I joined this forum searching for people who may have similar experiences and resulting insight.
Almost two years ago, I met my "knight in shining armor." He has a five-year-old son who lives a fair distance away but spends summers and some holidays with us. Before I met him, I was sure I would have a child. I wanted what I thought was normal for every woman, especially having never been married or pregnant while entering my thirties.
After his divorce, he decided to devote all of his energy to his son, and before we met had a vasectomy. He remains committed to this decision.
However, it hasn't been so easy for me. There are a very many good reasons why I should not have a child, and I share many CF viewpoints for this reasoning as I have seen on these forums.
The challenge is being a stepmom gives me a strong desire to have "one that I can keep." We have to share our time with his son with the rest of the family, and despite being realistic I often feel sad and left out. Combine that with screaming hormones and I end up a ball of tears. It is as though I am mourning for the child I will never have, especially around the times when I am ovulating -- each egg it seems is a lost chance.
Will these biological and emotional urges wax and wane over time? It would be a nightmare if I let my body control my life and turn away from my soul mate frankly in search of sperm.
He is very supportive and understanding but I feel like a total mess!
_________________ Stay fit. Keep sharp. Make good decisions.
The choice to be CF, just like to have children, is a complex and life long decision. And should be made, and maintained, with wholehearted confidence. I know that I have made the choice to be CF, and so has my husband, but its our CHOICE, and we both fully accept its positive and (possible) negative aspect. However, even though I am committed to this lifestyle, I would never suggest someone who isn't committed to attempt it. If you feel you want children, and you are truly ready for them, then you should find a partner that wants children as well.
I am not saying try to make your current partner change his mind, it sounds like he has his mind made, and that should be respected. But I am saying you may need to make a difficult decision, and decide if you will be happy with just your partner or if it would be better to find a different partner that wants the same thing that you do ( children)
I believe whatever decision people make, to have children, or not to have children, should be made clearly, consciously, and effectively, weighing ALL possibilities. Don't make a lifelong decision, like being CF, JUST to maintain a current relationship. Relationships can end, but if you wait too long, you may lose your chance to have a child. If having a child is TRULY something you want, then you may need to reevaluate you current circumstances.
If, on the other hand, you know you want to be CF, but feel its ONLY hormones that are bugging you, go on a hormone based birth control. It will curb the hormone mood swings, and prevent the " Baby urges" sometimes related to ovulation.
_________________ It’s strange to have a creation out there, a deeply mutated version of yourself, running loose and screwing everything up. I wonder if this is how parents feel? -“Dexter Morgan” (“Dexter,” season 2, episode 12, “British Invasion”)
Hi there. This is my very first post on this forum. I came over from another CF forum who's moderators are now all either pregnant or now with child, so I packed an apple in a bandana, tied it to a stick and set off on my journey to find YOU GUYS! Not knowing where to post first, I combed the forum and found your post - very interesting stuff. I know you posted this a while back, but still wanted to share my story.
I was a young career-minded woman in my 20's who always knew she'd have 2 kids. ...maybe because that's just what everyone around me did, so it became an easily adopted goal for myself. Over the years I was told "you'll be a GREAT mother one day" so it was certain... I'd be a great mother one day. Right? Anyway - I met DH, a single father to two girls - 12 and 6. I thought great, he's already a hard working, dedicated father so he already knows the work it takes to raise a child - he won't get FREAKED OUT, if anything, having a partner to share the burden will be a blessing! This will be great. Right? So we dated four years, agreed that we will have a baby between us. He thought he was done, I wanted some, we settled on one - a compromise baby. Perfect. Right?
What I didn't factor in was - being a single father for so long (he had them both 99% of the time) really wore him down. I chose not to see this. I moved forward with my hands over my eyes pretending all was well... we are still on track... we have a plan... keep moving forward... la la la! 4 years into our marriage later, I say it's time I guess... then BAM - I get pregnant. We're both happy, but nervous. You see, the youngest SD is a nightmare child and we knew this was going to be impossible... but here we go!
Christmas time, 3 months pregnant, going to announce it to the family with "grandma" and "grandpa" gifts under the tree... and I miscarry. Three days before Christmas. It was the single most difficult thing I could have ever experienced. DH zoned out. I slipped into numbness. It was the worst. Months later, DH reveals to me he was sad, but only for me. He really didn't want another child - but was only doing it because I wanted one. Kick in the face....
Do we split? Stay? Can I be childfree? I'd never thought about the possibility before... what does that new world even look like? Who would I be? Who am I now, if not a mother to be? Where is my identity, and why is it wrapped up in a child that doesn't even exist yet? Mind f*ck for sure...
DH and I decided after months of contemplation, heart-ache and debate that together we are going to travel a new path. It isn’t the path I have always expected to take, nor is it the path anyone in my life thought I should. But it’s the path that hopefully through hard work, communication, understanding, respect and love – will result in happily ever after for the two of us. DH and I decided that we would remain childfree. Although procreating was always the agreement between us, it isn’t what is best for our marriage.
People, goals, ideals – they all change. I’m finding that the only way to sustain a healthy marriage is if you’re able to navigate that change together. It wasn’t until the tears dried after the miscarrage that I realized I don’t need tangible proof or validation – a physical product of my love for DH or his love for me. I need him. That test was the beginning of real healing not only for me, but for us. It was an awakening to address our greatest fears in life formed through experience and history that until recently we chose to hide from each other. A lot can be covered up and overlooked when you’re consumed by an objective. My eyes are open - and so is my mind. I also started to really look at things - not just an ideal [we all know how that turns out] but reality... DH is an okay father, but 100% of our arguments are about different parenting styles. I address things, he ignores them. He's not the kind of partner I'd want beside me should we have had children. I wouldn't have known this or really looked at this if I wasn't a stepmom. I love my career. When I picture motherhood, I'd be there at the bus stop waiting then go home and do homework and bake cookies - when I think about giving up my career, I could seriously puke. I love children, but usually for 45 minutes to 3 hours only. AND only from ages 3-6....
My new greatest joy will be to rededicate the rest of my life to my husband - to our individual and common goals, health, culture, family, travel, society and to a deeper understanding of love for each other. The greatest gift in all of this will be to live the rest of our lives drawing upon lessons learned, and applying ourselves to our marriage in a way neither of us were sure how to do before. We are eliminating any threat or possible complication that could lead us down the path we see everyone around us go. We navigate through our share of complication as it is. We are choosing to be different. We are choosing each other.
I was a mother in waiting who is now a Child FREE [when the skids are away] woman. I'm 32 years old... and get to face the fun and freaky new task of reinventing herself.
The difference is - being a stepmom has really yanked the biological clock from my body and sent it through the wood chipper.
My early 30s, hormonally speaking, were an affront to my dedication to never wanting to give birth. Crying to DH about not getting to have a kid (usually after having some wine) but waking up the next day feeling like an idiot.
Now I'm 37 and I haven't cried about my choice in, say, the last two years. Totally happy with my choice, I love my body (for the most part), and the idea of having a 13 year old at age 50 makes me shiver with disgust.
I have two stepchildren I've raised on a full-time basis for the last five years. I've been happy for the opportunity to be close to these kids but outside of a rare, hormonally-induced freak-out, I've always been proud of my choice to remain child free, at least, biologically.
Hi. This is my first post on any forum, ever. I joined this forum because I find that after exhausting my resources - therapy, books, internet, etc, etc, etc - the world is not quite equipped to help me with where I am. Here is where I am, at a point of truly choosing. Not choosing to follow what is clear in my heart and soul, but choosing to make a decision that is incredibly difficult, not clear, and scary. The choice is not readily available, I have to just do it. This situation came about just two and a half months ago.
I am madly in love with a man 18 years my senior. I am 30. He has two beautiful fraternal twin daughters, age 11. We have a split custody agreement with his ex-wife and have them primarily through the week. We talked about having children, and both agreed we wanted one. He has since changed his mind. I believe he believed he wanted one, but more than anything he was willing to do whatever he could to make me happy (sound familiar?). I respect his honesty, however painful. I completely understand his perspective, and have to agree with him on many points.
Like others, I always imagined I would have kids. And it is a mind f*ck to realize the devastating amount of grief one experiences at the loss of what I call, The Imagined Life. Fears have come out of the corners, all socially and culturally motivated. Will I be a failed woman? Will I die alone with nobody to care for me? Will I miss out? Is this a HUGE MISTAKE? WTF? Truly, how much of this is difficult because of other people? Yes, I want a kid. I want a family. I have those things. I know that what I have is beautiful and that it is so undercut by this notion of a biobaby is truly unbelievable to me. I think it may be rooted in control. His children, though he sees them as "ours" are legally his. If we were to ever separate, I might lose them as well. If I had my own, I would have them as long as they lived. Uhm....why do I feel this need to have someone, almost force someone, to be there with me? Yikes.
So that is where I am. Sorting through many thoughts and emotions. Good days/weeks and terrible days. My therapist is awesome. My friends are fantastic. My partner always listens. But I cannot be the only one in this situation. That wanting a kid but not having one does not spell something awful later in life. That resounding regret is not the only thing awaiting me in my future. The fear surrounding this is just terrific. I make it a habit not to make fear-based decisions.
Figarro, I understand where you are at and the difficulty of navigating this situation. It can be very painful and very hard to hear your own voice amongst the clamour. One suggestion is to ask yourself "if I could make any decision I wanted and it impacted no-one negatively, including myself, and there was no potential for regret, what decision would I make?" This can help to get to the core of what YOU want.
Ultimately I say, you will be OK, either decision you make. Be courageous in your decision.
I am new to the forum. I've read your posts and find it all very interesting. I'd like to share with you my experience and hope that it will be helpful and insightful as your posts have been for me.
I'm 33 going on 34 and have started wondering if I would like to have kids. I guess I have always been the kind of woman that has never thought about it or pictured myself with a baby regardless of what my life would turn out to be. I remember as a child playing with dolls and playing the teacher role but I don't ever recall playing "mommy". It's interesting to go back in time and think about my views as a child.
I have been reading about childfree women/people and how this should/can be a choice in people's life and I believe that this is my case. It's a decision that I would like to make not something that is a given by society because that is what a woman should do next in life.
I do like children very much. I think they are funny and they keep you on your toes. However, I don't like to be on my toes 24/7.
Three years ago I met my fiance whom I love deeply. He had been previously married and that marriage ended in divorce and a child. My fiance and his son are the best things that have ever happened to me. I feel truly blessed that they are in my life and that we now share a life together. My stepson was 3 when I met him and I have seen him grow and change in many ways. He is just perfect. We have a very happy life together. He is now six and he is growing and I'm feeling a bit like I want to have a child. This is one of the reasons. But is it a really good reason? How is a new child going to replace my stepson that has grown? Besides, we share him with his mother and we don't see him everyday, so that's part of it all being perfect.
When I met my fiance he mentioned from the beginning what a really hard time they had had when my stepson was born. He was apparently a nightmare child. So he decided he didn't want to have any more children. When he told me this I didn't really think it was an issue because I honestly had never really considered it before now. I remember saying hmm well I could just leave the perfect man and go and find someone that would have a baby with me if I ever got clocky. In other words, I had never really felt the urge and necessity for having a child.
Things have changed over the years and my partner is very confused and thinks that he should do it mainly for me. I on the other hand don't want him to do it just for me. I want him to do it because he really wants a baby, and that is not the case for either of us.
I guess my biggest concern is regretting it in the future. Getting old and not having anyone there to look after me. But are these really good reasons to have a child? I don't believe that I want the full time job of looking after a child for 18 years or so, the sleepless nights, the endless crying, the frustrated social life and the rupture of what I have with my partner at the moment.
Lucy, welcome to the forum! I enjoyed reading your post. I'm glad to see you're putting real thought into this life-altering decision.
I have to say, though, you already answered your own questions and seem to be seeking reinforcement of your conclusions -- nothing the matter with that! For example, you say you want to have a child, but you go on to point out that you do already have a child, even if it's not 24/7 (which you don't think you want) and even if you didn't give birth to him. You say you never really pictured yourself as a mother and that neither you nor your fiance really want to have one together.....so, please, don't! Start reading other topics on these forums and you will read from others what I am also saying: giving birth to and/or raising a child full-time in your own home is a lifestyle choice that you cannot undo. It's not like buying a home or a car that you can decide isn't worth the maintenance. You can put 18+ years into the raising of this child, and s/he might not be able to financially support you in your old age, or s/he might decide not to, and requiring your grown offspring (who may be poor or aging or dealing with their own health problems) to take care of you 24/7 is cruelly unfair, and to me it's emotional manipulation. At the end, everyone dies alone.
I hope I don't sound rude, because I just mean to be realistic. You've got what sounds like the best of both worlds: the chance to watch a kid grow up, and positively influence him along the way, yet you didn't have to put your body through pregnancy/childbirth and many months with no sleep! Plus, he doesn't have any severe disabilities (that you've mentioned) that cause strain on your time, your budget, and your relationship with your fiance, another possibility that many don't think will happen to them. You are 100% right that he should not do it just to make you happy, and vice versa. It's not like relocating for a spouse's job, a sacrifice you can undo if necessary. Bringing a new person into the world, and supporting him/her for at least 18 years, is a permanent choice.
I wish you the best of luck in your decision. Stick around -- you seem nice!
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