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?

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Wed 22-May-13 06:46:09

LaQueen, your post is lovely. smile

To others who suggested I may actally have had PND, yes of course, it is possible. We emigrated back to my home country when DD was 9 months old, and there's only 18 months between her and DS, so there was a HUGE amount going on when they were both very young - selling our house in London, living a somewhat gypsy lifestyle in the lead up to, and following that, etc.

Emigrating is huge in the toll it takes, and adding in a baby and a toddler to the mix, and yes, you do have a recipe for PND.

I'm away with the kids this weekend - just up to my parents' house, and for the first time, as LaQ describes, I've only had to pack one suitcase for all three of us - it is liberating not to be weighed down with all the ludicrous baby-related paraphernalia...!! It's sunny up here, and DH will be joining us at the end of the week. My children are delightful little personalities, and we are so lucky that the stork delivered them where he did.

wigglesrock Tue 21-May-13 12:39:06

I'm much happier now than I was before I had kids. I have 3 dds - 7, 5 and 2. I think it was because I found something I was good at - I'm good with kids - who knew? smile

They drive me to distractions sometimes, I had 1 dreadful sleeper, another exceptionally early riser and one that doesn't like to eat.

But I found something I really enjoyed doing. I treat it like a job sometimes which helps. I also have low standards re cleaning, cooking, I'm not a martyrwink . I have also been with my husband for 20 years so we knew each other inside out before the kids and I think that helped - there was no niggling rows, resentment.

EldritchCleavage Tue 21-May-13 12:21:06

Nothing wrong with your reasons, OP. Let's face it, most of us just want children, we don't rationalise it and we don't have to.

My children make me incredibly happy. Having them has also increased my love for DH enormously and deepened our bond. Dare I say it, I'm probably a better, more understanding person since becoming a mother, too.

cherrycarpet Tue 21-May-13 12:08:01

If you're ready then go for it. By the way there's never a 'perfect' time. I have 4DC and am very content. When I met my DH at 31 we both wanted the same thing and I guess it was the right stage in our lives to start a family. It's certainly been a new chapter in my life - very different from what went before.

The reasons you give for wanting to start a family are all very valid and so YANBU. Try not to 'overthink' it all too much though.

I think you have to be prepared for the fact that your life will change immeasurably but IMO it's often for the better. My DH is very supportive and that's definitely helped. We've had a lot of difficult times (very premature twins and subsequent disabilities) - obviously we didn't plan that but I guess you have to be prepared for the unexpected.

Everyone has horror stories. I've got many tucked up my sleeve... Difficult births, sleep deprivation, toddler meltdowns etc. etc. but you can choose to focus on the negative or positive. I choose the latter and it's probably a bit easier as my children are older now so things aren't as intense as the early days. I don't think anything can prepare you for the love you feel as a parent and I feel very lucky to be a mum. I get a lot of satisfaction from watching my family grow up and venture out into the world. DH and I support them as best as we can and we have lots of fun. I can honestly say it's the best thing that's happened to me. Good luck!

BennettsBiscuit Tue 21-May-13 11:35:01

Also - I am still the same as I was iykwim, I hate cooking and cleaning, read loads of books on my kindle whilst breastfeeding newborns, watch newsnight, listen to radio, am interested in loads of stuff. I'm less interested in clothes and getting drunk but that's no bad thing.

BennettsBiscuit Tue 21-May-13 11:28:25

Our first baby wasn't planned. All I had ever heard was how hard kids are etc.

I got a shock - it wasn't half as bad as people make out. We had another in fairly short order and they are brilliant. I would quite like more but age and finances mean it wouldn't be sensible.

Having kids has been the making of me. I am SO much happier. Yes, there are days when I'd love a lie in or a night out but they grow up so fast, I know that in a few months they will go stay with gps and I can do that sometimes.

It's challenging and tiring but it's ace smile I wish I'd met DP five years earlier and had time to have four!

HaudYerWheest Tue 21-May-13 11:22:45

You only ever seem to hear the bad bits. Ofcourse having children has its tough moments like everything else in life, but the good bits totally out weigh the bad. Both myself and DH could not imagine life with out our DD, yes out lives have changed but being a mummy and daddy is absolutely brilliant. The love you feel for your kids is unbelievable and for us having our own wee family is the best thing smile

Badvoc Tue 21-May-13 11:21:31

I agree with LQ.
The first few years are utter drudgery Ime.
My youngest starts school in sept so I am really looking forward to some "me" time.
For the first time in a decade smile

MarianneM Tue 21-May-13 11:21:20

I think the good moments easily outweigh the bad. So what if there is a bit of mess and aggro when you have a cuddle with your adorable children or they say something utterly hilarious or clever?

I tidied up an absolute landslide of the DDs' mess at the weekend and very much resented every minute of it, as well as being woken up at 6am on a Sunday, but yesterday when my DDs were running after a squirrel in the park laughing and squealing I looked at them from a distance and I could hardly believe that I had produced two beings so perfect and lovable.

LaQueen Tue 21-May-13 11:16:16

I promise, it does get better ruby. We've reached the stages now, where our DDs dust/Hoover their own rooms, and can make me a naice cup of tea smile

And, surely that's why anyone has a child wink

RubyOnRails Tue 21-May-13 11:13:08

LaQ, your post gives me hope. I find the constant cleaning tidying the most draining thing at the moment

LaQueen Tue 21-May-13 11:06:21

I really struggled when I had DD1. I bitterly mourned my previously selfish, hedonistic life, and I ended up with PND, which took a long time to fade.

I agree, the first 2-3 years, just felt like relentless drudgery. I found it very hard to find anything enjoyable in the repetetive tasks, the tiredness, the constant mess/noise. Very few photos taken during that time show me truly smiling.

But, slowly our DDs got older, and became proper little people. There was slightly less mess, and less noise. I got more sleep.

Then just before DD1 started school, we went away on holiday to Cornwall. And, it was a real turning point for me. For the first time, we didn't have to bother with nappies, bottles, buggies, naps. The sun shone, and the DDs were blissfully happy pottering on the beach. It felt like I could really relax and enjoy them, without always worrying about the next nap-time, did they need a nappy change.

Since then we've never looked back. They are both really lovely, sunny-natured, little girls, and a real pleasure to be with 95% of the time.

They have made me more selfless, than I ever thought possible. And, it's a real privilege to be their Mummy. Nowadays, I feel so much more contented, and centered, and I'm living the life I always hoped I would.

Our DDs really enhance our life, and I'm so proud of them. I've got a lot wrong in my life, but at least when I look at them, I know that I've done good smile

MarianneM Tue 21-May-13 10:29:31

YANBU!

What strange friends you have if they think your reasons for wanting children are wrong! They sound like the best reasons to me! And in any case they are YOUR reasons - your friends should mind their own business!!!

My life is DEFINITELY happier with children than before. It has been hard work sometimes, and they do get on your nerves and the sleep deprivation is awful at times, but I would say that now the baby stage is over life gets easier all the time and it really wasn't that difficult at any point!

Yesterday I met my DH and children at a restaurant after work and I don't think my life before offered anything comparable to the happiness when my 4yo daughter ran to my arms when she saw me and gave me cuddles and kisses and told me how much she loves me.

Go for it! I really don't think you will regret it!

lannyshrops Tue 21-May-13 10:15:17

So many lovely sentiments on here.

My daughter is 9 weeks old. She is amazing. Like someone else on here said, she is like the missing puzzle piece in our relationship. We were in the car on our way out for the day. DH remarked that although we were very happy and had a lovely life before DD arrived, it was like there was a DD shaped hole in our lives. We would have been absolutely fine if that hole had never been filled, but now it has, we as a couple are complete.

I used to get so upset with the 'you wait' brigade. I employed the MN 'smile and nod' mantra. When DD arrived and slept well, hardly cried and was very content, the 'you wait' brigade assured me that in a few weeks she would become 'difficult'. She has not, she remains a delight.

We all have children for varying reasons woodlandcreature who is to say that your reasons are any better of worse than the next persons.

I always wanted a child, now I have her, I am so content. Yes I miss lots of things about my child free life, yes I have had days when I cried at the relentlessness of early motherhood and the fact that, at first anyway, everything revolves around this tiny being.

I am so proud of me for creating this amazing human being. The euphoria one feels In the days post birth trump the feeling I have had with any other life acheivement.

The love i have for my husband is deeper and richer than before. i can never thank him enough for walking with me every step of the way, never metophorically letting go of my hand and for never once letting either of us down.

Good luck with your journey woodlandcreature I hope for you all the joy and happiness I have.

TheBookofRuth Tue 21-May-13 09:57:32

Me! I have quite literally never been happier in my life.

shewhowines Tue 21-May-13 09:52:52

Tis the natural order of things.

Ask yourself the question.
How would I feel at 80 with no family around?
Is the hard work of the few early years worth the benefits that you reap, as you see them grow into the wonderful human beings they become?

Hell yes, the sacrifices are definitely worth it.

Lambzig Tue 21-May-13 09:45:54

I read your OP title and thought "God yes". I have never been so happy in all my life since my DC were born.

Yes it's hard work, tiring, occasionally frustrating, but its also fantastic, rewarding and I feel such joy. I would hate to go back to mt life before they were born (apart from the disposable income).

Sorry, I sound a bit evangelical.

I think your reasons are fine - don't worry about what others think.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 21-May-13 09:28:18

Dondraper, you totally had pnd. Big time. I didn't realise I had had it until ds was 2,and it had been gone a while. And I was single with a nightmare toddler, so it wasn't my situation that was better. It was the pnd getting better.

Naebother Tue 21-May-13 08:48:35

My kids make me very happy.

Wish they didn't wake up before 6 tho...

You sound like you'll be great parents btw

Annakin31 Tue 21-May-13 08:40:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Salbertina Tue 21-May-13 07:04:22

They bring a lot more meaning and richness to life. It becomes more than about you, as it should be.

But please DONT have kids with the expectation that they will make you "happier", they probably won't, it is relentless, thankless and exhausting with occasional glimmers of pure joy.

helpmesum1 Tue 21-May-13 06:58:45

hi let ppl will tell you truth abt child birth and how kids are naughty yes there prob right but it is good to comes with alot of rewards to.childbirth is painful but ppl can deal with labour in diff way if ya can hack pain (sortd)ya shud b ok.i love every min even tho am up 5:30 every morning with my 6 year old and gettin ass for ADHD. he is naughty but a lv the lil bones of him life is sad and boring without kids.(fact)
P.S WHY DO YOU CARE WHAT OTHER PPL THINK ITS YOUR LIFE YOUR CHOICES ITS YOU WHO"L BE HOLDING THE BABYNOT THEM.(GOOD LUCK IN STARTING YOUR FAMILY)

MummaBubba123 Tue 21-May-13 06:34:11

Absolutely. They have given real meaning and joy to my life. Just getting up in the morning is exciting when you want to see your little one's smiley face.
Yes, there are sleepless nights, tears and tantrums (both adults and children). But it's all so much more meaningful and the crappy bits are usually short-lived!

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Tue 21-May-13 05:51:31

Don't understand why you are letting Internet strangers bother you so much, it has did all to do with them. I'm the only Internet stranger to listen too seriously do not listen to them they do not have any impact on your life

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Tue 21-May-13 05:45:53

Good post, Annakin. And I relate to pretty much all of your post, Gertrude.

I found the switch to motherhood profoundly difficult and was so naive about the reality. We didn't have family support and even just breastfeeding (never mind all the other aspects); being the single night-time feeder and accompanying tortuous sleep deprivation, and the only one they were interested in getting any comfort from, took such a fundamental toll on me. The pressure on me felt immense.

I had no idea it was going to be like that, and felt (still feel) that there is a wall of silence around babyhood, the transition to motherhood, that benefits no-one.

I didn't have PND, but I must have been inches away from it, for a good two years. And to think what I went through wasn't even PND; that it could have been even harder - much harder - chills me.

Things are markedly better and easier now they're older, but we won't be having any more, because I can't go through the first year/18 months again.

As I said in my early post, I adore them and wouldn't be without them. I'm constantly amazed by them and overwhelmed by love for them.

The clincher is that I love the individual people they are and can't imagine life without them, but if I knew then what it was going to be like, before I'd formed those bonds with them, well, I don't know what sort of decisions I'd have made.

Put it this way, unlike a lot pf parents, I do not feel in the slightest bit sorry for people who choose not to have children, and feel that they should celebrate and embrace their choice to live a life for themselves. There are many aspects of their lives that I can now only dream of.

But it's still so taboo to really discuss this and admit to it. Threads like this are nice and fluffy and it's good to know that it can - and will! - be so wonderful. But likewise, it's so important for women to know that if it's not all wonderful and heart-warming and skipping through tulips with a compliant baby, and if they find it horrendous at times, that this is also normal and OK, and they're not deficient, and that it's OK to ask for help and support.

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