Not having kids, stigma?

D

dewey

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#1
I have heard so many times people say they knew the meaning of life when they had their child. Sure, that sounds like an amazing experience, and sure, kids are lovely to be around, but it often sounds to me like people have kids as a rite of passage, something they feel they must do with their lives, or to create meaning in their lives and they may neglect other parts of themselves in the process. I feel this pressure on myself and it is starting to worry me.

I am not convinced I would be the best parent with my mental illness and my journey towards feeling better, so I likely won't have children. It's something I think about increasingly. I would hate my kids to feel that I was unhappy or unstable as it would have a negative effect on them.

I feel there is a stigma towards women who don't want children and that very few men are interested in women if they don't wan't children. People view it as unnatural, and all the men I know seem to really want children. If so many people value having children this drastically reduces the chances of someone who doesn't want children of finding a compatible partner. But isn't enough for them to have a good relationship, without necessarily kids? What are people's thoughts on this?
 
4EVRHSP

4EVRHSP

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#4
I have heard so many times people say they knew the meaning of life when they had their child. Sure, that sounds like an amazing experience, and sure, kids are lovely to be around, but it often sounds to me like people have kids as a rite of passage, something they feel they must do with their lives, or to create meaning in their lives and they may neglect other parts of themselves in the process. I feel this pressure on myself and it is starting to worry me.

I am not convinced I would be the best parent with my mental illness and my journey towards feeling better, so I likely won't have children. It's something I think about increasingly. I would hate my kids to feel that I was unhappy or unstable as it would have a negative effect on them.

I feel there is a stigma towards women who don't want children and that very few men are interested in women if they don't wan't children. People view it as unnatural, and all the men I know seem to really want children. If so many people value having children this drastically reduces the chances of someone who doesn't want children of finding a compatible partner. But isn't enough for them to have a good relationship, without necessarily kids? What are people's thoughts on this?
It's by no means totally accepted at all but there is a shift in public perception about women and their 'duty' to give birth these days. I'm in my late 20's and have zero desire to have kids. One because I am not sure I want to impart my mental issues onto a child and two I am not super interested in relationships right now ( although not against it either ). The thought of creating a life that is encased in my DNA and residual mental issues is kind of frightening to me. I don't want anyone to have gone through what I have despite the fact this mightn't be the case. Your children do lead their own lives and are different from you afterall.
 
BPDevil

BPDevil

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#5
adopt the kids that are already alive and unwanted instead of creating a new one
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

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#6
Personally, I don't want kids (I don't particularly like kids) but each to their own, if you don't want kids don't have them but if you want kids then have them is my take, or adopt a kid :hug:
 
D

dewey

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#7
I had my son at 34. Married. It was still unplanned it is what I is.
But then probably if you're 34 you've had some time in your twenties to explore yourself at least so maybe you are more prepared than otherwise you might have been. I agree, life is what it is, we have to make the best of it :)
 
D

dewey

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#8
It's by no means totally accepted at all but there is a shift in public perception about women and their 'duty' to give birth these days. I'm in my late 20's and have zero desire to have kids. One because I am not sure I want to impart my mental issues onto a child and two I am not super interested in relationships right now ( although not against it either ). The thought of creating a life that is encased in my DNA and residual mental issues is kind of frightening to me. I don't want anyone to have gone through what I have despite the fact this mightn't be the case. Your children do lead their own lives and are different from you afterall.
Yes things have changed slightly but there still is a lot of expectation that most people will have kids. I've actually noticed men seem to view it as really important.
 
BPDevil

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#10
Yeah adoption is a nice idea if you're willing for that responsibility
having a child is near enough the same responsibility as adoption, why wouldn't you want to save a kid's life
 
FunkTheFear

FunkTheFear

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#11
If it helps, I have kids and as much as I love them I wish I'd never had any. It's terrifying realising they are stuck in this world, I feel guilty and scared. When I feel really bad I feel like it would be best if we all just died.
Other people are judgemental whether you have kids or don't, whether you have the "correct" number of them, whether you "should" have had them etc etc. So fuck what other people think.
 
BPDevil

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#12
its amazing how much destruction our existence has caused if you think about it
 
D

dewey

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#13
If it helps, I have kids and as much as I love them I wish I'd never had any. It's terrifying realising they are stuck in this world, I feel guilty and scared. When I feel really bad I feel like it would be best if we all just died.
Other people are judgemental whether you have kids or don't, whether you have the "correct" number of them, whether you "should" have had them etc etc. So fuck what other people think.
Hey FunkTheFear. So you have the perspective that they are 'stuck in this world' probably because if you don't mind me presuming, you have a strong feeling that the world is a terrible place, probably there are reasons why you have this feeling and I wouldn't judge you for it. I don't think you should feel terrified realising they are stuck in this world, maybe they will grow up to have a positive perspective on the world and see the good in it as well as the terrifying.

I know if a parent has depression then it is likely they will transfer that feeling to their children. Not definite but very likely. Objectively, I'm not sure if the world is such a terrible place for everyone, I'm sure there are people out there who have their struggles, sure, but seem to get on okay and are happy that they have life. This seems an ideal situation to have children.

Yeah people are ridiculous with their expectations. Like the expectation people shouldn't be single. Maybe they are happier single but people presume they are unhappy. Same goes with kids, if a woman doesn't have kids its perceived as strange. It's hard work not to internalise the expectations of society as you get older
 
Crys

Crys

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#15
I have heard so many times people say they knew the meaning of life when they had their child. Sure, that sounds like an amazing experience, and sure, kids are lovely to be around, but it often sounds to me like people have kids as a rite of passage, something they feel they must do with their lives, or to create meaning in their lives and they may neglect other parts of themselves in the process. I feel this pressure on myself and it is starting to worry me.

I am not convinced I would be the best parent with my mental illness and my journey towards feeling better, so I likely won't have children. It's something I think about increasingly. I would hate my kids to feel that I was unhappy or unstable as it would have a negative effect on them.

I feel there is a stigma towards women who don't want children and that very few men are interested in women if they don't wan't children. People view it as unnatural, and all the men I know seem to really want children. If so many people value having children this drastically reduces the chances of someone who doesn't want children of finding a compatible partner. But isn't enough for them to have a good relationship, without necessarily kids? What are people's thoughts on this?
When I was in my early-twenties I was very ready to have a child, I was excited when I fell pregnant and then I lost it. Since then I lost the desire to have children. I'm forty now and, yes, it could still happen, but likely not to. I do appear to be the only person in my peer group around me that doesn't have children and sometimes it does worry my mind. Also the only one that hasn't been married. Many of my peers are also married and divorced. I realise I never wanted all of that. I've been quite happy drifting through relationships. Nearly four years ago my best friend gave birth to her first and, for a while, I did want one. That feeling faded though.

Don't feel any pressure to have children. My mate is in her fifties and when they first married, she and her husband knew they wouldn't have children, not because either of them couldn't, but because they just didn't want children, they've been together about thirty years. Don't think about other people when making decisions like this. If you feel you aren't ready then don't do it, heal yourself first. If you have a baby for the sake of having a baby then you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself, and any relationship you might be in. In a couple of years you might be better and feel the same or you might be better and then want children. There's no rush. Take it easy and look after yourself first :)
 
D

dewey

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#16
Take it easy and look after yourself first :)
Good advice, thanks for your perspective.

You're right it should in no way be about other people's expectations. We are free to live the lives we want... within reason.

At the same time I think about the future and worry that I'll feel terribly lonely if I don't pursue the normal path of marriage with kids.
 
D

dewey

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#18
like what? concentration camps?
I was thinking more along the lines of building our civilisation so we become more compassionate and tolerant. Also creating through art and science etc
 
H

harsh-reality

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#19
when I was younger I felt being married with children was my destiny

mental illness - lack of work and being an uncle eight times over - made me realise by the age of 30 that I would not be cut out to be a parent and I was always concerned over the fact of my conditions being passed down to my children.

So they never arrived.

I find it funny you saying dewey most men want children - tbh I would have put greater emphasis that more women than men yearn for their own young ones...

I think quite a lot of people - more than in previous times are more inclined to just want the relationship but not the responsibilities of being a parent.

If I had not had my health condition - I got no doubt I would have been a parent I feel


I guess also being an uncle for long time and seeing the pressures it can put on people's lives as a parent I actually feel fortunate I not in that scenario

But contrary to your experience the downside for me is that most women I have known do not want a relationship even if you nice guy with someone who has not been in the situations of bringing up and providing for their own children...
 
BPDevil

BPDevil

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#20
I was thinking more along the lines of building our civilisation so we become more compassionate and tolerant. Also creating through art and science etc
i see the complete opposite of compassion on a daily basis, if humans never existed the planet as a whole would be a lot better, you can't deny that, we've destroyed the planet and the idea of humanity in a number of ways