Ami Wise’s Story: I am confused and worried that I may come to regret my decision not to have children

I am 36 and have always been unsure about having children. This very issue led to a few breakups with past boyfriends when I was in my 20s, because they wanted children and I was adamant then that I didn’t want any. But then in later years, I met someone and within 6 months of meeting him, I decided that he was the one I wanted to have children with. We discussed the issue and decided to give it a couple of years to be sure that this is what we really wanted. The couple of years passed, then I wasn’t sure again. We had an easy life. We were financially secure and very much in love. We lived a contented life with just the two of us and our dogs. I no longer saw the need to add children to the mix.

My partner on the other hand still wanted children and he even gave me a book of baby names in which he wrote about how much he wanted to have a family with me. By then, 6 of my friends had become pregnant and so every conversation inevitably turned to children. When some of my friends gave birth, I had a change of heart and told my partner that I wanted to start a family.

To my total surprise instead of jumping for joy, he was now the one who no longer wanted children! I was disappointed at first then I quickly got over the whole episode. After all, being childless wasn’t such a big deal, or so I thought. But just the other day, I was watching an Easter egg hunt of families and I just broke down at the thought that I may never know that feeling of love for my own child. Was this a one off, minor breakdown or am I fighting something that I want deep down?

My partner tells me that he doesn’t want to lose me and that he is worried I will resent him in the future. The reason for his change of heart about starting a family is the fear that he will not be given access to any child that we may have, if we broke up, which is what happened with a previous partner. So it is fair to say that I am confused and worried that I may come to regret my decisions down the line. Help!

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  1. Hi Ami, thanks for sharing your story. Being childless in a child centric world can be difficult for some and it is totally understandable. When we were trying for a child I would have laughed at anyone who told me then that I would one day be living a happy and peaceful life without children. I never could have imagined that ours would be such a contended life and it took me 9 years to reach that stage. Coming to terms with not having children takes time and it is not something that can be rushed. You have to allow all those feelings within you to slowly heal and hopefully you will reach a stage when you will wonder why you ever wanted children in the first place. I do understand, however that many people even though they accept that they will never have children, can still not totally come to terms with it and they have the occasional breakdown.

    I am fortunate in that after 9 years, I realised that deep down, I never wanted children and the only reason why I spent 9 years of my life trying was because I thought it was the thing to do as a couple. Like most people, I was raised with the idea that you grow up, get married and have children. No one told me that there was another way. My husband was never keen on having children but went along for my sake. We are now totally at peace and living life on our own terms and to tell you the truth we will not have it any other way. I hope that you find peace eventually whether with or without children.

  2. Ultimately, only you can decide what to do in a situation like this. If you can find peace with being childless then your partner will not have to worry about you being resentful down the line. It is a tricky situation to be in, no doubt about that. I hope something good comes out of it, whatever decision you make.

  3. moonaj10 says

    Don’t be too harsh on yourself for changing your mind, we all do. It is such a big decision in your life and although there are a few people out there who have always known that they never wanted children, for most people, it takes time for the idea to settle. Having children is such a big deal in our society that deciding not to have any takes a lot of courage.

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