Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.
Just not sure :-((35 Posts)
I hope I'm adding this to the right thread.
I am 34 and my partner is 40. We don't have any children and, as you can see, time isn't really on our side. So...this year, we've made plans to start trying for a baby.
I love my partner more than anyone. I also love our life together in that we do whatever we want...whenever we want. We are a very 'young' couple and financially stable as we both work full time but with lots of flexibility to allow us a good work/life balance. We holiday...get up when we want...snooze when we want....Visit wherever, whenever we want. We are very active and love working out together. We will often go for late night walks together or just randomly go out late. Thank God, we have been blessed with a perfect life which I am so grateful for.
My problem is this.....We really need to start thinking about a child due to our ages. But...I feel terrible when I say this....a child would mean giving up our lifestyle which I love so much. I am so guilty for these thoughts as I believe we should create life. I just feel so reluctant to give up everything! :'(
All I can think about is shallow and selfish things such as....well we won't be able to gym together. I will ruin my body and lady area! We won't be able to do what we love on the weekends such as lying in until 9 am, lazying around with each other in the morning, going out to the gym together, snoozing with each other when we get back followed by our amazing dinner and film/reading/a million other things.
I'm really feeling a bit scared that a baby will ruin everything and affect our relationship as it's just been us. I wish we could have several more years left of this but...well...at 34 I guess I don't have the time left.
We discussed this again tonight and I was saying that I don't want to ruin our life together and he was of the opinion that we can't keep putting it off. He's a psychologist with an interest in child development so he is so looking forward to raising a child.
Also......another shallow thing to say is....We both enjoy taking pride in our appearance and there is such a deep attraction between us. I am worried that a baby will have an impact on my body and weight and also.....sorry TMI...how it may feel down there after a child.
I am so sorry if I have upset anyone with my selfish thoughts.
If anyone could help with some thoughts or could answer any of these questions if I haven't annoyed you too much, I would greatly appreciate it. I have asked Mums around me and they're response is very dismissive - you'll be fine. None of that matters. Just do it etc etc
How hard has it been for you to have a child?
Did it affect your relationship?
Are things very different in terms of your body? What about in the lady area after birth? Is sex ruined forever?!
I know some mums at work who say they put on a lot of weight when pregnant and since they have never been able to lose it. Is that true?! That's a rather terrifying thought! I'm already a stone overweight but have maintained at this weight with a lot of heavy weight lifting and calorie control so I can keep parts of my figure rounded as I prefer a shapely figure to slim on myself. We spoke tonight that I would reduce my weight now to make room for baby weight but the thought of what has happened to the other Mums I have spoken to in terms of them never being able to shift their weight since a baby is scary. Is that really true?!
Is it really a case of no sleep for months?
How hard was it having a baby and giving up your whole life?
You know....i'm so emotional right now I think I'd better leave it there and also out of fear about upsetting anyone with my selfishness.
Thank you so much xxxxx
Do you actually want children or do you feel society is saying you should have children?
You don't have to have them. If you get to 45 and find you can't conceive you could adopt if you feel the need to raise a family?
Not wanting children is NOT selfish. It's sensible - it's recognizing that you aren't ready to give your everything to a child. That's not selfish. Selfish would be having a child you don't want and refusing to change your life style to put that child first.
Ps.....I forgot to say....my partner is scaring me a little too.....saying things like.....'you cannot prepare enough for this' and 'this is the hardest battle you will ever face'.....'you will need to be physically and mentally prepared for this'......'this is going to absolutely exhaust you' and 'nothing can prepare you for how hard and draining this is going to be'.....'If you think that is hard then just wait until you have a child!' Also....'It all becomes about the child' and 'you WILL feel at the edge and at the end of your rope but you HAVE to keep going when you have a baby'. And 'you will not sleep for the early months at all'
All this makes me think.....why on earth would I do that?!
He knows I'm on here tonight but I told him I was researching some questions for Mums about their experiences. I don't think he knows how terrified I am :-( cries
Thank you, JunosMum
The truth is....I am not sure. Another truth is...I feel slightly pressured due to his age. If I got to 45 he will be in his 50 :-( and he's made it clear that's not what he wants to happen.
I really appreciate your message. I have said to him why don't we just adopt or foster when we are a little older but he won't consider that until his own child.
I'm a little stuck here :-/ I risk losing the best thing that ever happened to me if I don't have a child.....which I'm terrified of having!
Thank you so much for your kind words
For me, the yearning to have a child was more powerful than any other desire. I can only give you my experience. It sounds to me like you don't have that overwhelming desire. Not everyone does, but most people actively trying to get pregnant have broody feelings at least. Do you?
Life does change when you have children, and yes, you do have to be less 'selfish' or rather, less self focused, but starting a family adds another depth and richness to life. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing how parenthood will change life for you, you just have to take the plunge.
I saw a quote from the actor Hugh Laurie earlier about 'feeling ready' for things and how we never feel ready. It's true. But, whereas I felt scared and unprepared for parenthood, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted it. I don't think you do want it...yet. I know you think time is not on your side, but many people have babies in their forties or later still for men. So, you could take more time to decide if starting a family is what you really want.
Basically, don't have a baby because you think it's expected of you and that you 'should' because of your age. Have a baby because you want to have a baby and spend the next twenty years raising and nurturing it.
Have a look in chat - there's a lovely thread about unexpected upsides of having children.
Regards your lady parts and weight - my bits recovered great after each of my two and weight came off with breast feeding. We still have the lie ins and I.got bored with the gym so don't miss that.
In my antenatal group there are two mums-to-be in their forties. That's out of 8 couples. One dad quite a bit older than the mum too by the looks of things (obviously I'm not rude enough to ask exactly how old people are! - the mum's both volunteered the info at the first meeting).
So, I don't think you have to have a baby right away if you don't feel ready. Why is your dp putting pressure on you to start now, before you're ready? Surely he knows better than this?
Bottom line is, there's no right or wrong here. If you go ahead before you're ready, your maternal instinct is very likely to kick in. If you don't, you still have plenty of time before your biological clock runs out.
I don't think you're selfish either. Far from it!
Also, lots of people do pile on the pounds, but lots don't! If you're an active and fit person before you get pregnant then you're very likely to find losing any baby weight easier than someone (like me) who is largely sedentary. Most of the weight is baby and fluid anyway - did you know that you make more blood when you're pregnant and this weighs something! Amniotic fluid is pretty heavy and most pregnant women get water retention too. Obviously you instantly lose the literal weight of the baby post delivery but also the fluid etc as well. I have heard that breastfeeding helps you lose weight too, as fat in your body is converted into breast milk. Not sure of the specifics, but that's what I've been told/read!
As for lady-parts... well, I don't really know what happens after birth as I'm yet to experience it as I'm currently 36 weeks with my first baby! But I think you can ask for a c-section if you're that worried (I know you can definitely get one if you go private). But, I think if you do your pelvic floor exercises regularly beforehand and during your pregnancy then you should be ok. There can be tearing (which makes me cringe - my baby's head is massive apparently!), but I understand this heals relatively quickly and is unlikely to cause lasting damage down there.
You do sound like you're being pressurised into this a little OP. And I don't think that's a good way to make the decision.
I loved my life with DP before DC also but, tbh, at some stage I did just feel ready for kids I suppose. I felt like I could make space for them and I knew I wanted them with DP.
I had also heard all the scare stories about your body never being the same, your relationship never being the same etc. But I reached a point where I felt like "Yep, message received but still let's go for it". I said goodbye to my waist and tried not to think about coping with no sleep. Like I say I just felt "Sod it, I'm as ready as l ever be!" So not exactly a primal urge but certainly I was excited and happy about our decision and never felt coerced into it.
We now have a 15 month old and physically I'm totally sound. Weight now less than pre-preg, bit wrinkly of tum but I can still rock a fitted dress on occasion. Ended up having a CS do no bother with the bits, though it did take us a few months to get back into DTD. So I didn't end up as battered as I feared at all. I have time now in evenings to go for a run and then DP will go to gym. Plus I can get out for walks with DD. it took time to get back to that and we haven't as much time for it as before but we work it around DD.
Sleep-wise DD has just started reliably sleeping through but she was only waking twice or so in the months prior to that and, honestly, you just manage. She was up 3 or 4 times or more when I went back to work PT when she was not quite 4 months old and I functioned fine. I'd just take naps when I got a chance and go to bed early. Some nights were shit though and I was wrecked after those so I can easily imagine it to be a major issue for people with "bad" sleepers. But even then I think the human body is capable of functioning on remarkably little sleep if needed.
I suppose the most obvious change is in "lifestyle". We don't really go away much as a couple, or even out for dinner alone, though we have once or twice since she turned 1. Thing is though, we didn't want to go away without her before that. It's funny but we really have become a family and both DP and I love just being with DD. I miss her so much when she's off with DGPs etc even though the break is lovely! It's not like it's you, your DP and a stranger-baby. Who ruins all your fun. It's you and your two best buds, your two most precious people in the world.
And you just do loads of new fun things that you all get a kick out of - watching baby cartoons in PJs while getting toast smeared everywhere, feeding ducks, meals out where you just laugh at the antics of your brilliant little DC. It's different but good different. For me anyway (I know not everyone).
And my relationship with DP is different, but I think better. We don't have as much time for each other but I think we see our love reflected back to each of us in DD and it has made us very much more dear to one another.
Sorry for the essay. I'm sure the thread has moved on by now. Just wanted to give a clear account of what it's been like fir one person at least.
It's different, but if you reach the "wuhoo! Let's do this!" Stage then you're probably as ready as you'll ever be.
.... Doesn't sound like you're there yet OP. Don't let yourself be pushed into this. And don't listen to people who tell you the incredibly annoying things your DP is telling you! "Oh you think this is bad? Wait till you have DC!" etc. If it's the right time you'll manage, but those comments just really used to piss me off. You go in with your eyes open, there's no need for incessant horror stories when the reality is you're doing all that shit for an amazing little person who ADORES you. That's a pretty fantastic reward IMHO.
Good luck with the decision x
Notsure - to add o my post I'll give you some background on me. My OH was adamant in his desire for his own children and we nearly broke up because I wasn't sure I ever wanted children. I wanted him,more than anything, but he didn't want me if I didn't want his children. I decided I'd do anything for him, we got married.
OH and I are nearly 32, decided it was 'time'. We tried for a baby once in one month, I then regretted it, decided I wasn't ready, called it off indefinitely. He was upset but understood. We decided to give it 6 months. 6 months of travelling, getting drunk, having fun. If I hadn't changed my mind by the end of it, that was it. It was unspoken but we both knew we would have to go our separate ways. 2 weeks later I felt dizzy and nauseated. I was pregnant. And to my incredible surprise I was over the moon.
I'm now 18 weeks and I can't say it's all roses round the door- I freak out regularly, I worry about how my life and body are changing but I happy. And Oh is also freaking out!
I agree with others who said your DP is pressuring you unnecessarily. I have an almost 2 year old and I'm 20 weeks pregnant with twins. I didn't expect to have children before my mid-30s but I met and married my DH and we decided to go for it.
I gained 50 pounds in my first pregnancy and lost it within 3 months just by breastfeeding. I'm currently still wearing my normal jeans even though the top button is getting a bit snug. My lady parts are still intact because I ended up with an emergency c-section. I can't really comment on those who deliver vaginally.
My relationship with DH has changed but for the better. It absolutely makes my heart melt when I come downstairs and find him having a tea party with DD. Honestly, it has made us much closer, even though DTD isn't as leisurely. We still occasionally go out to dinner and a movie. But we do lunch out with DD more regularly because we enjoy spending time together.
Last thing, my DH was worried throughout my pregnancy that he would struggle to love DD. But as it turned out, it was never an issue. You will be amazed by how quickly your priorities change and you gladly do things that sound like torture now for your children(like watch CBeebies.)
I'm 36 and my baby is 1 week old.
I do miss my figure, nights out, exotic holidays, sex, being the centre of my husbands attention etc. Of course I do, anyone would. It is totally normal to miss all that great stuff.
But, looking down at my content baby as he sleeps on me is a whole new kind of amazing. Seeing the way my partner is with him and the way he supported me through a tough labour has made us even closer. Planning the things we want to do with him feels really exciting.
It feels like we have swapped 1 great life for another.
So I'd say that you are not being selfish to acknowledge what you'll miss. But you do need to find the new life appealing. You're not under any obligation to have kids. It is tough but if you're up for it it's amazing.
I think you're not ready.
But the bald fact is that your partner is and therefore you have a choice to make. Are you prepared to say no? Are you prepared to say yes in 2017/8? Are you prepared to risk leaving it later without knowing if you might suffer infertility issues? Are you prepared for the impact on your relationship of seeking a compromise?
FWIW, I wasn't mentally or emotionally ready for a child when I had my first (and still am not now a few months off my second). I was "forced" into it by my advancing years - I knew I wanted kids eventually but didn't have the luxury of time to be ready. I don't regret my decision at all, but l do desperately miss my old life. It affects the mother I am and the wife I am. I could be a lot more patient and kind to them both. But I'm getting there and feel that within a couple of years I will be there fully. The whole experience of young children would have been a lot easier had I been really keen on them from the outset.
But it is what it is. This the way I am, this is the mum my kids have. Not for the first time I'm compelled to include that it sucks to be a woman sometimes.
I've found that people who are on the fence about having a child tend to focus on pregnancy/newborn/infant stages. You are worried about gaining weight, your "lady bits", sex, and sleepless nights. These are are temporary issues and are all front-loaded. And I'm not clear why you can't go to the gym if you have a child? Our local gym in London had a creche, maybe join one that has the same.
I'm pregnant now and am at the age where most of my friends are pregnant or have recently had their first. All but one has lost the weight and the one who hasn't makes absolutely no effort to eat well or work out. Most have had weight come off through breastfeeding but some did workout and diet plans that were effective.
As for post-baby sex - I have no idea but given people have more than one child it can't be that bad!
hi, i understand some of your concerns and it is great that you have had these before getting pregnant.
i always knew i wanted dc but wasnt at a point i was ready to try then fell pregnant by accident. Had an mmc which devastated me and made me realise how much i wanted dc and how ready i was. got pregnant again almost immediately, unfortunately this ended at 27wks.
i found pregnancy very easy although did struggle with how it affected my life e.g. not wanting sex often, not being able to drink and therefore restricting some things dp and i enjoyed doing together. i guess i struggled a bit with how it only affected me and not dp. his life just carried on the same. some of these things you wont know how they will work out until ur in that situation.
after i lost ds at 27wks we got a puppy. i hate feeling tied. weve had him just over 2 weeks now and have never left the house without him. being able to do simple things like going out for tea seem so out of reach at the minute. then yesterday we went out and left him with dps. i felt lost without him. he has us up through the night.
im glad now we ended up with a puppy before a dc. it is good practice and tbh it is showing up a lot of flaws in our relationship. i thought my dp would be great with a dc but he has struggled with the demands of the puppy so im not sure how things would have been with a dc.
You can never prepare for children. You will have to sacrifice alot for a child it's whether you will resent the child for this or whether you think it will be worth it. You dont have to have children though, its your life your decision.
For all the reasons you give, my partner and I have decided not to have children. I went through a very difficult time- there is a lot of expectation on women of our age, and it's still seen as unusual to chose not to have children. I really struggled with it.
I'm not saying we won't change our mind but for now, we are happy with our decision.
It sounds like you are being pressured and you are reacting to that. Can you take babies off the table for now?
Counselling may also help you
Um. Bit alarmed by this. Your partner's pressuring you, scaring you, and wants a kid to see how they develop? Or did I read that wrong/out of context?! (Hope so)
We're trying (third miscarriage now, so sadly it doesn't always go to plan either and can cause more problems than just "lady bits"). I physically yearn to be a mum, so much so that it's not rational and makes me think it will be worth the drudgery that so much of parental life looks like. My DH has been nothing but supportive. Non-pressuring, relaxed, reassuring when I'm scared, calm when I'm not, sympathetic and sad with me when I'm sad. That's been vital and I'm a by worried it sounds like you don't quite have this. We both know it's not going to be easy but equally our partnership is (I hope) how we'll get through this.
Sure, no one is ever 100% ready and chances are you'd adapt and love that child more than your current lifestyle - but it sounds a bit like your DH is pushing you way against your wishes and maybe that's why you're holding back too? Maybe it's worth couples counselling?
I wouldn't say I'm going through the same as you or went through the same as you but I hope I can help you in some way. Both me and my partner are young, 21 and 23, and he loves the partying atmosphere and I always tag along with him. He loves a night out with his mates and going to the pub but just because we're having a child won't stop him from doing that or you going out. Yes it'll be harder but not impossible.
You can still do most things together, maybe not a massive full work out at the gym but more frequent walks and even swimming is great while your pregnant.
About your body too, I not long recovered from an eating disorder before I got pregnant and my partner is petrified that me getting a bump will make me spiral down that route again. All you can do so you don't put too much weight on is don't eat rubbish eat the good stuff. My mum told me the only reason why she put so much weight on was because she kept eating chocolate all the while. I haven't put nothing on as I've been eating good (minus the few chocolates I've had to keep the sugar rush coming in).
Trying not to over think everything. I know it's hard but it'll cause you more stress than needed. Enjoy your life now and when you do become pregnant then just turn your busy life style a few notches down as you'll be extra tired.
I hope I've helped as much as I can. Keep your chin up honey
I think it's only natural to have some fears about having children as its such a huge change to your current lifestyle. They do turn your life upside down but in a good way.
I don't necessarily think you should have this 'maternal instinct' or broodiness either, some women don't but go on to be fab Mums who will do absolutely anything for their children.
There is no reason why you can't enjoys similar lifestyle either, we go on holidays abroad, go out for meals, have a social life etc and we go to the gym and I am able to maintain a healthy figure. I just think you need to think about the positives rather than the negatives as your life albeit changes it does not stop, it's just different.
Good luck x
Not got much to add to what everyone else has said, but everything you've listed is the trade off and only you can know if you're ready to make that trade off.
Also your partner is saying right now that he'd want his own kids before adopting, but you nene be know what the future will bring, people change over time and theirs minds can change as their situations change.
Look honestly at yourself, imagine yourself holding a baby in your arms and ask yourself "am I ready for this?" And if the honest answer is no, don't do it.
Nene be is a type for never (bloody autocorrect what the heck is wrong with you!!??)
I feel the same as you described, just found out I'm pg and absolutely terrified - I don't think it's what I want in my heart. Good luck with whatever you chose.
I think you need to have that desire, mentioned up thread, to want a baby as it is this desire that keeps you going through the challenges of being pregnant/having a baby.
The hardest thing I've found is the lack of time to yourself. I breastfed and found it hard to adjust to the baby needing me so much that I didn't have hours lazing around on a Saturday anymore. The lack of sleep was hard for me as I seem to need a lot but weirdly you get used to it. My relationship with my husband was affected and we e had to work on putting more effort into 'us' when it was so easy before.
I had a c-section so don't know about the affect of natural birth. I put on a lot of weight and it was hard work to lose it but I was determined and I did.
All of this is outweighed by how much my baby has added to my life. I find her fascinating and she is worth giving up all the things I enjoyed so frequently.
Join the discussion
Please login first.