* Author Topic: List of positives about living child- free  (Read 21739 times)

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Offline Flow13

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Re: List of positives about living child- free
« Reply #10 on: 8/11/12, 09:45 »
What a great post.
I sat nodding my head all the while I was reading this.
I am a stepmom (3 teens come at weekends) and quite often I will lock myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes to have my own company and breathe. I would love children (thats why we are all on this forum), but Sunday evenings our house sighs with relief.  I enjoy my own company, just relaxing with a book or listening to some music. 
We have just started to do a lot of work to the house.  With young children around, and the work we have had done so far, it would have been a nightmare.
I think a lot of the time the need for children can be so overwhelming, and the emotions that take over when it hits us that we can't have any are so strong.  We forget that there are other things in life that will make us smile, make us feel complete, and are worthwhile.
Both my husband and I do a lot of things in the evening after work (we volunteer for a youth group, I go to a slimming group, he plays darts, we are on a local committee).  A lot of these things we wouldn't be able to do with children living with us. However, as wothrwhile as all these things are, we are now coming to realise that we have filled our life with activities so that we aren't in the house of an evening thinking about what we could have but don't.
We now realise we need time for us.  When we first go together we would have evenings curled up watching a film, or go for a meal or to the cinema.  We actually enjoyed living in our house.  Now it seems our house is just a base where we sleep. 
I think for me, the one positive about living child-free would be that I am able to love my husband and have time with him, knowing that we don't have anyone else in the house to be responsible for (apart from weekends lol), We get carried along on a wave of emotions, and sometimes forget why we are with our partners in the first place (it has happened to me).  I didn't marry my hubby to have a baby, I married him cos I love him. xxxx

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    Offline Moretolife

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #11 on: 8/11/12, 13:46 »

    Thanks Kate and Flow, its good to hear your thoughts  :)

    Recently has been a very trying time losing my nan and great uncle in the last month and my old neighbour who use to look after me a lot when I was little, growing up I was in and out of her house. Going to funerals affects a lot of people obviously but I think the emotions for those without children, especially those who have also lost or don't have a partner it is much worse as asides from the grief about the person that has gone, it makes you think about who will be there when you are old and who will attend your funeral and what will they have to say. I know its morbid stuff but I think for a lot of us its what our fear of future looks like and as I say so many funerals in such a short space of time has kicked in these thoughts somewhat.

    So I've been thinking about how I deal with this and wondered how other others feel and cope with those feelings? 

    The answer seems to be to live life to the full, connect with people so that you have good relationships, achieve what you hope to achieve and live the life you have.. The problem for me is that feels a lot of pressure! Friends are really important but friendships can come and go by their very nature, family you don't always get on with so can limit contact and sometimes it can be hard to achieve all that you want.

    I've come to the conclusion that this isn't something that those of without children only feel. I think we look at those who are surrounded by children, grandchildren and rest of their family and feel that they are immune to the worry about who will look after them and who will remember them. But in reality I think most of us feel it whatever our circumstances as its just part of being human, in some ways that has actually been helping me as I am pretty focused on the fact its harder without having a full family.

    My nan is nearly 97, has 3 kids, 3 daughter-in-laws, 8 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and is well looked after by my parents. But when I talked to her she said she feels lonely. She isn't alone as my part of the family do a lot for her but thats still her feeling, having a family hasn't made her immune to it and in fact the rest of the family only see her about once a year, three of the grandkids not at all as they've moved away and aren't interested. She has been living alone for 6 years now and although I feel sure she recognises how much is done for her - that she wouldn't have if she didn't have children - she has the same issues about dying and being alone. My great uncle interestingly never married, has no children, he lived all his life with his sister and her family yet I never heard him say he felt lonely. When my aunt died he got a flat in a sheltered accommodation and he started joining in the coffee mornings and fish and chip nights and he would do shopping and odd jobs for the other residents. So he has a lot of people attending his funeral despite having no family of his own. In the later years when we were all adults he would accept invites to family occasions, he was fortunate that he was always included as not everybody would do that but he made the effort and so was a part of things when he wanted to. This has been quite an eye opener for me to challenge the idea that we won't have anyone when we're old and destined to have a small gathering at our funerals by virtue of not having children. And has really challenged the idea that loneliness comes with not having children and grandchildren.

    I'm not saying its issue solved now! But it has helped stopping me seeing it in such a blinkered way as childlessness equals noone to care for you in old age, loneliness and an empty funeral gathering and that having a family equals love, being cared for and full funeral with many people saying how much they loved you  ^idiot^  Obviously I've always know there are people who have kids they don't see and who don't want to know, people who isolate themselves through life or in old age, those who have lost their family and people who had no kids but who are adored and respected and have plenty of people to talk about them. So I am going to work on nurturing this fragile idea that I won't be invisible and instantly forgotten the moment I become elderly and die (if I reach old age!!) and that I don't have to do something extra-ordinary to be remembered. People with children can console themselves with the comfort of their family but I think everyone experiences the same fear about feeling alone and what they mean to others and I need to remember that.

    My mum and dad said to me recently that they wouldn't want to be a burden or end up in a care home that they would rather just go. There is no pleasure in the idea for them that they would have children to care for them if they get too infirm to do it themselves. And this is from my mum who has made her life her family. There is no comfort for them in thinking we will care for them.

    Sorry if its too morbid a post, its uncomfortable subject matter and maybe carrying on in this positives thread might not be an appropriate place but as it was a sort of lightbulb moment of thinking it seemed right  ^hugme^  Its a bit of a wishy-washy idea and maybe is more personal to me right now but for years thats my greatest fear about far in the future about not having children and now it feels a smidgen more comfortable. The funerals although incredibly sad have played out like a lesson to me. My nan's funeral was very poorly attended despite having three kids, 5 grandkids and at least four great grandkids (family is estranged so don't know what my cousins are doing) Only my immediate family and her son went due to the way she was with her family and how she treated them. She did have friends but they are gone and she was housebound for a number of years, it was her husband who cared for her, mainly out of duty. Having family didn't make her life complete and make her well remembered. Sadly she was the cause of her unhappiness. Again I felt there was a lot to learn there. To be fair her failing health for years in the end and the fact most of her peers were gone meant there wouldn't have been many to make the funeral but if she had made more of people in the years that she could have done that would have meant something.

    Food for thought. Thanks for letting me offload my thoughts and as I say am interested in hearing how others cope with this difficult notion if they too are dealing with these thoughts and fears about the future. I'm only 35 so its not an everyday concern by any means but is one of the real negative issues that comes up for me when I think about life or when confronted by death. Its helping for it to not be so overwhelming and challenging such helpless thoughts. We live and learn  ^reiki^

    MTL x   

    Offline Flow13

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #12 on: 9/11/12, 10:14 »
    MTL, I know what you mean with having these thoughts of who will take care of us later in life.
    There are 17 years between myself and my dh.  So although you never know what is around the corner, I could quite possibly outlive dh.  I often wonder what I would do if I lost him,  I have sisters, but these are both years older than me (13 an 17 years older). I have my stepchildren, yet I don't think they woiuld want to be burdened with a third parent to look after. 
    These thoughts go through my head, and yet I know I shouldn't be thinking about them, as there are many years left yet and anything could happen.  Sometimes it seems like we are programmed to think and expect the worst situation (I know I do). And yet really we should be grateful for what we have now, and enjoy what we have - easier said than done
    So many times I have positive thought, but these are soon replaced with negatives. 
    I am there with you though.xxxx

    Offline daisy66

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #13 on: 9/11/12, 16:25 »
    Hi Girls
    Hope I can join you, am looking for inspiration following my very last BFN today. I knew the chances werent good, have even tried to gradually persuade myself that we would be better off without kids but still devasted.
    Our relationship has been devastated by the cost of treatment financially and emotionally, hanging on in there! DP wanted this all to be over a year ago, but i know he is disappointed now that he will never be a dad.
    What makes this harder somehow is that nothing has found to be wrong with either of us - maybe just not meant to be.
    It helps to know there are others feeling the same out there x

    Offline Nordickat

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #14 on: 9/11/12, 18:10 »
     I´m hoping that no breast feeding means I´ll never be able to tuck my boobs into my pants!


    Thanks for sharing MTL. I´ve been battling the ´what happens when I get old´demons recently.


    Katxxx

    Offline Maisyz

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #15 on: 9/11/12, 18:51 »
    You are more likely to keep full control of your bladder into old age. Apparently kid birth wreaks havoc. We will never have to carry multi packs of Tena lady around. Def bright side

    Offline Moretolife

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #16 on: 9/11/12, 23:19 »

    Mel - you do have a way with words  ;D  I avoided putting those types of things on my 'positives list' as although this thread is for those without children, I know those with kids or still pursuing tx like to take a look at the posts and wouldn't want to cause offence  ;) It is nice to think my parts can stay in better shape as you paint a vivid picture! Although at only 35 I am noticing gravity is working regardless!!!

    Daisy - its incredibly raw for you at the moment so no doubt too early for you to really embrace the positives yet, the grieving comes first. But like many of us we prepare ourselves mentally for how we might feel if it doesn't work out especially if done multiple cycles. Hopefully it helps a little to gently start looking at the other side and know it is there even though its too early for you to feel it yet.

    Flow - very wise words hun. I know I risked bringing the thread down with some an emotive topic but its there for me right now whether I wanted to face it or not as there is a lot of grief having lost so many people in such a short space of time. But as I was writing it I was feeling more uplifted as my thinking was shifting a little. You are so right about us being programmed to think the worst. Something its well worth us working on so we don't ruin the good years that we have  ^reiki^ Recognising everyone has these fears, including those who've happily chosen not to have kids, shows me how much I latch my grief about my childlessness on to some many different things and I don't have to do that. For all I know if I could have had the 2-3 children I wanted they could have loved travelling and live on the other side of the world so it would still be just me and I hope to god dh anyway. And as my parents said there is absolutely no satisfaction of thinking your kids can take the burden if your health and mobility declines. My nan now she is a great age has declined in the last few years and in effect being her carers is ruining the relationship she has with my parents to a certain extent. If she had an independent carer that wouldn't be the case but my parents see it as their role.

    For me I think part of the reason it worries me so much is because my health is so poor and has been for 4 years now. But you are so right we should be making the most of these years we have instead of worrying what may or might not happen and stop the worst case scenario thinking there is no comfort in it.

    Mtl x

    Offline ♥JJ1♥

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #17 on: 10/11/12, 12:44 »
    I think that unless you are childless (not have children who have grown up etc)  then you will have a different view than those of us with no success and no children at all as it is a decision that has been forced upon us.

    Offline Rowan22

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #18 on: 10/11/12, 13:19 »
    I agree, JJ1, though I didn't know whether to say anything. I've had mad moments when I've been prepared to put my life on the line (literally, at one point I had heart trouble and recently there was suspected hypertension), to have a baby. Sometimes the only thing that stopped those mad moments was my dh's agonised face.

    Rowan

    Offline Nordickat

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    Re: List of positives about living child- free
    « Reply #19 on: 10/11/12, 18:56 »
    Daisy - I think one of the mistakes we make is trying too hard to convince ourselves that we are better off without kids. I don't think it is better or worse, it's just a very different path and it takes time to adjust and to see the pros before we see the cons. I'm still very much focused on the negatives but I know I'm still grieving.

    Today I was glad to not have to try and entertain kids all day. The weather was grim and we were completely self absorbed. I sat on the sofa knitting while DH watched rugby. Guilt free me-timeis a big positive of being child free.