I thought that one day I would just "know" but I don't.
I am 50/50.
A childfree life has its advantages.
Will I regret it if I don't have children?
The funny thing is that I work as a preschool teacher.
Did you always know you wanted to have children?
And For those of you that are child free , did you end up regretting it down the line?
I was somewhat against having kids when i was a teenager. I got married at 23 and was still ambivalent about it. Then I decided I did want kids. I had my daughter at 25 and various things prevented me having more kids- which was probably for the best.
She is a teenager now, I love her and my life would be infinitely less rich without her. But I can also see how not having kids would have been ok.
I would not trade her or go back and change my decision if I had the magical option to. But my regret about not having more kids is less every year.
It is OK not to want kids. It doesn't make you cold, or a bad person. It is way better to not have kids then to have and regret it. Resenting a child is heartbreaking for all involved.
If this isn't what I consider soulmate crap, I don't know what is.
I was heartbroken when I started to "try" to conceive and it just didn't work.
I went thru infertility treatments in my 20's.
Then that marriage fell apart for other reasons and I was glad I hadn't had a baby with him, but still wanted kids.
Eventually, I did conceive and I have the beautiful, intelligent, sensitive son that I always wanted.
I wanted more, but that wasn't to be. Do I regret not having more? No... but I'm over the moon happy I have my DS.
I guess to answer your questions... for me it was a case of always knowing I'd have kids... either my own or adoption.
I also work with kids everyday... I am a middle school English teacher. I work with the "Bad Behavior" kids.
From what I have seen, if you do not have a strong desire - don't force it. Children, while a blessing, are a huge responsibility - a financial weight and demand. I think that women feel more pressure to have children than many desire.
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid
My stbxh and I were on the same page about kids...of course!
About 3 years after we got married-I started to feel differently. I kept putting it off, I was using the excuse that I was scared of childbirth.
Now...I think my intuition was telling me something was not right and I should not have children.
We put it off for several years, then he started to make comments about us 'never going to have kids'.
When things fell apart, I was honestly relieved. It was the best decision I NEVER made.
A friend asked me once if I regretted not having children. My response was that I regretted being married to a man that I eventually did not want to have children with and not realizing why I felt that way.
I honestly cannot imagine a child in my life. I am certain I would have been a great parent, I love kids. In the end, it just was not meant to be. I don't feel a sense of loss about it though.
Having a larger family was important enough to me that I discussed it with when I was seriously dating my DH.
I thought I was "done." with three. I felt done. But, something weird hit, and I have serious baby fever, and it started when this lo was about a year. (All my kids are spaced 3-4 years apart, because I couldn't think about adding another child any sooner.)
So, we are done. We really can't afford anymore-well, we could, but then we'd be living paycheck to paycheck. Emotionally, I am not not done. We may foster when some kids start leaving the house.
Two of my closest friends are childless by choice. They also knew from a young age they were not meant to have kids. And, they haven't. And, they've had VERY fulfilling lives.
You can still chose to do things like be a big sister or be a foster parent without being a bio parent.
I'm on birth control. The arm implant- most effective method on the market. I've also got a few physical issues that would make it unlikely that I could carry a child to term even if I did get pregnant somehow.
I don't really want kids. I'm not ruling out that there may be a change of heart, but I'm sorta running out of time.
I decided a few years ago that I won't let myself regret not having kids. Because I am living a life I love and I do a lot of things I could not do if I had children. So when I look back I will have so many memories there won't be room for regrets.
In my case, I always wanted to have kids. I unofficially adopted my two stepchildren and have one child of my own, all adults now. I actually do regret not having more children. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would adopt a couple more kids. I love everything about being a parent. Well, okay it wasn't all roses by any means, but to me, well worth it.
My sister is two years younger than me, has been married for years, and has no kids. I don't see anything wrong with it at all and neither does she. To each their own.
[This message edited by kernel at 8:31 PM, September 29th (Sunday)]
I am an only. I liked being an only. I was also quite sure I didn't want any kids. My DS came along completely by surprise when I was 24. I was actively trying not to have kids.
He is a blessing on so many levels. I am so lucky to have him. HOWEVER - I never had anymore. I'm glad that I didn't and I'm pretty sure I would feel OK about it if I had not had any kids.
I've acquired stepkid type people in my life b/c of SO. They're fine but I really haven't significantly bonded with them. Its not as though I have a void b/c I haven't had more kids.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler
It's a shit ton of work, and you really have to get over yourself and the selfishness when you have kids.
Honestly, its been hard for me to have kids, as (go figure as a fWS) i am kind of selfish.
I love doing things with my kids, love to watch them grow and learn, love to hang out with them and help them out. Love to hear them giggle, get their kisses and hugs.
I love to sleep in, I loved having a sedan that only fit 4 people, I loved being able to stay up late, come home way to early in the morning, leave at a moment's notice, and by far the thing i miss the most is using the bathroom all by myself.
My best friend knows she never want's kids. I keep telling her that its competely ok to be selfish like that. That if you know you don't want them, then do the kid a favor, and don't have any.
If you are on the fence (like I was), then you may find out that you will struggle for a little while until you finally give in to the life of "mom...mommmmmmm, mommy!!"
We never wanted to have children, but when I was 35 I became pregnant and our daughter is now two. Having her turned my world upside down. Almost all my plans for my future have changed - career and education wise. It's not because I can't do what I wanted to do (I could, it would just be harder) but because my priorities have shifted SO MUCH. I don't think you should have kids unless you are willing to shift your entire worldview.
I'm not sure if this is as true for people whose worldview always included having children. For me, it was such a huge shift and I'm still finding my footing.
Having my daughter was an incredible experience. I hated being pregnant, and felt really trapped by the whole thing - but from the moment I went into labour, things have been easier for me. She really is amazing, and I am so happy that she is here and I love my life with her so much. If I had had her in my twenties instead of my mid-thirties, I think I would have had more kids - that's how much I enjoy her.
That being said, I know I would have always been happy without kids. (It is actually hard for me to type that, it feels disloyal to my daughter. But it's true.) I never once wondered if I wanted to have kids, I never once worried I would regret it. I loved my life, it was wrapped up in academia and I spent all my time writing and reading and I LOVED IT. I smoked and drank and did what I wanted when I wanted to. We had a ton of money, and travelled a lot and went out to dinner and movies and art openings. We had so much fun together. We STILL have so much fun together, it's just a very different type of fun and that's okay. It's where we are. I wouldn't give up my Bee for anything.
It's a lot of sacrifice. Anyone who says it isn't a lot of sacrifice is, in my opinion, fudging the numbers a little. It's worth it to me.
ETA - it is my experience, as well, that one parent is going to be making more sacrifice than the other. Over here, that's me - my WS has a really established career and it requires a lot of his time. When he is home he is a really hands on father; but he does have to travel a lot and he does put a lot of his energy into his work. I think kids deserve a lot of attention and energy from us, especially in the early years - and IME, one parent ends up giving more than the other simply because of how the world works, not necessarily because of unwillingness or attitude. So that's something to keep in mind, too.
[This message edited by lost_in_toronto at 8:05 AM, September 30th (Monday)]
So many women feel the pressure to have kids just because they have the parts to do it. Let's face it we all know someone, or someone's mom who just doesn't have the maternal thing, and really didn't enjoy doing the mom thing. I always felt bad for a friend I had who came from a family like that, her dad was great, and loved her very much, but mom, just didn't have it. She loved her, but it was just an odd relationship.
I also think if you are unsure at this time, when it becomes time, you will know.
I did do the back and forth on having another the last few years. Whenever I said "let's do this" dh said "No". Then I would decide I didn't want to and he would say "let's have a baby" . I think it was extremely indicative that we didn't really want another but were feeling the pull of it almost being too late. I turn 40 this year and there sure isn't a lot of time left for this decision. Ultimately we're happy the way we are and don't want to start all over again with our kids being 16 and 9. But there is always that "what if?" hanging out there.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:47 AM, September 30th (Monday)]
I just turned 35 and I feel like time is "running" out. I am really feeling the pressure now. I hate it that women have a time limit on this.
I work with children ages 3 to 5 and sometimes (after a bad day) I am relieved to come home to my quiet apartment.
I also worry about things like autism, having an unhealthy child...
I realize this is a life changing decision to make.
I can't say for sure that I WANT children.
And I can't say for sure that I DON"T want children.
I didn't think I wanted children until I married FWH. I still question my own motives (he very much wanted children, and I was feeling pressure from all sides: husband, family, our culture, etc.). I had one and am done. I cannot fathom the work it takes for two, let alone three or more, children.
Now I am 30, back in college for an advanced degree, and looking at the possibility of having to give up my dream to study abroad (which may result in the end of my dream to work abroad).
Our daughter is priceless. I love her more than I knew I was capable of loving anyone or anything. But at least once a week I have actual dreams of having my own apartment, where it is quiet and I can read books and sleep in undisturbed.
I often wonder if I am really cut out for parenting (I'm not an incredibly patient person, luckily my FWH is).
Now that I have experienced life with my daughter, I could never live without her. But I know that had I made the decision to not have children, I would have been just fine as well.
Sorry if that didn't help at all.
Married current husband at 27. We both said we wanted 'kids', but wanted to wait a few years. Went off the pill at 29, nothing happened. After 4 years of that, and having the doctor say nothing was physically wrong, we both pretty much decided we didn't WANT kids.
So by the time I was 36, having been married for 9 years, we were totally sure we didn't want kids, but couldn't convince husband to have a vasectomy.
I had to do a lot of explaining to family and friends about NOT wanting kids, and although it may have sounded selfish to them, it made perfect sense to ME. We worked a LOT, because we were self employed, but we could also take off on a moment's notice if we wanted.
I am the youngest of 7 kids, so most of my siblings could NOT comprehend my not wanting kids.
When I was 36 years old, I found out I was pregnant....actually VERY pregnant...27 weeks and 5 days is what the ultrasound said...so basically, 7 months.
It was a HUGE shock and a huge adjustment. My H was pretty clueless, kept telling me 'it won't change our lives that much'.
This is coming out so disjointed and rambling, sorry.
Bottom line is I am now 51 with a 14 year old daughter who I love more than I could ever have believed. I can't say that I can't imagine life without her, because I CAN imagine it, and I lived it for a long time.
I CAN say that I am glad I decided to have her, and that she has been way more joy and blessing than burden....but (knock wood)she has also always been the easiest baby/toddler/kid you could ever ask for.
So I can only say that I didn't regret not having kids before, can't say how I would feel if I hadn't had her.
It is such a personal, life changing decision that I admire you for giving it so much thought.
However if you are happy with your life and fufilled now, why would you have a child? (I'm asking more for you to consider, not that I want to know). Is it for you to have the chance to pass on your looks, your family history? Or is it for the bond between mother and child?
There are lots of reasons to consider having or not having a baby, and it's a life long impact on you, and how you live. There are years where they come first for everything, and if you aren't careful you do loose yourself.
I always knew, I would be a mom, I always knew I would have 2 boys. I wanted that. I did become mom, but God tricked me and gave a girl the second time around. I wouldn't trade either of them for all the money in the world. They bring us so much joy, and love. However, if we hadn't had those two, I know that I would be much closer to retirement, and would certainly have more funds. I wouldn't be driving a car that is on it's last legs, and have worn out furniture, and need to repaint the whole house. But for me at the end of the day that stuff is just material, I have to young people that are really turning into great strong independent fun people.
Because in my situation I didn't know if I was the OW at first or if I was being cheated on. Found I was being cheated on.
I wanted kids, but I knew that I didn't want HIS kids and I thought that we would always be together.
I'm not real maternal, and now I think that it was for the best, because I'm living a really awesome life.
I just wish that I had maybe kept my options open and just gotten rid of him at age 30.