From someone who'd like to remain anonymous:
I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice and tips from parents here. I
want to answer from the other side of the spectrum - as someone who
had a big battle in thoughts until fairly recently, and eventually
settled on the decision NOT to have kids.
I am 36 years old, and similarly to you, I love my life, my career,
but also the overall freedom and flexibility that not having kids
provides. I met my husband quite late in life (just turned 30, he's a
year younger) and that has impacted a lot of things too. Around the
similar age as you, so still fairly early in our relationship, I
started having similar doubts. Should we try to have kids? Neither of
us was really terribly excited about the idea, but we also felt a bit
"if not now then when". At the same time, we had so many things we
wanted to do and kept postponing trying to conceive. It just never
felt the right time.
I went through a phase where the "clock ticking" sounded really loud.
Even then, the idea of motherhood did not sound very appealing. I
mean, some kids are okay, in small doses, but the pregnancy, then
birth (I'm absolutely terrified by this), then the period with no
sleep, infant crying when you don't know the reason... I think I'd be
much more likely to think about having kids seriously if I could get
them at around 3 years old.
Basically, my whole thinking back then was around the lines of "I
still don't really feel the need to have kids, I am still not sure if
I want them - but if I ever do want them, I kind of need to get into
In the end we had more and more conversations, more and more often
saying that well, maybe it really is not for us. And once we finally
settled on this, I felt such an incredible RELIEF. That I can stop
thinking about it, stop reconsidering, stop obsessing about it.
You say you didn't think you wanted kids, but you're reconsidering
now. You don't say what made you reconsider - is that you actually
feel you do want to be a mom, or is it just that you feel the clock
ticking (now or never). You also completely don't mention the
potential father - what does he think, does he want to have kids, or
is he indifferent, or maybe you're thinking of being a single mom
through in vitro or something similar.
When you talk about "informed decision", I can't help but wonder if
it's a sign that maybe you are still not fully in the "I want kids".
When I watch other parents, it's very clear that in order to have kids
you have to sacrifice, a lot. Things will change for you, there is no
question about it. Yes, of course people make it work, of course it is
getting better - and of course (most) parents say it's worth it. But
you will leave your previous life behind, and there'll be something
very different on the other end. I am not really sure if it can be an
"informed decision", where you look into "pros and cons" and the pros
outweigh. Because I'm not sure if from pragmatic / cold perspective
this "calculation" can ever come out in favour of kids. From pragmatic
perspective - there are soooo many cons and limitations and drawbacks
But I think the whole "worth it" is very personal. Since I settled my
decision, with a bit of "but what if I change my mind", I've come
across more child-free-by-choice people. Some of them quite a bit
older. All of them say they don't have any regrets. Of course I'm sure
equally there are some that do - maybe they prefer not to hang out in
certain places. But the point is, it is possible to go through life,
not wanting/needing/having kids, and be completely fulfilled.
So I think ultimately the question should be: do you really want kids?
If you do, you have your answer, you will make it work, no matter the
challenges, just like thousands of people do. And conversely, if you
still don't feel you want it and it's more of "but what if I miss the
time when I can do it" - it's a personal choice. But for me, I decided
that "fear of missing out" is not a good enough reason to bring
another human onto this planet.
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