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AIBU to ask for your experiences : indifferent to having kids?

(82 Posts)
OctoberCupcake Sat 06-Jun-20 20:07:06

Are there any parents here who were, before having kids, indifferent to the idea of them?

I’ve never been sure one way or the other. I’ve been in relationships where I could see it happening (as is the case now), but at other times I’ve been quite happy with the idea of never having them. I neither desperately want them, nor am I firmly against it. My partner feels much the same.

I’m now at an age where time is no longer on my side, but I don’t know where we start making this kind of lifelong, life changing decision from a place of indifference.

I do like the idea of ‘a family’ that as an only child to a single parent I feel like I missed out on to a degree, but I also have a nagging worry that we could hate the radical change to our comfortable easy lives and regret it!

Did anyone here feel the same before you had kids? What made you have them, and how do you feel now? Thanks in advance x

OP’s posts: |
Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Jun-20 20:26:51

When DH and I got together neither of us were particularly fussed about having children, we didn't really talk about it thinking back.

We were together 8 years before we found ourselves talking about it. I was late twenties and to me if we were going to have them I didn't want to wait much longer, plus a couple of our friends had started to have babies so I guess that made us think.

We decided that we would try but if nothing happened then so be it.

Had two DC 2 and a half years apart in the end. They are 21 and 18 now and I am so proud of them. I am not going to lie though the first year after DC1 was erm, challenging shall we say, and a lot of the primary school years were less than enjoyable.

AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken Sat 06-Jun-20 20:46:13

I was indifferent. My attitude was "maybe in the future" though really not wanting to give up my freedom at all and dreading the thought of having to make the decision one way or the other. Then I turned 28 and went though some crazy biological clock hormones and felt that I "needed a baby right now".
Hormones are crazy!

OctoberCupcake Sat 06-Jun-20 21:15:33

Well I’m 36 now so I think if that was going to be the case it would have happened by now! hmm

OP’s posts: |
AllTheUsernamesAreAlreadyTaken Sat 06-Jun-20 21:21:13

Hahaha possibly!

WhatwouldJudydo Sat 06-Jun-20 21:21:13

Hmm I had kids really young so obviously not planned! I guess being young I threw myself into it full heartedly after overcoming the initial shock and I love being a mum but it is relentless at times but the positives are much higher for me than the negatives! I also now have four children so four is a lot different to one! One child you are a lot more flexible - childcare is easier, they fit in with you more, once you have more than one then it's more about the kids than yourselves, you are balancing between the two kids etc and things require more planning.

lineandsinker Sat 06-Jun-20 21:27:50

I was on the fence and so was my husband. Then we had a contraceptive failure 6 months after we got married and we decided to run with it, especially as I’ve got a gynaecological disorder and was told I’d struggle to conceive.

I definitely freaked out a lot towards the end of my pregnancy and had post-natal depression after where I felt like my whole world had caved in and really questioned my decision to continue with the pregnancy.

However... LO is 8 months old now and I wouldn’t be without him. Obviously we’re quite new to parenting and this is a lovely age but so far, I’m glad that we have him.

DH have said recently that we were glad the decision was taken out of our hands somewhat, as I think we would have just continued to dither until it was too late.

lineandsinker Sat 06-Jun-20 21:30:13

I’m definitely ‘one and done’ now, though. Have zero desire to have anymore children. People are aghast at this and telling me that ‘you’ll change your mind in a couple of years’, my LO ‘needs a playmate’ and that ‘he’ll be lonely as an only’ but my mind is made up.

SorryImNotCreative Sat 06-Jun-20 22:03:46

I could’ve written this, OP. I’m 28, DH is 32. We got married last year and moved into a bigger home this year, but we’re very undecided! Interested to see replies!

SimonJT Sat 06-Jun-20 22:10:22

I don’t think indifferent is the correct word for me, kids/being a parent had never ever crossed my mind, I had never even thought about it. Being a man I had never been asked about having children, so I hadn’t had that to make me think about it.

I unexpectantly became a parent via an in family adoption, I was led to believe by SS that I was just needed for a few weeks. Almost four years later he’s still here!

Now I have him it’s bonkers to think being a parent wasn’t on my radar, I enjoy being a parent, he is amazing (well, when he isn’t being a bugger) and I just can’t imagine him not being part of me and our little family. I would like to have another, but I know that is very unlikely and I know I’m very lucky to be my sons Dad.

gigi556 Sat 06-Jun-20 22:12:18

Well I always wanted kids. I have DS who is 3. I actually felt the first year was really tough and even now I miss what it was like without kids. Honestly, if you're indifferent, I'd just build a great kid free life. I could be wrong but kids aren't easy and they are a big financial strain. I want another one now but I'm hoping a second won't be as big a shock to the system and like I said, I always wanted to be a mother and have a family.

OoohTheStatsDontLie Sat 06-Jun-20 22:12:40

Hi OP

I was indifferent. We got to 33 and thought we should make a decision whether to try or not and I came off contraception (this sounds mad but a lot of it was down to curiosity, I felt its such a big thing not to experience). And I got pregnant straight away. It sounds stupid as of course that's a possibility but it was a huge shock and I spent the first half of my pregnancy in denial and the second crying every day about what I was giving up.

I'm going to ne brutally honest - I love them but the bad parts kind of balance out the good parts so for me so far i guess in some ways it's been neutral. I don't regret it as such but i do have days where I think 'if I didnt have kids I'd be doing x now...' quite often. We used to travel a lot, party a lot, go out for posh food, go skiing, most of which is theoretically possible with kids but the effort and cost now outweighs most of the enjoyment.

I was surprised at how much I loved my babies though given I generally think puppies and most other animals are much cuter than human babies. Also at how touchy feely I am with them, normally I'm not a hugger. I was better with some things than I thought - I was dreading changing nappies but it was fine, and considering I used to lie in til lunch time whenever I had the chance, I coped ok on no sleep (to s point). I did struggle with absolute rage that I was the one making the sacrifices like not drinking or eating anything I wanted and my body was changing in pregnancy, I struggled with the mental pressure of being the only one who could breastfeed (both babies were bottle refuses) and I struggled with not being able to be spontaneous and having no time to myself (as a couple we were quite independent before and used to do a lot on the spur of the moment with our friends which never happens any more). But I also never thought I'd laugh as much as I do, or be as interested as I am in my children (honestly when they learn a new skill I was prouder than anything I'd done myself). Its also brought me closer to my family and I've made some new friends.

Sorry not sure that will have helped in any way. There are pros and cons to me.

Molocosh Sat 06-Jun-20 22:25:24

I didn’t want children. DH did and my parents were desperate for grandchildren. So I had one.

When I got pregnant I panicked because it felt scary and it wasn’t what I wanted. Throughout my pregnancy, one day I loved my baby and the next day I wanted an abortion. DH and DM were furious. Birth was horrendous. I suffered from PND because I simply had no interest in my baby and I didn’t want to look after him.

Two years later - I love my son, of course I do. But I still resent having to look after him because I don’t want to be a parent, it doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Truthfully I find him to be a burden much of the time. I’m already wishing he was older so I could have more freedom. I daydream about him being 18 and me getting my life back. I cope but I’m not cut out to be a parent. I knew that before I got pregnant, but I listened to everyone telling me it’ll be fine, you’ll feel different when he’s here, it’ll come naturally. It didn’t.

OctoberCupcake Sat 06-Jun-20 22:25:29

Thanks for the replies; lots of interesting things to consider. I think that deep down I'm concerned that because I'm not totally against the idea that I'll wake up one day too old to conceive and regret it.

We do love to travel and be spontaneous, but have each had years of doing that and lockdown has actually highlighted how bored I was getting of the same old weekend nightlife merry-go-round. Having to stay home has been a bit of a relief if I'm honest, so I don't feel like that loss of freedom would be an enormous blow.

OP’s posts: |
Molocosh Sat 06-Jun-20 22:31:55

Imagine lockdown but for the next decade and a half. You can’t go out because you have a child. You can’t even watch tv or read when you’re stuck in the house, because you have to supervise your kid and he cries if you put anything on the telly except cartoons. You have to go to bed at 9pm every night including weekends, and try to make your child lie down while your partner sits downstairs alone. That’s parenting.

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Jun-20 22:40:13

Molocosh

Imagine lockdown but for the next decade and a half. You can’t go out because you have a child. You can’t even watch tv or read when you’re stuck in the house, because you have to supervise your kid and he cries if you put anything on the telly except cartoons. You have to go to bed at 9pm every night including weekends, and try to make your child lie down while your partner sits downstairs alone. That’s parenting.

Not in my experience, that sounds horrible. sad

VodselForDinner Sat 06-Jun-20 22:59:48

OP, I’m not in the demographic you asked for, but I was indifferent (bar a crazy but thankfully short-lived period of broody was in my early 30s) but we decided to not have children.

100% the right decision for us, and we’re very happy we made it.

OpenWheelRace Sat 06-Jun-20 23:03:31

I'm indifferent too.

And I'd far rather regret not having them, than regret having them!

Most won't admit it, but many, many, many parents, although they love them, regret having kids

JW13 Sat 06-Jun-20 23:03:36

I was quite indifferent (sorry this is long!). I always thought I would have a child, but I was never that keen. Loved my pre-child life - travelled a lot, partied a lot, shopped/ate out a lot. Wasn’t keen on being pregnant and terrified of giving birth. Didn’t really like other people’s children (loved dogs).

My husband was keen and I got to 35 and we thought we should probably go for it. Got pregnant first cycle trying so didn’t have much time to really think about it. Didn’t enjoy being pregnant and was annoyed I made a lot of sacrifices - but it was fine. Had a planned c section so birth was fine as well.

Am so glad we did it. I love my son more than anything in the world. He’s funny, smart and I can’t wait to see him grow up. I don’t think I’ll have another. I always thought I’d only have one and nothing’s changed there. Lockdown has probably cemented that! Trying to do childcare and work FT in a high pressure job was horrendous. I couldn’t do either job well and my mental health has really suffered.

Yes you have to make sacrifices but you can still have a life - we still go out (get a babysitter), go on nice holidays and have managed a few nights away without him over the past couple of years for weddings/a mini break etc. Things that have helped immeasurably are being financially comfortable enough to maintain our lifestyle, having grandparent support (but not regularly as they are 70+ and an hour+ away), still working full time so not doing major periods of childcare alone. Also I think having a second would dramatically impact this - I don’t want a second child enough to make that worthwhile.

It was definitely a shock to the system but my lifestyle had already slowed down a bit as we’d gotten a dog and then pregnancy (no wild partying then)! So it happened gradually and didn’t feel like such a hardship. Plus most of my friends were pregnant or had kids so my partying days were a bit more numbered.

In short I absolutely don’t regret it. It’s no walk in the park and there are things I find incredibly boring/draining. But he’s amazing and I’ve never felt love like it.

Wynston Sat 06-Jun-20 23:08:27

Love the bones of them....but im not good enough for them and i would never do it agian.

raspberryk Sat 06-Jun-20 23:10:08

If you're indifferent then don't do it. I desperately wanted mine, I love them but I do have times of regret. Mine are well behaved and easy, I get 2/ 3 weekends to myself and I still find the cons outweigh the pros.

PurpleFlower1983 Sat 06-Jun-20 23:16:45

I met my DH after a 9 year relationship with an abusive ex, I was 31, he was 35. We both had good careers and loved travelling, living life to the full etc. He wanted kids after 6 months, I was really indifferent to being a parent but agreed to ditch the pill at 4am on a night out in London. I didn’t get pregnant for another 3 years after that and in the meantime we moved in and got married. Our little girl is now almost 16 months and she is the best thing I have ever done and I know my husband feels the same. I consider myself to have been very lucky in life, I’ve had some amazing experiences, but nothing compares to the absolute joy I feel being her mum. She is the best thing I have even done or ever will do.

taraRoo Sat 06-Jun-20 23:18:21

I was COMPLETELY indifferent. Then at 35 I decided to give it a go. I'd been working really hard and just started to question what I actually wanted from life. I was fed up just focussing on work. Came if the pill and 4 weeks later I was pregnant. It was a shock and I had a major panic in the first few weeks. But honestly it's been the most wonderful, joyful experience. I could never have imagined how much happiness my son has brought to my life and my family. I don't think you can possibly understand it until you have one. It is tiring. I miss my sleep and my freedom but I am so pleased I had him. I fact I'm ready for another.

All of that said, I can imagine that I would be happy child free too. If you do stay child free - embrace it! Travel. Go out. Live your life! Whatever you decide is the right choice for you.

HollyGoLoudly1 Sat 06-Jun-20 23:24:17

I was indifferent, perhaps even more in the 'not for me' camp. I have an 18month old now, he's my best bud and I wouldn't change it for the world. HOWEVER I remain utterly convinced that I would have had a completely happy life without him. Plus I found the first 6 months hell. There's no right or wrong here.

Melamine Sat 06-Jun-20 23:36:05

I was indifferent, until the biological clock started ticking at an ear piercing level at 36. Decide to give it a try and if we didnt get anywhere, id be ok with a child free life. My one year old is the absolute light of my life and I’m so happy I didn’t wait in indecision until it was too late.

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