Dinks: Are we doing it all wrong?

by Kristina Tahnyak on July 24, 2014 · 8 comments


Good morning Dinks.  I recently went home to visit my family and friends and I spent a day catching up with my best friend from childhood.  I have known her almost my entire life, I think we met when we were 6 and now we are both 33.  We’ve stayed friends all these years because we have a lot of things in common even though I left my hometown at 19.  We share a love for scary movies but a hatred for zombie movies, we both enjoy being outside as often as possible, we both still prefer paperback books to downloads and neither one of us wants to have kids.

My best friend is more passionate about not having kids than I am.  We are both proud that we’ve made the decision not to have kids, but trust me when I say our parents are equally disappointed in us and as we get older it gets worse.  I was explaining to her that I thought there would be a time when my mother would just accept the fact that she wouldn’t have any grandchildren (my Dad has made his peace with it) but that’s not the case.

Maybe dinks are the new nuclear family

My best friend just laughed and told me she has similar conversations with her mother.  Despite the pressure from our parents I noticed that more and more couples are choosing not to have kids.   I only have one friend who is married with a kid.  All my other friends are single or in a childless couple.  Maybe we are the new normal.

My mother’s criteria has downgraded from being married, to having kids out of wedlock to adopting.  Yep that’s right my faithful catholic mother no longer believes I need to be married to have kids – that’s how bad she wants to be a grandmother.  Every time I talk to my mother about not having kids I see the disappointment on her face and I think to myself, should I be having kids?

Every  time my best friend sees a child screaming in Wal-Mart she says it’s reason 215 not to have kids.  Well at least I think she’s up to 215 by now, it’s a game we’ve been playing for a few years.  We both love travelling and packing up our things for a last minute road trip.  Can people with kids do that? I’m not sure, maybe they can.

So I started asking myself, what are we missing out on by choosing not to have children?

Online success.  Have you seen the mommy community? It’s outrageously popular.  If I had kids I would have a whole new niche to write about, share with and engage in.  I don’t read a lot of mommy blogs unless they relate to money.  I’m always curious about how families manage their money.

Someone to grow old with.  Whenever I tell people that I don’t want to have kids the initial question is always “Why?”  After we get through all the reasons why I don’t want to have kids such as I’m selfish, already set in my ways and it’s a huge financial commitment, the second question I get is “Don’t you want to have someone to take care of you when you get old?”  In my opinion that’s just not a good enough reason to make a lifetime commitment to having kids.

Do you think we are missing out on anything by choosing not to have kids?

Photo from Flickr

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy July 24, 2014 at 8:53 am

Your last comment struck a chord with me. Don’t you want kids to take care of you when you get old? What a selfish reason for someone to have children. It reminds me of older times when people had many children so they could help with farm work……nothing more than a source of free labor. People should be responsible for their own old age. Before someone accuses me of being anti-elderly, let me say that I do help my 89 year old mother by taking her to the doctor, hair dresser, etc. Taking her on excursions is not the same as full time caregiving and luckily she has financial resources to pay for other types of care.

I respect those who feel they are not cut out to have kids and follow that conviction. However, I could present an argument that those of us who are financially, socially and morally responsible should be the ones having children to counter-balance all of the other people who are not responsible. Unfortunately, me having just one son, cannot offset the problems of society caused by those having multiple children with multiple fathers, who are on welfare, who abuse the safety-net in place for the indigent. The responsible people should be having more children to offset this, and because they are responsible, they are specifically not having kids. Quite the conundrum.

2 Brock @CleverDude July 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Well, I hope DINKS aren’t becoming the new nuclear family….it would be awfully hard to sustain the human race if having zero kids was the normal. :)

That being said, I’m 100% supportive of those that choose not to have children. Given the level of commitment needed to be a parent, if you don’t think you want that, then by all means don’t have kids. There isn’t anything written in the laws of the universe that say having children is a requirement of being an adult.

Are you missing out on something? Yeah, you are…..but then again those of us that choose to have children are missing out and sacrificing things by having children. People with children (especially small children OR school aged children) would find it darn near impossible to pick up and leave to travel at the drop of a hat. But personally, I don’t care. I get a HUGE thrill seeing my son take an interest in technology by wanting to work with me to build his own computer. OR, teaching my son to drive, OR taking my son to the gym and working out with him….I’d take those memories over being able to pack a weekend bag and travel somewhere for a few days at a moment’s notice anyday. You feel differently, want different things out of life – and that’s OK. One’s not better than the other – just different.

3 Lizbeth July 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

I’m now 68 years old, and I chose not to have children. And I don’t regret it. My first husband did not want kids, and we were married for 20 years. My second husband, a widower, had 3 daughters with his first wife. Those 3 girls are definitely not my children and will not be taking care of me in my old age. All they care about is their inheritance (ummm…they’re not getting one!)

Yes, some of my friends in their 70s, and 80s, are being taken care of by their children. But that’s not a good reason to have kids.

Stick to your guns. Don’t have children just to have someone to look after you when you’re old.
Enjoy your 30s, 40s and 50s — and most importantly, take good care of yourself. Eat good food well prepared. Exercise. Sleep well. Travel and make friends. Don’t smoke. Be healthy. You’ll live a long time and you can take care of yourself!

4 Sassy Mamaw July 27, 2014 at 8:52 am

I am a mom, a step mom, and a mamaw. I adore my kids and grandkids. I can understand your mother’s feelings, but I can’t agree with her. Children are a huge responsibility, although you do become accustomed to the expenses as you go along. But I can’t imagine having a child just to please your mother, and then resenting that child for disrupting your lifestyle. How sad that would be for you and for the child. Stick to your decision!

5 Nicky July 28, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Think carefully about this major decision. Time goes quickly and you will have this choice taken away from you one day.
Perhaps just one child is the answer for you – you seem unsure about having none at all.
I doubt that you would regret having a child.

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