People Over 50 Discuss Why They Chose Not To Have Children

'I enjoy a ridiculous amount of freedom.'

In 2016 there’s still a societal expectation that all adults will want to have children.

Whether it’s friends talking about future baby names or parents saying they “can’t wait to be grandparents”, the assumption is ingrained in everyday conversation.

So if a person doesn’t want to have kids, sometimes others can find the decision difficult to understand.

To shed some light on the topic, Reddit users over the age of 50 have been revealing why they chose not to have children and whether they now regret that decision.

Robin Skjoldborg via Getty Images

Wanting To Maintain ‘Freedom’

“[I have] zero regrets. Less than zero. Compared to my friends with kids, I enjoy a ridiculous amount of freedom in terms of money, time and responsibility, and I frankly don’t see benefits that rival these costs.

“My parent friends seem largely miserable to me and they are uniformly pale shadows of their former selves. I often miss them when they’re right next to me. Mind you, I’m not judging. If raising a family is important enough to you to sacrifice these things I value, godspeed. We all have our own cost/benefit scales. But no, it’s not for me.” - eggre

Not Finding The Right Person

“I’m a 52-year-old male and just never found the right person to marry. I was a school teacher before I became a nurse (including being a school nurse). I have lots of kids in my life, including nephews. That’s good enough for me.” - cristen123

Being Ambivalent

“I’m really, really ambivalent about it. On one hand, I have decent disposable income, can do whatever I want, when I want, and to me that feels great.

“On the other hand I see my old school pals with their kids either just about to graduate from university or recently having done so and I can’t help wondering if I’ve missed out in some way. On balance, I think it’s worked out ‘okay’ but with just a touch of ‘what if?’” - xilog

Not Wanting To Compromise

“I finally found the Perfect Woman, but it turned out she was looking for the Perfect Man. After four-some years of a relationship in which I made no secret of my lack of desire for paternity, she finally piped up and said she wanted kids and thought she could change my mind about it, and had finally grasped that it wasn’t gonna happen. There’s no compromise you can make in a situation like that, everyone will lose, no matter what you decide.” - DrColdReality

Being Worried About Passing On Illness

“While I also just plain don’t like or want kids I also have busted DNA I’d rather not pass on. I have a really shitty skin disease that is guaranteed to be passed on to offspring (thanks mum) and is no joy to have, to put it mildly. I’d feel like a huge dickbag every time I saw my kid suffering the same problem I had and knowing I did this.” - 64fanatic

Not Wanting To Take The ‘Risk’

“There is definitely some regret because I have been told many times that I would have been a good dad. Having children seemed to be a risky affair that had the potential to wreck me emotionally. Thus, my decision to not have kids was ultimately selfish. I now think that I probably should have assumed the risk, even though I was not entirely wrong about my decision. At this point, it feels much like a loss.” - onepoint61803399

Wanting To Travel

“I’m 52 and I get to go to Europe every year and can take off for a hike or other time away whenever my schedule permits. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I do occasionally wonder who’ll be around to help out if I need it in my old age, but right away I remember that’s not the children’s job.” - youseeit

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