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Partner of 3 years (30m) doesn't want children and I am undecided (29f). Looking for advice.(37 Posts)
I met my partner online and on both our profiles we had put undecided/might want kids. It has been this way until about a year ago when he became more vocal about firmly not having children. He has said he doesn't like them and he has said selfishness is the only reason people do it. He is Mumsnet's worst nightmare as he regularly complains to me when children are acting up in public and he generally has a low view of parenthood/kids. Only occasionally he will acknowledge a cute one!
Up until about 6 months ago this didn't really bother me as to be truthful I find kids annoying as well a lot of the time. However I have had strong urges and visions of me as a mother, both caring for a baby and as they get older. However I have a history of depression, work a low paid job (17k) and I am not sure if my urges are entirely biological or driven by family since I am one of three daughters and my two sisters are in gay relationships and never having kids so I have pressure from my parents.
I have brought this up with my bf and he gets touchy about it and tells me I have to make a decision and leave him if necessary. He is right about that but I am finding it difficult. I know it is not always easy but I'm just looking for advice from mothers and non-mothers who were on the fence about having kids?
For different reasons, both me and my DW never imagined having children when we were single. We both always had these separate images of doing great things without children. But then, well, they came along once we were together and we would not change anything now.
Keep your options open. And it is your choice, neither partner's nor parents'.
It is the strong urges and visions of you being a mother that you need to keep open. Just keep them open, for as long as you want.
Realistically I do have to decide now though.. given that after 35 it becomes statistically unlikely to conceive, unless you are lucky. If I could take the extra 20 years like men to decide then I would!
Keeping your options open may not be compatible with staying with current partner though. He is being pretty clear with you, and if you don't rule children out, then leaving him may avoid 'wasting time' that you cannot recover later.
Nothing in your post says anything about how you feel about him. Whether you love him or not. I noticed that most.
Speaking personally, I was never a big fan of other people's children and I'm still not. My own is a very different matter, of course. âº
However, I would be worried about anyone who described those who choose to have children as 'selfish'. Because what he's saying really is that your idea of being a mother (pretty reasonable) makes you selfish, and if I were you I'd find that pretty insulting. I think the fact that he is increasingly vocal on the matter and forcing you to choose means that you're wasting your time if you saw him as a prospective father. Whatever type relationship you rhink you have, I suspect he sees you more as a casual girlfriend rather than life partner.
Well, then what do you want do you think?
If there is something in you that says you might want children, then tell him and leave and start again. He is being pretty clear on that, isn't he?
I don't like his attitude towards you. But I respect his choice.
Most women do decide to have children eventually, a substantial minority do not, but being on a modest income should not be the deciding factor. However parenting is a lot of work and ideally should be shared. If your DP is adamant he does not want children and you think you might I would not waste years hoping he may change his mind. I think he is being honest that he doesn't want to be a parent while you would like to keep the option open. I think this is a deal breaker and sadly would advise that you look for someone who shares the same hopes for the future.
Also, if he has little patience with children he probably will not have much patience with life's other uncontrollable inconveniences like illness and other suffering. Look for someone more compassionate and understanding.
Believe me parenting is nature's way of bringing most of us to maturity quickly and is not about selfishness for most people - far from it. There is also a great deal of joy and happiness in family life for most people.
OP, I didn't mean that.
I meant I respect his ability to express his choice
Francis' words are spot on in my experience.
I think 3 years is make or break time.
Do you love your partner enough to give up the idea of being a mother? Is he and your relationship enough? Maybe he might change his mind one day, but it might be too late for you if he does.
At 29 your chances of meeting someone else who wants to have children with you are pretty good. If you stick with the current man for another 3 or more years and nothing changes, and then you leave, you will have wasted valuable time, particularly if you want more than one child.
My dp told me this when I was 29, I did want them and I left. Not saying this is your situation as mine was different as I had always been clear about wanting them and we d been together since age 18, but it ended up he was having an affair and wanted rid easily of me and this was his cowardly way of doing it!
Fast forward ten years he has 3 kids and even delivered one of them. You can't say no at that age for sure and for that reason if I were you I would keep your options open, rather than have them closed off by someone else.
As a pp I think you need to examine your feelings and whether he will be enough for you, in a life without children.
For what its worth I wasn't really a 'child' person at your age.
Also I only met my now dh when i was 33. We had our first baby when I was 36.
If you think you will regret not having a family then I think you need to leave now, you've lots of time to meet someone else.
ime this tends to mean 'i dont want children with you' and these men often (not always) go on to have a family but with their next partner
Thanks for replying. Regarding the selfishness point he was referring to the societal impact (overpopulation, carbon etc) rather than the selfless behaviour of parents towards their own children. But this isn't his main reason as he doesn't want them anyway.
He has said he can't say if he will never want them but he doesn't for the foreseeable future. It's not worth putting money on it.
This has occurred to me. In fact when we argued about this I said you could end up changing your mind and leaving me for a younger woman and having kids and I will be left infertile.
He was pretty insulted by that, understandably.
However, I don't really like entertaining the idea that it is because he doesn't love me/doesnt want kids with me but would with another woman as I do tend to suffer from low self esteem and that sounds like the sort of thing I'd punish myself with.
Sounds like you have a fundamental incompatibility. It's always a shame when that happens. You may be a 99% match but if the missing 1% is something really important, then there's no future in it
It doesn't become 'statistically unlikely' at 35+ to conceive.
@fanjo. I think it becomes statistically less likely. By how much - I'm not sure?
I think fertility declines after 35, not disappears.
I would find someone to do the family thing with OP.
It's not him. He has told you straight.
@fanjo the studies vary according to wikipedia but most of them were done in the fifties when fertility was higher. Probably because of all the processed crap most of us eat..but who knows.
The only conclusive statement I've found is that fertility drops dramatically after 35 and complications increase if you do conceive. I shouldn't have said 'statistically unlikely' as I just grabbed that from an article. But leaving it until after 35 is a risk.
@CogitOIOIO yes it is a shame. The hardest part about leaving him is that he is very smart. Perhaps not emotionally but for sheer problem-solving, rational thought he is excellent and he has a good sense of humour. He is successful professionally and he is one of those who can pick up most things easily.
I don't think I could meet someone as smart again and I could just imagine thinking that my next partner is dull in comparison as he is hard to beat. But yes I must decide
My sister had her first at 40 and her second at 42. Just saying...
I'd say by the sounds of it, you may regret leaving it too late to have DC and could end up resenting staying.
I don't actually get the impression that you are deeply in love with your DP. There's no warmth in the way you mention him.
You talk quite specifically about him being a good problem solver, that to me seems a strange thing to mention about a partner. It's one attribute, a quality, but a strange one to home in on. It doesn't define the rapport you have or the way he makes you feel. That isn't a criticism, at all. In fact hopefully it may be true so that going your separate ways isn't a wrench, it may be a positive thing for you both.
When I met my ex,he was the one. Who really wanted kids and I was lukewarm to the idea.
Then I had my firstborn and bingo...it was love at first sight.. I had more after that.
So, yes luckily we were both committed parents.
If you think you might just want children and he definitely doesn't then I think its time to move on.
It's sad but even more sad is your fertile years passing you by and then yearning for them.
I agree with daisy, I don't get the impression you are madly in love with him. Perhaps that's just the way you have typed though!
Do you live together? Is this the only potential deal breaker in your relationship?
I do think that a lot of men are ambivalent about kids until their friends have them! Have any of his friends had kids yet?
I think (from what you have posted) it would be more accurate to say that you do want children, and he is undecided.
Some ppl do not want children but even men who have been so sure about not wanting kids they've had a vasectomy have later changed their minds in subsequent relationships.
He is young.
You have less time.
I would leave. I am not sure I like him, sorry.
Nothing in life is certain but you can try to follow your heart.
To me if ur not gonna have em u have to have a pretty exciting life lined up elsewhere because when you get past 40, there aint much else (unless you have the finances to live a life travelling and doing exciting things).
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