Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › How to decide if you want kids
- This topic has 86 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 2 months ago by FannyBrice.
Mr Freckles and I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year. After a year we went to get some fertility testing done, and it turns out there were some severe issues on his side. We’re still getting testing done, so I’m still not sure whether we can’t have our own kids for sure or not, but we should know soon hopefully.
This whole thing however, has really made me start to re-evaluate whether I want kids after all. And I can’t tell whether I really feel this way, or whether I’m subconsciously preparing myself for bad news. But either way, it’s been something that’s been on my mind a ton.
How do you know if you want kids? It’s so hard because you can’t test it out before you commit. You either go for it, or you don’t.
I haven’t spent any time with babies. A lot of my friends have had babies in the last year, but all but one live in different cities, and I haven’t spent a ton of time (yet) with my local friend’s baby. I didn’t have any siblings, or baby cousins, or anything like that. So I have 0 experience with what it’s like to have kids. In fact I don’t like other people’s kids. The only kid I like is my local friend’s kid. But my mom felt the same way, and she liked having her own kid. I’m terrified of giving up my freedom, and the ability to travel easily, or pick up and move at a moment’s notice. But how much of that would I REALLY do in my life, vs just imagining all the things I would like to do.
I guess I just worry I would regret not having children. And I’m also dreading the jealousy and sadness I’ll feel when my BIL and SIL have kids. Would I feel like I was missing out on something huge in my life? What if Mr Freckles and I never do all the things we say we want to do and used as a reason not to have kids? What if we get bored with our status quo life?
I just bought The Baby Decision on Amazon, and am planning on reading it cover to cover. But I wanted to get some real people thoughts from both sides.
I’m also especially curious to hear from people who chose not to have children. Do you regret anything? I guess I’m trying to make myself feel better about making that choice. I know it’s such an individual thing, but the norm is still to have children, and so going against that is still scary to me. Hearing from people who don’t have children and why they love it would make it less scary I think.
Appreciation in advance!frecklesParticipant
to baby bump or not to baby bumpFyodorGuest
I don’t think people really know for sure. A lot of people that were super into it before turn out to not be happy parents. Whereas I know men who were basically pressured into it by their spouses who turned out to love it.
Things to think about-where do you see your life ten years from now? Do you value your freedom a lot? Does the idea of doing things with kids, teaching them to read, taking them to soccer practice, etc, have any appeal to you?RedRoverRedRoverGuest
You know, I think there are three types of people – those who know they want kids, those who know they don’t, and all the rest of us. And if you’re in the middle, I think you could be happy either way. I mean, yeah, maybe you’ll look back and wish you’d had kids. But so what? Maybe you’ll look back and wish you’d traveled more, or taken a different career path, or done any other number of things differently. We all have the things we wish we could have done but didn’t or couldn’t. We get past it. We find happiness in the things that we DID do, right?
I’m sorry to hear about your fertility struggles. Whichever way it ends up, at least you’re not one of those people who feels like your life will have no meaning without kids. When those people get hit with infertility, it ruins their entire life, you know? But you’ll get through.JanelleGuest
I watched some movie recently, I cannot recall which one and she was saying how they were always fine not having kids because they could travel at a moments notice to India or move to another country, etc. She then went on to say that all this time they don’t do those things and it left her wishing she had children.
Your letter just made me think of this. I think it can (for some) always be the grass is greener concept. You would feel sad to see others having kids where if you had kids you might long for the freedom you could have had.
I believe most people would say it was completely worth the sacrifices and they are happy they had kids. I also think many childless would say that they ended up being ok with it and were able to form relationships with other children (relatives, etc.) that were very strong and made them feel complete…..then there are the opposite of both.
Only you can know how this would make you feel but I suspect, if you were already trying to get pregnant for a year then yes you likely do really want them. That’s not to say you cannot change how you feel. A counselor or therapist could be a great sounding board right now to discuss your feelings.
I know this is not exactly helpful as there is no real answer but perhaps it just gives a bit of perspective.Anny123Guest
I can give you my opinion, I am early 30s and had an unexpected pregnancy (she is now almost 2 years old). I wasn’t 100% sold on having children, for almost the same reasons you describe. I did have a hard time adjusting to parenthood and being a Mommy… it took me a while (due to post partum and unexpected pregnancy) to really adjust and love this new life I have. This isn’t to say I was ever unhappy or didn’t want to be a mother once she arrived, it just took a lot of adjustment to my life and emotions, my life was no longer lived for me (or her father), she was FIRST in any decision from when to take a shower, to if I could see friends, to any vacation or future plans career was I had.
With that being said, I woulnd’t change it for the world. The first year is a rollercoaster, but after that you see their personalities shine, you realize how much they need and love you, and even just watching them eat a sandwich for the first time, say a word, take a step, experience something they have never experienced, is the best feeling! You come to learn how to readjust your life, and you forget about all those things you had planned, and not to mention, it’s more fun now to plan and travel with her! I have sitters on hand and family that help me, so I do have a good balance between being a mommy and knowing that I also do need my time. I am also a single mother, so it is a bit different but if you do have excitement or feelings of wanting to be a mother I think that maybe your subconscious is making you doubt yourself. I had NO experience, and I was always the one to not know how to hold others children, or play with them, but it just all comes so naturally and the love you feel for them is something I am so happy that I have been able to experience. As long as you and your hubby are on the same page about realizing that you have to become a bit more selfless and that your life will revolve around this little being, and you are both there to support and help each other through the good and bad, the benefits of becoming and parent is very worth it 🙂KateGuest
So, I definitely don’t want them. I never felt like I did, but I thought I might at some point change my mind. I met my second husband at 37, and we were married within 18 months. I could have started trying at any point, but we both just… didn’t want to. I’ll be 42 soon, and I have no regrets about not trying, and being on the pill. No desire to go off the pill “just to see” or “leave it up to God” or whatever. I can say with confidence I will not regret having children. I’ve never felt any jealousy or sadness when friends have kids. Im totally fine with not having them and knowing that I won’t. I hope that helps.KateGuest
I also don’t feel like I need kids in my life. I know some people do. I’ve been looking at volunteer opportunities lately, and I’m not interested in the kid ones, like my parents tutor kids in grades 4-8 who live in public housing. I’m more interested in seniors than kids. Or activism.CopaParticipant
My perspective is limited — I’m single, and wouldn’t want kids outside of a committed relationship — so I’m not sure what this is worth. BUT, I’ve never liked children very much, and as a result, have never felt much of a desire to have children. When I was in my 20s, I remember people would tell me I’d change my mind one day. I’m 30 now, and still zero on the maternal longing scale. Is it possible I might still change my mind? Sure, that’s possible — it happened to a former coworker of mine in her late 30s. Might I have regrets if I never have kids? That’s possible, too, but I think it’s unlikely. I suppose at this point I’m not too worried about the regrets, because even if I do become a mom, I can’t see myself ever being that person who feels her life had no meaning before kids, and I certainly don’t think a life without kids is any less meaningful for singles or couples who don’t have children. I’m not sure this is helpful at all, because like I said, I’m nowhere near kids and have always fallen pretty squarely into the “that’s not for me” category.
On a related but irrelevant note, I think I have a far easier time being single at 30 because I don’t like or long for children. A couple friends who are also single but very much want to start families are simply beside themselves that they’re unwed AND childless.ktfranParticipant
When I was younger, I wanted children. Or at at least a child. I’d say up to about age 32 I thought I’d have children. I like them. I think I’d make a great mom. I adore my nieces and nephews. But… the older I became, the less I wanted children. And maybe what you’re experiencing is a bit similar to how I feel. Like, did I decide I didn’t want children because I didn’t have a partner and it was looking less likely that I’d meet someone? So I came to terms with it and now I don’t want them? I’m not really sure.
I’m now engaged. At 37…. and we both know for certain we’re not going to have children and we’re both 100% ok with it. I’m going to be an awesome aunt. And we’re going to live our life. I don’t think I’ll regret it, but I can’t know for certain. Nothing is really certain.
I’m confident in my choice and I’m excited about my future.
Good luck! It is such a personal decision. I do believe that you could be happy and have a fulfilling life either way. Don’t let other people and their decisions get you down. You do you. And your husband 🙂anonymousseParticipant
I’m sorry about your struggles, freckles. What made you want to try, before these issues came up?
I think it’s so hard to know before you have them. Try to spend more time with the babies you know. That won’t give you a good idea of exactly what it’s like, but if you ask your friends or loved ones to really tell you, they hopefully will.
I didn’t ever think I’d have kids. I had resigned to not think about it, because I wouldn’t. But then I met my husband, and suddenly being a parent with a great partner was possible. I’ve always loved kids, and as hard as infanthood and toddlerhood are, it was worth it to me. I do regret not traveling more, or enjoying ourselves more, but we make those things happen even with kids. You can have a full life with or without kids. You can adopt later in in life, if you regret not having them. It’s not an all or nothing thing.CopaParticipant
On the opposite end of the spectrum, my former supervisor at my last company started dating his now-wife when they were probably 37, married at 40. Kids weren’t a part of their plan. I can’t speak for his wife, but I know my supervisor didn’t want kids or long for them. They had a daughter a couple years ago, and another one last year. They’re now both probably 44-45. He thought his mind was made up, but life had other plans — and he is a GREAT dad and actually really loves fatherhood. People do change their minds sometimes, but I do think no matter what you do, there’s always the choice to make your life one you love even if the circumstance aren’t QUITE what you imagined for yourself.