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Do I want to be a mother?

(20 Posts)
notimetodecide Thu 28-Jul-16 21:26:53

I hope you don't judge me for coming to a parents forum to ask this question but I need advice that only parents can give.

I've always been clear with my OH that I wasn't certain if I wanted children, and he's always been fine with that - as far as i knew. I've recently discovered he's interpreted that as I would just change my mind and want kids but 7yes later I'm still in the same position.

I just don't know what I want and I'm asking a tough question. How did you know for sure, 100%, that you wanted children? Were any of you unsure but had them anyway? The biggest question... will anyone admit to having any regrets? Not in anyway questioning your love for your children.

How can I make this humungous decision? I'm 32, due to get married next year.

Thanks in advance for your help - hopefully...

MargaretCabbage Thu 28-Jul-16 21:38:05

I never felt particularly broody, and am not really into babies, but I always felt like I wanted a family of my own. I had a lovely childhood with lots of picnics and day trips and fun games at home, and I wanted to do that all again.

I now have an 18 month old son, and am almost eight months pregnant with my second. When he was first born I did wonder what the hell I'd done as it was so unrelentingly hard and I'd been content with my old life. I loved him but life wasn't particularly enjoyable. When he reached 10 months old everything suddenly changed and he turned into a funny and loving little person, and became so much fun. There are still times when it's hard, but I really enjoy parenthood now, though we're still not that far into the journey!

I think I would have been happy in a different way without having a child, the highs are higher and the lows are lower now.

Coconut0il Thu 28-Jul-16 23:27:07

DS1 was unplanned. I always thought I would have children but at 23 I was younger than I thought I would be. Everything fell into place we got a house/right jobs and I didn't really think about having another till he was about 8. We stopped using contraception but nothing happened for 4 years when DS2 was born. I was 35 then.
I'm was very relaxed the second time and just took the view that if it was meant to be it would happen.

adjsavedmylife Sat 30-Jul-16 11:45:32

A few things for me. Also not terribly maternal or into kids. I had never changed a nappy before my own!

You can never predict the way life will go. Even so I felt like if I didn't have children, I could be reasonably sure of how it would be. But no idea with children - it meant jumping off a cliff but after a decent amount of time doing my own thing I was ready to take that leap.

Before then, when I was wondering whether the drudgery was worth it, a very wise man pointed out that I was looking at it the wrong way. Not a question of is it worth the drudge, to have children, but are you willing to do the drudge to know your children. And I was.

Finally, DH is amazing and children for me felt like a part of the future we are building together.

Early days but no regrets. HTH and good luck!

PlanBwastaken Sat 30-Jul-16 14:02:35

If you imagine yourself at fifty, sixty and seventy without children, how do you feel? I saw a huge hole in my life if I had chosen to remain childless, and it made the decision easier.

I would also say that it is hard to have children - you put yourself second or third for years and years (as in not being able to go to the toilet when you want, not postponing your dream to climb Kilimanjaro). It's OK not to want to do that. Would you rather not?

notimetodecide Sat 30-Jul-16 17:00:43

Thank you so so much for your honesty ladies, I think you're all amazing for what you do, I have endless respect for you.

I guess the bottom line is I'm scared of the finality of it - a tiny little baby will be totally dependent on me and I might not be able to live up to what it deserves - but he/she is stuck with me!

There's no way to make this decision is there?! I either do it and hope I can step up or don't take that risk and live with that decision - the latter is safer and wouldn't affect an innocent child but regrets later in life are a huge worry. Plus I don't know if my OH would stay with me if I said a final and absolute no to children and he's pushing for a decision.

Can I go back to a responsibility and pressure free childhood please?!!

Lorelei76 Sat 30-Jul-16 17:07:50

I'm sorry OP you probably don't want a reply from me, a childfree person.

but here goes.

I feel strongly that you should have a child only if you really want one. The child deserves no less surely and also the cost to you if you regret it is enormous.

I have friends who absolutely love being parents and friends who regret it and really suffer. I am sorry to say that in the latter category, it was done to satisfy a partner. One case ended in divorce and they argued because neither of them wanted to do the majority care for the child .... bloody awful. I wince just thinking about the comments I heard.

I'm also going to say you're "only" 32 and you've got time to see how you feel but I guess that won't be a popular view either.

mellowyellow1 Sat 30-Jul-16 17:11:20

I was in the same position. Took the leap and it is definitely worth it so far! But that's not to say it is right for everyone.

As previously mentioned what did it for me was the thought of having no children in later life. I like the idea of having an older family in the future.

ElspethFlashman Sat 30-Jul-16 17:19:55

I found I was scared more of the finality of NOT having children than having them.

But I was never broody. Just a bit freaked out at the idea of having no other family than DH.

The 45 years from age 40 - 85 suddenly seemed very long.

notimetodecide Sat 30-Jul-16 17:56:08

If I could skip forward to have 2 grown up, level headed children I definitely would, my mum is my best friend and I'd love to have that with my child. So I think my fear is to do with the fact I could screw it up. There's a few things my parents did/said to me growing up and they've definitely had a negative effect.

I'm completely torn, I can imagine a baby on my hip but I can also imagine me locked in a cupboard rocking back and forth!

Thanks again for your help!

Ragwort Sat 30-Jul-16 18:13:27

It's so difficult to admit that you've made the wrong decision to have a child but there have been a few threads on this subject on Mumsnet over the years. I find being a parent incredibly hard, it's not the financial side but just the emotional drain of constantly wondering if I am a 'good enough' parent and I just don't enjoy the things that so many parents seem to enjoy. And I've only had one child, have a fully supportive and 'hands on' DH, my DC was a wonderful, easy baby (ie: a brilliant sleeper grin) & absolutely no financial worries or concerns about 'giving up my career'. But I still find it very, very hard - it's the relentless of it I suppose (although I do get loads of 'time off' compared to so many mumsnetters blush).

Obviously I do love my child but I could very, very happily have continued to be child free.

I have no illusions that having a child makes you happier in old age - my 80+ year old parents still have huge worries and financial drain over their grown up children and grandchildren grin.

The trouble is there is no easy way to find out until it is too late.

Toria2014 Sat 30-Jul-16 18:14:37

I was ambivalent about children, as was my DH. Neither of us could decide one way or another. We have been together a long time and have a nice life. Its even better now our DD is here. She is awesome. I have never been so tired in my life, or had my nipples tweak so much on a regular basis, but I have no regrets at all. Life is exciting and fun, and we both love watching it unfold through our child's eyes.

PirateFairy45 Sat 30-Jul-16 18:22:49

Why not foster? Or adopt an older child.

memyselfandaye Sat 30-Jul-16 18:30:31

I was certain I never wanted children. I don't really like them.

Long story short, at the age of 35 I fell on a willy and now I'm a single Mum to an incredible 5yr old, who I adore and love more than words can say. I wish I'd had him years ago, I would have another tomorrow but I'm too old and too single so it won't happen.

Stop overthinking it, there is no need to be angsty.
Being a decent parent isn't hard, it's just common sense. You get back more than you give and even when they are being loud, irritating little fuckers, you love them.

I have no regrets, and I never ever wanted to be a parent, now I could'nt imagine not being one.

footballwidow12 Sat 30-Jul-16 18:39:26

Our DD was an unplanned surprise and whilst I absolutely ADORE her and really wouldn't change the circumstances, it has been hard and we don't think we will have any more.

Only you know the answer to your problem.....I wish you lots of luck in making your decision.

NicknameUsed Sat 30-Jul-16 18:48:25

"If you imagine yourself at fifty, sixty and seventy without children, how do you feel? I saw a huge hole in my life if I had chosen to remain childless, and it made the decision easier."

That doesn't guarantee company for you in your old age. I have known plenty of lonely pensioners whose children have nothing to do with them, or they live too far away to see them regularly or at all.

I agree with Lorelei. If you aren't sure don't.

I was told that my chances of having a successful pregnancy were very small. At 41 I got pregnant out of the blue and had DD. I found that having a baby after being able to do what I wanted when I wanted for so long was very very hard.

I love DD to bits and have had to deal with some serious physical and mental health issues with her, but I wouldn't be without her.

That said, I couldn't say that my life was better for having her, just different.

As you can tell, I am not in the least bit maternal, and when I see threads about adding to large families I just think "why?"

Kerberos Sat 30-Jul-16 20:25:16

For me it wasn't about the tiny baby. That doesn't last long at all. What I wanted was a big noisy house with children and their friends coming and going - sending them all off into the world and eventually being part of a bigger networked family.

If you gathered all my close family there would be 53 of us and it's fab.

Cornishblues Sat 30-Jul-16 20:47:09

if you are scared you would not be up to the job, that is a positive sign that you would be - it's motivation to do your best, to be the best you can be. No one is perfect, no one needs to be perfect. Noone's rrlationships with either their parents or their children is perfect, either. Yes it is scary - but being scared doesn't mean you would be any worse a parent than those (few, I imagine?!) people who approach parenthood without fear and only excitement. You have a supportive mother and a supportive partner. That's huge. The whole experience is luck of the draw at every turn and people who always 'knew' don't always take to it better than those who were just plain petrified!

That1950sMum Sat 30-Jul-16 21:07:23

I never felt particularly broody and wasn't at all fussed about other people's babies. I did sort of assume I'd have a family, but never felt that longing to be a mother that people talk about.

I had children in the end because I love my husband and I wanted small versions of us.

It has been the best, most unexpectedly wonderful thing I have ever done. We have no money, I'm usually tired but I love my children more than I could ever explain and I feel constantly amazed that I have made two such wonderful people. I can't imagine not being a Mum now. It is the biggest part of who I am and the thing that makes me feel the most pride and gives me the most satisfaction.

wobblywonderwoman Sat 30-Jul-16 21:11:56

I have two under 2 and a half - well just over.

I loved my first so much I had to go for it as soon as I physically recovered. I love them so much I cry sometimes looking at them. The youngest looks like me and I get emotional.

I think it is the best thing ever happened to me. I still work full time. Have my 'me time'. They won't be on your hip forever.

The love is immense. But - I did struggle. It wasn't all fun and cuddles but they are very easy now at this stage.

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