No, my husband and I are not thinking of adding to our family. I’ve had this topic on mind ever since reading a post on A Cup of Jo about a woman’s indecision regarding having children or not. What struck me about that discussion was that several people commented that if you’re not 100% sure, don’t do it. I totally disagree and here’s why:
People tend to fall into three camps when it comes to having kids — 1) the 100% yes, 2) the 100% no way, and 3) the ambivalent. However, this doesn’t mean that the 100% sure ones end up loving parenthood, while the ambivalent ones are destined to hate it. I know many people, and have read enough anonymous parenting blogs/forums, to know that some people end up regretting the decision to have kids for a host of reasons, even if they were 100% sure beforehand. Parenting is tough and can’t live up to the fantasy. Maybe your fantasy about kids ended at the cute baby stage, and toddlerhood on is a whole other story. Your partner and family isn’t supportive enough. You and your child have clashing personalities. You’re not as patient as you thought you’d be. The list of reasons go on.
I also know, and have read about, parents who were ambivalent about the whole parenting thing yet ended up loving it. Or at least liking it as much as the ones who were certain about parenthood. I can definitely say that my husband and I were ambivalent for a long time and even contemplated not having kids at all. We didn’t really love other people’s kids unless that kid was especially cute or polite. However, I am happy to report that I have discovered a vast reserve of patience and true unconditional love. There are huge trade-offs and sacrifices, some of which I anticipated and some not, but I don’t think my previous ambivalence was a sign of not being right or ready for parenthood, or makes me a worse parent today.
I do get that it’s simpler if you really want kids in the first place. Not having doubts is a great advantage. However, if you’re in doubt, I wouldn’t take the advice of those who say you have to be sure before taking the plunge (even though I would feel very bad if you do take the plunge and realize your gut feeling of “no” was right..) In short, there’s no easy answer.
Were you absolutely sure you wanted kids before having one? If you were ambivalent, what pushed you to procreate?