how do you make the biggest decision of, like, ever?

last week i went to visit my friend elizabeth and her brand new baby.  i was so overwhelmed with love for them both, and happiness for this sweet little baby who was so lucky to be born to such an incredible mama that i  broke down and cried.  like, the kind of crying where you try to pretend you have it under control but really you need a good 5 minutes of alone time to compose yourself. or to cry it out into a pillow. it’s such a beautiful thing, a newborn, a mama, that love.  it gets me.  

but here’s the thing- as much as i really, REALLY love it, i don’t know that i want it for myself.  i might, and there have been times when in thought for sure i did, but i go back and forth!  and one thing i’ve always been certain of is that unless i desperately want to have a baby, i won’t be getting pregnant and having one.  which i know might strike some people as strange, but i grew up with the understanding that i wasn’t one of those babies that was dreamed about and wished for and wanted.  which is not to say that i wasn’t loved, i was.  but it’s different.  and i want to make sure that if we ever bring someone into this world we’re doing it because we absolutely feel like it’s the best thing we can do for another human.  that we’re capable, equipped and ready (as much as anyone can be) to grow a baby human and nurture them into a (hopefully) awesome adult. i’m lucky enough to have married a man who feels the same way i do. 

it’s so confusing.  i love babies, i love kids, i have a nurturing nature.  but i don’t have a driving force in me telling me that i need a baby. i know that can change. and i’ve experienced what it’s like- there as a solid chunk of time after i got out of the hospital that i did want a baby and felt strongly that we should have one… but that feeling has slowly been fading. i thought when we settled into our own house it would come back.  but so far, i’m still sitting very uncomfortably smack dab in the middle of the fence.  and wonderful lou is right there beside me.

how do you make a decision this big if you don’t feel passionately one way or the other?  if you have any thoughts/advice at all for us, i’d love to hear it.  

*photo from elizabeth’s instragram 

** this post stemmed from a conversation that elizabeth and i had the that day, and then was further inspired by joanna’s post.  loved the reading the different perspectives and the comments (for the most part)

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Reader Comments

  1. JaneG|

    I am someone that definitely always wanted to be a mum, I had that yearning and for many years in my late 20's, 30's I watched friends marry and have kids and I was sad because I had not met anyone and felt my dream slipping away.
    At 35 I met a great guy and after a few years we decided that we would like to stay together and have a family, by this stage I was 37 and he 46, fortunately, rather quickly I became pregnant.
    My son is almost 5 now, he is our one and only and brings so much joy to our lives, he is such a character, such a sweet boy and I don't feel that we changed that much about our lives, he just slotted right in. It really is a lot of fun having our little family, we have so many great adventures together, it's definitely not always perfect, there are hard times and difficult phases but I'm also very lucky that I have a very supportive, hands on dad in my partner, this allows me to have time for myself when I need it.
    I'm not sure of your age but if you still have time enough, then there is no need to rush your decision and just enjoy being married for a while and revisit it later on. If you really do like children there will be plenty around and you can have great involvement through friends/families' children.

  2. Sarah / design me daily|

    I have been waging the same battle in my head for years and it's amazing to see that so many of your readers (and you) have as well! People react to a woman not wanting kids like you have a disease or something, but I feel like it's such a mature and responsible outlook if I don't NEED to have a baby, I won't. It's not fair to the child or to yourself to have a baby just because it seems like you HAVE to. And like you and these other amazing ladies I am completely open to changing my mind (or my husband changing his), but in our own time.

    Thanks so much for being so honest! I love reading your blog and this just bonded me to it even more.

  3. Jessica|

    I read Joanna's post this morning and am constantly torn between the actual decision we have in our day and age. More than ever, women are realizing that decision and realizing the HUGE commitment if we choose to have children. It isn't a given anymore that we will have children, which is awesome and scary all at once!!

    Good luck on your decision! It is meant to be whichever you happen to choose!

  4. sarah yates|

    thanks jessica! it's true, i think we agonize over this decision much more than past generations did because of the choices we now have…which is brilliant! but omg it's also SO difficult! thanks for the kind words…good luck to you too!

  5. Krysta|

    I'm right there with you girl! I can picture myself a mother in this rather abstract way, but so far I haven't really felt like I was ready or like I knew I didn't want to have children. I keep thinking, "well one day when I have that feeling, that, wow, I'm ready to be a mom feeling, I will know that it is time." But so far that feeling hasn't happened to me yet! I guess we will wait and see if that changes, but for now, I'm with you on that fence.

  6. Robyn|

    My husband and I are trying to get pregnant right now. When we met were both clear with each other that neither were interested in having kids, but things change and roll forward 5 years and my husband decided that he would really like kids. We talked about it a lot and the more we talked the more I came around to the idea.

    I doesn't sound particularly romantic or motherly I suppose but I guess that's my point! I think these days we are conditioned by media/tv/movies to believe in an all-encompassing romanticism when it comes to love, marriage, motherhood, etc. All those ideals are great but maybe I'm a bit too much of a realist and I don't think it's realistic to expect that of ourselves. I think people today spend too much time waiting for those big ah-ha moments and when wonder why they are dissatisfied when they never really happen.

    So I am very excited (and terrified) about the prospect of a child but I feel no big driving force behind me. I hope it happens and I know my husband and I will be great parents and do the best we can to raise an awesome child. And regardless of how it came about that child will know that they are loved and wanted.

  7. Alysha|

    funny. i NEVER wanted to have kids. NEVER had that feeling. i wanted puppies and kittens and travels instead. when i accidentally got pregnant, it all changed, i guess it's hormones. and now that penelope is here, it is the BEST thing i have ever done. i love her more than anything, more than myself. i will say that i have little time for myself and little money to spend on myself and travels. but i wouldn't change it.
    on the other hand i wonder if i hadn't had penelope would i of regretted not having kids? i don't know? just my thoughts!
    i think you and lou would make awesome parents to a little. or awesome parents to puppies! either way :)

  8. sarah yates|

    @robyn- congrats!! i think that if one of us felt really strongly about having kids, the other would get on board. but with both of us being ambivalent, it's tricky!
    i agree that waiting for big a-ha moments and expecting things to be like TV/movies is just bonkers.
    best of luck to your and your fam as you try to grow!

    @alysha, thank you sweet girl! i think that's the big question- if we don't have a kiddo will we regret it? that's the only thing that keeps me up at night- otherwise i'm perfectly happy with our life the way it is. but i worry that in ten years i'll have regrets. but even that worry isn't enough of a reason to have a baby, for me. SUCH A HARD DECISION!!!!
    penelope looks like such a sweet little peanut, i can't wait to meet her!

  9. rita|

    i love this post. for a long time i was the same way… and so was my then boyfriend/ now husband. our mentality was basically, kids could be great but not having kids could be great too, so let's just see where we end up careerwise/lifewise/etc. and do what makes the most sense. i think i thought that one day i would just know what to do.

    but then our nieces and nephews were born and we fell so in love with them that we realized that parenthood is a responsibility we hope to be lucky enough to have one day. i already mourn the time and expendable income and waistline we/i will inevitably lose but i see the joy our siblings have and i know that will make up for it. and i love my husband so much that the idea of a mini-him is incredibly awesome (or terrifying! depending on the day, ha) to me. we're still going to wait a little longer (just got married this april) but now i believe that i'll never really feel ready… that's what the 10 month pregnancy is really for. so instead i'm just going to trust that i have a lot of love to give and know that once it (hopefully) happens, it will be the greatest experience of our lives.

    i love the dialogue on this post and on joanna's – it makes me so happy to read the respectful conversation. to me, parenthood is not something which you should enter into lightly and i'm glad to see so many people thinking about it and talking about it… there is no right answer.

    thanks sarah!

  10. SK|

    This is a great post!
    I recently had my (first? only?) baby and she is WONDERFUL. I have always loved kids and wanted to be a mama, BUT I also loved my life as a "free" adult. It was kind of hard to make the decision to get pregnant but what ultimately convinced me was the fear of being old and alone :) I am really close with my parents and I can't imagine getting old and not having kids (or grandkids!).

  11. Noor|

    I was always the girl that never wanted to get married or have kids I just never saw that life for me. And now I am married and have a son. My family is still in shock bc they knew how I was and those were things I never wanted. I just never saw myself dealing with kids and did not care to. But My son has became my life and I could not imagine life without him. But hes also the last one I will be having lol. (maybe)

    My grandmother had 2 girls and now that shes old she says she wishes she had more kids to be around her and if she could go back she would have had a larger family. These words have always stuck with me and haunted me. You know they did a study and said these days in the states if you want to have one of your kids to tale care of when your old you need to have at least 7 for the chances of ONE to help you.

  12. Victoria|

    Thank you for this post. My best friend just had twins and two other good friends had babies three weeks apart. I am so happy for them, love holding the babies and buying presents, but it stirs up nothing in me or my husband even though we are good people and could afford to have a baby. Of course you would be a great mom and love your child, but studies have shown that parents are no happier than couples who choose not to have kids (women who can't have kids, but want them is a different story). I have a 50 year old fabulous friend who I asked if she regretted not having kids. Her answer? "I feel like I dodged a bullet." It's important to talk to women who chose not to and are happy with their decision and relationships. The societal pressure to have kids, even in 2012 with overpopulation, is huge. I get asked on an almost daily basis about it yet people who have no business having kids due to financial and emotional reasons, addictions, etc. are celebrated because they procreated.

  13. Jess|

    I am right there with you – I've never been the girl who dreamt about babies (or weddings, for that matter!) and for a long time I truly wasn't sure if I was the mothering type. The responsibility scared me, caring for another person scared me (both still do) but my husband and I have finally made the decision that we'd like to try. Like you, my need for having a child came about with a few recent health scares. I don't want to get to the age where we *can't* have a baby, yet have finally decided we're ready for one. Someone very dear to me went through that and it left her heartbroken for years. My dad and I were having a conversation once, chatting about this topic. He said for him part of the meaning of life is to have children.. if for no other reason to watch them grow up and have the chance to sit across the table from them and have an adult conversation as we are now. It really struck me.

    It is a big decision, and for us something we could answer with some soul searching. No one can tell you what is right for you – I truly feel your answer lies within your heart.

    Sidenote: I absolutely adore your blog and love that you broach personal topics such as this. Nice to feel you're not alone :)

  14. kelly|

    I'm very recently pregnant (surprise! sorta!) and although I've always thought I wanted kids, now that the train is moving I'm getting more and more scared about it. The thought of losing some freedom, losing my figure, changing my wonderful relationship for my husband, bringing in a new person into our house, etc. is all a little terrifying. To be honest, I worry that I'll wake up and wish for my old life. That said, I think it is also really exciting. Kids bring such joy, and you can still lead your life – just with a child added. As someone commented above, getting used to the whole process takes some time, which is why you have 10 months of pregnancy :)

    If you're like me, you may never be 100% sure or ready. I'm trying to stay calm and remember that everything always works out. I'm sure it will work out for you and your husband – whatever you choose.

  15. sarah yates|

    @ rita- thank you for the thoughtful comments! we have some very close friends who are having a baby in the spring and i think we'll get a much better feel for what having kiddos is like through watching them go through it, so hopefully it will help us make a decision the way it's been helpful for you to have nieces/nephews!
    @sarah- i think that's the reason a lot of people have kids- they want that family that will be around when they're older. i hope it works out for you!!
    @victoria- i need to look into these studies some more! :) seriously though, i think hearing from people who are older who have made the decision to not have kids really does help through! of course it's such a personal decision and there are no guarantees about how anyone will feel in the future but the story of your 5 year old fabulous friend does make me feel just a little bit better!
    @jess- that's so sweet of your dad! i think it's true- for those that have kids it seems that they couldn't imagine their life without them. but i've also had people tell me that if we don't, we'll never really know what we're missing and therefore will be happy anyway. :)
    thanks so much for the kind words!

  16. sarah yates|

    @noor- thanks for sharing your story! your poor grandma! that's my fear- i don't want to be older and have regrets. but SEVEN KIDS?! no thank you! haha!

  17. sarah yates|

    @kelly- congratulations!!! you do have the 10 months, and from everything i've ever heard from friends with babies- the second you meet them you love them so much that all that other stuff slips into background worry. :) and i think it's normal to have days where you wish for pre-baby life. i think that's something that actually happens a lot and people don't talk about it publicly very often. and i'm sure if you chose to not have babies there would be days when you'd wish you had… i guess maybe that's what it all comes down to…there's no right answer, only different choices?
    good luck with your pregnancy and congrats again!

  18. PH|

    My husband and are are expecting our first next June and we're over the moon. I was never one of those girls to dream of my wedding or future kids. Once I met my husband I thought we would wait longer than we did to start trying. I had always said I'd like 4 or 5 years to just enjoy being married. Over the past year (since our 1 year anniv) it hit me and i just *knew*. It took him a few months to jump on board (he wholeheartedly was mentally ready sooner than I, but he's more financially responsible and wanted to get insurance/finances in line) and here we are!

    I grew up with awesomely over-involved parents who married at 18 and had my sister and I at 20 & 23, and I SO appreciated being able to travel, hike, play sports, and just relate to them- we actually share some friends nowadays… we'll grow old together! So I think my age definitely had a factor. My best friends have all lost at least one parent to something that comes with age, and I can't help but wonder how many more years they would have been able to enjoy with their parents if they had been born earlier (surprisingly all of those friends believe you should enjoy yourself first and have kids later- to each his own!)

  19. Taryn|

    i'm soooo happy you did this post! this is something i've gone back and forth with so much in my life and still have no idea what i want (and hate the pressure i sometimes feel that i'll need to figure it out soon before it's too late!) anyway… thank you! i loved reading all the comments & views on this topic… & it's nice to know there are so many others that feel the same way. and in the end i guess everything will happen as it should. ;)

  20. Niec|

    Ugh, geese! I'm in the same boat Sarah (I may link this in to my blog w/your permission, bc Id like other readers to see your wonderful post)
    My hubby and I wanted a baby for about 7 months this past year (I got off BC which made me crazy and then my PMDD made me think a child would solve everything) but then other things started happening I got in control of my hormones got rid of instigating people, the ones who are like "you need a baby" and and we moved and traveled and are planning more trips now to the Caribbean this Jan, and everything now seems right, except I'm almost 30… and 3 years in my marriage… and have piranhas for in laws who want grand babies ASAP!
    What's a girl to do!?! After some soul searching (and helping deliver and care for my new nephew) its like that baby niche was filled, I don't know if I wanna "actively try" we have trips planned and love eachothers company and our dog Rilo is my baby. It's a tough decision, especially when all our peers (especially blogger peers are popping out babies and maternity shots left and right) I don't have the right answers but I'm happy you opened up the arena to talk about things like this, that most women don't talk about. We aren't all breed to be moms, I too had a rough upbringing but am an independent women because of it. That said, sometimes I feel I lack the mom gene, I can be compassionate to animals and other kids, but I can also be cold and need my space, am I capable if loving my child the way I see my dear sister love hers? I just don't know, is that uncertainty worth the risk? And is that wrong!?!
    All of these comments are great, they make me feel like I have other women out there getting it. For now I don't want a baby but perhaps in another year I'll catch the fever again for it…. It comes and goes I guess :/

  21. Janet|

    I was perfectly content not being a parent, when I unexpectedly got pregnant. Needless to say I was emotionally unprepared. It's the hardest thing in the world to be a parent – to love, care, raise, lose sleep over (a lot of sleep and money!), for another human being. It really kicks you in the butt. But when it's good – there's nothing that compares. Having said that, I think you won't ever regret not having kids if you live your life fully doing all the things you love with the people you love – after all life is short and you only live once (#yolo). Your life is a different kind of adventure with kids, but it's also different kind of adventure without kids too.

  22. fromtheloftabove|

    i commented on this in joanna's post, and my comment was scarily similar to yours. i feel the exact same way about you – i love kids and babies and am extremely clucky but i'm not sure i WANT children. i think we would be awesome parents, but i'm worried about external sources corrupting my children. i'm in my late-ish 20's, so i've got a little more time to think about it so in the meantime i'll continue to nurture my baby schnauzer :) as i said in joanna's post, i think you have to make sure you definitely don't want kids before you make a decision, cos it's a pretty hard one to undo.

  23. sarah yates|

    thanks so much for all the great and thoughtful comments, i've loved reading them! it's always nice to know there are others experiencing the same road bumps. :)
    and ya'll have some great advice! you've given me some great perspectives and more to think about….thank you thank you!

  24. erin|

    Cannot thank you enough for posting this sarah. It's so hard to be "judged" by friends, society and family for decisions like this, and knowing that others out there are making, or are also undecided about, this decision is so comforting.

  25. sarah sherman samuel|

    Hey Sarah! I am still so right there with you too and it is so nice to hear that so many other women feel the same! I'm so happy with life as is now but wonder if 10 – 20 years down the road I would regret not having kids. I do have to say… how lucky are we that at least Lou and Rupert are in the same boat and by our sides? Imagine how much harder it would be if one half of your relationship had a polar opposite view on the subject.
    Here is to hoping we will one day either get the pull to have a child and be lucky enough to have one then… or be always as happy as we are now! :)

  26. Cyd|

    I think I've always really felt the same way, too. I'll be 30 in a few months and for years I've had the "older and wiser" crowd telling me I'd change my mind, but so far I am still lacking that deep, guttural need to be a mother that I feel most women have. I, too, am nurturing by nature and I give love freely and openly. But the idea of being a mother? I'm not sure it's one that will ever sit 100% comfortably with me and I agree that for me, I wouldn't make that move unless I knew without any shadow of a doubt that it was everything I wanted. Whatever you decide, your life would be full of love because you give love and you'll always receive it in return!

  27. Kat Shinn|

    Just know it is never too late to make the decision to have kids. For me, it was 37. I spent the first 19-years of my adult life thinking I never wanted my own kids. Then, as women has a right to do, I changed my mind. No regrets and I am thankful I waited until almost 40 to do it. I loved my 30's and was able to enjoy them effortlessly. Now I have no regrets, look back fondly and cherish all the fun, exhaustion and reward that comes with raising a 3-year old and a 2-year old. You will know if and when the time comes. Happy Thanksgiving.

  28. Becca|

    I love this post, and everyone's comments. I am 28 and married…and I assumed when I was younger that I would be ready for a baby by now…but I'm not! There are so many things that I want to do with my life that would be much more difficult if we had a baby. My priorities would be different, but right now I want to start a business, travel, etc. I do want children, as I'm so close with my Mom and have always imagined having that with a child (or two) of my own. I keep thinking, soon the deep desire for a baby will kick in, but it hasn't yet. I do worry, what if I never feel that desire, or feel ready. It's a weird thing! I've really enjoyed hearing everyone's different points of view.

  29. mes bijoux|

    Well, as I see I'm the oldest of your readers…because I'm on my fourties. Despite my age, I decided not to have a baby. People think that we (me and my husband) are quite strange, but I cannot explain how difficult it seems to me to bring a new person to this world… and, yes, maybe I would regret later, but I couldn't stanf myself if I regret about having my own child. On the other hand, I can give all my love (yes, I'm not a selfish woman!) to my beloved nephews. They are the best!
    lots of kisses from Barcelona!

  30. Danielle|

    I am a mama of one and did have that 100% conviction with my daughter. I had that yearning, and so did my husband. Almost 3 years later, I am now 36 and at the point of deciding whether or not to have baby no. 2. I feel the same way you have described – just stuck in the middle somewhere but anxious that I may regret it either way (as awful as that may sound). However huge a commitment having children is, I honestly don't think you could ever regret having a child. I heard a saying once that went something like…you never regret the child you have, always the child you didn't. Not that this is helping my decision making any easier! I may be stating the obvious but there are no guarantees with anything. You make a decision from your heart mainly and you just go along with the ride. It's a wonderful thing that nothing in this world can compare to. x

  31. TeresaD|

    Hi, I normally don't post comments but felt compelled to do so. I'm 43 and childless, by choice. From as early as I can remember I decided that I didn't want to have children. My choice wasn't as a result of a horrible upbringing or some traumatizing event, I just simply knew I didn't want children. I always said I would have a dog to keep me company.
    When I met my husband the one thing that kept me up at night was the fear that he would want to have kids, but thankfully he is and continues to be of the same mindset as me. Every so often I ask just to make sure he hasn't changed his mind…which would be devastating to say the least. We've been married now for 7 years and are as happy as the day we met, and am happy to say that we have added to our little family a four legged and extremely furry doggie, whom we love dearly.
    I too got the "so when are you having babies" from pretty much everybody, and those voices grew even louder after i married. At first it bothered me because i felt like i had to lie to everybody who asked, because simply saying i don't want children sounded so cold. but I have learned to understand that that is what most people want, and that's ok because that 's their choice. My choice is to not have them and am ok with it and don't necessarily care how that's perceived anymore.
    I must say though that i have a nephew whom I adore and would kill for if anybody ever hurt him. I feel quite satisfied with sharing his love with his first momma…I'm his second momma, his words not mine. I enjoy loving him and spoiling him, but at the end of the day I also enjoy my time with my hubby…just the two of us!
    I do hope you can finally find peace with your decision…whatever it is.

  32. sarah yates|

    thank you all so much for these comments- they're SO good! i love hearing your stories. i feel like it's definitely given me peace of mind- i know that whatever we decide we'll be doing the right thing. i think i'm just coming to peace with the idea that we'll very likely have days or moments where we feel some regrets- either way. so that takes a HUGE amount of pressure off! and we are not opposed to adopting, should we go down that road. so i feel like we're ok taking some time to make this decision. WOW, you all have helped so much! thank you!!!

  33. ANON|

    If you're not "sure" you want a baby, don't have one. Both of my children were unplanned and as much as I adore them, I still believe I would have had a completely satisfying, enriching life had I remained childless. Please, take my advice!

  34. rachel|

    My husband and I both feel equally ambivalent (but, more no than yes) about bringing children into the world. I look at it as an emotional, but also financial decision, and it's so difficult to get ahead in life living for two. Basically, we both stand behind our decision even if my in-laws tend to really want grandchildren (he's an only child), but my parents are totally supportive either way. Ultimately, it's your life/your union with your husband and outside pressures from society need not influence your happiness.

  35. jenn elliott blake|

    wow sarah. why oh why did we not talk about this more when we were in ireland?!! i feel very much the same way you do about having babies and am always afraid to outwardly express the perspective that i just might not want kids of my own someday. i like you have had those moments in my life where i want them really bad, but it gradually fades away to only fleeting thoughts of what an impact having a child will be on our lives. i spent a few years of my life supporting new parents into the transition of parenthood as a nurse and it frightened me to see what a tremendous impact a new baby has on not only on your life & their little life, but also the major impact on the relationship between you and your significant other…it's HARD work to keep it all together and still find time to enjoy and sustain your relationship. i hear time and time again from family and friends who have children that it's the "greatest joy you will ever know" but not having a child of my own yet it's hard to imagine this in my own life…ya know? we also do not live near our family and the thought of doing this on our own without immediate family support for those nights when we need help or a bit of a break makes it all the more challenging to leap towards the commitment of parenthood. i often feel like a bad person because i don't want to jump into motherhood, but posts like this one, make me know i'm not alone in the questioning part. thanks so much for your candid post – means so much that you would share. miss you friend! xoxo!

  36. Frankie|

    My reading this post was very timely. This is a decision I have been struggling with for years. I am 36 years old and have been married for two years. My husband has expressed the desire to have children, but said that he will do whatever I want, therefore I feel that the decision is ultimately mine. In our social circle everyone is having babies! And although I am happy for them, have a nurturing heart, and love to visit with their children, I do not feel the overwhelming desire to have one of my own. I love my life with my husband. I hate the notion that children would somehow "validate" our relationship, or that if we don't have children together, somehow we will not be bonded in the way that couples who have children and go through that process are bonded. I always think about all of the people who do have children but are separated or divorced now when I hear or read comments of that nature. Having children is not a guarantee that your relationship with your partner will deepen. Having a child is not a guarantee that they will be your friend, once they reach adulthood, or that they will care for you in old age.

    For me, the decision is so profound, and one I don't take lightly. It truly is the greatest leap of faith one can make.

  37. Natalie|

    I am totally with you. We are just about to plan our wedding and still (even though we're both 37) feel so far away from wanting to have kids. In my opinion it's because we have had so many projects (having our dog, buy an apartment, now the wedding) that were filling up our lives so we felt totally complete without. We are together since 4 years and I guess that we still enjoy a lot the quality time that we have together. I we had met 10 years earlier, probably we would more be into having kids but that's just a theory. Neither me nor my fiance were sure if we ever want to have kids and still we don't know. So it just kind of never is a real topic as we are perfectly happy as it is right now. But then again time is running out.

    Sometimes I keep thinking if I will ever regret not having had a baby but then again I don't feel like turning my whole life upside down. This sounds very selfish but I see it like you, if I'm not 100% sure that this is what I want, I rather don't do it. It's not fair to the child. But how can you ever be sure? Let me know if you find out how to take this difficult decision!

  38. Erica|

    I am so very appreciative of this post and these comments. I actually had tears in my eyes at one point because this is a topic I feel so much pressure put on me by myself and others. It was such a relief to read others thoughts. This is something I've been struggling with and haven't found another friend who feels the same way. I think I'm feeling particular anxiety this time of year as my husband and I prepare to go visit our families across the country. Each visit I get asked by so family and friends again and again, "When are you having babies?" My defensive response is a cheery "Not today!" before changing the subject. I despise that it's socially acceptable to even ask someone that. Besides I'm only 26 and have been married 2 years so I still have time. Like many other commenters I am waiting for that "switch to flip" or that feeling of being ready but I'm not sure I'll ever be 100% ready, though I do like children. My husband wants kids eventually and I've always said I wanted them too, but I'm not sure my whole heart is in it. I also don't want to wait too long partially because my parents are in their late 60s and I want them to have time with my children. Adopting is also something that has always been in my heart but not in my husbands. But I also hear/read about parents who have a very hard time connecting with their adopted children. I would think the process of pregnancy and birth would immediately connect mother and child. Like you Sarah, and other commenters, when my best friend had her baby this year I cried tears of joy for her and was thrilled. But I didn't feel envious or jealous of her. Does that mean I'm not ready now, or that I never will be?

  39. Laura|

    My best friend is due with her first baby in about 8 weeks. I've NEVER wanted kids and I've pretty much never been around kids. But watching her these past few months has made me go from never ever wanting kids to thinking how fabulous it could maybe be to be a stay at home Mom. What?! That's a thought I never thought I'd have. My entire life I've dreamed of having a sister. I just have an older brother who I can never imagine getting married. My boyfriend (of six years!) also only has one brother who I can't imagine ever getting married. This is huge to me. Lots of pressure from could be grandparents, plus what about cousins? It breaks my heart to know I'll never have a sister. Seriously, when I was a kid I would beg my Mom for a sister. I grew up away from all of my extended family so I'm not close to my cousins. My point being – if we decide to have kids (in my mind) we'd have to have 3-4. I would want my kids to have family to play with. That's a lot of pressure 0 kids or 3+.. how do you know?

    Also, this makes me think of the book/movie 'Eat Pray Love' when Liz is talking to her bff about kids. Her friend explains it by saying something like 'Having kids is like getting a tattoo on your forehead – there is no going back and changing your mind. You have to be sure.'

  40. Kristen @ The Endless Meal|

    I feel exactly the same way! I love kids, enjoy every minute I spend with my little nephew, but I still don't know if I want one of my own. It is just such a big decision and, like you, I don't think it should be taken lightly. The years keep ticking by though so I guess I'd better decide soon before time makes the decision for me :)