I was never one of those girls who planned on getting married or dreamed of her wedding day. But then I met Mr. Wonderful, and spending the rest of my life with him just made sense. I warned him, though, that I didn’t care about a house and I wasn’t sure I wanted kids. Ever.
Now I’m in my 30s, and the pressure of being a happily married woman with no kids always raises a lot of questions (and eyebrows). We’re now attending more baby showers than weddings, and conversations with married friends revolve around pregnancies and IVF procedures and the best way to put your kid to sleep. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of married couples that don’t have (or at least aren’t trying to have) children.
“Have kids when you’re ready,” people say. “You’ll know.” But what if you’re never ready? What if you just never know? I “knew” Mr. Wonderful was “the one” when I realized at some point I didn’t want to live my life without him. But how do you know you want to spend the rest of your life raising a human being that doesn’t even yet exist? Will I start bonding with it once I push it out of my bloody womb? Or when it screams helplessly in the middle of the night?
“No matter what, don’t give into pressure.” Except that as women, our body is a ticking clock. Time does run out. At some point you have to make a decision or Mother Nature will make it for you. Or you can freeze ten eggs at the sum of $15,000 (yes, I looked it up).
I once told a friend that I loved the idea of being a grandparent. “Well how are you going to get there without having your own kids first?” she laughed. Good question.
So while I’m still dubious about my mothering abilities, Mr. Wonderful and I have decided that trying to have kids would be the path of least regret. Or maybe subconsciously, we have given into societal pressure.
Are you married but don’t have kids? How did you arrive at your decision?
Linda Manns Linneman says
I feel that kids are a true blessing from God. Kids are not mean’t for everyone. They are alot of hard work but they bring so many blessings and precious moments. I have one son that has two children and he really wanted six. I have another son who does not want any. You just really have to be sure and pray about it before you move forward. I really wish you the best. God bless
Interesting topic! My religious mom has always repeatedly tell me that ” birth of children” are really up to God, the creator of life. Best way is to let it happen naturally when you’re dumb, clueless, and horny, haha! I think I missed the train on the child-bearing age in my teens/twenties for being dumb and clueless on that 😉 I’m now 33 years old, still single, and really don’t want to have kids. Seeing how costly kids are, high risk of diseases these days, and the stress they can put on a person…logically kids do not bring happiness (unless you are Kate Middleton of course, where you can hire nannies without worrying about money, and the Kingdom requires heirs to the throne.) I remember someone telling me a statistic on what people consider to bring happiness…it included health, beauty, friends, spirituality, and career (but children was not on that list, haha). Anyway, I guess I’m personally more against having babies at the moment (mostly for financial reasons and health paranoia). I don’t think having kids would bring happiness (if that’s the goal). It’s more like “if God happens to bless you with kids”, you’re stuck with it, and if you try to be a good parent to raise some good kids, there should be some reward out of it…like silly, loving, joyful moments to lessen the burden that you had to bear to raise a human life. God is not that mean, right? Anyhow, I know lots of couples (in their 40’s) right now who are married and choose not to have babies, and they seem happy! More productive at work (less sick days) and have interesting hobbies, and more time and generosity to make a difference in society, as well as being a cool adult role models for kids (nieces, nephews, random kids at certain functions). I guess there’s a good side to everything! Being a parent or not being one! Just my thoughts!
I did read something once that having kids brings down the overall happiness in marriage…and I know it’s just a statistic but that’s enough to make me hesitate! Here’s to hoping that if you or I ever have kids, we’ll have lots of silly, loving, joyful moments with them (and still manage to have interesting lives).
Ashley Bree Perez says
Yes, I am married and have been with my husband for about five years now. We have talked about it and want to wait to have children until we are 28 or 29. I just turned 24 and right now we are focusing on our careers and finishing graduate school. We are enjoying our time with each other.
Caroline @ In Due Time says
Interesting to read coming from someone who has been going through infertility for 3+ years!!! I appreciate your honesty though!
And thanks for yours! I’ve seen a lot of friends struggle through infertility and although I can’t imagine the pain, I know it’s there. Love and best wishes to you!
My husband & I didn’t really “know” but we prayed & talked about it a lot. I never felt “called” to be a mom (I simply saw it in my life vision), so that is probably why I was always unsure of the timing. My husband & I based our decision on the idea that we wanted to be young enough to keep up with him during his active years & have some life left in our years after he goes off to college, gets married, etc.
I totally agree. That’s why we figured it’s time to start trying!
Ashley Bree Perez says
I am still getting asked this question a lot.
Ashley Bree Perez says
thanks for posting
Ashley Bree Perez says
It’s a personal decision.
Wow, this was so nice to read. Personally, I would love to have kids. 2-3 and I already have the names picked out, so that’s not a question. Right now it’s more about timing. Having been married just 2 years but living apart right now because I’m finishing up my masters, it’s so important to spend time together and meet our career goals before we jump into parenthood. Timing it’s different for everyone. I think you and your hubby are thinking about it the right way and it’s a decision you make together
Thanks Emily! That must be hard to live apart from your husband, but hopefully you’ll be reunited soon! Congrats on (almost) being done with your Masters! That’s a big deal!
I was like you. I didn’t want kids. My husband wanted five because he was an only child. I told him that siblings were overrated. LOL!
Now, we have two. The first one was unexpected. Not planned at all. I was very surprised at how well that I did with motherhood. My reluctance was not living up to the standards of my mother. She was amazing, and I didn’t know if I could do it. I was content with one until my grandmother told me not to leave my son by himself. Six years later, I had another boy, and I am loving every minute of watching my boys become young men. Six years apart? I did it for my sanity because frankly, I don’t like babies. They can’t talk!
I always say that I never wanted to be a mother, but I’m glad that I did. There are more highs than lows.
Wow, thanks for sharing that Lena! I hear so many stories about people who wanted to be a mom and realized it was not at all what they expected (in a slightly negative way) so it’s really encouraging to hear your positive experience. And you’re lucky to have such an amazing mother! If you don’t mind me asking, what qualities of your mother did you feel you couldn’t live up to?
I am not married and have no kids so I may not know what I’m talking about, but I have 7 wonderful siblings. I would never want to live my life without them. I always get a lot of questions from people, “Are you going to have a lot of kids like YOUR parents?” I usually just smile and say I don’t know. Because I really don’t. My parents choose to not use birth control or worry about when to have kids and I have 6 sisters and a brother to show for it. One of my older sister is a Psychologist and my other older sister got a full ride scholarship to college and is on her 4th mission trip. My brother is a states swimmer and my four younger sisters are hilarious and make everyone laugh. Bottom line: You have no idea what might be in store unless you give it a try!
What an inspirational family! I can’t imagine life without my sister either – I am so grateful and blessed to have her in my life.
Jen! This is on my mind more and more these days. I’m turning 30 next month and I think my body wants me to have a baby, but my mind is screaming Nooo! I need to travel more!! I do know I want to have kids, but I wish I had like 6 more years to enjoy my life but I know that’s really pushing it unless I do the IVF option which I don’t want to because it’s horribly expensive and has very little rate of guarantee that it will work. And I have so many more hangups around it that I’d rather not say here. In short, having a child is A REALLY BIG decision and you are right to think a great deal about it first. Thanks for sharing…
Jocelyn Tran says
Being the same age, I have been thinking about the same question myself for the past few years. It’s tough. When I was young, I dreamt of having a family. Now, it’s time to start one. I’m on the fenced about it. What is our need to procreate really? There’s so many people living on Earth already. The need to “carry on the family name” isn’t really there anymore. I love my current lifestyle and it just being “us”. At times, I feel like our lives are so busy with life and the logistics of it, we don’t even have enough time for just the two of us (minus all the day to day stuff of house chores, errands, social engagements, financial discussions, etc). I know that kids brings a great joy, love, blah, blah, blah…and all the stress is worth it. All your priorities changes…STILL!
I am also worried that kids will bring stress and effect our marriage negatively. For some couples, it brings them closer. But not for all. I told my husband that we’ll start trying. If we don’t get pregnant, then it wasn’t meant to be. We’ll just have fur babies. Adoption might be an option but that isn’t any easier either. In the end, it’s our personal choice but the biological clock is ticking. SIGH.
After a number of failed relationships, I finally met my “prince” and married in my mid-thirties. We had difficulty conceiving and went through all the infertility testing. Everything was healthy…diagnosis: decreased ovarian reserve (not many eggs left). We weren’t candidates for IVF and as we were contemplating adoption, I surprisingly got pregnant! It was the most amazing, joyful day in my life when I looked at that positive pregnancy test. Our little baby girl is now a teenager and has been an incredible blessing. I would do it all in a heartbeat (I honestly wish I could retrace every step b/c it has just gone by that fast.) Children have a way of bringing out the best and the worst in you…they are often a mirror of yourself. Parenting is a hard job b/c children are not a career project–they are humans with a heart and soul. They refine you and help you become your better self. And, if you have issues with your own mother, (like I do) a daughter will bring out a lot of that stuff and God uses it to heal you. To me, parenting is the best, most-fulfilling job in the world. I thank God that I didn’t miss out on it.
God bless you on your journey to becoming parents!