/ Men - if you're honest, did you want children?
On the 'feminism' thread that's currently rumbling on, David Martin has asserted several times that most of his friends who are now fathers entered into the deal reluctantly. He maintains that this isn't unusual.
If you're happy to answer, I'd like to know - regardless of how much you love your kids now, did you really want kids or was it mostly your partner's decision?
No - success !
Accident in my case, I was never in the don't want children camp so it was never going to be a problem to me.
We still haven't quite decided the question to breed or not to breed. Both have mixed feelings but I probably am keener than she is.
To be fair to David, I'm not entirely sure this straw poll will be that successful. I can imagine some folk feeling uncomfortable admitting that they didn't want children.
extremely marginally tempted since neice/nephews arrived. But still no.
True, but it's interesting nonetheless. I know there are people who've said on here in the past that whilst they wouldn't be without their kids now, they weren't that keen initially.
Anyway - threads on UKC never stay on topic!
That was sort of my point. There will be a selection bias here.
But what if there are a load of people whose experience isn't the same as that of your friends? Would that mean that your friends' experience is unusual?
Never wanted them, fortunately have avoided having them.
haven't got any yet and undecided to if i want any but leaning towards yes. not sure if being single minimises or maximises the likelihood of children
I believe that someone else might be required at some point ;-)
lol, what i meant was possibly less frequent sex vs more variety of partners
I lived with a woman who had a couple of young kids for a while but just hated the "dad" role. I now make this clear to anyone I meet romantically that I am not fatherhood-compatible, it can be a big obstacle to a relationship.
Mrs Ridge did say she'd consider having kids if you could buy them cheap at 18months old, run them on for a couple of years then sell on. Fortunately that's illegal, so she's had to make do with hens.
> I believe that someone else might be required at some point ;-)
From another perspective, I think I'd quite like to be a Dad, but don't foresee it ever happening as I can't imagine anyone wanting to be the Mum to my Dad! I'll settle for being a proud Godparent instead.
Hmm, I wonder why we split up?
Logic was based on maths for me.
Lady wants kids = +1
Lady not want kids = -1
Man wants kids = +1
Man doesn't want kids = -1
Not fussed = 0
So in my situation the decision was Lady (+1) + Man (0) = +1
So I was fine to have kids.
I very much doubt that approach was used by my better half.
Reluctantly until a couple of miscarriages. Due in 4 weeks.
Breathtakingly logical :-)
Initially, no, then ambivalent. I waited until I was 40.
Love them to bits now though.
At twenty three and exceedingly immature, I'm not sure I even qualify as a man. Although a sales assistant did call me sir for the first time not long ago! I see many of my friends are beginning to have kids and post photos of babies and the like on facebook, and each one makes me slightly nauseus and want to retch a little. The thought of having a child fills me with panic, fear and dread.
I hope it goes well, Big Man and Milesy!
I can add Mr TC to the 'wanted kids' side - he wanted his two and he's very devoted to them.
I think at 23 that's pretty normal!
For the first one I was somewhat unsure but the wife was very keen. As I had always envisaged having little ones then it wasnt a problem. We had enough equity to move from our house in the town to a more child friendly village. At nearly thirty at the time I knew it was also a good time as i didnt want to be totally old and knackered when they got older. The second came four years later and was happily planned by both of us. No3 came two years after that and was a big surprise so no planning there.
Nice one! Hope everything goes well. I took Little Ent (6) climbing after school yesterday, she tr'd a 4a!! Then this affy we were collecting stuff in the forest for an autumn display at school - magic.
You got all this to look forward to.
Clare - I did want kids. Funnily enough, being a bit sporty, I still wanted a girl rather than a boy.
I can't decide what's worse the first time the cops bring your boy home or the first time your girl brings her boy home.
> Clare - I did want kids. Funnily enough, being a bit sporty, I still wanted a girl rather than a boy.
> I can't decide what's worse the first time the cops bring your boy home or the first time your girl brings her boy home.
Haha! I reckon Andy Kirkpatrick's set quite a high bar for 'things you can do with your daughter' with the most recent El Cap adventure with Ella :-)
> Haha! I reckon Andy Kirkpatrick's set quite a high bar for 'things you can do with your daughter' with the most recent El Cap adventure with Ella :-)
Yes, me and Littl Ent were following Ella's blog and AK's stuff on FB. She's started getting into the climbing a bit more after I said I'd take her up El Cap when she's 12. We don't go climbing as such anymore we go El Cap training!
There's also a blog from a guy on Supertopo who does some wild things with his 12 year old daughter - Half Dome NWF etc.
I was not at all reluctant. I was the keener as wife did not feel she could be a hospital doctor and a mother.
I've seen that - amazing stuff. I showed it to Mr TC, who's ever hopeful of his kids being more 'of that bent', but we decided that his daughter prefers her creature comforts and wouldn't thank him.
First one was an accident. Wife was on the Pill but somethng didn't work and I was not happy. Three years later my wife wanted another. Since we were just getting back on our feet financially again I had been looking forward to having a bit of cash to spend after all those first baby expenses. But I said: "Yeah OK if you want one". I'd have probably given it more thought if she'd said she wanted a dog! Soon as we checked our daugther was OK I was straight to the clinmic for the snip.
So the answer would be no to the first and not really bothered to the second.
But 35 years later, anyone upsets Daddy's Little Girl and I breaka their face! My son can sort his own problems out.
By such paths are two recently married (after 26 years living together) people still childless, and content with their lot. It all sounds so planned and structured as to be almost soulless whereas in reality there were a few meaningful conversations mostly provoked by either events or the consumption of alcohol...
I wouldn't have argued if she'd not wanted them.
Baby 8 weeks away. Very much planned and wanted.
Ive got three I want to give away. All housetrained and de-loused. One even cleans its room occasionally.
> Baby 8 weeks away. Very much planned and wanted.
Ours were both planned, it's just I went along with mrs andy's desires as opposed to feeling I really wanted them. They also arrived pretty much on cue, almost exactly 2 years apart. They're complementary personalities too - bossy, control-freak older sister and compliant, helpful younger sister. They're generally good mates so now they're older they pretty much entertain each other.
cant recall that i exactly wanted them or entered into it reluctantly
i just wanted lots of regular sex.
kids were a result of that which i didn't plan but im happy with and don't think now that they were put upon me
There's certainly a number of men I know who have children and moan a lot about the impositions it puts upon their life. And a significant number didn't want children at all. On the other hand, some also have positive things to say about fatherhood as well.
I personally think having children looks decidedly overrated. Maybe it's just my circle of friends - but a lot of children I know appear to be a nightmare for their parents.
I also think modern fathers have a raw deal. For example, one of my colleague's wife doesnt work and takes care of the kid. However, she doesn't do much around the house either from what I'm told, for example making dinner. So not only is the father the bread winner, he also has to be a 'new' man and do the household chores. Personally I can't see what he gets out of the relationship.
Interesting points. Mr TC is generally more helpful around the house than I am, as well as being the main breadwinner. Mind you, a) tidying up is how he relaxes (he's a freak), and b) the kids in the house are his, not mine.
I do think there are some shocking children out there, but then it's hard to hold anyone other than the parents responsible if kids are super-unruly and a bit of a nightmare.
Has the phrase 'like a lavatory door in the wind' or similar ever featured in his descriptions of her? If so, that may be the answer to your question.
It is fair to say that ALL the instigation to have children (my first, MrsD's 3rd) came from MrsD. I would quite happily of carried on with my selfish lifestyle.
Not that I regret it afterwards - just I didn't initiate it.
Took the decision not to extend for another five years in the Army so I could be a stay at home dad. Absolutely love it, wanted kids for year. For want of a better expression, cracking on for number 2 now!
It's not for everyone, my mate out in Canmore has never wanted kids since I've known him. He is happy to admit he is selfish and they would stop him doing whatever he wants. Better that than have kids because the missus wants them.
I wanted a sucessful family at some point, but not a desire necessarily for kids per say, yes I know its sort of essential, but I can't think of a better way to put it. Nor was I enamoured at the time we had them. However, more than that I knew how much my wife wanted them, and I know how much I had always wanted to for her. Equally I'm sure she puts my desires above hers all too often. Thats just how our relationship works best. I was never tricked into having them, I love them and they were wanted and planned.
Of course I love them and do anything for them, there is a moment when you find the bond with them is so intense, you put them ahead of everything else.
Hope that is clear enough.
I'm still stirring the mixture... Would you like to lick the spoon afterwards?
She Makes me smile and feel all warm and gooey ....awe!
I was very definitely not interested, gradually got worn down and persuaded, and now couldn't imagine life without.
If 50 people respond to this thread giving a view in one direction or another I wouldn't read that much in to it. If you took a random sample of 50 UKCers and, in a way that wasn't likely to bias their responses, queried each and every one of them for an answer it might be worth something.
Still, an interesting exercise all the same.
Nice one! Good luck and enjoy )))
Yes, since my mid to late twenties I've wanted kids, now I have a beautiful daughter who is 1 on November 5th.
Having her has caused a massive upheaval in our lives, but we were very well prepared for that.
Would I have changed my mind if I knew back then just how much our lives would change? Hell no, I'd have her again in a heartbeat.
Don't currently have kids or plans to have kids. By the maths above,
Me (agnostic) = 0
Lady Blue (Atheist) = -1.
Hence not having them..
What is really quite surprising is how many people - in some case total strangers - feel qualified to comment on our decision, and point out we are being selfish/stupid/don't know what we are missing/will regret it for the rest of our lives/should grow up and face our responsibilities/etc.
Some of these people are still alive as I didn't manage to get my hands round their throat fast enough before they ran off....
I don't think (I could be wrong) those whose decision is the opposite get the same?
Very much wanted... From a youngish age. Had to wait until I was 38 though.
Of course I might sell the, for loose change now... ;-) not really
If it's any reassurance, I know the feeling. I'm getting quite a lot of pointed stares from certain family members at the moment...
Mik wanted to post "new addition on the way" on facebook when he ordered his bike just to wind my mum up :-)
Having had them I would never persuade someone else to have them... If they didn't want them :)
I tried to find research (and really didn't care which view it supported)
I found this:
"The current study examined how desire for marriage and children related to anticipated chore involvement for both men and women. An online survey was completed by 466 college students recruited from multiple colleges and universities in Virginia. Participants provided information about their own desire for marriage and children, expectations for future division of household labor, and their perceptions of the typical woman's and man's desires for marriage and children. Men and women did not differ in their self-reported desires for marriage and children. However, the typical man was perceived as having a lower desire for both marriage and children and the typical woman as having a higher desire for both. Desire for marriage and children was predicted by anticipated chore involvement above and beyond liberal attitudes for women but not for men. These findings are discussed in terms of how social norms and stereotypes affect power in relationships through the principle of least interest."
A few guys I know who have kids didn't initially want them, were persuaded and consequently bonded with them more than they ever thought they would.
> Never wanted them, fortunately have avoided having them.
Aren't you a teacher? How do you manage to avoid them? :-)
> I do think there are some shocking children out there, but then it's hard to hold anyone other than the parents responsible if kids are super-unruly and a bit of a nightmare.
Do you really believe that? Some kids are just a nightmare......i can quote 20 years experience supporting parents at the end of their wits with their offspring.
This is interesting. It is a study in Italy, but it looks at things like how the age of each person, their educational achievement and how they think the work of child rearing will be shared affects if they want kids or not:
Appendix 1 is very interesting in seeing if men or women want kids the most...
It was slightly tongue in cheek - I do know some kids can be horrors full stop, but then some parents can try to abdicate responsibility too.
Num Num has always entered into the process with great enthusiasm, but the realization with disbelief, denials, paternity tests etc. etc.
> It was slightly tongue in cheek - I do know some kids can be horrors full stop, but then some parents can try to abdicate responsibility too.
I think you were right the first time - kids are largely what you make them.
> kids are largely what you make them.
Yup. Personality plays a part but by and large kids are like most other animals. The training is crucial
Mostly not wanted but probably would have done had I been with the right partner at the time and we had both wanted kids.
First wife didn't want kids
second partner didn't want kids
current wife would have had kids and I would have had with her but only if we were 10 years younger.
I stood by this, until I met, and fell totally head over heels in love with, my now wife, who had a daughter by a previous relationship. Becoming a dad was such, and remains such, a wonderful thing. If I could go back in time I'd punch myself in the face for being so stupid as to not want them.
> I stood by this, until I met, and fell totally head over heels in love with, my now wife, who had a daughter by a previous relationship. Becoming a dad was such, and remains such, a wonderful thing. If I could go back in time I'd punch myself in the face for being so stupid as to not want them.
Sort of the same but different. It didn't work out, but meeting a girl who had a kid made me realise that I'd been silly not to want one.
Definitely not wanted.
It just sort of happened....
No regrets though, although if I could go back in time I would have discussed this with my partner and been pro-active in ensuring that it didn't happen.
Why just ask the men?
When I did mu OU degree I met loads of middle-age mothers at the Summer Schools and a surprising number said that if they had their time again they wouldn't have had children.
I asked the men in my hideously skewed microsurvey because a poster on another thread was asserting that men of his acquaintance didn't initially want kids as much as their partners had.
I also know women who, if they'd had their time again, probably wouldn't.
> No regrets though, although if I could go back in time I would have discussed this with my partner and been pro-active in ensuring that it didn't happen.
Aren't you contradicting yourself there?
I have never,ever wanted kids.From my late teens I knew that I was too selfish and wrapped in my own life to make a decent father.In fact when I was in my early twenties I wanted the snip but doctors told me I "didn't know my own mind" Hah! Still feel the same way 30 years later.
I have turned away from promising relationships because of this.
My partner (now wife) of 20 years has always felt the same way despite often being told by friends that she would regret it,even being hinted at "you're not a real woman".Right on,sister!
We are very,very happy.
Definitely, and trying at the moment (though it hasn't happened yet, I've to go to the hospital 'private' room soon. Something I'm not looking forward to!)
> I have never,ever wanted kids.From my late teens I knew that I was too selfish and wrapped in my own life to make a decent father.In fact when I was in my early twenties I wanted the snip but doctors told me I "didn't know my own mind" Hah! Still feel the same way 30 years later.
> I have turned away from promising relationships because of this.
> My partner (now wife) of 20 years has always felt the same way despite often being told by friends that she would regret it,even being hinted at "you're not a real woman". Right on,sister!
> We are very,very happy.
Chris (& Sherri)
Initially ambivalent, I guess. I liked the idea of having a family but not the sacrifices that I thought would be necessary, so I did it more because I knew my other half would never be happy until we did.
When daughter no. 1 was delivered I couldn't stop crying for about 10mins, and I'm not the emotional type. Itís easily the most amazing and satisfying thing Iíve ever had the privilege of being involved in, although at times it can seem absolutely awful (i.e. 3am nonstop screaming, dog tired for months on end, etc).
Never wanted children.
THe crux though, is to find something else in your life that rewards you in the absence of kids. That's tricky. It can be a relationship, or a career or getting that E6 onsight or getting a guides carnet, inventing the everlasting bogstopper or whatever.
It gets tricky when you don't find something that provides the reward and self definaition that I kids bringing to my firends and family.
Good point - in the absence of a career or any sign of personal 'success', however that's defined, I'm pinning the weight of any fulfilment and reward on the presence of Mr TC :-)
I hear you on this one, had my second at 46 too.
Up to the age of about 38 I never really thought of kids though I had already been with my partner for 10 years. We discussed it in a desultory way but there seemed no urgency. Finally I suppose we got bored with playing with our own toys/doing things for ourselves and the balance tipped towards considering the idea. Then our daughter arrived very shortly after. It was the most life-changing and wonderful thing having her in our lives. After several tries the boy arrived last year and he is just as loved. I suppose this is quite typical and shows why the average age of parents is increasing now that we can control our fertility.
Sometimes the balance can tip too far and the selflessness of being a parent can grind you down. It takes effort and planning to retain your own personality at times.
Yes, we never consider the effect on our dogs.
Lol - well said John. I know TCs post was aimed at the boys but as a girl you've just about replied as I would have.
A long time ago I chose bikes over kids :-)
> (i.e. 3am nonstop screaming, dog tired for months on end, etc).
> Yes, we never consider the effect on our dogs.
Very good :)
It's gobstopper by the way . my typing is crup
I was keener than my partner who was pretty damn keen. But it's me that now gets the blame.
Do you think so?! Goodness!
I love my life. I've had phases where I felt broody (in particular when my niece was born) but now feel gladder and gladder that I never had any children. I love children, will happily seek out time with them and have children in my life, but I just don't want to have to lose all the other stuff I have, in particular, many of the relationships that I simply wouldn't have time for with kids around....
Maybe if I had had my own kids I would feel that they were the best thing I ever did? Who knows? But I feel no need to fill any voids! (Phnarr!)
But you say that you "don't want to have to lose all the other stuff I have" which kind of implies that your voids are full (ie you have your "rewards")
> It's gobstopper by the way . my typing is crup
I think Num Num invented the permanent bogstopper
> Do you think so?! Goodness!
> but I just don't want to have to lose all the other stuff I have, in particular, many of the relationships that I simply wouldn't have time for with kids around....
That's kinda my point I guess. The relationships are what you "plug the gap" with.
> That's kinda my point I guess. The relationships are what you "plug the gap" with.
I don't think it works that way John. There is no gap to plug. We just adapt to the circumstances we find ourselves in. I am happy and quite relieved that I didn't have kids. If I had had kids then I am pretty certain that I would be happy and relieved that I did have kids. As it is I didn't. I am unconscious of any need to fill gaps
Num Num, although he has never been a huge fan of irritating little ones tugging at his coat tails, has also never been overly fond of remembering such irritations as contraception.
As such, Num Num favours the withdrawal method.
If Num Num gets somebody pregnant, he withdraws from the area for a while.
Hence why I put it in "".
Want - yes
Want when my Mrs wants - no way!
I would be interested from an evolutionary point to find if it is common that for some, the paternal. maternal thing is not designed to kick in, just as being gay is genetic. Is it s tribe defence thing, that some raise and others don't so as to go hit dinosaurs and stuff on the head/
i have my niece and nephew (6 and 8) staying at the weekend - i have set up a tent outer in the back bedroom so we can go camping indoors and cook stuff on the woodburner. They are looking forward to staying up and waiting for the badgers and the fox to come and eat the scoff we leave out. i told them we sometimes get dinosaurs as well.....I love having them around (plus mum and dad bring wine) but like to hand them back after 48 hours :)
Yes, I really really wanted kids. However, by the time I'd got into a stable enough relationship to adopt, I/we was too old.
I have nephews and nieces whom I adore, but obviously it's not the same.
I think I'd have made a great Dad. :-(
cue grown up chat about fertility, her diabetes, age. Rational decision is now. have one, second on way. the second was more of a decision for me, as ambivalent on timings. but once thought through was happy with nowish.
in my circle round sheffield friend was surprised that it was planned and one observer commented that this level of planning was unusual on the male side?!
I wasn't having a go at you - you expressed yourself very well, - just wondering I suppose...
I wanted 6 children but the misses said having more than one is a bad idea as the world is overpopulated without everyone banging out loads of kids, I guess she has a point
> I would be interested from an evolutionary point to find if it is common that for some, the paternal. maternal thing is not designed to kick in, just as being gay is genetic. Is it s tribe defence thing, that some raise and others don't so as to go hit dinosaurs and stuff on the head/
Whilst I don't think I'm meant for hitting dinosaurs on the head - unless they were very small puny ones (which feels a bit unfair) - I am certain I was not meant to have children. I have never once felt the slightest tweak of a maternal urge. My reaction to children is not to want to mother them or look out for them but rather to want to "go out to play" with them. The interesting ones, that is. There are some I simply want to hit over the head as if they were small puny dinosaurs.
I am also very much of the not maternal type. I like taking friends kids climbing etc, but definately don't want my own - I really don't like babies. The thing is people constantly tell me that it'd be different if they were my own. I always think it might be, but it might not be!! What a risk to take when you really feel no need to have them! Children get better with age, I could never handle the first few years.
I'm not trying to change your mind, but it is true about it being different if they are your own. I used to do anything to avoid children, making the occasional effort to be nice to neices and nephews. I simply couldn't relate to them. I was convinced that I simply wasn't meant to be a father. Then I got worked on enough that I was prepared to try, and this wasn't easy. We adopted, and so I had to demonstrate to social workers the ability to relate to children. I still didn't believe I could really do it, right up to the point we started meeting our daughter.
Within a few weeks I couldn't imagine life without her, or that I could have missed out on the opportunity. And I also love other children too now, not just my own. They've gone from being an annoyance that I try to avoid, to people that are a joy to be with.
Although, she's still only five. My opinions might change come the teenage years...
Just to add... Having seen the offspring from people who didn't want / weren't up to having children, I don't want to encourage anyone who isn't sure.
Wanted. more than anything.
> But you say that you "don't want to have to lose all the other stuff I have" which kind of implies that your voids are full (ie you have your "rewards")
I guess I always think that there is so much to cram in - so many people out there who are interesting... I guess I used to have voids - but I think they were mainly wanting someone else to look after me, and since I started doing that for myself, the voids seem to have evaporated.....
> That's kinda my point I guess. The relationships are what you "plug the gap" with.
Nah - I had plenty of relationships AND voids before I got my own head together a bit. Then I was on my own, but with no voids (but of course with relationships with friends and family). Now I have no voids and a lovely relationship too - it's all gone a bit overflowing!
(hugs Rushby a bit to share the love)
Can I come??!! *big round eyes* I want to see the dinosaurs!!!!
> I guess I always think that there is so much to cram in - so many people out there who are interesting...
Absolutely. And then when you add in the EVENTS that are interesting (so many shows, gigs and stuff I want to go to), it's just too much! Helps sometimes when you can combine interesting people and interesting things (was a huge bonus to me to get a hug from a lovely tlm and a Duncan earlier this year when I thought I was only meeting up with ONE other friend!). :-)
My other half was on her own for a few years, and never had the voids so I see what you are saying.
now she has me
which is like having a kid
I'll have a word with Gabe and Beatrice. They might let you feed the stegomasourous - it eats fox poo and jaffa cakes.
Yes, I really wanted them before we had them. Having kids was one of the reasons I asked my wife to marry me. The kids were planned and wanted by us both. Now that Mrs Teff and I have gone our separate ways, we have the kids one week a fortnight each so that we both have equal time with them and them with us.
Just to add, I didn't want any up until I was in my late 20s, and I certainly wouldn't want any more now. As one poster above said, parenthood is one of life's experiences you can decide whether you want or not before embarking on the journey. I'm still enjoying the journey with my two but don't fancy embarking on another journey now in my mid 40s.
Mr TC does the same with his kids, though it's worked out in a more complicated way than 'week on, week off'.
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