Post # 1
Having some irrational feelings that I need to get out!
So my husband and I are CFBC, and faced a bit of backlash, mainly from his family as that is just not done where they’re from. Some of our friends are the same culture as my husband/his family and were also CFBC. It was so nice to have the support and back up to our families, and have someone to rant to about the pressure, etc. We would also hang out quite a bit and it was a nice break from all the other children in our lives. A few months ago they started NTNP, and said something like “well we’re getting older now, may as well try and see what happens”. They are a few years older (so mid 30s now), and I didn’t really get it, but whatever. Now they are pregnant, announcing it to their families this weekend. And I’m so grumpy at them about it! I know it’s totally irrational and crazy selfish, but I’m just thinking about how much harder it’s going to be for us now. Not only do we lose child free friends, since they are so close with families, I feel like everyone is going to start laying on the pressure again. “Well Dan & jessie said they didn’t want kids but they changed their mind! You still have time!” I feel like we’d just gotten to a place where everyone had accepted it, and it’s all going to be dug up again.
My husband doesn’t “get it” as much because he doesn’t get the same pressure, even from his family. We’re supposed to attend a big even this weekend and see our friends, their family AND my husbands family and I’m just dreading it. I’m normally very happy for newly pregnant folks and have no issues showing it. This just feels different since they’ve told me for so long how they don’t like kids and don’t want them. I’m not sure how to be happy for them when all I’ve heard from them the past 8 years is how awful parenthood sounds.
Anyways. Needed to vent.
Post # 2
What people say (we don’t want kids) and how they really feel (we’re pregnant, yay!)are often two different things. Ask Shakespeare and the lady who doeth protest too much. Personally I’m impressed by people who are CFBC, that they know themselves well enough to realize parenthood is not for them. I’d stab myself in the eye with a fork before I’d question someone who was cfbc and bug them about having kids. So I’m sorry your family is like this. The good thing is that as you get older what other people say and do bothers you less and less.
Post # 3
I don’t really have advice but I “enjoyed” your vent and just wanted to say I sorta get what you mean and why it’s thrown you a bit! I was on the other side of a vaguely comparable situation a while back: I used to be really outspoken about how much I did not want to get married. I had two friends who felt similarly and we often talked about it and enjoyed that our friendship did not include any talk of marriage/weddings/etc. we all dated other people etc but never with the view of eventually getting married. Then, very unexpectedly, I met someone to whom marriage was very important and through the course of the relationship I found that I was willing (and indeed very excited) to get married to my SO. Both of these friends I mentioned questioned my decision and did not get it at all. The one was very vocal about his disapproval of my “sudden” turnaround. The other friend found it hard but was a bit more supportive. It definitely changed the friendship dynamic. I’m still fairly good friends with both (and they are both still unmarried by choice) but I sometimes still get the feeling that they feel I “betrayed” a fundamental part of myself (and the friendship) by getting married. If I’m honest, I’m so so happy to have married my SO but also would have been fine if we never married. The point is that people can change their minds but still have some of those feelings they had before – so your friends might not become as “child obsessed” as some other parents whose whole life goal had been to become a parent etc. Anyway, now that I’ve typed it out I’m wondering if it’s at all relevant to your situation but I’m going to post it anyway just in case it makes sense 🙂 At the very least to give you a digital hug to say it’s hard when friendship dynamics change, and ESPECIALLY when it will cause some of your friends/family to also question your decisions. Hope you guys work through it.
Post # 4
jellybellynelly : It could be that they were more childfree by circumstance rather than childfree by choice. It sounds like the same thing but the childfree by circumstance reasons are based on external factors that could change whereas the childfree by choice just don’t want them. I’m always wary when someone lists their job, or lack of money, for not wanting kids. They’re both valid reasons but they’re usually temporary reasons. Although not always. Your friends could have been talking about how they never wanted kids but really were thinking, not while we’re in this house/job/ect.
Post # 5
It’s so frustrating, because people are human and do change their minds. I’ve had CFBC friends decide to go for it and have kids, and I’ve had friends go the opposite way and decide that even though they’d always thought they wanted them, nope, no kids for them. Of course, the former group is the one we hear about more often and it gets thrown in the faces of other CFBC folks, so I’m sorry you’re experiencing it.
Not much to add, but I’m on the other side, so I totally get it. My best friend and I used to daydream about being moms together one day. We’re both pretty hippie dippie, and though neither of us was in a rush, I liked the thought of us having that in common one day. She’s changed her mind about kids, and definitely doesn’t want them. I’m glad that she’s realized the right path for her, but selfishly I’m a little sad that at some point, I’ll be going it alone. Being on the other side of the coin is probably just as challenging for you, since you have the double whammy of “losing” a CFBC companion and you also get the cherry on top of “well, you’ll change your mind too.” Just know that you aren’t being irrational, it’s okay to be a little sad/bummed/frustrated.
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2019 - City, State
I don’t think your feelings are irrational, I think they’re totally valid. Dealing with family pressure to have kids is really hard, and there’s only so many times you can say “No, we’re never having kids!” without totally losing your lid about it. And I totally get that more pressure is on you – the number of times that I have been cornered alone at his family events about having kids is ridiculous, and my fiance and I aren’t even married yet!
You’re basically losing your backup, and not only that, but your backup is going to be used as an example of why you “should” have kids. That’s incredibly frustrating. It’s also pretty frustrating for someone to go on and on about how terrible something is for so long, then turn around and end up doing it themselves. I know it’s not anyone’s place to judge people’s reproductive decisions, but it is a little hard not to side eye that sort of wild 180, at least at first.
Hopefully your families have realized your minds are made up and this doesn’t change that. But if not, good luck. Wishing you unending patience to deal with that bullshit.
Post # 7
anonee008 : Very helpful to hear from the other side, thank you! I think another thing throwing me is that I just can’t picture them as parents LOL. The husband is very much still pretty wild, and the wife has a huge career. They have a gorgeous, expensive very non-child friendly home and only drive 2 seater sports cars. WHERE WILL YOU PUT THE CAR SEAT?! It feels like they are going to have change so many things to accomodate their new addition.
oceangirl40 : It could be, but my husband has known them all his life. Since they were older than him they didn’t really hang out much when they were younger, but in the last 10 years or so we’ve grown very close. I would have never thought of them as cfb circumstance, but it’s not like I’d ever know 100% what’s going on in their head or marriage.
Post # 8
Your judging them is just as bad as the family pressuring you to have kids. Like it’s their life, sure you’re friends but they can do what they want and they should be able to do so free of someone else’s judgement?
I’m sorry I just don’t get how it’s your place to vent and be angry about someone else changing their minds?
Post # 9
dianaj17 : Yes, you totally get it haha. It was nice to have someone going through the same thing and now we don’t have that in common anymore. We’ll still be friends of course, but it won’t ever be the same now. I’m sorry you’re also going through it. I can normally own my selfish feelings (hence being CFBC XD) but its definitely different in this case.
chelbell23 : Lol thank you. His family is quite persistent so it should be interesting. The good thing is that they’ll likely be obsessed with dan & jessie & baby for a while now. Real baby > possibility of baby at least.
Post # 10
jellybellynelly : LOL! Honestly, this sounds like a sitcom I’d like to watch!!! But yeah, does sound like a big and unexpected turnaround for them. I guess you’ll never know 100% what motivated it? I hope people leave you in peace about your decision! Oh and let your grumpiness be soothed by the fact that at least YOU won’t have to figure out how to fit a car seat and a stroller in a sports car and how to get crayon off of italian tiles or whatever. That’s gotta count for something!
Post # 11
I’ve been there and I know what you’re going through.
It’s also hard because often people claim the CFBC identity when they may actually mean “CF for the present” or “CF for a few years then maybe kids”. Unfortunately, for non-CF people, seeing self-identified CF people suddenly change their minds… well, it does wind up causing more pressure on those of us who are still CFBC.
And honestly… I know this will likely not be a popular thing to say.. but I imagine you’re also mourning the likely loss or downgrading of a friendship. I’ve had a few friends who, after years of being CF, suddenly had a baby and the friendship did change dramatically. I’ve been friends with this couple (I’ll call them Michelle and Kurt) for 15 years. They were CF for about 12 years, we bonded over our love of things like random last minute trips… deciding on Wed or Thurs to go to NYC for the weekend to eat at a trendy restaurant and see a show… Deciding spur of the moment we should all go to Amsterdam the next week, just because. Then they decided they wanted kids. Went through a few years of fertility treatments to have them. Their lives were 100% fertility treatments and now are 100% attachment parenting. I don’t want to judge them for doing what they have decided is right for them and for their newly expanded family.. but damn, I miss my friends-of-old. And while I’m mourning the fact that those days are long over, I am also dealing with other people telling me that clearly, I’m next… and just because Michelle/Kurt decided after several years of being CF to have kids.. I clearly must follow in their footsteps.
Post # 12
ladyvk : I disagree that it’s just as bad as her parents pressuring her to have kids. It’s nowhere near on the same level. She’s doing this anonymously on an internet forum, not to her friends’ faces (presumably).
Also we’re only human here. If we can’t occasionally vent privately about something our friends or family did that (however irrationally) upset us, what are we even doing??
Post # 13
I’m not CFBC, but I can totally understand how it would be frustrating to feel like you lost an “ally”, so to speak. I can’t imagine what I’d think if my staunchly CFBC friends announced they were expecting.
Post # 14
I totally get it. Go forth and vent. It’s frustrating when you’re essentially in it together, and now you are probably feeling a bit deceived and let down. I really hope this doesn’t lead to your family bugging you again. If it helps, my in laws haven’t bothered me since I told them “I don’t get why people think my uterus and what I do with it is anyone’s business but ours.”
My parents changed their minds. They were CFBC for 10 years, then they decided to have me. My mom said she woke up one day and decided she wanted to have the experience of being a mother since she’s only got one life to live. Even though she never thought being a mom was for her (and honestly, I don’t think being a mom was/is for her – she probably would have been happier without a kid).
I hope you reach a place where you can be genuinely happy for them. I’m sure you will soon. But you’re totally allowed to vent. And make sure to tease them about needing to trade in the sports car. You should buy them a “I’m the reason we own a minivan” baby onesie. Haha
Post # 15
ladyvk : That’s a little harsh. Friends are a big part of life, and when you have this huge thing in common, and suddenly you don’t and probably won’t see much of them for awhile (adjusting to kids is HUGE), it’s okay to be a little sad. I’d always pictured my best friend and I bringing our kids to vegetarian restaurants and hippie dippie mom groups and having our kids be best friends too. Now, when I do have a kid, our lives will be pretty radically different for awhile. It’s possible to be happy that people are doing what they think is best while also mourning the fact that a close friendship has profoundly changed.