I have truly stumbled.

The last time I was here, I posted about how my spouse and I haven’t had sex for over a year because we don’t want children (we don’t like children) and how we don’t want to leave it to “chance” so we don’t even practise NFP.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=860322

Well, not only do I still not like children, I have harmed one.

I was having an extremely bad day one day a few weeks ago. This 4 or 5 year old kid was ahead of me, throwing a tantrum, refused to walk and made me wait with my 20-pounds grocery bag. His mother knew I wanted to cross but couldn’t be bothered to be considerate to let me pass, and I blew it. I kicked his little foot to make him startled so that he could walk. It wasn’t a murderous kick. In fact it was so light both he and his mother did not notice it. But I shouldn’t have. It was totally wrong of me, I know. But I don’t feel guilty.

Should I confess about things I don’t feel guilty about? Can I start off my confession by saying I confess to not being guilty of being unkind to children?

I am still at a crossroad with this issue about kids. And the community is not helping. Every damn Catholic old lady is asking how many kids I have, and I feel judged. I feel like if you have 5 kids, you’re part of a holy Catholic couple. If you have none, you’re a sinning sinner. People look at me like my husband and I are using rubber and having hot sex every night.

I don’t even pray anymore now.

I think you should get some therapy to get to the root of this attitude and behavior towards children AND their parents-- you frame the mother as being inconsiderate, you seem to frame things as they revolve around you.

The level of impatience, anger, dislike, and lack of empathy you display in your post-- these are serious things.

Perhaps you have some issues from your past that need to be treated, or something else going on with you.

It’s not in the normal range to have such feelings and large reactions to every day inconveniences nor to have such a complex that others are all judging you and you’ve told yourself a story about how they “look” at you and what they think about you.

I mean no disrespect, but what is the point of being married if you haven’t had sex for over a year—and how long will your partner go before he begins to think about finding it elsewhere? If I were you, I’d seek counselling about why you have such a deep abhorence for children. After all, we were all kids once ourselves. You might not want 5 or 6 kids—not everyone is willing to have a large family and in my opinion, if you felt this way, I’d simply advise you to take a good course in NFP and plan your pregnancy or pregnancies far apart. That seems reasonable to me–and NFP when practiced correctly, is an excellent way to avoid unwanted pregnancies if you just aren’t a kid person, NFP does work very well if practiced correctly—and I speak as a retired women’s health care nurse practitioner and nurse midwife when I say this, Having said that, part of your marriage vows was that you’d be open to new life. Thus if you practice NFP and still got pregnant, you should consider the child as a gift from God. I truly suggest counselling to help you understand what scares you so much about being a parent that you’d choose to totally quit having sex with your husband to avoid the possibility of even an accidental pregnancy. Something is amiss.:shrug:

I think you’re looking at the whole thing backwards. Kids aren’t an accessory to a marriage, something people either want to “add on” or not, they are the natural end of the life giving love shared between man and wife. Having kids isn’t something for “kid people” to do (as if you have to want to work in a day care or be a kindergarten teacher to want to procreate) it is cooperating with God in bringing forth a new soul into the world. I strongly recommend you read some theology of the body or perhaps find a good spiritual director. Disliking children to the degree you seem to (even to the point of harming them without remorse) might be a consequence of deeper spiritual issues. As we read in 1 John:

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (4:20)

Is there some reason you think this doesn’t apply to all people (including those you don’t happen to have an immediate affinity for - in this case children?)

The deep spiritual consequences of hating our brothers is ultimately hatred of God - thus your inability to pray.

It seems to me that your selfishness is closing you off to your fellow men and to your God, leaving you twisted in on your self to the point where other people ought to step aside to accommodate you and if they don’t (they certainly might be having an even worse time than you), you then feel justified in being “cross” and inflicting harm upon children.

All that begin said, an internet forum isn’t the place to seek help for this. Go to your parish priest and ask him to find you a good, orthodox, kind, spiritual director. Read some good spiritual books. Resolve to treat others the way you would treat Christ Himself, for this is how you will be judged:

“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt 25:40)

Well stated.

I agree with your advice to the OP, as always.

I don’t plan on having children either, and it’s pretty much because I would just rather do my own thing (if anyone wants to judge, go ahead), but to actively harm them is different. That’s not good. You should try some therapy as someone else said. It seems as though you’ve got a bit of an anger issue. Unlike others, I don’t think that not wanting kids is an issue because everyone likes different things, and not everyone wants to basically give up their whole life to children–no harm, no foul. In any case, you shouldn’t have taken your anger out on the child, but I wouldn’t have seen an issue with you speaking with (not touching!) the mother. A quick, “Hey, these groceries are really heavy, do you think you could grab your son?” would have sufficed. You’re also lucky that no one witnessed you physically touching the child because the mother could have made big trouble for you.

I agree.

dluna, you also started the thread about people “grabbing your hand during the Our Father.” When someone suggested that you sit in a different place in your church, you replied, “I don’t want to change places.” That struck me as un-cooperative and petty.

So now that I see this thread, I’m convinced that you need to get some help. I am a mother who believes in spanking, but even I don’t believe that a stranger should ever EVER touch another person’s child. You have no idea why that child was throwing a tantrum; he could have been autistic and unable to control himself. He could have had a muscular dystrophy that was making it difficult for him to walk, and your little kick might have thrown him off balance.

What most of us figure out is that even when other people irritate us, the best way to handle it is to think the best of people. E.g., in the hand-holding thread, my advice would have been to think the best of the old lady; maybe she was lonely or frightened or a little confused. Same thing in the store–think the best of the child.

Some therapy will help you get at the root of your short fuse, and will help you learn better coping strategies. Good luck to you.

I do admit I was being mean and unkind and I know Jesus loves children.

I am selfish. My love is limited. I admit that too.

To 1ke, both of us don’t want sex. My husband and I don’t want to busy ourselves with the affairs of childrearing, among other reasons.

First off, I know it’s cliche… but strenuous exercise does improve mood, and does help tension, depression, et al. And yes, not having sex can cause tension (if you weren’t having enough stress from other stuff, of course!), so exercise sounds like a good idea all around. Sunshine and fresh air are cliches because they really can help. If you can’t do traditional exercises for some reason, find something strenuous that you can do in short intervals of a couple minutes or thirty seconds (they call this “interval training”), and it will have the same effect or better. Don’t forget to check your health, diet, vitamins, etc.

Second, I don’t think what you did was so much bad as just childish. Literally, that’s what a kid might have done. You weren’t thinking like an adult, or your body wasn’t, so you scuffed at the kid’s foot like you were another kid. You were cranky, you acted cranky.

Now, the fact of the matter is that society comes down like a ton of bricks on certain childish actions, and this is one of the biggies. So you’re going to have to watch yourself so that you don’t get cranky like that. If it’s blood sugar or lack of sleep or whatever, keep an eye on it.

Third, this isn’t the time to stop praying and going to church and going to Confession. It’s the time to START again. Don’t load yourself up with extra stuff, but do it. If you can’t take a long time, take moments here and there to pray.

God loves you, and He is on your side. Don’t lose hope!

PS - Not wanting to hold hands with strangers isn’t a sign that you don’t have love. It’s perfectly normal in a society that values personal space. Ours doesn’t, or it’s not fashionable to do so. However, given the realities of our society, you will meet strangers being extremely rude and intrusive, and you will have to find a way to deal with it gracefully. It’s a turn the other cheek thing; accepting that doesn’t make rudeness right.

And another thing - even if you don’t want kids and thus are abstaining, you (and your husband) can still be mourning or otherwise dealing with the choice. Any time we take definite steps, even if they are good steps and make us happy, we close off a path that would have been open.

People who buy a house often remember the other houses they could have bought. People who take one job remember the other jobs. People who picked one major wonder about the others.

The way to deal with this is to dig deeper into the path you did take, and enjoy it.

Also, you really might want to pray more, and maybe you would like it more if you and your husband pray together. You can do the Liturgy of the Hours in the morning or the evening, for example (like on the ibreviary app), or the Rosary. Praying the psalms in the Hours is particularly suited for married couples, because one can say (or chant) one line and the other can say the next, and you can both say (or chant) the antiphon.

You have been given some good advice and I admire your honest post. I hope that you will reach out for some help and my prayers are with you.

Mary.

Where I’m at, the mother-in-law would come visit and stay with you till you have kids.
I think we have a cultural difference here. :confused:
I mind my posts. Sorry if it offends anyone.

I don’t mean to offend you, and others might not agree, but I think that right now you are correct in not having children. You seem to have some problems with anger, and if you dared to be mean to a stranger’s child and touch them in anger, do you think you could trust yourself with one of your own?

I’m not judging you, just asking you to evaluate things carefully, and perhaps get some help here. I think sincerely praying might be a good idea.

The thing about kicking the kid’s foot is not only normal, but kind of hilarious. Kids are sooooo much work and can be such a nuisance…

Don’t let the judgmental responses from other posters gnaw at you, but I do worry that you don’t pray anymore. Something similar happened to me (for different reasons) and it wasn’t until I opened up in prayer to God, and in conversation with friends, that I was able to make spiritual progress.

A year is too long for most married men to avoid sex. Bite the bullet, or your marriage might not survive NOT having children.

Do you really believe that kicking, even lightly, the foot of a child who is not your own is normal and even hilarious? I do agree with you that kids are a lot of work.

If someone asks you a question about your personal life that you don’t want to answer, you are under no obligation to do so. I don’t believe in sacrifcing one’s own mental health for the curious benefit of others.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about what others in Church think about you.

As far as Confession goes, just tell the priest exactly how it was. To quote my religion teacher “there isn’t a sin the priest hasn’t heard.” It might make you feel better to mention you don’t feel guilty about X, Y and Z, but just that you know you need to be at Confession.

I’ve done that before, and it’s worked out fine.

But you do want to get going on that prayer life again! :yup:

Some of the posts on here point to professional help. Not having sex for a year is a pretty big deal in a marriage, so I would suggest talking with your husband on that, and maybe getting counseling because it’s not a good means of birth control. The proper method is NFP with the right reasons, of course. :yup:

I seriously hope your post is a joke and it never really occurred. Kicking anyone, no matter how gently, but especially a kid, is beyond “stumbling.” Nothing you posted here or in the linked thread is normal. You need help severely

To answer one question that I don’t think has been directly addresses…

No, you don’t need to “feel” guilty to confess a sin. As long as you acknowledge that it is a sin that is sufficient. You can know that it was wrong to kick the kid, even just on an academic level and even if the feelings don’t follow.

Not helping. :nope:

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