Choosing the Child-free Life: Is it still that controversial?

in #life4 years ago (edited)

Am I the only one?

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I can't believe I'm writing this xD but to be honest, this is why I created and started a Steemit account in the first place. I wanted a safe place where I could share my honest thoughts about difficult and controversial topics. I wanted a place I could use as an outlet for the sometimes crowded, sometimes empty space in my mind. I obsess over topics like these, especially if it's something I will need to decide in my life sooner or later.

The Beginning

It's interesting how my through process regarding having kids has changed over the last five years. Getting engaged to my best friend, marrying him and building a home and life together, and saving up for our future always had me thinking; we are building towards starting a family. I guess you could say it's a way of thinking that has been instilled in my (our) minds by our parents, family and society. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just life. It's the way things have been working for centuries.

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I am now halfway to being 24 years old. Somehow, I'm less ready for kids (mentally) than I was two or three years ago. Suddenly, there are other aspects of life appealing to me. My growing career (not impressive AT ALL, but important to me), investments in property and my education, the people currently in my life including family and growing friendships, and I've recently added travel to this list. When I started researching traveling, a scary thought started building in my mind. Seeing even just 3 to 5 different countries in my lifetime, will be a nearly impossible feat if we wanted to start family within the next 10 years. I'm a realistic idealist (NOT the religion, just a way of thinking), I think of it as a blessing and a curse. I dream big, but I understand that dreaming big has a limit. Getting on a plane, getting in a car, going places, costs money. It doesn't really matter how you look at it.

From my point of view...

South Africa is not in driving distance of any of the places we want to visit. This means we will need to take a flight of R10 000 per person or more. There are countries one can visit that are much cheaper, has packages for less that that amount, and requires no visas. BUT, I'm a stubborn person when it comes to the choices I make. I don't want to do what everybody else does. For example: if most people around us visit Mauritius, I will do everything in my power NOT to go to Mauritius. If you can relate; comment down below one thing you're avoiding because it's been overdone by those around you. And how you're going to one-up them (please don't take this seriously, I'm obviously kidding).

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My Dream Destination (Source)

So back to the money issue. For a couple from South Africa to go overseas for at least 2 weeks will cost at least R30 000. I'm talking in terms of the places of my travel list. That's a minimum. Some trips can then range up and down, sometimes pushing R100k. In no world will it be possible to raise two or more kids in a comfortable middle-class home, and have holidays like this every 3-4 years. Even just saving up R50 000 to set aside for traveling is difficult for anyone with living costs, investments, and fairly low-paying jobs (teaching in our country). One of the many reasons my travel list only has 10 countries on it.

So what's kids got to do with it?

More and more couples are opting out of having children. I spent the last week watching interviews and videos with these kinds of people, and slowly but surely I'm starting to understand. It's not that I'm seriously considering it yet , but I'm trying to understand both sides. I think it's only fair to think these things through, before you take responsibility for a whole other life or lives.

People change their minds about major things like this one every day. I have not made up my mind. We have not made up our minds. All I know right now, is this:

  • I'm happy. I'm with my favourite person in the world. No, he's not your typical romantic, family-loving husband who dreams about having babies (this is over-dramatic, but you know what I mean). He is the most responsible, life-smart, money conscious, interesting man I have ever known. He doesn't take any nonsense, he's always objective, he's even more realistic than I am, and he tells me exactly what he thinks. When he can't, he doesn't say anything xD but it comes out sooner or later. We love our life. We're happy with our status; married young, hoping to plan to see some of the world, and still considering the possibility of kid(s).

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  • We will probably decide to have 0 - 1 kids. This keeps our options open. We can either just not have any, or have one, or just end up adopting if it's biologically too late or what ever, but this is very unlikely. I guess things change once you have your first, but this is how we are thinking NOW. Our decisions will absolutely change.

  • Thirty feels like a good time to start. That's in 6 years for me, or 4.5 years for my husband. Which ever happens, will be fine. Yes, having kids young can probably be great. Traveling when you're young is even better in my opinion. For that, we need time. We will probably not have kids in the next 6 years. We might even wait longer. We'll see (one of @chr7is's favourite things to say).

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Before I go on and share some ULTRA controversial thoughts also supporting this argument, I want to see what type of feedback this post is going to get. Be honest. Tell me how selfishly stupid or silly I'm being. Tell me how I'm overthinking this. Or tell me why you agree with some of the points. I believe being criticized is one of the best things to help us grow. Encourage the readers on you page to do the same, it's quite the eye opener. Happy thinking!


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We have a 4 year old. Last year we spend three weeks camping in Iceland and 3 weeks trekking to Everest Base Camp. She stayed with grandparents. People are too worried about leaving their children with family. You can still have a life without your child for a small part of the year. In fact, the old adage of absence making the heart grow fonder is true. This year with her being 4 we are going to take her with us on a more relaxing holiday but im sure that next year we may get itchy feet for something more adventurous. Will we take her with us... maybe... maybe not. She'd be just as happy with the grandparents as she would on a holiday with us to be honest. So for us, it hasnt really affected us in any way, other than the fact that we have the most wonderful daughter to tell about our travel :)

This is such a comforting comment for me to read. Someone living the kind of life I would love to lead one day. It makes me hopeful for life with a child. Thank you so much for sharing! I want to go trekking so badly, can't wait.

Thanks for your open sharing :) I don't have kids yet but I'm also not rushing myself with the decision of when, how many or zero...and I definitely don't want to make this decision under the age or social pressure. I enjoy my life travelling all over the world and being in love with myself and my partner as well as my job, friends and life in general. If at some point I'll feel like I want to help another soul to grow and step in this world with my help, I'd totally do it. Just not feeling it right now and that's all right :) I like that you keep researching and trying to find the answer to yourself. But I think those kinds of decisions do not happen on purely logical, financial etc levels but are mostly intuitive-driven. Looking forward to hearing your next thoughts and arguments

Awesome thoughts you just shared. Lovely to hear the thinking process of someone on a journey I'd like to be on soon.

"But I think those kinds of decisions do not happen on purely logical, financial etc levels but are mostly intuitive-driven."
Difficult for me to hear, but probably true. My partner and I both think towards this direction more. It helps us grow, but yes when it comes to deciding such a momentous thing like having a child it will be purely from the heart, using intuition of course :) it's funny how most younger people think with their heart and how older people tend to feel with their mind. There are exceptions, this is just a loose observation I've made.
Thank you for sharing. Definitely giving your page a follow :)

It really isn't my place to say anything and I think it's great that you are sharing this with all us. Best advice I could ever give is to follow your heart. As long as you stay true to yourself and your heart you can never go wrong. All the best xxx

Such a heartfelt comment :) I guess that's what it's going to come down to. Thank you for reading :)

@xramonahx!

One of the things that people overly do that I won't do is buy people keychains as souvenirs. Hahaha, I keep receiving souvenirs from everywhere and there are just left untouched. Not many houses or cars u know :D

Anyways, I like where you're going with your blog and this post. Just be honest and people will fall in love with you for being you! And then they'll be followers who wait for these sort of posts because they don't want to see some weird masks/marketing gimmick.

As I always say, I like RAW and HONEST posts right from the heart. :)

So reassuring :) thanks for the encouragement @zord189 It's amazing how Steemit and its community (especially @steemitbloggers!) just keeps pleasantly surprising me after every post.

Keep up the good contents! :) See u in #steemitbloggers

A difficult issue, or a non issue! Depending on what your heart desires! One thing that I know is that there are no place in life for regrets. We have to allow our hearts to lead. Blessings and Upvoted!

Thank you for the advice. Will keep it in mind :)

If you are really desperate to travel, then I believe you need to make the effort and take the risks to at least try a couple of trips. You should then get more of a feeling for what you want going forward. Maybe the traveling won't be as exciting as you imagined, or maybe it will be more exciting.

@xramonahx, I believe you regret more the things you don't try, than the things you do try, even if they don't work out as planned. Life should be lived and experienced, not wondered about. You are still young and have time on your side.

Look at your life as a story in a book, and each day in your life is a page in your book. Each day that passes is a page turned, and you can not rewrite that page. So far you have turned 24 pages. How do they read? How would you like the rest of those pages in your book to read. What is your story? When you close the back cover, will you have written the story you wanted to write, or were you at least on the journey? Maybe you won't have! But did you even try?

Despite the best laid plans, life can take you in different directions, without your permission. Wherever it takes you, it doesn't matter. You just continue to write your own story from there. Don't be scared to follow your heart. Look at it like this... what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?

Your perspectives will change as you go through life, and I believe you will know for sure if and when you want a family. You will not always think as you do now.

"... what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?"
A question that will definitely be hanging around in my mind for the coming weeks, moths, years. Thank you for this insightful comment.

"So far you have turned 24 pages. How do they read?"
Do you know what makes me so excited after I read his part? Those 24 pages were pretty much decided for me. They were important, and I'm happy that they exist. But NOW, the next 50-60 pages, are completely up to me. I make the choices. This makes me unbelievably excited. Thank you SO much for sharing this.

If you consider this a controversial subject then you may have more of an issue than you think. Traveling to and from foreign countries you seem to think is a life goal of a better proportion for you.
I have a different view on this. Your passing along your genetic material will give you more of a feeling of accomplishment. This kind of goal is more satisfying than checking off a travel destination you will more than likely forget about in the future.
I could go even deeper into this but I'll stop for now.

This is probably different for everyone, but this is my stance on the 'passing long of genetic material'. I want to live my life being the happiest I can possibly be. Making sure people remember me and keep saying my name for long after I'm dead is not really a priority for me. I am here for this specific amount of years, and while I'm here, I want to make the most of what I do. I want to appreciate the world and push my limits. Yes, having kids is part of this experience, absolutely. But it doesn't include on my list of things to check off. It's different, it's much more permanent, and I want to do it because it's my choice, not because it's what's expected.

I don't know if this clarifies anything xD but thank you for your honesty. You're welcome to delve deeper into the subject, it helps me understand how to go about this in the future and how to think about it.

I never wanted kids. For reasons that are both similar and different to yours, but ultimately, I had no interest in starting a family.

And then suddenly, I did, and I was north of 30 when it happened. And I have to say that having children is the best thing I have done in my life. I haven't regretted it for a moment.

But, you know, none of that is important to you, because you are you.

My advice - stick a pin in it! You're 24, and that is still really young. You're clearly not ready right now, and that is completely normal. Go and live your life. Go to Mauritius! Go wherever you want when life allows. Don't think about the future too much.

You will grow, mature and change, and stuff that is really important to you now won't be as important in ten years time.

None of that means that you will wake up one day and want to have children! You might. You might not.

I'll tell you a secret: twenty-somethings are allowed to be self-absorbed and selfish. It's kinda in the job description. Do what makes you happy for the next few years!

"... twenty-somethings are allowed to be self-absorbed and selfish. It's kinda in the job description. Do what makes you happy for the next few years!"
Like music to my ears! Let's see how much I can only think about myself for the next 10 years xD a great truth that I've forgotten about for a bit... I guess I'm trying to grow up too much.

"You will grow, mature and change, and stuff that is really important to you now won't be as important in ten years time."
I can attest to this already, from the past 5 years, so I know that's true. Thank you for the reminder. Sticking a pin and all that for now :)

This post is sponsored by @appreciator in collaboration with #steemitbloggers. Keep up the good work

Hi @xramonahx, it think it's perfectly fine to decide for yourself whether or not to have kid(s). We tend to feel the pressure from society, but one thing you have to know is this:

Others can give you all the advice they think you need, but they won't be the ones suffering the consequences of your actions. Easy to give advice, hard to live it.

If I can make a suggestion, look around for families who are avid travellers. In my travels, one of the most extraordinary family I've met is Ka Sundance's. He and his wife have 5 kids, all nomadic, all on raw food diet, all unschooled! Sometimes when we see others able to make it, we're less fearful, and we have strategies to guide us.

All the best, and chill!

Stunning quote /advice. Thank you for the tip. I have nothing to add or comment because you put it so well xD all of the best!

My husband and I are 37 years old and we still wonder if we should have kids. It's not that we've ruled it out, we're just not 100% sure. If we don't ever have kids, I think I could live with it. People ask us ALL the time, and I'm never really sure what to tell them.

Good luck with your journey... I won't be surprised if we end up with the same life situation. I hope it all works out for you and your husband's happiness :)

If I'm completely honest, I don't really see why people even want children in the first place.

Most of the people I know had children not because they deliberately wanted them, but just because it happened (that's life). Now I'm not saying they were sluts screwing random people and ended up pregnant or that they ended up hating their children because of not having planned for it, not at all. All I'm saying is for a lot of people they have sex with their partner and... couple months later they find out a baby is coming!

Do you bae. Do your thing.

Explore life and all the fascinating shit out there, you still have (as you said) a lot of time to figure this out there's no rush ;D

Congrats on having an awesome relationship, kind regards!

Have you seen the film Idiocracy? The first sentences you wrote makes me think of it, it's a very interesting theory of how all this is going to turn out. Hopefully it doesn't. Thanks for the support and motivation. I think more of us need to make this decision to stop being so ignorant to life's realities. I understand that education and upbringing plays a huge role. Common sense isn't so common and all that. But we're all capable of independent thought. I wish those people who make these mistakes 'just because it's life' would stop being so lazy when it comes to responsibility and being smart. It honestly not that hard. If you look at your bank account, income, and age and it doesn't encourage reproduction, don't be stupid and do things in the moment and be shocked when something like an unplanned pregnancy or STD happens. Grow the f*ck up. You know? Lol sorry #tinyrant
I know I'm treading thin ice here, but people need to step the hell up.
I hope you agree xD

I agree with you on that we need to be responsible adults and ponder the possibilities and consequences that having sex could carry if we don't protect ourselves. Yeah yeah of course I agree xD.

I haven't seen it, "idiocracy", sounds cool n.n.

I have five kids. They are pretty much all adults now. My oldest has always wanted lots of kids. She is now married and has two... and is now thinking that maybe she only wants three.

My second child (a son) has always wanted to be married and have lots of kids. He is now 22 and is enjoying being single and 'grown up' and although he still wants kids in the future, he's decided that waiting until he's at least 30 is probably what he wants.

My 3rd child doesn't want to bring any more kids into the world... probably. He has always thought he would adopt when the time comes. He's 21 and single at the moment as well, so regardless, it isn't on his radar yet.

My 4th child (daughter) is about to turn 20. She has been in a relationship with the same guy since she turned 15. She has never been interested in kids, having kids or even marriage. She thought she MIGHT want kids in her 30's... BUT the past 6 months has been crazy for her in that she suddenly feels this deep craving to have a baby. She is still on birth control and wants to be financially settled before that point, but she is always talking to me about how weird it feels to actually be interested in having kids. She never thought that would happen.

My youngest is 17 and wants kids... probably... someday.

We're a very close family and get together at least once a week. All of the kids are fairly close and love being a part of a big family.

As for me, I don't get the parents who feel like they NEED grandkids or whatever. I don't understand the pressure to have kids OR to NOT have kids. Having kids is a HUGE thing. I wanted kids for as long as I can remember. I babysat tons of kids, loved kids to death... but having my own was still a shockingly hard thing to handle. Raising kids is such a lifetime commitment that I am SO GLAD I did. I'm glad I had them when I was younger (had five kids from age 20-30) because now they're mostly grown and I'm not even 50 yet. I feel like I have all kinds of time and energy left to enjoy them as adults.

Anyway, this is turning into a post of it's own. I was trying to share that even kids from the same family have such various views... and then life happens and opinions and thoughts change. I think it is awesome that you're thinking this through and thinking about what you want (or don't want) and I wish you all the best.

Regardless of our plans in life, sometimes we get surprises, sometimes we don't get what we want, but it's all about the experience and the relationships as far as I'm concerned.

You're doing great!

(Also, I've been pregnant 6 times one miscarriage and 5 of those times I was on birth control of one sort or another, so I never really had the chance to "plan" for kids... they all just kind of surprised us when they were ready to be here, apparently!)

OH! ANNNNND... we lived on a converted bus when all five kids were younger and traveled the US for 3 years. Those are still some of the best memories for all of us. When the kids were older, four of them traveled with us and we lived on a sailboat for 1-2 years (some stayed longer than others) and traveled through a bunch of islands in the Caribbean) So adventure doesn't have to ONLY happen when you have no kids!

KUDOS GORGEOUS
I guess you could say it's a way of thinking that has been instilled in my (our) minds by our parents, family and society.
My philosophical journey has brought me to a notion that the mind exist to nothing until it starts thinking . It may actually not be the environment that made you think... you thought.. the environment is just an IMPULSE
One purpose of marriage is to create a stable home in which children can grow and thrive [PROCREATION]
Come with me on a journey of family. In a family where there are no children to scatter the furniture for you to get pissed and happy at the same time. when your partner is away on a journey [let say death] one would only gain serenity and peace from the offspring his continual release of sperm into you left behind or in you . children also holds one back when thinking of a divorce.
Mentally Not Ready? Beautiful ... nobody is ever mentally ready for marriage or childbirth... it just happens .. and you swing along with it....
Spread your legs wide, let your partner inside u. when he is about to pull out wrap your legs around him and let him make you a mother. feel the pains, tears and joys of motherhood... . DON'T THINK ABOUT MONEY .GOD THE ALMIGHTY THAT CREATED CHILDREN AS COMFORT SUFFICES HIS CREATION
@rabiujaga just speaking his mind.

I don’t mean this in a condescending way, but wow, you are so young! :). You have plenty of time to figure out if you want a kid. I had zero interest in kids most of my life. The idea scared me to death because I took my freedom very seriously. But then I met my wife when I was 36, we got married when I was 38, and we had our first child when I was 40. By that time a lot of things changed for both of us. I wouldn’t change it if I could. I would have been a terrible dad at 25! But now I’m kind of Super Dad :). My advice is to just not sweat it. Enjoy your life with your husband. And by the way, we avoid going to Disney because everyone we know goes there. 🤢. I wish I could upvote this but I’ve been out of control and am in cool down :(. Following though, as I saw you’re in the running project!

Hey there! Many people have chosen a child-free life for various reasons. it seems this is a growing trend. Me and my South African husband enjoy living life without children. If we ever change our mind, we would adopt instead of giving birth to extra consumers.
Please share more of your thoughts :)