Couples older than 40 delve into the many reasons why they have no regrets about not having children, providing valuable insights.
Many married couples often choose to not have children. Their reasons for doing so could be many. Raising kids is a serious long-term commitment that not all individuals will be comfortable with and that's okay. Moreover, in today's economic climate, raising children can be a very costly affair. However, many people seem to be curious about what the lives of couples who don't have children are like. Reddit user u/NetworkOver7742 asked the community, "Couples over 40 and childless, how has life turned out for you? Do you regret not having children?" Here are 10 of the most insightful answers that people shared.
No regrets here, we are enjoying the flexibility and free time. The only issue we have is finding more people to hang out with as everyone seems to be too tired/busy because they have children. u/i-need-blinker-fluid. My wife and I are in our mid-30s and are slowly drifting away from our close friends after they have kids (because they’re just too busy/tired to hang out much).
We tried to meet new people but every local group we join is full of people with kids (I guess that comes with living in the suburbs) and all they talk about are related to either kids or home improvement. Some hobby groups (we tried board games and badminton) we join are mostly people much younger (low to mid-20s) and it’s not easy to get on the same wavelength.
Kinda sucks but at least we have each other. u/kend7510
My dad used to say I wouldn’t take $1 billion for one of my children but I wouldn’t pay $.50 to have another one. u/gratefuldad20089. Ha! Brilliantly put. I have a daughter who is the entire purpose of my life — my whole reason for being and the best thing that ever happened to me. I also could not possibly do it again. u/DammitMaxwell. I have three kids. My tattoo artist just got married and he and his wife are debating having kids. He asked me what I thought and I said, “Now that I have them I adore them. I’d die for them. I can’t imagine my life without them. But you can’t miss what you don’t have and parenting is exhausting.” They’re leaning toward not having kids. u/InsomniacYogi.
My wife and I decided not to have children. We go out for dinner a lot. If we had kids I think we'd be divorced. We have overcome a lot and it took 100% of ourselves at times to accomplish. If we had also been parents at the time I don't think we would have made it. u/Tagihi. Lmao I told my husband if we DID have kids, I know I’d be doing EVERYTHING and I’d resent my husband for it, and he’s like, I can’t say that’s not true! (Don’t worry, I didn’t want to be a parent either, even though I like kids and I’m happy that many of my friends do want to have them). Somebody has to pay this SS when we retire! Raising kids is arguably harder than ever. Parents get no help. It’s nice that they’re not an inevitable consequence of s** anymore. u/ImaginaryMastadon.
Maybe 10% regret, 90% not. These big life decisions generally aren't all-or-nothing. I have a lot of anxiety, and kids pick up on that. I wouldn't want to burden a child with coping with my anxiety, on top of just learning how to be a human, which is hard enough already. u/jl__57. Agree. I’m 38 as is my partner. We met a couple of years ago and my desire to ponder children increased with him as I think he’d be a great father. I have a lot of trauma I’m working through and I’m scared of emotionally not being enough for a child. I’m also worried about the environment and the world I would leave to a child. I don’t have a burning desire for one and I think you need that to be an effective parent. Had he and I met earlier, maybe things would have been different. I think I’d rather regret not having them than make a huge decision I’m not a thousand percent sure about. u/blurrylulu.
Thank goodness we don't have any. Life is hard as hell. We'd probably be homeless now if we had the extra financial burden of children. Some of us don't end up rolling on piles of money. Some of us are just celebrating that we're not financially underwater as we would have been if kids were in the picture. u/Not_a_werecat. Same. My partner has a chronic illness that makes it nearly impossible to work, and we’re still fighting for disability and care. He used to want children, but now he knows he’s too sick to care for them. I make good money but we’re in a HCOL area so I can work that job. We are happy not having kids, but a lot of that relief comes from knowing we could never possibly afford them. u/Born-Banana.
You won't get many replies as they're too busy rolling around in their piles of money, with the time to enjoy such an activity. u/811545b2-4ff7-4041. Exactly. I’ll reply when I get the chance but I’m busy right now on my three-week adventure in New Zealand. u/PersonalityItchy590. I don't have piles of money, but at least I sleep okay knowing I have few $20 in my bank account after paying my rent & bills. Yay, no kids - doesn't increase one paycheck at all, but helps save money. u/maywellflower.
Pretty good! I’ve always known I wasn’t a mothering type and I met my partner in high school and he had the same feelings. We’ve never changed our minds and we are going on 22 years together. We live a full life, eat out heaps, go to concerts, the theatre, and holidays, we have so much freedom it’s insane. We nurture our hobbies and sleep in a lot. All of our friends have kids and complain constantly about how hard it is, how exhausted they are and how much money it’s costing them. No regrets on our side. u/Ultimatelee.
Not over 40 yet, but getting there. So far, life is brilliant. We know several parents, and at least a few of them look like they have very happy lives with children. So I don't think a life with children would have necessarily turned out miserable. But that would have been a different kind of happiness, and we are content with our version. The most important difference is that we are not obsessed with making more money or living at a particular standard to make our children happy. A few of our upper-middle-class friends send their children to private schools where annual vacations abroad are the norm for their peers. The pressure of keeping up with the Joneses to make their children happy is enormous. We know that there is nobody after us. We only need to save for a comfortable retirement. We are not trying to build trust funds for anyone. The knowledge that we are accountable for our lives alone is very liberating and we are very happy we made that choice. u/Appropriate-Emu4576.
My partner and I have the freedom and the life we wanted. We can travel whenever we want, save money, sleep in, and have late nights out. Parenting was never something either of us wanted and looking at the state of things all over the world, we're extremely happy with our decision. u/Zoe_Hamm. That's the right mindset. I'm child-free and work with kids. People should ask themselves if they want to parent - not if they want kids. Kids don't raise themselves you need to want to parent. 24/7 all year round. Or don't have kids. u/Delilah92.
I'm 42, single. I have more money for my dogs which is nice. My mom hounded me about having kids while I was still a kid. I've always been a child but my mom would negate my opinions saying I'd change my mind or "Who will take care of you when you're old?" It finally got to a point where she told me I was selfish for not giving her grandchildren. It just added to my decision to have no contact with her. So I guess that whole "who will take care of you when you get old" idea is moot. u/EstroJen.