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greenidentity
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(Originally posted on: 10-25-08 05:18:29 PM)
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I have chosen to never have kids. I have known this since I was young. Throughout the years, most of the responses I've gotten were along the lines of "You will change your mind!" I'm 29, and still no desire for kids.

My question is, do you think someone's life is more fulfilled if they have thier own children? I know the obvious social stigma attached to it, (it's accepted and even expected in some cases) but do you feel as if there is something wrong with making the choice to not have children? Furthermore, do you think that people who have them develop into better, smarter people than those who don't?
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Reply 1 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-25-08 06:50:29 PM)
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Hmmm. When you ask these questions do you mean physically bearing children as opposed to adopting or having foster children, or do you mean in general having any sort of offspring? God, what a can of worms that would be.

My personal situation is that I physically can't have children, and before finding out I had no interest in having them--I absolutely hate children and ave had a lot of bad experiences with them. I get a lot of "you'll change your mind!" too, if I don't feel like being a bitch and snapping that I can't have kids. I still feel the same way, but now that I know I can't have my own children, I do worry that one day I will want to have kids and I won't be able to. My one friend with whom I discuss this has mentioned that adoption is always an option, and of course it is, but it's not the same. Adoption's an especially difficult process today, what with background checks and visitations and the social situations kids sometimes come from and that may be demanded by agencies.

To answer your questions...
Quote:
do you think someone's life is more fulfilled if they have their own children?

I honestly don't think that one life can be more or less fulfilling without children; to compare an 80 year old woman with 2 kids and an 80 year old woman with no kids will only reveal that their lives have been very different. Fulfillent is a subjective ideal, and I think that two people can lead spectacularly different lives and still be fulfilled.
Quote:
I know the obvious social stigma attached to it, (it's accepted and even expected in some cases) but do you feel as if there is something wrong with making the choice to not have children?

There's nothing inherently wrong with not having children, by choice or for health reasons. Considering the population of this planet, maybe more of us should be actively not having children, ya know?
Quote:
Furthermore, do you think that people who have them develop into better, smarter people than those who don't?

This is an interesting question. "Better" is another subjective term, but certainly there is societal pressure to have kids because without them you haven't achieved everything you possibly can. For example, commercials for cleaning products, food, family-oriented companies--they all feature kids. (Oh those wacky children.) On the other hand, people without kids tend to be seen as people with more opportunities to do what they want, like travel, be artsy, whatever, because they have more time and resources (aka money). I feel like if I had a kid it would make me stupid and a terrible person because I'd be so bitter.
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Reply 2 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-26-08 04:11:39 AM)
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I don't think ruling out ever having children is a good idea, because yes, you could see things differently if you're with a different person, or you might just change your mind as you grow older. But of course, that's not guaranteed to happen. Anyway, when a 20-year-old says she wants no children, I bet 90% of the time she will change her mind. Hell, I don't like being around children at all, but even I've become more comfortable around them in the last few years, and who knows, I'm 25 so I could maybe see me having children in the future. I don't think your life can't be fulfilling if you don't have children, but I do think having children must be, for a vast majority of people, pretty neat, and they're usually very happy about it.
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Furthermore, do you think that people who have them develop into better, smarter people than those who don't?

Nope.
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Reply 3 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-26-08 04:52:31 AM)
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If anything, having children makes many people frightened and paranoid idiots.

Just look at all the political groups whose names start with either "moms against" or "moms for" something.
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Reply 4 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-26-08 12:41:29 PM)
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How is mothers against drunk driving bad?
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Reply 5 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-26-08 01:04:17 PM)
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Quoted from Dimi:
How is mothers against drunk driving bad?

Maybe we can get the INTL Drunkards to weigh in on this one.
Quoted from d-bag:
If anything, having children makes many people frightened and paranoid idiots.

Just look at all the political groups whose names start with either "moms against" or "moms for" something.
They are never good.

That's a sweeping generalisation and I think it's really untrue. I don't know what your parents are like but I can say that at least my parents were never paranoid over my existence. Certainly they were (as still are) protective of me, but a lot of parents--the ones who aren't coke shooters or abusive nuts--are the same way. It's an essential part of parenting in almost every species of animal, to protect your offspring.
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greenidentity
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Reply 6 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-26-08 05:21:49 PM)
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Quoted from szaukjkjit:
I don't think ruling out ever having children is a good idea, because yes, you could see things differently if you're with a different person, or you might just change your mind as you grow older. But of course, that's not guaranteed to happen. Anyway, when a 20-year-old says she wants no children, I bet 90% of the time she will change her mind. Hell, I don't like being around children at all, but even I've become more comfortable around them in the last few years, and who knows, I'm 25 so I could maybe see me having children in the future. I don't think your life can't be fulfilling if you don't have children, but I do think having children must be, for a vast majority of people, pretty neat, and they're usually very happy about it.
Quote:
Furthermore, do you think that people who have them develop into better, smarter people than those who don't?

Nope.


I certainly didn't rule it out, I just never had one bit of desire for it. I never said I would NOT change my mind, but I didn't push myself to go against what I feel is right for me. I have obviously thought about it, especially since meeting the "right person". Seriously considered it, and came back to point A.

I think a person who has kids may end up living a fulfilling life in some ways. When they grow old/sick/dying, there's a chance they will have their children there with them. Or grandchildren e.t.c. I often wonder who will be there with me when/if I reach that point? Now I don't think this is a solid enough reason to pop out a kid. But it is definitely a concern of mine.
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Reply 7 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-26-08 05:44:21 PM)
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What if the other person wants kids?

I'm in no particular hurry to start having kids, I'm happy waiting until past 30 at least... But if I was with someone I'd try and make it clear I would like to have a/some kid/s.
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Reply 8 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-26-08 06:14:52 PM)
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Quoted from missingno:
What if the other person wants kids?

I'm in no particular hurry to start having kids, I'm happy waiting until past 30 at least... But if I was with someone I'd try and make it clear I would like to have a/some kid/s.

I would never let a topic like having children go so long as to possibly mislead a potential mate. It's a topic that has to be discussed if the relationship becomes serious, and if he won't/can't accept that I don't want/can't shove a large object through my cervix? Then we aren't meant to be together.
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Reply 9 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-26-08 07:17:49 PM)
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I'm not saying it's a deal-breaker, just that I wouldn't mind having some small person I can corrupt later on in life.
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Reply 10 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 12:18:18 AM)
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I'm sad to say that I don't think there is much hope for a relationship if one person wants kids and another doesn't. That doesn't mean that on my first date with someone I'd be like "nope, can't date you, you want kids," but I definitely think that over time it would deteriorate a relationship. But off topic, I think that you can have a fulfilled life w/o kids. As mentioned before you have alot more opportunities w/o kids. Plus I often feel, yes pulling out the feminist card (sorry) that women often get the short end of the stick when it comes to having kids. I often think (based off what I see with my parents and other ppl's parents) that the man had a better job at the time the kid was born so he made the bread and butter for the family, while the woman made sacrifices with her career in order to be with the kids. Ofcourse you could always hire a nanny, but then there may be other issues (not in all cases) where the parents may not get to spend alot of time with their kids. I think that it is very important to have everything like this planned out before you have kids so there is no potential resentment later in life. I know that I personally have worked to hard and payed to much money on school to waste on staying home with a kid. I'm not trying to disrespect people who have, that's jus the way I feel. I also ponder what the end of my life will be like if I don't have kids. I do worry about being alone, but at the same time I think that if I've done everything I want to do in life (travel, work, spend money on whatever I want not taking care of kids) that I will have no regrets and most likely plenty of friends that love me, whom will be there when I die. Not that it matters much, as I am a smoker and a bad driver, so one of them will prolly get me before I'm old enough to care about getting old and lonely. Plus I think that I could get married and have a beautiful relationship without kids.
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Reply 11 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 12:38:47 AM)
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Quoted from Dimi:
How is mothers against drunk driving bad?


The organization itself is a great idea, that is to prevent death and injury due to irresponsible drunk driving. But I feel like the organization has lost it's way and instead of dealing with the issue of drunk driving, they instead attack alcohol itself, deeming people that drink bad people. They are more like Mother's Against Alcohol now... way to prohibition.
Also watch the documentary FUCK, it's all about different perspectives of the word. They have a MADD mother on there that is obscenely conservative in her views on censorship. Not that all MADD members are like that.
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Reply 12 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 07:33:08 AM)
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Is there a point to defining whether or not you'll want kids?

It's kind of an arbitrary decision considering you have, what, 21 years of fertility left?

Unless of course people don't change in 21 years. People change. How many high school kids who said they'd never get married are married now? Point being, nobody knows what they'll think 20 years from now, so it's not really worth thinking about.
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Reply 13 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 10:10:48 AM)
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You may not be planning to have kids but accidents happen. Even if you're careful. I know this from experience; I wasn't planning on having kids anytime soon and was definately not ready financially/emotionally/whatever but it happened.

It's funny, though; having a kid seems a lot different from the outside. By that I mean it wasn't what I expected at all. I know this is a cliche but it's true: it's a lot of work and it's totally worth it. I don't know about fulfillment since my daughter is only 8 months old but it has enriched my life and looking back I wouldn't change things if I could.
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Reply 14 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 01:46:12 PM)
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Quoted from IF0:
Is there a point to defining whether or not you'll want kids?

It's kind of an arbitrary decision considering you have, what, 21 years of fertility left?

Unless of course people don't change in 21 years. People change. How many high school kids who said they'd never get married are married now? Point being, nobody knows what they'll think 20 years from now, so it's not really worth thinking about.


Of course there's a point to it. It's a natural thing for humans to think about, whether they be young or old. And once you make that decision, your life follows the standard you have set. Such as what birth control to use or not, what responsibilities you want to have e.t.c. I am 29, so I think it's pretty natural for most women to re-consider children if they haven't had any yet. Just because I have some years left to conceive doesnt mean I WANT to wait that long. I'd rather not have a child at an older age, personally. And while I do agree that you can't always hold a younger person to thier word regarding such decisions, I don't believe that someone "hasn't changed" if they keep the same stance at an older age. I have changed a ton since age 15 or whatever, but I still don't want kids or marriage.
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Reply 15 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 02:01:01 PM)
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Quote:
You may not be planning to have kids but accidents happen. Even if you're careful.

And there is legally still a way to stop those accidents coming to fruition. If someone really doesn't want kids, there's always abortion or, if the woman doesn't believe abortion is the right thing to do, giving the child up for adoption. I'm just saying that if one truly doesn't want children, there is more than one option for dealing with "accidents".

e
Quote:
I'd rather not have a child at an older age, personally.

Ok, my parents had me when my mom was...38? I think. I'd really draw the line at 40, but I don't get these women I hear on the news and stuff who have kids at 50, 60, even 70 years old. Why do you want to have a child when you're likely going to die before it graduates high school or even middle school? What kind of service are you doing your child? I know this isn't the point IF0 was trying to make, but having a child at that age just doesn't seem to be a responsible decision to me.
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This reply was last edited on 10-27-08 02:07:29 PM by Amphytrite.
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Reply 16 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 03:12:13 PM)
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Quote:
And there is legally still a way to stop those accidents coming to fruition. If someone really doesn't want kids, there's always abortion or, if the woman doesn't believe abortion is the right thing to do, giving the child up for adoption. I'm just saying that if one truly doesn't want children, there is more than one option for dealing with "accidents".


Politics aside (I'll let you know I'm pro choice so you can get an idea of where I'm coming from), both of these options are traumatic at best. There are emotional/ethical/medical considerations to abortion and having to give a child up for adoption is just heart wrenching.
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Reply 17 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 03:57:08 PM)
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Quoted from GW_Carver:
Politics aside (I'll let you know I'm pro choice so you can get an idea of where I'm coming from), both of these options are traumatic at best. There are emotional/ethical/medical considerations to abortion and having to give a child up for adoption is just heart wrenching.

For a woman who truly doesn't want children, isn't the thought of having and keeping a child just as traumatic?
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greenidentity
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Reply 18 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-27-08 04:01:25 PM)
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Quoted from GW_Carver:
Quote:
And there is legally still a way to stop those accidents coming to fruition. If someone really doesn't want kids, there's always abortion or, if the woman doesn't believe abortion is the right thing to do, giving the child up for adoption. I'm just saying that if one truly doesn't want children, there is more than one option for dealing with "accidents".


Politics aside (I'll let you know I'm pro choice so you can get an idea of where I'm coming from), both of these options are traumatic at best. There are emotional/ethical/medical considerations to abortion and having to give a child up for adoption is just heart wrenching.


And for some people, having to bear and raise a child is traumatic. It comes down to choosing the best of 3 already negative options, and I think that was her point.

**edit, yea what she said!!**
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Reply 19 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-28-08 10:43:25 AM)
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Quoted from jiffy:
There's nothing inherently wrong with not having children, by choice or for health reasons. Considering the population of this planet, maybe more of us should be actively not having children, ya know?


In Western culture, a new and interesting social dynamic has been worked out by which the economic conditions of our nations have effectively controlled the age-old problem of overpopulation.

For most of Europe's modern history, there have always been too many people to comfortably feed and house given the capitalist system of management. People, unsure of the viability of the state to take care of them, produced masses of children in the hope that one day they would feed upon their work like their own parents did. However, given time, economic growth and concessions (welfare), and selected social engineering aimed at "giving" women the power to control their own bodily functions and implying that childbirth could ruin opportunities, Western governments have eliminated this. Now, we see declining (or negative) birth rates in all major developed countries in Europe, North America, Japan, and even now in some peripheral countries like South Korea and Singapore.

South Korea, for example, declined from a fertility rate of 6.1 shortly after WW2 to something at 1.7 at the start of the 2000's. This collapse follows the massive economic growth that country has seen in the last 50 years. Capitalism has effectively created a solution to the age-old problem of excess population; contraception. In feudal and tribal societies, excess population died simply because there was not enough to eat. In our system, people who might negatively influence our economic growth by not being able to find a job or might demand more from the system than they put in are snuffed out before they are born.

Greenidentity, the way you feel is not so much a unique occurrence as much as it is the result of a fine system of social indoctrination aimed at convincing you to continue supporting the capitalist system of work and gain as opposed to the traditionalist one of family and continuity.
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Reply 20 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-28-08 12:23:56 PM)
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i've always said that i am not interested in the slightest in ever giving birth to a child. the entire process disgusts me, and even seeing pregnant women makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

because of the kid-centric society i live in, however, i rarely tell anyone how much i dislike babies. any time i have mentioned this, i've been immediately ostracized and told that i'll change my mind, of course, lol, because those maternal instincts will kick in and i never know when an 'accident' might happen!

that isn't to say that my mind might never change, but the chances are very low. i might have a kid someday, but it will most likely be by adoption, given my strong views on overpopulation, the environment, etc...

the (17) year old daughter of a woman i work with recently gave birth to her first of what will likely be many children, and the woman would not SHUT UP about it. she kept going into incredibly graphic detail about the birth and i was offended and appalled that i actually had to listen to it in the workplace. of course, all of the other mothers wouldn't stop talking about how amazing and magical the whole thing is, which it isn't. it isn't any more amazing than a cat giving birth, and as immature as it is, i just wanted to ask her if her daughter crapped herself during the delivery, just to ruin her moment.
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Reply 21 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-28-08 05:02:17 PM)
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Quote:
For a woman who truly doesn't want children, isn't the thought of having and keeping a child just as traumatic?


That's one way to end a discussion; you know I can't effectively answer this question because I'm not a woman.
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Reply 22 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-28-08 05:15:32 PM)
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i just wanted to ask her if her daughter crapped herself during the delivery

You probably should have. I dealt with more than one complaint at my old job of sexual harassment & hostile work environment complaints involving tmi about pregnancy. We usually found in favour of the complainant.
Quote:
That's one way to end a discussion; you know I can't effectively answer this question because I'm not a woman.

Fine, if you want to answer--if you're a man who truly doesn't want to have children and you're with a woman who truly doesn't want to have children, isn't the thought of having and keeping a child just as traumatic?
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Reply 23 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-29-08 08:49:47 AM)
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Based on personal experience: no. But everybody's different and as I said, it's rather insensitive of me to say that because it's not my body being fucked with so I can really only comment on the raising part and not the pregnancy/birth part.
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Reply 24 of 58 (Originally posted on: 10-29-08 09:18:06 PM)
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Peace and Love, it's my Religion.
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