Post # 1
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this one.
I went through a broody-ish phase in my early 20s when I was totally romanticising the idea of having kids. I knew I wasn’t anywhere near ready to have them, but I liked the idea of it later down the line.
I’m now 28 and engaged. My SO (31) isn’t totally anti-babies but I think it’s fair to say that he swings more that way than he does pro-babies.
I’ve done a fair amount of growing up since I met him and I think we are both in the ‘unsure about babies’ camp now. I don’t like this camp! I really wish I could be sure of myself one way or another but I’m really not.
Part of me likes the idea of our total independence, financial benefits and lovely peaceful household of no children. Not to mention it will likely be easier on our relationship – kids sound hard, and a lot of people when talking about their kids literally don’t even sound like THEY like it.
The other part of me likes the idea of being a mum and having a little family. Being childless now is awesome but I do worry about being an elderly couple with no family, for instance. Not that your kids are guaranteed to stick around, I know.
I’m just wondering where the bees sit on this baby-indecision malarkey. For the record, I’m not marrying my SO HOPING that he’ll change his mind as we are both in the same place at the moment. I’m just wondering what people’s experiences of this are.
Post # 2
My SO was 60% no kids/40% open to kids. I was non-negotiable so it was try for kids or break up. We have a little boy and my SO adores him and would like another one if we are able (first bub is IVF). So my SO definitely changed his mind.
Regarding the effect on our relationship, first 3 months was tough (due to exhaustion), our sex life is less frequent, but our bond is way stronger. We are a family now and it feels so important to look after that. Seeing my SO with our son is the best thing ever. For me, being a parent is the best thing ever- way better than any trip, meal out, career move etc. I gladly swapped nights out for wearing PJs and looking like I slept upside down in a hedge because of the LOVE.
But I agree it’s not for everyone. It’s a bloody big job. Try and speak to some people that love parenting though, so you get a balanced perspective. Good luck!
Post # 3
I think about this often. I’ve never felt like I wanted to have children. I just turned 28, still totally against it. I married a man who Has two college age kids and doesn’t want anymore. I get what you’re saying because the peace of mind of knowing I’ll never go through child birth or have the responsibility of a child is unbelievably comfortable to me. However, I still have this fear deep down that one day some kind of switch will flip and I’ll become maternal and want to have babies. To answer your questions, though, so far I have not changed my mind about having children, just the idea of it causes me stress
Post # 4
Your post literally describes so much of my DH and I. We’ve been through a lot of those same feelings and I think we’ve settled on being one and done. If we have issues getting pregnant though (runs in my family) I’m not sure we would pursue it further
Post # 5
Your post sums my situation up as well, except that we endes upntrying but being able to conceive. We are now debating whether we are interested in pursuing next steps. It’s the most difficult decision because our life right now is sooo good and who knows what you are signing up for with a child? Anything can happen. So scary. We just ordered “The baby decision” to see of if that helps us.
Post # 6
My XH and I were a lot like you two. I think we felt like we “should” have Kya because that’s what people do, but neither of us were gung ho about it. I pondered never having kids and I believe I would have been happy without any. We finally had our daughter and She was hard. She’s autistic and was a very very very difficult toddler. Her high needs and my XH’s immaturityand selfishness were the final nails in the coffin of our relationship.
Anyhoo…She’s 11 now and doing very well and I love being her mom, but it’s a big job and I’m glad I didn’t have another one. I’m able to devote more time to her and take her on cool trips and we’re very close. But I do sometimes wonder what my luge would have been child free.
Post # 7
Ahhh guys it’s so reassuring to see others feel the same. I’m so used to speaking to people firmly in one camp or the other.
Post # 8
full disclosure: I am 100% childfree by choice, so if that affects how much stock you put in my opinion that is totally fair.
In my personal opinion, when it comes to having children the decision should remain “no” unless and until it’s an enthusiastic “hell yes” from both parties.
Kids put a massive strain on a relationship – even very solid relationships with perfect-as-possible kids.
They are also a major source of stress outside the relationship – finances, social integration, career trajectories… Every aspect of your life is fundamentally altered when you choose to have kids.
If you’re not 100%, absolutely without a doubt sure that raising children is what you want your life to be about, do not have kids.
For people who truly want them and have no doubts that being a parent is an important part of who they are/want to be, the things you “give up” and the impacts you take to the rest of your life are more than worth it.
But for those who are unsure and end up caving to the biological clock, FOMO, external pressures, etc… I think a lot more of them regret it than would ever publicly admit, and many of them are completely miserable. It’s not good for them and it’s not good for the kids.
If you choose to have kids,they deserve to have parents who are ALL IN.
Post # 9
ETA: back in the days when I wasn’t 100% sure about my choice, one thing I often considered was that at the end of my life when I’m taking stock of all my decisions, I would much, much rather find myself regretting *not* having children than regretting having them.
If I regret not having kids, I can always volunteer in ways that allow me to make a meaningful impact on kids who need it. I can focus my love and time on my family and friends’ kids. I can become a foster parent. I can adopt. I have all kinds of options for how to fulfill those emotional needs should I end up at place in my life where I wish I’d had kids but it’s too late to change my mind.
If I regret having children, there’s no turning back. And my choices are either make myself completely miserable by doing everything in my power to ensure my child(ren) never discover that I regret them, or feel like a complete garbage person for letting my kids sense my resentment and send more broken people out into the world.
One of those outcomes feels far more daunting than the other.
Post # 10
Truth is, everyone deals with having kids/becoming parents completely differently. No one can really tell you what to expect, and you’ll never really know what you’re missing out on because you can have no idea how you/your husband will handle things, or what your kid(s) will be like, until you actually experience it. Personally for me, parenthood has been completely different from what I expected pre-kids, in both bad and good ways. I was never gung-ho about it, but I’m really really glad I did. I’ll always be a mom, but the “active parenting” stage is so temporary in the grand scheme, it’s all worth it to me. I was really intimidated to become a parent because my neices and nephews annoy me to no end, but my kid hasn’t been anything like them so far…and if/when she does, I can actually address it how I want to. I also never experienced my relationship with dh getting strained over it…if anything, we’ve gotten stronger. But other people definitely do experience strain from their kids…so knowing the ins-and-outs of your relationship beforehand is probably really important.
I realize that may not be super helpful, lol…but I also don’t think weighing other’s experiences, or looking at other’s kids as examples, is necessarily helpful either…because they’re not you, and those aren’t your kids. Let that all go and try to meditate on how YOU really feel, what you think you can handle, what you’re willing to sacrifice for a limited time, and what the pros and cons are for your lifestyle in general. If you start to lean towards having kids, talk with your dh about parenting and what your expectations are, and make sure you’re both on the same page…two parents parenting in two different way causes a LOT of stress on the household.
Post # 11
At age nine, I absolutely knew I never wanted to have a baby. I never really wobbled on that. Now that I am past childbearing years, I still know it was 100% right for me. And, in my age group, I know a *lot* of parents who would not do it over, given the chance.
Having worked in nursing homes back in my student days, allow me to debunk the stubborn mythology around children as long term annuities against old age. No question, many kids take wonderful care of their parents later in life. Plenty don’t. Even those who mean well get all wound up tightly in their own lives and families. They move away for career opportunities or to be closer to the *other* family.
You are always going to be rolling the dice on what your children will do for you when you need help.
Not to influence you one way or another, Bee. But, I really do want to see that argument permanently retired.
Post # 12
When my H and I started dating, we were both solidly in the no kids camp. Slowly over the years, I changed my mind and then he did as well. And well we have a kid now. But it took 5 years for us to come to this decision and make this choice because it worked for us and was something we wanted. As someone said upthread, if you choose to have kids, make sure you BOTH really want it. Kids are hard. Our baby is only 2 months but those 2 months have been hard. But our relationship is stronger and better for what we’ve gone through. Though if we didn’t both come to this decision, it may not have been this way.
Post # 13
I totally agree with you. I’m a lawyer dealing with a lot of elderly client work, and I see a lot of awful stuff going on in families to know it’s not all rosy, and having kids doesn’t guarantee anything. Some of my clients kids are so awful there’s no doubt their parents would have been better off not having them.
I only mentioned it as not having kids almost guarantees you’ll be lonely in your older years – at least in respect of family. I’m an only child so it’s not even like I’ll have siblings or nieces/nephews when I’m older; and my SO only has one sister who likely won’t be able to have children and may not live a full life due to cancer (I hope I’m wrong!).
Although having children doesn’t guarantee anything, you probably stand a better chance of being cared for/having family around you than not having them, that’s all I was getting at.
Post # 14
I used to want kids. Then I realized it was because of how society drilled into our brains. So I started not wanting kids. When I first met my Fiance he was on the half and half side. I was straight up with him about my no kids view. And he was ok with it. But when one of his friends had a baby, he told me he actually did want kids. That knocked me off my feet for a bit. I told him I can try to be on board. I told him I’ll be on board for him because at the time I didn’t want to lose him. As time went by, I started to realized I didn’t want kids for sure sure. And no man or love can change that. Just the thought of being pregnant gave me so much anxiety. So I came clean with him. I told him I understand it’s a deal breaker situation. But I couldn’t do it. Not even for him. Surprisingly, he told me it was ok. That me and our animals were the only family he needed. He told me he went through a phrase when his friend had a kid. That after seeing what his friend goes through, he now doesn’t want kids either. I kept pushing him to be sure he actually didn’t want kids and that he won’t regret it. He kept assuring me he doesn’t. Even to this day, he’s way more into the no kids camp than me.
We know for sure we don’t want kids. We get comments about us being selfish or will change our minds one of these days a lot. His mom cried when she found out we didn’t want kids. She likes me less because of it. When you don’t want kids, you’ll know for sure.
When there’s real pressure for having kids or no kids, I think you guys will figure it out.
Post # 15
I was firmly in the “no” camp until meeting my husband. For some reason I can’t quite articulate, having kids suddenly seemed like the right way forward. I can’t claim that we were 100% sure that we should have them though – honestly I don’t quite see how anyone could be when you’re deciding whether or not to jump into the complete unknown.
We now have an amazing toddler and a baby on the way, and whilst I can still completely understand the CFBC position, we are happy with our family unit.