This is a question I’ve asked myself my entire life. I remember sitting with an old friend from college one night at a steakhouse. Her and I hadn’t seen each other in ages, so we were treating ourselves to a delicious meal, wine and conversation.
Things were a bit rocky in our friendship. Her boyfriend at the time wasn’t a big fan of me, so we rarely saw each other.
I had just gotten engaged to my ex and she expressed feelings of jealousy. Everything that was happening in my life was what she had expected of hers. She wanted to move to the city, get married and start a family. I remember her saying, “All I want to do is be a mother.”
I Can’t Relate to Other Women
I can’t relate to this. My heart does not long to be a mother. Never once have I thought to myself, “I want to be a mother.” That thought has never crossed my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I have hypothetically said “our kids” in conversations with my husband, but that longing feeling of wanting a child has never been in my heart.
The very first weekend that Andrew took me on a date he met one of my best friends and openly expressed to her that he wants four children.
At that point in time, my response was open and supportive of the idea of having a family. He was into it, so I was into it. The longer we dated the more wishy washy I became about the idea.
I Feel Like Something is Wrong with Me
I just visited that very same friend and spent time with her sweet little baby. Somewhere deep down, I kept thinking to myself, “Maybe this will stir up a desire to have kids.”
Unfortunately, it did the very opposite for me. It almost feels like something is wrong with me. Like I’m broken. I feel like a bad person and a selfish jerk. In fact, my own father made a comment once about people who don’t have kids being selfish.
We are getting the age now where many of our friends either have kids, are pregnant, or are actively trying to have children. One of the wives who does not fall in this category texted me a couple months ago and joking said, “Are you going to stick this out with me?”
The two of us were texting the other day and expressed there is this strange disconnect between young couples with children and young couples without. We live in two different worlds and neither is right or wrong.
It simply felt good to find someone who understands. There are so many things we struggle with personally and our struggle can feel isolating.
In fact, the feelings we don’t bring to light can lead to guilt and it’s a vicious cycle. One of the reasons I write this blog is to break that cycle. To make each of you feel a little less alone when it comes to talking about things that make us uncomfortable.
I Don’t Want to Let Down My Husband
All these feelings keep washing over me. My biggest fear is being a disappointment to my adoring husband. I love him so much, and I always want to fulfill his hearts desires (like the one time I brought home a puppy).
We finally saw each other after my time with my friend and Andrew could tell there was a cloud over me. He finally pried it out. We were laying in bed and he said. “This is about the kid thing isn’t it?” I cried. Yes, this was about the kid thing.
Andrew is my rock. My entire world. I literally have nightmares about losing this man. The last thing on earth I want to do is disappoint him or not give him something so important in life. Something that only I, as his wife, can give him.
I looked at him and said, “I don’t know if I want kids.” And being the man of grace that he is, he held me and told me that was perfectly okay. Relief rushed over me after that conversation, but I still have thing strange feeling of being a horrific human for not wanting to raise another human.
And now, here I sit on a three hour flight listening to two women chat about their lives with their children. Nannies (which they pay $3k/month for), daycare, school, activities, alarm clocks that turn green when their kids are allowed to get out of bed.
Moms, I Think You are Amazing
I know that many of you reading this are mothers. And please know that I think you are amazing. I love your gentle nature & commitment to raising the humans of our future. You have the most important, hardest and rewarding job on this planet. I give you so much respect and I admire the love you have for your children.
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“You are Still Young!”
People keep saying, “Oh, you are still young, give it time.” And maybe, in 5 years, I will want a child, but what if I don’t? That motherly desire is just not part of me. Don’t get me wrong, if we do end up having children, I will love them to pieces.
The chances are likely that we will eventually have kids because my husband wants them so badly. In the meantime, I can’t beat myself up for feeling this way. I’m doing my best to hand this over to God. He already has a plan greater than we humans could ever construct.
That is completely okay!
I’m in the mother camp, it’s all I can think about after two years of trying, but if you choose not to have children, that’s completely normal too. My best friend didn’t want kids, she had them to please her husband and now they’re divorcing. We always wanted our own kids, but we know that it may not happen for us, and we’re at peace with that as well. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard seeing pregnancy announcements or meeting new nieces and nephews (I’m one of 10 so we’re up to 9 nieces and 5 nephews). But we know that if it just ends up being us, we’re still going to have a wonderful life together.
I hope you can find peace with your decision, whatever it may be. Love your work, and love your honesty 💕
Thank you so much for sharing your personal story! I can’t image, but it sounds like you have found peace in whatever life may bring. Thanks for reading what has been on my heart & for your kind response.
Ok, wow. I relate to this sooo much. My best friend and I have long talks about this and we both agree on not desiring to have kids right now. I struggle so much (especially bc i come from a very religious background and all my friends are having kids). I feel so pressured to want kids, even though I’m not ready. And i feel like i cant tell people i struggle with this bc i would get treated as an outcast or judged. I hope someday i get the baby bug… but i don’t know when that will happen. Thankfully my husband isn’t ready for kids yet (which i am so thankful for). If you ever want to meet up sometime, i live in West Michigan 🙂
It’s nice knowing some other women can relate! Like you said, I often feel like an outcast. One day at a time I guess! & yes! We should grab coffee & chat. Shoot me a DM on IG 🙂 https://www.instagram.com/thoughtfullythrifted/
I never really thought to myself “oh I can’t wait to be a mom”. I was 23 when we when I got married and my husband and I never even talked about it. We went about our lives for years that way. Then something clicked inside me and I decided to get pregnant. I made this decision without talking to ANYONE. I think I knew if I thought about it too much I won’t do it. I was terrified and happy at the same time. Not everyone is sure they want to be a parent, so you are not alone. But whatever you decide is up to you.
Of course I have to add that having my son turned out to be one of the best parts of my life.
Not sure if this helps but many people struggle with this.
Hi Jane! Thank you for sharing your experience. Every parent I know says that & I’m sure I would feel the same if it happened one day 🙂
I love your story. In fact, mine is strangely different and similar at the same time – I married a man of my dreams, love him so much and told him from the start ‘I don’t want to have any more kids’ (I was a young mom and had two grown children already). He had no kids of his own and he is younger than me. My husband said ‘it’s ok, I love you more than any baby’. And then we accidentally got pregnant… and our son was born 20 months ago. I literally did it for my husband, I wanted him to be a father, and some days I feel so tired and kinda surprised to find myself mothering a baby again, but that baby… he has my husband’s smile, and his eyes… and he is absolutely perfect. I am in awe of what we did together, it feels like the best gift the life gave me when I truly decided no more kids. So, get ready to feel tired and feel overwhelmed with love, all at the same time.
Awwww thank you so much for sharing your story!!!