CFBC: On the fence about having kids

posted 2 weeks ago in No Kids
Post # 2
Member
2138 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Such a great thread. I will say there are no right or wrong choices here and whatever you decide will be the ‘right’ choice for you.

i always wanted a family, but when we started trying we found out it wasn’t that simple for us. After 2 years I started to ‘make peace’ with being childless and I found so much in my life to be thankful for without children. I’ve now had one child and pregnant with another – I don’t regret it at all but I still know that had it not happened I would have had a very fulfilling life. avanessa9090 :  

Post # 3
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee

You sound exactly like me! I’ve decided that I would like to have kids eventually, mainly for the reason your mom stayed – I know it’s different when they are your own. 

My SOs sister has two sons, and the oldest is apparently a spitting image of my SO when he was a child. Seeing their kids , they are the first that I truly love and has made my decision clear. It’s also been interesting seeing my SO go from initially being terrified of being around the kids to nurturing them. I think he will be a great dad and I have started to get excited about the idea of raising a family with him.

Prior to this, I always hated kids but thought that maybe my opinion may change one day. It has! I’m 30, for the record. 

Post # 4
Member
2052 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

vanessa9090 :  “I think he could be such a great Dad and I am sure he wants kids eventually.”

Are you sure he wants kids eventually because you have explicitly had this conversation? Or are you making assumptions based on your opinion that he would be a great Dad? If you have not had serious discussions about the possibility of having children, you need to start now. If you have had these discussions and he has said he doesn’t want children, you need to accept that as his truth and not try to convince yourself or him that he’s wrong or that he will change his mind.

CFBC forums are full of people left feeling angry and betrayed by their partners who paid lipservice to being CFBC only to later on “change their mind” or admit they actually wanted kids all along. That is a really awful thing to do to someone. If you are truly unsure, be honest and open about that – don’t pretend you’re fully on board with a CFBC life if you’re not. 

As for whether or not you should have a kid – none of us can help you make that decision. However, I will advise that you do some thought experiments and really tune into your emotions when you do them. That’s how I got myself from “I’m pretty sure I don’t want kids / I don’t see myself having kids” to “I definitely don’t ever want to have a kid”. 

Basically, at the end of a typical day, think back on the entirety of that day from the moment you woke up and pinpoint every juncture at which your experience would have been different if you had an infant, a toddler, a school aged kid, and so on. How does it make you feel to envision all those changes? For me, doing that thought experiment made me feel very overwhelmed and constricted. For others, I’m sure it makes their life feel richer and more fulfilled. 

How about on a non-typical day? When you go out to meet up with friends, consider how you feel when you consider you won’t be able to do that as often, and you won’t be able to stay out as late, and you’ll have to find a babysitter, and they might cancel last minute, etc. 

How about on vacation? When you’re on vacation, or you’re out with friends, or you’re relaxing at home after a long and stressful day, think about how you are feeling in that moment and then envision that moment with a screaming baby and envision that moment with a laughing toddler. Does the vision of the laughing toddler bring so much richness and joy into that moment that it makes up for the stress and other negative emotions that come up when you envision the screaming baby? 

Post # 5
Member
554 posts
Busy bee

I think the biggest thing to remember is, if you’re on the fence, just don’t have them until you’re sure. 

Also, I know my SO would be the most fantastic dad, but he doesn’t want kids so don’t presume or try to make that choice for him just because you know and see his potential.

Post # 6
Member
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2019

This is really one of those things that is personal to you, and I don’t think the thoughts or feelings of anyone else (besides your SO) should come into play. I know that sounds obvious, but we’re all different people in different circumstances, and the success stories of some kids you know shouldn’t dictate what you do.

My mom told me something similar—that she didn’t want children but then she had me and my brother. My parents struggled with infertility, and then surprise, they suddenly had two kids that were premature and had to be hospitalized as infants. It was a hard adjustment for both of them; my mom had to quit her job to stay at home with us and my dad worked so much that he wasn’t around a lot. I’m not saying my childhood was bad, but it was tense, and I don’t think my parents were really prepared for the reality. Needless to say, my relationship with them improved when I became an adult.

I say all that to say that you should only have kids if you both really want to; definitely don’t have children for your SO if you yourself aren’t sure if you want them. Explicitly sit down and talk to your SO about having children and your expectations of each other.

Personally, it took a few breakups with men who really wanted kids to make me realize that I didn’t want them at all. I was a passive passenger to their desires, and when I first met my Fiance I told him point blank that if he wanted children then he needed to date someone else. The Kodak moments are sweet, and I do think about them from time to time, but I know I don’t want and am not prepared for the reality that comes with it. Our dog is enough, and if we don’t feel our life is quite complete.. we’ll get another dog.

Post # 7
Member
1578 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

 

I’m basically in your same boat, bee.

Except my husband could do without ever having kids, but is open to having them if I really want them. This was something that we discussed before marriage, I told him if he weren’t open to the idea then we shouldn’t get married. We’ve had more discussions recently as I have bouts of baby fever but we’ve decided that it’s not an option for at least the next 3-4 years. 

We’re going to reassess our feelings and goals down the road and see what our life looks like and if having a child is something that makes sense for us.

It’s crazy though, I have baby fever then other times I cringe at the thought of having one. 

 

Post # 8
Member
5431 posts
Bee Keeper

vanessa9090 : Not having kids means no big family events like Christmas and Thanksgiving when we grow older…if one of us passes away it will be harder to deal with it…My mum often tells me that without me her life would be empty…

Whatever you decide–those are not good reasons to have children. My childless aunt and uncle host 50+ people every Christmas Eve and have for decades. They’ve never spent a holiday alone and sometimes joke that they should. It’s hard when people pass away regardless of whether you have children or not. I’ve even seen cases where having children made it harder as parents had expectations that adult children would step up in specific ways that these children were not interested in. 

I’m a parent, I always wanted to have children and I’m happy that I did. I have many friends who did not have children and they are equally happy with their choice. Not a single one of them spends the holidays alone. We all travel.

At the end of the day you have to decide if you want to give up some freedom and adjust your financial and other priorities for decades because you are responsible for someone else. Whatever you decide is fine, as long as you are honest about your feelings. Does your SO say that he wants children? Does he know that you may not? 

Baby fever = hormones. Hormones pass. Children are forever. There really is no right answer, just what is right for you. 

Post # 11
Member
2138 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

This is brilliant – if you don’t mind I’m going to steal it for my CFBC friend who’s girlfriend has basically said kids or we’re done. He really likes her so is trying to decide if he can get on board with kids sboom :  

Post # 12
Member
2052 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

vanessa9090 :  I have a couple of friends who are on the fence and have simply opted (as a couple, in full knowledge) to just not try that hard to avoid it… so far, no pregnancies have resulted but yeah, for some people maybe just leaving it up to chance is the way to go. If you genuinely cannot make up your mind, then maybe letting chance decide for you is the right way to go. BUT, I would caution against going that route if you are at all uncertain about your ability and willingness to be a good parent should it happen.

If it’s a matter of “I think I would be happy either way”, then it is perfectly reasonable to roll the dice. If it’s a matter of “I’m not sure I’d be happy with a kid but I sometimes think it would be nice”, I’d keep actively preventing pregnancy for now. 

Post # 13
Member
5035 posts
Bee Keeper

My husband and I have been together since we were teens, and kind of grew up always thinking “one day we’ll have kids”. I definitely transitioned out of that faster than he did, and I know he would make an AMAZING dad. Back when we were fence sitters, we even discussed him staying at home (since I make a bit more money anyways), and his temperment is much more suited. Now that we’re pushing 30, he is enjoying our lifestyle and no longer wants kids. I still think he’d make an amazing parent, but I know that *I* would not haha. 

Post # 14
Member
1421 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

It’s not a guarantee that “it’s different when it’s your own.” Unless you just mean like the expectations and obligations are more severe when it’s your own. You should not have kids if you’re unsure and thinking well once you’ve had them it’ll be different because it’ll be your own. 

Obviously I care more about my own child than I do other people’s children but I have never had that moment where I’m staring into the eyes of my tantruming screaming baby thinking it’s all worth it in the end. I take each moment as they come. The good times—and my baby really was an easy infant, sleeping through the night at 3 months and all that—bring me much joy of course. But I am not thinking of those times when he’s throwing a tantrum because I don’t want to watch the Baby Shark 30-minute loop video…on a loop, or the (admittedly rare) times he kept me up all through the night during a busy time at work. 

Post # 15
Member
1074 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

It’s not true that you can’t travel with kids. My friend took her baby who was then 6 months from Australia to Canada for 3 weeks I. Winter. At 9 months they travelled with their girl from Australia to Europe for 6 weeks.

she highly recommends it and refused to stay home just because she has a baby.

same with my in-laws. They travelled all over the world when my husband was under 2.

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