Anonymous Mom: I Was Childfree By Choice, But Now I Want Kids

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tax deduction onesieAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

After years of telling my friends that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a parent, I have changed my mind. I have read childfree blogs and I love STFU Parents (although, I see that as a parenting guide of what not to do) but now I find myself wanting a child.

At present, I don’t have a career that is optimal for having children. I am a teacher. I love my job. It fulfills me. I am super excited to go to work every day. I love everything about it. Except that it consumes my life.

When I am teaching, I put in at least nine hours at the school, come home do lesson plans for at least four hours and then fall asleep to do it all over again. On Friday, I usually stay until my marking is done, which takes me about four to six hours on top of the school day. Then, on the weekends, I am researching, gathering materials and planning lessons. I easily put in 80 hours a week. I just don’t know where my own kids would fit into that equation so I have put it out of mind. I keep waiting for the time commitment to decrease but it never does.

The other part of my career that makes it hard to have kids is that I’m laid off every year as they reshuffle the jobs. I will have a position by the end of September, but that instability makes me want to hold on to what stability I can. And children are a great big ball of instability. I know that there is no perfect time to have a baby, but I’m a planner, and I like stability.

For the most part, my friends have kids. They want to know when I might have some. I have told them “never” or “we are thinking about it” or “never.” But they understand.

I don’t have a strong support network for childrearing. And this is important to me. My support network growing up literally saved my life. My grandparents, aunts and uncles helped me through dark times with my mom’s mental illness. They made sure that we were fed, clothed, made it to school, etc. While my mom is better now, I don’t feel like I can lean on her for any support. My dad has been a rock throughout my life as well. But he didn’t understand mental illness and when things got tough with my mom, he didn’t know how to cope so he left for large parts of my childhood. My dad and I have patched things up but I still have issues with my mom. I know she is trying and she is on good medication now.

I have other mom figures in my life now, which I think has helped me to realize that maybe I do have enough people to help me raise a child. And now that my brother and his wife have a baby, I see how dedicated and excited my parents are. My mom is an amazing grandma. My dad just loves his granddaughter and is so dedicated to giving her a fantastic life.

Another large factor in the kids debate is my husband. We have been together since we were teenagers and he has said, “no kids.” He’s wavered back and forth about it. He’s said he wants some and then he doesn’t. But what I didn’t realize until recently was that he was joking around. He’d always say “Kids, not even once” and we’d laugh but I thought he was serious. He wants kids, but he’s nervous like I am. It took six months with nightmarish issues with my birth control for us to finally sit down and discuss kids in great detail.

I said, I’m prepared to have a hysterectomy if you don’t want kids. After much crying (all on my part because I am a big crier – I seriously cry at the beginning of Up every single time I see it and I used it in my classroom as an example of visual story telling), we decided that yes, we do want kids. So next summer, we are going to start trying. We have set a time limit for kids – five years – and if it doesn’t happen by then, well so be it.

We are excited and I have been mentioning my decision to some of my friends, who were like, “wait… you said that you didn’t want kids?” Whoops, my bad. I can change my mind, right?

So from here, I am planning to get my master’s degree so I can teach at a university (less physical hours in the classroom but more flexibility, I hope), we are socking away money and talking about parenting styles. I’m hoping that my friends understand that it was easier to say “never” than “maybe” and have it not happen at all.

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(photo: The Robinson House)


  1. Kate

    September 5, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I would hope that your friends would understand that when you said “never”, you meant “never”, but you’ve obviously changed your mind. Whatevs. Just be prepared for the “what made you change your mind” questions that will probably ensue. I think that’s the thing I dread most, if we were to ever commit to changing our minds and have a kid. Although I can’t really explain WHY I’m beginning to change my mind. So any insight as to what prompted your change of heart would be helpful.
    And I’m not a crier, but I still cry at the beginning of “Up”. It’s sad! Good thing Dug makes it all better. Lol.

    • Erin Murphy

      September 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      We went through a phase where we didn’t want kids and changed our mind. A few people have asked why and all I can really say is it is a better time for us. We’ve grown as a couple and enjoyed our time together. Now we’re ready to share that love with a baby. I feel that waiting until we genuinely wanted children will help make us stronger parents than we would have been if we had a baby earlier because of someone else’s perceived timeline. Also we’ve been together so long that we can really tackle the stress of being new parents as a partners as we just know what the other needs/can and can’t take.

  2. Amanda Lee

    September 5, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I hope people who read this article realize that it depends on the person and not a reflection of all those who want to remain child free… It will just add fuel to the fire that those who are child free now will change their minds eventually. Agh!!

    • CW

      September 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Many will, but others won’t. I’d say out of my acquaintances who were at some point adamant about never wanting kids, it’s maybe 40% change their mind and the other 60% don’t. So not a majority, but enough that I take “childfree” claims by women under the age of about 35 with a huge grain of salt.

    • Andrea

      September 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      I don’t know why you were down voted. I know lots of people that changed their minds. It happens all the time. I also take it with a grain of salt, but say NOTHING.

    • meteor_echo

      September 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Because it’s rude to assume that you know what’s going on in people’s heads? Also, it’s super condescending. What if someone, after you gave birth to a kid, was like “Wait until you change your mind and give it up for adoption? I know you will, children are too much for you and you’re not cut out to be a parent!”

    • Andrea

      September 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Yeah you know that’s not the same thing.

      I did say I do not say a thing. EVER. I have never uttered the phrase “you’ll change your mind” to someone who told me they didn’t want kids. But I tell you this: I have seen it happen several times. Hence, I take it with a grain of salt and nod and smile.

    • meteor_echo

      September 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      That doesn’t stop you from being utterly condescending. And yes, I hope someone says to you what I’ve suggested as an example – your ilk seriously needs to taste your own medicine regularly.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      September 5, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      It’s more than a little unfair to tell someone they can’t even THINK a thought that might annoy you. Many people change their minds about many things, and that is their prerogative. Whether you believe them or not when they say they feel a certain way about something, you’re not an asshole until you open your mouth to give those doubts voice. A lot of living in civilized society is learning to NOT speak on every thought we have, but you have just as little right to demand Andrea not think something as she to tell you you’ll change your mind someday. If we’ve gotten to the point where we’re policing each other’s THOUGHTS to be perfectly politically correct, we’ve taken PC too far.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 1:30 am

      It’s not unfair to actually want to be treated like -gasp- and autonomous human being with her own damn fucking brain. I wonder if she is so smug about men as well, or if it’s only limited to women because we’re ~biologically designed to be mothers and nurturers~.

    • R Zhao

      September 6, 2013 at 7:35 am

      As long as the thought is not spoken or shown on the face, what is the problem? Yes, you are your own human being. But surely you have changed your mind about things. We all do.

      Furthermore, so much depends on the person. There are some people who tell me certain things, for example, that they don’t want kids, and I wholeheartedly believe them. Then there are others that are harder to believe. . . like my single, 22 year old friend who can never make her mind up about anything–one day said she hopes to have 5 kids, 3 of which will be adopted. That’s the kinda stuff I have a little laugh about inside, but I keep my thoughts to myself.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 8:23 am

      The problem is that I’d rather someone be an asshole to me in my face, than behind my back while pretending they’re actually respecting me.

    • sfphilli

      September 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

      You see that? You see how you just brought an issue up that no one was talking about? No one said anything about difference between men and women, no one said anything about being “biologically designed to be mothers”, all anyone said is that they don’t necessarily always take every sweeping statement about the perpetual future to be absolute fact, but instead to be true for the present and most likely true for the future with the possibility of a mind change. And all this with no judgement, either in the person’s mind or the person’s mouth. You are the only one treating people like not autonomous beings, saying that they’re not allowed to have their own independent thoughts.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Dudesis, the “you’ll change your mind” people happen to only harass women. Why? Have you ever seen one automatically assume that a man should be a father, because it’s in his genes? Ever?
      Keep living your happy childful life without understanding what it’s like to be pestered about your reproductive decisions, or without being actually misbelieved.

    • Nani

      September 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Hahahahaha, right, cause mothers are NEVER judged for their reproductive choices. Gods, child, stop while you are ahead.

    • meteor_echo

      September 12, 2013 at 2:14 am

      Oh my, I never knew your partner left you for wanting one kid/wanting more than one. Or that your parents threatened to disown you for the same thing. Honey, as long as you’re procreating, you’re doing the ~socially correct~ thing, so zip it and keep your entitlemombieness to yourself.

    • MyNameHere

      September 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Right? This is getting insane. You have to know someone’s life to know how realistic their claims are. And you know what? Most things someone in their late teens/early twenties say should be taken with a grain of salt. Not for us to feel better but to give them the room to grow and change. If you make such a hardline decision as this and change your mind, sometimes people are very cruel or rude because you belonged to “their side” and now you are betraying them. I know cause I’ve been that person. My friends had a hard time understanding that marriage, steady job and hormones really did make my life very different at 27 than what it was when I was 22. It would’ve helped if people were kind enough to give me room to grow and change in my 20’s. I don’t think most of them will change their own minds but if one does, I won’t be a dick about it either – cause I take everyone’s life plan with salt – cause you NEVER KNOW (no matter how old you are)

    • Andrea

      September 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Well mine are 10 and 13 years old, so a little late for that anyways.

      But thanks for telling me what I cannot even think.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 1:27 am

      I hope you won’t harass THEM for kids when they’re older.

    • LWC

      September 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

      I love following posts where the Childfree have boots on the ground. The defensiveness/offensiveness gets about as unreasonable as that of the MRAs (especially with abuse ‘info’ above). It’s entertaining because people don’t care what they do nearly as much as the Childfree think they do.

      Here’s the thing: no one would be surprised if you changed your mind, or if you didn’t. Because sometimes people change their minds and sometimes they don’t. BFD. Why is this a ‘movement’?

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Aww, how sweet, you compared me to a bunch of douchebag dudebros. Let me compare you to a troll.
      Here’s the thing: try to live your life being harassed by friends, parents, relatives, and in some cases even your spouse, who all think that you should breed for your own good, otherwise you’re “selfish”, “wasting your genes”, and “soulless child-hater”. Oh and – there are places where everyone thinks your uterus is their business, since not every single childfree person lives in Amurrica, and there are cultures where women are regarded as breeding stock in the first place.

      Oh and – the childfree are not a movement. Being childfree is a lifestyle – too bad you didn’t read up on it first, little troll.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      September 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      I have actually been told that my reproductive choices were selfish, and it’s violating and hurtful for sure, especially from a loved one whose opinion I respect. I just don’t think anyone here meant they take it with a grain of salt in a smug way. I am one who was steadfastly childfree and changed my mind, but I honestly couldn’t care less if someone else does or not, so it doesn’t even occur to me to say something like that. That doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that if I changed my mind that means others can too. I don’t think that makes me mean or condescending, just realistic that life is fluid. We have no control over the thoughts and opinions of others, nor should we. They have every right to think what they do, and you have every right to expect them to keep their mouths shut if it is rude or intrusive and to let them know when they cross the line. I just don’t like to see rights stepped on for ANY side of an issue.

    • meteor_echo

      September 7, 2013 at 3:33 am

      I hope parenthood is turning out well for you (or will, if you are still at the planning stage).
      However, the whole “grain of salt” thing IS smug. It basically is foisting your own life perspective onto other people, instead of believing them and being graceful enough to be sure in their decisions. I really do assume that, when people say they do not want to do something (or want to), they mean it.

      Besides, nobody takes statements like “I want to be a parent someday” with a grain of salt, don’t they? Why is that? Because procreating is considered the “correct choice” in this society, while not procreating is thought of as a biological aberration (which it isn’t. Not all animals procreate in nature, and humans have more brain power to make conscious decisions than animals do). So I take the whole “grain of salt” thing as dismissive patriarchal crap, which is also usually sexist as fuck, because men hardly ever get the “you’ll change your mind”.

      Then there’s another issue: even if hell froze over and I started warming up towards children, I wouldn’t act out upon it. Sometimes our wants are not what we need, and I definitely wouldn’t get pregnant or adopt even if I “changed my mind”, because there’s more to being a good parent than just wanting a kid and because I treasure my own mental stability and physical integrity more than I’d ever treasure a child. I’d rather go and have my tubes tied instead, or have a hormonal adjustment until the fucking prolactine rush went away.

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      September 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I understand your meaning a little better now, thank you for clarifying. I do hope for a time in which the reproductive choices of others are accepted regardless of what they are, as it is such a deeply personal decision. I also agree that men seem to be exempt from this sort of questioning, and we as a society need to look much more closely at how men are perceived in the family unit.

    • sfphilli

      September 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      It’s still less condescending than assuming you’re better than someone you don’t know just because you supposedly always perfectly believe everything everyone says.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 1:27 am

      Fancy that, when someone says something about their own decision, I believe THEY know it better than me because it’s their decision and their own thought process. So yes, in that respect I’m better than smugly telling someone than they’ll change their minds about whatever in life.

    • sfphilli

      September 6, 2013 at 10:39 am

      No one is talking about doing or thinking things “behind someone’s back”, no one is pretending anything, and the only one smugly assuming things is yourself. “Taking it with a grain of salt” does not in any way mean not believing them, just not having blind faith that every single statement is a purely factual and accurate prediction of an immutable future. that is simply you thrusting your own issues into someone else, that is you making assumptions about someone else’s thoughts, and that is arrogance.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Well, sorry not sorry for being “arrogant”. As long as I think that people’s decisions are their own to make, regardless of how prone they are to being changed later, I don’t mind being called names.

    • sfphilli

      September 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      I don’t think you read any comments correctly. thinking that “people’s decisions are their own to make, regardless of how prone they are to being changed later” is what the people you are arguing with are trying to say they do.

    • meteor_echo

      September 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Nope. CW and Andrea are both known for being condescending to the childfree in other articles on Mommyish. So, they actually ARE being snoots about people saying they do not want kids, I haven’t misread them.
      If someone changes their mind, then being childfree is not something they consider in utter seriousness. Childfreedom is a decision that can be so life-changing that many people get to ponder about it for years. So, if someone tells me they don’t want children, I simply assume that they know what they’re talking about, unlike those who blabber about the ~grain of salt~ nonsense.

    • sfphilli

      September 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      I suppose I don’t know what any particular commenter is like based on prior articles, all I know is I personally don’t argue with people who say they never want children, but I also don’t assume that that is a one hundred percent accurate prediction of themselves for the rest of their lives. No one remains the same day after day, regarding anything.

      That said, devil’s advocate, let’s argue for the sake of arguing time: I don’t see how “child-freedom” is a life-changing decision, when life tends to start out child-free. I mean, I get that it’s a decision for a lot of people, I just don’t get how it’s an event for most people (outside of special or unusual circumstances).

    • meteor_echo

      September 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      There are some things at which people just don’t change. I’m saying it in all seriousness – I’d rather slash my throat with a piece of glass than have a kid, and this is the way I’ll be until the day I die. I might change my mind about smaller things, but this is one thing that’s going to stay the same. And believe me, I’m not the only childfree person who thinks like that.

      Re: the second point, it IS a life-changing decision because you are deciding to go against the norms of the society (especially if you are a woman, which means that you’re supposed to have children at some point or there’s something seriously wrong with you). It means that you can be left by your partner, abandoned by your friends, and even disowned by your parents. It doesn’t really sound like something most people would want for themselves, does it?

    • sfphilli

      September 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      It doesn’t, but it does sound like one of the special or unusual circumstances I mentioned. Those are all very extreme and very unlikely reactions. Plenty of people don’t have kids, plenty of those people do so by choice, and the vast majority of them live perfectly normal lives.. Sure, you got the loud minority who may give you judgey crap, but if the people you surround yourself with are worth surrounding yourself with, then it really shouldn’t merit anything bigger than curiosity. Perhaps disappointment on the part of parents who wanted to be grandparents but certainly not disowning. The (very few) people who do those kinds of things are the ones who deserve your ire and judgement, not the people who accept your decision but may not understand fully why, or whatever else.

    • meteor_echo

      September 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Sorry, but you really don’t know jack shit about childfreedom, do you? If you go to any childfree forum/LJ community/whatever else, you’ll see how exactly the CF folks are treated. And yes, disowning, reproductive coercion, gaslighting by spouses and such are things that happen. Don’t make yourself sound more ignorant than you already do, okay?

    • sfphilli

      September 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Woah woah woah, I’ve been trying very hard to stay respectful, please don’t insult me in reply. I also like the majority of the things you have to say on this site and want to stay friendly. That said, it seems like you are the one being aggressive, angry, judgmental, etc., not the non-childfree (or any other childfree people). I understand that you have experienced judgment from other people before, that you have seen it turned on other people. That doesn’t make it okay for you to do the same. I have not judged you, as far as I could see the other commenters and the op have not judged you, at least not here. What I see when I read those early comments and in that first one is you imagining an insult where there was none, and putting words in people’s mouths. No one said childfreedom was wrong, bad, unrealistic, not really what anyone wants, any of that. Only you said that.

      Basically, point is, as long as they’re respectful, people can think whatever they want, we have no thought police. It’s only when people start disrespecting and judging and insulting people that it becomes problematic. Save your rage who actually, genuinely think and say and do the things you’re thrusting on people here, they are the ones who deserve it.

    • meteor_echo

      September 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      I’m absolutely not going to tolerate things like benevolent dismissal (a.k.a. what you’re doing with your “surely it can’t be that bad and never really happens”). You are speaking from the position of the social majority, and, unless you’ve been in the minority’s skin (which you haven’t), you’re not entitled to invalidate other people’s experiences and say that “it’s not that bad”. If not agreeing with you and pointing out the fact that you’re being ignorant about the problems that a certain minority encounters means that I’m “aggressive, angry and judgmental”, so be it. I AM going to point it out, and you have two options – either to learn, or to keep acting insulted. I’m not up to this conversation anymore. Have a nice day.

    • sfphilli

      September 16, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      No one EVER dismissed your or anyone else’s experiences, and I sure as HELL never said “surely it can’t be that bad and never really happens”. For god’s sake, actually read the words that are there. I did say it was not commonplace, and by calling those who experience it the “minority” you are agreeing with me. Those two statements however are not equivalent, and I never made them out to be. My point, again, is that you are assuming things that are not being said, and then becoming enraged about those imaginary slights. You brought up all those horrible reactions people you have known have experienced, and they are horrible and I believe that they happened. But I did NOT react that way. I did NOT suggest I would. I did NOT suggest reacting that way is in any shape okay. And as far as I could tell, and I don’t want to overstep and speak for others, no one else here was. So, stop acting like we are the villains, like we are abusers. Stop looking for disrespect and judgment and dismissal where there is none. Stop acting like your view is the only one that is in any way valid, and take your own advice — learn.

      I realize this is the end of the conversation, so I’ll restate my position for the record, and let you end it if you like —
      People have opinions. Some of them conflict with yours. As long as they respect your opinion, respect theirs. And if they are not trying to coerce you, trying to hurt anyone, to dismiss your feelings, to force you to change your mind (and discussing your reasons, even debating them, as long as it’s kept respectful, does not count) save your rage for those who actually earn it.

    • Meghan

      September 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      I was left by people just like you because I had a kid and they hated me for “betraying them” so don’t give me this shit. If you are certain of your decision and proud of it, than it shouldn’t bother you so much when people think you might change your mind. Guess what, I also use some salt when people say they will have exactly 3 kids or 5 or that they will breast feed until the kid is in college or that they will never let their kid watch TV. It’s just being realistic that people change, especially throughout their 20s and 30s. I have other things I was told I’d change my mind on and didn’t (like grad school with kids). You know what? I didn’t cry in the shower over their mean words. I just lived my awesome life. Try it out. You sound super defensive and there’s really no need.

    • meteor_echo

      September 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      I don’t have enough resources to deal with your wad of nonsense. If your friends left you because you had children, it’s their problem and not mine, so don’t blather about it and expect me to actually care. And it seems like your life isn’t that awesome, if you’re still bitter about shitty people leaving you.


    • CW

      September 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Which is more common- people changing their minds about being childless or people deciding after giving birth that they don’t want to be a parent? There may be a few parents who were planning on keeping their babies & subsequently give them up for adoption, but it’s a fairly rare situation. Whereas changing one’s mind about not wanting kids happens a lot.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 1:24 am

      You might be surprised, but the latter. Look up “I hate being a mother” and also the statistics on the children who were abused, raped, killed, prostituted by their own parents. Maybe then you’ll stop acting so damn smug. Oh, and look up the photos of those kids, while we’re at it. Then we’ll talk.

    • Gangle

      September 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      I don’t understand… why have you put so much thought into your friends potential reproductive plans? Maybe I am completely self-involved, but if a friend says to me “I don’t want kids” or “I do want kids” I just go ‘ok, cool’ and stop thinking about it and go and eat a biscuit.

    • MyNameHere

      September 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      I wish I could start a slow clap to this. I’m not even sure why we ask each other “are you going to have kids” to start with. Who cares?

    • Courtney Lynn

      September 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      How is really your business to concern yourself with how YOU should take it? Who cares?

    • Evelyn

      September 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      People do change their minds on a lot of issues, but when someone tells me they don’t ever want kids I always assume that this is true. I don’t see anything wrong with the anonymous author changing their mind or over stressing their certainty on not wanting kids (a maybe is an in to an interfering busybody). I also don’t think I have a right to smugly tell someone with no desire for kids that somehow they don’t understand themselves and are wrong. Not so much a case of adding fuel as a lot of people should stop interfering with other people’s lives.

    • Amanda Lee

      September 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Good point… I guess I’m blaming the wrong person. People should just mind their own business and take what their friends and family say at face value. Although if anybody like that read this article, I’m sure there’s no convincing them lol.

    • Evelyn

      September 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      As what I wrote sounded more spiky and heated than I intended I would like to point out that the exasperation of my post was not directed at you but at a certain type of person that you had also criticized in your own original response. I really do sympathize, to a particular kind of person the article could be used as fuel for the smug “you say that now, but you’ll change”. However that is only ever really the fault of someone who smugly thinks they know other people better than they know themselves.

    • author

      September 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      I definitely thought that when I was writing this.
      I’m so sorry to anyone that felt like I was ruining it for the child-free movement – I did consider it when I wrote it.

    • Evelyn

      September 6, 2013 at 6:28 am

      I really don’t think think there are any problems with what you wrote. If someone thinks they want kids or have always assumed they will have kids no-one ever gives them a knowing look before telling them “you won’t always think that way, you really secretly want to be childless and you will realise it when you are older and wiser” so I really don’t get why anyone should find it acceptable to do it the other way round. If a woman who always wanted kids but never got round to it realises in their mid thirties that actually, no, motherhood is not them and they were really delaying it because they didn’t want it then no-one will tell them “I told you so”. Minds change, circumstances change, yes, but I don’t think that your article really undermines anyone who doesn’t want kids. The divisiveness of “wants kids” and “doesn’t want kids” is silly really, and it isn’t the fault of the people who find themselves having to defend their position who are at fault, but the people who think they can impose their own world view on someone else’s life. It seems to be a woman only thing, and we do seem to get pushed into being on one side or other of life choice as a woman, as if the other side are our enemies. Mother vs not mother, working mum vs stay at home mum. As a stay at home mother I know that working mums and non mothers are not my enemy, that their way of living their life doesn’t threaten mine or make me a lesser person, but society really seems to want me to act that way. My brother is in his 30s and has no kids, but he doesn’t have any of these pressures on him. He doesn’t have to score points with or prove himself to the dads, nor does he have to justify having no kids.

    • author

      September 5, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      Can we put an addedum in, please?
      This is my personal reflection on the process. I don’t even know if I can have kids and I am definitely okay if I can’t.
      Please do not use this as a justification to prod friends and family members about having children as they have their own thought processes!

    • MyNameHere

      September 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Why does this MATTER? What are they going to do to you if they do take it that way? Seriously, this is half the problem. Everyone is so worried that each individual needs to meet these standards or those and that we should all be hyper aware of what everyone thinks of us. Why do you care what “those people” think about your decision? They’ll realize you were totally serious all along when children never happen. Isn’t that enough? What if they have fuel in their fires? Can they force a kid on you? Nope. Can they ruin your life? Doubtful. All they can do is comment and make you annoyed for a minute. When did we all get so damn sensitive? We should all just be happy in our choices because trust me there are mean words and judgments coming no matter what life you pick.

  3. JLH1986

    September 5, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Kudos for being brave enough that you changed your mind. I liked that you made it clear this wasn’t a flip of the switch for you or your husband, nor did you say everything will change their mind too. Some people really enjoy being childfree and will never change that position. You weren’t one of them. Best of luck on trying to make it all work! 🙂

  4. Tinyfaeri

    September 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

    We as a species need to learn to mind our own business a lot more, or at least worry less about what that chick over there is doing and more about what we’re doing over here. It would solve so many “problems” that are being manufactured and fed between the “news” and blogs:
    – “Mommy Wars” (gag)
    – “Child-free vs Parents”
    – “‘Attachment Parents’ vs The World”
    – Breastfeeding vs formula

    You want to have kids? Great! You don’t? Sweet! You work? Awesome! You don’t? Fabulous! You use a moby wrap? Cool! You use a stroller? Neat! You breastfeed? Congrats on feeding your child! You formula feed? Congrats on feeding your child!

    You want to change your mind about any of this and go a different direction because that is what now works for you? Good luck, and I hope it works for you!

    Problem solved. Dinosaur wins again. roar, Roar, ROAR!

    • Alex

      September 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Ok, but how ELSE are we supposed to measure how much better we are than the family down the street and assert our superiority over their terrible decisions? Are you suggesting that we allow them to remain in ignorance about the correct way to raise their children? That’s not how you create a winning village, as any decent boss will tell you whether you want to know or not!

    • rccola

      September 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm


    • Valerie

      September 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      I just want to say, my toddler is very fond of that book. Kudos for the quote.

    • Tinyfaeri

      September 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Yes! Thank you for reminding me. Bob Shea writes a Dinosaur Vs ________ series that’s really cute which is where the Dinosaur wins, roar roar roar line is from. “Dinosaur wins” has become a byword in our house. 🙂

    • DMH

      September 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      I need to look for these… Thanks for the idea!

    • disqus_WjKIYzni5a

      September 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      I so agree with this comment.

  5. tubesfilledwithcats

    September 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

    As someone with a graduate degree, teaching at a university does NOT bring the stability you think it might. Teaching positions are just as hard, if not harder, to come by, funding is always up in the air, and it’s often difficult to find insurance if you’re not getting it through your spouse. Workloads may be worse, especially if you’re expected to hold office hours andor do any advising, and the administration can be hell to work with. And good luck getting in, because despite the bleak job prospects for post-grads and large average student loan debt, many students are still flocking to grad school instead of the job market.

    • Kate

      September 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Word. I’m a second year PhD with a 4 month old, but at least I know I’ll have a job (TA) for the next few years. I’m lucky enough to have a program that welcomes my baby to meetings that fall outside the times I have childcare, but I wouldn’t call that flexibility.

  6. Blueathena623

    September 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I know lots of teachers who became moms in their mid 30’s. Since I tend to mostly know awesome people, almost all of them were worried because they do put in so much time into their teaching.
    And the general result has been — they just don’t put that much effort into teaching anymore. Not that they’ve given up, but if they needed 4 hours to be an awesome teacher and 2 hours to be a great one and 1 hour to be a good one, they settle for being good and sometimes great. Because there is a limit as to how much time there is in a day.
    I don’t know what subject you teach, or how long you’ve done it, but worst comes to worst, unless your school has a major curriculum change, your current lesson plans can help you buffer you for a year or so. I’m all for updating and using great sources and tailoring info for current students, but if you already have a knockout multimedia presentation on the civil war, use it again next year.

  7. keelhaulrose

    September 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    There are two types of “no kids” couples I’ve met: the “no kids full stop” couples, and the “no kids… Not now” types. It’s okay to be either kind. You’re allowed to change your mind or stick to your guns.
    Parenting is not for everyone. I greatly respect those who choose not to go that route, it’s not easy to deal with the people who seem to think you need to be defined by kids.
    My husband and I were “no kids” until I became unexpectedly pregnant. We had many discussions on what we were going to do, including adoption as an option. I think it was because of those discussions I realized I was willing to try my hand at being a mother. I think I was better prepared because I had to do radically change my opinion on the matter, and I didn’t feel comfortable doing that until I had enough information.

  8. AdviceFromAProf

    September 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I wish you luck with your career and family, but be aware that getting a university teaching job may be difficult. There are a lot of people with Ph.D.’s who can’t get tenure-track jobs and are taking adjunct positions; this squeezes out the people who only have M.A.’s. You might get lucky, but you may find that you either a) can’t get a job and are in a worse place than you are now or b) get a job but still lack stability, since it will be subject to what a university needs in any given semester. (And the benefits will suck as an adjunct, since you probably won’t have any.) To get a tenure-track position, you’ll almost certainly need a Ph.D., but the market is tight in most disciplines even with a terminal degree of that sort. It’s a rough economy for everyone right now.

    • Alex

      September 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Yeah, my brother has a Ph.D and has been trying to find an academic job for the past few years. It’s absolutely not a given that getting a master’s degree will qualify her for a university teaching job, nor that said teaching job will offer any greater stability; it’s still a great goal if she wants to go through with it, but she needs to recognize that it’s still a gamble that may not pay off like she hopes.

  9. libraryofbird

    September 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    “I’m hoping that my friends understand that it was easier to say “never” than “maybe” and have it not happen at all.” <—— this is amazing.

  10. meteor_echo

    September 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I really do think that childFREE are the ones who never change their mind throughout their whole lifetime – or who don’t act out on it if they do. The ones who do are more… fence-sitters, I guess.
    Judge me all you want. I’m sick of you-will-change-your-mind people to the point where I tell them I’d rather slit my throat with a dull razor than get pregnant and keep it.

    Your life is yours, however – I hope it will turn out well for you and that teaching in the university will be a stable job that you want. Good luck!

    • Gangle

      September 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      You know your own mind. While I do think some women in their twenties are possibly not done with deciding to go child-free or not (just like tons of other stuff we all change our minds about), I also think that some women just know. One of my closest friends is childfree. She decided in her teens that she just never wanted kids. Throughout her twenties she never changed her mind, despite so many people telling her she would. Well, now we are in our thirties, and she is still childfree and still satisfied with that decision, and regrets none of it.

    • Benwhoski

      September 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      I disagree in the sense that I consider myself “child-free” having no inclination toward having children at all, yet I also know that I am a vastly different person now than I was, say, 10 years ago, to the point that I barely recognize that younger version of me. People change and cannot always predict in what ways it will happen. I think it’s extremely *unlikely* at this point that I will change my mind, but I can’t honestly say that it’s impossible.

      However, I’m with you in that this article sounds much more like someone who didn’t know either way what she wanted (or what her husband wanted) and just claimed to never want kids because it was easier than admitting she was unsure about it.

    • meteor_echo

      September 7, 2013 at 3:40 am

      I think that there are some points that are core to our personalities. For example, I never liked religion when I was a little kid, and I still don’t. I never liked children or babies (even though I once thought I’d have to procreate because I didn’t know it was a choice), even when I was a child, and I still don’t. There are some things that I changed about, but the key personality points are still there, because they’re too important for me. So, if someone changes their mind about kids, it seems to me that the whole not-having-kids issue wasn’t really given much thought or wasn’t too important.

      And yes, the author seems to be a fence-sitter to me as well. I read “after years of telling my friends that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a parent…” and it kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

  11. CW

    September 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    And this is why I tend not to believe women who claim to be “childfree” if they are under the age of 35 or so. I have seen this kind of change of heart over and over again…

    • JLH1986

      September 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Why do you ask though? This is why I don’t understand this whole childless/childfree/breeder things. Maybe I’m just self absorbed but I really couldn’t give two shits if someone does or doesn’t want kids and I care even less about their reasons why.

    • CW

      September 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      I don’t think it’s rude to ask newlyweds if they think they might like to have kids some day. I’m certainly not going to argue with them if the answer is “nope” instead of “absolutely”, but if they are considering having a family, then I want to be supportive & encouraging of that. Our society is so anti-kid these days, that those of us who do consider babies as blessings rather than burdens need to help offset all the negative cultural pressures.

    • JLH1986

      September 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      I don’t get that. Someone’s reproductive choices aren’t anyone’s business. How does knowing they want kids allow you to support or encourage? GOOD LUCK KNOCKING BOOTS TONIGHT HOPE YOU GET A BABY!!! No. Also noticed you didn’t say you would be supportive & encouraging if they said “no” you just said you wouldn’t argue. It sounds as if you are only supportive of people who make similar life decisions as you. I hope to have kids one day, we recently got married and that’s all I hear “When are the babies coming?” None of your business. My womb is like my bank account. Only me and my husband need to know what is going on with it.

    • CW

      September 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I would never ask someone when they are going to have a baby. What if they were suffering with infertility or had recently experienced a miscarriage? But asking if they might like to have kids “some day” is a very different question.

    • whiteroses

      September 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      You do realize that what you’re asking is pretty much equivalent to asking someone how much unprotected sex they plan to have, right?

    • NicknamesAreDull

      September 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Why is it not rude to ask a couple if they’re having unprotected sex, or about their sex life? Because, in my opinion, that’s what you’re asking about when you ask couples their plans for kids. It’s their business, not yours. If they want support, they’ll ask you for it.

    • Courtney

      September 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      I recently completely disagreed with you in the polyamorous mom blog but I do agree with this. When you ask about how many kids a couple will have or when or if they are trying you are indirectly at least asking if they are having unprotected sex. And that’s so not any question to ask. When someone wants to share that info, they will. All we can do is congratulate them when they have good news.

    • Cee

      September 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Society is so anti-kid these days? Really? Where are you right now? Oh a parenting blog! Is it the only one out there when you do a quick Google search? Oh! Its not! There are hundreds of thousands of them, suggesting there is a large network of child rearing and child advocacy.
      And, breeding continuously will convince this “anti-kid society” to love children?

    • CW

      September 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      It’s socially acceptable to have 1, maybe 2 kids so long as one does not start before the age of 30. Having kids in one’s 20’s or having more than 2 kids and you’d think it was akin to robbing a bank or something…

    • Cee

      September 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Where are you getting this stuff?!

    • disqus_WjKIYzni5a

      September 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Yeah, asking someone if they’ll have kids isn’t the end of the world, but I still think it’s best to leave that topic alone, especially because many married couples probably still aren’t sure yet or might not want people to know that they were trying if they end up unable to reproduce. Or they might not want someone to know that they didn’t originally want kids if they did end up having a child.

    • Gangle

      September 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      I don’t know what planet you are living on, but society is most definitely *not* anti-kid.

    • AP

      September 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      It depends on who you are. I’ve had close friends ask what we’re thinking about kids, and happily answered. I’ve also had casual acquaintances ask and felt really uncomfortable.

      It also depends on the situation- when I worked with kids, everyone liked kids and was pretty open on what they thought about kids. When I’ve been at jobs that were less accommodating to personal lives, that information was mum if not taboo. I currently have coworkers who have kids who I’d never have known it if I didn’t just do data entry on our health insurance plan.

    • meteor_echo

      September 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Ah, so you’re one of the bingoers. I hope you never stumble upon an infertile woman who is sick to death of the when-are-you-reproducing questions.

    • Lillith272

      September 8, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      and in the same way I don’t believe parents when they claim “oh, but it’s so worth it” while smearing puke out of their hair.

    • justno

      September 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      As someone who has been struggling with infertility for years and has been asked about babies since the day I got married, I have two words for you : stop it.

  12. Hibbie

    September 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I’m on the other side of a number of the decisions you are contemplating. I had struggles and triumphs before making those decisions, and a different set of struggles and triumphs after making them. You can’t even begin to predict how life can change with any major decision so don’t stress about that part. Two things I can say for certain: 1) as other commenters have pointed out, becoming a professor is increasingly difficult and will almost certainly require a PhD without any promise of job attainment or security and 2) if you do go to grad school, do NOT get pregnant or have a young child during that process. For one thing, it will make you much less competitive in the job market.

  13. meteor_echo

    September 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Also, I’m definitely writing a piece about wanting children and then changing my mind – and submitting it here. Nobody ever writes about eventually deciding NOT to reproduce.

    • Tinyfaeri

      September 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Maybe those posts are on the Not-Gonna-Be-Mommyish blog! 😉 I’m teasing, but seriously… it’s a parenting blog. That may explain the lack of “This is why I decided not to have kids!” blog posts on Mommyish.

    • meteor_echo

      September 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      The thing is – they’re nowhere. I tried to do a massive Google search once, out of sheer interest. ONE article found, and it was dated by hell-knows-when. I feel like this mishap should be fixed, and immediately :T

    • Tinyfaeri

      September 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      From what I’ve seen in comments, you’d be an excellent person to correct that situation 🙂

    • meteor_echo

      September 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Benevolent snarkasm duly noted 🙂

    • Tinyfaeri

      September 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      No snarkasm – you have interesting comments on things.

    • meteor_echo

      September 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      It’s not like snark or sarcasm are bad things 🙂 And thank you!

    • Andrea

      September 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      It may be because it is harder to admit. Who wants to admit that they regret the kids they have?

      My guess is also that there aren’t many people who wanted to have kids, didn’t have them for some reason, and then decided they didn’t want them after all. Mostly because of timing I think.

    • meteor_echo

      September 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      True, true. Though, if you google “I hate being a mother”, you will be surprised by the sheer amount of comments on forums and such.

      I actually meant changing my mind before having children. I used to blindly want kids and never thought that reproduction can be a choice. Then I realized that it indeed was and decided that it was not a choice for me 🙂

    • Lillith272

      September 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      There’s a huge reddit thread going on this week with parents who admit that they regret having their children. It’s frightening to read and has done a great job of confirming my childfree stance when everyone else is popping them out left and right around me.

    • CW

      September 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Slate did a whole series of articles on being “childfree” a few months ago in their XX section.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 1:19 am

      Why the parentheses?
      And there are indeed articles on childfree life, and plenty, but none about that particular variation of “I changed my mind”.

    • Cee

      September 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      DO it! I was one that was on a baby path, picking sperm donors and all that stuff…then HALT! There should be room for this discussion.I’m sure Mommyish would allow

    • meteor_echo

      September 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      I was nearly abused into having a child. Well, no more 🙂

    • Cee

      September 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      *whistle* That may or may not have happened to me years ago….
      I guess we were both lucky to not give that person that satisfaction.

    • meteor_echo

      September 6, 2013 at 1:17 am

      Hah. Fellow lucky escaper high five 🙂

  14. Gretta

    September 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    You seem like a thoughtful person so I bet you will be a great Mom. However, my advice would be don’t over think yourself into going into circles. Some things you just have to jump into without really knowing what you are jumping into. 🙂

  15. J

    September 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Just so you know, I’m a college prof (PhD and tenure track) and M.A. full time jobs are hard to come by, especially if you don’t want to do a nationwide search. Most get paid by the class on semester to semester contracts and don’t make very much money for the time and hours (you may break even teaching college and paying a babysitter if you’re just part time. As for having kids, eh, people change their minds all the time. Sounds like you’re just young and hadn’t really thought how kids fit in until recently.

  16. disqus_WjKIYzni5a

    September 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Good luck!

  17. Rory

    September 5, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    We are childfree and I changed my mind about wanting kids after saying for 30 years I will never have kids. But I will never admit it so we are going to have an “oops” baby, then no one can ever say I told you so.

    • Andrea

      September 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      How…devious of you.

    • footnotegirl

      September 7, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Oh, it’ll be worse, they’ll all tell you “I told you so” when they see you being happy parents.
      Just admit it. I will never understand what’s wrong with saying “I changed my mind.” It’s not some sort of sin to change your mind. Life changes, circumstances change, feelings change. It would be ridiculous, with all of that going on, for decisions to never change!

  18. author

    September 5, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I feel I should clarify something – I live in an university town. I have in fact worked “the” university for many years. It’s a small university and I am hoping that because of the master’s program I have selected, would fill a niche that is currently needed but not occupied.
    I understand that a Ph.D is required for a larger university – even one that is in the same town as where I am, but this smaller one is more like a family and only requires a masters for most programs.
    I did say I am a planner. Don’t think I didn’t research this. 😉

  19. author

    September 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I lost the post I typed out – Round 2!
    I feel the need to clarify something here. I live in an university town. There’s a big one and a small one. I have worked at the small university for many years. The masters program I am will be starting soon fills a current need at the university. It is something that not many other people have, let alone anyone in this small town – nor if you have it, would you look to come here to take the job as it is a very small university, with small pay and it is expensive to live here. But if you do have it, you’ll apply to the big university. You’ll never think to apply to the little one because people who are in traditional academia don’t think that it is important enough. I love it there – I find it is more like a family than a traditional university. And this town is where I have built my adult life.
    I’m hoping to reduce my during day course load at the school by teaching evening courses.
    And even if I don’t get a job at the university, the masters program will allow me to have some stability teaching as well as between 5-10k more a year.
    I said I am a planner and don’t think for a minute that I didn’t research the heck out of this. I know what I would need to do if I wanted to teach at the big university or any large university – that’s not where my passions lie. I have always pursued my dreams and passions.

  20. Traci

    September 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    You’re a very large and stupid moron!

  21. Wendy

    September 5, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I am just befuddled trying to figure out how you are working that much after school. (I’m a writing teacher, so I always have papers to grade). I mean, I work extra too, but, what you’re describing seems a bit excessive. I’ve found that if you walk away, the papers will still be there tomorrow. (And no, people, I’m not a lazy ass, nor do the papers sit ungraded on my desk forever). Just….. walk away. There’s nothing wrong with having a life outside your job. It’s allowed and even encouraged. You shouldn’t be killing yourself. Teaching is a pretty family friendly profession–at least where I work. I mean, shouldn’t it be, more than any other?

    • author

      September 6, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Teaching has really changed here in the last 10 years. It has become family unfriendly.
      I have between 120-250 students a semester depending on what I am teaching. I will see most of them every day.

    • Erin

      September 6, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      I raised my eyebrows at that, too. I’m a teacher, and one thing I appreciate about my profession is how baby-friendly it is. 80 hours a week? Staying 4-6 hours after school on any day, let alone a Friday? That would have been untenable for me even before having a baby.

    • KMR

      September 7, 2013 at 10:07 am

      My mother was a teacher for 33 years and my sister-in-law now for 15. Yes, it can be an 80 hours a week job. I remember my Mom constantly grading papers at night, working on the weekends, all the parent/teacher conferences, administration meetings, etc. It made me never want to be a teacher and she encouraged me to choose another profession. My sister-in-law hasn’t had children yet and isn’t sure she wants to thanks to her career of choice. Perhaps it depends on the state you’re working in, the grade you teach, the school etc, but the author’s admission of her hours didn’t make me blink twice. On another note, I am so grateful for all of you. Thank you.

    • AP

      September 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      I suspect it depends on where you teach. The teacher’s contract at my public high school forbade the teachers from talking to students after 2:30 unless they were being paid for it. The union reps would patrol the school and sanction teachers who broke the rule.

      A friend of mine works at a charter school, and has a similar situation to Anonymous Mom: no job security, low pay, 12-15 hour days. So it really depends on where you work, and where you live, as to what your options for teaching are.

  22. maya del mar

    September 6, 2013 at 12:21 am

    who cares what friends will or will not think, say or understand?
    it’s your decision and your life, you don’t have to explain it to anybody.

    good luck!

  23. Mary

    September 6, 2013 at 9:36 am

    You had me until “I do have enough people to help raise a child”. Why would you expect that having a baby is other people’s responsibility? It would be one thing if you chose to have a baby and found proper daycare for the child. It’s another expecting every one to pitch in and help raise this kid that YOU want.

    My sister pulled this crap on our family. Instead of putting her son in daycare, she put the burden of all of her family to take care of her son. It got old quick. We loved him to death but we were all working full time and the last thing any of us wanted to do was take care of an infant that none of us chose to have. She eventually got a job where she could work from home but I just remember thinking when I chose to have a baby, that baby isn’t anyone’s responsibility but mine and my husbands.

    Very selfish decision.

    • author

      September 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

      I was raised by my grandparents, aunts and uncles when my parents weren’t able – To me that’s part of the package of having a baby. I thought I made that part clear – Aunts, Uncles and grandparents literally saved my life – they fed us when my mom forgot to buy food and we were starving, they pulled out of the home when it was clear there was abuse going on because of my mom’s mental illness. They made my life normal and allowed me to have a wealth of opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to have without them. Because of them, I was not harmed permanently nor did I have to end up in foster care.

      I want my child to have a similar experience with tons of aunts and uncles and involved grandparents. I doubt that I or my husband will face a similar situation as I did growing up, but we both agree that having family that wants to be involved is important.

      I already have my daycare picked out. It’s the daughter of the person who did daycare for me. She approached me and told me that when I have a baby, she’ll do daycare. Which is perfect because she lives just down the street from us.

  24. Kohoutek

    September 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    “After years of telling my friends that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a parent…”

    You were never childfree. You’re simply using that as a hook. You are not like me and you never were. You were a fence-sitter and you fell off.

    It’s no different from born again believers claiming that “I was once an atheist” when in fact they were merely party animals who did not think very deeply about anything. That is infinitely removed from someone who enthusiastically read Gould and Sagan from a young age and wrote about science, as I did.

    • Tinyfaeri

      September 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      So what you’re saying is that it isn’t possible to change one’s mind or opinion. Ever. About anything, even with new information or experiences. That’s just silly. People change sometimes, it’s a part of life. Sometimes they don’t, and that’s a part of life, too.

      Someone who was, in fact, an atheist (and read all the books that one apparently has to read to be an atheist!) can have an experience and find belief in a god just as someone who devoutly believes in a god can have an experience that shakes their faith to the point where they no longer believe. Or believe in something else. They weren’t “a fence-sitter” then just because they believe something different now – life is just not so black and white.

    • Lillith272

      September 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      No, what she is saying is that if you say “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a parent” means in fact that “you weren’t sure” which is the equivalent of a fence sitter and that is something different than considering yourself childfree. And on the other one….trust me, no atheist would ever feel compelled to suddenly change their mind about religion.

    • Tinyfaeri

      September 8, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Again. Sometimes people change. Sometimes they don’t. If they do, that doesn’t make what they were any less real to them. And trust me, you can’t speak for every member of a group of people (not even most of them), no matter what that group is. Unless there’s now an atheist hive mind, which would be kind of cool, but I doubt it. Try just speaking for yourself.

    • Lillith272

      September 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      then you clearly haven’t understood the definition of atheism vs agnosticism. What you probably refer to as atheism is in fact agnosticism.

    • Tinyfaeri

      September 8, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      LOL…so…I don’t think that you can speak for what millions of people you don’t know and will never meet may or may not think someday, so I clearly don’t understand what atheism is. Clearly.

  25. SueG

    September 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Both of you need to watch the beginning of the movie “Idiocracy.” You will identify with the couple that put off having kids due to this or that issue until it is too late. I think there are long enough clips of that movie beginning on YouTube.

    Have kids and everything will work out, one way or another. I’ve been there, and it ain’t easy, but the rewards are huge. I can’t imagine growing old now without my kids being there and — hopefully in the future — they will have kids too. Family.

  26. LawGeekNYC

    September 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    The phrase “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a parent” makes me think you were a “fence sitter” instead of “childfree”. I think childfree best describes people who are absolutely, 100% positive they don’t want kids.

  27. footnotegirl

    September 7, 2013 at 12:53 am

    When my husband and I got married, we were both ambivalent about children. i was more ambivalent on the positive side, i.e. “It would be nice someday, but if I’m never a parent it won’t be the sorrow of my life” while he was more ambivalent on the negative side “I might like to be a parent, but not sure if I really want to deal with the life changes required, I would be just fine if I never was one.”
    We had our daughter about two months before our 10th wedding anniversary. ALL of our friends and family were sure that we were going to be childfree for life. I was 40, he was 45. We are one and done (mostly decided because of health issues on my part that would require me to take a buttload of self administered blood thinner shots if I wanted to get pregnant again). Our daughter is a year and a half old now, and the experience has been AWESOME (and awesomely expensive, and awesomely tiring).
    You should hold out until you feel okay with where you are, but be aware that there should be a difference between feeling okay (a doable premise) and finding the ‘perfect time’ to have a baby (never. going. to. happen).
    And don’t feel bad about having a change of mind about this matter! It doesn’t sound like you were ever fully decided against, and as much as it is a dick move to tell a young person declaring they are forever childfree that they will change their minds someday? There’s a reason people do that. Because it IS a matter that many people change their mind about when they get older, due to society and biology and life circumstances, etc. Not everyone will change that of course, and changing ones mind doesn’t delegitimize the original opinion or the reasons one held it in the first place. But it does happen.
    Also, lots of teachers have kids, and it CAN be ideal insofar as having plenty of vacation time (unless you also have to work summers to make up the pay gap), and frequently having convenient schedules for pick up/drop off once the child is of school age.

  28. Courtney Lynn

    September 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I used to read and post on childfree forums and groups, I was a fence-sitter, though. Looking back, I was definitely a fence-sitter all along, but I really admire the childfree who truly know and aren’t afraid say it. In our society, nobody should feel like they “have to” have kids and definitely should not be shamed for it. I’ve seen on shows like 20/20 or talk shows like Dr. Phil where women who really didn’t like kids and never wanted them ended up having them through societal or spousal pressure. The outcome was never good. We’re way too concerned about other people’s reproductive choices, IMO. I “changed my mind” but I would hope that people would just mind their own business and not worry so much about what anyone else chooses to do with their life. I would never tell a CF person that they will change their mind. I tend to believe people when they tell me their life decisions.

  29. Mark Jackson

    September 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    You’re going to get a master’s degree so you can teach at a university? Are you sure you’ve researched this job market adequately?

    You might want to ask a few PhD-holding adjuncts who earn $15,000 per year with no benefits and no job security if they can spot any flaws in your plan, BEFORE you quit your job and take out any student loans.

  30. Kay Lowe

    September 12, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I, personally, think you’ll be a great mom! It’s the ones who never bother to give it any thought that you have to worry about!

  31. Yves

    September 12, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Where do you live? Sounds like you’re not in a very good location/school.

    I’m in upstate NY and being a teacher is the BEST job for having kids here. I’m a nurse and was lucky enough to get a school nurse job at my old high school while pregnant. I’m the nurse, but I’m in the (VERY STRONG) teacher union. I make less money then at the hospital, but I get awesome benefits – i pay half the cost for my insurance than I was paying and get waaaay better coverage, state retirement aka a freaken pension, and in the very strong teacher union, and lots of little benny’s too. I work 7.5 hours a day (teacher union you work from 7:20-2:45. the last 45 mins is the “afterschool” period too so it’s easy after 2), that includes my lunch time. At the hospital my “8 hour shift” was actually like 9 hours. Flexible hours…if I need to skip out a little early for an appt, I can just leave. At the hospital I would never have been allowed to. Also I get a million days off a year (all those little legal holidays, 5 days at thanksgiving, 2 weeks at Xmas, 1 week feb recess, 1 week easter break). Oh and 2 MONTHS off in the summer. At the hospital I only got like 12 days vacation a year, had to work half the holidays, and weekends. Also I just plain enjoy the work at the school, it makes me happy to go to work. I hit the freaken jackpot for working + being a mom.

    Enough about me, sorry I talked so much about my situation. Just do it! It’s going to work out better than you think. Being a planner is good but just know that things will seriously work out. And PS: you will be a good mom 🙂

  32. JL

    September 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Best of luck to you!!!! I left teaching at the high school level to get my PhD. I love teaching college classes. It allows me to be home with my 3 kids 2-3 days a week and most of the summer.

  33. Pix

    September 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I haven’t “changed my mind” but others who do have every right to do so, because it’s THEIR choice and THEIR bodies. What really burns my toast is, when someone does change their mind, the “We told you so!” gloating. It’s not cute, and people need to mind their own business.

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