{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Told my pregnant sister yesterday for the first time that I don’t want kids (fear of having a special needs child + thinking of the world I would be bringing them into) and her first response was “not everyone wants to nurture and take care of others” and went on about how she has always been someone who takes care of others. It’s so upsetting that this is the kind of judgement women place on others when they say they don’t want children. Child free women how do you manage?", "post_id": "60a531ef063aad001ce11a3e", "reply_count": 49, "vote_count": 27, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Told my pregnant sister yesterday for the first time that I don’t want kids (fear of having a special needs child + thinking of the world I would be bringing them into) and her first response was “not everyone wants to nurture and take care of others” and went on about how she has always been someone who takes care of others. It’s so upsetting that this is the kind of judgement women place on others when they say they don’t want children. Child free women how do you manage?

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Sorry Op. agree it’s about her and not you & the pregnancy she is currently going through and the future she is embarking on. I have a friend who says things like this all the time and is a stay at home mom and her comments about how easy it is and how she was born for this and how she wouldn’t ever want to be away from the kids all hit me wrong cause she says it with the tone/idea that working moms are doing it wrong or something. Also side note that it’s possible your thoughts on how bad the world is and not wanting to bring kids into it could’ve hit her the wrong way. I originally didn’t want to have kids in major part because of that reason (but do now have 2) and I feel guilty that I’ve brought them into a bad world & feel selfish for it etc etc.

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What concerns me in the responses of many here are the implied statements that a woman has to protect the feelings of a pregnant woman as more valid that her own or excuse a woman’s behavior because she is pregnant. They are equally valid and worthy viewpoints. This putting more emphasis on the pregnant woman or excusing her for making a false and hurtful connection between not wanting children and not being nurturing because of hormones doesn’t feel right to me. Stating concerns about bringing children into the world given everything that’s going on right now is not saying the pregnant woman is selfish or wrong for doing so. Birth rates on the whole are down right now. It is one woman’s viewpoint that aligns with her values and beliefs and was offered up in response to the sister’s comment about not nurturing others as the actual reason behind the choice. OP, I’m sorry you and your sister had a disagreement and that she invalidated your choices. It may be something where you need to wait a while before talking with your sister about then try to share that the argument hurt you and you felt she was both judging and being invalidating because you may take a different path than hers. As for the women who don’t want children, this has been me at different points in my life. I am no less nurturing than women who have chosen motherhood. I may adopt at some point rather than birthing my own. When people say ignorant or judgmental comments based on an outdated concept that the only worthy template for women is a desire to be a mother, I try to gently remind them first that there are other narratives for women that are just as valid. If they follow up with something biting or judgmental, I usually point out that it’s in the individual’s perspective. I also ask if they are reacting because they feel their way of life is being questioned by my choosing something else for myself. I will normally conclude the conversation by saying that while they may have been trying to validate their own choices, they were, perhaps unintentionally, trying to invalidate mine and were coming across as judgmental. I usually insert a pregnant pause here (yes, that’s intended). They’ll either get indignant or apologetic here. The reaction is important because it tells you who you are dealing with. Best of luck, OP. You’ll meet more women along your path who also don’t want children for a variety of reasons. Just remind yourself that whatever path you have chosen and the why behind it are valid.

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In would agree 100% but this isn’t just protecting or excusing the behavior or feelings of “other women”, this is OP’s sister. I think most of us are directing our comments based on the fact that they have a close relationship and want to protect each others’ feelings. We are just offering her sister’s pov and why it’s important for her. If it was someone we don’t care about then it is a different story and would allow for different levels of scrutiny

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Ordinarily I’d agree with you 100%, but consider the fact that you voiced over some pretty real fears to someone pregnant. IMO it’s pretty rude and insensitive of you to bring up these types of fears to someone pregnant. It could have seemed like you were judging her for “bringing a child into this messed up world” and I can see how it may have been triggering to her.

likesmart

You could have simply told her: that’s not true, i do want to nurture, but right now im worried for other reasons personal. There was absolutely no need to bring in the fact that the kid might have a disability or experience horrible things in this messed up world. Sure you have your right of speech or whatever but this is your family, and it seems like you guys still care for each other. This experience really isn’t about you, its about your sister. When your comes, she should he there for you 100% but for now it’s not your turn.

She sounds insecure and judgmental. And raising a child is not the only way to care for others. What a dumb comment to make tbh.

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I hear you. But... she’s probably full of hormones + anxious about her delivery, hoping she’s a good mom, etc. Just don’t let such stuff bother you. Honestly do whatever you want. I don’t have kids, I wanted them a few years ago but then I discovered independence and also an unstable marriage. I love my freedom and probably won’t have kids ever. And I am fine with what everyone thinks about me. I’m Indian so I’m judged even more. But, all cool. I literally do not care

likesmarthelpful

I’m currently pregnant and if my sister said this to me I would assume I was being judged for wanting to bring a child into “this world”. I think it’s interesting people are so fast to accuse her of being hormonal. Sounds more defensive to me.

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You could have simply told her: that’s not true, i do want to nurture, but right now im worried for other reasons personal. There was absolutely no need to bring in the fact that the kid might have a disability or experience horrible things in this messed up world. This experience really isn’t about you, its about your sister. When your comes, she should he there for you 100% but for now it’s not your turn.

Did she ask you directly or did you offer the info? Idk, pregnant (and 1 year post partum) women get a pass on social things IMO. And this wasn’t even that bad, I think she would feel defensive and insecure given that she is very much about to have a baby

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Agree— you are family, she is pregnant and hormonal. Unless you want lingering resentment on both sides in dragging this out, try to chalk to up to brain fog and let it go Also try to avoid the topic for the next ten years. Totally not fun. Your family and friends, no matter how well intentioned will continue to bring the topic up. Unless you want to become a hermit, you’re just going to have to develop thicker skin. - A hermit

There are plenty of mothers that are selfish and not nurturing. Spreading your legs and having a kid doesn’t qualify you to have moral and character high ground. Your sister probably is only thinking about herself, which is ironically not a very nurturing quality.

likesmart

You guys are missing the whole demographic of C section mothers - where’s your inclusivity?

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Not trying to defend your sister, but did she ask you or did you just bring it up yourself ?. She's pregnant, full hormones and probably a little vulnerable right so if you did bring it up then she has a right to defend herself. I would give her a pass for this.

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Her response is mostly likely more about what makes her to want to be a Mom VS why you don’t. I think sometimes when we voice wanting a path that is different from someone else they will respond in a way that justifies their own choice vs trying to understand your position. If she says something like it again I would just follow with something like “that is true that not everyone is nurturing but that isn’t the reason why I am deciding not to have them”

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You needn't care about others' perceptions or judgments. They will enslave your mind if you allow them. Be yourself. You are in very good company. 50 yo female here. No children. No husband. Very happy.

likeupliftingsmart

I don’t want kids either, but my family has never responded that way when it has come up. I just never wanted them, but it isn’t because I don’t want to nurture or take care of others. I take excellent care of my animals, and I am there for my family if they need something. I think your sister was honestly just trying to make it about her instead of listening to you, because she seems not to understand your reasons for not wanting children. I get judgment at times from others, but I tend to brush it off as them being closed minded about what people’s priorities and goals should be.

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I just laugh at narcissistic comments like hers cuz shell be the main one crying all over social media about how shes so mom tired and want a medal and sympathy for her choice lol. Ignore her.

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As a mother of two special needs children, I have found that they make the world a better place for being part of it. They have brought so much love and joy to my family and to everyone they meet.

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I think it’s great that you know what is best for you and what you’re capable of. My brother has emotional issues and is autistic and I’ve watched how both my parents denied it for years and continue to not give him the right help, leading to a very damaged young man who could’ve done so well with the right help.

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That's a pretty broad statement KPMG 2. My cousin is nonverbal and has the mental capacity of a 6yr old. He is 25 and will need care/assistance his entire life. But I guess the point is, you need someone loving and considerate enough to provide that care and some ppl just don't seem to have the capacity. People don't really plan for their child to need around the clock assistance for the rest of their life.. they plan for healthy kids that eventually become independent.

This sounds like loaded conversation by you both - not the time for this discussion in good faith when one is pregnant.

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Sounds like there’s some sisterly competition there. No perfect choices here, no need to debate. Seems like a lot of emotion under the surface of this conversation. Don’t need to explain yourself to anyone.

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So, I’m pregnant with my first and neither of my younger siblings want kids. My response-fine! It’s a big (and even now) sometimes scary responsibility. Do what works for you. Plus, my kid will have a great inheritance 😂😂😂 In addition to the stuff from us/ our parents, my kid will likely get my siblings’ stuff. One sibling is an Associate Professor at a university and is not even 30 yet. The other one is finishing med school. Neither plans to get married either. So if they follow through, more money, time, and attention for my kid.

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Sorry op.. I’m a new mom - but no one should be made to feel that way. My brother and sister in law have decided not to have any kids, and they are also in the same boat as to how to bring this up with the rest of the family.. 😞

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OP, you seem to be already upset with your sister about something. Perhaps you should did deeper? Her viewpoint is valid and does not strike me as judgmental. It is in response to you not wanting to have a special needs kid or kids in generally. She is your sister, and she is pregnant and gearing herself up to take care and nurture a human being, irrespective of whether or not they come out perfect. Of course she knows you are nurturing, generally. It does take a special skill set to be able to properly take care of children, and specifically kids with special needs. Takes superhero nurturing level. Don’t take it personally but definitely address your fears and feelings of hurt with her. Life is short.

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