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Is this my biological clock clocking on?

(26 Posts)
Lionsroar Mon 14-Oct-13 21:01:41

Can people talk to me about this, what it felt like, and how they knew they had to start making decisions, what they did if it wasn't obtainable etc?

I've always been ambivalent about children. If I'm honest I still find the day-to-day prospect of having kids really unappealing. I'm quite selfish, I don't understand how parents tolerate the toil of, well parenting.

But lately, I'm feeling what I can only understand as a profound sadness that I don't have children. I don't want to smell strangers' babies or anything like that. But I want a little family. I want to conceive with someone I care about, I want the pregnancy, I want a little person who willl obviously be better behaved and more amusing etc than all those other kids I see around.

None of this is achievable though. I have a BF but he's definitely a BF, not a DP. In true male style he doesn't want to settle down for another couple of years. I don't think I feel profoundly enough towards him to settle down with him. I've just turned 30 so things aren't desperate. Yet. But I can see how they could become so pretty quickly. I think I'm just totally thrown. I never anticipated that I would actively want children one day, and now I'm fearful that I won't ever be in the circumstances where it's a good idea. Maybe I just feel like this because I don't have the right circumstances and if I had a DH etc I'd be little Ms condom?

MrsSlobinson Mon 14-Oct-13 21:05:29

Ok. Honestly. Yes, I think it is. You probably have quite a lot of time though.
If you are not into the BF then don't try to make him fit the mould of father - move on if necessary and look for someone who is right for you.
This is probably your subconscious hinting to you ... don't ignore it.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 14-Oct-13 21:07:47

I always knew I wanted children one day.

And the day was always a long way off until I was about 31 and then I thought it was silly to wait much longer.

I was about to get married at the time, so thought maybe we'd stop contraception after the wedding and see what happened.

What happened was that I took a pregnancy test on the last day of our honeymoon and had my first child 8 months later.

"If I'm honest I still find the day-to-day prospect of having kids really unappealing."

Me too grin

You do a bit of wiggle room here. It's definitely not panic stations yet. You're only just 30.

Lionsroar Mon 14-Oct-13 21:13:44

Ok. Honestly. Yes, I think it is.
OK, I think this is what I needed to hear confused

You probably have quite a lot of time though.
And this grin.

MrsSlobinson Mon 14-Oct-13 21:48:38

If you are not into the BF then don't try to make him fit the mould of father - move on if necessary and look for someone who is right for you.

Don't forget this bit...

MadeMan Wed 16-Oct-13 21:02:59

Probably most of how we feel and think about things in life is more to do with our hormones (biological) at times, rather than us being mentally in control and actually choosing to do things.

Ever notice that everyone who is older than you seems to recall feeling the same, "at your age"? It can't be a coincidence that everyone generally goes through the same things in life, albeit at perhaps slightly different times. Hormones it is.

Your body clock is talking to you, shaking you out of bed at 5.30 in the morning and telling you to have some children. You can try shouting at it to leave you alone and let you get on with your life, but it will be back like Arnie and louder then ever.

Twinklestein Wed 16-Oct-13 21:26:35

None of this is achievable though... now I'm fearful that I won't ever be in the circumstances where it's a good idea

You're 30, you're in control of your life, if you want to have a family, you can.

Maybe not with this guy.. the 'couple of years' from your bf could go on indefinitely... What does 'settle down' mean to him? He could commit to you now & say you'll start trying for a kid in 2 years. But if he doesn't even want to discuss commitment & babies for another 2 years, then personally I'd move on & look for someone who wants the same things as you right now.

It may take a couple of years to find someone, and then you want to be with them for a couple of years before you have kids...

Lionsroar Wed 16-Oct-13 21:38:25

I think I've painted him unfairly as a commitment phobe. He obviously doesn't want kids right now because our relationship is new and we have a lot of fun etc. But he's not a complete man child and wants kids in a couple of years. He will make a good father one day, just not with me. I don't feel that way about him. I think this is partly my fear, I don't want to forego what I want in a partner in the name of settling down.

So yes I know the answer is to let him go. But the main issue will remain, I'm a long way from any kid-related stuff being feasible and slightly thrown by discovering that that may be what I want after all.

Lionsroar Wed 16-Oct-13 21:40:19

Also I think I'm struggling to admit all this to myself. I've always painted myself as very agnostic about kids. Explaining to someone that I'm ending a relationship because I need to start looking for someone to have kids with is just not me, or at least not how I see myself! It feels too grown up, and I worry (maybe irrationally) it makes me sound desperate. I think I've always fallen victim to "cool girlfriend" syndrome in the past. Good for a beer and endless shags, will never bug you about commitment...

spookyspoonrulestheworld Wed 16-Oct-13 21:44:48

I'm going to go against the grain and say that, at 30, being settled with a man you've decided you don't want children with doesn't necessarily mean you do have loads of time.

I mean..how long are you going to let this relationship go on for? A year? Two? So then you're 32 and single...looking...say you meet someone else in a year, at 33....you want to get to know them for a while...you try for a baby after 2 years...if you're lucky and it happens straight away you have one at 35...maybe 36.

You could be lucky and be able to conceive easily after 35, you may only want one child anyway..

But I don't think you're that young if you want to leave time to get to know a partner properly.

CinemaNoir Wed 16-Oct-13 22:07:23

Lol at the cool girlfriend comment, are you me?!

So you are theoretically thinking about kids, so I'd also start finding a partner that you could imagine having kids with. Nothing bad in that! And it doesn't mean that you'll have to start a family straight away. But theres nothing wrong with a little foresight!

At 33 my then bf asked me why I never talked about having Babies. That's when all hell broke lose and now it's 6 years and 3 kids later!

MadeMan Wed 16-Oct-13 22:11:39

@Spooky - I seem to remember Rachel in an episode of Friends had a similar way of thinking when she approached 30 years of age.

Lionsroar Wed 16-Oct-13 22:13:29

CinemaNoir I like your way of phrasing, it makes it sound less threatening.

I'm intriqued by "then boyfriend", is he no more or did he get promoted to DH?

spookyspoonrulestheworld Wed 16-Oct-13 22:17:41

Mademan! Yes, hadn't realised that but you're right!

I think I'm just coloured by my own experience, really...I had my first as I turned 30, my second at 31...I'm a very fit and active 35 yr old now but I still find small children knackering...I've never seen the appeal of leaving it to your late 30s/early 40s, but plenty do.

Lionsroar Wed 16-Oct-13 22:21:46

I think there are some things that advice can't change spooky. I've never seen the appeal of having kids late 20s/30 (and looking at my friends I'm definitely not alone). I'm very aware of what happens to women's fertility, but I always assumed I'd want to sneak one in under the wire.

CinemaNoir Wed 16-Oct-13 22:22:04

He got the job :-)

eurochick Wed 16-Oct-13 22:24:32

I was similar. Actively didn't want children in my 20s. Started to change my views at around 30. I was with my now husband then and we split up for a while over my change of heart. He came round but didn't want kids for a while, so we got back together and I waited. And waited. When I was 34 he came round. We quickly got married and started ttc, also when I was 34. I'm now 37 and 3 rounds of IVF and one mc later - and I'm completely desperate for it to happen.

You do still have time but not loads to spend with someone who is not on the same page as you.

spookyspoonrulestheworld Wed 16-Oct-13 22:33:47

Well that's quite right, lionsroar - I'm not suggesting you should feel the same way I did about timing - that's kind of what I was trying to say, that the ages I did it were coloured by how I felt about doing it when I was older.

I think you're plenty young enough if you only want one though. Like I say, size of family is a factor, but if you just want to sneak one in then there's plenty of time.

Twinkletoes77 Thu 17-Oct-13 04:55:41

It's hard to describe, but I think there was a sense for me anyway that it was anti feminist to day you wanted to get married and have kids. Until I split up with an arsehole BF and suddenly realised - God, I do want to get married and settle down - and maybe I need to start thinking about that. I had a huge attitude reset as a result of that break up in my late 20s and I suddenly thought, I can't be the cool girlfriend any more. That's not what I want and actually is about denying my needs and hoping a prince would swoop in and propose without me having to articulate, even to myself, what I actually wanted. I think a big part of maturing is realising its ok to want to settle down and have kids, not all men will be terrified by this (not even most men!), and it's ok to get serious and say this is what you're looking for, if only just to yourself. Because once you start doing the sums as others have pointed out above of, ok, get together at 30, together a couple of years before kids then I need to get pregnant twice - it doesn't leave you much time. And speaking as a knackered mother of two - I wouldn't have wanted to do this when I was much older. I am sooooo tired!

Lavenderhoney Thu 17-Oct-13 05:44:24

Did you have a conversation with him about marriage and dc? Specifically I mean. Does he know he isn't the one for you? As surely that would be a time to finish the relationship and you both move on. You are also being unfair to him to continue, feeling like that.

Its probably a natural end to a relationship as the reason we have them and fancy people is to procreate. Love plays a large part and is what keeps people together with or without dc, and then the nurturing roles if you have dc kick in. Mother Nature is telling you its not working and time to move on. How long have you been together?

What does settling down and having dc mean to you? Settling down is not a curtailing of all fun, buying a house, having dc and never going out again! My parents used to talk of it and make settling down sound like a prison sentance! It doesn't have to be like that.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 17-Oct-13 13:22:24

Playing the role of cool girlfriend is great at the right time of life. It doesn't mean it's all you ever are or should be, though. Circumstances change, and being able to change with them is a good survival technique. Nothing wrong with looking back and saying "y'know what, I enjoyed that (being a cool girlfriend, backpacking round the world, volunteering in a care home, whatever it was you were/did) but it's not what I want right now". At some time in the future you may think "and I'm bloody good at this wife/mother thing 'n' all". Then when the offspring have flown the nest, it's time for another change - time to exercise yet another facet of your amazing, flexible self. But if you're stuck in the one mode, that is the way to stagnation. Being buffeted by the winds of circumstance 'n' all that, instead of taking control of your destiny. <blasts trumpet>

Disclaimer: I'm totally stuck in a rut myself.

Twinklestein Thu 17-Oct-13 17:31:49

Lionsroar: don't be naïve enough to think that you can 'sneak one in under the wire'. I know two women who thought that & ended up not being able to have kids, one of whom's marriage collapsed under the strain of repeated IVF. I also have a friend who compromised on whom she married because she wanted to make sure she had a kid.

I agree with spookyspoon that actually you don't have that much time.

As I said earlier it could take a couple of years to find the right person & you'd need to be with them for a couple of years first.

By that timetable, you'd be looking at having your first kid around the age of 34, and 35 is the point at which fertility really starts to dive. But some women need fertility treatment before 35.

If you like this guy but you don't feel 'that' way about him, then I don't really see the point of this relationship. Keep him as a friend & keep looking...

Lionsroar Thu 17-Oct-13 19:07:56

Thanks for your posts.

Twinkletoes your post really chimed with me, particularly the anti-feminist fear. I think I need to grow up - quickly - and start being honest with myself and others about what I want. And Annie I loved your post.

Lavendar we haven't had a very explicit conversation because that is essentially the break-up conversation. Or I'd have to do what reams of men do and pretend I don't believe in marriage/kids rather than acknowledge that I don't want it with him. I do have a fear though that settling down is the death of all fun and I certainly know a few parents who make it loook that way. I cannot understand how people make work, plus childcare, plus bills, plus any time/money for fun stack up!

Twinklestein, believe me I don't think I have loads of time. I'm very aware it might not happen and I've found it very difficult to feel like I've gone from worrying about being knocked up as a teenage to missing the boat in what feels like a blink of an eye. It's not fair!

Twinklestein Thu 17-Oct-13 19:41:13

I don't think you need to think at this point that it might not happen, there's no reason for it not to, you just have to be focused, that's all.

Everyone fears that kids will be the death of fun, but it's just the start of a different kind of fun...

stowsettler Thu 17-Oct-13 19:42:11

I had my first child this February, 6 weeks shy of my 40th. I met my DP on my 36th birthday and we never really planned children. However when I (accidentally) got pregnant we ended up as excited as the next couple and are now considering a sibling for DD.
So I'd say yes it's probably your biological clock, but you have AGES yet grin
On another note, even though it's early days (DD is 7 months), I don't find it any harder than mums far younger than me. If anything I find it easier. I'm much more easy going, I use my common sense rather than do what the baby books tell me to do and I seem to enjoy my time with DD more. But I've always had ants in my pants and needed to be constantly busy, so I guess DD is just one more thing to be busy with.

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