WWL>Topics>>5-19-14 1:10pm Angela: on women who are childless by choice

5-19-14 1:10pm Angela: on women who are childless by choice

May 19, 2014|

Angela talks with women who made the choice to be childless. The panel includes Eve Versteeg, Aryanna Gamble, and WWL-TV's Meg Ferris, as well as Dr. Amy Dickson of the LSU Health Sciences Center department of psychiatry.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well welcome to Monday and welcome to another great week. I'm very excited about this today because we're doing a bunch of shows that I wanted to do for a while a beginning with our very first one. Witches those who choose to be childless. We're going to be talking about that and then our second hour we're going to be talking about a sad thing but one that needs to be discussed. And that is animal cruelty and there -- three incredible grace -- cases that have happened in the last about two weeks that just. Blow your mind and we're going to be talking to some people in the field about what the heck is going on and what can be done. Absolute madness. And our third -- a little different our first thirty minutes is -- to be with Sandra Bullock and my -- I am very thrilled. Wonderful woman great town great citizen of this city so we're going to be talking about all of her passions about New Orleans. And then we're going to be talking with. The attorney. For the man as I know you'll remember. Who shot the fourteen year old boy who had a climbed over his -- And the charges recently were dropped against a homeowner so we're going to be looking at that case. About exactly what went on and why the man was charged in the first place. It's just an interesting discussion. But we will begin with. The decision to have a child. Is perhaps the biggest decision a couple makes. To bring in new life into the world is a tremendous responsibility. A lot of work and hopefully a lot of joy. Some people will say they will feel incomplete not having a child. But what about those who choose otherwise. Not to have a child. It's a growing number upwards of 20% of women are childless. Today we're gonna talk to two women who have chosen to be childless. Are you among those who have made that decision we'd love to hear from you that's 2601870. Our guest in studio Arianna gamble is thirty years old she says she and her husband made the conscious decision to have no children. He Versteeg is 57 years old she single now but even while married decided to have no children. In a little later in the program we're going to be joined by meg Paris wonderful medical reporter channel four who is also made that decision but we're gonna start with. -- on up and eat. So. Tell me your thought process from the start with you area. And I think. -- My husband and I we were both. We met -- and we were high school sweethearts. And I think when you're that young. You kind of think everything is ahead of view and he can do anything you want. And it wasn't -- though we were older and started thinking about getting married and -- I think you add all those adult decisions that you start making. And I was really. Happy and kind of comfort that. Both me and my partner. Who I had already fallen in -- -- Didn't really want to have kids because then it made that decision easier I didn't feel pressure and that. Here is something that I want in my life and my partner doesn't agree with me and so made. That we were both on the same page and made that decision so much easier. But it. And it was something where we kind of took stock of who we weren. Who we want it to be and and kind of sat down and said well this goes flat where I see myself in ten years fifteen years twenty years. And each of the least those points where without a candid. And so. We both had goals and ideas and aspirations of who we wanted to be and none of those things -- parents sound that's just how we came -- to came to that this is -- -- and -- is. I just can't stress enough how how. Comforting atlas to know that I was in a relationship where we both on the same -- -- -- Hello hello hello hopefully. It's kind of a fascinating journey actually the past couple of weeks. On thinking about it. Talking about this topic. And I have. In Italy you know it it's not a light. Topic for several layers to it one component. Is the marriage component for me we did not have. A good marriage. That played in to the voice for me early line I guess not feeling -- two parent with this person. And another piece was that guy didn't get pregnant. Each used in. Go to fertility route and explore that and maybe I could have. And I'd just. Went with in god and and whenever it was meant and I did not get pregnant. On in retrospect. You know again going through divorce. The marriage non. Working. And it it was a Smart decision on I think I'm -- line on. And I nurture and other ways I've -- great chance I have niece and nephew and you know maybe get into that war that but at. You at the war does that relieve -- things from day. Both of you when you were little girl growing up what toys did you play. And that's weird. Bobby adult body -- -- -- -- going from day and. I know I. I mean I haven't dolls that I don't remember being particularly. Excited about playing with I remember being a Israel tomboy I love being outside. Like making mad ties with my friend and I. -- getting -- in just being being out. And doing things that of course the reason that's asked is is that if those of us did play a lot of dolls and and and -- you start seeing yourself think the amount you start playing that role and if that ever appealed to you even when you were little. You know. It kid and you know I think you might again my journey is probably not as clear cut as yours. A I'm at peace with not having children today. However. But there were probably thoughts of that at some point along the way and and it. It didn't work out and so after you were divorced you had other relationships correct. And and those other relationships all of the men had children. And at the time they were a part of my life. We didn't marry but IE you on some level spend time with their kids. So. Mean you know perhaps. Was nurturing in in that way. When let me ask Arianna have you told your parents or your husband's parents that this is a decision or are they saying to you when he gonna have to connect. Oh absolutely I mean everyone in our -- both our families know that this is a decision that we've made. But it always comes up. You know you'll change your mind is as always the thing that comes out. Especially because we're so young. -- my perspective is. I've haven't made this decision lightly zone. Why would I it would have to be a major life changing. Event from need to change my mind. And I crises myself as someone that does not want to have kids so why would you. Try to convince me otherwise -- I mean if you don't want to have it isn't. Kind of a marker of that note we'll take a break and stay with this we're talking about those who choose to be child will be right. I was so happy that we. It Versteeg and -- gamble talking about. Decisions in their lives not to have children. And that's what we're talking about today that choosing to be child. And we welcome your calls to six 1870. And now we're so happy to have meant fares with that meant -- and I happened to be at a dinner last night the subject came up. Meg is the you know just superb. On medical reporter and WWL -- wonderful friend for many years meg thanks for being. Partly. Anyway the bottom line is somewhere along the line you have not had children. And -- over thirty. Apply to that as you. 14 children and you and I. That is right but just sort of your thought process on. On YUN might do you Ewing hasn't been married thirty years. He. Was the party that -- is one week from today. In my. Disgust at the beginning when we now we know -- not. Everyone else. We have. Decided to have children up and down and decided not to have children. We all caught in the moment and eat and -- Children. Back then we hit it and that the next step in the all of a sudden. And -- of the story -- how in the world app that is but it was kind of. More living in the moment and and no. It's itself why didn't feel like and I have to tell you that the daughter out of the July and it delivered -- -- out the country 151000 babies are not quite sure a lot of pressure from. Transparently. To have children. Even jokingly -- loss what's the big deal your father or political debate -- forty and I definitely set. But then that a lot money for education and clothes and food just joking that. What a joke because that's what you get when you got married women had children or your life -- 1000. -- you know. Well let me ask to to all of you because I think. Some would say your life is not complete. Do any of the three -- feel incomplete. I don't I don't feel in completely. And you know I'm I'm like you Mac. You know my dogs are so just so fat -- and I love on them and take care of them and medication and massages. Hand and I you know it it. It I just am so blessed and who love their love and spend quality time and yeah look I know it's not like the same but they yeah I may I get. Pretty fulfilled. And and and get quite a lot of my needs met for my dog so. And IQ I agree with you on to percent I tell you how much I. To war which shall do all in my life might meet his mind that you. Even now have from grand. Yeah used and and I have good friends who have children. Cool I am that passed me please please bear with their children. How problems with other. They can't like they can talk about blogs or -- and feel like. Easily. Easily talk to order and it's so different appearance so given. That adult film. And a lot being there for them. I -- trial and that have figured out how to have a television career. They do about life. And do -- raising children a 100%. But I don't know biological parent network -- -- -- back calling. Even -- -- up a huge Catholic family last. Minute and every tool that last default. How do you handle though there because there's still exist criticism. You know we're getting better maybe because women are making all kinds of choices and decisions in their lives. But it's still an area that we haven't quite gotten over. You may feel very good about the decision you made and the life you're living but others are still going to be judged now. That's true you know and I told you that I had. Make it choked up odd minutes strong moment. I was sitting at my mother's bedside. -- not lottery was having a great mom. And so much for others and I and my father and my all of which would therefore -- which was bedridden for six months and dying and I at this moment of panic. Oh my god who will be there from the -- won't have all these wonderful people there from the age and then -- Quickly realized. You know some people that they'll guarantee you have children -- -- 41. And then I realized. I have these great. Nieces and nephews friends family and I immediately call on -- and instead you don't get any of the jewelry. You know. Up outside and then and now one couple we could joke. The last ten years and Arctic cold or some -- caught in say like policies CEO. And now a subject so. You know can't you can't live wait thinking about he ends. -- -- your right and did you have something wondrous thing and I just think and family is huge whereas they're they're your children are not your children it's a big deal to have people in your life. Who love you and who you love and respect and will be there for you so whether -- are your kids are not your kids or your nieces or your brother and sister. Absolutely. That's an. A give and that that's important in life but that doesn't necessarily mean that I can't be fulfilled or I can't have a happy life. If I don't have kids because I have love in my life and that's important. Right well and and really learning. The lesson which I've been working on. More and more is to love myself because really it comes from within. And and and yet to really be happy with who I am first. And it's. It's taken work for me. But you know it it it's a work in progress so I asked to any appeal in. Any moment of your life when you were little when you're thirty when you're now looking back. Did you ever say to yourself you know something I wouldn't have been a great mother. Now for a degree. Yeah you know I I. I'll. Tell you. Judgment on -- which people saying outlaw not to have children because they thought would be an incredible model which such a compliment coming from. -- -- -- about myself but. But the thing that war. There won't judgment on the way back when I was much younger are some bad. From what you being selfish because you're not having children and I told you last night calling. Said to myself -- It's gonna ever get to the day where I am sad that I didn't have children and Matt that it may actually and water -- I won't go. Yet children because I always felt like I was one. When I left -- homeless animals but I couldn't rescue the child that he needed to be adopted and love that child just as much. Some people change in the fine but I won't. Still kicking Concord jetliner that debate on which you know what it you know I was furcal is that makes cents. It makes a lot of sense I want everyone to stay with -- we're gonna continue our talk on making the choice to be childless let's go to the newsroom but stay with this. We'll Whitman talking with three women who have made the decision not to have children. I'm -- Ferris of channel for everyone knows -- Versteeg. Who is 57 years old Hutchison stunning. I'm looking like a movie star. Made that decision as -- area on the gamble thirty years held. Well we're now joined by doctor -- Dixon who is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the L issue Health Science Center. And I certainly appreciate you joining us and you have been listening to the the words of these women I -- from their heart and to some of your thoughts. My. Thought so for no fur is that society should be a little less intrusive. And a little careful about what they say. -- usually you've provided S three different. Wonderful examples of why women may choose not to become parents at certain times in their life for as they age. But we also need to be mindful that there are a lot of women out there that tried to become parents yes. And struggled with infertility there's women out there that had a significant history of mental illness and their family. And made the decision that they didn't wanna have children in carry on the potential of those genes replicating. There is women out there that struggle their whole life and throughout their childhood. And just don't feel like they want to briefed having a child and having undergo the same struggles. They're such a wide variety of reasons why people may decide to make this choice early or -- destroys at a certain important point in their life. And we just I just would like you're listening audience to be so mindful. Of this thing and stay seated these women. And how that might affect these women. I find it interesting that. And your husband carry on has made that decision. Mike Adams has made that decision along the way with them manic. That it isn't the same thing for men men are not looked at in society of junior incomplete you don't have children. I think that's absolutely right I think men may get some pressure from their mother first -- hand children for them. But I would say that men do not get approached by people in public with questions about why they are not. Fathering children why are they not having children it's not a judgment on them. That's the difference. As you -- looked back as -- you look back at this stage of your life. No regrets. Yeah I was saying earlier. That the one little. It's not really regret that I guess the one intrigued for me is well with this little person and it looked like. Yeah at and that you know sometimes. -- I'll think of and not only the physical illness but the been the sole you know what what would I have created so maybe united regret. From you know Angela -- I mean I don't know if I would be able to handle any significant moment in. My child's life because I go to my nieces and nephews first communion and weddings and you know that the baseball playoffs -- Everett is I am -- for forward just as many as I can their concerts there. You know the plays at their -- And I -- sobbing along more than apparent because I'm so emotionally attached to them. So I think I would I would look like Tammy Faye -- crying if it was my old fashioned block that. Because I am so fulfilled by by family and -- so to answer your earlier question I don't feel unfulfilled or no. At this point I don't I don't regret it I just want to I want to go and rescued more animals and I want to help other people's children to. Now and that I have a very different tonight -- two dozen children -- older -- I am and I think you know do you have any thoughts. She said I'm absolutely made the right choice because I know myself well enough that I would have been such an overly protective mother that I would have created a neurotic -- -- just thought was you know how very honest. As people think about those decisions in their life. There may I don't think regret -- a terrible thing I think you think OK I made that choice there were a lot of benefits and is a couple of moments of what would that look them what you know or what have I missed. And maybe we -- but in also at that table where Megan I was sitting last night. When we were talking about choosing to be childless. The -- up on the other side and we said we'll make sure you signed up for long term care. That is an issue again I'm -- -- be fuel more. There are no guarantees that if you have children they're going to be there -- here -- wonderful thing if they do it's let's look reality. Well and on -- on Saturday when I was getting my manicure I was sitting with a couple other women who were talking about their children. There are having conversation because it's graduation time yeah and -- eight. Didn't participate I mean I that wasn't a topic for me so. The challenge is to be quiet and I but I did it -- I just sat back and listened to because it it wasn't really -- a part of my life but. -- it's of interest to me but I couldn't be a participant in that particular topics yeah. I -- -- wanna ask the other ladies opt for somehow. I get that the love between a parent and a child. Is probably the greatest love on our I get that I see that in the stories I do especially the sadly two people. Lose someone and it ice there are some people who told me when I was growing up and I adored my nieces and nephews so it's not the same it's not the same you'll never understand. But do I feel somehow that I do get how much parents but toward their children do you feel like you get that. I feel like love is love. And when you cared deeply about someone else it doesn't matter who they are TU. It just matters that you have that feeling from him in that capacity to feel that way and that's beautiful but then at the same time I have a plaque in the house that says. Missing golfer husband and dog reward for dogs assumption. I'm somewhat more power and another. -- kidding viewers that it has no I really do have that's on them back up with a. Well and may I also wanna say just because you'd choose to have that child. There is that societal expectation that you will be madly in love with that child and feel deeply connected to that child. And that perhaps people who are not having children are missing out on that that is not a guarantee. There are a lot of people have unwanted pregnancies. Who. Had children and firm for a variety of reasons have great difficulty connecting to that child. Have great difficulty in their role as a parent. And why you're describing is this incredible. And affection for these children in your life. And grown children now that you have been apart in their life you know that is very similar to how apparent field. So you have done wonderful experience of getting to have that feeling. Just because your parent doesn't mean you automatically. And in oh and I've said a million times just because you have a child doesn't make you parent correct and there's you know we we see that all the time. But it's again it's a fascinating subject in and I think what's important is is that we're talking about it. Because it's one of those things that the sort of in the closet there but it is a reality today. That young women more and more are making that decision so stay with us we'll be right back. Well once again we're talking about the issue of those who choose to be childless. And I think I need to say that there are men who choose to be childish -- we just don't happen to have an in studio. And it would be instinct to know what they thought processes but. We have had some delightful discussion with Arianna gamble -- thirty year old who was married and her husband she and her husband made the decision together not to have children. -- Was married realized that this was not someone she wanted to have children with an instance divorced and had other happy relationships. But again looking back. No children. And our own -- fares from WW LTV. Married thirty years and she in her husband just as they went along in life ultimately did not have any children. And doctor -- Dixon who was a clinical psychologist. And assistant professor at LSU Health Science Center. This is an enormous decision. I think I as I started shall -- I think it's the biggest decision anyone makes in their life. And that is to bring into the life. And all of the responsibilities. That go with that I'll Angela should be. But I think for some people it they don't realize that it is and they don't realize the time commitment and monetary commitment and and then you see people -- you don't grow up with parents that I give them what they need sometimes you agree doctor -- Absolutely. We where talking at the break that. -- -- we have a lot of unwanted pregnancies we have a lot of families at that. Look at it in saying I don't think we can financially afford to have a child and raise a child in the way that we would like that child to be raised. And then we were talking about that parents do. For whatever -- then have difficulty not having multiple children. For having children too soon or too young are not the right timing and the difficulties that are dry days. When they really did not consciously decide to have that child and nurture that child for the rest that child's life. Right and Arianna you were talking about the discussion between Europe when your husband you almost have a great relationship that you took so wonderfully together. About real life issues so. It you're looking at finances and you both work. We're both Smart young professionals. We're responsible people and we are both at a point where we'll live pretty comfortably we own our home uptown we go out with friends we have a good time. But when it comes down to it we make enough money for the two of us to live comfortably and if we brought and other life. Into this world. Could we make it happen absolutely we would make whatever sacrifices we needed to if something happened. But do I want to know. And if that's a decision that I have responsibly. Made because I've looked dead here's what I have here's what I can do. If you know going down the -- this happens. Can I really do wit and do it well maybe. And that may be is an uncertainty that I'd rather not have to go down that -- if if I'm not choosing it willingly. Yeah I mean I think it's great that you can speak that. You know that you can speak to that and comfortably. You know knows that this is do you bar and assists reduces. Where you -- this is what works for you and it's OK you know like we were saying earlier that the decision that you made its decision. I've made and it should be okay with other people I mean where where all different individuals and and whatever decision we make for for ourselves that our decision it's a it's a personal decision it's our right to make that the sufficient and and not be judged about it. And I have more admiration for mothers because I don't see how they fit at all in I. I watch what they do I watch what I do and in normal work day and just to get stuff in my life Don and I think. How do you have time and that's when I think I did make the right decision of course my priorities would totally change -- had a child with. I admire mothers and how they they can time management I did have a question for doctor Dixon. And how much of it is -- -- because I have a cousin in law. Who can get around someone else's baby. Shall hold the baby smell the baby's head and say a one another baby charting your story can I get around -- can I get around someone else's baby and I holed it I think it's wonderful for that parents and I'm happy for that parents. But I don't want to have the hat and and what how much of that is just my or our hormones are biology. You know there's something to be said make for those hormones but it's also. Our thoughts that run firm had them are holding that baby. So your friend that has three kids and holds a baby is thinking in her hand I'd love to this stage. Of my children's life I laughed holding the baby I feel terrific called -- BB and having -- coddling and and how wonderful I also pay tree in the baby's not screaming at that -- and throwing up sign that that your friend. And still it's some of her thoughts and feelings when you hold the baby you might be they keep this is a beautiful baby and I'm so happy I came to hand them off at the end and go home and not have to stay up on the -- eight. And not have to change multiple could be diapers and changed my work schedule I mean it's the way we look at things and anyway you look at it is okay it's your choice. Stay with -- will be right back. I have so loved discussing this so we have a caller let's go to Kelly Kelly appreciate it. -- Want to thank -- -- community. You'd done. Now I think you. Want. It says. You know how. And I have two children one especially me and attacks on and that doctor about beautiful children. And -- therefore. Sure and I became a widow. A year ago. And now. While I'm talking about Shannon. And the world I don't quite a bit. You know don't agree that they'd get all. Wish for work or go forward. If it can all be over. And it went back and got an arrogant and out and -- into a security. Element of actor I don't it -- teachers retirement. You know it. There are been -- -- -- you. What can happen as the mother. I am so very sorry about the loss of your husband and we applaud what you were doing with two young children and Glasser and yes absolutely I appreciate you calling Kelly I appreciate your man can Arianna. And -- and and doctor Dixon a great conversation. An important one thank you all for joining us pinky --