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J-Lu 03-24-2006 10:08 AM

Re: children
So it sounds like everybody has no regrets about their decision to have or not have kids. *Is there anyone here who does have regrets one way or the other (just curious)? * I became a mother for the first time last year at 35 and just found out that #2 is on the way. *I always wanted to have children but didn't get married until 34. *Although I always liked children, I found that other children do not come close to the love that you feel for your own. *As soon as my son was born, I knew that I would die for him in a second. *It's like nothing I've ever experienced. *I'm sure I will have momentary thoughts of regret as I will soon have two under 18 months *:) *But hopefully those thoughts will be the exception and not the norm. *

Danny 03-24-2006 10:18 AM

Re: children
If someone did regret not having children, there are plenty of kids out there who need either foster care or adoption. And if there are those who regret having children there is foster care or adoption.

My cousin (65) just informed me that she got a call last year from a sister she had no idea she had.

grumpy 03-24-2006 10:23 AM

Re: children

Originally Posted by Ceberon
So we're both making a pretty bundle, we moved into a nice new ouse (not above our means, but not really below either), and are doing well for ourselves.

... we can't afford our house / insurance / cars / etc on one salary.

Something doesn't add up here. If you were even contemplating having kids, then the new house IS above your means. Seems to me if you were really trying to keep your options open (to have kids or not), you would have arranged your financial life to be within your means in either case. My wife and I were married for 5 years before we made that decision. She then stayed home for 9 years while the kids were small. We had bought a smaller house in a less expensive area than many of our friends. We still managed to retire at age 57.

No grandkids yet. Our son is 31 and just broke up with his girlfriend after 2.5 years. No near term prospects there. Our daughter (28) works in the theater ("forget it dad, all the unmarried men I meet are gay!"). Raising kids was both the most difficult and the most rewarding thing we have ever done. I have to bite my tongue to keep from reminding my son that he is the only male on my father's side of the family who can carry on the family name.

When I think back over the unbroken chain of couples that struggled to survive and reproduce across the ages to put me on this earth I can't help feel it would have been a betrayal of them not to have kids. While I didn't do it for that reason, I know I would feel guilty if I had made the other choice. Just my opinion.


Rustic23 03-24-2006 10:40 AM

Re: children
Just a side note my MIL, who raised 5, says that raising kids is the easiest task in the world. Proof of that: 100% of those are armatures when they start and 95% of the product come out just fine, no other process has such a success rate, so, therefore, it must be easy. (I think her tongue was in her cheek)

Maximillion 03-24-2006 11:22 AM

Re: children
Any one who says that at certain times of raising Children they did not regret their decision must be a Saint.

I could not imagine life without my sons, but there were times when He went through the Purple Hair, Tatoos, Earing Stage that they tried my patience(Youngest totall opposite, no marks or holes of any kind)

They did No Drugs, Mimimal alcohol(one, youngest total abstainer) and had more Girl Friends than I thought he deserved(youngest , total opposite, a few long term relationships).

Oldest, took off for China and has stayed for 8 years, youngest I needed dynamite to get him out of our basement.

Nords 03-24-2006 12:04 PM

Re: children

Originally Posted by J-Lu
So it sounds like everybody has no regrets about their decision to have or not have kids. *Is there anyone here who does have regrets one way or the other (just curious)?

"My parents moved a lot when I was a kid, but I always found them." *-- Rodney Dangerfield.

Spouse and I watched one couple try to conceive during a Western Pacific deployment. *We'd be pulling into port and she'd be waving from the pier (the spouses refer to this meet-'em-in-every-port behavior as "sea gulling"). *The topside crew would be nudging him and saying things like "Hey, Rick, dude, who's the major babe? *Ouch, geez, sorry man, izzat your wife?!!", "Rick, do you have to cancel any other plans? *Want me to call your girlfriend?" and "Want me to take your duty, man? *Or do you want to take mine?" *Even the CO got into the act by making sure that he was the first man off the ship. *Rick would just groan or whimper a little and next morning come crawling back across the brow. *It was pretty hard for those two to keep their conception challenges private, but today they have three bouncing boys and no regrets.

Spouse was watching this behavior with some amusement (I was just hoping to get one of my best guy's mind back on his job) but evidently it started a train of thought. *A few months later, as we approached a couple years' shore duty in the sixth year of marriage (in our low 30s) I called her from Seattle (another "short" deployment) and she said "So, wanna start a family on shore duty? *Think about it on your way back to Hawaii-- no pressure!" *Yeah, right. *I knew better than to discuss my thoughts with any of my shipmates.

We had read that childless couples were "missing out", "too selfish", and ostracized by family/friends. *We couldn't imagine the pain of trying to conceive in vitro later in life after passing up what seemed to be a valuable opportunity. *OTOH both of us had dealt with a problem sibling while growing up and we weren't sure that more than one kid was such a smart idea. *No way did we want an "Eight is Enough" experience, either. *Other than those concerns, there wasn't much productive thought or discussion because we could imagine our lives either way and felt we should just give things a try. *We decided that raising kids was probably better than not having kids, and shore duty was probably a better time to try than during sea duty. *

After watching Rick's public travails we decided to take it easy and not sweat any deadlines. *Spouse went off birth control to make a gradual transition to fertility. *I was still six months away from shore duty when we rented a vacation cottage at Bellows Beach after the holidays, lost power for a couple days during a thunderstorm, the water was too cold for swimming, and we had no other sources of entertainment... bam. *So to speak.

We knew the day we left the delivery room that our family was the right size. *I've posted before about how tough some kid's personalities can be and how the military is not easily made family-friendly. *For a while, especially between six months and three years, I felt tricked by my genes. *(Our daughter, the spitting image of my deceased contentious mother, has everything in my DNA but my Y chromosome. *Freud would get a lifetime of research out of this one.) *We traded a lot of comments like "Hey, you already made your first mistake by marrying me, what warning signs weren't strong enough to keep you from procreating?!?", "$#@%ing sailors", and "There's no doubt this is your kid!"

Today I still feel a little hoodwinked by my male biological imperatives, but somehow kids worm their way into your affections and won't let you go. *Spouse and I agree that this project has been worth the effort and that we are better human beings for having been parents, as long as we don't give in to the occasional temptation to kill her before she reaches adulthood. *I enjoy teaching, and this seems to be the ultimate teacher's challenge. *Our kid has taught me more strategy, tactics, patience, leadership, psychology, humility, and endurance than from anything I've ever done in the Navy. *(I'm also a trained police interrogator & human polygraph.) *I've learned more about human beings-- especially women-- than I ever thought I would need (or want) to know. *Our kid does share interests with me that spouse doesn't, which is nice. *And at least I have someone who hasn't heard all my sea stories yet. *But I'm pretty sure that God (or my mother) isn't finished punishing me for the things I did as a teenager. *Parenting is truly a life sentence without parole.* And any parent who claims "Oh, my kid always..." or "My darling child would never..." has a lot to learn.

Both of our siblings appear to be in lifetime relationships, but AFAIK neither has kids. *I don't know if that makes them sad or, after spending time with our kid, feeling like they've received the governor's pardon. *We think they're missing out a little but we don't know if they've even tried to have kids or not. *We don't think that being childless has ruined their lives. *It's certainly improved their vacations & recreations!

So emotionally I'm 100% for having kids. *Intellectually the decision is about 75-25 in favor. *Financially, a kid is a big loser. *However if intellectual or financial considerations are an issue then you probably shouldn't be having kids in the first place.

It's just like ER. *If you're considering parenthood, then I recommend offering to watch a friend's or relative's kids for a couple weeks. *They'll be extremely grateful (although initially suspicious-- "Have you lost your ever-loving minds?!?") and you'll certainly learn how you can handle the subject. *But don't worry-- somehow kids survive all our attempts to raise them.

Outtahere 03-24-2006 06:08 PM

Re: children
When ever I would get the urge I had two small boys I could borrow from a friend, that cured me.

Maximillion 03-24-2006 06:21 PM

Re: children
Not the same thing at all.

Outtahere 03-24-2006 07:14 PM

Re: children
It might not be the same thing but I knew I didn't want to deal with that, they are great kids and have grown up to be wondeful men and I love them dearly but as kids they were..well... normal little boys. I just don't tolerate childern well , never have, never will. I think it's wonderful that others want to have kids it just isn't/wasn't for me.

Maximillion 03-24-2006 08:34 PM

Re: children
I remember as a Bachelor a buddy visited with his kid, the little boy, about 5, ran and ran and ran, my Girl Friend at the time said, she could not handle the energy.

The little boy, Kris Draper with the Red Wings, still high energy.

Sheryl 03-25-2006 11:57 AM

Re: children
My mother frequently told me as I was growing up that she wished she'd never had kids, and that she felt like she missed out on the chance to have a "real" life. Yet I never doubted that she loved me and would give up her life for me, and even worse, that I was the center of her universe.

She felt that women in the '50's were all expected to be mothers and have children. I was happy that I did not have that burden placed on me.

I just didn't (don't) want to be a mother. Yes, its a wonderful glorious thing, and you'll always be happy you have your child, etc. I'm just glad I don't and not interested in that role.

It's really a case of different strokes for different folks, and respecting each individual's choices. Just like that other thread.

Maximillion 03-25-2006 12:21 PM

Re: children
Sheryl, exactly, no one needs defend their decisions, although as a Child I can frequently remember people asking my parents why they had 10 Children.(We were Catholic Irish).

cute fuzzy bunny 03-25-2006 07:30 PM

Re: children
I plan to teach my son The benefits of Random capitalization.

He's been a joy To both of us, so its the Least I can do to give a little Something back to him.

haha 03-25-2006 08:20 PM

Re: children
When I was young and struggling financially I thought like some of you, "Hey, I can't afford to have kids." Then I met a guy that I would go spearfishing with who was an outboard mechanic for a rental outfit in this village where we lived. He had 12 kids, by 3 women.

I decided if this moron can have 12 kids, I can have as many as I damn well please.

I wound up with 2, but would have preferred 2 more. My wife said no, it hurts too damn much where you don't like to be hurt.

An observation- any man without kids is a cuckold- in that in the US anyway, you are paying in various ways for other menís kids. Of course you pay less than you would having your own, but then you are also out of the gene pool.


brewer12345 03-25-2006 08:44 PM

Re: children
Wow, I would never begrudge any of you your choice in this matter, but I have to say that I am surprised how negatively/neutral most of the posters on this thread view having kids. My daughter is an absolute joy to DW and I. I can't imagine life without her. Coming home and seeing her is the highlight of my day. Yeah, I could retire sooner if we didn;t have kids, but what would the point be?

Different strokes, but I can't imagine having things any other way.

Toejam 03-25-2006 11:01 PM

Re: children
Here's an interesting article about children from both perspectives:


Some studies cited in the article indicate that people with children are no more or less happy than people without children, but that parents seem to have a higher rate of depression than those without kids.* As can be expected, Ms. Dunleavy was criticized by some parents for even considering children financial "investments".


gia6898 03-26-2006 08:49 PM

Re: children
I don't know why, but I continue to be surprised when people talk about how everyone who has kids loves them.* It is such a prevalent misconception, but it makes no sense to me.* I wonder how many foster children these people have encountered.* I'm not just talking about children born to crackheads, I'm talking about children being abused in a range of families.* Those in foster homes are the most severe cases.* However, there are children all over the country being abused and neglected by parents who don't give a crap about them.

I've read several books about women making this decision, pick up any one of them and you will see examples of women who regret becoming mothers.* I especially recommend Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life Without Children.* I think it would benefit men as well as women who are questioning their desire to have children.* When Ann Landers did her survery in 1975 asking couples whether or not they would have children again if they could do it over again, 70% said NO.* People question the scientific validity of this survey.* That's fine.* However, no one can dispute the fact that 7000 people took the time to write in and say they regretted it.* Dr. Phil did a show last year where three women came on and talked about how they pretty much couldn't stand their kids.

I actually made a list of the pros and cons of having children.* Sounds crazy, I know, it was suggested in the book I recommended.* My list of cons was about 5 times as long as the pros.* I view having a child as being equivalent to living and caring for a complete stranger for 18 years.* You get to know them a bit along the way.* But you essentially have to accept and love, without expectations some person who will have a personality you have no way of predicting.* I am very picky about the people I choose to spend my time with.* Also, I can barely stand to live with another adult, I definitely don't want to be with a growing child 24x7.* * * * * *
* * * *

Calgary_Girl 03-26-2006 08:56 PM

Re: children

Originally Posted by gia
Dr. Phil did a show last year where three women came on and talked about how they pretty much couldn't stand their kids.*
* * * *

On the flip side, Oprah had a show a couple of years ago where women in executive positions regretted putting their careers first since by the time they wanted children, it was too late. My point is that there's another side to every story. I'm sure that for every woman who's regretted having children, there's another woman out there who wishes she could have children or hadn't waited so long.

gia6898 03-26-2006 09:03 PM

Re: children

Originally Posted by Calgary_Girl
On the flip side, Oprah had a show a couple of years ago where women in executive positions regretted putting their careers first since by the time they wanted children, it was too late.* My point is that there's another side to every story.* I'm sure that for every woman who's regretted having children, there's another woman out there who wishes she could have children or hadn't waited so long.

The difference is these women will always have the option to adopt. However, women who have kids, can't just send the kid back to the factory. It's a life sentence. I would much rather regret not have kids, than regret having them. That's just me.

Nords 03-26-2006 10:11 PM

Re: children

Originally Posted by gia
But you essentially have to accept and love, without expectations some person who will have a personality you have no way of predicting.

Oh, the parent's personalities go a long way toward predicting the kid's personality.

But somehow we end up loving them anyway. I suspect it's hormones & brain chemistry at first, because it's sure not intelligence or logic...

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