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Old March 26th, 2017, 08:59 AM   #1

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Free? - Having no children.


I was just wondering if a person chooses not to have children are they more 'free'. In that they have no worries beyond their lifespan. They just need to earn enough to last till they go. They need not worry about any long term issues. Does not having children afford a person with real freedom from any incumbrances?

And possibly better quality of life?
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Old March 26th, 2017, 09:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullit View Post
I was just wondering if a person chooses not to have children are they more 'free'. In that they have no worries beyond their lifespan. They just need to earn enough to last till they go. They need not worry about any long term issues. Does not having children afford a person with real freedom from any incumbrances?

And possibly better quality of life?
I think most parents will agree with me when I say that having a child can enrich one's life beyond words.

But I guess it's something that must be experienced to be able to appreciate it. For the longest time, I didn't want kids. I was very reluctant to have children, but my wife talked me into it. I'm so glad that she did so. My daughter brings me so much joy and happiness.

I understand wanting to live a "minimalist," lifestyle, but I think such ways of living can be achieved even with having children.

Last edited by Menshevik; March 26th, 2017 at 09:29 AM.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 10:58 AM   #3

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I agree with Menshevik.


Look at it this way. A couple that chooses not to raise a child gets to save money. Not only the day to day expenses but also the savings for college. A childless couple with disposable income can indulge in buying expensive toys such as a fancy boat. But is there freedom in that? There are storage fees, maintenance costs, operational costs, taxes, and repairs. Itīs almost as expensive in the long run as raising a child. The only difference is the boat doesnīt love you back.

Moral: whatever floats your boat.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 11:29 AM   #4

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I don't think I'll ever have children for various reasons, not entirely my choice. I just think it's not going to happen.

Sometimes I feel sad about that but then I've seen enough elderly people who have adult children who rarely see them or have anything to do with them. It's not really a guarantee. There are people who have a wife and children now but still end up alone when they're old.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 01:25 PM   #5

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Well to add to this debate:

You also have to find someone likeable/compatible enough to stay married to your whole life to raise the kids...
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Old March 26th, 2017, 01:42 PM   #6

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Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
I think most parents will agree with me when I say that having a child can enrich one's life beyond words.
And can get you worried beyond words...
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Old March 26th, 2017, 02:12 PM   #7

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I agree with Menshevik. Children enrich your life in away that has to be experienced to be understood. I would do it all again in an instant......although I have been up with my 10 month old grandson since 0400 this morning so his mum can get some sleep
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Old March 26th, 2017, 03:02 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
I think most parents will agree with me when I say that having a child can enrich one's life beyond words.

But I guess it's something that must be experienced to be able to appreciate it. For the longest time, I didn't want kids. I was very reluctant to have children, but my wife talked me into it. I'm so glad that she did so. My daughter brings me so much joy and happiness.

I understand wanting to live a "minimalist," lifestyle, but I think such ways of living can be achieved even with having children.
Menshevik took the words right out of my mouth here very precisely, especially the part abouta minimalist lifestyle, which is exactly the lifestyle towards which I have always inclined, never really wanting much in terms of worldly wealth or external achievement. My children have complemented rather than hindered that lifestyle. They have also removed doubts.

We speak of freedom. I suggest my children have helped me to be more free; not free in the petty sense of ''free to go on a vacation or stay out late drinking," but free in the greater and, at least for me, much more difficult to attain sense of "freedom from self." That is a gift which I hope will remain with me long after they grow up and leave our home.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 03:33 PM   #9

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Okay I get the 'enrich' part - I have two young kids myself. My brother has chosen not to. The other day I met my dad and he is very ill. He asked about about my brother and I saw the worry deep in his tired eyes. He was worried about his son. While I agree children enrich our lives but let's be honest they do also bring all sort of responsibilities and concerns - I call them incumbrances.

Let's look at why we have children. Deep down form of security for our old age and biological propogation. These are the driving reasons why people used to have children. Increasingly in modern economies old age can be secured by other means - like aggregating wealth and buying old age care. Therefore we are just left with the "enriching part". We know in advanced economies more and more people are choosing to not have kids with resultant regression in populations. This must tell us something about the calculus of having children as a considered act.

I think over course of this century we will see major change in the whole nature of having children. This will augur profound change in humanity.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 03:43 PM   #10

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For me, my family has brought me joy and fulfillment. I would not have wished my life to be any other way.
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