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Advice from Women with Children, please??

By Anonymous January 27, 2009 - 1:46pm
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I have been doing a lot of stock taking lately, wondering what the meaning of life really is and why we are here, etc....
I have never really wanted children, never really felt any kind of bioligical clock at all. I got pregnant at 17 and had an abortion as I felt that my life would have been ruined at the time and have NO regrets about this. To me, this was NOT a baby.
But now I am in a great relationship. We have wonderful dogs who lead a fantastic life full of hikes and the best of everything. We have been together 4 years and are talking of marriage. We have spoken about the possibility of kids but I have always said no as I have felt that I have too much to do in my own life; that they are noisy, messy, ruin your sense of peace and order, may ruin your body, your sleep,etc.. All childish reasons, I now feel.

I think that one of the problems is that nowadays, we have too much choice and control over whether or not we get pregnant. A hundred years ago, I would already have had a TWENTY ONE year old child!!!!!! (the idea of this FREAKS me out as I am very youthful and still get carded!)and may also have had to marry the guy who got me pregnant.
My therapist feels that my fear of having a child is all connected with my becoming pregnant when I was little more than a child myself and also that I was one of many children growing up and have issues of jealousy.
The thing is...now I am 38 and am starting to feel that life really is about the continuation of our genes and that when a couple is bright, attractive, nice, liberal, artsy, intellectual and focuses on why not to bring children into this mortal coil, that maybe they should as they are very thoughtful and TRULY understand the pros and cons of it all. Maybe we DO have something to pass on to a child. Most people in the world seem to want children and many have them without really asking why. Look at poeple like Britany Spears and her little sister for that matter.
To get to the point, I am wondering if anyone who has kids can really explain what is so wonderful about it? I have known women who have said that they regret it! Do any of you?
Does it make you feel that death is ok, that part of us continues, does it make you feel more complete.
I am not asking you whether I should do this or not, but to tell me why you did.I would love to hear any responses! I don't want these last few "good" childbearing years to pass me by, without at least, really considering seriously if this is for me or not.

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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

oh--and last comment about "dealing with the pregnancy". Do you mean with the "being" pregnant part?

I was scared of being pregnant for many reasons. One of them was how people would look at me differently. (I sound very vain, but this was a fear I didn't share with anyone else). As I said, I look young and was afraid of other's opinions. I was also in my first professional job, and was afraid of my boss's reaction. I was afraid of losing my friends.

Well, what happened for me is this: my husband and I went out to dinner a week after I found out I was pregnant, with our other married couple friends. Unlike me, I did not order an alcoholic beverage, and got some strange looks! I was thinking about myself so much, that I didn't realize my friend also had not ordered a drink! There were glances from the husbands, and we found out that we were both pregnant. It was hilarious, and neither of us knew we were "trying". When I started showing, there were just more and more women my age, in my job, who were also pregnant. Before, I would focus on women who were not pregnant; when I was pregnant, I noticed more women who were pregnant..it's like I entered another world!

Long story short: dealing with the pregnancy is possible, because there are so many ways to get support. Doctors, friends, online, books, support groups, clubs...you go to many educational classes and meet other couples as well.

And, my colleagues and boss were thrilled that I was pregnant. None of my fears were realized, as far as the "what others thought" category. Other parts of dealing with the pregnancy were unpleasant: the physical aches and pains, etc. Let me know if you want to hear about those...I won't bore you otherwise!

January 27, 2009 - 3:41pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm glad to read your last paragraph--you aren't asking us to tell you what to do, just tell you why we made the choices we did for ourselves.

I have a 3 year old son, have been married to a man (his father!) for 6 years, and am in my mid-30s. Interesting, we have a lot in common. I also became pregnant in high school (I was 16), and decided to have an abortion. I have also never regretted this decision, as I was absolutely not ready to have a child, to carry a baby to full term. The then-boyfriend was a wreck, emotionally abusive...just an awful situation.

I'm wondering why you are in therapy, though, if you really are OK with that decision? I've been to couple's therapy during a rough transition in our lives, and never once brought up the abortion. It's just not a part of my life, to be truthful.

Beyond that, I also did not ever have the "biological clock" ticking. I'm not sure what this would feel like, but I've heard it is strong in women. I was always so focused on my career, education that I never felt old enough to have a child! I still feel like a child myself, sometimes!

However, the difference is: I always knew I wanted a life with kids. I could not envision my future life without it being a family. I had a wonderful childhood, very supportive parents, love my sister...could not imagine a life without this. I pretty much decided that "it's now or never" to have a child three years ago, because I wasn't "feeling it" biologically.

Now that we have our son, I have never been happier. My days are fuller, richer; most of the time I can not wipe the smile off my face! He is hilarious, and there are very few days that pass when I do not laugh. Before I had a child, I was happy and carefree, but don't remember laughing like I do.

It has changed my life in every way, and I welcomed it. I did go through a very rough transition period; making new friends, finding another identity, etc. Similar to other transitions in my life: high school to college; college to first professional job.

So, I am now faced with wanting a second child. Actually, I want my son to have a sibling. Isn't that funny? Still no "biological clock", but I do smile when I see babies (I used to strongly dislike babies, toddlers, etc..thought they were messy and kind of gross. HA! Now, I have playgroups with 10 other kids and love them all to pieces). My husband laughs because I even volunteer to babysit---something he never thought he's see!

I thought we'd be financially broke, but we are actually smarter with our money now, and have more discretionary income! When we were sans kid, we went out to eat, bought whatever clothes or latte we wanted. Now, we budget for the things we really want, and never seem to go "without". The first three months, I went without sleep, but now we all sleep through the night. Toddlers even sleep 2-3 hours in the afternoon...it's great!

I bought at least a dozen books on "why to have kids" or "how to know if you should have kids", and I can not recommend one of them to you. For me, it was just looking at what I wanted my future to be. I wanted to travel (which is fun with a child; just different); I wanted my parents to be grandparents. I wanted holidays to be more special; I wanted every day to be more special!

And...of course, there are the bad days that do happen on a weekly basis. I've actually found it challenging to learn about toddlers and babies (was never around them), and it's interesting to learn what they are going through in their development...it explains their behavior and helps me to cope with the bad moods. We have a very easy-going toddler, so not many tantrums or anything.

I could go on an on... feel free to ask me any questions!

Does your husband want kids?

January 27, 2009 - 2:44pm
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