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Help...when to have children?

(61 Posts)
WinnieP Wed 17-Jun-09 10:08:22

I don't know if anyone out there can help...I could really use some advice as I'm really really confused about what to do.
My husband and I have recently been discussing having children. The problem is that neither of us are particularly broody and always said we wouldn't have kids full stop. Lately, we've started to think that maybe we'd like to start a family, but neither of us are completely sure. However, time's ticking on, I'm in my mid-thirties and we're very aware that we shouldn't leave it too late if we do go ahead. What if we never get broody but regret it later?
I'm not really sure what I'm asking, but can anyone tell me if they felt like this before they had children, and how they feel now they've got their kids! Plus, I also worry a lot, and I am concerned about whether or not I'd worry too much about a child.
When do you know the time is right, or is it something you're never entirely ready for, you just have to go ahead and do? Also, how to anxious mothers cope??
Any help and advice appreciated...

mrsruffallo Wed 17-Jun-09 10:11:29

Well, if you are going to do it I wouldn't leave it much longer.
Why do you want children though?

WinnieP Wed 17-Jun-09 10:18:46

Because I can see that there are many wonderful things to parenting and I think we'd enjoy it...but I can also see that it would be quite stressful and like I said, it wasn't really something we'd considered before so this is all quite new to us.

mrsruffallo Wed 17-Jun-09 10:35:50

Of course it is stressful at times, there's no getting away from it. And your life will change more than you imagine.
It is also rewarding and quite, quite wonderful.

itsalwaysthequietones Wed 17-Jun-09 10:46:43

honestly - I think a lot of people never feel ready. And MrsR is right, it is risky leaving it for longer.

When I got a BFP with my first pregnancy I cried. Then I miscarried a few weeks later and was completely gutted even though I'd been apprehensive. Went on to get pregnant again really quickly and now have 18MO DD who is the most amazing little thing and has brought us so, so much happiness. There are stressful times but I've never, ever for a minute regretted having her. Having said that (i) I know people who have had it harder
(ii) I always knew deep down that I wanted children despite the initial panic

Overall, I think it's very, very rare to regret having children (although I know some people feel in the early weeks that maybe they weren't cut out for it but that always seems to subside once you've settled into having a new and very demanding person in your life).

BTW I'm also very anxious - but have tried to teach myself that it's just not healthy/constructive and that I'm just torturing myself. It's almost a physical process, pushing the anxieties to one side and just refusing to acknowledge them

Best of luck

tostaky Wed 17-Jun-09 10:56:48

I think if financially you are ok, if your relationship is strong, then go for it because it is amasing to have kids! wink

triggerhappybaby Wed 17-Jun-09 11:02:22

I feel the same way Winnie I'm almost always in two minds about it.

I won't go into the saga (other threads passim) but now me and DP don't use any contraception on the basis that if it happens it happens and if it doesn't I'm quite philosophical. I'm 35 and it has never been in my life plan, and I can't quite reconcile it eing in my life plan now. Nature will tell me if I'm destined to be a mother and I shall accept whatever the fates decide to throw my way.

Can't deny I'm petrified about runny poo and potty training. I have a fear of poo, big time which I suspect I shall have to overcome, as DP dry heaves even at the thought of it. grin

londonlottie Wed 17-Jun-09 11:12:55

Message withdrawn

VeryAnnieGertie Wed 17-Jun-09 11:26:33

Hey Winnie - come and join us flakes and lushes on the mid-thirties ttc thread and share your angst among like-minded individuals! We none of us know what we're doing on mumsnet....

vanimal Wed 17-Jun-09 11:27:46

hiya,
I dreaded the idea of having kids and then fell preggers by accident blush.

DH was super-ready for them.

It's the best thing I ever did, very stressful and tiring, but still the best thing ever. SO much so I am doing it again a year and a bit later.

It is a lot to think about, and the realities of how much life would change would put you off, but I would say go for it. There is no accounting for just how rewarding they are, and how much love you will have for them.

But I would agree - if you are now in your mid-30's, I would seriously consider trying soon, as you don't know how difficult it may or may not be.

Good luck in your decision.

Cosmosis Wed 17-Jun-09 11:44:01

Second VAG, come and join us on the mid 30s thread. We are basically just boozing, eating crap and wondering if being shit scared about ttc is normal or not wink

triggerhappybaby Wed 17-Jun-09 11:59:31

^ ^ ^ boozing and eating crap as we speak

Kentishwoman Wed 17-Jun-09 13:24:50

Hi there! You sound exactly like me. DH and I were together for ages before we got married and had always said that we didn't want kids. Then my sister had a baby, and I suddenly started feeling differently, because I adored her DD and somehow began to be able to imagine myself as a mother, which I never could before. I never exactly felt broody, but I did start to think that I probably wanted kids after all. DH never really did, TBH, but in the end we decided that my desire to have them was greater than his desire not to have them (plus I usually get my own way grin). Anyway, we started TTC when I was in my early thirties and I was very fortunate to get pregnant immediately. DS is now 20 months and, although we had a very difficult first few months, he is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. It's hard to describe the amazing and unique feeling of being a parent. And I'm glad to say that DH now feels pretty much the same way. I'm now TTC2 and having a few problems in that department (which I won't bore you with). And while I'm upset that I might not be able have any more DC, the thought that if I'd left things a couple more years I might not have had DS at all, makes my blood run cold. I hope I'm not being irresponsible - but I say go for it!!

As for the anxiety thing - you can console yourself with the fact that every parent is anxious, even if they weren't before they had kids!!! Sorry, that sounds a bit flippant. Yes, you will have sleepless nights fretting about your DC (I think my latest was worrying about what would happen if DS ended up having a motorbike in about 16 years' time hmm), but I really wouldn't let that put you off having children.

moopymoo Wed 17-Jun-09 13:26:51

have them now. i dont think i ever would have done if i had waited till i felt ready. too easy to miss the boat I have several friends who have delayed and are now struggling

jugglingwoman Wed 17-Jun-09 13:48:54

I don't know about when to start TTC as I've always wanted children, but I can say I was petrified of being an anxious Mum. TBH, unless I've though of at least 3 'if it goes wrong' options for anything, I tend to not sleep well.

But, I 'acquired' a 12 year old girl who's parents were rubbish and I did youth work with her. Ended up doing school runs, ambulance trips, headmaster meetings, etc, had numerous sleepless nights and migraines but definitely got more relaxed generally as I acquired a 'if it doesn't kill me it'll make me stronger' attitude. She's now 19 and a great joy. I may not have given birth to her or been her Mum but even though she still cocks up, I'm incredibly proud of her.

I also now have a DSS (got married last year) who is 8 and, I'm much more relaxed. I still worry but I think as with my 'pretend daughter' things were so bad, I now have a better grip on what's really important. I think it's a case of jumping in at the deep end (I do realise this isn't all too comforting, but believe me, you'll swim).

Oh and we're now talking about TTC my first biological child and I hope I don't discover it's different when my genetics are involved!!

MojoLost Wed 17-Jun-09 13:58:00

Hi winnie,
I'd like to refer you to this thread here

My DS1 has special needs, DS2 is NT, I think I was born to be a mother, I always wanted children. It has been extremely hard work (specially due to DS1's hard work),but, I don't regret it, not one bit. Love my boys with all my heart and my life would be one empty whole without them.

However, there are people that unfortunately do regret having children. Personally, I think you need to be sure before you have them.
I have a friend who had an unplanned pregnancy, her son is 3 now, and although she loves him, she really is not enjoying motherhood at all and misses her previous life.

trixymalixy Wed 17-Jun-09 14:15:30

I don't think I was entirely ready to have children. We knew that we wanted them at some point and Dh had always said that he didn't want to be an old Dad, so we decided the time was right when I turned 30. I still didn't really feel old enough at 30 though!!

We didn't want to leave it much later as we had seen the trouble friend's had been having TTC and wanted to allow time if there were any problems.

We were extremely lucky and conceived straight away, which scared me a bit as I wasn't sure I felt ready and had expected it to take longer.

The first few months were hellish, but having children is the best thing I ever did. DS is just so fantastic, and now I'm expecting no 2.

I don't know anyone that has regretted having kids although it is a lot of hard work.

I say go for it!!

ljhooray Wed 17-Jun-09 14:21:23

Hi there,
agree with lots that has already been said and ou know know matter how prepared or not you feel, the lfe change is enormous. But I have had the same conversation with a close friend of mine - she is not at all sure but it's a question of which situation you would regret more. My two bf are both incredibly worriers and amazing mums! You'll worry about having them and not having them!
There are namy reasons for the time not being right, so I'm not sure that is a good enough reason not to, but I do wonder with some friends of mine that now we are all mid 30's, being surrounded by children is putting on the pressure.
Sounds like you and dh need to really explore your feelings about wanting children. I adore dd but it is utterly life changing and up to about 18mths old I'll admit there were moments I realy missed my pre baby life, but she's not 2 and a half and the total light of my life.

ReneRusso Wed 17-Jun-09 18:16:13

You will never regret having children, but you might well regret not having them or leaving it too late. My advice is don't think about it too much, just go for it.

lynniep Wed 17-Jun-09 18:29:39

I'd just stop with the birth control and see what happens wink

But seriously - how much do you value your freedom - because thats the main issue I've found with a lot of my friends who have now had children. The loss of it. (yes I realise some people will manage to fit their child/ren around their routine, but I dont think thats the 'norm')

I don't massively mourn that - once I got to my 30's I wasnt that bothered about going out and stuff - I'd done some travelling and I was never the sort to head off every weekend on adventures.

The baby stage I found pretty horrendous, but DS is 2 now and life has got gradually easier. Its very different now, but its great in its own way. I never regret having DS, although I'm pretty daunted at having another one on the way. I love DS more than anything and he is the most amazing (and yet annoying, frustrating, and flipping hard work) thing that has ever happened to either me or DH.

makedoandmend Wed 17-Jun-09 19:32:16

I'm 41 and had my first(!?) dc in November last year. Wasn't really bothered about kids, neither was dh but god I'm glad I did. Our life has changed completely, as has our relationaship and I've only had about two hours on my own in the last seven months but I really don't mind (if you knew me before you'd know how out of character that is)

As for you being overly anxious. I promise you - you will not be the mum you think you'll be! I have ocd and was really worried about inflicting it on dd - but it's been pretty much ok. You'll be anxious about everything at first but then over the weeks and months you pick and choose your anxiety attacks! You're too bloody tired to be anxious all the time anyway!

Just do it - I would lay money on you not regretting it.

WinnieP Thu 18-Jun-09 09:18:31

Cosmosis, your comment made me laugh so hard!

I'm currently reading the thread Mojo Lost referred me to. I have never read anything more terrifying in my life! Maybe I should get a dog instead :-)

Thank you all for your responses - especially those with anxiety, I found those particulary useful, and would be interested to hear from any more anxious parents out there. Is there a thread on anxious parents somewhere here?

RunLyraRun Thu 18-Jun-09 14:06:35

WinnieP, thank you for starting this thread, you've prompted me to become a member of the forum in order to respond. I'm still not sure I'm in the right place but I didn't know where else to go. It's amazing to think that other people might be able to relate to how I feel. I could have written the OP myself, every word you said describes how I feel - except I think I'm even more confused/anxious/terrified if that's possible!

I'm 33, been married for 3 years, until this year thought I would never never never want a child (for all the reasons I'm about to list below)... but now I'm thinking:

"It could be kind of brilliant to have a small person in our lives, who we love and who loves us back"
And "I don't want it just to be me and my DH in 10 years time, looking at each other and regretting not having a family"
And "If we're going to do it then we'd better start trying now"

BUT I am also absolutely petrified of EVERYTHING, including:

1. Not being able to get pregnant (I have PCOS and don't think I ovulate, currently having serial progesterone tests to find out)
2. Getting PG but then M/C'ing
3. Getting PG but hating being PG...
4. Giving birth (so so scared about this)
5. Something going horribly wrong at some point during either preg or birth, for me and/or the baby, baby having medical probs etc.
6. Not bonding with the baby, having PND, being lonely and clueless as to how to be a mum...
7. Being worried worried worried every day for the rest of my life about child's wellbeing.

Sorry if this is a) a bit full on for a first post, and b) hijacking WinnieP's thread, but I've been worrying about all of this stuff for years and it's a relief to get some of it off my chest.

Basically I'm a complete control freak and can't get my head around doing something I have little or no control over.

My lovely husband thinks we should just ditch the condoms and increase the amount of sex we have - that's about the start and end of it to him! But he also thinks I should have counselling to talk about some of my fears before we TTC.

Would be interested to know what people on here think - perhaps I should just get over myself and embrace life!? Or perhaps some people aren't meant to have children and I'm one of them (although that thought makes me want to cry).

WinnieP Thu 18-Jun-09 15:52:07

RunLyra - May I call you Lyra? I am giving you a huge hug right now. It's not just me! I'm not a freak!
And clearly you are a kindred spirit as to have found the thread you must have been googling something in the vein of 'How do I know when I'm ready to have kids' which was what I did, desperately hoping someone out there would be able to help me, hence I found this site, and joined specifically to start this thread wink
I am terrified of everything too. Especially your point number 7. Only I have elaborated on the fears to include the finer details of the child's life, up to and including when it's a teenager and will hate me, and dying of malaria when it leaves for its gap year.
I am also a control freak. And a Grade A worrier. How do worriers cope as parents?
How can you make such a MASSIVE life change when you've got no idea how it's going to work out???
The overall response I seem to be getting from friends, and people on this site, is that if you're here you must be thinking about it, so you'll probably regret it if you don't. But am now trapped in the 'What if I don't like it/what if I do it and something goes wrong???' corner, and I hate it. I also need a few more years in which to come around to the decision, which I blatantly don't have. I have so much envy for my friends who know, and have always known, they want to have children.
Argh!

ljhooray Thu 18-Jun-09 16:21:38

WinneP and RunLyra - could give you both a great big hug!
You both sounds like you'd make great mums! Not giving a monkeys IMO is worse than being a worrier! All the worries you list (expect for no 7!) do not last forever, regretting not having children and really wanting them after all will. All of us on MN will have experience none, some or all of what you've listed but can't imagine too many will post that they would have it any other way.
My advice - if you go for it, nurture supportive friendships to see you through and the rest will come (even if at first its terrifying! - but hey, I always loved the scariest rides at Alton Towers, so I'm well prepared!)
I am such a 'what if' person and even decided at 8mths pg that I must have made a terrible mistake, knew naff all about babies and would be the worst mum in history! Bit late by then! Now with a dd 2.5yrs, I feel like the luckiest person in the world (even at 5am!)

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