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young people increasingly say 'NO children'

(117 Posts)
jura2 Fri 15-Nov-19 09:19:36

... and who can blame them.

craftyone Fri 15-Nov-19 09:22:41

My ds and his wife chose not to have children. They live a lovely life, festivals whenever they want and best of all no worries about their children`s future. For some of us, instinctive broody behaviour took over

grandtanteJE65 Fri 15-Nov-19 09:53:53

It makes a good headline, but I wonder if it is backed up by statistics?

I remember my parents commenting about couples they knew in the 1950s who had made the decision not to have children. I believe it was quite common after each of the world wars.

Some of those who say they don't want children will change their minds and have one or two.

Some of them may be willing to adopt, but for some reason don't want to procreate.

And I suspect some of those who say they don't want children say so because they know they cannot physically have them and are not prepared to parade their hurt and sorrow to the world.

jaylucy Fri 15-Nov-19 09:58:09

That's just the way it is!
I think nowadays things often come down to money - before I had my son, I never for one moment thought about the cost of raising him, as I am sure my parents didn't with me and my siblings.
Then someone that must have more time on their hands than they know what to do with, sat down and costed everything out.
I have a niece that doesn't want children.As a schoolteacher, she says she sees enough of the best and the worst of them !
My younger brother and SiL and my sister all reckoned they didn't want children, my brother and SiL had twins and my sister had the one boy - if it happens, it happens ! Each to their own and no one has a right to criticise other people's choice.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Fri 15-Nov-19 10:01:07

The world seems to be a much more pessimistic place nowadays and one in which many don't want to bring children and I don't blame them.

Applegran Fri 15-Nov-19 10:04:24

Apparently when universities have done surveys, we are indeed happier before we have children and after they fly the nest. But being free to do lots of things may not be all there is to having a life with meaning which allows us to flourish. I am not in any way saying people should have children - it is a choice. But if we do have children we are giving to others, beyond our own wishes and needs, and that does seem to have meaning and be worthwhile. Of course there are wondefully happy times when we have children! But it isn't all picnics and stories by the fireside, as we find out. However, I wonder how many older people (those who have not had painful rifts in their families) regret having children? Or regret having grandchildren? For me, and I guess others, these are wonderful happy parts of my life and it is important to me that they will still be there when my life is over..

M0nica Fri 15-Nov-19 10:08:44

Since the main cause of global warming is the sheer number of people in the world, not having children is a public good as it means they are not contributing to population growth.

Urmstongran Fri 15-Nov-19 10:13:18

Which is exactly the reason our eldest daughter and her partner say (42y) that they didn’t want a child MOnica - she said there’s plenty already in the world, bless.

Selfishly I’m glad our younger daughter and her husband have 2 children as I adore being a grandma!

Magpie1959 Fri 15-Nov-19 10:16:40

I love my children and Grandchildren very much but given my time again I would choose to remain childless.

I really don't blame the younger generation for making that decision either.

M0nica Fri 15-Nov-19 10:20:37

My DD decided to stay childless and single in her teens.

Like you we have 2 grandchildren, whom we love. But by only having two we are having it both ways, the joy of being grandparents and knowing that if future generations continue in this pattern we are contributing to a halving, or more of global population

4allweknow Fri 15-Nov-19 10:22:44

I have both in my family- those who wanted and those who chose not to. The no children unit seem to gave a much more interesting life compared to the others. For those who do choose to have children and yes nowadays there is a large element of choice can't understand why people go on procreating past a couple of children. World over population doesn't seem a concern.

Chestnut Fri 15-Nov-19 10:24:21

I know a lot of people my age who have no grandchildren. Their grown up children are having a whale of a time, travelling, working abroad etc. But it's rather sad when a family line ends. Personally, I would be very unhappy if I didn't have my grandchildren.

Urmstongran Fri 15-Nov-19 10:25:02

True MOnica - a huge contribution to the solution made by our daughters. I’m very proud of her for ‘putting her money where her mouth is’ so to speak. She does so on many issues regarding climate change to be honest.

Urmstongran Fri 15-Nov-19 10:27:00

The thing is though Chestnut that what you’ve never had you more than likely don’t miss. I became a grandma at 57y but I wasn’t yearning for one. Now I have them I adore them!

Dee1012 Fri 15-Nov-19 10:43:44

My son and his partner made the decision not to have children and before they met, his previous relationship ended because she wanted children and it's something my son has always been firm on..I think she thought/hoped he'd change his mind.
Sometimes I do feel a little sad about it as he's absolutely wonderful with children and one of those individuals that children actually gravitate towards but it's his choice.

Witzend Fri 15-Nov-19 10:46:26

What Urmonstongran said.

My dd was 38 before she had her first, I was 67. I never asked whether she wanted children, though I though she probably would, nor did I yearn for them. I had vowed never to be like the mother of a friend of hers, endlessly bewailing the lack of Gdcs - her poor dd did want children, she just hadn't found the right man to have them with. So it was doubly upsetting for her, esp. as time went on.

I don't think my other dd and her dp will have children, they have a nice life together, do lots of things they wouldn't be able to with little ones.
Each to their own.

Having said that, I suspect that not a few who say they don't want any when in their early-mid 20s, might change their minds as the late 30s loom, and they see time beginning to run out.
I know of one or two like that.

M0nica Fri 15-Nov-19 10:47:42

My DD made her decision on the basis that she was too uncompromising in character to ever manage to live with anyone and for the same reason did not want to have to adjust her life to cope with having children.

However she loves and enjoys the company of her niece and nephew, especially now they are on the brink of their teens.

I think this dichotomy between being parents or child-free is very overegged. Not every voluntarily single person lives a wildly sybaritic life of partying and travelling, or wants too and many parents live interesting and explorative lives to match any singleton.

Urmstongran Fri 15-Nov-19 10:51:49

The voice of reason again MOnica well put.
👏

notanan2 Fri 15-Nov-19 10:52:19

For me not having children is more logical/sensible/responsible

But my selfishness/heart/instincts won

Urmstongran Fri 15-Nov-19 10:55:05

Understandable notanan sometimes our heads rule our hearts and vice versa.

SueDonim Fri 15-Nov-19 10:56:30

My brother doesn't have children but he doesn't have a partner, either. Otherwise, there's no one in our family who doesn't have children.

Tickledpink Fri 15-Nov-19 10:59:22

Jaylucy, my DS and I sat down to do our sums in 1985 to work out if we could afford kids! It didn’t take much working out and it’s a pity more people don’t do it.

Tickledpink Fri 15-Nov-19 11:00:02

DH not DS

polnan Fri 15-Nov-19 11:07:04

I wouldn`t have wanted to be without a "family" never into little babies, family.. I love young kids, always wanted to be a teacher... they are so uplifting.. but then,, times have changed, (stating the obvious) and discipline ain`t what it used to be.

Dinahmo Fri 15-Nov-19 11:15:22

I'm child free. At no time did anyone criticize me for not wanting them. My husband didn't want them either.

Sometimes journalists write articles about how selfish the child free are but if you don't have the desire for them you shouldn't have them.

Once in my life I had a slight twinge when I saw a friend with her son for the first time. He was particularly special because after her first child she had been told she wouldn't be able to have another. They adopted a mixed race child and about 5 or 6 years later she became pregnant. I watched mother and baby and thought that the love between them was probably the most perfect. Ten minutes later sanity kicked in. I'm not a fan of babies and much prefer children when they get to 2 or 3.

When I look around me I see how unhappy many families are. I'm one of four and I haven't seen two of my siblings since my mother's funeral which was more than 4 years ago.
I haven't seen my sister for at least 10 years. None of us have anything in common apart from the fact of our birth. I sometimes read other forums on hear and am saddened by the numbers of people who have fallen out with their children and don't see their grandchildren.

We both get on well with the children of friends that we've known from childhood. I think it's because we have never treated them as children.