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...to ask how you knew you wanted DC?

(214 Posts)
pinchpunch Mon 10-Mar-14 14:54:53

I want them (haven't yet had any) but can't explain why. Something to do with feeling strongly that I want to create a secure, loving family of my own.

Other people's babies are cute and it's nice to play with them for a while, but I don't come away desperately broody. Not yet 30 and not really at a point in my life where I can see myself having any in the next year or two, but would like to think by 35 at least.

So, assuming some level of decision making/planning is going to go into this (appreciate there are things you just can't control), and knowing that it is not easy, how did you come to the conclusion that it was the right thing for you?

Did you ever consider that you might not have any? And if you didn't have any... what would you do with your life? Realistically.

Thoughts appreciated!

SkipandTink Mon 10-Mar-14 15:00:45

I think I always knew I wanted them...as a kid I loved animals and spent all my spare time caring for them and seeing to their needs, so maybe that's an inbuilt thing in me ...my older sister had her first two children very young, the first at age 20 and the second at 22, so I got to experience being an auntie first which was brilliant...saw how much hard work it was but also how rewarding and fun

When I met my dh I also kind of knew that we would, it just seemed and felt inevitable. I was getting increasingly broody in my early 20's, and had my first dd when I was 24, second dd at 25, my ds at 28, and am now expecting my fourth child at age 35...My broodiness if anything has increased with each child! I have also always felt that being a mum made me better person than I was before, ie less self-absorbed and self-obsessed, I was also pretty self-destructive until I got pregnant, and it totally changed me for the better in every way.
I think if I hadn't had them for any reason i may have adopted, or failing that would probably have surrounded myself with even more animals to fill the void of having something to care for

sheriffofnottingham Mon 10-Mar-14 15:03:06

And if you didn't have any... what would you do with your life? Realistically

I'm in my 30s and don't have any kids, I find plenty of pubs, holidays during term time, lie ins, uninterrupted sex, etc fill my time quite nicely grin

really just place marking, I'm on the verge of contemplating the possibility myself (hence stalking mumsnet all day) very interested in opinions on this one. From my experience it seems best not to think about it that much, if you actually knew the reality of having kids before you had them nobody would bother!

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 10-Mar-14 15:03:54

I just knew i needed them.
No planning, no logic, just pure animal urge to reproduce i think.
Tbh i think thats what is always is and we then intellectualise it iyswim

SkipandTink Mon 10-Mar-14 15:06:21

yes agree, if you thought about it too much, the pregnancy, the birth and the early years and sleepless nights and so on, you probably wouldn't do it! But without meaning to sound soppy and wet, they do bring you an unbelievable amount of happiness...when I held my first baby I was floored by how much I loved her, and I genuinely don't think you feel that love for anyone else in life, it's very different.

Lj8893 Mon 10-Mar-14 15:07:21

When I was a teen I was adamant I never wanted children. In my early 20s I decided that yes actually I wouldn't mind having one or two, but was in no rush and I didn't ever have a desperate urge, I certainly never got broody around babies and children.

I fell pregnant unexpectedly last year and straight away felt and knew how much I wanted my baby. My dd is now 4 months and I couldn't imagine my life without her.....however, I don't have a desire for anymore.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 10-Mar-14 15:07:29

I never had any particular yearning for children, even when my friends and relatives had babies, I would happily go and visit the babies/children but they never made me feel like it was something I wanted out of my life. I saw how having children changed people's lives (and not in a good way) and it made me feel quite confident that I really wasn't fussed about having any and would have been quite content with my life if it was child-free.

When I was 27 I met my now DH - whenever we had discussions about children he was always more 'pro children' than I was, saying that although he felt no strong urge to have them he thought he'd regret it if he hit a certain age and hadn't had any. As our relationship got more serious we talked about it more seriously and we sort of said that if we have a baby, that's fine, but if we couldn't conceive naturally we certainly wouldn't go down the IVF/Intervention route....it was just a case of if it happens, it happens.

Not long after we got engaged my DH started mentioning children again and asked me how I'd feel if I accidentally fell pregnant. My answer was: "devastated" whereas he said that he'd actually feel really happy. Something then made me realise how much it did mean to him and I started to seriously think about having children.

We got married 5 months after he proposed and although we didn't have an official sit down discussion about the matter we started trying for a baby a few months later and conceived on our first cycle. Even then it wasn't like we did it because we were both desperate to have a baby but because it felt like the next logical step now we were married. We knew at some point we would try for a baby so why not straight away?

Baby is due in 10 days and I am so, so, so, so excited!!!!!!
We are having a little boy and we are both over the moon and so looking forward to his arrival.

We have agreed to only have one child though - again, probably because neither of us are desperate for huge broods of children.

BigPawsBrown Mon 10-Mar-14 15:07:52

God, I could write a book about this. I am childless and 29 and need to make a decision I guess by 35 ish. DP is ambivalent really but sees his future with them in it if pushed.

I have come to the conclusion that wanting them is a hormonal/irrational urge that defies logic. If you set out the pros and cons on paper I think nobody would bother.

I used to think "I don't want to ruin my career!" or "but I like lie ins/reading books/travelling/having sex" etc but lately I have been thinking "a tiny baby would be nice", so I guess that is the beginning of the biological clock.

Slh122 Mon 10-Mar-14 15:09:21

I never thought I was that bothered about having children. I then fell pregnant (unplanned) at 18, and although the thought 'I could have an abortion' crossed my mind several times, I never really looked into it, I just couldn't. DS is 7 weeks old now and I couldn't imagine my life without him. He is, without a doubt, the best thing that's ever happened to me.

CailinDana Mon 10-Mar-14 15:10:37

I am 7 years older than my sis and was very involved in looking after her especially when she was little so I think that's what started my desire to have children. As a teenager it was always something I wanted and when I met DH at 19 I knew I would eventually have kids with him. It wasn 't till we were married and had a decent income that my broodiness kicked in (nearly 10 years later) and I felt an overwhelming urge to have a child. So it was a mixture of instinct/hormones and the right situation.

MothershipG Mon 10-Mar-14 15:12:20

I was stopped from drifting along and had to make a definite decision because my partner, who I'd been with since I was 19, was saying not now, maybe in the future, maybe never. As I approached 30 I realised I had to be completely happy not to have them or break up with him.

We split amicably, but with much sadness on both our parts. I found DH conveniently right under my nose, we were work colleagues, and I had DS when I was 34. smile

BigPawsBrown Mon 10-Mar-14 15:13:59

The thing that bothers me, OP, is that people with children don't seem very... well, happy.

I think there has been a movement towards honesty about how hard it is to be a parent, and I think that's great, but I see an awful lot of defensiveness on Facebook (and in person) e.g. I might lie in til 11:00am at the weekend. I work hard, why not? But parents will definitely get on my case and tell me how little they sleep etc etc. It makes me dread it, to be honest, and I wish parents would be more positive about it (but then they would get called smug, so I do recognise they can't win...)

I feel like some of the parents I know are imbued with sadness somehow. Maybe it is partners not pulling their weight or whatever but generally the childless people I know seem happier than the parents, which makes me sad

PiperRose Mon 10-Mar-14 15:15:10

I have never had the 'urge' and therefore have never had any.

frumpet Mon 10-Mar-14 15:15:45

Well the first time i got pregnant , that was it really . I was 22 and thought i was old enough to handle the responsibility , plus i never really was much of a party animal /career girl / traveller so i didnt miss out on anything i dont think .

TheSurgeonsMate Mon 10-Mar-14 15:15:53

Have a care, though, if you don't think about it too much and then end up with children and posting on MN with some fairly minor logistical difficulty that you thought some people might have some ideas about. The judging judgers will be all over you like a rash - you are apparently meant to have foreseen all of these things and had coping mechanisms in place well before considering doing the deed.

In my own case, I was very ambivalent. I read a book called "Stumbling Upon Happiness" that changed my mind.

cobaltcow Mon 10-Mar-14 15:16:36

Never saw myself having kids but the love I felt for my nieces and nephews was so strong. Got together with husband and we just assumed we would one day. Never really felt that maternal urge that folk talk of. Then had unplanned pregnancy and went with the flow. I think folk overthink it these days as we have the choice now.

frumpet Mon 10-Mar-14 15:16:42

Well except for spending an awful lot more time getting a lie in and be purely and happily selfish smile

NoodleOodle Mon 10-Mar-14 15:17:34

Two blue lines made the decision for me.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 10-Mar-14 15:18:00

I didn't consciously decide to have them.
My life was ticking along quite happily, as was my biological clock, and they just kind of happened.
If I hadn't had them I would have just continued ticking on, as I was, but been a bit richer....

morethanpotatoprints Mon 10-Mar-14 15:18:35

I didn't know I wanted dc, in fact was told at around 16 I'd probably never have any.
We ended up with 3, none particularly planned, all 3 lovely surprises.

BigPawsBrown Mon 10-Mar-14 15:19:38

Do you have to really, really want them to justify all the things you lose?

- sleep
- a year off your career (ish)
- £1000pcm nursery fees
- ability to read an entire book on a Sunday afternoon

etc etc etc

listsandmore Mon 10-Mar-14 15:19:40

I am 34 and was never particularly bothered about having children. I spent my twenties focused on my education, career, socialising and travelling and had more than enough to fill my time! I'm sure that I would have had a fulfilling and busy life without dc - many of my friends in their 30s/4os don't have children and are able to spend a lot of time working or enjoying hobbies/travelling.

But in my case, I got married at 29, we had to move and leave my job. Financially we were fortunate that we didn't need my salary anyway, so it seemed like something to try. I don't think I've ever been broody as such, and I wouldn't have been devastated if we'd ttc and not been successful. And we never tried particularly hard with ttc - didn't monitor cycles or anything, literally just had my implant removed and waited to see what happened. We have just one DS and not planning on any more as I do quite like our lifestyle now he's older and more independent. I wasn't actually too fond of the baby stage (although we had lots of help).

exWifebeginsat40 Mon 10-Mar-14 15:22:18

i hit 26 and it was like a switch had been flicked. i needed a child! had DD when i was 27. split with her dad when she was 4, and met my second husband. he was fab with DD but never wanted kids of his own. i spent a good few years coming to terms with that.

i'm single again now at nearly 41, and accept that DD is all i'm getting. she's absolutely amazing at nearly 14 and i'm so glad i'm her mum.

Burren Mon 10-Mar-14 15:22:23

I didn't. I'm extremely bound up in my work, have always travelled a lot, we were based in a tiny central London flat, and neither I nor my partner was at all interested in having a child. After many, many years together, happily childfree, we decided to see if we could have one out of some idea that it might be an interesting thing to do, no more than that.

I was 39, so we realised it was perfectly possible I wouldn't be able to conceive, and we were ok with that and fairly clear that if it didn't happen we wouldn't consider any form of assisted conception, or having a child via adoption. I conceived the first month, to both our surprise, and our son is almost two. He is extremely hard work, and a daily astonishment. I worship him. Having said that, I am as sure as I can be that we would have continued to be happy without a child, as our childfree friends are.

So, in answer to your question, I personally didn't 'know' at all. We conceived on a whim. Which sounds very inadvisable when you put it like that, but I certainly never felt remotely broody, and had spent 39 odd years being certain that having a child was not for me.

The idea that a life without children must of necessity have a gaping child-shaped hole at the centre is a weird one for me. Not having a child is not a strange decision, and - despite now being a besotted parent myself - I find it strange how many people appear to think that deciding not to reproduce makes you an oddity. As a society, we seem to be far more at ease with the idea of the unhappily infertile couple, or the cold careerist childless bitch than the ordinary, voluntarily childfree person.

hootloop Mon 10-Mar-14 15:23:07

I can't remember a time I didn't want children, even at school when we had careers advice sessions I would say to the adviser "I shall train as a teacher and work until I have children and then again when the are all at school"

I had my first at 23 and second at 26, I am almost 31 now and the thought of being my age without children is incomprehensible to me.

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