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People Who Are Child-Free And Over 50 Are Sharing How They Now Feel About Their Decision Not To Have Kids

"I'm maternal AF when it comes to cats and dogs, but small humans? No chance."

In a recent Reddit thread, user u/ADreamyNightOwl asked people over 50 who chose to be child-free if they regretted their decision. Here's what they had to say...


1. "I explain it to people like this: You know that feeling you get where you just can't wait to teach your kid how to play baseball β€” or whatever it is you want to share with them? I don't have that. It's basically a lack of parental instinct. Having children was never something I aspired to."

"My S.O. is the same way. Don't get me wrong β€” I have nothing against children, and I get really angry at people who harm them or mistreat them. I just never wanted my own."


2. "I have mixed feelings. I don't care much for children, and I think it would have been disastrous for us to have them. I was also able to retire at 52 β€” pretty sure that wouldn't have happened with kids. So yeah, absolutely the right decision...but I love my family and wonder what it would have been like to have my own, to teach my child the things I know..."


3. "My wife and I chose long ago not to have children but always left it open for renegotiation. We feel absolutely no regrets about not having children. Hopefully we'll still feel that way long into the future. Lots of folks ask us questions like, 'Who will take care of you when you're old?' or 'What if something happens to your spouse?' No judgment, but to us, those have always felt like pretty selfish reasons to have children."



4. "I don't necessarily regret not having them, but I regret the fact that I wasn't in a healthy-enough relationship where I felt I COULD have children. I regret not being stronger to leave the abuse earlier. If I had been stronger, I think maybe I could have had the choice, at least."


5. "My wife worked at a nursing home for years. She said 95% of old people never have family who visit...until they die, when people want a piece of the pie. This is when I learned that the whole 'Well, who is gonna visit you or take care of you when you're older?' line is complete bullshit. We decided not to have kids, ever, after that. Made great friends and saw the world. No regrets."



6. "No regrets. I knew what I was getting into when I agreed to marry my husband. He had two sons from his first marriage and a vasectomy. He was worried because I was so young (comparatively β€” he's 10 years older). I did seriously think it over. It worked out for us; we've been together for 26 years. As a bonus, I have nine grandchildren. All the fun without the work of the raising!"


7. "I'm 57 years old and childless. I don't regret it at all. I sincerely believe that I would have been a piss-poor mother. I'm an extreme introvert, and seeing my sister with her sprogs clinging to her all the time, wanting something or other β€” food, attention, a toy, whatever β€” and calling, 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,' convinced me of the wisdom of my decision."

"My sister's kids have grown into wonderful young adults, and I love them to death, but I need lots of alone time to remain sane, and you don't get that with kids."


8. "I'm glad I never had kids and I found a partner who feels the same. We are the cool aunt and uncle."



9. "I'm 54 and I've lived the past 30 years alone. Presently, my dog and I are chillin' in a nice hotel on a spur-of-the-moment vacation. I'd maybe be a grandfather by now?! I can't imagine what it would be like to have a family. I picture a life lived more 'normally' sometimes β€” all sunshine and roses, white picket fence, etc. β€” but I realize real life isn't like that. No, I don't regret being child-free β€” or wife-free, for that matter."

"My life can be boring at times, but then I look back at all the drama that comes with relationships and think I've dodged a bullet."


10. "No regrets at all. Just said this to my older, child-free sister today, and we agree on no kids. There are enough costs and responsibilities in life."


11. "Not one bit. I have never believed that I would be a good parent. I have a short temper, and while I don't think I would have been physically abusive, my words and tone of voice would be harsh in a very similar way to my own father's. I wasn't happy growing up with that kind of parent, and I wouldn't want to subject any child to that kind of parenting."



12. "Nope. I never had the urge to change diapers or lose sleep, free time, and most of my earnings. Other people's kids are great. Mostly because they are other people's. When people ask, 'Who will take care of you when you're old?' I tell them that when I'm 75, I will adopt a 40-year-old."


13. "Hispanic guy here β€” close to 60 years old. No, I don't. The fact that I chose to stay child-free is very unusual in my culture, and I originally did not intend to be child-free. I just avoided having children because I knew I was not really ready β€” and it just progressed from there. I know that most men are not entirely ready ever, and I think I would have been a great dad, but still, I have absolutely no regrets!"



14. "I'm a 55-year-old woman who never wanted children. I just don’t much like them, and 20-plus years of motherhood sounded (and still sound) like a prison sentence. I'm maternal AF when it comes to cats and dogs, but small humans? No chance. I’m very happy to be childless. Cannot imagine my life any other way."


15. "I'm in my 60s and have been happily married for 30-plus years β€” without children. Most of the time, I'm happy about our decision. Sometimes my husband and I both wish that circumstances had been different and we had someone we could count on to be there when we get old. However, our reasons for not having children still stand.

"1) We both felt the world was moving in a direction that can't be sustained. Research on global climate change wasn't part of the picture, but ecologically unsound practices were.

2) We're both from families where there are plenty of children and grandchildren. So our genes will be represented, without more taken from the available resources.

3) We both endured teasing about our physical appearances and didn't want our children to suffer the same.

4) We'd both been exposed to more-than-average levels of radiation and didn't want to risk it.

5) Personally, I was concerned about being a good parent. (My husband, on the other hand, would have been amazing.)

6) By the time we were in a position to support having children, I felt I was too old. I'm the child of a 40-year-old mother who had five children before me and one after β€” and although I would never have told her this, I really felt that some of us didn't get the time and energy that her eldest got. I didn't want to do that to another being.

"Instead of having kids, we participated in helping those already here, in a number of ways. In the end, we wish circumstances had been different, but we do not regret our decision."



You can read more responses on Reddit here.

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.