I've read this post with the full gamut of emotions. I can't believe how many people out there are in the exact same stage of life; it's such a relief! I am on the fence for all the reasons stated above, but also for one other reason i haven't seen fully discussed on here yet (let me know if I've missed a post!).
I am sick to my stomach and so sad at the thought of losing friendships over deciding to stay CF. And before you all jump in and say if that happens they weren't good friends anyway - i have to gently disagree as these are people we have spent nearly every weekend with, but in the case of the mothers, I see they bond over baby talk now in a way I just can't relate to. And when I try, I get the "this must be so boring for you, talking about kids". It can be, but what can I do - if I don't participate I don't have a reason to be there. I am 35, my fiance is 39 (we are getting married a week before his 40th in Feb!) and we have been together 6 years. For the past few years it hasn't been an issue as a lot of our friends were the same age without kids. But in the past 2 years - no less than 4 couples have had kids, and 2 happen to be his best friend and my best friend. It changes things, it really does. While we are still invited around (although increasingly rare) and vice versa, something has shifted, and we hear more and more of catch ups that happen without us - the mums will have coffee during the week while I'm at work, or the dads will have an early bbq with the kids. On the flip side, we have arranged dinners with some friends without kids as it means it can be later (and boozy) - but now even they are trying! I've heard so many times that people worry they will regret not having kids around them when they're older - but to be honest I worry we will lose those friendships, and have to find a whole new set of friends in order to not always feel like the odd one out. It is already strange on the weekends now - we do more and more things just the two of us, as the rest have kids duty or can't get a baby sitter, and while I love my fiancé dearly - I never stopped to think how choosing CF might mean a change of social interactions - and not for the better. Trust me - I would NEVER have a child just to fit in - but I have to admit it sometimes feels like I will lose so much if I don't, and that makes me really really sad. I'm hoping I slowly get to know people on here and it's so great there is a forum for us, but there comes a time when you just want a coffee and a chinwag face to face with someone who understands your choice and doesn't feel the need to try and change it, or make you feel less of a person for not conforming. My overall fear is that I won't find a network like that and it will always feel like I had to have kids to stay on the same page as my friends.
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 8:52 pm Posts: 3304 Location: Chicago, IL
I am sick to my stomach and so sad at the thought of losing friendships over deciding to stay CF. And before you all jump in and say if that happens they weren't good friends anyway - i have to gently disagree as these are people we have spent nearly every weekend with, but in the case of the mothers, I see they bond over baby talk now in a way I just can't relate to. And when I try, I get the "this must be so boring for you, talking about kids". It can be, but what can I do -if I don't participate I don't have a reason to be there. [snip] My overall fear is that I won't find a network like that and it will always feel like I had to have kids to stay on the same page as my friends.
The way you're feeling here is how I felt when I was on the fence - I was feeling a sense of dread with the idea that I may have a kid at some point, but at the same time, I felt that in order to keep the friends I've grown up with and had a strong bond with, perhaps having a kid would just be the right decision. It took a long time for me to realize that I can't revolve myself around my friends and family who did have families - They are living their lives, and I have to take care of myself and do what is right for me.
I admit, it is still a little difficult for now, but I am comfortable and relieved that I am not being pressured to have a baby, and my close friends know that one of the last things I want to talk about is their kids' days in detail - give me the gist, go over the big picture, but I don't need the entire lowdown; that's what their fellow mommy friends are for.
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Has the OP ever responded? What are you going to do? I feel 100% the way you do, kodak moments, old age, etc! Your post is what I have written already - it sucks on the fence. I cant wait to accept my life didnt turn out the way i expected.
OP here, and yes, I did respond a few pages back - but in case you can't find it, I'll sum up: we landed on the childfree side of the fence. My husband got a vasectomy and we're extremely happy about the future and not feeling any regret. Some may say we didn't need to take any permanent action (we're still relatively young), perhaps we would have changed our minds in a few years, etc. But couples who decide to get pregnant or adopt don't know going into it how it'll all turn out, they often still have doubts or waiver somewhere below 100% certainty... and they take the plunge anyway (side note: and no one questions them!). I needed that same sense of decision/control/closure. So we took a leap of faith that this was the right path for us. I could see us living happily with either choice, but this one honored more of our "gut" feeling vs. logic... which, honestly, is why a lot of other people make the opposite decision.
Good luck to all who are still on the fence. Wishing all of us the peace of mind and heart we desire.
Wow, I missed this post the first time around, but I could have written most of it myself. I am glad you made a decision and took the steps. I had an IUD put in almost 5 years ago and I spent the day bawling my eyes out because I had made some sort of decision, at least in the short term. Now I have to decide whether to get it replaced for another 5 years or not. I have an appointment next month and I have no idea what I'm going to do. I was asked this very evening why I don't just "see what happens." And my answer was, "Because I might get pregnant." But I just can't move on.
Exhausting is the perfect way to describe it. I feel like every moment, of every day, every week, every month, every yeah, there is a game of pong going on in my head. I shouldn't have a kid because...but I should because...but I shouldn't because...but I should because... God, I just want to be able to make a decision and find some peace!
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