PDA

View Full Version : Are you happy you had kids? Really?



inexcelsis17
07-26-2015, 09:05 PM
I'm thinking about relinquishing my "Childfree and Fabulous" membership. The thought occurred to me about a few months ago that maybe it'd be nice to have kids, and as I've been obsessing about it since, I'm guessing it's more than just a passing fancy.
Generally, during the day I'm all gung-ho about expanding our little family and ready to start shopping for maternity clothes. During the night my anxiety closest swings open its doors and I start to worry about everything from Weird Uncle Bill's traits popping up to the chance of spending the next 18 years pining away for the lost life of impromptu vacations and quiet evenings sipping wine and watching shows with adult themes.
When asked, parents almost always say that they have no regrets about having children. I'm wondering if this is just something they feel they have to say because if they said otherwise they'd feel guilty that perhaps they didn't love their children enough, or if it's a genuine sentiment due to the beautiful, natural bond that's created.
As I'm neurotic and still obsessing and overthinking the matter, I'd love to hear any thoughts you guys have on the subject.

NUHN
07-26-2015, 10:33 PM
Having kids is unfathomable to me.

dAmION
07-27-2015, 02:55 AM
Having kids is unfathomable to me.

About the same for me as well!

soignee
07-27-2015, 08:57 AM
The following is pre coffee ramblings, but the gist is I don't know. I feel like I should have kid(s?) in a way. I know my own parents won't care, as they have two grand kids already, but my partner has a brother who is going to be perpetually single and I'm slightly older then my partner to begin with by six years, and whoops it's that time for women to decide to have babies since it's coming up to years where it's only possible biologically....

I just want to get a dog and maybe a couple of cats right now. Babies are cute and all but my head sort of ellipses out at the thought... of caring for a little human.. I just feel I should as it's the time where I can't dither about it, and in 20 years I'll regret it? See how I feel when we move into another place and are alone by ourselves for a bit.

inexcelsis17
07-27-2015, 01:14 PM
NUNH and Damion: care to elaborate?

No siblings or cousins on either my side or my husband's have had or are having children. As stupid as it might sound, it kills me to think of all of our family photographs going into the dump when we die. Our parents have been very careful to not pressure us to have kids, but I know they'd love it if we did. My husband's five years younger than me and was quite vocal about not wanting to be a parent when we first got together, but at 27 years old he's done a complete 180.

Stephanie
07-27-2015, 02:10 PM
I'll be honest, having kids is not easy. I only have one, and I love him to bits and he's all kinds of awesome (he's 7), so for that reason I don't regret it. He has enriched my life in so many ways and I can't imagine my life without him. But there are plenty of moments when I do regret it. Moments when I question everything. When I miss being childfree. When I'm sick of having to do so much for someone else. When I just want to be alone.

Soooo, no in general no regrets. I would not change it for anything. But it's hard and frustrating much more than you think it will be. And the first 2 years are so hard as they really need you for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

Take that as you will since everyone is different.

waitressboy
07-27-2015, 09:30 PM
A couple of years ago, I had a friend. We were lucky enough to work together and study together. Our boss even thought we were dating (she was totally clueless about my homosexuality -our boss, I mean). We were very, very close. She even dated a couple of idiots I helped her to get rid off; she became friend of one of my exes. We were lucky enough to change our jobs: in October '12 we both started working at the National Library of Argentina, and by the end of 2013 we were suppossed to graduate.
In February '13 she started dating this very cool guy who lived in another city. Not too far away, only 50 km, so they could meet once or twice a week. Funny fact: they both were born in the same town in the country.
In April she got pregnant.
In June/July she dropped the University, she quitted her job, and she moved to her home town in the country with her boyfriend (who also left his job; he was a personal trainer or something like that).

In the meantime, one girl from our group of friends moved to Chile to work there for a couple of months, and I started planning my trip to Scandinavia.
My friend, the soon-to-be-mother, once said "I envy you, guys, because I could do what you're going to do, but now I can't".

Now she has a beautiful child, she lives with her boyfriend in the country. I think she works at a pet store; we don't talk anymore, I just know about her because of her facebook status.

My point is: you should consider the thing you will win and the things you will lose. That will tell what's more important in your life right now.
I know I will never ever ever ever ever ever have a child. I'm too selfish for that. I want to sleep all night with no interruptions, I want to have the posibility to go to a record store and buy a CD without thinking if my child needs new clothes, I want to have the chance to stay all day in bed in complete silence.
But that's my choice.
There are lots of people who think different (and thank Superman for that, 'cause otherwise we would've extinguished centuries ago).

NUHN
07-28-2015, 03:08 AM
NUNH and Damion: care to elaborate?

Pretty similar to what waitressboy said. Not everything in my life is the way I want it to be, but sometimes I reflect on how glad I am to be childfree. I see so many parents who are miserable. And why chew up the prime of your life telling some half pint to "use his words" unless you are absolutely sure that's what you want? If you enjoy kids sometimes, why not volunteer somewhere or develop a relationship with a friend's kid or something? Create a family website and upload your family photos there for posterity.

dAmION
07-28-2015, 06:12 AM
I'm in a stage of my life where i'm learning more and more about taking care of myself let alone someone else. Like Stephanie said above, kids really really need constant attention or love for the first 2 to 3 years of their life and i'd rather spend my time doing things that are more self-fulfilling then adding another body for the planet to support. Just not for me.

Spikey
07-28-2015, 11:54 AM
Let me join this childfree invasion.


I'm thinking about relinquishing my "Childfree and Fabulous" membership.

Two things will stop me always;
1. I can hardly responsibly take care of myself, so am in no position to care for others.
2. I've never dated somebody who I'd completely trust to raise kids with.

waitressboy
07-28-2015, 12:41 PM
kids really really need constant attention or love for the first 2 to 3 years of their life.

If only. Kids need and adult until they are, ten years old Maybe, and then they become teenagers and they don't need you anymore but you still must feed them, and pay for their Clothes, education, health, free time and who knows what else. (We've all been teenagers or at least we met a teenager like that).
So it's a radical change. I don't see it as "ok, three years and then I return to my previous life". HA.

dAmION
07-28-2015, 08:16 PM
^I don't see where what I said counters what you're saying.

aekiameh
07-28-2015, 08:24 PM
I never thought much about having kids. I teach them and love it. I also love my nieces a lot, but having my own kids? I never felt the need really. Then I got diagnosed with breast cancer and the question was asked whether or not I wanted kids in the near future (36 now). And all of a sudden you HAVE to decide and I still don't think I ever want them. I enjoy my freedom too much, having my nieces around on occasion is wonderful, but I'm not responsible for them 24/7 and I don't think I ever could be.

My best friend got her first child a few months ago and while she loves the kid, she misses her freedom and her own life so much.

waitressboy
07-29-2015, 01:10 AM
^I don't see where what I said counters what you're saying.

No, it's just that the line I quoted was a trigger for another Line of thought: not only how much work it is to be a parents but also for how long you'll have to be a parent. That was something i wasn't thinking about on my previous post. Just that.

dAmION
07-29-2015, 03:03 AM
Gotcha.

meldarwin
07-31-2015, 10:49 PM
I have an 8 year old and a 5 year old, both boys. I can honestly say they mean everything to me, equal to my partner. I agree with what has been said though, it is tiring, difficult, emotional, draining, but for me it has been worth it. I am in a leadership position at the senior high school I work at and work has been incredibly flexible. I had a year's maternity leave with each one and then went back to work part time. My husband for the last 7 years has worked from home one day a week on the day that I always have an early start and late finish and my work has been good time tabling so my boys have only a few sessions in out of school hours care. When they were small I worked 3 days a week, this is the first year I have been 5 days, but not quite full time.
I have had 8 years of broken sleep, mr 5 is currently constipated (fun fun fun) but they have also added to my life in so many ways. My husband and I feel like they have always been here, as we have got older we actually prefer to stay home with the boys, or do family outings. We still go out but with much less frequency but we are happy with that. My children are funny and inquisitive and they make me smile very day, they have such a capacity for wonder, empathy and fun. Yes, they can be demanding, illogical and obstinate but heck we all can.
As said above, weigh up the good and bad for you, weigh up where you see your life heading... We are in the roles at work we desired, we have a good circle of friends with and without children supportive involved grandparents, nearly own our home and all these things make a difference. I agree that the first three years are incredibly draining, but I can honestly say the first time I held both my babies I did feel that talked about rush of love and it has never left me.
Hope this helps a bit...

meldarwin
07-31-2015, 10:50 PM
And as I teach high school I see what is coming... That is scary too... ;)

entropy
08-22-2015, 07:04 AM
I'll be honest, having kids is not easy. I only have one, and I love him to bits and he's all kinds of awesome (he's 7), so for that reason I don't regret it. He has enriched my life in so many ways and I can't imagine my life without him. But there are plenty of moments when I do regret it. Moments when I question everything. When I miss being childfree. When I'm sick of having to do so much for someone else. When I just want to be alone.

Take that as you will since everyone is different.

This is exactly how I feel. Overall I don't regret it. But there are moments that I do, moments that are fleeting but hard to get through sometimes.

I was on the fence about parenting. I figured I was going to have my regrets no matter what. In my case, I think the regrets would be more than fleeting if I didn't decide to parent.

Nancy
08-26-2015, 11:06 AM
I don't understand how childfree people can answer this question.

Spikey
08-31-2015, 11:28 AM
I don't understand how childfree people can answer this question.

They can't and didn't.

The question I guess makes some of us reflect on how it would be or why it won't happen. :(.

soignee
08-31-2015, 11:49 AM
yeah, it got a bit navel gazey for us all, and the original poster had similar thoughts to me on the subject of having children. It was nice to see different corners of the echo chamber, even if it wasn't what I was expecting to hear.

Nancy
08-31-2015, 11:52 AM
Judging from a dot message I got after I posted, this thread was started in the Childfree forum and moved to the Parent's Pad? If that's the case, I didn't see it until it was here. So I was confused. I'm still confused. ;)

inexcelsis17
09-01-2015, 10:47 AM
No, I started it in the Parent's Pad. Thanks to all who replied; it's a very interesting subject to me right now. :)

Jezebelle
09-01-2015, 01:57 PM
I'm a mom to two boys - 6 and 8 years old. I've always wanted kids - not a longing really, and I generally don't like babies - but I always knew I'd be a mother. I figured I'd get knocked up by some random when I was pushing 40 or do in vitro with a gay friend, but as fate would have it, I fell in love with a nice guy and got traditionally married just over 10 years ago.

Its exhausting. It truly is. Your life isn't really your own - your life is for your family. I like my solitude and love going out and being stupid. I find times to do that still; but I was lucky to marry that nice guy who is also a hands on father who gets that I need so act young sometimes. I swear, if one kid gets to bed easily - then the other one is "scared" and comes in our room 2/3 more times. If one puts their laundry away, the other refuses. And then the worst part is - you're only as happy as your least happy child. My sister used to say that and its true, but think about it: you're only as happy as your least happy child. So if my child is in crisis or miserable, so am I. Those boys are walking embodiments of my heart and soul; living and breathing outside of my body.

In my purest most natural state - I am an incredibly selfish, lazy person. However, being a mother has forced me to be more involved in life, my community, and just "doing things" (i.e. soccer, piano practice etc). Its literally not "about me" and in a way - that's a relief. I'm done - I'm grown - I'm over 40 and have a successful career where I feel like I make a difference. I'm saving for retirement, I drive a minivan and I love that the doors open up with a button.

And I love those boys. Yes, when they suffer, I suffer. But as they've grown, they've had more opportunities for success and when they do, my heart bursts open and my whole body feels that joy with them. Listening to my older son practice piano scales brings far more joy than I've ever thought. My youngest son treats me like a queen and always ALWAYS opens the door for me saying "Ladies first", picks flowers for me (or finds rocks/sticks), and always tells me I look either "pretty" "beautiful" or "like a princess".

Having kids also alters your sense of time. The days are long but the years are short. Each day feels like a struggle just to get shit done, but then you turn around and your baby is suddenly so tall he almost reaches your boob. I look at my aging father who's time on this earth is... well, we don't yet know (he's 81)... but he once as my age with kids shuffling to get to work and beat traffic to get home. He once felt like I do. So while some of it is tiring now - these kids are my FAMILY and will be with me from today until my last day on this earth. I will never not know them.

I think for me, having kids adds a dimension to your life. There are other planets orbiting around you, the sun. And we're lucky - we are still able to travel and do things. So am I happy? I don't know that anything other than living your true self makes you "happy". But, for me, part of my true self always included being a mother.

NUHN
09-01-2015, 07:19 PM
Wow, that was a great post! Beautiful family!