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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?

surfandturf Sun 19-May-13 07:27:58

The early years are hard and I regularly used to ask myself ' why did I ever have kids?' my dc are now 6 and 7, they are beautiful pains in the backside but I love them to bits. They drive me mad but at the same time make me so proud. DH and I are just starting go feel like we are enjoying life again and have the best of both worlds - we love doing family things and spending time with the kids but also don't feel guilty / worried now for booking a babysitter and having some couple time too. There are always ups and downs, money problems, I am always questioning am i a good parent and although being a parent is one of the most frustrating jobs in the world it is also by far the most satisfying. Good luck!

EasilyBored Sun 19-May-13 07:28:09

It is hard, the birth can be great or it can be awful, or any number of degrees in between. The lack of sleep is hard, but it doesn't last for ever. Toddlers don't leave you alone, but you find that most of the time you don't mind. It's hard but the happy moments are so much happier than I thought. My toddler cracks me up, and I'm constantly amazed at what he learns every day. No experience with older children, I'm sure they have their challenges too, but it's worth it. and the things that I miss, spontaneous nights out and relaxing holidays, aren't gone forever. At some point he'll be a grown up (weeps) and I'll be able to do those thingsagain if I want.

xigris Sun 19-May-13 07:28:38

We have three DSs and I wouldn't change a thing! It's fab having children. Yes, it's hard work and it's a 24/7 responsibility but well worth it. There will always be the scaremongers trying to burst your bubble, try not to take any notice. If parenthood was so awful we wouldn't have an expanding population! Best of luck, OP smile

scarecrow22 Sun 19-May-13 07:33:36

Sorry x posted with lots of people ( trying BF, potty train, direct flat pack furniture making and post on MN simultaneously before 7.30am grin) ...see you are experienced on MN so you probably are on a conception thread... My simple answer is yes, very deeply contented and happy with children.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 19-May-13 07:35:01

I love being a mum, I fell in love with my dd as soon as I saw her she is amazing. It can be hard work I won't lie but you get on with it and once you're in a routine you don't even notice.
I don't care if I sound like a saddo but I actually enjoy the social life more I like doing more outdoorsy things, meeting up with other mums and chatting babies more than sitting In the pub.
And childbirth wise- I was terrified and was worried when ripple told me they had pooed/threw up all over themselves/their partner- it wasn't like that for me and I was surprised how manageable the whole thing was- it hurts but you get a break inbetween contractions- you can do it! smile

HanShotFirst Sun 19-May-13 07:35:17

My children are the best thing that has ever happened to me, and they've also been at the heart of some of the hardest times in my life; exhaustion, postnatal depression, illness and the worry that brings etc etc. having said all that, I wouldn't be without them, not for anything in the whole wide world.

Parenting sites are going to be full of people talking about the tough times because this is where we all come to vent our frustrations. You never know, one day you may be on here because you're at the end of your tether and don't know where else to go, but that isn't indicative of the whole experience.

We had children for much the same reason as you said in your OP. We wanted to have our own little family unit who loved each other. Good luck in TTC!

Daisy17 Sun 19-May-13 07:35:18

I think your reasons are all incredibly sound and considered. Wanting a loving family unit is exactly why we went for it. And it's what we have so we are very happy - because there is such intense love involved there are other, more difficult emotions to contend with, that's inevitable within any close relationship. And yes it's hard work but like the rest of life if it's hard work towards something you value then it's very rewarding. I think it's worth working out at the outset what you want in terms of work family life balance and then try to stick to it. We wanted to be able to go out of an evening every now and again and have stuck to doing that - we first left DS for a couple of hours to go to a friend's birthday when DS was 6 weeks old. He was fine, refused the bottle I left but I just breastfed him when I got back. We've built up a circle of sitters. It's doable if you decide you will! Best of luck, you sound like brilliant parents already.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 19-May-13 07:35:22

People not ripple?!

Much happier now. Having DD was the best thing we ever did.

People are telling you it will be hard, because it will be. It's life changing, and all consuming, and completely and utterly worth it! grin I tend to think that the hard bits just help to add contrast to all the amazing bits. I remember when DD was tiny, only a couple of weeks, but I was panicing less, and DD seemed happier, and I felt like I was actually getting it "right" It was almost euphoric.

As for the career, I didn't really have one before DD, I didn't have much focus or know what I wanted to be doing. Started a new job after having DD, and I'm progressing slowly. Obviously not as fast as I would be if I worked full time and could focus solely on it, but my work are aware that I do still want to progress and are being very supportive. I know I'm lucky, but having a baby doesn't have to mean freezing your career.

choceyes Sun 19-May-13 07:47:07

Hmmmm I wouldn't say I'm happier now that I've had kids, but I don't regret having them. They are still under 5 though and dc2 does not sleep through and wakes up early so it is hard. So I'm hoping it gets easier!

I was very happy pre kids though and fulfilled and had kids because I thought it was time not because I was broody. I love my dcs more than life itself and we are a fairly attachment parenty family.
But I don't feel anymore content in my life than pre kids though.

Also we have no family nearby to babysit so we can't go out as a couple or to look after them on an odd weekend. This weekend I am ill and DH has a very important interview to prepare for which means that even if I am ill I have to look after the dcs for most of the day. Its a bit crappy. It's things like this I dislike about my life now.

We used to go out loads in the evening before kids and we really do miss it a lot.

maddening Sun 19-May-13 07:47:37

But after dc1 most go on to dc2 and more even - can't be that bad can it!

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 07:48:31

I don't think I need a career to be fulfilled. However, financially we want to give our child the best so I have had a few promotions to enable us to buy a nice home and so on. I actually hate going to work - would love to be a SAHM - but financially that isn't really practical.

pinkr Sun 19-May-13 07:49:38

Can't tell you about the labour our the raising but i'm 26 Weeks and I already love this little thing so much. I'm so happy when she kicks and wriggles and Dh is gearing up to be the best dad as he's so attentive and exited. Don't listen to all the people who try to scare you...its just plain rude really after all if you were booked in for heart surgery people wouldn't delight in telling you how awful it'd be!

maddening Sun 19-May-13 07:50:26

Oh and other life ventures are hard - people climb mountains, run marathons, go and help in war torn countries, study for Phd's - it isn't always about what is easy is it?

Ilikethebreeze Sun 19-May-13 07:50:30

I think you may be over thinking and overreasearching.
That is what the 9 months of pregnancy are for!

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 07:53:50

Yes, very probably, Ilikethebreeze.

shellandkai Sun 19-May-13 08:05:43

Yarnbu to be honest alot of people have children, unplanned my 2 year old was unplanned, and am now pregnant with my 2nd again (kind of unplanned) but most people who want a family and plan they have the same reasons as you it's not the wrong reasons the wrong reasons would be, to get a house, do they get more money and do they aren't alone etc. what I know though is that if you ask them people that have given you horror stories of all of this if they if they regret having kids I bet 9/10 will say no. See no matter if they keep you awake all night, have horrible tantrums that are embarrassing in the middle of the street/shop, get clingy, mess up constantly your once perfectly clean house or even going through agonizing pain for god knows how long (mine was 23 and half hours) when you hold that baby in your arms nothing else in the world matters anymore, when you hear them say I love you, you feel your heart is going to burst, when they just want to sit and cuddle you it's the best place in the whole world to be, and when you hear them say that your pretty etc you can't help it, it actually makes your day and no matter how much more sleep you used to have before having a baby, or how much freedom you had or how clean your house was all the time, or that you could drink or go out whenever you wanted without worrying. Nothing in the world would make most mums want to swap that for a single thing at all no matter how sleep deprived or angry or hormonal they are. So my answer is my life was alot more calmer before I had my ds but now it's alot better fun, loving and worth getting up early every morning just to see a beautiful little smile just for me smile.

Pegglebot Sun 19-May-13 08:10:38

Yes I am happier. They have made me feel complete in a way I have never felt before. I'm constantly suprised by how much I enjoy being a Mum especially considering I had a very hedonistic lifestyle before, it doesn't compare though.

Blatherskite Sun 19-May-13 08:11:50

I had a shitty childhood too and I think it can make parenthood harder. Without experience of a loving family home to fall back on, you are left a little lost sometimes when it comes to parenting decisions - but that's what places like MN are for smile I've asked the most inane question on here in the past - and been horribly flamed for asking too - but in the most part, I've had good advice and felt reassured.

I would absolutely say that I am happier now I have children. It's an amazing thing to be a part of a happy family, to love and be loved in equal measure and to finally feel like things are 'right'.

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 08:12:12

One reason we do want children is so that we aren't alone. Not as a born built-in friend or carer in our old age but to add joy and laughter and love to our house.

I don't understand why this is a bad reason, I just don't. It clearly is, though sad

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 08:13:11

It's an amazing thing to be a part of a happy family, to love and be loved in equal measure and to finally feel like things are 'right'.

Thank you; this is how we feel. It is so hard when your perceptions of 'normal' family life are very skewed.

Euphemia France Sun 19-May-13 08:14:47

Best thing ever, and it's been the making of DH.

I was married before to a man who led me to believe he wanted kids, the white picket fence, the whole thing, but almost as soon as we got married that all turned out to be lies.

When I met my current DH we were 27 and I made it clear early on that I wanted children, as I wasn't about to waste any more time on losers! DH was a bit shock but he absolutely loves being a dad. Nothing gives him greater pleasure. He's been prone to being a workaholic, but spending time with DD has given him a much better work-life balance. He never took time for leisure in the past, but he does now. smile

ShadowStorm Sun 19-May-13 08:17:42

I'm much happier since having DS. The only thing I regret about having him is not doing it sooner.

Yes, the first few months, before he started sleeping at night, were hard, but it's definitely worth it. The good bits far outweigh the bad.

And FWIW, I'd also heard lots of childbirth horror stories and found it all better, and more manageable, than I'd expected.

noviceoftheday Sun 19-May-13 08:17:59

Happier than before. If i wanted to focus on the negative then I would whine about being sick all the way through pregnancy, hard childbirths and a dc2 that rarely sleeps through the night. It's important to know those things because it prepares you for the realities of the early years with children, rather than having a rose tinted view and expectation. however, my dcs are a gift who have significantly and immeasurably blessed and enriched my life. They are funny, squishy, smart and kind people who make me smile and laugh a lot.

At 3am this morning, I was silently yelling at dc2 in my head to go back to sleep. Later today, i am looking forward to baking together and making thank you cards. It will be messy and frustrating but fun. That's just life with kids! Good luck.smile

JassyRadlett Sun 19-May-13 08:22:17

Absolutely the best, most fun and most interesting thing I've ever done.

I'd also disagree on having to forget about your career. I was promoted at 36 weeks pregnant and now, with DS at 20 months I've had outstanding performance reviews despite a flexible working pattern and I'm up for another promotion and an external post where they would be happy to match my working pattern. We have no family nearby and nothing but paid childcare to support our work.

The key though is for both parents to be equally involved in childcare and parenting. DH and I split childcare duties 50/50 and he's similarly on temporary promotion which his work is likely to make permanent.

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