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Tricky subject of wanting/not wanting kids!

(29 Posts)
user1471465348 Thu 12-Oct-17 14:23:13

This is my first post here, but I've been reading them for a while. I initially came across Mumsnet as was looking for advice about something else, and stayed ever since, as it's helpful (and amusing sometimes!).

Anyway, I've been seeing a lovely guy for around 9 months now. I'm 39 (no kids), he's 43 (3 kids).
I've always thought I didn't want kids, and at the moment am not too bothered either way. Never had a strong desire or anything, so I've been quite content pootling along. This guy is my first proper relationship in a while too.
It came up last night in a phone call, that my bf doesn't want any more kids. He says it's not the fact he doesn't want them, he just thinks he's getting too old. Fair enough I thought! He asked me if I wanted them...I said I didn't know, because I don't! I don't honestly know why we've never talked about it before. Maybe I thought because he loves kids, he'd be quite open about it..I don't know! Maybe he didn't really know for sure (on his dating profile, it said 'open/undecided).
So, I feel massively sad! Because I basically said, it has to end, as i can't risk wanting a child further down the line, and we sort of ended the conversation there.
I got a text this morning saying he didn't want us to finish! Neither do I. We get on so well, and I love him! I don't know what advice I'm after. I'm so confused. Maybe I'll want one, maybe I won't! I also realise time is not on my side.

Please just offer some nice words (I'm feeling very down and haven't told anyone), or what you would do if you were in this situation.

Thank you. S

Isetan Thu 12-Oct-17 14:29:48

Your bigger problem is that at 39 you’re at the wrong end of your fertile years, so you need to make your mind up now.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 12-Oct-17 14:33:25

Eh...not wanting to be harsh, but if you are going to have a baby you'd better get a bloody move on!

FetchezLaVache Thu 12-Oct-17 14:33:32

What Isetan said, I'm afraid.

user1471465348 Thu 12-Oct-17 14:36:49

Oh, I know! You are all correct. I've been a bit daft, thinking I have all the time in the world. Hmmmm. Such a big decision.

category12 Thu 12-Oct-17 14:43:18

I think you need to think really hard about how much "further down the line" there is. It's interesting that it was immediately a deal-breaker that he doesn't want any more dc, when you say currently you're not bothered either way? Something doesn't quite mesh there? I think maybe you should talk it out with someone, a counsellor maybe, to try and work out if him and no dc would make you happy, or whether you should be looking at fertility options (egg-freezing etc), that sort of thing.

I think if he's already got 3 then you were being a little naive to think he would be open to more.

FetchezLaVache Thu 12-Oct-17 14:43:59

Oh, I know that feeling! I always felt like I would love a baby "in a couple of years". My ex husband pointed out when I was 35 that I didn't have that many more couples of childbearing years left...

Not one you can really settle by roll of the dice either, unfortunately.

user1471465348 Thu 12-Oct-17 14:49:41

I know it doesn't make much sense Category...
I think my main problem is because I'm not too sure, if I stayed with him because of how I feel at the moment that would be fine. But, say a year down the line and I'm suddenly really wanting a baby (seen that happen - and read about it!), what on Earth would I do?! Such a hard decision. Although, If this relationship does end - no guarantees I'll find someone anyway.
Thanks everyone for posting. You're helping to get my head around it.

Lottapianos Thu 12-Oct-17 14:49:44

It's a HUGE decision, made so much more complex by getting messages at every turn that all women want children (not true), having children is a natural thing (not for everyone), having children will make your life complete (ditto) and that there's something wrong with you if you're a woman who doesn't want children or are not bothered about it (there isn't).

I agree with others posters - there is no more 'down the line' at 39. If you do want a baby, you need to be acting on that right now. If you don't, or you're not bothered, please don't try to convince yourself that you do. It sounds like you have a good relationship that you're happy in. You haven't wanted children up until now. It can feel very scary to realise that the door is closing, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with not having kids. I'm nearly 38 and don't have any, and after YEARS of agonising, I'm now very settled with my decision. More and more women are not having children for all sorts of reasons. You will be in very good company!

user1471465348 Thu 12-Oct-17 14:51:27

What did you do in the end Fetchez?
I know it's daft having a baby just in case I regret not doing in a year or so! I think I'm just going to go with how I feel at the moment...although this makes me sad for some reason. Like it's final! Oh fgs.
Some deep and meaningful thinking for me I think.

HelenaDove Thu 12-Oct-17 14:51:58

What Lotta said.

user1471465348 Thu 12-Oct-17 14:53:02

Thank you Lotta for telling your side!
I think you're right. We are made to feel like that, by society.

MySecretThread Thu 12-Oct-17 14:56:15

It's good that you and your partner are talking openly about this. Perhaps now that you've started to think about it more seriously then the answer will come to you in the near future.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with not having kids. I get the impression too many people have them without giving it enough thought. You can't ever know what the right outcome is 100% - it's guesswork really.

Have you anyone else that you are close to that you can chat to about this other than your partner?

Perhaps give yourself a month to mull things over and see how you feel then.

Lottapianos Thu 12-Oct-17 14:57:36

And just to add, feeling ambivalent is TOTALLY normal. I don't think many people are 100% on the children issue. It's one of the few completely irreversible decisions in life and it's normal to have complex feelings about it all. Make your decision based on how you feel now, ignore the what if and the maybe. That's all you can do.

category12 Thu 12-Oct-17 15:02:25

Well it is kinda final: turning something nebulous and "might still happen" into "I've made a choice". It's knowingly closing a door to something.

Being sad about it doesn't mean it would be the wrong decision, necessarily. I would be careful that you won't blame him or resent him but take on the decision as your own tho.

rizlett Thu 12-Oct-17 15:13:21

Even people who already have children can still feel sad when they realise they have reached the end of their fertile years. I think it's to do with accepting getting older.

Justanothernap Thu 12-Oct-17 15:17:19

I really felt for you reading your opening post. I would suggest talking it through with the guy in question a bit more. You never know what might come from a chat.

I suppose giving up your happiness now, for some nebulous uncertain happiness in the future doesn't make a lot of sense. You can have fulfilling relationships with kids without being a mum. Friends kids, being an aunty, maybe even as a step-parent to your partners kids if circs allow.

Unless you suddenly realise you really really want to be a mum & not trying isn't an option.

Good luck with the soul searching!

TieGrr Thu 12-Oct-17 15:24:31

DP doesn't want kids. I already have one and am on the fence about having any more. It's not quite the same situation but I've made my peace with the fact that we won't have children together.

However, we did agree that if I was to fall pregnant accidentally (unlikely as I have a coil) that we'd continue on with the pregnancy and have the baby. I think him not wanting kids would be a bigger issue for me if I felt that an accidental pregnancy would be something he wanted to run away from.

FetchezLaVache Thu 12-Oct-17 15:56:26

User, I took a deep, deep breath and chucked away my pills!

Now have DS, who's 7 and the light of my life, most of the time anyway...

Gimmeareason Thu 12-Oct-17 16:07:20

Not wanting to scare you op but what you gunna do if it turns out you've missed the boqt anyway?

user1471465348 Thu 12-Oct-17 18:35:59

Thanks everyone for replying. It has helped massively.
You are all right.
It is stupid making a decision based on what ifs!
And I've thought about what I would feel if it was too late for me anyway. And I honestly think I'd accept it. I'm quite philosophical about things. And if I can't, I can't. I think I'd feel the same if I discovered my boyfriend had had a vasectomy!
I think we need to chat.
If it comes to losing him, or not having kids, I'd choose him. I've had all day to think.
Thanks again

Aminuts23 Thu 12-Oct-17 18:38:13

Be very careful what you decide. You’re describing me. I got hideously dumped by said man. I’m now 42, single and childless

user1471465348 Thu 12-Oct-17 18:52:31

Ah, I know aminuts. I'm sorry to hear that.
And I've had thoughts of what if he goes off in a few years and has another child with someone else. I know there's nothing you could do, but what a kick in the goolies!

I think I'd have to seriously suggest him getting the snip. If he's serious about this. I think if the option is removed I won't think about it at all. And it would resolve contraception. Im on the pill at the moment. Finding myself accidentally pregnant now with an unwanted baby would be awful. As I wouldn't want an abortion (thankfully never been in that position).
A lot to think about.

Aminuts23 Thu 12-Oct-17 18:59:25

It’s very early days to be sacrificing the idea of DC altogether. I would have thought we’d be together years at 9 months in. We made it to almost a year, totally without warning he ended it. Over. I’d been a bit blasé about DC thinking maybe the idea of being a SM might be ok. Now that door has been slammed in my face too. Make your decision based on what you want and leave him out of it. He might be gone in a few weeks. Your decision is yours for life, regardless of him right now

Tilapia Thu 12-Oct-17 19:13:47

It’s normal to feel this way OP. As others have said, it’s a complex decision for many people! I think your idea of asking him to have a vasectomy is a good one - so you both know exactly where you stand.

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