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“What Do You Do At That Point?”: Guy Wonders What People Who Don’t Want Kids Will Do When They’re 40, And The Internet Responds
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Parenting, People3 months ago

“What Do You Do At That Point?”: Guy Wonders What People Who Don’t Want Kids Will Do When They’re 40, And The Internet Responds

A recent tweet from a podcaster, reformed Christian and father Shane Morris, has sent heatwaves on Twitter, joining my fellow millennials in important debate about childfree life and the freedom of life choices we make.

“Millennials who are very cavalier about not having children are in for a shock when they enter their 40s & realize life is only half over,” Morris tweeted on August 23. He added that he “expects to see a lot of sadness & confusion about what to do at that point,” and this understandably didn’t sit well with many Twitter users.

Below we wrapped up some of the most important and illuminating tweets shared in response to Morris’ now viral thread. They reveal how common assumptions of how having children make a complete life and regretting your life choices not only don’t fit this generation, but are largely outdated.

Image credits: GShaneMorris

Image credits: GShaneMorris

Bored Panda reached out to Dr. Audrey Tang, a chartered psychologist and author of multiple books, including “Be A Great Manager Now,” “The Leader’s Guide to Mindfulness,” and “The Leader’s Guide to Resilience” who shared some very interesting insights about millennials and their life choices.

Dr. Tang argues that it is important to separate the issues in any question over having children. “In the first instance, a choice of what to do with one’s own body needs to be that of the individual – something which, as we know, has been causing a huge amount of uproar in the US. With regards to a couple making such a choice – that too is down to them and their own preferences.”

Here are some arguments from people who strongly disagreed with Morris’ tweet

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Dr. Tang argues that while she would certainly say that it helps the relationship if both people are in agreement. But it is not really for anyone else to comment on, nor actually anyone’s business. “And also, there is a presumption that those who do not have children ‘do not want’ to have children… and we also know that this can be a very emotional area to talk about when it comes to infertility as well as baby loss – and again, it is hardly appropriate to make assumptions, nor is it to ask impertinent questions when someone does not want to talk about their personal situation.”

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However, there may, of course, be reasons driving any choice, and one should not be quick to believe they are selfish, Dr. Tang claims. According to her, millennials have a number of pressures that they are very aware of. Dr. Tang named things like “the cost of living; the rising house prices… and along with that, there are widespread concerns with social media (the American Psychological Association found that millennials were more worried (48% of those surveyed) about the negative effect of social media on their mental health than Gen X or Boomers).”

Moreover, according to Dr. Tang, there exists general awareness that the world is changing. “Millennials and Gen Z were more worried about climate change, with 57% of millennials saying that should take precedence over economic growth, in a study by Kings College London).” She added that it is very possible that there has been a difficult choice that some are making not to have children.

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“I would also add that sometimes people make a choice because of their own childhood experiences, and perhaps even their own worries as to how they might fare as parents themselves,” Dr. Tang said and added that it is a hugely complex issue.

There are also, of course, many people who simply do not want children. “Again – why should this be anyone’s concern other than the couple themselves?”

Dr. Tang also claims that the way people choose to spend their life is also nothing to do with anyone else unless it directly affects them. “If the person who says ‘you’ll regret it when you’re 40’ has spoken because in their experience (say perhaps as a counsellor or therapist) a significant number of childless couples over 40 have made such a statement and it has been published as peer-reviewed research, then perhaps a discussion on the topic is necessary.”

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However, “if it is simply someone’s opinion, we need to remember that often when we point at others, there are 3 fingers pointing back, and we probably need to think about how appropriate it is to project our views onto others.”

“What the choice not to have children might say about a generation is that,” Dr. Tang claims, “either thankfully, there are many other choices available to them (of which having children is just one); or if there are society concerns driving the choice – society and governments need to take action now more than ever.”

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Some people, however, agreed with the author of the viral tweet

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LillieMean
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh no! Being childless, I have completely forgotten to make space in my calendar for a mid-life crisis. This isn't right at all, I have to quickly come up with problems.

Kate Jones
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know, right?! All this free time and family and friends and full life that I have without kids has left me a husk of a women. We just have too much free time to be happy and enjoy our lives...this is unacceptable and can't continue. Women who can't have children, people who have lost their children, people who can't afford children....we should just end it all now since we're worthless.

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Yettichild
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'll be 40 this year and don't have kids. I love every freaking minute of peace and quiet. Not to mention the fact that I refuse to pass on my myriad of health issues. I get to do what I want, when I want and actually have money to do things. I have never and will never regret not having kids.

Bernd Herbert
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’m 44 now and I completely agree with you. You know what my plans are for this weekend? None…I’ll do what I want when I want it. Got the freedom and the money to do so

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Trillian
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No they won't be. They will be effing glad not having to watch their kids struggle on a dying planet.

Poultry Geist
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’m actually encouraging my children not to procreate because I don’t want to have to worry about more people I love on a planet we are actively killing !

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
LillieMean
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh no! Being childless, I have completely forgotten to make space in my calendar for a mid-life crisis. This isn't right at all, I have to quickly come up with problems.

Kate Jones
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know, right?! All this free time and family and friends and full life that I have without kids has left me a husk of a women. We just have too much free time to be happy and enjoy our lives...this is unacceptable and can't continue. Women who can't have children, people who have lost their children, people who can't afford children....we should just end it all now since we're worthless.

Load More Replies...
Yettichild
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'll be 40 this year and don't have kids. I love every freaking minute of peace and quiet. Not to mention the fact that I refuse to pass on my myriad of health issues. I get to do what I want, when I want and actually have money to do things. I have never and will never regret not having kids.

Bernd Herbert
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’m 44 now and I completely agree with you. You know what my plans are for this weekend? None…I’ll do what I want when I want it. Got the freedom and the money to do so

Load More Replies...
Trillian
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No they won't be. They will be effing glad not having to watch their kids struggle on a dying planet.

Poultry Geist
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’m actually encouraging my children not to procreate because I don’t want to have to worry about more people I love on a planet we are actively killing !

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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