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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)
Original Post by mama2beans:

Original Post by kelrantymus:

Original Post by mama2beans:

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.  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

That. I know many child free by choice couples and singles, and no one I know would ever judge them for that choice, children should only be parented by adults who WANT them. That said, if I were to ask you why ( I wouldn't) and you were to respond with the above? Hell yes am I going to judge you. Sorry, that's just how it is. Someone who expresses a total loathing for the only true innocents in our world is going to get a weird look from me, and I'll be judging. Consider perhaps that it's not what you're saying ( I don't want children) but how you're saying it ( with disgust for the kids themselves, and belittling, demeaning, trivializing, and negativity for those that do choose to parent) that is getting you the dirty looks. 

But, they are helpless, gross and kind of annoying. I don't hate them. I don't want terrible things to happen to them because, you're right, they're little, innocent people with no choice in most matters of their lives at that stage. Doesn't mean I enjoy a flight listening to one scream or when one throws its bottle into the arena and spooks my horse or vomits on me or in my car when we're driving a friend somewhere or screams whilst in a theatre and doesn't mean I want one. I don't wish bad things on those kids, I just can't wait to get away from them!

I can find a child disgusting, obnoxious and frankly, sort of pointless to my life without hating the child or children themselves. I just don't want them. You're welcome to them and I was a nanny so I've spent loads of time around them and just never felt that "oh my god!! i need one of these in my life to feel fulfilled!!!" spark.

Meh. I have dogs, horses, a parrot and a husband. We do triathlons, SCUBA, travel extensively and have homes in Maui and Park City, Utah. Frankly, I like my life and am not that interested in giving it up for a baby. I won't even get into the whole "it's a gorgeous display of man/woman love" thing; it's offensive on several levels but I'll leave it be.

FYI, my dog just vomited up some grass and I about passed out. Yeah, I want to wipe soft, green **** out of a baby's butt. *runs and barfs*

And I understand all of those reasons, I really do. However, "Meh. I have dogs, horses, a parrot and a husband. We do triathlons, SCUBA, travel extensively and have homes in Maui and Park City, Utah. Frankly, I like my life and am not that interested in giving it up for a baby. "   is presumptive and dismissive. It's " I'm better than you/have more fun than you/am more personally fulfilled than you, etc." When the truth of the matter is, if you WANT those things, they are absolutely to be had while you also have children. Life doesn't end for a woman when she becomes a mother, and perhaps your insinuation that it does is what is repellent. I'm a mom of two, surrogate to three others, and aside from the vacation homes ( we're more time-share folks) and triathlons ( I'm more a 5k kind of gal, loathe running)  I could easily check off all of the things on your list. Kids didn't kill my dreams nor 'eff up my life goals, and the insinuation that [ I ] am somehow less of a woman because [ I ] choose to ALSO parent is off-putting.  [ this is the all encompassing I, not me specifically) 

 

With mental health issues alone you have a very valid and conversation ending answer to the people who question you about this issue. If you answer isn't "none of your business" ( which it should be, lol! ) then perhaps sticking to that one fact will save you a lot of grief. 

Ok, a) you are accusing the wrong person of mental health issues

b) the only true innocents in the world? What kind of a romanticised crock of s*** is that???

c) just because the OP (and KT) don't like babies is in no way belittling the choice of others to have them. You're projecting.

 

Original Post by dnrothx:

Original Post by rbbeachchick:

 Good people, that were good parents still end up in nursing homes.


Actually, if they were good parents, then they're kids would take them in, since the parents would have taught them to do so.

I'm not sure I understand your definition of "good parenting" then. What if your elderly parent has severe dementia, some medical condition, or altzheimers disease?

There's no way your "good parenting" could have raised a health professional who is able to be home 24/7 to care for their elder NO MATTER how much they love them or how good they were as parents.

I say this because I get similar reactions to yours from people who frown on my father in law for having his 21 year old, autistic, son in a group home. My father in law is a working man who needs to pay bills and mortgage, his son needs a one-on-one to make sure he doesn't run away, or injure himself.

Yet there are people who say that he is a terrible man for having his son in a group home (where they CAN provide such services).

what is with me and the double posting today?!?

It's good to know there are so many others that feel it's perfectly acceptable to decide not to have kids. I think I'll stick with just telling people I don't want them! Apparently my reasons are highly personal and can cause inflammatory reactions in others. I can understand that. I never considered that it's rude for others to pry so I'll keep that in mind.
Original Post by mama2beans:

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by mama2beans:

HOLY crap, the amazing panty-bunching. I said the answer should be IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  But if the OP insists on answering otherwise, the easiest one to end the conversation with that will result in the least dirty looks is the mental health issues. Good grief. Reading comprehension skills. 

Either way, you were rude, and what you said was unnecessary. 

?? Expressing how the OP's publicly shared views on parenthood come across to me is just what the OP asked. If what she *wanted* was a rah rah pat on the back, then that would have been said.  I responded with is "well, this might be why you get a negative reaction, as this is how you come across *to me*, here's how you could end the conversation if you don't want to just be blunt". Not sure what is rude or unnecessary about that but whatever. 

You weren't addressing the OP.  You were addressing KT, you quoted her and specifically read parts of her post.  THEN you brought up her having Mental Illness?  Who does that?

Original Post by Brookm482:

It's good to know there are so many others that feel it's perfectly acceptable to decide not to have kids. I think I'll stick with just telling people I don't want them! Apparently my reasons are highly personal and can cause inflammatory reactions in others. I can understand that. I never considered that it's rude for others to pry so I'll keep that in mind.

Just start crying and say your physically unable to have them, then the following day you can ask them to help you be a dog-sitter / move / paint your house / free rides to the airport for life. ;-)

Original Post by ignayshus:

...

reason 4 - You just said they have no life. Makes the retarded (sorry it's true) assumption that parents live unfulfilled lives and that they gave up their dreams and/or accomplished nothing especially when your specific dreams are compatible with children (I would know)


I have many friends with kids who still do a lot of the things that many people assume are difficult or impossible to do with children -- things like hiking, camping, backpacking, and traveling. They still do many of the things they love and seem to get a lot of extra joy from sharing those things with their kids. And I can't help but look on them with intense admiration and think that those kids are so lucky to get that sort of childhood where they get all sorts of unique experiences.

BUT there are trade-offs, and to pretend that parents can enjoy the same life in the exact same way as their childfree peers is just denial. Kids require extra planning, extra equipment, modification of activities, and more money. Couples without kids get to do things with more freedom and with more expendable income. I am not saying that one is better than the other -- that's why I called them trade-offs. We are trading off some benefits in exchange for others.

What some people here are expressing is that they don't want to exchange their freedom, extra money, etc. for kids.  Although there are some modified versions of similar activities that are available to parents, and although many parents see that trade-off as totally worthwhile, to say that version B with kids is just as good as version A without kids is a judgement call and they are NOT equal. The fact is, some people value their freedom more and nobody has a right to say which choice is right for someone else. (I am not trying to impy that is what ignayshus is saying at all -- your post just made me think of this point, so my response is not personal to you)

Original Post by piotr:

Original Post by Brookm482:

It's good to know there are so many others that feel it's perfectly acceptable to decide not to have kids. I think I'll stick with just telling people I don't want them! Apparently my reasons are highly personal and can cause inflammatory reactions in others. I can understand that. I never considered that it's rude for others to pry so I'll keep that in mind.

Just start crying and say your physically unable to have them, then the following day you can ask them to help you be a dog-sitter / move / paint your house / free rides to the airport for life. ;-)

I like the cut of your jib sailor.

Original Post by kikt:

b) the only true innocents in the world? What kind of a romanticised crock of s*** is that???

Holy crap, why so cynical?  Babies are, truly, innocent.


Ok, a) you are accusing the wrong person of mental health issues

b) the only true innocents in the world? What kind of a romanticised crock of s*** is that???

c) just because the OP (and KT) don't like babies is in no way belittling the choice of others to have them. You're projecting.

 

A) I do apologize. Clearly I meant that bit of advice to be for the OP (the only woman who mentioned her health challenges), but I understand if you were confused by that. 

 

B) I completely stand by this statement and will happily be labeled as that bitchy judmental lady by anyone who thinks small children are anything other. 

c) has nothing to do with others not wanting children and everything to do with the stated reasons, namely "don't want to give up my life" ( insinuating that parents do) and "lose my figure" ( again, insinuating that parents do) etc. That's not projection, it's interpretation. Perhaps incorrect interpretation, but that IS how OP comes across to me so absolutely dead on in that respect. 

Lately discussing the weather qualifies as inflammatory,

That's right Kat, it's partly sunny, not partly cloudy!

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by mama2beans:

Original Post by stargazer1:

Original Post by mama2beans:

HOLY crap, the amazing panty-bunching. I said the answer should be IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  But if the OP insists on answering otherwise, the easiest one to end the conversation with that will result in the least dirty looks is the mental health issues. Good grief. Reading comprehension skills. 

Either way, you were rude, and what you said was unnecessary. 

?? Expressing how the OP's publicly shared views on parenthood come across to me is just what the OP asked. If what she *wanted* was a rah rah pat on the back, then that would have been said.  I responded with is "well, this might be why you get a negative reaction, as this is how you come across *to me*, here's how you could end the conversation if you don't want to just be blunt". Not sure what is rude or unnecessary about that but whatever. 

You weren't addressing the OP.  You were addressing KT, you quoted her and specifically read parts of her post.  THEN you brought up her having Mental Illness?  Who does that?

I hope I cleared that up in my prior post, I have no idea who KT is nor have I read anything she has ever posted prior to this thread. I should have put **** between the paragraphs or something to avoid confusion. 

Original Post by denise07:

Original Post by ignayshus:

...

reason 4 - You just said they have no life. Makes the retarded (sorry it's true) assumption that parents live unfulfilled lives and that they gave up their dreams and/or accomplished nothing especially when your specific dreams are compatible with children (I would know)


I have many friends with kids who still do a lot of the things that many people assume are difficult or impossible to do with children -- things like hiking, camping, backpacking, and traveling. They still do many of the things they love and seem to get a lot of extra joy from sharing those things with their kids. And I can't help but look on them with intense admiration and think that those kids are so lucky to get that sort of childhood where they get all sorts of unique experiences.

BUT there are trade-offs, and to pretend that parents can enjoy the same life in the exact same way as their childfree peers is just denial. Kids require extra planning, extra equipment, modification of activities, and more money. Couples without kids get to do things with more freedom and with more expendable income. I am not saying that one is better than the other -- that's why I called them trade-offs. We are trading off some benefits in exchange for others.

What some people here are expressing is that they don't want to exchange their freedom, extra money, etc. for kids.  Although there is some modified versions of similar activities that are available to parents, and although many parents see that trade-off as totally worthwhile, to say that version B with kids is just as good as version A without kids is a judgement call and they are NOT equal. The fact is, some people value their freedom more and nobody has a right to say which choice is right for someone else. (I am not trying to impy that is what ignayshus is saying at all -- your post just made me think of this point, so my response is not personal to you)

No, you're right they're not identical and they are expensive. That's why you say spend the extra money (if you can) to bring a nanny on vacation with you or (if you don't) you have good relationships with normal people (like your parents and the kids' godparents) so that you can take a vacation without them and still know they're well taken care-off and having a good time.

None of my kids want to come with me to the hermitage, or russia for that matter, a cruise would bore the crap out of them, they can't see why a bunch of old people want to go get drunk and go dancing and the thought of their parents having (gasp) sex is just inconceivable. So I accommodate them as well.

It's not as easy when you have kids, because you're not just planning for yourself, but if you plan for them first then you can plan for yourself however you like.

You're just assuming I take them everywhere I go, which is really unfair to them.

I also think the idea that kids end parents' lives is way overplayed.  Parenthood is what you make of it.

My sister has six kids.  This past month, she has gone hiking, waterfall climbing, kayaked across islands, gone snorkeling, ran several miles everyday, attended parties, done Christmas, read several books (a few, admittedly, were YA lit), taught classes, is fixing up their new house, has gone shopping, etc. etc.  She did these things with all or a few of her kids tagging along.  I find her exhausting, but she was always like that. 

...

c) has nothing to do with others not wanting children and everything to do with the stated reasons, namely "don't want to give up my life" ( insinuating that parents do) and "lose my figure" ( again, insinuating that parents do) etc. That's not projection, it's interpretation. Perhaps incorrect interpretation, but that IS how OP comes across to me so absolutely dead on in that respect. 

Surely you would acknowledge that the lives of parents, at least the WAY they do things if not all of the things that they do, necessarily change when they have kids. They have to, don't they, because when you have kids you have to put them first and plan things that are safe for them and spend money to make sure they have the things they need.

I would never say that parents have no lives, but certainly they have different lives than they had before and presumably they wanted a different life because they wanted kids, so saying that they have different lives should not be an insult. It is what they wanted.

Now, acknowledging that life is different after kids, is it really a far stretch to say that they no longer have the life that they had before and in a sense "gave up" that life that they had before? Some people are just saying they are happy with the lives they have now and don't want to give them up. I am having a hard time understanding why this is insulting to parents, who deliberately chose to change their lives (presumably for the better) by having kids.

 

The only thing I personally miss is randomly deciding to blow a hundred bucks at a bar and then have the entire next day to recover.

Nowadays I have to call grandparents first so I can sleep in til noon.

Original Post by denise07:

...

c) has nothing to do with others not wanting children and everything to do with the stated reasons, namely "don't want to give up my life" ( insinuating that parents do) and "lose my figure" ( again, insinuating that parents do) etc. That's not projection, it's interpretation. Perhaps incorrect interpretation, but that IS how OP comes across to me so absolutely dead on in that respect. 

Surely you would acknowledge that the lives of parents, at least the WAY they do things if not all of the things that they do, necessarily change when they have kids. They have to, don't they, because when you have kids you have to put them first and plan things that are safe for them and spend money to make sure they have the things they need.

I would never say that parents have no lives, but certainly they have different lives than they had before and presumably they wanted a different life because they wanted kids, so saying that they have different lives should not be an insult. It is what they wanted.

Now, acknowledging that life is different after kids, is it really a far stretch to say that they no longer have the life that they had before and in a sense "gave up" that life that they had before? Some people are just saying they are happy with the lives they have now and don't want to give them up. I am having a hard time understanding why this is insulting to parents, who deliberately chose to change their lives (presumably for the better) by having kids.

 

Oh I agree, things change. I was responding more in reference to all of the big "life changes" noted in OP's reason #4, in that all of those things can all be the same, kids or no, and that *i feel* the OP is insinuating that parents can't/don't/are unable to/ find them difficult to accomplish, somehow. 

 

Original Post by denise07:

...

c) has nothing to do with others not wanting children and everything to do with the stated reasons, namely "don't want to give up my life" ( insinuating that parents do) and "lose my figure" ( again, insinuating that parents do) etc. That's not projection, it's interpretation. Perhaps incorrect interpretation, but that IS how OP comes across to me so absolutely dead on in that respect. 

Surely you would acknowledge that the lives of parents, at least the WAY they do things if not all of the things that they do, necessarily change when they have kids. They have to, don't they, because when you have kids you have to put them first and plan things that are safe for them and spend money to make sure they have the things they need.

I would never say that parents have no lives, but certainly they have different lives than they had before and presumably they wanted a different life because they wanted kids, so saying that they have different lives should not be an insult. It is what they wanted.

Now, acknowledging that life is different after kids, is it really a far stretch to say that they no longer have the life that they had before and in a sense "gave up" that life that they had before? Some people are just saying they are happy with the lives they have now and don't want to give them up. I am having a hard time understanding why this is insulting to parents, who deliberately chose to change their lives (presumably for the better) by having kids.

 

Sure, but that's not how the op is presenting it, so the point is moot.

Original Post by ignayshus:

You're just assuming I take them everywhere I go, which is really unfair to them.


Good point! Of course, making other plans for the kids is a great option. I guess I was thinking in more general terms about logistics.

Yeah, logistics are always a consideration, but then I had the option so I chose to live in the same county as almost all of my family.

 

129 Replies (last)
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