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Thread: How long do you expect to live?

  1. #41
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    Good call. When people ask me if I have kids I say "no, by choice". Everyone I know who isn't by choice is devastated and angry when asked more questions.
    I do that, too.I dont want someone feeling sorry for me. I usually add “we have lots of pets instead.”

  2. #42
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I do that, too.I dont want someone feeling sorry for me. I usually add “we have lots of pets instead.”
    Do you mind people asking? Sometimes I feel reluctant to ask, particularly when I have just spent 10 minutes talking about my kids. I want to toss the conversational volley back over the net, but I also don't want to pry.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Do you mind people asking? Sometimes I feel reluctant to ask, particularly when I have just spent 10 minutes talking about my kids. I want to toss the conversational volley back over the net, but I also don't want to pry.
    Catherine, if you're talking about your children and the other person doesn't chime in with their own kid story, they likely don't have children OR their children are not a subject they wish to share. ie: I know folks who don't because the kid is currently in an addict cycle ( a nephew and a good friend's son), in jail (2 people I worked with in the 80s), estranged.

    I suggest not asking. Leave some quiet space for them to talk about what they enjoy or are proud of.....I'll usually jump in with a picture of my beautiful cats (no, these are not my kids and I am NOT Mom to them!)

    Childless people NOT by choice have a great deal of pain and sometimes anger. We have a niece who endured chemo/radiation in 2003 to survive lymphoma. When she married my nephew in 2007, they presumed children would never happen. it was very hard as all their friends were having children. They talked to us a lot when we were together. "How do you handle the questions?" " why the hell do people always ask when will we have kids?" Lots of anger.

    The more people bring it up, the more pain and anger there is. When choice is taken away, it's a huge emotional charge to deal with let alone getting asked-which to them feels like being grilled because it doesn't stop.

    Last time I was asked when we were having kids, we'd been married 28 years. my response? "Well, since the vasectomy was in 1994, I'm guessing never?" We'd been married 14 years already at that point.

    My brother/SIL couldn't conceive despite a lot of money spent and effort. She hated the sight of pregnant women. They managed to adopt 3 by age 40. SIL is still pained at the sight of pregnant women and she is 61 now. I don't think a woman who desires children ever overcomes that missed opportunity completely.

    Fortunately, 1 of her 3 has 3 kids so she has a 2nd round by providing daycare for those 3. She thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd time around too albeit much more tired this time. So she's sorta raised 6 kids!

  4. #44
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Do you mind people asking? Sometimes I feel reluctant to ask, particularly when I have just spent 10 minutes talking about my kids. I want to toss the conversational volley back over the net, but I also don't want to pry.
    I don't mind people asking because I am happy with my child free status. my favorite thing to say is "I have the number of children I want--0." If they want to chat about how I arrived at that position it is fine with me.

    There is an interesting number of women here on this site in their 50's and 60's who do not have children by choice.

    When I read the whining posts over on MMM site and elsewhere about how haaaaaaaaard it is to be out of the main stream child free, I just go hunh?

    I have never hung out with people with children. Our friends who have children are the anomaly.

  5. #45
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    When I read the whining posts over on MMM site and elsewhere about how haaaaaaaaard it is to be out of the main stream child free, I just go hunh?

    I have never hung out with people with children. Our friends who have children are the anomaly.
    You're pretty lucky. Most of my friends had children. It was hard for me to find other folks who were childfree. Some I thought were, just had fertility issues.
    And along the way, it was hard for me, as it seemed that new-ish parents only want to be with other parents so they have entertainment for their kids while the adults talk. I was left out of a lot, some of those folks eventually became distant. For my friends with kids, now the kids are grown and mostly gone, its better for me. When I meet folks in their 50's+, children don't tend to be only topic of conversation unlike 20 years ago. I get it, its a phase, and its important to you while you're in it. I just feel left out from any conversation where I can't contribute.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Of my friends from younger days it is interesting how the one's with children drifted away into their social groups with children, and the ones like me without children into our own. I don't have a strong opinion on whether having children is a plus or if being childless is better. I don't have kids and am happy as it is and have friends of a similar bent. There is a feeling left out around people who get into long discussions about the children's successes or challenges. It's unavoidable and sometimes a little awkward, but not that big of a deal.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    You're pretty lucky. Most of my friends had children. It was hard for me to find other folks who were childfree. Some I thought were, just had fertility issues.
    And along the way, it was hard for me, as it seemed that new-ish parents only want to be with other parents so they have entertainment for their kids while the adults talk. I was left out of a lot, some of those folks eventually became distant. For my friends with kids, now the kids are grown and mostly gone, its better for me. When I meet folks in their 50's+, children don't tend to be only topic of conversation unlike 20 years ago. I get it, its a phase, and its important to you while you're in it. I just feel left out from any conversation where I can't contribute.
    Ditto. We got "dumped". We love kids.....other people's kids. But our friends became more and more distant until they disappeared and stopped returning calls. So be it. We enjoy each other's company very much and downtime is psychologically valuable.

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