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When do you know?

(36 Posts)
emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 14:07:13

I am 44 and my hubbie is 50 and we are wondering if we should start a family. We are not bothered by our age as we both had older parents and feel we are in a position now to start financially, emotionally etc but the one thing that has held us back in 21 years of marriage is do we really want one? How do you know? We find everything in life difficult as far as decision making goes, it is quite funny sometimes!! However, we are not maternal, if we are at a friends with kids we don't get involved with the children and if we witness kids out we try and avoid them. I have always been an only child and my hubbie has 2 sisters of quite varied ages. We are aware that it may not happen now anyway but never being around children probably hasn't helped. My best friend has been trying for ages and has just found out she is pregnant and funnily enough got me thinking before she announced this, so has been on my mind for a few months. My husband isn't sure but said if it ain't broke why fix it as we are both very happily plodding on theough life as we are but there is a "what are we missing"? and is there anyone out there who can advise on their experiences before their pregnancy? This topic really applies to parents who maybe weren't obsessed with wanting to start a family but maybe had it as a surprise pregnancy or maybe feel like we do atm. thanks in advance.

NotSpeaking Mon 01-Feb-16 14:23:51

Sounds like you're bored. Kids are for life, not just for Christmas

emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 14:30:55

Are you for real? Is that really a helpful or sympathetic comment? I think not. People come on here for help, not to hand out insults.

VagueIdeas Mon 01-Feb-16 14:36:01

You've been married for 21 years and have never had children. You're not maternal. i reckon if you wanted children, you would have had one by now. And that's fine - kids are not mandatory.

You also need to be realistic - at 44 you are quite likely to struggle to conceive/have a successful pregnancy.

Mslg Mon 01-Feb-16 14:40:21

I don't think there ever is a perfect time to be honest. My and my OH decided before Christmas that we would stop using contraception and see what happened. Both of us aren't particularly the fawning over kids type either. We're the couple that get irritated by screaming babies on trains, in restaurants and cafes and airplanes.

That said, I am now 13 +1 and looking forward to the changes that this little one will bring. Me and OH have done a lot of travelling and are happy at the point our careers are at so now felt as good a time as any. I don't think there ever is an epiphany of 'now is the perfect time'. We got engaged before we found out about the pregnancy and the baby has now completely stolen the wedding's thunder 😂 Baby is all my family want to talk about.

It's a big decision but not one you're likely to regret. Good luck!

sizethree Mon 01-Feb-16 14:48:54

I've always very VERY much wanted children.
I naively presumed it'd be an easy journey as I was young and healthy and we were financially stable.
It turned out to be a nightmare journey and we had three miscarriages before our little miracle was eventually born in November.
The reason I reel off this story is that even though I REALLY DESPERATELY wanted children and consider myself massively maternal it's really very hard to be a new mum. Newborns are demanding. Your whole life is turned upside down. Your body is unrecognisable. Your relationship changes. And oh my lord, just wave goodbye to sleep.
Even as a dedicated desperate wanter of babies, in reality it is so much harder than I ever imagined. I can't begin to imagine how tough I would have found it had I not been so driven and committed to starting a family.
It's really the biggest most terrifying life altering decision you'll ever make.

NotSpeaking Mon 01-Feb-16 14:49:15

No I'm being deadly serious. You sound like you guys need a new hobby. If you aren't maternal or have no interest in kids I don't think this is the right avenue for you. Kids take over your whole life, and as amazing as they are nothing can prepare you for it. Once you push the button you can't go back. I'm about To have my third and I love every minute. Kids deserve your undivided love and attention, if you can't provide that then you need to be honest with yourselves.

emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 14:51:42

MSlG-Thank you so much for your response. The comment about boredom in a previous posting was very hurtful and offensive. I think you are on the same wavelength as us. We always said that if we did have children we wanted to experience life first, travel well and what's more wanted to bring a baby into the world when we felt right. If we leave it too late then so be it. So many of my friends left school pregnant and didn't want to be like that no matter how much (or not) we wanted children). It was never the B all and end all of our marriage and had to be at a time we both wanted. I cannot for a minute believe that everyone are/were at bursting point to have children before deciding. i have experience a miscarraige many years ago but the pregnancy was so short (at the first scan) that we never actually managed to get much of a bond with the baby (if that doesn't sound too hurtful), although I do remember our feelings being in utter turmoil.

emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 14:53:33

NOT SPEAKING- A child would have our full attention and tbh we have more time to give a child more than a lot of families. My husbamd is part time from work now and so as I say we are at a good point in our lives as far as giving a child a good home life but it is a massive decision and not something we will ever do on a whim.

emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 14:56:42

Sizethree- thankyou. This is why we are wanting to get life experiences from all aspects of parenthood from many people. Maybe we are looking too much into the negatives of parenthood ie the sleepless nights etc and again maybe have spent too long thinking about it to the point it has put us off a little. Again I would say that being an only child does not allow you to mix or play with brothers or sisters so this could be the issue too. Not being brought up with small children around in the home.

KatharinaRosalie Mon 01-Feb-16 14:57:18

I wasn't broody, wasn't interested in anybody else's kids and never really felt anything was missing. But we decided that we are more likely to regret not having them.

There is one thing though - it's very, very difficult to try to conceive casually. Genuinelly with 'ah let's see what happens, no big deal if it does not work out' mindset. You are likely to get at least a little bit obsessed, and sad and frustrated if nothing happens. And you might find that your life is no longer not missing anything. Go read the conception or infertility boards if you want a preview of what it might feel like.

So considering your age, and that you are happy as you are - are you prepared that just trying will likely cause some issues there?

Gingergen2013 Mon 01-Feb-16 15:00:44

OP, I have been saying since the age of 16 that I didn't want kids. My husband was in agreement, although once a yr a drunken conversation would take place, instigated by him, about 'what if' & 'what might we be missing out on?' I really couldn't have given a stuff about other people's kids, would be polite and entertain them as needed but not seek them out, and that included close family! By the time I got to my late 30's however, I too was eventually curious and felt I had enjoyed my life enough to finally consider the prospect of having kids seriously (I found that friends hadn't done a great job in 'selling' it to me as a 'fun' thing to do!)
So we finally decided to TTC but I was fully of the mindset that if it didn't happen, it wasn't meant to be and I wasn't going to be disappointed, and if we DID get pregnant, I totally understood that I may well hate the whole thing but I would damn well make the most of what so many consider a real blessing! That was as near as I could get to making a 'decision' or 'knowing' it's what I wanted. And now here I am, 3 yrs on, awaiting the imminent arrival of DC2 as we've loved and enjoyed the journey so much that DC1 kicked off!
I cannot in a million yrs promise you would feel the same; some of us naturally want children, some of us don't. But if you are curious enough to enter the whole process prepared as best you can for the enormous change to your lives, without the rose tinted specs, then it's worth considering.
But do remember, you'll get a lot less time to hang out with your best friend/drinking buddy/husband in the process. Just another point to think about..... I can only hope this helps, Good luck with whatever you decide x

emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 15:07:44

Gingergen2013- What a lovely post, thank you so much. This is just the kind of thing I need to be reading as it gives us a good aspect on how other people make these decisions. Our home life is very settled, we like our home time, this is very important and probably have more home time than some. We also have a mix of friends with and without children and whilst we have a good social life it is quieter than some because we choose our lives to be like that. I am so happy at how things have turned out for you and is nice to hear these stories.

NotSpeaking Mon 01-Feb-16 15:20:59

I do have to say. Once you have a child it does change you in ways you could never imagine. Maybe your maternal side will kick into action if you do decide to go ahead

emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 15:23:18

Well that's what they say. My miscarriage was very early in the pregnancy so no experience to go on when it comes to when that actually does "kick in".

cheekstime Mon 01-Feb-16 15:25:10

I see children as being here for own beautiful entities. i:e I have never wanted children for having a baby sake or for just my needs, so to speak. I always felt maternal and family orientated but didn't have children until later because I wasn't with the right person. should add I grew up in a divorced family, which makes you really consider what family means.

However once I found Mr. cheekstime we be both planned for this wonderful experience together, he really wanted a family. If I didn't find the right person I would have foresaken my own drive for the love of my unborn child i.e Our baby came from our relationship.

I would question your description about not being maternal as to an outside quick view sounds like, having a child would be a novel experience to spice your life. Could you be more maternal than your partner? Maybe you are saying more like....children annoy me because my life style is very different and they are noisy on hols away etc but I still feel I'd have an abundance of love for my child, unconditional in every way.
In addition: that you find it an importance to understand the society/culture/the world they are growing into. That you have a drive for understanding the needs of that child beyond simply letting nature take it's course e.g following the out dated parenting styles and poor communication. That you want to question the pants world your children will be growing up in and want to take measures to ensure your child will have the skills to cope and have a happy life. To ask yourself, who you are as a person and who your partner is...the nitty gritty and question whether you both will add to this childs life in a wonderful way, being prepared to face any inadequacies you or your partner may have.

That you have empathy, that you'll gude that child to whom it should be as an individual in its own right.

This is vital and goes way beyond the advice of just coming to terms with the fact a baby makes you tired and messes your living room up.

Hope this helps in anyway.

All the very best with this difficult decision

emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 15:39:45

There is no doubt my husband is THE one to have our child with. That never came into the question. We are so alike ie so indecisive and never ever rush into things even if it is just buying day to day things. We are of a slightly more traditional way of thinking and do contemplate what kind of world our child would come into. We also know what a lovely life this child would have as we have the time to spend caring for it, which is something a lot of my friends parents at school never had the time to do. My mother was always there for me after school as was my husbands and can see how important that is for a child. We have many many god children and children of close friends and I have said to the parents on many occasions that if they were like them we would have children tomorrow. Then there are those who are a complete nightmare! Maybe there lies the answer!

cheekstime Mon 01-Feb-16 15:40:13

you're responses have just come online, we were writing at the same time...like to add, sounds like your are really considering this. If my response doesn't send you running for the hills I reckon, your are more maternal than you've giving yourself credit for on your post. Happy soul searching, great, worthwhile journey rtahe rthan having a child (like some do) for the hell of it.
If you decide on a 'yes' ...I think it will be a solid one. Its just takes time, goodluck!

Gingergen2013 Mon 01-Feb-16 15:41:03

I think NotSpeaking makes a very good point about how having children changes you as a person in ways you didn't expect. I heard one of those female TV Drs once say that being a mother was like being a stick of rock - cut her in two and you'd find the words 'guilt' & 'worry' running all the way through! That was something I hadn't anticipated. Now I worry about all sorts of things, not just the babies!! Wasn't prepared for that change but now it just needs to be managed.

cheekstime Mon 01-Feb-16 15:44:32

we've crossed paths again!! yes I completely hear you and very much understand your perspective on this I think.

Once the ball gets rolling (think it already has? as you're on here) you will gain more and more confidence. Great to arrive at the decision being really sure, you sound very conscientious to me smile GREAT STUFF!!!

emma2b Mon 01-Feb-16 15:48:24

Hmm, I think the older in life the more worried and stressed you get, even without children. That applies to both of us already. Maybe it will make us a little more carefree about things????? Although no so sure.

mellowyellow1 Mon 01-Feb-16 15:55:34

I'm currently expecting my first and still not feeling maternal at all! I also don't know if it's what I really truly want, I guess you don't know until the child is here and by that point it's too late - it's a huge leap of faith in my opinion!

cheekstime Mon 01-Feb-16 15:59:05

""Hmm, I think the older in life the more worried and stressed you get, even without children. That applies to both of us already. Maybe it will make us a little more carefree about things????? Although no so sure""

hi - I wouldn't think about having children to change my perspective of how i'd feel in the world. Perhaps it woudl make me happier, less stressed etc.

That could be a sign that I was discontented with myself that having a baby won't help. As other peeps have said, you will worry like you've never worried before.

Its that bond which turns you too worry. sos. smile

KatharinaRosalie Mon 01-Feb-16 16:06:40

There are many things that children make me feel. More carefree and less stressed is definitely, definitely NOT one of them.

That's one thing that I really miss about my pre-children life and what I find hardest now that I have DC. I worry about them, and about everything that might possibly affect them, all the time. I was very relaxed before and now the world just seems such an evil and dangerous place.

Of course, nothing makes me as happy as my DC, either. But no, don't have children hoping you will worry less.

Whatdoidohelp Mon 01-Feb-16 16:12:17

I think at your age and it having been just you and hubby for such a long time a baby may be an absolute disaster. Are you both emotionally and physically prepared for sleepless nights, the energy required? How utterly selfless you have to be? What about the risk of conditions due to your age, what would you do if you had a baby with downs etc?

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