General chatter - The motherly "pull"?

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02-19-2007, 10:14 AM
This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. It doesn't really bother me that I don't feel a pull towards motherhood, but I'm not sure everyone does. When I was 20, I think there were a couple weeks that I thought I'd want to have a baby and it felt like a chemical want rather than a mental want. Other than that, its not there and never has been there.

I like children quite a bit but I don't think I want any of my own. I don't have a problem with that and in fact I quite like the idea. DH and I would be able to travel and do a lot of things that we possibly couldn't otherwise do (or do as often or as soon). The thing though is I kind of wonder, should I feel a pull towards motherhood? Are my mental wants and desires cancelling out that pull or do I just not feel it at all? Also, I think if we did end up having a child, I think more about adoption than having my own.

I know it is kind of a silly idea to ponder but I'm just curious. Am I normal? Abnormal? Does the motherly pull come after having a child rather than before?

It is also kind of weird since I feel for the motherly pull towards having animals. I have wanted a dog for years but for various reasons, I never got one. DH and I plan to get a dog in the next couple years but we got a cat recently as our starter pet. Now I didn't really feel the pull towards having a cat specifically, but I couldn't imagine my life without her now. I can't wait to add a dog to our family. Maybe I'm just meant to be a kitty/puppy momma rather than a baby momma.

Wanted to add: The reason this came up is we visited two absolutely adorable babies this weekend, our new nephew and our quasi nephew (close family friends baby). I've noticed in the past that those that really want to have children of their own always seem to want to ooo and aaahh over the babies and hold them. It was nice to hold them because they are little humans and so cute but nothing came to me like "gee I should have my own".

02-19-2007, 10:33 AM
Nelie, Interesting questions. I'm just going to tell you my experience, I'm sure everyones is different.

I certainly wasn't someone who felt a motherly pull before my children arrived. I liked kids well enough, although I had not spent any time before hand where I had been wishing for children. DH and I had agreed that we wanted children some day. I became pregnant after we had been married about 3 years, we were happy when it happened, although we weren't actively trying to get pregnant (not trying too hard at that point to prevent it either).

That was when the motherly pull kicked in for me. So for me, the motherly pull came after the child, not before. It probably has something to do with age, as well. I was 26, had been married for about 3 years and had been together for about 5; so we had had a few years of just us, which we both wanted.

We also had pets before children and after, and while I loved my cats, it wasn't a comparable kind of love for me, although I thought it was at the time.

I don't think anyone "should" feel a pull toward motherhood. But I do think for some of us it starts after the child is conceived, not before.

02-19-2007, 10:46 AM
I have some friends who decided they did not want to ever be parents. They are happy with that decision. Myself, I didn't have my first child until I was 26 yrs. old and did not have any desire for one before that. But, after having the first one, I had a hugely strong desire for a second one. My kids are 6 1/2 yrs. apart because I had a rough time being able to have a second baby. I would have liked them a little closer spaced in age.

What I'm trying to get is, I had no idea how much I'd love a child until they placed my first baby in my arms. I had never felt that much love for anyone or anything in my life. I had always really liked my sisters and brothers kids (I was the last one to have a baby) but I didn't feel a pull to motherhood for a long time.

I don't think there is anything at all wrong with you. Some people want children early on, some don't want any until they are older, some never want any.

I am very much a dog person and thought I'd always prefer dogs over kids, but I changed my mind. I still love dogs and have 2 of them. But, my kids are so special that I never for a second regret having them.

02-19-2007, 11:59 AM

No, you're not abnormal, not unless I am, too (how many abnormals does it take to make a normal, anyway, lol)! I've never felt it..not at 20, 30, and not now at 41. I guess you could say my upbringing was such that I came to very much value the level of freedom I acquired later on, it's always been very important to me. That includes the issue of marriage. I've never felt the need for it for myself. For me, there is nothing in marriage that I can't have without it...people used to say to me, well, what about a family, kids and I would say, nope, don't want argument? I don't buy that it's a built-in biological urge or compulsion, it's not like eating. :p
I like my life, I like my job, my friends, etc....sure, there are some things connected with my weight that I'm hoping to improve upon as time goes by, like feeling better physically and being able to try some different activities, but I'm basically happy and my stress level is pretty low. :D
And yes, I love my cat and love of my fantasy retirements (way off in the future, lol) includes working at some kind of animal sanctuary. :)

02-19-2007, 12:20 PM
You are not alone Nelie your post could have been written by me. I have had vague urges that I should have a kid, sometimes brought on by hormones sometimes by emotion... but then I spend some time around a kid and it goes away. I hate to say it - it's not that I don't like children, it's just that I see so many of them with horrible upbringings. I know I'll never be able to devote the time and effort needed into raising a child properly and I don't want to do it if I can't do it right.
Also, I am a wimp and the thought of vomit - mine of a child's deters me from it. Somehow I associate pregnancy and babies with vomit. *L*

Hubby doesn't want them ever, I think I may want one some day, on my terms, and probably through adoption... but whatever we decide, and whatever you decide, its on your terms nobody else's.

We get some pressure from his family, and there's just no good way of telling them we are not the "good catholics" they are. :) I jokingly say that every time I hear a baby cry one of my eggs dies... but really, I just don't feel it. I'm only 26, my mind may change in the future but for now - thank you NO!

02-19-2007, 01:25 PM
I feel a bit better :) I do probe DH every so often, just because I want to make sure he doesn't want to have any. I also figured if I ever get "too old" that adoption would be perfect. Although last time I probed DH, he shut me up by basically saying he'd want one of us to stay home and take care of any child we had. The last thing I would want to do is stay home so if we ever did have a child/adopt, I'd have to angle it so he stayed home.

Liz - I also know what you mean by the "good" catholics. It is a bit difficult coming from such a large family and enjoying it to be one of the ones that doesn't want to procreate.

02-19-2007, 01:50 PM
When I was in college, I thought I'd never want kids. I didn't particularly like kids. Then I got married (25) and got pregnant and had baby #1 (27) and baby #2 (31). There has never been a time that I've been unhappy being a mother. However, there are certainly a LOT MORE times that I have been unhappy being around other people's kids. I don't particularly like other people's kids. Is that weird (abnormal)? I love mine, but would rather not have to deal with any one else's. Now that DD is a teenager and DS is 12, their more mature friends are okay. It's just the little ones that seem to bother me. I don't know what it is.

In any case, Nelie, you are not abnormal. Everyone is different and everyone makes choices that are good for them. Don't feel pressured to have kids if you don't want them. It is your choice, your decision, and no one should make you feel abnormal for not wanting them for your own.

02-19-2007, 02:44 PM
Nelie: My best friend and I are both 41. I have two kids she has none. (I really didn't mean to make that rhyme) She and her husband would be AWESOME parents...but at the same time, they are such control freaks over their lives that I could never imagine them having kids. They borrow their nephews from time to time and take them places and then come home to their nice, sterile-clean home and watch hockey. They take vacations to Key West about once a year and then sometimes hijack their nephews and take them to Disney when they want to do kid stuff. It's really kind of nice for them. My friend, though, has NEVER had an urge to have a baby. Never, ever. She would make a great mom, though, if she ever changed her mine. She's very responsible and old fashioned in her ways with kids and any kids she had would be great kids, but it's just not even a little bit, a part of her agenda for her life. Not even a little.

I, on the other hand, have wanted kids since I was about 15 (not to HAVE the kids at 15...just knew I wanted kids FOR SURE by then). I can't imagine life without kids. To me, with kids, it starts with, "what will the baby look like and will it be a boy or girl?" Then, "will he do well in kindergarden and have lots of friends?" "Who will his friends be?" "What will he do as a teenager? Will he like music or sports?" Then, "What will he do for a living? Will he get married? Will he give me grandchildren?" It goes on and on...same with my daughter. I can't imagine not having my little 'projects' in my life and wondering what lies around the bend with them.

BUT, that's just me. My friend says she thinks about those things with her maybe you can hijack your nephew and pseudo nephew from time to time to do the kid thing when you want and then go back to grown-up land (what I call my friend's house) when you are done.

And, no, you are NOT abnormal at ALL. You are honest and responsible about your feelings and your future. NOt everyone has to have kids and not everyone has to want to. Its your life and its your choice and it's all good!!

02-19-2007, 03:09 PM
I don't think you are abnormal at all. I know a few people that have no desire to have children. I also have two friends who never really felt the pull towards motherhood but decided to have one baby and that's all they wanted and have.

For me though since I was a teenager I have always felt the pull towards motherhood. I always knew from the time I was 12 and babysitting that I would be a mother at some point in my life. I love kids and would love to have another and could never imagine my life without any. And everyone is different but it doesn't make one abnormal for not feeling the pull towards motherhood, not at all.

02-19-2007, 03:23 PM
I always wanted kids....loved them as a kid...was a pretend mommy to my brother born six years after me...babysat...was the baby hog.....dragged my neices and nephews everywhere....kept them for weekends etc....had my own kids at age 27, 29 and them to bits...would I do it again? Nope. It is a difficult life....each age brings its own is the hardest thing I have ever done and you are a parent until the day you die. I don't know what it is about me that makes me see it that way but I just do....maybe because I did have such a strong mental and physical pull I had such high expectations and didn't really see it for what it was and so therefore fell from a pretty high place....I have noticed that my friends who didn't have all the deep wants and desires in some ways have enjoyed parenthood more and have been able to have a more balanced approach....

I look at a neighbour of mine who is single, has a great job, no kids, no husband, entertains, goes to the gym, travels and seems very content....I do long for that sometimes...but there is no going back once you heart and life has been entwined with kids and a husband that you do love for better or worse.

Just my two cents worth.


canadian mom
02-19-2007, 03:26 PM
There is nothing wrong with not felling motherly. I have 4 kids and would not trade them for the world but on the other hand it makes it difficult to go back to school and do other things. If you are content without kids by no means should you feel like you should want them.

02-19-2007, 03:28 PM
I've never felt very maternal. Even when I was a little girl I would rather play with barbies than baby dolls. And when my sister had her first, I had to pretend to be interested not to offend her. I always thought little babies were kind of boring. Then after I was married, and the same sister had her second, I was fascinated with him, and really wanted my own.

I've always loved kids, though I seemed almost unique in seeing them as complete people, rather than incomplete adults. I loved talking with kids, and playing with them (maybe because I'm more a "kid" inside), but I was really glad not to have to take them home and take care of them.

When my husband and I married four years ago (first time marriages for both of us - late bloomers I guess) we talked about children, and because of our ages and health problems we talked about possibly adopting an older child. But then our healths deteriorated to the point we can barely take care of ourselves let alone a child.

I guess I was a little disappointed (but also a little relieved) that the option of children was taken away from us, but I don't feel that we are suffering in any way because we will n ot be having kids. It's just one of those "it might have been nice," things we think about once in a while.

We get out "kid fix," by spoiling family/friend's childrens and volunteering with a church youth puppet team. And with our fur kid cat. I always gagged at people treating pets as kids, but with my husband and I disabled, and at home most of the time, we really have become the sappy, over the top "pet parents," we laughed at when we had "real" lives.

I don't think it matters whether your feelings are "normal." Whether or not you are in the majority opinion, there is nothing wrong with deciding not to have kids. Far too many people have kids not because they want them, but because it's the "normal" thing to do. Choosing not to have a child that you could have loved and wanted, is a lot better than choosing to have a child and then finding out you still don't love or want them as much as they deserve.

02-19-2007, 03:51 PM
Normal? Abnormal? What does either really mean anymore? I honestly say as long as you're Happy and healthy and you love your life - whether you're married, single, a parent, or not...whatever you choose in your life - honestly all you need to do is be happy with yourself and not care about what other's think.

Some people just don't have that "pull" as you call it - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I always joke around that I'm not "normal" in terms of where I come from - city/high school wise - because i'm 27 - I have an awesome career, my college degree, and i've not yet gotten married NOR have I gotten knocked up by 2 or 3 different guys - so - in terms of my high school chums...THAT is NOT "normal"

Do I personally want kids? Yes, one day I do - but i'm honestly not in any rush - and I've also known many girls - some my age - some younger - some older - who have never wanted kids and some who (and this has absolutely nothing to do with you or why YOU may not want kids right now, since i don't know you...) but some who - thank god don't want kids because they'd be HORRIBLE

But honestly - you're happy with your husband...and there's so many pets out there who need parents...who you'll probably LOVE to have one day!

My great-aunt / godmother (sister to my father's mother) - she and her husband were married close to 50 years - and they NEVER had any children. She loved her nephews and one neice on her husband's side as well as all her great-grand neices & nephews...but they enjoyed all their time together - and honestly - another "bonus"...they had SOOO much money it's not even funny! :-D But they traveled everywhere around the world - as did my grandparents (her sister and husband - my grandmother/grandfather) who had 3 just have to make work for you what YOU want.

So whatever makes YOU happy is what's "normal" (as long as it's legal/ :D

02-19-2007, 03:53 PM
I don't think you're any more normal or abnormal than the rest of us. ;) Some folks have severe and earnest baby hunger, others don't. Some folks agonize over whether or not to have kids, others do it because it's what comes "next."

Fortunately, many of the old rules about how and when to marry and have a family no longer apply, so we've got lots of choices. I happen to be Child-free by Default (as opposed to militantly by choice). I'm not in any rush to have kids, if I decide to have them at all. I'm still waiting to NEED to have kids before I decide whether I should.

Honestly, my long-term plan is to continue to wait for that "pull." If it comes late in life, we'll foster or adopt. If it doesn't, we'll continue our current lifestyle.

I think the bottom line is that you have to make whatever is the best choice for YOU, since you are the only ones who have to live with the end result.

02-19-2007, 04:03 PM
Some people just don't have that "pull" as you call it - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I always joke around that I'm not "normal" in terms of where I come from - city/high school wise - because i'm 27 - I have an awesome career, my college degree, and i've not yet gotten married NOR have I gotten knocked up by 2 or 3 different guys - so - in terms of my high school chums...THAT is NOT "normal"

From the people I grew up with, many had 3 or 4 kids by the time they were 20. That isn't the kind of normalcy I was looking for. We just got married last year, I'm 31 and he is 33, which I really have to say I enjoyed not being married in my 20s. I wasn't even really interested in guys until 23 or so, I was too busy doing my own thing and then I got out of college and thought "hey wait, there were guys in college, what was I doing studying?".

DH and I are also really kids at heart. DH takes me to the zoo and other places. The favorite part of our honeymoon was the aquarium and zoo we went to. I think both of us feel like children ourselves even though we are in our 30s.

02-19-2007, 05:20 PM
I went back and forth for YEARS. I think I always assumed I would have kids because thats what you did. And while I loved babies, toddlers and up were not real high on my like list.

My life plan was always to have kids starting at about 28 and being done by about 32. (I got married at 21)

When I was 27 I went off the pill for a whopping 1 month and absolutely FREAKED. I did NOT want kids. My life was finally becoming what I wanted it to be. The pill and I remained friends for several more years.

I never felt a really strong pull after that. Part of me wanted kids, part of me didnt. Mostly I worried that I would hit 45 and regret it if I didnt. That was dh's worry, because he was always fairly neutral on the topic. Even when I decided to give it a go, I wasnt sure. (I was 33 - so much for that whole "done by 32") - I should mention that 6 months before this I had said - absolutely no, never.

I also thought we might be infertile. Every single female in my family had gotten pg on the pill. Here I was on a low dose one that I was only marginally good at taking (I routinely had 2-4 pills left over at the end of the month) and in 15 years I had never gotten pg. DH had a serious illness in college that they told him might lower his count permanently. So I think when I went off the pill I still thought I had awhile to change my mind and if we didnt manage naturally, we probably wouldnt go to any extremes to try.

Yeah...well...first cycle that we were both in the same state at the right time. booom.

2 weeks later I figured out that OMG I really DID want this.

Repeat story with a shorter timeline for #2. I thought maybe 1 was enough, dh was really pushing for 2 because he hated the thought of dd being an only. Took a whopping 12 days for me to get pg after removing IUD. This time it took me a large portion of the pregnancy to really feel the motherly pull. Like 34 weeks. Especially to become resigned to a boy. (I wanted all girls - dont even know why) Then all of a sudden one day I started getting excited about #2.


I love them so freaking much it hurts.

02-19-2007, 11:21 PM
I knew by the time I was 25 (I'm 38 now) that I didn't want kids. When I met my SO, he was convinced that he did want kids, but after 11 years, he's come around to my point of view. I just don't want that responsibility. After my mother died, I experienced it a little trying to help my Dad with my younger sister and that was enough.

I have gotten a lot of pressure from both friends and family about this. There are some people that just can't accept this decision and try to convince me that I will die worthless and unfulfilled if I don't have kids. At one point my sister told me that my life would be meaningless without kids (I think she's come around to accepting my perspective now). A coworker once told me it was just that I hadn't found the right guy. With all of this pressure, there have definitely been periods when I've wondered if I should have kids; that maybe I'll be like that cartoon--I'll wake up when I am 50, slap myself on the head, and say "Darn! I forgot to have kids!"

But I know lots, not just one or two, but lots, of adults (couples and singles) that don't have kids and seem very happy and fulfilled. And the fact is, without kids, my SO and I are able to do things we wouldn't be able to do otherwise. Kids are a huge responsibility, a ton of work, and they are expensive. And, both my SO and I are pretty happy with our lives the way they are and we see how much disruption our friends' kids cause in their lives and how much work they are.

I think it is a sign that I shouldn't have kids that 1) when I think about having kids, I mainly think about how I would disclipline them when they misbehave; 2) the main advantage I see to having kids is that maybe they would take care of me when I'm old (but no guarantees and it seems like a good retirement plan would accomplish this as well); 3) every time my friends talk about their kids, I feel tired (it all sounds like so much work); and 4) I can't even take care of a houseplant (I swear, it's always "water me, water me"--it's exhausting)

02-19-2007, 11:34 PM
4) I can't even take care of a houseplant (I swear, it's always "water me, water me"--it's exhausting)


I have dead houseplants and an overweight cat. No kids for me right now...

02-19-2007, 11:48 PM
GOD makes us all different!

There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with not wanting children. It doesn't make you a :fr: freak. I can only imagine the questions and how difficult it can be for those that are married and don't have or want kids. I want grandkids, but I try really hard not to put pressure or make STUPID remarks to my kids, (I will admit I have screwed this up at times...but my son loves me and my daughter in law knew what she was getting into in advance and she loves me too!) and my future son in law...well, my daughter will take care of him ;)

I feel really sorry for those that want children and cannot or have not had them. :( :cry: That has to be most difficult.

But for those of us that wanted and have been blessed with children ~ :carrot: :dance: :woohoo: :woohoo: :cheer: :cheer2: :cheer: :cheer2: :woohoo: :dance: :flow1: :cb: :carrot: :cp: :hat: :woo: :trampo:

Thank you LORD!

02-19-2007, 11:56 PM
hehehe. I don't even try houseplants. I am a good loving kittie momma too, but she is overweight and spoiled as ****.

I hate feeling pressure from other people to breed. It's so disturbing to me that they think it's any of their business anyway. My mother in law went way over the line once and bought stuff for my future babies... that was really disturbing.

I always wonder what the appropriate response is to someone who asks why I don't have kids or when I'm having kids. I always want to retort with "when are you going to die.. that's your next major milestone, right?" but that would be rude. *LOL*

Hubby was the oldest of 5 kids and they all got dumped on him so I think he feels like he's been there done that. Plus, I think he feels like children are a lot of work and cost a lot and he likes his downtime. As for me, I was the little mommy too, my brother used to call me mom and I took care of him when my parents were being too irresponsible to do it. I love it and I love him, but I kinda resent my folks for not doing their job. I don't want to be a parent like that. I want to do it right, or not at all.

I know this is going to sound snobby, but I also think it's my responsibility to be financially stable before I have a kid. I never once went on a vacation when I was a child, we would go near places but never in them - like once we went to Enchanted Forest this little amusement park for little kids, but didn't go in because it cost too much. We would stop at the Sea Lion caves but never actually go down into them because it cost too much. I don't want to have kids and not be able to provide them with a fun and happy childhood.

02-20-2007, 12:54 AM
Here's a twist for you: back when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I couldn't stand to be around children for too long. Yet, all of my family, friends and acquaintances used to sing praises about how great I was with kids and that I would make a great mother!

For me, kids were messy, loud, obnoxious, and expensive. You couldn't come and go as you please, forget fun vacations. While friends of mine were getting married and raising babies, struggling financially, I was dressed to the nines, hair, makeup and toenails perfect, expensive jewelry, nice car, traveled and went to a million or so hockey games with friends, with no desire of settling down. My father used to joke about not living long enough to see me get married and have kids, and sadly, he was right, he didn't live. :(

I got married when I was 26, was almost 28 when I had my first child, and was 32 when I had my third and last child. I cannot picture my life without them, they are my world. Had anyone told me in my late teens and early 20's that I would enjoy motherhood like I do, I would have laughed in their faces and ran out the door, LOL. :D

I don't know exactly when I started to change my mind about kids, as both hubby and I had no plans to have them. Slowly, though, the idea of wanting kids started to happen to the both of us.

If it's meant to be, you will have a baby, whether it be with your husband or adoption. If not, then simply enjoy your family and friend's children and stay happy as a couple! :D

02-20-2007, 03:26 AM
This world would be saved so much heartache if people who did not want to have kids didn't get pressured into having them. Of course, plenty of people who want kids make bad parents (my mother among them), and plenty of people who don't want kids but find themselves pregnant or with custody of relatives' kids or some such are really great parents, but I do believe my statement holds. I do not think that anyone should go against what they feel to be right for them. Not in something as important as creating a whole other human being, and being responsible for that person for the most important/formative years of their life.

I have three kids and I am awed by the blessing that they are, and I count myself lucky to be able to love them and raise them and watch them grow and see their personalities develop and everything else that comes along with being a parent. But the well-being and happiness of children are so important to me that I don't think anyone benefits from a situation where a child is brought into this world because it's what you "should" do--and thusly I think it's the conversation you need to have before you get married, because unfortunately I watched my brother's first marriage crumble very much on that one issue. It's not a good thing.

02-20-2007, 03:30 AM
This is weird...and especially coming from me because I'm 16...but I've been having that a lot lately! The motherly "pull". I also don't want to have kids...but I have been feeling it. It seems like an overwhelming at times desire to have a baby of my own. But I notion that it is because I'd like to see what kind of being me and my lover would create. But otherwise, I don't want a kid.

I think it's normal in women...just like our instincts are to help and take care of others, such as husbands and boyfriends. I have a large desire to take care of my boyfriend.

I said that if I don't get a baby later on, I need a cat or something for me to take care of. I think it would be tiring for a guy to be cute all the time.

Note: No! I'm not into the hanky panky yet! And if any say I am deciding too quickly about babies...I am not that kind of person to have babies. I have my reasons...Please respect it!

02-20-2007, 10:27 AM
I have three kids and I am awed by the blessing that they are, and I count myself lucky to be able to love them and raise them and watch them grow and see their personalities develop and everything else that comes along with being a parent. But the well-being and happiness of children are so important to me that I don't think anyone benefits from a situation where a child is brought into this world because it's what you "should" do--and thusly I think it's the conversation you need to have before you get married, because unfortunately I watched my brother's first marriage crumble very much on that one issue. It's not a good thing.

I agree that it is a discussion that you have before you get married. Both DH and I talked about kids well before we thought of getting married. Both of us were "on the fence". If one of us wanted kids, the other would be willing, if one of us didn't want kids, then we wouldn't. I think DH and I would be great parents if we did have kids but that doesn't mean we should. I also think I wouldn't regret the decision and our hearts would be opened up to any children we do have. I will admit I also feel a little guilt in one of the main reasonings I think about not having kids is I want to be able to have the money and freedom to do what I want.

I have really enjoyed this thread and ideas shared.

02-20-2007, 12:08 PM
I had my first baby at 38 years old (8 months ago). I've always wanted a child, but I loved my free time, traveling, going out and doing as I pleased, plus I never found the right guy til later. Maybe its cuz I have such an easy and independent (and CUTE) baby (she hardly EVER cries or fusses; she just chills and goes with the flow most of the time), but I still feel like I can do everything I did before. I've already traveled with her and it was no problem whatsoever. I plan to continue my traveling, but then again I like to go to warm easy goign places and chill on the beach or visit friends in Bermuda (I lived there several years ago) and the Caribbean (I know people in Puerto Rico and Tortola) and now my sister is moving to FL, so not so hard to do with a baby. I have a MIL that wants to watch the baby anytime, so we can go out ANYTIME and can even stay out very late (once we picked her as late as 3 am, and one time when I was sick she stayed over MIL's). I'm getting my shape back too so I wont look like a (FORGIVE THE EXPRESSION) "soccer mom" type.

If anything, I should have done this sooner because I've felt lonely all these years, despite a full social life and boyfriends etc. Definitely the best thing I ever did! I'll add that I've always been a dog person myself, but nothing compares to the love I have for my baby. It is just special being around her!

I'm not sure I want to have more however, though I plan to adopt an older child in about 3 years. So many unloved children that need good homes.

Anyway, do what's right for you and dont worry about what others think (as I'm sure you already do). It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with DH, may we all be so lucky in that department! On the other hand, dont get turned off because you think life wont be as fun or carefree. Life is what we make it! We can be carefree and still be great parents. I'm not one of those to stick to a rigid schedule or be too controlled about things. Life should be enjoyable and children add to this (though more than one may change this..ya know, all the sibling fighting and ganging up on the parents etc).

P.S. I've always liked children but never felt any particular interest when holding another baby (except my nephew), so you cant expect to feel the same way about other's children than you do with your own (including your adopted children of course).

02-20-2007, 12:36 PM
I will admit I also feel a little guilt in one of the main reasonings I think about not having kids is I want to be able to have the money and freedom to do what I want.

No need to feel guilty about your decisions when you're not hurting others.

Wow you lot! Maybe I really should stick with one kid to keep things simple :). But seriously Nelie, dont get turned off because of the money and freedom thang. Its all what you make it, if you're the easygoing type then you can still have fun with a child. The child just becomes part of your and DH's "little crew". As soon as this weight comes off, I will go out once in a while dancing and stuff like I did before. This summer I will certainly be going to my live salsa shows at the beach every sunday (Orchard Beach in the Bronx); alcohol yes, my baby no..hopefully MIL will not have a problem with this LOL. However, I dont work fridays so fridays and saturdays will be at the park or the beach for kids. So I will have plenty of time with baby but not every second as she should also spend quality time with her grandmother and aunts and uncles bonding with them. Its important to spend a lot of time with your child and make them feel like your priority, but they can still feel loved when you spend time on your own sometimes (as long as they are with family and not baby-sitters or other strangers).

To be honest, before I had the baby I had WAY too much time on my hands. Free time where I was sort of bored; that has been alleviated but I still dont lead a high stress life by any stretch. As for the money, to me kids arent quite that expensive (though college probably is) and they're worth the material things you might have given up.

As far as the poster's comment above re not having kids til you have a sufficient amount of money, I think poor people also have the right to reproduce and I'm sure their offspring are glad for that. We didnt have a lot of money when I was young but we went on camping trips and free parks and stuff instead. We still had fun.

At any rate, you're still really young so you have plenty of time to decide.

02-20-2007, 12:48 PM
I had my first baby at 38 years old (8 months ago). I've always wanted a child, but I loved my free time, traveling, going out and doing as I pleased, plus I never found the right guy til later. Maybe its cuz I have such an easy and independent (and CUTE) baby (she hardly EVER cries or fusses; she just chills and goes with the flow most of the time), but I still feel like I can do everything I did before. I've already traveled with her and it was no problem whatsoever. I plan to continue my traveling, but then again I like to go to warm easy goign places and chill on the beach or visit friends in Bermuda (I lived there several years ago) and the Caribbean (I know people in Puerto Rico and Tortola) and now my sister is moving to FL, so not so hard to do with a baby. I have a MIL that wants to watch the baby anytime, so we can go out ANYTIME and can even stay out very late (once we picked her as late as 3 am, and one time when I was sick she stayed over MIL's). I'm getting my shape back too so I wont look like a (FORGIVE THE EXPRESSION) "soccer mom" type.

You know what is funny is I had a recent pregnancy "scare" and my main concern was my hiking trip that DH and I are planning in the fall. They allow kids 12 and older but I wanted to go this year! DH and I are trying to take more active vacations. We get bored by going to the beach and what not. We went to miami/the keys last year and even though we had a lot of fun snorkeling, walking around, visiting animals, swimming, etc, we were ready to come home after a few days. We are definitely not the party type and I gave up drinking a while ago (got bored of it), we do like to be out and about. Our kitty has altered our lives a little bit and we don't mind because she is so precious to us. I figure it would be similar (although to a larger extent) if we had kids.

02-20-2007, 12:56 PM
If you want reinforcement as to why you don't want kids, read this post!

02-20-2007, 01:00 PM
I saw that! Although I think I'd laugh at that (partially), feel bad for whoever had to clean it up.

02-20-2007, 01:08 PM
Oh come on Alinnell, don't say that. For all the trouble that they are you get back 10 times that amount in joy. Of course I have only girls so I wouldn't know about those things written in that thread. Just kidding, boys provide mucho, mucho joy too. I think. From what I've heard.

Nelie, many, many times it is a sacrifice and unbelivabley frustrating, but the rewards far, far, far out weigh all the bad stuff - for me that is. We are all different (thank G-d). Me, I despise pets and would never imagine owning one. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. For me, THAT would not be worth the sacrifice.

By the way, many, many vacation resorts provide excellent day care for little ones.

02-20-2007, 01:35 PM
Robin~don't get me wrong. I love my kids even with their faults! I remember when I was pregnant with #2 (#1 is a girl) I told my Mom I was hoping for another girl. My mom said that little boys are just as cuddly as little girls. She was wrong--they are more cuddly! My DS is so much closer to me than DD ever was. Not that she isn't close, he is just closer.

02-20-2007, 01:59 PM
Isn't the real issue about knowing yourself and doing the right thing for YOU and not for anyone else? I have a friend whose husband absolutely wanted kids, and she did not. She had them, with the deal that they would "become his problem" once she delivered. I can't stand to be over there because the kids are clearly suffering. He's a great dad, but it is SO obvious that she resents these kids, and spends ALL of her time (and I mean ALL of it) yelling at them over stupid stuff. I grew up the product of parents who felt it was their "responsibility" to procreate. I felt this burden every day, and still do.
On the other hand, I have a friend who has a genetic disorder that is shortening her life significantly (she has about 3 years left, we think), yet despite this knowledge and despite the high chance of passing this on to her kids, decided to have two of her own after her diagnosis. I fear that in her quest for self-fulfillment, her children will be pay the price. Both of them have inherited the genetic defect, and have a life expectancy of around 35 yrs. Her husband, knowing the risks, really didn't want to have kids but she stopped her BCP without telling him and presented him with the fact that she was pregnant. He had no say in the matter.
Now the pressure is on ME to have kids, and we are unable to have them due to medical issues that are not resolvable. Now the pressure is on us to adopt. I have even had relatives tell me that I don't have kids because I am clearly too selfish a person. I can't tell you how difficult this is, especially since my medical condition is somewhat unstable and the medications that I am on may have long-term side-effects that are undefined at this moment.
Bottom line - if you want kids, GREAT. There is no doubt that kids are a joy and a blessing and rewarding and fulfilling to those with that pull. If you don't want them, that should be OK too. And, if you know someone who can't have them and doesn't want to adopt, please don't judge.

02-20-2007, 02:16 PM
I do believe that it's "normal" to not have children if one isn't feeling called to do so. One reason enough is over population.

I have one little boy nine yrs old. I've always known I wanted to have a child(ren) since I was a little girl. I used to volunteer at church nurseries, was a day camp counselor, and babysat until I had my own. I get pregnant easily but I've had three miscarriages after having my son and just went to a specialist to see about possibly having a second (I'm 38) and if we can't then we'll probably adopt.

When I was pregnant with my son, all I could think of was that I didn't want to just bring a human being into the world for my own enjoyment and "to take up space in the world" and what I mean by that is I feel it is a huge responsibility to bring a life into the world that will make a difference.

I grew up not feeling important, like I was a hassle for my mother to care for me after my parents got divorced when I was 7 yrs old and watched her struggle as a single mom. I tell my son almost on a daily basis that there was a huge cosmic reason that he was born (and every other human) and so it is his JOB that he always do his best, have an open mind and watch for the "clues" that the Universe/God will give him along the path of his life and to be kind and helpful to all (humans,animals,earth) in the process. He can still be the occasional brat like all kids (or all of us) can be-like every night at bedtime- but overall people comment on what a creative thinking child he is.

Parenting can be so hard and is definitely the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life and I'm far from perfect. It's a lot of energy and time on a daily basis to filter outside influences and enforce boundaries, kindness, manners, self-discipline.

On the other hand, I also don't feel like having a child has put a big damper on my husband's and my accomplishments. In fact, I like to think that my endeavours are a great example to him to follow one's dreams. Maybe because we only have one, we travel, take him to dinner, museums, hiking, camping, etc. and so I don't feel like it's stopped us from doing anything. My husband and I are p/t musicians and we take him to our shows (not on school nights though) and even took him on the road for eight months in an RV when he was seven across the U.S.

I can't imagine not having him in my life for so many reasons but the one gift I didn't expect when becoming a mother is that I've had to do so much work on myself and get over my own issues so I could step up to the plate and do the parenting job I knew I wanted to do. He gives me daily reasons to practice patience, compassion, kindness, and self control. I feel like having a child has made me a much better person than I might have been had I not become a parent.

p.s. I have a dog and a cat that I love dearly too :)

02-20-2007, 03:59 PM
Aw, Nelie, of COURSE you are abnormal! That is why we love you so! ;)

Seriously, in our culture, it is ok not to have kids, and so it is hard to decide. In our parents day, it was a got married and had kids. Period. My family was very children oriented, and most of us are teachers, and naturally talented with children. I never considered NOT having them. Like Liz321, I am not sure if I had it to do all over again, I would have them. I have three...and I love them with all my heart, but it is a painful experience at times. I firmly believe you can't experience true happiness with out first experiencing true pain though. Children can and will enrich your life, but not everyone will feel that way. It is perfectly normal to question.

02-20-2007, 04:42 PM
I think there are really 3 categories

The "burning I gotta have a kid" feeling

The "I really really dont ever want children" feeling

And then the VAST majority of people who are in the "I think maybe umm....maybe do I have to have that burning desire to BE a good parent.....well last week I kinda thought it was a good idea, but this week heck no, and does it matter that I think my nephew is a brat, shouldnt I love kids in general? Well how do you know WHEN is the right time, if I am meant to be a parent I'll just wake up one day and KNOW right? (NO)"....etc.

In that case the only thing to do is try and figure out how you will feel when you are 80. And then close your eyes and jump one way or the other.

02-20-2007, 05:06 PM
Alinell, you didn't have to tell me that you love and adore your kids. I knew that already. I am very fortunate to be close with all my girls. Though some are cuddlier then others. When I was pregnant with #1 I wanted a girl so badly. And I got her. Pregnant with #2 I wanted a boy so badly. got another girl, same thing with #3. I would have liked a son I think, even with their fascination with their ummm, members. Just would have been a different experience. It was not meant to be for me. I wasn't willing to have anymore then 3, dh would have loved more, even girls. HAving said that, if I could go back and have a son, but only 3 kids, I would never trade in one of my daughters for one. Well duh. We love and adore who we get.

But I gotta tell you if I didn't want any children there would be no way in **** that I would have um. Not even if hubby wanted them. No guilt, nothing. I'm so glad for me it was clear cut. I wish it was as clear cut for everyone. It does make such a big decision so much easier. I could see it being agony for those that are in between.

I never much liked other kids though besides my own. Have zero patience for them. Although I'm really looking forward to being a grandma, they're close enough to my own and I guess in some ways they will be like my own. I'm not so sure if my daughters would agree.

02-20-2007, 05:12 PM
Yup Nelie! You're abnormal. How can you believe you are a fully functioning woman and NOT want kids? Now if you believe that then I have some GREAT land in Florida to sell to you and the price is so great you don't even need to see the land before you pay me the really cheap $2M asking price!


02-20-2007, 06:21 PM
I think it's a good thing that not everyone wants to have children. The world does not need to have everyone reproduce. You all are saying these things in a much more thoughtful way than I am, however - because I just want to say I'd rather be bludgeoned with a crowbar than have a child! Ahem. Ok, back to "normal.":)

02-20-2007, 08:10 PM
I never much liked other kids though besides my own. Have zero patience for them. Although I'm really looking forward to being a grandma, they're close enough to my own and I guess in some ways they will be like my own. I'm not so sure if my daughters would agree.

My kids are only 4 months and 3 and I could totally dig being a grandma. Its all of the good stuff without the crap. Spoil em, play with them, and send them HOME.

That is the one downside about waiting so long to have kids, I will be ancient by the time I have grandkids.

02-20-2007, 09:12 PM
Not everyone is meant to be a parent. Not everyone will feel that pull to become one.

I always knew I wanted to be a parent. I have a wonderful 5 year old. It's trying, it's hard and it never gets easier, but I wouldn't trade being a mom for the world.

We homeschool too and just like with parenthood, homeschooling's not for everyone.

02-21-2007, 12:32 AM
I never, ever, ever wanted to have kids. I think my mother would have been more shocked if I told her I did than when I confirmed I did not. I've been cruising for a hysterectomy since I was 35 (am 43 now) and all they would do for me was tie my tubes.

The funny bit is that my boyfriend doesn't want any either and had taken appropriate steps to prevent it from happening (why is it that doctors are happy to do a snip but you have to move God and earth to do a bit of surgery?).

Some folks just know that they're not the parental types. And after watching many, many parents with many, many kids, I can see that there are some other folks in the world who should have been a bit more honest with each other. Hooray for those who recognize it...but oh, I feel for the kids of parents who did not.

02-21-2007, 02:33 AM
It's definately something that you hit a certain age or maturity level or span of you life and you start thinking about it. I am one of those on the fencers I guess. If I got pregnant I would definately keep the baby.. but I'm not going out of the way to get pregnant either.
I think I'd be a good mom, everyone at work always teases me for being the mom at work, or having a mom purse because any time anybody needs anything from motrin to a bandaid to a safety pin chances are I have it with me.
The things that stop me really are fear that my husband would leave me because he is THAT anti-child, fear that I won't be able to give them the kind of life they deserve, and fear that we won't be able to afford to have them.
Of course poor people have been having kids for years, and I don't think they shouldn't be allowed to or anything like that.. I just have distinct memories of being poor as a kid and it was tough. I would never want to discourage my kid from playing a sport like I was. I don't want to take my kids to the outside of some place, and not let them go in. I don't want to be in a position where they are constantly reminded that they can't do things. :( So while I don't think it's vital to be rich to have a kid, I think it would be a good start that I at least am able to support myself first.

Mrs Quadcrew
02-21-2007, 10:54 AM
I was a mother at a VERY young age. I always "wanted" to be a mother. I now think in MY case, it was because I didn't have a good mother myself (mine was mentally ill) and I wanted to have something of my own to love. We have 3 daughters, now 31, 26 and 18. I don't know that it was because of my circumstances (not having a role model or a mother to "learn" from??) Raising the first two was very difficult for me. The 3rd one has been a joy from day one. I am now 46 years old - and they are all adults now. I am glad they are who they are and I am pleased with the people they turned out to be (inspite of my inadequacies) BUT, on the other hand, I am glad that I can now find ME. I was a mother from the age of 15 - (and married to the same man now for 30 years) Our youngest goes to college this fall, and I am looking forward to just being me....finding out what I like, what I want to do, what is fun for me. I know that must seem so selfish to some, but in the last 30 years I have literally put everyone else first. I love my girls with all my heart, don't get me wrong ~ I am just glad to be able to do my own thing for the first time in my life.

And the Grandchildren thing.....YES ~ I LOVE being a Gramma. We have a 7 year old Grandson and he is sooo much fun. I think I enjoy him so much because he isn't mine to raise - I just get to spoil him and send him back home. (although he is here more than he is home for the most part - he even has his own room here!) He lives only 3 blocks from us - so he never is very far away!

Do not feel badly if you choose not to have children ~ that is a very personal decision. I wish more people would think about whether it is something they REALLY want rather than just having them because they're "supposed" to.

02-21-2007, 11:44 AM
Oh Mrs. Quadcrew I didn't realize we had something else in common, both having 3 daughters. And yes, loving them to pieces but looking forward to when they are all out the door. That's why I wanted to have them young and fairly close in age. Get it over with so to speak. And then move on over to grandmahood.

And for sure being a grandma has got to be a fantastic experience - love em, spoil em - SEND EM HOME!!!! I've often joked to DH that I would have preferred to just be a Grandma (not an option, huh?).

02-21-2007, 02:46 PM
I've known from a very young age that I never wanted to be a mother. The urge isn't there and never will be. While I like kids (a select few mind you) I would never want one of my own 24 hours a day for the rest of my life. Kids are not for me, just like cats are not for some. Of course people have questioned my decision but you know what it is my decision. I have my reasons and I am comfortable with them. In this modern world women are free to find themselves and be defined by something other than motherhood. So do what is right for you and know that you are not alone.

If you want, research the term "childfree". There are tons of pages and blogs out there supporting people who choose not to have children. A good place to start is

02-21-2007, 09:56 PM
.... I've always felt the motherly pull, right from when I was a little girl! I messed around for a few years trying to 'find' something that I wanted to do, career wise. I started three different degree's/diploma's and didn't finish any of them. I fought the urge for a long time, but i knew that what I really wanted from my life, was to be a Mummy..........

After a miscarriage in 2005, me & my ex-DP conceived our daughter last January, and I gave birth to her on 26 October.... She's the light of my life, and I now can't imagine life without her!

That said, I dont' think that not wanting children is obsurd, or strange, or abnormal! Not by any means. My Aunty & her husband decided not to have chidlren, and then at 38 she fell pregnant accidentally, and it was only after Max arrived, that she realised she REALLY did want children, and Geordie arrived when Max was 18 months old!

I think there is still a lot of emphasis placed on womens 'job' being to have children & run the household...... For me, lol I don't mind, because that is what i DO want to do!

I admire the women who are strong enough to stand up in public & say "hey buddy, having kids just isn't for me"....

02-21-2007, 10:32 PM
I just read some more of the posts to this thread and re-read Nelie's original post and wanted to add the following thoughts:

I have never, ever, felt any pressure at all from anyone to have children. Epecially not from my parents (who were hoping I'd be forever celibate.) But here is something I thought was pretty bad - and I hope it is not happening anymore because this was about 20 years ago - when I applied for a certain job in the 80's I was blatantly told by the interviewer that they were hesitant to hire a young woman because she might want to have kids and quit or go on long maternity leave -- can you believe that???

Nelie - interesting what you say about animals; ME TOO. I feel similarly, and I always wondered if I was abnormal for what I am about to say, along the same lines: I really don't like people touching or hugging me but I can cuddle up with a nice dog or cat just fine.


02-22-2007, 12:01 AM
I am 45 and have never wanted children, even though friends all told me that once I had one the maternal instinct would kick in. I have never regretted being childless.

Interestingly, both my grandmother and my mother also lack the maternal instinct. Both of them have told me that if they had to do it over again they would remain childless. My only sister also never had the desire to have children.

So, nelie, don't make the assumption that some sort of maternal instinct would kick in if you actually went ahead and had a child. Maybe it would happen, maybe it wouldn't. Personally I think it's kind of a dangerous gamble.

02-22-2007, 01:14 AM
Someone pointed this out earlier, but it's a really good point that needs to be resaid. If a lot more people were truly honest with themselves and with their mates about children, we might not have so many coming from bad childhoods. My own mother is adopted, and she had the worst childhood under her adopted parents possible. They were mainly only interested in keeping her around to be their maid (house had 3 floors), and were constantly taking in foster children every other month because the state was giving them money that was supposed to go towards taking care of them, but mostly went into their bank accounts for themselves. My own relationship with my adopted grandparents is very dicey at best, and folks usually think I'm being selfish and self centered when I state that given the choice, I wouldn't have a thing to do with them at all. They may be related to me, but that doesn't mean they are truly "family". Does that make sense?

As for children, I'm currently 27 years of age with no man in sight. I've gone back and forth over this issue many times myself. Right now I'm just nowhere near ready for a child as I'm still living with my mother and trying to make a career for myself. However, after helping to raise my nephew (1 years old now) for a few months there, I now know that I wouldn't mind having 2 at the most later on down the line. But if I don't, that's just fine with me as well. It's all a matter of being brutally honest with yourself, and finding contentment. Don't listen to society/friends/family and their expectations. If certain members of my family had their way, I would've been barefoot and pregnant while a teenager and a high school dropout, simply because it's the only life THEY'VE ever known.

02-22-2007, 10:06 AM
So, nelie, don't make the assumption that some sort of maternal instinct would kick in if you actually went ahead and had a child. Maybe it would happen, maybe it wouldn't. Personally I think it's kind of a dangerous gamble.

Well I think it it isn't the maternal instinct I worry about and I guess others said it, it is kind of being on the fence about things. Some days I think about having children, other days I don't. It would be nice if I could totally say "the last thing in the world I want is a child" or "I really want a child". I think really though what will happen is we won't have any children unless something happens in the future.

A funny thing that I didn't share before is my mom really really wants to be a grandma. A few years ago when I was unmarried, she told me if I planned to stay unmarried that I should go to a sperm bank. It was the funniest thing but I guess the way I was she thought I'd remain single. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I wanted to get married either until DH and I had started dating. I guess that was another thing I was on the fence about.

02-23-2007, 12:22 PM
Although not in regard to having children, I made the huge mistake of feeling beholden to my mother even as an adult and making some big decisions because of her opinions which were terrible mistakes for me. It's your individual life. I know it sounds like you agree with that but I just wanted to add oomph for that sentiment. Mom has her own individual life, she doesn't need two. I advise against making any BIG decisions based on one's mother's pressures. (Why do they DO that, anyway???)

02-24-2007, 12:30 PM
I'm new to the boards but just wanted to add my two cents if that's ok. I have two wonderful sons...18 and 14 years old. I love them with every fiber of my being, but if I had it to do over again I wouldn't have kids. I think I've been a terrible parent, even though my kids and my husband tell me differently. Maybe it's me comparing myself to other moms with what I believe to be perfect little children....but at any rate, I never really had the maternal instinct either but my hubby wanted kids so I acquiesced and we had two children. Again, I love my sons and would be devastated if anything happened to either of them but I don't think I was cut out to be a mother.

At least you are thinking about it before you have children. I didn't realize this until after I'd had both of mine. LOL....