Should I forget about children?

(22 Posts)
emmcan Mon 21-Nov-16 10:18:46

I am 34, dp is 40, have been together 3 1/2 years. We have a really good relationship, after a few dodgy ones when I was younger...
I have never been particularly maternal, get on great with my older brothers two boys, and other kids, but I wasn't ever too sold on having any myself. Except in the past year, I have started to get increasingly broody, and I don't know why. The issue is this, though. Dp has no children, has never wanted children, went private to have the snip at 27 to ensure that he could never have children. He is adopted, and his biological parents were pretty awful, although his adoptive father and partner are lovely.
So...are these feelings just a phase? I couldn't imagine not being with dp, but at some moments the idea of not having any children makes me so sad inside...but what if that just passes after a while? But what if it doesn't?? I hate being so confused as I am normally pretty together with things...

MsVestibule Mon 21-Nov-16 10:29:53

Impossible to know whether it's a phase or not, but my guess would be that these feelings are only going to get stronger as time goes on. I guess your choices are pretty stark - you either stay with him and bury your maternal desires or leave him and hope to find somebody who wants to have a baby with you (or use donor sperm).

Do you both consider this to be a lifelong relationship?

emmcan Mon 21-Nov-16 10:45:35

I do, and he says that he feels that way. I knew his feelings about children when we first met, and I felt along the same lines, just not as strongly, so it isn't fair of me to expect him to change just because I have..at least for the moment...

toomuchtooold Mon 21-Nov-16 10:48:13

I think at 34 you're going to be aware of the passing of time - it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to massively regret it if you don't have kids, it's just that it's hard at nearly 35 not to be aware that the window of opportunity isn't that large any more.

IMO you have to base the decision to have kids on a positive wish to have them in your life, and be careful not to just do it because of fear of missing out. Having kids is a daily struggle especially in the early years, a huge amount of work, and a damned sight harder if it turns out you don't find it particularly rewarding. And more importantly, it's a responsibility having kids - you need to provide a positive environment for them to grow up in - if you're not sure it's going to make you happy, the safest thing is not to do it.

You've had good interactions with kids, you mention - I wonder if you've got any friends or relatives with kids under the age of 3 or 4 who you'd be able to babysit for (ideally for a whole day or even an overnight if you've got someone very close) to see what it's like? I'm aware I probably sound kind of patronising, I don't mean it that way, but there's a ton of difference between hanging out with kids in the presence of other adults and looking after a small kid day in day out with little respite. It might be enough to settle your mind against having kids, if you're looking to talk yourself out of it.

wobblywonderwoman Mon 21-Nov-16 10:58:09

I am 38 with two small toddlers. I always knew I wanted children (though I put my career first so when I reached early thirties I started to painic it might not happen, i must admit)

So this is only my perspective. I married an old friend and am very happy. In saying that, if you have DC it might end your relationship and you might not get someone you love as much again.

So it is risky. All that said, I would take the risk. End the relationship and hopefully you will have a family. When my toddler tells me 'love you mummy' my heart pulls. It is unexplainable and worth every ounce of work it takes (and no - it is not easy)

Trifleorbust Mon 21-Nov-16 11:05:42

How strong are his feelings about not having children?

FriendsForFriends Mon 21-Nov-16 11:11:36

Having children totally changed my life 24/7 for the last 12 years and my future is affected by that. I think I could have been equally happy on several other pathways with and without children.

DHs life has not changed anyway as much, if fact having kids has trapped me at home supporting him to a much larger degree.

If you decide in the long run not to have children make sure your work/interests/friendships are all in balance and fulfilling. Having children really upsets that equilibrium.

emmcan Mon 21-Nov-16 11:12:19

toomuch - I know what you are saying. I am aware there is a huge gap between me being 'really good with the boys' when I get to take them to the pictures and drop them off afterwards, and having to look after them being sick at 3 in the morning :-) and maybe that is the point. The longing is for the unrealistic 'fantasy' of parenting, as opposed to the reality...
wobbly - But what if we split up, and then I didn't really want to have kids? Pretty much none of my friends have any, so it isn't a side of life I have a lot of experience being immersed in.

emmcan Mon 21-Nov-16 11:13:54

Trifle - He is absolutely adamant on never having children. Hence 'snip' so young...

Trifleorbust Mon 21-Nov-16 11:23:40

In that case I really feel for you, OP.

My DH and I have been together 12 years and he was always convinced he didn't want children, whereas I was convinced I did. When we decided to buy a house together and get engaged (about 3 years ago) I had a serious discussion with him (not the only discussion!) and made my feelings clear: I loved him very much but wasn't prepared to accept a life without children. He eventually accepted this and we are about to have our first - he is actually quite excited! I feel some guilt about not following the usual advice of just 'walking away' but there we are. I think he will make an excellent dad.

So my only advice to you is to make a judgement on whether this is something you are prepared to compromise on. If not, you have to tell him. Give him a chance to compromise but also be prepared to take action if he can't. As you suggest, however, that he is 'adamant', and he would have to have a reversal of his vasectomy, it seems to be a more difficult situation than my own. He is of course perfectly within his rights to stick to his guns.

Owllady Mon 21-Nov-16 11:29:07

Do you think it might be worth you talking this through with a counsellor?
There isn't a right or wrong answer. You feel how you feel, it might pass, it might not.

toomuchtooold Mon 21-Nov-16 11:31:38

emm I'm sure you'd be great at it, but whether you'd enjoy it better than not having kids - hard to say, right? And ultimately that's what it comes down to.

I'm like you, not very maternal - what swayed it for me to have kids was DH wanting to, and also wanting to have young adults in my life when I'm getting older. Small kids are about as horrific as I expected, I mean much as I love them, I'm not going to pretend that I'm not relieved when they go to bed each night. The winning smiles and kodak moments are lovely, but they're pretty separate from the exhaustion and frustration - they don't "make up for it" for me, it's two totally separate things.

passwordprotectednews Mon 21-Nov-16 11:41:30

I don't know OP, having a child or not is a pretty big deal.
I was never maternal whilst my husband always wanted a child. I got to 32 and suddenly got very broody. Now I have a 9.5 months old and keep thinking why did I leave it so long.

Areyoufree Mon 21-Nov-16 11:45:32

I was pretty settled on not having kids until I met my dh. Then, I was suddenly incredibly broody (early 30s). We now have two kids. I do believe there is a biological drive to have children, and that it is impossible to separate that from a mental desire, if that makes sense. I don't think that you can ignore this feeling - I think you need to work through it. It could be that you decide that you definitely don't want children, but I think if you wait until the decision is taken away from you then it will be harder to live with. Having said that, it wasn't a choice for me. I felt like I needed to have a baby, which was weird as I am very career driven!

SuperFlyHigh Mon 21-Nov-16 11:46:29

I regret not having kids now I'm 45 (would still like to adopt if I can from abroad) and wish I'd done it when younger but never met the right man. My last "chance" was about 3 years ago at 41/42 but the man did want kids at first then did a backtrack and didn't. I was a bit annoyed over that but what can you do? Can't force it.

emmcan Mon 21-Nov-16 11:54:45

If I am being entirely pragmatic, the pros of staying in my situation outweigh all the cons of making any change...I mean, I've only felt like this for the past 10 or 12 months, as opposed to the 33 years I felt differently, and in all likelihood will again...but I really am grateful for everyones opinions. TY

puglife15 Mon 21-Nov-16 11:57:35

Having children is amazing, but it's also incredibly relentless and bloody hard. I have a very challenging, feisty 4 year old and a baby with some health issues that does.not.sleep. so maybe I have it a bit harder than most but my situation is not unusual.

It's not about clearing sick up at 3am (well it is sometimes). Every day feels like a battle, an endurance at the moment. It's put my relationships under massive strain, fucked my social life and probably my career. We have no family support which is a massive factor IMO. The last 4 years have taken a huge physical and mental toll on me.

I know this stage will pass but I'll have the battle scars forever and soon they'll be more challenges.

I love my kids so so much, always wanted them as did my husband and don't regret having them - yet I'm still finding it this hard.

I do sometimes envy friends without children who have the freedom to do what they want, when they want, have great careers and lots of disposable income.

In other words, think really really carefully.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 21-Nov-16 12:05:53

Really interesting OP re your DP's situation.

My ex who had wanted kids then changed his mind, he was adopted too but then after a few years they had their own biological child. He was as far as I could see brought up as one of their own but he says he was "brought Up by them" even though they supported him having a scholarship internship in USA with American football and also helped re deposit for house. His main gripe was "they're a bit basic" they watched wrestling etc.. But he still saw them a few times a year. He had had a child unplanned with a girlfriend years ago before he hit 30, they'd moved in together things were fine, then as she was 10 years younger she suddenly wanted more out of life, went to college and left him. He was happy being with her and his child and working to support both of them. She also suggested he find his biological mother before it was too late the only info he had about her or the situation was she was from Essex and that was it! No other contact! He didn't make contact but was petrified of rejection and wanted to make contact but also didn't want to. That was a big part of our ending I think, him getting close to women and either expecting them to be faithful/honest/stand by him etc no matter what he did but he also wanted to have his cake and eat it. He wanted his life in Folkestone with contact with his teenage son and mother of teenage son but wanted a boyfriend Partner life with me which was more "free".

I would maybe talk this through with someone though if I were you.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 21-Nov-16 12:10:38

Oh what puglife says rings true too.

One of the reasons my ex wasn't keen on another child was because his first and only baby slept badly and fed badly and he was kept awake a lot by his baby. He found it hard as he was often out helping the mother as she couldn't cope (she has fibromyalgia) sometimes. He did say to me it was hard work. He also said life as his son was growing up was hard eg being a decent father and then also caring but not caring for the 2 sons his ex had with another man after his son. My ex babysat them occasionally etc. they also had or have little family support due to his parents living too far away, her mum helps out but no other support. And this is with him being apart from his ex! She was constantly complaining when they were apart that she needed a new car etc and was hinting for him to buy one (he got a new job in London paying loads more his old job and his current home are by the sea (Kent coast).

MikeUniformMike Mon 21-Nov-16 12:21:02

What if you and your DP split in a few years, and you were too old to have children then? Would you regret your decision? What if you discuss it with him and he had the snip reversed? What if you tried and couldn't have children? What if you had children with/without him and found that you didn't like being a mother (does that happen?) at all?

Blueskyrain Mon 21-Nov-16 13:23:11

Have you talked to him about it, and your growing desires for motherhood? What does he say?

ninkynonk14 Mon 21-Nov-16 14:45:02

I can only echo what Toomuchtooold says - it was my OH wanting kids that made the difference and I look forward when we are all older. Had first at your age.
I've answered the curiosity/fear of being pregnant/giving birth/what our child would look like but am very aware of what I could/would be doing if not a mother, not that this doesn't mean I don't love my dc.
My friends talk of being broody but -although I perhaps see babies as cuter now - so don't think any switch has been flicked. In that sense you could argue you are more ready for it that I ever was.

No one can give you the answer and whichever way you end up there will always be days when you wish for the other eventuality. You are going to have to talk to OH about how you feel though.

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