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To not want anymore children?

(40 Posts)
Hurr1cane Thu 30-Oct-14 07:25:54

I don't think I am, but my family seem to take a very different view of it and I don't understand why.

Basically I had my gorgeous DS when I was 18, he was a surprise, me and his dad didn't last which wasn't surprising, but we co parent and remain pretty friendly, he has DS one day a week and his parents have DS for tea once a week and we share all decisions on DSs care etc.

When DS was 3.5-4 years old he had a horrible brain regression which left him with severe learning disabilities and autism. Doctors have been trying to figure out what happened for years and they finally have decided it must be some form of very rare genetic disorder and all of our DNA is going off to a research study to hopefully find out more.

To care for DS I had to leave work, I never sleep, I spend all of my time on his therapies and care and basically dedicate my life to him.

I have a DP, we have been together years and he shares some of DSs care but we can't live together, because of his work hours and how much care DS needs, it just wouldn't be healthy.

DP is a lot older than me and has two grown up children of his own.

I don't want more kids, I feel that firstly it wouldn't be fair as all my time goes on DSs care, I don't have the energy for another child, I'm worried the same would happen to a second child, and there is enough humans in the world anyway, I would have preferred a small age gap and DS is 8 now so that's out of the window, and DS hates loud noises (so a baby crying wouldn't be brilliant) and I hardly get any sleep as it is, I don't want to sacrifice the little amount I get just to have a baby.

DP doesn't want more kids.

I understand that some people in my situation do go on to have more children, and I'm not saying that's wrong, but it's not something that I want to choose.

My family, however, seem to feel passionately about the fact that I need more kids, they argue that I love children and am just cutting my nose off to spite my face, this ends up in massive family arguments.

My sister, however, doesn't want children because she wants to concentrate on her career, and apparently this is fine, but my reasons aren't.

Every time my family come to visit (live very far away) they always bring up the subject of me having more children, and it always ends up in a massive fight sad I don't see them often at all and don't want to fight with them, it's starting to get to the point where I don't want them to visit because I'm sick of justifying myself to everyone.

Are my reasons really that unreasonable? I do love children, I have qualifications coming out of my ears in working with children, but I just don't want any more.

CatKisser Thu 30-Oct-14 07:31:40

You don't want more kids.
Your DP doesn't want more kids.
Therefore everyone else's view is totally irrelevant. I do hate people who try to tell others how they've got the "wrong" number of children. It's rude and offensive.

Hurr1cane Thu 30-Oct-14 07:34:36

I really don't understand why they feel so passionately about it. It does upset me every time because it was a hard decision to make and it took a very long time for me to make it (while single) so when I started dating again I had to be honest about not wanting children because I am quite young and a lot of men were after starting families.

TheLovelyBoots Thu 30-Oct-14 07:38:13

OP, I completely understand your position and your family is really overstepping the mark. You've devoted your life to your son, and that's that. My youngest is 8 too and I can't even imagine starting over.

FWIW if you were my daughter I would probably wish for you to have another child as well, but I absolutely would keep it to myself.

Ragwort Thu 30-Oct-14 07:38:19

When you say your 'family' - do you mean your parents/sibings? I can't imagine any conversation where any of my family would discuss with me whether or not I have children or any more children confused. How does the topic arise? You need to be incredibly assertive or rude, just say 'I am not prepared to discuss this subject anymore' and change the subject immediately or ask them why they had 2/3/4 children whatever, do they think they are good parents, what is their sex life like etc etc.

It is sad that you let the subject upset you and perhaps it is because you have not fully come to terms with your decision?

Charitybelle Thu 30-Oct-14 07:38:40

Sounds like it's your family that want more kids/grandchildren. As your sis doesn't want them, but you've already shown the capacity to have at least one, they're focussing all their energies on persuading you?
Try not to let it bother you, I'd say their motivation is entirely selfish. If they know how hard caring for your DS is, then they should understand why you don't want any more. I do FGS and I don't even know you, just read a 2 min OP!
Some people are thoughtless. Practice some assertive phrases to cut them off and change the subject. If it still bothers you, then tell them if they don't STFU about it they won't be invited back to visit anytime soon. That should do it grin
Good luck, you sound like you've had a tough few years, you need people around you to help, not be judgey about your life choices.

LadyLuck10 Thu 30-Oct-14 07:39:39

It's none of their business op and they should definitely not hassle you about this. As you say they don't do the same to your dsis, do you think it's because you are not 'working' as such and they feel you should have another child to justify that? Either way it's not up to them. You have a dp and you both decided what's best for your relationship, so they need to respect that.

googlenut Thu 30-Oct-14 07:41:42

It does seen odd that your parents and family are so emphatic about this. You say it is every time they come to stay. Could it be they see how hard your life is (I have a child with autism) and so want you to do something that will make you happier. Which in their eyes is to have more children. So ultimately they are meaning well.
But I think you have to lay down with them what you have said here and say it is not up for discussion anymore and they have to abide by this. You have made your decision for the right reasons but your life sounds tough and you have to protect your own mental health by stopping them banging on about it!

Finola1step Thu 30-Oct-14 07:41:48

Cat is spot on.

If I were in your shoes Hurr1cane, I would front out the offending family members. Look them straight in the eye and ask them why they think you should have more dc. And while you're at it, ask them why they think they have the right to make judgements on your decisions.

Don't justify your decisions, you don't need to. But call them on why they think they can make such comments.

juneybean Thu 30-Oct-14 07:48:24

Completely agree with CatKisser

Hurr1cane Thu 30-Oct-14 07:48:45

Parents... Ish. DSM and DDad.

They have children together as well so it isn't just me and my sister.

I just wondered if I was missing something vital confused

This time it was brought up because they were asking about the study and what it was for etc. I explained that they tested the DNA of all the immediate family so DS me and DSs dad, they asked if they test other children's siblings and I said that I don't know, I never thought to ask because he has no siblings, they asked if DSs dad is planning more and I said that yes he did want more.

Then the shit storm began.

Hurr1cane Thu 30-Oct-14 07:51:40

I do think they do mean well. They are really lovely people (unlike my maternal family) I just don't understand why this is so important

Deeky Thu 30-Oct-14 08:00:05

Hurr1can I really feel for you. No way should your family be putting pressure on you. You are perfectly and absoulutely without a doubt entitled to NOT have any more children. It is YOUR choice and nobody elses. I am actually quite shocked this emotional type blackmail still goes on today.

If it were me I would make an announcement next time all the family are together telling them how you feel and that was the end of discussion. Easier said than done though I know. If it didn't stop there I would as you've considered yourself not have them visit. Harsh I know, but what they are doing is low level bullying basically and it is causing you emotional harm. They do it because they get away with it - you need to take back control. Probably upsetting for you to think of family members as bullies but the pecking order is just human nature. They may not even realise what they are putting you through and how out of order they really are.

I have experience of this for different reasons. My Mother and Brother bullied me for years. Constant criticism and cheap jibes at my expense. I cut all ties with them 5 years ago and haven't regretted it. I do miss having a Mum in my life, but she isn't the type of Mum I need anyway. I now invest my time and love in to people who value it and appreciate it.
I'm am not saying you should go to this extreme as you have to do what is right for you - but you do need to take back control though. Just refusing to discuss it any further could be enough but you have to mean it and stick to it. It is a very hard thing to do because It is ingrained in us to do as we are told by our parents and older (or bossier) siblings but It is a great feeling and very empowering and an indication that you are a grown up now who makes her own decisions.

Hope this helps and hope your ds is doing well atm. It's really good you have a dp who is on the same page as you. You already have a perfect little family already . . . a cliche I know but don't fix what aint broke!

Hurr1cane Thu 30-Oct-14 08:21:28

Thanks everyone!

At least I know I'm not actually missing anything now and that I'm fine with just DS.

I can usually swerve things quite easily but I had drank a glass of wine (don't normally drink) and ended up very tearful and saying "but I just don't want any" which probably didn't help my case.

amyhamster Thu 30-Oct-14 08:33:08

You poor thing
I'd be tempted to tell them dp has had the snip
They wouldn't be able to keep bringing it up then !

Hurr1cane Thu 30-Oct-14 08:40:21

Amyhamster I might do that actually!

BreakOutTheKaraoke Thu 30-Oct-14 08:57:36

I'm in a similar situation, although my reasons aren't as clear set as yours.
My DD is 10, perfectly healthy, and a well behaved child. We have a lovely, peaceful house. I have tons of nieces and nephews, ranging from the baby due in 3 weeks time up to 11. I don't have a partner at the moment. I don't want more kids, and decided this at least 4/5 years ago.

I am fed up of people telling me I'll change my mind when I meet someone. That I'm so good with babies. That it's different in a family. That I'm only 29, too young to make the decision. DD wants a brother or sister. So what?

I can't think of anything worse than starting it again. Wrestling with a baby at the same time as a teenager. GCSEs alongside teething, or terrible twos, or starting school. Finally getting that little bit of freedom that comes as they get older, only to go back down the same route. If I meet a man who is desperate for children, then he's obviously not right for me. Yes I love babies. Only problem is, babies become children, who become actual people, who I will be responsible for for the next 18 years.

So, sorry for the rant, but I completely agree, and that's without the added complication of a disability that makes caring for the child you have a million times more difficult. I have no suggestions either, other then being very blunt with them about why you don't want anymore. But I will be very sympathetic to you if you finally cave one day, and punch them in the face when they do that smug 'She'll learn!' expression!

jingleballs12 Thu 30-Oct-14 08:59:33

If you don't want more kids, you don't want more kids. I think you sound a fab mum. Its your life and although it is hard, you need to stick to your guns. I second maybe telling them DP has had the snip if it makes for an easier life for you.

Deeky Thu 30-Oct-14 09:07:39

amyhamster that's the clever un-dramatic thing to do! Wish I'd thought of it.

hackmum Thu 30-Oct-14 09:07:46

It's really none of their business, is it? It's your choice and that of your DP.

Yours is such a sad story. I can see why they think more children would bring joy into both your life and theirs (and you could experience some of the more fun aspects that you've missed out on with your DS), and perhaps they think in a few years you'll regret not having more. But it's your decision and really nothing at all to do with them.

Nanny0gg Thu 30-Oct-14 09:08:50

They're not 'lovely people' if they persist with this attitude and continue to upset you.

Has your DP told them that it's not going to happen/to mind their own business?

Maybe he should.

Hurr1cane Thu 30-Oct-14 09:13:15

Karaoke, my 'normal' reasons are exactly the same as yours. Babies are great. My friend is having twins soon and I'm very keen to be the go to babysitter, have lots of lovely baby cuddles... Then hand them back.

I really want to go back to work eventually, I love working with children, then handing them back at the end of the day and not having to worry about them growing up in the world. As it stands me and DS live off very little money, if I went back to work and had another child who had disabilities, which made me leave again, we would all live off even less. It's just not practical if nothing else.

Thanks everyone, you've made me feel better about it all. I love DP to bits, but he really doesn't want children, he never really did but like me he had a biological surprise, then he looked after the other child as if she were his own (and she is his own just not by blood) and he took on DS as well, so he basically has 3 children to look after, only one that's biologically his, when he didn't plan for any grin so I don't think a change of heart would go down well, and I really really don't want more.

It's not even like DS will never have a brother or sister, because his dad wants more children eventually, so that's not even something that I am solely responsible for.

Chunderella Thu 30-Oct-14 09:24:34

This is just not even an issue. There isn't even a question to ask. Two people are in a couple, neither wants more DC. I can't even begin to imagine why anyone thinks there's more to say.

Hurr1cane Thu 30-Oct-14 10:02:15

DP hasn't said anything, he just stays right out of it. I'll be honest I even told him not to bother taking the day off work when they visit next time because the poor man ended up sitting on his own in the living room while a massive family row began in the kitchen and then had to take a sobbing wreck home. It wasn't really worth the loss of wages...

I think I do actually have quite a nice little life, if you take away the lack of sleep and intense therapies... And poo...

We have a little house, we eat well, I get to take DS to school and pick him up and be there for all of his school events, I volunteer (now I run it with 2 others really) for a charity for other families with children like DS so am adding to my CV while off, we go on walks and to parks and midnight feasts when DS isn't sleeping, I get to see my DP regularly for fun times without arguing about who's not done what chore... In the grand scheme of things I don't think it's a bad life at all.

At a baby to it all and it might well be pure stress.

Pushing a wheelchair and a pram? With only one working hand? Just getting gone to sleep and then the other waking? Not being able to sleep in the day while DS is at school, extra housework, balancing both their needs.... It doesn't really feel like it would improve my life at all so I really don't see where they are coming from sad

But every time it comes up and I explain this they just say 'but you love children' and that's that.

DoJo Thu 30-Oct-14 10:03:10

How rude of them to even comment! I have read some of your previous posts, and even I, a stranger on the internet with a teeny snap shot of your life, can see that you are completely dedicated to your son. Why on earth they think that adding a baby into the mix would be a good idea I don't know, but perhaps it's worth having a one-time chat with them along the lines of 'I have made my decision and it wasn't easy so I would really prefer not to have to hash it out with you and justify myself. You might think it would be nice for me, but you aren't here 24/7 and I am, so please trust my judgement and stop asking me about it.'

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