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Dear Wendy

How to decide if you want kids

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This topic contains 86 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by avatar FannyBrice 1 year, 2 months ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 37 through 48 (of 87 total)
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  • #678780 Reply

    Oh, RR, I’m not saying that there was anything wrong with it! I just think when you decide to come a parent, you should want to be a parent for life! Not only until they are adults, i.e, out in the world on their own. I mean, some people are fine with it. But the majority of people I know are still extremely close.

    #678781 Reply

    Oh, gotcha! 🙂

    #678786 Reply

    Personally it’s never been a question of have kids or not have kids because I’ve never once actually wanted a kid. It must be tough for fence sitters, all that back and forth. My parents were great, we had a good childhood and we were raised well but it’s still no guarantee. My oldest brother is a selfish arsehole who values style over substance and uses everyone around him. He’s successful but he’s not a good person at the core, it must be disappointing for my parents. So ultimately it’s always a gamble, I think you just have to really want to play no matter how the results shake out.

    #678787 Reply

    I think a person shouldn’t try to conceive unless they feel like they really want a child. Worrying about regret if you don’t, or thinking you’re making the world a better place, or trying to make other people happy, just don’t seem like good reasons, or they seem like too much of a gamble. You should really want children, or feel like you’re missing something without. I just don’t think the world needs more people, particularly those not truly wanted.

    #678790 Reply

    This has been a really interesting thread. First of all, Freckles, I’m so sorry for your struggles. I imagine that the emotional strain that puts on a person and a marriage is difficult. It sounds like you have a good support system – both in real life and here, virtually. Good for you for leaning on that support.

    When I was young, I always wanted kids and probably would have had them early if I had been with a decent guy (he was a manipulative asshole, but that’s another story for another day). Instead I had a lot of fun traveling, partying, and living it up with good friends (ahem, Kate). By the time I started dating my husband, I was just ready for a different life. He and I got married within 3 years and started trying for a baby soon after. I got pregnant our first month trying, but had a miscarriage at 6 weeks – just one week after I found out I was pregnant. That sparked this need in me to get pregnant again immediately, as if knowing it could happen propelled the desire to have a baby NOW. I got pregnant again a few months later and miscarried again at 9 weeks. I was absolutely devastated. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to have a baby (at this point I was 36 years old). My husband and I decided to take a break from trying. So of course, I got pregnant again immediately. We were cautiously optimistic, and canceled the appointment we had made with a fertility specialist. And then at 8 weeks, I started bleeding. I thought it was another miscarriage and at that point said to my husband that I could not do this again so we weren’t having kids. We went to the doctor and that heartbeat was everything. I spent the majority of my pregnancy worried something would go wrong. And now, at just about 10 months old, I worry about all the things I can’t protect my son from. It is easily the best thing I ever did. And it’s also the hardest. I love him more than anything else and it hurts sometimes. I would literally die if anything bad ever happened to him. Some days the anxiety is overwhelming. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. I will admit, some days I want another child and others, I just don’t know if I can mentally worry about another baby like I do him. But it’s such a joy.

    I hope all of these comments give you some perspective and clarity. Parenthood is a huge mind fuck. I think that’s the best way to describe it 🙂

    #678791 Reply

    @kate, for me at least, all these other reasons are kind of what led up to realizing I wanted one. It’s not like having a Pros column and a Cons column and you have more checks in the Pros so you go ahead and have a kid. It’s more like you’re about to jump off a cliff (because you want to) but you need all these other reasons to give you the courage to do it. If you get what I mean. I would never have had a kid that I didn’t want just because I thought it would make the world better or whatever. That would be crazy. But it’s such a big step, and so scary, that you sort of need to know there are other good reasons besides just “I want to”.

    #678794 Reply

    Hi – I’m mainly a lurker, but I find this conversation very interesting! First of all, as a child-free woman, I want to thank everyone so far for being so respectful of other choices!

    Freckles, I have never wanted children. Luckily I met and fell in love with a man who felt the same way I did. (We had both reached the same conclusion before ever meeting, so we had it really easy.)

    Now we are both in our mid-40s, living happily in a city we love, and take lots of trips, both long and short. We value travel, make it a priority, and have been arranging our lives and finances so we can retire early and spend months at a time visiting different places. We each take different classes, share hobbies and interests, have common and separate friends. We are both close to our families (though not geographically) so we visit them a lot, and we live in a cool place so a lot of family and friends visit us, too. What I am saying is, we are doing all of the things we said we were going to do. (except making love on the kitchen floor – cold, hard Mexican ceramic tile 😉 ) It can happen if you make the effort. We have zero regrets, and are so excited for our future.

    As for reasons, the only reason I have is “I just don’t want to be a parent.” I don’t know why, but I feel it in every cell of my body – I think about being a mother and it just feels wrong. And I even like kids! I just don’t want to raise one. I don’t know that this is a decision you can 100% rationally think your way through – maybe try clearing your head a bit, back off from intellectualizing both options, see what comes to you.

    #678795 Reply

    Freckles, I’m sorry you’ve been struggling. I was a bit on the fence too; my story and our thought process was exactly like SpaceySteph’s. We probably would not have had any interventions, but I got pregnant soon after “pulling the goalie”. My daughter is almost 4. And yeah, everything you’ve heard about parenting is true. There are plenty of crappy parts. But now i really get why people go to such lengths to have kids. I’m like, “oh, so this is what the fuss is all about.”

    Your description of sharing family history really resonates with me, too- now that my kid is older, she likes to look through old photo albums and ask questions. I also love sharing things from my own childhood- favorite books and the like.

    The baby stage was really hard for me. Toddler/preschooler has been a lot more rewarding so far. But it’s all very one-day-at-a-time. I’ve learned that I can be patient and handle shit when I need to. I don’t dislike other people’s kids, but don’t really have an affinity for them. But I LOVE mine. When I heard that first newborn cry, I knew I’d never love another person as much as I love her.

    #678814 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    I wasn’t sure I wanted kids. I *thought* I did, but I wasn’t like a lot of people where it felt like I was called to be a mom and I would do whatever it took to make that happen. I got pregnant easily, so I’ll never know if I would have become someone who pursued fertility treatments and/or adoption to become a mom. I know that I was perfectly happy without kids, had a fulfilling life, and felt — and talked about — being happy even if I didn’t have kids. I still feel that way, but of course, it’s hard to say what one would have felt on a different path.

    I’m glad I had kids, but I don’t think it’s for everyone, and I never question why someone wouldn’t want to have kids. In fact, I often question why people DO want to have kids!

    I hope you get some clarity, and that whatever you decide, you feel peace at what happens.

    #678819 Reply

    I never wanted kids. Luckily I come from a family where in every generation there were one or two people who didn’t have kids. So there was a precedent set. My folks never gave me guilt and no one in my family ever questioned my decision or said “you’ll change your mind”.

    I feel about kids the way I feel about housing or cars or everything else about my life – I like to rent, not own. I love to spend time with my nephew but I’m happy when I get to go home and be alone.

    Sometimes I think “when I’m old, I’ll be all alone and have no one to take care of me” but the reality is that having a kid is no guarantee of that anyway and it’s really not a good reason to have a kid.

    #678825 Reply
    Kate B.
    Kate B.

    I don’t want kids. I just never felt the need. But I think regret or possible jealousy of others’ children are not good reasons. Being a parent means sacrifice, and I was not willing to do it. I think the only reason to have kids is that you really want them. You are willing to give 150% for them. Several people have stressed the importance of being fulfilled without children. I think this is key. If you do choose to be a parent, I think you’d be a much better one if you had other interests besides your children. You’d be a more balanced person. Take the time to get to know yourself well. You’ll know what the right choice is.

    #678826 Reply

    I just wanted to add that, I think I would have been happy without mine. I sometimes think of the other life I would have had, and I sometimes I think about what it would be like if I was still single, or childless. I know I’d be happy without them. It would just be a different happy.

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