90 People Who Chose Not To Have Children Reflect On Their Decision Now That They’re 40 And Older
Whether it’s due to financial reasons, physical limitations, wanting to put all of their energy into their career instead, or simply lacking any desire to be a parent, there are infinite valid reasons for not having children. And although being childfree is becoming more common all the time, there are still some people out there who believe that we’re all meant to have kids and that anyone who doesn’t will regret it.
To set the record straight, we consulted this Reddit thread, where a curious user asked childfree people over the age of 40 how they feel about their decision not to have kids, and gathered some of the most compelling responses down below. Be sure to upvote the replies that resonate with you or that you’d like your fellow pandas to see, and if you’re childfree, we’d love to hear how you feel about that decision in the comments down below. Keep reading to also find interviews with the woman who sparked this conversation on Reddit in the first place and Wilmarie and Ryan of the childfree blog Life Without Kids. Then, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article highlighting why being a parent is not for everyone, look no further than right here.
#148 F and had a tubal ligation done at 21. I never wanted kids, and I'm so glad I never had kids. I spent 20 years struggling just to take care of myself, with unmedicated, ADHD, anxiety, and depression. There is no way in hell I could have taken care of kids. And with my history of relationships, it definitely wouldn't have been a healthy, two-parent home. So I have absolutely no regrets. It's better to want kids and not have them, then not want kids and have them.
Image credits: JuracichPark
To gain more insight into how this conversation began in the first place, we reached out to the woman who posed this question on Reddit. The woman, who we will refer to as the post's author to respect her privacy, told Bored Panda, "I’m 24 and childfree. I have known for quite a while that I don’t want kids, at least not my own biological ones. But with everyone around you telling you that you’ll want them sooner or later/with the right partner/etc., I was looking for some assurance (or proof that those people are right) from older folks."
We also asked the author if the replies to this post changed her opinions on being childfree at all. "They didn’t change them at all, if anything I was overwhelmed by the ratio of people regretting or not regretting it," she shared. "There were some who, looking back, would’ve wanted children. But most stuck to their decision. Even though one couple took care of a baby from a relative for a couple months, raised it like their own apparently, and developed parental feelings, they didn’t want to have their own."
#2It’s a strange one, I know I made the right decision I would have made a terrible parent so I’ve got no regrets about not having kids.
However I’m at the point in life where all my friends have settled down and are raising families … and I no longer have much in common with them. We still meet up and I understand their time constraints, but as the years go by there’s less to talk about.
Image credits: Bangkokbeats10
We were also curious what the author thinks are the pros and cons of being childfree. "The pros would be silence, money and time for yourself, being able to focus on your own life," she shared. "Also not bringing another life into this world that seems to have such a dystopian future ahead. Not having to worry about what changes your body and mind has to go through during and after pregnancy, or having to live with having had a miscarriage if that happens."
"The cons would be missing out on that experience I guess? Some people also mentioned they were scared of being lonely when they get old since they have no kids to look after them," the author noted. "But in order for your kids to want to support and see you when you’re older, you have to have done a good job at raising them, and their life has to have been a rather stable one. And I know I’d probably not be a good parent, plus I would never get a child just so it can care for me when I’m old. That doesn’t seem fair."
#3I'm 49 my husband is 53.
We're both more than happy with how things are.
I never wanted kids. I was the eldest in a family of 4 and was defacto childminder from the age of 8. I was 16 when my youngest sister was born and my mum relied on me heavily with her. I did night feeds. Looked after her when the rest went on holiday and when I left home at 18, regularly had both her and my middle sister staying with me for weekends and weeks during the summers.
Don't get me wrong. I loved every moment and I'm really close with my youngest sister but between watching my mum deal with us and the experiences I had myself, knew I didn't want to devote my life to kids.
I couldn't face the idea of mornings, getting them up, washed, dressed, fed, sent to school... I wasn't interested in being a taxi ferrying them to after school stuff, friends houses etc etc. I wasn't interested in worrying about money.
I also realised, that if I had kids in my early 20's I would be in my late 40's before my life was my own again (at best) and never have my own life again if I didn't have them till I was in my late 30's.
My husband was never bothered one way or the other.
Our life is good. We're not rich by any means between us we earn about £40k a year. But we we aren't tied to our jobs, if we wanted to change it up we can without worrying about putting food on the table. And we do low stress jobs. We work to live not live to work.
We own our own home, we can go on holiday, we indulge our hobbies and take on new ones (getting ourselves some Occulas Quests in the new year). We don't miss having kids.
My baby sister now 33 is also child free and I know she and her husband are pretty content with their lives too.
I feel I should also say. I don't hate kids. I'm happy to spend time in their company and enjoy time with friends and families kids. But I'm VERY glad I don't have to take them home with me lol
Image credits: LaraH39
We also asked the author what she would say to anyone who doesn't understand why she has no desire to have kids. "It’s okay you don’t understand, but don’t judge me for my decision," she shared. "Another thing that stuck to me was women wishing me luck should I ever want to get sterilized," the author noted. "It’s so hard, especially as a young woman, to have that done. Most doctors try to talk you out of it, and/or just straight up won’t do it. Once again, women are not allowed to choose and decide what they want for their bodies and themselves. And that’s just so wrong."
#4It makes the downfall of civilization easier to watch.
Image credits: T-Trainset
#5I've never been comfortable with being responsible for another human being. Nothing has changed. To all good parents: Keep it up. It's a very difficult job but you are appreciated.
Image credits: SpinachPure483
To gain some more insight on the topic of being childfree, we also reached out to Wilmarie and Ryan of the childfree blog Life Without Kids. Wilmarie and Ryan share their adventures traveling the world online, on their Instagram, blog Serious Travel Couple and YouTube channel. And while they live a very exciting life, kids are not part of the equation. So we at Bored Panda were curious what being childfree means to them.
"For us, being childfree means having the freedom to choose how to live our lives, what to do with our time and money, and what life purpose we want to follow," Wilmarie and Ryan shared. "It's just being us since we've never wanted kids."
#6I barely have enough energy to take care of myself, and if I try real hard maybe a casual girlfriend. No f*****g way could I handle a kid.
Image credits: Ahhmyface
We also asked Wilmarie and Ryan if there were any misconceptions about being childfree they wanted to dispel. "There are many misconceptions about being childfree," they shared. "We do not hate kids just because we don't want to have our own. Ryan loves teaching kids (he has worked as a teacher), and we have nieces and nephews we adore. Also, being childfree does not mean we're selfish. Childfree individuals also contribute to society in many ways, and for the most part, are people that care to make conscious decisions about their lives (i.e. not having kids.)"
So what's the best part of being childfree for them? "The time and financial freedom to pursue career, dreams, hobbies (traveling is our favorite) and ways to contribute to our families, community and the world," Wilmarie and Ryan shared.
#746F. I will speak up and be the minority here. I regret not having children. It wasn't a conscious decision, but I'm a pretty traditional person and never found someone to settle down and have a family with.
I've recently had to come to terms with the fact that I won't have kids and what that means for the rest of my life. I might choose to adopt or foster in the future but now I really have to weigh if it's worth being a parent now when all my friends kids are grown and they are even starting to have grand kids. Do I really wanna be that far behind? I've always been a late bloomer, but wow...that's just too late I think!
On the flip side, my child free status has allowed me to cultivate fantastic relationships with my best friends kids and to offer support to her family in ways that I wouldn't have been able to do if I'd had a family of my own. They are my family and I love each of them so much. We have a pretty special bond.
I would say to consider all your options and search your heart for what you want and can do in plenty of time to act before time runs out. Being child free isn't always a conscious decision. For some of us Life just happens that way.
Image credits: ExaminationFun8639
"We would like to live in a world where being childfree is looked at as normal as having kids," they continued. "A family without kids is still a family. Through our childfree community @life.without.kids we aim to educate, celebrate and normalize being childfree by choice."
#8The older I get, the more sure I am of my decision.
Someone else commented it on here so I second this line of reasoning: certain unhealthy/toxic behaviors are cyclical/generational, including hereditary on a biological level, and I’m more concerned with ending all this with me than I am with seeking validation via a child.
On top of that my emotional issues make me unable to properly connect or care for a child in the way they deserve. I am very empathetic to pain in that sense, but I also have issues with not inevitably becoming a SOURCE of that pain (I.e. I have serious commitment/investment issues and frequently check out when it’s all too much.)
Lastly, I’m very conscious of how much life changes when you have a kid, which some people remain bafflingly obtuse on until they’re in the thick of it. Like yes, kids are EXPENSIVE, they’re loud, their logic makes no sense in a lot of situations and they literally can’t help that so yeah you’re gonna be spending extraordinary amounts of time/energy on just keeping them alive, oh and they have serious emotional needs that you are definitely f*****g up if you don’t give them what they need. I have zero interest in all of it and no issues with admitting to that.
So ultimately I don’t have any desire for a child, and I will not continue the cycle of having them cause we don’t know what else to do. Occasionally I feel a biological pang when I see cute baby clothes, but then I remember really quick everything that goes into and I’m over it.
Image credits: failedattemptnumber4
#9My wife and I are both good with it. We were able to go on a lot of cool vacations, save a lot of money, have a lot of time to ourselves, etc. I feel bad that for about 15 years of her life my wife as shamed because she didn't want a child. "So you just don't want children?".
With that said, we were forced into a situation where we had to take care of our niece, who was 9 months, for 6 months. It did make us appreciate some things about children. I now better understand the love for a child, we will now do anything for our niece for the rest of our lives. I thought having a child around would make me more understanding of parents but it really hasn't. I still think a lot of them do a sh**ty job and are setting them up for failure in the future.
Image credits: buzzzzz1
#10Still feeling great about that decision with no regrets at all. It has allowed us to be present in the lives of our friend's kids in a wonderful way. We're like the weird aunt and uncle who have always been there to a pack of kids. It's good when kids have adults to talk to, bounce ideas and thoughts off of that aren't their parents. To be able to be there for them in this way has been really great!
Image credits: uncertaincucumbers
#1143 here. Every single day I know I made the right decision for me. The risk of passing on depression and anxiety to a new person never felt like a nice thing to do.
Image credits: tom957
#12So, so good. My husband and I high-five each other at least weekly when we encounter ragged parents trying to manage unruly kids. Then we go home to our Labrador Retriever, do whatever we want, and get a good night’s sleep. I can’t imagine life any other way.
Image credits: Courbet72
#13I couldn't be happier. I can't imagine having to live my whole life around a child. I have a cat for love, she's the best and I don't have to send her to college.
Image credits: ChaserNeverRests
#14I absolutely love it! We’re DINKS, travel often, do fun things, and will retire at 55 and 50 with 20+ amazing years left living off our investments.
Image credits: Jah_Man_Mulcahey
#15You know what's *still* amazing about being 40+ and no kids? I can quit my job for a couple months and not be thousands of dollars in the hole, because I don't have a black hole where food, water, and clothes go, that won't be able to pay its fair share for at least 16 years. I can just stop.
Image credits: Surprise_Corgi
#16Turned 40 this year, been snipped for almost 2 years now. A million times over absolutely zero regrets among me and the wife. (Been together for over 8 years, married a few months ago.)
The weeknight and weekend schedules of my friends with kids sound absolutely awful to me. Running from one practice to another, this rehearsal to that birthday party to this kindergarten graduation. Having to get a babysitter for things that in my world are the most trivial get-togethers... It all seems so exhausting and a complete drain on their own existence.
Plus, as D***s we were able to easily save the cash for this house we bought, its full top-to-bottom renovation, and turning a dirt wasteland into beautiful landscaping.
Come to think of it, other than deciding to pursue dating who would later become my wife, it's the single best decision I've ever made.
Image credits: ___Art_Vandelay___
#1752 yo. Excellent.
So far there have been only few downsides:
- Once I had a nice girlfriend. She wanted kids, I did not. Broke up over that. I have no regrets, though. Kids did not make her as happy as she expected. And I have the best GF ever now.
- The only moment I felt I was not continuing the family tree, was when my sister mentioned in her speech at the funeral of our mother, that see can see our mother in her kids. I can see that too. Briefly, that felt like a gap. But after that speech, it never felt like a gap again.
- Stupid people have more children, and earlier in their lives than smart people. Evolutionary, we are dumbing down as a species.
On the bright side:
**√** Easier life choices: The divorce I once needed, was easy. Also, no stress with child when I got in a relationship with the best GF ever.
***√*** More time on my hands: I could start an art career next to my work career.
***√*** Less stress: I do not have stress over kids derailing, or problems at their schools. No homeschooling while working during lockdown. No screaming kids in my home. No kids of other people here either.
***√*** I'm not dropping kids off in a world with a grim future. Far lower CO2 footprint too, so making it a tiny less grim.
**√** No hijacking of my life by a kid in need for constant help, which is a risk you need to be willing to take if you plan having kids. I did not want to take that risk.
**√** Most importantly, I did not have to experience losing a child like my parents had to. This was my most important reason. It broke my parents completely. I did not want to inflict that damage on me.
Image credits: d-a-v-e-
#18I am 51 and my husband and I did not have kids. He ended up leaving me after 20+ years together and now has a child. I regret not having children and I unfortunately have no family left in the world.
Image credits: Ok_Understanding4136
#19None. I'd be doing a kid a disservice. I'm selfish and lazy.
I like sleeping in on the days I'm not working and being able to get up and go as I please. My work hours are weird and I'd never be able to do that with a kid. I don't want to be responsible for anything more than the one cat I have.
I have no nieces or nephews. I don't buy many Christmas gifts. I don't go to loud children's parties. It's an introvert's dream.
#20Morally sound. Look at this planet - it's bad form to invite someone to a party that's not only already over, but left the house on fire to boot.
Image credits: Cowy_the_Cow
#21I go back and fourth on this topic. I'm usually ok with it but if I see a friend or family member with their kid(s) it makes me second guess my decision. That feeling usually passes once I get into my sports car and drive back to my clean quiet home.
Image credits: Quegyboe
#22No regrets on not having kids. I never could have given them the life they deserved.
As I age (I'm 57) I do wish I had a life partner, I'm a bit scared about being elderly and alone but I'm always glad I didn't have kids.
#23I’m 41F and have zero regrets over having no children. My free time is mine to do with as I wish and I’m able to save aggressively towards retirement. I’m even more thankful that I never had children after going through a divorce, as there is nothing tying me to my ex-husband. It is much easier to heal and move forward with life when you can go no contact.
Edited to add that being in an aunt role is the best! I get to be fun and silly and get in touch with my inner child, but don’t have all the responsibility of a parent.
Image credits: MathematicianNo4633
#24I'm almost 48 and about to enter menopause. I don't regret not having children. I never really liked children very much and that probably wouldn't have made me a very good parent.
I love the fact that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.
Maybe I'll regret it when I'm very old or something, but so far, I still feel like I made the best decision possible.
On the one hand, I feel like I’ve missed out on an experience that is central to being human. I will never know the joy and heartache and deep love of parenthood.
On the other hand, I’m deeply pessimistic about the future of global governance and the environment. I would worry for my child in this world. Also, I have a lot more free time and disposable income without human parasites in my home.
So, you know…. I’m ok with my decision.
#26Had a vasectomy at 29 (unmarried and no children at the time; it took a LOT of talking).
Just turned 60 and am well aware that if I die after I fully retire, it's entirely likely no one will notice until the mailbox starts to overflow. So yeah, I have moments of regret every so often.
I don't think that's enough reason to have brought additional humans into this world, though.
#27I’m in my 60s now and I regretted it for about 5 minutes when I was 38. That’s when my first niece was born and I thought I might be missing out
Image credits: Mysterious-Region640
#28My wife and I had no desire to have kids when we got together, later decided to give it a try but it didn't work out. Fast forward and her dad needs care. Dementia / physical stuff. Zero regrets now. Neither of us enjoyed taking care of him. Not the same thing but we both enjoy our independence.
Looking at things from a cost perspective, we are both successful in our careers and are on track to retire in our late 50s to early 60s and house should be paid off by then too (if we move I dunno).
Do I feel like I'm missing out? Sometimes. I have nieces and nephews though so eventually we will likely spoil them.
#29I literally don't know what to do with the unspent money at the end of the month. It is not like I earn a lot of money, but I don't have expensive tastes and my hobbies are pretty affordable.
I feel pretty good with my life.
#30Best decision I ever made was my tubal ligation at age 23. Now just a couple years shy of 40.
No regrets whatsoever. Life has been dreamy, full of travel, great times, being there for people I love. Accomplished effectively everything I set out to do, just making new goals to meet. Student loans paid in full. 8+ hours of sleep every night helps too.
#31No regrets. Where I am in life and what I have would NOT have been possible if I chose to have children.
Women in the US are about to see control of their futures stripped from them.
I'm fortunate to be able to travel for an abortion if needed, not everyone can.
I'm very thankful for everything I have and the choices I've had to be where I am today.
#32I'm in my 50s, I've come to realise to that I'm probably somewhere on the spectrum, I have my life together now but it's taken me this long to be comfortable with myself and get to a good place. I feel honestly it wouldn't have been fair to have had a family. I wouldn't have been a good partner or mother. I do have a good rapport with kids now. I'm a good aunt and really enjoy helping with youth groups but I value my own time too much. So no regrets at all. Some people just aren't parent material.
#33I know I've done the right thing. Based on my parents I always darkly joke that I have a "bad built-in parenting instruction manual". I can barely navigate my own complicated mental health most days, it wouldn't be fair to bring a child into it. My nightmare would be to have a child and then treat it with disdain, which is basically what my mom did to me. I grew up around a mother who didn't want to be a mother and took it out on me.
I was always on the fence about it and in the end it wasn’t all my decision as an ectopic destroyed my tubes, but loving it so far.
#35Nearly 50, never regretted it. I knew from a very young age that I never wanted kids, and that hasn't changed. My wife is also happy with that fortunately.
When I was younger, I was sort of open to having kids, as in if someone gets pregnant, then so be it. But deep down I didn't actually want them, and never did.
I even had a pretty serious pregnancy scare with a gf when I was 30. Thank goodness we didn't have a kid. I can't imagine how bad that would have turned out.
Anyway, past 35, I became less open to the idea for a variety of reasons. Now, I absolutely know I don't want kids. I can't stand kids. Luckily my long term girlfriend also does not want kids. We are very firm in this stance. And at this point, what would I do, be 60+ when my kid graduates highschool? I had old parents, no thanks.
#37We’re currently two weeks into our trip to Iceland for our anniversary, so pretty f*****g fantastic.
#38I am 36 and my wife and I have pretty much settled on not having kids. We have discussed the idea a lot more recently since I just cannot see myself having a kid at 40 years old. I am nearing the last year or two when I would be comfortable raising a child. We are heavily leaning towards "no" for a few reasons. We really do enjoy our free time and comfortable financial situation. Both would be heavily impacted by a child. We also both have struggled with mental health issues through out our lives and have found a very comfortable, familiar lifestyle that helps to keep our depression at bay most of the time. We are both worried that our mental health would take a substantial dip while raising a child.
With that said, I constantly get this feeling that mid-30's me is making a decision that mid-60's me is going to heavily regret. I really love my family and can see how happy my parents are to have their children around in their lives at their age. I want that when I get older. I really do. I feel like I am going to be very starved for connections outside of my wife when I am in my 50s or older.
#39I'm 38. I've been with my husband for 13 years. Neither one of us regrets not reproducing. Several of my friends have kids and it hasn't made me want them. I'm always glad I can return to a quiet house that doesn't have plastic kid toys strewn around everywhere.
#40I’m 39 so not quite 40 but have never wanted kids and have never changed my mind. A few times over the years I’ve thought about whether I maybe would at some point but the answer has always been no in the end. My sister and BIL live a block away from my boyfriend and I and they had a baby last year so we get to see my nephew often and we are both completely obsessed with him while also being more sure than ever that we don’t want kids. It’s just not a time/money/energy sacrifice I’d be willing to make.
#41I feel better about it every year. When I decided I didnt want to drag anyone into this hellscape it was a gamble. I banked on human nature just grinding the planet down and f*****g the economy until it collapsed. Did I pick a winner? It seems that way and it doesnt look it is going to get better.
At this point the only thing that could make me regret that I dont have kids is if somehow everyone just pulls together and fixes the climate. Otherwise I'm glad I'm not forcing anyone to experience the death of our species.
#42As an uncle, it is great being able to be like "that's it, I'm done" and give the kid back. I have trouble committing to plans 3 days in advance for myself. No way could I dedicate 18+ years of doing it.
#4341 here and sooo thankful I never had kids. I am an immature gamer with autism who also doesn’t make a butt load of money so I feel like I made the right call.
#44Honestly really good. When I was younger I had no idea how f****d up my childhood had left me (I was raised in a cult). Years of depression, poorly regulated emotions, twisted self-image, self harm - all stemming from undiagnosed complex PTSD. The one thing I knew was that I should not bring a child into my world and I was absolutely right. I would have been a terrible father. After years of therapy I am in a much better place and at peace with the fact I'll never have kids. Sometimes the best you can do is to parent yourself, be there for the other kids in your life and put a stop to the cycle of neglect
#45Very stupid and i kinda regret it cause they introduce and entirely new world wether its stressful or not it offers a new challenge and perspective to life and brings new meaning into it and the more i think about the more its just like why did i even choose not to i know i could keep my career and raise kids it just requires more work which i am more than capable of doing im not lazy or weak minded, i dont know it was just dumb decision and kinda influenced from my environment. Kids are awesome man and im not sure what makes people dislike them they are full of so so much potential and i let myself and this society decide that its too "risky" or not worth the trouble when in reality those are just excuses/laziness and theres a entirely different side of the coin that no one speaks about.
#46I (M48) have been with my significant other (F43) for about two years, and we couldn't be happier.
For me, it's a simple matter of preference. For her, it's practically a matter of survival. She was able to leave her last toxic relationship so easily and cleanly because she didn't have kids.
I love visiting with my friends' kids and my nieces and second cousins and everyone. But as fun as that is, it always leaves me more grateful that I don't have any myself.
#4750 something guy here, no rugrats er , regrets. Sure, its fun to smile when you see a kid and imagine what it would be like if you had one of your own. (I would have had some awesome kids :)) But you know what, being an uncle is just fine with me too. I have dogs who are my constant companions and a garden that I have grown into a wonderful piece of mind for me.
Know that it is ok not to have kids. Some people cant... And no, I don't hate kids at all either and im not anti-social -- it was just not my calling and I am still fine with that. I am a deeply caring person.
Passing on the generation with kids? don't care. Tradition is just the guilt of dead people loll
#48No regrets. I validated myself in other ways aside from just regurgitating my genetics. It's the best life.
#49Best decision I ever made. I live large, travel at will, buy whatever I want. I would have been a great dad but now I’m just a great human.
#50I regret it a little bit, because it’s sort of wasn’t a choice. When I was in my 30s, my girlfriend and I certainly weren’t ready to have kids. We broke up when I was in my late 30s. Then I met my wife a few years after that, and she’s a couple years older than me, so I think now it’s just too late. She’s 46. So it makes me a little sad, and feels weird, knowing I’ll never have a kid. In my 20s and 30s didn’t feel ready, it was only in my early 40s where it started to feel right. Oh well, looks like I missed that opportunity, and it feels a little weird. Not being able to experience some thing most people get to do, having a family, teaching your kids, watching them grow up. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now.
#51Mixed. One side of me is fine with it, being able to devote all my lifetime resources to myself.
Something that started chewing on me for a little while was the fact I’m leaving nothing of myself behind when I die, weirded me out.
#5244 years old. All I've ever wanted in life was to have kids. I remember first making that decision when I was 6 years old. I vacillated on it until I was about 14, but once I stopped suffering from suicidal depression around then, I've been 100% dedicated to having kids - and trying to be the best parent I could ever be - since then.
I still have zero kids. That bums me out every day.
#53Retired at 48. watch my friends struggling with kids in college. no regrets.
#54I wish things could have been different. I’m F/mid-40’s, and decided to not have a child mostly due to health issues since 31. I’ve also had odd relationship timing or problems, as well as financial set backs. I’m heartbroken, and try not to think about it too much. I just keep moving forward.
#55I never had a ‘maternal instinct’ or a wish for a family until I married my husband 5 years ago (we are both in our 40s) and now I kind of wish we were younger and could start a family. It’s not a regret though, just a wish, a vision for a different life.
That said I’m not even sure I’ll be a good mom, but now I find myself looking at parents with toddlers and thinking “that could be me/us”
Would I really start a family this late in life if given the opportunity? If I was pregnant would I keep it? Answer is I don’t know and because I don’t know I guess the answer is no
#56To be honest, I've never wanted the responsibility. I'm an uncle to 4 nephews and a niece and that was enough for me seeing both my brothers have their own family who would visit now and again.
I've also never really had the instinct to become a parent either and have been fortunate to have been in relationships where my ex partners didn't want to be mothers either.
#57Husband is 44 and I'm 38, we have zero regrets. You know what I didn't have to do last night? Argue with my kid about doing their homework. I only feel more and more confident in our decision as time goes on. You want kids? Have at it! But we are solidly in the Not Wanting Kids Camp.
#58It is not something you think about every day. Sometimes I feel missing out, sometimes I see friends playing with their grandkids and it makes me jealous :) but those kind of thoughts cross your mind once a month or even more rarely.
#59I feel great! The maternal instinct is *strong*. It was tough going through my thirties, but I realized that unless I had a partner who was willing to split the work, it was not going to happen. And I didn't. So it didn't. I love kids, and luckily I have several kids in my life, but not for a second do I regret not having kids.
#60I chose to not have kids because I didn't want to give up being an artist to be a mom. I don't regret it. Still an artist. Also a teacher. I love kids but being a mother seems like an impossible job.
#61I feel good about it. I like children, but I like not having children better. My friends have kids and I love being an honorary aunt.
#6239 here, feeling like I made the right decision
Lots of extra money, free time and energy to do what I want
#63So, I may be the odd one out here, but hear me out. I always wanted kids (and a little part of me probably still does a teeny, tiny little bit). Husband was not so sure, after many discussions, decided to try for kids. Found out that both of us have reproductive issues. 2 tries at IVF with very poor results that meant we didn’t get far with the process. We decided that we could spend a fortune and maybe lose sanity over it, or just get on with our lives - we chose the latter.
I’m now 37 and although I think it would have been nice if we had kids when we were younger, I don’t really want them now. I have been able to care for my Grandmother until her death, also do a lot of caring for my mother in law until her death without the restrictions that children would have brought. My husband and I are on the cusp of realising our dream (which is costly and we may not have got there with the expense of kids) and can spend our free time on this dream. Plus I have developed a condition that gives me vertigo at a moments notice and can last for hours at a time and makes me quite tired - this would be so much harder to manage with kids in the picture.
My husband has many hobbies that he enjoys - he would be an amazing father, but to be that amazing father he feels that he would have to give it all up. I enjoy seeing him indulge in these hobbies. He works hard and it’s wonderful to have no resentment for him spending a lot of his free time how he wants.
I love kids, I get a lot of joy from spending time with my nieces, nephews, friends children and godchildren. I’m sure that I’m missing out on experiences that parents have, but I’m getting other experiences that they can’t have. And I’ve got a lot less grey hairs and wrinkles than my friends with children!!! Overall, it’s worked out for the best. I think that the main thing I want is to have a positive influence on a young persons life, and I like to think that I’m doing that anyway.
#64I'm feeling smug as f**k to be honest. All those tantrums I never have to deal with. All those things I can just do spontaneously. All that money I'm not spending on b******t (except that b******t I like). All that worry and stress I don't have. All that time I have to do exactly what I want to do.
When I was a kid I couldn't wait to grow up and live by my own rules. Not that I planned anything wild. But simply having the freedom. I can't believe how readily people give that up!
#65I've always wanted kids, but I've never found anyone worthy of having kids with. I've been entirely disappointed with the basket cases I've been in relationships with my entire life.
I mean, they weren't bad people, just had mental problems, drug problems, irresponsible behavior, or just shitty decision making skills that made them "not the one" that, as a responsible father, I'd want raising my kids.
Now that I've finally married a stable, intelligent, wonderful woman, at age 50, I really don't want, or need a 7 year old to be responsible for upon my retirement that is approaching.
Although I will always have the desire to be a dad, I'm intelligent enough to know I have a responsibility to be a good one, and I no longer have the energy or the patience to do so.
It's time for Superlite47 to relax on the beach and enjoy endless Pina coladas. 7 year olds and Pina coladas don't mix. It's a rule, or something. You're not allowed to relax and enjoy a Pina Colada if you're the parent of a 7 year old.
#66Perfectly fine. My siblings have seven between them, the world is hardly lacking for bodies. It’s doesn’t need any more from me, and if my part of the family tree dies out at me, there is literally no one who will ever say the world is a worse place for that. I don’t see why me having kids changes anything for anyone.
#6760F here. Not one moment of regret. My tubal ligation was actually my "wedding present" from my (now ex) husband. This was back when you practically HAD to be married, and even then it was a hassle for me since I had not had any children. (I know it's like this and so much worse now, but we had a few years of old white men NOT telling us what to do with our bodies in there).
I have many nieces and nephews, and Grand-niblets too. I enjoy them, but in very small doses.
#68Great. I have two cats, they're much lower maintenance and don't ask me for toys at the grocery store.
#69Turns out selfishness, irresponsibility and hedonism is fun.
#70Great, every time I look at my bank account....
#7150 years old. Never wanted them. Still don’t. Honestly has never even crossed my mind.
#72Mid 50s here. No regrets about not having kids. I don't even have pets, though that is one thing I do regret at the moment.
Still, ask me this again in 20 years when I'm in an old age home because I have no family left.
#73I thought about it when i was in my 30s for a couple of minutes. Ultimately I've never met the man whose children i wanted to have. But now I'm happier than I've ever been.
#74I'm 47. I do wish I had one or two kids. But then again back when I turned 18 I was told to either go to school or get a job. If u went to school I'd have to pay for it. Well I didn't know any better and I hated hs so I went to work. For 30 years I'm a customer service rep making 20 bucks an hour on the phone for a trash company. When I was younger and even now I couldn't financially handle a child. They are expensive. Plus I would have probably passed on my type 1 diabetes to my son or daughter and even more financial strain.
#75Amazing. I have no regrets. I love my freedom financially and responsibly. I am glad I haven't contributed to the population growth. My wife has children from past marriage, I have helped them some but have no obligations.
#76Completely fine with it. No concerns about the state of this world when I'm gone, no worries about my kid having to grow up dealing with the horrible social environment US culture has turned into, I can go on vacation whenever I want and don't have a near crippling financial burden.
#77I am good with it. I looked at children from a financial and logical standpoint. Because of this, I was able to do other things.
#7846 stil loving it. I don't have the patience for kids so why make myself and the kids unhappy...
#79It led to an uncomplicated life with less than usual financial difficulties. Now that I am 62 I can see some lonely times ahead. Especially if anything happens to my wife.
#80Soon to be 39. Wife soon to be 40.
We're living our best lives. No regrets.
#81I helped raise my niece from the age of 16-18, love her but taught me that waking up 3 times a night for feed and diaper changes isn't fun.
This was while going to school and working part time.
Edit: I was 16-18 not my niece. Bad wording on my part. Proof I was barely conscious during English class.
#82Awesome! I can’t even take care of plants. WTF would I do with a baby?
#83I feel grateful each time I turn on the news.
#84There's a saying that "life happens while you're busy making other plans".
I *wanted* to have kids, but never really found the person that I thought, "Wow, I really want to have YOUR kids". (Well, I actually *did,* but he died unexpectedly from heart failure, and I never quite was into dating much after that.) I could've gone the sperm-donor method, I guess, but the idea of raising a child without a partner wasn't that interesting to me, and I never felt in such a comfortable place financially that I would've felt secure about bringing up a kid alone. So when I hit somewhere in the 38-40 range, I made the conscious choice(?) that alas, kids were never going to be something I did.
On one level, I *am* sad I never had the definite, solid opportunity to have a kid. I would've loved to have seen my mother be a grandmother, she would've been an awesome granny. I think I would've been a decent mom. On the other hand, I know that it's *better* I didn't have a kid; it would've been too much of a struggle for me to do alone.
And then the world (or at least our country) just got reallllllly weird. So I am *thankful* that I have never had to worry about my children being victim to a school shooter, for example, or wonder what they world they'll live in will look like in another 20-30-40 years with climate change, and growing overpopulation, and everything else.
So while I have some regrets on some level that it never happened for me, I simultaneously don't have regrets, for a variety of reasons. And it's not like the world is in danger of humans going extinct.
#85I got a diagnosis in my teens that made it clear I'd probably not have kids naturally. The way the world is going I don't feel bad about not having any. I was feeling a little sorry for my mom bc my bro and sil don't have kids either, turns out she's ok not being a grandma.
#86I'm ok. I never really wanted kids and coincidentally was not going to have children with my wife, as its not possible unless we adopt, and we chose not to.
In a different life there's a girl I am great friends with and could have been with but life got in the way. She's a great single mother to a fantastic kid who I think is the most wonderful thing.
#87Mostly negative about the decision not to have kids.
The problem is that, looking back over my girlfriends, only really 1 of them would have made a great long term partner, the others all had warts that I don't know if I could have tolerated over the course of decades.
#88I'm a 58 year old male, in my day to day life it doesn't bother me that my wife and I never had kids but the one thing that I never thought of or considered when I was younger is my family name dies with me. That really does upset me a lot that now it's too late.
#89I'm 56, and I had a vasectomy when I was 27.
I'm great with it!
...mostly because I sort of cheated. I ended up marrying a woman 10 years older than I am who already had two grown (18 & 21 when we married 22 years ago) children. So now I have 3 granddaughters who are AWESOME but I had none of the headaches of child-rearing.