Alan’s Story: Having children is a decision that no one should take lightly

It is not that I didn’t want children, it is just that I couldn’t afford to have them. I have had a rather tough upbringing where money was scarce most of the time and this continued throughout my adult life. Although I have always made a point of making my way through life by myself, I was made redundant quite a few times and every time, I fell on hard times. The thought of bringing up children in such an unstable and unpredictable environment was never one that appealed to me. I just have strong values when it comes to these issues, and for me no child should endure the type of upbringing that I had.

I am in no doubt that had I had a stable job most of the time, I would most certainly have had children. I believe that many people give no consideration to this important factor before deciding to have children; they know that our welfare state will look after them and the children if it comes to it. This is an option I could never even imagine.

I suppose I am from a generation where dignity and pride mattered a great deal. It is my view that a lot of people in this generation have no pride, otherwise how do you explain the fact that children are being born to parents who are both on benefit with no intention of working. Some even brag about it. It wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t have to pay for it. However, it is the taxes of hard working people like myself and others that are used to help these types of people and encourage them to remain on benefit.

I am currently in a stable job and have been for a few years now, and even though as a man with no fertility issues I can still have children, being in my mid-fifties, I don’t think it will be a good idea. I have a partner who has children of her own and they are my family. For me, having children is a decision that no one should take lightly. They have to be looked after well, both emotionally and financially, and not being able to fulfil one of those criteria as far as I am concerned, can have a lasting impact on a child.

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  1. GemmaRowlands says

    I am sorry that you didn’t get to have children, however I must admit that I think you made the right choice, and a very sensible one at that. There are far too many people who put their own wants and needs first, and don’t bother to think about what their child will feel like growing up unable to afford anything. You are a fine example of somebody who is completely unselfish, and I wish you the absolute best for the rest of your life.

  2. I agree with Gemma, I think it does take an unselfish person to step back and take the things you’ve mentioned into consideration.

    Many children are born into poverty where the majority are instantly faced with barriers because of that.

    Children aren’t cheap, they cost money, lots of it!

    I remember someone saying to me once: “If you couldn’t afford to keep a dog you wouldn’t buy one, why have a child when you can’t afford their keep?”.

  3. Lucy Burrows says

    Nothing annoys me more than when people have children that they then can’t pay for – especially when they go on to rely on the state. It’s okay if you’ve been able to afford them in the past and face unexpected difficulties, but to have children knowing right from the start that you can’t afford them is ridiculous. I admire you for making your choice. It can’t have been easy, but it is the most unselfish one that you will ever have made.

  4. This is the most mature decision I have ever read, Alan, well done. It annoys me when people have children that they cannot pay for and never will be able to – and then seem to have more and more as though they’re a kind of profit making machine. So it’s brilliant that you’ve made this decision, even though it must have been a difficult one for you to make.

  5. Fair play to you Alan for being honest and sharing your story.

    Not many men I know would admit they couldn’t afford children and haven’t as they’ve gone on to have children they can’t afford.

    • You make a good point about the mindset of men, and I actually think that you’ve hit the nail on the head. Men are expected to be able to provide for children just as much as women are expected to be able to produce them – and as a result of that, many men will find themselves having children almost to simply prove a point, when they honestly don’t need to! So Alan’s decision is brilliant, and well thought out in my opinion.

  6. Julez Fitzmond says

    Not only do I think that it is brilliant that you’ve been mature enough not to bring children into the world that you wouldn’t be able to afford, but I also think that it is great that you have taken on the children of your partner and are treating them as your own. This means that you are a true man, and I really do admire you for that.

    • I think that it takes a VERY dedicated man to be able to do this, and it is great for the children that they still have a male role model in their home, because I honestly think that this is vital in the life of any child. I also believe that just because you may not be the biological father of a child doesn’t mean that you don’t have children – as they need your love just as much as you need theirs.

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