Does anyone ever change their mind about having kids?

posted 7 months ago in Babies
Post # 16
Member
1539 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

Not sure if I want kids, but I’ve decided I won’t live by the biological clock (happy to adopt, etc.). I know its unpopular to think this way, but I’ve worked in a lot of hospitals and seen close friends supporting their aging parents – it’s not a guarantee your kids will be around to support you or that they will do it well, but I agree with you OP that with kids, at least you have a shot at that. I’ve largely seen ageing adults with very supportive children. But beyond that having adult children sounds fun – I have a big and happy family – it’s just when they’re younger that doesn’t seem to be my cup of tea. You’re definitely not alone in your uncertainty!

Post # 17
Hostess
4227 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I have 2 kids and I can totally honestly say that if the first one hadn’t been an “oops” I wouldn’t have had kids. The 2nd one was planned, and we are a wonderful little unit. But it has been SO. FUCKING. HARD. And when I remarried everyone was like “when are you and D H going to have more kids?” Because he doesn’t have any. But I absolutely do not want to make more kids. The ones I have are grown up, one is out of the house. And I love them so much it makes my soul ache. But I wouldn’t have done it on purpose lol. 

So anyway, after being a mom for 19 years I think that the only people who should have kids are the ones who are like “if I don’t have kids I will DIE.” Like their whole mission on this planet is to breed. Like all my Mormon neighbors lol. And everyone who is on the fence should just get a dog and enjoy their freedom. There are so many damn humans on this planet, we could do with a few less for sure. 

Post # 18
Member
634 posts
Busy bee

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peach11 :  Yup! We have older kids and were debating another baby. For years I was firmly in the “no more kids” camp but my husband really wanted a baby so I considered it.

It took some time and I really weighed what our future would be like with a baby and without. Honestly – I can see myself happy and fulfilled either way. I honestly think once you have a kid – thats your life and you’ll live it and enjoy it and make the best of it. Same for if you dont have kids. 

There is no right or wrong answer which makes it so hard to decide. In my case, since I could go either way, I went with my husbands preference and we are TTC. If you could go either way, maybe you defer to your husbands “no” preference. 

Post # 19
Member
3311 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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sboom :  this 1000%

Post # 20
Member
7938 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

My best friend is 42 and has been child free but recently decided she better have a kid “before it’s too late”. I kind of think she shouldn’t as that’s not a great reason to try to have a baby. But she is an example is someone I know changing their mind.

Post # 21
Member
2360 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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peach11 :  I feel this. I always wanted children, lots of them (at least 4). I wanted so badly to be a wife and mother. The older I got, the less I wanted to be a mother. When I met my husband, I still wanted kids, but it wasn’t as much of a driving desire, and I wanted less (around 2). My husband also wanted kids, but wasn’t in a rush, and wanted only 1 or 2.

After we got married, I was so enjoying our time together, that I started to change my mind and not want them at all. I’d seen some couples with kids and how they struggled and from an outside perspective, seemed to regret it. And I’d seen how kids seem to distance the couple from each other.

I think part of it was that when I was younger, I envisioned motherhood like my mom did it. But she was a stay at home mom, and only got a part time job when we were older. Once I got settled into my career, and enjoyed living with my husband on two incomes, I realized I didn’t want to be a stay at home mom. Then I started to think there’s no point in having kids if they’re essentially being raised by other people (day care, camps, school) etc, while DH and I work. 

My husband was confused and saddened by my shift in thinking, and still wanted kids. I then told myself and him I was okay with adopting, but didn’t want to have any biologically, and have to lose out at work and take maternity leave. DH still wanted the whole experience of pregnancy and biological children. I struggled for a year with this. And then, yes, I started to change my mind again. Started to believe I could do this, but I’m still not happy with the thought of other people essentially raising our kids, but I know that that’s what I have to offer, because I’m unwilling to quit my career.

We’ve now been married just over two years, and we just started TTC last month. I still have some little doubts, but for some reason, somehow, I now really want children, and I feel twinges of disappointment when others announce they’re pregnant. 

I’m not saying having kids is the right or wrong thing. I do think that people who are resolute in not wanting kids are unlikely to change their minds (nor should they feel the pressure to!), but for me I’ve run the gamut on how I feel about it. 

Post # 22
Member
2360 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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luckyrabbit :  I just have to say that the illogical nature of the “selfish” comment totally infuriates me. It’s the most selfless thing to not have children if you don’t want them! Our planet needs more people who stick to what they want if they’re CFBC. I’m sorry people give you crap over your decision. If I was CFBC, I would be hard pressed not to educate anyone who called me selfish for not wanting children. 

Post # 23
Member
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I always felt like I was supposed to have children. Even with my ex husband, I knew I was “supposed” to and that eventually I’d have to deal with that when the time came. After we divorced (mid to late 20’s) I realized hey, I don’t have to do that. And realized I did not want children. I still do not into my mid 30’s. My husband does not. I have made a lot of decisions in my life out of fear I’d regret not doing something and I actually just regret doing those things. Having kids is a forever thing. You have to accept that you might have a 30+ year old still living at home, or you could be a grandma when your kid is 15. You’ll have to take them everywhere, you need to help socialize them, basically your life is not just yours anymore. It’s a lot to consider and I don’t think people consider these kinds of things. A baby is cute but it grows up. A baby is not an accessory. I think it is possible to be on the fence but make a decision that is practical. If you’re not up to the job then it is ok. A lot of people say have kids. And that you’ll love them when you hold them (that seems backwards to me- can’t go back at that point). We also adapt to the difficulties in our life- which doesn’t mean it was the right choice just because someone has adapted and gotten used to it. Of course many can’t see their life without kids. It is impossible to imagine it that way at that point. Make an informed, realistic, rational decision and don’t worry what other people think or that you’ll change your mind when you have the baby (too late at that point, so that argument is null). I think if you really wanted kids you would know it. 

Post # 24
Member
3322 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

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eeniebeans :  That seems like a very odd change of mind. Did she really go straight from “I don’t want children ever” to “I’m having one before it’s too late”? With no other reasons for why she suddenly wants one? That makes me think she always did want kids or was more a fence sitter than decidedly childfree. 

If she was firmly childfree but has recently partners up with a man who wants children, I’d be very concerned by this sudden shift in her life plan. 

Yeah, sometimes people do just change their minds, and sometimes the trigger for it is the sudden realization that it’s now or never, so I’m not discounting that that is what happened with your friend, but I do think such a sudden and unexplained change of heart regarding such a massive life altering decision is worthy of some concern. 

Post # 25
Member
7938 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

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sboom :  I’m sorry if I gave the wrong impression. She wasn’t specifically AGAINST having children necessarily. When I said she was child free I meant she never had any and never thought of herself as becoming a mom. She always said a cat was enough responsibility for her. Maybe fence sitter would have been a better term, but I’ve known her since we were 15 and I really never thought it was in the cards for her. She was busy traveling and getting 2 college degrees and living her life. It has been pretty abrupt that she decided this. She has been with her partner for 12 years, so definitely not a new man changing her mind etc. .

Post # 26
Member
3629 posts
Sugar bee

I had the opposite happen.  I wanted kids so badly.  I always thought I would have a family.  Now I’m in a place where I am very content with the idea of not having kids.

Not everyone will change their minds, but as we grow and situations change, people can change their minds.  But I wouldn’t marry someone hoping that they will change their mind about something like children.  You need to be on the same page when it comes to that.

Post # 27
Member
3322 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

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eeniebeans :  Ah ok. That puts my alarm bells back to sleep. 

I think there are lots of people like your friend who just sort of assume one way or the other but it’s not so much a conscious decision of “I definitely want kids / definitely don’t want kids” thing, who at some point when life kind of forces them to make a conscious decision about it end up going the opposite way.

There’s nothing concerning about that. Especially given she’s been with the same partner for along and he is, presumably, both ok with this change in direction and not pushing the change on her. 

I have friends that have gone kind of the opposite as yours – they always figured they’d have kids eventually but just “not yet”. Well, “not yet” never stopped being “not yet” and when they realized he was pushing 40 and she was in her early thirties so it was time to start making a more conscious decision about it, they realized they actually don’t really want any at all.

They both always liked the idea of kids but neither of them ever wanted to actually deal with the reality of them, which is something they didn’t really pick up on until they forced themselves to think and talk about it. 

Post # 28
Member
1589 posts
Bumble bee

It’s so interesting reading everyone’s perspectives on this because they are all so different. I will share my two cents cause why not. I never considered myself a maternal person, but I always imagined I would have a kid or two. I think I just liked the idea of having a family in that way. I met my husband and he was firmly in the wanting kids camp, so when the time was right we began TTC.

We got pregnant after awhile and had a baby, who is the absolute light of our lives. For ME, it has been very true what they say, that you’ll never know a love like you have for your child. It’s a type of love I could not have imagined before I felt it. However, that love didn’t hit me like a lightning bolt the day my baby was born – it definitely took several months for me to ease into it, and there were times in those first few months (especially first few weeks) that I was worried something was wrong with me because I realy didn’t feel much of a connection with my baby. But once that love developed, damn…it hits you hard, and it’s an amazing feeling.

I will also say that I am not someone who ever gave a shit about anyone else’s baby or small child – like just not into it, I find little humans really boring and always felt so awkward around them (still do around most of them, to be honest!). With my own child, it’s different in the sense that I LOVE her and am absolutely delighted with her…but I still get bored sometimes because playing with a small human for hours at a time just isn’t that interesting to me. It never was with other kids, and while it’s definitely better with my kid cause I actually love her, it’s still not the most invigorating. I’m just mentioning this because I know a lot of people say “it’s different when it’s your own kid!” and a lot of other people strongly disagree with that sentiment. I personally have found that expression to be true for me in some ways, and false in others. 

Anyway, the first year of our baby’s life was a magical, wondrous time, but it was also hard, especially for me. My husband was dealing with some mental health issues and an extremely stressful period in his career, working insane hours, and frankly not coping super well…which is not something either of us anticipated happening before I got pregnant. Also, we were new to our area with no family around and no close friends. So that left me feeling quite isolated a lot of the time, and between my husband’s mental health issues and all the support he needed from me in dealing with that, plus caring for a new baby, I sometimes felt like I was taking care of everyone else, but no one was really taking care of me. I felt a bit lost or like a shell of myself in some ways.

Things started to get better around the 10 month mark, but who knows what the future holds…we are still pretty new to parenthood in the scheme of things. And I’m VERY aware that while parenting a baby is all consuming, it’s also relatively simple because it’s pretty much about meeting their needs and keeping them alive…there are no real ethical dilemmas about “discipline” or anything like that with a baby, so we’ll see how all that plays out as she gets older!

TL;DR: Always knew I wanted kids even though I don’t really like babies/small children; definitely very happy I went ahead and had one even though it has NOT been the easiest!

Post # 29
Member
3833 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Oh my gosh, I feel exactly the same. Just completely in the unsure camp (so is my husband). I hate this camp! We are in the process of buying a house and since it’s so expensive we want this house to last us for a good while/the rest of our lives. But how many rooms will we need in the future? We have no clue! I am hoping I will either fall into the ‘hell yes’ or ‘hell no’ camp at some point. But knowing me I’ll just remain in tortured indecision forever. So that’s fun. 

If it helps, a lot of my friends are the same way (we’re late 20s). I think it’s partly because we do have the option of being intentionally child-free now – it’s a stance that is becoming more socially acceptable over time. The path of marriage>house>kids is not so clear-cut any more. It’s freeing of course, I’m not saying I want to live in the 50s, but it can be confusing! Everyone is always telling you to have kids but at the same time telling horror stories about it. Not to mention pregnancy and birth sounds horrifying on a pretty deep level! 

For me the other big factor is also the state of the environment and climate change. I just don’t know if having kids is ethical. Trying to talk about this gets people surprisingly riled up sometimes and I’m not looking for an argument, but it is something that weighs heavily on my mind and my friend’s minds. 

But then against all rational thought there’s a little part of me that wants one. I had such a lovely childhood and I kinda want to recreate that with my own little person. I know ambivalence isn’t the attitude to have when creating a whole new human but I don’t want to get to 50 and realise I did want one after all. Argh!

Post # 30
Member
17 posts
Newbee

I’m cfbc, my best friend fluctuates on the subject. She used to say no, now she’s undecided, I think she’s waiting to find her forever partner before she makes that commitment and even then I imagine she’ll devote a lot of thought to it beforehand. But she’s so chill about it, probably because she’s a teacher. There’s no FOMO, she figures, like a previous poster said, the she can adopt an older child if she gets too “old”, she can find other ways to fulfill that need. 

I noticed you mentioned the whole children being there when you’re in your elderly years thing, and you’re concerned because you’re an only child. My best friend is an only child, no close family outside of her mum and uncles, she has no immediate cousins either. When all of those elderly people in her life kick it she will be alone, technically, but she also won’t be because she has me and I love her like a sister. I’m comforted by the same thought, l know I’ll always have her, alongside anyone else whose friendship is solid and has passed the test of time. You don’t have to have kids to have that kind of security, really good friends can offer the same, but like kids you have to work hard to nurture those relationships. There’s no guarantee that they’ll be there when you get old, either.

I don’t know how much exposure you have had to kids, but maybe borrowing somebody else’s for a babysitting night with your partner might help you to realize where you stand. After babysitting in my youth I swore off of kids completely, they drain me and I don’t have the patience for them at all. I find them so damn boring. You might have fun, and your partner might not. It can be quite revealing. 

My hubby was in the undecided camp, but after falling for someone adamantly against kids he changed his mind, and now he has no regrets because he sees the challenge through family members and friends. Exposure helps a lot.

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