Any of you are happily childfree?
I am aware that many PhD students decide not to procreate in order to focus on their (academic) careers. I wonder if any of you can relate to this point?
I am not judging personal decisions. People's priorities are different after all :-)
I was, for many years. I thought I didn't want children, and then one day I realised I did. I'm still not sure why, I think it was probably because I've got to the age where everyone else seems to be having them and life is changing around me whether I like it or not! But I've got a few years yet before I need to do anything about it.
I totally get why people don't want kids, but as in my case, I would say make damn certain you won't change your mind when it's too late.
I'll be 34 early next year and increasingly think about children etc. I'm very aware that almost all of my school friends are married and/or with children and it's starting to sting a little. Not sure how the future will pan out, but I guess if I really want to have children then I'll need to make some changes to my current situation (and sharpish). Meeting the wrong sort of men doesn't exactly help matters and if anything deters me even more from relationships.....
I'm childfree due to a breakdown of a very long term relationship and subsequent reluctance to find a new relationship. I would love to have children, but I don't see that happening in the near future. Trying to stay optimistic, again, not always easy. We shall see.
The decision to do a PhD came with a small price for me. There had been an outside chance of me getting together with a girl from work just before I was about to start. But it was remote.
It is now some time after my Phd and University period. I've been back in the real world now for seven years. The big issue for me is finding a woman I can relate to and engage with, and the huge amount of time I've spent in the University system has left me with a different mindset. Put bluntley, I need to find someone who whilst they might not have been through the process, at least understands that I might not necessarily think the same way as other people.
This means I'm going to think through even seemilngly trivial situations whereas others might just get on with it. I also need more to gain fulfilment from life. For example, a holiday has to be an experience rather than two weeks plonked on a beach somewhere.
I want family, I want children. However, I need also to have something in common with that person. There was a stunner where I work, but I also knew that her and I just wouldn't work. Girl who bailed from school at 16 with lad who's mindset has evolved hugely because of his experiences seems a non-starter. This isn't meant to sound elitist or arrogant. I'm just trying to look at the situation practically.
Does this make sense?
Pineapple, don't forget, there are other options such as sperm donation that don't rely on you meeting someone... That's likely the route I will be taking.
Ian, try dating websites, seriously, there's a lot of weirdos on there but for some reason I thought I'd take a look a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised! I think there's a lot of people that feel the same way as you about finding someone that 'gets' them. I agree that if your mindset has changed and is now different to people around you, you need to expand your horizons because you are unlikely to find like minded people down the local pub etc
Great topic. Childfree, yes. Happily, yes, for the most part. Relationships have come and gone and time has passed and here I am! The downsides - social isolation from most of peer group, and people thinking you're a bit "strange" - are not good reasons to have children. Fortunately I have quite a few friends in the same position, and I have this mad notion that life is full of possibilities and just don’t see kids as part of that. Although sometimes I do wonder "what if", I'll admit.
Hey all. I am in 34 this year and at the end of my PhD journey (hopefully). We got married just before we were starting our PhD. I always thought I would start right away just as I finished my coursework, but with the heavy stress and our crazy schedule, things just never worked out for us. Having a child is important to both of us, but trying to finish off the PhD first... I don't know how we would have managed child care and PhD at the same time (hats off to those of you who are doing it: you guys are awesome) so perhaps there is a reason why things occur the way that they do.
I'm 28, been with hubby for nearly 10 years (married for 3) and we are happily child free by choice.
Which makes things much easier when thinking about an academic career!
As an addition, I am very glad you used the term 'childfree' rather than 'childless' which is the most commonly used term, particularly in the academic literature. We truly feel 'free', rather than lacking, without children.
I'm not discounting the possibility that my hormones might say "ok, baby time!" in the next few years but I doubt it.
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