The Having Kids Debate


I'm 32 and the mother of an adorable 16 month old little boy. I just wanted to make a few points that you probably wouldn't hear from other parents.

1. I don't like kids. I LOVE mine. He's my world. But I really don't like other people's kids.
--I was on the fence about having them, and my husband really wanted them. (we're trying for #2 now). I wouldn't trade my son for anything, but I really can't stand other kids. Makes for interestingly theatrical play dates on my behalf. :)

2. Kids put a terrible stress on your marriage. They are HARD work. And you would learn a lot about yourself just from raising a child, and you need to be on the same page as your partner from a responsibility standpoint first. I have many friends with little ones that were unprepared and are now in counseling, divorce, unhappy, etc...

3. It's not selfish to NOT have kids. If you feel pretty sure that you don't want them, that's a good indicator, IMO. Reference point #2. It's a LOT to take on, and if you're not totally on board for it, the responsiblity and lifestyle changes could make you a verry bitter and unhappy person...which leads to bitter and unhappy kids.

Just a few thoughts. Personally, I feel that I made the right choice. My world is a brighter place and I have mellowed so much because of my son. But I was never opposed to having him. But there are plenty of days where I feel overwhelmed and bitter and really miss my single carefree lifestyle. I think every parent feels that at points. It's just whether you can look at that little face when feeling that way, and have it all disappear.

Excellent response. I have three children 12, 7 and 3 (all over the map as far as stages!) They are a sacrifice and hard work. There is no break from parenting. BUT the love and emotions you feel for your own child is like no other (good and bad) - and that experience I wouldn't give up now that I have it.
Nothing wrong with you, definitely! I'll tell you my story just for perspective, but I don't mean to try to influence you.

I thought I never wanted kids. My dad died when I was 35, and at that point I went through a pretty big change thinking that there must be more to life than the path I was on. To make a long story short, I realized I did want kids. I was the youngest in my family and just hadn't been around kids at all and had no interest. Well, something definitely kicked in for me. I had my first when I was 38, second at 41. I'm 48 now, and I must admit that I'm not wild about other people's kids -- doesn't really matter what age. I just feel they are foreign to me somehow. The better I get to know them, the more comfortable I am. But, my kids? I love them to pieces and yes the obnoxious stuff gets to me at times, but overall, it's nothing like what I experience when I see a stranger's kid (or even a kid I know somehow) misbehaving or being obnoxious. In some ways it's worse! :D But, mostly, it's just somehow more tolerable when it's your own.


This is perfectly said. I was never in a position where I didn't want kids, but the point made in this post that I liked was about whether it's your child or someone else's is perfect. I love my kids dearly, but if I had based my decision on having kids by looking at other people's kids, I definitely would have never had any. Like the poster said before, other kids are "foreign" to me. That's because you don't have that bond with their kids. My best friend from high school (who didn't have any kids while I did) used to come and get my youngest when she was about 4 or 5 and take her do all kinds of fun things with her (she wouldn't do that while my daughter was little because she didn't like kids until they were that age!) Well, she later married and now has an 8 year old daughter (she had her first child at 38 years old) and is the best mother ever and loves it! My two kids are much older (one a Jr. in college the other in high school at 16). Bottom line -- I never thought my best friend would have a child ever, but she did and she absolutely loves it. It's like the prior poster said -- when it's your own child, it's way more tolerable. That's because YOU can control your child's behaviour, etc., while other parents don't control their children.

Sorry I rambled on -- but keep all of your options open. Having kids is a very hard and tedious job, but very rewarding (because they love you back in return for all your hard work!). You will look at your own child much differently than you look at other people's children.



It is ok not to want kids. I have 3. All were born pre-mature. was on bedrest at 3 months w/ #3. Luckily, all were born healthy. they are now 18, 17, and 14. LOVE,LOVE, LOVE them!!!!! (95% of the time:)) I felt I gave up my life for a few years while they were young, even was jealous of DH getting to "get out of the house" to go to work. Did I mention the first 2 are only 11 months apart? I use to wait t the door for DH to come home. I love the baby stage, love the toddler stage, I have to admit I love every stage. Now it's even better because they can "manage on their own", and I have more time for me and DH (and Cathe:)). Kids are a sacrifice, expensive, stressful on the marriage, will give u gray hair, keep you up at nite, etc. You need to decide what is right for YOU!!!!. I cannot wait for grandkids. I also know I have 3 wonderful people that will take care of me when the time comes. I aleays told them paybacks are hell!!!!:)


I got married at 20, DH and I did all the traveling, spending, spur-of-the-moment things. We began to wonder "is this it?"

After 11 years of marriage, after attending our high school reunion and spending time with some friends and their kids (we'd be the only childless couple at birthday parties) and realized what wonderful experiences we were missing out on.

Our children are now 10 and 12. Motherhood is demanding. It doesn't matter how "equal" your marriage is, YOU will be doing most of the work.

Your child/ren will take over every waking (sometimes sleeping) moment of your life. It is HARD WORK if you want to raise loving, well-balanced, human beings. (Not so hard if you don't care how they turn out.) Did I mention that it's hard work?

But, the one thing that no one or any book prepared me for was how much I would love these kids (I'm getting weepy as I type this). I look at them and sometimes I feel sick to my stomach because of how much I love them.

My kids have made me a better person - more moral, more thoughtful, patient, kind . . . the list goes on and on.

Anyway, I think you would be an amazing mother and your child/ren would be blessed. But, I think you'll make an impact on others whether you have children or not.


Okay - one more thing from me. If you become a mom, have a sense of humor and become friends w/ other moms who have a sense of humor. It's a 24/7 job that I've CHOSEN to love w/ a lot of laughter. Sure it sucks sometimes - any job does. But there's nothing else I'd rather be doing.


New Member
In reference to having watched the 18-month-old carrying on in the restaurant, I totally get it. If you decide to have a child, and you don't have to, that doesn't have to be the way your baby would behave. I worked in day care for a few years before I got married and was able to see a lot good things parents did and a lot stupid & screwy things, too. As a parent of a 2 & 1/2 year old now, I am proud to say that, since my husband & I set a standard for our child's behavior, he does not act up anywhere we go. We are also mindful of his needs; naps, meals, etc. That makes a difference, too. Try not to be intimidated by other people's kids. I highly recommend a book called Baby Wise if you decide to have a child. I would have been insane without it! Good luck.


Clothesminded, it's your kind who usually make the best Moms. I'm a total baby magnet, but have no interest in dealing with kids when they're not helpless anymore. I think I'd make an awful Mom. But you like real people. That's exactly what a Mom should be, IMHO. The baby phase goes by all too quickly, but the "real people" part lasts forever.

I totally agree with Nancy. The baby phase goes by poof! just like that. Then they turn into these amazing little people with their own thoughts and opinions and they only develop more unique qualities as they grow. I always wanted kids and now have three (ages 7, 4 and 1), and at times (many times) they drive me crazy, but I can't imagine life without them. In addition to loving loving them, I love seeing the world through their eyes as they grow. Sometimes when we grow up we lose appreciation for little things and lose a sense of wonder about the world. When you have kids, they spark your imagination and really make you live life a totally different way.

It's tough being a mom... especially if you do it right. And you go through tremendous amounts of guilt and frustration, but in the end, you know that for the rest of your life you have a wonderful purpose to serve beyond anything else you've ever imagined. It's not a heavy burden or a "job." It's really a blessing....

That being said, I think there's nothing worse than being talked into something that your heart doesn't desire. No marriage should have a baby ultimatum... Pray hard about it, talk about it with your husband and do what your heart leads you to do... Just know that if it is a baby you want deep down, it's not a scary journey....
Well, I talked to my husband about the having kids debate and realized that he brings up the subject only when he's really unhappy with work, which he def. is now. According to him, he's looking for something fulfilling in life. Seems strange to me since I would just get another job, but men can be strange about that sort of thing. We had a great talk, and for now, just don't think kids are for us. It's so hard though with all the pressure from everyone on how we "should" be.

Maybe it was just this mom's lack of discipline with her kid that drove me nuts. I know that my mom wouldn't have put up with that at all. I would have been sitting in the car. I also get really upset that she shows up w/o any notice with her child and then doesn't even thank my husband or me for paying the $200 dinner tab. Yes, it was her boyfriend's (my brother-in-law's) bday, but gosh. We'd only met her once! That just seems rude to me, but who knows.... It was just a bad evening over all.

Thanks again for all of your responses. I can tell that you are all wonderful mothers who made the right decision for you. I respect and admire someone who can raise another human being to be courteous, educated, and accepting. That's a tough job to have.


Active Member
I am 34 and so is my DH. We have been together for 18yrs now. And we don't have children we have dogs! I was a Nanny for many years and raised a family literally from 6months to now she is 16. I love both of those kids and felt I was ready at 18yrs old but, then I got married and we started traveling and all of a sudden we were 27 going we don't want kids. PLEASE UNDERSTAND I LOVE CHILDREN, I LOVE TO HOLD BABIES!!!! But, having them is a different story. Some women have said HORRIBLE THINGS TO ME AND HOW I AM NOT A REAL WOMAN BECAUSE I DID NOT HAVE THE DESIRE TO HAVE CHILDREN. Also I am an only child and wow for years my Parents my mom mostly pressured me and tried to guilt me into having them. I have learned that everyone is different just because you don't want children you are still a woman, still matter and still have a soul....though lots of women will disagree with you. Oh and i won't change my mind either so please don't write to me I am still young and there is time!!! Thanks
Good luck with your Hubby!!!


I'm glad to hear you discovered the probable root cause of his wanting kids from time to time.

Perhaps you can mention the Big Brother or a similar mentoring program the next time he brings it up since finding a new job is a tough thing to do now with the economy still struggling?

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