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Old 08-15-13, 09:04 AM   #1
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Having It All Without Having Children.

As someone in his 40's who does not have any children and has been with the same woman for the last 15 years I found this interesting :

http://www.fem2pt0.com/2013/08/02/ha...ving-children/

The American birthrate is at a record low. What happens when having it all means not having children?

This piece was originally posted in Time Magazine

One evening when she was 14 years old, Laura Scott was washing dishes in the kitchen with her mother when she decided she didn’t want to have a child. “You might change your mind,” said her mother, whom Scott describes as “bone tired” from a life in which she “didn’t have any time for herself.” Scott’s mom worked as a samplemaker for an upholstery company; after making dinner for Scott and her brother, she’d park them in front of the television and go down to the basement to spend her evening cutting and sewing. That life was what “doing it all” meant to Scott. “I learned you could—but did you want to?” she says. At 26, Scott got married and waited for her mind to change. “I thought I would be struck by a biological lightning bolt,” she recalls. “It never happened. And I realized I was going to be fine.” As she says from her Tampa office, where she works as a professional coach, writer and documentary filmmaker, “My main motive not to have kids was that I loved my life the way it was.”

Now 50, Scott is more than fine: she’s fulfilled. And she’s not alone. The birthrate in the U.S. is the lowest in recorded American history, which includes the fertility crash of the Great Depression. From 2007 to 2011, the most recent year for which there’s data, the fertility rate declined 9%. A 2010 Pew Research report showed that childlessness has risen across all racial and ethnic groups, adding up to about 1 in 5 American women who end their childbearing years maternity-free, compared with 1 in 10 in the 1970s. Even before the recession hit, in 2008, the proportion of women ages 40 to 44 who had never given birth had grown by 80%, from 10% to 18%, since 1976, when a new vanguard began to question the reproductive imperative. These statistics may not have the heft of childlessness in some European *countries—like Italy, where nearly one-*quarter of women never give birth—but the rise is both dramatic and, in the scope of our history, quite sudden.

The decision to have a child or not is a private one, but it takes place, in America at least, in a culture that often equates womanhood with motherhood. The birthrate may have fallen, but the baby-*product industry is at a record high, an estimated $49 billion for 2013. Any national discussion about the struggle to reconcile womanhood with modernity tends to begin and end with one subject: parenting. Even Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, a book focused on encouraging women’s professional development, devotes a large chunk of its take-home advice to balancing work and family, presuming that, like its author, ambitious women will have both. It’s great that we’re in the midst of a *cultural conversation about the individual choices and structural *barriers that shape our lives. But if you’re a woman who’s not in the mommy trenches, more often than not you’re excluded from the discussion.

Being sidelined doesn’t exempt childless women from being scolded. In a December column in the New York Times headlined more *babies, please, Ross Douthat argued that the “retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion”—*an indicator of “decadence,” revealing “a spirit that privileges the present over the future.” The Weekly Standard’s Jonathan V. Last has made the case in his controversial book What to Expect When No One’s Expecting that the selfishness of the childless American is responsible for no less than the possible destruction of our economic future by reducing the number of consumers and taxpayers.

With fertility treatment widely available, not to mention adoption, even clinically infertile women have more options than ever to become mothers, which increases the possibility that any woman who doesn’t will be judged for her choice. “There’s more pressure on women to be mothers, to fulfill that obligation, than I’ve ever seen,” says Amy Richards, author of Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself. “In the past we assumed it was out of a woman’s control” whether or not she had a child. “Now we think it’s her choice, so we can blame her.”


And it is chiefly her. Statisticians measure a woman’s childbearing years as spanning from ages 15 to 44—a bracket that might change as fertility protocols advance but that for now means it’s far easier to label a woman of a certain age childless than a man, who might become a first-time father at 65. Both culturally and academically, “childlessness defaults to women, in all scholarship in the social sciences,” says Pamela Smock, of the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. That applies whether a woman’s married or single, straight or gay. “Lesbian motherhood used to be an oxymoron, but it’s a whole different ball game now,” says Nancy Mezey, author of New Choices, New Families: How Lesbians Decide About Motherhood. “Now there’s that pressure of the American cultural mind-set, that motherhood mandate.”

Even so, women who choose not to become mothers are finding new paths of acceptance. As their ranks rise—and as the community of adults without kids diversifies in terms of race, education levels and political affiliations—*so do positive attitudes about being able to lead a fulfilling, childless life. Along the way, these women are inventing a new female archetype, one for whom having it all doesn’t mean having a baby.

Why Don’t You Have Kids?

The burden of justification tends to rest on *childless women. We rarely ask, “Why do you have kids?” Instead it’s “Why don’t you?” One response I’ve heard repeated in dozens of interviews is “I keep waiting for the biological clock to tick.” Another trait *childless women articulate in common is a girlhood lack of interest in dolls or playing family pretend games with friends. Some can’t stand the noise of kids. But many of these women have chosen to work with kids as teachers or *counselors—*mothering the world, so to speak—or have close relationships with friends’ and siblings’ *children, sometimes housing them for vacations or starting up their college funds. “I love children. I just don’t need to own one” is a common refrain.

The designation for women who feel at a young age that they aren’t mother material and then abide by that self-*knowledge is early adopters. If there is a biological explanation for this impulse, or lack of one, it has yet to be discovered. Some studies of maternal instinct have shown that it clicks in once a woman gives birth, but whether our nature leads us to conceive is another matter entirely. One researcher has controversially suggested that childless women are just smarter. At the London School of Economics, Satoshi Kanazawa has begun to present scholarship asserting that the more intelligent women are, the less likely they are to become mothers. Many peers in the field have not embraced his findings: Kanazawa analyzed the U.K.’s National Child Development Study, which followed a set of people for 50 years, and found that high intelligence correlated with early—and lifelong—*adoption of childlessness. He found that among girls in the study, an increase of 15 IQ points decreased the odds of their becoming a mother by 25%. When he added controls for economics and education, the results were the same: childhood intelligence *predicted childlessness.

Of course, higher IQ often leads to higher education and higher opportunity costs. It’s women in that subset who are most often the ones who opt out of parenthood and who prefer to call themselves child free. “Childlessness is for someone who wants a child but doesn’t have one. It’s a lack. I’m not lacking anything,” says Laura Carroll, author of The Baby Matrix. Laura Kipnis, a cultural critic at Northwestern University, likewise rejects defining women without kids as “-less”—as if, she says, “your life isn’t going to be fulfilled without it, like there’s a natural absence that once you fill it with a child, the world makes sense.”

While highly educated white women continue to lead the childless numbers, the 2010 Pew study reports that other groups are catching up. Esmeralda Xochitl Flores, 34, who has written and performed a stage play on Chicano childlessness, says that in her family, motherhood is never “seen as an option. It’s more of a given.” Flores was born in California to a Mexican mother and a Honduran father. Her inherited cultures, she tells me, mandate that “family is your pride, your success.” In fact, she notes, the whole point of the risk and upheaval of immigration is for “the generations that continue.” To declare that motherhood is not for you, as Flores has, can feel like committing treason, she says—a tragedy to family members and friends, some of whom she says she doesn’t see anymore. Flores, despite her adamantly child-free identity, happily cohabits with a man and his 15-year-old daughter. She says the arrangement works because of how he protects her choices; having a *daughter in the house “shouldn’t be a reason for you to be held back from things that matter to you,” he tells her, like late nights at the nonprofit where she works in operations. “I still struggle with it because I don’t want to be seen as a mom,” Flores admits. Still, she says, it was a victory to fall in love with a Latino man who could tolerate her position on childlessness—rare even in a college community like Pomona, Calif.

A frustrated single life is how the 30% increase in childless black women from 1994 to 2008 is explained by some academics. “One potential theory is that they’re refusing to fall into a stereotype” of the unmarried black mother, says Jennifer Hickes Lundquist, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts at *Amherst who studies race and gender, adding that in her extensive studies on fertility and family formation, it’s a common refrain to hear high-*achieving black women mourn what they say is a dearth of similarly educated black men.

But Jena Starkes, a Web designer, says, “This doesn’t have a damn thing to do with me looking for a ‘good black man.’” Starkes, who shares a Manhattan apartment with her mother and a few cats, says she couldn’t get through the eHarmony dating filter until she lied on her questionnaire about desiring kids. She says these days she can’t really talk to her old friends, whose priorities have all shifted to the “glamorous martyrdom” of child* rearing, as she calls it. Ironically, Starkes develops mommy e-commerce for a living. Motherhood, she says, is now a massive consumer base: from organic onesies and Veggie Booty to ad-heavy blogs on every aspect of maternal striving. “Before there was a mommy industry, before there was product to move, you’d never hear how it was the hardest job in the world,” she says. “If it’s the hardest job in the world, I’m damn happy I don’t have to do it. You’re not supposed to say that, but it’s true.”

For those who don’t hold the job, there are advantages. “I get to do all sorts of things: buy an unnecessary beautiful object, plan trips with our aging parents, sleep in, spend a day without speaking to a single person, send care packages to nieces and nephews, enroll in language classes, go out for drinks with a friend on the spur of the moment,” says a happily partnered woman named Jenna Johnson, a Virginian who lives in New York. “I know all of this would be possible with kids, but it would certainly be more complicated. My plans—professionally, daily, long-term, even just for *vacation—are free from all the contingencies that come with children.”

Great Expectations

Few women spend their girlhoods aspiring to an unencumbered life. Daydreams often take the form of permanent attachments: monogamous passion yielding beatific motherhood. Yet as we get older, we change along with our economic, professional, social and romantic realities. Philip Morgan, director of the Carolina Population Center, has said in numerous interviews over the years that no one wants fewer than two children. He’s referring to a raft of surveys that measure women’s fertility intentions, in which young women are asked simply how many children they’d like to have. (It’s not a question typically asked of young men.) Of course, they’re not asked about professional opportunity costs or lasting romantic love.

But those factors contribute to postponed *childbearing, which Morgan says is “the real story of fertility in the past 20 years. Women put off motherhood because of work, education or the lack of a desired partner, he says, and meanwhile “they develop lifestyles they enjoy.” As Joyce Abma, a social scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics, says, “The decision to have children is not an on-off switch but more like a continuum.” One woman told me about reading a magazine article when she was 40 on “the four stages of adulthood”: college, career, house, kids. “I thought, My God, I’m stuck forever at No. 3,” she said. She waited for panic to set in, but it never did.

The opportunity costs for an American woman who gets off the career track could average as high as $1 million in lost salary, lost promotions and so on, economist Bryan Caplan says. (Caplan, the author of the book Selfish Reasons to Have More Children, argues that she should go for it anyway.) Such concerns are nothing to dismiss, especially in a down economy, whether women articulate that sacrifice or not. But Kathleen Gerson, a professor of sociology at New York University whose research focuses on work, gender and family life, says postponement is far more complex than a résumé facing off against a biological clock: “It’s what gives women time to build up their lives and think about how they want to live. Other commitments take the place of what motherhood might have meant.” Gerson says women are living in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” social context in a country that she believes emphasizes self-sufficiency equally alongside a deep commitment to motherhood. The mix breeds impossible conflict. Without independence, we’re failures. With it, we’re selfish.

The rise of attachment parenting, with its immersive demands, and the sheer economic cost of raising a child—for a child born in 2011, an average of $234,900 until age 18, according to the USDA, and $390,000 if your household earns over $100,000—has made motherhood a formidable prospect for some women. Sociologist Julia McQuillen sees a clear relationship between the messages we hear about motherhood and an increasing desire to opt out of it. “At a cultural level there’s the constant advice given to women that you need to invest more in your kids,” she says. “If we make motherhood unrealistic, why would we want to do that job?”

Leah Clouse understands the amped-up demands of modern American parenting firsthand, as a nanny and a kids’ art teacher. “It takes all of you, and I don’t know that I want to give it all,” the 27-year-old says. She and her husband Paul, who live in Knoxville, Tenn., married four years ago and are not planning to raise a family. Leah commits her time to working on her own creative projects and starting up a bakery; Paul, 29, *devotes *himself to writing a blog and holds a day job in customer service at a credit-card-processing company. They play a game each week in which they look at their schedule and try to imagine how they could fit a child into it, with their work and their involvement in their church. “It’s insane already,” Leah says. “I don’t feel we can do what we do and be great parents—and for me, the emphasis would be on being great parents.”

Motherhood’s Ambient Roar

For 15 years at four different universities, demographer Stephanie Bohon has asked students if they intend to have children. “They all raise their hands,” she says, “and then I ask why—and no one has an answer for me. That’s what a social imperative does.” The cultural noise about motherhood has become such a constant din that many of us don’t even notice it. But ask any woman in her 30s or 40s who hasn’t given birth and she’ll likely tell you the ambient roar is oppressive. Products from cleaning solutions to cars are targeted at mothers. Magazines regularly offer features on the trials of parenting—Time’s own are you mom enough? cover contributed to the viral tide—and genuflect at gilded icons of celebrity motherhood, a sorority of which the Duchess of Cambridge is just the latest member. (I counted 36 images of Hollywood mothers and babies in a recent issue of Life & Style; tabloids have made a staple out of baby-bump watches.)

Patricia O’Laughlin, a therapist in Los Angeles who specializes in counseling women who are ambivalent about their choice, says the identity that childless women developed as little girls around the expectation of *motherhood is the most painful stumbling block. Even the decisive ones aren’t immune: Leah and Paul Clouse keep a baby box in the closet with a pink tutu she once bought for an imaginary infant girl and an article on raising nerdy children that he says spoke to him. “It’s indulgent of a life I have to grieve,” Leah says. “If we decided to have children, we’d have to grieve the life we currently have.”

Even if you are in the minority of women who don’t grow up internalizing the idea that you are predestined for parenthood, the mommy drone doesn’t quiet. “I resent that the entire culture of this country is obsessed with kids,” Rachel Agee told me the day after her 40th birthday. “And social media is only an outlet to post pictures of your children. I’ve got nothing to put on Facebook. At 40, that’s hard.” (She has not yet bought the buzzed-about Facebook baby-blocker app to censor progeny pics, but she says she’s tempted.) Agee graduated from a Southern Bible college where she was taught that to be a godly woman, one must procreate for the kingdom. “I just knew I couldn’t trade my freedom for it,” she says. She moved to Nashville as a hopeful performer and stopped going to church because it was so “oppressively family-centric.” Nearly 30% of married households in the Nashville metropolitan area are childless, but even in the secular, artier corners of Music City, Agee wasn’t greeted by a culture that supported a life without dependents. It used to be that one’s urban starter kit would include a leather jacket, a guitar and a pack of cigarettes. Today that’s been traded out for Lululemon maternity pants, a stroller and a pack of diapers.

“I’ve always felt there was a cultural *imperative—now there’s a subcultural imperative,” says Kate O’Neill. She and her partner moved from *California to Nashville; she went there to write songs—though she’s now one of the city’s top entrepreneurs—and he went there to paint. Despite the high rate of childlessness, O’Neill says, it was hard to find her way into a social world where “lately, motherhood has been so absorbed into every possible aesthetic.” I heard similar observations from women I interviewed in Boston, Austin and San Francisco.

Eleanore Wells, a market researcher in New York City, says that even in her mid-50s, she finds judgment at every turn. “So many women take my choice personally,” she says. Recently, she told me, a woman on the subway inquired if she had children and then asked, aghast, “Who is going to take care of you when you’re old?” Wells wanted to reply that nursing homes are filled with parents, but she says she just smiled, went home and packed her bags for an annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard with friends. “When I was younger I found it more exhausting,” she says. “Now I don’t give a s— what anyone thinks. It gets easier.”

Navigating the Choice

Laura scott runs the childless by choice documentary project, which gathers stories of people who opt out of parenthood. “To make this choice, you really have to be able to manage and navigate all assumptions that are going to be made about you,” she says. “You have to be able to challenge the status quo.”

“It’s toughest in your late 30s and early 40s,” Going Solo author Eric Klinenberg says. That’s when social isolation tends to peak among people without kids. “What people report everywhere is this experience of watching friends just peel off into their small domestic worlds. That’s the real stress point,” he says, not aging and dying alone, as people fear—and *strangers and *family members alike tend to *admonish—but the loneliness between when friends have babies and when they become empty nesters. It has hit the Clouses earlier than Klinenberg suggests, since their Southern Christian circle seems to have already disappeared into parenthood. They say their lives have become lonelier and narrower over the past few years. “You build strong relationships, and then they change. It’s great for them, but it sucks for you,” Clouse says. But they recently had their first “date”—roller derby—with a childless couple at their church. They say it felt like a massive relief.

As the childless numbers creep up, so do opportunities to make a full, connected life with other non*parents. The community networking site Meetup.com alone has about 20,000 members of child-free groups in about 90 metropolitan areas—one for women in suburban New Jersey, one for singles and couples in Chicago and so on. In a suburban Nashville mall one Friday evening, a child-free group gathers around a long table at Buffalo Wild Wings. Most of the 24 people here live in developments nearby, and none of them have kids. Recent activities have included zip-lining, canoeing and the monthly dinner the foodie couple in the group organizes. “We can do anything we want, so why wouldn’t we?” Andrea Reynolds says, cueing a round of clinking beer glasses. The one thing they don’t do much of, her husband says, is talk about “the no-kids thing” when they’re together. “It’s kind of the only place where we don’t have to answer those questions,” he says.
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Last edited by inri222; 08-15-13 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 08-15-13, 09:14 AM   #2
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

Damn man, use bold for something other than your signature!
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Old 08-15-13, 09:22 AM   #3
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

This article needs cliff notes. I lost interest after a few paragraphs.
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Old 08-15-13, 09:28 AM   #4
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

Summary: Women who decide not to have children are annoyed by people asking them why not.
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Old 08-15-13, 09:56 AM   #5
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

Cliffnotes: People don't want to have kids because they don't want their life to change and they want to go on trips, buy expensive gifts etc.
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Old 08-15-13, 09:57 AM   #6
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
Summary: Women who decide not to have children are annoyed by people asking them why not.
There is truth to this, if you are with someone, people start asking..when will you marry..then once you get married, next question is..where are the kids. lol
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Old 08-15-13, 09:59 AM   #7
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

As a lifelong "I'm never going to have kids" guy who, at 45, married into parenthood last year, I should have input on this discussion; but I'm too darn tired from parenting.


Real answer: I thought I was the happiest person in the history of the world before marriage, but it's even better now.
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Old 08-15-13, 09:59 AM   #8
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

It's cool Mexico will make up for our low birth rate.
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Old 08-15-13, 09:59 AM   #9
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

I'm not sure who's more annoying, parents who talk about it non-stop or child-free people who talk about it non-stop.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:02 AM   #10
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by superdeluxe View Post
There is truth to this, if you are with someone, people start asking..when will you marry..then once you get married, next question is..where are the kids. lol
This is why I am happy my "fiancee" and I aren't married and probably won't be. We never let people get to the next question.

Our engagement was more of a commitment in itself than a precursor to marriage, and from the time I met her 14 years ago, we both knew neither of us wanted kids, and that hasn't changed. I would still check with her once in a while to make sure she wasn't wavering. Now that she and I are close to 40, I hope that means we won't have to field these questions much longer.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:04 AM   #11
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
As a lifelong "I'm never going to have kids" guy who, at 45, married into parenthood last year, I should have input on this discussion; but I'm too darn tired from parenting.


Real answer: I thought I was the happiest person in the history of the world before marriage, but it's even better now.
Pretty much this. People say your life changes and you can't do what you want anymore, I mean it is not that drastic. Your perspective just changes. I mean sure I miss the days when you could just wake up and decide to go and do something. Now everything takes a ton of planning and getting going in the morning takes forever. All the late sleepless nights, diaper changes, toddler tantrums, etc etc. All of that and I love it and my child more every day.

But children is just not for everyone, sounds like the people in the article made the right choice for themselves.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:05 AM   #12
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

That's a damn good article.

Quote:
While highly educated white women continue to lead the childless numbers, the 2010 Pew study reports that other groups are catching up. Esmeralda Xochitl Flores, 34, who has written and performed a stage play on Chicano childlessness, says that in her family, motherhood is never “seen as an option. It’s more of a given.” Flores was born in California to a Mexican mother and a Honduran father. Her inherited cultures, she tells me, mandate that “family is your pride, your success.” In fact, she notes, the whole point of the risk and upheaval of immigration is for “the generations that continue.” To declare that motherhood is not for you, as Flores has, can feel like committing treason, she says—a tragedy to family members and friends, some of whom she says she doesn’t see anymore. Flores, despite her adamantly child-free identity, happily cohabits with a man and his 15-year-old daughter. She says the arrangement works because of how he protects her choices; having a *daughter in the house “shouldn’t be a reason for you to be held back from things that matter to you,” he tells her, like late nights at the nonprofit where she works in operations. “I still struggle with it because I don’t want to be seen as a mom,” Flores admits. Still, she says, it was a victory to fall in love with a Latino man who could tolerate her position on childlessness—rare even in a college community like Pomona, Calif.
That's exactly how it is in the Latino community. Personally, I don't want kids, but on occasion, have had folks comment on when me and my womens were going to have some. That'd open a big ass can of worms, because if I don't want kids and the girlfriend wants them later on, then we have a problem. I have been with women that don't want kids in the future and have to screen for those type when getting into a relationship. I have nothing against other people's kids but I don't want any of my own. I don't want marriage either. Live and let live.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:06 AM   #13
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
This is why I am happy my "fiancee" and I aren't married and probably won't be. We never let people get to the next question.

Our engagement was more of a commitment in itself than a precursor to marriage, and from the time I met her 14 years ago, we both knew neither of us wanted kids, and that hasn't changed. I would still check with her once in a while to make sure she wasn't wavering. Now that she and I are close to 40, I hope that means we won't have to field these questions much longer.
I think you got maybe 5 more years and that will start to go away, a co-worker just had a child at 42.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:09 AM   #14
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
That's a damn good article.



That's exactly how it is in the Latino community. Personally, I don't want kids, but on occasion, have had folks comment on when me and my womens were going to have some. That'd open a big ass can of worms, because if I don't want kids and the girlfriend wants them later on, then we have a problem. I have been with women that don't want kids in the future and have to screen for those type when getting into a relationship. I have nothing against other people's kids but I don't want any of my own. I don't want marriage either. Live and let live.
Yeah, that is obviously a big question, and a question why many couples I would guess break up. Maybe when two people got together, both were on the same page in regards to children. If one of them changes, but the other doesn't that usually kills that relationship.

Great thing about my wife and I is that neither of us wanted children when we got together, but as our relationship grew and mature we both did a 180 on that.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:13 AM   #15
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by superdeluxe View Post
There is truth to this, if you are with someone, people start asking..when will you marry..then once you get married, next question is..where are the kids. lol
Yeah, and it's really annoying.

I finally started answering with something along the lines of, "I've had three already, but my husband keeps eating them, so I stopped."
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Old 08-15-13, 10:15 AM   #16
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I'm not sure who's more annoying, parents who talk about it non-stop or child-free people who talk about it non-stop.
parents talking about having children non-stop? or asking child-free people when they will have children?
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Old 08-15-13, 10:16 AM   #17
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
Yeah, and it's really annoying.

I finally started answering with something along the lines of, "I've had three already, but my husband keeps eating them, so I stopped."
hah. I'll have to use that. Our son was not even one yet and everyone started to ask, so when is Cole going to be a big brother?
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Old 08-15-13, 10:16 AM   #18
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by superdeluxe View Post
parents talking about having children non-stop? or asking child-free people when they will have children?
Parents talking about their kids, and child-free people talking about how great it is to be child-free. Both groups need to get over themselves.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:23 AM   #19
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I'm not sure who's more annoying, parents who talk about it non-stop or child-free people who talk about it non-stop.
Exactly. People who have kids and can't understand why anyone wouldn't want to have kids and consider "childfree" people to be selfish permanent adolescents are incredibly irritating. Likewise, people who don't have kids and are offended that people have kids, talk about their kids, build lifestyles around having kids and spend money on kid stuff are equally irritating.

I will say that having a solid birthrate is a prerequisite for a healthy culture in many ways. People shouldn't feel that they have a "responsibility" to have children, but enough people making that decision is arguably bad for society. Perhaps there are valid (albeit purely logical) reasons for the "cultural imperitive" some people hate so much.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:27 AM   #20
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
That's a damn good article.



That's exactly how it is in the Latino community. Personally, I don't want kids, but on occasion, have had folks comment on when me and my womens were going to have some. That'd open a big ass can of worms, because if I don't want kids and the girlfriend wants them later on, then we have a problem. I have been with women that don't want kids in the future and have to screen for those type when getting into a relationship. I have nothing against other people's kids but I don't want any of my own. I don't want marriage either. Live and let live.
You just have to find yourself the right woman. My ex was from Nicaragua and of course Catholic. After being with her for a year she told me that it was time for us to move to the next level. When I asked her what that was she said that within the next year she wanted marriage and to start a family. I said that our happiness should not be based on that but she said that marriage and children is our purpose for being here. In less than a month we were no longer together.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:31 AM   #21
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Parents talking about their kids, and child-free people talking about how great it is to be child-free. Both groups need to get over themselves.
People need to stop talking about themselves like they're somehow special and unique.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:34 AM   #22
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

I'm only 27, I like the idea of having kids, but in practice I think I am too selfish and impatient to be a father. Hell I can barely sustain long term relationships. I struggle with decisions, and I see the beauty of a life lived free and without children, but settling down and doing the family thing is also very appealing to me. So really I don't know what I want, and whatever does end up happening, I'm sure I will regret it and think how nice it would be if I lived the other lifestyle. It's just the way my mind works - always thinking it could be better.

The one nagging thought in the back of my mind is growing old without children. Seeing my grandparents pass, and how my parents cared for them, and the relationship I have with my parents, those things make me realize how nice it would be to have adult children keeping you young into old age and taking care of you when you no longer can. Of course that kind of relationship is no guarantee. I know some older childless couples and their lives just seem kind of dull.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:37 AM   #23
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

We should all start posting pictures of our kids here.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:40 AM   #24
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post
I'm only 27, I like the idea of having kids, but in practice I think I am too selfish and impatient to be a father. Hell I can barely sustain long term relationships. I struggle with decisions, and I see the beauty of a life lived free and without children, but settling down and doing the family thing is also very appealing to me. So really I don't know what I want, and whatever does end up happening, I'm sure I will regret it and think how nice it would be if I lived the other lifestyle. It's just the way my mind works - always thinking it could be better.

The one nagging thought in the back of my mind is growing old without children. Seeing my grandparents pass, and how my parents cared for them, and the relationship I have with my parents, those things make me realize how nice it would be to have adult children keeping you young into old age and taking care of you when you no longer can. Of course that kind of relationship is no guarantee. I know some older childless couples and their lives just seem kind of dull.
I'm not going to lie man, having a kid and dealing with everything that comes with it is not for everyone, it is a TON of work, and the benefits of having children to some might not be readily apparent.

I'm not going to lie, sometimes I am jealous of our child free friends and their freedom to do whatever the F they want. But I wouldn't give up the hassle that I have in my kid.

Your fear was a also a nagging fear for me, will I be one of those guys in a old folks home that don't have any family that would come and visit them?
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Old 08-15-13, 10:41 AM   #25
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Re: Having It All Without Having Children.

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Originally Posted by EddieMoney View Post
We should all start posting pictures of our kids here.
You first lol, we all knew this was heading this way.
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