The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Thanks everyone for your input. I sent the email so hopefully things will work out.

In other news, my freind has made her decision and she has an appointment next week. I am going with her for support.

In many ways, my friend's situation was a gut check for me. Husband and I have said that we did not want to have children, but if something happened, we could handle it.

Now, I am not so sure.

The truth is, even though Husband and I could provide everything necessary for a child, neither one of us feels we are cut out to be parents. Neither of us has felt the desire to be a mom or a dad. We have several opportunities to interact with children, but none of those interactions has brought out the parental desire.

Also, I have many health issues that would make parenting rather difficult. I also know that I do not have the emotional or mental stamina it takes to do one of the hardest jobs there is.

So many people have told us that "Oh, you'll change your mind when you have your own kids." I just don't buy that argument. If you know for certain that based on your own emotional, physical and/or mental health that having children is not the best thing, why test that theory on the slight chance that it may be wrong.

That's a something I am not willing to subject a child to. Sure, no harm if I am wrong.

But, what if I am right? How unfair is that.

The thing is, I don't think I could just "suck it up" (for lack of a better term), if I found myself in my friend's position. I just don't have it in me.

Does that make me a coward? Or just honest? Or is what I am being honest about make me a coward?

I cried about it to Husband last night. He agreed with me about the difficulty we would face. He doesn't know if he could make that "final decision", but what he does know for sure is that if we are certain about not having children, then we need to explore permanent preventative measures to make sure that we do not have to make that decision.

I think that would be the best thing. Just knowing what my friend has gone through the last couple of days makes me appreciate even more the choices we do have.


kayni said...

my bf of six years decided to dump me before new year's eve last year, and having a child or not was one of the things we couldn't agree on. i, too, don't think i have the capability of becoming a parent. i've chosen not to become a mother.

joanna said...

it is such a difficult decision, and such a personal one, too. I didn't want kids when I was much yuonger, and now that I am older, regret not having had any, but the truth is that my health would have gotten in the way of my being a good mother, and I would never want to subject a child to that.

Arbitrista said...

Thank you for writing this.

M in my diary said...

I think it's a lot more difficult (and admirable) to be honest about your own wishes in a society that usually expects people to want this. You know your own heart. It's also good that you are married to a man who has the same sentiments.

B had a vasectomy after G was born. It was quick and painless. He drove himself to and fro, iced for a day, no big deal. He volunteered for it (accidental pregnancies will prompt that sort of thing), so I had an easy solution.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I think it is admirable to be honest about not having kids -- Hubby and I didn't make having kids a priority -- and, due to a long-standing medical condition we'd have had to pursue fertility treatments to do so..

Now we're 40ish and are talking about adopting one child (or siblings) after we are working in the same city. The child wouldn't be an infant (I have NO baby instincts... don't mind them, I just don't HAVE to have one) -- but, a toddler or older who needes parents to love them would work well with our family. I also have some basic ethical qualms about waiting /paying for an infant at the ages we'll be --- and, it is kind of nice to think that our child might already be born, we just haven't met him or her yet.

I also think that if the circumstances ended up that a child of a relative or close friend was facing foster care or coming to live with you -- you might see things differently.... especially if the child were old enough to be more independent, thus your medical condition wouldn't be as much of a barrier.

Mad Hatter said...

I feel exactly the same way as you do, and couldn't possibly agree more. I don't think people who don't feel a strong desire to be parents should feel pressured by societal expectations to have children. Like you, I'm lucky to have a spouse who shares my feelings on this.

rented life said...

I don't entirely agree with itpf, we're in a situation where we could very well inherit 5 children. We've had the older ones at out house at different points and times and it's not easier when they're "independent."

Anyway, there's too many people who shouldn't have kids but do, so good for you to know what you want. Sounds like someone is making surgery plans though? :)

Addy N. said...

It's good that you (and your husband) are so certain about this and feel comfortable with your choices. I never thought I would have kids, but D decided she really wanted to be here! When we tried for another baby earlier this year, I sometimes wondered if I am a good enough mother that should really be having more kids. I often wonder if I would have decided that I did want kids if D hadn't just shown up. The way I keep second guessing our not having another makes me suspect that I would also second guess myself if I had never had any. Sorry for rambling....

Psych Post Doc said...

DH & I have been married for 8 years, no kids here. I'm still not sure I want any, people have always told me that it will change and one day I'll want children. Maybe that is true, it just hasn't happened yet.

I think it's great that you and your husband are on the same page, that is really what's important.

And not wanting children in no way makes you a coward. It makes you human with options.

RageyOne said...

I admire you and your husband for recognizing and reconciling with your decision. No one should force their views about having children, and their affect on someone else. We are all individuals and handle things differently. As long as the two of you are happy and satisfied, that is all that matters.

All the best to your friend.

jo(e) said...

I hate that our culture puts pressure on people to have kids. I think if you've given the whole issue thought and you know you don't want kids, it would be crazy to have them. When we decided we were done having kids, my husband got a vasectomy. We didn't want to have to worry about a surprise pregnancy.

BrightStar said...

I know a lot of very loving, caring, considerate people (including you!) who wonder if they would be good enough parents. This is interesting to me, because I am sure that a lot of people have kids without reflecting on this issue at all. On the one hand, it's excellent to be reflective about a major decision. On the other hand, I have a pretty good feeling that you would be so much better at parenting than so many people who have kids without thinking about it at all! That said, I completely respect your decision to attend to your health first. That makes sense to me.

You're not a coward. You are making an honest assessment of yourself, which is brave, because I feel like it's counter-culture to admit you don't want to have a child.

What I struggle with is knowing FOR CERTAIN that I don't want kids. I don't have a health reason not to raise a child (although I do have a health reason that interferes with conceiving a child). Right now, I don't want a child because I simply do not feel like I have the time or the interest. I like other people's children, though! I wonder if I will regret this choice later in my life... probably because of societal pressure, but also, selfishly, because I am afraid of having no one to help me when I am older -- living alone scares me when I think about later in my life. I don't think that these are good enough reasons to have children, though.

If I changed my mind about this issue, I would be open to adoption.

I am so glad to hear that you and your spouse are of the same perspective on this issue. This is yet another reason why you two are such a good match! Decision about children have severed a number of relationships that I know of.

I am so sorry to hear about your friend's struggle. What she is facing sounds so difficult. I am glad to hear that you are there for her as a friend. You're right -- it's best that we have choices.

Anonymous said...

I really dislike it when people say things like "you'd feel differently if you *had* a kid" because it implies a total revolutionary change in perspective. And, you know, maybe. For some people. but that's hardly something to count on and it *is* really hard. It's hard enough to adjust to motherhood when you really want it. I can't imagine the adjustment in the midst of some real ambivalence about whether you want kids or not.

anyway, my real point is that I dislike the whole from the moment I laid eyes on my child, everything changed and I was finally happy and blah blah whatever narrative you hear. Funny, too, because when my first was born, it was amazing. then again, when I had my second, I felt traumatized and overwhelmed and I didn't really feel like I connected with her until she was a month or more old.

I'm rambling.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

I think you need to trust your feelings on this one. Heaven knows we certainly don't need more unwanted children on this earth. There's nothing wrong with feeling non-paternal, especially if your spouse agrees with you.

Mnem said...

My tubal ligation was the best thing I ever did for myself, I firmly believe. It has allowed me and my partner to feel secure and know that this issue is taken care of for us. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The surgery was very minor, outpatient in just a few hours, and after Friday surgery I was back at work Monday. It's not something to be scared of, and the peace of mind is so liberating!