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am I ready?

(24 Posts)
galaxy81 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:09:10

I'm asking this here because you guys are already parents so maybe you know something I don't. Anyway, I'm 32, wonderful partner, not much money, career was a flop, but happy. Partner loves kids. I never really have, I don't dislike them, but I just rarely ever meet them. We've basically agreed to start trying soon, because I don't want to put it off forever, and I know this sounds a bit crazy but because I've always been 50/50 about having children, I'm doing this for my partner, because I love him, I think he's going to make a great dad, and I needed something to sway me or I'd spend the rest of my life wondering. But oh my God am I terrified. All the things I love doing I will never get to do again, for a long time: sleeping, reading in peace, travelling, going out with my girlfriends, writing, catching up on the news. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up these things. Is that shallow? All my mum friends are different to me: they sort of always liked being around children and had big families and liked shopping and that sort of thing so it suited them. Their lifestyle didn't seem to change that much. What I'm asking is, ladies, do you really not get ANY time to yourself? Is it REALLY as tough as it looks? I'm terrified!

findingherfeet Wed 19-Feb-14 21:16:07

You don't sound convinced!! Don't base this on your age or what your friends are doing and certainly not 'for' your partner would be my opinion.

I found that the first year after baby's arrival made a big impact on my very solid relationship (having been quite set in our ways/roles in the ten years before DDs)

violator Wed 19-Feb-14 21:20:25

Yes it's tough.
No, you're not shallow!

In all honesty, if you don't really want a child then hold off a bit. You're only 32!
I don't believe anyone is truly "ready" to have a child, because your first newborn is such a shock to the system regardless of what you think you know.
But if you're happy with your life right now and have things you'd like to do before a baby arrives, then do them.

findingherfeet Wed 19-Feb-14 21:20:30

Sorry posted too soon -

You could potentially feel real resentment if you are left holding the baby that 'he wanted'.... Life does change, roles/responsibilities etc

You don't have to love or have an interest in other peoples children (I think everyone feels very different about their own) but you do need to want a baby/family IMO ....I longed to be a mummy/raise a child with hubs and start that new chapter and I'm not really hearing this from you.

You don't have to have children now....or in the future, go with heart not head smile

Hexbugsmakemeitch Wed 19-Feb-14 21:23:51

Yes, it is tough.

But it is completely worth every sacrifice (and there are more than a few ) that you have to make.

however I would recommend taking some time to make sure that you are ready, it's not fair to the child otherwise.

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 19-Feb-14 21:33:37

IF someone told you you couldn't have kids, how would you feel?

How I knew I was ready was when we were a few months into TTC and it was not happening for us, then yet another close friend got pregnant, and I was bawling my eyes out whilst simultaneously really happy for her! (Ironically, I got pregnant within a couple of weeks..)

BarberryRicePud Wed 19-Feb-14 21:41:03

Well, yes it can be as tough as it looks tbh. I have 2 DC, 10m and 3.5. I always wanted them and couldn't be happier, but it's still tough some days.

BUT, DH didn't want kids. Said he would before we married then changed his mind. Eventually told him it would sadly be make or break for us, as I knew I would end up feeling very resentful and empty if we didn't have a child. Then we had dc1. He didn't sleep much at all and needed to be held all the time for months. It was hard work. And I adore him.

DS was 18m when one day out of the blue, no hints from me at all, DH announces he wants to do it all again. Point is, he loves being a dad. Yes, we've lost a lot of things we used to do, your list above and going out for nice dinners/holidays. But what you haven't written down is what the trade off is. Unconditional love, big sloppy kisses on your neck from a sticky fingered dc who thinks you are the best person in the world. Doing all the kid stuff with adult sense of humour - zoos, pantomimes, Christmas morning, seeing snow for the first time, the exhilaration of the first wee in the loo, teaching them to write their name... That list is limitless and such an enormous joy. Our lives are more disrupted and complicated and completely rich and fulfilling.

The things you mention you'll lose - yes, but only temporarily. And perhaps your DH would agree to you going out once a week for you to retain a sense of self, or keep up a hobby. Though tbh you may feel differently when DC is here.

Yes, you need to be sure, but don't base it on disliking other peoples kids. No one likes other peoples kids. And we're all scared, even planned pg, when you see those 2 lines, it's bloody terrifying. Have an honest try at writing a list of things kids could bring to your life, it might surprise you.

SqueakdeSqueak Wed 19-Feb-14 21:45:07

I wasn't that bothered about having kids, wasn't even keen when I got pregnant at 33 (I wanted to swap her for a horse blush )wasnt that bothered right up until she was born.......she is my whole world and I can't believe how lucky I am to have her in my life.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Wed 19-Feb-14 21:50:10

It really is as tough as it looks. And then some. And then some more.
It's also amazing and wonderful. Indescribably so. But I would not recommend that you do it if you're feeling ambivalent. Seriously. Don't do this for someone else.

Bodicea Wed 19-Feb-14 21:57:44

New mum here. Never been remotely interested in other peoples babies. Had a lovely life - lots of exotic hols, mini breaks, eating out all the time etc.
But now that I have my little boy I am besotted. It is so different when it is your own.
I have given up all that stuff ( the hols etc) but honestly was starting to get a bit bored of it all. It was starting to bit pointless and empty. I thought am I still going to be doing the same thing in 10/20 years time and enjoying it?
Having a baby is totally different and hard but it has it's own rewards and they are way better.

galaxy81 Wed 19-Feb-14 22:33:23

Thanks so much everyone for the helpful and honest replies. Its such a big decision! I feel so selfish, and every day I wake up thinking 'today's the day' I'm going to feel all gooey and maternal and I never do. But in a way that's not my personality. I'm very serious and sarcastic. I've spent the last year doing things I want to do so that I can feel ready to be a parent: I've traveled to Africa, alone, to do volunteer work. I did a masters degree. I've read as many books as I possibly can. I've gone out with my friends. I've crowd-surfed at rock festivals. How utterly selfish! And my partner has been supportive, financially and emotionally, even though our income is pretty low. But am I more ready? Not really. I guess I'll wait for that Eureka moment. I've tried hanging around with my mum-friends and their children and, frankly, while the kids are cute and all, I'm always glad to get away. My mum-friends are tired, can't concentrate on anything I'm saying and sometimes I even feel like I'm treading on eggshells. I feel like telling them: Please sell it a bit better, make it seem easier, convince me to do it! At this stage I reckon a good old fashioned accident would be the best thing. My partner and I are sick of using condoms anyway (I can't take birth control) so I guess we might slip up one of these days and take it from there....

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Thu 20-Feb-14 12:16:02

You might not get all gooey and broody though! I never did. I just thought it seemed practically like the right time and I felt ready.. I mostly just wanted a year off work...

stowsettler Thu 20-Feb-14 14:38:58

I was nearly 40 when I had DD, and intellectually I was ready - but only by that age! I would have been far too immature to have kids earlier!
I say intellectually, because emotionally you are never ready, IME. DD is now nearly 1 and it has been the hardest year of my life. If I'm totally honest, even though I love her dearly, I haven't really enjoyed the first year very much. It is relentless, boring and frustrating.

BUT

I did adore her very quickly - not immediately, like some people - but quickly enough.
She's starting to develop her own personality now, and that is brilliant. She's funny, feisty and always in trouble and she makes both DP and I laugh like drains every day.

She is completely worth it and is the light of my life - but if I'm completely honest with myself, I wouldn't have missed what I didn't have if she'd never come along.

So that's just my two penn'orth.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Feb-14 14:45:54

If you're not sure just don't do it. Yes you may be smitten when Lo arrives, or you may not. Who can tell.

As for your friends selling it to you. If they'd made it look really easy and you then went on to find out it wasn't, would you be happy with them? smile

Eletheomel Thu 20-Feb-14 14:50:41

I never got gooey gooey. I always felt nervous around children, hated it when people offered babies to me to hold (even when 39 wks pregnant with dS1) and had spent much of my adult life avoiding kids. But DH wanted them, I didnt' want NOT to have one (if you know what I mean) we started ttc, expected to fall first few months and nothing. It took us 3 years to concieve DS1 (I started when I was 33) by the time he arrived, my god was I ready for him, yet at the beginning of ttc I was probably a bit ambivalent.

I wouldnt' have a child until you're ready and if you still want to do lots of stuff then maybe you'd be resentful if you had a child. However, agree with other posters that in some ways you're never ready for it. But by the time DS1 turned up I'd done so much travelling, drinking, socialising and general me-time, that I was well ready to ditch it all for weekends at the park and doing lunches out instead of dinner.

The second I clapped eyes on DS1 I fell head over heels in love with him, my life changed in an instant (total cliche, and totally doesn't happen that way with everyone, but it did with me) and I've never regretted it, not for a single second.

But, go with your gut - it's usually right :-)

Trooperslane Thu 20-Feb-14 15:02:59

Ah you're never ready. But as others said, for me it was about looking at the rest of my life without a family. I couldn't square that. Intellectually it shouldn't make a difference but emotionally, the opposite.

That broke my heart and my DHs (to a certain extent).

We tried for 8 years and yes I did get obsessed - naturally I suppose.

We now have a 6 month old dd and the appeal of a year off work was also a huge part of it too if I'm honest. It's still a massive adjustment and my life pre dd sounds very like yours.

I will never regret it for a single second even though she had me up 5 times last night, nope

Faffette Fri 21-Feb-14 11:46:15

For me, I never had that eureka moment but time was marching on and I asked myself whether I would prefer a life with children or without. I had no particular maternal feelings. It was a rational decision. I was hoping that nature would do its job and I would fall in love with my children when they were born. And I did!. I have no regrets. I did get the baby blues with the first one. I think one thing that helps is that I got a lot of support from my husband. He pointed out that as parents we are number ones because without us, the children cannot thrive. And so I felt no guilt about knowing that I had to factor my needs in even as a Mum. (Well perhaps not straight away). I may sound cold hearted but I love my children and I am really glad I made this decision.

You may never get a eureka moment but certainly you can wait for a little longer before deciding.

tidyupandeatyourgreens Fri 21-Feb-14 14:13:22

This is a really good article, you might want to have a read: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/17/has-having-children-made-me-happier-open-university

HazleNutt Fri 21-Feb-14 16:04:55

I, like you, were never interested in children. I have an almost 8-month old now. I was not feeling that I'm ready or longing for babies, but as others said, I didn't want to remain childless. And like you, didn't really have any good reasons to postpone it.

It has been nothing like those horror stories you hear. ooh you never sleep again, ooh you never drink your coffee hot again - pff. I have plenty of time for everything, we still travel, see friends, read news etc, I do not find it such a hard slog at all.

I have to admit that I didn't fall in love with him instantly like most mothers do, there were some moments in the first weeks when I really wondered if we had done the right thing. But when they start interacting more and smiling back, that's just amazing. And he's so much fun now that we're already trying for DC2.

blacktreaclecat Fri 21-Feb-14 16:14:00

How would you feel if you had trouble conceiving?
I felt just like you when we started trying but by the time DS arrived , 3 years later after clomid, ivf and 2 losses, I was desperate to be a mummy.
Anyway I've found having one means you can still have a life. DS slept through the night at 10 weeks and apart from when he's poorly, every night since. He is asleep beside me at the moment so I have daytime naps as well. We still go on holiday, I leave him with H and go shopping, we leave him with grandparents and go out for meals.
Most of all he is the joy of our lives.

HelenHen Fri 21-Feb-14 17:08:11

I never had a ready moment either! I'd lived a very full life before I met dh so I have no regrets. I kinda just went along with it too pretty unenthusiastically! I cried when we got bfp... Nof all tears of joy grin most were fear! I'm 33 now, ds is my whole life and we're having no. 2. I(very patronising) feel sorry for previous friends of mine who don't have it cos they just don't know that level of love. If you really didn't want kids, you'd find it easy to say no imo!

galaxy81 Fri 21-Feb-14 21:06:23

I think some of my trepidation has to do with my career being a flop. I struggle to find even temp jobs even though I have a degree and 2 Masters degrees, because of where we live. Friends of mine with permanent jobs with maternity leave seem not to have to make SUCH a change to their lives because, for me, it means being a stay-at-home mum whereas for them, they get to resume their lives and their independence. Then again, they all hate their jobs and wish they could stay at home! So you can't win! Thanks for all the replies. Its a tough decision. Sometimes I wish I was a man, then I'd want 10 children no problem!!

Doodle1983 Fri 21-Feb-14 23:05:21

My DS is now just three weeks old - I'm 30. I've always thought I wanted kids - mainly cause I couldn't imagine growing old without them. I wasn't really that into trying (and so wasn't disappointed when it took over a year). When I got a positive result I cried sad tears out of selfishness. I hated being pregnant and didn't join in with any of my friends excitement about getting the nursery ready or washing all the clothes ready for baby coming (seriously what's the point). I enjoyed buying the pushchair in the same way I enjoy spending a stupid amount of money on a designer handbag.. But now he's here... I'm not sleeping, My body hurts from the EMCS, I haven't eaten a meal peacefully in three weeks - but I totally don't get bored looking after him. It's tough but I'm glad I did it. And my husband makes the best father

Doodle1983 Fri 21-Feb-14 23:07:57

Oh and work wise - I always said I needed to secure a decent job- and had failed to secure a promotion at work. We figured you can't wait for ever.. So started trying. And then a week after my baby came I had the news that my promotion was successful! Hard work paid off in he end

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