to love being just a couple with my DP so much that I don't want us to have children?

(87 Posts)
Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:05:43

I'm 34 and should probably be getting on with it (in my PIL's opinion...)

WizardofOs Thu 18-Apr-13 16:06:52

How long have you been together?

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:07:50

12 years.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:08:06

Maybe we're just stuck in our ways grin

CockyFox Thu 18-Apr-13 16:08:39

Of course YANBU having children is an option not a requirement

McNewPants2013 Thu 18-Apr-13 16:09:09

Yanbu a child is a huge responsibility if you and do have no desire to have children then why have 1

It's not a neccessity. If you both feel the same way then no problem.

Snazzynewyear Thu 18-Apr-13 16:09:30

Of course you don't need to have children if you don't want them. How does your DP feel?

LackaDAISYcal Thu 18-Apr-13 16:09:48

what an odd first thread on a parenting forum biscuit

roundtoit Thu 18-Apr-13 16:10:20

if that's how you feel there is nothing wrong with that, not everyone wants children. I have one DS and its been wonderful but i can remember the times it was just me and my DH and it was wonderful too

Hmm. That was my thinking. We were together 20 years before DC and I never really had a broody thought but we didn't rule it out.
I was 37 when we decided to make a decision one way or the other. I got pregnant the first month and was terrified I had made a mistake.
It was the absolute best thing I ever did in my life. DS1 is now 17 and DS2 born when I was almost 40 is now 15.
My only regret is not having children just a few years earlier and I would have had more.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:12:06

He's ambivalent - he quite likes the idea some days. But he thinks that as it's my body it's ultimately my choice.

According to his parents children ARE an absolute necessity. I don't really care what they think tbh.

Not an odd thread at all. It is not a requirement to be a parent on here any more than it's a requirement to have children!!

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:13:44

Not my first thread LackaDAISY, I'm a serial namechanger, esp when it comes to anything involving PILs.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:14:56

Aw secret that's the kind of thing that could change my mind smile

Grammaticus Thu 18-Apr-13 16:15:05

Why are you asking this on mumsnet? Do you want to be told that you should have children?

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:17:22

Well mainly I'd like to be told I'm not being unreasonable Grammaticus hmm But if I am I would like to know.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 18-Apr-13 16:20:50

Sounds reasonable to me. Noone has to have children.

LadyVoldemort Thu 18-Apr-13 16:20:59

Of course yanbu, if you don't want kids then don't have em. Simple

Squitten Thu 18-Apr-13 16:22:10

You are certainly not unreasonable to not necessarily want children. There certainly isn't anything I could point you towards to say it was definitely a sign you should have them - there's no such thing. You either want a little person running around in your life or you don't!

Or, like me, you get pregnant by accident and so just go with that! grin

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Apr-13 16:23:07

You are certainly not being unreasonable.

It is impossible to be unreasonable when it comes to whether or not you want children!

If you don't want children - you should certainly not have them! A child deserves parents who want to be parents.

Nobody should judge you for deciding that you don't want to be a parent. If you don't want to have a child, you are being very responsible to ensure that you don't have one! A child is not something (I say thing but you know what I mean) that anyone should have because they feel obliged or because other people think that everyone should have kids.

NoWayNoHow Thu 18-Apr-13 16:24:48

Ignore the shitstirrers, OP - it's a perfectly reasonable question

YANBU at all to really think about whether you want children. my honest advice, though, as someone who always wanted kids but has only one out of choice, is that if neither of you is desperate then don't do it.

I love DS more than anything else in the world, but before he was even a twinkle and before he was him (IYKWIM!) and a little personality and entity and spectacular child, if someone had told me how difficult I personally would find parenting I don't think I'd have had kids.

I genuinely think it's something you have to really want to do, and even then it's still going to be a hard slog.

Lillabet Thu 18-Apr-13 16:24:51

Yanbu, lots of people choose not to have children. I have two and want more but that's me and I do occasionally (usually after a sleepless night or a temper tantrum) miss it being just me and DH. It is entirely up to you and your other half so tell pils to butt out smile

MorrisZapp Thu 18-Apr-13 16:25:20

Run! Run! Save yourself!


MorrisZapp Thu 18-Apr-13 16:26:24

And what noway said. Me too.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:26:44

I would just go with it if I got pregnant accidentally squitten, and would most likely love it. It's not that I don't like children per se, more that I love just being a couple more. But my PIL think it's very short-sighted not to have them because we like life as it is now, because when we are old we will want family around us. I can't argue with that really - but we could have a DC and it move to Australia so you can't guarantee them being around when you're old, can you.

SingingSands Thu 18-Apr-13 16:27:50

It's none of your PIL' s business, tell them that!

I know plenty of couples who have happily never had kids, through choice. I feel sad that they are sometimes forced to defend their choice. It's their choice, they shouldn't have to justify it.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:28:05

NoWay I wouldn't have come to AIBU if shitstirrers bothered me grin

WizardofOs Thu 18-Apr-13 16:29:01

I think it is totally valid to not want children. All power to you!

I would only say that it is importatnt to think about whether you as an individual woman don't desire motherhood, leaving your partner and your coupledom out of it. Because you could split-up in the future. Hopefully not...but you never know!

Lottapianos Thu 18-Apr-13 16:29:26

Perfectly reasonable question. Ignore all the 'why are you even on a parenting forum if you don't have children' people who give you the hmm face. I'm childfree and so are loads of posters on here.

It's absolutely none of anyone else's business apart from you and DP. Some parents (like your PILs) seem to think that their own children exist for no reason other than to make them happy and that you should just 'do as you're told' even though you're both grown adults. It's rubbish. Whatever decision you make, please be crystal clear that you are making the decision for you two alone and for no-one else's benefit.

It's a huge decision though so well done you for giving it the time and thought it deserves. I work with young children and parents and often wish that more people actually thought long and hard about whether they wanted to be a parent instead of stumbling into it.

angelos02 Thu 18-Apr-13 16:30:52

YANBU. I am the same. The absolute last thing you should do is have children for your in-laws or parents.

Lottapianos Thu 18-Apr-13 16:31:46

'But my PIL think it's very short-sighted not to have them because we like life as it is now, because when we are old we will want family around us'

Oh dear lord, is that old chestnut still doing the rounds?! Your children, if you did have them, would be their own separate autonomous people and it would be up to them how much time they spend 'around' you. I barely see my parents at all (for very long and complex reasons).

I would say it's extremely short-sighted of your PILs to not be able to imagine that a couple could be happy without children, even into their elderly years!

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:32:02

That's exactly it Lotta - no one else in our lives has ever given a shit or even bothered to ask us about having a family. But the pressure from PILs has gradually increased the longer we've been married. The thing is, they have nothing else in their lives to look forward to except grandchildren. That sounds really bitchy I know, but it's how they act anyway.

ladythatlunches Thu 18-Apr-13 16:32:24

I don't blame you after the day I have had I would say avoid kids all together. smile

On a serious note, I think you know if you want children or not? If you are both happy and feel fulfilled then enjoy.

It will probably always be .. but what ifs and if you don't maybe always wounder. But unfortunately it's not something that if you give a try and don't like you can change your mind.

I say go with your gut. . What do you really want for the rest of your lives.

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Thu 18-Apr-13 16:32:44

At 34 I think you're old enough to know what you want, sod the PILs.

As for having your children around when you're old, what a silly thing to say. Imagine having children for that reason and then them moving to Australia, as you say.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 18-Apr-13 16:33:27


But - be sure that your partner feels the same and doesn't leave you in 8-10 years time because he wants to be a father and needs a 'younger model' to do so.

Lottapianos Thu 18-Apr-13 16:33:52

'The thing is, they have nothing else in their lives to look forward to except grandchildren. '

That's entirely their problem. I know that's harsh but it's the truth. It's not down to you or your DP to make them happy, they can only do that for themselves.

Lots of sympathy for you though - my family are travel agents for Guilt Trips too smile It sucks but it's really not your responsibility

MumOfTheMoos Thu 18-Apr-13 16:34:31

I think you can't rationalise the desire or decision to have children. You feel it in your gut - if your gut says no, then go with no but if your gut says yes, maybe, perhaps, I think so then I would go for having some. And if your answer is definitely no, the YANBU to not have children!

However, I left trying for children until I was 38 (I took my time finding the right guy) and only got pregnant aged 40 through IVF. Having had a lucky, lucky escape from infertility and not getting any choice about whether I have my own children, I would always listen to the tiniest feeling that you might want them, and go for it, while you still have the choice.

hillyhilly Thu 18-Apr-13 16:37:13

I'm the same as secretswirrels, we had a wonderful life before our kids but we have a wonderfulife now too.
I lost my mum at 34 and had always told myself that I should decide for once and for all at 35, and went on to have two fantastic Dc who are now 8&5. Life is different to how it would have been without them but I have honestly never thought that's the we shouldn't have had them.

ClartyCarol Thu 18-Apr-13 16:37:16

Are you sure part of your ambivalence isn't due to a desire to not 'bow down' to your PIL's wishes? It's getting your back up that they go on about so subconciously you think Sod it! I'm not having any just cos they've said I should? iyswim.

Sounds like you have a bit of a strained relationship with them?

LaQueen Thu 18-Apr-13 16:37:30

It's not U at all, to not have DCs.

We were together for over 10 years before having DCs (but met young, at university), and really enjoyed just being a couple.

But, I can honestly say that I love DH more, since having the DDs with him, and I admire and respect him more, for what a fantastic Daddy he is to them.

On most levels it has brought us closer, given us a deeper bond, made us more selfless and more accomodating.

But, then...we've always also made the effort to still spend time, just the two of us, and we have always had weekends away, and a few adult holidays since the DDs were tiny.

So, you really can have the best of both worlds smile

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:38:12

shock Alibaba I have to say that thought has crossed my mind! It wouldn't make me have a child for that reason alone though, obv.

This was kind of a pointless AIBU. I know I'm not BU. I'm really awful at putting my point across with my sexist knob of a FIL (oh yeah and it's always my fault, nothing to do with DP whether we have children or not). So I guess I want to collect well-put MN arguments to use against him.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:40:54

ClartyCarol that's really perceptive of you. I admit I can't fricking stand them and I do have a very unhealthy, tiny twinge of pleasure when I think of how annoyed it makes them that we don't have DCs.

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 18-Apr-13 16:41:01

I'm in my early 50s, have been married for 25 years and have no kids. I never ever wanted them. I really like them though and love my nieces. I knew that the responsibility would not be right for me.
Was it the right decision? I honestly don't know. I am very close to my dh and I think I would have killed him if we'd been parents. I've enjoyed my freedom to take off and do some pretty odd things, I've had a good career, and I know that I would have been too lazy to try to have it all.
I do wonder what it would have been like, but not that much, to be honest. The worst thing for me personally is that when your friends have kids, you really don't have much in common anymore and quite a few friendships have gone west. Most importantly, though, i don't think it is very good for the kids if the mother is not overjoyed about having them.
Good luck.

Dahlen Thu 18-Apr-13 16:41:09

Of course YANBU.

I was totally unprepared for how having DC changes your life. The incredible loss of freedom and autonomy over your own life; the sheer scale of responsibility you now bear and the dull monotony of routine that takes over in the domestic sphere. Now my DC are older a lot of that has ceased to apply and I don't for one minute regret having my DC (nor have I ever done so), but they have changed my life irrevocably and a relationship with a partner is never quite the same again (not necessarily in a bad way though).

It's one thing embracing all that when you really want a child. But to do so when feeling ambivalent or unwilling is asking for trouble.

The world would be a much happier place if more people had DC because they wanted to rather than conforming because it's 'normal'.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:41:33

But obviously if I really wanted them that wouldn't be enough in itself to stop me! I'm not crazy.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:41:51

Sorry, my last post was to Clarty.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 18-Apr-13 16:43:54

Is your DP an only child, is that part of the problem?

No, I wasn't meaning to suggest for a minute that you should have a baby to hang on to your husband grin
Simply that, if it is only within the context of your current relationship that you are happy without children then you need to give that some thought. If you have no yearning to be a mother, DH aside for the moment, then it is a choice that you are making for yourself - which has to be the right way IMO.

I don't think you should discuss it with your FIL. It isn't any of his business, and if he is that much of a knob then he isn't going to listen to anything you say anyway.

ShatterResistant Thu 18-Apr-13 16:46:18

I think it's great you're considering what impact it would have on you as a couple. I wasn't ambivalent- knew I wanted children - and it wasn't until I was pregnant that I started worrying about what it would mean for Us. We were stupidly in love, had loads of disposable income, a great social life and went on little mini breaks and trips to the theatre like it was going out of fashion. Our baby is only 2 months old, so ask me again in 15 years, but so far I needn't have worried. Having the baby has brought us together in ways I didn't think possible. I felt an overwhelming surge of love for my husband after she was born. So rather than taking something away, it's definitely added a whole new dimension to our relationship. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Rhiana1979 Thu 18-Apr-13 16:47:49

DH and I were together 13 years before deciding to have children. We now have a 16 month old DD who is the light of our life. It's a big change and hard for 2 people who have been a couple for so long.

There are times I miss being able to just be us but I wouldn't change it for the world.

ShatterResistant Thu 18-Apr-13 16:48:26

So basically, what LaQueen said!

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:48:29

He doesn't listen, no Alibaba, so it's pointless arguing but it does make visits awkward! I agree with you that it's a choice you need to make for yourself, irrespective of your DP.

And he's not an only child, but his sister has always vowed she will never have DCs!! She's a bit younger than us though and can do no wrong in PILs eyes. I reckon they assume she'll change her mind.

Fakebook Thu 18-Apr-13 16:51:43

Meh. Do what you want. I think you'll find a lot of people don't give a shit if you have kids or not because it won't affect their lives in any way if you do or don't.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 16:52:37

Fakebook I have indeed found that.

StrangeGlue Thu 18-Apr-13 16:53:50

Nope, you can live your life how ever you like.

formicaqueen Thu 18-Apr-13 16:54:29

Thats great you feel that way. I did too and we almost didn't bother either. However having kids has been just amazing and beyond my imagination. I now wish I'd had them earlier.

formicaqueen Thu 18-Apr-13 16:55:25

each to their own, of course there is no right way.

formicaqueen Thu 18-Apr-13 16:57:50

I don't think you should think of what FIL wants. What you and DH want is key.

drjohnsonscat Thu 18-Apr-13 17:02:33

take your PILs out of it completely. They are neither here nor there in this.

If you really don't want them you really shouldn't have them and that is a great decision to make. I'm all for women making that decision and being proud of it. That's not the decision I made but I really think it's good that these days no one has to if they don't want to.

On the other hand, if you are secretly flicking the v at your PILs then stop! Just focus on what you want and then do it. Good luck!

Primrose123 Thu 18-Apr-13 17:04:30

There's nothing wrong with not having children if you feel that's right for you.

I used to feel like that. I thought we'd have children one day, but never really felt ready. Then I got pregnant which was unplanned, and it was a huge shock at first. I used to think I wouldn't be a good mother, I hate cooking, I'm not very tidy, I'm a bit lazy and like to have time to myself, not great things really for a traditional mother! It's all worked out fine though, I have two teenagers and love them to bits! I enjoyed them so much when they were little, I'd even love another child, perhaps I'm a bit old now though!

Do what you want, what you think is right. Your PILs sound awful!

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 17:04:45

Dr Johns you're right, I do need to get over that!

jojane Thu 18-Apr-13 17:05:32

I miss being a couple, I miss laying in bed all sun if I want, I miss watching grown up tv in the day, I miss pub lunches and popping for a drink after work which turns into an all nighter, I miss browsing around the shops, I miss going to the cinema all the time, i miss backpacking around Thailand, I miss working in France and Italy, I miss relaxing holidays etc etc
But these days I get to have little people tell me they love me everyday, I get to teach them how to read and see their joy when they get it right, I get to go on woodland walks and see the joy in every flower and pine one and oddly shaped twig, I get to watch kids films at the cinema and not feel like a weirdo, I get to buy toys I want my kids want and then play with them, I get to make costumes, I get to show my kids the world , I get to google answers to questions I wouldn't even give a second thought to like why do snails have shells and not slugs, what are the moons of jupiter called? Etc etc.
It's a different life, a different stage, one day they will move out and we will be a couple again, free to laze in bed and go to the pub just with phone calls and emails and photos and visits from the children to smile at and hopefully grandchildren to spoil one day

drjohnsonscat Thu 18-Apr-13 17:08:20

that's lovely jojane smile

Although your pre DCs life sounds nicer than mine was! But then I use the DCs as an excuse not to go to the pub (hate pubs!) so I agree with your general point that there are upsides on both sides of the fence.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 18-Apr-13 17:12:07

Jojane. I agree

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 18-Apr-13 17:13:53

Never been tonThaliand, or backpacked, though ...


It is completely rational to not want children, to worry about the effecton you as a couple - it is for some people, for some of the time a negative effect.

jennymac Thu 18-Apr-13 17:15:55

I didn't feel broody at all when me and DH decided to start trying for a baby. Really we just started ttc because we had just got married the year previously, were both in our early thirties and thought it would probably take a bit of time. As luck would have it, I got pregnant straight away and was delighted, but I would say that I only had that broody craving feeling for a child after dd was born (which led to the conception of ds very shortly afterwards!)

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 17:19:46

jojane that's a lovely post.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 17:26:38

primrose PILs aren't awful exactly, not malicious at all, but they are the kind of people who never question anything, despite being v intelligent, so traditional and conservative, live in a v small world and have never had an original thought in their lives. I know that sounds harsh but we are just v different and its a total personality clash.

ImagineJL Thu 18-Apr-13 17:40:31

YANBU. If you don't want children, don't have them.

But, I think it's important that your and DP totally agree on this. Because in 10 years time it'll be too late to change your mind, but it won't be too late for him to change his.

Sorry if I sound bitter and cynical, but it is something to think about.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 17:44:02

It is important Imagine but I do feel very strongly about not having a child unless I 100% want to do it, because I know myself and I'm shit at doing things I don't completely believe in/want to do. If DP decides he wants them then better to do it with someone else.

ImagineJL Thu 18-Apr-13 17:53:08

I think your absolutely right. It's a huge commitment and I would find it impossible if it wasn't what I truly wanted.

ClartyCarol Thu 18-Apr-13 18:14:37

Jescha, there was an article in the Guardian Family section a couple of weeks ago about a woman who had a very happy marriage and who had chosen to remain childless. Did you read it? It was food for thought.

I don't think you're crazy enough to abstain from parenthood solely on the basis that it pisses the PILs off, btw wink.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 18:19:43

No I didn't see that Clarty, will have a look for it on their website smile

imour Thu 18-Apr-13 18:23:16

yanbu if you both feel the same , i know a few couples without children and they got asked all the time `when you having kids then` like its the done thing , until they hit 40 then everyone stopped and accepted it , dont feel pressured if you really dont wont them its you who will be skint , tired etc no one else.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 18-Apr-13 18:28:13


I also feel strongly about not doing things I don't feel 100% about, but having children was an exception. Don't really know how to explain it, but with something so important, I think not having fears, reservations would be odd.

Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 18:35:53

Jamie I know what you mean and I know everyone worries about the surface things that having DCs will affect, money, job, time to yourself, sleep etc. But I'm talking about that deep down feeling of knowing what's right for you. And I can see that motherhood and children are wonderful but not for me. I don't know why, that's just how it is smile

middleagedspread Thu 18-Apr-13 18:38:08

I think if you & your DP decide not to have children that's your business. Yours only.
I was with DH for 10 years before we made the decision. We had a great time as a couple; holidays, money, social life. I knew I wanted DC eventually, and when I was pregnant I mourned the loss of my old life.
But, when DS then his brother arrived I realised that my priorities had changed & the luxury holidays seemed irrelevant. It was the best decision we ever made.
I'm not saying you can only have a happy & fulfilled life if you chose not to have children, but that for many people they are icing on the cake.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Thu 18-Apr-13 18:40:48

Don't do it unless you really really want to OP.


Graveyard Thu 18-Apr-13 18:48:08

Yanbu of course. Your in-laws sound difficult!

This is quite a dark way to think, but whatever your DP feels about parenthood now, and however good your relationship is, his fertility will last longer than yours, and if you split up say in five years he could have a child with someone else whereas you might not have that option. Or you might stay together but change your mind in a few years and have fertility problems and end up with no children.

I don't mean to be negative, but sometimes thinking about different scenarios can help IYSWIM. I also know a couple of women who this has happened to.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 18-Apr-13 18:56:42



Jescha Thu 18-Apr-13 18:59:16

Clarty I found the article, it was fascinating, thanks!

MysteriousHamster Thu 18-Apr-13 18:59:30


Don't have them if you don't want to. But listen to doubt if it's there. I decided I wanted to have a child when I was 26 - didn't have one until I was 30. 33 now and I doubt I'll be able to have another one without treatment, which I can't afford. Wish I'd started in my early twenties sad

Saying that, I did spend ten years with my husband (8 married), on our own, which was lovely too.

Squitten Thu 18-Apr-13 19:03:24

Well it sounds like you know your answer already! Have you talked to your DH about the fact that you don't want children and whether he is on board with that?

I'm just wondering if the answer to your IL gripe is simply for your DH to tell them "We don't want kids so there won't be any". At least they can go postal about it and get it over with then!

Bowlersarm Thu 18-Apr-13 19:12:33


Children are hard hard work. They are can be demanding, expensive, selfish. You have to have a strong relationship to get through pregnancy, newborns, toddlers, teens,,schoolwork aggghh. Emotionally, we have been through extreme highs and extreme lows with our children. Without them our lives would have been a less stressful plateau.

Having children was a natural step for us, and was a sort of progression on for our love for each other. We wouldn't change a thing. But I can understand why you would stick with what you know and not want kids.

MusicalEndorphins Thu 18-Apr-13 19:22:35

I would not want to raise children if I did not have the biological urge to do so. I know a few people who have not had any (all in their 50's now). They have no regrets. YANBU.

DontmindifIdo Thu 18-Apr-13 19:23:12

YANBU - children are very hard on a relationship if you aren't both 100% committed. Not to done if you're not sure.

Lots of people have taken the decision not to have DCs, but these people are therefore not PIL to anyone - and often don't socialise or live in child friendly places to friends with people like your PIL. Your PIL also will be from a generation where fertility treatment wasn't as available/successful so are more likely to just assume those amongst their social group who don't have DCs weren't able too IYSWIM.

Personally, I'd talk to your DH about it again, be 100% certain he doesn't want them, then get him to let it slip to his Dad that he thinks he can't have DCs, that will probably shut your FIL up for a while, which is all you want (don't let it be you that officially has the problem, as then you might find your FIL starts pressuring your DP to go find a woman who can have DCs)

But yes, be very certain your DP doesn't want DCs, you have only a few years left of being able to have DCs, he's easily got a couple of extra decades. I know a few dads who had DCs in their 50s, and their 30-something DWs were not their first long term relationship. It might not be a deal breaker now, but it might become a deal breaker in his 40s. Best to be certain his "I don't mind either way" doesn't mean "I don't mind either way now but probably will want them at some point." (If that's the case, best to leave him now rather than wait for the inevitable)

kotinka Thu 18-Apr-13 19:28:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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