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Aibu to think this might end up being my biggest regret (having kids)

(18 Posts)
WhereIsMyGabriel Thu 05-May-16 23:08:55

This will end up being long sorry.
Long time lurker (which hasn't helped with my decision making at all btw, made it harder if anything)

Background: I have amenorrhea but have never had fertility tests due to previously not wanting kids.

Been with my now DH for five years. Was only 20 when we met but at the time i didn't want kids. DH is 13 years older, no kids, no exes to speak of, no interest in kids. We purchased our house two years ago using a mixture of inheritance, saving and a small loan. Married two years. Husband has always said the ball is in my court regarding children. He doesn't want them but says he loves me and whatever I want he will ultimately be okay with whatever I decide. We have discussed it a few times over the years and it always ends the same - he says it's up to me and I say no I'm fine without. It's never really brought up by us it's always part of a wider conversation.

I have no real desire currently for kids. I don't know if I ever will. I do know that I am young and have time but I also know that I am going to need a diagnosis and help which will take a long time. I am also very put off by my husband's age. He's 38 now, which is fine and a great age to be a dad. But if I change my mind in ten years be will be 48 years old when he started ttc and 50+ potentially before babies arrived. I think because I had going parents (My dad is only 48) this seems crazy to me and not really like a valid option.

It's kind of striking me as a now or never situation, and has been for about a year hence all the lurking - and I'm no closer to a decision. I'm worried if I do it I will regret it and I'm worried If I don't I will regret it.

I'm also worried that despite my DH saying it's up to me he has made his feelings clear and worry if I do change my mind I'd be forcing my desires on him which isn't fair.

I'm the high earner in our house (high being a relative term) so other than maternity leave it would be him that did the most childcare (another reason him being 50+ at birth seems crazy to me) ..... Although our house will be paid off in 7 years so I could take a step back career wise but I don't think I like that idea! I work hard now because I want to retire young.

I guess what I want to know is what would you do? Do you have any experience of having or being an older father? And would IBU to put my desire to have kids above his preference to not if if came to it?

If you've made it this far you deserve a medal and thank you!

RaeSkywalker Thu 05-May-16 23:22:22

I wouldn't be comfortable having children with someone who was just having them because I wanted them. I think your DH needs to commit to a 'yes' or 'no' at some point, but for now just keep talking to him. Have you discussed how he would feel about being the primary carer whilst you worked? How would you feel about this?

It's ok for you to not want children now, or ever. I do wonder if it's worth you exploring some tests now just to see what the situation is there.

You're right- you are still young and do have time.

One of my best friends has an older father- he was 47 when he had his first child, and 54 when he had his last. They adore their dad, who thankfully is very active now in his mid-70s. However, I do know that they worry about his health and whether he will able to be actively involved with any grandchildren.

BombadierFritz Thu 05-May-16 23:32:13

I would probably want to check out what was going on wrt the lack of periods. Regardless of plans or not for kids. Then - dont overthink and overplan. Tbh you might be divorced and remarried in 10 years time - who knows. Its certainly not 'now or never' anyway

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 05-May-16 23:32:42

Would it be worth finding out what your options actually are? If you know you're unlikely to conceive spontaneously with or without treatment and could face a long struggle with IVF then you may feel differently about things than if you turned out to have an easy to fix problem.
It seems like you're playing all the scenarios through and there are so many variables that you can't possibly come to any conclusions.
I have friends who finally found out the full scale of their fertility problems just as they were too old for NHS IVF and had to remortgage their house to go through it privately. Knowing that younger would have helped them.

sykadelic Fri 06-May-16 01:14:39

My dad was 64 when I was born, and 69 when my younger brother was born (mother is 40 years younger). It affected us only in that he didn't run around with us. He still talked to us, we still learnt from him, he was still there (in fact retired when we were born).

I don't think his age should be your determining factor.

suspiciousofgoldfish Fri 06-May-16 01:24:47

It's not now or never at all. You have loads of time.

I definitely wasn't thinking about children at 25.

Slightly older dads are becoming very common now, I wouldn't worry about making a decision right now.

And having kids is not for everyone - it's tiring, it (temporarily) ruins your relationship, your looks, your lie- ins wink...... You've got years to make your choice.

Baconyum Fri 06-May-16 01:47:15

His age is part of the consideration but so is both your health and fitness.

Investigating the amenorrhea might clarify how you feel. A friend of mine thought she wasn't bothered about having kids...until she learnt she might not be able to.

GarlicShake Fri 06-May-16 02:12:50

As this is a parenting forum, your replies might be a touch biased wink By way of an alternative point of view ... I have no children. I grew up taking care of kids, was a nanny and always expected to have my own. But I have never felt that sort of craving I've seen in other women.

While I love kids and enjoy a squishy baby when it's behaving nicely, I'm all too aware of what a hassle babies are. I have never felt I "needed" one of my own. And I find pregnancy & birth really freaky! (I don't often admit that!)

I had a string of miscarriages. The final one was really a stillbirth; I held her in the palm of my hand and that was extremely distressing. 25 years on, I think about her often.

It didn't make want to get pregnant again. Some years afterwards I found out I have PCOS. It was nice to have an explanation for my many reproductive issues but, again, there was no terrible sense of loss. I just wanted to lose the lumpy ovary!

A childfree life is a very valid choice with shitloads of advantages. 25% of women now remain childfree at 45, and the figure's climbing. We aren't all going around bewailing our "barrenness", we're having great careers and adventures. I've done absolutely loads of stuff that parents never can or will, and even more that they hope to do after the kids have left home (if they ever do, heh.)

I would've made a decent mum, I think. But I suspect, too, I may have regretted my lost opportunities in a way I've never regretted being childfree.

lunalunalooney Fri 06-May-16 02:28:20

Don't have a child you don't want. It isn't fair on you- and it isn't fair on the child. It is another human life you talking about. Not deciding on whether or not you want to spend a couple of grand on a holiday in the Maldives.

I was produce of "not really sure we want another child"- and it was apparent to me from a young age.

My parents gave me life but they also destroyed it.

Thinkingthisthrough Fri 06-May-16 03:13:04

With the greatest respect, I think you are over-dramatising something quite straightforward.

You will know when the time comes if you want kids. That usually comes for women around age 29 and then you make a decision and the decision is easy.

I had no periods at 25. Combination of not eating properly, being put on and off the pill by doctors for no good reason, fluctuating weight. Now I have 3 DC at age 32.

I also had no burning desire to have kids at 25. I liked them but not enough for it to be a "now or never" situation because it wasn't. That's the kind of thing women who are 40+say.

Will your decision be helped if you visit a gynae for an ultrasound and you safety see your eggs and evidence of ovulation on the scan? So to know you're ok and will be for a good few years yet?

Agree with previous posters that a lot can change in ten years. When I was your age I was with a man 17 years older and thought it was for life.

I don't think you have anything to wring your hands about, it will all fall into place.

ChalkHearts Fri 06-May-16 03:49:13

Please don't feel you have to have children.
Yes, you'll regret it if you do and regret it if you don't.

But if you don't have children you'll be regretting it from a much richer and freer place smile

Kids tie you down and stress you out more than you can imagine. And of course they cost more than you can imagine.

Don't have children. Instead have the most wonderful amazing adventurous child free life.

(And if you read this and disagree, then maybe youve found your answer)

AnotherTimeMaybe Fri 06-May-16 04:35:01

Didn't you know the pros and cons of marrying someone 13 years older when you decided to do so?

Yes for me 50+ at birth is too much but what's worse is not the age but the fact that he's not bothered, he does it for you- not good enough reason to be a dad... Or a mum for that matter! Different to say I don t want kids now but I will later as they are part of my personal plan or whatever, different to say I dont want kids full stop but might change my mind later
You seem to be in a marriage that you didn't think long and hard before you do it, in which you 'might' want to bring kids in for the sake of it.. Not fair on anyone or future kids!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 06-May-16 05:14:38

Several things to address here.
First one - I wasn't ever sure I wanted kids either, but I was aware that if someone had told me that I could never have them, or if I had an accident or similar that rendered me infertile, I'd be upset, which suggested I'd regret not having them more. So I had 2 (eventually).

Second one - I had an "older" father - he was 33 when I was born, so not as old as your DH would be now - but he was still great, ran about with us etc and is still around now (although he's going to be 83 this year).

DH was 32 when DS1 was born, and 37 when DS2 finally came along - again, doesn't seem old at all now. I, on the other hand, was 40 and 45 respectively when the boys were born - so I am an older mum. Doesn't bother me, or them (yet) and I hope to still be around for many years to come - but who can tell? Illness and accidents strike younger people as much as older ones.

I had a friend whose Dad was 50 when he was born and died at 92 - so friend had plenty of time with him. But again, who can tell what's around the corner?

Age is relative - I don't feel my chronological age at all, I feel like I'm still in my late 30s, not late 40s! But that's my feeling, and my life. Not everyone will be or feel the same.

Thing is though, that you are 25. You have years ahead of you to decide whether or not you do want children; and whether or not you want to have them, or stay, with your current DH (I know no one ever thinks that they'll split up, but it happens).
So in reality, you need to just focus on the main thing in this - do YOU want children? Do YOU think that YOU will feel like you've missed out if you don't have any? Your DH has given the decision over to you - so work out how you feel about it.

One thing I've used before is to toss a coin - if it comes down on a decision and I then think "oh I'll do best of 3" then I know that decision is the wrong one for me. If I accept the way the coin falls, then I know I've made the right choice. Bit backwards, but it works for me!

Bit rambly, this post, hope some of it is helpful.

WhereIsMyGabriel Fri 06-May-16 07:14:38

Thanks guys. Lots of perspectives here.
I'm so decisive and organised in everything else in my life that something like this where there are so many variables and considerations - as it is so monumentally important (the stakes are so high - for the potential child in question) - just confuses the hell out of me.

Ive always been scared to get the amenhoria looked into as i have worried that having a diagnosis would possibly sway my decision - but I guess that's the whole point really isnt it.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 06-May-16 07:21:49

Oh! I forgot to add that, once I did have DS1, everything was fine - love him to bits (hence deciding to have no. 2 grin) and definitely don't regret having them.

rombri Fri 06-May-16 11:31:59

I couldn't decide whether I wanted kids either. Much older than you, and DH and I decided we'd just stop birth control and see what happened, thinking my age would be the ultimate decider.

I fell pregnant instantly and had a MC. I was utterly heartbroken, to my surprise. And so was DH.

We then really struggled to have DC1, and I felt horrendous that I might have squandered my chances by delaying too long. And after DC1, desperately wanted DC2, who I am so lucky to have now as well. I am very lucky, and I know it.

I am still intrigued by how my total ambivalence was turned on its head by pregnancy.

It is very very hard work. I miss so much of my old life after being child free for such a long time. And I think bring child free is an utterly valid choice.

But honestly, if I knew in my late 20s what I know now, I would have had them younger. The regret I have now is that I can't have a third. And even as I say that I actually cannot believe I'm even thinking it!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 06-May-16 12:01:31

Haha Rombri - I know what you mean! but now Ds2 is 3, I think I've got past that thinking about no. 3! grin

edwinbear Fri 06-May-16 12:28:05

I was 34 and DH 41 when we had dc1 and then 36/43 when we had dc2. DH wouldn't have chosen to have kids if the decision had been his alone and he does resent the impact on his lifestyle a little. However he is a fantastic dad and there are no issues with him tearing about swimming/playing football etc with them. One of the advantages of being slightly older I think is there is maturity and often more financial security which are definitely a plus.

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