Choosing Not To Have Kids

They Don't Want Children

"Veronica,

I’m a 32 male and my girlfriend is 30 and we have been together 2 years. We just bought a house together that was dirt cheap and we’re fixing it up together. We really enjoy ourselves. We go out a lot and travel a lot and we are into golfing together and some other sports and hobbies. We each have decent jobs. Neither of us is loaded but we’re doing good.

I never thought I would want to marry but her and I have such a great time together she’s my best friend and I just can’t imagine spending my life without her. This is what they mean when they say the love of your life. So I proposed a few weeks ago and she accepted and we’ve been very happy planning a beach party summer wedding for this year.

The problem is, both of our families are against this and here’s why. Neither of us wants children. I have never wanted children. She said she wasn’t sure about kids until all her friends had their kids and she decided it wasn’t for her. We are very sure about our feelings on this.

Her mom really wants grandkids and says my girlfriend is just agreeing to this because of my influence which is not true. My mom also really wants grandkids and she thinks my girlfriend is the reason I don’t want kids. That is ridiculous because I have said all my life I would never have kids. It’s like each family is blaming the other person for us not planning on kids.

I read your article about Kids Change Everything
- It explains many of the reasons why we made the decision we did. What should we do to get our families to understand and be happy for our wedding?

Jimmy
"

It's Your Choice

Dear Jimmy,

You're getting married! Congratulations! There is so much to celebrate, it's really a shame that you have to deal with people so assuming.

My husband and I are also Childless by choice, and I can personally completely relate to the upset it caused in my in-laws' home.

It is important to point out the words and phrases you are choosing in your note. You and your girlfriend are happy, having good lives, having fun. You enjoy spending time together. You share activities and passions. You can’t imagine your life without her. You called her the love of your life. These are all beautiful feelings that really should demonstrate how well your personal choices have worked out for both of you.

I really hope that it is as clear to you as it is to me that your families are wrong. They are being rude, selfish and disrespectful.

People That Judge

My husband is from a very judgmental family. They are “christians” who spend a great deal of their time talking about others and all the things others are doing wrong. They judge for all kinds of reasons, our not having children is only one thing on a long list.

My husband was on a flight home from a trip when he found himself seated next to a young woman. She was only 20 years old. In exchanging pleasantries and passing conversation, he said that he was married. She asked if he had children and he said no. She asked when he was having children, and he said he wasn’t.  She asked about adoption and invitro, and he answered that we were not unable, we were unwilling. She kept rewording her question as she seemed to refuse to comprehend that he and I did not want kids.

When it finally sank in, she told him that he was terrible, and then refused to speak to him for the rest of the flight.

At a party at one of my husband’s business associate’s homes a few years ago, a drunk person actually yelled at us, saying “The only reason we are here on Earth is to procreate.”

I could list for you many similar examples of personal attacks we've endured from people for our personal choice: something that has nothing to do with them in any way.

The Mind of a Basher

Trying to explain personal freedoms and choices to anyone so closed minded and judging is hard. Just like it’s hard to break through to gay bashers.

For some-odd reason people can be very thoughtless and brainwashed on this subject. They don’t think about all the facts and realities of having children. They don’t think at all. They just have children as if it was as mandatory in life as breathing and shitting.

The oddest thing about that is the number of people who’ve had children and are now unhappy. My husband and I know many couples with children that have even said to us that they didn’t think their choices through and now regret them. Of all the couples with kids we know, I can only think of a small handful that are happy and don’t regret the choice.

You Celebrate the Life Choices of The People You Care About

If your parents or your soon to be in-law’s want grandchildren for themselves so badly, then they should foster or volunteer. They shouldn’t expect you to spend your lifetime committed to such a huge endeavor just to give them what they want.

But as much as I am sure they are being honest in saying they want grandchildren, I think what they really want is for you two to breed. In general, they want you two to have a traditional life that they approve of.

It’s very odd to me that people want so badly to make their own life choices and want everyone to celebrate those choices, yet they don’t want to let other people make their own life choices and are quick to judge. Your friends and family with children made that choice and most likely told you with glee when they were having children, fully expecting you to be happy for them.

It would have been inappropriate for you to have responded by saying, “That’s horrible. I’m so sorry. Let’s find you information on alternatives. You don’t have to have it. You don’t have to keep it if you do have it. There’s really something wrong with you for even thinking about this. ”

That is exactly the reaction they are giving to you for your choice. It would be inappropriate for you to judge them and push them into thinking like you do. And you deserve the same courtesy.

It is really a very bad reflection on both your families for being so rude and judging to you.

Additionally, the fact that they are blaming another person for your life choice shows that A – your family doesn’t know you very well and B – your family thinks you have no backbone or ability to think for yourself. How very deeply insulting and hurtful that is.

The Bottom Line

Jimmy, the truth is I don’t know how you can get your families to treat you with respect and to celebrate your lives and your decisions. Getting people not to judge others has been an age old problem.

The most important advice I can give you is to not let these people affect you and your bride. Enjoy your new house and working on it. Enjoy golfing, hobbies, and travel. Enjoy this person that you can’t imagine your life without, this person you called your best friend. You have all the makings of a very solid beautiful future. The people who can’t see that and celebrate your life choices with you aren’t worth your concern.

This HUB was written by Veronica

for Hubpages. If you are reading it elsewhere, it has been stolen.

All text is original content by Veronica.

All photos are used with permission.

All videos are courtesy of Youtube.

If you liked this HUB, please click the Thumbs Up. Thanks!

Got a relationship question? Email me!

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Comments 7 comments

jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma

Veronica, it is sad that their families don't support their decision to get married. Obviously they are in love and want to celebrate that. I came from a big family and always new I wanted kids. I may have had them sooner than expected but, I always wanted them. Obviously there are people who don't want kids. But, they still deserve to find love and be happy. Some people may feel too busy or like kids just aren't in their future. They can still have wonderful productive lives. I can understand the parents wanting grandchildren but, it can't be expected that just isn't fair. I am hoping to have grandchildren some day. But, I also want my kids to be happy with their own choices. I guess maybe I should have a few more kids to increase the odds.


Nemingha profile image

Nemingha 7 years ago

When my 18 year old daughter told me she was pregnant I was hugely disappointed. What mother wants their child to be a single Mum? She and the baby's father had already broken up and although he promised to be there for their child, my daughter and I knew she would be raising the child on her own.

We discussed the options, but my daughter decided she wanted to have the baby. I felt that was a huge mistake but it was my daughter's choice to make, not mine, and I had to respect her decision. Sometimes life's lessons can be tough.


IT'S CHRIS!! 7 years ago

I showed this HUB to one of my professors who thinks you're brilliant. He said you have taken a very difficult issue and explained it in a simple way. I am only in my early twenties but I know I do not want kids. I don't know anyone who has kids that is happy. I feel like you do about this and I always have a hard time explaining it to people. I don't understand why people can't be happy for me and my decisions like I am for thiers. GreatHub. Take Care, Chris.


mamahops 7 years ago

Veronica - I enjoyed this hub - it IS the choice of the couple - some people don't want kids! Is our world not populated enough? What about all the unwanted children? People should take a look at the world around them before passing judgement.


OptimistsOnly profile image

OptimistsOnly 7 years ago from Christchruch, New Zealand

I can dig this hub and totally relate. I am 39, never married, no kids and love it. Yet others have a hard time embracing it. They are more concerned about it than I will ever be. Sad part is some men look at me like there is something wrong with me because I haven't had any children and because I've never been married. Too bad for them, they are missing out on getting to know a great person with an open heart and mind. The good news is that there are plenty of others out there like me!


efeyas profile image

efeyas 6 years ago from Some Sunny Beach, USA

I just have to say , great hub as usual Veronica, but I know many people, including myself that have had children ( I had my son when I was 17 & my daughter when I was 23) and couldn't be happier. Even if I could go back in time I would NOT change the path I had chosen to walk. My children have allowed me to learn and grow and possibly become the person I am today. Although there is nothing wrong with not having children, as I know several couples who haven't, there is also nothing wrong with having them. It seems as thoguh your hub presses the notion that to have children means your life will be a living hell for the rest of eternity! So not true. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 13 years now ( father of both my children) and as they grow life just keeps on gettin better and I couldn't imagine it without them (this coming from someone who always said I didn't want kids!). :) Anywho great hub and I hope all works out well!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

efeyas,

Wow, the article doesn't say that at all. Not at all. Very interesting that you came out of it with the idea that kids mean your life would be a living hell. Very, very interesting.

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