to ask if anyone is happier now they have children than they were before?

(207 Posts)
woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 07:04:01

Trying to plan first baby and all I seem to get are horror stories of the agony of childbirth, how babies never sleep, toddlers never leave you alone, children are horrible, teenagers are worse and usually just get "it WILL be hard," with a meaningful look.

I don't know. We'd left it to June to TTC for a myriad of reasons but just had my last period and sat on the stairs crying yesterday because people seem to think our reasons for wanting children are all wrong. Our reasons for wanting children are because we want a family; we want someone more to love and who will love us, we adore 'family' things, we want someone we will have a permanent bond with.

Are these the wrong reasons - awbu to want children?

lightrain Sun 19-May-13 07:05:42

No, yanbu. Having children is fantastic (almost all of the time). Ignore the horror stories.

lilystem Sun 19-May-13 07:09:30

No yanbu. I have a 3 month old who is just the best. He sleeps, he laughs, we love having our little family.

And I say that with a stinking cold knowing I won't get much rest today. I too heard the horrer stories and its nowhere near as bad as I'd imagined. I also say that having ended up with a 3 day labour and emcs

karatekimmi Sun 19-May-13 07:09:37

A bit soppy but I never knew I could love something so much! It isn't easy but it's definitely worth it! It's just a massive change of perspective. But watching my little monkey sit chewing on the telephone cord I wouldn't change it.

BrianButterfield Sun 19-May-13 07:09:42

I remember saying to someone once ds was born "people tell you children will ruin your life, but they don't, they make your life.". Life is harder, more tiring, more frustrating than before but also so much more fun and more 'real' in a way. It means something! DS makes us laugh so much and I just couldn't imagine life without him now.

riksti Sun 19-May-13 07:11:51

The stories about the pain of childbirth and sleepless nights are all true, it's just that they are not the whole story. I couldn't imagine loving someone the way I love my child and it definitely adds to my life. I wouldn't say I'm happy all the time but I'm a lot more content than I was before.

I was wondering, though, why do you feel that you have to justify your decision to have children to anyone?

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 07:13:25

Thank you for these answers, I was REALLY upset yesterday (my period was probably at least partly why, admittedly!)

I don't think either of us are naive about the fact our lives are about to get more complicated in practical and physical terms, certainly we will be a lot poorer grin For some reason some people seem fixated on the idea we can't go out in the evening? We only ever do the odd Asda run really! The last night out we had was back in February!

CabbageLooking Sun 19-May-13 07:15:04

Definitely happier. It IS hard, obviously. And there are bits that are less fun but I feel like I have a purpose now whereas before I was a bit rudderless. And my DS is ridiculously cute (and hopefully will remain that way for a while). smile

spidersandslugs Sun 19-May-13 07:16:32

Yanbu. I am a happier person for having children & I think I'm surprisingly good at being a mother.

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 07:17:18

Riksti, to tell you the truth it is more on here and on another Internet forum I have found that our (but more my) motives are questioned. My partner and I both had quite traumatic upbringings and because of this we take our responsibility to have a child VERY seriously.

However, both of us see our baby as a fresh start, drawing a line under the horrible stuff as it were and something very dear to us both we can love. People seem to think these are bad reasons to have a child, that we are sticking a plaster on our experiences and that thi is wrong.

I should add at this point that financially and emotionally we are very stable - neither of us are sectioned under the mental health act and we are both early/mid thirties so hardly kids.

My upset yesterday seems a little silly as I have never usually listened to people's disapproval but all the same - hormones I suppose!

LittlePebble Sun 19-May-13 07:17:23

Woodland go for it. Having DS was the best thing to ever happen to me. It is hard and I have had to dig deeper in the last 18 months than ever before (mainly because of sleep deprivation!) but I wouldn't change a second.
Now hoping for DC2 to come along!

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 07:19:18

Good luck with it LittlePebble, he sounds lovely!

dinkystinky Sun 19-May-13 07:21:11

Like everything in life, there are good times and hard times having kids. New responsibilities and worries to get to grip with etc. But both DH and I agree that having our funny little boys is the best adventure we've ever had.

AllAboutFlavour Sun 19-May-13 07:22:00

I think its different. I can't really compare my life before and after. I wouldn't sat I'm any less or more happy. But I'm not as free. I think that is what people mean. I never went out that much, but lack of babysitters means we often can't go out to special events either.

They aren't trying to ruin it, they are probably knackered! Sleep deprivation in the early years (yes years not months!) Does strange things to you! They are probably jealous. I am, or my friends who have lie ins, who read the paper, go for coffee, read books etc. Grass is greener and all that!L

My sister will be starting a family soon and I do feel the need to make sure she knows exactly what she is giving up and getting iyswim. Not trying to stop her, just hoping to reduce the horrendous shock that I had!

littlewhitebag Sun 19-May-13 07:23:25

My DD are now age 15 and 20 and i can say that quite honestly having children is the best thing i have ever done. There have been ups and downs but my girls have turned into lovely young ladies and i am so proud to have assisted them along the way. It sounds like you have thought things through so good luck.

riksti Sun 19-May-13 07:25:04

woodland - Internet forums are a whole different world of making you doubt yourself. And also supportive when you need them to be. I would try an not worry about what the people on forums think of your motivations. The fact is that they don't know you and you don't know them. You wouldn't listen to a random person coming up to you and expressing their opinion about you - forums can be much the same smile

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 07:25:37

I understand that, but all the same I do to some extent feel that the same can be true in reverse. We've had to plan a lot in order to get to this point; we felt ready for babies about five or six years ago but it wasn't the right time then as my partner was studying and I was in the fairly early stages of my career and we lived in a small flat.

But we spent those years doing our research as it were until it reached the point that we'd almost over-planned things! Now we're finally ready hearing "it will be hard" after around 2 years of being on baby & parenting websites, reading books and the like feels a little condescending. I appreciate people don't realise this though.

Dirtymistress Sun 19-May-13 07:25:52

There are very many moments of pure joy in raising children. Which, in my opinion, you wouldn't appreciate half so much if there wasn't a lot of hard work and stress also involved. DP and I are lying in bed playing with ten week old ds2. 19 month old ds1 is still asleep and I am desperate to go wake him up! I have never been happiergrin

scarecrow22 Sun 19-May-13 07:26:05

Best thing in our lives by a country mile, whole country....just best, most wonderful, love-full thing in our lives. Of course there is some pain, sleep loss, exasperation, etc, but I don't know a single parent who does not think the rewards are a gazillion times bigger. Your reasons for wanting a family sound totally lovely, as do you. You might think about joining a MN conception thread where you can get emotional support, practical advice, and best of all be "surrounded" by like minded women who share your love of family. Finally it is not at all uncommon to take months to conceive, especially a first child. I know people who have conceived on honeymoon and a couple who waited nine years. Don't lose hope, and remember there is lots of help available later if you need it.
Very good luck x

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 07:26:26

Riksti - thank you and you are very right smile

Littlewhitebag, thank you so much, you sound a lovely Mum!

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Sun 19-May-13 07:26:29

I'd never tell you a horror story, I've found the whole thing totally amazing and completely fulfilling.

Saying that I up at 7.15 on Sunday, that is the ONLY bad thing and actually early mornings are a recent phenomenon. DS has always sept past 8 it's just dd (21 mths) who has taken to the hour of seven recently

Summerblaze Sun 19-May-13 07:26:33

Childbirth is painful, thats a given but obviously not horrendous in the majority of cases as people go on to have other children.

Sleepless nights are also true but they length of time this goes on varies. Yes, some have children who wake frequently and for a long time but others have children who wake up once during the night for 8 weeks and then sleep through (DD did this, the 2 boys, not so much).

Yes its hard sometimes, frustrating, tiring blah blah blah, but like others have said its not the whole story. My children are now my life and I can't imagine not having them to love. When your baby smiles his/her first smile or the first time they say mama is the best feeling in the world. My dd is now 9 and when she comes and cuddles me and tells me I'm the best mum in the world I feel so very lucky.

We still go out on an evening. Ok, its not as often as we used to but I don't feel as if I want to go back to that life. I love my cosy family nights in.

I have no idea why these people have just chosen to tell you the bad. My friend has just had her first dc and she asked me when pg what it was like. I told her straight that some bits were hard but I didn't forget to tell her how amazing it was too.

Have these friends only got one child. Do they wish they didn't have them. Probably not. I have 3 and am still hoping I can have one more. Wouldn't do that if it was a horrific experience.

I hope you get your bfp soon.

HollyBerryBush Sun 19-May-13 07:26:35

A lot of people have babies for the wrong reasons. Threads a plenty throughout MN with very very selfish reasons to be having a baby. But I won't bore you with what I deem as selfish grin.

If you have any idea of having a career, as opposed to a job, unless you have a massive support network, you can forget it for at least ten years. Just bear that in mind if you are the sort of person who needs that sort of challenge to feel fulfilled.

bigkidsdidit Sun 19-May-13 07:27:12

I am. I don't have a social life now really - I decided the two things important to me were work and children, so I split my work hours so I leave at 3 and work in the evening, meaning I never go out. But I was never a mad partier, I was always happier at home or going out for dinner, that sort of thing. Now I am very happy. Or rather, content smile

good luck.

CrystalDeCanter Sun 19-May-13 07:27:14

Blimey woodland, ignore others opinions (and this one too if you like grin). If you and your DH are ready for kids then go for it.

For what it's worth I'm vastly happier since having my daughters. They are now 7 and 5 and make my life utterly immeasurably happier. They get RIGHT on my nerves and drive me completely up the wall but I adore them and I love being a mum.

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