CFBC: On the fence about having kids

posted 11 months ago in No Kids
Post # 46
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

bumblebug :  with all due respect, I wasn’t trying to be creative and I was just sharing my perspective (and explaining why I shared). I wasn’t speaking to you personally and I wasn’t trying to persuade anybody of anything (and this sounds like a sore spot for you so I apologise if my words offended you, that wasn’t my intention).

Post # 49
5564 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

vanessa9090 :  I don’t think anyone likes being around unruly, bratty kids. Not even other parents. If that’s why you don’t like being around other kids, I wouldn’t classify that as a desire to be cfbc

Post # 51
41 posts
  • Wedding: October 2017

vanessa9090 :  I hear where you’re coming from! I always joke that I hate kids (…only partially a joke) because I find them super annoying/bratty. I do have a few friends with awesome kids who I don’t mind spending time with. I think it’s different with your own kid. I used to be SUPER anti child, but now think I do indeed want to start a family. A big part of it is knowing my husband will be an equal partner, and I won’t be stuck doing everything re: kids. I compare it with my dogs… I LOVE dogs, but I eventually find other people’s dogs annoying/would prefer them to go home – but my OWN dogs I am obsessed with and love to death. Hahah. 

Post # 52
112 posts
Blushing bee

vanessa9090 :  I’m one of those CFBC people who actually loves babies (I’m a nanny but also worked at an all infant daycare for over two years and absolutely loved my job). I think it’s funny when people remind others that they’re only little for so long and some people don’t like the young years but like parenting once they’re older. The kids are less physically dependent as they get older, but the problems scare me so much more. No one has to worry that their baby will stumble upon violent, extreme porn. They don’t have to worry that they’ll be bullied (or are bullying others). And, unless they’re randomly at a school, you don’t have to worry your baby will be the victim of a school shooting, or, God forbid, commit a shooting. 

And I know this is a common sentiment among parents, but I’ve never quite understood the idea that you love someone so much you want a piece of them or don’t want to miss out on an experience. I don’t want a piece of my husband. I just want him. Kids would mean less one-on-one time with him, less undivided attention to each other, and even with the easiest kid ever, it will create conflict. Parenting is such a monumental undertaking, that decisions and ideas about how to raise a child feel critically mportant, even small things. I’ve seen parents get into fights over how long their kid should have a pacifier or whether the kid should go to bed at 7:30 or 8:00. I’ve seen kids ask one parent for something, get denied, and then immediately ask the other parent who says yes, and then the parents getting into fights about it (and I definitely did my share of that as a kid too). Some people handle conflict better than others, but I have yet to find a single pair of parents who agreed 100% on every aspect of raising a child. 

The experiences I want with my husband are to fully enjoy each other for the rest of our lives. An 18 year commitment (at a minimum) which takes time, energy, and money away from each other does not appeal to me at all. The average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is currently around a quarter of a million dollars (that’s just the average, so it’s quite a bit more if you live in a HCOL area or will be helping with college). For me, if someone said, “Do you want a quarter of a million dollar lottery ticket you’re guaranteed to win?” I would have to be crazy to say no. I view parenting as having to pay that money instead of winning it, and in addition to losing all that, I also lose time with my spouse, career opportunities (moms do deal with a lot of prejudice in the work place), sleep, and the freedom/flexibility to travel easily. Obviously this is a worthwhile tradeoff for some people, but I can’t imagine a universe where that’s what I would choose. Fortunately my husband is 100% on the same page, and neither of us has to worry about the other one suddenly changing their mind. I do hope, whatever you end up doing, that you go into it with a strong sense of direction. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea for parenthood to be approached with ambivalence. 

Post # 55
112 posts
Blushing bee

vanessa9090 :  I totally get that a lot of people feel that way, otherwise there wouldn’t be as many kids as there are. I guess it just logically doesn’t make sense to me, and that’s ok. My husband and I have both been sterilized, but I definitely understand that’s not the right choice for every couple. As far as being a nanny but not wanting kids- instead of being the one to pay a small fortune to raise kids, I get all the good parts of raising kids (the snuggles, seeing them learn, going to parks), but I’m getting paid over 50k a year to do that, AND as soon as I leave, I can do whatever I want with my money and free time. I go to sleep whenever, I go on long hikes and rock climbing trips with my husband, eat exotic foods, tour breweries, etc. It’s the best of both worlds. I never have to make the hard decisions, pay for the kids, and I will be long gone by the time they are faced with the things I mentioned in my last post. My husband is a teacher. He also knows how fun but also how challenging kids can be, and he got sterilized shortly before we met. Our one other close CFBC friends are also a nanny and teacher married couple. I think of it like pizza. I LOVE pizza. I think it’s awesome. If you paid me to eat pizza 5 days a week, I’d be thrilled. But I wouldn’t want to have to eat pizza every day for the next 18 years and have to pay for that pizza. It may not be the best analogy, but getting paid to do something, for part of the week and able to leave whenever, is way different than committing to at least an 18 year job and having to spend your own money in the process. 

Post # 56
477 posts
Helper bee

vanessa9090 :  I’m sorry if a discussion that isn’t in your favor makes you feel like I’m attacking you. People really do get so offended for everything nowadays. 

Post # 57
112 posts
Blushing bee

You said you probably wouldn’t be starting for another two years to try for a kid, but I was wondering, if you’re still not ready then if you would put it off or just go for it? Are you young enough to have some flexibility? And have you and your husband discussed what you would do if you can’t conceive on your own? I feel like that can be very telling. I broke up with a guy (when I was still making up my mind) when he told me he wanted two kids, maybe as many as four, and that he would adopt if he couldn’t have them. I wasn’t sure I wanted kids at all, but I knew I definitely did not want to raise non-biological children. Is it really the experience of raising a child with your spouse that you guys want, or is that only something you’d want if it’s a mini-you/mini-him? One of my now CFBC friends said that was the dealbreaker in her first marriage. She was willing to have a kid with her spouse, but after trying unsuccessfully, he wanted to move forward with adoption, and she realized that she didn’t want to raise just *any* kid and wasn’t willing to go to that length to do something she was only doing for her spouse in the first place. I think it’s good to know where your husband stands on that issue early on so it’s not a surprise if it gets to that point. It seems like it could also take some of the pressure of TTC. Like, if you agree that you only want biological children, and it doesn’t happen, then you can just be childfree (even if it’s not by choice). 

Post # 58
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I have a four-week old baby so I’m obv very new to the parenting thing and have a limited perspective. All I will say is that in my case, I have never liked babies or even children – I find them boring at best and a huge PITA at worst. I was a nanny for a few summers and also babysat a lot as a teenager to earn some money, and I hated it! I was that awful babysitter/nanny who’d park the kids in front of the TV so I could read a book or something rather than be forced to play with them. I was pretty awful. I did not like most of the kids I babysat/nannied for, and the feeling was mutual!

I do not like interacting with kids because I feel super awkward and am never sure how to relate to them. I think kids pick up on my discomfort too, making the whole thing even worse. I don’t really find babies all that cute and would always dread being asked to hold a friend or relative’s new baby lest it start shrieking or something. 

That being said, I always knew I wanted to have kids of my own – it was never a question. I think I just wanted a family and assumed when I had my own kids I’d feel differently about them than I did about other people’s kids? 

The jury is still out since, again, four weeks of experience…but I will say, in MY experience, having a newborn that is my own has so far been an entirely different ballgame. I did not bond with my baby immediately – like, the moment they handed her to me I was definitely emotional, but in those early days there was definitely also a feeling of “who is this baby??” and even an occasional, “what have we done???”

But at the same time there’s a deeper connection that is almost …I dunno how to put it into words exactly, but it’s almost like I’ve gone into autopilot. Caring for my baby is a sleepless, 24/7 job, but I find that I’m just doing it innately…it doesn’t even really feel like a burden or boring or any of the things I was worried about or experienced as a nanny/babysitter. Like it’s tiring as hell and draining, but at the same time it’s like second nature. I’m sure part of that is hormonal. But I think one of my biggest fears before I had this baby was that I’d just feel detached and maybe even resentful at the thought of devoting so much time to her, and so far I haven’t felt that at all.

I dunno this is all over the place, and I want to be very clear that this is only MY experience, and it is obviously very limited given how new I am to motherhood, and there is no guarantee it would be yours or anyone else’s experience, etc etc etc. But anyway just thought I’d share in case it is at all helpful.

ETA: I should also mention that *so far* our baby has been relatively easy as far as newborns go, which I’m sure is helping. She is not overly fussy and pretty much only cries when she’s hungry or needs a diaper change. If I had a baby that wailed 24/7 I might feel very differently, and there’s obv no guarantee what type of baby you’re gonna get!

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