Kids – To have or have not? (unfortunately that is not the question)

Kids – To have or have not? (unfortunately that is not the question)

How many of us throughout our lives just assumed we would have kids. We grew up just knowing that one day it would happen. Those fantasies as a little girl of what our kids would look like, how many of them would we have, did we want girls or boys? It was just in our DNA, one of those facts of life.

So when we find ourselves in our early 30s and people start asking us these questions, “When are you going to have kids?” “How many do you want?” “Should you stay living in London, it’s not really where you want to bring up a family and your boyfriend doesn’t want to move, what should you do?” These questions come thick and fast and suddenly you realise the pressure is on to make a decision not some vague point in the future and its real. How do you think about something that you have always taken for granted?

For me that assumption was always true until one day in my mid 30s I realised that I wasn’t going to have any, it was easy for me, not struggle just a knowing that the desire and assumption had gone. I did have to deal with the opposite question later in life “Do you regret not having children?” What kind of question is that? It’s coming from that same assumption – our role as women is to have kids.

Hang on, it’s the 21 st Century who says we are defined by whether we have kids or not. I often respond to that question to me with the riposte “Do you regret having children?” Often not met by a smile. People really don’t get how the initial question is so full of assumptions and cultural pressure.

How do we have this conversation, how do you find out what we really want, not because we have always assumed we would, that others assume we will, how do we find out what we want. It’s like trying to get beneath our own skin, how can we extricate ourselves from your own conditioning to find out what is really motivating us.

I have been thinking a lot about this. A friend in her early 30s recently said to me there is no one she can have this conversation with. All her friends have had kids and say it’s the best thing they have ever done.

But is it the best for you?

If you are interested in looking into this, finding out what you really want stop for a minute and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Where does my desire to have kids come from?
  2. Have I questioned what I really want?
  3. Why am I doing this?

Whatever the answer and whatever you decide good luck and the best for you. The main thing is you know why you are doing it, you have really thought about it and it's your choice not anyone else and it’s not driven by fear.

If you would like to share this conversation with me I would be happy to help you work through the process.

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