Aug 14 2009, 10:06 AM
To parent or not to parent: that is the question. Indeed, it may be the most important question you answer in your entire life.
There are people in this world who have always known that they want to have children. There are people in this world who've always known that they do not want to have children. I am happy for both groups because they know what they want in life. I'm also envious of both groups because I do not know which lifestyle is the right choice for me.
Are you undecided, too? Were you once undecided but have made a decision? Let's talk about it.
Aug 14 2009, 10:45 AM
So that's the introductory post. This one is about me & Sheff.
I'm 34. My husband is 40. We've been married for 4 years and we're trying to decide if we're going to have kids or if we'd be better off staying child-free. We're both definitely on the fence about this. Neither of us are Baby Crazy. However, we love the feeling of family - generations of people who are connected through a special bond. Sheff says that he thinks he'd really enjoy having a daughter but not a son. On the other hand, he does not like the idea that he may still have a child in the house when he's 60 (even if that child is a teenager). And let's not even get started on the financial, emotional and social strains that come with parenthood.
Some people have the option of just being the Cool Aunt & Uncle, but that isn't the case for us; we're 95% sure that our siblings will always remain child free. If Sheff and I don't have kids, then both of our families will die with us. There will not be another generation. You'd think our parents would put more pressure on us because of that, but they're actually really great. They never pressure us to have kids, although I know they'd all be thrilled to bits to become grandparents.
One of the things that makes me think that I'd like to have kids is my relationship with my parents - especially my mom. I dearly love my mom and consider her one of my best friends. My dad is quieter, but he's always been a huge supporter of me & I know he will always be there for me. I know parenthood wasn't always easy for Mom and Dad, but when I imagine what their lives would be like now without us kids, I can see why it was worth all of the effort. My family means a lot to me, so that makes me think I might enjoy children in the long-run.
Basically, I don't feel a craving to have a baby. But I want to be part of a family. Because of our ages, I feel that logically we should probably start having kids pretty soon before it's too late. But I also feel that we shouldn't have kids until we really want to have kids. I wish we could put this off more, but Sheff is already starting to feel too old. It's now or never. But "now" doesn't feel right. Neither does "never".
Aug 14 2009, 11:10 AM
I know that I want to have a child although I cannot put a finger on the exact reason of why. The geek isn't sure is he wants to have kids or not.
Part of my reason is that my parents really enjoyed us kids. They make me crazy but they were good parents and they loved us very much. I want to know what that feels like. I also believe that The Geek and I would make excellent parents.
I love him and I don't want to be with anyone else. So at this point I am willing to wait to see what conclusion he comes to. I also know that I want to be married before I have a child. 2 parents just seems to make things easier and I want to do a honeymoon without worrying about childcare.
So I am waiting for grad school to end and I am waiting for him to make up his mind. What worries me is that my body isn't getting any younger. I'll be 36 next month. I'm considering having a baby at 38-39. I've already had one surgery on my uterus and worry that my fibroid will return thus making a baby even harder.
I worked at an HMO for over a year. The most grueling referrals that I had to handle were the ones dealing with infertility treatments. This experience has pretty much made me swear off all invasive infertility work. It seems so dehumanizing and I worry that my survivor issues just won't let me spend that much time in ob/gyn stirrups. This seems to be the rare issue that I am willing to let the choice be settled by the gods or fate or whatever. If I get pregnant (when we are trying for it) I get pregnant. If not, we will figure something else out.
So, I know what I want but I am not sure when I want it. Not yet, that is for sure. But how long is too long to wait? And what do I do if he decides he never wants kids?
Clearly I do not have the answers either but I am very interested in the conversation. Thanks Rose!
Aug 14 2009, 11:36 AM
Although I certainly don't have an "answer" to your question, I did want to share my story...
I was in the exact same position as you ealier this year. My husband and I (we're both 36) went back and forth for about two years on whether or not to have kids. My biological clock was ticking away but we were both 100% undecided about the issue, primiarly because we honestly loved our child-free lives and bringing a kid into the mix felt like it'd be a big interuption as well as a lot of sacrifice. But like you, I liked the idea of having a family to grow with. I had always pictured having a family, but the timing never seemed right. I enjoyed my selfish, childless life. Plus, I never was one of those people who "craved motherhood" and I thought that that's how I should feel if I was "meant" to have kids.
Anyway, as a sort of test, we decided I'd go off the pill for 6 months to "see what happened." We were by no means trying to have a baby, just removing the goalie from the game so to speak. After about a month I started freaking out. I kept thinking: No, I don't think I want to have kids. I refilled my RX at the pharmacy and waited for my period to return so I could go back on the pill. Well, I waited. And I waited some more. And nothing. I took a pregnancy test, thinking it couldn't be true. It was. I cried - and not out of joy. I was freaked out. I felt like my life had been ruined. I pictured every ounce of my freedom slipping away. Although my husband was super supportive (even excited), I honestly felt depressed, and it took me about 3 months to feel happy about the situation.
I'm now 6 1/2 months pregnant (due in about 10 weeks). And I can tell you that the happiness and the feeling that this is "right" for my husband and I is now overwhelming. Don't get me wrong. I am still a bit freaked out by the whole thing. Some days I look at the things I am losing, but most days I am mystified by all that I am gaining. Still, no one can tell you which decision is right for you. I felt like I never actually made a conscious decision about the issue. It was made for me. (I feel like this baby must really want to be born if it only took a matter of weeks at my age!) There is no right or wrong choice, just your choice. And life will be grand no matter which way it turns out.
Aug 14 2009, 06:21 PM
RoseV- what about adoption? you can still "form a family", but you can bypass the pregnancy or even infancy stages. what about something that's quasi-permanent: foster parenting? Do you have close friends of which you are a "god"parent?
Aug 14 2009, 06:46 PM
I'm definitely someone who does not want children right now, but, I'm open to the possibility when I get older. I did tell my mom that she would have to accept that I will be one of those women who have kids in their 40s. For the past 6 years, she makes a audible sigh or hints about grandkids when I talk about my friends' families. I just don't work from that place of fear that other women work from about "what if you can't conceive" type of BS. If I can, then I can. There is also adoption. I'm not that much of a narcissist that the child needs to pass through my loins. I guess I just want to have a choice regarding if and when I have a child regardless of the process (natural or adoption).
One thing I was struck by Rose, in reading your post, the notion of family. What constitutes a family? I don't think having kids equates being a family. I remember a former colleague was being patronized by her BFF with "You'll understand when you have your own family," i.e. when you have children. I was so pissed for her I reminded her that her husband and her are a family. There are alot of people who cannot or choose not to have children for many reasons. Are they any less a family? I guess I see this notion of family as being terribly heterosexist. Rose, I'm not ranting on your post, but, I've been contemplating this notion of family for the past couple of weeks, you know. I hope it doesn't seem like a derailment.
I guess my biggest complaint for those of us in our 30s/40s is the use of fear with women to make decisions regarding becoming a parent(s).
Aug 14 2009, 09:51 PM
Just a little clarification here: I'm not seeking advice. This is not meant to be the big What Should Rose Do With Her Uterus thread. It's just a place for all of us who are unsure if parenthood is right for us to find a bit of community and understanding. Of course, if anyone out there does want to seek advice here, that's up to them. I certainly don't own the thread or anything! I just wanted it to be clear that this thread is not supposed to be all about me. Thanks.
Flacker, I loved reading your post. I think you truly understand where I'm coming from. Your method seems a bit scary to me, but I'm glad to hear that things seem to be working out so well for you. Congrats!
QUOTE(crazyoldcatlady @ Aug 14 2009, 07:21 PM)
RoseV- what about adoption? you can still "form a family", but you can bypass the pregnancy or even infancy stages. what about something that's quasi-permanent: foster parenting? Do you have close friends of which you are a "god"parent?COCL, I'm not a god parent ... unless you count my best friend's cat, Bubba! As for adoption, that kinda feels like putting the cart before the horse. Remember that I'm still unsure about whether I want to raise a child or not. It's pretty damn difficult to get approval to adopt a kid as it is. I doubt they'll hand over a baby to a woman who's feeling ambivalent on the subject.
As for foster children ... well, I would rather not get into the details, but I have some personal experience in that department. As a result, I know that it is not an option for me and Sheff. Forgive me, but I'd rather not explain why.
Stargazer, I don't know if you've looked into adoption procedures in your area, but you should know that they can be an absolute nightmare. I know a couple who dearly wanted to adopt a child, but they were turned down by every state-side agency they encountered. Why? Because ...
Eventually these friends found an international group that approved them to adopt a child from Ethiopia. If things go as planned, they should receive their child in the spring - two whole years and MANY MANY thousands of dollars later. They're still holding their breath, though, because they know people who were on the waiting list only to be rejected later. We'll see what happens.
- They were considered too old (early 40s)
- The wife had thyroid cancer for about 1 month a few years ago. Her thyroid was removed shortly after diagnosis & that was that. She has to take a pill daily to replace the hormones a thyroid gland would normally provide, but other than that she is fine. Still, the adoption agencies thought she was too much of a risk.
That's just the story of one couple I know. There are many other reasons that people are rejected from adoption. For instance, if you have a bad credit history, a large amount of debt, or if you've ever filed for bankruptcy, that's enough for you to be rejected. If you've ever been convicted of a crime, that's enough for you to be rejected (It's illegal for people convicted of a felony to adopt). If you have a chronic illness like diabetes, that's enough to be rejected. If you have a history of mental illness (like me - I've suffered suicidal depression twice in my life), that's enough to be rejected. It's also been suggested that Sheff and I might be rejected as adoptive parents because we are of different nationalities; Although he lives in the US with me, Sheff is not an American citizen and will not even be able to apply for citizenship until he is over 45 - which would make him too old to adopt by most agencies' standards.
I am saying all of this, Stargazer, so that you'll understand that a lot of people do not chose childbirth over adoptions purely for "narcissistic" reasons. Sometimes they do it because it's the only way they can have a child. It is far more difficult to be approved to adopt a child than most people realize. It's also extremely expensive. The prevalent idea that you can "just adopt" is an over-simplification of an extremely complicated and difficult process.
As for my personal definition of family, I've been thinking about that a lot. I have realized over the years that "family" means many many different things to many different people. Unfortunately, all that proves to me is that "family" is too vague of a term. There are a few people in my life - like my mom's best friend - who are not technically my relatives, but they are definitely family to me.
The debate going on in my head is about immediate family. Sheff is definitely my primary family member. He and I chose one another, made vows to one another, and moved away from everyone and everything we knew just to be together. But is that enough? Do we want this immediate family to stop at 2 or would we like to change the dynamic and add to our household? Is it that important to us to have members of a younger generation in our family? If so, can we be content with seeing my cousin's kids once a year? Is it enough to occasionally hang out with friends who have children? Are we satisfied with the amount of "family" we have right now? Or do we want to experience the intensity and intimacy that only parenthood (raising a child in one's own home for 2 decades) provides?
I don't expect anyone to be able to answer these questions for us. I just hope we come up with our own answers sooner rather than later! In the mean time, it helps to know that we are not alone & that other people are dealing with this same problem.
Aug 14 2009, 11:24 PM
RV, I will admit that I've been spoiled to know *ALOT* of people in their late 30s/early 40s adopt children. Plus, my former workplace provided money to employees looking to adopt, even single employees. I'm well aware of the limitations placed on many people regarding adoption. My reason for the emphasis of the choice of adoption for me is to take away from the sociological implications (in the media and medical marketing) of IVF and other invasive medical procedures being the only choice for women in having a child.
Aug 16 2009, 10:48 AM
I identify as a CBC-er, but I think this thread is a great idea. Once the mister and I became engaged I started thinking seriously about the choice to have a child. In fact, one of the first things I said to the mister when he proposed was that I really didn't think I wanted to have any children, and asked him if he was okay with that. He already has a daughter (who lives with us) so he is happy either way, although I think in recent years he is happier that we didn't have a baby. His (mostly male) friends are all starting to have babies, and he is viewing their exhaustion with something like smugness, as he went through his daughter's babyhood and young childhood almost a decade ago.
Although I have always felt I'd be happy not having kids, I felt I owed it to both of us to think through the decision. I probably took about 2 years weighing it up and finally came to the same conviction I had at the beginning: I just didn't feel that biological pull to have kids, and additionally felt I didn't have the money or time for childrearing. I also think quite a lot of childrearing is hard work whilst simultaneously being really mundane. Finally, with the mister's daughter living with us, I get the chance to participate in the upbringing of a young woman (and the opportunity to share my feminism with her) without changing any diapers.
I have heard that if you thought about it for too long, including all the implications of being responsible for another person to some extent forever, at least emotionally, no-one would ever have children--hence the biological pull which can facilitate that decision. I feel blessed, actually, not to have that 'baby hunger': I imagine it can be very hard to live with if you are not in a position to have one.
Anyway. My 2 cents!
Aug 16 2009, 10:53 PM
I was always adamant about not wanting children - I had dodgy genes, I was crazy, I'd be a bad mother, I couldn't do it by myself and I couldn't trust another person enough to parent with them etc. etc.
Well, now I'm married and my two month old is sitting in her bouncer next to me!
It was a long road - I started thinking differently after I broke up with my first (emotionally abusive, childish and passive aggressive) boyfriend. A friend, who is now my husband, argued with me for weeks about my 'reasons' for not wanting children and convinced me that a lot of them weren't about kids, they were about hating myself. Even after that though, I was kinda ambivalent - I thought that if I had gotten pregnant I would have kept the child even though I didn't have a boyfriend as such at the time. If I hadn't partnered with someone who desperately wanted children I may not have had them - I don't know though, since I'm only in my late twenties. I always had issues with my menstrual cycle which led to doctors telling me I was infertile - a big fucking stupid lie since I got pregnant within six months of starting to try. So the entire time I thought I might want kids I always had the idea that it'd take a long time and not be easy at all.
Once we decided to try it was insane and it got worse when I got pregnant - your life changes so much and it is so ephemeral. Particularly the first three months when not everyone knows and you're carrying this giant potential around. There is so much responsibility and fear, balanced by this fierce kind of joy Once I had my baby it was different because it was work as well as that potential and that intellectual side of it. Yet there is a massive difference between how I approach this and how my partner approaches it - he always always always wanted babies (lots of them!) and wants to stay at home and never ever wavered in that, so all that he said he would stay with me even if I couldn't have kids and we couldn't adopt. That isn't to say we love her differently - I love my daughter like nothing else in the entire world. But I am still more intellctual and less at ease with it all - I wake up and check her pulse some nights because I am so scared of SIDS. I have changed my career goals (oddly enough not the 'normal' way - I'm looking at transferring to private/academic sectors for more money so I can support my partner staying at home) even though I adore what I do (public libraries). I am so much more emotional than ever before. I rarely get time to spend with my partner when we used to spend hours together every day. He simply lives it and loves it and changes as needed.
I wouldn't change anything, but it's been a hell of a journey to get here. I journalled my pregnancy if anyone's interested.
Aug 17 2009, 08:20 PM
Rose, this thread is a great idea! I drop in to the CBC thread fairly often. because I am adamantly child-free at this point in my life and generally quite sick of hearing about babies everywhere I go. I don't have much of a drive or instinct or wish, whatever you want to call it, to have children, and often when I think about it, it seems more like an obligation. I don't like the idea of how expensive it is, how it would affect my life decisions, and how it might affect my relationship with my boyfriend and our current lifestyle.
But that doesn't mean I've ruled out ever having children, or as you are also think of it, a "family." I agree with what Stargazer has to say, because I feel that me, my boyfriend, and my cat are a happy little household right now and I certainly don't feel like anything is "missing" in terms of family support. BUT I see it similar to how you said it. A lot of my opinions have changed after meeting my boyfriend's family and seeing how very loving and supportive they are, and how much joy his parent and grandparents have simply in spending time with their children and grandchildren. It's pretty great. I didn't see as much of that growing up because we lived far from most of my extended family, and I am really a little jealous of it. I am so happy to be a part of his family now, and to see a very different perspective. I can see how, growing up in that kind of environment, a person would grow up wanting to have children of their own one day. When I do get to see my exended family, I see the same thing with them, and it seems pretty awesome. What happends when I'm 80, and have no kids and no nieces or nephews to keep me company and watch over me if I am ill?
I grew up seeing how much stress and work we, and more specifically my "special case" brother, caused my parents, and watched it put a huge strain on their marriage and finances, despite the fact that they had a higher income than my boyfriend's family with the same 2-child household. Sometimes I wonder how much my past experiences have colored my view of child-raising. I'm not going to tell myself I would do any better. I am easily stressed and can be emotionally distant, my boyfriend has a quick temper and would also be a total sucker when it comes to discipline, he'd spoil our kids rotten. Which makes us a lot more like my parents than his parents, not a good sign.
I'm on the fence, but leaning strongly towards a big NO thank-you. I just don't know, what happens if my boilogical clock starts ticking? And if an "accident" happened, we already know we'd be OK with making whatever sacrifies are necessary and becoming parents, I think we'd be OK at it, and probably pretty happy. What I don't understand, is how can I be OK with that idea, maybe even like it a bit, but also so strongly not want to have kids? It's all a lot easier to think about when it's hypothetical, I guess.
Aug 18 2009, 08:07 AM
I don't want to have kids. I don't even like kids. But the biological urge has been plaguing me for a few years already and I'm only 24. I almost think it would be easier if I did want kids because then I could think to myself that i was just putting it off rather than dealing with cognitive dissonance for the next... 20 years, probably.
Aug 18 2009, 10:25 AM
HelloTampon, I'm intrigued by this "biological urge" that you mentioned. What do you mean by that? What does it feel like to you?
Aug 18 2009, 01:48 PM
I also lurk in the CBC thread, and welcome this discussion!
I'm very much on the fence, but I'm 27 and my boyfriend (29) and I have been together less than a year so I've got plenty of time to think about it. We don't live together so haven't had a serious discussion about it yet (though I was surprisingly heartened by a drunken voicemail he left confessing his positive feelings on the subject - I like knowing that he's open to the idea).
I know what you mean, Rose - I've always wanted a 'family' of my own, but have never known how it would be made up.
I don't have a strong biological urge, but a tiny part of me sometimes thinks it would be cool to be pregnant- I'd be all 'woah! I'm growing a person in here! Bodies are weird
I think I'd be cool with not having kids if I was doing other exciting things with my life, like living abroad or pursuing a great new career. For me, children are on a list of many things I might like to do, and I know I won't be able to do them all so I'll be happy with whatever I get.
Aug 18 2009, 03:48 PM
Just wanted to pop in and say I'm so glad this thread was started. I'll probably be lurking more than anything. I know I want to have kids some day, but I know I definitely don't want to anytime soon. I'm going to be 24 in just over a month, I have a committed boyfriend, a good job, but I live at home and know I'm not finished having fun yet. I feel the urge though, like HT. Anytime a new baby is around I gravitate towards it, enough that it actually made paperboy so nervous that he asked me about it.
When I was a teenager I questioned whether or not I wanted to have kids. The turning point was May 15, 2003 when I was 17. It was the first time I held my niece and my heart just felt so full of love and happiness I thought I would burst; I knew I wanted to feel that for my own children too. Thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.
I have so many other things I want to do BEFORE i have a baby. Travel more, maybe go back to school, move out, spend a few selfish years alone with my partner, smoke a lot more weed, act like a stupid and reckless 20-something. I see how hard it was for my older brother to have his daughter at 20 and I'm grateful of all that I've learned from him. Now my brother is 26, almost 27 and a natural dad. It comes so much easier to him, obviously because he's been doing it for 6 years, but also because he's at an age where he can cope with the hardships a lot easier. I can see myself being ready when I'm closer to 30, and just seeing the way my brother has matured makes me feel like it will happen when it happens.
Another part of me wonders what I would actually do if I got pregnant now...I think I would likely not keep it, but I guess you never really know until it happens to you. 1 year ago I would have said for sure I would not keep it, but now that I've been with someone I really love for a year, my circumstances have changed a bit. He'd be terrified if he knew I wrote that.
Aug 18 2009, 10:37 PM
QUOTE(roseviolet @ Aug 18 2009, 03:25 PM)
HelloTampon, I'm intrigued by this "biological urge" that you mentioned. What do you mean by that? What does it feel like to you?
It's like a craving, I guess. I almost get butterflies in my stomach and I swear my heart rate goes up. I have dreams about having a baby and I feel irrational jealousy towards my pregnant friends. It really bothers me because I know I don't actually want a kid! Like I said before, I don't even like them! When I think about actually parenting or having to deal with something older than 2 I get really turned off by it.
Aug 18 2009, 11:45 PM
Ask Metafilter thread about craving babies
(which I could only shake my head at. Never felt those cravings.)
Really interesting to read others' thoughts about this topic. I never felt a need to have kids but I thought that with the right guy, I probably would want to. Conflicts in the past year have changed my mind. Things are better now, but I no longer have confidence that we're stable enough as a couple to withstand the pressures of parenting, and since I'm 37, there's not much time to regain that stability. Knowing that that door is likely to close makes me sad for the possibilities that will probably never be. My mom was such a great mother. I'd have liked to try to emulate her with my own kids, if I was in a position to decide having kids was right. Show a daughter how to be a kickass feminist, and a son for that matter. Teach them self-esteem from the beginning, about social skills, body confidence, all the stuff I didn't learn until I was an adult. Toys that she put away for me when I'd outgrown them, saying, "OK, we'll keep it for your own kids."
But that's life. It's still possible that our stability might get better fast enough to change the direction I'm foreseeing now. Who knows? If not, well, I'd be happy to be child-free. I'm lucky to have never had those cravings so that I won't suffer from feeling child-less. Cod knows there's plenty I want to achieve, that would be more difficult with kids, and in our dynamics in particular, with the number and intensity of arguments around decisions you have to make re parenting. Adoption would be a really bad idea for us, due to the stability and potential argument problems. As far as role modelling, there's still chances that I might be an auntie one day.
So...regret for that door that I see is starting to close now, but relief when I think of how I don't have any biological urges that would override or problematically weight my decision-making. So much easier, this way, to deflect parental and well-meaning family friends' increasingly common "So....kids....?"
(Not to mention that his father was paranoid and there's schizophrenia on my side, so I'd feel it'd be important to be prepared for the possibility of a kid who might develop mental illness. And when I can foresee regular parenting being plenty challenging enough, well...the decision's pretty clear.)
As far as kids helping out when one is in old age, that's the ideal, but in my own family I saw an ungrateful adult child who took mom for granted and resented doing things for her, up to and including the day mom died. No guarantees that a kid would turn out how I'd hope she or he would.
Aug 19 2009, 02:23 AM
It's odd, but I never felt those cravings either. I love my god-children but it never really made me clucky. Even when we decided to start trying there wasn't the huge need that a lot of women have - I just wanted it, got sad when it didn't happen and loved her from the moment I knew I was pregnant. But I never felt a huge need to get pregnant.
Aug 19 2009, 04:40 AM
It's interesting to read about all this, because I've never had a single craving or urge to have kids. Even when I've been in relationships when I was really happy and in love, I never wanted to have the guy's children. I have a nephew and I mostly just feel pretty indifferent to him, I never had that overwhelming love when holding him that Ketto mentions. I very rarely even find babies/kids cute, they have to be like super-duper cute for me to even react to them! I think possibly Mother Nature is trying to tell me something by completely omitting those "Make-Baby" hormones from my body!
Aug 19 2009, 01:59 PM
Aug 19 2009, 03:52 PM
QUOTE(hellotampon @ Aug 18 2009, 11:37 PM)
It's like a craving, I guess. I almost get butterflies in my stomach and I swear my heart rate goes up. I have dreams about having a baby and I feel irrational jealousy towards my pregnant friends. It really bothers me because I know I don't actually want a kid! Like I said before, I don't even like them! When I think about actually parenting or having to deal with something older than 2 I get really turned off by it.I have heard people talk about those feelings before - that craving - but it hasn't happened to me. I tend to think of babies and children as just little people. Occasionally I meet a kid who really resonates with me, but on the whole when I meet I kid, my feelings are no stronger than how I'd feel meeting an adult.
For instance, in April over Easter weekend, Sheff and I traveled to visit my extended family. While we were there, we met my second cousin's new baby daughter. She was only 2 months old and everyone oohed and ahhed over her. I enjoyed meeting her, but mainly just because she was a new member of the family (Our family is rather small, so any new addition - through marriage or birth - is pretty cool). I wasn't desperate to hold the baby. When she was in my arms, I felt no flutters or urges or anything, and I definitely had no problem handing the baby over to someone else. This is how I tend to feel about most of the babies I encounter: I recognize that they're cute & sweet and I'm certainly happy to see them, but if you really want to hear me squeal with delight, replace that baby with a kitten or a puppy!
There have been a few exceptions to this rule. As some of you know, PixieDust and I were practically sisters-in-law for many years (we have both left the brothers who tied us together). When she gave birth to MiniPixie, I was at the hospital and I fell in love with that baby right away. That girl was my sunshine. I had never babysat before then, but I was happy to help babysit the MiniPixie. Even on my darkest days, tha sweet girl could bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. One of the very hardest things about breaking up with my boyfriend was the knowledge that I would not get to see MiniPixie all the time anymore. Luckily, MiniPixie has a fabulous memory and is very friendly, so even though she's 7 now and I only get to see her about once a year (when I go back to OK for Xmas), she still seems to recognize me and seems happy to see me. It's not the relationship I wished I had with her (I wished she see me as her beloved, trusted Aunt M), but it's better than nothing.
Another exception is the youngest son of my friend, L. Unfortunately she moved away a year ago, but before that she was my closest friend here in NC. She was a really kickass woman with 4 kids. Her youngest was not even a year old when I met L. The first time I held him I was struck by how much I enjoyed it. He felt so soft and sweet and I loved holding him to my chest and smelling his hair. I was always saddened a bit whenever I had to hand him back over to his mother. When the kids played together, I always kept an extra eye out for that boy. Nevertheless, when they had to move away, it was his mother & father's company that I missed the most.
Note that I never felt jealous of these friends for having these babies. I don't feel jealous of pregnant women. I don't find myself checking out baby websites or visiting the baby supply section of Target or anything like that. The urge isn't there.
But this worries me! Because on an intellectual level, I think that I want to be a parent at some point before I die. It had always been a part of my plan. But on another level, I'm well aware that the craving & longing just isn't there. Why?! Unlike some of you in this thread, I have no reason to wait. I already have a fabulous, supportive, loving husband. We have a nice home with a guest room that can easily be converted into a nursery. We have health insurance. We live within our means. We can afford for me to stay home with a baby & live on my husband's salary alone. But we're getting older. Logically, if we're going to have a kid, this is the time to do it. But my heart isn't in it yet. And that scares me.
Aug 19 2009, 05:10 PM
But this worries me! Because on an intellectual level, I think that I want to be a parent at some point before I die. It had always been a part of my plan. But on another level, I'm well aware that the craving & longing just isn't there. Why?! Unlike some of you in this thread, I have no reason to wait. I already have a fabulous, supportive, loving husband. We have a nice home with a guest room that can easily be converted into a nursery. We have health insurance. We live within our means. We can afford for me to stay home with a baby & live on my husband's salary alone. But we're getting older. Logically, if we're going to have a kid, this is the time to do it.
you're actually in a different boat than most people. you're intellectually ready but with no biological pull. it seems like most women have the pull before they have the resources, or the clarity to really know what they're getting into.
But my heart isn't in it yet. And that scares me.
Don't force it, and don't ruminate/overthink/beat yourself up over it. It's technically never
a good time to have a baby, because no one is ever in perfect intellectual/physical/emotional/financial/ethereal alignment when they procreate. it's about working with what you got, and deciding if you can/cannot work through the things that don't match up.
Aug 27 2009, 01:54 PM
I've been wanting to comment on this thread for a while. I post a lot in the CBC thread because right now that's what I am: childfree by choice. I'm 24 and I still have two years of school left and even then, I don't honestly want a child unless I get married and have been married for a few years. I am hoping that I will get married and have a kid within the next ten years even though I know it's kind of silly to try to put a timeline on those things. But anyway, that's what I want.
Once in a while I wonder what I would do if I couldn't get pregnant. My grandparents were married for almost 7 years before they had my mom. My mom is still convinced that it's because they were both nervous wrecks (although going through a war will do that to you). My mom has said that it wasn't until my grandparents started considering adoption that they managed to calm down and my grandmother got pregnant. The only other incidence of semi-infertility in my family has been on my dad's side with my grandmother's sister. She was married for years and actually raised one of my aunts. It was kind of like my aunt was given to my great aunt and uncle since they couldn't have kids. Then eventually they had 3 daughters.
I think that if I ever want to get pregnant that I'm just going to do it the old fashion way and have as much sex as possible (after all, that's the best part). I really don't believe in all this crap with home fertility tests and internal temperatures. Obviously there are certain times of the month when women are more fertile but mostly I think that people just need to relax and let nature take it's course. I don't see how getting uptight and upset about it will help anything. Of course, that's probably influenced by knowing what my grandparents went through.
rose, I agree with cocl about no one ever being 100% ready for a baby. It's never totally going to be a good time because stuff happens in life that we have no control over. Obviously I don't know you in real life but I have a feeling that you would make a great mom. By the way, how does Sheff feel about kids?
One last thing, I don't think that all moms felt that strong pull to have a baby before they got pregnant. You don't have to be obsessed to feel like you might want a baby.
Aug 27 2009, 07:26 PM
CCG, I think your definition of "Childfree By Choice" is different than mine. I thought that a true CBCer is a person who has decided that they do not ever want kids. Period. I have a number of friends who are in this camp & they don't consider me a CBCer. Do I have kids? No. Have I consciously chosen NOT to have kids? Yes. But because I'm still open to the idea of having children and because I'm seriously considering parenthood in the future, I am not seen as CBC in their eyes. To them, I'm just childfree for now and I will never be CBC unless I decide to never have kids. I've heard some CBCers complain when someone who used to identify as CBC chose to start having babies. Their disgust and disappointment reminds me of vegetarians who find out that one of their fellow veggies has started eating bacon and cheeseburgers. They seem angered & deceived by the CBC-for-now crowd. I mean, let's be honest here. If we're going to be that free and easy with the definition of CBC, then that means I was CBC back when I was a 14 year old virgin.
Of course, there's always the chance that I've happened upon a strange group that holds true to a less popular definition of CBC. Perhaps we should go into that thread & ask the regulars how they define CBC.
Back on topic ...
As for Sheff, he seems to feel the same way I do: uncertain. His biggest issue is that if we have a kid, he wants a daughter. He says he wouldn't know how to handle a son. This seems odd to me since he was one of 3 boys, but [shrug] what are ya gonna do?
Aug 27 2009, 09:21 PM
Wow, I'm stoked to find this thread. I don't come into this forum very often. I am really struggling with these issues right now. It's been on my mind a lot lately. When I was in my 20s, I wanted very strongly to have kids and to be a stay at home mom. That was what I saw for myself and expected would happen. But I never got into a relationship that was a possibility for. Another thing that happened was that I went to nursing school and found my calling in terms of a career. Prior to becoming a nurse, I never knew what I wanted to do and didn't really care to pursue or focus on a career outside being a mom. I feel pretty strongly that if I had a baby, I would not want them to be in daycare for at least 2 years or more, and now that I am moving ahead in my nursing career, I am concerned about how having a baby would affect that. I also don't know if I want the changes that it would bring to my lifestyle. I'm in a fair amount of debt (student loans, car loan, and just took out another loan to do some work on my house), and I don't know how I could support a kid. I also work with children who have psychiatric problems, and I see a lot of fucked up stuff (abuse, neglect, bad parenting, etc.), and it makes me nervous as well.
There are other factors involved, too. My current boyfriend is pretty certain that he doesn't want kids. He says that he fantasizes about it at times but that it's not a practical reality for him. So if I did make the decision that I wanted a baby, I'd probably have to break up with him and somehow find someone who did want kids or do it by myself, which I'm not crazy about, either. I'm 33 now, and I'm really feeling a lot of pressure recently to come to a decision about all this. I'm one who has always had the strong biological urge to have a baby. My rational mind can think of a million reasons not to, but I still feel that urge. I love babies and kids, and I do feel envious of pregnant women and people who have kids. It's such a hard place to be in.
Aug 28 2009, 08:00 AM
It's funny that you say that rose, because I've actually been a vegetarian who decided to go back to eating meat.
One of the other reasons that I post in CBC is because it's the only thread on here that addresses the ridiculousness of some parents today. Things like helicopter parenting (they are always hovering over their kids!), the parents who bargain with their kids just to get them to eat supper, people who become parents and lose their identity and of course, the idea that any woman who doesn't want kids is a baby hating nazi.
Even if I have kids, I don't intend on turning into one of those people. I think there's a huge issue in society right now with people treating their kids like royalty and not disciplining them because they'd rather be friends with little Suzy or Johnny than be a true parent.
So basically, that's why I post in CBC. It's really the only place to discuss our baby crazed culture.
Aug 30 2009, 03:12 PM
You can add me to the list of failed vegetarians, and uncertain CBC-ers. I don't think I'm old enough to call myself CBC, because I'm only 25 and, well, you just never know how things will turn out. I can totally see why they would feel betrayed by their friends having children after claiming to be adamantly CBC for a long time, because it's frustrating when there's so few people out there to sympathize with your lifestyle choice. But I was never a hard-core vegetarian, and if my friends had children, I know I'd absolutely love them. My personal feelings are that in the whole concept of CBC, the focus should be more on the choice than the child-free. People should have children because they truly want to, it is a major life decision and shouldn't be taken lightly. The whole concept that you even can be CBC gives people the freedom to wait longer to make that decision, and if they do want children, it also gives them the time to find the right person to have those children with. Imagine if you had children with the first person you were serious with after high school, the way it was done in the 50's! Ick, what a nightmare.
Don't be scared, Rose! It's weird, there's these 2 completely different paths your life could take, how could you ever decide? But if it's that hard to decide, doesn't it mean that either one could be really good? Neither one will be wrong or bad, they are just different. Whichever one you decide, you will be able to make the best of it - just don't decide to do something you know you don't really want, just because you feel you should.
I know exactly how you feel, though. My sweetie and I are just getting to the stage where we in almost exactly the same life position, except I would probably have to work part-time, and due to the economic instability, both of us are very nervous about job security at the moment. But we both have the education and skills to pay the bills in one way or another, we're very comfortable and have no debt other than our mortgage and a small student loan. It sometimes feels like we must be selfish to not want to have kids (or foster kids - an even harder decision!) when we know we could provide them a good home. But there's always something. We don't want to live in Alberta forever. I know I might want to go back to school sometime in the next few years. and I've just never seen myself as a mother. We've talked about it in the past, when it didn't matter because we lived in a shitty apartment and I was still in school, but we skirt around the issue now and generally avoid it. He doesn't want kids now, I think he feels like he's too old (almost 35), but he sometimes also kinda does, and he also feels really guilty that it means his parents would never have grandchildren.
I did have the biological urge, once. It was so weird. Right when I started going out with my currect boyfriend, we were deep in the crazy-lovey-sex-every-night phase of the relationship, completely head over heels with all the hormones wreaking havoc on my brain, and we went to visit his friends who had 2 adorable kids I hadn't met yet. When we got to their house, one of the little girls saw us coming and came racing out of the house and leaped into my sweetie's arms, all yelling and excited that he had come to visit. It was really freakin adorable, and watching how good he was with the kids that evening and how much they adored him, I was hit with the weirdest feeling for him, like, I need to have you babies right now! It was really strong and really unsettling, since I'd never remotely felt like that before. Thank god that never happened again.
Sep 28 2009, 10:09 AM
I have been struggling so much with the baby question lately. Over the past few months it has really been on my mind. I have been feeling like I do want to have a baby, but it just doesn't seem feasible with the decisions I've made in my life. I don't talk to my boyfriend about it much, because I already know how he feels, but I mentioned it during a talk last night, because I have been so depressed thinking about it. His response was "I don't know what to tell you", and that was pretty much it. He's not willing to consider the possibility, I guess. It's hard, because I know he was open to it in the past with prior relationships but not anymore. The thought of breaking up with him for the remote possibility that I would meet someone else before I run out of time seems overwhelming. I think about the two abortions I have had and how at the time I worried that I wouldn't have the chance to have kids later in my life, and I can't believe that might be coming true. Back then people told me that would be a crazy reason to choose not to have an abortion, and maybe it would be, but just thinking back to that and seeing myself where I am now with no realistic prospect of being able to have a baby brings a huge lump into my throat and makes my heart ache.
Oct 20 2009, 07:44 AM
dayglow, do you have a friend or two with kids you could talk to? sometimes i fear that the desire for cuteness of baby clothes, toy shopping and birthday parties influence my desire to have kids more than the realities of child-rearing.
Oct 28 2009, 06:38 AM
Yes, I have a few friends with kids. My best friends have a 10 year old, and I was there with him and helped take care of him since birth. I also have been working with kids and their families in my job for about 6 years, so I am pretty familiar.
I actually have kind of the opposite of what you are saying. I dread the birthday parties and school decisions and practical aspects of it in a way. That stuff is part of what is negative about it rationally. I really think it's just the biological urge for me and also the desire to experience the feelings that are associated with having a child. Due to some things that have been going on between me and BF, I think he might come around, actually. Weird. We are trying to get into couples therapy so we can figure some of this stuff out.
Oct 28 2009, 09:28 AM
Glad to see this thread bounce up again.
So I just got back from a week-long visit to my hometown, where I got to see lots of old friends and LOTS of babies. Tons of cute little kids. All of them are blonde, too, which is a little odd, but the oddest thing is that all of these kids LOVED me. Even the shy ones were happy to hug me and give me kisses. It was nice to see that the kids weren't scared of me, which is my biggest concern (Nothing ends a good time like an unhappy toddler), but mainly I'm happy that so many of my friends ended up with such happy, well-mannered kids.
I'm still in that position where I don't feel any flutters in my gut when I see babies, nor do I feel a strong urge to reach out and hold my friends' children. Instead, the thing that touches me the most is just watching the way my dear old friends behave with their kids. I spent most of Sunday hanging out with K, who was my best friend from 6th to 12th grade. I guess we've known each other for 22 years now. When it comes to deep-down personality, she's probably a closer match to me than just about anybody else I've ever met. And I just LOVE watching the way she is with her kids. You can tell she truly enjoys being with them and playing with them. And yet she doesn't let them define her. She and every other person in that house is clearly their own, unique, individual. What makes them a family is not just their genes, but their mutual love and respect for each other. It was wonderful (and fun, too!). I think that if I could be sure that my family would be like that, then I'd probably start planning to have kids within the next 2 years. Her household just felt right to me. Only today did I realize that it probably felt right because, of all of my friends' families, K's house reminded me the most of my own parents' house and what life was like for me when I was a kid.
The only thing that can be difficult about being around all of those kids is that people can't help but wonder why I don't have any kids of my own yet. Even if the question is never voiced aloud, you can feel it hanging silently in the air.
Nov 19 2009, 11:50 AM
RV, in my family, the question is voiced very loudly by certain people who end up driving me up the wall and speechless. Imagine several 20/30somethings in a family, half with children and half without. It's kind of torture to be around them all at once. (on the other hand, during a recent visit a toddler in the family immediately sat in my lap and held my hand within a few minutes of seeing me -- only my second time seeing him ever, so v. cute)
Dec 14 2009, 09:22 AM
I'm at a weird stage in my life now. I know this thread was created for people who aren't sure about parenthood, but what about those of us who aren't sure about parenthood right now? I know that I want to have kids some day but i'm only 24. The reason it's been on my mind so much lately is two of my friends are currently pregnant (one is going through with it and one is not).
Since paperboy and I have now been in a relationship for over a year, we both have steady jobs, and we live together in a 2 bedroom apartment, we're really at a different space than we were a year ago. About a year ago, when paperboy and I had only been together 3 months and were both living at home we discussed what would happen if i ever got pregnant. I'm not really worried about any accidents because I've had multiple partners and I've been on some form of birth control since I was 18 and I've never had so much as a scare. However, I know as well as anyone that accidents do happen. Since our situation is so different from a year ago I guess I'm just thinking about what my options would be.
It's also weird to think that I have at least one friend who will have a baby in just a few months. Just a year or two ago I was so sure I wouldn't want to have kids for about 10 years but now I'm in my mid-20's and it suddenly seems like a reality that might not be all that far away. It's just weird to think about.
I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, I think part of this stream of consciousness has to do with the fact that I'm a little nervous to tell paperboy that I DON'T know what I'll do if I did happen to accidentally get pregnant. I have no issues with abortion, and in fact until recently I was always 99% sure that's what I'd do - I'm still young, I still have lots that I'd like to do, from watching my brother I know how hard it is to have a kid before you're ready. But I'm in a position where I could probably actually take care of a baby. I love babies but I also love being able to give them back to their parents. At the same time, I definitely feel "the urge" - something that I'm feeling for the first time in my life.
Has anyone else suddenly been bombarded with the baby urge even though you know you're not ready yet?
Dec 14 2009, 02:51 PM
i went from being so sure that i didn't want them to being pretty sure that i do. and that changed when i really felt comfortable with my job goals, my salary, and my whereabouts. i'm now 34 and don't have kids. also being around friends who seemed just as immature as me becoming successful and happy parents made the idea not so foreign or poopy diapers seem so scary. i am in no way saying that as we get older that we absolutely change our minds. just saying that's what happened to me.
but i can't say i know about the urge. i know logically that i want to have my own family with my husband and to raise children to be cool adults. i do get a bit weepy when i see my friends' children exhibit characteristics of thair parents, especially those friends that i've known since we've been kids. but honestly, pregnancy looks like a chore and i've never felt a preggy belly and wished it my own.
Dec 15 2009, 09:16 AM
Nick, I think that's my thing. Right now, it would feel like a chore. When I think about it logically all that comes to mind is crying babies, sleepless nights, and a lot of chaos. But that urge has definitely arrived and it's kind of scary because I'm not really very old. Just so weird to think about. Most of the time I still feel like I'm 16 but then I get that reality check where I go...no wait, I'm a uni graduate, working in my chosen career, living with my partner, and I have friends who are married and pregnant.
This is a bit of a derail, but y'know how when you're a kid you just think your parents knew it all? My parents were married when my mom was my age and it's a strange reality check when I realize that she probably felt just as much of a kid as I did when she got married. I guess I have all these thoughts floating around because paperboy and I just moved in together.
Dec 15 2009, 03:53 PM
my mom was 31 and i grew up thinking she was SO OLD when she had me.... i don't know when i'll ever feel grown-up enough. mr.nick and i both feel like we could chill and wait 5 years or more for baby time. but at 34 i know that my days (aka eggs) are numbered. and our energy levels as well. did you know that after 35 a pregnancy is termed a geriatric pregnancy? gah.
unless you and paperboy are having a state of the union-planning for the future-make or break kinda discussion, i don't think that you need to decide right now which side of the fence you're on. just because you may be in the same place in your life as others who are popping out booger machines doesn't mean you that should be. i say keep thinking on it and in the meantime keep on the bc.
Dec 16 2009, 06:10 AM
I'm in a very similar situation to the one dayglowpink posted about earlier, I'm curious if anything has happened or changed in your situation. I just turned 30 and while for a long time I was never entirely sure if I wanted to go the kids/family route, lately I've been thinking so much about it and I really yearn for it. It's probably partly biological and partly due to the fact that I'm currently in Asia teaching kindergarteners and I just love them so much. I'm here with my boyfriend, we've been together over 3 years now, and he's two years younger than me. While he hasn't entirely ruled out wanting a family at some point in the distant future, he has explicitly told me that he is nowhere near ready to have kids, let alone make a huge commitment to me (i.e. marriage).
It sucks because I am so close to being ready for all that, and I really really want it to be with him. He's totally the love of my life and the thought of dumping him for the slim possiblity that I could find someone else I feel the same way about, and who is ready for kids and marriage, all before my biological clock runs out, is just really unappealing. I mean, the chances of that happening are so small that I can easily envision never finding anyone else and totally regretting dumping someone I truly love for the unknown. But then again, what if I stay with him and he never does 'come around' and make a commitment to me? I can also envision my window for having a family passing right by and always regretting never really going after something I really want. ugh. Such a shitty place to be in. Perhaps this is more of a relationship problem than a “Maybe Baby” problem, since I know what I want and he doesn't. But, it's all tied together and messy and upsetting and confusing, I just needed to get it out there
Dec 16 2009, 08:41 AM
It is nice to hear that many women are in the same place I am in. I know that I want to have a baby and, at 36, I worry that my chances are getting smaller. I am with the man I want to have a baby with. He knows what I want, he is less sure what he wants. Part of the problem is that we have a pretty good life. He has his hobbies, I have grad school. We don't have a ton of money but do okay considering I don't work. We don't talk about it much although I make comments regularly about our future child. I understand everyone here who said that ending this relationship on the off chance that I could meet someone else as fantastic and have a child with that person does not make sense nor does the thought make me happy.
One thing I know is that I will not get married until we have this settled. I don't know if he is planning on proposing anytime soon but we will have this issue settled before we get married.
Dec 16 2009, 12:32 PM
I didn't mean to give the impression that I wanted to have kids now. I absolutely 100% for sure, no doubt in my mind DO NOT want to have any kids anytime in at least the next 3-5 years. It's just weird that all of a sudden I'm realizing I'm at the age where it could happen and that I definitely feel that urge when I see and hold babies. More so I was just musing that if I were to find myself pregnant (which I pray to whoever that I DO NOT!!!!) that now I'm at a stage where keeping it wouldn't seem so crazy.
I think I definitely have a different perspective from a lot of the people posting in this thread because I'm younger and feel like I've just entered the stage where my life is stable enough that I could support a kid if I had to. Having friends who are getting pregnant definitely gets you thinking about it more. Paperboy and I are no where near talking about having kids and I think he'd be terrified at the prospect right now (he's younger than me).
Dec 16 2009, 06:13 PM
I thought I'd post here from a different perspective. Maybe give some helpful advice, while looking for some at the same time.
On having children: I had my son 4 1/2 years ago. It changed me hugely, as anyone would expect. For me, it was a change for the better. Having him forced me to be stronger woman, made me a more patient woman, made me care more about everything. I am forced to be a better person because I know he is looking to me as an example. I would never want to go back to who I was before, even if I miss some of the freedoms I had before.
Taking care of a kid is hard work (duh). But really harder than you can truely appreciate until you're doing it. And it's not intellectually stimulating. It can be really dreary, boring, repetitive, frustrating, thankless hard work. The trade off seems to be love. Like, throw-yourself-in-front- of- a-bus-to-protect-them love. Which is awesome.
And pregnancy and giving birth is the worst. Natural childbirth was the worst torment I have ever experienced. During labour I was remembering a torture victem I had once heard do a talk, and I was thinking "Hmmm. Electric shocks...that would be a piece of cake." But then you sometimes meet those women who love pregnancy and squeeze one out in 15 minutes. "Oh, I've had periods that hurt worse." I hate them.
So. To sum up. Having a kid was the best thing I ever did, but I can't imagine why any sane person would do it. I guess the decision to have a child (or another child) is not a logical one. I think if you know yourself very well, and you're pretty sure that having a child would not make you resentful for life, or trigger any major psychological baggage then you should go for it. The minute you have a child all the detritus of life seems unimportant, and if it is important then you make it work. Women finishing Phds manage, single moms manage, poor folks manage, young parents manage, old parents manage, and are able to raise happy healthy well adjusted kids.
Which brings me to my issue. I don't know whether I should have another. My son is 4 1/2, so I feel like it's kind of now or never. I'm really enjoying getting my life and potential new career back on track and, as I've elaborated on, early childhood is not easy. I like my son's growing independence. I like having a free moment to myself from time to time. I like going to the gym and feeling sexy again. I miss cuddling. I miss innocence. I miss feeling like I knew how to handle things (it's so easy when they don't have their own opinion.) When I pictured having a family I always imagined more than one, but the older my son gets the harder it is to go back to the beginning again. Maybe I hate the "idea" of the only child more than the reality, you know? I flip-flop daily.
Dec 16 2009, 10:31 PM
I've been lurking from time to time over in the childfree by choice thread and here because I'm interested in hearing the perspectives. Six months ago I had my first (and only) child and I am now in that "throw-yourself-in-front-of-a-bus-to-protect-them" love that Delibelly refers to. I just turned 43 in September, so in some ways I feel like I lived a whole adult life one way, and am now living another one in a whole new way.
I too could have done without pregnancy and childbirth, but this relationship I'm having with my daughter is the most soulful, straight-to-my-core connection I've ever had. And I've had some amazing loves.
I don't see kids as just germ-ridden, tantrum throwing, life-disruptors any more than I see adults as all the one dimensional traits they may have. Children are just as varied in personality as adults. The difference is that they can still be influenced to become really amazing people. Most adults are pretty much who they will always be.
For what it's worth, I'm glad I didn't have my daughter in my 20's. I personally wasn't ready, but a lot of people are. My 30's would have been ideal, but I'm enjoying my geriatric parenthood nonetheless.
Delibelly-you really have captured how I feel about parenting amazingly well. Thanks for that. I think if you decide to have another child, he or she will fit into your life as though they were always supposed to be there and you will adapt and recover (probably more quickly than the first time). But if you decide to stop at one, don't second guess yourself too badly. Your gut is a good guide.
Dec 17 2009, 02:52 PM
deli, thanks for your perspective. you sound like you have a terrific outlook on parenthood and are doing a great job!
i can offer a perspective as an only child. my mother had a few miscarriages before and after me and when i was about 3 she had a hysterectomy. so my parents would have liked other children, if that means anything. anyway, growing up as an only was good as far as getting attention and not having to share and all that. my own room, no hand-me-downs, no fighting, etc. in high school i felt a pressure to be a super student, and even as a young adult i tried not to disappoint my parents too much (or at least hide what might disappoint them). because i was their one and only shot at a perfect kid. my bff growing up was one of 6 kids. she was the smart one, her sister was the funny one, her one brother was the athletic one, etc. i felt like i had no room for screwing up. my parents aren't particularly demanding; it was mostly self-imposed. in the last few years i've come to peace with it a bit and learned how to handle being myself around my parents more.
now that my parents are AARP members, i'm a bit afraid of handling what's to come all alone. i mean i have mr.nick and everything, and he luckily has 2 siblings who are both lovely and we're all close with. and i have a close-knit extended fam that i can rely on. but i guess i still have that self-imposed pressure to be a good kid.
Dec 20 2009, 01:35 PM
likeanyother and kittenb- I totally feel you. I am still really struggling with all this stuff. I have had to admit to myself and my BF that I really do want to have a baby and that I hadn't been honest about this throughout our relationship. I had always told him that I was unsure about it and that I would be okay with not having a kid. I think the whole time, though, I would have jumped at the chance if he had been into the idea. I know a lot of this is mine to deal with, but I just wish so much that he was excited about it and ready to make plans, but he is still unsure. We are in couples therapy now, but we have so many other issues to work on that this hasn't even come up yet. There are always the practical downsides to having kids, and I agree that it can't really be a rational decision. I guess it's always going to involve taking a risk. I am just so terrified that I am running out of time and that the longer I wait the harder it will be for me to get pregnant, the greater the chance of problems, etc. Or that I will end up on my own and getting artificially inseminated or something. I really don't want to be a single mom, but at this point it feels like I would do it if it were my only option a couple of years down the road.
Dec 21 2009, 12:00 PM
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this forum!!! I am in the midst of a crisis about this very topic, and it HURTS!!!
I am going to be 34 next month. I have been with my boyfriend, with whom I live, for a year and a half, and I have always felt that he is the one. I want a kid. I have always wanted a kid. In fact, it's the only thing in life I KNOW I will be good at. I want to start trying in a year, when I am 35. He is on the fence about children at all, and thinks that I am a bitch for even asking. I don't know what to do. He says he is not ready in the next year or two to even think about it. I NEED to know that it will happen in the next few years. I am 34 fucking years old!!!! He has every rational, logical reason why children are a bad idea - money, time, environmental impact on the earth, etc. He has every reason to think kids are a drag - after all, almost everyone he knows with kids is a shitty parent and ended up with kids out of spite and drunken instability.
So, here I am. Do I leave, and hope to find someone I like and who wants to have kids, or do I stay and hope he comes around? I am not the kind of girl who hops from relationship to relationship. I have had three major relationships in my adult life, all about a year and a half long. Every single guy I have ever been involved with for any amount of time is now married and starting a family. I feel like a crazy old lady who no one wants. I feel like used goods.
A sperm donor is starting to look good.
Dec 23 2009, 05:26 PM
(((samiam))) I know you know that I understand how you feel. I can't say anything to make it better, but just know that there are others of us out there experiencing the same things. I also have only had 3 major relationships in my life, and my current BF is the longest (we've been together about 3 years). I will be 34 in two months, and I also would prefer to start trying to get pregnant when I'm no older than 35. Have you guys thought about couples therapy?
Dec 24 2009, 11:40 AM
this is my first time venturing into this thread... thank you eyelet for your post!! I turned 41 this year, never been pregnant, but I'm not too worried about it if I do decide to get pregnant in the next few years - my mom and her sisters were all having kids well into their 40's, and my cycle shows no signs of letting up - in fact, it's more regular now than it's ever been. I think I still have a few good years left in me. Your post just made me feel great that someone out there is doing it, and seems to have a really good outlook on things surrounding it.
I've never been one of those women who want to have a child at all costs - even if it means being a single parent. For years I was on the fence about whether I'd want to at all, but I've come to realize what was missing... it's that in my relationships to date, I have never been with the right guy to have a FAMILY with. That's what I want. Not just to have a kid... I want a family. I want to be with the right person, where he and I have a great best-friend / romantic partner relationship and are totally copasetic in what we want.
Unfortunately, right now, I don't have that. I think I'm more ready than I've been at any point in my life to truly be a partner to someone who wants to be my partner, but you can't just go partner / daddy shopping, ya know? (well some girls do it, but that's just not me) So I am getting out there and I have had some great guys come into my life. Not guys I'm involved with, but just the fact that I'm attracting men into my world who want those things and are not afraid to express that really bodes well for the caliber of people I'm attracting these days.
Even though on the surface some people might look at me and think that I chose to put my career first, or make being successful a priority over a relationship or motherhood; that's not true at all. I think that it's more that I never truly started to work through my shit until a few years ago, to the point where I actually started truly wanting a nice guy as a partner for the right reasons, and thought that I might be capable / deserving of being part of a good, healthy family unit.
I guess the biggest thing for me at this point is that I get bummed that I took so long to get to a point where I can truly be healthy enough to have that stuff, because it might be too late and I get worried I might never meet that person. I know that if I don't have a family, then it's just not what was in the cards for me, but I'm only human and I can't help but be bummed at the thought that it might not.
I know this sounds totally goofy, but I keep listening to No Doubt's "Simple Kind of Life" and it just seems to sum up how I feel so much.
Dec 28 2009, 12:07 AM
Thanks DayGlow. This forum has been one of my enduring friends for the last 10 years. In fact, all three of my adult relationships have evolved under the watchful eye of the Bust Lounge.
This baby thing is killing me. I suggested couples therapy and I think that I will pursue the idea after I find someone to talk to on my own, first. In the meantime I have to hear about the 19-year-old dumbass stepson of my boyfriend's sister is having a baby with his 16-year-old girlfriend. They won't consider abortion or adoption, and all I can think is fuck, at least I have a job and an education. I mean, if these kids can have a kid, can't we make it work? I even suggested that we adopt the baby to my boyfriend. He is very pro-adoption, but we both realize that that will never happen through an agency unless we find a way to make millions and buy a house.
Thanks for listening.
Dec 28 2009, 10:33 AM
QUOTE(zoya @ Dec 24 2009, 11:40 AM)
I have never been with the right guy to have a FAMILY with. That's what I want. Not just to have a kid... I want a family. I want to be with the right person, where he and I have a great best-friend / romantic partner relationship and are totally copasetic in what we want.
thanks for saying this. at the time i felt like a sell-out for breaking off a loving but unhealthy LTR when i realized i really wanted to have children in search of a better partner for such things. now that i found him i see it wasn't just the kids i was searching for. he's truly my partner with the same goals. it sounds business-like but really it's easy to love someone who, besides possessing other desirable characteristics like goofiness and adorableness, wants what you want at the same time you want it. i believe in that positive visualization where you build a picture of what you want and then it's *ding ding ding* when you see it.
sorry if i'm derailing. we spoke this week about not necessarily trying for baby, but not trying not to. in other words, we ran out of trojans and we're not buying more.
Dec 28 2009, 02:44 PM
QUOTE(nickclick @ Dec 28 2009, 08:33 AM)
it sounds business-like but really it's easy to love someone who, besides possessing other desirable characteristics like goofiness and adorableness, wants what you want at the same time you want it. i believe in that positive visualization where you build a picture of what you want and then it's *ding ding ding* when you see it.
I don't think that's derailing at all... I've realized that for me, that is an inexorable part of having a child, and I'm sure you and I aren't the only ones, so it's totally on-topic.
and thanks for the vote of confidence on finding someone who is at the same phase of things as you. I think it's not just positive visualization, but in my case, working on myself, and really getting to know and be happy with myself enough to be capable of recognizing "it" when I see it. Lately I'm totally seeing that in the guys I meet, and it seems easier to see, and thus weed out, the ones who don't posses those things that I want. I don't really see that as businesslike, but really just not settling for less than you know you need to be happy. At least that's been my theory, and while I don't have it yet, hearing what you have to say about it makes me feel like I'm definitely on the right track!!
Dec 28 2009, 05:17 PM
QUOTE(zoya @ Dec 28 2009, 02:44 PM)
I'm definitely on the right track!!
whoo hooooooo! i was super bummed when i turned 30... my youth is over, anything childish or stupid that i'd do wouldn't be cute anymore, etc. but there's something to be said about being an adult and getting your shit together.
sam, you're soooooo not being a bitch for bringing up this topic with your bf. maybe he's scared because the idea of a baby seems so foreign? i know it does to me but i have friends and family who seem a lot less conscientious and/or responsible having babies left and right. either way, it's only fair that he think on it and let you know where he stands without judging your asking.