My sister got engaged and married about 10 years before me. During her engagement and after her wedding people, would often ask her “So when will you be starting your family ?” or “When are you going to be giving your parents some grandchildren?” My sister would always roll her eyes and get extremely annoyed at these questions, as she didn’t plan to have children anytime soon. “Why don’t people ask me ‘When are you going to take a trip Europe?’ or ‘When are you going to go skydiving?” Why does everyone expect me to have kids right away?’” Seeing the pressure she faced to have children, just because she was getting married, was disheartening.
Now I’m engaged, and I have noticed a huge change. No one has asked me “When are you going to have kids?” The question has been “Are you going to have kids?” In the past ten years, there seems to have been shift from people expecting women to have children to it not being a “given” anymore. I’m thankful for all of those who have made this shift possible such as the Childfree Movement, and the countless women who decided to wait sometime after their marriage to have children.
Before Mr. G and I became in engaged, but were in the talks about marriage, I found an article online that was titled something to the effect of 10 Things to Ask Before You Get Engaged (Here is a similar article in case you’re interested). One of the questions was “Will you have kids?” When it came to that question I genuinely didn’t know. I’m a nursery school teacher, which means that I’m surrounded by one to three-year-olds all day. My job has given me a pretty good idea of what raising a child would be like, and let me tell you, it is not easy. I also see internet memes like this which make me even more terrified of having kids. When discussing it with Mr. G I would say, ”Think about it, we could take all that money that we would put toward children and put it toward traveling instead.” Mr. G always leaned toward having kids, but said he would be fine not having them as well, so the bulk of the decision would fall on me. “Kids or no kids?” is a difficult question to answer. I, personally, loved the idea of having freedom, but I love my job and I love being around my students, even when its crazy. I also had the very common worry that I would regret not having kids somewhere down the line.
My sister gave birth to her first child two years ago and I often asked her, “Is having a kid as bad as they it is? Is your life miserable?” She said no. She has lots of help from relatives and even though her life is sometimes hectic, she loves being a mom.
After hearing that, I would go on parenting blogs to try and get more answers. From what I’ve gathered, being a parent is hard and you’re going to have some really bad days, but it’s worth it. I remember hearing a quote from a radio show that summed up all of the articles and feedback from friends I had heard, “Parenting is 100 times worse than you ever imagined, but 1000 times better than you ever imagined.”
After a lot of soul searching, Mr. G and I have decided to have kids if possible, though it won’t be anytime soon. Are there any hive members out there who are debating on whether or not you will have kids. What made you make your final decision?