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.

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 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

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.

Fairylea Sun 19-May-13 08:22:39

I think it is such a shock as it is like a total change to your life. You never, ever have the same sense of freedom and free time again. For me it isn't so much the sleepless nights or whatever (although yes that's awful) but the overwhelming sense of panic and responsibility that comes from being wholly responsible for another human being who is so vulnerable.

However, it is amazing and I love my dc very very much. I think I found it more difficult with my dd ten years ago when mumsnet etc didn't exist. It was a different world then. Now if you're worried or need to rant you can just log on and ask for help. You don't feel like the only person in the world at 3/4/5 am with a screaming baby anymore.

Your reasons for wanting a child are normal and natural reasons. What other reasons are there? smile

Be happy. Life is just going to get more interesting smile

Blatherskite Sun 19-May-13 08:24:22

It is so hard when your perceptions of 'normal' family life are very skewed.

It is I'm afraid. I still worry a lot about how my actions are affecting the children and whether the choices I make are "normal". I'm lucky that DH had a happy upbringing so I tend to let him lead the way if I'm feeling unsure. But as I said, I've also used MN as a sounding board for things that are bothering me and sometimes even the flamings have been useful and have made me realise that I'm over-thinking certain topics and should just go with my gut.

Thurlow Sun 19-May-13 08:34:27

Of course it is harder. There are huge lows and moment you really struggle with in a way you've never struggled before, and I think it would be foolish for anyone to think that everything will simply be better.

But the highs are also higher than you can ever imagine. Yesterday our 15mo did her first noticeable bit of 'imaginative' play, pretending to feed me and DP from an empty bowl, and we were both just staring at her in awe, absolutely blown away by her. It was the littlest thing, but for some reason it was amazing.

Overall I am definitely happier, but there are times when it's hard.

inabeautifulplace Sun 19-May-13 08:35:04

My own view is that it can depend on the kind of person you are and want to be. Children bring a lot of pain and limitations to a relationship. Conversely, they also bring immense joy and freedom. As a childless adult, you don't have many opportunities to run around the park shouting "wheeeeeeeee", for example.

If as a person you are able to embrace the freedom that having kids gives you, along with appreciating all of the joyful moments, then you'll be fine. The negative things will always be there, but they'll be much less significant.

katkit1 Sun 19-May-13 08:36:54

We had a baby because we saw an updated picture of billy crystal and thought Christ he's 66 or something. In my head he was always 40. Time was ticking - so we did it.

katkit1 Sun 19-May-13 08:38:12

Oh p.s. baby is a joy to be with. Happy fishy.

Kafri Sun 19-May-13 08:40:24

childbirth is painful but you soon forget.

babies can be hard work but they bring far more joy.

my ds is 5m now and had horrendous reflux as a tiny along with colic and tummy troubles. he was HARD work - screaming many hours of the day and night and refusing to be put down. I struggled to get my head around the fact I couldn't walk with him in the pram (he would scream cos of his reflux and the angle he sat in his carseat/pram). dh and I did 'shifts for those frost 6 weeks as ds would only sleep upright.
Would I change him or turn back time. NOT AT ALL. He was 6 years in the making and the result of IVF and every single smile/giggle/squeal gives me the best feeling. watching him grow and learn makes me feel proud.

he amazes me every single day and I vannot imagine life without him.

ignore what people tell you. if you want a family and can provide for and nurture that family then jump in with both feet. there'll be easy days, hard days and all manor of in between days, not to forget the bloody horrendous days where you know lo isn't quite right but you can't fathom what the hell is wrong but I promise you, in with all that - EVERY DAY IS BLOODY FANTASTIC. its just sometimes its harder to see

disclaimer: im a soppy thing cos I really thought id never get the chance to be mummy so I vowed to make the most of every single day! grin

MusicalEndorphins Sun 19-May-13 08:41:40

Having children is very fulfilling for me. I always wanted to be a mother, and becoming one changed me for the better in many ways. It is a natural thing to bear children, and there is nothing at all wrong with wanting to get pregnant. You sound prepared to me, I wish you luck, and hope to see a POAS post from you in 8 weeks. smile

LemonPeculiarJones Sun 19-May-13 08:41:40

Having my son has made me happier than I ever thought possible smile.

He brings me joy every day. Every morning my spirits zing up when I see his cheeky little face.

Of course, lots of things are tough about parenting, as everyone else has said - it was a difficult birth, his sleep was rubbish, I was exhausted. But it doesn't make any difference to the gift of having that amazing little person in your life.

<pregnant again and extremely soppy> grin

MusicalEndorphins Sun 19-May-13 08:44:12

Congrats Lemon! That is exactly how I felt when my sons were babies!
My kids are adults now, and I have never regretted anything, except for I would have loved to have had a few more children! smile

Badvoc Sun 19-May-13 08:45:09

Quite simply, before I had children I never experienced the kind of love that meant I would happily die for someone.
Now I have.

cory Sun 19-May-13 08:50:42

If you've been reading MN I may well have been one of the posters supplying the horror stories, in that dd has had a really rough time with her health and it has affected the whole family.

Having said that, life is miles more fun than it was before we had the children!! Dh and I often look back on the first few years of our marriage and wonder at the middle aged grumps we were turning into. We seem to be enjoying things so much more now that we have the children.

If someone had asked me I would have given pretty well the same reasons as you for TTC. And they have all worked out- we do love and are loved by our children, we share family things and there is a permanent bond there, not only between us and the children but also between dd and ds. It's good stuff!

There is nothing I enjoy more than when someone makes a joke that is totally unique to this family, that is to do with things that only we have shared, that only we understand, that doesn't have to be terribly funny in itself but which makes us all laugh because it reminds us of all we have shared together.

And btw teenagers don't have to be horrible. My 16yo is very kind and mature. I am sitting here now waiting for my 13yo-today to wake up so I can give him his presents and sing Happy Birthday: I'd be surprised if he's turned into a monster overnight, he wasn't one when he went to bed. grin

I stayed up last night to put up pictures of him from when he was a tiny baby right up to the tall lad he is now, it's another way we have of celebrating our time together.

RubyOnRails Sun 19-May-13 08:53:44

At the, we were saying last night that we were happier people before. But we know we won't always feel like this...the first few years are hard...we have a tantrumy and defiant toddler and a ten week old baby and know that we adore em, we just feel frustrated at the inability to do anything other than parent right now.

DumSpiroSpero Sun 19-May-13 08:54:22

There is lots of tiring, painful, difficult stuff involved with being a parent.

But that is not what you think about on a day-to-day basis, or when your baby giggles for the the first time, or when you toddler climbs into your lap and throws their arms round your neck, or when your 8yo tells you you are their best friend.

I say this having had DD parked outside the bathroom on the iPad whilst I was trying to have a relaxing soak yesterday, and currently crunching Cheerios in my ear.

It is hard, but it is more than worth it smile. Just make sure you stock up on Rescue Remedy and ear plugs!

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 08:55:30

Thank you smile I really hope next spring I will have a little bundle!

Minifingers Sun 19-May-13 08:55:46

YANBU - I am massively more stressed now (but I do have an autistic child and a dysfunctional teenager, plus another dc) but I still wouldn't have missed out on the experience of being a parent for anything.

Your child will bring you deep, deep joy very single day. It's as simple as that. Nothing else can compare to it.

In addition, becoming a mother made me feel strong and confident of my identity. I really felt - yes, this is who I am. I can do this.

It's wonderful. smile

AngsanaTree Sun 19-May-13 08:58:53

Woodland, before I had my 2 children I had a fantastic career. I used to travel on business to Dubai, Beijing, The Philippines and many more places and stay in 5-star hotels. My DH and I used to go out till 5 in the morning drinking and having dinner with great friends. We went to lots of exotic places and I had a lot of spare cash. Now I have 2 kids, I look a mess and my eyebrows meet in the middle.

I'd NEVER swap my former life for the one I have now. I adore my children and wish I had 5 of them.

Am I happier? Not necessarily: BC and AC (before/after DC!) feel a bit like two separate lives. I had a lot of fun, I was very free and often very decadent. Would I go back there in exchange for DS? Not for the world. Things aren't always easy, and we're certainly cash-poorer, but he is such an amazing little person. I love that he is a product of DH and I, I love that he has such character, I love every last thing he does (apart from perhaps the tantrums to watch Postman Pat when we're leaving the house! grin and I would sooner die than be without him or let any harm come to him. People like talking about the gory side of parenting/childbirth but it's like anything - think of how many negative product reviews you read above good reviews? People don't tend to share when nothing is wrong. Having DCs will change everything, yes, but you will take the rough with the smooth - that's just what parents do! Get baby-making. wink

neontetra Sun 19-May-13 09:01:40

So far, can honestly say that I've experienced little of the hard work, terrible upheaval stuff people talk about. Dd is one, so it may get worse. So far, the only hard thing really is loving her SO much, which brings a feeling of terror at the thought of harm coming to her. The sleep deprivation isnt as bad as it sounds, I found, as your hormones help you adjust to it, I believe, or mine did anyway. I know I'm lucky, some find it all much tougher, but not everyone. Good luck!

loofet Sun 19-May-13 09:06:27

I was deeply unhappy before I had my DC for various reasons but mainly because I was so empty and unfulfilled as cheesy as it sounds. My DC changed all of that 100%. Now I have a million reasons to smile and I have a reason to get up in the morning. They've brought me so much joy even if at times they have also made me almost tear my hair out grin

It feels like I get a chance at life again now I have them iykwim. I'm not saying it's all fairytales and happiness all of the time, of course children come with added stress- sleepless nights, tantrums etc. But mostly it feels like (as sad as this sounds!) i've been born again and someone has handed me this whole other life so I get a chance to be happy smile and make three other little people happy while i'm at it!

noviceoftheday Sun 19-May-13 09:09:39

I would also add that it doesn't have to be either career or kids. I have a full on career, damn stressful at times and lots of balls juggling in the air. I am lucky to be able to afford support in the form of nanny, cleaner etc. I have experienced real career highs since having the dcs, but equally the dcs have been my priority so I have been creative in how I have worked. Tiring and stressful but worth it.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sun 19-May-13 09:12:19

DH and I had a great life pre-kids; I'm not going to lie and say I don't miss it A LOT sometimes.

But ... my children. They're amazing. It's hard work. Way, way harder than I thought it would be, but I think I was way more naive than you seem to be. They're 2 and 4 now, and recently, it has started to feel less like unrewarding, relentless slog and more fulfilling.

Something inconsequential happened today where I was able to help my little ones through something and it made me feel so worthwhile and needed and like I'm important in way I never felt before them.

They're both such little characters - they give us so much joy.

Woodland, I am coming late to this, but here goes:

As others have said, everybody's experience of being a parent is different: we are all different, every baby is different and of course we all bring our 'baggage' to being a parent.

Nothing in the whole wide world can prepare you for what it is going to be like tbh. You just have to take that leap of faith, hopefully fall pregnant and Have A Baby. Then see what it's like grin. You cannot of course change your mind, if you don't like it, mind.

FWIW, I have 4 boys, all planned and wanted (a question I get asked regularly hmm), I also had 4 MCs. All my pregnancies were exciting and fun inspite of various physical niggles. I never had any morning sickness. All my deliveries were v different, but all good experiences (the fact that DS2 was born at 31 weeks was not so good, but he is now 9 and all is well smile).

I have found it VERY hard.
DS1 was a very high needs baby (it was only with the benefit of hindsight) and nearly braught me to my knees. We had the next 3 before he was 6...

It is also the Very Best Thing I have ever done, the Most Exciting, Most Satisfying and, in my eyes, the Most Important Thing I have ever done or will ever do grin. Being a parent has added a dimension to my life. It is NOT always fun, I found babies very boring/hard work, older children fight, chat back, don't do as their told. They also give ferocious hugs, wet kisses, are clever and cute and melt my heart when they are lovely to each other (not so much when they are taking lumps out of each other... hmm).

You sound very aware of your reasons and what possible problems your own upbringings might bring.
My advice is go for it and then go with the flow. Try and keep expectations to a minimum.

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 09:15:41

Loofet, I was very unhappy throughout my twenties (well, perhaps until I was 28.) But certainly my youth passed me by. Your post sounds very much like me and how I feel about my future.

CatsRule Sun 19-May-13 09:19:13

My pfb ds is 14 months and while it can be hard at times it's a good hard and I wouldn't change our lives or him at all.

I have found a big divide in people since being pregnant and having ds...those who truly care about you and those who don't!

Some people will always tell you the worst...and yes we all know teenagers are difficult...but my view is if it was that bad wouldn't we all only have one child!

Tough times aside, and nobody I know has a baby thinking there.won't be some tough times or sleepless nights, it's great and you will cope with whatever comes at you.

Oh and fwiw much to my vile ml and sil's dismay I had a good birth...not because of any great care received but because I had an outcome in mind...having my much wanted and long awaited snuggly newborn.

Smiles and nod...take.what you want from what people say and ignore all the crap!

CecilyP Sun 19-May-13 09:21:03

Your reasons for wanting a family seem perfectly sound to me; what do your critics suggest are the right reason for wanting children?

Children are a great joy and tremendous fun, and when you have DC, you can't really imagine life without them any more. It is not really that you are happier, if you weren't unhappy before, it is just that a new chapter of your life begins. Parenting sites can often dwell on the negatives as people ask for advice about their problems and this can give the impression that every parent experiences the exactly the same problems - but they don't. I just found it more work than anticipated, but think I had a rather dreamy view of things.

The early years can be full-on and it is difficult to do other things if you don't have a family support network, but this passes as they become more independent.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Sun 19-May-13 09:21:34

I had my first at 34 (and my third at 44). Up until I had DD1 I was not overly 'maternal'. Whilst I was concerned for the welfare of children I didn't particularly enjoy being around them. I was pleased to fall pregnant and looked forward to 'baby'. But I worked until 4 days before my due date. And planned to go back a month later.

Oh how it all changed when DD1 was born. I felt as though I had discovered myself. I have 3 now. I still enjoy my work. And I love my DH. And I have some great friends and family. But have given up on all hobbies (save cooking and reading) just soni can spend time with DCs. My DCs are without a doubt the best thing I have ever done. I have not had a moment of regret. They have brought me more joy than I thought possible.

Good luck.

nethunsreject Sun 19-May-13 09:22:13

I'm much happier as a parent than I was before. It's bloody hard work and exhausting but it is fabulous too. I wasn't bothered about having kids - never maternal or anything - but they are amazing, and I say that despite being up 6times last night and having a heavy cold grin

Loofet, that sounds lovely and it's great that parenthood has worked out so well for you.

There is a danger in having a baby to 'fix' something in your life though - doesn't make it wrong, at all, necessarily, but might not work.

A parent is there for the baby/child, not the baby for the parent IYSWIM.

Again, it's just to do with expectations. Loofet sounds really happy (less conflicted than me about being a mother at times grin) and unless you go for it you'll never now how having a child might be for you, woodlandcreature. Just not expect the child to fill some kind of void/need. If he or she does, great. If not, you still need to be their parent.

I hope it is clear that I am in no way having a dig - good luck!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 19-May-13 09:23:48

Yes, it is hard work at times and kids can be a big worry but if it was so bad there would be lots of single kids about.

Obviously I love mine to bits but The thing that suprised me the most was how much fun they are. My kids really make me laugh. They are funny, witty and lively.

MoodyDidIt Sun 19-May-13 09:24:32

i am much happier since having dcs

its the best thing i have ever done

yes its hard, but life takes on a whole new meaning and depth, i know that sounds cheesy. but its true (for me at least)

Cherriesarelovely Sun 19-May-13 09:26:18

Yes, without a shaddow of a doubt. However, for me, the first few months were not easy and I did wonder whether it was all worth it. Don't go into it expecting every single day to be bliss, it isn't but there are SO many wonderful, magical moments. To sum it up it has been 100 times harder and 100 times more amazing than I ever imagined.

Kasterborous Sun 19-May-13 09:26:28

No YANBU our DD is fourteen months old and the best thing that ever happened to us. Yes it's hard occasionally but the good far outweighs it. The love I have for her is immense I have never experienced love like it. She's made me much happier and a real purpose in life. To watch her running around and exploring everything then coming and giving me random cuddles and kisses is just wonderful.

If you are both ready to have children go for it, ignore everyone else.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 19-May-13 09:28:54

OP your reasons for wanting a family are exactly the right ones IMO.

DH and I are happier now that we have our DCs. Yes life is harder, more complicated, and we are very tired because of five years of less than perfect sleep. But we wouldn't be without them for the world, they have brought us joy and contentment like nothing else and our bond is stronger because we are parents together.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 19-May-13 09:29:20

Can't remember ever having to justify to anyone why I wanted to start a family. The only person I could imaging have this conversation with is my dh. No one else's business.

Sunnysummer Sun 19-May-13 09:31:23

Zadie Smith wrote a beautiful essay about this - distinguishing between pleasure and joy, and saying that pleasure comes from little things like good food, but her husband and children bring her less simple 'pleasure' but more 'joy' - “terror, pain, and delight" - and that ultimately, this is what makes life worthwhile.

This thought consoles me occasionally, though sadly not when it is 2am and I am breastfeeding while kneeling on a hairbrush on the living room floor in order that I don't accidentally go to sleep on my tiny tiny colicky baby. But then I see his tiny tiny colicky wind smile, and remember that he is absolutely wonderful and decide that I will not send him off to boarding school at 2 months old after all and that I will one day be able to embarrass him deeply by sharing these stories with his future girlfriend/boyfriend, and It Will All Be Worthwhile.

I love my family and couldn't imagine being without one of my own, ignore the haters!

Damnautocorrect Sun 19-May-13 09:31:27

I thought kids were off the menu for me (string of shit fellas, no house, age getting on the wrong side and massive a of debt) but he was truly an amazing blessing and the best thing that happened to me.
My life is happier more content and I have a reason to be happy and proud. He was an unplanned gift, but truly the best kind I've ever had.

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 09:34:52

I agree it is no one else's business WeAllHaveWings, but I have had people try to make it so, mainly when I have a bad day (as I occasionally do) - if I then mention in the context of that (online) conversation I am planning a baby I get the odd response along the lines that someone "like me" shouldn't want a child. I do, though.

NotSoNervous Sun 19-May-13 09:38:12

YANBU there some of the best persons to want to have a baby IMO. Since having DD my life has completely changed and sometimes it's so hard but it's amazing. Whenever she's teething a grumpy then she laughs it just melts you. I wouldn't change having DD for anything in the world and I would do all again

Good luck

CinnabarRed Sun 19-May-13 09:43:05

Before I had children it was as if I were, unknowingly, living in only two dimensions - dimensions with far, sweeping horizons, but still only two. And then when I had DS1, a magical new third dimension appeared - with soaring heights and plumbing depths I hadn't previously ever imagined to be possible. My life is infinitely richer due to my children.

wonderstuff Sun 19-May-13 09:46:25

I think that in the UK we enjoy a moan but feel uncomfortable enthusing about good stuff, we worry about showing off, much prefer a bit of competitive suffering. That means people are far more willing to moan about kids than tell you how great they are.

That said I was shocked when I had my kids, everyone said it would be hard, and I thought well EVERYONE has kids, how hard can it be? A: really fucking hard. I wouldn't swop them, but I do sometimes morn the carefree, financially comfortable life I had before. It sounds like you are more prepared than I was.

Your reasons for wanting children sound perfect. All the best x

sherazade Sun 19-May-13 09:46:44

I dont know about being any happier, post children, but having kids liberates you from yourself. It's not about me, me, me anymore.

Having children is wonderful. I adore mine.
Of course it is hard work looking after children, it'd be disingenuous to deny it.
Am I happier than I was pre children? I don't know.

Sherazade, yes, I agree. It is not necessarily a good thing all the time, though!

Morgause Sun 19-May-13 09:52:34

Yes, we're happier now than when we first married and had no DCS,

But the DCs have left home and it's just us now. smile

buzzgirly Sun 19-May-13 09:52:42

I'm so much happier now I have dc. Before dc I was quite a party animal, and so have completely changed my lifestyle - I don't miss it at all.

I love our family life. The first few months are a bit of a shock, but it's amazing what a smile from a baby can make you forget! Oh dear, this is making me broody!

pictish Sun 19-May-13 09:53:19

Yes. Having kids was inarguably the making of me.

changeforthebetter Sun 19-May-13 09:57:06

Ignore the horror stories (which can also be interpreted as people being honest about how bloody hard it is)

Your reasons sound fine. I wouldn't change having kids for the world even though it can be heartbreakingly hard and more exhausting than you could imagine. I am a better person after kids - more honest, open and less self-absorbed. I think having a good relationship with your partner is key. I didn't and we are now separated, but that is not because we had kids. It is because he is an idiot! smile

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 19-May-13 09:59:06

My children can be annoying and exhausting and expensive- however I would not swap them for my old life for the world!

Saski Sun 19-May-13 09:59:52

I distinguish between the moments I spent with my kids as babies/toddlers and the days. The moments were lovely and delightful. The days generally stretched out endlessly and I often felt bored & missed my old life.

Now that my kids are older but still little kids, my life is immeasurably better & I'm glad I didn't know how hard it is to have kids, because I would have waffled.

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Sun 19-May-13 10:11:10

I am the happiest I have ever been now that I have my two boys. I'm right in the difficult bit with a baby and toddler and I am tired and stretched but underneath the chaos is a hum of contentment I have never experienced before. I laugh out loud every single day at them. I can't believe my own good fortune.

KB02 Sun 19-May-13 10:29:12

I think your reasons for having children seem good and sounds like any children will be well loved and cherished. It is hard and stressful at times but well worth it, I am over the moon to have my ds. He is 13 months and all I ever wanted. I don't miss all the things we 'can't do ' any more and miss him if I am away from him. Good luck

KB02 Sun 19-May-13 10:30:42

Northwards grin

honeytea Sun 19-May-13 10:33:37

It's early days for us, my ds is only 5 months but I feel so happy, I feel more content than I ever have.

It has been a really lovely surprise as I had lots of people telling me how hard it is going to be.

When ds was as about 2 weeks old I was sat in bed at 4 in the morning breastfeeding him, our neighbors came home from their night out with a small group of friends and were continuing the party, I had no problem with the noise I could hear their music and them laughing and chatting, I thought to myself how lucky I was, there was no where in the world I would rather be than cuddled up in bed with my tiny little boy.

I go to sleep feeling like it is Christmas eve some nights just so excited to wake up and spend the day with my ds.

The birth was even fun, gas and air is lovely smile

I feel very sorry for the couples who find having a baby hard work .

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sun 19-May-13 10:39:35

The pain of childbirth and the sleepless nights in the first few weeks/months/ years (depending entirely how lucky you are!) are a shocker.

However the other stuff is wonderful. The love you feel for your child/ren, the pride you feel just because of who they are, honestly mine dont have to do anything particularly special for me to think "awww look at you! You're awesome!" And omg the stuff they say/do to make you laugh! grin

Dont underestimate how happy you'll feel the first time they say "I love you mummy" smile

In short, I am a lot happier now I've got them (and their dad!). Considering I had PND both times I think that's pretty good going!

MrsWolowitz Sun 19-May-13 10:41:13

Your reasons for wanting children are good.

I have a 4yo DD and 2 yo DTs. At one stage I had 3 DC under 2yo. It is hard, hard, hard work BUT it is the best work in the world.

I have up being a high-flyer with promotion opportunities in the job I've dreamt if doing all my life to have my DC and I've never regretted it for a second.

Yes you will be tired. Yes sometimes you could just scream out if frustration when the DC are being little sods but they will challenge you and mould you into a person that its better than you ever imagined you could be.

Don't feel bad at all. You sound like you will make a lovely parent. Enjoy your children and when the DC are pissing you right off there's always MN to come and have a rant on smile


MrsWolowitz Sun 19-May-13 10:42:45

*habve up = gave up!

HerrenaHarridan Sun 19-May-13 10:43:18

Woodland, I don't think those are the wrong reasons at all.

I know a fair few people who are now raising families after leaving the care system or abusive homes. They are doing alright, making up as they go along with no example to follow. They all started their families pretty young because they wanted a family, to create everything they should of had and see it for themselves an to feel that unconditional love between a parent and child.

My mum had me for all the wrong reasons, fell pregnant in care and was brought up too religiously to consider abortion. Stopped taking drugs as soon as she realised and turned her life around.

She was the most hands on, involved mum I've ever known, thinking about the shit she went through for me in the early years bring tears to my eyes.

You don't need to explain yourself, you want a baby so does your husband! smile

meglet Sun 19-May-13 10:45:24

Not happier here, probably the same as I felt before I had kids. I worry too much and am too tired to be happy!

HerrenaHarridan Sun 19-May-13 10:46:37

Oh sorry and in answer to your question.

Yes I am much happier since having dd, life was fun before but this is something new.

I'm not going to lie to you, it the hardest thing I've ever done (lone parent to 16mo, 400miles from my family)

Take everything hard you've ever known, add it together and multiply it by infinity!!!!!!
But I've never regretted dd for a second smile

twofalls Sun 19-May-13 10:52:09

My tired (was at a family party last night) very cute and sometimes extremely trying 3 year old is snuggled up next to me on the sofa watching nanny McPhee for the 100th time. Yes sometimes it's very hard,but being without my 2 dds is unthinkable.

I can't understand why anyone would question you op. good luck.

greenformica Sun 19-May-13 10:52:19

Having kids has been the most amazing thing. I had a lovely life before but things are more meaningful and special now. Yes we do have hard times (some sleeplessness etc) but it makes us appreciate the good points.

Ratata Sun 19-May-13 10:53:09

You will find that people like to project their experiences onto others, especially if they are negative. I'm pregnant with my first and have heard it all too. One woman in particular is awful. She is the most negative person I have ever met. I challenge her when I can be bothered or change the subject to something lighthearted.

Experiences are more about how you react to them than the experience itself. Choose to see things positively and they will be easier. Sure there are hard times but if you are in a solid relationship and support eachother then you will get through it. The hardest things in life are usually the most rewarding! Your reasons for having kids are sound, have more confidence in yourself and your reasons. Other people's opinions will fade away. Your experiences will be unique to you including pregnancy, childbirth and your kids.

TeddyMercury Sun 19-May-13 11:03:37

I am less happy now I have children. If I had known what it would be like, I'd have remained childless.

I don't really get those comments and 'amazing highs' and 'joy', tbh. I love my children, but in a prosaic, everyday sort of way (I've never experienced being 'in love' romantically either. I love my DP and we have a good relationship, but that's based on common interests, friendship, respect, sexual attraction occasionally , shared history etc rather than the butterflies in tummy, laying down my life for him feelings I've heard described).

My life now is fine. I love my partner and children, we are ok financially, my job is interesting. But when I compare that to what I had before (independence, solvent, lots of interests I pursued at will, not being responsible for anyone but myself) I cannot escape that I was far happier then.

Maybe I'll feel differently when they are older (they are under 7), maybe I'm a selfish Tin Man of a mother, <shrugs> but I definitely feel as though I made the 'wrong' choice.

valiumredhead Sun 19-May-13 11:09:28

My child is the best thing that has ever happened to me and dh would say the same - he is a treasure and it's so lovely watching him grow into a young man and seeing all the hard work pay off smile

FreudiansSlipper Sun 19-May-13 11:47:42

yes there is nothing I miss from before I had ds

yes it is very very tiring at times, you are pushed to your limits but it all means nothing when they are cuddled up in your arms or have drawn you another picture or when you watch them play and think wow he/she is really mine it's wonderful nothing compares

twinkletwinklepops Sun 19-May-13 12:59:43

After having DD my life is like a see saw, ups and downs but the ups definately out weight the downs.

You never know you're little one might be a 'good sleeper' like ours, 7pm - 7am from 3 months.

Just imagine every morning going in to your little ones room in the morning, waking them up and unwrapping your little bundle of joy and watching them rub their little eyes and giggle when they see you - precious memories!

Good luck!

Ginfox Sun 19-May-13 13:14:28

I never thought I was fussed about having kids. Then I met my DH, and having a family suddenly became a priority. For no other reason than we both felt that it was the obvious thing to do.

Now we have 2yo DD, and it's just brilliant! She's funny, cute, challenging, and growing so fast it's scary. It -is- flipping hard work, and she's a terrible sleeper, so it is exhausting too. But an already very happy household is so much happier with her in it. Definitely want to do it all again.

Also I had a quick and easy labour (not bragging, but you do seem to get bombarded with terrible stories when you're planning/expecting).

I honestly think some people just like to bring others down, making them doubt their decisions. And when you are pregnant, these people are worth avoiding IMHO, cos they're a pain in the arse.

Ginderella Sun 19-May-13 13:30:40

I love my DS. If you want children, go ahead and don't take any notice of other parents and their opinions.

I would say though, that if I could go back in time, I would have chosen not to have him.

Ragwort Sun 19-May-13 13:39:38

Thanks Ginderall for being so honest, I think on a forum like this most people are going to say 'having children is the best thing in the world'.

I find being a parent very hard, my DS is now at the 'tweenager' age so he is too young to be completely on his own but he doesn't need his parents around all the time except as a taxi service. So for example it is very hard to do what you want to do eg: today he has gone off to the sports field, yes, he's been out since 9am but I can't really go anywhere or do anything speficic (apart from housework/gardening/mumsnetting grin) because I just have to be 'around'. Perhaps that makes me shallow but I seem to spend a lot of time just 'haning around' in case I am needed. confused.

Bunbaker Sun 19-May-13 13:43:30

I am no happier, nor am I less happy. Having DD has changed my life and it is different, not better and not worse but different.

Cherriesarelovely Sun 19-May-13 14:00:15

Woodland, my DP had a very difficult, abusive childhood. She came along whenmy dd was nearly 2. She had never wanted children, never even considered it, instead she had focussed on her career. Anyway, she met us and fell in love with us both. She turned out to be a natural parent. She was absolutely brilliant and still is, 9 years on. Our Dd is the light of our lives. Her horrible experiences from childhood made her even more determined that her parenting would be completely different and that our Dd would never go to bed upset or scared as she did. I just wanted to share that with you because of what others had said to you about your past.

AmberSocks Sun 19-May-13 14:53:25

i am happier,much happier.

dont listen to people,they just like to moan.

Ragwort Sun 19-May-13 15:23:35

'dont listen to people,they just like to moan' - I am not sure all people 'moan' about children when pointing out the disadvantages - it is very clear (just from Mumsnet yet alone RL) that some people have children without giving it any thought at all and then seem surprised when it is difficult/challenging/expensive etc etc etc. I don't think it does any harm to really, really think about why you want children and not just do it 'because it's what everyone does'.

It's a bit like childbirth, not many people are 'honest' about what it really involves grin.

itsaruddygame Sun 19-May-13 15:24:17

I am so tired I could cry (DS 10 weeks old) and am surviving on very little sleep. I am also the happiest I have ever been and would not swap the beautiful baby boy I am holding in my arms for all the riches in the world.

woodlandcreature Sun 19-May-13 15:29:47

Teddy, purely out of interest you appear to have more than one child: why, if you feel you made the wrong choice?

Many thanks for all your replies. I have doubted myself a lot but I can't imagine a future without children in it.

MsJupiterJones Sun 19-May-13 15:35:59

They sound like great reasons! I have never been happier since having DS in October 2012. It is hard work but just unbelievably brilliant. smile

EleanorFarjeon Sun 19-May-13 15:50:32

Having children is wonderful, but, blimey, we had a great time before we had them!

You could not pay me to go back to the very early years of parenthood.

I would never regret becoming a parent, but I do look back at our lives pre kids as fabulous. We both look forward to them being grown almost as much as we enjoy them being children. And, no doubt, when they are grown, we'll miss them being small.

But happier with kids? No. Just different.

perplexedpirate Sun 19-May-13 16:26:38

Having baby hurts. REALLY hurts! I got the stage where my mind was just flooded with pain, there was no room for actual thought, the whole of the world, past, present and future was agony. There is no way I could put myself through it again, the thought alone makes me feel sick.
The baby years were also pretty awful. It was two years of relentless terror and feeling so worthless and inadequate that there were times I really thought I should just disappear as I was useless at being a mother.
DS is without doubt the best thing in my life. He is funny, clever, kind and loving. I would die for him in a heartbeat and he makes me happier than I ever thought possible. I actually feel sorry for everyone else in the world as they are not DS's mum!

Parajse Sun 19-May-13 16:35:00

I'm definitely happier now than I was before I had DD, despite everyone telling me I was 'giving up' my teenage years and early adulthood and would regret it when I missed out on being young. Agree with everyone else on here, the pain is hell but what you get at the end makes up for it. I honestly would be lost without DD, she has taken over my life but in the best possible way.

RhondaJean Sun 19-May-13 16:36:24

I'm not really happier - but I am more focused.

I don't think I'm less happy (despite having a teenager, which means there are moments when I wonder what the hell possessed me!)

RhondaJean Sun 19-May-13 16:37:27

Oh, and the labour ward has fantastic painkillers, no need to suffer!

RhondaJean Sun 19-May-13 16:39:39

In retrospect though, I wouldn't say I needed to have children - I could have had just as a good a life without...

Darn, you've got me thinking now that's never good!

sweetsummerlove Sun 19-May-13 16:52:18

Having my little girl has been the making of me for sure. You can't help but get totally and utterly and embarrassingly soppy when you consider how much you love this one tiny person. Yes, she's a total pickle and some days when im exhausted I threaten DH ill trade her for cake...but the truth is I did not have the childhood DH was so incredibly lucky to have. I take the role of raising her very seriously, and I work my ass off to give her the best.

I think every matter how dedicated has fleeting thoughts of how easy life was before children and the freedom that you had..but the bottom line is it simply doesn't compare to family life.

Screw what everyone else thinks..plenty of people have children for all sorts of debatable reasons. .you sound like you and OH are ready to take the plunge. .so do it..and love every freaking second. .morning sickness and all ;)

sweetsummerlove Sun 19-May-13 16:57:15

p.s. childbirth is extremely different for everyone. .unfortunately everyone loves to share their horror stories. For what its worth I loved it. the empowerment I felt after labour. .I couldn't believe I'd done that! it's a real test of your mentality really to an extent. Yes it was painful at times but I was lucky to have a relatively short labour and I was so excited the entire time ..I never felt scared. I had an awful time trying to breastfeed..that was more painful. .but I worked hard and exclusively fed for a long time. ..good luck. x

sweetkitty Sun 19-May-13 17:02:15

My children have enriched my life, made me less selfish and self focused, give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and its a joy watching them grow up.

I liked having them so much we have four, am run ragged most days but wouldn't change it for the wworld

MysteriousHamster Sun 19-May-13 17:04:28

Much happier since having my son. It can be very hard at times. Less freedom. More fun rolling around the floor in a fit of giggles. Nothing beats the love I feel when I hold him.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Sun 19-May-13 17:28:35

I am shattered but I am immeasurably happier with my lot after having my DS 23 weeks ago.

I always need to remind myself that friend's who don't have DC could well be thinking it's all hard work with no reward and I make a conscience effort to tell them I'm sorry if I ramble on for a while.

RubyOnRails Sun 19-May-13 17:33:58

This thread has made me realise that I do have pnd. Quite severely going by today's antics. I find it so hard as does my husband. We love our kids but just aren't very patient playful or devoted. I hate myself. They are lovely boys and I feel like a traitor saying this.

valiumredhead Sun 19-May-13 17:59:41

Ruby GP appt asap xxx

glamstretchmarks Sun 19-May-13 18:04:17

I love DS so much BUT I have to be honest... I was FAR happier before sad

Having said that I am a single mum with depression, anxiety and I am young and feel I lost my youth. (I was alone for two years except seeing my parents on the weekend.)

SO for me, no, I am not happier now... I love DS, I wouldn't undo it, but I was happier before.

JohnSnowsTie Sun 19-May-13 18:11:15

My experience as follows (fwiw):

Childbirth hurts, babies don't sleep, toddlers throw tantrums, I work harder now than I ever worked in full-time employment and I rarely get a night out.

But - and I mean this wholeheartedly - there genuinely is no greater joy to me than my family. And as much as I look forward to a rare night out as mentioned above, there's nothing better than going home to them at the end of it.

Don't expect it to be easy - but then the things most worthwhile in life are not.

Good luck.

Limelight Sun 19-May-13 18:24:27

Having my DC is unquestionably the best thing that has ever happened to me. They are everything to me. They make me laugh and swell with pride on an hourly basis.

They are also a massive PITA, they've ruined my social life, and impacted negatively on my career (for now anyway). They've caused tears, heartbreak, sleepless nights, pain, irritation, anger, disbelief, discomfort. And I am not good at being pregnant <shudders at the thought of all of that vomit>

But I wouldn't change any of it. Today my DS (5) told me I was the best Mammy in the world for making him into Kingfisher Man for a party, and my DD (2) sang 'Daisy daisy' at top volume out of the window to the whole street. I cannot think of anything I would do with my time which is more fabulous than that.

So OP, if you do decide it's for you, have the best time! smile

Almostfifty Sun 19-May-13 18:27:27

It's not all horrible you know. wink

I had four, first birth horrendous, but got over that quickly, the rest were fine. Sleepless nights, I had eight years of, but we got through it eventually.

I can honestly say that I loved almost every minute of them tiny, small, bit bigger, even bigger, walking, talking, nursery, school and now university. I remember those nights taking them to bed, reading stories with them all cuddled up next to me. Obviously we had our moments, but they really were few and far between.

We were just talking to our boys last night about how life was so much better with them around, how life in general is just much more fulfilling, and how much we love having them around. We do like our time alone these days, but it is so lovely being a family.

TheFantasticFixit Sun 19-May-13 18:28:13

Oh goodness. I cannot even begin to describe how much better life is since our DD arrived. Sure, labour is shit. Sleepless nights are shit. Poo-Nami's and tantrums are shit. But my god, that little giggle, or funny face, or pat on my back as I pick her up, or the way she says 'mummmmmy?' makes EVERY shitty moment fade into nothing and my heart explodes with a love that is indescribable. Being a parent and having this incredible responsibility of raising a human being is the greatest privilege there is. Don't hesitate - it will be the best thing you have ever done.

glamstretchmarks Sun 19-May-13 18:30:49

see I am the opposite... labour and sleepless nights didn't bother me at all... it's now that I can't cope with

bigkidsdidit Sun 19-May-13 18:41:09

Having said ^^ that I am happier now, I am, but I would not be if I had given up work. Being at work (I'm an academic and adore my job) is absolutely fundamental to my happiness. I juggle my hours so I have lots of time at home, but being with my children is nto so happy for me that it would be enough on its own.

TigerSwallowTail Sun 19-May-13 18:46:55

I'm definitely happier now that I'm a parent than I was before children. Your reasons sound perfectly valid to me.

jellybeans Sun 19-May-13 18:58:36

Yes so much happier and made life meaningful and makes me a better person. Adore it.

pinkhousesarebest Sun 19-May-13 19:07:09

We had children late and lived in many beautiful places around the world before and we were totally spoiled and indulged. But I was never happy the way I have been since the birth of my dcs, and they have been the making of us both. The only problem is that it will not be like this forever ( teenage years approaching).

bakingaddict Sun 19-May-13 19:14:42

All I can say is that before kids I never quite understood parents who said they would die for their kids but once you have had children you understand exactly the sentiment of this statement.

Children are a beauty and joy to have and I now feel a sense of completeness that I didn't have pre-kids, it's a connection and purpose to something more than just me

JollyOrangeGiant Sun 19-May-13 19:18:14

I haven't read any replies to this thread. DS and I had a wonderful day together today. I've not ever had as special and delightful a day with anyone else. Days like this are not uncommon with DS. He's simply amazing.

He's 25mo smile

itsblackoveryonderhill Sun 19-May-13 19:25:36

Sorry if this is a repeat of things already posted, but I too wanted a child for the same reason as yourself.

All I can say is yes, it is hard, there are times I wish I could just have a switch to switch DD off with, however it is only DH and I, so we don't have breaks, we are either at work or with DD, although we do give each other time to themselves.

However, all I can say, is for years I felt like a nearly complete jigsaw puzzle (I've been with DH longer than I've not, so he is very much bonded and entwined within me iykwim), but I always knew there was a piece missing and nothing would have supplemented this piece. If this piece was never 'found' then I would have still been happy, but I would have felt incomplete. Once DD was born, the piece of jigsaw slotted into place. I now feel complete.

Oh, and where else can you get this type of conversation....

DH, Myself and DD in the car, DH and I belch at the same time and say pardon me.

DD starts to giggle and says, 'mummy, you and daddy burped at the same time.

Me: 'yes, I know, but we did say pardon'
DD: 'sometimes mummy, I cough and trump at the same time'

that is the piece of jigsaw that fulfils me.

Manyofhorror3 Sun 19-May-13 19:28:15

Just because it's hard doesn't mean that it isn't brilliant!
My kids are my life's joy and finest work. I feel sad for those who choose not to have them because they're choosing to miss out on the greatest love of their lives.

cherryade8 Sun 19-May-13 19:29:45

Yanbu, children are great. I had a great life before, but every day I look at dd and love her with all my heart I know that might sound cringey

fishybits Sun 19-May-13 19:31:51

I wouldn't say it's better, it's different.

I love her more than I could possibly imagine, the wave of love that washes through me countless times a day is addictive and I miss her when she's at nursery.


DD is not wrapped up in cotton wool, she fits into our lives not the other way around. We spend money on babysitters and DH and I make a point of spending time together without her.

The best and most important piece of advice I was given was reference sleep and went as follows:

"Three yawns and you're out. Notice the first, act on the second. If you get to a third yawn you are shit out of luck".

Not every baby will listen to this advice wink but if your baby does then sleep will make everything seem much easier to deal with.

Good luck. smile

charlove Sun 19-May-13 19:33:30

i have to say, i am a hundred million times happier than i ever thought i could be since having dd. i have some really rough days where i cant even find time to run a brush through my hair and i feel so frazzeld i just want to cry, but as soon as i see her sweet little face or she gives me a kiss or cuddle then all the stuff that feels hard just stops mattering and it all just feels so easy and worth it.

also the child birth part, if you have a standard, no complications labour then it really isn't that bad. trust me, i thought it was going to be horrible and i would scream and cry, but i actually fell asleep during, so it can't have been that bad right?

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 19-May-13 19:36:33

My life is immeasurably improved by having a child!!! He's the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me smile

I have alot of problems in my life but having Ds is not one of them.

One thing I would say is that it didn't help me draw a line underneath a bad family upbringing, in a way it intensified all that but in a useful way on the end. as soon as I got pregnant it opened up a reassessment of my childhood and parents and made me really determined to not recreate my past. It was upsetting though, realizing quite how unthinkable some of the ways I was treated, thinking about whether I could do that to the child growing inside me made me realise how unjustifiable some things were.

So might drag you back into the past a bit, but can move past it usefully I think.

Springforward Sun 19-May-13 19:37:04

Knackered and broke, but definitely happier.

My DM used to tell me not to even think about having kids until I was utterly desperate for them. I think she meant that if you really wanted them the rough times wouldn't feel so bad!

Springdiva Sun 19-May-13 19:46:00

Dcs are late 20s and 30s and long since left home and yes, it is def better to have DCs than not grin

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sun 19-May-13 19:46:48

Just skipping to the end of the thread to say that childbirth does not have to be painful!! Epidurals are available 24 hrs a day in most hospitals. I was totally anti before hand (did the hypnobirthing cd every night and everything), but changed my mind pretty quick when it all kicked off and spent labour is a cosy warm blissed out haze listening to classical music and chatting to DH and the midwife. I didn't even mind the forceps delivery. Seriously, you do not have to suffer!

Right, going back to read the thread now...

Springforward Sun 19-May-13 20:07:27

Pethidine's pretty helpful IME too. I recall DS' birth as incredibly hard work but not massively painful as such. DH thinks I'm potty but seriously, that's what it's supposed to do!

Silvercatowner Sun 19-May-13 20:07:40

Childbirth and babyhood is a small fraction of the experience of having children. Mine are both in their 20s and it still keeps getting better and better.

katkit1 Sun 19-May-13 21:31:21

fishybits - agreed re: yawn advice. Works a treat.

ByTheSea Sun 19-May-13 21:38:25

Best thing I ever did.

Salbertina Sun 19-May-13 21:44:25

I am much more satisfied overall now i have children.

I have regular moments of sheer frustration/boredom and yes, feeling miserable in my daily mothering, however.

foolserrand Sun 19-May-13 22:02:05

My dcs are 4 and 1. Dc1 has been a dream from the moment he was born. Dc2 was a dream right up until the moment she was born! grin I realise, now they are here, I was never really, truly happy before they arrived. I adore every second I spend with them, even the challenging ones. I am sad when I leave them. Dc3 arrives in October, it obviously can't be that bad!

Salbertina Sun 19-May-13 22:04:21

Really? Every second??

Salbertina Sun 19-May-13 22:20:32

That wasn't an attack, btw, am genuinely curious not to say envious i get terribly grumpy with mine, even after all these years. Maybe I'm just born miserable smile

amazingmumof6 Sun 19-May-13 22:24:35

haven't read thread.

we have 6 DCs and not because we never heard of condoms! grin

I am not always happy about circumstances - being tired, badly behaved kids or ill baby - but I'm happy and content.
it's a different kind of happiness to being happy about being single or engaged or newly married etc.

baby DD is 13 months old and has just learnt how to give a kiss - pure joy! also has been busy mashing a pear into the carpet.
having children really is swings and roundabouts!!!wink

what I've learnt so far is that:
1. children are a gift from God
2. don't look a gift (horse) child in the mouth.grin

BreatheandFlyAway Sun 19-May-13 22:28:40

Mythumbs I agree re childbirth, if you don't want to go through the pain then epidural is fab. I had it for both and blush really enjoyed it! Once the blissed out feeling hits, the birth is bearable and I remembered all of it and could walk etc.

Re having kids, OP - well for me it's like that moment in the Wizard of Oz - pre kids = black and white, life with kids = colour. And I did have a happy and fulfilled life pre kids, with lots of fun and a great career. But kids add a layer of meaning and a whole new dimension that I am thankful every day to have fallen into by chance and somewhat unplanned grin

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 19-May-13 23:22:42

Ok, so here is me being soppy, this song is what it's like to have a child... I would say baby, but my little baby is now 3 smile
I sang this to him tonight as his little eyelids were fluttering closed and he was desperately trying to stay awake...

For Baby

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 19-May-13 23:24:34

Ah! Sorry wrong version, though that's nice too...

For Baby The Original

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 19-May-13 23:38:49

I dont think having a dc is all that hard. Birth is hard work and bloody, babies cry, you feel tired. Its a short period of time really, for most. Its not rocket science. I think doing endless research and navel gazing is a bit pointless. You either like kids and want to take care of one ( or more). Or you dont. Only you can really know this, so other people opinions are meaningless. Also, you will notice on parenting websites like this, that the experience of having children is different for everyone. And you can have a career as well. You may very well NOT have no sleep for 4 years, and You may find that there are such things as babysitter who enable you to occasionally go out. Don't make it harder than it needs to be by overthinking it!

C999875 Mon 20-May-13 00:01:28

I've loved every minute of being a mum. Now I would be lying if I said it has all been plain sailing because that is not reality. I am a single mum to a teenager and I am proud to say she is growing up to be very non judgemental. I have always drummed it to her never to look down on anyone as we do not know their stories and she knows all about karma or if you prefer pay back. Well mannered and well balanced and it does make me very proud that it is all my own work.
The pregnancy bit however was horrendos. I had all day sickness from 6 weeks developed pre eclampsia at 7 months and had to have an emergency c/section and to think I'm ttc again (L.O.L)
Just go for it you wont regret it. I was a bitch before I became a mum. it's definatly mellowed me out. xxx

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 20-May-13 00:27:16

Posted before I read rubyonrails and glamstretchmatks posts. Ruby, dont hate yourself. Pnd is a bitch. Good luck at gp x
Glam- I was a LP with a baby too, and it is a tough ride. It gets better, but if the anxiety and depression is bad, help is out there.x

C999875 Mon 20-May-13 00:58:21

Shadowstorm if you would have got pregnant earlier you may have still had a beautiful son but it would not have been him, different sperm different egg. xx

BlackeyedSusan Mon 20-May-13 01:02:47

so much happier, despite the horror stories. and the damge to the keyboaad after ds sat/wlked on it severrl times

Kaekae Mon 20-May-13 01:09:59

Having children is wonderful, I laugh everyday because they come out with the most funny little things. I also love seeing life through their eyes. I must admit though on a bad day I do sometimes crave a little of my old life back such as the freedom. But that's rare.

GertrudeSlojinski Mon 20-May-13 01:59:11

I can say with all honesty that my DS makes me happy but I am less happy since having had him. If I could turn the clock back, I wouldn't have had him. Do I regret having had him? Frequently. Does this make me love him less than I should? I hope not. Is it something I would admit to him? Never.

I miss the freedom I had before having had him, to go for solitary walks, to get lost in a book, to change jobs/careers whilst only having to worry about myself, to spend 3 hours playing around with makeup only to wipe it off and start all over again. I miss the ability to walk away from an unhappy relationship without a second glance back. I miss my stretchmark-free belly and tits, my navel piercing, my once long and maintenance-full hair. I miss being able to shag around with little care in the world, spontaneous trips to friends across Europe. I miss having more of a disposable income, "sick days", a whole bed to myself, being able to spend an entire Saturday morning masturbating and not caring how much time has passed. As women, we are told wanting all this makes us "selfish" and we ought to pro-create to make our lives more fulfilling. Well, my life is no more fulfilling post-DS than it was pre-DS. I quite liked (and miss) being "selfish"! grin

Delayingtactic Mon 20-May-13 02:42:08

I am so much happier with DS. There are times when I miss the flexibility of being childless but I honestly didn't think I could love someone as much as I do him. I also didn't understand the sheer pride you can have in someone else - sometimes for the littlest of things. My DS (2) checked with me before accepting a sweet from a colleague and said please and thank you really well before throwing his wrapper in the bin. And held my hand all the way to the car like such a good little boy. I was ridiculously proud for what is an everyday occurrence. To put it into perspective I had a horrendous birth with him which landed me in HDU. Do I care about that now? No and I'd go through it a million times more for him.

Annakin31 Tue 21-May-13 04:05:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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

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!

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)

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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


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!

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

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 11:16:16

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

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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