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kids: to have or not to have?
May 2, 2000
1:30 pm
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hmm
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I'd appreciate some insights or thoughts on this issue. I am 29, my girlfriend 28. We live together. She wants to get married and have kids (not now, but soon enough). I'm not so sure. In any case I need to decide if this is what I want to do soon, because it's not fair to her to lead her on with my indecisiveness.

The problem is that I'm apathetic about the idea. It's not her (I love her a lot), it's just that I can't really picture myself being a dad (although I think I'd be a decent one if I was put up to the task). I'm troubled by the fact that I don't really like kids all that much, compared to other people I know. Kids just get on my nerves. I do feel strongly, however, that kids should be raised well, and often are not.

Anyway, I've always tried to do whatever I feel like, and not ever act out of obligation or to satisfy someone else's expectations. I want to keep my independence. I realize that a large part of being in a serious relationship involves some loss of freedom and making compromises, which I have done willingly with small things (the trade off is the satisfaction of a solid loving relationship).

I guess my question is: Should I just go for it, or should I wait until a "paternal instinct" kicks in? Will it ever, or are a lot of men just like this? I can't think of being in a worse situation than regretting having kids. And I can't imagine as a kid, having a worse parent than one who regrets having you.

I suppose that the downside to all this freedom and independence that I crave, is that when I'm a lot older, what am I going to DO with all of it? I imagine that loneliness is likely to result if I keep myself too independent.

May 3, 2000
9:24 am
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Cici
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I guess it's your personal decision. But I think it's important that you let your girlfriend know your stand on the issue so she can make a choice about whether her and yur ideas are compatible.

I haven't heard of parental instinct before. Maternal instinct is a function of hormones and there aren't really any comparable hormones in males.

My older sister had a baby last month, and from what i've observed, being a parent mostly involves being selfless and self-sacrificing. You sacrifice your personal space and private time to create a child who is the ultimate expression of a union. Both my brothers-in-law have intimated to me that they mostly felt to urge to procreate because of the nature of their love for their wives.

I think the urge to have children comes when you know you're mature enough to handle the stress. In the ideal situation, anyway.
I guess it's like fate...if it's supposed to happen, it will.

May 3, 2000
11:24 am
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Hope
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You seem to be a perfectionist.
Do you really dislike kids, or want to be a perfect parent and are picking yourself apart?
The most beautiful thing on earth is having a child of your own, right now you are intellectualising everything and have no clue about this fact. If I were you I would really go for it, when you look in your babys face, your heart will soften and your intellect will no longer rule your life.

May 3, 2000
3:44 pm
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hmm
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Thanks for responding.

Cici, I have discussed my issues with my girlfriend, and she thinks it's just a phase and that I'll come around. I agree with what you said.

Hope, you're probably right that I'm thinking too critically. And I've heard other people say how great the experience is. I suppose it's one of those things that you can only experience to know. It would probably get me out of dwelling on myself so much.

May 4, 2000
8:13 am
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hazza
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Hi hmm,
I think that this is obviously an important decision, but i think you would make a wonderful father.

You are so aware already of what not to do, you care about doing a good job. Think how many people are already out there with kids who just don't even think of this stuff!

My dad had no intention of ever marrying and having kids until he met my mum. But they ended up having 3 of us. He has told me many times that the moment he saw each of us come into the world, for he was present at each birth, was the best days of his life. He can remember the look on each of our faces as we entered the world, apparently I came out fist first, my older crotherw as asleep and my younger brother looked like he had been here before! Qualities each of us still show!

He tells me that he is glad that he had kids and that my mum decided on it, because he may have never bothered otherwise and he says he would have missed out on so much.

I think what people say about feeling different about your own kids must be true.
I have no kids and i have never had anything remotely close to a maternal instinct. I have no urge to hold friends babies nor do i look at baby clothes and say "ah". But when i was 10yrs old and my little brother was born, i felt very differnt about him, i would play with him, bathe him and loved him like mad (still do) and found everything he did very very funny!

I think you could agonise over this kind of issue for ever, You will NEVER know until your try, even if you spent yrs waiting and felt ready, you would still not know how things would turn out.
The only way you ever do know is by doing it, and yes it is a big thing, the biggest thing any one can do, but i bet you would make a better job of it than alot of people.

Maybe you should make sure you have got any big things you want to do before having kids out of the way first, spend a little more time enjoying your girlfriend all to yourself.
But i think when the time comes you will always have doubts, but i am sure you would be marvellous and find it very rewarding.
Peace
Hazza

May 6, 2000
6:33 pm
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Faith
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Dear hmm... I too struggle with this question (I'm a woman in my mid thirties.) I just lost my relationship because I could not make up my mind whether or not to have a child. My partner wants to have a family 100%, whereas I have always been doubtful. I think that this a very personal decision that only you can answer. If you have any doubts, as someone else commented, maybe you should wait and make sure you do the things you want to do first. A child is not a pet, you can't just have it and change your mind later that fatherhood is not for you. The people that I have talked to who have wanted children said that they just always knew. Take some time; listen to your intituion and don't let someone else talk you into this decision. You are still young! Good luck.

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