General chatter - OT- Do babies destroy marriages?




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LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 10:17 AM
Hi chicks!

I apologize if this ends up being a long post, but there are some questions I feel I need to ask and some things that I feel I need to get off my chest. I was hoping that I could maybe hear the perspective from some moms in the group.

So, when I was 16 years old or so, I decided that I didn’t want kids, and I have pretty much stuck to that story from then until now. I always gave various reasons as to why I didn’t want them- I wanted to travel, I wanted to have lots of hobbies, I wanted to concentrate on my career, I wanted to do charity work, etc. etc. And I suppose in a way that those are valid reasons.

But with the recent onslaught of babies being born around me (I am getting to be in that age group now- marriages and babies abound), I have taken a little time to really and truly analyze WHY I don’t want babies. And here is what I have discovered:

I want babies. I am just convinced that they will destroy my marriage, and if it came to how much I want babies vs. how much I love my husband, I choose my husband.

Okay, so once I came to this conclusion- that I am afraid of babies, that I believe they are marriage destroyers – I realized that I needed to start really rethinking this, because that fear seems a little too irrational to be valid.

After some analysis of my childhood, I was able to kind of put some pieces together and figure out why I feel the way that I do about children. Here is some pretty personal back story:

My parents didn’t/don’t have the greatest marriage. I grew up listening to them fight on a pretty consistent basis. And I am not talking about minor disagreements, I am talking about full-on “I hate you”-“I wish we were never married”-“I need a divorce” kind of fights. And these fights, almost always, were about… “The kids”. I guess from an early age, I had kind of developed this idea that it was me and my sister’s fault that their marriage was always on the rocks.

My parents never did anything together. They went on a date, I think, twice in the entire time I lived at home. Only once did we ever go on vacation as a family. All the other times, it was my mom taking us kids, and my dad stayed home. My mom would tell me on a regular basis that we kids were more important than their marriage. One day, when I was about 9 or 10, I was emptying out the dishwasher and I told my mom “I want to be a good wife some day” (which is sad, because apparently, I thought doing the dishes = good wife, but I digress) and my mom turned to me and said “No, you shouldn’t care about being a good wife. You should care about being a good mom. That is the most important. Being a good mom is the greatest compliment you will ever get.” And that statement scared the living $h** out of me. Because the way I saw it at that age, that was why my mom and dad didn’t have a good marriage. I was convinced in my mom’s head, my sister and I had replaced my father, and that’s why they fought. And it was then that I started getting the idea that children = marriage destroyers.

Fast forward to now. We are at a fair (this is last weekend), and two of the most recent babies in my circle of friends are there, with their parents. Instantly, the women all separate from the men, and the babies hang out with the women (actually, one of the new dads hung out with the women, which upset some of the men, lol). So here I am, in the middle, just observing. The women coo and make funny faces and cuddle the babies and laugh… it’s ALL ABOUT THE BABIES. And then men, seemingly ostracized from the group, just kind of awkwardly stared at the women who could now no longer speak proper English (they are now speaking only baby-tongue). My husband stood FAR FAR AWAY from the women’s group. Later, when the women and men finally came back together, my husband pulled me aside and told me how scary that whole situation was to him. And I agreed. The whole scene seemed to just reaffirm everything that I had grown up believing- once the babies come into the women’s lives, the husbands seem to be replaced.

I guess what I am looking for is some kind of sign or proof that a couple can have a baby, and they can still be each other’s #1. I feel like today’s society is very baby-centric. All the tabloids are looking for “baby bumps” and there are all these shows on about families with 8 million kids, and shows like “baby story” and “bringing home baby”. Is there any room for a happy marriage in there?

So, here is what I am asking moms on here:

• If I were to wind up pregnant, how would I avoid having the baby destroy our marriage? Honestly, my husband is the most important thing in the world to me (well, besides myself, which I have learned is really important too). I would never want anything to come between us.
• Is it possible to love your husband as much as your children? I have heard from other women say that it’s not “okay” to love your spouse as much/ more than your kids. Why?
• How would I make sure that my husband didn’t feel replaced by the baby? How would I make him feel more involved if we were to have one?

I am sorry this was such a long post, but these thoughts have just really been bothering me. Somewhat because of all the babies being born, but also because my husband and I had a condom malfunction the day before I ovulated… and now, of course, I am faced with these questions “just in case”. Part of me is scared to death of the idea of a baby... but there's that other tiny part of me that seems okay with it.


MindiV
04-01-2009, 10:26 AM
I, too, am terrified of babies. I've got only a very small handful of friends and acquaintances who DON'T have babies. Those that do...well...one is currently separated from the dad because of issues not centered on the baby, but certainly because OF the baby; the other focuses her entire WORLD on the little boy, and her husband has nothing to do with him.

Men are weird. I don't know how many men I've been around who don't have a lot to do with a baby until he or she is older. To many men, babies, until they're mobile at least, are just big "things" that have to be fed and changed. They're not "fun" until they can interact with them. Another friend's husband rarely had anything to do with their son, wouldn't even WATCH him while she ran to the store, until he was nearly 2. Now they're best buddies.

I think you CAN have children without losing your marriage, but there will be an awkward time in there, for the majority of women, when our husbands just don't know what to do with themselves. Some women are blessed with husbands who will get up in the middle of the night for feedings, or will take the baby on a walk in the park on a warm day, without mom. They'll burp the baby and change its diaper.

Honestly, I'm not going to be that type of woman. If/when my husband and I have children, I already know I will be the one to take care of the feeding, changing, etc., until the child is older. I know that going in, and it's up to ME to NOT let that destroy my marriage.

If you go in with an understanding of what will occur, should occur and discuss with your husband what you WANT to occur, there's no reason why a child will do anything but bring you closer together, in the long run.

wendyland
04-01-2009, 10:40 AM
Interesting post. Before I had kids, I always thought of having babies as something that would make my husband and I closer together. I think it can go both ways. Any stress in a marriage will challenge your marriage, but if you're strong and love each other, you'll get through it. Also remember that babies grow up into kids and then teenagers and into adulthood. It's a lifelong commitment.

It didn't wreck either of my marriages. My first marriage wasn't with the right person and I knew that most of the time we were together. I brought two daughters into my second marriage and we had a third daughter together almost 2 years ago. I didn't like going through pregnancy with him, but he was great for the birth and is a great dad. It helps that we take turns with her. We do still go out. My ex actually watches her now and then for us. Most of the time, we prefer to do stuff with her. That's not to say that we don't have trying times. I think it's worse when they aren't sleeping through the night.

I grew up with my parents doing stuff together all the time, with and without me. I can see how your childhood has influenced your view, but you are not your mom and your husband is not your father. Marriage and kids are what you make of it.

Also, having an only child is much different than having more than one. My daughter was an only until she was 4 1/2. She was a breeze compared to having 3 now.


beerab
04-01-2009, 10:40 AM
Babies don't destory marriages- marriages destroy themselves. People use their children as excuses. "Oh we have problems? Let's have a baby that will solve EVERYTHING!" Instead of working on their issues they bring in ANOTHER stresser and then half those people stick together in a bad marriage "for the kids."

Of course you can have a baby and still love your husband, of course you can have a baby and pay attention to your husband. Anyone who says otherwise isn't thinking IMO.

I have two sets of friends, those with kids who are still married and those with kids who are not married anymore. The ones who are still married are the ones who 1- kept their husband's very much involved in raising the children and 2- realized that their marriage needs just as much attention and did things about it. A great thing was/is date night, give the kids to grandma one night and go out, you and hubby, even if it's get some dinner then go home and have sex and pick up baby in the morning (usually done when baby is sleeping through the night now). The ones who realize that you have to do both, and have a good partner who is also involved with keeping the marriage alive AND taking care of the kids will make it.

SURE you have less time for each other because kids take up a lot of time- but both partners should have an understanding of this AND make an effort to take time out for each other when they can. Little things like putting the kids to bed then instead of cleaning the house (the mess will be there tomorrow) just going to bed and spending some time together helps.

Not to rag on your mom, but I'm sure you recognized her problem happened when she decided to put her children first and ignore your father- kids are here now go make money while I take care of them. Yeah men have feelings and need to be loved too. I mean who knows, maybe your parents had problems before you were born- but that doesn't mean you will too with your husband. If you have a good marriage and both recognize children are hard work AND that you need to remember the two of you still need each other, then you'll be fine.

Making him involved is easy- for one- when you have the baby shower- plan it together- pick food both men and women would like (co-ed baby showers are tons of fun). Heck if the guys like to BBQ let them live it up! That'll really make them feel involved if they cook all the meat lol. Then select activities everyone can enjoy. And trust me- men OOH AND AHH over the presents just as much as the women at these parties. Even having him involved in things like being your breathing coach and so on before the pregnancy helps him prepare for the next 18+ years to come :)

Buy him a book about having a kid and there are even those websites that when you are pregnant and go to it weekly/daily there are sections and even whole sites made for men, to know what to expect during pregnancy and help them understand what their wife is going through and so on during the pregnancy.

Their are great parenting books for fathers, and I'd have him involved in everything, from feeding to changing to bedtime, when I was born my parents would bathe me together. That helped my dad be involved. Let him try, if he fails, gently show him the right way so he feels like he's apart of it vs you just saying "oh just let me do it."

He'll appreciate his children more when he's doing things with you AND the two of you will definitely bond over your child :)

Okay enough with my huge post lol.

nitenurse
04-01-2009, 10:41 AM
me ex husband was always jealous of the baby, jealous of the time i spent with the baby (changing, feeding, playing rocking etc). His petty jealousy just aggravated me so i showed him less attention.

Rock Chalk Chick
04-01-2009, 10:52 AM
I think a lot of the baby/child concern depends on the individual and the couple and their dynamic with each other and the rest of the world. Some people allow (and/or choose) that the baby/child will become the entire focus of their life, and that they will weigh their success/failure as a person by their success/failure as a parent. As soon as the child comes into their world, every choice, every decision, every action they take is focused on the child. And, in some cases, that can work out for the relationship - as long as both parents hold the same priorities (i.e. child comes first).

I'm also in the age group where couples are having children left and right. Some of them make choices that wouldn't work for me - one partner quits their job and becomes a full-time parent; or they arrange their lives around the baby (one mother of an 18-month-old proudly told me her child had never slept/napped anywhere but her own crib - which means she has NEVER spent more than 3-4 hours away from the house since the kid was born!); or they drop all non-parent friends and take no time for social interaction themselves.

On the other hand, there are people who, while they are happy to become parents, realize/choose that they are still people, too. They certainly do what they can to make sure the child has a good life/upbringing, but they also realize that a healthy childhood requires healthy parents - they schedule "date nights" and group social outings (with and without kids), they keep up their hobbies and gym time and other "personal time" activities, they balance work and marriage and parenthood and everything else in their lives as best they can.

You have to decide what you want for yourself and your life and relationships. You may continue to choose not to have kids; at the same time, there are plenty of people who continue to have a life and a healthy marriage while having children. No one's going to pretend that your life will not change when you have a kid - but it doesn't have to change who YOU are (and the relationship you have with your husband). Yes, you'll have stressful days, and deal with them as you do now. But you don't have to lose your self-identity into being solely (or primarily) a mother - I have a good friend with a toddler who is a mother but also a veterinarian, a triathlete, a good friend, a happy loving wife, a member of an SCA group and the leader of two different book clubs.

The same way that marrying your spouse doesn't change who you are or the relationship you have, becoming a parent doesn't (automatically) change you, either. You can choose to change your priorities and goals and such, but that's your choice.

nitenurse
04-01-2009, 10:57 AM
well said rock chalk, it is just a matter of your priorities, some put the kids first and some put the marriage first.

learningtoliveagain
04-01-2009, 10:59 AM
Wow! Where do I begin?
For your first question, if you were to become pregnant...
There is no guarantee that a baby won't destroy the marriage, not everyone is cut out to be parents. If the thought of having a baby might ruin your marriage then don't have one and take precautions to make sure that doesn't happen.
For your second question, is it possible to love your husband as much as your children? I have one child, he is 12 and I've been married for 15 years. I love my son and my husband more than anything in the world, but as most mom's will say, giving birth to a child puts that love for the child in a whole different
category.
And for your third question, would your husband feel like he was being replaced...
If you both want a child, which you should definitely discuss, he won't feel that way. My husband is amazed at the bond my son and I have together and never makes any attempt to come between that bond. I also make sure as my son gets older that there are more and more father/son moments so they form their own bond.
Just sit down and discuss this with your husband so your both on the same wavelength. But speaking from my own experience, having a child is the most wonderful thing I have ever done.

thinpossible
04-01-2009, 11:08 AM
I have 3 kids, and have been married 18 years, to a man I love, so here's my $.02 for what it's worth.

Babies are hard on a marriage. The sleep deprivation, figuring out who does what, differing parenting styles of mom and dad, being too tired for sex, just adjusting to having your life turned upside-down. Sometimes women (and even men) get post-partum depression. I had it with all three of my kids and it's a b**ch. Yes, babies are a trial for marriage.

They are also a joy. Being a mom is like being in a club you never knew existed until you became a member. Watching your baby grow and develop into their own person is so amazing it's impossible to put into words. It's love so strong you feel like you are wearing your heart on the outside of your body.

As they get older, it gets much easier, and they add so much to your lives. You can do stuff together, they start to develop a sense of humor, and interests, and really flesh out your family.

As for the priority between husband and kids, I think in order to be a really healthy family, your spouse has to come first-- or at least not come second to the kids. You and your husband are already a family. Whether you ever have kids or not you are a whole and complete family. You are the roots of the family tree, without healthy roots the branches can't be healthy. It is very difficult those first few years to nurture your marriage because your so busy nurturing your kids. But it can be done, it's just extra hard work.

If you set a few things in place, like you have a date night, you have a joint hobby outside of the children, you still do thoughtful little things for each other, that will go a long way. In fact I would actually ask your husband NOW what things you do that make him feel loved and appreciated, and write them down. I know that sounds silly, but baby = mush for brains.

Also another huge thing is moms seem to criticize the way dads parent. This in my opinion is a HUGE no-no. You can't expect your husband to take on an equal role in parenting if he's doing it "wrong." Dad's do parent a LOT differently from moms. I vowed I would never criticize my husband's parenting style (though my tongue was pretty sore from biting it so much :D). Dad's love their kids just as much as moms, even though they forget the sunscreen, or let them eat dirt.

I think respecting your husband's parenting style will go a long way to helping him be involved, because although the mom does have to feed the baby (of course you can pump, but it doesn't work for everyone) other than that, there's no reason for the dad not to feel every bit as "involved" as the mom. The best thing to help your husband get involved, is to step out of the way and let him step up to the plate-- not feel like he's "helping." He's not "helping," he's the dad!!!

This of course means that your husband has to want a kid as much as you do. If he doesn't really want a baby, I would go the childless route. But if he wants a baby but is scared, like you, then I think your marriage would be able to meet the challenge.

Rock Chalk Chick
04-01-2009, 11:11 AM
One additional comment that I lost track of in my previous post:

Stress happens. Life changes. Things are going to happen for you and to you that you have no control over. Financial hardships, injuries, illnesses, family problems, and so on.

This kind of stuff can bring you and your husband closer, or they can cause strain on your relationship (and will probably do both, at various points). Having (or not having) a child won't prevent you from having stresses on your relationship. There will be days when your husband isn't the most important thing in your life/on your mind, though he can make things a lot easier and a lot harder depending on the kind of person he is and the relationship you have. My husband is, on average, the most important person in my life, but that's not to say that my parents and brothers and friends and career don't take precedent on any given moment. And he's there for me when things are good and bad, and vice-versa.

You can't always predict/control what's going to happen, and you have to be confident enough in your relationship to know that you can survive whatever life throws at you (or that you can work on it, etc). This includes self-imposed stresses (like choosing to have a kid), or unexpected ones (my mother is currently in the hospital).

TJFitnessDiva
04-01-2009, 11:12 AM
I agree 100% with beerab and Rock Chalk Chick.

Babies do not destroy marriages. Yes babies are special but so is your relationship. I've seen so many women get absorbed into motherhood that they totally ignore their husband & the relationship. I've also seen a lot of women that value both.

Just make it a point to remember that just because you are a mother doesn't mean that you have to leave the rest of yourself behind.

kaplods
04-01-2009, 11:15 AM
I think why so often people say that mothers have to put their children before their marriage is a social fear of the extreme situation - when women stay with child abusers (or their own abusers, not even thinking of the damage that does to the children, just by making them witnesses to violence) because their fear of losing the husband was stronger than their need to protect their children. The children's needs often do have to come before either of the adult's needs, because so many of their needs can only be met by adults. You can't leave kids to "fend for themselves," so both parents do have to be able to put their needs aside when necessary, for the kids.

Children do not destroy marriages. They can be the "last straw" to a weak marriage, but as beerab's already said, it's common for couples to try to have a baby to try to save a weak marriage (children can't save a weak marriage, either).

However, I think before a person gets married, they have to ask themselves whether they are able to put someone else's needs above their own (not always, but at least some of the time, marriages require you to do this). You also have to ask whether you can put the need's of the marriage before the needs of you partner. And I think before having children, the question also needs to be asked whether you can when the need arises, put the children's needs ahead of the adult's needs, and the needs of the family ahead of the needs of the marriage. If the answer to any of those questions is no, then your chances of having a weak marriage and/or a weak family are greater.

I have a lot of strong marriage & family role models in my family. My husband and I have had to choose not to have kids because of health problems, and we're facing the other fear - that a marriage isn't complete without children. The luxury of that fear though is that we don't have much of a choice in the matter. No responsible child welfare agency would allow us to adopt a child with our health conditions, and having a biological child would be dangerous to myself and the child because of my health issues. So for us the answer is easy "tough luck."

If you're not ready to have a child for any reason, don't have one. It's easier to worry about the mistakes of "wish I had", than the mistakes of "wish I hadn't" which you can't undo.

LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 11:21 AM
As for the priority between husband and kids, I think in order to be a really healthy family, your spouse has to come first-- or at least not come second to the kids. You and your husband are already a family.

I really appreciate this statement. I feel like a lot of people don't treat a family as "complete" until there is a child or two. And I also very strongly agree that putting your husband first is important because a healthy marriage is the backbone of a balanced family. As a child, I think I would have been a heck of a lot happier if my mom had put my dad first.

I guess I just thought, based on the feedback and reaction from other moms that I know, that such thinking would be considered "sacreligious" because it doesn't put baby at #1.

While we are on the topic of children... is there anything wrong with only having 1? I know that as a kid, it was also drilled into my head that having only one child was bad because they wind up spoiled. But, personally, if I WAS going to get pregnant, I would only want one. Is it possible to raise an only child to be balanced, and social and un-spoiled? I do have one friend who was an only child... and she is an amazing person and not spoiled at all. And she seems to have a really good relationship with her parents.

MindiV
04-01-2009, 11:25 AM
It's absolutely possible to have one child who's balanced and not spoiled. My husband and I, if we have children, are planning only one. It all goes into how they're raised....a family with six children can spoil those six as much as a family with one child. If you give in to a child's every single whim, they'll be spoiled. They've got to have boundaries and limitations, and hear the word "NO" sometimes.

LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 11:32 AM
Children do not destroy marriages. They can be the "last straw" to a weak marriage, but as beerab's already said, it's common for couples to try to have a baby to try to save a weak marriage (children can't save a weak marriage, either).

...

If you're not ready to have a child for any reason, don't have one. It's easier to worry about the mistakes of "wish I had", than the mistakes of "wish I hadn't" which you can't undo.

Kaplods, I agree with both statements here as well. Beerab did make a good point... that people try to use children to "save" the marriage. I would never do that. My husband and I have an amazing marriage, and I feel so blessed to have such a strong bond. But I agree that a lot of people do that... they either have a baby to save the marriage OR they don't feel "complete" on their own and they think that a baby will "complete them". Honestly, I wonder if those are the moms that let the babies totally rule their lives... if they were women who weren't happy with THEMSELVES and are trying to fill in the gaps with a baby. It's an interesting thought.

I also agree that I should have a baby until I am ready. However, like I said... we had a condom malfunction (I can't be on hormonal BC- it makes me feel like total poop, lol). Do I think I am actually pregnant? no... It is just forcing me to take a really deep look inside myself to figure out what I want, vs. what beliefs I have developed through an imperfect childhood.

TJFitnessDiva
04-01-2009, 11:33 AM
My husband is an only child...he's most laid back, caring and generous person I know :) So no they are not all spoiled! If they come out that way then it's the parent's doing and not because they are the only child.

LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 11:33 AM
It's absolutely possible to have one child who's balanced and not spoiled. My husband and I, if we have children, are planning only one. It all goes into how they're raised....a family with six children can spoil those six as much as a family with one child. If you give in to a child's every single whim, they'll be spoiled. They've got to have boundaries and limitations, and hear the word "NO" sometimes.

See, I agree with this too. But again, my mom DRILLED it into my head that it was impossible to raise an only child correctly. To be honest, my mom was one of those that thought her way was the "right way" to do things, and that I would always do things like her. I feel kinda silly because I am 23 and I am only starting to deal with these demons now. Seems a little late....

wendyland
04-01-2009, 11:34 AM
While we are on the topic of children... is there anything wrong with only having 1? I know that as a kid, it was also drilled into my head that having only one child was bad because they wind up spoiled. But, personally, if I WAS going to get pregnant, I would only want one. Is it possible to raise an only child to be balanced, and social and un-spoiled? I do have one friend who was an only child... and she is an amazing person and not spoiled at all. And she seems to have a really good relationship with her parents.

I'm an only child and it was great. I was given a lot of attention and things, but I don't feel spoiled. I think that only children try hard to please their parents. I wished for siblings when I was younger, but appreciated being alone as I got older. I think it's harder for me to deal with my children because I was an only. I have a harder time with chaos. I think some parents with only one child indulge in whatever that child wants. I think it's good for kids not to get everything they want.

thinpossible
04-01-2009, 11:37 AM
While we are on the topic of children... is there anything wrong with only having 1? I know that as a kid, it was also drilled into my head that having only one child was bad because they wind up spoiled.

OF COURSE there's nothing wrong with having one!!! (There's nothing wrong with having zero either, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!) There are advantages and disadvantages to whatever number of children you have. Your child will be balanced and social and unspoiled if YOU raise him/her to be balanced and social and unspoiled. My mom and dad and my husband are all only children. And certainly there are families with more than one child, and they're spoiled. It doesn't have anything to do with how many, but how the parents raise them.

Also, I don't know how long you've been married, but there's no rush, right? My husband and I were married 7 years before we had kids and I'm glad we had that time to ourselves. Of course we were married 7 years without kids because I was waiting until I was "prepared" to have kids. Little did I know, nothing can really prepare you. It's like flying to the moon, sure you can hang out in a hyperbaric anti-gravity chamber, but nothing really prepares you. ;)

wendyland
04-01-2009, 11:43 AM
I just realized how young you are. If I can pipe in from my own experience.... I had my oldest when I was 21. It was before I was married and we were way too young. I can see this in retrospect. I really wish I had waited until I was in my later 20s to have kids. I would have like to have had more life experiences and had a better idea of who I was as an adult. I also would have liked to have had more time with my husband where it was just the two of us. I'm only 30 now, but I feel like I've been parenting forever.

kaplods
04-01-2009, 11:50 AM
There's a lot of social pressure to be "normal," when it comes to marriage and family. I had a lot of pressure from my mom to get married. It got to the point that boys or men she had hated when I was dating them, she'd suggest I "look them up," (even a highschool boyfriend she had "chased" away).

It wasn't that I didn't want to get married, but I wasn't unhappy with my life either, and I certainly wasn't going to ever be so desperate that I was going to marry just to marry.

Neither my mom or my husband's mom is entirely happy with my husband as he is, and after we married - both have tried desperately to get me to "change" my husband (starting with cutting his long hair). I don't get the "marry a man, in order to change him," philosohpy.

They've finally stopped asking about children. Every time they would ask, we would tease them that (because of the medications we're on, and some of the jobs my husband had when he was younger working with dangerous chemicals), we thought that having "mutant children" was just too much trouble.

If you have a large family - people will tell you, you're doing it wrong. If you have a small family with or without children - people will tell you, you're doing it wrong. If you marry young - or old; If you decide that one of you will stay home with the children (regardless of which parent) or not...

There is always someone telling you that there's a better way of doing things than the way you've chosen (we find that with weight loss too, which is why talking about it can be such a minefield).

Mostly, I say nicely "I never thought of it that way," or "I'll give it some thought," as if I respect their opinion (whether or not I do) - mostly because it's the quickest way to shut them up.

alinnell
04-01-2009, 11:51 AM
All through high school and college I said I didn't want children. It all started to change when my brother and his wife had their first. However, I really don't like children all that much. I never babysat and didn't have much experience with babies. Anyway, after I got married, my DH and I decided that we did want kids. DH at first said he didn't want any until we had a million dollars (so we'd know we could afford one). Had that been the case, we wouldn't have had kids until we were in our 40's! I had my first at 27 and second at 31. And neither of us is unhappy about this.

One thing my DH said soon after my first was born was something to the effect of "if anything were to happen to you, at least I'd still have a part of you." Kind of morbid, but a very nice sentiment all in all.

LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 11:59 AM
I just realized how young you are. If I can pipe in from my own experience.... I had my oldest when I was 21. It was before I was married and we were way too young. I can see this in retrospect. I really wish I had waited until I was in my later 20s to have kids. I would have like to have had more life experiences and had a better idea of who I was as an adult. I also would have liked to have had more time with my husband where it was just the two of us. I'm only 30 now, but I feel like I've been parenting forever.

haha, trust me I am in NO RUSH to have kids. This is only something that is coming up because of a possible BC incident. I always told myself I would wait until I am 30, and assuming that I am not pregnant (which I don't think I am) I still plan to wait until I am 30.

That being said... even though I am young, my husband and I have still been together for over 8 years. We started dating when I was 14.

If I did end up having a child, and planning for it, I would want to make sure my husband and I did a lot of the traveling that we want to do. I would also try to make sure we were more financially secure. We still live in an apartment... a nice, big apartment... but it's still an apartment. I would prefer to have a house before I ever had kids.

On the same note, IF I did wind up pregnant from this BC accident... I guess I would just have to think that it was "meant to be." How often do condoms really fail the day before ovulation? the chances are tiny.

thinpossible
04-01-2009, 12:02 PM
If you have a large family - people will tell you, you're doing it wrong. If you have a small family with or without children - people will tell you, you're doing it wrong. If you marry young - or old; If you decide that one of you will stay home with the children (regardless of which parent) or not...


Boy that's the truth. Parenting is a MINEFIELD of opinion. Breast feed or formula feed, stay home or work, only child or multiples, "attachment" parenting or not, co-sleeping or not, the list goes ON and ON.

I never understand why people are so interested in the choices OTHER families are making about THEIR OWN children. With rare exception, every parent does the best they can, and makes the best choices they can with what they've got to work with, so critics need to keep their lips zipped.

LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 12:05 PM
OF COURSE there's nothing wrong with having one!!! (There's nothing wrong with having zero either, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!) There are advantages and disadvantages to whatever number of children you have. Your child will be balanced and social and unspoiled if YOU raise him/her to be balanced and social and unspoiled. My mom and dad and my husband are all only children. And certainly there are families with more than one child, and they're spoiled. It doesn't have anything to do with how many, but how the parents raise them.

Also, I don't know how long you've been married, but there's no rush, right? My husband and I were married 7 years before we had kids and I'm glad we had that time to ourselves. Of course we were married 7 years without kids because I was waiting until I was "prepared" to have kids. Little did I know, nothing can really prepare you. It's like flying to the moon, sure you can hang out in a hyperbaric anti-gravity chamber, but nothing really prepares you. ;)


Thinpossible- I am so glad that you also agree that it's possible to raise an only child us unspoiled. I also really love your analogy to flying to the moon... I feel marriage has been the same way, lol. Dating is one thing, and you think you can imagine marraige... but all that imagining never prepares you for the reality of it. Both the amazing highs and the not-so-good times. But, it's been wonderful, and I would never trade it for anything.

MindiV
04-01-2009, 12:42 PM
DH at first said he didn't want any until we had a million dollars (so we'd know we could afford one).

That sounds like MY Husband....we can't have a baby now because we need a bigger house, and we can't have a bigger house because we have to save money. And we can't save money because he keeps finding things he 'needs'... The man's scared to DEATH of babies and wants everything to be perfect before we have any, but nothing will be perfect in life...

sacha
04-01-2009, 12:55 PM
I don't have kids but we got an 8 week old puppy about 6 weeks ago. Sure enough during the first week, we didn't shower, brush our hair, change clothes, touch each other, our lives revolved around our little puppy (taking him out 3-5x a night, no sleep). The next few weeks were hard, but got better (ie. sex once a week, haha). Now, things are better (sex more than once a week), and spending more time together. Of course, this isn't as much of a strain as a baby, but I think any new big stress really "tests" your partnership, and it DOES get better. I think babies ruin marriages that were on thin ice to begin with, and the "bond" couldn't take the added stress. Your spouse needs to come first because without a strong partnership, the rest of the family can't stay solid. It's the "glue" for a family. Besides, one of the most important things a parent can do for their child is to model a relationship of love and respect so that the child can seek a similar relationship when they are of age. They need to see love and respect as normal.

Newshinyme
04-01-2009, 01:22 PM
This is an awesome thread.
I am at the point where we might start trying to get pregnant within the next few months. Although I am not worried that kids will wreck my marriage since we both want them and I consider us to have a really strong relationship, I still got a lot of great pointers on how to find balance between children and marriage.
A lot of my friends are having babies right now, and I am getting to see totally opposite parenting styles. I don't judge them as being right or wrong, but I am definitely making mental notes on what approaches make more sense to me and I'd be more comfortable when my time comes.

harrismm
04-01-2009, 01:45 PM
Babies change everything.I was a mom at 20 and now have 3 wonderful??? teenagers.It isnt for everyone.My life would have been very different if I had waited to have children or not had them at all.Better???Doubt it.But different.I am still married after 20 years.We have given up a lot to have children young.It is such a personal decision.I look at people without children and can understand why they choose that too.I think the fact you are exploring this issue before you have a child is brilliant,How many people actually put that much thought into it???I sure didnt.

mayness
04-01-2009, 01:51 PM
This is a really interesting thread!

I'll comment on a few things that have been mentioned along the way.

First, I cannot imagine using condoms full-time as birth control, the "scares" would make me far too anxious, it just seems too risky! I've got the non-hormonal IUD (Paraguard) which lasts 10 years. Some of the low-hormone methods (Nuvaring, Mirena IUD) might work for you... if you ever get fed up with the condoms it might be worth thinking about. :)

On the one child issue... I'm an only child, in fact I grew up in a house with 4 adults and myself (my maternal grandparents lived with us), and I'm not a great example of how to raise an only child. :) I was fairly spoiled, and while I always had decent social skills, I grew up not knowing how to do much for myself, and occasionally I still forget to clean something up or put something away... and, when it gets too frustrating for my husband, I almost resent my parents for making me such an annoying person to live with. :p (I feel ok saying this because they were such awesome parents otherwise.)

I flip-flop on the issue of whether to have kids all the time. We have no desire to have biological children (due to family health issues and overpopulation) but we might adopt one or two some day. My husband would love to stay home and take care of them. I certainly know a lot of people (mostly men) who are dedicated to their work and work long hours and are still decent parents... I just don't want to be one of those super-detached "dads" that rarely sees their children and then tries to "catch up" by buying them things or spoiling them, which I could see happening if I'm not careful. *sigh*

Amy8888
04-01-2009, 03:53 PM
I haven't had a chance to read all the replies here because I was so anxious to answer your questions!

• If I were to wind up pregnant, how would I avoid having the baby destroy our marriage? Honestly, my husband is the most important thing in the world to me (well, besides myself, which I have learned is really important too). I would never want anything to come between us.

First of all, I know at least one person already said that you cannot have a baby to save a marriage. Sometimes couples who are already in trouble decide to have a baby and hope that fixes everything. It does not. This can give the illusion that babies ruin marriages.

I will also say that babies CAN test a marriage. Research has shown that at least in the early years, people with babies are actually less happy than their peers without babies. (This is in regard to individual happiness, not necessarily relationship satisfaction, but I can't see how that wouldn't carry over). And I love my babies, they are now 2 and 3, I love them in ways I cannot describe. I am pretty happy with my life. But it is HARD to be at their beck and call. It is hard to know that you cannot just go out on a Friday night because your husband is working and someone has to watch the kids. The loss of freedom can be a problem. I am a homebody too, and even I feel a bit stifled at times.

Fortunately, I have a strong marriage and a husband who understands that it can be frustrating to be with these little whine monsters (said with affection) all the time. If I didn't feel I could communicate with him honestly about my concerns, I could see how our marriage can be in jeopardy, because I'd be so unhappy.

• Is it possible to love your husband as much as your children? I have heard from other women say that it’s not “okay” to love your spouse as much/ more than your kids. Why?

Well, it's a different kind of love. He was the center of my life until we had kids. I see us now as partners who have mutually put the kids at the center of our lives. I would never say it's not okay to love your spouse as much as you love your kids. You can't help your feelings. There are a million cliches about loving your kids more than anything in the world, and I believe that they're true, yet I cannot even begin to describe it.

And I was a lot like you, I should add. I NEVER "got" kids. I didn't think I had the maternal instinct, ****, I'm still not sure I do. I went nuts over puppies and kittens, but never babies. Even when I was pregnant for the first time, I actually referred to someone's baby as an "it," I kid you not. But I took the plunge and had a baby because my husband really wanted kids and I was just unsure, and I fell so in love that I wanted another baby and was pregnant again 5 months later.

Sorry for that tangent...but I think a good way to look at it is that you may feel differently about the baby than you do your husband, and that's OKAY. But it's like when you're on an airplane and they say that if the plane goes down, put the mask on yourself before you put it on your kids. A strong love and partnership between parents should definitely be a priority when you are raising children. (Not that I'm knocking single parenthood, but if you have two adults in a house it really helps when they get along, KWIM?).

Oh, and seeing your husband caring for a baby is just about the sexiest thing in the world.

• How would I make sure that my husband didn’t feel replaced by the baby? How would I make him feel more involved if we were to have one?

This question concerns me a little. Is your husband controlling? Does he demand your attention? Would he be jealous if you showed attention to a helpless creature the two of you created together? Because if that's the case, then you may need more help than you can get from a message board.

But if this is just a general question of you not wanting him to feel left out, then it seems to me that's his issue. Like I wrote above, my husband wanted kids more than I did at first. He actually taught ME how to change a diaper. He was up more than I was for midnight feedings. I know some men are afraid of babies, but honestly I think that's just an excuse. Like anything, practice makes perfect. The only way to be involved is to get involved, and he should be able to find ways to do that if he likes. If not, then that is his decision.

Phew! I hope that helps.

LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 04:48 PM
I haven't had a chance to read all the replies here because I was so anxious to answer your questions!

• If I were to wind up pregnant, how would I avoid having the baby destroy our marriage? Honestly, my husband is the most important thing in the world to me (well, besides myself, which I have learned is really important too). I would never want anything to come between us.

First of all, I know at least one person already said that you cannot have a baby to save a marriage. Sometimes couples who are already in trouble decide to have a baby and hope that fixes everything. It does not. This can give the illusion that babies ruin marriages.

I will also say that babies CAN test a marriage. Research has shown that at least in the early years, people with babies are actually less happy than their peers without babies. (This is in regard to individual happiness, not necessarily relationship satisfaction, but I can't see how that wouldn't carry over). And I love my babies, they are now 2 and 3, I love them in ways I cannot describe. I am pretty happy with my life. But it is HARD to be at their beck and call. It is hard to know that you cannot just go out on a Friday night because your husband is working and someone has to watch the kids. The loss of freedom can be a problem. I am a homebody too, and even I feel a bit stifled at times.

Fortunately, I have a strong marriage and a husband who understands that it can be frustrating to be with these little whine monsters (said with affection) all the time. If I didn't feel I could communicate with him honestly about my concerns, I could see how our marriage can be in jeopardy, because I'd be so unhappy.

• Is it possible to love your husband as much as your children? I have heard from other women say that it’s not “okay” to love your spouse as much/ more than your kids. Why?

Well, it's a different kind of love. He was the center of my life until we had kids. I see us now as partners who have mutually put the kids at the center of our lives. I would never say it's not okay to love your spouse as much as you love your kids. You can't help your feelings. There are a million cliches about loving your kids more than anything in the world, and I believe that they're true, yet I cannot even begin to describe it.

And I was a lot like you, I should add. I NEVER "got" kids. I didn't think I had the maternal instinct, ****, I'm still not sure I do. I went nuts over puppies and kittens, but never babies. Even when I was pregnant for the first time, I actually referred to someone's baby as an "it," I kid you not. But I took the plunge and had a baby because my husband really wanted kids and I was just unsure, and I fell so in love that I wanted another baby and was pregnant again 5 months later.

Sorry for that tangent...but I think a good way to look at it is that you may feel differently about the baby than you do your husband, and that's OKAY. But it's like when you're on an airplane and they say that if the plane goes down, put the mask on yourself before you put it on your kids. A strong love and partnership between parents should definitely be a priority when you are raising children. (Not that I'm knocking single parenthood, but if you have two adults in a house it really helps when they get along, KWIM?).

Oh, and seeing your husband caring for a baby is just about the sexiest thing in the world.

• How would I make sure that my husband didn’t feel replaced by the baby? How would I make him feel more involved if we were to have one?

This question concerns me a little. Is your husband controlling? Does he demand your attention? Would he be jealous if you showed attention to a helpless creature the two of you created together? Because if that's the case, then you may need more help than you can get from a message board.

But if this is just a general question of you not wanting him to feel left out, then it seems to me that's his issue. Like I wrote above, my husband wanted kids more than I did at first. He actually taught ME how to change a diaper. He was up more than I was for midnight feedings. I know some men are afraid of babies, but honestly I think that's just an excuse. Like anything, practice makes perfect. The only way to be involved is to get involved, and he should be able to find ways to do that if he likes. If not, then that is his decision.

Phew! I hope that helps.

Amy, thanks so much for your thorough response.

Yeah, I am one of those where I don't really go nuts over babies like everyone else... but give me a puppy or a kitten, and I go bananas, lol. I guess because of that, I always assumed I just wasn't "cut out" for mothering because I didn't go crazy for babies. However, any time I am around kids, I seem to get a lot of compliments on how I handle them.

In regards to the third question- my husband isn't controlling or jealous at all! In fact, he's the complete opposite. However... I am more concerned with just the fact that my husband has never really been around babies. He has never even held one! I think they scare him... I know my dad was scared of me as a baby, too. Babies are so delicate, and they really can't interact at all... My hubby just gets this "deer caught in the headlights" look whenever a baby is around. I am also concerned about him feeling more involved because I am just paranoid of becoming like I feel my mom did. I would want to make sure that my husband always knew that were a "team" and that the baby had in no way replaced him.

beerab
04-01-2009, 06:14 PM
Yeah I think you have started realizing that your mom's way of thinking is wack! lol Don't worry my mom is wack too :p

I'm 26 and while it's just 3 years older I don't feel ready at all to have a child either- but my mom acts like I'm so behind, and I'm like mom when I want to have a child (which I want at least 2) then I will, but not before then!

I think it's possible to raise 1 child and them not be spoiled. I have friends on both ends, ones that are only children who are DEFINITELY spoiled, and others who aren't spoiled. In fact some of my friends who are spoiled aren't only children. And one of my friends has a 13 year old and 19 year old and BOTH of them are spoiled rotten. Now that she's lost her job she's realizing just how spoiled and unappreciative her children are...

It sounds like you and hubby have a great marriage, and have considered kids. Let me just say no one is 100% ready to have kids, and no one isn't scared when they find out they are going to be a parent- EVEN THE ONES WHO PLANNED for a child still have fears. It's only natural to wonder if you are going to be a good parent, if your marriage will last, and so on.

I know for hubby and myself we've been through a lot and having a baby will be tough- but doable :)

Go at your own pace, you aren't ready now, but who knows, in 2 years/5years/7years/10 years you might feel ready and have only one child. And who knows you may only have one and they turn out to be a good kid and not spoiled at all- what your mother says is not written in stone- you can survive and keep your marriage intact and have one unspoiled child lol.

The only way your husband will feel replaced is if you make him feel that way. If you keep him involved and listen to him and have good communication then neither of you will have to worry about this issue when and if a baby does come around :)

Personally I say wait a few more years- you've got tons of time for children! :)

LisaMarie71
04-01-2009, 08:16 PM
I've been thinking about this topic quite a bit lately, because I have a nearly 8-month-old baby boy and my marriage has definitely changed somewhat. I don't think the changes are permanent, so I'm not as stressed about it as I was when my son was a newborn. Of course, at that time I had a bit of postpartum depression, troubles with breastfeeding, and extreme sleep deprivation. The sleep deprivation is still there but the rest of it is all worked out!

Like many of the previous posters, I was never "maternal" either. I knew I probably wanted a kid one day, but I was never in a hurry. My husband and I got married when I was 21 and we didn't start seriously thinking about a baby until I was about 28 or so. We tried for several years and couldn't conceive. I was sad about it but not incredibly heartbroken because I still couldn't really see myself as a mother. After I lost a ton of weight in 07, I conceived and it was a total surprise. I had the baby in August of 08 at 36 years old, after 15 years of marriage. (So you see, you have PLENTY of time!) I'm very glad that it worked out this way, because I don't think I was ready in my twenties.

My husband and I are one of those couples who never really fight. We've never had a reason to. And yes, we thought of ourselves as a family when we didn't have a child, as we should. I hate when people say "start a family" as if you're not already one before you have a baby. A family can be any group of people who love each other, after all, and a married couple is at least that, right? Anyway, we've been happy for years and I've never really had a bad feeling toward him in my life. I know I'm lucky, that most people don't get to experience the kind of love we've had.

However...yes, babies change things. In some ways, we're closer than ever because we made this amazing little person and we get to watch him grow and change together. In other ways, yes the baby has become the center of my life. I never thought I would be that kind of mother, but you honestly have NO idea how you'll be until you actually give birth. You can say all day long "I would never be that way," but having a baby does change you in some ways. For example, I've decided to be a stay-at-home mom even though I love teaching and we'll suffer financially somewhat. I never in a MILLION years thought I would do that!

I really believe that the first few years of a child's life are just a crazy moment in your life and you have to get through it but also enjoy it as much as you can, you know? My son will never be this age again, and I wholeheartedly believe that a strong attachment is crucial in the early years, so the marriage is slightly taking a back seat right now. It's kind of a mutual decision, though; my husband isn't whining for attention or anything. Part of that could be that we're older and more settled with each other anyway and we don't require constant attention, if that makes sense.

That said, I am REALLY trying to get my baby to take a sippy cup so I can leave him with a babysitter and my husband and I can have a date night!! He would never take a bottle, so I haven't left him for more than 2 or 3 hours since he was born. Crazy, huh? Before I was a mommy, I would've said, "She's insane! I would never do that!" You really don't know what you'll do until you have this little person in front of you and, like another poster said, your heart is outside your body.

I had moments when my baby was a newborn when I really got mad at my husband but I tried to hold it in because I recognized that it was just my crazy hormones. Things are much better now and I expect them to get even better as my son ages and I can regain more of my own identity as a person and not just a mommy.

I'm torn on the only child issue. I really want just one but I don't want my son to miss out on the experience of having a sibling. Unfortunately, I'm kind of old so I would have to have another relatively soon, and I'm way too tired to imagine that!

Ok, that was really long....sorry!

Amy8888
04-01-2009, 09:13 PM
Amy, thanks so much for your thorough response.

In regards to the third question- my husband isn't controlling or jealous at all! In fact, he's the complete opposite. However... I am more concerned with just the fact that my husband has never really been around babies. He has never even held one! I think they scare him... I know my dad was scared of me as a baby, too. Babies are so delicate, and they really can't interact at all... My hubby just gets this "deer caught in the headlights" look whenever a baby is around. I am also concerned about him feeling more involved because I am just paranoid of becoming like I feel my mom did. I would want to make sure that my husband always knew that were a "team" and that the baby had in no way replaced him.

Good, I'm glad to hear that about your husband! It's so hard to tell online sometimes. I guess in this sense, I am like your husband because I was the baby of the family, and I just was never around babies. They scared me too. And it's true that little babies don't really interact, but they have a way of captivating your attention. You could sit and stare at a sleeping baby for hours. :) I think if he's as attentive as he seems, you will have no trouble getting your husband involved.

EZMONEY
04-01-2009, 09:40 PM
To answer you question KIDDO ~ "Do babies destroy marriages?"...

NOT POSSIBLE! A baby is a wonderful innocent creature given by God....innocent.

People destroy marriages.

Here is a question I will ask of you...."What was the greatest day of my life?"..

Of course you don't know....but my 28 year old son does and so does my 25 year old daughter (both older than you ;))

It was the day my daughter was born....if I had a another child it would have been that one.

My son is not jealous at all...he understands why.

I am not married to their mother anymore, although we are good friends...

I have added a step-daughter and raised a nephew to the equation....

Life takes a lot of twists and turns....our past can destroy us if we allow it to...

Raising a child is not always easy on a marriage....

Raising a child is one of God's greatest blessings....

If raising a child is not yet in your "heart" you probably are not ready...however life throws us curves ;)....you may have to learn in a hurry!

I will say a prayer for you tonight that when and if the time comes for you and your husband to be parents that you will learn and grow to be OUTSTANDING parents in spite of your past issues!

and that one day....even when they are 28 and 25 they call or text you daily to say...

I love you dad/daddy! :) EDIT! oops... Mom/Mommy!!!

LookingForMeAgain
04-01-2009, 09:48 PM
My husband and I are actually closer having shared the wonderful experience of bringing a child into the world.

Now I love my husband as much as I ever did but I will tell you that the love you feel for your child is a different kind of love and it is the strongest love you will ever know. I always thought that was hooplah before I became a mom I was like no way I could love someone more than I love my husband but you can. It doesnt mean you wont still love your husband but truth is (atleast for me) your gonna love that baby more than anyone else.

Babies do make marriages more work but along with it they make it more fun and special. The most special day of our life was not our wedding it was the moment we heard our baby boy cry for the first time. My husband will tell you the same thing. We felt closer than we ever had at that moment and that will be a moment we will hold in our hearts forever. He will tell you the same thing. We love each other even more now that we gave each other this precious little gift.

But sure there are days our needs are not met because we are busy taking care of a child. You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot to have a baby.
But I dont think you have to sacrifice your love for each other.
And the fair thing.... those guys would have probably went their own way without kids too. DH stays with me and DS when we go somewhere with friends or sometimes he and DS will go off with the guys or whatever. Its never like the scene you described for us. He is a very hands on dad and loves DS with all his heart. And Im okay with the fact that he loves DS more than he loves me b/c I feel the same way. It doesnt mean we dont love each other as I said we were close before and are closer and love each other even more now but its just hard to explain how much you love your child to someone who doesnt have children.

LookingForMeAgain
04-01-2009, 09:54 PM
I didnt read any responses before I posted and just scrolled up and wanted to add

MY DH had NEVER held a baby or been around kids didnt really think he even liked kids and he is the BEST dad in the world. Even thru my pregnancy he wasnt overly emotional or didnt act real excited (even though DS was planned and DH wanted him) but the second he heard that baby cry and they handed him to him his life changed. You could barely pry him away from him. And he changed diapers, did feedings, whatever needed done.
It doesnt matter that he was never around them before he learned quick and is a great dad!

choirgirlhotel
04-01-2009, 10:16 PM
Besides the one (?) man that replied here - I would be very interested in hearing a bunch of male's replies to this question!

~Choirgirl~

LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 10:29 PM
I always thought that was hooplah before I became a mom I was like no way I could love someone more than I love my husband but you can. It doesnt mean you wont still love your husband but truth is (atleast for me) your gonna love that baby more than anyone else.


I can't explain it, but that statement scares the living daylights out of me. What does that mean? what does that say about me?

K8-EEE
04-01-2009, 10:46 PM
Hey girl, mom of two here! Yes they totally CAN AND DO DESTROY MARRIAGES, but not mine (going strong since 1986!)

Actually it's not the kids that do it....it's the parents who neglect their own (and other adult) relationships when the kids come along.

I really believe in dating your husband. I believe in making appointments/dates for sex. Believe me if you have a toddler and an infant in the house, that's the only way it's gonna happen!

I believe in asking for help. I believe in babysitters. I believe you should avoid at all costs addressing each other "mommy" and "daddy."

I believe if at all possible, waiting until you have some measure of financial security (not to say you have to be well-off, I mean, wait until finishing school, etc.) because NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING is more stressful than dealing with poverty and babies at the same time. I know that's not very romantic to say but that is TRUE. Poverty can be romantic for short periods if there's no babies involved. But ya know we've had our seriously broke moments (thankfully, they were brief) with the girls too and got through them but IMO, financial stress is what killed most of the marriages of the people I went to high school with. $$$ and infidelity are the marriage killers, not babies! Babies are fun, if you're ready for them.

harrismm
04-01-2009, 10:50 PM
Then maybe you are just not ready.Thats not a bad thing.Like I said earlier, you are taking the time to sort this all out before you are in the situation.I will tell you one thing, there is never a right time to have a child.You will never have enough money, time, love, big enough house........Thats human nature.When you or if you have a baby, it just works out.Things just fall into place.I can tell you the most wonderful moments in my life involve at least one of my children.Enjoy your life the way it is now and take time to decide what you and your dh want.

K8-EEE
04-01-2009, 11:00 PM
It IS scary! IT IS! You're totally right and btw even though I'm a happy mom I'm not of the mind that EVERYBODY HAS TO HAVE KIDS! I have a married sister who chose not to have kids and she's very happy with her decision -- and my kids' favorite (and most generous) aunt for obvious reasons! She LOVES kids, and sure loves spoiling mine, she just doesn't want to deal with them every day, she wants her freedom and you know what? Good for her. Everyone's different. Just because all your friends are having kids doesn't mean it's the right decision for you and your husband.

I can't explain it, but that statement scares the living daylights out of me. What does that mean? what does that say about me?

mandalinn82
04-01-2009, 11:01 PM
Have you spent much time trying to sort out exactly what the fear is? What is the worst case scenario running through your head?

Say that you did have a child, and did feel a different kind of love for that child that you saw as "bigger" or "more" than what you felt for your husband (and I'm not saying I think that'd be true...I'd imagine the two are very different feelings that are almost too far apart to be compared, that just share one word in English..."love for a child" is almost certain to be a different sort of feeling altogether than "love for a spouse", but let's assume for argument sake they are one type of feeling). What would happen?

Are you worried that the love for your child would crowd out the love you have for your spouse? Do you think your capacity for love is limited to a certain amount and you'll overflow your allotment?

Are you worried that the actions associated with loving a baby (all the time spent caring for it, for example) will crowd out your schedule so you have no time for the actions associated with loving a spouse (intimacy, talking, etc?) Or that a child will push your marriage so low on the priority list that you stop taking care of it?

Are you worried that you WON'T feel more/bigger love toward a child, and that will mean you're a bad parent/person?

I find it's really hard to work out issues like this without having a deep understanding of what the worst-case outcome you're most afraid of would be.

I firmly believe that if both partners consider the marriage a top priority, it's hard to destroy a marriage...really hard. And that relationships built on a solid foundation can take the shaking of MANY life stressors, from babies to deaths to everything in between. Babies shake things up, but if the foundation is there, the house isn't going to come down with a little shaking, you know?

LittleMoonRabbit
04-01-2009, 11:13 PM
Have you spent much time trying to sort out exactly what the fear is? What is the worst case scenario running through your head?

Say that you did have a child, and did feel a different kind of love for that child that you saw as "bigger" or "more" than what you felt for your husband (and I'm not saying I think that'd be true...I'd imagine the two are very different feelings that are almost too far apart to be compared, that just share one word in English..."love for a child" is almost certain to be a different sort of feeling altogether than "love for a spouse", but let's assume for argument sake they are one type of feeling). What would happen?

Are you worried that the love for your child would crowd out the love you have for your spouse? Do you think your capacity for love is limited to a certain amount and you'll overflow your allotment?

Are you worried that the actions associated with loving a baby (all the time spent caring for it, for example) will crowd out your schedule so you have no time for the actions associated with loving a spouse (intimacy, talking, etc?) Or that a child will push your marriage so low on the priority list that you stop taking care of it?

Are you worried that you WON'T feel more/bigger love toward a child, and that will mean you're a bad parent/person?

I find it's really hard to work out issues like this without having a deep understanding of what the worst-case outcome you're most afraid of would be.

I firmly believe that if both partners consider the marriage a top priority, it's hard to destroy a marriage...really hard. And that relationships built on a solid foundation can take the shaking of MANY life stressors, from babies to deaths to everything in between. Babies shake things up, but if the foundation is there, the house isn't going to come down with a little shaking, you know?

Mandalinn- I think all of those things have gone through my mind... that maybe I do have only a limited capacity for love, or that somehow the time I would spend on the baby would take away from the time I spend with my husband. I mean, I LOVE the time I spend with my husband. We're so close, even just watching tv feels special when I am with him. I guess I am afraid that somehow the time I would spend with the baby will take away from the time I spend with my husband. I have also considered the possibility that I won't feel that "big love" parents talk about... since I have never really felt very maternal towards children of the "human" kind.

willow650
04-01-2009, 11:33 PM
I can't explain it, but that statement scares the living daylights out of me. What does that mean? what does that say about me?

I am afraid that you wont understand till you experience it yourself. One is not better than the other, its just different.

The best thing parents can give their kids, is happily committed marriage. I had a child before I met my husband but I know I love him with all my heart and my realtionship with him is #2 on my priority list, realtionship with my kids, is #3 God is #1. My husband and I have 2 kids together and we love them, would give our lives for them, and each other. I love the time of night when my kids are in bed and its just he and I, we love any time we can be alone and with the kids. we believe in babysitters, we believe in joint hobbies, we believe in shared duties. I choose to bottle feed, it worked great because my husband and I shared getting up at night. That kept us for being overly tired and frustrated. Yes there are fusses and occasional fights ect but for me and my husband, they are few and far between. My husband is the leader of our home and we present a united front to our kids, if one of us disagrees with a decision the other has made about the kids, we discuss it privately. another thing we do is when my husband comes home from work, the kids run up and do their hugs and kisses then he and I go in to our room for a bit. Just so he can vent about his day or what ever, just to reconnect with each other.
I always said I never wanted Kids, I was surprised with my 1st, then swore I never wanted anymore, told my husband the my daughter would be my only child and he was ok with that, but when she turned 5, I changed my mind. We miscarried our first together then a year later had my second daughter, then BIG SURPRISE, when she was 10months old, I became pregnant with my son. I was terrified and very upset through all of my pregnancy that i was pregnant again but then I held that baby boy and he has had my heart ever since. I love my daughters but the relationship with my son is different, we have a different bond. Boys love their mamas but girls turn on them ...lol Im not sure what you believe but I believe God planned my children whether I did or not...lol So maybe just pray about it. oh and the comment about their being nothing sexier than a man taking care of their child, I agree 100%

I am sorry your mother led such a bad example. parents should never use their child in attempt to avoid other issues in their life. men need to be respected, and needed, not avoided, ignored or unwanted. i know a few women that surround their whole life around their child and leave the husband to 'fend for himself' its very sad to see and not fair to the kids or the husband. Check out this website, http://www.rosemond.com/ my husband and I love this guys advice and follow his parenting philosophy.

willow650
04-01-2009, 11:36 PM
Mandalinn- I think all of those things have gone through my mind... that maybe I do have only a limited capacity for love, or that somehow the time I would spend on the baby would take away from the time I spend with my husband.

you know, a lot of people think the same way when it comes to moving from 1 child to 2. your love does grow. you can love them all.

LittleMoonRabbit
04-02-2009, 08:34 AM
I am afraid that you wont understand till you experience it yourself. One is not better than the other, its just different.

The best thing parents can give their kids, is happily committed marriage. I had a child before I met my husband but I know I love him with all my heart and my realtionship with him is #2 on my priority list, realtionship with my kids, is #3 God is #1. My husband and I have 2 kids together and we love them, would give our lives for them, and each other. I love the time of night when my kids are in bed and its just he and I, we love any time we can be alone and with the kids. we believe in babysitters, we believe in joint hobbies, we believe in shared duties. I choose to bottle feed, it worked great because my husband and I shared getting up at night. That kept us for being overly tired and frustrated. Yes there are fusses and occasional fights ect but for me and my husband, they are few and far between. My husband is the leader of our home and we present a united front to our kids, if one of us disagrees with a decision the other has made about the kids, we discuss it privately. another thing we do is when my husband comes home from work, the kids run up and do their hugs and kisses then he and I go in to our room for a bit. Just so he can vent about his day or what ever, just to reconnect with each other.
I always said I never wanted Kids, I was surprised with my 1st, then swore I never wanted anymore, told my husband the my daughter would be my only child and he was ok with that, but when she turned 5, I changed my mind. We miscarried our first together then a year later had my second daughter, then BIG SURPRISE, when she was 10months old, I became pregnant with my son. I was terrified and very upset through all of my pregnancy that i was pregnant again but then I held that baby boy and he has had my heart ever since. I love my daughters but the relationship with my son is different, we have a different bond. Boys love their mamas but girls turn on them ...lol Im not sure what you believe but I believe God planned my children whether I did or not...lol So maybe just pray about it. oh and the comment about their being nothing sexier than a man taking care of their child, I agree 100%

I am sorry your mother led such a bad example. parents should never use their child in attempt to avoid other issues in their life. men need to be respected, and needed, not avoided, ignored or unwanted. i know a few women that surround their whole life around their child and leave the husband to 'fend for himself' its very sad to see and not fair to the kids or the husband. Check out this website, http://www.rosemond.com/ my husband and I love this guys advice and follow his parenting philosophy.

Willow- it sounds like you and your husband have a great relationship and a wonderful system. I like the idea of "us time" after he comes home from work. I also really appreciate that you have joint hobbies.

I also agree with the way you have your priorities set. God #1, husband #2, kids #3. I guess I just needed confirmation that such a system (which would have been my priorities too) could work, and work well, since I see so many people who seem to put kids #1.

I also agree with you that kids are planned/meant to be. If it happens, it happens. I guess I just want to make sure I make the most of my time and sort out my thoughts and feelings and past demons as much as possible, before a baby comes along. I don't want to expose kids to these insecurities of mine.

willow650
04-02-2009, 10:08 AM
I think you also need to forgive your parents. Yes they messed up, yes, your mother was wrong and she may never realize it, yes, your father should have stepped up an been the man and lead his household, but you need to forgive them. No parent is perfect, we all make mistakes, I sure most people have certain things they wish their parents had done differently, Lord knows I have several decisions in my life that I am like "If they had done this...., than I wouldn't have done that...." But I am a grown woman, each choice is my own. Just like how you prioritize your life is your own. You cant go on forever basing all your choices that effect your future on things that happened in your past. This is nothing wrong with with saying that your parents were a good example of what not to do. my mother is a manipulator, my father has anger issues, my father has a hobby that my mother isn't and can't be a part of and that really came close to destroying their marriage, so I said ok, now I know what NOT to do in my marriage. I truly think that you have taken the time to figure out the wrong in your mothers parenting style and are taking gret pains in makeing sure you dont make the same mistakes, means you will make a great WIFE and MOM. You can be both.

Amy8888
04-02-2009, 10:57 AM
I can't explain it, but that statement scares the living daylights out of me. What does that mean? what does that say about me?

It says that you haven't had a baby, that's all! (Or at least it does in my experience).

Here's the thing. Hormones are very powerful, and we are designed to have this overflow of hormones to help us bond with our babies after they're born. I remember about a week after Leah was born, and I was just holding her and I was so overwhelmed by this tiny amazing creature. I started crying, and my husband walked in and asked what was wrong. I said "I just love her so much!" He was THRILLED to hear this since, as I mentioned, I was like you and didn't know what the heck to expect or what the big deal was with babies. I would never have guessed I'd feel that way before she was born.

Other than that, there's no way to explain it. That's why it's so hard to believe it when people say "It's different when it's your own." But in my experience, it really and truly is.

LittleMoonRabbit
04-02-2009, 11:40 AM
I think you also need to forgive your parents. Yes they messed up, yes, your mother was wrong and she may never realize it, yes, your father should have stepped up an been the man and lead his household, but you need to forgive them. No parent is perfect, we all make mistakes, I sure most people have certain things they wish their parents had done differently, Lord knows I have several decisions in my life that I am like "If they had done this...., than I wouldn't have done that...." But I am a grown woman, each choice is my own. Just like how you prioritize your life is your own. You cant go on forever basing all your choices that effect your future on things that happened in your past. This is nothing wrong with with saying that your parents were a good example of what not to do. my mother is a manipulator, my father has anger issues, my father has a hobby that my mother isn't and can't be a part of and that really came close to destroying their marriage, so I said ok, now I know what NOT to do in my marriage. I truly think that you have taken the time to figure out the wrong in your mothers parenting style and are taking gret pains in makeing sure you dont make the same mistakes, means you will make a great WIFE and MOM. You can be both.

I have forgiven my parents. Actually, overall I think they did an excellent job raising me for the most part. If putting my sister and I on a pedestal was their worst crime, I think I am pretty damn lucky. I love both of my parents a lot. And, surprisingly, my parents now do stuff together much more often. Now that my sister and I are grown up and out of the house anyways. I guess, maybe my mom just felt she needed us to fly the coop to have "permission" to let loose a little. Who knows. But I don't fault my parents... they are human, I am human. I've just never known anything else but the way they did things, so I am just looking for other perspectives. But you are right, I am an adult and I can live my life however I want. Maybe because I am young, I just don't have a full grasp on that power inside myself yet. But already, my young adult life has turned out nothing like either of my parents' lives... so I guess it's proof that I am not going to follow in their footsteps if I don't want to.

Jen415
04-03-2009, 09:39 AM
No matter what you and your hubby decide to do, you have to be of one mind about it. Unity in your marriage is the most important thing.

I was married to a great guy for almost 17 years. For most of our marriage, we tried to have children. All of the testing, treatments, heartaches, disappointments and an eventual miscarriage weakened our marriage, and we ended up divorcing. Now, at age 44 (in a couple of weeks), I am glad I am child free. I do think once in awhile about the fact that I don't have any kids to take care of me when I get old. But then again...there's no guarantee of that anyway, is there?

nelie
04-03-2009, 11:38 AM
I haven't read every page but here is my take on marriage and kids.

Kids are not necessary for a good marriage. A good marriage should be part of having kids. The reasons for having kids are various but some of them including extending someone's heritage and being able to see the world in the eye's of a child. Then of course there are some unplanned events. My husband and I haven't found a good reason to have kids.

The only real reason I would want to have kids is to provide a home/family for a child that wouldn't otherwise have one which means adoption of a child. Also, my husband and I have child like qualities and are able to have fun and enjoy things that often only parents with kids enjoy. We also both really like kids (on a part time basis) but it isn't enough to have full time kids.

melwolfe
04-03-2009, 12:29 PM
Hey there, I've been married 21 years this August and we have a 19 year old daughter who moved into her own apartment in Nov. She was an only child and while she was/is a little spoiled she's also very smart, independent and a wonderful young lady. She knows how and does take care of herself and her business, works every day and in general is doing well except for her choice of boyfriend but that's a different story!

However, from day 1 my husband and I went on trips without her, date nights, etc. We also always went on family vacations at least once each year. Our daughter is very close to both of our families because of the time she spent with them.

You can have kids 1 or more and your marriage still be great, you just have to work at it. I don't think you can put either husband or child first always, I think you have to make time for both and do things as a family.

If you decide you really are happier without children there's nothing wrong with that either. I think it's your decision ultimately and nobody should try to make you feel bad either way.

Athenawithheart
04-03-2009, 01:27 PM
I am sooooooo glad you started this thread.

Sometimes I think I am the only woman out there who doesn't feel this strong drive to have children.

I am just beginning to get divorced, and it was such a bad situation, I vowed to not have children with him (but yet I stuck around for 18 months. What was I doing?).

Now that I'm out of that environment, I find myself asking if I one day would want children? I'm generally pretty good with kids. So my personal answer is maybe, with the right person.

Right now I'm just so happy to be free of all the control and living my life, that I definitely don't want kids in the next couple of years.

learningtoliveagain
04-04-2009, 11:49 AM
Wow! Where do I begin?
For your first question, if you were to become pregnant...
There is no guarantee that a baby won't destroy the marriage, not everyone is cut out to be parents. If the thought of having a baby might ruin your marriage then don't have one and take precautions to make sure that doesn't happen.
For your second question, is it possible to love your husband as much as your children? I have one child, he is 12 and I've been married for 15 years. I love my son and my husband more than anything in the world, but as most mom's will say, giving birth to a child puts that love for the child in a whole different
category.
And for your third question, would your husband feel like he was being replaced...
If you both want a child, which you should definitely discuss, he won't feel that way. My husband is amazed at the bond my son and I have together and never makes any attempt to come between that bond. I also make sure as my son gets older that there are more and more father/son moments so they form their own bond.
Just sit down and discuss this with your husband so your both on the same wavelength. But speaking from my own experience, having a child is the most wonderful thing I have ever done.


I wanted to drop in on this thread again and scold myself for saying "There's no guarantee a baby won't destroy a marriage", It is not possible for an innocent child to destroy a marriage, but it is possible for us adults to use them as an excuse for the marriage going bad.
Also wanted to add that my son is an only child and the most unselfish young man I know. We only wanted one child and even had to have A. I. to have him. He is a joy and a blessing in our lives.