Thursday, June 30, 2011

The No-Baby Fever.

Disclaimer: These are just the opinions of Garth and I. I have great respect for people who chose to have children. I'm simply saying it just might not be for us.

Maybe we just aren't ready for children or maybe we will never be ready for children. Garth and I have been having serious discussions about not having children...ever. I see many of my friends having children or having major baby fever and I just don't have that fever or even that "motherly longing" for children.

I enjoy doing what I want when I want. I enjoy the freedom and the lack of obligations. I enjoy just hanging out with Garth, going away at a moment's notice, eating take-out, and having the time to myself.

I don't know, maybe these thoughts and feelings will pass. I'm still young and if we did have kids I know we wouldn't want them for another 2 to 3 years, but the thought of not having children ever does sound appealing. Is that bad? I hate how I feel guilty for feelings this way. We got married, we bought the house, so the obvious next step is kids, right?

Parenting is hard work. I see my neighbors and co-workers struggle to make ends meet, exhuasted, and stressed out. I don't think I could express our feelings better than this article in Details magazine. I think we are in the "procrastination" phase this article talks about and we do not feel as strongly as the couples mentioned in the article. We are not certain we will never have them. We are merely entertaining the idea. We are realzing we don't have to have them.

Are we afraid we will feel guilty for our decisions someday? Of course! Interestingly, the article claims more people felt guilty for having children than not having them. There is an 80% increase between 1976 and 2008 in number of women ages 40-44 who have never given birth. Crazyness!

Garth and I have discussed these thoughts with our neighbors and some close friends and their reaction is always: "WHAT?! You guys would be such great parents!!" This is extremely flattering and does make us question the decision.

Thankfully, we don't have to make any decisions right now. In the meantime we will continue to pray about it and enjoy life "just the two of us."

32 comments:

Crystal said...

Girl, I felt the same way you did 2 years ago. And my husband and I had the same discussion. Then I read a book called The New Eve, and it really convicted me. It showed me that MY reasons for not having kids was pretty selfish, and it reminded me that God wants His children to raise up godly children. Not to say that people who can't have kids are wrong. Anyway, I told God that if He wanted me to have kids He better change my heart. ;o) I've gone from not wanting to be around kids, and not ever wanting to have them, to actually enjoying babies, and thinking that it might be ok if I got pregnant. I don't know if I'll ever get baby fever though. ;o)

carrie1 said...

I think its your choice! If you two are happy and content on not having kids then don't have any. Don't be pressured into feeling like you have to have kids. Just know the option is there if you decide down the line you want children its there.

Shannon said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. I keep going back and forth on the subject... Truth be told, the only reason we're "trying" (for two yrs now) is because my husband REALLY wants children... I, on the other hand, think "they're okay."

But on the flip side, I'm totally okay with adopting a child. So, where does that leave me? Is it that I don't want my body taken over for 9 plus months? Probably.

I'maNolaGirl said...

I had these very same feelings for the last six and a half years (the length of our marriage pre-pregnancy). It's not that I didn't like kids, I just really loved our life together. One of my biggest fears was that a baby would change my relationship with Mark.

I will tell you that I never had that tugging feeling that if I didn't become a mother that some very specific moment, my life would be less than fulfilled. The truth is, my life was and is incredibly fulfilling without a child. All of the reasons you mentioned for being uncertain about motherhood are the reasons I had as well. They are real and well founded. I hate when people made me feel guilty for having those feelings. Are they selfish, maybe? But having a baby because it falls along some else's timeline for you isn't exactly selfless.

Do what you think is right for the two of you. And one day you may wake up and think, "what the heck, we'll give it a try and if it works, then it was meant to be." That's how we did it and now we're half way to meeting our little one. And I scared out of my mind - absolutely. But we're going to try our hardest to maintain the life we have and just add a new little twist to the mix.

PS - I think it is both brave and refreshing that you chose to share this. For some reason we're taught that if we don't have the fever or the itch or whatever ailment triggers us wanting to be a mom, we're weird or different. There's more people who feel like you than you know and you just made their day!

The Rest is Still Unwritten said...

I agree with Crystal. When B and I were first dating 6 years ago, I didn't know if I wanted to have kids. It really took a while for me to come around to the idea. Then came a point where I wanted a child so badly I didn't think I could go on. We only tried for two cycles before I got pregnant but let me tell you, I wanted a child so bad I ached. I cried and was devastated when I didn't get pregnant the first time. It was such a long way from where I had been a few years ago. Now, I couldn't be happier to be pregnant. Every time I feel her kick, it's pure joy. I've never been happier in my life. Yes, I know it will be hard, but I am so up for it!

All that said, my aunt never wanted kids and now she's almost 50 and doesn't regret it one single bit. I think if you really don't want kids, the best decision is not to have them. Don't let someone talk you guys into something you will end up doing out of guilt.

Like you said, you're young. You have time.

Whimsy said...

I was so happy to read your blog post this morning. My husband and I are also struggling with this decision. It is nice to know that we are not the only "freaks" who might not want kids.

*A friend of ours actually referred to childless adults as freaks. We aren't really friends any more. :-P

Jess said...

I'm not even married, but I've gone back and forth.

As a child and into my teens, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd say, "A mom." Then, in college and the few years after, I was around kids allthetime!!!!!! As much as I loved them, I started doubting that I'd want kids of my own.

I changed jobs and my mind/heart slowly started to change. Over the past several months, I've had my first bouts of aching to be a mom.

I still need to find the husband that God has for me and spend time with him, so it will be a while.

All that to say...... I get it. I'm not even saying that you'll change your mind and want kids someday. I just get it.

Lindsay said...

i feel the same way! my husband and i are both 27 and have been married for 4 years...alot of our friends have started having babies and we just have no desire. i hope these feelings pass...but in the meantime i love it just being "us two"!

USCEmily said...

I think it's totally your decision. There will be people that tell you that it's your duty to have kids, but in the end, it's up to you. If you don't want them, you shouldn't feel bad about that decision. Do you read Make Mine a Mojito? Some time ago she blogged about her decision not to have kids and what she had encountered from people because of that decision. It was a great, honest post!

Jessica said...

I have extreme baby fever...we've been trying to conceive for 3 years and have gone through some fertility treatments. I don't think it is selfish at all if you don't want to have kids. It's such a personal decision and one that you should never feel guilty about. Only you know what is right for YOU!

Enjoy your time with your husband and if your feelings change, you always have the option of trying to get pregnant or adopting.

Megg said...

I'm completely and totally opposite you :P But I also totally respect your decision! I believe that there are SO many children in the world that maybe, just maybe God does give some people the desire NOT to have kids, and that's OK. I'm not saying no one should have kids, but I am saying that the desire not to have children is a perfectly normal one and I think it's good to have couples out there who don't want any. I'm really glad you are both on the same page, too. That's really important. We have family friends who don't have kids and the wife always wanted them and the husband never did (which she knew going into the marriage). When she finally went off the BC it really affected their sex life (she told me this in confidence, but it's OK because you don't know her and she doesn't read blogs!) and when she didn't get pregnant he refused to try any sort of tests. So that's hard, but since you and Garth are on the same page that's great.
Don't let anyone try to talk you out of your decision, because I imagine some will. They do for me and it's crazy. The only people who should make the decision of when and if they want kids should be the couple who is going to raise them. :)

Lauren said...

I definitely think it's fully your decision & do not feel guilty! I had those exact same feelings a few years ago, maybe even close to just a year ago...and I was feeling horribly guilty because I knew Hubby wanted children so bad! What if I didn't want children? What if Hubby wanted them more than me? So...I started praying that God would give me a longing for children if that was his will...and a few months later, that's exactly what he did.

It's all in God's timing for sure, and I don't think that for a second you should have a baby because everyone else is doing it! Enjoy your time with Garth, with or without children, the time together Nick & I had as a couple is priceless to us!

Oh...and I've also read The New Eve, mentioned above...I would definitely pick it up with an open mind and read it, it's an eye-opening read!

Anne said...

of course you guys would be good parents if you go down that road- but you are also good friends, good wife/husband, and many other good things. I may (or may not) be on the side of baby feverish ;), but I would like to think that if it didn't happen for us we would be fine. I think we could have a very nice life just the 2 of us. And it is also tempting to stay that way by choice, I love our life together as it is! And it would be veeerry different. Probably not different bad (I hope!) but different. We'll see!

Café Moka said...

We also have that no-baby fever (for now well!)! There is nothing wrong with that!

Katie said...

Thank you for sharing this! I think that everyone is going to have their own opinion (which is just fine!) but its important to remember that your opinion (and Garth's) is the one that matters. I think a major part of being a great parent is the WANT to be a great parent. Plus, if you don't really want kids of your own, you will always be a major influence in children's lives (siblings children, ect). I'm sure even if you don't have children of your own, you will be a wonderful role model.

Whit said...

I'm delurking for this.
I do not want children. I'm not married, but if I ever do it is imperative that the man I do marry does not want kids either.
I actually wrote a blog post about this recently.
http://squirrelintheworld.blogspot.com/2011/06/things-i-hesitate-to-mention.html

Melissa said...

Thanks for posting this.

This is something that I struggle with as well. I feel very apathetic to the idea of having children then wonder if I'll regret not having a family and then wonder if I'll resent "giving up my life" since I am very career minded and will be a working mom (if I do end up having kids). It does not help when my friends and family say "Oh, I hope you'll choose to have kids...you would make the BEST mom". Flattering and guilt-inducing at the same time b/c I do not relate to the baby fever many of my friends have/had.

Like Shannon though I feel that I wouldn't mind adopting. I feel almost called to do so but Matt is not quite there with me. Does this mean I more fear pregnancy than parenting?

The Whity Wife said...

I'm not alone! WoW! Hubby and I are uber young- but the thought of having kids just sounds discusting to us! I am a teacher, right now I am a nanny and I have worked with babies for years- but I love giving them back! Everyone is waiting for us to have kids... We're just not sure we ever want to!

It's a good reminder that we are not ready, but this life is not our own- and the good news is I have a lot of child bearing years left if I change my mind! (Which I have to be reminded of as all of our friends are now adopting or preggos- and we graduated college a year or 2 a go!)

anyways- thank you for sharing this, it was nice to hear that I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings- and that is is ok to feel this way

Andrea said...

I appreciate your honesty! In fact, I really think it's mature and smart of you guys to think and talk this through. Being a parent is HUGE job and no one should take it lightly. Good for you guys for being so level headed and realistic about your goals and dreams.

I will say though, that article is extremely biased and paints a bad picture on something that is God ordained. Children are a blessing from God. Period. Does it mean it's easy? HECK no. But it's still a blessing and to speak of it like that is wrong, IMO. If I were you, I wouldn't let such literature sway your thoughts and instead seek Godly advice on this subject. I absolutely do not think there is anything sinful or wrong with choosing to be childfree, and in fact I believe God may even be putting this on your heart, but this article shouldn't even come into consideration.

As for me, I love being a parent. It's the hardest thing I've ever done but it sure beats my life before this. My husband and I had 4 wonderful years just the two of us and we vacationed and slept in and did all those awesome things we could do. We LOVED it but now our mindset has changed and we LOVE getting up early with our son, giggling with him all day long and rocking him to sleep at night. No amount of wine tasting or beach vacations could satisfy me as much as that. At the end of my life I want to be surrounded by my kids and grandkids and know I raised good, Godly people. For me, I 'd rather have that than a lifetime of easy living.

I believe God is/will lead to you two to the PERFECT life He has planned. It's going to be awesome - kids or not. He's going to use you in awesome ways which is really what this life is about anyway :)

Mrs. Lukie said...

I love Andrea's response.

And I can tell you that my hubby & I were in yours & Garth's shoes about 2 years ago. We just weren't sure about the kid thing, and decided that we didn't have to decide :)

We loved our relationship and our life exactly as it was and couldn't imagine it changing, even for someone created by the two of us.

And then? Our hearts changed. And there was nothing that I have ever wanted more than this child being knitted together in my womb.

I still freak out from time to time that our lives and our relationship will change. But, I know it's a change ordained by God and that our lives and our relationship will be better than we could have ever imagined.

On the same note, I know that it may not be in His plans for the two of you to have children--perhaps He wishes to use you in other ways. It will be so exciting to follow along and find out, though :)

Katie said...

Be yourself...with or without children...whatever suits you and Garth! Forget what others say/do...do what you feel and believe is best for you!

Kudos for being so open and honest about a "touchy" subject!

www.brewingdaily.blogspot.com

Jen Caputo said...

Wow, I had no idea how alike you and I were. Adam and I talk a lot about children and I think if either of us really wanted one we'd do it but we are just not at that point. As we're in our 30s now, I worry that I never will get to that point and I'm starting to realize that maybe that's ok. All of my friends have kids now and I love their kids, but that doesn't mean I need my own.
I feel selfish for saying it (even my mom has agreed I'm too selfish for a kid - thanks mom!) but I like my life the way it is, I like being able to take vacations anywhere and anytime I want. Or go to beer events, or spend the night in the city, or throw a big party. Heck, I love having a bar upstairs, pretty sure we'd have to get rid of that if we had kids...
Anyway, thanks for posting that article, I found myself nodding in agreement with it constantly and sent it to Adam to read too.
I'm really glad you posted this and I hope you continue to do what is best for you and not let anyone shoehorn you into a life other than the one you want to live.

Nicole said...

My husband and I have chosen not have children. I just don't think we have the patience for it. Like you, we like to be able to come and go as we please and do what we want. And spend our hard earned money on us! People have told me many times I'd be a great mother, but only I know whether I will be or not and I just don't feel it. I don't feel guilty a bit about it although I do find it annoying when people are like "Oh you'll change your mind". I have two furbabies and that is more than enough for me!

A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

Well.... I'm 26, and Mark is 29, and we are NOT ready yet for babies. Our pseudo adopted teenage daughter is enough for us. Although, I think that the coolest thing about being a parent will be it strengthening my relationship with Jesus and making that Father/Son relationship even more clear. I love the book "Sacred Marriage", and it asks "What if God designed marriage to make us holy, and not to make us happy?" Now, obviously, marriage makes us happy - I am extremely happy. But it also shows us areas where we need to be more Christ-like - the same way I think having children will eventually. I think you should maybe read "Sacred Parenting" by Gary Thomas. I plan to read it - and love his other stuff. We plan on kids in 3-4 years - i'll be around 30 by then. (-: Either way, I'm sure you guys will do what is right for your family.

~Kathryn

The Pink Owl said...

I totally relate to this post. I, too, do not want children. I *love* children, but I do not want any of my own. I love being able to come and go and do as I please. I realize this is very selfish of me, but it's the truth. I have two adorable nephews who I love as if they were my very own, but...at the end of the day, it is nice to be able to send them back to their parents and just breathe. Luckily, I have found a partner who doesn't want children either. I have so much respect for parents, but I have equal respect for those who choose to be childless. Great, honest post!

Jac said...

A couple things:
1. It is not selfish to not want children. It is HONEST and probably the best for the possible child. You would be a good parent b/c you seem like a good person but that doesn't mean it is the right choice for you.
2. Some people with children will never understand why people wouldn't want children and feel they need to be vocal about this. Honestly, I think this is a representation of their insecurity. I know raising children is an amazing, fun, rewarding experience for many many people. But being a parent is not without sacrifice and I think when people questions those who chose not to parent, it is because a tiny part of them is jealous that you have more freedom in your life. They probably do not regret the choice to have children but that doesn't mean they don't dream every once in awhile of more disposable income or going to restaurants without children's menus.
3. I never thought I wanted a kid at all until I hit 30. Then, it was like a light switch. Maybe your mind will change in the future?
4. Your decision is YOUR DECISION. Don't let anyone, especially potential future grandparents, pressure you into making a decision for them.
5. I think more people have these kind of thoughts than are willing to admit them. Let's face it; society kind of programs us and pressures women in particular to want to have babies; it is what we are supposed to do. So, you are totally normal, no matter the decision you make.

Becca said...

I can really relate to this post. My husband and I thought long and hard about not having children too even early on in our marriage...Then one day it was like we both woke up and God had done some work on us over night. We both started talking about children and the fact that we BOTH thought we were experiencing the much talked about baby fever! It was CRAZY quick...We found out last week that we're going to be parents:) Feelings can change if they are ment to!

Lil' Woman said...

Who knows what is planned for you down the road. Maybe you and Garth will live this glovetrotting fabulous child free life or maybe you'll have a small team of your own children.

I think it's great that you posted this. I think alot of people might feel the same way but like you said society and other people have couples on this timeline that is truly nonexistent.

Life is a journey and I'm sure there are lots more choices and challenges ahead, I just wish you health and happiness in anything you decide :)

brown eyed girl said...

I posted about this on my blog a few weeks ago, and I have to say I appreciate your honesty.

I do believe that parenting is a huge, huge decision and it should NOT be taken lightly. I think your hesitancy is a sign, and you are being so introspective and reflecting on your feelings, which I believe is a great behavior!

Regardless of what you and Garth decide, make sure you're doing what is right for you two, none of us have to walk your road, so our advice is moot. If you're doing what's right for you and Garth and you pray on it, I am certain you will feel confident in your decisions!

saucyminx410 said...

Just now reading this - I know I'm late but I'm so glad to read this post and know that we aren't the only ones who aren't knocking ourselves down to procreate. I think that I do eventually want to have children but at 27 and having only been married a little over a year I can't even fathom the idea of a baby right now and neither can my husband. What we are facing right now though is that we are just about the only of our couple friends that do not have children or are not pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Its getting kind of lonely out here in childless land. Seeing some of my best friends have children has also made me take pause - I realized just yesterday that I have only seen my BEST FRIEND outside of her house in over a year - at 1 dinner, 1 movie night at my house, her baby shower (that I threw) at the hospital giving birth, and 1 night for about an hour when she needed a little "mommy time" - the only other times I've seen her were when I went to her house - it makes me feel like my life doesn't matter anymore - only hers and her new baby's and I don't want to be the type of person that makes the people in my life feel that way - does becoming a mother do that to you or is it somewhere in your disposition? I don't know. But I know I'm also not ready to find out yet either!

LAURA said...

Lindsey,

You are totally normal for having those thoughts about starting a family.

I would never push children on anyone that didn't feel like they wanted or were ready for them because they are the.biggest.responsibility. EVER! I never knew just how much they would change our life, (in great ways too), but we had a similar debate with our friends who chose to opt for child-free living in favor of travel and pleasure.

When I got pregnant with my son, it was hard because I had to give up so much of my old life in a way, to became a "mom". I always told myself that I always wanted to still be a cool mom though, never with the minivan and scrunchi, and I think I have found a good balance.

Just enjoy the married life for now and I'm sure it will happen if it's meant to be.

Kayla said...

I am 22 and I feel the same way! Growing up I had lots of friends who just wanted to get married and have children, but I've always wanted to have a career first and be happy on my own. Now I'm happily in love and my boyfriend and I are considering getting married in the not-so-distant future, but I still don't have that motherly instinct that all my friends seem to have always had. It makes me feel guilty and selfish, but it's just the way I feel.