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  #181  
Old 9th September 2021, 15:23
gregarious_introvert gregarious_introvert is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

My dad was 80 and virtually housebound when my mum died and it just seemed natural for me to leave London - he lived in the North East, 250 miles away - to look after him (I didn't live with him, we would have killed each other, but I found somewhere nearby and visited him daily) for the last decade of his life. I don't have any family now, but if I did, I don't think I'd accept their help even if it were offered.

I intend to remain active for as long as possible, then if I do have to go into a home, I have a fantasy that it will be like Waiting For God. I do have a vague fear that I'll die alone at home, though, with nobody noticing until the flies swarm at the windows.
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  #182  
Old 9th September 2021, 16:22
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ That's a wonderful thing you did for your dad (I expect you'll disagree, so I'm preempting that and saying 'no, it really was' )

I was wondering if anyone else here is frightened of having to go into a home one day? Not because of their age or any illness, but because of their mental health and social anxiety?
I expect for lots to people it seems to far in the future to worry about.
It's something I'm very frightened of. My worst experiences in life were in hospital. Even though I struggled with work and other things like college, there was always a point where I could leave, go home and recover. But in hospital I found myself just disappearing completely into a target for the staff. Generally care staff are a sociable group and thrive on personal interaction and they seem to genuinely take offence at people who can't make them smile or interact. I was talked about all the time while in hospital, loudly and in front of the other patients. They even nicknamed me "Mrs morning" because I was unable to say more than "good morning" to anyone.
I worked in a care home once, for a very short while, and it was a very insensitive, casually cruel environment. I know in that environment I would quickly find myself disliked and treated with contempt as I was in hospital. It worries me a lot.
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  #183  
Old 9th September 2021, 16:44
The Devil, Probably. The Devil, Probably. is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

I think that is a good observation about care homes and similar institutions. There is an assumption that the residents have a basic degree of "people person ness" - or desire for small talk, etc - and benefit from that sort of approach.

For me, it would be unbearable to be in a care home and have to bat off that sort of thing, esp. while presumably I am at the end of some sort of tether. Care home staff are trained in active listening, for example, and for most that is good. But many, such as myself, would consider it a load of bollocks. I know I'm alone in this world and a nurse (or minimal wage Romanian) taking 3 minutes to coo over me like a pet, as I approach my demise, isn't going to alter that. I am one of those who has already researched and prepared myself to avoid finding myself in such a situation though.

However, this is a thread about babies. The topic of care homes, human mortality and its inherent sadness and ramifications, is probably worthy of its own thread. I'm not sure how MI fits with that. However, I'm not policing what people post, just observing that it's big topic by itself.

"Being Mortal" is an okay book on care homes, and how dehumanising we have made them. It's a scathing look at how care homes and palliative care fails to offer what it might do. I used to deliver discarded flowers from Sainsbury's to care homes when I was unemployed, only now and then. The places I saw are best described as people slumped around until death finishes them off. If we were more honest about human mortality, maybe care homes wouldn't be some sort of dire after thought - but better suited to the human situation. What most people fear is not ageing, per se, but the loss of independence and privacy, and in a typical care home they lose almost all of it.
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  #184  
Old 9th September 2021, 17:39
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ You can come and sit in the armchair next to me in the care home. I am going to be extremely grumpy and make the most of having a walking stick to shake disapproving at people and also bat them away when they try to "chat".
In fact I intend to be like Father Jack from Father Ted.
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  #185  
Old 9th September 2021, 20:40
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Nanuq...yes, going into an old folk’s home terrifies me. It’s not so much my social anxiety, more my introversion. I am so introverted I ought to be studied in a lab. I need a huge amount of space and silence. And I have zero tolerance for people I dislike. In fact, I have walked out of a room midway through a conversation because I just can’t bear certain people near me. To me, hell on earth would be a commune.

Of course, as with any random bunch of strangers, there will be nice people. In fact, the majority of residents and staff would probably be ok. But I’d only need one or two as**oles in my personal space - people who are obnoxious, intrusive, won’t shut up, think they’re funny when they’re not, etc, and I’d go insane. My plan is to take every drug under the sun (legal or illegal) so that I can endure it.
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  #186  
Old 9th September 2021, 20:44
PermanentTemporary PermanentTemporary is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moksha
Nanuq...yes, going into an old folk’s home terrifies me. It’s not so much my social anxiety, more my introversion.
I thought you created a new thread only a couple of days ago saying you were cured of social anxiety.
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  #187  
Old 9th September 2021, 20:49
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PermanentTemporary
Didn't you say you were cured of social anxiety only yesterday?
No, I said I no longer have a social anxiety disorder (in the sense of a crippling condition that affects all aspects of my life). I believe I am finally free of it. But I still experience social anxiety.
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  #188  
Old 9th September 2021, 20:52
PermanentTemporary PermanentTemporary is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ Erm, OK.
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  #189  
Old 9th September 2021, 21:06
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PermanentTemporary
^ Erm, OK.
Well, look at it this way - the majority of people experience social anxiety, but only a minority have a ‘social anxiety disorder’. Even very confident people experience SA (moments of awkwardness and discomfort, where they blush, stammer, etc). I’d say I’m now someone prone to social anxiety rather than someone crippled by a social anxiety disorder.
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  #190  
Old 10th September 2021, 10:57
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ That's true, social anxiety is a normal emotion for people to experience occasionally. It's when it becomes frequent, chronic and interferes with a person's daily functioning that it classed as social anxiety disorder.
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  #191  
Old 10th September 2021, 13:40
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

I think there's a massive grey area in the middle though isn't there, between experiencing social anxiety symptoms or emotions occasionally to having social anxiety disorder?

It seems like it's trivializing social anxiety a bit.

Like when people say "I'm a bit OCD" because they like their desk to be tidy etc.
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  #192  
Old 10th September 2021, 13:51
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ yes, that's exactly it. It's possible to have the traits of OCD without it being a disorder. My son developed OCD after starting high school, but I can look back before then, when it wasn't a full blown disorder, and I can see how he always had strong traits of it.
I think something is referred to as a disorder when it considerably impacts quality of life.
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  #193  
Old 10th September 2021, 14:45
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonkin
I think there's a massive grey area in the middle though isn't there, between experiencing social anxiety symptoms or emotions occasionally to having social anxiety disorder?

It seems like it's trivializing social anxiety a bit.

Like when people say "I'm a bit OCD" because they like their desk to be tidy etc.
Yes, and I suppose a lot of things could be classed as social anxiety like a feeling of uncertainty when starting a new job where you don't know anyone, or fear about giving a speech to an audience or making a presentation. Those would be considered normal levels of social anxiety.

And some people have social anxiety disorder related to specific situations but it doesn't affect them in others, so they might have massive anxiety around being in a workplace with work colleagues but not really suffer much anxiety when socialising with close friends and family.
It's not simple, but just a general explanation.
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  #194  
Old 10th September 2021, 15:01
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonkin
I think there's a massive grey area in the middle though isn't there, between experiencing social anxiety symptoms or emotions occasionally to having social anxiety disorder?
Social anxiety, and social discomfort/awkwardness/embarrassment, etc, are very common. I went on a course at the weekend, with a random bunch of people from across the country. Off the top of my head, I can think of four individuals (one of them an instructor) who at some point blushed, stammered, sweated or went pale. Having experienced anxiety all my life, I could spot the symptoms a mile away. Yet they were all fairly confident, with busy, full-time jobs, partners, and so on. None of them (I would guess) had a full-blown social anxiety disorder.

The majority of people experience moments of social anxiety and awkwardness at least once a week (I would guesstimate). Sit in a coffee shop and observe the customers. Watch how some of them react when the staff are too chatty, or make an unexpected comment or joke. It really is very common. It's just that most people don't allow it to interfere with their life.
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  #195  
Old 10th September 2021, 15:16
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougella

And some people have social anxiety disorder related to specific situations but it doesn't affect them in others, so they might have massive anxiety around being in a workplace with work colleagues but not really suffer much anxiety when socialising with close friends and family.
And the opposite is common. A lot of people are more comfortable at work, where they can slip into a professional role - like putting on a disguise. Waiters, nurses, hairdressers, etc all do this. Watch a cocky estate agent. He's literally playing the part. Also, when you are at work you have something to preoccupy you. You're all there for a reason. But watch those same people at a dinner party, where they have to make small talk, and it can be painful.

Maybe you could divide people into three groups

1) Those who never experience social anxiety. (Either they are so arrogant that they assume everyone adores them, or they just don't care.)

2) Those who experience social anxiety only in certain situations.

3) Those whose fear and discomfort is so extreme it interferes with their life, stopping them from forming relationships, starting a new job, whatever...

My gut feeling is that around 20% fall into group 1, 60% into group 2, and 20% into group 3.
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  #196  
Old 10th September 2021, 15:21
The Devil, Probably. The Devil, Probably. is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

There is a point at which social anxiety that isn't disordered, or constituting a disorder, isn't really worth talking about. Depending how low one lets the bar lower pretty much everyone in the UK would qualify as socially anxious. To a degree it is sort of in the dna of social interaction itself: social interaction probably, by its very nature, couldn't exist without some felt feeling of uncertainty, doubt, insecurity, etc. Because humans aren't robots. Kinda like saying sometimes the weather makes me wet, etc - of course it does, there is no rain without wet people.

Most people most of their life are playing out a role, or a series of them, and reading from a script, on the front stage of life that is society. It it inherent to the nature of social interaction - as detailed by Goffman, etc. With that comes commonplace anxiety about how well the role is being performed, how accurately the script followed, etc. Social anxiety should be considered beyond that if it is worth talking about at all: i.e. when the stage set itself seems as if it has collapsed or one lacks faith in the script one has been handed to act from.

I'm not saying that social anxiety doesn't exist outside of its disordered form I'm saying, the **** would anyone give a shit. It's just normal life being lived normally. It's just making a song and dance about the normal friction between humans in interaction. Potentially to do so makes a mockery of the concept and its debilitating forms - because only the latter are actually of any note or interest.

People just like to wear their "I'm special" badges when they are, actually, largely indiscernible from the amorphous mess of every day bit players - anyone claiming to be "socially anxious" over public speaking or going on a date etc is actually an indulgent prick. That isn't social anxiety, not meaningfully so, that's just being... a human living in a human society.
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  #197  
Old 10th September 2021, 15:37
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Maybe I've got it wrong then.

I've mainly labelled those things in others as what they are, eg blushing, being awkward in a certain situation etc and not really considered them social anxiety. Maybe more like isolated incidents of shyness but even then not considering them to be a "condition" like that.

But then you often hear about the results of surveys where 50% of people claim to be shy. I look around and I don't know anyone who is as bad as me and I consider myself to be shy so I don't believe that stat. But maybe I'm gotten the definition of shy wrong as well.

For me, I feel like I have social anxiety and that my condition is much worse than everyone else (I'm a special snowflake) who has the type of social anxiety you describe above. But also that I don't have it as bad as people with a disorder. But maybe I do have an disorder and most people have social anxiety...?

Maybe I don't even have social anxiety and have something much worse or serious? I definitely have the symptoms of social anxiety but I also feel like there's something else going on underneath that that's worse or deeper.

I guess I'm also sensitive to the word anxiety and how it's used very easily now a days, when in the past, people might've just said worried or nervous. I've always considered anxiety to be a serious issue, but maybe I'm wrong, and it is being used in the correct way? I even hear people they were saying they were having a panic attack about something, and I think "were you really having a panic attack?", usually while doing something like driving or giving a presentation and no body noticed. I've never had one but my idea of a panic attack is when you totally lose it and can't function. It's sort of like the OCD thing again...

Anyway, it sounds like an interesting event where there were people blushing, stammering, sweating, and going pale!
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  #198  
Old 10th September 2021, 15:44
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ It might be that other people don't understand the definition of "shy" rather than you? My best friend has always described herself as "shy", which is daft because she's really sociable and gregarious. But I know what she means when she says it, she means that she lacks self confidence. It's not the same as shyness or social anxiety, but it probably does describe feeling ill at ease, even if to others you come across as really chatty and sociable.
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  #199  
Old 10th September 2021, 15:49
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonkin

Anyway, it sounds like an interesting event where there were people blushing, stammering, sweating, and going pale!
Yep, sign me up for that!
I'm used to working in schools where everyone seems super socially confident. It's made me even more self conscious about being anxious (no one wants to look less confident than the children they're in charge of :eekpurpl)
Maybe if I'd spent time among a bigger mix of people with a range of social anxieties it would have stopped me getting progressively worse over the years?)
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  #200  
Old 10th September 2021, 15:56
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Yeah, you could be right about the definitions/meaning.

I think there's probably a lot of people who feel shy or socially anxious but it doesn't stop them or cause them to show it (blushing etc).

Where as I feel shy or socially anxious and it does stop me doing things.

I often wonder is my condition worse or are they braver than me?
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  #201  
Old 10th September 2021, 16:07
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ my guess is you have it worse?
There's no mistaking my social anxiety unfortunately, it's quite physical. So it doesn't just embarrass me it embarrasses everyone around.
Even if it doesn't show though, and you just feel really uncomfortable, it's understandable why people would avoid putting themselves in those scenarios because if you're uncomfortable, you're not going to enjoy yourself.
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  #202  
Old 10th September 2021, 19:08
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonkin
M
But then you often hear about the results of surveys where 50% of people claim to be shy. I look around and I don't know anyone who is as bad as me and I consider myself to be shy so I don't believe that stat.
You're probably too hard on yourself Tonkin (which in itself is part of the whole SA/low self-esteem/self-loathing/feeling like an outsider package). Remember, people are good at hiding their fear. I've literally had panic attacks, in which I've almost passed out and been drenched in sweat, and people haven't noticed.
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  #203  
Old 13th September 2021, 10:02
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Thanks. My only physical symptom is blushing. Although my voice does go funny at times.

It's mainly that my brain sort of shuts down and I can't think of anything to say.

Unless it's more a high stakes sort of situation, then my brain also berates me for not being able to think of anything to say. I think it's a bit much that its my brain's job to think of something to say, but that it also blames me for not having anything to say!
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  #204  
Old 13th September 2021, 10:28
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ There's a really simple physiological reason that you can't think of anything to say when you're anxious. The brain has different parts and all our communication and higher thinking is done in the front, which has evolved more recently. In sudden stressful situations, where there's a jolt of anxiety, the link between that part of the brain shuts down (literally) and the older, more instinctive part takes over. In case you need to hit someone or fight a bear, for example. So it really is your brains own fault, (so it has no business berating you for your mind going blank!) It's a real, physiological phenomenon of not being able to access the thinking and communication bit of the brain due to adrenaline.
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  #205  
Old 13th September 2021, 10:56
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Yes, I had read about that. Sort of part of the fight, flight or freeze thing, I think?

I was listening to an audio book about the Chimp brain which I should go back to as that had a similar theme to it.

https://fourminutebooks.com/the-chimp-paradox-summary/
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  #206  
Old 13th September 2021, 15:28
Nanuq Nanuq is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ yes, that's it. Not sure how helpful it is to understand the science behind it? Because it doesn't really fix anything, but at least understanding why it happens means we know it can happen to anyone and it's not our fault.
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  #207  
Old 13th September 2021, 15:55
KellyUK KellyUK is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregarious_introvert
My dad was 80 and virtually housebound when my mum died and it just seemed natural for me to leave London - he lived in the North East, 250 miles away - to look after him (I didn't live with him, we would have killed each other, but I found somewhere nearby and visited him daily) for the last decade of his life. I don't have any family now, but if I did, I don't think I'd accept their help even if it were offered.

I intend to remain active for as long as possible, then if I do have to go into a home, I have a fantasy that it will be like Waiting For God. I do have a vague fear that I'll die alone at home, though, with nobody noticing until the flies swarm at the windows.
I sometimes imagine this happening to me too.

My parents are still alive and well thankfully but my dad turned 70 this year, so I'm more aware than ever of both their mortality and my own and once they've gone, I won't have anyone close to me anymore. I have a brother who I see a few times a year but we're not close, he gets on with his life and I get on with mine. That might change after our parents have died but again it might not.
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  #208  
Old 14th September 2021, 10:49
Tonkin Tonkin is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

i think it is helpful the understand or know about the underlying science. Obviously you probably don't need to go deep into it, but to know that it's a "normal" thing or at least common and it's just you being broken.

Kind of like getting a diagnosis for something. It might not change anything but lets you know what you are dealing with and then you can make more informed decisions on what to do about it.
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  #209  
Old 3rd October 2021, 16:43
The Devil, Probably. The Devil, Probably. is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

Young & Sterile: My Choice | Extraordinary Bodies
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYy6n8B9OtE

This show is a bit light weight, but not worthless. Though the host is sympathetic to the participants, here are two thoughts I had:

How readily others like to pathologize those who have childfree thoughts. "If you weren't unhappy, you'd love to have children!" etc. "You must be depressed, that's why you don't want kids!" This, even if it were the case, says nothing about the legitimacy of the argument. There is a sort of social stigma trying to reassert itself in that argument, i.e. the "normal" thing is to "be normal" and have children "like every other normal person". In reality, there are probably far more people having children out of unhappiness with their lives than the other way round.

The argument that people are too young to make a "final" decision like getting sterilised. This would never be thrown back at a pregnant twenty something who has now sealed her fate and future.

The argument that someone "might regret" getting sterilised. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. It's not an argument of any merit but a historically unquestioned social norm wrestling for its old supremacy. Everyone is entitled to create situations that they may regret in the future - That's living life.
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  #210  
Old 3rd October 2021, 17:06
Dougella Dougella is offline
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Default Re: Do you ever worry that you'll regret not having kids?

^ Women are frequently told that they can't have a sterilisation if they don't already have children because they might change their mind in the future, or even more commonly in the US their future husband might want kids

Nevermind that some types of sterilisation for both men and women can be reversed if the person changes their mind further down the line.
Personally I think it comes down to bodily autonomy, a person should be able to make decisions about what to do (or not do) with their own body.
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