{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "If you're a woman and child-free, do you have regrets?\n\nCards on the table: I do! I'm 38, with a family history of natural pregnancies up to 50. I.e.: no bio reason why I couldn't still opt to get pregnant.\n\nBut, also: my family tree is, basically, cancer, heart attack under 30, psychiatric basket case and congentital heart defect galore.\n\nI'm a minor statistical miracle here. And, knowing my math, I won't have kids.\n\nStill, it hurts. Happy for friends having babies. But I wish I could, too!", "post_id": "5fd90afd3f73350022c115a7", "reply_count": 21, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

If you're a woman and child-free, do you have regrets? Cards on the table: I do! I'm 38, with a family history of natural pregnancies up to 50. I.e.: no bio reason why I couldn't still opt to get pregnant. But, also: my family tree is, basically, cancer, heart attack under 30, psychiatric basket case and congentital heart defect galore. I'm a minor statistical miracle here. And, knowing my math, I won't have kids. Still, it hurts. Happy for friends having babies. But I wish I could, too!

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Adoption or surrogacy are options.

likesmart

37, child free and NO regrets. Love my freedom and love being an Aunt to numerous wonderful children. That’s all I need ❤️

likesmarthelpful

31, internally debating if I truly want kids or if societal norms make me feel like I do. I have no current strong feelings towards kids, dislike or like.

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This is exactly me.

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29, never wanted kids and still don't want them. Honestly would like to get a permanent fix to ensure it doesn't happen. Please no hate on this comment.

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40, once thought I wanted kids, extremely happy now to be child-free. I can have my moments.. but that is when I spoil my nephews rotten. And send them on home!

likeuplifting

I can understand not wanting kids bc you don’t want them. I don’t really understand the genetic baggage reasoning. The child is made by two people’s genes to maximize chances of health. Even in slightly inbred situations, it would take multiple generations of inbreeding to start having a serious risk of issues. If you don’t want to have kids, don’t have them. If it’s all about the genes chances are you will be fine or you can adopt.

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You don’t need to understand her reasoning. Whatever hers is, it’s enough.

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You could get carrier screening done now to know if you have any known mutations you might pass on to your kids. Same things with a potential partner. That way you would know the actual risk for common mutations you could pass on. I personally like making data driven decisions, so maybe that would make things clearer for you. If you knew that there was a 25% chance that your child would be at high risk for heart disease would that change your mind one way or another? What about if the chance was 50%? IMO kids don’t make you happier, they are a ridiculous amount of work, but seeing them grow and develop is tremendously fulfilling. I think part of that fulfillment is thinking about the unbroken generations of ancestors that came before you and had the same experience and hoping your child will do the same. If I thought that the experience I was passing on to my child would be one of guaranteed health issues and had evidence to back it up, I might think hard before having a kid. I do also feel some (maybe absurd) sense of pride imagining everything my ancestors might have survived so that I could have my daughter. Maybe some of my people also had to anxiously get through a pandemic? Having that connection to the past and the future is what I might regret not getting without kids. It sounds like you might actually want to sever that connection, at least biologically, for you own well thought out reasons. If that is the case, I doubt you will regret not having kids.

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See ... funniest thing: I'm not even sure I REALLY WANT kids. I'm quite happy here, all in all. It's more like: I'd like not having kids to be my own choice rather than a case of "realized the risk was unmanageable", though. Not sure if this makes sense. I hope it does. I'd just prefer not having kids to be entirely my own choice as opposed to a feeling of obligation because it'd just be madness to impose my insane genetic baggage onto another human being. The way things stand I feel ... for the lack of a better word ... defective, as a member of the species. Inadequate.

uplifting

OP, you are the exact opposite of "defective"; your sense of self-awareness and responsibility, as well as lack of egotism, are simply amazing and I am humbled. You are doing the right thing, and you are making the right choice. There are so many ways in which you can experience parenthood: mentoring, fostering, adopting, etc.

likeuplifting

44 and tried to have kids. Went through it all- only to be sad about it. Covid had shown me that all things happen for a reason as I’d be going mad right now with young children at home.

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Married very young and had 2 kids, <50 and both kids grown up. It was very challenging juggling time between progressing my career, their education and extra curricular activities. Looking back I wonder how it came together. Happy I did have them. Have a friend 5 yrs younger, chose not to have kids and she is kicking ass at work and happy to have decided to not have kids. Worked with a go-getter woman partner who chose to not have kids and didn’t regret one bit. Also worked with a male partner who chose to not have kids, married into his 40s but into his 50s mentioned he regretted his decision when his brother’s kids were graduating and how fulfilling it was for the parents. Confided in me that’s the pleasure he would never have. This decision is truly to each their own!

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