Post # 1
Hi Bee. It’s the end of the summer holidays here so naturally a lot of parents are a bit frazzled out after 6 weeks of intense child-parent time. However, there have been a couple of occasions recently where Fiance and I have gone for dinner with other couples who have children, and several times parents have said the words ‘UGH whatever you do, DON’T have kids…’. My best friend is also quite vocal about the fact that she thinks I should wait until at least 30 (I’m 25).
I’m actually kind of upset about this… because I’ve always been a bit anxious about how well I’ll handle it or if I’ll even enjoy it. All through my teens and early 20s I was 100% sure I wanted babies, and I think now the wedding is coming up and sh*t is getting real, I’m really anxious about all the challenges parenting will bring and whether it will completely change who I am.
Have any of you been told ‘Don’t have kids!’ by friends or family? Or have you been the one to say this to a friend? Hearing parents this is making me more worried about it – I don’t have any close friends with babies and so far I’ve only been painted a bad picture. I know it’s not easy, but from what these people have said it looks like the worst thing in the world.
Help me believe in the good again!!!
Post # 2
My own mom and dad tell me this all the time! I just brush it off or throw it back and say “well you have kids”‘
Post # 3
I think people say this out of frusteration with their own children. Being a parent is hard. I’m not, but I’ve been taking care of kids since I was 18 and it can be hard.
Every child is different though. They may have a very colicky baby, while yours could be a godsend. It all varies in each person, and their child. Don’t let it stop you. if you want children, then you should have them!
Post # 4
I have a few friends with kids who LOVE being parents (not that it isn’t a challenge!), and others who had unplanned pregnancies, love their child to death, but still say “use protection!” One of my bosses asked my husband if we were thinking of kids anytime soon (we are 24 and 26, he is currently in grad school, I am going back when he is done). My husband laughed and said no, my boss (who has a 6 month old) said “yeah….they can put a wrench in things.” But everyone I know says their kids are the best things to ever happen to them.
My mom had me and my brother when she was in her 30s due to troubles conceiving, but she has always told me not to have a kid unless I am 200% sure it is what I want. When I can’t get kids off my brain and it hurts that I don’t have one, that is when I should. I think it’s a good plan. DH and I are undecided if we will have kids, but if we do, it’ll be when we are good and ready for them!
Post # 5
Almost everyone I know with kids says this. Personally, I think it’s because they don’t want to seem too smug and self-satisfied… many of the people I know well who have said this to me have also secretly confided that they wouldn’t change their choice for anything.
Post # 6
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
I think it’s just out of frustration, because usually these are the same people who talk about how their kid made their life complete like a week later.
But I’m with you, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Parenthood isn’t for everyone, but some people don’t figure that out until it’s too late. I’m on the fence like you about how well I’d handle it. I’m 25 as well, and I just don’t feel ready, yet, so we are waiting. We might never decide to try, but I think we will probably have just one a few more years down the road. Try to spend time with babies and young kids to test the waters.
Post # 7
Have they said anything about you personally? Or are they really more just venting about their kids? If they are just taking the opportunity to vent about how they can’t stand cheerios in every crevice of their life – don’t take it personally! It has nothing to do with you. And you know what – 10 years from now they’re gonna miss those cheerios and the precious moments that went along with them. But right now they’re just a bit frazzled.
Post # 8
I’m sure there are people who actually regret having children. However, I think there’s a lot of frustration/joking about it when people say these things. Most of the time I’ve heard/been told this its immediately following something completely ridiculous their child has just done (seriously, kids get some weird ideas in their heads and they just go with it!) I know my friends genuinely love their children. That’s obvious when you see them with them.
I also think its totally normal to be frustrated/exasperated with them at times. It’s not going to be rosey every single moment of every day. There are probably times you’ll love them but not like them very much in the moment.
My super sarcastic Brother-In-Law said this “You guys have no idea what you’re getting into. It’s going to be the best time of your life. Seriously. Everything is going to change.” And then to my DH he said “Make sure you get in there [meaning during the birth, not to stay by my head].” We were dropping him at the airport and it’ll be another year before we see him in person. I sometimes have a hard time reading him, I wasn’t sure if he was being truthful or if he was being sarcastic/joking. But he was serious. And I know he simply adores both his children. They literally are the light of his life. But he has no qualms on setting it out there about what really happens and what baby/toddlerhood has brought them over the last 3 years!
Post # 9
Last week we went to my FI’s boss’ house for a cookout with all of the managers. Fiance is the youngest manager (we’re 23) and we were the only couple that wasn’t married or had kids. One of the other managers is like 29ish and has 3 kids, ages 8, 6 and 3. He told us a couple of times not to have kids. It didn’t really bother me because when we left me and Fiance were like “yeah we’re not having kids for like 6 more years” haha. We are both excited to have kids and want like 3 or 4, but we just want to wait awhile.
Post # 10
Thanks – no, nothing personal at all, just the general ‘ARGH’ frustrated vent. I know they’ll miss those things… even my own mother told me not to have kids when i was younger (probably to try and scare me off teenage pregnancy) but now she’s super keen to be a grandma. I guess it really is just a huge rollercoaster and I caught these guys on one of the twists and turns!
Post # 11
While sometimes these are just offhanded comments, there is also often truth to them. Just as a contrast to some of the posters above who have had these same people later say they would still do it all over again, I have had some very honest conversations with parents – including ones who have raised their kids to adulthood – who would NOT do it all over again and far from thinking children made their life complete, think it made them realize how they should have appreciated what they had. I think many of them have felt comfortable being blunt with me because I do NOT want children and they know I will not think them horrific for expressing anything other than the socially acceptable “my life is more fulfilling with children”. Maybe for some that is true, for others it certainly isn’t.
Some people take to parenting like fish in water, but this is definitely not the case for everyone. There are parents who do regret it but what can they do now but make the best of it and rationalize it as best they can? My SIL is one of these. Sure, she loves her two kids (close in age, she had the second when things were still rather “easy”) but she will never hesitate to talk to me and my husband (her brother) about how she wishes she could run away back to her old life 85% of the time. When she goes away for work she cries when she gets back from her “break” because she finds her life as a parent so hard, so much drudgery. Her kids – who are 5 1/2 and 3 – are high energy which does not help. She is a good mom to those kids, and she loves them, but she hates what having children has meant to her life, to who SHE is. When she says she envies our childfree life, and says we made the right choice, she genuinely means it from her own experience. She is not the only one I have met who feels this way.
I mean, I guess all you can take from this is have children only if you genuinely want them AND all that comes with parenting them. Go in with eyes as wide open as possible. Know who YOU are and decide – as best you can before you actually are living it – if having children fits with that. I totally recommend the book “I’m Ok…You’re a Brat”. It is written by a psychologist who is a mother of two who definitely is honest about the changes parenting brings, and talks about how some people have a “loving being a parent” gene and others don’t, and it can be a rougher go for these latter people.
Post # 12
Actually, I know a lot of people that love their kids, but if they could go back and do it over, they wouldn’t have had kids…I always thought I wanted kids, but I didn’t meet the right guy in time…I met my b/f at 39…at 40, we discussed it and I really thought about it – we did a time line of “how old we would be when…” and decided we missed the window of time and are not going to be having kids…I think this is the best decision for us…I think it is a personal decision and what is good for one may not be right for another – look at your life, look at what you like to do, what you can afford to do, etc and make a decision…I think a lot of people lose site of how much kids COST (personally, I had a great childhood and if I had kids, I would have wanted that for them – I could not have done that until I was at least in my 30s)…I also think it is important to be on the same page as your partner in terms of parenting and the kind of life you are looking to have with/without kids…. and it is REALLY important to have more in common than kids
Post # 13
I also get told this from time to time, and it’s frustrating for me as most of my life I have been in the “I will never have kids” camp, but have changed my mind since being with FH. It’s just awkward to deal with their feelings that they are projecting on to me, when in some ways I am still coming to terms with the fact that I actually do want them… anyway, no advice, but I know what you are talking about!
Post # 14
Usually when people tell me this, they’re exaggerating/joking. I have had people tell me more seriously to wait until I’m in my 30’s, which bugs the hell out of me. That’s fine if that’s what some people want to do, or if that’s just how it happens for them, but I am adamant about having at least my first kid in my 20’s, as long as I’m able to. I’m 25, married, we own a house perfect for raising kids, we both have good jobs, and we WANT kids. Not to mention, DH is 35, so if we waited until I was 30, he’s already be 40 before we even have our first kid. I’d much rather get started now!
Post # 15
Kids can be challenging that’s for sure, but when you have your own kids you will FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM! 🙂 I had my first when I was 22 and second at 28 and wouldn’t change a thing. Don’t let these people scare you into not having kids.