Thoughts On Having Children

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Hello everyone! There seems to be a lot of baby fever going on lately, in my own life and with fellow bloggers. It has gotten me thinking about kids. Ever since I can remember, I’ve never wanted children. Why? I think I would make a horrible mother. I don’t have that “nurturing, motherly instinct,” and I cannot stand crying, screaming babies. My instinct is to run the opposite way. However, everyone is always telling me this changes when you have your own children. Is that really true? It seems so – I was able to video chat with my cousins the other week and their newborn is absolutely adorable. I think I feel differently because she is actually family.

This post is just my ramblings on thoughts of me personally having children, and I would love to hear from those of you that have experienced similar thoughts.

Freedom

Very simply put, freedom is one of my top reasons to stay child-free. I have always had dreams of traveling around the world, and I think toting a child along would make things a bit more difficult. My ideal vacation right now would be one at a child-free resort. I think living below (I live in a basement) a very active kid has jaded me a bit more on this, but they can be really noisy! Especially when with friends or large families.

I also want the financial freedom to do what I please with my money. I don’t want to have to worry about all the costs that come with having a child. While I did witness a lot of generosity at my cousin’s baby shower, over the years it can add up. I don’t even want to think about how much college will cost in another 30 years. If I were to have children, I don’t think I would pay for their entire education. There are a lot of opinions out there on this, so for the sake of keeping the post shorter, I won’t go into it too much other than to say the student loans I was left with after my parents contributed what they could isn’t crippling.

kitty 2

This all sounds extremely selfish and I fully admit that it is. I want the freedom to be selfish with my money! I hear a lot of people say that most everything you do after your child is born is with the child’s best interests in mind (which makes sense). I have a hard enough time trying to put myself first, and I kind of want some years to do that. Or at least put R and I first. Our biggest goals right now revolve around traveling and seeing as much as possible, even if that means moving several times. That wouldn’t be an ideal lifestyle for a kid.

Anxiety

I had said my instinct is to run the opposite way of a crying baby, mostly because hearing them cry kind of gives me anxiety! This sounds silly, but when my cats meow oddly, or behave out of sorts, I get worried because you can’t tell what’s going on with them. I am sure all new parents go through this, but I have to admit I am a bit worried about postpartum depression. Babies are a lot of work, and I have no idea if I can handle it. I have not had any experience with kids at all – my cousin’s baby is the first child in our family to be born in quite a while, and I don’t have any friends with children.

There are also other challenges that come along with parenting, such as having your child compared to others in their school, or other family members. I don’t think it’s a competition. I would try and distance myself from this attitude as much as possible, but being around other parents might make that hard.

Family

My other concern is a bit extreme – I always wonder what will happen if my child just grows to dislike me for some reason. You know those rebellious teens you see on TV – where the parents try and do everything right, but the child still cuts ties with them in the end? I would be devastated to have that happen. I have a great relationship with my parents, even though things did get a little rocky during my teen years.

Staying at home

I had never thought of being a stay at home mom before, at all, as I always wanted to be the breadwinner for some reason. I am starting to see, from reading so many PF blogs, that it can be a great thing. To be able to raise your children yourself, and give them so much love and attention, must be a rewarding feeling. I do think being a stay at home mom is a full-time job, in and of itself, since kids do require quite a bit of supervision. I also don’t think 3 months for maternity leave is enough. I can’t imagine getting to know your baby for three months and then having to return to work.

This ties in with wanting financial freedom, though. If I stay at home, I would definitely consider finding sources of income online. Hopefully by then I would have some investment income as well. I’m just not completely comfortable with the idea of relying on one income in case something happens. That also puts a lot of pressure on R – if he ever wants to change careers, I’d like for us to be able to support that decision financially. So it would seem that there’s a lot of preparation involved for making the switch to being a stay at home mom.

Any conclusions?

I’m still undecided, and I think that’s okay for now. I am still young, and I don’t think my biological clock is ticking yet. My mom had me when she was 30, and similarly, my cousin is around 31 I believe, and their baby seems fine! I know there’s still an increased chance of things going wrong, but I would rather wait for the time to be right than have a child because I felt that I was short on time.

I think I’ve come a decent way, too. At 18 I was extremely adamant that I didn’t want kids, and it actually caused a rift in my last relationship (though I was honest and upfront about it from the beginning). I am thankful that R feels the same way I do. He doesn’t really care one way or the other too passionately, but that may change as it did for me. The fact that I am even considering it now is actually surprising. I think I owe it to reading blogs, as many of you out there have children and are such great parents (and have adorable kids to boot)!

So tell me, have you had these worries and still gone through with having kids? What’s the best part about having them? If you’ve decided to be child-free, tell me why!

Photo Credit – Freedigitalphotos.net / Smarnard
Erin is a total goofball who sucks at writing about herself (though she finds referring to herself in the third person amusing). When she's not editing videos, she can be found messing around in Photoshop, laughing at her cats, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, chair dancing, sipping coffee, or any random combination of the above.

67 thoughts on “Thoughts On Having Children

  1. For the longest time, both W and I thought we would not have children, or that we would wait until we were in our 30s. However, things have changed a lot and now we want to start trying to have one within the next couple of years. Boy do things change!

    1. How exciting! Things may change for us, as we never know where life is going to take us, and it’s always good to be open to the possibilities.

  2. I’ve always wanted children and my wife was a preschool teacher for awhile and loves children. I can understand wanting to travel and for financial independence. As you mentioned…you are still young so you have time to travel now and you should! I know couples with kids who still continue to travel but I don’t think I can handle the extra stress. As for financial goals…I think they can still be attainable with a kid or kids.

    1. That makes it seem so easy. If both people have always known they wanted to be parents, I imagine there’s not much discussion that goes into it. You just intuitively know. I wish it were that simple for me. I am sure I will reach a point in my life where, after traveling and completing some important milestones, the decision will be a lot clearer.

  3. I totally understand where you are coming from. When I tell people I don’t want kids they look at me weirdly. I think most parents procreate without thinking about the responsibilities of having a kid. It’s just part of life. But, I think about it, and the responsibilities seem overwhelming. I get along with kids, so it’s not because I haven’t been around them.

    1. “It’s just a part of life.” I agree – a lot of people have kids because they don’t even think about the alternative. It’s expected after marriage, kids will be the next thing. Everyone I ever told always said I would change my mind, which probably didn’t help. We should be allowed to make our own choices and not be judged because we’re not taking the “traditional” path!

  4. I’m so lucky to have travelled a lot (and a lot as a child/teen with my parents). I think of my life as largely ‘very accomplished’ so I don’t feel like having children would ‘ruin my plans/dreams’. That being said, the BF doesn’t feel the same way, and is probably the reason he always says ‘at least two years’ til we have a baby.

    I really worry about postpartum depression too! And what if their crying really is as annoying as other kids? But the loving me thing – that just makes me think about being a better daughter to my parents, it really does. I never gave them a hard time, but when our opinions differ, I do stick to my guns, and I’m sure sometimes it alienates them a little.

    Money wise, seeing I don’t have debt (other than a mortgage), I feel comfortable. That being said, if I was to fall pregnant by mistake, and not be in a relationship (or the relationship end), I have NO idea how I would take time to have the baby, then pay for the care, and work. I think I could only financially have a child with help – either a partner, or parents/friends offering free care etc.

    I definitely want kids. I feel my life is somewhat ‘done’ now, and that kids is the next challenge in life (and a long challenge too!). I think kids give you so much joy (think Christmases!) and reason to live, and improve and do better. It’s the world’s biggest responsibility, for sure. And I do generally love kids. Friends have toddlers and the like, and I do enjoy them (though I know one friend thinks I don’t like kids/her kid, but I think I more oppose certain behaviours etc, and think ‘I wouldn’t raise my kid like that’. She’s also very protective, so it makes me more self conscious).

    1. I think you’re very accomplished, too! It comes off in your writing =). At least your boyfriend has somewhat of a timeline. A lot of things can happen in 8+ years. I was never a horrible child, and I am pretty sure my parents are grateful for that, but there were times I went weeks without talking to my dad. We’re both very stubborn, and my boyfriend is also stubborn, so that’s a little scary.

      I totally agree about having help. I don’t think I could be a single mom at all, and I admire those that are. I am hoping very much that once we get settled, we will find ourselves near my parents. I’m sure my mom would enjoy helping out (at least I hope so).

      Parenting is a long challenge, and that’s also intimidating. It’s a lifelong commitment. I am so afraid of making mistakes, even though my parents raised me very well, hands-off, and it worked out. I can see how kids bring a lot of joy, and that’s a great point about wanting to be a better person for them. Lots to think about!

  5. My girlfriend B was/is the exact same way. She originally hated the whole idea of having children but has psuedo warmed up to the idea since her niece was born. Right now, I would have no issue with either direction although I do feel a slight social obligation to have kids. Mainly because there are a lot of dumb people out there having children and I feel like I need to help balance that out a bit. For now though, B and I have our dogs and they are close enough, lol.

    1. I love that reasoning! I actually do kind of think of that sometimes. I see so many awful parents raising equally awful kids and think that I could possibly do a bit better. I also feel a slight obligation as I am the only child, so if I don’t have kids, my parents will never get to be grandparents. I know they would be wonderful, too, and it makes me sad. R’s brother has a daughter so his mom is just pressuring him to have more.

  6. I don’t think you sound selfish at all. There are still a bunch of things that I want to do before we start seriously thinking about kids (mostly getting married, traveling etc.). I think even the fact that you have concerns and anxieties about having a child, makes you a good potential mom (if you want to be). If you weren’t nurturing and sentimental and weren’t thinking about these things, then I’d say you might not be “fit” for parenting :-)

    1. Haha, I suppose. Marriage, paying our debt off and traveling all come first for me as well. I would rather take care of pets and R, though. The kitten is proving to be a handful, I don’t know how I would deal with a child! Even taking care of a puppy at this point seems daunting.

  7. Having children is not for everyone. That’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up for not being ga-ga over the prospects of changing diapers. It sounds as though you really value your freedom and know your weaknesses. I’m with KK…the fact you are thinking this through has value. Most parents don’t consider all these issues.

    With that being said I’m gonna shift gears now.

    Holding a child in your arms for the first time changes your attitude about everything. You won’t mind losing some freedom. You will come running when they cry because you love them so much. The money for college won’t seem like such a big deal and you will find a way to make due. You will want to pour everything you have into their life and discipline them properly so the relationship stays solid through the teen years.

    While parenting isn’t always easy, I wouldn’t give my four up for anything. They have been a blessing in my life in ways that I cannot even fathom.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Brian. It’s so clear how much you love your kids! They seem like quite the amazing bunch from your posts. I am sure holding your baby for the first time is one of the most emotional times in a parent’s life. This makes me hopeful =). I will be able to spend some time with my cousin’s baby in a few weeks, which I am excited about. I’ve sadly never actually held a baby before at all, so it will be eventful!

  8. I don’t want kids. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted kids. A lot of my reasons are probably selfish: Among them are that I like my time away from work to be my own. I don’t want to come home after a long day and have deal with a crying child or having to take to take them to an activity. I also like sleeping in on the weekends. I don’t want my house to look like it has been taken over by a toy store. Kids are really expensive. I also don’t have that nurturing instinct. I don’t know how to act around kids, how to talk to them, be goofy with them, etc. My social anxiety probably wouldn’t help things. There are more, but I think I’ll stop there. I’ve pretty much told my parents if they are hoping for grandchildren to look at my sister. I will say though that I wonder a little bit about what a little version of me would be like, but for the reasons above as well as others I will not be having kids. I don’t often tell people how much I don’t want kids (especially people who have kids themselves) but it is how I feel, selfish or not.

    1. All the reasons you’ve provided have gone through my head. I’m worried I’ll get tired of them crying, screaming, kicking, etc. I come home from work now and the only thing I want to do is relax. I can’t imagine fitting a kid into that right now at all. I love sleeping in, too, and having your house look like a mess constantly is not fun. As it is, my kitten wreaks havoc on random things when she wants to. I’m horrible with knowing what to say to kids as well, I always feel so awkward around them. It’s never come naturally, even after working in a toy store.

  9. I have a six year old daughter, being a mom is not easy but looking at your angelic face of your child makes it all worth it! When I was pregnant I had a bit of hesitations and by talking to my mom really gave me comfort. I’m a full stay home and I love what I’m doing.

    1. I’m so glad it worked out for you Clarrise! I spoke with my mom about it too, a few years ago, and she did tell me things change when they’re your own. I’m beginning to understand that. Our family overall has pretty strong bonds so I would imagine and hope it would be the same way for me.

    1. Exactly Charles. I want to enjoy my 20s and do what I please without having to think about how it might impact my family. The boyfriend is on board with that, too, so that’s likely what we’ll end up doing. Re-evaluating around age 30 sounds good.

  10. I too think it’s great that you realize your doubts and fears and are taking them seriously, E.M. Parenting is definitely NOT for everyone, because it is crucial that you find that balance between putting your kid first and yet still taking care of yourself by doing stuff for yourself too. That being said, Brian’s right on the money: kids will bring SO much into your life, but you need to be prepared to live a life of selflessness to a large extent. I wouldn’t trade our four either. The joys and giggles and love, even with the struggles, are all very much worth it and I’d do it again in a New York minute.

    1. Laurie, you seem like you have parenting down pat! The post Maddie wrote a little while ago is proof enough =). If I could be guaranteed to be that successful, I would possibly be more comfortable with the idea of having kids, but of course nothing like that can be certain. As you said, “finding that balance between putting your kid first and yet still taking care of yourself by doing stuff for yourself too” will likely be the hardest part. If I can’t take care of myself properly, I probably shouldn’t be having children! I have been increasingly working on this. Thanks for your input!

  11. I hope my post didn’t put you off even more earlier this week?! :) I had my daughter when I was 30 and I was ‘ready’. Before that I didn’t want children but sort of always thought I might want them in the future. I made sure I traveled a bit and enjoyed myself beforehand (on credit mostly – I wouldn’t recommend that bit though).

    I had and still have some of the same fears as you – especially what if my child hates me when she’s older! But if parents are in sound relationships and take parenting seriously then the chances are that won’t happen.

    In terms of funding education for my daughter, I’m putting a little aside to help her through University if she chooses this path but I intend to teach her about money from a young age (already starting this!) and I’m hoping she will earn her own money to support her education. I want her to be as self sufficient as possible financially.

    I’ve changed my job (which I disliked anyway) to fit in with my daughter working from home so I can see her grow up yet still earn money. I don’t earn a fortune but it fits really well with our situation.

    There will come a point where you’ll either feel strongly about having kids at a certain time, or not – and if not, that’s completely fine! It’s great that you’re weighing up all the options because it’s a major decision. For me, my daughter has changed me and my life but in my opinion, for the better. But being a parent isn’t for everyone!

    Sorry for the long comment, I got carried away!

    1. Don’t apologize for long comments! I love it when people have a lot to say on a subject! I do hope the time comes when I feel strongly one way or the other. I think it’s great you were able to switch jobs and work from home. Even if you’re not “making a fortune,” as long as it works for you and your family, that’s all that matters. I, too, would hope any future children of mine would be financially self-sufficient. Teaching them about money from a young age seems key!

  12. EM, I love the depth of your thinking and questioning. I think that you and R will definitely make the right decision for you based on how you’re thinking.

    We don’t have children and are completely sure this is the right decision for us. Before we got married, we discussed and agreed on it. The door did remain open, but I only recall ever discussing the possibility once or twice and not very seriously.

    I have been in education and worked with young children for almost 15 years and can say that it is the single-most important decision you will make in your life and you cannot change it once you do it. I know that sounds heavy, but I have taught children in poverty and children with tons of money. I see neglected kids and very loved kids across the socioeconomic spectrum.

    I am not so naive to think I could do it better than anyone else out there. I think it’s the toughest job on the planet and I applaud anyone who does it well.

    My goodness, this might be the most I’ve ever said on the subject to anyone else besides CJ. What a thought-provoking read! Thank you!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Tammy! I do agree that it’s a very tough job to be a parent, and that it’s probably one of the biggest decisions we will have to make. While it is easy to pass judgment on what looks like bad parenting, I think it’s important to keep in mind that it’s easier said than done when you don’t have to deal with it. I am glad you and CJ remained in agreement on the topic and that it worked out happily for you!

  13. I admit that sometimes I skim blog posts, but I read every word of this one! I am including it in my roundup tomorrow. My wife and I are borderline terrified of having children within the next few years. With that being said, if it did happen I would be fully prepared to be a parent, but we are really hoping it doesn’t and do what we can to avoid it.

    My reasons are similar to yours. I have been called selfish to my face when I said I don’t want to have kids or that I’d be okay not having them. I totally disagree with people who say it’s a responsibility to have children; it’s not! I think we will end up having children eventually, but I am less worried about the time frame because we plan on adopting so you don’t really “run out” of time biologically speaking. We have a lot of student loan debt, a lot of dreams as far as travelling and different small businesses we’d like to run, and despite a number of friends having children and my wife being in child care for the past 8 years and now being a part-time nanny, we are really content just focusing on building a solid financial future and then hopefully enjoying having those solid finances.

    1. Thanks for reading every word DC =). That’s awful people have told you that you’re being selfish for not wanting kids. At least you’re thinking it through and making the conscious decision not to bring a child into this world because you really may feel that you don’t have enough time to devote to them. In a sense, it’s like you’re looking out for their best interests already. I don’t want to have a kid and then resent them because having them held me back in life.

      I also still have student loan debt, marriage, traveling and exploring other career opportunities to do before I consider it. All good reasons in my opinion! Growing up with parents who were not financially stable, I do place an emphasis on building my finances up to an appropriate level where I could comfortably handle emergencies for three (or more) human beings.

    1. That’s a good way of looking at it – whatever happens, happens. I hope that I get to accomplish a lot in these next few years to be able to better evaluate where I stand with my goals, but who knows, I may be in the same boat as you!

  14. I’ve been thinking a lot more about reproducing recently. My husband and I want to but we disagree about the timing. We don’t have things we want to accomplish first, though. I’m not really looking forward to the responsibility of parenting but I am looking forward to creating our own nuclear family and adding to our extended family, if that makes sense. I figure once we do have kids we’ll have all that joy that parents usually talk about so the sacrifices will seem worth it.

    1. Timing can often be crucial. While it’s great some people can wing it and make it work, I would also rather time it. The thought of possibly having grandchildren one day seems really nice, as I adore my grandma to pieces, and adding on to the extended family would be nice. I also hope that the joy of having kids will make all the sacrifices worth it!

  15. I love that you have given it so much thought, and that you’re owning up to some things and/or addressing concerns – I don’t think there’s enough of that with some situations I’ve seen. I’ve always wanted to have kids, but I also knew I wasn’t going to unless my partner was also “all in” in wanting kids, as well (since some of my previous partners weren’t). I say let things take its course, because speaking for me, I think who I am now was way different than 10 years ago. Things and priorities change, and perhaps it will be the same for you (or not). I think you’re doing a fantastic job addressing these concerns, E.M., it’s a great process in self-awareness!

    1. Thanks Anna, I just think it would be awful not to consider these things as having children is a lifelong commitment. You can’t just press rewind on that! It’s one of the bigger decisions in life, and I want to make sure it works out for the best. I do think things will change, and you’re very right that who I am now will likely be different than the future 30s me. That’s why I think waiting might be the best thing.

  16. I have many of the same concerns. I don’t feel like I have a natural “fathering” instinct. I left the teaching profession because I find dealing with children to be so difficult. So while I’m planning to have children, it’s a bit of a leap of faith that it’ll be very different when they’re my own.

    1. I could never EVER be a teacher! I have no patience when it comes to that. I really admire those that teach, because I feel like children can be difficult no matter what grade it is – even college. I hope your leap of faith works out well, though I am sure it will as you and Mrs. DB40 seem like a great team =).

  17. You know, some of the best aunts and uncles are those who don’t have children themselves. And just remember, whatever choice you guys make, it’s the best for you, don’t let anyone tell you different.

    1. I really would love to be that couple who are known as the awesome aunt and uncle. Unfortunately I have no siblings, so I’ll never get to experience that. My boyfriend isn’t close enough with his brother and sees his niece maybe four times a year. Thanks for your comment!

  18. EM!!! So glad to see someone question this before they cave to obligation and societal pressures. There is no such thing as selfish when it comes to this question. You either want kids or not. I see a few very constructive and reasonable comments here, thank goodness. I cannot conceive of a more weighty question than this. No pun intended.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. I suppose, I just feel as if all my reasons are about myself, which makes me feel a little selfish. Then again, some parents have children for “selfish” reasons, too. Maybe it is best to simplify it as you either want them or you don’t! I hope you have a great weekend as well!

  19. In the past 5 years I’ve gone form being very anti-kid to wanting kids (though am not in a rush). That said I still don’t know how to hold a baby, have never changed a nappy and run from crying toddlers.

    1. I have no idea how to hold a baby, either. I’ve never had the opportunity. I’m really not sure I could handle changing a diaper though. Good to know someone else has had a change of mind!

  20. This was so thoughtful and well-written, EM! Thank you for sharing this – I really enjoyed reading it.

    I am one of those people who have never, ever wanted children – and I never changed my mind as nearly everyone told me I would. I have tried to think about the issue critically, and no matter what angle I look at it from, no matter what argument disbelieving parents (because people who already have children are often extremely disbelieving that I wouldn’t want my own) throw at me, the conclusion is I simply don’t want children for countless reasons.

    I thought I may change my mind once my nephew was born, once I actually got to see and hold and interact with a baby (being an only child with a relatively small extended family, I was never around babies, and even as a kid growing up smaller kids and babies grossed me out! I never once have been a babysitter). If anything, it only cemented the fact for me that I have about zero mothering instincts. Sounds bad, but I didn’t think my nephew was precious, cute, or some sort of miracle when he was born – he just sort of existed for a while. As he’s gotten older (he’s about a year and a half now), he’s become more interesting and I’ve enjoyed interacting with him more – but I’m still so glad I can just hand him back to his mom when I’m ready to go do something else or when he starts crying for something.

    Honestly, I have more of a nurturing instinct toward animals than I do towards children, and I’ve always been that way. The way people describe how they think about, worry over, and care for their children could just as easily be describing how I think, fret over, and take care of my cats and horses. They are my babies, my fur kids. And I am perfectly happy with that arrangement – and I think just as importantly, so is my husband. He doesn’t want children either, and that’s an issue we thoroughly discussed before we got married. It was important to us we were on the same page on that one.

    I don’t know if that makes me sound crazy – and I don’t really care, I am just grateful I know and understand these things about myself. I have never, ever understood why people push others to have children. For one, it’s no one’s business but your own! And secondly, I’d much rather be in the situation where I know that I would be a bad mother and that’s one of the reasons I chose the no kids route, than to succumb to societal pressure to have children and then end up bitter, resentful, and unhappy (and with bitter, resentful, and unhappy kids to match).

    Sorry that got so long – I just wanted to speak up as a representative of the No Kids Camp! I don’t think there is a right or wrong choice to make in general, but there is a right and wrong choice for us all individually, and only us and the other person involved in the baby equation can decide whether or not children are a good idea. Either way, don’t give in to some sort of outside pressure. I think you’re doing the right thing by being so thoughtful and honest with yourself. Whichever you end up choosing, and whenever you make that choice, I’m sure it will be the right one for you :)

    1. You and I sound a lot alike! I have more of a nurturing instinct toward my cats as well. Fur babies is a great way to put it. As an only child with a small extended family, I wasn’t exposed to children either. When my youngest cousin was born, I was 7, still too young to really understand or care about kids. I never babysat, so I’ve had about 0 exposure to children besides the ones I encounter in public.

      I am meeting my “second” cousin in a few weeks, so I am interested to see how I will react. I am really, really happy for my cousins because I know they’ll be a great little family, but I’ve been hearing stories about how stressed they are and it worries me. I have to agree on your point of being able to hand the child back to the parents at the end of the day.

      “I’d much rather be in the situation where I know that I would be a bad mother…” this sentence was great. I completely agree – I don’t want to end up having children only to resent them. That would be horrible, and it seems like it’d be an endless cycle of guilt and anger. Hopefully I will be able to interact more with children as the years go by and get a better feel of if I think it’s worth it. In any case, I think deciding by 30 gives me plenty of time to grow and learn. I am just glad my boyfriend is on the same page – as you said, very important that happens, especially on the topic of kids!

  21. Insanely well written post here. The wife and I talk about this frequently. We’re both 23, and wouldn’t be interested for at least a few years anyway, but it’s never too early to think about it.

    We’re not really wanting children at this time. One of us will catch baby fever for a month, but then it reverts. We feel much of the same way that you do. We’ll both have advanced degrees within a few years, both have a lot of goals, and both just love spending time with each other.

    Things do tend to change quickly thought, so who knows what next month will bring! Thanks for a great post.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jacob! We’re the same age, so it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. It’s also a relief to hear you guys have baby fever once in a while, but are more focused other goals for now. I think it’s important to spend time together before involving babies in the mix, since you won’t get that time again for another 20 years! I’m glad we have a few more years to explore life and that there aren’t any biological clocks ticking.

  22. I am absolutely terrified of having kids. The BF and I both come from divorced families, and we wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Not that we plan to get divorced, but we also know from experience that things don’t go according to plan.

    Also, I’m afraid of being a bad mother. I think that’s were all the fear comes from, really.

    1. I am really afraid I’ll be a bad mother as well. I just have no experience with kids, coupled with feeling a bit too selfish, I worry I will be neglectful or resentful. While you know not everything goes according to plan with marriage, I think your experiences will benefit you more than hurt you. You’ve witnessed it firsthand and know what causes all of that hurt. My boyfriend grew up watching his brother make horrible mistakes, and knew immediately that he never wanted to be in those situations. He’s made choices to distance himself from that possibility, which is a good thing because his brother is still a mess.

  23. I do want to be a parent but I’m waiting until my mom can retire and move in with us, which is about 3 years. I’ll be 30/31 by then but I’ll be able to keep working and not have to pay for childcare as my mother really wants to be that stay at home granny.

    I am like you in the sense that I like having the independence without kids. I also feel I’m still a little too selfish to be a parent yet. I think a bit more time will get me to that point to give my all to a cutie pie.

    1. Aww, how cute of your mom! That’s great you have that option. I am secretly hoping my mom will go for that, but she’s not getting any younger and sometimes I do worry. I’m not sure how our living situations would work out, either. Sometimes I have to remember that 5 years really IS a long time away, and that a lot can happen or change during that time.

  24. I am so happy you’re thinking through all this so thoroughly. Because the honest to God truth is…you’re right. On all of these. Every concern is valid. You’ll lose freedom. You’ll lose money. You may end up having postpartum depression, which is a serious issue that needs serious medical attention no matter how strong it is. You’ll gain a constant sense of the heaviest responsibility you’ve ever experienced that you won’t be able to shake even when you’re on date nights or childless vacations. You also may not sleep for months at first, and people joke about it but the sleep deprivation is a horrible, horrible thing. Also make sure you look up what happens to your body AFTER birth before deciding to have kids…it doesn’t end at labor.

    Like others that have commented, I’ll go into a THAT BEING SAID segway. I love my kids. They are my world. They’re the best thing I’ve done in my life. It all sounds cliche but I mean it genuinely from the bottom of my heart and soul. But being real with your concerns is so mature, because they’re incredibly realistic. Maybe do a few more life experience things before deciding for sure. I also have many friends who have waited “too long,” though and ended up with heartbreak because they can no longer have children. Or gone into incredible (I’m talking hundreds of thousands) amounts of debt trying via IVF and other infertility treatments. So if you do think you might want to have them, don’t live SO much life that you find yourself in that situation one day.

    1. Thanks for your comment! If we eventually ended up at the road of not being able to have kids, I probably wouldn’t have a huge issue with adopting. While I’d love to have a baby with both of our genetics, it’s not the end of the world if that can’t happen. I definitely wouldn’t want to go in debt for it, so thank you for that warning! I do think we will probably see where the next five years takes us, and then reevaluate our goals then. There are so many sacrifices that need to be made for children, that I don’t want to look back and wish I had accomplished more before making that commitment.

      1. That is so awesome. I think adoption is amazing. So many kids need so much love. I’ve thought about doing it so many times, but the hoops in the process have intimidated me. If I were a bigger person I’d jump through them. Still think you’re crazy mature for your viewpoint and goals with all of this.

  25. I had many similar thoughts to you on this subject. When I first met my husband I spoke to him about my thoughts of not having children and he didn’t feel strongly about becoming a father either. So throughout our marriage we checked up on our feelings about the subject and they remained the same. Ultimately we decided that being child-free is the way we want to live our lives. We enjoy the freedom we have with our money and time.

    1. Enjoying our freedom is probably our number one reason. I think it’s a great idea to continue to check in with each other to make sure no minds have changed. The only thing to worry about is if either of us somehow feel strongly about it in five or more years.

  26. I too don’t want kids. It’s sad in a sense its seen as an expectation and some people find it strange when others don’t want kids. Having children isn’t for everyone and while there haven been rare moments where I’ve thought one child would be good, most of my life I’ve NOT wanted kids because being a parent doesn’t feel right.

    I say this as someone who is a teacher who adores her student a lot, my two nieces and my other friends kids. I LOVE kids, but I cite freedom as one of my top reasons I don’t want kids. I worked at an overnight camp one summer and the lack of freedom made me realize not wanting to have kids. I’m an introvert at heart and need time to myself.

    Granted I’m only 26, I don’t think my mind will change because of the freedom thing. Plus I have other focuses that’ll take me through my 20s and 30s such as my job as a teacher, getting my masters, traveling and paying off my student loan debt.

    The reactions of others is interesting, some completely understand, others are shocked. I guess some people assume everyone wants kids and never consider the alternative. I feel ill at ease when friends who know I love kids and im great with kidd (teacher :)seem shocked and sad when i say i dont want kids.even

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rebecca. I imagine it’s nice to have a break from kids after supervising them in the classroom all day! I’ve heard a lot of teachers say their kids are like family, too. Teachers have amazing power to influence and sort of raise kids outside of the home.

      I am also an introvert, and if I want to read or go off on my own, I like having that option. I also value peace and quiet a lot, as I am learning with a 9 year old living upstairs, running around constantly!

  27. I loved this post EM. It reminds me of the one I did recently about Why I Love Being Single. It’s ok to not know for sure what you want, and it’s ok to know you don’t want kids. It’s your life so you have to make the best decision for you, either way :)

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