Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Issues for Childless Men May 17, 2010

My husband’s cousin recently commented that she would never become a grandmother because her only surviving son was gay. Her comment then prompted my husband to ask me if this website included gay men in its audience. The whole interchange inspired several threads of discussion regarding potential grandparents, modern families, and whether this site was a place that childless men would come, or if the female readers would be as open if men were lingering around. All this is material for future posts, but the thought that bubbled to the surface this time was: What about childless men? Which of the same issues do men and women face and are there other issues that are unique to men?

My husband has grown children from his previous marriage, so I’m not able to ask him about being childless, although he’s more than able to talk about the frustrations of infertility and of having a wife who is unable to have the children she wants. So, for those of you with male partners, what issues do you think men face? Do they feel the same pressure from family? Do their friends (and complete strangers) ask the same tactless questions? Do men feel the same sense of loss that we women sometimes feel. And is it easier for a man to make the decision to be childless?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.


7 Responses to “Issues for Childless Men”

  1. Janna Says:

    My parents were never grandparents since their three children (me and my two brothers) never had children. I often wondered if this bothered my mother since most of her friends were grandparents and it seemed that when women get together that is the ready topic: children/grandchildren. When asked my mother’s response was that it didn’t bother her. It is your life, I remember her saying – only you can live it. My parents traveled all over the world in their retirement years and my father, who now is a widower is still traveling. Perhaps our relationship would have been different if grandchildren were in the mix; but I doubt it couldn’t have been any better.

  2. Jennifer Gill Says:

    My man enjoys this site, and I know he’d like to be a member! He comes from a large family, so he has definitely been subject to the same kinds of questions and assumptions. I think he responds to the pressure (which is different on men, I think) in a different way than I do, and it would be interesting for me to see his thoughts on that here. I am curious about whether other women here would be comfortable with men actively in the discussion…I suspect they would, but we didn’t want to bend the parameters if this space was meant for women only.

  3. Nyx Says:

    Hubby’s mom is always at him … “have you gotten her pregnant yet?” “when am I going to be a Grandmother again!” she has been asking him that question since we first got together over a year ago ::shakes head::

    Never mind the fact that she knows full well that neither of us can have children, bio or though adoption nor do we wont to have any of the two legged type.

    I fell for him because of his CF stance the fact he could have any was just a bonus to me since it lifted a lot of the pressure off my shoulders of the what if factor.

    I have no issues with males talking about being CF, after all am married and well some of my friends happen to be Gay (though several are parents though adoption).

    • lmanterfield Says:

      There is a whole string of discussions to be had about mothers-in-law and other busy body relatives. Sounds as if yours might need a billboard outside her front door. “FYI Mom. We are not having kids. Please find a hobby.”

      So sorry.

  4. lmanterfield Says:

    You may have noticed that the site already has one male member. That’s my hubby, who was my test pilot for the site as I was getting it off the ground.

    I think it would be really great to have a male point-of-view, so ladies, please invite your men along. The more the merrier, I say.

  5. Jennifer Gill Says:

    I *did* notice the one male member, and didn’t even connect the dots! Duh!! 🙂 Hi J!

    In other news, I know I am clicking the notification for follow-up comments, but I never get them! So I am really sorry that I’ve been unresponsive; just cruised back through old posts today and found a bunch of comments I’d never seen…

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Jose is one of those lingerers that reads but never comments. 🙂

      Um, technology, yeah, well we don’t always get along so well. If I figure out why you’re not getting responses, I’l let you know.

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