Should I have a baby?! 🤔

I don’t know if this is even okay to post here, but it’s been bothering me a lot, so here goes…

I have been a berry since the beginning of this site. I’ve loved it all along! Because I am a writer and a name nerd and I just LOVE names! I also always dreamt of having kids of my own to name some day.

Now that I am FINALLY married (lol) it’s finally “real” that I COULD have a baby. But… I am now in my mid-30’s. [name_m]Long[/name_m] gone are the dreams I had as a girl of having four or five kids. Now I am wondering if I could handle even one or two…

I have so much less time, energy, and resources than I always dreamt I would have. (Probably a common millennial problem…) [name_f]My[/name_f] DH says he truly doesn’t care either way whether we have a baby or not, but it seems like he’s leaning towards not. I don’t really blame him because of the aforementioned reasons… But I wonder if I will regret it later in life if I never have a child or a grandchild…

Anyone else in the same boat? Anyone want to tell me why they are childless by choice or why they can’t imagine life without their multiple kids or even (controversial, I know!) why they regret having kids? This question is tormenting me lol… (And being a name nerd is even worse because we already have our “kids” named, and I imagine what they might be like…)

Thanks for reading if you made it this far :heart:

6 Likes

This is such a hard and personal decision to make, but anytime someone has asked me this in the past my advice is simply… If you’re questioning it, then don’t do it. Having a baby is something you can literally never take back. It’s something you should be 110% sure about because you cannot change your mind once it’s done. The people who do end up having kids and then regretting it I feel like you can always tell, even if they put their all into being a good parent, you can still tell their heart isn’t in it, and children don’t deserve to grow up like that.

7 Likes

I feel deeply for you as you face this difficult decision. I agree with every point @Emarkulics made, and would emphasize the permanence of bringing a life into this world.
It could also be considered, however, that one never feels fully ready until he or she has a child. I certainly did not feel prepared, and now without my little one, my life would have no colour. If you have dreamed of becoming a mother your entire life, a child may bring you inexplicable joy. There is much to take into account in this complex decision.
I would also add that if your partner is leaning towards not wanting a baby, and you both decide to go forward with it anyway, that you ought to examine your expectations and communicate openly with him.

4 Likes

It is a completely life changing decision for sure. I can’t imagine regretting it though. I think more people likely regret not having children than regret having them.
Having a child opens up your heart to love in a way you never have before.
It is not easy but it’s definitely worth it.

6 Likes

I can also agree with that - you never feel fully “ready.” I do think though that you “just know” if you’re meant to have a child. Similar to how you know when you’re in love. It’s a feeling you can’t describe, but if you feel it, you know. If someone feels they’re meant to be a parent, but doesn’t necessarily feel “ready” then you should probably still follow your heart. I also think it’s super important to discuss parenting with your partner. Big parenting philosophies, how you’d handle little parenting decisions, things that won’t even come up for 5, 10, or 20 years in the future… Everything. Because once you bring a child into the world you and their other parent will forever be connected, whether you like it or not, and you cannot control how somebody else treats and talks to your child. I think one of the worst situations to be in is when two parents are clashing and the child gets stuck in the middle, so you want to make sure you’ll agree or at least have a reasonable compromise so you never get stuck in a situation where your child is being told or taught something you don’t believe in.

4 Likes

I think this is something only you and your husband can decide. If you’re questioning it, then maybe right now isn’t the time, but you are more than capable of bringing up a baby (or 3!) way into your 30s and 40s.

No one is ready for a baby, even if they say they are. I fell pregnant at 22, gave birth at 23. I wasn’t ready but I don’t regret this life I’m living. I couldn’t imagine being anything else other than mama. I got to pick the name and I used a favourite I found off NB, I think I hit the name nerd jackpot! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It is a love that you will never experience if you haven’t got children. It is overwhelming love, terrifying love but so rewarding and so worth it. But it is something that definitely should be talked about between the two of you, although I think you have a few years left to decide.

2 Likes

Before I got pregnant and while I was pregnant, I felt so unsure. I couldn’t fathom the incredible love I would feel the moment my daughter was born. And now I can’t imagine life without her.

I absolutely get your struggle with this decision. We also don’t have a lot of resources and no family nearby - so our compromise is to have one child, which feels doable and brings so much joy to our lives.

I think ‘go with your gut’ on this one. Make a list of pros and cons too if that helps! :slight_smile: make time to sit down with your partner and really talk it out.

4 Likes

You’ve gotten such great advice already, so I’ll just add one thing: you still have time to decide! Ideally, this isn’t a decision that should be rushed. Take time talking things over with your husband, and maybe even couples with children in your community!

2 Likes

It is so hard to know! It feels like such a small window of time for a woman to make this decision. As others have said I think you should talk it through with your partner. There is never going to be a “perfect” time to have a child. Think about how you envision your future with or without kids.

2 Likes

The timing will NEVER be perfect. But… don’t let your age necessarily throw you into a rush. It’s not unheard of women in their mid thirties having multiple children in the long run.

1 Like

This is a very valid way to feel and it’s far from rare. Lots of women are tormented by the indecision of whether or not to have a child even though it’s not often spoken about. It’s also important to know that feeling unsure or conflicted does not preclude you in any way from being a great parent or managing or enjoying the adjustments of parenthood in the future.

I’ve come across a lot of advice that suggests exploring what you want for your life before deciding what it is you’re going to do. It’s said to be much harder to make a decision when the questions are tangled together.

The last thing I want to share is this advice column by Cheryl Strayed that talks to this issue. I really appreciate her insight that “there will likely be no clarity … there will only be the choice you make and the sure knowledge that either one will contain some loss.”

6 Likes

Really good advice.
I guess I always knew I wanted to be a mom so The choice to have the 1st one was easy for me, But even so you don’t truly realize how much you give up to have a child and how much you gain you gain so there are definitely pros and cons.

Weirdly for me it was a lot harder to make the decision to have a second child because I think I know more now what I’m getting into, I really thought for awhile I’d be one and done. I still think I might regret it, honestly, But I eventually came to the conclusion that it would give me more grief in the long term to not do it.

I’m a pragmatist so things like financial resources, support from friends and family, and living situation were definitely a factor for me.

I will say my husband was on the fence about having kids too and he is so so awesome with my son, I know he can’t imagine life without his little buddy now. But he’s a homebody so he doesn’t need social time and adventure like I do. And your social time and adventures become very very different after having a child.

3 Likes

You’ve already gotten good advice so I just thought I’d share my personal experience. I always wanted a baby and when I got pregnant I was so excited. Then we had our first baby, and mom’s like to talk about the overwhelming love they feel on meeting their baby, and I did not feel that way. Our first was a hard baby, she didn’t sleep, she didn’t give much reciprocal attention or love, she didn’t seem to care whether or not mom was there, it was just really hard and the whole first year of her life I struggled with feelings of regret, and then guilt because I thought I regretted having my baby and I missed my life without kids and it was just hard.
But now that we’re a few years down the road, I am so glad that my sweet little girl is here, and I know further down the road I would really regret not having her in my life had I chosen not to have her. Her little smile and her hugs and kisses just make my world.
So I guess my point is if you want a baby, don’t pass up the opportunity it’s the most amazing thing, but also know that parenthood is sometimes just hard, even if you want it, so you need to be sure that you really want it.

4 Likes

Thank you so much to everyone for your kind and thoughtful words of advice and encouragement!

I know this is a huge decision that DH & I must make alone, but it was great just being heard and having your gentle replies. Since this is something I’m struggling with, thank you for your kindness.

6 Likes

In the same boat here! Fiancee and I are almost 30 and getting married next year, I’ve already decided for myself that children is no go and he’s cool with it either way.

A lot of factors went into mt personal decision, the main thing is I don’t want he hassle of worrying about a kid honestly also childbirth (more power to you!). I also grapple with this feeling of selfishness, it feels selfish to have a child especially when adoption is an option.
And then there’s the money, living is expensive, living with a kid even more so and while I may have an abundance of love to give my wallet is limited.
I live in the US and we really don’t have mother’s back in this country, I couldn’t afford to HAVE a child, literally birth it, nope out of my price range lol and then I don’t have maternity leave so I’d be bleeding and leaking right back at my desk and that’s a no.

But above all COVID really knocked any chance of reproduction clean out of the park.

I don’t know if that offered you anything, but here’s to empty wombs and full glasses!
lol get it? cuz we can drink. :stuck_out_tongue:

2 Likes

There is a wonderful book that helped me with this decision. It is Motherhood - Is it for Me? The author is [name_u]Anne[/name_u] Davidman, who is a therapist that specializes in this topic specifically. Her career is devoted to helping people answer this question, and that was evident when no other therapist or conversation with myself or others could take me to clarity. She has an online group course that runs for a few months and takes you through the book. There is also a program for men, it is the same program but approaches questions more specific to fatherhood.

3 Likes