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I wanted children at 18, preferable two - one of each. I wasn't that fussy. I had strong maternal urges and through lots of discussion a friend who wanted a child, but didn't want to actually bring one up we decided we'd give it a go. Anyway that never worked out and it never happened.
I continued to want children through my early twenties, but never pursued the goal. When I got to twenty seven, I'd not given up but not really given it much thought. I met a man and we had just started seeing each other, nothing serious but within a month I'd found myself pregnant. A shock though a pleasant one and my maternal instinct rose. Our relationship didn't work much beyond that month, it was never going to really, but we did have this child on the way.
I loved being pregnant, I felt special and had all these wonderful things planned, home birth, home education and being a single parent with the support of the father. Well my world was turned upside down when my son came along. I didn't know what hit me. My home birth turned into the birth story from hell. The support of the father turned sour with the words "Are you just using me for a meal ticket?" two days after the birth and 1 year later with the words "You aren't bringing him up right by home educating him"
That was external events over which I had no control, internally I felt nothing but resentment. I had this child who had taken over everything. I had nothing now I could call my own, no life, a job I had to continue with to support my child, my friends became the only ones with babies. I found myself in this nightmare.
I had no idea I would feel like this, and found it very hard to understand and accept I was now a mother. It took almost two years to accept it and to deal with it. There was no going back and nothing could change what had happened.
I thought it was the right time, it turned out not to be. I don't believe there is a right time, babies come along, planned or unplanned and you have to deal with it. You have made that choice either conciously (planned) or unconciously (unplanned) and you deal with it.
As to the second child I was going to have, I don't know yet. I do know one thing, I wouldn't choose or recommend single parenthood to anyone. If you don't have the support from the father it can be very hard, and if it is always conflict it is even harder and makes life very unpleasant. My sons father doesn't see him on the grounds he does love him very much but doesn't want to see me.
Having children is one of the major events in your life, you can't plan for how you are going to feel, you can't plan for the loss of support or the whole lifestyle change. Nothing I can think of can compare with the massive upheaval that happens when that tiny dependant baby comes along and consumes you and your life with dependancy.
After reading the comments people made, I feel I need to add. Someone said what about 12 year olds or 50 year olds. I don't believe children should be having children, it's the nature of our society that we cannot control this. And I don't believe they should be left to deal with it, support is essential, but better education and more understanding about sex and pregnancy would be the way to go. As to 50 year olds, if they are not passed the menopause then nature intended them to continue having babies. I am a firm believer in nature, and if you are no longer able to have babies then perhaps you shouldn't be having them. IVF is a wonderful invention, but like everything else is open to abuse and women past the menopause have abused this treatment.
The right time to have a baby is a personal decision, and young or old one which you have chosen to do. Everyone is different, and for some it may be the most exhilarating thing which happened to them, for me it wasn't though my son is the most wonderful thing in my life it has been very hard and what I was trying to express is the timing of children isn't important because you cannot judge how you are going to feel when they come along.
i dont think it is down to others to judge myself (presuming the parents can support kids) If I want kids at 23 I will have them, and if I am 40 I will have them then.
muttleythefrog 18.11.2007 21:32
Interesting personal story in relation to the subject. Would have liked to have heard more of your opinions on the subject generally though. Your opinion I can quote directly as "I thought it was the right time, it turned out not to be. I don't believe there is a right time, babies come along, planned or unplanned and you have to deal with it. You have made that choice either conciously (planned) or unconciously (unplanned) and you deal with it. " But do you seriously think this is true? For example do you think 12 year old girls should have children?... according to your view.. they should just deal with it. What about mothers who are 50 years old... is this sensible... is it not increasing risk to the child's development etc. If you do decide to add to the review I would look at what you really think on this issue generally... at the level of society. Women are generally having children later now than previously... more career options and increased cost of living (house prices etc) are causing this. Women do have choices too.. planned or unplanned pregnancies need not necessarily result in the parent or potential parent 'having to deal with it.' Anyway, hopefully you've got things right for you :) Pete xx