Any doctors having second thoughts on children?

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Brigade4Radiant

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This is for the doctors who don’t have children yet anyone and their partner thinking about not having children?

I’m realizing that I like my life as it is and I do know some parents who regret having children but they admit they still love their kids

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I waited until 39 and recently had a daughter. We were happy with our lives before and after. Life after baby is very different but rewarding. I could have gone either way but wouldn’t go back now. The main thing I don’t understand are people who are desperate for kids and whose life wouldn’t be complete without them. That’s sad and shouldn’t be (and likely won’t be) fixed by having kids.
 
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I waited until 39 and recently had a daughter. We were happy with our lives before and after. Life after baby is very different but rewarding. I could have gone either way but wouldn’t go back now. The main thing I don’t understand are people who are desperate for kids and whose life wouldn’t be complete without them. That’s sad and shouldn’t be (and likely won’t be) fixed by having kids.
Cool judgement bro.

I'm one of those people. Always knew I wanted kids. So once my wife and I were married and out of residency, life did seem like it was missing something.

My life isn't sad (at least I don't think so) and having kids absolutely completed our lives.

Since I'm on staff I can't say exactly what I think of your opinion, but I'm thinking it loudly enough I bet you can hear it anyway.
 
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I had a kid at 39 and I really regret not having been able to do it earlier. Part of that is knowing my life will be slowing greatly as my child is launching, perhaps a good thing. Lots of parents get a nice decade of active, work life after their kids launch. My child also has less grandparent time and I have less help.

The hardest part, for me, was making peace with a version of the original poster’s realization that the logistics of ANOTHER kid would be impossible with the life I enjoy. I can’t blame medicine, or I don’t directly, but I do have some sour grapes mentality that may also be influencing the original post, possibly not.

I worry my kid will be “alone” more in life than I am since I have a sibling. It ties into my work frustrations knowing I need to provide the security that an extended family might have otherwise.
 
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I waited until 39 and recently had a daughter. We were happy with our lives before and after. Life after baby is very different but rewarding. I could have gone either way but wouldn’t go back now. The main thing I don’t understand are people who are desperate for kids and whose life wouldn’t be complete without them. That’s sad and shouldn’t be (and likely won’t be) fixed by having kids.
I can explain this- many of these people have no other genetic family, whether by estrangement, death, adoption or some other life circumstance and they feel at sea in the world, ungrounded and isolated. It's hard to explain to folks who don't live in genetic isolation. But you know what? You don't have to understand, just accept their truth.
 
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I had a kid at 39 and I really regret not having been able to do it earlier. Part of that is knowing my life will be slowing greatly as my child is launching, perhaps a good thing. Lots of parents get a nice decade of active, work life after their kids launch. My child also has less grandparent time and I have less help.

The hardest part, for me, was making peace with a version of the original poster’s realization that the logistics of ANOTHER kid would be impossible with the life I enjoy. I can’t blame medicine, or I don’t directly, but I do have some sour grapes mentality that may also be influencing the original post, possibly not.

I worry my kid will be “alone” more in life than I am since I have a sibling. It ties into my work frustrations knowing I need to provide the security that an extended family might have otherwise.
I don't mean to simplify and I don't understand your life or work situation, but do you think you will regret not having another kid more or rejiggering your work? I realize you have probably considered this deeply already....
 
Don’t have kids, and the wife and I don’t want them.

Dogs, on the other hand, make me feel some solidarity to those who say “My life wouldn’t be complete without kids.” I’d have a deep existential ache without a dog, or preferably two, living in my home.
 
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The main thing I don’t understand are people who are desperate for kids and whose life wouldn’t be complete without them. That’s sad and shouldn’t be (and likely won’t be) fixed by having kids.
I think you're conflating 2 groups of people here. There are the people you describe, who I would imagine ARE by and large much happier and content after having kids... and then there are the people who have unhappy marriages who think that having a kid will "fix it." I would agree that the latter group tends to be wrong in their assumption.
 
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I have a kid and do all the same things I did before kid: travel, lift, gaming, reading etc.

Now I just get to share some of those with my daughter.

I'm teaching her to swim, and it's awesome.

Was great to see her play in the national parks.

She loves Zelda and likes to watch me play. Currently reading Ocarina of Time magna to her and she can't get enough.

Sometimes it's hard. I'll still have another one.

I think the staunch anti-kid attitude is cool and trendy when you're in your late 20s, and 30s, but when 40s and 50s hits, a lot of people have regrets.

The plebs on tiktok and IG love to post stuff like "look at all the stuff we can do because we have no kids!!!!"...it's a weird flex, and makes me wonder why you would utilize your time to create content like that. Infertility cope? Mental health / substance abuse issues? I dunno. Just don't be a pleb, and you can still do all the stuff.

I think if you've reflected deeply on the subject and still don't want kids / think you'd be a less than stellar parent, then you shouldn't.

To each their own.....
 
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I have a kid and do all the same things I did before kid: travel, lift, gaming, reading etc.

Now I just get to share some of those with my daughter.

I'm teaching her to swim, and it's awesome.

Was great to see her play in the national parks.

She loves Zelda and likes to watch me play. Currently reading Ocarina of Time magna to her and she can't get enough.

Sometimes it's hard. I'll still have another one.

I think the staunch anti-kid attitude is cool and trendy when you're in your late 20s, and 30s, but when 40s and 50s hits, a lot of people have regrets.

The plebs on tiktok and IG love to post stuff like "look at all the stuff we can do because we have no kids!!!!"...it's a weird flex, and makes me wonder why you would utilize your time to create content like that. Infertility cope? Mental health / substance abuse issues? I dunno. Just don't be a pleb, and you can still do all the stuff.

I think if you've reflected deeply on the subject and still don't want kids / think you'd be a less than stellar parent, then you shouldn't.

To each their own.....
I mean it’s all well and good if you can guarantee kid is awesome. That’s not how it works though. Kid could be a nightmare/sociopath/require total care/etc.

That’s my biggest issue. If I could guarantee an awesome kid, I’d consider it. I can’t, so it’s not really fair to bring one into the world.
 
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I'm one of those people. Always knew I wanted kids. So once my wife and I were married and out of residency, life did seem like it was missing something.

I'm like you always knew I wanted kids. I was the oldest in family with 2 kids and did a lot of babysitting and my husband was similar growing up as 2nd out of 5. We got married later in life and had kids later in life. We talked about adoption before if biological was not going to happen and both of our families were on board for whatever happened.

If you don't want kids... don't have kids... all I know Is it definitely takes a lot of work and really "takes a village to raise a child" Do what makes you and your partner happy :)
 
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I have a kid and do all the same things I did before kid: travel, lift, gaming, reading etc.

Now I just get to share some of those with my daughter.

I'm teaching her to swim, and it's awesome.

Was great to see her play in the national parks.

She loves Zelda and likes to watch me play. Currently reading Ocarina of Time magna to her and she can't get enough.

Sometimes it's hard. I'll still have another one.

I think the staunch anti-kid attitude is cool and trendy when you're in your late 20s, and 30s, but when 40s and 50s hits, a lot of people have regrets.

The plebs on tiktok and IG love to post stuff like "look at all the stuff we can do because we have no kids!!!!"...it's a weird flex, and makes me wonder why you would utilize your time to create content like that. Infertility cope? Mental health / substance abuse issues? I dunno. Just don't be a pleb, and you can still do all the stuff.

I think if you've reflected deeply on the subject and still don't want kids / think you'd be a less than stellar parent, then you shouldn't.

To each their own.....
The literate shoes that people who elect not to have children don’t regret it later in life. In fact on avg people who elect not to have children( not childless people who want them) on avg are happier than people with kids

We have income which allows us to do stuff middle income people can’t

Also child time can be cut down with a divorce

Also people are making child free tick-tock’s because most people have kids and when you tell them you don’t have kids they try to pressure you to have kids or ask when you and your wife are having them
 
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The literate shoes that people who elect not to have children don’t regret it later in life.

We have income which allows us to do stuff middle income people can’t

Also child time can be cut down with a divorce

Also people are making child free tick-tock’s because most people have kids and when you tell them you don’t have kids they try to pressure you to have kids or ask when you and your wife are having them

Would say self-report "literature" asking "do you regret this life choice that you can no longer modify" is dubious at best.

I'm divorced and have my child half the time. I like it because I can be completely off most of the days that I have her.

If you don't want kids, just don't have them. No one care about your weird tiktok flex though.
 
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Would say self-report "literature" asking "do you regret this life choice that you can no longer modify" is dubious at best.

I'm divorced and have my child half the time. I like it because I can be completely off most of the days that I have her.

If you don't want kids, just don't have them. No one care about your weird tiktok flex though.

People care about TikTok’s the literally get hundreds of thousand an of likes also they didn’t ask that question on the happiness literature

Also people can flex their life like they flex their children I don’t see any problem either way.

Do you have a problem with people showing off their kids?
 
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People care about TikTok’s the literally get hundreds of thousand an of likes also they didn’t ask that question on the happiness literature

Also people can flex their life like they flex their children I don’t see any problem either way.

Do you have a problem with people showing off their kids?

If a bunch of virtual "likes" to your childless life tiktok brings you more happiness than hypothetical children, then I guess I stand extremely corrected.
 
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looks like the primary lens from which the merits of child rearing is being discussed is one of personal happiness and fulfillment.

I have no problems with that whatsoever.

That said, some may view having children as their duty towards building a healthy society. I also think that’s an important angle that’s worth considering.
 
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If a bunch of virtual "likes" to your childless life tiktok brings you more happiness than hypothetical children, then I guess I stand extremely corrected.

I dont know what point you are trying to make. You made a point about tik tik bringing more happiness than children.

can you please point to where I said that?

You are are the one who brought up childless people flex I just pointed out parents do the same so if you critique one you need to do it with the other

If your your child makes you happy then so be it. You don’t have to put other people down though if they don’t have kids like that’s a moral mark against them
 
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Seems we've strayed from the "Is life manageable with kids: yes/no" to "Do you have to have kids to be a good person: yes/no"

Kids are a big time suck. Even the best kids are super stressful, exhausting, and disruptive to your life. Different ages have different demands on your time and energy. You will have virtually a second entire life's worth of free time available to you if you skip having children.
 
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I always thought that I wanted kids. Then I got to a point in my late 20s and early 30s where I thought life was pretty good where I could see not having kids. My spouse still wanted kids and I wasn’t opposed. Still was slightly in favor. Now, I couldn’t imagine life without them. They are my everything. It’s an individual choice. Everyone has to make their own decision. I don’t have any regrets on having kids. Most people have regrets though for the things that they don’t do in life, not the things that they do.
 
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Having kids is a transformative experience - you are changed so much by it that you can't know ahead of time how you'll feel about it afterwards.

I have two kids and I absolutely adore them. That said, I think parents in our society are uncomfortable talking about just how damn hard having kids is on your life. When my oldest was born, the old me died and I had to learn how to live as the new me - a father.

Is having kids the greatest source of joy in my life? Yes.
Would I recommend it to someone else? Nope.
 
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I don't mean to simplify and I don't understand your life or work situation, but do you think you will regret not having another kid more or rejiggering your work? I realize you have probably considered this deeply already....
 
I did try to rejigger work and life a bit. At my wife’s age, though, you have to start to get obsessive about it. I got another shorthaired pointer instead and I’m cool. Many pheasants have already paid for that brief frustration and many others will too.
 
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Kind of off topic but my kids main pediatrician does not have kids and it does not bother me, several of my coworkers who have kids and even those who don't have said "I would never go to someone like that" I find that sad because its seems closed minded that people feel a pediatrician needs to have kids. I don't feel an ob/gyn needs to be female or a oncologist needs to have experienced cancer to be "good doctor" I think you can be an awesome kiddo doc and just enjoy the pathology or taking care of little people.
 
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Kind of off topic but my kids main pediatrician does not have kids and it does not bother me, several of my coworkers who have kids and even those who don't have said "I would never go to someone like that" I find that sad because its seems closed minded that people feel a pediatrician needs to have kids. I don't feel an ob/gyn needs to be female or a oncologist needs to have experienced cancer to be "good doctor" I think you can be an awesome kiddo doc and just enjoy the pathology or taking care of little people.
Totally agree. I don't think having been really messed up in a drunk driving accident would make someone a better Trauma Surgeon either.
 
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Just don't be a pleb, and you can still do all the stuff.

Make enough money as a household so you can hire a nanny and plenty of outside help.

And if your a physician you’re probably at least moderately intelligent. Make sure you marry someone who is pretty intelligent. Your kid will likely be smart as well. Heritability of IQ is 0.8. Best predictor of life outcomes parents and people generally care about.
 
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Make enough money as a household so you can hire a nanny and plenty of outside help.

And if your a physician you’re probably at least moderately intelligent. Make sure you marry someone who is pretty intelligent. Your kid will likely be smart as well. Heritability of IQ is 0.8. Best predictor of life outcomes parents and people generally care about.
I never understood the nanny thing. You love having kids so much you want to outsource their care? I have friends who lament when their kids can’t go to daycare one weekend. I have other friends that lament leaving for work every day to not be with their kids.

I think the former is living the very definition of regret.
 
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I never understood the nanny thing. You love having kids so much you want to outsource their care? I have friends who lament when their kids can’t go to daycare one weekend. I have other friends that lament leaving work every day to not be with their kids.

I think the former is living the very definition of regret.

I think there’s a sweet spot. With nanny and outside help, it becomes quite manageable and enjoyable. Without outside help and 2 full time working parents? Stressful.
 
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The literate shoes that people who elect not to have children don’t regret it later in life. In fact on avg people who elect not to have children( not childless people who want them) on avg are happier than people with kids

If it's the same literature I've seen (from a number of years ago), I believe the full finding was something along the lines of "people without kids are on average happier than parents (of young kids); however, parents (of adult kids) are happier than people without kids"

As someone else said, I don't think this type of study should sway someone one way or another, but just wanted to put some context to your statement.
 
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Totally agree. I don't think having been really messed up in a drunk driving accident would make someone a better Trauma Surgeon either.
But meth makes me an exceptional ED doc
 
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I get why people want kids; it's a biological instinct to want to perpetuate ones DNA as opposed to extinction. That being said, it's a second full-time, around-the-clock job. I have two kids and I don't regret having had them (with my wife). They're amazing and I couldn't imagine my life without them. My life is much more meaningful with them.

That being said, raising kids is a huge amount of work and a huge sacrifice to do it well. For that reason all also completely understand people not wanting to have kids, if they don't have the drive to have kids. I respect that and actually appreciate such people not having kids.

If you're 100% committed, it's worth it. If you're not, then don't do it. Put your free towards something you're 100% committed to.
 
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I never understood the nanny thing. You love having kids so much you want to outsource their care? I have friends who lament when their kids can’t go to daycare one weekend. I have other friends that lament leaving for work every day to not be with their kids.

I think the former is living the very definition of regret.
I mean , young kids are not as much like dogs as dog owners tend to think they are. “Fur babies” etc. Realistically you can leave dogs alone all day and they are fine.
Parents(assuming a two parent household) have three real options
1) One works, one stays home with the kids
2) figure out how to have only one person at work at a time, including commute
3) outsource some child care to a nanny, grandparent, daycare, etc.

1) and 2) are hard for anyone, impossible for some. My husband and I have chosen 2), so I work straight nights mostly on the weekend so he can fit in fire shifts and rental maintenance around my schedule. The kids have to go with him to mow lawns most weekends. I don’t think that’s hurting anything. But i don’t fault people who outsource some of the childcare. Some people shouldn’t have kids but I don’t think having help with childcare automatically puts anyone in that category?
I have no issue with anyone choosing not to have kids, but having kids and a nanny is a reasonable choice too.
 
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Life was easier without kids, and I imagine it would be easier without them now.

But the species has to propagate so here I am, waking up 5 hours after going to sleep after the evening shift, pushing tire swings, and deleting things off my endless list once they're no longer relevant.

Edit: I do actually have fun with my kids, but it certainly is a lot of work.
 
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Kids are expensive 100% of the time. Kids can be frustrating 50% of the time. Parenting is the most ungrateful job 90% of the time.

I see many parents who look miserable with kids. I mean miserable where they essentially do the minimum. These parents should not have kids.

We have 3 and we are never without them by choice. We never used babysitters,, kids have never slept at night without one parent at home. All trips/travels we do together by choice. The bond and trust that this creates is immeasurable. We have a 15/13/11 Yr olds who still loves to travel with us, go to dinner with us, gives hugs all the time, go essentially everywhere with us, txt I love you because we formed this bond/trust when she was younger. I see other teenagers and they despise their parent because they lack the trust that was never built early on.

Put in the work early on and you will save a lot of headaches when they start to become teenagers. This is the the biggest reasons when I see failed parent/child relationships.

For me, not having kids would be an empty life. Not for everyone but there is no stronger bond than parent/child. NONE.
 
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decided to wait until we were ready to have kids. Then learned that miscarriages and pregnancy problems are way more common than I knew. Had our first after residency. She’s tons of work but I’m so happy she’s here. Having a kid kind of unlocked the dad role for me, and it’s awesome.

In my 20s i was staunchly against having kids. But in retrospect, I wish I started earlier.

Now trying for another one and hoping it works out. But would probably stop after 2.
 
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I think you can be an awesome kiddo doc and just enjoy the pathology or taking care of little people.
This reminded me of something from 10 years ago: we went to my wife's high school reunion. She attended a small private school (all girls Catholic school), so, it was a small affair. One of the women is now SLP (speech therapist), and she said she works with "little people", and I said, "What, like dwarves?"
 
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That’s a pretty awful thing to say. Like, they’re basically admitting that, at best, they love selfish pursuits more than their kids. Why else would they say they love them but regret having them?
Pretty pathetic but there are lots of pathetic and miserable people in the world. Doesn't surprise me.

My wife and I have never said/thought that we don't want to be around the kids lest regret them.

I find joy in almost everything I do with them including the 6am volleyball practices. No stronger bond than parent/child but not all parents have it.
 
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That’s a pretty awful thing to say. Like, they’re basically admitting that, at best, they love selfish pursuits more than their kids. Why else would they say they love them but regret having them?
I don't regret becoming a parent, but I don't think that's an awful thing to think or say. I think the world would be better off if more people admitted to having complex, sometimes even contradictory emotions.

Saying "I regret you" to a child is unkind, but talking about it to your friends is potentially healthy - could maybe even help you be a better parent.
 
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I don't regret becoming a parent, but I don't think that's an awful thing to think or say. I think the world would be better off if more people admitted to having complex, sometimes even contradictory emotions.

Saying "I regret you" to a child is unkind, but talking about it to your friends is potentially healthy - could maybe even help you be a better parent.
You can't hide your true feelings and anyone who says/thinks this made a mistake having kids and will have a high rate of poor parent/child relationships.

Your feels always eventually show and kids will pick it up.
 
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You can't hide your true feelings and anyone who says/thinks this made a mistake having kids and will have a high rate of poor parent/child relationships.

Your feels always eventually show and kids will pick it up.

Yes but some people are pressured into having kids and they do love their kids as well. They had them because grandparents wanted grandkids
 
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This is for the doctors who don’t have children yet anyone and their partner thinking about not having children?

I’m realizing that I like my life as it is and I do know some parents who regret having children but they admit they still love their kids

My husband was pretty firmly anti-kid for most of his 20s. He was all about DINK-dom, free time, etc.

When he graduated residency a switch flipped, and he wanted to try to have kids. I was pretty fine with either - didn't have a burning desire to have children but wasn't opposed to it either.

We have two, and neither of us have any regrets. Life is more complicated than it was before, of course. And if I had remained childless, I think that I would have still liked my life as it was. But there is definitely a richness, fullness, purpose that having children has given me that I didn't have before, that even being a physician didn't bring me. A different perspective, too.

Kids are a lot of work - everyone talks about this. And it's true. But they're also hilarious. They have an innate sweetness that few adults have, even in the midst of terrible tantrums - their tantrums or emotional dysregulation don't have the bitter, spiteful edge that so many adult patients show us. They love so hard without the emotional baggage that most of us have.

Kids themselves are frequently not ACTUALLY the hard part. It is juggling kids with a society/culture/work environment that isn't conducive to children. I can be patient with 2 toddlers pretty well. But add in all this background stress because work keeps calling even though I'm supposed to be "off" or you run into a patient at the grocery store and they decide that NOW is the perfect time to fit in a free visit, or the unfinished charting that I really need to get to soon....that's when it becomes overwhelming. Worse if you're not running on a lot of sleep.
 
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This is for the doctors who don’t have children yet anyone and their partner thinking about not having children?

I’m realizing that I like my life as it is and I do know some parents who regret having children but they admit they still love their kids

Also, whenever anyone really grapples with the question of whether or not to have children, I recommend that they read this:


Every life, Tranströmer writes, “has a sister ship,” one that follows “quite another route” than the one we ended up taking. We want it to be otherwise, but it cannot be: the people we might have been live a different, phantom life than the people we are.

And so the question, sweet pea, is who do you intend to be. As you’ve stated in your letter, you believe you could be happy in either scenario—becoming a father or remaining childless. You wrote to me because you want clarity about which course to take, but perhaps you should let that go. Instead, take a figurative step into the forest like that man in the poem and simply gaze for a while at your blue house. I think if you did, you’d see what I see: that there will likely be no clarity, at least at the outset; there will only be the choice you make and the sure knowledge that either one will contain some loss.

You say that you and your partner don’t want to make the choice to become parents simply because you’re afraid you “will regret not having one later,” but I encourage you to reexamine that. Thinking deeply about your choices and actions from the stance of your future self can serve as both a motivational and a corrective force. It can help you stay true to who you really are as well as inspire you to leverage your desires against your fears.

In spite of my fears, I didn’t regret having a baby. My son’s body against mine was the clarity I never had. The first few weeks of his life, I felt honestly rattled by the knowledge of how close I’d come to opting to live my life without him. It was a penetrating, relentless, unalterable thing, to be his mother, my life ending and beginning at once.

If I could go back in time I’d make the same choice in a snap. And yet, there remains my sister life. All the other things I could have done instead. I wouldn’t know what I couldn’t know until I became a mom, and so I’m certain there are things I don’t know because I can’t know because I did. Who would I have nurtured had I not been nurturing my two children over these past seven years? In what creative and practical forces would my love have been gathered up? What didn’t I write because I was catching my children at the bottoms of slides and spotting them as they balanced along the tops of low brick walls and pushing them endlessly in swings? What did I write because I did? Would I be happier and more intelligent and prettier if I had been free all this time to read in silence on a couch that sat opposite of Mr. Sugar’s? Would I complain less? Has sleep deprivation and the consumption of an exorbitant number of Annie’s Homegrown Organic Cheddar Bunnies taken years off of my life or added years onto it? Who would I have met if I had bicycled across Iceland and hiked around Mongolia and what would I have experienced and where would that have taken me?

I’ll never know and neither will you of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us.
 
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Kids themselves are frequently not ACTUAL the hard part. It is juggling kids with a society/culture/work environment that isn't conducive to children. I can be patient with 2 toddlers pretty well. But add in all this background stress because work keeps calling even though I'm supposed to be "off" or you run into a patient at the grocery store and they decide that NOW is the perfect time to fit in a free visit, or the unfinished charting that I really need to get to soon....that's when it becomes overwhelming. Worse if you're not running on a lot of sleep.

Yes agree with this and society is definitely not as "child friendly" as it used to be. The McDonalds by me no longer has highchairs or the playscape (they said they removed them after covid.) Many times when we go out to eat I noticed my kids are the only kids in the restaurant and this is at 6pm at local pizza/burger place.

Like you mentioned the work environment isn't very friendly/accommodating to pregnant/lactating/young families. Not sure if this will change anytime soon.
 
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Having a child was the toughest thing in my life. I have never ever been as sleepless or exhausted in my life as i was during the first 7 months of our daughter.

Now that she’s 3.5, i cannot imagine a life without her. I would honestly do anything for my child and I’ve never in my life felt the love i feel for her.

The hugs and kisses i get from my daughter truly make me the happiest person and im learning to be more and more present when I’m with her. On my days off we always do something fun :) just came back from the pool and had our bouncing castle up for her earlier in the day.
 
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The hugs and kisses i get from my daughter truly make me the happiest person

This x 1000.

I’ll be sleeping when coming off a night shift, and my 7 year old daughter will barge right in and give me a big hug and a kiss with a smile on her face that would melt any fathers heart. Just makes my day.
 
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Kids are a lot of work - everyone talks about this. And it's true. But they're also hilarious. They have an innate sweetness that few adults have, even in the midst of terrible tantrums - their tantrums or emotional dysregulation don't have the bitter, spiteful edge that so many adult patients show us. They love so hard without the emotional baggage that most of us have.
This is so true. Can't say it any better. If you never have had kids, you will never understand this. Even in their worse moments, you can't even be mad. It becomes comical that I have to "Fake" getting mad just to get their attention b/c I just can't think of a time when I actually were mad at them. Even in their worse moments, they have a pure heart. I'm sure this will end when they start to get the evil adult mindset.
 
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The hugs and kisses i get from my daughter truly make me the happiest person and im learning to be more and more present when I’m with her. On my days off we always do something fun :) just came back from the pool and had our bouncing castle up for her earlier in the day.
To be present is the most imp thing you can do. To them, possession and money means little.

I have a friend with 4 kids who is partner at one of the big 3, prob makes as much/more than I do. Travels all the time, like M-Th ever week. The wife looks miserable juggling 4 young kids by herself for school/activities. He looks miserable and unhealthy. His two oldest kids (15/13)have a poor relationship with him to the point of not wanting to go on family vaca. The older ones confide in my daughter and my wife for advice b/c she is more present at school.

Pre teen kids only want parents to be present. To be there when they hurt themselves, have nightmares, need a hug, taken outside to play. Whenever I am not working and my kids want to do something, I always do it even if I am dead tired. I did an overnight locums shift one day, my kid had an event the next day at 9am, I drove home dead tired at 6am to make it to his 1 hr silly event. Other parents thought I was crazy as only about 5% of parents even showed up. But to my kid, even to this day, remembers that I was there. Fast forward 5 yrs, and he still wants me to be at all of his activities. I get hugs from my 11/13/15 yr olds out of the blue daily. These silly events may not seem important, but it matters a lot.
 
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I'm knocking on 50 and my wife is mid thirties and we very happily chose to not have children. I have never once regretted it. However, we have always had a house full of furry children.

I've always had the utmost respect and admiration for parents but don't mind admitting that I don't think I'd make a very good one.

I've always seen it as an enormous investment and exercise in self sacrifice for an unacceptably low probability ROI. Meaning...I'm sure there's an enormous amount of psychological income that is derived from parenting and raising a child but ultimately they leave the nest after draining resources for 18 years and there's really no guarantee that they will be there when I need them the most...i.e. old age. You can assume...but in this day and age with everyone and their "daddy/mommy" issues, it's really a crap shoot IMO. Hell, I don't have a close relationship with my own parents. All this is assuming that they are born healthy with no serious congenital or long term health issues and that's no guarantee.

Perhaps I'm just selfish... but I treasure and value my personal time. I don't want to be wiping butts, cleaning up messes, listening to crying kids, having to tell my kid "because I said so!", getting stressed about the latest parent teacher meeting and/or worrying that my kid is being secretly gender changed by their 3rd grade teacher, etc.. I don't want to have to phone up the parents of "Alex the Bully" who threw my kid off the monkey bars that day. I don't want to have to come in from a hard shift at work and have to read bedtime stories. I just want to do my own thing. I'm perfectly fine knowing that my genetic line dies with me. Maybe that's evolution doing it's job. It produced someone without a strong enough paternal or reproductive instinct and therefore I'm being deselected from the gene pool. Who knows.
 
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