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A DINK in the closet


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For those of you who don't know, DINK = dual income, no kids.   It's a personal choice.   One that my husband and I have made.   We're approaching 30, have been together for 10 + years, married for 2.  And the question that I get hit with everywhere I go is,  "when are you going to have kids!?"     And then that look of disgust, confusion, absurdity, shame.... when I say "never".     Why is it such a sin to not want kids?   I have my reasons.    First off, I don't like kids, or babies.  I find undeveloped humans to seem rather pathetic, stupid, helpless, gross and annoying.    Obviously I wouldn't be here without having been one myself, so it's a good thing that not all women share my sentiments.   My second reason is genetics.   Mental illness runs rampant on both sides of my family.  I got the curse too and it's been a rough road.   I could never forgive myself if I had to watch my offspring suffer as I have knowing that it was my fault.   And what's the point?  There are many healthy gene-d couples out their reproducing an effective next generation to solve the world's problems without the need for antidepressants and psychotherapy.   My third reason is:  you never know what you are going to get and I just can't handle that.   What if my kid is nothing like me and hates me?    Where's the joy in that?   Reason 4:  I have dreams of my own that I fancy reaching.   I want to travel the world, I want to own a ranch with lots of stinky farm animals.  I want to have dinner parties and cocktails on the back patio with friends.     Reason 5:    I have a small frame and a major issue with the childbearing/childbirth process.   I have witnessed many live vaginal births.  Nearly passed out twice and then did pass out just watching a pelvic exam.    My body and soul seem to have an aversion to it.   Plus I kinda like the idea of keeping my cute figure for many years to come.    Reason 6:   The world is ridiculously overpopulated with human beings.  There's no denying it.   We're using up the resources and destroying the land faster than we can come up with solutions to it.    The economy is becoming increasing competitive, education more expensive, jobs harder to come by.   Work hours are longer and vacations are shorter.     I don't want that for my child....

Reason 7:   Because I don't want kids.  Shouldn't that be enough?  Should anyone who doesn't want kids go ahead and have them anyways because everyone else thinks it's the "normal" thing to do?    I think not. 

Sometimes I find myself saying things like, "ooh, maybe later on" or  "not quite yet" just to avoid the feeling of ostracism I get if I say "never".   That kinda sucks.     Has anyone else faced this?   How do you deal?   

129 Replies (last)

I was married 10 years before I had my son, and the questions drove me mad!  I usually went with #7, but now and again I felt like a fight and pulled a silly reason out of the air.  It never failed to hit the target :)  A lot of the time, it felt like other women wanted me to suffer like they had, whether it was pain, lack of money, ending of dreams or whatever.

Your decision is between you and your husband - nobody else should be involved.

ETA:  Not giving a reason at all is also worth trying.  Just deflect the question, or flat out tell them it is none of their business/you do not answer questions like that/it is too personal/painful to talk about.  You do not have to satisfy their curiosity.

I'm with you. Not wanting kids is enough of a reason not to have them and you have no obligation to explain why.

Although I'm younger, I've experienced it too. But, honestly, it hasn't been hard, since I couldn't care less whether others think I should have kids or not. I just say I never intend to have them, say that I don't want them if asked for reasons and refuse any further conversation about it.

People should respect "by choice" as a response. Notice I said SHOULD. They probably don't though. Sorry. I will keep this in mind myself if I am ever tempted to ask anyone that question.

I absolutely respect women who know for themselves that child rearing is not what they want to do in life.  If you do not want children - don't have them!  I have a few friends who have made this decision and fully enjoy their lives!  The families and friends do come to understand.  It takes time.  It is also not their businesss.  It is not their choice.  It is yours and your husbands.

 

*goes cross-eyed from the big block of text*

Children aren't for everyone. Out of my siblings and I, I'm the only one who chose to have kids. Of my 2 older brothers, one is married, the other isn't. Since they're both 40+, I doubt they'll decide to have any.

Original Post by Brookm482:

I want to own a ranch with lots of stinky farm animals. 

 

The successful ranchers/farmers I know had large families so the free labor provided by children increased the profit margin.  Heck, one family had their children specialize for their farm in Wyoming: When they determined they needed an accountant, they sent a son to college for that...when they needed a livestock veterinarian, another kid went to college for that...

:D

Of course, my favorite guilt-inducing pro-kid argument goes something like this:

Oh, just think when you're older and your significant other passes away and...you're all alone...

Might as well call you Eleanor Rigby.

Original Post by dnrothx:

Of course, my favorite guilt-inducing pro-kid argument goes something like this:

Oh, just think when you're older and your significant other passes away and...you're all alone...

Might as well call you Eleanor Rigby.

What a rubbish argument!  :)   Your child/ren could move away; join a cult; hate the sight of you; go to jail for life; or any number of other things which meant you would not see them.

Original Post by starmole:

Original Post by dnrothx:

Of course, my favorite guilt-inducing pro-kid argument goes something like this:

Oh, just think when you're older and your significant other passes away and...you're all alone...

Might as well call you Eleanor Rigby.

What a rubbish argument!  :)   Your child/ren could move away; join a cult; hate the sight of you; go to jail for life; or any number of other things which meant you would not see them.


That only happens to bad parents.

I think it is rude to ask people that question.  There are so many couples who suffer from infertility and to be asked that question is painful.  It is a personal choice.  And based on all of the things you say, I do not think you would make a great parent; it is good that you have realized it.  Parents have to be willing to relinquish a certain amount of themselves to take care of their little ones and nurture them.  That balancing act is tough and it is so easy to make them your life.  After giving birth, something happens and that is what you want to do.  I do not begrudge my children any of the things I chose to give up to be a mom to them.  But there are people who don't want to do that and I get it.  And yes, there have been heartaches along the way because they did not make good choices or do what I would have wanted, but they are adults now and I am proud of the adults they have become. 

Your statement " I find undeveloped humans to seem rather pathetic, stupid, helpless, gross and annoying," really bothered me though.  They are a beautiful expression of love between a man and a woman who want them - not pathetic, stupid, helpless, gross or annoying.  To think that another being could say that about infants is sad.  I think that mental illness thing has a hold on you in that statement. 

Susan

Original Post by susanbt1954:

Your statement " I find undeveloped humans to seem rather pathetic, stupid, helpless, gross and annoying," really bothered me though.  They are a beautiful expression of love between a man and a woman who want them - not pathetic, stupid, helpless, gross or annoying. 

My mother says that newborns all look like mini-wrinkled-up-old-men. 

As a father of two, I do have to say that my feelings are parallel to the OPs, except not as harsh.  Pathetic, gross and annoying, yes.  Wouldn't call them stupid, though. 

I also think "beautiful expression of love" is a rather rosy-colored view of children as well -- seems designed to cover up the inconveniences that children inevitably inflict upon their parents.  I'd replace it with: "Children are the result of a rather enjoyable and entirely natural biological process."

That said, it's pretty fun when the kids get to be somewhat independent (say, 3.5 years old and older) -- potty-trained, able to clothe themselves, walk, and feed themselves without smearing disgusting stuff all over their faces.  I much prefer my kids now that they're able to communicate and reason -- even when they use their reasoning against me!

I have two brothers and a sister who chose not to have any kids. I wish they would but it is entirely their choice and I absolutely respect their wishes. They love their nieces and nephews though.

I've seen a few people asking them questions and they just look at those people straight in the eyes and shake their heads. No one ever follow up with another question as far as I know.

My husband and I are DINKs.  The questions are pretty inevitable, but pretty easy to handle:

So, are you going to have kids?  No.

So, when are you going to have kids?  Probably never.

Why aren't you going to have kids?  Don't want them.

Not much to it, really.

I think the worst part about being a DINK is that you call yourselves DINKs.  :P

You don't have to justify your choice to anyone, just say maybe or some other time or I don't have the possibility to care for a kid, no money, no time, a crap load of debt, etc. People won't argue with that.

You are definitely not alone, it's not a new thing and it shows, a lot of developed countries have a demographic imbalance that's not going away, to many old people and not enough working adults to pay their pensions, a continuous drop in the number of births, decreasing population - more people die than people are born. It's still slow and does not compensate for the overcrowding generated by huge, underdeveloped areas of the world but the phenomenon is there.

Original Post by dkn:

You don't have to justify your choice to anyone, just say maybe or some other time or I don't have the possibility to care for a kid, no money, no time, a crap load of debt, etc. People won't argue with that.

You are definitely not alone, it's not a new thing and it shows, a lot of developed countries have a demographic imbalance that's not going away, to many old people and not enough working adults to pay their pensions, a continuous drop in the number of births, decreasing population - more people die than people are born. It's still slow and does not compensate for the overcrowding generated by huge, underdeveloped areas of the world but the phenomenon is there.

 

In other words, selfishness on behalf of those who do not desire to have kids are killing our economy demographically. :D

No, the workforce can be and is completed by immigration nowadays.

Original Post by dkn:

No, the workforce can be and is completed by immigration nowadays.


If that were true, then the demographics of our population would not be imperiled.  Either we have young workers or we don't, no matter what their source.

Original Post by lasposacadavere:

I'm with you. Not wanting kids is enough of a reason not to have them and you have no obligation to explain why.

Exactly this!

I've known people that didn't want kids that caved in and had them anyway.  They ended up really hating being parents and the kids picked up on it.  One couple actually ended up giving the child up for adoption at the age of 2. They did so because they knew they weren't being good parents mainly because they hadn't wanted her in the first place.  They caved in to both sets of parents telling them they "needed" to be grandparents.

Not everyone wants to be a parent and that's ok!

I'd imagine the number of examples of animals choosing not to reproduce in the Animal Kingdom is rather small.

Therefore, not wanting children is unnatural.

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