Conflicted…baby fever?

posted 2 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
4410 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I know this isn’t helpful, but it’s not really anything anyone can advise you on. I can tell you (as everyone with kids will) that raising a child is both wonderful and hard. 

Can I ask how old you & your husband are?

Post # 4
Member
356 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

fvsoccer:  I don’t have my own children yet, but currently teach and have been a nanny. One thing for sure you’ll have to do if you have a child is really work on managing the perfectionism thing and your tendencies to want to control things. With little children your house will not stay looking perfect, your clothes won’t be perfect (I remember one day when I had snot, yoghurt, honey and pee on my jeans and had to leave it to take the kids to school). Also nothing the your kid does will be perfect and that will take a lot of patience and willing to let things go. 

Post # 5
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Do you know any relatives or friends’ kids you could babysit to see if you can picture yourself with a baby of your own? You still have time on your side to make a decision. I knew I’ve always wanted to have children and having looked after my nephew hasn’t changed my mind at all (I used to change his nappies, used to bathe and feed him, take him out in the pram). When you surround yourself with babies you will know if parenting is for you or not. Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
4043 posts
Honey bee

fvsoccer:  Hello fellow fence rider!!

DH and I are in a similar situation. I am 26 and he is 28. For a long time, I was hesitant on having children (for very similar reasons) and DH was just simply on the fence. However, in the past 5-6 months this strange feeling of baby fever has hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s really hard to explain and it came out of nowhere. Now that we are a little more settled (i.e., finished our education, have stable jobs and just built our first home), I think I am more open to it.

I think part of it also has do with us both work at a middle school/high school. While I do marketing, I get to teach 5th and 6th grade art. Being around the children so much, I have learned that 1) they are independent little human beings, so no matter how much you want them to be something, they will decide for themselves and 2) now matter what kind of parent you are, it is somewhat of a gamble of how your child will turn out. We work at a low income school and I have seen some children accomplish so much, despite the unfavorable situation/obstacles they face. I have also seen very wealthy people turn out to be ungrateful, awful human beings (during college). 

I think coming to realization that you have approach parenting with the best foot forward with good intentions, but not having specific expectations has helped me the most. I know that’s difficult, but I think it’s a reality. We have sen this on a smaller level with our two dogs. We wanted our dogs to be perfectly trained, well behaved, compliant pets. Well, many training courses later, two severe cases of separation anxiety, the added problems of having two and pure exhaustion, we have settled on having dogs that “generally listen.” Haha, I know that sounds awful, but it’s our reality.

When I talked with my mother about having children, she said it was a similar experience. To keep your sanity, you start to focus on the few things you can control, and start accepting things beyond your control.

In the past six months I have gone from, “I don’t think I ever want children” to “having a child in 2-3 years would be nice.” Fortunately, DH is surprisingly open to it as well. He actually said, “I am ready whenever you are.” Even with that comment though, we will be waiting. We still have more student loans to pay of and a trip to Europe. 

So, sorry for the tangent and sorry if that wasn’t helpful. But you have already started the process of self-reflection and are open minded. Only you and your DH can decide, but I think if you make the decision yourselves and commmit to putting in the effort/time/resources needed, you will be in a good spot. 

Post # 7
Member
1440 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

How much time have you spent with infants and children?

I’ve always wanted to have children one day, but only recently started feeling a bit of baby fever (but definitely won’t ttc for at least two more years).

I’ve been working full time as a nanny to a 4-year-old boy with behavioral issues, and I love him and I’m good with him, but I’m always happy to leave him with his mom at the end of the day. It’s a lot of work, and if you have a child, there’s always the possibi that they could have special needs. I have a cousin who’s autistic, and my uncle, her father, is basically not in her life at all, and that breaks my heart. And now he’s had a baby boy, and I really hope he develops typically. To be fair, his daughter was born when he was 21 at the oldest, and she’s 14 or 15 now so he’s had a chance to mature, but he could have stepped up to the plate at some point, and never did.

Last week I got to spend some time with my niece who was born 16 days ago, and she is so precious, but so much work! DH and I stayed the night one night to help out, and it’s so exhausting, she’ll sleep for two and a half hours, but then feeding her, burping her, swaddling her, is such a process. Experiencing that didn’t eliminate my urge to be a mother, but it certainly curbed my baby fever!

Post # 11
Member
349 posts
Helper bee

I don’t have a child yet but our personalities sound so similar that I wanted to chime in. I honestly don’t think there’s a way to get at the problem practically. There are just so many unknowns. For me, the biggest and most important force getting me off the fence was my relationship with SO. In past relationships I was adamantly against kids because I could not see how having a child with that person would work. I am in a high-intensity career where women unfortunately get mommy-tracked. SO understands this and we have a lot of practical discussions about how we would make a pregnancy and parenting an infant work without both of us losing our careers. He and I also only want 1 child, which we feel is financially feasible for us and make it possible to keep traveling, working, etc. I can honestly say that if my SO was not going into this with eyes open, knowing he would also be taking family leave and being fully involved in caring for the child, I would still be fence-sitting. I just know too many friends whose SOs were excited to have children and then never changed a single diaper or got up during the night a single time.

As for the perfectionism and expectations about the child, again, look to your relationship with your husband. Obviously he cannot always be doing everything just how you want, because he is his own person with a unique personality and characteristics. So how do you handle conflict with your husband? Even though I am very particular, I also appreciate my SO’s quirks and personality (which is VERY different from mine), which makes me feel better about how I’ll react to my child’s qualities and personalty.

I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to be on the fence. Personally, I think it was good that I could envision my life both with and without kids. I think it meant that whatever choice I made or whatever ended up happening, I could be happy with the life I had.

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