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Do you think you would have preferred a life without kids?

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'Time' Magazine's 'Childfree' Life Article Shows Moms What They Are Missing

by Sarah Bernard

As someone who has not taken a vacation in the seven years since my twins were born -- a real one that involves lying in the sand in a bathing suit -- Lauren Sandler's Time magazine cover story about life being better without kids seriously struck a nerve.

My daughters aren't only the best thing I have ever done, they were a hard-won prize that came with one of those harrowing IVF stories we are all accustomed to hearing now. When motherhood didn't come easily to me, I was devastated, depressed, and distraught. The idea that the thing I most desperately wanted in my entire life might never happen was equal to annihilation. Yes, that real and that intense.

I hate being away from my girls. But this summer they have been lucky enough to spend weekdays at day camp in the country with grandparents and a babysitter running the ship while my husband and I work. And I am slightly horrified to admit that for the first time maybe ever, I can see the appeal of the child-free life

Like all working moms, my day is book-ended between school drop-off and when the babysitter leaves. I am home often. Most nights, I'd say. And it is not a sacrifice. I want to hear about school, spend time with my goofballs, read them Rainbow Magic books before bed. I fall asleep with them more than I'd like to admit. But there you go. I just did. I would go so far as to say there might even be a bit of co-dependence going on between me and my daughters. Hence the vacation problem mentioned above.

When the summer started, I worried that I would miss them so badly and that they would miss me so badly that this experiment would fail miserably. I watched friends send their slightly older kids off to summer camp for seven impossibly long weeks and my heart broke for them. For the record, they have spent every day since trolling their camps' website for photos of their children looking happy that they then email around as evidence that their pain is worth it.

The first week that my husband and I were in the city, my girls called a lot. One of them would cry in the mornings because I wasn't there. Then, the calls tapered off. And something happened. My husband and I met for drinks at 9:30 p.m. I started staying up late and watching movies or reading. Reading! I met friends for dinner -- is it worth noting that these friends happened to be of the "childless" variety? I worked late -- the way I used to in the old days. It felt right. It felt normal.

I found myself saying goodbye to my munchkins on Sundays and secretly looking forward to the start of the week. Driving away from my girls, I felt downright giddy.

The truth is, my enjoyment of this time is in part because I know it is temporary. I know that in a matter of days, my husband and I will be back to doing the full-time parenting, the drudge work, the refereeing, the cuddling, the playing, and the answering of precocious questions that make me squeeze them so hard I could cry.

If this child-free life were in fact my full-time life, no matter what Lauren Sandler says is a statistical trend, or what the women she interviewed insist they prefer, I would be miserable. I think a lot of moms would agree. For many of us -- if not most -- having children is having it all.

Do you think you would have preferred a life without kids?

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM

 No I like having my daughter around. The older she gets the more we can do together or with her being more responsible to care for herself at that time.

 I have had two friends who never wanted children who ended up divorcing men who had felt the same in the beginning. But sooner or later those men wanted children.

 I was not suppose to be able to have children and was told so at seventeen, but I have my beautiful now 15 year old daughter. I would not want a life without her!

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:42 AM
1 mom liked this

no; i did everything i wanted to do before having kids.

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:45 AM
1 mom liked this

Overall, no.

But there are days when I wonder.

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:45 AM

I love being a mom. I do admit that I am jealous of some of my friends who go on vacations or can go out on a weekend night for drinks without needing to find a sitter, but then I look at my life now and wouldn't have it any other way. I love being a homebody. My husband and I do get a little break once a month when my daughter sleeps over my mom's, but if I didn't want kids, I wouldn't be pregnant with my baby boy. Parents have to stop being selfish. You can still have fun, but it just has a be tweaked a little.

by Bronze Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:45 AM
4 moms liked this

Although I miss having time to myself whenever I wanted to, I can't imagine my life without my son.  After becoming a mother, I found a part of myself I didn't know existed.  So, I would have to say that becoming a mother helped me become a more rounded person.  I see life differently and sometimes it's terrifying when I think about how mothers wear their hearts on their sleeves and each time our children hurt, we feel their pain 100x's stronger.  That part of it can be exhausting because it takes a lot out of you, loving someone so much.  But, there's no better feeling than looking into your child's eyes.  Nothing in this world compares to that. 

by Gold Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:50 AM
5 moms liked this

I can see the appeal, until you hit 60+ years old and life slows you down.

My husband was just saying how much he's looking forward to having grandchildren and great grandchildren, and spoiling them with trips and gifts. I truly can't imagine how lonely life would be without having a large family gathering around the dinner table at Christmas, birthday celebrations, and other holidays. I know childless couples can make those memories with friends when they're younger, but who really does that into their elderly years, especially if their friends eventually start a family? Who takes care of you if you fall ill? Who gathers to share memories at your funeral? 

Kids aren't young and dependant forever, I feel like some childless couples tend to forget that.

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:52 AM
2 moms liked this
I will say I wish there was an island for teenagers where you can send them until they start thinking clearly again though.
by Gold Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:54 AM


LOVE my kiddos!!

by Ruby Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Nope.  I would be miserable without kids. I would also be miserable without my wonderful husband.  My family is the best part of my life!

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 9:56 AM

I had a life without kids. When I was younger, I thought that I was not Mommy material, could not see myself in that roll at all. I was a single career woman, owned my own house, car and free time. 

I was bitten by the Mommy bug in my 40s. It was too late at that point, of course, for me to have them naturally. I went though IVF to have my twins at age 48. They are two now, and the loves of my life! I am now a part time career woman and a full time Mom and I am loving every minute of it.

I firmly beleive that things happen when they are supposed to happen.

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