Getting older without children
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25-03-2013, 12:59 PM
RE: Getting older without children
I am 72 with 2 adopted kids, grown and gone for a long time.

My life is so full of fun, in retirement, that I often cheap out on sleep, so I can finish an important part of one of the many projects I am involved in.

Of course, I have the fortune of living with my wife who is also my best friend and we share everything.

When the time comes that we can't continue like this, because of terminal illness for either of us, we have a pact to end it together.

No, we never missed having our biological children and we had 20 years of fun raising our adopted kids.

I can tell you, with assurance, that it is possible to live life happily without procreation.

I hope this helps. Smile
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25-03-2013, 02:53 PM
RE: Getting older without children
(25-03-2013 12:59 PM)Zat Wrote:  Of course, I have the fortune of living with my wife who is also my best friend and we share everything.

When the time comes that we can't continue like this, because of terminal illness for either of us, we have a pact to end it together.
That is interesting. We're still too young to contemplate your scenario but I completely understand.

"Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." - Mark Twain in Eruption
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25-03-2013, 10:55 PM
RE: Getting older without children
Thank you all for your answers, very interesting points of view.


About adoption, here in Mexico most (if not all) organizations are stupidly exigent. They even require you to be
a practicing catholic so we've eliminated that option.

We have a dog (a labrador retriever) and we're happy with him. He certainly is our "kid", a kid that never grows up
so we can always have a dog's companion and alleviate our hormonal parental surge.

Sometimes I also think that it makes no sense to have a kid these days but not for the same reason as Dom's. I see this world
so fucked up that I wouldn't like my son to live in it. There's too much selfishness, too much violence, too much stupidity... and
it seems it gets worse every day. So when I feel sad for no having kids, those thoughts make feel calm and feel rational again.

When we were younger we decided not to have kids at that moment (we were about 25). Some years later, my wife felt the clock
ticking and tried to get pregnant but I was not convinced/ready... time passed... and some years later we knew of her problem.
I cannot deny I feel somewhat guilty for not having tried harder when she wanted.

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03-04-2013, 01:03 PM
RE: Getting older without children
- How do you fill that space? After all, we all are supposed to be here to procreate.

Well, not *everyone* should have kids. I'm 46 and childless, but for now I "fill that space" by taking care of my parents, one of whom (my dad) has Alzheimer's. However, it's not the same thing - with kids, you have the hope of the future invested in them. With aging parents, it's basically a downward slide to the grave. Plus, at my age and energy level I'm not sure I want to deal with young children, nor do I necessarily wish to be in my 70s by the time they graduate from high school. And to be honest, I don't want to care for a special needs child or struggle with a deadbeat or a psychopath.

- How do you see yourselves when older, when there's only you and your partner?

I'm currently without a partner, and given my lousy track record with relationships (due in part to bad modeling and deep religious involvement from ages 17 to 40) I can see myself growing old alone. If that happens, I'll have to cope like I've always had to cope and rely on myself (and in this case, find good caregivers). Being an introvert helps, but I'm not sure I look forward to rotting away in an old folks' home. I hope for a better end than that - at least in a world like "Soylent Green" I'd go into the food cycle after dying on a table listening to my favorite music and seeing pleasant visual images...

- Don't you feel that you missed something in your life? i.e. your life is incomplete...

I'm a 46-year-old virgin, so I definitely missed out on a sexual relationship of any type. Speaking with Dr. Darrel Ray at the AA convention gave me some tools that might open up my sexual horizons, but I'm so set in my ways (and somewhat cynical and fearful) that it's hard to motivate myself to take the steps he suggested (I posted them in another thread). I'd certainly hate to get a STD, deal with a nutty woman, or have a kid out of wedlock, but I suppose one has to not worry about the worst case scenarios and take a risk. That said, I want to take an *informed* risk, and I'm kind of old-fashioned in that I want a loving monogamous relationship (like Andy found in the movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Even so, I may have to try out some of Dr. Ray's ideas to shed my sexual shell before I get too old and creaky to care anymore.
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03-04-2013, 02:13 PM
RE: Getting older without children
This literally brings tears to my eyes! It's something I think about every day. I am 50 years old and have no kids. I also have virtually no family. Mom and Dad are dead. One of my brothers murdered, the other mentally disabled. My favorite uncle died, drunk, in a fire. My disabled brother lives with me, and I can't saddle that on any woman. So no girlfriend. I feel as alone as a person can get! I worry that I will die young because I have nothing to live for. I find it difficult to become motivated to do anything. Even simple things. And god is not there for me. So, I wish I had a positive message for you, but I don't! I am hoping for the same answers. So, I guess I am leeching onto your post, hoping that someone can help both of us!.
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03-04-2013, 02:31 PM
RE: Getting older without children
(03-04-2013 02:13 PM)Ameron1963 Wrote:  This literally brings tears to my eyes! It's something I think about every day. I am 50 years old and have no kids. I also have virtually no family. Mom and Dad are dead. One of my brothers murdered, the other mentally disabled. My favorite uncle died, drunk, in a fire. My disabled brother lives with me, and I can't saddle that on any woman. So no girlfriend. I feel as alone as a person can get! I worry that I will die young because I have nothing to live for. I find it difficult to become motivated to do anything. Even simple things. And god is not there for me. So, I wish I had a positive message for you, but I don't! I am hoping for the same answers. So, I guess I am leeching onto your post, hoping that someone can help both of us!.

Ameron, first of all - really sorry to hear that you seem to have had more than your fair share of bad things happen to you. Not a nice hand you got dealt. (Of course, there's always hope that things can get better).

Second, as much as I would like to give you some hopeful message, I think that everyone should face the fact that they may very well die alone. Not a pleasant thought (though it does have some positive aspects, like not leaving behind grieving people), but I think it's better to consider it and try to make our peace with it. This way, if it actually does happen, we may be (at least) somewhat prepared to deal with it (at least that's what I've done.)

NB! This being said, I don't think you should avoid looking for a girlfriend just because of your brother. People can always surprise you and from time to time - surprise you pleasantly. You'll be surprised to find what some people are willing to do for someone they love. Much more than live with a mentally disabled person. Really. Also, there are a lot of lonely people for whom it won't even be the sacrifice you seem to think it is. All I'm saying is, if you really want someone in your life, do look for them. You'll regret it later on if you don't.

Good luck!

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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03-04-2013, 03:27 PM
RE: Getting older without children
(03-04-2013 02:31 PM)Vera Wrote:  
(03-04-2013 02:13 PM)Ameron1963 Wrote:  This literally brings tears to my eyes! It's something I think about every day. I am 50 years old and have no kids. I also have virtually no family. Mom and Dad are dead. One of my brothers murdered, the other mentally disabled. My favorite uncle died, drunk, in a fire. My disabled brother lives with me, and I can't saddle that on any woman. So no girlfriend. I feel as alone as a person can get! I worry that I will die young because I have nothing to live for. I find it difficult to become motivated to do anything. Even simple things. And god is not there for me. So, I wish I had a positive message for you, but I don't! I am hoping for the same answers. So, I guess I am leeching onto your post, hoping that someone can help both of us!.

Ameron, first of all - really sorry to hear that you seem to have had more than your fair share of bad things happen to you. Not a nice hand you got dealt. (Of course, there's always hope that things can get better).

Second, as much as I would like to give you some hopeful message, I think that everyone should face the fact that they may very well die alone. Not a pleasant thought (though it does have some positive aspects, like not leaving behind grieving people), but I think it's better to consider it and try to make our peace with it. This way, if it actually does happen, we may be (at least) somewhat prepared to deal with it (at least that's what I've done.)

NB! This being said, I don't think you should avoid looking for a girlfriend just because of your brother. People can always surprise you and from time to time - surprise you pleasantly. You'll be surprised to find what some people are willing to do for someone they love. Much more than live with a mentally disabled person. Really. Also, there are a lot of lonely people for whom it won't even be the sacrifice you seem to think it is. All I'm saying is, if you really want someone in your life, do look for them. You'll regret it later on if you don't.

Good luck!

Thanks Vera. Very kind of you to respond. Just went to get some potato chips and my brother (schitzophrenic) is shouting at the top of his lungs at someone who does not exist. I don't even notice it anymore, accept when it wakes me in the middle of the night. I am not a god believer. But I can see why some people have the need for that! I know that god is not there to help me. But I can see where the need for such an entity could weild enormous power.
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03-04-2013, 03:47 PM
RE: Getting older without children
(03-04-2013 03:27 PM)Ameron1963 Wrote:  Thanks Vera. Very kind of you to respond. Just went to get some potato chips and my brother (schitzophrenic) is shouting at the top of his lungs at someone who does not exist. I don't even notice it anymore, accept when it wakes me in the middle of the night. I am not a god believer. But I can see why some people have the need for that! I know that god is not there to help me. But I can see where the need for such an entity could weild enormous power.

Yeah, the security blanket of faith is very warm, indeed. But it wears thin over the years. And pacifiers and stuffed animals are for kids. So as much as it hurts losing this feeling that someone is watching over you, biding his time to help you, I still think it's better not to delude oneself and see how one can help oneself instead.

As for the rest of it, I really did mean it that you shouldn't give up. Love and companionship come in all shapes and sizes. People look for different things and are prepared to give different things. So I'm sure there is someone out there who is willing to give what you need. Hey, you don't even have to live together, if you think a woman won't be able to deal with the stress. Just the knowledge that there is someone out there (in the real world, not up there in the sky) who cares, someone that you can see and be with, even if only for a while, can make a huge difference.

And love at a more mature age has its advantages over the hormonal hodgepodge that is love when you're really really young. A lot of the smaller, insignificant things we place so much importance on when we're younger, suddenly lose its importance and you're left with things that actually do matter. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling you old, just saying that love at your age is nothing like what teens have and do and occasionally kill themselves over Tongue )

(As for your brother, doesn't medication help or not always?)

PS. All this being said, there is nothing wrong with being alone, too.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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03-04-2013, 04:13 PM
RE: Getting older without children
(24-03-2013 10:46 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  I'm not a childless responder so ignore me if you like...

First, I agree with Vera in that this whole notion of children providing pleasure for adults is misguided at best and destructive at it's worse. Kids are sovereign individuals who are supposed to be themselves, not clones of their parents. They can and fill a void but that's not their purpose in life. Our purpose as parents is to foster their well being and provide for them the things they need in order that we can deliver the child to his adult self as a healthy, curious and happy being. If that makes us happy or fills a void then that's just a bonus.

As for people telling you life is empty without kids.... that may be for them and if it is then I'm sorry for them. My wife and I had our son very young, so at forty, we were in an empty house and to be honest, there isn't a thing missing here. And I have no doubt that had we not had our son, there would still be nothing missing. In the end, it is only you and your wife who can decide whether your life will be empty without kids or not and frankly, if it is.... having a kid will only exacerbate that empty feeling. My wife and I would have preferred to have become rich in our twenties and be living in a million dollar home by now but the fact that we didn't does not leave any void in our relationship. We're happy with one another regardless of the path our life together takes.

That said, if your motivation in having kids is to help another human being become a happy and healthy adult, please consider adoption. If the motivation is to create a clone that makes you happy, then please don't.

I think you made a "Logic Leap", there. My understanding is that you have children and I suspect that they are a signicant part of your life. The question is not about your ability to progam them. It is about the beauty of your involvement in their lives. For some of us there is no child. I find it difficult to believe that you have children and have no appreciation of them or their lives. No investment in their future? My brother, who is schizsophrenic, just walked in and told me that I should watch Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" so I could see his "clones". I don't even know what that means! So, I have to wonder: What would my child have been? Maybe a child is like a dollar: If you have one, you take it for granted.
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03-04-2013, 04:37 PM
RE: Getting older without children
(03-04-2013 03:47 PM)Vera Wrote:  
(03-04-2013 03:27 PM)Ameron1963 Wrote:  Thanks Vera. Very kind of you to respond. Just went to get some potato chips and my brother (schitzophrenic) is shouting at the top of his lungs at someone who does not exist. I don't even notice it anymore, accept when it wakes me in the middle of the night. I am not a god believer. But I can see why some people have the need for that! I know that god is not there to help me. But I can see where the need for such an entity could weild enormous power.

Yeah, the security blanket of faith is very warm, indeed. But it wears thin over the years. And pacifiers and stuffed animals are for kids. So as much as it hurts losing this feeling that someone is watching over you, biding his time to help you, I still think it's better not to delude oneself and see how one can help oneself instead.

As for the rest of it, I really did mean it that you shouldn't give up. Love and companionship come in all shapes and sizes. People look for different things and are prepared to give different things. So I'm sure there is someone out there who is willing to give what you need. Hey, you don't even have to live together, if you think a woman won't be able to deal with the stress. Just the knowledge that there is someone out there (in the real world, not up there in the sky) who cares, someone that you can see and be with, even if only for a while, can make a huge difference.

And love at a more mature age has its advantages over the hormonal hodgepodge that is love when you're really really young. A lot of the smaller, insignificant things we place so much importance on when we're younger, suddenly lose its importance and you're left with things that actually do matter. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling you old, just saying that love at your age is nothing like what teens have and do and occasionally kill themselves over Tongue )

(As for your brother, doesn't medication help or not always?)

PS. All this being said, there is nothing wrong with being alone, too.

"Nothing wrong with being alone"? Try it! Being alone can kill you! Being alone hurts deeply! Being alone can make you hate yourself, condemn yourself! Being alone is hateful and terrible! I know that you face the fact that there is no god. Don't feed lonely people platitudes. Don't tell us that your children mean nothing! Lonliness can kill you!
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