Vintage and Childfree

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Penny Dreadful, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. djd

    djd Practically Family

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    570
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    Northern Ireland
    I'm sorry if this sounds crass but I have no sense of ego when it comes to a desire to propagate my own genes. To me kids are like puppies- I would sooner get an unwanted , already made one that have one bred for me. Until there's a shortage of people I have no desire to add to the total just so I can say its 'mine'. I'm not suggesting that's the motivation of anyone here but having a step son by way of my wife's former marriage I do get that sense from other people sometimes
     
  2. zombi

    zombi A-List Customer

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    In my personal experience, far more men than women are totally sold on having children and settling down.

    This happens to me as well. I just have no idea why so many people think it their business to question or tell me mine. It's also evidenced by the medical community -- it's much easier for a man to get a vasectomy than it is for a woman to obtain any kind of sterilization procedure. Doctors too will tell us, "you will change your mind".
     
  3. zombi

    zombi A-List Customer

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    Oh! Well, thank you! We are :)
     
  4. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

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    Hampshire, UK
    I think either choice is easier for men, because even if they want to have children the majority of child raising is still done by women. If Ihad a job that earned more or as much as my husband's, I wouldn't mind being the breadwinner while he stayed home and dealt with housework, lack of sleep and dirty diapers ;)
    Most of my husband's colleagues freely admit to staying at work late so they get home just in time to tuck their clean, fed children into bed and having a quiet evening. Some even volunteer to go to Afghanistan to get away from nagging wives and children. What sort of society is that for young girls trying to make a lifeplan? If it was easier for women, I am sure more would be convinced of that choice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  5. nostalgic

    nostalgic New in Town

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    42
    Location:
    United States
    I tend to be rather old-fashioned in my way of thinking about marriage and children. We got married last October and would really love to start a family but finances just aren't where we'd like them to be yet. However, I am glad that we had a longer engagement and now have this time, just to be a couple and not jump right into having kids because it's what "we're supposed to do." We also haven't gotten any of the "when are you having children" questions yet;)

    I really respect the attitude on here of those who choose not to have children. If they're not something you really want and want to devote your life to, it will be hell for everyone involved and I love the responsibility behind it. Why should it be anyone's business what you choose to do with your life?!

    In terms of raising our future kids, my husband and I are preparing for an uphill battle lol. From what we've seen, we have a much more traditional idea of disciplining, teaching, and overall raising. I don't mean overly strict or anything like that but we see so many parents who think their kids deserve everything and are so perfect that they don't need to be taught responsibility, sharing, communication... anything! Hopefully I won't eat my words in a few years :p
     
  6. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

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    Just so you are aware that we aren’t all that way. I am endlessly frustrated by the fact that Monday through Friday I only get to see my kids just as they’re about to go to bed - which is not coincidentally when they’re at their crankiest.

    This is a big reason I’ve started looking for a place to live that is closer to my office - I’m tired of spending 45 minutes commuting when I could be with my family.

    I would also note that being a stay-at-home parent of either gender is increasingly unacceptable; one is supposed to delegate child rearing to those who do it as a business and go make money. My wife, by her own choice, is a full-time homemaker (her term), and is frequently belittled for that choice by working moms - even though, as you noted, raising kids is often no picnic. The few stay-at-home dads I know have an even tougher row to hoe, as that’s just too unheard of for most people.

    Again, to each their own, but what this world needs is a little more mutual respect and acceptance.

    -Dave
     
  7. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

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    By the way, I only just realized this is a Powder Room topic. I realize I'm allowed to post here, but I apologize for barging in without knocking so to speak. I do most of my browsing through the "What's New" button.

    -Dave
     
  8. SheBear74

    SheBear74 Practically Family

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    Location:
    FL
    Dave, I love your attitude. I ALWAYS reffer to myself as a housewife! I say it with such confidence that no one bats an eye at me. ;) I hate that it was turned into a "bad" word and that I am now supposed to say I am a SAHM or stay at home mom. I think everyone has to make choices in life that are right for them and thier family, it's not my place to judge. My husband, much like you, loves to be around our kids. Some guys might stay at work later to be away from the kids (or nagging wives) but I am so very glad mine doens't! :D
     
  9. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

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    1,141
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    I know that not all men are like that, and that many of course miss their children. I have no doubt that my husband would not be one of those bad apples either. I still think that for a myriad of reasons though, the main weight of child rearing falls on women despite societal expectations that mothers also work and that there is something wrong with stay-at-home dads. You are right though, we need more respect for everybody's role, and better provisions for those parents that do decide to stay home.
     
  10. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

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    1,141
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    You are completely welcome to post in here :)
     
  11. DocMustang

    DocMustang One of the Regulars

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    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I have been following this thread with interest, although I refrained from posting for two reasons, I do not like to intrude on the powder room without good reason, and due to the sensitivity of the subject I wanted to wait to see how this would develop. At 5 pages of reasoned debate I figure this thread has matured.

    Let me state that I am a father of two boys, my oldest is 4 and my youngest was born last January. This definately exempts me from the "childfree" lifestyle.

    I am, by profession, a physician, I only obtained my medical degree 2 years ago and am still in training, but that is my chosen life's calling. Through the privledges of my profession I have been allowed into the lives of couples and individuals, who approached this from every conceivable angle. I have dealt with infertility and discussed birth control options and I have delivered 23 babies in the course of a single years training (I no longer work in obstetrics).

    My first thoughts on reading this thread were related to logic, as a scientist by training and inclination it is often my first line of reasoning. Humans, as living creatures, have the same imperitives as all other life, survive, grow, and reproduce ensuring the perpetuation of the species. This is, for all intents, hard wired into the deepest and most primitive area of our brain. However, Humans are unique in that we have this amazing capacity to reason, solve problems and use tools. The degree of our mastery of these makes us, unique among the animals of this planet. We alone have concious choices for survival, we have trancended the limitations of our native environment and adapted to survive on every corner of the earth (and beyond). All of this can make us forget that we are, in fact, animals with those imperitives lodged deep in our brains. We now enjoy the technology and the luxury of being able to make the choice to have children or not. But their is something deep in the dark recesses of our minds that those among us who choose not to reproduce are somehow "wrong" or "different". This is not to say that the choice IS wrong it is simply going against millions of years of biologic imperitives.

    I am also intrigued by the notion of the concept of "childfree". Those who are without children are indeed free of the burdens of raising children, financial, moral and ethical. But they are also free of the benefits as well. In my short time as a father, I have learned much of myself. I have been challenged in many ways. I have had my own innate selfishness assailed daily since the day my son was born. This is not to say that those who choose not to have children are uniquely selfish, but all of us, even the best of us, are selfish in ways we cannot understand until faced with someone who is utterly dependent upon us for their very life.

    The childfree lifestyle is also free of something truly profound and humbling, the unconditional love of a young child for its parents. I cannot express in words what this has meant to me as a father. Watching as my son continues to love me despite my faults, failings, and occasional botched attempts and parenthood. I have learned and been humbled by the simple purity of this. Those who never have children can only see glimpses of this through their relationship to the children of freinds and family if at all. Truly they are childfree.

    I understand the ethical choice to not have children. Our world is a world in decline. Everywhere we see signs of decay. Those of us who try to live a vintage lifestyle do so for many reasons but all of us share this sense of something lost. Why bring a child into such a world? The answer is cliche but quite true. Those of us who reach a certain point in adulthood become cynical and set in our ways. Our world is changed by the young, Many of our greatest minds made their most profound discoveries before they were 25. If our world is to change It is the young who will provide the ideas if the older generations will only provide the guidance of wisdom.
     
  12. Tatum

    Tatum Practically Family

    Messages:
    959
    Location:
    Sunshine State
    We are childfree (I love that term!) and have planned to be such since day one. It was one of the first things we talked about when we got together.

    I can't imagine having children. I would hate giving up our lifestyle, and I have always felt that I wouldn't have the patience for a child... I think Drappa made a remark about "emotional availability", and I feel that I fall into that category. I think Hubby would be an astounding father, ironically!

    The comments from others that are not of the child free mentality are just inane, it would be like me asking someone why they don't have pets and judging them because they don't. It's a life decision, which should fall to everyone individually.
     
  13. DocMustang

    DocMustang One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I cannot speak for the entire medical community, but let me speak for me and my practice as a young physician.

    I have no issue providing birth control, or even sterilization (there is a significant but subtle difference) to my female patients. My reluctance in going directly to sterilization is one of options. Namely women have a significant number of options with respect to birth control including some that are as statistically successful as sterilization without the significant risks of anesthesia or surgical complications.

    The two major types of female sterilization are tubal ligation and tubal obstruction. Both of which require the services of a dedicated outpatient surgical proceedure clinic with the additional support of possible inpatient surgical proceedures should complications arise.

    The most serious complication involving either proceedure is a life threatning bleed, which would need to be controled either through an open surgical proceedure or possibly through interventional radiology, if those services are availible.

    By contrast a vasectomy is the ONLY sterilization option for men. Is a minor surgical proceedure which can be performed in a minor proceedure room in a doctors clinic. The risk of life threatning bleeds is EXTREMELY low, the entire proceedure can be done with local anesthetic, which carries the same risks as a dental proceedure.

    The female equivalent of this in terms of risks vs benefits is the progesterone IUD which can be placed as on office proceedure, requires only a dose of ibuprophen the morning of the proccedure to control pain and if placed at the proper time in conjunction with a second type of birth control for the first 30 days after placement, is as statistically as effective as sterilization. As an added bonus this device is also effective as a treatment for many other gyn disorders and recent studies have shown that it also prevents Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in contrast to previous versions of the IUD. It can confer these benefits for 5-7 years (5 years reccommended) and allows for immediate return of fertility after removal.

    (Financial disclosure, I have no financial interest in this device and have received no compensation for its endorsement)

    Before you criticise the "Medical Community" please make sure you have all of the facts and weigh them carefully. You do not carry the very real liability should anything go wrong. Your doctor does. Physicians have been successfully sued for carrying out a sterilization in accordance with a patient's wishes and concent years after the fact claiming they did not know it was permanant.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  14. Tatum

    Tatum Practically Family

    Messages:
    959
    Location:
    Sunshine State
    Doc, I looked into sterilization, and the options definitely are limited. I wish there was an easier option for women. IUDs scare me, I worked for an OB/GYN for a few years and they have their risks too. Much less than tubal ligation, but still risks. There is with anything, including birth control.

    Hubby offered to get a vasectomy but I need birth control to keep my hormone levels in check, so we never went that route.
     
  15. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Without this getting too off topic, I have heard that some women who haven't had children find it difficult to get an IUD. I didn't have many problems, but it was recommended that I try other things first and the IUD was seen as a last resort (I see a nurse practicioner). I've heard some stories from women in the US that they needed to try mulitple practioners if they haven't had a child. Some went through 5 or 6, and/or had to go to planned parenthood to get one because their regular practioner refused. (Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization that provides low or no cost reproductive services in the US.)

    For those who are childfree it seems like a double whammy: it's hard to find a doctor willing to do sterilization if you haven't had a baby and it's also hard (although much less hard) to find a doctor who will do an IUD if you haven't had a baby, and as a childfree person you don't want a baby. I'm childless, but I can really understand how frustrating this must be for people who are childfree.

    I do wish there were more reversible birth control options for men.
     
  16. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    DocMustang, I have read your opinion with interest, and understand that your lifestyle choices have enriched your life.
    I also recognise that we are animals and have deep seated instincts, which, despite human vanity, are still very much part of our decision-making process. It is also true, however, that even other animals do not procreate no matter the circumstance, and that for them it often depends on availability of resources and environment. Wolves, for instance, do not all breed and instead help the alpha couple to raise their offspring. Many zoo animals refuse to breed in captivity, and I tend to believe that it is again human ignorance that tries to deny that this could be a conscious decision on the animals part because we don't think animals capable of such. The fact that some humans (and they are still very much in the minority) do not wish to procreate does not mean that they are not contributing to the species in other ways, or wish humanity to come to an end after their own demise. It may simply mean that they see their role as different to that of some of their peers. And if there are ethical/environmental ideas behind someone's choice not to have children, these may after all be down to instinct as well, just like they seem to be for some animals.
    Not having children is a simple lifestyle choice, which has no bearing on those who do, and isn't in any way an indicator of the childfree people's refusal to follow their instincts or help their species. If humans really do have the great ability to reason and apply ethics to their decision making, surely they would realise at some point or another that differences in opinion and lifestyle are not something to be feared or dismissed as abnormal?

    Secondly, I am certain that those who are childfree know that there are benefits to having children as well, but as Tatum pointed out there are benefits to many things others don't chose, which doesn't mean these people want to be convinced of why they should chose something else. Some people like having pets (who also love one unconditionally and depend on their human for their life), travel, doing charitable work, etc., some like being parents or growing their own food. This isn't to say that one experience is more worthy than another, or that one choice will turn out positively for everyone. They are just different life experiences. I reject the idea that a childfree life is somehow emptier or less "humbling", educational, or meaningful, because there is no basis for that claim. Nobody knows what another's experience is like. It's not a contest of who's life is more worthy or meaningful, even though we all seem to encounter people who think otherwise, and that is a shame.
     
  17. jessesgirl08

    jessesgirl08 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    azusa, ca
    Whatever works for you and your partner is your business and no one should ever take it upon themselves to belittle or overly question your decision. I was a stay at home mom for 10 years with my 2 older boys (just freelanced here and there on the side) and i loved it! I wish i could do it now but since getting divorced my circumstances changed and I went back to work. I have since married my new hubby and when he got layed off from work a year and a half ago we decided that it would be beneficial for one of us to stay home with the kids and since my job was much more stable and has great benefits we decided it would be him. He is a great stay at home dad/stepdad to our 4 boys. Doesn't matter who the stay at home parent is, any child would be lucky to have one in the home. Yes we have to make lots of financial sacrifices to make this work but our kids are healthy and happy and dont have 2 spend 12 hours a day in childcare. Households where both parents work is often times a necessity (who knows we may eventually have to go that route too-although we would work alternating shifts if need be) and that is a family decision its not my business to tell them they should give up things to have one parent home and it is not their place to tell me my hubby should go back to work. (although he works harder than me as all stay at home parents can attest to :)) I love having my children, I love being a mom and I could not imagine how dull and meanigless my life would be with out them, but i admire people who can make the decision to be childfree since their are so many parents out there who are too selfish, too lazy, to self centered or just plain unfit that have children that are neglected or worse. so whether mom stays home or dad stays home or both parents work or no parent works or couples are childfree its your life LIVE IT!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  18. Drappa

    Drappa One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    The fact that physician have been successfully sued in the past seems to be a problem in the system which allows those lawsuits to happen in the first place. For all the women who have sued, there are likely hundreds if not thousands who wouldn't have sued and/or have become unwillingly pregnant.
    Having a faulty legal system does not mean that adult women should be relieved of their ability to decide which risks they are willing to take in regards to their own bodies. I know plenty of women who have wanted permanent solutions but were refused time and again because of their age or because they may change their mind. I hear that childbirth carries quite a few risks as well, yet it is a much easier choice for a woman to make, and nobody tells you you'll change your mind.
     
  19. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    Nebraska
    Well said. :)
     
  20. DocMustang

    DocMustang One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Many women are fearful of the IUD due to some VERY bad complications of some earlier models which were placed in the 70's. These were copper IUD's and the strings on the devices (used to ensure their continued presence and to facilitate removal) were braided. This allowed for an ascending infection to develop which was both life threatning and could result in tubal scarring leading to both sterility and increased risk of tubal (ectopic) pregnancies later in life. IUD's suffered from some very bad press and entered the public conciousness as a bad thing.

    The modern Progesterone eluting IUD, is a different device entirely. The hormonal effects of progesterone actually make it more difficult for an ascending infection to develop, according to recent studies. It has even been advocated as a safe birth control method for women in their teens as a result of these studues. (this remains controversial). It is true that the IUD can be more difficult to place in women who have not had children and the risks of complications are much higher, the GYN's that I work with are quite comfortable placing them in that circumstance. As a Military physician I see many young women with no children for whom the IUD is the perfect option.

    The hormonal effects of progesterone from the IUD also have the effect of producing lighter, less frequent and often less painful menses. This makes it an effective treatment for GYN conditions related to these symptoms. These hormonal effects are mainly local effects so many of the systemic risks of other types of hormonal birth control methods (such as decreased bone density) are greatly reduced.

    Many women whom I have counseled simply do not like the idea of an IUD. For them the idea of some tiny piece of plastic taking up permanant residence is uncomfortable. For them it is clearly not the right choice and I work with them to find an option that suits their needs. I am very reluctant to send someone (male or female ) who is in their 20's and has no children to a surgeon for sterilization. The risks, permanance and availibility of other options drive this.

    Childbirth does indeed carry no small amount of risk for both mother and child. The thing about obstetrics (and one of the reasons I cannot see practicing it) is that the more you know about the possible complications the more terrified you become of the process.
    My own wife had a terrible time carrying both of our children. It is no exaggeration to say that my youngest son nearly killed her.

    I also never stated in my post that choosing a child free lifestyle was not a perfectly valid choice. I work carefully with my patients to support them in their decisions. It is not my job to make decisions for my patients, merely to ensure that the decisions they make for themselves are well informed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011

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