the decision not to have children.

how young is too young to decide to NOT have children?
I am 24. I am not maternal and do not want children. This was a decision I came to subconciously, as I grew up always expecting that I would get married and make babies because that’s what everyone else does. In truth, I am selfish and immature and when I think about a lifetime suuporting another human being versus a lifetime of just being me, I choose me. There are so many aspects of the Joys of Parenting that no one talks about. And I’m not sure I have the best parenting role models. But the black and white of it is, I just don’t want kids.


What If I change my mind? What If I turn 30 and freak out? What If, What If, What If?

My BF does not want (any more) kids. That is the condition of being with him. Am I too young to make this decision? I feel sure of it now, but would like your opinions/experiences to weigh in.

Thank You :slight_smile:

My grandmother was as feminist as a young woman in their twenties could be, she pursued academia, a career, all succesfully. Began a family in her late 30s (I think it was about 38), still had five healthy children.

The moral of this random rant? You’re young. Who cares whether you want kids now? Don’t worry about it. If it’s not your problem, it shouldn’t be theirs, either.

Why do you ever have to make a final decision? If you turn thirty and want kids…then have them. What’s the big deal? Or are you wrapping your whole identity up into being ‘childfree’? Otherwise it just sounds like right NOW you don’t want to have kids. Maybe you never will, maybe six months from now you’ll be crazy for kids.

I don’t think you ever need to make a hard fast decision.

my BF is older than I am, hence the ruch to decide right now.

i love him.

Personally I can’t comprehend the will not to have children. I think it is a brave application of logic over emotion.

One of my biggest goals is to have children. The overwhelming sense of pride involved is to big to miss. “I made this!” is something I want to be able to say about another human being.

One of my brothers doesn’t want kids. He’s 28. (my other brother has 3, I love all three to bits and love being an uncle) I can’t describe how this makes me feel, but I accept it. Just as I accept your decision.
24 is probably not too young. In fact I suspect age is irrelevant. I wouldn’t be surprised if 18 year olds expressed this will.

i felt the same way at one point, but then began to suspect that it’s that ego of mine butting in.

and believe me, I have a big ego :wink:

*(not saying your decision is egocentric, but it’s a possibility in *my ** case.)


I am 10 and 13 years behind my brother and sister, so I was pretty young when they started their own families.

My father went to Vietnam when I was in the third grade and during an RR with mom, they left me with my older sister for 3 weeks. She happened to be in her first tri-mester of pregnancy and throwing up her toenails every morning. So I was around 10 perhaps when I decided screw that nonsense on getting pregnant. If it made you that sick every morning there was no way I was ever going to submit.

Fast forward 35 years and I have no regrets. I am perfectly happy allowing other people to have kids, as long as I do not have to go through raising them or giving birth.


He’s making you decide on the course of the rest of your life in stone, right now?

sounds like a great situation.

I’m 24 and have decided I do not want children. Mind you, I’m a lesbian, so I have a little less to worry about in this respect than you do – obviously, I’d have to actively seek out a kid if I wanted one. I’ll never have to deal with “oops-babies” or any of that.

With that said, please don’t feel like you have to add the “I’m too selfish/immature/etc” disclaimer to not wanting kids. I mean, if you truly believe you are those things and that’s what keeps you from procreating, okay. OTOH, I know many people who choose not to have kids and feel like they have to tack that on to their explanation, just so people don’t start the shrill screams of “BUT WHYYYYYYYYY, DON’T YOU KNOW KIDS ARE SO GREAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?”

Uh, back to the point. I don’t think it’s too young to decide. I do have to point out that I did a lot (and I mean a shitload) of parenting from a very young age, due to my idiot mother and sister having kids that they didn’t want/couldn’t handle. Some people would say I’ve already fufilled by maternal instincts, I guess. Personally, I don’t think that has anything to do with why I don’t want children. My lifestyle just isn’t conducive [condusive? conduscive? fuck! I can never spell that word] to children and their needs. I like to travel a lot, and usually at the drop of the hat and with little resources. My house is full of collections and odds and ends that I’ve spent a lot of time searching out and attaining [nothing pricey, mind, just little things that I fell in love with], and I’d be really, really unhappy to have to put all of those away or get rid of them to keep baby fingers safe. I’m nuts about animals, especially enormous dogs, and those aren’t particularly kid safe, either. Anyway, you get my point – most things about my life that I truly love and enjoy would have to be put aside or just plain changed to accomodate children. Add to that a virtual lack of the “ooo so pwecious cute” gene, and I can’t see any reason for me to have kids. To be honest, I’d find it the ultimate exercise in selfishness to bring some unsuspecting being into my life when it was truly wanted. I may, in my early to mid forties, foster or adopt an older G/L/B/T child in need (think 14 and up), but that’s just an idea that rattles around from time to time.

Anyway, I really like the old quote of “I’d rather regret not having children than regret having them.” Seems like a sensible rule to me.

Tiggrkitty, I am kind of with you on that. I really think I could live a fulfilled life being an aunt or a step-grandmother.
jarbabyj, he has told me his decision. it is final, but he is not making me decide anything NOW. This is all me - for now.

There probably is a large element of egotism in my decision. I admit that. But we humans are egocentric creatures. Possibly the most powerful human desire is to procreate. That desire is what I have. I see the underlying value of bringing up a genetic combination of yourself and the person you love. I want that! And that is as egotistic as it gets.

But where it isn’t egotistical is where you are giving someone the gift of life.
However, you are bringing someone into a shitty world. (that’s the other side of the coin).

[li]You’re really too young to make such a decision (since it seems like it might affect the rest of your life).[/li][li]Nobody should pressure you into making such a decision at age 24.[/li][li]You just never know what your future will bring. Don’t burn any bridges. You’re 24, for crying out loud.[/li][li]This line left intentionally blank.[/li][li]As others have said, why not cool your jets and see if you want to have kids in your 30s? No rush. No pressure. Now is not the time for you to have kids, obviously.[/li][/ul]

So then what’s the question? I’m totally lost. You said it was his condition of being with him in your OP, didn’t you?

If you turn thirty and want a baby have one. he’s out the door. Over and done.

I think you’re just looking for support for being childfree, which is fine, you’ll find a ton of it on this board. Good luck!

Not at all. Never had kids – and, since I’m 49 and headed into menopause – I never will. I’ve never regretted it for a second. Not a rational decision – I just have never had any inkling of desire to have kids.

That said – 24 is way to young to say “never.”

my bad. :smack: it’s a condition of being with HIM, which he “hopes to GOD” i will accept, but he will not reverse his decision if I decide I cannot accept that.

I think so, too. The boyfriend part seemed kinda tacked on at the end, as a kind of “Oh, and there’s this to consider, along with me just not wanting kids.”

good point.

Dont make a mistake and have something done that cannot be reversed.

Go on the pill, the IUD, the patch or the implant. Unless there is an instant wedding ring, Dont EVER change anything to suit the whim of someone else. You may get dumped by him tomorrow, and in 5 years ffind out you do want to have a kid.

In our overcrowded world, some folks have to make the conscious decision to NOT reproduce.

If you have doubts about whether or not you want to have kids, then don’t. Then , if you have the instinct, ADOPT a child who is already alive, who needs a home.

But I do agree that you should not let someone else make this decision on your behalf.

my two cents

I’ve always known that I didn’t want children. Even as a kid myself, playing the “father” role in some sort of “family” play-acting made me uncomfortable.

This hasn’t changed. I’m now 34, and my dread (literal “DREAD” of fatherhood) is so strong that it overrides my sex drive. For example:

A very attractive date once asked me what I’d do if I got someone pregnant. I experienced exactly the same emotion as the time that an angry rattlesnake popped up two feet in front of my boot. I actually SAID: “Change my name and move to another state.” (to the woman, not to the snake!)

The point being: it IS possible to know from a very early age that you are not parent material. You might be like me, or not, but parenthood isn’t the sort of thing you should let yourself be talked into on the theory that you MIGHT learn to like it.

Don’t stick some kid with a mother who resents him for ruining her life.