Baby??? Maybe. Maybe Not.

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I haven’t talked much about children much on my blog, partially because it’s me and my husband’s private business and partially because there isn’t much to report.

I just turned 40 and we looked into IVF but we can’t afford it. It’s ridiculously expensive, even if you make a decent living like we do.  In June, we went to a training session and got some information about adoption. We are not interested in foster care at all, as I do not want my home to become a revolving door for children that we get attached to and then they go back to their family of origin.  Yet, the application to begin the process sits on the kitchen table, uncompleted.

The upside to having kids is of course being able to carry on your family name, and being able to shape and mold the next generation as well as having a little person around to bring you the remote when you don’t feel like getting up to look for it (lol). Let’s not forget how entertaining and fun kids can be as well. I have 2 little people in my life right now (my niece and nephew) that I absolutely love to pieces.

I remain conflicted about having kids, whether naturally or via adoption to be honest. I like my married, childfree life more than I thought I would. I observe with amusement my friends children and love how cute they are, but note how they can be demanding and time consuming. My parent friends entire weekends are consumed with sports and other kid activities. Some of my parent friends complain about having little time for themselves, and if they are married, for their marriages once kids come along. But perhaps parents also felt like I do, prior to having their children. But the default is to have children, especially if you are married and if you don’t, people either eye you with suspicion or treat you with pity.

My husband is, blessedly, open to whatever I decide. I am very grateful for that. But I realize time isn’t on my side at this point and I need to make up my mind. Will I regret it if we don’t have children? Will I regret it if we do?

I just don’t know right now.

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19 responses »

  1. I think having kids takes a lot of consideration. It is not something to go into lightly. I think some of us with “Oops” babies might not have had them at the times we did ( myself included) if it weren’t in God’s plans for me. I think that’s what it all boils down to, God’s plans. If he wants you to be a parent it will present itself. If not then I say just keep living and enjoying your life. I can’t imagine my life without my daughter but that’s mostly because she’s here already lol

  2. We had a plan. I guess we still kinda have a plan since we’re still in saving mode for it. Honestly though…the longer it takes, the longer I think I’d rather build my dream house and stay child-free. It broke my heart when we couldn’t have them and you know we went through 6 IVFs and 4 IUIs. Now? Even though sometimes it hits me and takes the wind out of me…I’m good. Robby is the same. We’re happy and in a really good place in life so yeah…we might not follow through with the plan because we enjoy our life as is. We actually had this conversation recently since we haven’t been able to travel together since February because of Lucy’s failing health. Being able to pick up and go and do is awesome and we enjoy traveling together. If we had a child or kids…a lot would change and we might not want it to change any time soon. I never, ever, EVER thought I’d ever say this but yeah…we’re happy child-free.

    For now.

  3. I’ve started thinking about this recently. I’m turning 40 next year and I’m not in a relationship and wonder if I’ll have children at all or will want them when I do eventually get married. It’s amazing what a year will do because this time last year I decided not to get into a relationship with a guy who told me up front he didn’t want any kids. Now I’m on the fence but still want the option.

  4. Thanks for sharing.

    I know that people are trying to be supportive with comments. But sometimes it just is what it is. And if you haven’t been there, then you probably don’t understand. And I’ll be honest, having been there and making my decisions, I have to check myself when trying to be supportive. It is extremely personally and can be emotional and some options don’t have do overs no matter how much we wish they did.
    Good Fortune

  5. I feel like you still have time to make up your mind. You could feel completely different in a year. In fact, why don’t you not think about this for a while and revisit it in a year, when you’re 41. Without getting your business, is ivf absolutely necessary for you to conceive? Did you see the Kim Fields segment on GMA? She is pregnant at 44 and from what I gathered she didn’t use any fertility treatments for this pregnancy. She thought she was premenopausal and dehydrated. She went to the doctor and found out she was 2 months along. They asked a doctor how so many more women over forty are having babies and she said all it takes is one egg and one sperm.

    People ask me all the time do I want kids which I think is odd because I’m single. It’s like women are expected to want and have kids and if we don’t, something is wrong with us. I would love to have a child but if I didn’t I would be fine. Whereas some have a “must have a baby at all costs” mentality, whether is snagging a sorry man just to have a baby and somehow validate your womanhood or spending all kinds of money you don’t have and going into debt for IVF. I would not intentionally become a single parent. Like you, I adore my niece and nephew. It is not selfish to not want kids. It means you are self aware and not giving in to the whims of the media and the marketplace. I think its selfish to have a child just for show, the cute clothes and attention, the shower, just because you think its the next step and all your friends are doing it, or even to make a bad marriage better. Shoot, there is no shortage of children in the world and we aren’t at risk of dying out! People who may look at you with suspicion might be secretly jealous that you are happy and content with your married life as is.

  6. I’m so happy there’s no pressure from your hubby. I’ve been called selfish many times for not wanting children. The only time I considered it was because I think MM deserves a child not influenced by his crazy ex. But that’s the wrong reason.

    I’m praying that you’ll get your heart’s desire.

  7. You know I’ve been trying to adopt for years now. With each year I start to question whether I want to do it at all. I LOVE my nieces and nephew like they’re my own. I also LOVE my childfree life. I sway back and forth a lot. I haven’t taken my name off the available list with my social worker but I do have a cut off for when I’ll make that call. I don’t stress over it either. What happens happens and I’m ok either way.

  8. My grandmother had two sisters who did not have children. My mother, my kids and I just returned from a week visit to the home of the husband of, one of the sisters. My great aunt, his wife died 2 years ago. He is 91.

    One of my mother’s cousins told my great aunt and uncle that he would feel like he had no family, if they died. That cousin is at my uncle’s home early each morning and helps him as a son would.

    I loved both of my aunts with the same love, I had for my grandmother and both aunts were like mothers to my mother. I know biology does not control family love connections.

    I do not know if my great aunts ever regretted not having kids, but I know they had countless nieces and nephews who viewed them as mothers/ grandmothers because they had the time and ability to make us each feel special and like the favorite.

  9. Thanks for sharing. I’m kinda in the same boat! As we prepare to settle down we go back and forth with having babies or enjoying a childfree life. I think we both want children, I know the idea of a mini-him makes me heart swell, but the thought of our lives an our alone time changing so much is very scary.

    I wish I knew what to tell you. I will say don’t base your decision on what anyone else’s lives look like. Life is very much what you make it.

  10. I spent the last year or so contemplating what I would do. I am not in a relationship (and haven’t been in a long time) so the question for me was 1) Do I want kids and 2) Do I want to be a single parent?

    The answer was my desire to be a mom was outweighed by being a single parent. So I decided that children of my own will not be an option and to enjoy other people’s children.

    Every parent that I talked to encouraged me to have kids because they derive a lot of joy from their kids…but they ALWAYS emphasized how much work it is. Rewarding work…but work. My bookclub spent 45 min a few weeks ago encouraging a 32 year old to have kids (she said she didn’t want any and she isn’t in a relationship) because of the joy. I felt so out of place but knew my decision to not have kids was the best decision for me.

    Anyway…the decision is between you and M. Whatever you decide, you will live a full, happy life! Don’t worry about regrets…we all have them :)

  11. This is something my husband and I are struggling with now. We enjoy my life as it is but the fear of regret is such a big deal, especially for me. I don’t want to look back in 20 years and be sad that we never had kids. I wish I knew more couples (even one other couple!) that created families without children. In the meantime, I worry that we won’t have any friends to vacation or have boozy dinner parties with and that our family of two will feel too small.

  12. Re: Age and Fertility. There was an interesting article in The Atlantic about that recently. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/

    I think your “default” should be whatever makes you happy. No one can tell you what that is. If you feel like something is missing from your life and that something is having a family, then have at it. If not, be happy and be the best auntie ever. DINKs FTW!

    Also, I don’t think you should ever let fear or what other people’s lives look like make your decision for you. Yes, kids are time-consuming and can eat up your personal time and some time you spend with your spouse. Who says kids have to play 5 sports and take 10 lessons every week? Who says that you can’t spring for a babysitter to make sure you have a date night? What your family life looks like is up to YOU.

    My parents went on vacations without us and I didn’t play any sports or take lessons until I was in high school and could drive myself. I don’t feel like I had a deprived childhood at all. I think a lot of parents push that stuff on their kids anyway.

  13. I REALLY miss my kid-free days. But I love my kid more than being able to stay out late, spend all my money on me and make sexy time with boys.

  14. Interesting question. 40 is not really that old. You’ve seen the world, done a lot of what you want to do. Have you always wanted kids or is this something that just popped up because somebody said that’s what you are “supposed” to do?

  15. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It’s wonderful to see you in a marriage where there is not pressure either way. Whatever your heart ultimately desires, I hope you get it. You and M2 are a great couple

  16. I have felt all of what you felt and then some. Especially after having to be a step parent to the teen. I feel slightly guilty that I am sad about giving up my free time, but I know that the baby will bring us many happy moments as well.

    It’s definitely not a decision to rush into, because it’s not like you can change your mind. You still have time. Shoot, according to my doctor, if you give birth past 34.5 years of age you are considered “advanced maternal age.” So whether 40 or 43 you’re in the same boat, so to speak.

    Good luck with your decision. I’m glad your hubby is supportive of it either way. :)

  17. It drives me crazy that in such a mon traditional world – we still hold on so rigidly to certain things because..reasons.

    The world is different and we should respect people’s emotional and financial decisions!!

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