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to not know whether or not I want children at age 30

(116 Posts)
svanhvit Tue 21-Jun-11 15:08:25

I am almost 30, have been with DH for 7 years and we are now in a position where having DCs wouldn't be a too much of a strain on finances/space (I think - I know its a strain whatever situation you're in). Most of my friends and aquaintances our age are having or have got DCs and they almost all say they just 'knew' they wanted kids when they got into their late 20s.

If DH really wanted to have a baby I think I would almost certainly say yes, let's go for it, as I know he would make a great father and that people don't tend to regret having their kids. But he is just as ambivalent as I am.

It's as if I don't have strong feelings either way, which sounds awful. I'm sure I would love my child, but equally sure I'd be just as happy carrying on with life as it is (and having loads of animals instead grin)

I am just looking for others' experiences really - did you always know you wanted DCs? Did you suddenly get that 'urge' when you hit your late 20s, or did some of you get it later in your 30s, or not at all? What was it that made you have kids in the first place?

Fernier Tue 21-Jun-11 15:12:21

I didnt want children at all until I was 20 then i wanted them we had one!
then 3 more smile I did have a strong feeling i wanted them but I think maybe if I had been older there would have been more holding me back?

zelda1982 Tue 21-Jun-11 15:13:01

I have always been family orientated. I wanted children as early as possible. I was with my dp for 3 years before we had dd1(i was 21), then 4 years later dd2, then dd3 made an unexpected appearance 12 months later grin I guess this doesn't answer your question but just giving my experience.

CMOTdibbler Tue 21-Jun-11 15:15:35

DH and I had agreed to not even talk about having children till we were 30. Once we were, we both said we thought we might and needed to sort some things out first, then a couple of years later we decided to ttc

But, I couldn't ever say I was hugely broody before that - it was just something dh and I felt our future lives would include. We have a couple of sets of friends who are childfree by choice, and they've never felt that

gapants Tue 21-Jun-11 15:15:52

I always knew that I wanted to have kids and have loved being around babies and children for as long as I can recall. However when I met my now DH and after we got married I was in no great rush. We had a great life pre-kids (we still do) but I do remember feeling that I was having a good time and that although I knew I would get around to it, it wasn't like it all clicked.

It wasn't until 2 of my best girlfriends had children that my biological clock started to tick a bit louder. I was 33 when I had my DS.

In no way do I feel like I have "done" everything I want but I have lived overseas, done ski seasons, travelled extensively, ran my own business, slept around, learned (and forgotten) 2 languages. I did not feel like there was any trade off, or that I had significant unfinished business.

I am happy, with my toddler and my bump, I have a lovely home, a great DH, good friends, good social life and we get away as and when we can. I feel more contented and grounded now than I ever did.

sunshineandbooks Tue 21-Jun-11 15:17:25

I was always adamant that I never wanted DC of my own (even though I liked children generally) until I ended up becoming an 'accidental' foster carer, which totally changed my mind.

One of my friends has always thought she never wanted DC either. She is now 33, still childless, and loving every minute of it.

Having children is a pretty basic instinct for most of us (being the whole point of our species etc) but it's not a given for everyone and if you have doubts I wouldn't pursue it just because "that's what people do". I love my DC passionately, but they can (and regularly do) drive me insane. I'm not sure I could have coped if I hadn't wanted them so much IYSWIM. Also, while I would never change things now that my DC are here, I know I could have had a completely different life that I would have enjoyed just as much had I not chosen to have children.

If you're both ambivalent, leave it a little longer and see how you feel then. I think if you don't have a burning desire and you otherwise have a full, interesting and varied life, you won't feel like you've missed out (though you may feel a bit different to the norm).

AgainWhen Tue 21-Jun-11 15:17:36

Didn't want kids till 25. Ambivalent 25-35. Had DD aged 36. She's lovely. Would also have been happy without.

BikeRunSki Tue 21-Jun-11 15:17:45

Got together with DH at 27, got married at 29, got decent proper career job a week later. I didn't know at 30. Or 35, or 36... started TTC on my 37th birthday. DS born 10 months later! DC2 due a fornight before my 41st birthday. Both times I "knew". Don't do it til you know!

TrilllianAstra Tue 21-Jun-11 15:18:18


<not 30 yet>

darleneoconnor Tue 21-Jun-11 15:22:45

I don't think you should do it just because your friends are all doing it. Having a baby just to fit in with what society expects couples to do at a certain age probably isn't a very good idea in the long run.

Why dont you both write down a list of pros and cons of ttc now?

Remember it may take some time. Also consider if it's that you dot want DCs now or that you dont want them ever. Delay too long and you may be setting up for heartbreak.

kenbarlowslovestick Tue 21-Jun-11 15:24:56

I thought i couldn,t have children and was quite happy just trundling along with life travelling and doing whatever i liked,had animals smilethen at 36 after being single for 6 years met a man got married preety quick then started to think mmm wonder why i never concieved praps just go and investigate just to see,had initial appointment with fertility clinic then out of the blue had a bad back,period late did test and couldn,t believe it I WAS PREGNANT smile was in shock for 24 hours then as my baby grew inside me i realised that i,d wanted this all along and when she was born i was overwelmed with love for her she totally made sence of my life and is the best thing ive ever done,shes 16 months now and im 40 and i love every minute of our life together as im sure you will if you decide to as you still have plenty of time

joric Tue 21-Jun-11 15:25:12

Didn't know how much I wanted DD until I had her - if that makes any sense!

svanhvit Tue 21-Jun-11 15:28:03

Some really helpful and interesting answers here, thank you so much everyone. BikeRunSki it's great that things have worked out so well for you, I love the idea of leaving it until my mid to late 30s. However, I have a huge fear that I will suddenly 'know' I want DCs in my late 30s, like you did, but not be able to conceive because I've left it too late. And then feel devastated because I could have had them earlier but was too selfish and indecisive.

CMOTdibbler (I love your name btw) it's interesting that although you both weren't sure by 30 you still could see children in your future. When I picture our future I always think about the things I want to achieve and a big garden in which I can keep animals, but don't see kids running around the place. I just feel odd and slightly unnatural, because I love my own family so much and love family get-togethers.

Stricnine Tue 21-Jun-11 15:29:12

I'm with Joric ... wasn't too fussed before having DD (when I was 33).. she's now 14 and fantasticaly good company - I'm so glad we did manage eventually to 'make' one (took 10 years of practice).

I also think that we're more stable having her later, we've both had a 'life' before children (together and separately) so we've been more on the same page with parenting and such like. (My mum was 38 when she had me - her one and only, so it wasn't a big issue for us really)...

Rosie29 Tue 21-Jun-11 15:33:18

Do you see yourself having children in the future? Or are you wondering if you ever want them? I never had that feeling of now is the right time to have children, we just sort of fell into it with a contraceptive accident and now have 4dcs 7 years later.

I always saw kids in my future so am happy with my lovely brood and if you do want them at some point then start sooner rather than later, unfortuately it isn't always easy to conceive.


GrimmaTheNome Tue 21-Jun-11 15:35:04

YANBU. I wasn't too fussed; when we were 35, after being married for 10 years DH started the discussion. Then of course we found I was subfertile (PCOS) and so we had a couple of years when ttc was about all we could think of!

I think it was getting a puppy that started DH off on wanting a baby.

jeckadeck Tue 21-Jun-11 15:36:05

I was massively ambivalent about it for a long time and in fact for most of my life erred on the side of thinking I probably didn't want them. I got pregnant for the first time at 38 and had dd at 39 and don't remotely regret it -- I love her more than I thought was possible. I think you're right, very few people regret having children and most people are surprised by how much they love them once they arrive. On the other hand there's nothing wrong with knowing that you don't want them. In certain ways a life without children is enviably free and you can certainly get a lot more done without them and in a funny way to be more honest with yourself. So I think if I hadn't had a child I could have had a really happy and fulfilled life. But I think if you are unsure -- as opposed to really not wanting them -- you will probably find that you will love having them.

svanhvit Tue 21-Jun-11 15:36:36

darleneoconnor you speak a lot of sense. I already started a pros and cons list last week. I definitely don't think people should have children just because all their friends are, but there is a HUGE social pressure to do it. For about a month (after seeing some particularly cute pictures of an old friend's new family) I was convinced I was really broody, then I thought about it in detail and realised it was just a powerful combination of biological urge and the desire to be super socially acceptable with a cute, perfect baby. Got over that quite quickly though...

Bumpsadaisie Tue 21-Jun-11 15:40:42

I always thought I would have DCs.

Didn't think about it much in my 20s - it was something for the future.

Started getting brooding when settled down with DH - got engaged at 30, married at 31. For me the broodiness very much accompanied the settling down, or was it because I hit my thirties?

I think whether your friends have started having kids makes a difference too - we were the last to get married and start a family, so it was just a normal idea to us. When the first of us did it, it was a much "bigger" step, somehow.

FWIW I would say that given you've been happily settled for ages, and your friends all have DCs, then those two common "triggers" have been in place for a while without you feeling much of an urge. Maybe give it another few years?

And if the urge never comes, well, that's fine! You can have a lovely life without children (she says wistfully as DD wakes up from nap and curtails this session of MNing for me!!)

lubberlich Tue 21-Jun-11 15:42:46

Always wanted kids but didn't start trying in earnest until I was 35 because I was of the generation that bought into the myth of having it all.
Discovered I had BIG fertility problems - underwent countless devastating losses and stillbirths and finally had my miraculous DS at age 43.
Don't leave it too late to make up your mind.

darleneoconnor Tue 21-Jun-11 15:42:48

Also there is a big difference between wanting a baby and wanting a child. Babies dont stay babies for very long.

RevoltingPeasant Tue 21-Jun-11 15:43:58

Am 31 and am having this debate too. I think I really want children, but I keep thinking, 'But how will I afford them? Would I really want to give up my career if one of them had SN and I had to stay home with them?'

Basically, I want an easy, low-cost baby grin

Trouble is, DP is unsure and I am not sure whether he will fall in love with a baby when he sees it or if it will be the beginning of the end for us sad He would make a great dad but he likes time to himself and sleep....

I'm on a hiding to nothing right.... sad

mdowdall Tue 21-Jun-11 15:44:06

Let's face it, it's all downhill after 30 - there is only so much drinking, drug taking, philandering and traveling you can do. So you may as well have children.

RevoltingPeasant Tue 21-Jun-11 15:44:35

Sorry, that was just me whingeing and probably no help at all!

thumbwitch Tue 21-Jun-11 15:45:52

I never really wanted children of my own. Was scared witless at the whole giving birth thing. DIdn't think I had a maternal bone in my body.

BUT: there was this sneaky suspicion that if someone told me I couldn't have children, for whatever reason, I would be devastated. So I assumed that I probably would prefer to have them than not.

I never really got the biological clock thing, never really had the maternal pull, not even when I was pg!shock I got pg with DH because he wanted children and I didn't mind either way.

As it turns out, I love being a mum - but didn't get around to it until I was 40, owing to not meeting DH until I was 36 and various other hindrances after that. Now at 43, 2 MCs later and still ttc #2, I wish I had met him years earlier and given myself those extra years to have another baby. Of course, as DH points out, DS wouldn't be the DS he is if we'd had him at any other time - but still.

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