Not sure about having kids

GiancarloZ

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Hello everyone,
My wife and I are, at this point, very divided. We don't know whether we should have kid(s) or not.
We love babies and children in general, and there is also the social pressure of having kids because that's what everyone does. There's also the thinking, not always true, that they will take care of you and make you feel fulfilled.
On the cons side, my wife has had childhood issues that make her not so sure about motherhood. We also are hoping to obtain post-graduate degrees, and having kids would make one of us to give up on that. I don't want to be the one giving up, but also don't want that my wife gives up.
That leads to deeper questions - is it worth to renounce to a family for a career? Will a good career bring the same joy and fulfillment that (generally) having a family does?
This is quite our last year or couple of years to decide that, because my wife is 35 and we do not want to go through a risk pregnancy.
Not asking for direct advice, but if you're willing to share your own experiences that will help.
Thank you!
 

Carolla

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These are big questions GiancarloZ. Sounds to me like you and your wife will work your way through to an answer over time.

I do know couples who have, for a variety of reasons, decided not to have children of their own. Also some who wanted kids but were unable to carry pregnancy through to term. Also some who had kids, maybe for the wrong reasons; and some for all the right reasons. It's such a personal decision. I always knew I wanted to have kids, my husband was not so sure - but was persuaded. It was the right decision for us. Parenting and family life have many ups and downs, even when you think you've prepared well! So be solid with whatever you decide.
 

Mendalla

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I was unsure at the beginning but Mrs. M was pretty sure. In retrospect, I am glad we had Little M. But it's definitely not for everyone. One of my brothers decided not to have kids and they seem to be happy. Ditto a couple friends.
 

GiancarloZ

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I was unsure at the beginning but Mrs. M was pretty sure. In retrospect, I am glad we had Little M. But it's definitely not for everyone. One of my brothers decided not to have kids and they seem to be happy. Ditto a couple friends.
Would you say having him limited eithee/both of your careers/plans, or you were already in the careers you planned/wanted?
 

GiancarloZ

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These are big questions GiancarloZ. Sounds to me like you and your wife will work your way through to an answer over time.

I do know couples who have, for a variety of reasons, decided not to have children of their own. Also some who wanted kids but were unable to carry pregnancy through to term. Also some who had kids, maybe for the wrong reasons; and some for all the right reasons. It's such a personal decision. I always knew I wanted to have kids, my husband was not so sure - but was persuaded. It was the right decision for us. Parenting and family life have many ups and downs, even when you think you've prepared well! So be solid with whatever you decide.
Have any of you have been or felt limited regarding career options because of the kids?
 

BetteTheRed

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Yes, I come from an earlier generation. Once 'we' had decided to have children (my late ex-husband actually wanted children; I was somewhat ambivalent), they became, in our internal family culture, 'my' primary responsibility. It certainly curtailed any ambitions I might have had around going back to school. Listening to economics lectures at 10 p.m. when you've just got two kids to bed, the adults fed, not so conducive to success.
 
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I’m in my 40s and glad I never became a parent in this lifetime, because I would not be able to give them the kind of life - or start in life - I’d want for them, and I think their lives would be too hard. Even for kids whose parents are well adjusted and with finances - they are headed for hard times in this world.


I still feel a bit sad sometimes that it just wasn’t meant to be, for me, but the alternative likely would’ve been worse for my kids and me.






:(
 
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Mendalla

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Would you say having him limited eithee/both of your careers/plans, or you were already in the careers you planned/wanted?
I had to change careers to get us into the same city, but it was a good change and definitely not a limiting one. Mrs. M was already in good shape in terms of tenure and such so wasn't an issue for her.
 

paradox3

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Have any of you have been or felt limited regarding career options because of the kids?
Having children most definitely affected my career path but I was okay with that. Children, in my experience, are absolutely wonderful but also a lot of work. Something has to give.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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What I think is important in Canada is to have some benefits before you have kids- health benefits, paid sick time, an employer that is flexible when your kids are sick. Kids are also very expensive, especially if you don’t have family around ( baby sitters) or you will be stuck at home. In some cases, going to work is not worth it because child care just eats up the income.
It will change the dynamics of your marriage and you will need to make an effort to keep you couple time alive. Kids will challenge you whole being and talking about your own values and how you would parent would be a benefit. In most cases, I suspect, that doesn’t happen.
Considering what we know about climate change and the prospect of having only 10 yrs left until the tipping point is reached, decisions about having kids also come to a new dimension.
 

Carolla

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Have any of you have been or felt limited regarding career options because of the kids?
When pregnant with our second child, I had the opportunity to switch to part time work, still in my same profession, which I took. It was very important to me as a parent to be able to participate in school life, get kids to appointments & activities, manage our household, etc. and working full time would have made that much more difficult, if not sometimes impossible, and exhausting. So it was a choice we made, understanding there would be big changes. This had significant financial implications, and I lost my option of continuing in the hospital pension plan. But it did give us all a much better quality of family life IMO and I can honestly say I have never regretted that choice.
 

Luce NDs

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One is run into ruination to learn that life goes on ... and a bit of you is invested in that kid no matter how the kid appears.

Something to mull about ... and perhaps create whines ... it takes a stretch ...
 

Nancy

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My life has been enriched by having a family. But I know it is not for everyone. In fact, my two sons question whether it is a responsible thing to do to bring a new life into a world seeming to become crazier and more dangerous daily.
 

Luce NDs

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My life has been enriched by having a family. But I know it is not for everyone. In fact, my two sons question whether it is a responsible thing to do to bring a new life into a world seeming to become crazier and more dangerous daily.
Does raise some potent questions about whether humanity knows any better ... given the overpopulation!
 

Seeler

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Birth control wasn't 100% reliable in my generation. It was taken for granted that when you got married you would have children and the wife/mother would stay at home and care for the familly. Not realistic in our case - I had a teaching certificate and he was a seasonally-employed labourer. I hoped to limit my family to one child.
Our first pregnancy resulted in an early (but heartbreaking) miscarriage. We were delighted when I got pregnant again. We moved to another province and my husband found work driving a delivery truck. I found temporary work until our son was born. I found a sitter and started part- time supply teaching. Although living in a two-room apartment, we were making ends meet and looking forward to the future.
Then I realized that I was expecting again. We weren't quite so delighted. We realized that babies require a great deal of time and attention and we were determined to give them our best. We welcomed our little girl 13 months after her brother. I went back to supply teaching six weeks later. About that time I realized that I had a chronic health problem - Crohns.

50+ years later I look back. Do I regret having children? Never. My children, and grandchildren, are the joy of my life.
Did they limit my career opportunities? Undoubtedly. Without them I would probably have continued my studies and up-graded my teaching certificate to a degree in education. I would have taught full time. I would have gone to writing courses during summer breaks and,n hopefully, began publishing fiction - books or short stories. I may have taken a second career as in ministry.
Would our marriage have lasted if we didn't have children? Seelerman worked long, hard hours to support his family. He is proud of his accomplishments. We own our home and have a nice car. Both our chi ldren graduated from university (the first generation in our family to do so). We are debt free. In good health in his 80s, he still does all the outside work and helps me around the house. And he still accepts the occasional call for a driver for a day or so at a time.
 

mgagnonlv

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My wife and I have two adult children and we love them. We had our children when my wife was 38 and 42 (and I was one year younger) and there were no medical issues. We have always wanted children and they were desired and we love them, but it's definitely a commitment. As a side note, we also have better financial support for families in Québec than in most or all other provinces : for instance subsidized daycare and a more progressive taxation system.

As for your original question, my answer would be that I would have sacrificed job over family. But I think family would likely have played second fiddle to a vocation. By "vocation", I don't mean ordained ministry, but rather something for which you or your wife are truly passionate about, something that you can't live without; in other words, something that you feel would really be missing from your life if you didn't achieve it.
 

GiancarloZ

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But I think family would likely have played second fiddle to a vocation. By "vocation", I don't mean ordained ministry, but rather something for which you or your wife are truly passionate about, something that you can't live without; in other words, something that you feel would really be missing from your life if you didn't achieve it.
That's the thing.
I'm pretty sure my vocation, either if I eventually get ordained or not, is to study and teach Theology. I really want to do a PhD.
My wife also wants to do a PhD. Obviously we need to do our Masters degrees before that.
And I sense it can be very frustrating for me in the future if I have to renounce to this sense of vocation.
I don't want to be bitter and regretful.
 

ChemGal

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Chemguy and I weren't certain about having kids before we got married. With me still being in school we figured that we would know more later on. He would have been on board with someone who's big desire was to have children, where they would be happy to care for them even with little help (not that he would skip out on it). That's not me though, and he was ok with that. With being sick it became clear. Even if I were to be better day to day, there's so much to consider with HAE and pregnancy. Continue with prophylaxis treatment? I would have to forgo the easiest attack med. Then prior to birth prophylaxis is pretty much mandatory as even those who have never had a period of frequent attacks tend to get them from the physical trauma of giving birth. It's not unusual to be in the hospital for quite some time after - not bonding with the baby, stress on the rest of the family - visiting someone who can be having very serious problems in the hospital while also caring for the newborn.

There's also the genetic aspect - 50% chance of passing this on, so then it would be do we pay for IVF with PGD to avoid that risk.
With where I'm at currently though, I feel like that's all just theoretical discussion. If we had a kid right now we would need childcare for them even though I'm at home most of the time, I'm just not at a place where I could properly care for a child everyday.

I have a family. Immediate it's Chemguy and I.
Then there's what used to be our immediate family's growing up. My sister, brother in law and nephews are my family.

I'm really glad I have nephews as it eliminated any doubt in my mind about not having kids. Love those 2 so much. Was thrilled to be able to spend so much time with them when my sister was on leave, especially the 2nd time when I was more capable of doing things. They totally make it clear though that I cannot manage it. I spent 4-5 hours with them yesterday and came home exhausted. I shared accommodations with them and my sister for about a week a year ago. My sister was really doing almost all the care then, I was just helping her and it was rough although I was happy to get in some of the extra time although the circumstances weren't happy ones.

My nephews will also be a high priority. I will drop things for them. That's on occasion though, makes me happy to do it. With kids I would just be a really sick miserable mess.
 
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If you are worried about kids possibly having an effect on your careers...

Don’t bother with kids.

Kids cost money. Kids cost time. And the favourite line at our house - kids wreck stuff!

If you have possessions you care about - kids are going to wreck them. Those are the facts.

But I wouldn’t trade any of my kids for anything I could own or any career. They are a huge responsibility and undertaking.

I remember the greatest fear I ever felt in my life. Picking up my wife from the hospital and strapping our first kid into the baby seat. The weight of this new responsibility, will I be able to even keep this kid alive for a week?

Family is what makes the journey worth living. It comes with joy, crisis, and everything in between.
 
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