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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 (31-40):
by Anonymous 2 on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:01 AM
1 mom liked this

hell no. my life would be very empty if I didn't have my kids 

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:03 AM
1 mom liked this
Yep, I would've. I love my kids, but I can't wait for them to grow up so it can be just my husband and I.
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by Gold Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:05 AM

I was never someone who felt the need to have kids, but now that I have them, I wouldn't trade them for anything. I love my kids and my life with them. 

by Ruby Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM
No my son has brought so much to my life that I didn't even know I was missing. So no I would have felt like something was missing.
by Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM
1 mom liked this

Nope.  I've always wanted kids.  I know how they are made- and I wouldn't have had them if I didn't want any kids.  To me, life would be very boring and the single or childless life seems like it would be extremely lonely once you hit your 50's. 

I'm not judging those who choose not to have children- but for me, having children was the right choice!!!   My kids always tell me they feel lucky because they can tell I like having them around...unlike some of their friend's parents.  =/  And they are right.  I truly enjoy my kids and they have never been a burden to me.  =)


Jessa, mama to:

Alyssa(11), Autumn(10), Mariah(9), Matthew(9), Blake(7), Laila(3), Athena(10 mo), Sage(m/c 4/13), and our newest EDD 03/20/14!!!

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM
I cant imagine my life without my ds and dd. My ds is 2 and getting so big and my dd is 10 months and trying to do all the things her big brother does.
by Anonymous 3 on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM
1 mom liked this

sorry my life would be MISERABLE if i didnt have kids!

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Oh my goodness no, I always wanted kids.

by Silver Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM
2 moms liked this


preaching to the choir I have six teenagers

Quoting TerraIncognita:

Ask me after I get through the teen years.


by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Hell no! I think endless vacations, working your ass off, having more money for things, etc cannot even come close to having kids. I think when you're 80 and living in the nursing home you'd feel very lonely and then what, no one is visiting you and you look back at old vacation photos? I mean I guess you could have kids and be all alone too but that's usually reflective of your parenting. Every year without a vacation, every sacrifice, all of those things are worth it to see my kids live and grow. I can't imagine any vacation or being able to work late feeling comparing to it. Having "things" from more money could never compare for me to having the love of my children, to see the smiles on their faces, the tears and all that goes with it. I think it's a fundamental difference of understanding the difference of "things" and knowing that not everything in life is paid for with money. Some of the best things are paid with love, hugs and kisses.

ETA: I would also add that I think this shows the importance of having time for yourself and knowing yourself prior to getting married and/or having kids. If you get to experience life and have those vacations, work your ass off times and all of that then you're more likely to be in a stable career and situation. so you will have worked towards having that time with your kids. I made sure to enjoy myself when I was younger, I went to college and worked, then got married and by the time we were ready to have kids, we were ready. There wasn't anything we wanted to do that we hadn't done. I'm not saying there aren't some things or travel things I'd love to do "some day," but if some day never happens it wouldn't end my world. Not having my kids would.

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