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. Loving this post so much.

    firstly, yes I think it is a bit selfish… hear me out… but that’s ok! Well I think it is ok anyway because I don’t want children either. For the exact same reasons. I don’t want to share my Mr, I don’t want to burst or interrupt the amazing bubble we live in, and I simply don’t have the cash to feed another mouth. I’d rather buy shoes ta.

    I had this conversation only a couple of weeks ago, and I was accused of being selfish. ‘What about if you are too old when you do want kids?’ and ‘What if you CANT?!’ were amongst the reasons I was given to procreate immediately. I simply replied that I’ll deal with that if/when it comes to it. Right now we are blissfully happy, i don’t want anything to spoil that! Right now, I never want children, but I am open to change of course :)

    Hey, if G dies first you can be crazy cat lady with pink hair. :D

    L x

  2. Kids are pretty cool, but as someone who had children before getting married, I can totally see the appeal in not having little love fruits that spread weetabix everywhere and y’know, depend on you for every single thing they need.

  3. Its like THE question isn’t it. I, like you, have had friends who have completely lost themselves after having children. Their sense of identity has changed entirely. But then when I think back to their pre-baby lives, actually they were quite withdrawn and anti social anyway so maybe they haven’t changed that much, the baby just makes them appear as though they have.

    On the flip side, I have friends who’s lives have greatly benefited from having their babies. They are more outgoing than ever, they have more date nights than they ever did before and they seem complete and unbearably happy and more driven. It’s pushed some of them into making certain career moves and they are earning and taking care of their young and I couldn’t be more proud of them.

    I have always wanted children but it is the scariest thought in the world for me. I’m self employed, I live in an apartment, I love my city centre lifestyle, I’m largely selfish, but I think I would be a good Mom. I’m only 27 which may seem young to some but I’m on my way to being ready. I’m not sure I’ll ever be entirely ‘ready’ but hey ho…who wants a boring uneventful life! Bring on the bambino’s I say. It’s what you make it and I know 100% a baby will fit into my life and not the other way round. Obviously it will have certain needs (pah – see how ready I am) but largely, it will still be MY life and it will enjoy being a part of it.

    I reckon you should do it Kat – but in saying that I am picturing a cute baby with pink hair!! Who doesn’t want to see that!

    Great post yet again and thanks for sharing

    x

  4. Been with my wife for 15 years, married for 9 and we decided little over a year ago it was time to give up on sleeping late and opted for the small creature option instead. I have never been the most enthusiastic when it comes to becoming a parent, but now that I am one, I would not change anything. Toddler rocks, she really makes us smile even at 4am when she decides its time to get up. Has it affected out lives, of course, we dont go out as much as would have in the past, but now we have our friends come to us or we simply pack baby and the luggage that is mandatory and off we go to, so we have fitted baby into our lives as much as we have changed our lives for her.

    Oh yes, Nandos rocks ! OK now I am in the mood for Nandos.

  5. Emma K

    Hey Kat,
    It’s so bizarre that you have just posted this, as it’s something that’s been in my mind a lot recently. I’m 35, been with my man for 12 years (not married by the way, but that’s a whole other story, we’re totally committed but just never taken that next step) and got no kids.
    And I’m totally cool with that, but been feeling more and more recently that I have to explain why not. Weird, because no one ever expects to people to explain why they have a million kids!
    My life is so happy at the moment, and I am so fulfilled. Like you, I have never really felt like I wanted kids, and we don’t need them to make our life complete. I have an awesome job, lots of friends and family around me, a happy home with and awesome man, two crazy dogs who we rescued (who are my babies) and lots of fun and awesomeness in my life. And like you, I like the freedom to have cash to do what I want, go on holidays abroad and time to read books and be creative.
    And yet, society says that women have to be maternal and make children. And I have people constantly asking why I haven’t had kids (how rude! actually!!). I do have times when I wonder whether I will regret it, and every now and again I look at a kid and think they are sweet – but I have more urges to save more abused rescue dogs…:) Sometimes I think I may freeze my eggs ‘just in case before it’s too late’.
    But, I am happy with my decision and why should I change because society says so.
    Yes, I may regret my decision, but I also don’t think people should have childen just because they are scared that one day you may be alone. You may have children and they may bugger off to a different country or leave you anyway :) And one thing I have realised is that if you create a happy and filfilled life yourself, you don’t need other people, or kids, to make you happy….xx

  6. We have two kids (our youngest being 3 weeks old now), and have to say it is one of the best (and the hardest) things we have ever experienced.

    Are you selfish for wanting to stay in your bubble, not really. Will you look back with regret if you don’t have kids years down the line, who knows.

    At the end of the day, having a kid because you are married and it’s the ‘logical thing to do’ is quite stupid. Have kids (or at least try to have kids) because you WANT to. And if you don’t, then that’s cool, cuz the UK could do with a few more crazy cat ladies. Keeps the world a bit more fun.

  7. As soon as we got engaged people essentially responded with, ‘Congratulations! Babies now!’. We just stared at them in amazement. No, no, we say – backpacking round Vietnam first. Getting promoted a couple of times first. Redecorating the house first. Puppy first!

    I think we will, but it won’t be because we get married, and it will be in our own time. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

  8. I got married in 2009 and had my daughter in 2010, a bit quick but at 32 I felt the old biological clock ticking faster and faster! I knew I always wanted children, but just knowing that doesn’t make it any less scary or make you feel ok about potentially giving up your lifestyle of late nights, doing what you want when you want and going to far flung places on holidays.

    I have to say I have never been particularly clunky around other people’s children either, so I was concerned. But I have to say, as many told me, it is very different when you have your own and save for the first 3 months, we have pretty much kept our life going as we did before, it just needs some more organisation! Sorting babysitters etc, you just need to be a little more organised. But as a lot of my friends get booked up well in advance this hasn’t been much of a problem. We have travelled a lot, albeit not as far away as we may have done before, but Ava is very used to her travel cot!

    So I would say don’t let the practicalities get in the way if it is something you want to do, there is nothing better than watching them grow and develop and thinking ‘I made that’!

  9. I have zero interest in having kids. I always thought I would but I really don’t. I know there’s still time for me to change my mind about that, but I also know that given certain health/genetic factors I may have already left it too late, and that doesn’t bother me one bit. What does really annoy me is all the people who expect that once we’re married next year we’ll be popping one out. What business is it of theirs! Grrr!

    And re selfishness, I personally (and controversially) think it’s far more selfish to choose to bring a life into a fucked up and overpopulated world than to choose not to. Neither choice is wrong. Both are entirely up to the person making them.

  10. p.s. I’m always the crazy deliriously crying happy person when a friend announces they’ve conceived a much longed for child. I just don’t ever foresee myself in that situation.

  11. Victoria

    I have a two year old & yes I know a lot more about Peppa Pig than I would like to, but she also has to watch Gilmore Girls, rock out to country music, electro & 80’s – because that’s what we do. We have always approached parenthood with the view that she has to fit into our lives – everything can’t change because of her. It works for us & she’s great. Plus she likes to go out dressed in tutu’s & wings & that’s just cool.

    But I do envy my friends sometimes who can go out whenever they want and afford more holidays than us. But then she smiles or says something cute & it’s all worth it.

    Although I sometimes feel I could burst with love for her & that she has made our life better, I don’t think it’s selfish to not have children. In fact given that the world is over populated, it could be argued that it’s more selfish to have children. It wouldn’t be fair to you or your child if you had them just because people said you should & then resented them for changing your life.

    Then again, think of the cool clothes they could wear…

  12. Alison

    I always find it odd when women talk about their friends who ‘changed’ after having a baby, lost interest in their careers & social life, etc – to me it’s a very natural reaction.

    I always felt I was faking it in my career, I was never the ‘real’ me, and it was grinding me down massively that I couldn’t express myself the way I wanted. Having to pretend I cared about my career more than having a family was all part of that faking- no one in my job dared admit they’d rather give it all up for their kids.

    I finally feel now that I am the real person I wanted to be – and doing the job I always wanted, raising a human being!

    I don’t judge at all the women who choose not to have children, but I think society needs to ease the pressure a bit on those who do want them – it shouldn’t be a source of embarrassment to say you’d rather have kids than a successful career! Of course I’d like to do useful & fulfilling work one day, but I don’t care about being a high flyer and I’m glad I don’t have to pretend to be any more!

  13. Post author

    thanks victoria…and lets be honest, the fact i could dress them up in bad ass clothes is a pretty big positive!
    oh and we havent even discussed pregnancy or childbirth or all that scary shizz ARGH!

  14. Kay

    My fiance and I both aren’t all that comfortable with kids, and are actually glad we found eachother where we never. ever. ever want children.
    Genetics on his side also aren’t that great, and there’s a high chance that our children would come out with several disorders; and to be completely honest, we are both WAY too selfish to have to handle that, and we are totally okay with that.

    I’d rather not have children and happy without them than be the selfish mother that think I’d be. I think I’d end up resenting my children. And besides; who wouldn’t want to shop instead? haha. ;)

  15. Heather Stanley

    Not selfish at all. I have always known I don’t want children. I married a man who doesn’t want them either. If there is one job/vocation in life you have to be 100% certain you want to do, it’s being a parent. That doesn’t mean you have to think you’ll be good at it, or that’s you’ll not be afraid you’d make a bad parent. It doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind.

    I get asked a lot, as a newly wed, when we’re having kids. I say we’re not. The ruder ones ask why. I say we don’t want them. That’s it. I did blog about a lot of my reasons recently but it all boils down to the fact I don’t want to.

    As for regrets – I might regret it one day, but I don’t do things because I might regret not doing them. I do things because I want to and I think they are the right things to do.

  16. First of all, I don’t think the whole concept of being or not being selfish applies here as we’re basically talking of people who don’t exist yet so you’re wronging no one by saying you don’t want kids!
    I don’t think you should be worried about it at all. I know I want kids but somehow I think you’re lucky not feeling this urge of the clock ticking and having reached such a perfect balance in your nest that you don’t want to shake it is VERY important and it’s not to be underestimated.
    On the other hand, I’ve known women that shared your same thoughts and then it happened. They never became the kind of mothers who share photos of babies everywhere or just constantly talk about their kids, nor they lost their ‘adult’ life (which of course is affected, but how much is up to you) on the contrary! They were happy to drop the babies to their parents’ house and continue with their evenings out and dates, and parties. However, they DID change. They’ve become more caring towards everything, some of them even turned from total bitches (not in a nice way) to total lovelies. I don’t know, but I think that having kids does change you in a good way but it’s not something you can even remotely fathom until it happens to you.
    And it is something so great that you should never, EVER do if you don’t feel 100% sure of what you want in your life. Don’t have babies because you’re scared of being alone when you’re old, or because you feel the pressure of society, or whatever.
    Your life is more important than the life of someone who’s not on this planet yet, and this is NOT being selfish ♥

    Great post Kat, as usual :)

  17. sarah armstrong

    You may have read my mind, or I’m just not as out there on my own as I thought! Having got married 2 years ago at 24, I have no want for kids just yet, or anytime soon, but people keep asking and my world is filling up with pregnant friends anyway. Someone even asked me on my wedding day when we were thinking of having them! Jees! I now dread upcoming parties having to bat off the inevitable questions and odd looks when I say no thanks, I’m not ready yet. so its nice to hear I’m not the only ‘wierdo’ who doesn’t jump straight into mum as soon as they become a wife. Loving the blog as always! Xxx

  18. Post author

    heather – i found when Gareth and I first got married people would make the ‘ooh when you having kids then?’ comments. we dont get them so much now but it still always comes up esp when our friends who got married around the same time as us started having them. i usually just shurg and act all embarrassed. i dont know why!

  19. Surely neither is a selfish option? If you both want kids, fine. If neither of you do, great! The problems arise when one of you does and one doesn’t I guess? But if you are both singing from the same hymn sheet then that’s ok!

    I have two kids and delighted to have two healthy, happy and funny little dudes. There is four years between them though and before we had our second I used to get asked quite a lot if we were having another. At the time i wasnt sure i wanted two, we had this happy little life the three if us and i didnt want to upset it! It never bothered me though, i just used to say i didnt think so and people seemed to accept that. However as my son got older I did feel like he would miss out not having a sibling so we decided to have one more and now we actually feel complete.

    They are the best thing that ever happened to my husband and I and it has definately made our relationship stronger, we share so many feelings of love, pride, amazement towards our littlees. I love how my little boy has mannerisms like his dad, how he copies him whilst watching the football, how his face lights up when he sees us both collecting him at the school gate. And my baby is quickly becoming a feisty, independant and funny little girl.. and we look at them both and think, how the hell did we manage to create two awesome little people?! I can’t wait to watch them grow and to see what they become and achieve.

  20. It so refreshing to read comments where both sides of the argument are equally validated and respected. Personally we don’t have children. Initially this wasn’t through choice, but over time it has actually become our choice. We love the life we live now, and it’s not one suited to us if we have children (I feel guilty enough as it is with our furry boys!) Besides, I’ve grown accustomed to being the soul focus of Cam’s attention, and I wouldn’t want to share that now!

    Being selfish doesn’t have to be a negative trait. It just means you know who you are and what you want, and ultimately making choices and decisions from that point, can only be a good thing. If that’s being a mum, fabulous – if it’s to remain child free, equally fabulous :)

  21. LL

    As a pushing 40 wannabe Mum who’s having considerable difficulty doing what seems to come naturally to so many others, the only advice I’d give you Kat is to see your GP and make sure there aren’t any issues in the fertility department for you and G. That way, if you do decide in future that you’d like a family, and there are no problems, you’ll be fine. But if you decide you want kids in the future, then find out there are problems, it can take a long, stressful and upsetting time to go through the necessary processes and get some help in that area. Better to know now rather than have to potentially go through that if the clock is ticking.
    And if you decide to be a happy couple with cats? Great!

  22. Post author

    i totally agree Pen! And like you, my furbabies are my children. if that make me weird so be it. i personally think it just makes me more awesome.

  23. Selfish is such a negative word, but why the eff not be selfish – it’s your life after all. As you know I’m about to pop with baby number two and I guess I could be called selfish – I don’t just want, but I NEED my ‘selfish’ space to do my so called ‘selfish’ things.

    Like you Kat, I was adamant not to become one of ‘those’ mothers, and made a real effort to stock up on babysitters, keep going out with mates, keep going away with my man, keep going to summer festivals, and really importantly to keep up with my creativity (which is who I was, am and will always be). You say you fear becoming obsessed like you are with your cats, but if that is what happens naturally then so be it, you will make an extra effort to still be you, and anyway you’d do it in your true rock n roll style….

    Next adventure… ROCK N ROLL BABY BLOG…?

  24. Sam

    Hi Kat, I’m completely with you. I’m getting married next year, my other half wants kids, I’m not so fussed. I’ve never been good with them, I don’t like being around them and I find they generally ruin a good day out. But that’s just me being me and enjoying my life without the burden of children. I’m 27 and most of my close friends have babies, I find it really upsetting that some of them have completely ditched me because of it. I totally understand children take up a lot time, and I am not a massive child person, but it doesn’t make me any less of a friend. Its like if I ask them to do anything with me they make me feel massively guilty for them having to get a baby sitter or having to save up money. Eventually I give up inviting them anywhere and sit alone in my child free corner – feeling a bit left out. The problem is some of my friends seem to think that having more babies is the answer to their problems so I can see them spiralling down this path of never having time for themselves and self destructing who they are, its not easy for them, I totally admire mothers. As a working woman it will be so hard for me to have children, I won’t be able to work in fashion anymore it’s far too demanding. Money will be a massive issue (most people don’t think about this factor). This has been playing on my mind lately, am I selfish? Or has everyone else just grown up and left me behind? I’d never have children before marriage, so maybe I’ll re-think the situation next year after the big day. I am not apposed to having children, I’ve just put my career, travelling and having fun first. I may just surprise everyone and have one at some point (scary!) I do have a dog called Poppy who I mother like an actual child, so for now that’s good enough for me. x

  25. victoria

    My fiance and I do not want kids. We are self employed and even if we did want them we couldn’t afford them. We love travelling, going out, slobbing on the couch on a sunday with no one to answer to etc. We’re just content with where we’re at.

    People seem to think we are crazy when we say we want a puppy not a baby.

    I don’t see us as being selfish. I see a teacher friend of mine as more selfish for having a baby who was in day care from 3 months old everyday. Then even when she is on school holidays this friend still leaves the kid in day care so that she can go shopping etc.

  26. Kat this is so everything that I feel too, just exchange the cats for dogs! I too enjoy my life too much as it is. The worst comments i’ve had is from an unnamed relative – that I don’t have maternal bone in my body and there are many things I don’t understand as I am not a mother!

    Who knows what is around the corner. At 33 the non-parent contingency of my friends is getting less so maybe I will change my mind and decide to join the mummy ranks.

    I would also be scared that I would turn into one of those mummy monsters, it seems to happen to those you least expect it to!

  27. Hannah

    My daughter Belle is now 3 months old; my husband and I got married in 2010 and I’m 26. We have both always wanted children, and although I have worked hard to have a career, Belle is the best thing I have ever done or ever will do and she was very much planned and longed for. That said, I don’t think it’s remotely selfish to not want children or not to be sure; I’m a social worker and see so many unwanted and neglected children that I believe you should actually only bring children into the world if you are 100% sure and feel ready for your life to change massively. Being a mother means always thinking for your child before thinking of yourself and I believe that you need to understand what that will mean for you and be fully accepting of it before you start a new life. On a more lighthearted note, however I agree with the poster above that the tutus are so much fun! :)

  28. Helen

    My sister got pregnant literally 2 months after tying the knot and I can’t imagine myself doing that. My own parents had a whole decade of married life before having kids and I think it’s nice to enjoy that time together. I think the main issue is choice. I’ve recently had some health problems where it’s made me wonder whether I will be able to have kids and that has made me feel really upset; like the decision has been taken away from me. If you tell me I can’t do something, I’m only going to want to do it more! I think it’s great that there is so much choice these days though, you can have kids before you get married, not get married at all, get married and not have kids or just wait years to have kids. The choice is yours! :)

  29. Emma L

    I’m an illogical person so I chose to have kids before getting married. But that’s a whole other story. I’m kinda glad I did it the topsy turvy way because I can’t imagine having to put up with the pressure of the “are you pregnant yet” line of questioning that lots of my newly married friends get. Instead I get “so when ARE you getting married?” Sigh.

    Do I think it’s selfish not to have kids? Not at all. What I will say is as much as those without kids can’t imagine life with them, owning three of the little rugrats myself I can’t imagine life without them in it now. Admittedly it is nice when I get five minutes to myself and I can start hearing the little voices in my head again…

  30. Its completely normal to feel this way- from experience I have previously had these thoughts but decide to bite the bullet and decided kids were right for me. I have a very close relationship with my family and my mum is like a best mate and I wanted to have the same kind of relationship with my own child.

    Having a very active social life, the wardrobe to match, I loved nothing more than spending my money every day on buying something new for the house, for me to wear or meeting for a glass of vino down thepub with my mates. My job and my social life made me, well me! So the decision to have a kid didnt come lightly!

    It hasnt been easy, its taken me 12 months to gain some control of my life again. I started my dream business and slowly regained some normality back in my life. I was only saying this weekend how important it is to hold on to who you were before you have a baby, you can get lost with nappies, poo, dribble and sick!!! I relised the importance of date nights again and nights out with the girls. Last Friday I went with my hubby to Camden for shopping, Belsize Park for dinner then feeling slightly woozy with all the booze went to a gig. This Saturday im off with the girls for drinks round town then a curry- happy days!!

    The first 12months havent been easy.. My boy doesnt sleep much, he is a gorgoues little monster that is always on the go, throwing things, playing football and chasing the cats and chickens. With the start up of my business, the lack of sleep and loss of indentity I wouldnt say I suffered post natal depression, but certainly was on the edge of depression for a few months. However I sorted myself out and I make sure I have time for me. If I want to go out I do, I just make sure I have support the next day or he stays at my mums house. The thing is I wouldnt do without him, gushy of not he is my life. No one makes me smile, burst with pride and laugh like he does :)))

  31. I don’t get why you are ‘selfish’ for not wanting kids. If everyone wanted and had kids there would be no space on this little planet! Not everyone is born to procreate and its completely natural!!!

    I had my kids when I was 19 and 24 and they are the best little guys in my world, and now, at 31 I also have a great career in wedding photography. Oh and before anyone says anything, I’m still with their dad (my childhood sweetheart) although we have never married as its just not for us!

    I think people saying you have to give up your comfortable life when you have kids is not true, your life changes but its not uncomfortable or difficult, its just different. I have a great life, we do all the things that anyone else can do…I was just thinking the other day about how happy and content I am with my life as its so easy! (Apart from the school run, having to deal with other parents and other people’s kids can be hard work!)

    I guess what I’m saying is either way, whatever decision you make will be right for you and there is NOTHING wrong with that!

  32. chan

    I felt exactly the same as you. I got married last year july at 23. At Christmas my family was joking around and asked if I was pregnant. My husband kept telling me that I was pregnant. I protested that I would never have babies etc, but little did I know that I was already one month pregnant. 7 months later it’s sunk into my head that I will have a little human a few days before my 25th birthday and you know what…it’s weirdly amazing. If I had a choice I would have grey hairs before I thought about having kids but now..I don’t know, my life seems to make sense so maybe having kids (or just the one) was what I wanted all along. I don’t know.

    Pregnancy is awful though.

  33. Hi Kat! Woohoo to another ‘discussion’ post. I love it! And I’m also loving reading posts from ladies as well as gentlemen.

    Once I hit puberty my Mother started bugging me to get married and have a baby as soon as possible. In response to this, throughout my teens and twenties, I declared that I would never have children nor get married!! Then I became a teacher – teaching piano, keyboard and music privately and in schools. I started working with a whole range of kids of all ages, personalities, backgrounds, abilities and quite a few had special needs and somehow I seemed to have a knack with them all, which was very useful and incredibly fun. This weekend just past, my fiance and I spent time with 5 loud, chatty, energetic, instantly-obsessed, touchy-feely kids and even though we were exhausted by the end of the day (when we got to give them back!!) we spent the entire drive home excitedly talking about how we want kids as soon as possible! For us, it feels like the right thing to do.

    When we got together we taked about not having kids as the world is over-populated with people already and having worked in schools in London I have been privy to some shocking parenting (if I can even call it that!), so we didn’t want to get involved with that. But having grown together in our relationship, I think we might try for one of our own and perhaps adopt a child with special needs (seeing as I have training and experience and can offer a good home). When it all boils down, we’re making this decision for us and for the child we hope to provide for – nobody is really allowed to influence our choices as they won’t be the ones taking cake of the little tyke/s!

    …and I hope our cat gets along with them ;-)

  34. Hah, this really resonated with me! I’m honestly not that interested in other peoples children and when I had mine, was determined not to bore the crap out of everyone with endless facebook updates and so on. A friend springs to mind who, I kid you not, has posted Facebook updates about her son, and NOTHING else, or the past three years. How dull! Has she stopped existing as a separate entity?

  35. Ever since I can remember I never wanted kids, even as a child myself. Whenever I was asked if I wanted kids I would always reply ‘no, I want cream carpets’. I had planned a life of living for me; in an immaculate house, with numerous holidays a year, a fabulous career, lots of nice pretty things in my wardrobe and a permanently full wine rack. This sounds like an awesome plan right? It was and everything was going swimmingly until I met this man, this man that I married 2 and a half years later.

    Because I had been so vehement to my family about my desire not to have kids I was lucky that the conversation never really came up, although I knew deep down my parents would love to have more grandchildren. So when me and my husband started talking about having a family it was a bit of a shock to me that I was appalled by the idea. I then hit 31 and all hell broke loose on the hormone front, my biological clock started ticking audibly and I started giving some serious thought to this baby making business.

    I can’t explain why we made the decision to start trying for a family because it’s really hard to articulate those emotions. It was sort of about creating a legacy (which is the biological hormonal stuff you can’t do much about) but it was more about me and my husband being a family. Noe I’m not saying you can’t be a family without kids but when I began picturing my future it became hard to imagine it without kids there.

    The nights out and spending sprees had begun to lose their attractions and me and my husband had starting to think about our life to together and that mean thinking more than 6 months ahead. Once we started thinking about how we wanted ‘our life’ to be it became clear that kids were going to be a part of that.

    So here I sit 32 weeks pregnant waiting for the arrival of our first child, our future, and I have never been more certain about anything in my life.

    Never say never, because you just don’t know whats round the corner.

  36. The only ‘selfish’ choice would be having kids when you don’t really want them, or having them simply to look after you later in life! It’s your life and your choice and you don’t owe anyone (other than your partner) an explanation. Good on those women who do have children and love them and good on those who choose another path.

  37. Kiki

    I don’t care whether people choose to have children or not.

    It really does get a bit dull, though, when people who choose not to have children bang on about their life choice like anyone else cares. It smacks of defensiveness.

    Mind you, I suppose parents do that too.

  38. I don’t want children. There are various reasons. Partly all of the ‘I like my life as it is’ stuff, partly because I have zero maternal instincts and partly because, after suffering from pretty bad episodes of depression on and off since I was 14, the thought of the impact another episode might have on a child and also the worry that post-natal depression might be an issue really terrifies me.

    All of that stuff aside, when I tell people that I don’t want children, they tell me I’ll a) change my mind when I’m married or b) change my mind when I’m ‘older’.

    How patronizing to assume that this isn’t something I’ve properly thought through, carefully considered and properly discussed with my partner (who also doesn’t want kids at all, luckily).

    Also I’m 32 now, I think if the broody gene was going to kick in it would have done by now.

    I don’t think people who don’t want children are selfish at all. The world is over populated and under resourced. We no longer live a life where society dictates our life path, so there is no need to have kids just because it’s the next box to tick.

  39. Ummm a question that has haunted me most of my life. I’m not a maternal person AT ALL! I spent all of my life saying I’ll have them in the next few years, but never really knowing when that was, and asking myself if I really meant it. As an only child I don’t really understand children or babies, but when it comes to animals hell I could have a whole farm and be perfectly happy.

    I have to admit I put off trying for kids as long as I could, as I just wasn’t sure I wanted d them or not, but Nik does want them ad he will be an amazing dad. So at the age of 38 we started to try for them, I admit I still wasn’t sure. 2 years on and I am now 40 and I have never wanted a baby more, I guess it’s true what they say, you always want something you can’t have………….BUT when it happens (as I am determined that it will) I am also determined that I WON’T become ‘one of those mothers’ I have friends who have completely changed after having children, and to be honest I dread seeing them sometimes, while other friends have completely taken in it their stride and no let it consume them. BUT it’s hard to say what sort of mothers we will become until it happens.
    As a women you have to do what is right for you, don’t just have a baby because we are told that is what is expected of us , but never say never either as it is also possible that you may change your mind as you get older.

    In all honestly I wish my mind had changed a little earlier, if it had maybe I’d be pregnant now! I sometimes think I have been selfish as I used my business as an excuse not to have a baby and put it before anything else, but isn’t hindsight a great thing!
    I guess the key is to keep your mind open to anything, and adapt to it as it happens.

  40. I had ALL of these concerns before starting my own family. My chocolate cockapoo was like a real baby to me, so when I kind of accidentally got pregnant after 1.5 years of marriage I was excited & a little scared at the same time. All I can say is that you do become a little obsessed with your own tiddlers, but personally I haven’t let it change my life – I still work, I still like wine in the evening, I haven’t lost any non baby friends. Go for it, it’s the best/hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. :-) xx

  41. Colene

    So glad you posted this Kat.

    I am an only child, and people used to say I must be lonely – I never have been. My mum and dad weren’t going to have children, but I popped along as a mistake, and though my mum loves me dearly, she still says she wasn’t planning on having kids.

    My husband and I are newly married, and would both like a child, but I don’t see it being possible for some time yet. I don’t feel like currently I could give a child everything it needs on the wages we are on/lifestyle we need. So I think at the moment it would be selfish to have a child.

    I’d rather wait until a time when I think we’ll be able to give it all the time, love and financial stability it needs. In the meantime, my 15 year old Tonkinese cat is my baby, and he’s a lot less work than nappies, bottles and puke!

    Also what’s with people giving out abuse to those who say they only want one child? I’ve always been pretty adamant that I’d rather give one child a good life, than struggle to raise more, and so many people have said: ‘Oh it’ll be a lonely child/don’t you wish you’d had siblings/you’ll change your mind’ – why do people think they have the right to decide what’s best for you?!?

    Ok…rant over!

  42. Laura

    lolz at “or I’ll accidentally drop the f-bomb and scar them for life”

    I agree with different points raised by everyone who has commented.

    I’ve never had maternal instincts, I never had dolls as a child or had any desire to play with my friends Barbies, I was always more of a teenage Mutant Hero Turtle and Transformers kinda girls!

    I like my friends kids and no doubt my partner and I will start popping out a sprog or two in the next couple of years, as that will feel like a natural progression, although a totally daunting one! Personally, I feel it is a completely selfish (but wonderful) thing to bring a new life into this world, but am also pro-adoption… why bring a new life into this world, when there are many unwanted children out there through no fault of their own? However, hubby-to-be is against this, “why would you want to bring up somebody else’s kid” are his words, so he clearly doesn’t get my pov!

    It’s a tough one for sure, but just do what you wanna do makes you happy and not what friends/ family/ society thinks you should do!

  43. Sorry… Following on from what LL said earlier I agree dont leave things to late if you think you may want kids one day- a check up is well worth the time. I didnt really struggle with fertility, but due to a antibody problem I lost a few dear babies before i finally was sucessful with my little tike. It was heartbreaking and during this time I knew 100% that I wanted my own kid to have- you really dont realise how much you want someting until the option is taken away from you. Preganacy and labour are the hardest thing to go through, but it must be worth it if we go through it again and again. I wish LL well and hope things turn out soon for her soon :)

  44. SilkBlossom

    I didn’t want to have kids first time I married. But as soon as that fell apart and I met my next husband-to-be, it all changed – I can’t wait to have kids with him. But I’m old fashioned that I wanted to wait to be married before having one.

    Things definitely changed when I hit 30, then I started thinking about having kids but I just could not bring myself to have it with my first husband so I kept putting it off. I’m just grateful I can restart my life while I’m young enough.

  45. Hi Kat,
    Really interesting post and I felt compelled to post a comment. Like yourself, I was never particularly maternal and didnt’t know how to relate to children and never thought i would have any. Then I met my husband to be and we got married and I surprised myself by actually wanting to have children – which we did and we now have two lovely kids. But we are stopping at two! It has been a double edged sword if I am totally honest. On the one hand our kids are two lively spirits who always keep us on our toes, make us laugh so much, have great little personalities of their own and bring us so much happiness. We have made some wonderful friends and have a great social life (with and without kids).

    On the other hand, I’ve never been so knackered, frustrated, or felt so guilty. Guilty because I run my own business around looking after the kids and I never have enough time to devote to either my business, the kids, my husband or the house – just a little bit to each! However I know I,m very fortunate in many, many ways and I wouldn’t change things – unless they could invent a 48 hour day!

    All I would say is that once you have kids, they do change your life forever – mostly for the good – sometimes for the not so good! Only you can decide whether or not this new life would be for you. And if you decide to be child free that does not make you selfish – that’s just your choice in life. X

  46. Laura

    ….and surely the biggest pain with children is that they turn into teenagers?! I wouldn’t want to recreate a teenager that was anything like me, I was a complete ‘mare and wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone else!!

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