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Guest mmm....beer

Women Who Choose Not To Be Mothers

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At the risk of bringing down the wrath of mmm... beer I have to say that it does sound a bit strange.

When I do on rare occasion hear it from a woman she usually sounds slightly unhinged. A lot of that will be a product of the reaction she has got from telling people in the past so she rehearses all the arguments beforehand so they come out garbled and, to be honest, slightly misanthropic. It usually comes over as a dislike of kids even if that is not the basic reason.

So... I have no problem whatsoever with a woman who doesn't have kids for whatever reason (social, medical, financial), but it is strange when the information is volunteered that they never want kids. That's up to them of course but why come out with it?

The nearest analogy I can think of is people who don't want to be cremated and somehow think that telling you this is a reasonable topic of conversation when it isn't.

Everybody is entitled to their private views and beliefs, but why the need to share it?

For instance I never want to go to sub-Saharan Africa, but if I went around telling people that I would get looks.

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I've just come across this artical on the BBC news website about women who have decided that they don't want children being made to feel like social pariahs. Is it really that much of an issue? I openly don't want children and have never been made to feel like it's some sort of personal flaw of mine, but then my circle of friends hasn't started having kids yet. Am I going to start getting hassled in the coming years?

Stick to your guns mmm - most people, except your mother, if she is anything like mine, will be too polite to openly criticize you. My best friend of 50 years made the same decision as you and has never regretted it. I accidentally had twins in my early twenties, so I can't comment personally.

SB

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I don't think its much of an issue, is it? If it's a personal choice who's business is it to make comment?

The only time I do think it's a bit sad is when women, or actually couples, say they can't have children due to the housing boom, when every chav is just squeezing them out by the dozen.

Or when a woman is wedded to something she calls a career but is actually just some mundane job - I can see some of them suddenly getting pangs of regret when they wake up to the futility of it all.

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I know I made a lame joke about having kids to reset your bodyclock, the point being that once you'd had them you'd be able to sleep on a wet park bench, however I'm not entirely sure that not having them is as frowned on as it was in the past. Women having careers is far more acceptable and so chosing not to have children more understood.

Let's be honest though, we're genetically predisposed to have children, it's what we're here for. Sometimes the urge overtakes you as a women and it has no rationale. I have had experience of this where my head is saying 'quit whilst your ahead' and everything else is crying out for a baby.

I don't blame anyone for chosing not to have kids but then I have them and find it bloody hard work. Not what a mother is supposed to say but there you go.

I read this article the other day (confesses to reading the mail online).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1298478/Do-children-really-make-happier-Mother-PENNY-MARSHALL-investigates-.html

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Whether you want kids or not is your (and your partner's, if applicable) business and no-one else's. It's up to you, and nobody has a right to criticise you if you don't want children.

However:

Your parents may be disappointed if they always wanted grandchildren.

You may yet change your mind as you get older - many (but by no means all) women (and men) do.

You may find you need to make new friends if you don't have kids - becoming a parent gives you a whole new set of interests and tends to separate you from your childless friends.

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Guest Skinty

When I was in my mid to late twenties I didn't know anyone who was actively trying to have children. Now I'm in my mid thirties I find that it's much harder to make friends.

I'm not one for making friends in a hurry, not least because I keep having to move in order to find a job. I'm starting to realise though that there is a big gulf between women who are mothers and those who do not want to be. Part of this must be that parents have to follow a strict routine with school times and picking up their children and can no longer socialise much in the evenings. They probably only really get a chance to socialise with other parents who have similar constraints on their time, but also who they have more in common with.

But it's also inevitable really considering how different your life must be having a child. I went out to work in the real world back in 2006 at an office filled with people my age who were mainly all parents, I noticed that everyone was toiling away with their heads down, putting up with a crap job, tolerating a bully for a boss and trying to buy a house. They were no longer working for themselves. They had responsibilities. They had lots of costs from having children such as child-care and having to buy a bigger car etc. I just didn't have anything in common with them and I got on much better with the few others who weren't planning on starting a family.

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I've just come across this artical on the BBC news website about women who have decided that they don't want children being made to feel like social pariahs. Is it really that much of an issue? I openly don't want children and have never been made to feel like it's some sort of personal flaw of mine, but then my circle of friends hasn't started having kids yet. Am I going to start getting hassled in the coming years?

Speaking as a bloke I've always found this rather strange coming from the women I've heard it from - not saying I think there's anything actually wrong with it as I've always had the strongly held philosophy that everyone is entitled to live their life the way they choose as long as they don't affect anyone else too much. It just seems to be very contrary to genetics and nature and what-not. I could understand it more if it were a man saying it (although, to be honest, not much more as those same genetic urges about about reproduction are in men too) but it just seems so out of the ordinary when a woman says it.

Do you think that this is a definite, 100% decision that you can't ever see your self changing? If you don't mind me asking.

Even though you don't want children would you ever see your self changing your mind if you met someone you really, really loved who desperately wanted them?

Even if you don't want kids how do you think you would feel if it happened and you had them unplanned?

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

I've just come across this artical on the BBC news website about women who have decided that they don't want children being made to feel like social pariahs. Is it really that much of an issue? I openly don't want children and have never been made to feel like it's some sort of personal flaw of mine, but then my circle of friends hasn't started having kids yet. Am I going to start getting hassled in the coming years?

Probably. By your mother.

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Stick to your guns mmm - most people, except your mother, if she is anything like mine, will be too polite to openly criticize you. My best friend of 50 years made the same decision as you and has never regretted it. I accidentally had twins in my early twenties, so I can't comment personally.

SB

The twins I had in my early 20's weren't an accident but certainly very good fortune. ;)

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I've just come across this artical on the BBC news website about women who have decided that they don't want children being made to feel like social pariahs. Is it really that much of an issue? I openly don't want children and have never been made to feel like it's some sort of personal flaw of mine, but then my circle of friends hasn't started having kids yet. Am I going to start getting hassled in the coming years?

It's allowed. But you get to face a brigade of sheeple who have sprogged (or at least wanted to) and feel a need to justify their choice by attacking others who don't share it.

I suspect the biggest risk is where one but not both of a couple wants sprogs, and they've both invested a lot of emotional and social capital before it becomes an issue.

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My parents aren't expecting me or my sister to have kids - they'd be very surprised if we did. My mother and maternal grandmother have made it pretty clear that they think we've made the right decision - they'd rather that we did something meaningful with our lives than get tied down with children like they did. Maybe they'll change their tune when we get older but don't think they will. My grandmother definitely wasn't too enthusiastic when my uncle started having kids at a very late age - she already had pretty much grown up grandchildren at that point and it's been a bit of a strain on her to have to fulfill her grandmotherly duties again.

I think the main reason that my sister and I don't want children is that the last two generations of women in our family ended up wasting their lives by marrying horrible men and having kids too young. That and I'm a realist - I know how much work it is, how many sleepless nights it would entail, how much money it costs and how your life is never you own again once you have kids. If I really wanted an expensive, sleepless night then I'd do a load of coke, drink a load of champagne and stay up all night having sex thank you very much.

I'll PM you my address. You'll have to provide the gear and booze as I'm skint presently!

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My parents aren't expecting me or my sister to have kids - they'd be very surprised if we did. My mother and maternal grandmother have made it pretty clear that they think we've made the right decision - they'd rather that we did something meaningful with our lives than get tied down with children like they did.

not sure the only two choices are "being tied down with children" or doing something meaningful.

It is entirely possible to have kids and do something meaningful; some might say that having children is something meaningful too.

It's totally an individual and very personal choice, I do find it strange that people feel the need to be so strident on either side of this issue. People should make their choice and stfu about anyone elses choices imo.

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The thing is that having children will affect the mother's life far more than the father's. A man can normally have kids and carry on at work pretty much as if nothing has happened. A woman can't though. The pregnancy alone is going to cause a lot of disruption, then there is the time off needed when the baby comes along and (as people have whinged about in other threads) it is the mother who ends up taking time off work when the child gets sick etc. There are a few women who manage to have a good career as well as children and they tend to be the women who can afford nannies - while feminism has lead us to believe otherwise, it is very difficult to have a meaningful career and be a mother.

I plan to be an academic and will probably end up with an academic so won't be in a position to pay for full time child care. The fact is that I believe I can leave a bigger mark on the world through my work than I can through having children. It probably doesn't come across here because most of the time I'm just posting random crap to let off steam, but I am seriously smart - smart enough that I might make a big difference and most people that know me agree that it would be a shame for me to waste that by having kids.

There is, however, a very small chance that if I met the right guy and he was willing to take on all of the maternal duties or had the money to hire a nanny then I might consider having a child if he really, really wanted one and would never be happy without one.

Ok, I get all that, makes a lot of sense.

However, is it enough - I mean really enough? The whole contributing to the future of humanity by devoting one's self to what you are good at is very laudable - and is logically probably the right way to look at things if you are a seriously bright person - but do you think you will ever get to 55 and end up being depressed or lonely and feeling that you've missed an opportunity?

What I think I'm saying is, are you sure that you'll always be sure that the "right" decision based on your life as it is now is likely to remain the right decision?

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My parents aren't expecting me or my sister to have kids - they'd be very surprised if we did. My mother and maternal grandmother have made it pretty clear that they think we've made the right decision - they'd rather that we did something meaningful with our lives than get tied down with children like they did.

Sounds like a good family to have. Not knowing them, it's hard to speculate on how supportive they'd be if you'd made different choices. My mother would clearly like me to give her grandchildren (introducing her to a girlfriend is horribly embarrassing even at my age), but she knows better than to nag about it (and is helped by my brother having started young).

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not sure the only two choices are "being tied down with children" or doing something meaningful.

It is entirely possible to have kids and do something meaningful; some might say that having children is something meaningful too.

It's totally an individual and very personal choice, I do find it strange that people feel the need to be so strident on either side of this issue. People should make their choice and stfu about anyone elses choices imo.

I tend to agree. I don't really see why it has to come down to a choice between the two. Okay, it's tougher doing both but I think that taking a firm decision of one over the other may leave you feeling that you've missed something important.

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You're a bloke though? As I said earlier - it's much harder for a woman.

Is there any woman here who has children and thinks that their career wouldn't have progressed better without them? And is there any woman here without kids who thinks their career would have gone just as well if they had them?

My mum managed to carve out a pretty outstanding career for herself, a good deal of it whilst being a single mum.

Having children probably on the whole isn't a sure fire way to encourage career advancement but then neither are holidays, a social life, getting drunk etc etc but imo the rewards outweigh the drawbacks.

I don't think how well and far advanced a career moves is the only benchmark for success / fullfilment in life tbh

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Guest Skinty

I plan to be an academic and will probably end up with an academic so won't be in a position to pay for full time child care. The fact is that I believe I can leave a bigger mark on the world through my work than I can through having children.

That used to be my attitude. It still is to a certain degree. It got me through my MSc and depression,. through my PhD which I really enjoyed and through my first post-doc when I was about as skint as I had ever been because I was living in an expensive area and being ripped off by landlords etc.

This year though I've started to question whether it's actually worth it. I've looked at what it's cost me, how I don't have any job security, a pension or a house. How I am going to face unemployment again as my fixed term contract comes to an end. How I have to work solidly every evening to write a paper in my spare time of my own personal research that I can't get funded for so I can submit it to a conference to try to establish a career ... only for it to then get rejected because I just don't have the time to do it properly. And if it had been accepted how I would have to pay for my own travel costs abroad, use my annual leave and even then nothing would probably come of it. No ones going to remember me and I'd be lucky if I got someone to reference me in their paper.

And I used to think that getting accepted and getting funding to do a PhD was hard! And then what does being an academic mean? It means being a lecturer which means a third of your time spent writing grants, another third lecturing and only one third doing your own research.

Yes I still want to achieve something. I still want to leave something behind in the same way that most people want to leave behind their genes in the form of offspring. So now I've decided that I want to directly benefit from my own research. If I put the same amount of energy into starting a business in an area where I want to live, I could make a bigger contribution than being just another lecturer. I'd also personally benefit from it more.

Why go to all this effort and sacrifice my own well-being and happiness for the sake of knowledge and science when it's not even going to be appreciated?

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And I used to think that getting accepted and getting funding to do a PhD was hard! And then what does being an academic mean? It means being a lecturer which means a third of your time spent writing grants, another third lecturing and only one third doing your own research.

Yup. It was also my aim though I wanted some money behind me first. Left work at 31 to really go for it, major ambition but starting with a postgrad MA. I spent a lot of time drinking coffee with the lecturers and became very disillusioned by what the job actually involved, pretty much what you wrote. Finsihed the course but then returned to work.

I also left work at 41 to do the same but in a different subject, but thought this time I would leave work before I applied to give myself time to make sure I really wanted to do it. After a couple of months and with the application due in I decided that when it came down to it, and with the knowledge of the previous trial, I didn't.

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SHTF time who's going to look after you in old age?

If the welfare state is disbanded will you be able to save enough and then also be healthy enough to have a good old age without the need for help?

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I've just come across this artical on the BBC news website about women who have decided that they don't want children being made to feel like social pariahs. Is it really that much of an issue? I openly don't want children and have never been made to feel like it's some sort of personal flaw of mine, but then my circle of friends hasn't started having kids yet. Am I going to start getting hassled in the coming years?

I think a lot of it depends on your circle of friends. I'm 31 now (really should update the username) and amongst all the people my wife and I went to university with only one other couple has had a kid and I don't think many more are going to.

Most of the people my wife went to school with got knocked up young and live on benefits on a crappy estate in the same town they grew up in.

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SHTF time who's going to look after you in old age?

If the welfare state is disbanded will you be able to save enough and then also be healthy enough to have a good old age without the need for help?

There is no way in hell I'm looking after my parents or the wife's deranged mother when they're old and ******ed.

I wouldn't expect the littlun to look after us either.

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The thing is that having children will affect the mother's life far more than the father's. A man can normally have kids and carry on at work pretty much as if nothing has happened. A woman can't though. The pregnancy alone is going to cause a lot of disruption, then there is the time off needed when the baby comes along and (as people have whinged about in other threads) it is the mother who ends up taking time off work when the child gets sick etc. There are a few women who manage to have a good career as well as children and they tend to be the women who can afford nannies - while feminism has lead us to believe otherwise, it is very difficult to have a meaningful career and be a mother.

I plan to be an academic and will probably end up with an academic so won't be in a position to pay for full time child care. The fact is that I believe I can leave a bigger mark on the world through my work than I can through having children. It probably doesn't come across here because most of the time I'm just posting random crap to let off steam, but I am seriously smart - smart enough that I might make a big difference and most people that know me agree that it would be a shame for me to waste that by having kids.

There is, however, a very small chance that if I met the right guy and he was willing to take on all of the maternal duties or had the money to hire a nanny then I might consider having a child if he really, really wanted one and would never be happy without one.

My wife and I both agreed that if we had kids

I had to give up work to look after them

oh and having kids is NEVER a waste

I am finally back at work after 12 long hard years

but I have never ever regretted the loss of income

the sleepless nights or the days when I could have pulled my hair out

what you've never had you wont miss

but now I know what I would have missed I would regret it deeply

missing out on this very special experience

I was the only and the 1st man in the small village I lived in to do this

role reversal and I feared I would be the butt of many a joke from the

macho element

What I found was that the men all respected my decision and

took their hat off to me

While a large %age of the women were quite contemptuous

they were by and large the "poor" mothers

I think they were angry to see a man do a better job than they could tbh

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I've just come across this artical on the BBC news website about women who have decided that they don't want children being made to feel like social pariahs. Is it really that much of an issue? I openly don't want children and have never been made to feel like it's some sort of personal flaw of mine, but then my circle of friends hasn't started having kids yet. Am I going to start getting hassled in the coming years?

If you think that is bad, try being a bloke and saying the words 'I like kids'...:lol::ph34r:

This next bit may sound a little harsh but I will say it any way to give you a different viewpoint as a biologist, not make any form of personal judgement.

I think it is fairly common to be honest, that is why the birth rate has collapsed. Usually it seems to get 'put off until we are older/richer/more established in career' rather a positive decision to never have kids.

The only thing is when women do start to feel the alarm going off on their biological clock they don't really appreciate that it is a 'last warning' thing. Historically women normally have babies in their teens/early twenties all this putting off your first child until you have established yourself in your late thirties is not really what we are designed for.

You as a person represent the crowning achievement of billions of years of evolution, when your genes amounted to nothing more than a little rat like creature that scurried around hiding from dinosaurs they still managed out adapt those lumbering behemoths and go on to conquer the world. Do you think the world will be a better place with your genetic make up removed from the gene pool or do you think it would be enriched by it?

My sister is a few years older than you (late thirties) also a biologist who had a good a career and is currently going through the biological clock warning thing. She changed her mind about not wanting kids and is now desperate to have them. Unfortunately the IVF didn't work and she is now going more than a little nuts at the prospect of being barren, childless and being eaten by cats when she dies as a lonely old spinster, she has jacked in her job and is now obsessed with eating multicoloured food to restore her youth and is very unhappy.

Marie Currie managed to have kids and still win two Nobels, the two things are not mutually exclusive, her daughter also won a Nobel... ;)

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  • 140 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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