principal for many years so I think they understand and are not bothering me about it.
     
  24. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I second the thought that it is strange for women to have to defend (and anyone can question) choices about having children or not. Ladies, hold your ground. There is no award ceremony for people who made the "right" choice! Imagine!

    I have two daughters. I make a point of NOT assuming either of them will or will not get married and have children of their own.

    Keep the strength to live your life.

    p.s. the church comment made me laugh out loud. !!!
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My husband and I are in a similar boat. We're not certain that we don't want children, but we're not super gung-ho about the idea, either. Right now everything is still on the table and we'll make some sort of final decision later.

    I'm 27 and my husband is 29; we've been together for about 7 years, married for about 3. I feel like we have plenty of time to decide on how big (or little) we want our family to be. For now, it's nice being just the two of us and our two pups. We can go to the late movies without having to plan ahead, take spontaneous long weekends, stay up all night--we do live in Las Vegas!

    The biggest factor in our decision is money. It's expensive to raise a child! While my husband and I (barely) make enough for the two of us, adding a third person into the mix would mean that we'd both have to give up some of the luxuries we do have. I'm sorry if it sounds selfish, but I'm not willing to do that just yet.

    Plus, my husband is a full-time student and works full-time as an FEC at a sporting goods store. At least while he's still in school he's not going to have a lot of time to spend with a baby.
     
  26. Ms. I

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    PEteacher07, if I had a lifestyle like yours & a husband w/ that type of work schedule, I wouldn't want kids either. You're still young so there's still time. These days, more people have kids in their mid to late 30s. My mom had me at 36 & my dad's 10 yrs older than my mom.

    I'm 33 & unmarried. It would be nice to have a child someday, but not now. That internal biological clock that makes women want to have kids isn't ticking for me, so I don't feel nervous or anything just yet.
     
  27. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    It's hard choice, especially if you are going back and forth on it. Just remember no right now, does not necessarily mean no forever. You can change your mind later and even adopt if it's too late. For me, I already know that my biological clock will stop ticking in about 5-8 years and that scares me. I'm only 24. I want kids, a few of them, but I know we aren't ready yet. So we wait and we pray and we hope that when we are ready in a few years, that I am still able. You can go to the doctor and find out for sure how likely you are to concieve and for about how much longer. That might ease you mind to find out you have a while.
     
  28. slinkytoy

    slinkytoy Rookie

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    Wait until you truly desire a child! We waited until we had been married for seven years. A lot of people made comments, but we just told people we were waiting until God told us to have kids! I'm glad we waited. I was more mature and actually had somewhat of an idea what to do. We waited until we were both ready and financially more secure. It is your lives, do what you want!!!!
     
  29. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    When I got married, I was sure I didn't want kids - I couldn't stand them! What set my "clock" off was when my best friend had a baby and I got to spend a lot of time with a little one. It took six years of trying, but we finally had our daughter when I was nearly 34. She'll be 21 in a few weeks and I can't imagine my life without her. But I agree - you have to do what's right for you.
     
  30. ParaPacker

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    Once again, I have to say, I love this topic. I feel so much better about my decision to wait. The stigma and pressure get to me sometimes and it is good and calming to know I/we are not alone in our decision.

    (Although the comment about the Farve jersey gets me thinking;) )
     
  31. cshelz89

    cshelz89 Rookie

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    I know how you feel with your husbands work. My husband is a Deputy and we have 3 children. I have been at home with them for 12 years and now I am finishing up school. My hubby has been in the field for 12 years and loves it. He works mids and we like it. We find this time to work well with our family. Our children see him more and so do I. I will say it is difficult at times being alone but he works 3/12 and it works. My children are 12, 10 and 6. We actually made a huge change and the kids and I moved back to Northern Cali where our families are. He was going to move back here when he found a lateral position. This has not worked out yet, we would get about 30,000 less a year. We decided to have him travel for now. He still works in Southern Cali and comes home every 5-8 days. When he is home he is here for 5 days and he adds his vacation in. He is here sometimes for 14 days straight. We actually see him more now and I like it this way. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see him daily, but right now we need to keep his job down there. If you need to chat please feel free to email me.
     
  32. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I am 26 as well and I am not having children for a great number of reasons. Reasons range from not being happy with society and realizing I could not deal with my child having to cope with the issues my students must deal with, to the significant possibility my child would go blind like my mother, to not fully getting the point of having a child (this is much more complicated that it seems on the surface...).

    Sometimes I do feel sad that I have thought out these things as opposed to just "getting pregnant" and dealing with life as so many others have, but I have put too much thought into it to have a child at this point. I feel strongly that I would be an amazing mother. But, yet, I don't want to be a mother...95% of the time. I cannot even mention to my mother about that 5% when I wish circumstances were right for me to have a child, because she already prays I'll change my mind, and this will give her something to cling to - and it would be false hope. Here are the times when I feel sad:

    1) We just built a house large enough for a family, and I sometimes feel sadness that the house will never be full of children.

    2) And I mean this, as odd as it sounds, but when I watch "John and Kate Plus Eight". I love those children and sometimes feel a tinge of jealousy. I grew up in a similar house (crazy, children spilling out of every room).

    To elaborate on my third reason listed for not having children, of the many that exist... What is the point, really? Mother says God wants us to, but I don't think God would be upset with my choosing to give the best of me to my needy students opposed to having my own children. I also don't think the desire to see a little version of me and husband crawling around is a valid reason, and some people do...they ask, "Don't you want to see what your baby would look like?" I guess that would be interesting...but I'm not starting a human life because of it! It's not a science experiment. Some might say you have a child to share your love. I already do that (although I do understand that a mother's love is like no other). Several people have actually asked me, "Who is going to take care of you when you're older?" How horrible. There are resources available, trust me.

    Some people ask me, "Won't you regret not having children once you're older?" and of course, because I'm honest, I say, "Yes, I just might." But, I have to take the information and feelings I have now and make a decision...and I have. I want to spend my time on earth making the lives of children already alive a little bit better. And I think I'm doing that now.

    And, finally, I agree with what others have posted: I should haven't to defend my choice to not have children. And I don't like it when people inform that I will change my mind.

    You know, I can't possibly put of the hours of thought I(and my husband) have put into the issue on ONE post, so please understand that this doesn't encompass everything I feel or think about having or not having children...It's important to me that people reading this understand that. It's complicated, and a lot of the reasons are private. :love:
     
  33. dragonfly05

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    I have always wanted children. I am not yet teaching; I know it is a stressful job that keeps one busy...but my desire to have kids and a family is so strong, that it will always be a priority for me. I know I will find a way to manage my classroom to allow for this priority, at least I hope so! If not, then I know I can always return to teaching once my kids are in school.
     
  34. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    It is the most life changing event that would/will ever take place in your life. Be 1000% sure you want them.
     
  35. PEteacher07

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    There are moments when I see someone with a cute kid, and I am like awww! Other times I hear a screaming child at a grocery store with a parent too busy talking on their cell phone or whatever to deal with their child. Then there are the 15 year olds with babies and it just angers me b/c a majority of the time they are not taking responsibility of their child. It's their mothers that have to do it. Obviously not everyone is in those situations...

    At times I want to make snarky comments to people who start asking the baby question b/c it isn't any of their business. And I feel the same way that you do about your students. I find such joy in teaching, and just getting to watch them grow up (since I see them on a daily basis) is just so great. I love my students so much. As you said, it isn't a mother's love, but during the school year, I talk to and spend more time with the kids then their own parents do sometimes.
     
  36. Calalilys

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    Jul 4, 2008

    I'm in the same boat as you. I don't want kids and have felt this way long before I starting teaching. As a teacher, I have seen just how much work kids are from an educational standpoint and you really have to devote a lot of time to raising them to be productive human beings. Too many parents just shrug off any responsiblity in raising their children and I think it's a shame. I'm just glad that I realized kids were not in my future sooner rather than later. I love coming home to my dog and peace and quiet after teaching all day.
     
  37. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 4, 2008

    I am really surprised at the number of people who support not necessarily having children. Don't get me wrong, pleasantly surprised! Neither my sister nor I plan to have children. My sister because she's just to flaky and self-centered - she couldn't stand not getting all the attention and frankly I was worried when she got a dog.

    But I had always planned to have kids - even picked out names. But I'm getting older now, not married yet and I just don't think it's going to happen for me. It amazes how many people just don't understand that. It's like an expected tradition to follow - get married and have kids. But how many kids out there are completely messed up right now - because people didn't think the decision through.

    I say follow your heart - what's meant to happen, will happen.
     
  38. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Jul 5, 2008

    Me too. I love coming home and hanging out with my husband until he goes to work and the dogs. I do enjoy the quietness and the freedom I have to do what I want.
     
  39. NorskNanners

    NorskNanners Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2008

    What a potent topic. I wanted my children with a passion. Having children is a huge responsibility and not taken lightly.

    Sure, I want to be a grandmother. I am fairly safe in saying that my son will be a father in the future. I try to stress to my son and daughter that I want them to be successful and happy. They are the ones to define that in their lives.

    I have always been amazed at how people will come out of the woodwork and telly you how your life should be. Getting married? Buying a house? Having children? I was a bad mother at one store for not giving my cranky son the pacifier. I was a bad mother at the next store since the pacifier would ruin my son's teeth.

    To the one poster about the sex of the next baby, oh my! One man laid his hands on my very pregnant abdomen and prayed that the next one would be a boy so our family would be complete. Wanting a healthy baby is not enough for some folks! For my friend with two boys, she finally whispered to the person not accepting the healthy answer that she was just hoping that the baby was white. :eek:hmy:

    Having children is up to the couple. All these comments about getting married, having children, etc. puts undue pressure on the couple.

    I have to admit, though, I wouldn't mind having a granddog!
     
  40. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Jul 5, 2008

    To those of you who have decided not to have children, that's your business and no one else's. Only you can make that choice, and if you feel that you don't want to have children it's the right choice for you.

    I have a way of dealing with people who ask nosey personal questions when it's none of their business (such bad manners!): I pretend I didn't hear them.

    I developed this technique in response to people who would just walk up to me when I was pregnant and ask how far along I was, when was I due, was it a girl or a boy, etc. To me, these questions were shockingly rude.

    If the person is persistent and keeps asking whatever personal question it is, after the fourth or fifth time asked but not answered they finally get it that I am not going to answer their question and usually drop it. Takes some people awhile.... :rolleyes:

    It's rare, but sometimes someone will persist and say, "You didn't answer my question." In that case I simply say, "That's right, and I'm not going to answer it" with a big smile on my face. :D
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 5, 2008

    eduk8r, I like the way you handle those rude people. I have to admit, there have been a couple of time where I have had to do the following, to those especially annoying people:

    Annoying Person: "Don't you think it's time for you two to have children?"

    Me: "If only we could." [face gets sad and I stare at the ground]

    Talk about making someone feel AWKWARD! They'll usually respond with a bunch of mutters: "Oh, well, uh, I'm, uh, sorry."

    I don't want to use a very sad situation that others face (infertility) to solve this problem, but it works. And, technically, it is true...we can't! ;)
     

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