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Are You There, Moms? It’s Me, Idiot How Did You Know Whether Or Not You Wanted To Become A Parent?

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mom adviceAre You There, Moms? It’s Me, Idiot is an ongoing series dedicated to helping one very well-intentioned and dumb future-parent learn about the world of childrearing. Click here to see past columns.

I don’t really know how this happened, but at some point I just figured I’d probably have kids some day. I go back and forth on every possible other facet of parenting–how many kids I want, where we’ll live, how I’ll balance parenting and my career, for example. Mostly I prefer to not think about it, figuring it’ll all fall into place at whatever point I magically decide I’m ready to start trying to get pregnant.

For most of my life, I was ambivalent about the whole parenting thing. I went back and forth between wanting to have kids and wanting to tie my fallopian tubes into a lanyard, based on nothing in particular. It seemed to change every couple of months, but I was never particularly attached to either notion. I didn’t abandon the strong idea that I wanted kids or I never wanted to ever have kids–it was more of a vacillation between kinda wanting kids and kinda not wanting to be a parent.

And then, I don’t know. It just started leaning more towards wanting to be a parent at some point in my life (who knows when!). It’s been consistently like that for a while, which leads me to believe that parenting is hopefully in my future.

I know that for most people, you either know you want kids or that you don’t–it’s cut and dry and doesn’t evolve, like my future plan did. So I want to know–whether you want kids, have kids, or don’t want them at all–how did you know? Did you always know you wanted to be a parent or to be child free? Did it hit you in an aha moment? Or did you flip flop around like I did?

50 Comments

  1. NoMissCleo...JustMe

    June 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I didn’t want to be a parent until I found a person who I wanted to be a parent with.

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    • NoMissCleo...JustMe

      June 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      *blushing* Sorry, but all my time on a laptop is spent here at Mommyish. I simply have no other time to spare for your “Google project job.”

    • UterineDudebroWhoLikesOlives

      June 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      That’s it! I was sitting here, trying to think of what it was that made me realize I wanted to be a parent, and I honestly couldn’t think of anything. In fact, all through my 20s and early 30s, I was actually pretty leery of having kids.

      Then I met my husband. And my feelings changed. I really can’t imagine being a parent with anyone else but him.

  2. CMJ

    June 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    My husband and I have gone back a forth a lot – we live far away from all of our family and live in an area where it’s generally impossible to live with kids (cost of living, etc).

    That being said, after a recent family death we’ve begin to prioritize what’s important to us…the WHEN is still a huge issue but we’ve moved into the “most likely” camp.

  3. Kendra

    June 20, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I think I always had the idea that I’d be a parent someday, mostly because that’s what I thought you were “supposed” to do. I could never really see it practically though, because I hate children. When we decided to “try”, I agreed to do so to satisfy curiosity. We were told our odds were greatly reduced, so in all honesty, I wanted to know if we could more than I actually wanted a baby. When the time came that I found out I was pregnant, it was a moment of “OMG! We can make babies!!!” and then quickly followed by an “Holy shit…what have we done?” That said, it was the best decision I’ve ever made for the wrong reasons!

  4. LadyClodia the Modest Rat

    June 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I suppose I had just always thought that I’d have kids some day. And while I can’t speak exactly for my husband, at least from very early on it was clear that he wanted to have kids with me. He actually wanted to have kids way sooner than I did, like during our first or second year of marriage and while I was still in college. Pretty soon after that we came to an agreement that we would wait until we were more financially secure and had our own house. We stuck with that plan, and our older son was born after our 9th anniversary.

  5. momma425

    June 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I got pregnant, and didn’t want to have an abortion.

  6. raeronola

    June 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Confession time: In retrospect I now realize I loved the idea of being pregnant and having a baby. When it actually happened, I was not prepared, and it didn’t feel the way I thought it would.

    Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE my little buddy, and would not do anything differently even if I had a time machine, but having him has made me realize that I’m just not one of those naturally super maternal people. Now that he’s out of infant stage and a toddler, I’m enjoying things a lot more, but I still look back on the first couple months with a feeling of PTSD-worthy dread.

    I figured I’d have kid(s) some day, now that I have one, I feel pretty confident in saying that I probably won’t have any more. I’m too selfish, and the whole “family of three” thing feels really good and right to me.

  7. Ursi

    June 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    When I was in kindergarten we were asked to make 3 wishes for our future. I wished to have twins someday because I thought twins were cool. This is the only time I have ever actively wished for a child.

    When I was in high school I began to understand that motherhood was an urge girls had; like the urge to rebel, to live on their own, to form a bond of attachment with a partner, to marry, etc. Not that girls my age were ready for pregnancy but they were counting on it in their futures. Not all of them but enough of them to mark a difference for me between myself and my peers.

    When I was in my early 20s I saw how women my age would romanticize motherhood and plan for it. I saw that how much they loved to hold babies and how appealing they found them. When I saw a baby all I could see were endless messes, exhaustion, annoyance, unrelenting responsibility. There was nothing desirable about it.

    Ironically now that I’m in my 30s I find that I understand the urge to have children more than ever, even if I don’t feel it. But what I did not expect was the gratitude I feel towards God for, I guess, never giving me that urge. It isn’t until recently that I’ve been in a stable place in my life where even thinking about children could be a possibility. I cannot imagine spending the last decade wanting something that I could not have. The only thing better than having a wish fulfilled is never having the void there to begin with. And in that respect I consider myself to be extremely lucky. I am free of a biological drive that most people spend their lives trying to fulfill. I suppose it’s how an asexual person must feel watching all their friends obsess about their sex lives. The friends think, “Wow, she’s missing out, sex is so great when you find a good connection” and meanwhile she’s thinking, “Wow, I don’t have to deal with any of that drama, I’m just happy with what I have.”

    A lot of people think it makes me incomplete or somehow deficient. But for me, it’s freedom.

    • Drama drama everywhere

      June 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      As an asexual person let me tell you there’s still drama. I actually feel like I’m broken and struggle with it. I’ll come to terms with it some day but it’s been a… I don’t want to say hard but it’s been interesting I guess. I even questioned whether or not I was gay for most of my life because I wasn’t attracted to men. I was in my mid 20’s before I even knew asexual was a thing. (I’m 28) People also don’t “get it” and always tell me I just need to get laid. Lol Similar to the comments you get about how you’re somehow incomplete without a child I suppose.

    • Ursi

      June 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      I understand it isn’t perfect and I’m sorry if I inadvertently implied it was a drama-free experience. Yes, it is very similar, I think, to the way people view the choice to not have children; it’s viewed as though you’re missing something crucial.

      But when we know our hearts and our feelings we can appreciate that we’re made differently. I hope it’s easier for you now. I’m sorry people are such assholes about that kind of thing.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      June 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. I go back and forth on whether I’m really asexual or merely celibate (TMI: I like orgasms, but dislike sex and physical contact), but I’ve gotten the “ah you’ll find the right one someday” and/or “you just need to get laid” speech myself. I totally got what Ursi was saying, though…the people giving me those speeches are usually the same ones who have gone through a series of failed relationships and marriages, so I’ve gotten pretty quick at cocking an eyebrow.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      June 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      I know someone going through it and it makes me angry that she has to feel like something is “wrong” with her. There is no right or wrong way to be a person, as long as you’re not causing harm to another person. I wish more people got that.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      June 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Did you read my mind, especially when it comes to understanding an asexual person’s view of relationships? :p I’m still in my twenties, so I have yet to understand the desire for children on any level besides a strictly biological one, so your third paragraph is exactly how I’m envisioning life with kids right now.

    • Ursi

      June 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      LOL I get the feeling we’ve a lot in common

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      June 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      From your comments, it seems that way!

  8. Kitsune

    June 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Whenever I thought of having a family I always pictured children being part of it, so I always knew I wanted to be a parent. I just wanted to wait till I was as ready as I could be.

  9. Spongeworthy

    June 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I always knew I wanted them “someday”. The timing of the someday moved, obviously, as I got older. I’m lucky in that I met my husband when I did. He and I had both had time to be young, have our fun, and figure out what we wanted, so by the time we met we were both at point where we were ready to have a commited relationship.
    I will say the biggest shift was going from actively trying to not get pregnant to trying to get pregnant. I spent so many years preventing pregnancy, when I got pregnant my first thought was “oh god now what?!”

  10. Megan Zander

    June 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Like others I assumed it would just happen one day, until I went off the pill and never got my period- and I wasn’t pregnant. We found out quickly that if we wanted kids we would need to adopt or go balls to the walls all out high tech science. We weren’t sure if we could take the possibility of adoption or science not working for us, nor were we sure that we needed to be parents that strongly. Two months after we were diagnosed we took a preplanned trip to disney world. When I couldn’t walk through the Winnie the Pooh gift shop without bursting into tears, I knew we had to at least try. Luckily it worked out for us.

  11. Lilly

    June 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    When I met my husband, I wanted kids and because of his troubled relationship with his father he was really wary of having kids (a turning into his father fear).
    As we went along, I got into a more competitive and higher intensity career and no longer saw kids as fitting into our lifestyle (long hours, lots of eating out, travel etc). At this point he had changed his mind and started to see his childhood experience as something to learn from rather then fear.
    There was a lot of back and forth about having kids — thankfully we met when we were young so that bought us some time to negotiate.
    In the end it came down to me deciding that since there was a point in time that I wanted kids, there might be a point in time I would want them again and since biology is mean, it was a do it now or regret it later concern. So we had a kid, and now have flipped back and forth about having a second.

  12. wispy

    June 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I was born knowing I wanted kids as soon as possible. But really though, I think around age 10 I started to think about and “plan” for kids all the time. It’s weird thinking about it now. As a child I saved stuff for my kids, like stickers and crayons and stationery like “oh my kids will LOVE this some day” lol. I had a box I saved this stuff in and I still have it now. In high school I would go to the Halloween costumes on sale after Halloween to buy costumes for future kids but PRAISE GOD never bought any. How odd. When I was 16 I had an age I wanted to have a kid, which was 22, but thank god that age came and passed without a kid bc I def would not have been anywhere close to ready.

    • Guest

      June 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      You sound like a planner by nature. I was the same way.. But I purchased stuff first for my Apt in advance, then for my house in advance, and right now I’m pinning stuff for my kids in advance but haven’t really bought anything yet. It makes me feel for calm and prepared and helped a lot as far as the houses go.

  13. NotTakenNotAvailable

    June 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I had this vague assumption when I was really young that I would probably have kids someday– all the adults I knew did. Since all the adults I knew were either my parents or my friends’ parents, this should not have been surprising. Since babies have always struck me as bring too smelly, ugly (sorry, parents…of course your kids are the cutest things ever to you, but to me, that title is reserved solely for my geriatric kitty), and noisy for my sensory-processing-disordered self to deal with, however, I figured be off securing world domination while my husband tended to the home and future minions–er, littl’uns.

    As I got to be a teenager, took sex ed, and developed a serious terror of pregnancy and labor with no commensurate loss in my disgust of early-stage humans, I abandoned that idea entirely for one of a life of carefree debauchery in which I never really had to become an actual adult. I’m living that dream to its fullest and can’t fathom having cause to change course.

    • Hibbie

      June 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Three cheers for carefree debauchery!

  14. Hibbie

    June 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I was ambivalent at best about having kids (and went through a period where I did not want any) for most of my life. Then I fell in love with someone who I realized would be an awesome father, and I really wanted to make a mini us. I have always been curious about childbirth, though. NOT ANYMORE.

  15. Lackadaisical

    June 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I knew I wanted to be a mum for a long time before trying, but friends who are great mums and love being mums didn’t want to have kids until they discovered they were accidentally pregnant and were faced with a decision. Other women I am friends with found the accidental pregnancy clarified their decision of either “not yet” or “never” and so got rid of it. Basically the experiences of my friends and me are all different. I think it is vitally important to want the baby but realising you want the baby out of the blue when you find you are pregnant is as good as wanting desperately before conception as far as being a good and happy parent is concerned. I think you have to decide for yourself rather than be pushed into it by societies expectations of women but if you want to be a parent and feel ready for it then go ahead and try. There is nothing wrong with flip flopping, you have time to decide and being comfortable with the decision is important.

  16. guest

    June 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I was never very interested in having children until my best friends had 2 little girls and I started understanding the depth of feeling you could have towards them. (When you don’t want to sell them to the first person who passes so you don’t have to deal with the screaming, that is.) I still think I could probably be happy without children, but my husband is very keen on having a kid. So we’ll probably have one. I think that I’ll be good once they’re past the early stages because, frankly, I think babies are pretty boring. But once they start talking and babbling about stuff and wanting to learn…then they get interesting.

    I have to admit, I sometimes wonder whether I shouldn’t have a kid unless I’m totally certain I want one; am I cheating the kid somehow by being ambivalent? If I’m okay saying “Hmm, I think my life would be fine without a kid, but I also can see myself with one” does that mean I shouldn’t have one? I find it all confusing sometimes.

    • JennyWren

      June 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      I think feeling that you would be fine even if you didn’t have a kid is the sign of a balanced personality, myself!

    • Tina

      June 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      You pretty much read my mind. I’ve always been pretty sure I want a family and I love kids. But I don’t feel that crazy inexplicable urge that others seem to, and I’m not a baby person at all. And that thought of “Hmm, I think my life would be fine without a kid, but I also can see myself with one” is something I think every time another one of my friends has a baby. So for the most part I say I want them someday…but there are so many days when I’m confused about whether my feelings are enough.

  17. me

    June 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve always liked kids and grew up babysitting for my neighbors, working at kids camps, volunteering in classrooms, etc. When I was a teenager, my mindset was more of “Our world is overpopulated enough as it is; if people love kids they could/should just instead.” But as years passed, I guess the desire to be a mom grew, though like you I embraced “eventually.” I was prety sure that someday, I wanted to raise children who (might) share my values, intellect, and other character traits, as selfish as that sounds.

    I knew I didn’t want to be a mom until “the time is right,” so the first two times I got pregnant ended in abortion – one when I was a high school senior (and wasn’t about to ruin all the potential that lay ahead by attempting to raise a kid out of wedlock as a teenager with an unsupportive family and no means of supporting myself), and another when I was in college after a blacked-out drunken one night stand with a near-stranger. I’d used plenty of other forms of birth control in between and after those incidents – please don’t think I relied on abortion services as the primary form, as this couldn’t be further from the truth, but accidents happen, efficacy rates are never 100%, and hindsight is 20/20.
    When I discovered I was pregnant the third time, I felt like I didn’t really have any legitimate excuses left, as far as the “time is right” argument was concerned. Was the time perfect? No, not at all. But honestly… when is it ever? I might not have been a homeowner, but I had a stable and safe living situation in an adorable historic neighborhood, good rental history, and great credit. The housing market was crap anyway; half the respectable homeowners I knew were either going through foreclosure or up all night worrying about their underwater mortgages. I might have been driving an older vehicle, but I had no loans or other consumer debt. I might not have been married, but the father was a man I loved and trusted. I had my bachelor’s degree and no immediate plans to return to school. I had recently gotten a government job and was well on my way to a meaningful and lucrative career. I had health insurance. Also, I had recently been dealing with some cervical health issues that put me at higher risk for pregnancy complications and left me wondering about my long-term childbearing potential should I require recurring treatments. I didn’t want this pregnancy to be my last possible option, as naive as that was to believe. So in 2010 I joined the ranks of half of those Americans whose pregnancies are unplanned, and had a daughter 9 months later.

    You’re not the only one who flip flops around. I did, plenty. Even as a parent now, I flip-flop ALL the time. There isn’t a day that goes by when I wonder whether I should have just gotten that third abortion. Despite having a healthy and happy child, I doubt my adequacy as a parent every day. I’m stressed out. I’m exhausted. I’m overcome with guilt. I’m fucking broke as shit. I don’t know how I’m going to raise my daughter to be a strong, successful, confident woman in a world where we are slut-shamed when we’re not being hyper-sexualized/objectivfied. Don’t even get me started on princess culture, food production, the wage gap, poverty, obesity, campaign finance, the prison-industrial complex, or international relations. It’s overwhelming. She’s going to inherit this world. And I chose to bring her into it. And she will inevitably remind me of all this while she’s screaming obscenities at me as a hormonal teenager wishing she’d never been born. I guess I’d better start working on a response that will be more compelling than the truth.
    A part of me feels like someday, “eventually,” I’d like to grow my family, and do it right this time, with a home and a husband and all that, because I’d like for my daughter to have a sibling… but are these feelings not simply the same ones that prompted me decided to go through with an unintended pregnancy in the first place, because “well, I guess I wanted this at some point anyway?” Maybe. I’m not sure. Kids are amazing blessings from God and the most important job is motherhood and the children are our future and all that jazz… but they’re not The Answer.

    Julia, it is 100% okay to not know if you want kids. But don’t just have one because it comes along, like I did. Make it a deliberate and passionate decision with your partner. Until that time arrives, be the cool aunt or the awesome babysitter or a tutor or a mentor. Travel, explore, backpack, camp, volunteer. Take whatever classes you want to, any time of day. Read, uninterrupted. Order fast-food, with only your own health consequences to feel guilty about. Go out with girlfriends on a whim. Attend musical and theatrical events. Fund a Roth IRA, generously. Pursue your dreams, especially the ones that might seem impossible. Because man does that risk-aversion kick in once you have a pint-sized human you’re responsible for, and it becomes way too easy to settle for “good enough.”

  18. Dats

    June 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I wanted to parent starting very young. I got my first taste at age nine, when my mom was extremely ill right after having a baby. My dad had to work, so I changed the baby, heated bottles of pumped milk and fed him, and made dinner for myself and my middle brother. It seemed tough but really rewarding. I pretty much hit puberty and wanted a baby, but knew I wasn’t going to be ready for quite a while. Once I felt ready, my body wasn’t super cooperative, so it took nine years to have my first baby at age thirty-one. I’m thirty-four now and hoping it won’t take another nine years for the next one!

  19. Mad Overlord

    June 20, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I always wanted children. I always pictured myself to be a mother. In my mid-twenties I had a period in which I changed my mind as all my friends, who were never so sure about being parents, started to spawn. I totally focused on my career and thought that would fulfil me. I was wrong, as all I long for is to be a mother now. Alas my partner, who is the father of a great eight-year old, is not yet convinced. He can’t understand that his daughter is not “enough” for me. I love her dearly, but she had a great mother already and does neither need or want a second one.

  20. Heather

    June 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    ehh. I had kids because I THOUGHT I wanted them. Now I love them, but if I could go back I’d do things differently. I think the expectation was that “grown ups” do those things, so I was supposed to do them in order to “grow up.” Obviously I’m now older and wiser, if I’d known then…

  21. VenusDoom3

    June 20, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I knew from the time I was a toddler. When they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the first thing out of my mouth was “a mommy.” The second was a ballerina, but that (thankfully) never came to pass. I also knew I’d have a girl first and then a boy and that was it — and I did!

  22. Anon

    June 20, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    It’s a complicated and not-at-all-usual circumstance that led me to realize that I really did (and still do!) want kids. I was in college and got pregnant (even though birth control was in heavy use) with my then-fiance (now husband). We both knew that neither of us were ready for that and were going to face serious repercussions from our families so I had an abortion. Neither of us regret it but it did force me to really examine my feelings. I would say it “awakened” the feelings of wanting to be mom. Now we have a beautiful daughter and another on the way!
    (posting as anon because there are literally only 4 people aside from nurses and doctors who know this. And I’d like to keep it that way.)

  23. samantha

    June 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I was always very vocally against having kids until I met my now-husband when I was 19. Being a father was something he had always wanted, and I knew he’d be an absolutely amazing one, but I still flip flopped over the almost five years we’ve been together. I never really concretely decided one way or another, but we’re ten weeks away from having our baby girl, so I guess it doesn’t matter now :p

  24. jane

    June 20, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I really think that this is just like the question “when did you know you were gay (or straight)?” Or we need a Kinsey scale or something.

    For some people, they have known all along that they wanted to have kids (a 0 on the scale) Its part of their identity. For others it’s the complete opposite (a 6 on the scale). But most people are probably somewhere along the middle.

    Honestly, think about how much easier this would be for dating and dealing with parents if we could just adopt this method? “Mom, I’m a 6 on the parenting scale. Never gonna happen.” “Jdate profile: I’m a 0 on the parenting scale. If you’re not interested in more, don’t apply.”

    On this scale, I’m a 0. Always wanted to have kids. Always. Hated being pregnant both times, but don’t regret having my kids for one second. And I know I would have regretted it my whole life if I didn’t have children.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      June 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      I like this idea! Who knows, maybe being able to quantify it by snapping, “I’m a 6 on the jane scale,” would finally get my distant yet still amazingly in-my-face relatives to back off, though I doubt it.

    • CW

      June 20, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      I hated being pregnant (especially the 2nd time where I had 9 months of morning sickness) but I love being a mom and always wanted to be one. I worked as a nanny in my late teens and early 20’s and if it had paid better and offered health insurance I never would’ve left it for the awful corporate job I had in my mid-to-late 20’s.

  25. Emily Wight

    June 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I’m still undecided. He’s 2 1/2.

  26. Ruthless M

    June 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    I love children, and I think they’re fantastic but I don’t want to have one of my own. I just don’t want the responsibility.

  27. CW

    June 20, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I was babysitting from the age of 9 and working full-time as a nanny by 16. I was a pre-med for the first two years of college because I wanted to be a pediatrician and work with kids all day, and a big reason I dropped it was because I realized I didn’t want to be in med school and training until my 30’s. Now my kids are getting older (5, 8, and 11) and I’m hoping to go to grad school to become either an educational psychologist or a pediatric neuropsychologist.

  28. meteor_echo

    June 21, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I’ve intensely disliked children since I was a child. I’ve intensely disliked being a child, as well. I intensely dislike them now and would rather eat a funnel web spider than birth a crotchblossom from my loins.
    Thank fuck I found a dude who is also adamantly childfree and who’s as much into cats and reptiles as I am. We’d rather raise an army of evil fuzzy and slithering minions together than throw a grenade called “child” into our relationship.

    • Kapibara-san

      June 21, 2014 at 8:47 am

      It’s annoying when people say “how can you hate kids when you were once a kid yourself?”. Yeah, and I used to hate kids even then.

    • Ursi

      June 21, 2014 at 10:54 am

      oh my goodness, this is so true. Even as a kid I didn’t like other kids. Mind, I wasn’t great with adults either, but kids were the minions of the devil!

  29. BexleyS

    June 21, 2014 at 5:22 am

    I absolutely did not want children and genuinely thought people who had kids were pretty stupid. I couldn’t understand how they could ever make your life better. Then my husband’s good friend died in horrific circumstances and on the way home from the funeral we discussed the importance of family and I realised that I didn’t really want to grow old without children of my own. Our daughter was born a year later. Although I love her with every fibre of my being and wouldn’t change my situation for anything, there are times when I mourn my old life. We had a great life together before she was born and it’s taken time for me (not him) to adjust to being a parent and everything it brings. I have friends who worry that they’re getting older and still don’t want kids but if don’t think it really matters. If they have a good life and are happy then so what!?! They might continue being happy and child free for the rest of their lives. I think sometimes people feel pressure to have kids just because they’re in their 30’s and worry that if they change their minds and decide they want kids in their 40’s, it’ll be too late. I know plenty of people my parents age who don’t have kids and are happy. I still don’t believe that children will necessarily make your life better, they will change it and that change is amazing, but if you’re happy without kids then that’s great too.

  30. emilyg25

    June 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Don’t know, I just always did. From a very young age, I loved babies and small children. I started babysitting at 11. By the time I was dating when I met my now-husband, I wouldn’t even date guys who didn’t want kids. It was non-negotiable. So I’m a 0 on the Mom Kinsey Scale. Although I don’t see “Mom” as my identity. It’s more Emily with Kid (or fetus, which is how it stands now).

  31. mkimbee

    June 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    My sister’s the one who was born to be a mom. She’s always been motherly. Me, on the other hand? Nope. Nope nope nope. I’ve never ever wanted kids. Or really marriage for that matter. I’ve always been too much my own person to tie my identity to anything that I haven’t worked for. And you don’t earn kids, you have them. I want people to remember me like “Oh, Kim just helped eradicate Ebola! Neato! She is very dedicated to helping the entire world.” Not “man this lady’s kid is really acting up in class. She must be a terrible mother and therefore a drain on society.”

  32. allisonjayne

    June 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I didn’t want kids (it just seemed like it would be too much money/work for little reward), until things started getting serious with my then-girlfriend, now-wife. Neither of us had wanted kids but somehow being together made it seem like it could actually be fun. That didn’t stop us from second-guessing ourselves my entire pregnancy, but now that she’s here, no regrets, not even for a second. I’m pretty surprised by how much I love parenting.

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