Why I Don't Have Kids

You can find this post on my blog site, Diabetes Odyssey.

This is a touchy topic for me. I have never regretted not having kids, and I know I never will have them, at least not biologically; probably not at all unless some terrible thing happens to a friend or family member and I am asked to take in their kids. Then I will happily raise them with love. But I’m rambling here, the point of this post is to discuss the multiple reasons why I am childless.

This isn’t easy to talk about and I don’t really know why.

As my regular readers already know, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at nine years old. This was during the 1980’s and at this time it was a debatable topic whether or not it was a good idea for type 1 women to get preggers. Growing up in the '90’s things quickly swung in favor of diabetic pregnancy as long as the diabetic was strictly controlled.

I had been bombarded, however, growing up with warnings of what could go wrong. Birth defects, kidney failure, huge baby birth weight, miscarriage, stillbirth, etc… It all terrified me. What if I hurt my baby before it was even born? I could never forgive myself.

Type 1 pregnancies are considered high risk and require a specialist for a reason.

I know a lot of type 1 mothers. Many of them tell me the pregnancy was stressful and required a lot of vigilance and work to keep their blood sugar stable. Many of them had perfectly healthy babies with the only “complication” being a large birth weight, if any at all. A few of them had heartbreaking problems.

So, even though I was raised in a society that made me believe every woman should desire to be a mother and plan to have a husband and kids, I never really wanted to do the pregnancy thing. I dreamed of adoption. Why risk a high risk pregnancy when I could save a child or two from a life of orphanhood?

Besides my fears of being a terrible mother before my baby was even born, I also had health issues I didn’t even know about that made me infertile.

PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It’s a hormone imbalance that does a lot of terrible things to a woman’s body, one of them being infertility. Although I can’t say for certain when the syndrome began in me, I highly suspect it began with my step into puberty. As soon as my hormones decided I was going to become an adult, they just went totally haywire. This of course is a complication of my uncontrolled diabetes.

The reason I suspect the PCOS began at puberty is because a lot of the symptoms of PCOS I have had since then, they just were explained away by blaming other things like diabetes, heredity, behavior, etc…

I have been sexually active since I was 17 years old and I only used contraceptive for 1 of those years and I have never gotten pregnant. There were a couple of times I thought I was, but I was mistaken. The late periods were probably caused by the PCOS, but I blamed them on possible pregnancy, and then on stress.

So, if I wasn’t going to have babies biologically, why haven’t my hubby and I adopted? There are multiple reasons for this.

  1. Most of the time we weren’t in a living situation to be able to properly house a child. Living in a small home with other people, no room, literally no bedroom, for a child. when we did finally get into a home with room, we had zero money. We didn’t want to jump into parenthood without being able to properly feed, clothe, and care for a child. And we couldn’t afford the adoption process/fees.

  2. We tried the fostering option, which cost us money upfront for the training and preparation. We fostered a couple of teens for a couple of weeks and we enjoyed it for the most part. But it was expensive, and difficult to get the reimbursement. We just couldn’t afford it at the time. And there were so many rules and restrictions that made it feel so…bad.

  3. We quite frankly became comfortable with our freedom. We saw our friends and family grow with kids. We saw how happy they were, how fulfilled they seemed. We also saw how they seemed to disappear, never have time for anything or anyone other than their kids. The idea of parenthood twinged within us, the desire to procreate, to feel the love and fulfillment. But the idea of being able to live without the crushing responsibility and stress of parenthood won out. There are pros and cons with either choice.

  4. My health has been steadily deteriorating over the past several years. I have no idea how long I will live, or how long I will be able to function adequately. Do I really want to bring a child into my life and then leave them in despair when their mommy dies? I think not. I know people are thinking life is unpredictable, anyone can die at any time. My death is a lot more possible than a healthy persons. I have to think about these things.

As of right now I do not have kids, nor do I want any. Society puts this pressure on everyone to have kids, to be fruitful and multiply. I look at the world and think, why? Why would I want to bring another person into this crowded, messed up world? If I am so pressured into being a parent, then I would choose to adopt an already existing human being who is in need of shelter, love, and guidance.

I don’t need to create life, it already exists.

Besides, I have my Macie, my furbaby.


I’m 32 and I don’t have kids. Don’t know why though :neutral_face:

It’s a difficult subject for all women (and now, men, I think) who choose to not have a child. Our society says parenthood is the ultimate fulfillment. Many of us know that is not necessarily true for us.

In 1972, I was on the classic 50s/60s marriage/family track, as well as having a career that I cherished. Back then it was the whole superwoman thing—do it all…Well my son was stillborn at 8 months and we were determined then. My daughter was born healthy and perfect in 1973. I said Okay—when you get it right, it’s time to stop. Her father wanted the son that died. I wanted my daughter and my career—more than enough for me to manage—not always successfully, I’m afraid. But like many marriages, ours could not withstand the death of a child…

I passionately believe that none of us should ever need to defend our decisions to have or not have kids. If you want kids—wallow in it. Bravo. If not—wallow in it. Bravo…One was plenty for me, but I still get folks who say things like–“She’s so great, why didn’t you want to make more.”…

I get the health considerations, Tamra. That’s okay, too. But ultimately, you have been making your own path that has integrity for you and yours…That is the very best that any of us can do!..Blessings, as ever…Judith


i planned on having 2…but had 3
what a surprise
most wonderful thing for me


Hope this is not a girls only thread, lol but I never wanted to take the chance of passing on the juvi diabetes as they used to say when I was young that it was an inherited gene/trait. That along with being pretty sure I could not handle life if something did happen to the child I brought in to this world or something happened pre-birth… Have always been up front about this but at younger ages it cost me a few relationships including a marriage. Older and wiser now, I see how we as humans can and do overcome severe emotional trauma’s like death and at my age most women aren’t looking for children either.


I totally understand. I was 16 when I was dx in 1984, and was told I shouldn’t have children. But I had already been going in that direction as early as about age 11. Of course when I was a teenager I figured I’d change my mind and want kids, but I never did. After dating a couple of people and breaking up after realizing how badly they wanted children, I had to be honest and realize that I love quiet time and flexibility too much to fit children into my life. Just never felt the pull to be a mom, is what it boils down to. Is that selfish? Perhaps, but no more so than having children because you want them. I have had furred and feathered babies and have been blissfully happy nurturing them. I sense that you still feel like you have to provide excuses for not being a mom, and I hope you will someday feel like that is no longer necessary. I’m 48 now and no regrets, wish the same for you!


Yeah, I feel pressured to give reason why I’m childless…sometimes. So many people I encounter seem to want to ask me - a married woman in her 30’s- why I don’t have kids, and say things like, “You still have time”, and I look at them confused and a bit hurt like it’s a bad thing that I don’t have or want kids. There is much more meaning to life than just spreading your seed and bringing up minions.

It really hurts sometimes to think that some people honestly believe that those of us who choose to not have kids are somehow less of a person than those who do.

But in the end I really don’t care what anyone else thinks. I am who I am. I am fulfilled, happy, and loved; that’s all that matters.:slight_smile:


Really?? That’s how you feel? Kids are “loyal servants”? ie, "minions’.

I’m sorry if that came off as rude, I was just expressing how I felt in response toward the people who treat me like I have to have kids lest I be worthless because I don’t have kids. I was not intending to be literal.

I believe kids are individuals in the process of becoming adults with their own beliefs and ideals. Even if I choose not to have kids, I still love and respect them as fellow human beings.

Please excuse my poor choice of imaginative and expressive writing.


I can’t fathom why it’s anyone’s business but yours whether or not you have or want kids. Same as I don’t know people would comment on someones choice to be married, single, or cohabitating. I could go on, but I think you get my point. :slight_smile:

Kids can be tons of fun, as was mine when he was little, but I like dogs (nice dogs, like the 3 that I’ve had) just about as much! :slight_smile: Dogs will never wreck your car (unless scratching up the interior counts) or criticize you. And they are always super excited to see you when you come home. Kids can be surly, unruly, disrespectful…dogs always appreciate any attention you give them.


LOL, very true. I’ve always tried to be open-minded and respectful of others choices. We are all human but have our own individual preferences and beliefs, etc. Being a parent is very rewarding and, at times, very frustrating. Choosing to not have kids has it’s own pros and cons. Who is anyone to judge?

Throughout my life I’ve raised many pets, dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, even a couple of Tarantulas! I’ve loved them all, and just like with kids, they came with their goods and bads. :smiley:

I haven’t been on in a while (wanted to look into any BCG trail info), but saw this topic and thought I would share my experiences (from the male perspective, like JC14).

I’m in my 40’s and was almost married 3 times. The deal breaker? The fact that I would not have biological kids. I decided this when I was 17 and as I got older, I realized how important that decision has been to me. My family has been a genetic septic tank for diseases. My Father and all his brothers (5 total) have died of different forms of cancer. My Mother and 1 brother and 2 sisters all have dementia and Alzheimer’s. My Father was also Manic/Dep, undiagnosed for his entire life, and I have 2 siblings with similar problems.

At this stage of my life I am content with my pets, my friends, and to a slightly lesser degree my family. However, I do have 2 separate groups of friends. One group has been longtime friends, but ever since they have gotten married and had kids, they’ve been put off by my lack of life similarity. They might invite me over for large gatherings (their birthday parties, reunions, etc), but that is about it. The other group of friends I have, is people that I have met in the last 5-7 years. They tend to be much more inclusive; I babysit for them when asked, go on weekend trips, etc It’s a bit sad to lose those lifelong friends whom you’ve shared so much of your early years with, over a difference in familiar status; but as they say, it is what it is.

(OT) By the way, and this seems strange even to me; not one of my friends has Diabetes. I’ve gone to groups and met people there, but no lasting friendships. I’m really not sure why that is.


BIll, good points on married friends with kids, I have managed to stay close with a lot of them but not all. I think because I was married and “part of the group”, saw their kids from birth to college now but that can be tough. I do have some diabetic friends, in fact I diagnosed a collage roomate back in mid 80’s. He had some “virus” he could not shake one winter, staying home from class and sleeping alot. After about two weeks of this I saw him just laying on the couch with a 2 liter bottle of soda and noticed him walking around with said bottle of soda all the time and it hit me. Asked if he was pee’ing more than he was drinking as he looked like he lost more than a few pounds, he said yes and I said "lets take your BG! It was over 400 think meter of the day was as high as it could read, so needless to say we have been friends since. Like you said, it is what it is.

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JC14, I never diagnosed a person, but 25 years ago, one of my close friends and his wife adopted a cat that used to go crazy when they forgot to feed it. Now when I say the cat went crazy, the cat would use it’s claws and run up the curtains, charge at people and generally not act like most cats would. Conversely, after a big meal and lots of treats, it would just lie down listlessly and lap up as much water as it could. Their vet at the time didn’t check the cat for diabetes. I said you might want to ask him to, and if the cat is diabetic and you don’t want it, I’ll take it (I had enough extra insulin for a cat).

The vet confirmed my diagnosis and before I knew it, they had the cat euthanized. Needless to say, that pretty much ended our close friendship.

I really need to end these posts on a positive note, because I’m really not a negative person. When I was 10, my aunt found me a Type 1 D dog, and that changed my whole life in terms of taking care of my own diabetes. I wholeheartedly recommend that to any parent having trouble with a child newly diagnosed with type 1.

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I had to face this issue (I was a brief participant in the birth twice). Sheryl and I had to make the decision before we married. I did not want children (Diabetes) and Sheryl did. It was a major decision. We tossed it back and forth many times and Sheryl said look it is a risk but an acceptable risk. Which brought about a different set of requirements. I insisted on having two if we had any. We agreed on two and agreed to have children.

I was worried and scared and so concerned and still am. Neither son have the antibodies, and each chose to have children given the possibilities. I can say that for me I love my sons more than life itself. I have never regretted a single day after we made the decision.

Now the second part of that is timing. I felt very pushed to have children very early. My thought was if I waited, I might not be around to help them grow up, college etc. So we had our first at age 23 and second at age 25. This is fairly young by today’s standards.

Here is the thing we all face different pressures and we make different decisions based on many influences. No blanket decision is right or wrong for every one. What I love about your post is the thinking you have gone through. It reminds me of the decision process Sheryl and I had to use. We came to a different result but the same process.

Great post.

Rick Phillips

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I refuse to have kids out of fear for speading my illness and it has cost me a few relationships. My current boyfriend still doesn’t really understand “So it goes up from .o333% to 5%! Who cares?” I CARE.

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care to mention what illness that is, that is spreadable?

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I believe she is speaking about heredity. My dad, aunt, 2 cousins, and my brother are all type 1’s along with me so I certainly can understand the fear of “spreading the illness”.

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T1 Diabetes is a genetic disorder, I also have severe depression and a family history of anxiety and heart issues. The amount of guilt that would fall on me if I produced a child who inhereted those things would be too much for me (personally.)

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I would not have had children if I had known I was going to be (LADA) insulin dependent…and have always worried about my children. I went into DK at 34 and was already showing random high BG on my physical blood tests buy the time I was 28. My Children have made it to 32 and 34 without any BG problems but I still worry because my brother was just a little older than me when he suddenly stopped producing insulin. No one else in my close family have any BG problems although many members of my family have RA, MS, and other autoimmune disorders. My 32 year old daughter was Dx with RA when she was in collage. Although none of this may have anything to do with why my brother and I have diabetes we are both Vietnam veterans and have suspected for years that a combination of all the vaccinations we where given before, during, and after our deployment could have triggered some kind of unexpected immune response. We have both met a staggering amount of Veterans with insulin dependence.

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