Deciding to have kids(30 Posts)
Hi! I've been in a great relationship with my husband for years, but I never thought we'd have kids - we've just been too busy enjoying the child-free lifestyle. Well, now he wants kids, desperately. I'm 33 so its not like we have forever to think about it - if we do have kids, I'd rather get on with it now than wait much longer (I know people do start families later, but I also know the health risks increase). I've done a lot of soul searching. Sometimes I think I would like kids but I'm too scared (I'm a real wimp - I can't even handle a blood test without crying!). Its such a permanent commitment. I wish I could feel the same as him, but I don't. I've come off the pill, in the hope that a change in hormones would suddenly make me feel broody, but it hasn't. But I don't want to just 'let fate decide'. If I have kids, I want to be control of that choice. I love my husband and he loves me, and he would be a wonderful stay at home Dad. But I just don't have that magic desire to have kids that others do, and I can't help but feel that if I don't really want kids, I shouldn't have them. I'd really love to hear what you all think!
Out of all my close group of friends, it was the "unmotherly" one of us all who first fell pregnant - a New Year's accident! She took it in her stride and is now one of the best mothers I know. She stuck to having just the one, but her little boy is sweet, well behaved, and she has enjoyed it even with all the struggles. I spoke to her recently about how she feels now having been a mum after claiming she never would be, and she said she felt like it was a challenge, and approached it that way, and has enjoyed finding new parts of herself she never thought could be there. On a slightly more morbid note, she also said that she thinks she would have regretted it later on in life if she'd never had them.
However, that is her personal story and not yours. No new mum ever feels "ready" - even if they think they do, it all goes out of the window when baby comes. So don't think it means you're not cut out for it... just means you're more realistic than a lot of us! You are blessed with a wonderful DH who wants this and will be supportive and hands-on, so I'm imagining you might have an easier ride than the majority of men who are clueless and bumbling!
Only you know how your heart feels about this. Don't let the "ticking clock" make you feel pressured into making a decision - give yourself some time and maybe spend time with friends who have young children and ask them questions about it. Best wishes OP xxx
This is tough because I was in a spookily similar situation about a year ago. Right down to my age and DH up for being a SAHD. Well I made my choice and I now have a 3 month old! I know it's too early to say really but I'm afraid I'm not sure if you gave me my time again that I would make the same choice. Having said that I do love him very much and there are moments of real joy but I feel ive lost myself a bit.
DH is very good and does everything he can but if you breastfeed then the intense stuff is all on you.
I don't know really we probably both need someone with an older child to tell us how it panned outing term!
I don't know how long you've been off the pill, but in my experience women tend to be 38+ before broodiness hits hard. Up until then it is not panicky or all consuming.
If I have kids, I want to be control of that choice
This sentence really struck with me, mostly because I felt like that once... But five years of miscarriage and IVF knocked it out of me. Whatever we like to think actually we don't control all that much. So even of you decide that you don't want kids now you have to accept the risk of an about face, and it being too late.
There is a thread on the mental health area called 'anyone else regret having children" maybe a peek there might help see if you identify with those women.
Lastly if the gender's were reversed many posters would say end the marriage and be with someone who shares that core ideal. I think that would be fair advice to your husband and that you have to accept that in a stalemate, he may be prepared to call time on the relationship. (and that you might then be overcome with brooding as you approach or pass your 40th)
Of course finding out you are pregnant the first time can be scary and many people have complex emotions but ..... It isn't all "permanent commitment" before you know it there is a "relationship" a mutuality, that makes the pain insignificant.
Splendide I just wanted to tell you that it does get easier... the first year to year and a half is very child-focused because basically you are at that child's beck and call - I struggled too, but managed to regain some sense of self by returning to work and making sure I still kept up my hobbies regardless of baby!! I now have a very independent and intelligent DS aged 22 months who doesn't need me like he once did and we are still finding we can go on holiday (we went to Ibiza with him aged 17 months, in fact one of our best ever holidays - it helped they had a crèche!) and I love life.
Give it time, and faith - and accept help wherever it's offered!!!
I think which ever path you decide you will always have moments of thinking what if. I was opposite to you I thought I was made to have children but turns out my dp is much better at coping with them than I am. It's hard relentless work . I also miss them like crazy if I'm not with them . I do no a lot of people who don't have children regret it later down the line . I also think that one child you still maintain a good level of your life before children . We have 2 little ones and it's certainly pretty full on . If ones occupied the other isn't . I wouldn't change what I have . They bring so much laughter into the house . BUT I also have moments of just wanting to be left alone x
You are me! To cut a long winded story short-if you have a supportive husband- go for it!
Thanks for posting that Phoenix, I'm trying very hard to believe I'll get some "me" back at some point. I find myself sobbing over ridiculous things like I always used to do a jigsaw on christmas eve afternoon and watch a Christmas film and I couldn't this year. I was clusterfeeding plus I was so tired. I know this makes me sound mad and like a selfish monster.
It's just I would never have believed quite how horribly hard this bit can be. Before I had him I would have pictured me drinking my sherry and doing my jigsaw plus cuddling a lovely baby.
I'm improving already a bit though, if I'd responded to this thread 6 weeks ago I'd have said definitely don't do it and that I'd do anything to have to chance to make that choice again.
I'm almost 39 & seriously on the fence. He's 9 years older than me & feels the same way. My take, although I've never been broody or "wanted" a child, is that it's the most natural thing in the world to have a baby. So the decision, for us, would be not to have one. I don't look at my friends' families with envy at all. I'd have one, if I can. If I don't or can't, then... I don't think I'll be sad. Different though if one wants & the other isn't sure. His feelings might sway you.
Tine er really thought I'd have kids and went over and over whether to. In the end we did as DH wanted one, if it hadn't been for him I don't think we would have. DD is now 1 and if I as my time again I think I might make a different decision.mi do though feel happier now I'm back at work even though it's just been a week, am hoping things get even better as we start a new routine. I found being at home all day hard work and boring and felt I'd lost identity. I missed the trips out shopping, lunches, nights out as everything was baby related. I BF and felt I had no escape. Spending the evenings after work with DD have been much more fun now I am not doing it all day every day. DH was amazing too so it wasn't that. Maybe I am just not cut out for the staying at home but it can work when I have my cReer back.
I don't want put you off but I guess trying to say not everyone loves it and maybe it does get better, for time will tell. I obviously love DD but feel I have lost a bit of me I am hoping to get back now we've got through the intense baby stage.
OP don't do it unless you really want kids. It's the hardest thing I've ever done (to the point I find myself wondering what I've done to my own life) and I really really wanted a baby. I can't imagine how much harder it would feel if you had a baby essentially because your partner wanted you to. At least if you want a baby in advance you can remind yourself of how much you wanted them when you're up for the 5th time in a night feeding/cleaning up poo/turning down invitations to all sorts of nice things you can't go to because you've got to stay in with a baby. It's such a permanent, all-encompassing change to your life. I know it sounds obvious but again, even as somebody who really wanted a baby, I'm often surprised by how 'forever' it feels now dd is here.
Good luck whatever you choose
I was you....nice life ....never ever felt 'broody' ....at 36 I found myself unexpectedly pregnant.
Hadn't got a clue what to do....
Had dd who is now 4.5 and amazing.
I can honestly say I have to this day still never felt 'broody'....I'm not particularly maternal but just adore my own dc....find all the baby talk dull dull dull.
I guess what I'm trying to say is don't let this lack of 'broody feelings' be the major deciding factor.
I wish I'd have had a dc slightly younger if I'm honest.
I don't like kids but am sat here waiting for my 7month old to go to sleep. I have never been broody and never interested in holding anyone else's babies. At 32 my DH and I decided to do it now before it gets harder.
Someone on here said once "don't think about the baby stage , think about how many people you want sat round the dinner table" I never wanted a baby but I'm looking forward to my life when she is older. I have a fantastic relationship with my parents as an adult and I want the same.
I'm also looking forward to going back to work. May leave is so hard and boring atthe same time. Good luck op.
Wow thank you everyone for your replies!
phoenixrose314 – thank you for sharing your friends story – its very helpful to hear. I don’t actually know many people with young kids; I guess that is partly a bi-product of not having any. I've gone most of my adulthood telling people I don’t want to have kids, which a lot of people hear as ‘I don’t like kids’, which isn't true, but I'm not very confident with them either. As I approached 30 I did start to hear a little voice in the back of my head saying ‘what if you regret not having kids later?’ Well, I told myself, regret is a state of mind, which I still believe, but it works both ways!
splendide – Thank you so much for sharing, I don’t know anyone going through this so its good to know I'm not the only one. Sorry to hear that you’re not having the best time though – but thank you so much for your honesty! Older parents all say to me ‘oh you won’t regret it’ to the point where sometimes I think – ‘if I won’t regret it, perhaps I should just go ahead and do it!’ The idea of BF grosses me out a bit, although I also hope I do it if I do have kids, but I hadn't really considered the intensity it brings. Thanks so much for your help. I'm also getting a lot from seeing the chat between you and phenixrose – so thank you both for your openness. I'm fully expecting to loose ‘me’ and that’s one thing that puts me off!
DarceyBustle – You make some really good points and bring a perspective I hadn't fully considered. I'm really occupied by this decision all the time at the moment, and it has crossed my mind that I could decide yes and then not be able to anyway, but not given it much serious thought, and also not really considered that I might change my mind again later! I had also not really thought about DH leaving me!! You’re right it is something that could happen. I hope not but he does really want this! We've been through a lot together already. I did have a pregnancy scare about 3 months ago and I was so scared! Remembering how I felt then makes me think, I clearly don’t want this.
Bedsheets4knickers You’re right of course, I've always had a tendency to over-think so I know that whatever choices are made they can be regretted. Its one of the reasons I want to want kids before I do it. Its interesting what you say about the difference between 1 and 2 kids – I always figured it’s the 1st one that changes your life, and the 2nd one would not make so much difference, but that must be childfree brain logic!
Sleepyhoglet – thank you for your nice and to the point advice!!
AlleyCat11 – I think I can relate to you. Sometimes I think of people who would like kids and haven’t found the right person yet, and here I am in a stable loving relationship planning not to have kids. Seems kind of unfair. And now my DH wants them so much! I definitely would not be giving it any consideration if not for him.
Haribolover – thank you for sharing, this could be me in the future! I am scared of loosing my identity although I have to admit I don’t exactly have a very exciting social life anyway! If we do have kids DH will be stay at home and I will work, but of course I will have to stay at home for a while at 1st. Its important to hear stories like this, until now I was saturated with ‘oh you’ll love it/you won’t regret it’, and a part of me just wasn’t so sure – this is what I am worried about!
ApplesTheHare – thank you. I completely agree I should want kids! And this is what I am afraid of! I keep going round and round, every argument for or against kids can be counter-argued, so it really comes down to it, you should have kids if you want them, and don’t have then if you don’t want them. Sadly my DH and I want different things. I guess I am at a stage where I am trying to make myself want them too! Although sometimes I think there’s something a bit wrong with that too!
Only1scoop Thank you for this – it does sound a bit it like me and it sounds like I’d be making a mistake waiting for this ‘baby urge’ to appear (although I wish it would as it would make my choice simpler).
For me the thing was imagining myself as an old woman - I always saw myself with a family, not just me and DH. Despite the fact I was never really 'broody' or desperate for a baby. Interestingly DH used to be fairly anti the child idea which scared me, then as he got older he switched and overtook me in the broody stakes which actually gave me cold feet. Maybe your partner's intensity is doing the same for you? I became increasingly ambivalent about the idea, after a year of trying to conceive I was ready to stop 'trying' and leave it in the lap of the gods. I cried in panic when I finally got pregnant.
6 months in and I utterly love it - yes it is hard, relentless, frustrating and challenging but amazingly fulfilling. For me it is a very 'primal' kind of feeling of fulfilment - which not having had that primal broody urge before is a new sensation. I do pine for some of the things I can't or won't be able to do now or for long time, but those things seem ultimately a bit trivial now.
I had a health scare recently - nothing major but had potential to be serious and as is normal your mind considers the 'what if' worst case scenario. In pre-baby days I would have thought 'I don't want to die' but my immediate first thought was 'I don't want to abandon DS'. To me that kind of summed it all up - that my priority has shifted from myself to my child. It's quite a profound thing - that your life is worthwhile in a whole new way.
A useful way tot think about it might be - Do I foresee a future with children in it? (Be it babies, toddlers, primary/secondary school, grown adults - whatever age). If you do then there is your answer.
I have a good friend who said she didn't want to have kids, but wanted to have had them. She couldn't imagine being 70 and not having a younger generation around. But she didn't feel the urge to have babies in her 30s, she never felt ready. She spoke to my husband and I who had our 1 year old, and we told her that we never felt ready either, but we knew we wanted a future with kids in it, and so we just had to crack on. (She's now about 20 weeks pregnant and still getting used to it!)
If you can really see yourself contented and happy without another generation in the picture then don't have kids. If it's not for you then that's fine.
I didn't like children and definitely didn't want them when we married. DH always quite fancied one but agreed he wanted to be with me more than wanting a child so if I never changed my mind, he was prepared for it to be the 2 of us. I was also terrified of pain, childbirth and the thought of bf.
I found in my early 30s I started to think about it more and more, especially as friends started having them.
I agreed to come off the pill at nearly 32, fell pg quite quickly and mc, I was then desparate to be pg again. DS took a further 3 years to arrive with another loss and clomid, ivf and a lap and dye for endo on the way.
I requested and has granted a CS for anxiety although I did have a medical reason in the end. It was a fab way to give birth so don't be scared. You might have to get a bit assertive with the docs if that's what you want.
DH is amazingly supportive. I couldn't bf anyway as DS was early which helped as we've always been 50/50 at least, if anything DH does more when we're both not at work.
Only having one helps as I often leave DS with family- grandparents or Daddy- to do stuff, eg shopping. I need quite a bit of me time and I get it with just one, not sure you would with 2 or more, it looks a lot more full on.
DS is the joy of our lives.
splendide I have a 10 week old and could have written your post.
It's good to hear this feeling improves as they get older.
Roll on 6 months!!!
mamapo yes that's exactly how I felt - that my vision of the future had kids in it at some point, even though it never felt I was at that point!
I also didn't have the broody feeling but I always just thought I would have children in my life. I went on until 34 without the urge kicking in but DH and I did decide that the time was right to start trying. I'm not really sure anymore why, it just seemed the right thing to be doing!
We now have 2 DDs (4 and 2) and I love them so much and have lots of fun together. I can't say that I am a natural mother and I do a lot of internet trawling for good ideas to do with them. I am still quite uncomfortable around other peoples children, especially with kids whom aren't the same age.
Having kids was hard on our relationship though and unfortunately DH and I didn't make it through and have recently separated. I don't mean this to put you off as I don't know if it was having kids that led to us separating. Although I am no longer with DH we are (so far) amicable and co-parenting and neither of us regrets the decision to have our children. They are truly amazing (to me at least).
I felt like you, I was scared of loosing myself, freedom, spontaneity etc
I wasn't sure I wanted a child but knew I didn't 100% not want one. I decided to go for it and was terrified when we had a positive. I was quite disconnected during the pregnancy - it just didn't feel real to me and still dust until they put DS on my chest! I even had a moment(s) of sobbing to my DH as I was scared I wouldn't be able to deal with a baby (emotionally not practically) and therefore would have to leave it and therefore him as he wouldn't give up out child.
I now have a lovely 8 month old DS and it has been so much more fun and interesting than I ever imagined. I just saw the negatives, lack of freedom, poo, crying, feeding all the time but it is so interesting. He changes everyday and has done from the start.
Like pp said the first few months while you are getting used to it just feel like a massive feeding and changing cycle but there are so many fun moments in there too. Now DS is a bit older and for the last few months we have been going out again etc. just take DS with us and put him to sleep upstairs when we see friends or in his pram outside or in the next room when he was small.
As long as you are not anti children I think your realistic perspective of motherhood will actually let you enjoy the good stuff more as it was not as expected and you will surprise yourself. This is from the woman who cried even at the thought of pregnancy a few years ago. I was 32 when DS was born.
Don't be too tough on yourself and talk to your friends and family. It's ok to be realistic and not gushy about the whole thing.
Also although I could imagine not bring a parent I couldn't imagine not being a grandparent.
For me, I think, it's not the (future) child that's the problem. It's the fact that I don't want to be a "mummy". So, it's the losing yourself thing, maybe. But then I look at my bloke & think what a great dad he would be...
I never had that desire either. I loved my life as it was, then I got caught out whilst on the pill.... biggest shock of my life!
I gave birth to our daughter 6 months ago after an amazing, calm birth- thanks to hypnobirthing. I tried to envision the way our lives would change when I was pregnant, I was certainly under no false image but I could never have imagined. I guess the only way to describe it is that you lose aspects of your previous life, but it becomes enriched in other ways.
People like you make the best parents because you're under no illusion as to how life changes so much.
I really wouldnt change my life for the world now and if you choose to have kids, you'll say that someday too.
I never imagined I'd be going to baby sensory classes, talking about poo and eating cake as a treat for the sleep I never had the night before, but I am and it's alright!
Your relationships with other people change a lot, especially with DH. I was irritated by him for weeks after DD came along but now, watching him with my daughter fills me with so much love.
Sorry I can only really give one perspective, hope it helps.
I also forgot to add how hilarious babies are! You'll laugh your socks off more than you ever have before
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