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The motherly "pull"?

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Old 02-19-2007, 09:14 AM   #1
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Default The motherly "pull"?

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".
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:33 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-19-2007, 09:46 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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Nelie,

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 em...next argument? I don't buy that it's a built-in biological urge or compulsion, it's not like eating.
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.
And yes, I love my cat and love animals...one of my fantasy retirements (way off in the future, lol) includes working at some kind of animal sanctuary.
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:20 AM   #5
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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!
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:25 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:50 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:44 PM   #8
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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 nephews...so 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!!
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:09 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:23 PM   #10
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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 31.....love them to bits...would I do it again? Nope. It is a difficult life....each age brings its own difficulty....it 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.

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Old 02-19-2007, 02:26 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:28 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:51 PM   #13
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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"...lol

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 mothers...lol.

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 kids...you 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/moral...lol)
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:53 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indychick829 View Post
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"...lol
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.
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