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Undecided on kids. None or one?

(56 Posts)
alittlebitmanic Sat 11-Feb-17 09:49:31

I am really stressing myself out over this at the moment, and I just can't decide whether to not have any children, or whether to try for just the one. I wanted to post on here for some advice or if anyone might have any insight that would be helpful to make my decision.

For the longest time, I wasn't sure I ever wanted children. My boyfriend and I love to travel, a lot, to far away places, go diving, generally live a carefree lifestyle, and we can be quite lazy to be honest sometimes. The rest of the time I am racing around with my type A personality, trying to plan everything and do it all at once.

I am 29, he is 30 and we have been together over 10 years. We've spoken about it and he is in the same place as I am, totally undecided and can see pros/cons to both sides. One thing he is very worried about, and this has started to worry me too, is the possibility of having a disabled child.

We both plan to keep working and he travels a lot for work, and I suffer from thyroid/hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue which I am working to get under control or get rid of. I know it is a LOT of work raising children and I just don't know if we could handle a disabled child. My boyfriend has twins in his family with severe cerebral palsy and I just don't know if we could do it.

More than one child for me is going to be too much, but I am thinking of having just one child as this might be a great balance. Still a bit of freedom/time to ourselves, more money to focus on that child and the possibility to still travel with the child. We will have both sets of parents close by to help out too.

I'm just wondering if having the one child is that big a lifestyle change? Obviously, I know it's a huge change, but once your child is a little bit older, do you still get time for yourselves? I love the idea of being a parent in some ways, sharing hobbies, doing arts and crafts, having the family all together at Christmas etc, but I just can't decide what's right for us. How do you come to a decision on something so huge?

Some of the positives I can think of: Raising your own person and educating them etc, giving our parents the chance to be grandparents, having the experience of being a parent - might regret it if we don't, gives our life more meaning and purpose, sharing hobbies and doing fun activities together, being a family unit and hanging out with friends/family that also have kids

The main negatives: a will lose a lot of sleep which I need a quite a bit of right now, less time/freedom to do adult things, restricted with travelling, juggling work and parenting, I will probably be tired all the time in the beginning, teenage years, risk of not having a healthy baby, less money. (the only major ones here would be travel and the baby not being healthy)

I am going around in circles and stressing myself out here. Can anyone offer any insight or how I might be able to make a decision? There are several reasons I don't want to be too old a mum, so my cut off is age 32 - which doesn't give me very long to make a very monumental life decision!

How do I make it?

boredwithabrokenfinger Sat 11-Feb-17 10:06:14

You don't want them, do you? Otherwise there wouldn't be all this thinking.

I wasn't sure. Turns out I can't have them. I'm actually really pleased that I didn't (and so is my friend who is in the same position).

I have a lovely life. I don't think I would be as happy if I had children.

HaveCourageAndBeKind Sat 11-Feb-17 10:09:17

Don't have one. Just don't. Firstly, because you'll struggle to find only children who truly enjoy(ed) it, but mostly because children are hard, hard work and you have to really want to put yourself through it. They're a labour, a life-long slog. Make sure it's what you want, not what's expected or what anyone else wants!

Rioja123 Sat 11-Feb-17 10:12:29

If you're having to talk yourself into it, it's not the right thing for you

kel1234 Sat 11-Feb-17 10:15:49

I agree. I think if you want children you just know, automatically. I knew from a young age I wanted children, and was determined to have them when the time was right.
Sorry if I sound harsh but I do think it sounds like you are leaning more towards not having one. As a pp said, children are for life, even when they are grown up with children of their own, they will always be your children and will still always need you.

Trooperslane Sat 11-Feb-17 10:16:40

Courage that's harsh and a massive generalisation about onlies.

We lost Dd2 (late miscarriage) after all the other miscarriages and the many years of fertility treatment and we can't put ourselves through it again.

So thanks for making me and all the others unlucky enough to have only one feel great.

Sorry for the thread derail, op.

You still have a bit of time to think.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 11-Feb-17 10:17:39

Firstly, because you'll struggle to find only children who truly enjoy(ed) it,

That part is complete and utter bollocks, but the rest isn't.

Mol1628 Sat 11-Feb-17 10:19:31

It's really hard to contemplate just how difficult and draining children are. Even if you do get a break and time to yourself, it's never truly your time, you're always relying on someone else having the child, or if they're unwell or something you have to cancel all your plans. For years you have to work to their schedule till they're old enough to get themselves up and do their own breakfast.

Really don't do it if you're questioning it this much.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 11-Feb-17 10:21:48

I don't agree you always know you want children. I didn't.

I'd wait for now, and readdress in a couple of years.

FacelikeaBagofHammers Sat 11-Feb-17 10:24:13

One child is still a child and will be as distruptive to your life as 10 would be, in certain ways. I think you are trying to talk yourself into it a bit.

Having said that, I've two young kids and still manage a job, exercise, a great social life and time to myself. I am lucky with a really supportive husband and family close by, but there is no denying it is HARD work.

I dont think there is anyone out there who would wish to have a disabled child. There are new, non invasive tests you can take early on in the pregnancy if that's something you think might give you confidence.

Iys bloody hard work, but I'd still have had them if I knew then what I know now smile

Best of luck with your decision. You've got time so give yourself another year or two if you're not certain.

Flipthebirdy Sat 11-Feb-17 10:24:14

It seems like you had to think quite hard to jot those 'positives' down and some of them are a reach. Why don't you leave it a few years and see how you feel then.

Crumbs1 Sat 11-Feb-17 10:26:21

Hash reality is that if you do t know whether you want a child you probably shouldn't have one yet. Every child should ideally be a planned and wanted creation between a committed couple who are ready to adapt to the needs of the child.

smilingsarahb Sat 11-Feb-17 10:29:38

My friends with one child all seem to have lovely lives and the children seem perfectly happy. The financial impact isn't as great so they do tend to keep more of themselves. Lots of siblings hate each other. But neither of you sound like you particularly want a child. A child should be wanted.

LoveMyLittleSuperhero Sat 11-Feb-17 10:29:47

Firstly, because you'll struggle to find only children who truly enjoy(ed) it ouch, my daughters sister died and its not safe for me to have more confused thanks for making me feel shittier about that!

OP as others have said if you are doubting it this much then there's every chance children aren't right for you. There's nothing wrong with saying you don't want children. At the same time if you feel even slightly like you are giving all these reasons to talk yourself out of it, then please think incredibly carefully so that you don't have regrets later.
Your positives concern me, you shouldn't have children for someone else (not even your parents), your life can be meaningful without them, you can still do hobbies etc with your partner and there is nothing stopping you hanging outwith families/people who have kids, (the two people who visit me the most are childless).
Also I would be worried about you having travel as such a high priority, traveling with a young dc is often more stressful than enjoyable, once they hit school age you have to worry about term time. Plus it depends if the places you like to travel to are child friendly? If not you could end up sacrificing a lot of your travelling.

Conniedescending Sat 11-Feb-17 10:34:11

I think you should go for it - you have listed many positives and so I think you'd regret it if u didn't. Parenting is part of life - a child can travel with you, go diving etc You do need yo consider their needs but it's not just hard work and inconvenienc

People on MN seem to make more of being a parent than it actually is and always doom and gloom. Just see it as another stage of life

NotTheBelleoftheBall Sat 11-Feb-17 10:36:10

Unless there are underlying medical issues that you haven't mentioned: you've got plenty of time.

I tend to disagree with this statement:

You don't want them, do you? Otherwise there wouldn't be all this thinking.

Because at 29 I felt much the same, I rationalised that kids just weren't for me, I enjoyed my life, my job, travel and being carefree, I wondered if I could ever give a child the time and commitment one deserves and reasoned that I know a lot of kids, so I wasn't really missing out.

For seven more years I presumed that we'd remain child free, then at 36 and all-of-sudden I felt that maternal urge that people talk about. When I was 37 we had DD, and I adore her - she's the best thing I've ever done.

There is no right or wrong answer, loads of people live perfectly happy and fulfilling lives without kids and vice versa. As a woman it feels like the clock is ticking for a decision, but (most of the time) the clock is actually ticking quite slowly, and you've got a good deal of time ahead of you to make a decision.

SummerHouse Sat 11-Feb-17 10:37:34

I totally get this

I was 33 when I got pregnant by accident (contraception fail). It is the absolute best thing that ever happened to me. I feel so lucky.

I still wonder how anyone makes that monumental decision. I thank my lucky stars it was made for me. flowers good luck op and all the best.

Meffy Sat 11-Feb-17 10:43:24

I've got 3 DC.DS7 is severely disabled DS9 has High functioning ASD and ADHD.
I clearly remember the day I gave birth just wishing I had disabled children! 🤔
If you had a disabled child you would cope as you don't have any choice !
Your own life becomes less important when you have children.
TBH you don't sound like you actually want a child, more an accompaniment. Kids come in all forms.
Good luck with your decision!

Evergreen777 Sat 11-Feb-17 10:46:15

I think you're right that one child can tag along to your life in a way that two or not can't. When me and my ex had only DC1 we did quite a bit of traveling, took him out on an evening with us - he slept in a buggy in a lot of pub gardens. When DC2 was born life just had to become a lot more child focussed. So I can see your logic in thinking of just one to keep you some of the lifestyle you like.

A baby is very, very tiring, even if it's your only one. You would lose energy for anything else for a year or so. After that, it gets easier, and these days I love the company of my teenagers, especially on the odd occasions I get just one of them.

The people I know with only children who seem happiest (the parents and the child) are people who are naturally sociable, holidaying with other families, etc.

SuperBeagle Sat 11-Feb-17 10:47:19

Firstly, because you'll struggle to find only children who truly enjoy(ed) it

Where'd you pull that load of shite from?

I'm an only child, and very happy. I got opportunities I wouldn't otherwise have gotten, for a start.

SuperRainbows Sat 11-Feb-17 10:47:28

just wondering if having one child is such a big lifestyle change

Having one child is the most monumental life change!
We went on to have three more and each one got easier. I always wanted four children and it has been hard work at times.
I breastfed them all, had a massive family bed, carried them round almost constantly and have partly home educated them all.
I gave up my career, we've never had much money and I don't get much time to myself, but I am so happy and wouldn't change a thing.
It's a difficult decision to make because you can't imagine the love you would feel towards your baby. Your life and priorities change forever.
Do you have any friends with children you could talk to?

helterskelter99 Sat 11-Feb-17 10:52:54

I didn't want children and we talked ourselves round in circles then thought we'll see what happens got pregnant immediately and it felt right
Had a bad 12 weeks scan and several more mc then a load of Ivf 5 years later we took home our one and only because we can't do that again
It's fab he's very adaptable and we do lots of things people who have more than one or more importantly are planning more than one don't but i also think some of that is our personality and the fact that we were 40 when we finally had him

seafoodeatit Sat 11-Feb-17 10:54:41

You sound very unsure, I echo some of the other opinions here in that there is no rush and you should give it a bit more time to see how you feel. This is not one of those things that you can do a pro/con for because children are just not that predictable, they may have terrible reflux, sleep issues and the next 2/3 years may be hell or they may be the easiest child to look after, you can't bet on anything turning out a certain way.

Theiggorcist Sat 11-Feb-17 10:55:06

Some people are just over-thinkers. I spent years back and forward on this, and eventually went for it (late thirties, early thirties would have been better imo) after a final big holiday! Completely happy I did, though not for any of the reasons you've suggested, I just fell in love with my children. A lot of the things I was worried about (holidays, alone time) did come to pass it is not all plain sailing, but as they grow I can see things getting easier again and I hope I have a good number of years left to fit it all in.
I think the jump from 0 to 1 is much bigger than from 1 to 2. Mind you we have zero family support at hand and looks like you have quite a bit (check that - being local doesn't mean they want to help, as aibu on here often shows!)

Theiggorcist Sat 11-Feb-17 10:57:08

There's a book called "have baby will travel" about a woman's experiences travelling with her baby, you might enjoy that OP.

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