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?

271 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.

  5. Joey

    I’m 33. Much older than I thought I would be and not be a mother. Relationships never ran the distance, I found the other halves to be resistant to commit. I am however now married for six months tomorrow, and I want one at some point in the next two years – a well behaved one. I don’t want more than one.

    I am just about to become an aunty for the second time. I have never been massively into kids but my 15-month-old nephew is a terror and I worry about him, so I have been concerned about how I’d worry about my own. I also agree with Kat over *that* kind of mummy – expecting everyone else to be as interested in your kid as you are. Mostly because I like to show them my nephew and they turn their nose up, because he isn’t mine – it’s feeling left out and of ‘less value’ than they are as parents.

    I’m happy with life as it is right now to be honest, my husband needs another year or so under his belt at work and I am broke as sh*t so money won’t cover a sprog! I know lots of people who never had them and they’re happy people with fulfilling lives. More power to them! For example, my brother’s wife (older than me) doesn’t want them, she’d prefer more cats and a sausage dog, and my brother (younger than me) is happy with that.

  6. Kazzii

    I have a very little baby a few months old, and we get the opposite! “are you still planning on getting married?” as if having a child has somehow changed our minds about spending our lives together… Um.
    But I’m also being asked about the next one! “when’s the next one?” “what about when you have more kids” “Oh it’s a shame you had to have a c section, you can try for a Natural birth next time!”

    Reassuring as Heck. I’m not even sure I want another baby! I thought I wanted loads, but maybe one is enough! It’d be nice for my daughter to have a sibling, but it’d be nice for her to have a stress free, well financed, comfortable childhood! I may decide in a year or three that I do want another baby, but I don’t know that now, and that needs to be okay. I feel the same about couples without kids. You don’t have to know. It’s different for everyone. It’s okay. 💗 I love being a mum, I can’t wait to marry my partner. (thought I’d add that in! Hehe)

  7. Erin

    Honestly I don’t want children and I don’t feel guilty about that, my partner and I have been together for almost 8 yrs now and we’ve talked about it but the thing is that I like being able to do all the things you’ve listed above. I work in childcare and have for years now, I’m great with kids – I have a Diploma in the field and am complimented on how I take on the day but spending this much time out of my day with children has taught me the many personalities, traits, behaviours and attitudes they have at different ages. I’ll be honest in saying that my job is the biggest and most effective contraceptive for me because I actually know what I’m in for and I would much rather go home and sip wine all night in my jammies without doing dishes or spontaneously decide to holiday in Rome for a week and stay out until all hours of the morning. Being selfish is okay because if you feel like you aren’t ready then you’re not, most mums tell me that there comes a time when you’ll want kids and it’s a feeling you won’t be able to shake, if you don’t feel it, don’t worry and keep living the life you choose

  8. If our two hadn’t been happy accidents I don’t think we’d have ever found a perfect time to get round to it. I love them to bits but it has always been important to us to keep hold of who we are too. Those 18 years pass really quickly then they’re off and busy with their own lives and if you haven’t continued yours (in at least some way) you could easily find yourself lost and strangers.

  9. Kim

    I have a almost 2 year old. After swearing I would never have kids. I love him to death but it’s the hardest thing I have ever done and I have zero desire to ever do it again. I often have friends comment on the fact I am so honest about being a Mum and how relieved they am I’m still me. I still post more pics online of my pets :)

  10. After marrying my high school sweetheart on our 10 year anniversary the first question that we got asked was ‘when are you going to have a baby’? Considering that we hadn’t ever discussed it )
    (So after 10 years and no baby chat I think we were happy with things the way they were) I went on a rampage and wrote this song lol. https://youtu.be/6DCLN1lLEPQ
    I can’t say that I’ll never want babies but I find the question to be very personal (what if I couldn’t have children and really wanted them) we love ur lives right now, we’re musicians moving interstate so that we can make music our full time work, now I know there’s musicians who are parents but I don’t see myself being able to do both so I choose music. Take right now for example, we’re driving down to Melbourne to play at a festival (not going to happen with a freaking child is it?) *end rant*
    It’s hard not being passionate about something then being driven to hate the idea altogether because people force you to have an opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate kids I just don’t want any of my own.
    Hope you enjoy my song, ps if you’re looking for a wedding band with a comical and retro feel we play lots of lovely songs about love not just songs about not wanting babies 😜
    ❤️Katie

  11. AH! I can’t believe I am commenting here. But, like usually, I have so much to say!

    First, you are not a “bad” person if you never have kids. Yes, you are missing out on something – having kids. Obviously.

    I must admit that I was NEVER going to be one of “those mothers” either. And I know exactly the mothers that you speak of. The “this- is-a-photo-of-my-kid-with-green-goo-on-his-face” photo is the worst! I mean, what is that?!? Are you sure it is peas, because from here that looks questionable. Also, it makes me need to vomit. Please take it off the internet.

    I know exactly what mom you are talking about because I turned into one. I am not sure how it happened. One day I was sobbing because I was pregnant and feeling guilty because I wasn’t in love with whatever parasite was inside of me and the next thing I knew I was posting three photos a day and recording him rolling over. Rolling over, seriously, who really cares?

    It turns out, I care. I care a lot and I don’t know what to do about. I know it is irritating that I am shoving my kids in your face, “Love them dammmit!!” But, I have been infected with this disgusting mommy virus and don’t know how to stop. Trust me, I have tried.

    So, if you don’t want to have kids. Don’t have kids. People will pressure you, but I learned if you tell them you are infertile they will look at you awkwardly and then buy you a cookie. Does it blur the lines of human decency? Sure. But, think of all the cookies you will get.

  12. Sarah

    I totally 100% have to agree with you. I’m on the fence as well, I love kids but do I love them enough to have my own. Im more afraid of how they will change me and my life with my husband. Change is good but this one needs to be decided on the side of caution. Never feel guilty for your decision it’s you and your husbands to make not anyone else!

  13. Hi Kat

    For some reason I thought you were going to announce a little thing coming soon and I got excited about reading all the way. Then I realise you weren’t and I also got excited to know your thoughts on this debate.

    I think it’s totally respectful either way. Just you know if you could be alone in the future if something happens to you loved ones or if you prefer having your kitties. As a strong woman you are, you don’t care about what people think and that’s the most important so whatever you decide with all your heart is the right choice.

    In my personal opinion, no one is ever ready to have babies, and if you sometimes have cravings of giving Gareth and extension of your love for him, then do it, because you want babies! And don’t worry about becoming what you hate, then you won’t, and if you do, what’s the problem? Don’t wait for the right time, there’s never the right time.

    I say YES! You want them!

    Love,
    S
    x

  14. Gayle

    So I wasn’t particularly maternal until one day a couple of years after getting married and it was like someone flicked a switch! I then needed to have a baby…… which I did and the switch instantly got turned off again. I worried too about being a Stepford Mum, but I resisted every step of the way. Fred is now seven, I have kept my bright red/pink/blue/orange hair, piercings, tattoos, rockabilly style, we enjoy Elvis and Queen together, he has picked a little leather jacket for himself and comes to shows with us in our Airstream. We rock around in a sparkly convertible Beetle which he loves (no people carrier for us thank you!)…….Fred has changed my life because he enhances it, rather than constricts it, he is very well behaved in public, we go for curries and sushi, he can cope with being out late the odd night and talks to adults with respect and politeness. I still see my friends alone – cool single friends, not mums groups. I never leave the house without makeup, I even put some on during my labour as I didn’t want to slip into maternal apathy from there. It is possible to still have the life you love, your little one can fit in perfectly with some extra thought and effort. And he does sometimes crops up on my Facebook feed but it’s often dressed as an alien, meeting a racing driver at Goodwood or out enjoying a meal with us on the occasions when he comes too :) Viva la independent sassy stylish strong intelligent mother! A decadent, fun, enriched life and motherhood are not mutually exclusive, good luck with what you decide. Xx

  15. Ahh. What to say… I was on the fence about motherhood, some days yes and done days noooooo. I recently found out that I’m in early menopause and although deverstated that there will never be a part of me that lives on, sometimes I’m happy about it. I love my child free live :)) I do have major guilt that I haven’t given my husband a baby as he is fertile. Perhaps we might go the donar egg route. Ahh I don’t know. My biggest fear is that Chris will die before me and leave me all alone but perhaps that’s the most selfish reason to have kids. I’m 39 and I still just don’t know and not sure I ever will… Sorry for just rambling XxX

  16. Dawn

    For me, I’ve always felt like having children is my purpose, & being a mum is what I was meant for. I’m very traditional when it comes to some aspects of gender roles for myself, and it’s what I see myself as. I’m now 30, and my partner and I now have a joint mortgage, and a marriage is on the cards in the next couple of years. He’s not so bothered about having kids, but sees them somewhere in our future. For now we have two children, and are enjoying our lifestyle.
    I’ll be very sad to see that freedom end, but for me personally, some things are more important.. Like the yawning void in my soul…

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