Why is it so bad??

posted 9 months ago in Parenting
Post # 2
1524 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

I’m not a parent, but I just wanted to chime in and say that I asked my mom this same question.  There is so much negativity around having children now – even if people wanted them, it’s like all they can talk about is how awful the sleep deprivation is, how it messes up their marriage, how stressful it is, all the changes to life that they hate, all the things they can’t do anymore, etc.  In addition, I can’t stand when women want to tell pregnant women their horror stories of birth, or even just make their relatively normal birth story sound as difficult and scary as possible.  Why would you do that to someone trying to stay in a positive state of mind about something scary?!

My mom said that when she was my age, it was an entirely different experience.  People acknowledged the difficulties of pregnancy and parenting, but it was spoken with an air of “it’s kind of crazy, but really not bad and we expected it anyway,” or even as lighthearted and non-sarcastic humor.  She said people used to be so encouraging toward new parents and tried actively to comfort pregnant women who were scared about birth.  I wonder if it’s really just a symptom of our culture now, and how most people seem to be in the terrible habit of focusing on only the negative of things.

Post # 3
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020 - City, State

It could just be that they are stressed OR they are shy with the oohs and ahhhs, and say things to defer the compliments/adoration. Yes, babies are a ton of work, but that is part of the process of raising a human! 

Post # 4
2821 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I feel like people speak the same way about marriage, about how important it is to live your life to the fullest while you are “free” and finish everything you want to accomplish before “settling down” and getting married. But for me, getting married at 24 has been one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever done and it has not stopped me from accomplishing my goals and living life to the fullest afterwards. I agree with PP that our culture is sliding into a mindset of negativity and trying to one-up one another about how hard your life is. And also.. late 20s really isn’t that young to start having kids. 

Post # 5
1281 posts
Bumble bee

I’m not the most “sympathetic” source you’re going to find, as I’m 31 and my SO is 36, and we’re CFBC. But I do think I can shed some light on what they meant. 

Having children in the first place is entirely a personal choice. What age you have children is much the same. 

One of the truths about having children is that they are limiting. This is neither good nor bad, it just is. 

You’ll have less disposable income. You’ll have less time. You’ll have less freedom. You will have to consider another life at every moment of every day, not just when you feel like it. Literally EVERY moment. 

Some people dream of traveling. Others dream of dedicating themselves to their work, causes, or hobbies. Others dream of having a family. Understand that if you want to do it all, having children will inevitably impact your ability to do the others. It could be a simple delay, but it could also mean that passion is something you give up entirely. If having a family is your highest passion, you don’t have to worry about it so much. 

Why your friends would say this isn’t something I can pinpoint, because I don’t know them. But… they’re being as honest as they can with you, and I don’t think they meant anything bad by it. Their lives have just been turned upside down, limited, and filled with the joys of parenthood… All at the same time. They’re going through a lot of feels right now. 

So, I think when people say that, it’s not meant to be patronizing. Perhaps just a result of their journey and realizations. 

For my part, I fully accepted years ago that I have not a shred of maternal instinct if we’re talking about little humans. I will be a dog mom, and I’m good with that. My SO has no patience or energy for small children, and he’s aware of that. We also both have high-powered careers we wouldn’t want to compromise. You and your husband, on the other hand, have baby fever! So, if having children is something that you know will fulfill both of you, start building a family. Your readiness is something other people can’t possibly know. They just want to make sure you’ve considered all the angles. 

Post # 6
81 posts
Worker bee

If parenting were so bad you would see a lot more only children! It sounds like the people you know are just trying to let you know that once you have children your whole world is going to turn upside down. Which, of course it is! Everyone knows that having kids will change your life but since you have never experienced it before you just cant fully comprehend how life altering it is. And of course in hindsight there is always something that you will wish you had done before having kids. And it’s not because once you have kids life sucks because that is not the case at all; it’s just that before kids life is a lot more carefree with a lot less responsibility (in general but everyone leads different lives and I do not mean people without kids do not also have responsibilities). Dinner out with friends on a Saturday night is not an ordeal before kids but once you have one you either have to find an appropriate place to bring the kid or find a sitter. It is a totally different lifestyle than what you are used to so just keep that in mind before jumping in. I do not regret having kids at all and I am so happy with them in my life. 

Post # 7
284 posts
Helper bee

I don’t think what either the mother or father said is negative. I would agree with them. When you have a child, thats it, you are a parent forever. No matter how independent your child grows up to be, even when they have their own family, it will never be just you and your husband in your family again. That’s not a bad thing, it just is. You will always be a mother, grandmother etc. 

Myself and my husband met when we were young. We have had 10+ years together before we have our 1st child. We always knew we wanted children but we wanted it all…we wanted to enjoy life without children and with children…And since it cant work backwards (cant have children for 5/6 years then send them back for a while) we had our childfree years 1st. We have enjoyed the past 10 years partying, working, going on holidays WE want, lots of time with friends, lie ins, after  school naps, hobbies etc. We will have our child later this year and hopefully will enjoy many years of raising a family, family trips, childrens activities etc. And because we are early 30s we will still be young enough when children grow up to have our ‘own lives’ back for many years from 50+.  In my opinion, best of all worlds. 

Post # 8
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I feel like all new parents go through this phase where they feel their life has ended. My sister was like this when she first had children but once the oldest was old enough to walk around she was back to going out with her friends and having fun. Your partner should support you in being able to go out and have a life, and vice versa. Having kids doesn’t completely destroy your life, it just modifies it. You can still travel with kids! In fact, it can make them better, more culturally sensitive adults!

Post # 9
930 posts
Busy bee

mermaidbride862 :  You know, this is an interstng thread. 

Basically, they’re completely dependent on you, especailly the first several years. 

So if you ever did want to travel or do something in the near future, babies make it that much more difficult to peacefully enjoy it all. 

Some parnets have the nurture quality more than other parnets. I’d say plan your life how you want to. It’s the life you are molding for your own self/family. 🙂

Post # 10
3225 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

mermaidbride862 :  becoming a parent is the best thing I’ve ever done. My son is my entire world. 

That said – my son is my entire world. Our extra money goes into him, we don’t ever get to sleep in late any more, lazy weekends are a thing of the past, I went 12 full months without sleeping more than 4 hours in a row, he throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way and embarasses me in public sometimes, everything takes way more planning than it ever did before etc. etc. So yeah, it’s a huge change from a childfree life. That doesn’t mean you should never do it, but I do agree that you should do what you want to do before having kids. Obviously you can still do stuff with kids. You can travel and take them places (my son is a horrible traveler though), you can go out to eat, etc. but it will be different. We are also not the type of parents to send the kid(s) off to grandparents for a weekend while we have a weekend out on the town or whatever, so other people may find it easier to maintain that lifestyle. 

I’d never tell someone not to have kids, but I would encourage you to really consider the massive lifestyle change they envolve. I’m due with #2 in June though and again, wouldn’t change a thing. One day it’ll be just the two of us again.

Post # 11
2091 posts
Buzzing bee

Well I have a 4.5m old and was up 6 times last night (thanks, 4 month sleep regression!).

I LOVE my son, love love love love love love love him. To pieces. Even his poop is cute and worthy of a 30 minute discussion.

But, it.is.so.hard.

I knew it was hard, everyone told me it would be! I was a stepmom first, and came into my stepkids life when they were still in diapers– so I had a taste of it. But this is all consuming, you do not go without thinking about them in every capacity. Getting to the store, running errands, eating out, watching your favorite tv show, cooking dinner– your new norm changes and it centers around them and their feeding and nap schedule. Their fussy times of day and night, their equipment that you have to pack along to even go out in public.

I doubt they feel negatively (well, maybe they do)… but when you’re in the trenches of sleep deprivation, teething, diaper changes, etc you do look at your your life and how much it has changed. I’d also encourage a young couple to wait, travel, stay out late, etc.

Post # 12
10028 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

We had a baby last year. She’s great and I have no complaints. It’s harder I get out and do things but I knew that when I signed up for the gig. My husband has had a harder time adjusting as he’s used to being able to just get up and go and that’s not something he can do anymore. 

Post # 13
1552 posts
Bumble bee

I’m 28 with a 5 month old. It’s not too young at all. In fact when i’m sat on the floor and my knees hurt and my back hurts, I think about how it would have been easier if I had her a few years younger. There is so much negativity around having children these days and yes having a baby is hard and takes away some freedom but it is rewarding and I do not regret it at all! I don’t see the point in waiting for some arbitrary age (usually pitted as ’30’ in my circles for marriage and children) to have kids if you are ready for it now. As for travel, were flying to Florida and road tripping up the coast to Charleston in June with our daughter who will be 7 months. My daughter laughs, babbles endlessly, smiles and has such a big personality already! My husband wonders why he was so hesistant and we didn’t start trying sooner (he was hesitant because of how awful TV, movies and people made it all out to be. But on that note TV and movies tend to sell the ‘free and single’ lifestyle and make settling down look awful in general). 

Post # 14
6839 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

carolinabelle :  azaleapetunia :  Yep!

I have an almost 15 month old and I love him with all my heart. But I’d have said the same things to you as your friends did. Kids change your life forever. Like for real forever. It’s not a negative, it’s just reality. 

Post # 15
4981 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

llevinso :  agree with this and the other posters.

I’m so thankful for our baby and she is our world but everything changes. Freedom is definitely gone, no more spontaneity, baby comes first. You’re trying to have sex? Expect baby to know this and scream her head off haha. I’m so glad we got to travel beforehand and enjoy ourselves freely before having one. Life changer.

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