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I am very single and have been for a while, so this is all speculation on my part really, but lately I have been asking myself if later down the line I want kids or not. When I was a teenager I vehemently repeated that I didn't want any, but that was probably a combination of teen angst and, also, a deep knowledge of how having kids for me would mean a very unusual path.

I love kids and babies, so I was wondering what all of you thought of this topic? It's rare that I get to talk about this with lesbians, since my friends are 95% straight and 5% bisexual, so their takes are very different from mine.

I am very single and have been for a while, so this is all speculation on my part really, but lately I have been asking myself if later down the line I want kids or not. When I was a teenager I vehemently repeated that I didn't want any, but that was probably a combination of teen angst and, also, a deep knowledge of how having kids for me would mean a very unusual path. I love kids and babies, so I was wondering what all of you thought of this topic? It's rare that I get to talk about this with lesbians, since my friends are 95% straight and 5% bisexual, so their takes are *very* different from mine.

76 comments

Didn't have kids. For one thing, even as a little girl, I never wanted any. For another, I never found a man I trusted enough to be their father. I'm post-menopausal now and I don't have any regrets.

I mean, I wish this world didn't hate older women so much no one will even consider caring for us unless we have sex with them or give them life, but that's not a regret.

Yeah, I find myself thinking about what growing old childless means for a woman.

In my line of work I see a lot of elderly people, and their primary caretakers are their children (most often their daughters). I wish we put more emphasis on creating communities with each other beyond the nuclear family. So many people turn old and their only support network is whatever family wants to show up for them.

Amen. It's scary. I have a couple of close friends I would trust with my life, but they're not going to live forever, are they? They're about my age.

I was here for my mom when she died. I lived in the hospital with her for a month or so. My brother lives in another state, which is great because he is...marinating in porn. He was an exceptionally kind little boy, but he told me over the phone a few years back that since we were both lonely and we're both adopted, we should fuck. I almost didn't tell him Mom was dying because I didn't want him in the house. I don't trust any man who works with the elderly, and I will take myself off this planet before I'll go to any kind of so-called care home.

I inherited a house, and I would love to turn it into some kind of refuge/home for women. No idea how that would be done.

Holy shit, that is a horrible thing for your brother to say. I would hesitate to tell him very much about anything too. He doesn’t sound like a very good person.

I am really sorry that he said that to you, and I’m very sorry for the loss of your mom.

I am so sorry you had to deal with that monster who calls himself your brother, that sounds hellish on another level.

I too am very wary of men who take care of the elderly, they are one of the most vulnerable demographics so the ratio of normal men vs. abusers can only be bad.

That would be a lovely idea, tbh.

[–] PaulaAlquist 7 points Edited

Sis, having kids doesn't mean they will care for one as an elder. I help out family, an elder auntie and uncle, because they asked.

Their 3 sons, who received full educations at HBCs, paid for by their parents, cannot be bothered, but they will be v. disappointed when the inheritances they are banking on were spent caring for their parents. I make sure they have excellent, well compensated help, as I coordinate out care I cannot willingly and gracefully provide, while having my own life.

Yeah, having kids isn't a 100% that they will take care of you as you age, but it does mean having more possibilities that someone will care.

In an unsurprising note, of the childfree women I have seen at work, they are cared for by younger sisters and nieces. Almost never men.

no one will even consider caring for us unless we have sex with them or give them life

I think they expect we have sex with them and take care of THEM.

I really do, I think having one or two girls would be a fulfilling experience and I'm fairly confident that I'd have the financial and emotional means to give my kid(s) a great childhood. However, my job will almost always require high hours of worktime and I can see it being hard for me to find another lesbian who 1) also wants children and 2) is okay with being more of the homemaker. But even if I were to assume the "breadwinner" role of the family I would do my damn best to keep the choreload as equal as possible.

yeah, in the event i end up having kids I think this is how it would turn out for me, too.

I don't want kids and I never have, I don't want to be pregnant and I'd never wanna push that burden onto my wife. Kids don't fit into the future I want for myself, I've worked to create as much freedom and independence as I can in my life and kids are a huge responsibility. I'm an elementary teacher and looking forward to being the adventurous auntie when my siblings start having kids, that's enough kid interaction for me!

I do not want kids.

I’m child free and I plan to stay that way. They just do not fit into what I want to do in my life or what I want for my life.

I’d rather have a dog. And hopefully I’ll find a partner who doesn’t want kids either, which I’m finding to actually be difficult on top of our already difficult dating situation.

Finding a woman who also doesn’t want kids does seem to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I love being childfree, and I hope I can eventually find someone who feels the same.

Growing old with a wonderful woman and a house full of cats is what I want out of life.

Same same, except I want to be one of those lesbian couples that goes out hiking and renting lake houses and treating ourselves to each other.

And possibly having a bird ha

Where were you when I was 27? Don't answer that, likely tucked inside your mother's ovary.

Growing older alone with a house full of cats is actually better than you'd imagine, but I am an introvert.

“Tucked inside your mother’s ovary” LMAOOO

Sounds much nicer than saying “you were less than an amoeba”

I’m sure it is very nice, it already feels nice to me now. The only thing missing is more kitties 😸

100%! I was kind of neutral about it/scared of the pain of childbirth as an adolescent, but that shifted to 'maybe someday' in my mid-20s when I was in my first relationship serious enough to discuss it, and "yes, definitely" since I hit 30 and feel I have a much better understanding of myself and what I want in a relationship and a future. It's changed my dating life not just in terms of the compatibility question of "do you want to be a parent?" but also in how I evaluate potential dates. A potential partner needs to be someone I think would be a good mother - someone I can see a little kid going to for comfort or guidance, and that they can look up to as a good role model. It's a shift in perspective that helped me grow out of my phase of dating "free-spirited" trainwrecks that can't even take care of themselves, let alone anyone else. Red flags I'd overlook if it was just my own wellbeing on the line, I'm much more objective now about avoiding.

I've done a lot of research on things like IUI, fostering, and adoption over the years so I have an idea where to start and what I'm partial to, but am keeping an open mind on which to pursue depending on what my circumstances will be when the time comes (age, health, financial situation, etc) and any future wife's wishes. Regardless of if I end up going with my own egg, adoption, or just becoming that weird old spinster that turns my house into a place for anyone aged out of the system that could use a parental figure in their life, I'd leave this world happy if I could be for someone else what the woman who raised me was to me.

I think one of the great things about being a lesbian is that the choice to have kids or not is very deliberate for us, rather than something that happens accidentally or in the heat of the moment without really thinking about if it's the right path for you.

Fostering is something I have thought about a lot! And also the being a parental figure for someone bit I can relate to, a lot.

No, no kids for me (currently). I like the idea of kids, but then I see friends and how children impact their lives. Too much responsibility. Kids drain you and from my perspective totally not worth it. Plus they're expensive as hell. Then again I am only 33 years old. I may very well meet a woman (deliberately single currently) and who knows. Maybe I'll want kids then. Ya know. But I just can't imagine having kids in my life honestly.

Yeah, I know how difficult kids are from personal experience, but also my aunt and uncle recently had a baby and there's a special kind of joy about holding him. Then again, I get to return the baby when he gets fussy and needs to be changed/fed.

I also feel like it would be so hard to even begin the process of having a kid, be it IVF or adoption, that it seems like if I wanted to have kids I'd need to be prepared for that journey. I am also iffy on the legalities right now of how same-sex parenting works.

Also, thanks for answering, it's a relief to talk about this with another lesbian!

Its funny you should mention it, but the whole same-sex parenting aka having to share the kid with another person. I'm not too keen on that if im honest. What happens when ya get divorced? What if she turns out to be a completely different parent than I had thought initially (and honestly vice versa). What if she gives birth to the kid and what if I don't have any feelings towards that child? That I'm like "not my kid". That could happen. Too many ifs, too many doubts.

Again only 33, and not feeling that clock tick on bit. Would not be surprised if in 5-10 years time, I'd give a totally different answer, have a completely different view. I've seen it too many times with women. I could be one of them. Lol.

right? and if you go by ivf, there is always a chance your kid down the road wants to include a random sperm donor in his/her family. something about that is deeply unsettling to me.

I don’t want kids at all.

My sister has two, and I love them dearly and would do anything for them (except for changing diapers… I just can’t). However, because I see my sister often and spent the night quite a lot when the kids were very young to help her and her husband out, I’ve seen just how difficult it is to care for children.

It seemed as if neither her or her husband got much sleep at all for the first year after each child was born, and my sister was struggling a lot with PPD. She’s always had a healthy mental state so knowing that it affected her so deeply and negatively was heartbreaking.

She and her husband rarely ever have time to themselves or to do things together without the kids. It can be difficult to find a babysitter, so they don’t go out much at all. I come over to help out, but I can’t take care of them on my own. I just don’t have the energy or the patience.

Not to mention, I will never change a diaper. It’s too gross to me. My sister will say “aww, it’s just baby poop!”

How she can say “just” and “poop” in the same sentence…

Scooping cat poop out of a box is the most I’ll ever do when it comes to being near anyone else’s poop.

Children can be sweet, adorable, and funny. They are also loud, needy, expensive, exhausting, and you can never really be alone.

Maybe that sounds cruel, but it is the truth.

My niece and nephew are as sweet as can be, and I love being an aunt.

I can have fun with them and help take care of them for a few hours, and then go back home to a quiet house with my cat.

I don't think it's cruel, it's realistic. I don't think anyone should have kids without taking into account the huge sacrifice it is for your own personal free time, finances, etc. You can love kids and still acknowledge they are a lot of work. I love my baby cousins, but everytime they visit I am left exhausted. I tend to lean towards maybe having kids in the future, but I am under no illusion about how hard it can be.

I go back and forth on this a lot. I think I will remain child free though, and I don't really pursue any relationships where kids are wanted. It's not that I hate kids, but pregnancy is kinda scary and I'm not even sure I could handle the responsibility.

Yeah, pregnancy is really scary. I honestly have no clue if I would be able to go through getting pregnant to have a kid.

Never wanted kids, and that has only grown stronger as I have gotten older.

Besides, What if I had a little girl? With how things are looking for girls and women in the current climate.... I couldn’t deal with that on my conscience.

Nope, never, never ever ever. I've never wanted children, even when I was a child I hated everything about motherhood. Childfree for life, it's the only thing in my life I'm absolutely 110% certain of.

I’m in my mid thirties and I have decided I don’t want kids. I have felt a huge internal pressure to have them my whole life actually, which naturally accelerated in in my thirties.

In the end I gave myself a year where I allowed myself to not want kids, to see if any genuine desire to have them would emerge, it did not. Instead I started to feel a sense of relief and it allowed me to start plan ahead and look forward to my future, instead of just seeing this massive roadblock of ‘should I have kids?’ (And I’ve been single for a while so that would’ve included trying to find a partner to have them with too.)

The thought of being pregnant or giving birth scares me a lot. But I think I could go through with it if I really wanted kids. But then my mother has pretty severe mental health issues, I was parentified and later co-dependent and I’m still working on that. I have a younger sibling that I took care of a lot, fed, read bedtime stories etc. so sometimes I feel like I’ve already raised my kid while being a kid myself, and I don’t want to start over. But again I feel like this is something that I could overcome if I really wanted kids, many do.

No I think the main reason I don’t want kids is that I have no interest in parenting or family life. My friends with kids struggle to find time for their own needs, always ending up putting their kids/partner first, even though I’m sure they find it rewarding in ways I wouldn’t.

I don’t hate kids of course, they’re cute and funny sometimes, I like playing with my friends kids and maybe it’ll be fun in ten years to be a cool ‘aunt’ and go shopping for hideous teen fashion with them, but I other than that I have no interest.

Maybe this is a controversial take (or maybe not considering the replies here) but I kinda see myself as more of having a custodian/historian role in society, partly because I am a lesbian. I 100% think lesbians who want kids should have them whichever way they want! But for me personally it has brought me peace of mind and a sense of purpose in life to know that I have the time and energy to record and write and care about stories, events, people who most have no time for, or interest in, much like I have no interest in kids I guess.

I feel like there’s been a push in normalizing gay couples having kids, because it’s a natural way for straight people to relate to us. Which again, options and normalization are great, but that doesn’t take into consideration that having kids as a same-sex couple isn’t the same as for straight couples, and that for some of us it actually feels natural to not reproduce, and not be a queer-but-heteronormative family, and that’s ok too even if the kid option is available. Our lives are not without meaning without kids.

OP, if you love kids and babies, you should of course go for it! Just wanted to share my perspective.

I kinda see myself as more of having a custodian/historian role in society, partly because I am a lesbian.

Ah I love this! I didn’t know how to phrase it but I also appreciate that being a lesbian frees me a bit from conventional expectations about having kids. Love that legacy of filling roles in communities without being a bio mom.

Thanks!

Yeah it was a huge shift for me going from seeing myself as someone failing to fulfill my womanly purpose to seeing myself as actually filling a role gay people (who had the means) have probably always filled in society, as writers, historians, nuns, healers etc.

Like it freed me but also anchored me in a way, like I won’t be a link in a chain in a genealogical way, but in a societal/cultural way. There have been women before me filling this role and will come women after me doing the same.

[–] JLT 1 points

it freed me but also anchored me in a way, like I won’t be a link in a chain in a genealogical way, but in a societal/cultural way

Purely curious, but did it ever bother you? I've known I am a lesbian since I was a kid, so in a way, in my own mind, I've always "pushed" myself into this custodian role kind of similar to how you've felt the pressure to have children. It's made me resentful growing up, because I felt like I was kind of shunted to the side or given the background role in a school play, but I also don't think I've ever wanted to or felt like I should have kids (nor have I ever wanted the limelight).

This reply was super thoughtful and gave me a lot to reflect on, to be honest!

I think you are 100% right about the push to normalize having kids without taking into account what makes this whole thing different for us.

From the replies, I am getting the sense that a lot of us have found a freedom for our own selves that I suspect many women who date men have not. And that a lot of us are reluctant to part with it.

I really like being able to have conversations on these topics with lesbians, specifically because the answers here are something you would never find in other places.

Thank you!

I think in a way it’s easier for lesbians to feel these conflicting/questioning ways about motherhood, since like you say we have a freedom straight women don’t have, and a reluctance to give it up.

At the same time being a childless lesbian is like being twice invisible. And it’s not strange to fear that or wonder how such a life will be, since so much of being a woman is centered around being attracted to men and being a mother.

And then there’s also the expectation that it should be ‘just like any straight couple with kids’ and I think there’s something deceptively seductive about that (at least there was for me), that by having a kid you’ll be like everyone else. Or even have it easier because you’re two moms, no dad who’ll cheat or refuse to change diapers, what could go wrong? But a lesbian couple isn’t two straight moms for better or worse.

Anyways I’m glad I could give you something to reflect about, and it’s been interesting reading everyone’s replies!

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