{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Childless fishies: was there a point in your life when you realized you didn’t want to have kids, or did you always feel that way? I’ve always been on the fence, but now approaching my 30’s, I’m questioning more and more whether I want it at all. I’m curious to hear from y’all!", "post_id": "5fae8dce50f1770022d42676", "reply_count": 89, "vote_count": 15, "bowl_id": "5976222cab932800101a9ca4", "bowl_name": "Women in Advertising" }

Childless fishies: was there a point in your life when you realized you didn’t want to have kids, or did you always feel that way? I’ve always been on the fence, but now approaching my 30’s, I’m questioning more and more whether I want it at all. I’m curious to hear from y’all!

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I have strong motherly instincts but I channel these feelings towards people I love. I'm turning 30 and I don't think I'm ready to have a cat even. My life is about other things now, I need to do so much before I could commit to changing my life forever and having a baby. There are so many things I want from life before a baby, so maybe I'll never be ready to have a biological child. I need financial stability, I want to travel the world, I want to move to Australia for a few years, I want more time alone to figure myself out. I had an abortion 2 years ago. When I realized I was pregnant I freaked out, peed on a variety of pregnancy tests and kept repeating in my head that this cannot happen to me. When it's time I want to celebrate getting pregnant and cry from joy, not from desperation. In that period (maybe because of all the hormones) I was into kids, I found them cute and I felt that I wanted that bond a mother has with her child - just not then, not in the situation I was in. Maybe I'll run out of time to have biological children, but I don't have a problem with adoption. Raising kids costs so much money too, so I'd need to sort out my financial situation and save fuckloads. I feel like I'm only beginning to love my work now and I don't want to take time off.

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I never wanted a baby, but I did definitely want children and a family. I was terrified of the baby years. I wanted to give birth to an interactive 2 year old and skip right over all that other shit. Fortunately, my husband could sit around all day with a baby laying on his chest. He’s the guy who goes straight for the babies in the room. I avoid them like the plague. Never liked other people’s kids (or dogs), but I’ll pretend nicely...but no, I don’t need to hold your spitty baby. Been there. I only meant to have two, got twins the 2nd time. It’s a lot. I love my girls and I love our family. We have a lot of family and help around, though we didn’t when we only had the one kid. It refocuses your life, IMO. I have an amazing partner and we are both oriented towards each other having the things/time we need to stay sane and happy. But, that might mean an hour a day vs life before kids when it was much more time. So, while it’s impossible to imagine what life will be like, in order to make it work, you have to have the willingness to put kids/family first (separate from career) in order to change your expectations for what your time/freedom will look like. It’s impossible to imagine bc you could have an easy independent kid, or one with special needs—I have both. They require very different demands. I admire anyone who does this without a partner—by choice or not. I would find it beyond difficult to have 3 alone. 1 kid, by comparison, alone, seems manageable to me. But, every situation and child and parent is unique. You can’t game it out beforehand. You have to be willing to be committed to whatever hand you get dealt. And the hand sometimes doesn’t meet the fantasy. Real talk. Just another perspective to share. But I will say that after the little ones turned 3, and we were done w the baby stage of diapers and strollers and all that crap, it started to get really fun. It’s incredible to watch these humans grow, to figure out how to meet them all where they are, and to try to help shape them into the best versions of themselves. Oh, that’s the other thing: leave your ego at the door. It’s about serving the kid, not about shaping them into a mini you. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how hard it is for parents to let go of themselves as the image to recreate. People are fascinating in their lack of self awareness. Best of luck in your exploration.

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I was the type that everyone thought would have kids. Kids love me, and I love kids. I’m in my 40s but still a kid at heart. But decided not to have any children because honestly I don’t see this world improving. I don’t want to put yet another human being on this planet. We’re the plague and we’re killing off all other species. I would rather rescue animals and be a mom to animals in need.

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I’m a fish with a child and one on the way. I will be honest with you, I don’t like other people’s kids, I don’t get warm and fuzzy feelings from them, I have no idea how to act around them, I don’t think babies are cute, and I don’t like being pregnant and I hope that I can bond with the baby on the way because I sometimes feel like I’m cold in that regard. That being said, I am absolutely crazy about my son; head over heels for him. I know this doesn’t answer your question but just know it’s ok to not like children or feel like you don’t want them.

likeuplifting

Same here. Don't like other kids. And don't like babies. Make an exception for the neices though. I also really didn't want kids until I hit 36 or so. My kids are now the only people who keep me sane in this business. No BS amazing people. And we have a ton of fun together.

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I have always known I didn't want kids. I luckily found a husband who feels the same. We are in our early 30s and still nothing has changed. The thought of it accidentally happening actually terrifies me. My friend, who is 33 and married, told me she was pregnant, and my first reaction was still "oh god, what are you going to do?". I forget that people do this on purpose at our age lol. I have zero maternal instincts with humans, but I'll take all the puppies 🤷‍♀️ Also, i consider myself "childfree" rather than "childless" for this reason.

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Ugh this is me. I'm 35 and had a dream last year that I was pregnant. I woke up crying and terrified...I think that kind of solidifies it.

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I feel the same way. I’m 29 and engaged. I have no baby fever, even as my friends start to announce pregnancies. I’m at a really exciting time in my career that requires a lot of long hours and I have a dog I’m obsessed with who does NOT do well around kids and honestly, I would never pick getting pregnant over her (to all of you who are going to say love for a dog does not equal love for your child, save it). My partner and I have some interest in adopting because like AD1, I don’t want to put another human on this fucked up planet. Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll regret it, and sometimes I imagine all of the amazing vacations I’ll take and homes I’ll own if I don’t have any kids...

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I'm the same age and I feel the same. I love working a lot and I think it'd be unfair towards my future child and my partner to commit to having a kid, when I know deep down that I wouldn't want to sacrifice my best working years yet.

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Ex: my partner is a new uncle, and everyone in his family is dying to spend time with the baby. I’ll be supportive and reply “Aw, cute!” to texts but I’ve realized I really don’t have much of an affinity for infants or young kids. People tell me “oh that’ll change!” but I’m not so sure. Am I a monster? Does it make a difference when it’s your own child?

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I’m great with kids but I have zero desire to be around or interact with young babies/kids. I’ve always been that way. We’re all different and that’s OK!

I was in your same shoes 8 months ago. 29 with a birthday quickly approaching, feeling torn and then I found out I was pregnant. (My husband and I had always talked about “kids in the future” but never had the “today is the day, we’re ready” feeling. ) My immediate reaction to finding out I was pregnant, anger and embarrassment. That lasted for about 4 months, tbh. But now that I can feel the little baby tossing and turning it’s pretty amazing and I really am excited for a new adventure. Like they say, you’ll get a lot of unsolicited advice when you’re expecting but the one thing EVERYONE says is that it’ll change your life for the better. I’m not trying to convince you either way but just thought I’d share my experience so far. I guess it could all change in a month after it’s born 😂🥴

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My husband was too! I wish I have let myself be excited earlier than I did. Message me if you want to chat! ❤️

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I always ask people...think about who/what you'd want to look back on in your deathbed. Is it a couple of adult children or grandkids by your side? Or some memories of a career or some awards or great vacations? Think ahead...in retirement age...would you be ok with just having a partner by your side? Or will adding a couple of family members to that make you happier?

likefunny

There is no guarantee your kids will love and take care of you.

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I always thought I’d have kids until probably early 30s. That might have been because it was societal expectation, not a true desire. But then I saw a graph of parents happiness which was super high and super low, and child free people’s happiness which was pretty steady, decently high, and I knew I didn’t need the highs if I could avoid the lows. Plus I don’t have in laws or parents around to help, and my husband’s job doesn’t pay a ton, so it just seemed that life would go from good to really hard. Then one night my boss got tipsy and told me she loves her kids but in retrospect would have been ok with out them and that’s what sealed it around 38. A lot of people played the “but you’ll be alone when you’re old card” and maybe that’s true, but also maybe youll die when your kids are toddlers or maybe your kids will put you in a nursing home alone with visits twice a year. If you’re having kids to just not die alone, that seems silly to me.

likesmart

When playing house growing up I always wanted to be the neighbor not a mommy with kids. I love working in production and the career path I chose. At some point my mind changed- not an overwhelming must have kids jumping on the baby train change but more of a feeling that I wanted a child to share and grow with. I love some of my nieces and nephews but definitely repulsed by the rest. My husband and I decided to have a child and I am pregnant at almost 39 with my first. It is all a bit still strange and I don’t get overly emotional about it all (like ultrasound pictures- thanks but no thanks). We change our path in life all the time. I think it is totally fine if you don’t want kids now and that may never change and that’s fine too. As someone who is 39 just now getting pregnant try not to let societal pressures and family dictate what you want in life.

likehelpful

I’ve never really been interested in kids, even as a child playing house haha. I do love other people’s kids, and love being an aunty, but when I think about having my own it fills me with dread I did have a bit of soul searching around 28-29, when it became a bit more urgent conversation while dating. Ultimately decided that kids and pregnancy are not something I ever want, and managed to finally get sterilized at 31. No regrets! It felt so amazing to take control of my life that way and lift a constant source of anxiety. And added bonus, I no longer have that whole “oh I thought you’d change your mind and want kids eventually” thing come up as a relationship progresses, from a partner who didn’t believe I was serious. The option is fully off the table!

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Are you currently with a partner? Do they also not want kids?

I’ve never wanted children. My mom thinks I’m “short changing myself”, but truthfully, the idea of being responsible for a human life doesn’t appeal to me. I think I’m destined for other great things. I enjoy my independence, my partner, my money, my job, the people I surround myself with, and my life. I read a book a few years back called “Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed” and it’s a series of essays from adults that have chosen not to have children—and why. Highly recommend!

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But such a derogative title! The true tragedy is having children you don’t want. I have a lot of respect for people who make a conscious decision not to procreate

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Everyone tells me, now that I’m in my thirties, that the switch is gonna flip and i’m gonna go womb-crazy. We’ll see. not a baby person, never held babies, never changed a diaper, never helped bottle feed, etc. And i’ve got fucking bad health issues that I don’t want my child to have, or have them grow up with a sick mother. I would LOVE it if people stopped fucking pushing their babies on you when they know you’re not a baby person. I have one CD that does it to me, knowing it makes me uncomfortable, and then laughs at me. Makes me feel like a monster.

likesmart

never wanted kids....the older I get the more happy I am that I don’t want any

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46, no kids, 95% happy/5% sad with my choice and that's 100% better than the other way around. I give you this wisdom from Mcsweeney's: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/30-and-pregnant

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I could have gone either way. I enjoyed my childless life. Enjoyed jumping in the car with my husband on weekends and just taking off. Enjoyed traveling. Enjoyed working late if I wanted to. When I was 35, my best friend asked me to help her a week post partum bc her husband was going out of then and she had two other kids. So I drove to Vermont and stayed with her to help her for a week. I held that little girl and smelled her baby head and snuggled for a week. Walked back in the door when I got home and said “honey, we are having kids.” I was pregnant within a month. I definitely miss the old me and my old life. But having my heart run around outside my body gives me a sense of fulfillment and a depth of love I hadn’t ever experienced. It’s a different love, obviously, than my love for my now-ex husband. I think I made the right decision for me and my family and I don’t regret it for a second. Good luck with any path you choose. It will be the right one.

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I’m childless and in my early 30s. My friend group has just started recently becoming pregnant and having kids and I’ve never felt more secure in my decision to not have children. I remember in high school and early college, just assuming I’d have kids because that’s what people do, but over the years I’ve realized that I’d prefer to do life on my and my partner’s terms. We’ve acknowledged as our friends start to have kids that we actually can’t wait to be “aunt/uncle” to their children and be apart of their family’s support system. I don’t see this decision as us missing out on anything because quite frankly it’s not a life experience either of us want.

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I’ve always thought I wanted kids and was in the beginning process of learning about freezing my eggs as I’m in my late 30s. Met my partner over 2 years ago and love our lives together. Want to continue exploring the world and learning together. Too selfish right now to change anything. And also, hoping to retire early and just enjoy our lives/each other, not sure if that’s possible if we were to have kids. If we had met earlier in life I may of had a different perspective.

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I don’t have kids and am happy with my decision. I like kids but just didn’t want my own. The hardest part for me is people not believing anything you do in life will fulfill you as much as having kids and there’s still some leftover patriarchal based judgement about being childless and assumptions on your personality. But beyond that, I don’t regret not having kids at all. My life is full and lovely.

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You’ll get judged regardless so just don’t even let it touch you.. unless you somehow squeeze the pregnancy somewhere between 29-32.. have a baby earlier and “oh man you’re so young have you considered your options?!” Wait longer and “oh when are you having kids it might be to late” and if you don’t want them also judgement.. I’m in the first group right now just found out I’m pregnant at 26 and my peers and New Yorker friends are all like “damn are you sure?!”

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