Do You Really Want Kids Or Do You Just Think You Should Have Them?

You might get a broody moment or two like everyone does, but do you really want to commit to having a child? It’s not always easy to know if you want kids because you actually want to be a mom or because you’re feeling the pressure to have them. Here are some things that might make you think it’s time to start a family when it’s really, really not.

  1. Your biological clock is ticking. It’s loud and proud and it’s been getting louder since you hit your 30s. You know that women are having children later in life than they used to, but you don’t want to be having kids when you’re older than 40. You might think you should just jump in and have a kid now but you couldn’t be more wrong. Motherhood is something you have to be completely into because there’s no turning back. You know that, right?
  2. Your friends are popping them out. Everywhere you look, your friends are having babies. They look so cute and lovable, and the kids aren’t bad either — ha! Most of the time, your friends tell you that you have to have kids because it’s so life-changing. That can be pretty persuasive, but babysitting for a weekend will show you both sides to the story.
  3. You can’t think of a really good reason why you should have them. You might be feeling the pressure to have kids, but there’s no real reason you can think of to do so, other than that you’ll have someone to keep you company when you’re old. That’s scary because you’re about to embark on a life-changing course that demands your 100 percent commitment for the rest of your life.
  4. You’ve heard stories of women who regret not having kids. Perhaps you know some women in their late 40s and older who never had kids even though they were able to and wish they had. This can make you decide to go ahead and bring a child into the world out of fear of missing out if you don’t have them, but what about the great lives and careers those women have had? What if they’re just feeling nostalgic? Chances are, if they had the chance to go back in time and become mothers, they wouldn’t because they’ve made the right decision for themselves.
  5. Kids are marketed as a personal achievementOften, children are seen as these chubby little beings who can make you feel a sense of fulfillment. That might be true, but motherhood is never going to be the only road to happiness. That’s crazy. There are so many other ways to be happy, whether that means traveling a lot, starting your own business, or having the freedom to do whatever you want, no kids required.
  6. You have a hole in your life. Perhaps you’ve been feeling a little empty and like your life isn’t as great as you want it to be. You might think that if you had kids, at least you’d have something going for you. But kids, just like anything else, aren’t going to fill your emptiness. Only you can do that. Plus, the worst thing you can do is bring kids into the world in the hope of them saving you.
  7. You’ve been married for a long time. Before you were married, people used to ask you, “When are you and your boyfriend going to get hitched?” Now that you’re married, they ask, “When are you going to have children?” FFS, does it ever end? If you’ve been married for a long time and you haven’t had kids, people might pressure you to have them, which might make you start worrying that there’s something wrong with you if your marriage remains childless. No, but there’s something wrong with them for being so obsessed with your life.
  8. A baby will sort out your relationship problems, right? Err, no it won’t. It will just make things worse! If you’re hoping that a child will bring you and your partner together, you have another thing coming — sleepless nights, stress, and having no time to work on your relationship because the baby has become your priority.
  9. You feel guilty. You might think that since you’re healthy and have a functioning womb, you should have kids and it’s a sin if you don’t. But just because you have the equipment doesn’t mean you’re forced to use it. There is such a thing as free will, you know.
  10. People say you’d be a fantastic mom. Do you really want kids or do you just feel like you should have them because you’d make an excellent mother? Just because people praise how nurturing, patient and giving you are, it doesn’t mean that you should become a mother. You can use those gifts in other ways.
  11. The guys you meet want kidsAll the guys you go on dates with want to have children. This can put pressure on you. You might think that since the men are such great catches, you should change your mind on the child issue to make things work. But honestly, if your heart’s not in it, you’re only signing up for disaster: lying on the bathroom floor crying because you want a different life a la “Eat, Pray, Love.” No man who wants you to be his baby mama is worth that future drama.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.