Parental Pressure

I’m curious as to my readers’ experiences having to do with the issue of parental pressure to have kids. I know it exists in the CF community, and that some people have experienced more of it than others. I’ll start off by sharing my experiences, then I encourage everyone to chime in with theirs.

When I outright admitted I didn’t want children, my parents were mixed on it. My mother I never got any problem from. She’s always been accepting of my childfree choice and has always given me her blessing to live my life the way I see fit. In fact, we often joke about my vasectomy procedure, to which she comes back, “It’s ok. You and your sisters were enough anyway!” I love my mother. ๐Ÿ˜›

My father, on the other hand, was totally outraged. Every person in his family was married with children and dammit that’s what I was going to be to. He wouldn’t have any of it. He hounded me day in and day out about it pretty much right up until he died (thank god he finally kicked the bucket). I was to raise up LDS children and pass on the “good family name” as every male child in the family had done. Needless to say, he made my life hell.

Things only got worse after he found out about me getting a vasectomy. The fur flew in ways it’s never flown before. I don’t recall him ever being as angry as he was when he found out (with the exception of the day I resigned from the LDS Church). He basically tried to make me feel guilty, and to be even more condescending he said he was going to pay for my reversal. As if I was going to! He just didn’t get it or accept any of my life decisions, really.

I stood firm though, and I know I’ll be a happier person because of it. My advice to my CF friends is to never back down. Just because they’re your parents doesn’t mean you have to listen to them. It’s your life, live it the way you want.

As I said, please share your experiences in the comments. I’m curious to know how you deal with this, if you have to at all.

(Note: I apologize for any typos. The wireless card in my laptop died so I’m having to blog from my iPhone, and you know how autocorrect is and how hard it is to type on sometimes.)

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About coolchildfreeguy

Childfree guy living in Mexico City. Professional pilot by day, all-around fun guy by night.

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Childfree, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’m the result of a teen pregnancy, so when I was a kid, and especially when I started dating, my mother’s favourite phrase was, “don’t make the mistake I made.” I wouldn’t say I was actively discouraged from having kids, just discouraged from having them before I was ready for them. Even though my mother was a domineering cow in many respects, she was reasonable when I told her that I was CF and seemed to accept it. She flipped her shit after I told her I was getting sterilised, because she found all this scaremongering crap online about imaginary disorders caused by tubal ligation. I reminded her that this is why you don’t ask Doctor Google. She calmed down, but she still didn’t call me after my surgery to see how I was. My husband’s (then boyfriend) parents were kinder and more attentive: they called and sent me flowers (OK, they didn’t have to do that, but it was lovely that they did).

    My parents are no longer part of my life, for a variety of reasons. I don’t care what they think and I don’t have to deal with their BS again.

  2. “Standing firm” is a great bit of advice for those who continued to be persecuted by family and friends.

    I have little contact with my father’s family-friendly side of things, so no pressure there. My mother’s side is small, with my one aunt being CBC and one of my two uncles having adopted. My mother never expected to be able to have a child, though she welcomed me; however, she divorced my father when I was a child and it was difficult to provide for me while on her own. It may be this experience that soured her to the whole idea, but she never encouraged me to have children and has never expressed disappointment in my not wanting any. She knows I take after my aunt in many ways, wants me to be successful (she understands that money is a necessity, not an ideal), and has see too many examples of grandmothers raising their grandchildren to want to end up like them.

    The in-laws have known since the start, and while they fawn over their nephews and nieces, they have never tried to make me feel guilty about my choice. They, too, have had difficult family experiences.

    I’m grateful for never experiencing pressure beyond the occasional bingo from a stranger, but I’m still very straightforward about the issue. I don’t make excuses or try to apologize in some way for what I want for my life. As a result, people don’t bother me about it.

  3. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your story! I also want a childfree life and my parents are not accepting of that and it really stresses me out. They also want me to get married and I’m not interested in that either! People like you give me strength to stay strong and not give into parental pressure. You’re right, it is our life and we should live it the way we want to! ๐Ÿ™‚

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