Are Babies the Next Logical Step?

EAK Photography

I’ve never been particularly maternal. It’s not that I don’t like children, but in all honestly I wouldn’t ever choose to be in a room with a load of them. In fact at my parent’s Jubilee party which was frequented by rather a lot of screeching neighbourhood rugrats, I spent then entire time cowered in the corner staring at my lap/my glass of champagne/the dry sausage rolls and hoping none of them would try to talk to me. It’s ironic really, I’m pretty outgoing with adults, but anyone under 12 and I don’t know what to do. I guess I’m scared I’ll make them cry… or I’ll accidentally drop the f-bomb and scar them for life or something.

Sure, there are some kids I like, I have a few friends who are fantastic Mothers and have gorgeous children who are actually pretty fun to hang out with (they also find me fascinating which is quite hilarious. I’m pretty sure they think I’m actually a real life My Little Pony). But as nice as it is to be adored by these select few, it’s also really nice when they go to bed and we can have a drink and talk about things that don’t involve CBeebies’ characters. On the flipside I have had friends who have swiftly become ex-friends once they started popping out sprogs. I don’t know if that’s my fault…or theirs… or a combination of the two… but either way it’s happened.

Gareth and I were out to dinner the other night as we started chatting about children. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that he always said he wanted children, although recently he’s started to change his mind. As he’s got older and our life has got more comfortable, he’s ended up pretty happy with our little child-free set up. I wonder if he, like I, always assumed that we would have kids, because you know, that’s what married people do.

I’ve always been on the fence. I’m not saying no way not ever… but I’d be alright with it if we didn’t end up having them.

Lemons with a pea via Etsy

I love my life right now. I love this little family we’ve build for ourselves. I love our crazy kittens and our chaotic house (which, by the way, is just the right amount of chaos without little ones in it!) I love that we have money for date nights and holidays and the odd (OK in my case regular) shopping spree. I love that we can sleep late and stay out til all hours. I love that when we feel like it we can fob the whole day off and go for burgers.

I think one of the main worries I have (and this may make me sound selfish but I’m just being honest here!) is that I don’t want to become one of those Mothers. You know, the ones who are totally obsessed with their ‘little darlings’. The ones who change their facebook profile pictures to one of their kids and start their online bios with ‘Mother to two beautiful girls’. ARGH! I know what you’re thinking, “Oh I’m sure you won’t be like that, there are plenty of women out there who don’t do that.” And yes, yes there are, I’m friends with some of them… but jeez I know how obsessed I am with my cats!

So my big question to you is does all this make me a totally selfish person? Should we be worried if we don’t have a burning desire to procreate? Is someone who doesn’t have children somehow missing out? Will I regret our decision when we get older and the choice is out of our hands? What if Gareth dies before me and I’m left all alone?

So I ask you, dear reader, what are your thoughts on the whole shebang? Do you want kids? Have you felt pressure since getting engaged/married to start thinking about a family? Or did you have children before you were married? Do you feel pressure from friends or family to have children? If you don’t want children do you have any guilt about that fact?

257 comments

  1. I love children but have zero desire to have any of my own. I like my freedom/ quiet time/ sanity too much. Coming from a large family, no-one understands this and they are consistentoh eagerly awaiting baby news- esp my mom. I keep hearing from those concerned about my child free status that I will regret it when I’m old and there is no-one to care for me, but that’s a selfish reason to have children.In that case I will find myself a toyboy before the dementia sets in.

  2. Samantha

    I’ve always loved being around children, and I always thought if I didn’t have my own I would be just as happy adopting or fostering so i never felt under pressure. Then at the age of 38 I met my husband to be and two days before my 40th I had my daughter. It has been a blessing – watching her grow, seeing her personality come through is a joy. But, I think we’ve had an easier time of it because we’re both older and don’t feel as though we’re missing out now that our time is more restricted. I’ve travelled the world, done my party days and so hanging out with my baby girl is a new chapter. Having a child can be the most amazing fun – you create the family life you want and we still travel, hang out with friends and do a lot of interesting stuff. It’s the way you approach motherhood, and if you’re partner is as hands on as my fella is, it makes it all the more enjoyable. Children can be part of your life at any time, if someone never has their own and then feels that actually, they could give a home to a child then there are always opportunities to care and give love to little ones, whether fostering or adoption. I believe we make the choices that are right for us at the time, you cannot rush into something just because you think you might regret it later on!

  3. Not that i’m married so what i’m about to say probably isn’t too relevant…but i’m now 25 & my tiny chap is about to turn 1. I’m no longer with his dad though we stay friends & although I absolutely ADORE my son, I do wish i’d waited. Going out is a military operation, my clothes are constantly covered in dribble/snot/sick, I literally do not get more than 10 minutes to myself at any one time & it’s bloody hard. So I completely understand why anyone would be reluctant to give up their lifestyle. Saying that, it’s lovely that when he’s teething only my cuddles will do, and his face when he wakes up & sees me is priceless. If it was possible to rewind & “delay” him a little bit, but so he was exactly the same, i would. But i can’t so for now it’s cbeebies as oppose to something i want to watch, & snot covered jeans as oppose to a gorgeous dress…

  4. We don’t want kids. It’s not 100% ruled out, but I’m 29 and he’s 33 and there is still no desire. We also feel like adoption is a better option for various reasons but health aside, we feel like there are too many parentless children out there not to give one more a chance. Even so, we’re not ready for that either. We may never be, but I’m over defending our view on it all to the people who ask in that condescending tone and with the insinuation that not having children somehow makes you a little less than those who do.
    I also appreciate the friends-with-kids thing. Some are super cool mothers, and while I know it’s my job to do the leg work to maintain a friendship (I don’t have a human to care for after all) there’s a point where you need something back. Just a ‘how are you’ once every 6 months would do. I think many childless people do their utmost to keep a friendship going with a new mother, but I will no longer be made to feel like the bad guy if it eventually falls apart. It’s totally cool that they created a human being, but don’t pull the ‘you can’t understand if you don’t have kids’ shit on me. Of course I don’t know your situation, but I’m still a human being with the capacity to feel a wide range of emotions.
    So no, you’re not selfish. Selfish would be to have kids because that’s what is expected of you, and then still act like your time/money/energy is all yours to do what you want with. Maybe you’re missing out, but maybe they’re missing out on spending their 30’s and beyond without children.

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