With Babymaking, Regret Goes Both Ways

Comments

1
Got a vasectomy with no problem at 25 years old. Dr. Fuchs @ OHSU is great.
2
My wife is a month pregnant and I consider it the worst mistake I have ever made. I advise any young person who is considering sterilization but delaying it due to pressure from others, FUCKING DO IT! I am already looking for a doctor with whom I can schedule an appointment before I make this mistake again.
3
I don't think people don't talk about these things.. I talk about it. I think the REAL problem is that neither side can imagine what the other side feels. I chose to be childfree decades ago, and don't regret it. But parents I talk to say I can't know if I'm REALLY okay with it, because I never HAD kids, so I can't judge. Conversely, parents can't imagine what their life would be like without kids. It's such a big part of an emotional life, and you can experience one side or the other, never both. I also think a lot of people wonder if the other side is experiencing something they'd like to but never will.

Honestly: whichever way you go, chances are you'll find you enjoy it. There are pros and cons to both.
4
It's not quite regret, but I do feel bad about passing on -- unknown to me -- some serious family illnesses to my children. Do I realize now that one would have been enough, all we could afford? Yes. But which one? Do I think my life word have been easier without them? Yes. Can I imagine life without them? No. Regrets really aren't worth having. You make your decisions and live with them.
5
Must point out that the percentage of parents who report regret (22%) is probably lower than the current percentage of pregnancies which are unplanned and out of wedlock. Probably some connection, though I acknowledge that some planned parents can regret it too, I'm guessing it is much lower among planned births.

Just make the right choice for you. No one should fault someone else for choosing to have a kid or not have a kid. (It's people who go one step further and actively hate children that need to be punched in the face, repeatedly, by me.)
6
Ha ha, "wedlock"
7

"Anyone who hates children and animals can't be all bad. "
— W.C. Fields

8
Well Sarah, you can always remain or become celibate. Posted TIC.
9
@3 - Well, but anyone with kids did live some part of their life without kids, so it's not really the same thing. Someone who has never had kids has never experienced it, while someone who does have kids has experienced plenty of life without kids, so they have a pretty decent idea of what that's like. They don't know what it's like to live their ENTIRE life without kids, but that's fairly academic, isn't it? Not experiencing something for another day or year typically isn't markedly different from not experiencing it thus far.

Anyone's choice to have or not have kids is fine by me, but there's no question that people who have kids have experienced something that people don't haven't. The fault is in assuming that experience is crucial to having a "full" life.
10
It is hard to quantify what "regret" is--- does that mean that I wish I NEVER had any kids, or that I regret losing experiences that I would have had without kids? Or is it that I regret having kids when I had them?
PDXwahine, you are very fair. Even though I had 30 years of my life before children, the nature of kids is such that you are completely in the present---I barely remember my life without them. 9 years later, I am a different person than I was before children, (mostly largely because of having said children). I can not imagine who I would be without them. I don't regret them, but I wouldn't push this experience on anyone who feels lukewarm about child raising. It's too hard to do half-assed.
11
Of course people don't want to talk about the regrets surrounding having children, they don't want to admit having the regret or they might actually start to feel it.

Sex ed reform needs to happen, and part of that reform should include making educated, constructive decisions about having children. Family Planning, they call it.
12
I didn't become a parent until I was 40. I had a "child-free" youth, had decided against children, and after rethinking it changed my mind. My moments of regret never seem to last, (they are predictable- exhaustion, worrying about not providing them with what they need, the disruption to a relationship, never about the child themselves) I understand why some would feel regret, especially if they didn't have enough time to themselves, or, seriously incredible single parents... it is really hard to convey the life change, both positive and negative.
Good topic Mirk...nice to know the Merc isn't always about being hip.
13
"Dr. Fuchs"??
14
My uncle's best line about babies "What are they good for? Ya can't fuck 'em!"
15
The percentage of women who regret getting sterilized who do NOT want kids, ever, is actually much lower than 20%, more like 5%. This number is for people who get sterilized after having kids, and then regret not being able to have more.
16
@9 there is a vast difference between the experience of childfreedom over one's lifetime, and the period of childlessness before having children.
Expectations of future, financial management, etc
If you plan to have children then the pre-parent phase is often lived in preparation for that moment, be it working/saving towards the parenting goal or doing all those things you know you may never get to do once you are a parent.
Living a childfree life such considerations do not exist, future planning and so on have an entirely different focus.