Happy DINK having doubts: How do you discern between real change in baby-making opinion and just temporary hormonal brooding?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (53 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Other threads have commented on the "do I want kids or not" debate, but I want to specifically ask: How do you discern what is legitimate thoughts about having children and just hormone-induced anxiety in the late 20s, early 30s age range?
Our situation: Very happy DINK (dual income, no kids) couple, married for three years. I'm 29, he's 27. Prior to getting married, we both were firmly in the "no kids, ever" camp. However, since we've been married my feelings on this have mellowed somewhat. When I was single, I could never, ever see having children. I'm an introverted geek with tons of hobbies and prediliction to stress/fret. That just doesn't seem like good mom material or a happy situation for me. I was always in the "love my nieces/nephews, but kids are crazy no thank you" camp.
However, now it's more of a specific consideration. I could see having a child...with him. I don't know if it's because I'm in a good, happy marriage now or because I'm coming up on 30 or what, but it's suddenly thrown doubt into my since-forever assumption that I didn't want kids. When talking to friends with kids or pregnant, I think about how I'd react or what we'd do in a similar situation with a kid of our own. We light-heartedly talk about "if we had kids..." sometimes. I don't know what to do with it. We've talked it over before, quite openly, and while he doesn't see kids as a dealbreaker or life-ending, he still doesn't think we really want them and a lot of my thoughts are just temporary. He's..probably right? I don't know. I should re-iterate that the Mr. has been nothing but supportive and great talking about such a big topic. We joke about getting a kitten or puppy (already have pets) to sooth maternal urges. We're both willing to think and talk it over again in the future.
These are the things that give me pause:
- Our marriage is great, solid and we could make really good, geeky parents.
- The idea of experiencing pregnancy and creating a new little life is kind of appealing to me, as is getting the chance to try to raise an intelligent, curious kid.
- The idea of building a stable family that exists beyond just us appeals to me.
- There's a not zero chance that my husband may die well before me and we're not close to our siblings or the "big, active community of friends" types. I don't want either of us to lose what little family we have with the loss of the other.
- While we're both low key and DINKy, we're also both pretty settled and conservative: well out of our nomad days, we own a nice home, good careers, savings, have good finances, on paper, we're very solidly prepared to raise a kid.
- My parents were both quite old when I was born. If we're doing this, I want to be doing it in the next couple years.
This is the stuff that terrifies me:
- We're both geeky DINKs with our own obsessions and a pretty low key lifestyle. We love our adult hobbies like nice food and technology. Seriously, we LOVE our life now. Would a child make us significantly more unhappy?
- I didn't want kids in the theoretical or abstract before. Is it rational to change your mind after marriage? Is this just temporary madness?
- I'm a worrier and a stresser, I would not be a very zen parent.
- I have two nieces (5 and 11) that I love to death but find exhausting to deal with in long doses.
- Husband has some stable-but-still-there health issues. The idea of having a child then losing him and having to raise a child alone absolutely terrifies me. (Yes, I know that contradicts the last point in the Pro column.)
- I don't know how I would deal with any of the other risks you take when having a child: losing a spouse, birth defects/disabilities, etc. I feel like if you can't accept a worst case scenario you shouldn't be doing it?
Any time I make headway trying to wrap my brain around this stuff, some other thought comes up and I get obsessive brooding about it. I almost feel like because I know it's a common question for women my age, my brain obsesses on it more.
Smart ladies who have survived late twenties, early thirties doubt...how did you keep sane, figure out which brain to listen to, and decide? And if this is just temporary insanity, how do I shut the babybrain up?