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Apathetic Echidna

Child or Childless

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I've decided that procreation is a demographic so this should go here.

My situation:

When I was very small I decided I didn't want kids, which is something fairly common in my family so it was easily accepted. However at the beginning of the year I was almost overwhelmed by a sort of genetic guilt. On one side of my family I have a few distant cousins, but basically I am it, the last of the line. What really puts a point on it is my family technically is titled, so when we are gone the title has to go back 4 generations then down their descendants to find the next title holder. It isn't like I, or any kids I might have would hold the title anyway, but the fact that there is no one closer. I look at family portraits and think I am the end, it stops with me, and I feel so bad. 

But the reality of babies and toddlers freaks me out. I do like kids 8+, when they have conversations and intelligent understanding and aren't nearly so dependant. Ultimately I just wish the possibility was taken away so I wouldn't have these conflicting feelings which scare me more than anything. I am terrified my genetic guilt might overwhelm me and I do something stupid because it would only end badly. I know, sadly from experience with other families that the worst thing you can do is breed when you aren't sure. 

 

So these are my currently conflicting feelings but I am wondering if anyone else has felt something similar? is genetic guilt a real phenomena other people get?

or maybe you have never been conflicted, I would love to know. 

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Yeah I definitely don't want to have kids either because the thought of those 9 torturous months and the fact that I'd have somebody who's dependent on me kind of ruins the whole thought for me. The "Genetic Guilt" you're mentioning makes sense. After all, it's only natural since the survival of our species depends on procreation. However at the end of the day, I look at the pros and cons, and having kids seems to have more cons in for me. However, the best solution that I can think of to such a problem is adoption. The child may not be your blood but they will still, in a sense, be a continuation of your family. They will become a part of your family tree. Not to mention, it's a great service because there are far too many children who never get adopted and never get to know what it's like to have a mother or father. 

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On 11/16/2018 at 3:32 AM, Emerald Cheetah said:

However, the best solution that I can think of to such a problem is adoption. The child may not be your blood but they will still, in a sense, be a continuation of your family. They will become a part of your family tree. Not to mention, it's a great service because there are far too many children who never get adopted and never get to know what it's like to have a mother or father. 


I also thought of adoption. I'm sure there are older kids in need of a home. Though, don't adopt one just to get a heir ;)

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@Holmbo the problem is I don't want kids. I like them in the sense that I can have a conversation then hand them back to their parents. 

 

I am feeling much better about everything but my issues weren't about being a parent, it was about continuing my genetics. Most of my post was about background to my question which was about whether or not other people seemed to experience 'genetic guilt', maybe as part of the 'biological clock ticking' fears that some women get. 

One solution would be donate eggs.....but ultimately I think my genetics are a bit whacky. Even if all the men in my family seem to turn out handsome, that is probably not a good convincing reason and which does not compensate for a predisposition for mysterious childhood-fever induced reactions. 

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it ends with me, too.  i'm an only child, my mom's an only child, and my dad has two sisters, one of whom has two kids, so we three are it.  i don't feel badly though; i don't owe my parents anything, certainly not something which impacts my life and body in pretty much the most major way imaginable, and theirs in a minor way.  even if i had a kid at the age they were when they had me, 38, they would be 76/77.  they'd see them every so often for maybe a decade (my mom's family tends to live into their 90s but who knows), while i'd be with them every day for about two (and really the rest of my life), supporting them financially and caring for them on my own (no spouse/partner, right?) while i can't even do either of those for myself.  and i don't want to.  nothing about having kids appeals to me.  there is no way i could endure pregnancy or labour (i couldn't even endure a procedure to prevent those things) and as i say, i don't want the next part, either; i want a fulfilling career, adventure and flexibility, and friends my own age, and yes, i'm confident that will be the case as long as i'm capable of having those things.  i think i could be a great parent if i wanted to be (i've been babysitting for 8 years and i seem to be liked by kids and parents), but since i don't want to, i wouldn't be.  it wouldn't be fair to me or the kid(s), so no, i'm not putting us all through that to let my parents see them part-time when they already had me full-time, by their choice.  this is my choice.  and i'll add that i've seen many parents who constantly complain about their kids and can't wait to get away from them--so have my parents, who can't relate--and just about all of them surely wanted those kids in the first place, or thought they did, so if you have any doubts at all, i urge you to give it the most serious consideration.  the decision to have kids should require infinitely more of it than the decision not to, and it should be only for your own reasons.  yes, as honourable as your intention to give a child a home by adoption may be (i do agree that this is a great option, especially as we don't need any more people in the world), if you're not absolutely willing and prepared to be a parent, it's a disservice to you both.

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3 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I like them in the sense that I can have a conversation then hand them back to their parents

Hahaha, this is exactly how I feel about kids. 

 

I don't feel guilt so much as a deep curiosity about what kind of kid my genes would produce - but I don't think that's a good enough reason to sacrifice decades of my life to raising them, and I definitely don't think it would be fair to bring a kid into the world for that reason alone. 

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11 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

@Holmbo the problem is I don't want kids. I like them in the sense that I can have a conversation then hand them back to their parents. 

 

I am feeling much better about everything but my issues weren't about being a parent, it was about continuing my genetics. Most of my post was about background to my question which was about whether or not other people seemed to experience 'genetic guilt', maybe as part of the 'biological clock ticking' fears that some women get. 

One solution would be donate eggs.....but ultimately I think my genetics are a bit whacky. Even if all the men in my family seem to turn out handsome, that is probably not a good convincing reason and which does not compensate for a predisposition for mysterious childhood-fever induced reactions. 


I see, sometimes I tend to just extrapolate from peoples posts because I don't have a lot to say about the question itself :D
I've never experienced what you're describing. But, on the other hand, I have three siblings. I suppose the closest I've come to it is to kinda want to experience pregnancy and thinking about maybe having a baby for another person. But in reality I would never do it.

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It's not particularly popular at the moment (where I'm living at least), but there is the possibility of co-parenting. The work of raising a child is a lot more distributed between many people, and there is also the benefit of having a child you can call your own. A little like adoption but with a greater number of parents/role models that can each contribute to a child's development in different ways (including passing down a title if you so choose).

I don't know much about legal stuff surrounding this issue, but I would look closely at the terms. It could be possible to give the title to someone you greatly mentor later in life, a good friend that will stick around, etc.

 

All that said, guilt is one of the worst motivators to have when it comes to having children. Even if you don't pass that title down and continue the tradition, you can pass it to someone who you know will benefit from it. When historians look way way back at the lineage, it's not really as broken as you think it seems right now. There have been plenty of royalty that have had way more complicated passing-down tradition-changers and the titles/possessions they hold are still attributed to their family.

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On 3/12/2019 at 9:05 AM, running.tally said:

It's not particularly popular at the moment (where I'm living at least), but there is the possibility of co-parenting. The work of raising a child is a lot more distributed between many people, and there is also the benefit of having a child you can call your own. A little like adoption but with a greater number of parents/role models that can each contribute to a child's development in different ways (including passing down a title if you so choose).

I don't know much about legal stuff surrounding this issue, but I would look closely at the terms. It could be possible to give the title to someone you greatly mentor later in life, a good friend that will stick around, etc.

I don't want kids. I certainly don't want to get pregnant. I don't want to be a parent. 

It was just for a period of time I had some serious psychological pain at the idea of being 'the end of the line', like I was betraying a debt to my ancestors or something. 

 

As for the title, well it would be a legal battle for recognition and I am not that interested. In Australia, unless you are British Royalty, nobility means nothing. 

 

(I did have a nicer worded and longer answer but that was when the glitch happened and I forgot what I said)

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(Lol no worries! XD I generally assume people on here are being respectful, nice prose or not.)

 

I see! I understand better; I misinterpreted and thought you were still unsure about parenting. Honestly, the pain and confusion surrounding 'the line' is something really relatable and valid. Bloodlines are by no means the most important historical relationships, although they are definitely glorified. I'd like to think that my ancestors were too preoccupied by their own lives and needs and desires to really be concerned about whether their family would still have ownership over something beyond the time they could benefit from it. Not sure what I'm saying is remotely helpful, but I'll just reiterate that what you've felt is valid.

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9 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

It was just for a period of time I had some serious psychological pain at the idea of being 'the end of the line', like I was betraying a debt to my ancestors or something.

To be fair, the reason the title has ended up in your branch of the family and not another is presumably due to reasons that are archaic, sexist, and to a large degree arbitrary. In that sense, aren't your distant cousins as much a continuation of "the line" as you are? 

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@eatingcroutons lol, the title inheritance is fully archaic and sexist (I won't get the title because I am a female and literally a bastard :) ) but the family name will die with me and when 'cousins' are so distant they no longer feel like family it hardly feels like continuation. It goes to that whole idea of everyone not of African descent can be traced back to 7 unique individuals, so we are all cousins of varying degrees but we are not one big family. 

Because I know the root of my problem is not tied into the 'biological clock ticking' phenomenon I can only assume my own issues are linked to my complex feelings about World War II, but it was looking at the family photos from around that time that started my guilt in the first place. So I don't really want to delve into it again to sort it out.  

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