No kids, any regrets?



  • Apologies if this has been discussed but I am interested to hear from those who chose not to have children and how the decision is sitting with you the older you get.

    My wife and I chose very early not to have children, mainly due to some inheritable health issues we didn't want to pass on. I suspect we would not have had children either way as my wife never really wanted children. I had the snip very young, I think I was 27 and the doctor remarked I was the youngest he had done.

    I am in my 40's now and sometimes reflect on how my life would have been with children. In a selfish way I wonder what old age will be like when I lose my partner, or she loses me. I am very fortunate that I have 9 nieces and nephews, so my siblings did their part to keep the world crowded.

    I feel slightly guilty at the financial freedom and spare time I have and I feel a bit of resentment from siblings who are constantly stressed and in financial difficulty.

    For those without kids, what were your reasons and how are you finding it?



  • @chimoaus there's always a trade off mate. If you either can't have or choose not to have kids, never feel guilty about living your best life with all of that unspent income



  • @chimoaus We had a crack at having them with no success and we chose not to do IVF and just not have kids. I think my mum is gutted about it the most.

    I don't know where I'm at mentally with the decision. Sometimes I think I would have liked to have kids but that is very fleeting. I may think about it every couple of years.

    I enjoy the freedoms of not having kids but can understand that I am also missing out on something very special that comes with being a human.

    I would never gloat about the freedom of not having kids.



  • @Hooroo Thanks for sharing, yes can be tough that is for sure. The wife had some big regrets in her 30's when friends etc were having kids, but now we are past that age it's not really an issue. We couldn't bring ourselves to tell the MIL at the time, she took it pretty hard. My mum was ok as she already had plenty of grandkids.



  • alt text

    Decided early on in a fleeting moment of honest self reflection and determined I wasn't emotionally mature enough to raise a child well despite female friends assuring me I'd make a great dad based on how I interacted with kids. Time went by and found a partner who wasn't interested in having kids either. Haven't regretted it.



  • @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @Hooroo Thanks for sharing, yes can be tough that is for sure. The wife had some big regrets in her 30's when friends etc were having kids, but now we are past that age it's not really an issue. We couldn't bring ourselves to tell the MIL at the time, she took it pretty hard. My mum was ok as she already had plenty of grandkids.

    The only "gloat" time is when I catch up with a bunch of mates and their families and we have a massive bbq late into the night and having to see/hear them deal with their kids first thing the next morning.

    I generally smile and roll over for some more sleep πŸ™‚



  • @Hooroo said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I would never gloat about the freedom of not having kids.

    Having had them, I would πŸ˜‰



  • @NTA said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @Hooroo said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I would never gloat about the freedom of not having kids.

    Having had them, I would πŸ˜‰

    I was reading your posts in the parenting thread and I think that would be the part I'm missing out on. Helping/moulding someone to make the right decisions. Then I read TR's post about the potential for gangs to be at a party and I was like nah F*** that!! I would stress balls



  • I have kids and have regrets, does that count?



  • Interesting thread. I’ve always wanted kids, but still didn’t have them until I was in my mid thirties.

    That said, I don’t think just because I wanted them everybody should. If you are happy, then you made the right decision.

    Sounds like you have the best of both worlds, with family having them instead. Hop those kids up on sugar and exit stage left!



  • I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"



  • parenting is fucking hard. And anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or neglecting them

    They create a shit load of work. They cost a lot of money. The up your stress levels and seriously affect your mood.

    Then you are always worried if you are giving them enough. Enough time? enough emotional support? enough discipline? enough rope? Are you building good members of society. or are you failing them? Are we bonded? Are my kids the only ones like this? It's constant mental stress

    They are also enormous handbrakes from allowing you to do what you want to do. Especially if you like doing things with your partner, or aren't a selfish asshole.

    The decision not to have them should never, ever be looked down upon



  • @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    It never fucking stops either. Teenagers now and it still take an age to go anywhere.



  • @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    You are on a whole different timetable with kids mate; theirs!



  • @Hooroo said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I was reading your posts in the parenting thread and I think that would be the part I'm missing out on. Helping/moulding someone to make the right decisions. Then I read TR's post about the potential for gangs to be at a party and I was like nah F*** that!! I would stress balls

    Here's the thing: kids are a form of immortality plan.

    You see the best of yourself in them, which you'd selfishly like to think reflects your personal glory to others you'll never meet.

    But you also know that can happen for the worst traits or behaviours you see in yourself.

    You try to guide them, but like you, it is lived experience that counts. So they don't always listen.

    There is a sense of constant worry about whether they'll be OK (gangs, random fluffybunnies with knives, car accidents, drinking, drugs, etc) and so you get an understanding of what your parents were going through - even if they never showed it like my Mum the nurse who liked to pretend nothing could get to her.

    Ultimately you try to get them to download everything useful but you also need to let them go. This is something Mrs TA is having trouble with, which is understandable given the bond created by carrying them around for months. It is different to my relationship with them.

    Women raise children.
    Men raise adults.

    That's how I explain it.



  • @Kirwan said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    It never fucking stops either. Teenagers now and it still take an age to go anywhere.

    And when they DO finally get in the car, they fight over who took longer...



  • @Kirwan said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    It never fucking stops either. Teenagers now and it still take an age to go anywhere.

    having to be anywhere at a certain point in time is the absolute bane of my fucking existence. it's my job to get them to school, so i start every single day in a shit mood because the little fucks need to be told the same things every single fucking day. And even then they don't listen until i lose my shit.



  • @NTA said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @Kirwan said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    It never fucking stops either. Teenagers now and it still take an age to go anywhere.

    And when they DO finally get in the car, they fight over who took longer...

    Or where they sit.



  • @Kirwan said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @NTA said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @Kirwan said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    It never fucking stops either. Teenagers now and it still take an age to go anywhere.

    And when they DO finally get in the car, they fight over who took longer...

    Or where they sit.

    Nah easy for me: because I'm taller than the wife unit, the boy sits behind her as I put my seat riiiiiight back. Fuck 'im.



  • @mariner4life said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @Kirwan said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    It never fucking stops either. Teenagers now and it still take an age to go anywhere.

    having to be anywhere at a certain point in time is the absolute bane of my fucking existence. it's my job to get them to school, so i start every single day in a shit mood because the little fucks need to be told the same things every single fucking day. And even then they don't listen until i lose my shit.

    You will never be the parent you thought you'd be, because the kids aren't the kids you thought you'd have!



  • @NTA said in No kids, any regrets?:

    Women raise children.
    Men raise adults.

    that may be true in your house, but it's a massive generalisation that seriously undersells a lot of the women i know



  • also, have the parents just massively hijacked this thread? the OP specifically identified those without, and we are all piling in.

    We have our own thread.



  • I have a daughter who’s in her mid 20’s from a very short lived relationship ( 3 months but long enough). Have lost count how many times I’ve helped her move flats...
    I currently have 2 more daughters ( I know right) with my wife, that didn’t happen till I was 38. They are currently 10 and 8.
    We did suffer a mid carriage before we had them, twin boys, lost them at 18 weeks. Even now I think how differently our lives would would have turned out if they had survived. Twin boys, can you imagine it.

    Still I wouldn’t swap my girls for anything in the world... maybe except when they give me glimpses of what teenage girls are going to be like...



  • @mariner4life said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @Kirwan said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    It never fucking stops either. Teenagers now and it still take an age to go anywhere.

    having to be anywhere at a certain point in time is the absolute bane of my fucking existence. it's my job to get them to school, so i start every single day in a shit mood because the little fucks need to be told the same things every single fucking day. And even then they don't listen until i lose my shit.

    See, even a cat coming in meowing that the sun is rising and none of us are on the way to set an ambush at the drinking hole can be greeted with immense irritation - I just never know what mood I'll be in. Things that don't work properly (like anything IT drives me insane). Kids give a false sense of competence as an uncle because for some reason they'll do what you ask the first time you ask.



  • @mariner4life said in No kids, any regrets?:

    also, have the parents just massively hijacked this thread? the OP specifically identified those without, and we are all piling in.

    We have our own thread.

    All good, happy to hear from all. I have a feeling parents need somewhere to vent πŸ™‚



  • @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    I think the thing I notice most when I have the niece and nephew for a weekend is just how fucken long it takes to get in their car seats and ready to go. In my head I'm saying "Just get in the fucken seat and sit down, it's not that hard"

    Oh man, I went to England last year to see my brother who was going to have a cancer op. Just wanted to give him a bit of support before the operation.

    His two teenage kids are hopeless. Need to be asked 3 or 4 times to get ready before they start moving. I couldn't take it and after the 5th or 6th time I shouted "F***ing Hurry Up" My brother just laughed but I could tell that his misses wasn't happy.

    They moved though, real quick.



  • @Hooroo said in No kids, any regrets?:

    Need to be asked 3 or 4 times to get ready before they start moving.

    Try getting them to do chores.

    Anyway, for the benefit of you and @chimoaus : sliding doors.

    While the obvious trope is to be (seethingly) jealous of your disposal income and free time and such, the reality isn't always that. As long as you've got someone in your life to have a laugh with, that is the main thing.

    I take the point made above about someone to look after you in your old age, but quite frankly you've got the time and money to plan for that sort of shit so ... πŸ˜‰



  • @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @mariner4life said in No kids, any regrets?:

    also, have the parents just massively hijacked this thread? the OP specifically identified those without, and we are all piling in.

    We have our own thread.

    All good, happy to hear from all. I have a feeling parents need somewhere to vent πŸ™‚

    i'll take my rant to another thread

    but there are a lot of times when i have an enormous amount of envy towards people who don't have kids. Most of it involves me not being able to do things i want to do. because i too can be a selfish asshole.

    Mrs Mariner and I have wondered what our life would be like right now without children.

    But, and here is the kicker, then something little will happen, like they'll snuggle up to you on the couch, or a conversation you have one-on-one with them in teh car, or they'll show some level of development, and those thoughts all disappear, and life without them becomes impossible to picture

    i love those little assholes.



  • @antipodean Yeah, I love being an uncle, I hope to be that person they can talk to as they get older about anything and not worry I'm going to tell their mum everything.

    One nephew doesn't have a Dad so I like to be the male role model and hopefully show him how to treat woman properly etc.



  • @chimoaus

    we decided not to have kids, mainly the wife. I think i always wanted them and managed to convince myself she would change her mind at some point....and never did

    I kind of regret it, but then im not confident/arrogant enough to think i would just be able to give up the live we have and go and find someone new to love who wants kids

    I do have real moments of doubt if would have been a good dad and i could see myself really struggling if i had chosen to be a dad and I hadnt been a good one and the only one that really suffers is the kid

    so i live with my choice, at least im not f'ing up someone life with my choices



  • @NTA said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @Hooroo said in No kids, any regrets?:

    Need to be asked 3 or 4 times to get ready before they start moving.

    Try getting them to do chores.

    Anyway, for the benefit of you and @chimoaus : sliding doors.

    While the obvious trope is to be (seethingly) jealous of your disposal income and free time and such, the reality isn't always that. As long as you've got someone in your life to have a laugh with, that is the main thing.

    I take the point made above about someone to look after you in your old age, but quite frankly you've got the time and money to plan for that sort of shit so ... πŸ˜‰

    I became the cook while I was there, much to my brothers happiness, and after that shouting effort I found them reasonably helpful while I was around.

    No-one is heavily on the "pro-kids" side of the argument so far πŸ™‚ (Although I know all of you that have them wouldn't hav it any other way)



  • @Hooroo said in No kids, any regrets?:

    No-one is heavily on the "pro-kids" side of the argument so far πŸ™‚ (Although I know all of you that have them wouldn't hav it any other way)

    Mate they're bloody funny to have around at times. One day they'll be up and off on their own story so you've got to enjoy the good stuff and ride out the bad.

    My daughter is an absolute gem, but I think forward to some fucking hipster wannabe trying to get into her pants and it makes me want to cut something.



  • @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @antipodean Yeah, I love being an uncle, I hope to be that person they can talk to as they get older about anything and not worry I'm going to tell their mum everything.

    One nephew doesn't have a Dad so I like to be the male role model and hopefully show him how to treat woman properly etc.

    Yah I can see how for kids it helps to have that level of trust that they feel just uncomfortable enough to not raise those discussions with their parents.

    I end up telling them what I'd do etc. and if it's something they should make their parents aware of they should speak to them. Most of the time I word their parents up anyway who know not to ruin an effective diplomatic backchannel.



  • @Hooroo said in No kids, any regrets?:

    No-one is heavily on the "pro-kids" side of the argument so far (Although I know all of you that have them wouldn't hav it any other way)

    plenty of times I thnk woudl you little fluffybunnies just fuck right off and move out already...but yeah there is also alot of times I know it will break our hearts when they end up moving out!

    Is bad enough now when I want to do stuff with them and they arent interested...

    I dont think I would ever advocate someone to have kids, purely because you just dont know about thier circumstances, upbringing and all the other factors that lead us to being the adults (well kids in adult bodies) we are.

    By the same token, if someone asled me if I loved being a parent, I'd say yep, most of the time.

    My oldest turned 26 last month, but as he grew up with his mother in Dunedin (moved when he was 5) we havent seen as much of him as I would have liked over the years, so in that situation I think I have missed out...but I also know TR JNr at 15 and Miss is 12, I expect some rough years coming!

    Oh, there wasnt drugs or gangs at the mates place last week, but yeah, makes oyu worry!!



  • @NTA said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @Hooroo said in No kids, any regrets?:

    Need to be asked 3 or 4 times to get ready before they start moving.

    Try getting them to do chores.

    Anyway, for the benefit of you and @chimoaus : sliding doors.

    While the obvious trope is to be (seethingly) jealous of your disposal income and free time and such, the reality isn't always that. As long as you've got someone in your life to have a laugh with, that is the main thing.

    I take the point made above about someone to look after you in your old age, but quite frankly you've got the time and money to plan for that sort of shit so ... πŸ˜‰

    I won't bank on the kids wiping my arse in my old age. My sister and I don't even live in the same city as my folks anymore. That is the way of the world



  • @canefan Hopefully I will have a Russian sex doll that can do that πŸ˜‰



  • @chimoaus said in No kids, any regrets?:

    @canefan Hopefully I will have a Russian sex doll that can do that πŸ˜‰

    Shit mate, there are some days I wish I was single and ready to mingle. But it doesn't motivate me to get off the couch.... Kids are great, but as many have intimated it totally farks with your love life and any other adult life you had is severely curbed. But reliving stuff from childhood with them is cool



  • We've had ours pretty late in the piece (42 with an almost 4 year old and 9 month old) so that's meant more $$ stability, but less energy and more work commitments to juggle alongside parenting.

    We always wanted kids and for a while we were lucky just to have one (loooong IVF journey). For a while we did have to consider what our plan B would be - adoption or no kids at all. Luckily things worked out but I have to admit we had some low/sad times when confronting the reality that we might not be able to have kids. Never got far along that path to wake up to the financial and time freedom that would be possible without the rug rats πŸ™‚

    We've got several couples in our wider group that haven't wanted or been able to have kids. I think the biggest thing we've learnt as a family is it's way easier to catch up with other people who have kids. You are on similar schedules or it's easier to have a coffee with a mate at the park while the kids play. Where your sans-kids friends would often rather a cafe or bar!!

    But if you don't want kids then go for gold (with protection of course!) - no one should be pressured into kids and there are heaps of pathways to a satisfying and fulfilling life without them imo.



  • @chimoaus

    do you mind if i add a supplementary question?

    how do you make new friends without kids....it seems whenever someone talks about catching up with other couples (unless a relative) its someone theyve met through something kid based

    Its one of the reasons ive going to try and get back into playing rugby (masters), meet some more people



  • My wife and I chose not to have kids, similar to @chimoaus , that there were hereditary issues we didn't want to pass on, nor did we think we were financially secure enough to support one (when we were younger)

    My wife hates getting asked about why we made this decision, she seems to cop that more than I do. She has always felt pressure for that decision, although some not intentional it still creates anxiety.

    Most of our friends and family have kids and we like spending time with them and their kids (and additionally) handing them back. I have the utmost respect for parents and but I am glad we also don't have that additional responsibility. Occasionally we also think what if? I think that is natural, but overall we are still happy with our decision. Given I have also spent most of the last 5 years (except 2020) doing a large amount international travel for work, I think my wife would have left me if we had to raise a child as well.

    Thanks for posting @chimoaus , somewhat therapeutic just typing

    cheers


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