Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 Hide
181 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [8] | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: Childfreedom rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Keith "Boaty McBoatface" C
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think I've seen a thread on this yet, so why not throw the discussion to the sharks of RSP? The idea of childfreedom came up in another thread, so I thought I'd start a separate one so that one didn't get too sidetracked (derailed, in RSP, really?).

I'm Childfree. That means that I don't have kids and I don't want kids. It doesn't mean that I hate kids, nor do I wish harm upon kids. I prefer not to be around them, but it's about the same level as not wanting to be around a barking dog. They both annoy me and I see nothing to gain from the experience besides a headache.

It also doesn't mean I don't want other people to have kids. How a person chooses to live is really none of my concern, until of course, they start to impose upon me. So, you want kids, fine, just don't bug me with them.

I've been fortunate to not have to deal with the pressures of having children all that much. My parents don't bother me about it, although being single probably helps with that. Maybe things would be different if I were seeing someone, who knows. But I have heard plenty of stories of people being pressured about having kids, so it's certainly a thing.

The biggest issue most people have with the childfree is that they view us as selfish. I don't think this is completely accurate, since I'm not denying anybody anything by not having children (and no, refusing to live according to another person's worldview isn't selfish, and you can't deny something from someone that doesn't exist, bit of a catch-22 there). Self-motivated would work, but that describes just about anyone. This is often countered by saying that the bulk of the reasons people give for having children are selfish as well. So, we're all selfish, because we want the life we want, big surprise.

So, RSP. What are your thoughts on this? Are people who refuse to procreate selfish, child-adults? Are they sinners? Are they just naive and ignorant of the boundless joys of being a parent? Are they just afraid? Are they making the right decision? Do you feel this is a valid way of life, or should it be met with scorn?
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samantha RD
South Africa
Harrismith
Free State
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Having children is not the be-all and end-all of existence (despite what many people seem to feel). Simply put, I could spend 18 years (more like 30 nowadays) raising a child, or I could simply put my time and effort into raising my quality of living with my spouse. The latter sounds like it will lead to the more interesting options for my life and happiness .
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't really see how it's selfish, unless you view that the only reason for sex is procreation, and our really reason to exist is procreate.

I think it's selfish to have kids, and then turn around and dumb them on child care services, or parents, or on the streets. You brought them into this world, now "man up" so to speak and do the right thing and raise them.

I also think it's selfish to have kids, and then expect people to fawn all over them. As I said in another thread, Attention Parents: Your kid isn't as cute or special as you think he/she is.

Last year I went to a friend's house for Superbowl. The hosting couple had a kid, no big deal. One of my friends left his two girls at home, my other friend brought his son.

I was there to watch the Superbowl. The night instead was about how cute these two kids were playing around on the floor, and baby talk.

Of course I don't have kids. So maybe my opinion towards those who do is simple jealousy. I'm not opposed to having kids, but a lot of the time I'm thankful I don't. But maybe when I do, my tune will change. Who knows.

But if you don't want kids. More power to you. There are plenty of people with kids who shouldn't have them.

9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Bauer
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Bazinga!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At some fundamental level I think you are selfish. Not because you are denying anyone anything but people are naturally self-focused.

The experience of raising a child teaches you to focus on someone else's needs unlike any other experience I have ever had. I did not realize how selfish I was before having children until I had to care for them. There may be other ways to learn this selflessness but I have not experienced any.

Having children is an amazing gift but it is also a burden that no one should enter unwillingly. You are missing out on a lot of experiences by not having children. It does free up time for all kinds of other experiences that can be every bit as fulfilling, be true to what you think is best for you and don't worry what others think.

Quote:
Are people who refuse to procreate selfish, child-adults?
Yes

Quote:
Are they sinners?
Yes but so are the breeders

Quote:
Are they just naive and ignorant of the boundless joys of being a parent?
Yes

Quote:
Are they just afraid?
They should be, kids are scary little things.

Quote:
Are they making the right decision?
I don't think anyone should try to decide that but you and possibly your significant other. If you are not sure it is best not to have kids.

Quote:
Do you feel this is a valid way of life, or should it be met with scorn?
It is valid, and increasingly common as I understand. Parents aside, I can't imagine people who would think less of you for staying childless.

As an aside, a friend of mine is going through a difficult divorce after 7 years of marriage. They agreed not to have children before they got married but in talking to her she is second guessing her choice and thinking a child might have saved her marriage. I tried to explain the type of pressure children but on a marriage and how much better it is to get divorced without kids but it was not much comfort to her.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey, live your life as you wish, you aren't hurting anyone by not having kids. All I can say is that my wife and I have two, and I wouldn't trade them or the experience of having and raising them for anything in this world. YMMV.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
nothing but static
New Zealand
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
my only opinion on this is,

If you(plural non specific) don't want kids don't have kids.

If you do want kids have kids.

Quote:

The biggest issue most people have with the childfree is that they view us as selfish.


possibly because the loudest about it are pretty selfish.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jerbear
United States
Loveland
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
1 Million Shogoths Killed and Counting.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have a son and another baby on the way. Before having kids I really didn't want them. But now that I have them I really am glad that I do. Honestly, it really isn't that tough and although I do give up some things for them I get plenty in return in other ways.

I never would expect another to have children and if you don't want them then you certainly shouldn't have them.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Webb Space Telescope in 2018!
United States
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
I can say that having kids is the hardest thing I have ever done. Also the best thing. My kids are the most valuable thing in my life; it would be so much emptier without them. You can't know what I'm talking about until you have your own kids - I certainly had no idea.

Also, I have grown in ways I never imagined. I am a better person because of having kids. I feel that now finally I am starting to "grow up," as much as I have resisted that idea.

My opinion is that many childfree folks may one day regret their choice.

Everyone must choose their own life, however.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith "Boaty McBoatface" C
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tesuji wrote:

My opinion is that many childfree folks may one day regret their choice.


That's one I hear often. I've also read plenty of anecdotes from older childfree people that absolutely do not regret remaining childless and feel it was the best decision in their lives because it allowed them to pursue what was important to them. There are some that have kids have also expressed regret in becoming parents. I mean, how many abusive parents are there, they sure as hell didn't become better people.

I think this all comes down to the same fundamental issue though. You are correct that we all have choices to make in life. Some take more flak than others, even though there is nothing fundamentally wrong with them (being vegetarian, not wanting to own a car, preferring to rent instead of buy, etc). I think the source of this flak is that people interpret other people living a life that is alternative to theirs as some sort of judgement about them.

For example. When I read this line of yours "I am a better person because of having kids", one which I have heard expressed numerous times, I, probably unfairly, see it as "I am a better person than you because of having kids." I'm guessing that this isn't the way you feel at all, but you can see where I'm coming from.

Spending too much time in the childfree forums online can result in a bit of an echo chamber effect, so it's good to hear some other perspectives on this. I guess it just comes down to having the choice of not having children as something so many people simply dismiss.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lawson
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Orph wrote:
The biggest issue most people have with the childfree is that they view us as selfish. I don't think this is completely accurate, since I'm not denying anybody anything by not having children (and no, refusing to live according to another person's worldview isn't selfish, and you can't deny something from someone that doesn't exist, bit of a catch-22 there). Self-motivated would work, but that describes just about anyone. This is often countered by saying that the bulk of the reasons people give for having children are selfish as well. So, we're all selfish, because we want the life we want, big surprise.


"Selfish" is, of course, "self-focused" with a negative connotation. For me to consider something "selfish", it must not only include self-focus but also something negative, like an insufficient consideration of others' needs or a consequence that is unfair to others.

Using that framework, I think that people's reasons to have children or not to have children can be selfish but aren't necessarily so.

Orph wrote:
So, RSP. What are your thoughts on this? Are people who refuse to procreate selfish, child-adults? Are they sinners? Are they just naive and ignorant of the boundless joys of being a parent? Are they just afraid? Are they making the right decision? Do you feel this is a valid way of life, or should it be met with scorn?


I always knew that I wanted children. It was a baseline dealbreaker point in any serious relationship I had. I had children, and they're now 12 and 10.

I could not possibly be happier in my decision. Being a parent is, by far, the most rewarding experience I've had in my life. I have absolutely zero regrets.

That said, I completely understand people choosing differently. Being the kind of parent I want to be requires a huge commitment (of time, energy, etc.) and rules out many other things.

I can't take on on a spontaneous trip to [insert amazing destination here]. I can't follow my dream (if I were to have one) to move to some glittering city or some rustic hinterland for some exciting reason (or just because). I have recently become a single mother, and my maternal duties clash -- to put it mildly -- with any plan I might otherwise have to embark on new romantic relationships (not only because I have little child-free time but also because I will not be trotting people in and out of my children's lives).

For some people, those freedoms (and/or others) outweigh the expected benefits of parenting. And that's totally understandable and fine.

Personally, I think everybody benefits when people who truly, deeply, prefer not to be parents remain in the progeny-free zone. There are enough bad parents out there as it is.

The one thing that bugs me on this topic is actually the word -- "childfree" -- and the associated implication that "childfreedom" would be a substantial part of somebody's identity. I find mashed-up words kind of irritating and pretentious and I find the idea of considering this a central identity item odd.

So, there's my judgemental dose for the day. As for actually not having children, well, it wasn't my call, but it's one of many "different strokes" situations.
10 
 Thumb up
0.26
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lawson
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Orph wrote:
For example. When I read this line of yours "I am a better person because of having kids", one which I have heard expressed numerous times, I, probably unfairly, see it as "I am a better person than you because of having kids." I'm guessing that this isn't the way you feel at all, but you can see where I'm coming from.


I don't see where you're coming from at all. It's pretty clear to me that this line means "I am a better person than I was before because of having kids."

It's not about you at all.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If your childfree it's no more wrong then any otehr lifestyile choice. It's certainly not a sin.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith "Boaty McBoatface" C
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
corross wrote:

The one thing that bugs me on this topic is actually the word -- "childfree" -- and the associated implication that "childfreedom" would be a substantial part of somebody's identity. I find mashed-up words kind of irritating and pretentious and I find the idea of considering this a central identity item odd.


Well, to be fair, if you feel being a parent is the most rewarding thing in your life, it is presumably something that is central to your identity. This goes the same for me and others about not wanting children.

The term 'childfree' came about mainly because many thought that 'childless' had negative connotations (e.g. the lack of something). I've also seen 'childless-by-choice', but that's harder to type and I'm lazy (probably also a reason I don't want kids.)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Orph wrote:
corross wrote:

The one thing that bugs me on this topic is actually the word -- "childfree" -- and the associated implication that "childfreedom" would be a substantial part of somebody's identity. I find mashed-up words kind of irritating and pretentious and I find the idea of considering this a central identity item odd.


Well, to be fair, if you feel being a parent is the most rewarding thing in your life, it is presumably something that is central to your identity. This goes the same for me and others about not wanting children.

The term 'childfree' came about mainly because many thought that 'childless' had negative connotations (e.g. the lack of something). I've also seen 'childless-by-choice', but that's harder to type and I'm lazy (probably also a reason I don't want kids.)


Which is total toss, 'childfree' sounds like you don't want to pay for them 'childless' is more descriptive. A lie is not 'truthfree' its 'truthless'.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith "Boaty McBoatface" C
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
corross wrote:
Orph wrote:
For example. When I read this line of yours "I am a better person because of having kids", one which I have heard expressed numerous times, I, probably unfairly, see it as "I am a better person than you because of having kids." I'm guessing that this isn't the way you feel at all, but you can see where I'm coming from.


I don't see where you're coming from at all. It's pretty clear to me that this line means "I am a better person than I was before because of having kids."

It's not about you at all.


I understand completely that's what you meant. But for many people the implication is that if anyone that has kids is better than they were before they had kids, then anyone without kids is not as good as they can be.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith "Boaty McBoatface" C
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
slatersteven wrote:
Orph wrote:
corross wrote:

The one thing that bugs me on this topic is actually the word -- "childfree" -- and the associated implication that "childfreedom" would be a substantial part of somebody's identity. I find mashed-up words kind of irritating and pretentious and I find the idea of considering this a central identity item odd.


Well, to be fair, if you feel being a parent is the most rewarding thing in your life, it is presumably something that is central to your identity. This goes the same for me and others about not wanting children.

The term 'childfree' came about mainly because many thought that 'childless' had negative connotations (e.g. the lack of something). I've also seen 'childless-by-choice', but that's harder to type and I'm lazy (probably also a reason I don't want kids.)


Which is total toss, 'childfree' sounds like you don't want to pay for them 'childless' is more descriptive. A lie is not 'truthfree' its 'truthless'.


I totally don't feel like getting into a discussion of semantics and vocabulary. You can call the decision shmegegerry pants for all I care.
2 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Green Dan
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On the selfish thing...

Given that having kids is a pretty stong instict in all living creatures and the fundemental key to all forms of life and evolution...and given that some people choose (or never feel) that instict. Also given that the human population is exploding on the planet, to unsupportable levels. Maybe it's the people that have kids who are selfish and the people who don't have kids are not (giving up the option of passing their genes, that have passed through millenia on to the future).

I say that as the Father of a one year old. (Who is awesome by the way, and Worlds Cutest Baby. I have photo's if you would like to see them.)
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Keith "Boaty McBoatface" C
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To be fair, the first instinct is for bonin'. The parenting thing kicks in after the kid gets here.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Greendan wrote:
On the selfish thing...

Given that having kids is a pretty stong instict in all living creatures and the fundemental key to all forms of life and evolution...and given that some people choose (or never feel) that instict. Also given that the human population is exploding on the planet, to unsupportable levels. Maybe it's the people that have kids who are selfish and the people who don't have kids are not (giving up the option of passing their genes, that have passed through millenia on to the future).

I say that as the Father of a one year old. (Who is awesome by the way, and Worlds Cutest Baby. I have photo's if you would like to see them.)


There is some justification to this view I think.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Green Dan
United Kingdom
Norwich
Norfolk
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
slatersteven wrote:
Greendan wrote:
On the selfish thing...

Given that having kids is a pretty stong instict in all living creatures and the fundemental key to all forms of life and evolution...and given that some people choose (or never feel) that instict. Also given that the human population is exploding on the planet, to unsupportable levels. Maybe it's the people that have kids who are selfish and the people who don't have kids are not (giving up the option of passing their genes, that have passed through millenia on to the future).

I say that as the Father of a one year old. (Who is awesome by the way, and Worlds Cutest Baby. I have photo's if you would like to see them.)


There is some justification to this view I think.


Thanks. It's her nose that makes her so cute.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Bauer
United States
Gilbert
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Bazinga!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Orph wrote:
To be fair, the first instinct is for bonin'. The parenting thing kicks in after the kid gets here.


No, I think we have separate instincts for both sex and procreation.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shushnik wrote:
Orph wrote:
I think this all comes down to the same fundamental issue though. You are correct that we all have choices to make in life. Some take more flak than others, even though there is nothing fundamentally wrong with them (being vegetarian, not wanting to own a car, preferring to rent instead of buy, etc). I think the source of this flak is that people interpret other people living a life that is alternative to theirs as some sort of judgement about them.


I disagree. I think the source of that flak is being vocal about your private life and expecting people with differing opinions to celebrate it. People have their own ideas. If you don't want criticism, nobody is forcing you to announce that you're vegetarian, anti-vehicle, a renter, or Childfree.


Or LGTG, or Black or whatever. Also when did the OP say they publicise or proselytise about it?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shushnik wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
Orph wrote:
I think this all comes down to the same fundamental issue though. You are correct that we all have choices to make in life. Some take more flak than others, even though there is nothing fundamentally wrong with them (being vegetarian, not wanting to own a car, preferring to rent instead of buy, etc). I think the source of this flak is that people interpret other people living a life that is alternative to theirs as some sort of judgement about them.


I disagree. I think the source of that flak is being vocal about your private life and expecting people with differing opinions to celebrate it. People have their own ideas. If you don't want criticism, nobody is forcing you to announce that you're vegetarian, anti-vehicle, a renter, or Childfree.


Or LGTG, or Black or whatever.


LGTG, black, and whatever are choices now?


Choice does not matter (and yes sometime being gay is a choice, and sometimes being childless is not)), not if you want to say that people are not alowed to preech about something. I actauly agree that no ine should expect to be allowed to shove what they are/do/belive in my face. But I apply that to everyone. Religion is a choice, begin pro-life is a choice, being pro-choice is a choice.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shushnik wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Or LGTG, or Black or whatever. Also when did the OP say they publicise or proselytise about it?


To get flak about being Childfree, one has to announce the status. It is self evident that those who have gotten criticism for being Childfree have announced an intention to be Childfree. That choice is not visibly apparent.


Or they have been asked do you have any children and replied no I am 'childfree'. Are you sugesting they should hide what they are?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boaty McBoatface
England
County of Essex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shushnik wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Shushnik wrote:
Orph wrote:
I think this all comes down to the same fundamental issue though. You are correct that we all have choices to make in life. Some take more flak than others, even though there is nothing fundamentally wrong with them (being vegetarian, not wanting to own a car, preferring to rent instead of buy, etc). I think the source of this flak is that people interpret other people living a life that is alternative to theirs as some sort of judgement about them.


I disagree. I think the source of that flak is being vocal about your private life and expecting people with differing opinions to celebrate it. People have their own ideas. If you don't want criticism, nobody is forcing you to announce that you're vegetarian, anti-vehicle, a renter, or Childfree.


Or LGTG, or Black or whatever.


LGTG, black, and whatever are choices now?


Choice does not matter (and yes sometime being gay is a choice, and sometimes being childless is not)), not if you want to say that people are not alowed to preech about something. I actauly agree that no ine should expect to be allowed to shove what they are/do/belive in my face. But I apply that to everyone.


I said it's naive to expect to be able to preach about something (the actual concept I was saying was to announce the fact, but preach works for me as well) and expect to receive no criticism for it. If you want to be open and vocal about your choices, you're going to get a response. Seeking only positive responses is supremely naive and arrogant.


Sorry if I misundersttod your point, but I did not see you say its naive, just that they should expect to recive negative reposnses if they talk about it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [8] | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.