Feeling guilty for not wanting to become a Dad

(93 Posts)
YouSirName Sat 13-Jul-13 22:42:37

...and am wary of starting a relationship with anyone who might want to have children as I feel it's too much to ask of them. I'm 39 & male.

Are there women of a similar age who don't want children either?

It's not that I don't like children, I love spending time with nephews, nieces, friend's little ones etc., I just don't want to be a Dad to one.

With thanks in advance for any advice.

pleiadianpony Tue 16-Jul-13 07:37:57

Thanks Sir

I had exactly the same sorts of reasons, not feeling secure enough, being immature and depression and anxiety. That has changed. My husband and i both said the other day though 'it won't be long until little baby arrives and ruins our lives forever!' 'Its too late to put him back!' I don't think that it is a bad thing to acknowledge that we are going to miss the freedom of spontaneous nights out, travel and basically doing what we like with a good disposable income with which to do it!! But the love that I feel and the joy of pregnancy and shifting responsibilities and priorities feels like a natural transition to a different phase. Pace of life is changing and it feels like a special time.

I hope reasons based on negative perceptions of yourself are far outweighed by other more positive reasons like you are having too much of a good time too and that fulfilment you get from being child free, (there is loads !) is great!

Loads of people I know are child free. I will probably spend the rest of my life being slightly envious of their holidays and freedom!

QueenStromba Mon 15-Jul-13 21:24:39

Thank you very much Trills - you have put that far better than I did.

For anyone who's interested, this was my path to getting sterilised:

1. Have too high blood pressure for the normal pill.
2. Get the implant and react to it so badly I had it out after 23 days.
3. Not really get on with the mini pill to the point where it probably contributed to my depression
4. Have too heavy periods for the copper coil to be an option
5. Not be willing to entertain the idea of a mirena due to 2 and 3
6. Jokingly mention to the contraceptive nurse that my only option was to get DP to have a vasectomy.
7. Her suggest that I get sterilised instead.
8. Think about this carefully for several months, come to the conclusion that this was definitely what I wanted.
9. Research sterilisation methods, decide I'd like Essure but nobody in my PCT was doing it.
10. Go to see the doctor at my surgery who's best at gynea stuff.
11. Answer all of her "what if" questions really easily because I've obviously put a lot of thought into it.
12. Get referral to my local hospital, meet consultant who said come back when you've lost a couple of stone but told me that I could be referred to a doctor outside of my PCT.
13. Go back to GP, get referral for a consultant that does Essure.
14. See a registrar under said consultant's service who didn't seem convinced but had a quick word with the consultant who OKed it.
15. Got sterilised 6 weeks later.

I first talked to my GP about it mid August and I had the op at the end of February so the whole process only took about 6 months. I never actually met the consultant despite her having intimate knowledge of my reproductive system.

Trills Mon 15-Jul-13 19:55:37

I don't want a child the same way some people don't want a dog, or don't want a motorcycle, or don't want to go caravanning, or don't want to go on a beach holiday, or don't want a tattoo, or don't want to eat oysters, or don't want to go on the internet and spend hours having text-based conversations with strangers about online shopping and the correct way to wipe your bum.

Except most of those things are undo-able, or temporary, or both, and having a child is permanent.

Different people like different things. From the information I have gathered, this is a thing that some people like that I would not like.

Meow75 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:51:59

Oh, and I've been requesting sterilisation since I was 23, just after uni. Lincolnshire says no. sad

Meow75 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:50:27

I'm child free too. 37 years old, married to an equally CF and same aged DH for 15 years next month.

And I use Mumsnet, like someone else said, for the craic. This is, as far as I'm aware, the largest and most diverse women's internet community and so it's the best collection of my peers even if most are parents.

A bit like the OP, I don't want to be a parent because of the responsibility, the time involved, the expense, the stress.

But I'm also a teacher ...

Xales Mon 15-Jul-13 19:21:28

As long as you are open and honest then there is nothing wrong with your not wanting children as far as I am concerned.

If you date younger women then you do run the risk that they may change their mind and want them later as you already have done.

If you date women of a similar age to you then what about the option of a woman with older children who are close to leaving home age who has been there, done that and won't want any more?

Good luck finding someone.

KittensoftPuppydog Mon 15-Jul-13 19:18:22

Some women would find this a huge relief.

Ezio Mon 15-Jul-13 19:14:18

Queen, they refused to sterilise my sister on NHS, shes 32 and 4 kids, but they said she was too young, despite being certain on no more kids.

Must be the area i suppose.

QueenStromba Mon 15-Jul-13 15:31:26

My reasons are quite different digerd. Mainly I just don't have the desire for them. I used to think that maybe if I met "the one" and he desperately wanted kids then I might agree to have one if he was willing to deal with the day to day reality of kids/pay for a nanny. So if anything, as I've gotten older I've gotten more firm in my view that I don't want children.

Here are my reasons besides "I just don't want them":

If I don't average at least 8 hours sleep a night over the course of a week I'm a zombie - whenever I've had a job that I needed to get up before 7 for I'd end up sleeping most of Saturday.

I'm really sensitive to high pitched noises which means the sound of a baby crying gives me a headache in less than a minute even if that baby is on the other side of e.g. Primark (as a guide for room size).

I can barely manage my own life sometimes (depression and anxiety) let alone someone else's.

The rigmarole of not being able to go to the corner shop without taking the baby would likely result in me barely leaving the house which would be terrible for my mental health.

The whole idea of pregnancy and birth terrifies me even without the long term effects that a lot women have afterwards e.g. urinary incontinence.

If my relationship with my DP broke down I wouldn't want to tied to him for life through children.

I'd be constantly terrified of DP leaving me and me ending up a single mother like my mum - she didn't do well and I'm very similar in personality to her.

Once you have one you're stuck with it even if it ruins your life.

Having said all of that, I concede that there is a chance that I would love being a mother. I'm not willing to take that chance though because there's a high likelihood that it would not only make me miserable, but some poor innocent too.

digerd Mon 15-Jul-13 13:08:08

My friend at work was married and neither wanted children. She knew and told me why, without me asking < I wouldn't as just accepted it>.
Reasons were
We enjoy our life as it is.
It would change completely with children.
We would hate to resent the child because of this.
We are both selfish and want to live our lives without having to consider children needs.
Having children just so they can look after us in our old age, is the wrong reason to have them - friends and relatives had mentioned this point to them.

I admired her honesty and her principles.

QueenStromba Mon 15-Jul-13 12:12:08

My DP and I are child free. I managed to get sterilised on the NHS just before my 30th birthday. I actually found it surprisingly easy, possibly because I'd spent a lot of time thinking about it and researching the different procedures.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Mon 15-Jul-13 08:39:54

I have a male friend who is childfree. Fascinating to see so many women on here who are childfree or know women who are childfree because he's been online dating for ages and the pickings are incredibly slim. I thought he was making it up and just being ridiculously fussy, so I went and had a look. He wasn't wrong.

Not much help, OP, but if you suddenly find where all these childfree single women hang out, let me know so I can pass the info along!

CatsAndTheirPizza Mon 15-Jul-13 00:58:04

Sounds sensible and insightful to me too.

WafflyVersatile Mon 15-Jul-13 00:44:11

Sounds perfectly sensible to me. I'm sure there are many, many mothers and daughters on MN who wish the fathers of their children/their own fathers had recognised themselves as not being the fathering kind and kept well away.

YouSirName Mon 15-Jul-13 00:37:34

Sorry, meant to answer plieadianpony's question.

Reason for wanting to remain child free is the responsibility. It's the obligatory (and rightly so) requirement of decades of emotional stability that is required, and which I was lucky enough to have myself from both parents. By the time you're approaching the 4th decade of life you begin to get more than an inkling as to what type of character you are, and the fathering kind I'm not.

Some friends have said it's immature not to take on such responsibility but I feel it's almost the opposite. I know I'm not built that way and to have a child would actually be irresponsible, not to me but to the child, who has absolutely no say in the matter. I have friends with whose parents i can relate to in not offering a stable parental role and the effect on my friends' childhoods has been tricky to say the least.

I realise from the reactions some people have given that this is not always seen a PC opinion but I'm trying to be honest. Apologies in advance to anyone not enamoured with reason as I'm not having go.

Investigations into medical intervention begin this week. See this space for imminent euphemisms!

YouSirName Mon 15-Jul-13 00:04:25

No, inbox is just fine thanks, CatsAndTheirPizza, just felt I should be honest about intentions.

Interesting that there are others in the same situation on mumsnet and am glad I've posted the question as have picked up more general thoughts about it in 24hrs with you than in god knows how long elsewhere.

- and things i didn't realise I needed to know about names from far flung times. Curiouser and curiouser!

Thanks for the pointer Mumsyblouse, might well give them a look.

GrendelsMum Sun 14-Jul-13 22:27:23

smile Whothefuck - Grendel is a monster in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. The hero Beowulf kills the terrifying monster Grendel, and they all sit back, thinking 'job done'. Then Grendel's mother comes after Beowulf in revenge and they're really in trouble...

I chose the name as a bit of a joke about the number of people with the names 'X's mum' on the site, but also as a reflection on the way that mothers are represented in fiction. Someone did once say that they thought that Grendel would be a lovely name for a baby girl, though.

MsJupiterJones Sun 14-Jul-13 22:15:29

And as others have said take absolute responsibility for your own fertility.

MsJupiterJones Sun 14-Jul-13 22:11:59

My advice would be to find someone your own age. Don't go out with someone ten, twenty years younger and then be surprised if they feel differently later on. Some women know from a younger age that they definitely don't want children but others find that their feelings change as they get older.

Whothefuckfarted Sun 14-Jul-13 22:04:13

GrendelsMum Who is Grendel?

I'm going to guess at a pet? grin forgivemyignorance

Mendi Sun 14-Jul-13 21:45:52

Nothing wrong with this choice OP. a good friend of mine was adamant from when I first met him at uni that he didn't want kids. He went on the establish a very successful career, had good long term relationships but still was sure he didn't want kids. He had a vasectomy in his late 20s (after 2 years of counselling about it) and has never looked back.

He's been in a relationship for the past 3 years and has just got engaged. TBH I think she would actually like kids but he's always been very clear what's on offer and she's obviously decided to take it.

I really think honesty is key. I have 2 or 3 female friends in late 30s who don't want kids. I'm sure you will find someone.

GrendelsMum Sun 14-Jul-13 21:43:25

I back off shuddering and claiming to have a cold coming on when the new babies get handed round at work.

I'm on Mumsnet because, being child-free, I've got a lot of free time wink.

Mumsyblouse Sun 14-Jul-13 21:31:04

You don't need a specialist dating service, if you join one of the ordinary (but expensive) dating agencies such as Drawing down the moon, you can select and be matched with other people who feel similarly about having no children, I have a friend who met her partner this way and they do enjoy being child-free.

Whothefuckfarted Sun 14-Jul-13 21:24:00

I didn't realise there were so many childless women on mumsnet grin Out of interest.. what was it that got all the non mums interested in signing onto mumsnet?

WafflyVersatile Sun 14-Jul-13 20:23:50

I need a man who doesn't want (more) children. And we have the same issue when browsing online dating or whatever. It narrows the pool available to us but so do other things.

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