100 Times Worse, 1000 Times Better

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?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Gondola

Location:
Kyoto
Wedding Date:
October and November 2013
Add a comment

comments

  1. Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1300 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:31 am

    Very thoughtful post, Miss G. I also find it extremely rude of people to make those comments! Oddly, I used to get them more before getting engaged, like “when are you finally gonna get hitched to Mr. W and start making babies?”. Maybe it’s because we were together for so long, but now people seem to have backed off a bit.

  2. Member
    ms_purple 2275 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:38 am

    We’re not even married yet and the questions have started as to when we will have children. I’ve even had one relative tell me I should have a honeymoon baby no matter what FI wants to do. Neither one of us is honestly ready to start having kids yet. It’s a huge commitment. We are both very open to either option (having versus not). We want to see where life takes us and we’ll decide after we’re married what feels right for us.
    In the mean time we’re dodging a lot of questions. FI’s mother asked him this weekend not only when we would be having children, but if they would be baptized, oh btw are we physically able to have children, it went on and on. I hope more people will be respectful that this is a personal decision and we will make it together.

  3. Member
    thunderberry 478 posts, Helper bee @ 5:41 am

    When we got engaged a bunch of FI’s family actually just assumed I must already be pregnant :P Marriage is getting less common in French Canadian culture so everyone thought we must have a particular reason. I was a bit annoyed!

  4. Member
    superduperbrit 2466 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:43 am

    I had to send that meme to my friend, lol. Her son just pooped all over the wall the other day so it was totally necessary, LOL! We get asked on a weekly basis when we’re having kids……and it is hard. I want kids really badly and so does my husband but we’re currently waiting because we have stuff coming up. I can’t imagine how hard getting asked will be when we start officially trying. People seem to think babies just appear out of thin air for some reason. Before I was even engaged my sister would rub my belly and say “ginger babies” over and over (my husband is a ginger, lol). It’s been going on for awhile. I can’t imagine not having kids but I know they’re not for everyone!

  5. Member
    Mrs. Scooter 110 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:56 am

    Mr. Scooter and I have always wanted to have kids. The real question is when? I am open to the idea in about 4 years. But by then, I will be the old lady (by society’s definition) and won’t have my life back until I am almost 60 (agreeing that my kids all go to 4 year colleges). I also don’t want to spend my early years of marriage adjusting and having kids. I think we will settle on “not trying to prevent it” at the 2.5yr marker.

    @SuperDuperBrit: As a friend, a kid pooping all over a wall is hilarious. As the parent that has to clean it up, I am sure they don’t think it is nearly as funny. I literally laughed out loud on that one.

  6. Member
    missamysmiles 682 posts, Busy bee @ 6:16 am

    My SO would have kids before getting married if he could, but I’ve said that getting married first is my priority.

    We both really want kids and will likely be the type (if possible) that have a baby/are pregnant by the time our first anniversary rolls around.

    I do have several friends on the fence though, I believe they’ll all end up deciding to have children, but much later on.

  7. Member
    veggie_rachel 575 posts, Busy bee @ 7:03 am

    I love this post, Miss G! Veggie and I have decided not to have kids, but I haven’t been met with the same understanding and “are you” rather than “when are you?” I wonder if it’s a family thing? I think on his side it was always assumed that we would children and people were shocked and upset when they learned that we weren’t. I’m so glad that you and Mr. G really thought about it and decided what is best for YOU.

  8. Member
    Miss Wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:49 am

    Growing up, I wasn’t sure I wanted to have kids. Once I met Mr. Wellies, however, I changed my mind. He’s going to be an amazing father; I can’t wait to share that experience with him! :)

  9. Member
    krislynn_sd 209 posts, Helper bee @ 8:00 am

    My fiance and I agreed when we were still dating that when we get married we would have children. In fact, we are planning on starting a family almost as soon as we get back from our honeymoon. I LOVE children, and FI is so amazing with kids it’s not even funny. We couldn’t imagine not having any. We have to hope and pray it works out for us though, as he is technically infertile and we have to do IVF. (He produces sperm, but they don’t come out when he… you know…)

  10. Member
    cakeyp 2562 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:28 am

    I try my hardest not to ask that question anymore, and I’ve been trying to ask the same of my fiance (not to ask people).

    I realized that some people may just be having a hard time conceiving, or may not want kids, or whatever… and it also isn’t any of my beeswax!

    After a few baby showers, crunching the numbers and running the logistics of actually having children, and watching a few friends raise their own, I feel like I have about as much of a grasp on being a parent as I do on astrophysics – not much.

    That being said, if we are able to I’d love to have kids. Don’t know how it will work out yet but when we’re ready, there’s a part of me that’s looking forward to winging it. :)

  11. Member
    pocketfox 677 posts, Busy bee @ 10:01 am

    My FI and I definitely want kids once we’re financially stable enough for them, although we do plan on adopting, so we don’t pass on a genetic disorder FI has. For both of us, having kids has always been a major part of how we see our future. I had even considered, before I met FI, if I didn’t find someone I wanted to spend my life with, I would have a child on my own.

  12. Member
    jennyg34 46 posts, Newbee @ 10:26 am

    Oh Ms. Gondola- this post totally sums up how I am feeling right now too! My husband and I got married four months ago, and I have gotten the baby question from so many unexpected people! We just give them the standard “yes, at some point” answer and move along…. which is kind of the truth, but not fully.

    We are actually on the fence. We both seem to be fearful of actually pulling the trigger, only speaking of children in an abstract, distant-future kind of way. But I am definitely putting pressure on myself to decide if and when, because I am nearing 36 and my husband is nearing 40! Our parents are completely supportive of whatever decision we come to, which is great! But I am having such a hard time deciding if parenthood is really for me…. I never had that maternal instinct, or the instant desire to become a mother once I got married. So it’s really tough.

    I am hoping that push will come to shove, in time, and that the answer for my husband and I will reveal itself at some point. Clearly we are not ready right now, but who knows how we might feel a year from now!

  13. Member
    cateyes 270 posts, Helper bee @ 12:13 pm

    we talk about this all the time…and i am SO torn. “will i regret never having kids” and “think of all the money we could use for travel”…it’s like we’re brain twins! :-D

  14. Member
    Mrs. Treasure 1638 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:22 pm

    This is a great post! Having kids is definitely the default option for married couples, but I think that everyone ought to be this thoughtful about their decision to raise children or not. It’s certainly not for everyone. And people should definitely mind their own business when it comes to asking women about their reproductive plans! It’s so, so rude, and I absolutely hate it.

  15. Member
    Mrs. Gondola 970 posts, Busy bee @ 6:19 am

    @Mrs. Waterfall: Wow, before you were even engaged? That is lots of pressure. Im glad they have backed off.
    @Ms_Purple: I hope they understand its a personal decision. I don’t understand why others want women to have children right away. I feel people should applaud us for waiting and putting thought into it.
    @thunderberry: I heard about this. People just tend to live with each other rather than get married right? Oh my, that must have been annoying for everyone to assume that.
    @SuperDuperBrit: From experience, getting poop on the wall is better than getting poop on yourself. As a preschool teacher this sometimes happens! Getting asked on a weekly basis must be hard! I hope that it happens when you want it to happen.
    @Miss Scooter: I think that is a good plan to have! If it happens then it was meant to be!
    @missamysmiles: I have quite a few friends on the fence as well and I think they will end up having children as well.
    @veggie_rachel: Thank you! I have a friend, who decided not to have children with her husband. At first people were upset, but they all got use to it in the end. I hope his side sees the good in your decision!
    @Miss Wellies: From what I have read about him I think so too!
    @krislynn_sd: Heehee, I know what you mean. I hope it works out for you both! Good luck with IVF!
    @CakeyP: I don’t think anyone is super prepared to have kids. My sister says she “wings” it most of the time which means lots of experimenting with what works and doesn’t work. Good luck to you!
    @pocketfox: I think its amazing that you both want to adopt. For my sister too, having children was always a part of her future plans. I wish I had that much confidence.
    @JennyG34: That is so great to hear that your parents are supportive of you. Have you ever babysat small children or spent lengthy periods of time with children. That kind of helped me make my decision.
    @cateyes: Hey brain twin! I know what it is like to be torn. I must admit completing a lot of travel goals makes the decision easier!
    @Mrs. Treasure: Yes! I always thought it was kind of rude too, and having kids is definitely not for everyone! I would never want to pressure some one to have kids if they didnt want to. It just doesnt make sense.

add a comment

Find Amazing Vendors