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fatherhood?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My boyfriend has a bad habit of saying whatever's on his mind, which can sometimes be sort of bad...

I really want children. I looove babies and want 2-4.
My boyfriend knows this, acknowledges that nursing is a good career for me because it's easy to combine with motherhood, we talk about moving out of the city to raise kids, where we'd send them to school etc.
He says "in theory" kids sound great.

But then he'll start to panic (he's a big worrier) about how much kids cost, how much sleep and time you lose, what if we never have sex again, what if there's something wrong with our kids, what if we have a girl and some guy gets her pregnant or hurts her? etc...
Then he starts to panic that maybe having kids isn't worth it.

And says that he definitely doesn't have a strong desire to have kids right now. Which is fine, I'm only 26, I'm in nursing school, and we're not even married.
I just want to make sure that he'll want them in 4 years or so, and that he'll love being a father once he is one.

But how do I predict that?! When I ask him if he'll ever want kids his answer is usually "sure, in theory".

Then I think he gets offended when I say "I must have children" cause he feels I should want to marry him for him, not potential children, and he doesn't want to be viewed as a sperm donor/financial supporter for my children. I think he worries I'd divorce him if he was infertile or something.

Is he nuts? Or do lots of men have these anxieties?
Are there actually men out there who know they 100% want children and gush over babies? Or is that just women?

I think Chris will be a great father (he's a great kitty father!) and that he would surprise himself by how into fatherhood he would get once the baby was actually born.

But it's sort of a gamble. If he decided it's not worth it, you can't give the baby back!

I want to be with a man who really wants to have children.
But I don't want to break up with Chris just because he expressed a little anxiety (being anxious is part of who he is. He'll complain about how much a vacation costs, but then go and have a great time!)

How do the men in your lives feel about fatherhood both before they had kids and after?
post #2 of 18
I think most people panic and are thinking "will I be a good mother/father...?" But in the next few years if he's not more positive about children, then you have to make a decision on whether you really would marry him.

Because if you marry and you want kids and he doesn't - one of you will be pretty unhappy about the decision. Children is a MAJOR decision and one not to be taken lightly or "hoping" he changes his mind. Its not a "we'll have a baby and if he doesn't like it, tough" - too many men are trapped this way and resent things. Once you have a baby, you can't send it back if he doesn't like it.

It takes 2 to make a baby, and IMO it should be a mutual decision - not just one sided.

I would not push the issue for a long time - just watch his reactions. If either of you have relatives that have babies or young children, maybe you can "practice" with a little babysitting for a long weekend and see. But do NOT push him on babies right now. The more you do, the more he will back off.
post #3 of 18
I think it's totally reasonable for you to certainly want children. Kids is one of the BIG areas that couples need to agree on though. I would make 100% sure that you both want the same things (in life and in family) BEFORE you get married. Yes, you should marry him for him but it's ok to know you want kids and a family down the line and it is also ok to end a relationship if those wants don't match up.

If you want to gage him have you ever seen him spend time with a baby? Two of my good friends have little boys and my DH is a sucker for babies! Yes, he gushes over them as much as I do if not more. Seeing him with a baby makes me so proud too... because I know that he's going to make an excellent father. Good thing too since I'm 4 weeks pregnant. In fact, I think he's more excited about it right now than I am. Of course, we're both nervous and worried about the what if's but there are what if's in everything in life! They will get hurt and they will make mistakes and they will screw up... but so did we! No one if perfect and when you have kids it's important to remember that you were a child once too and you survived with the help and love of you parents. You will do the same for your own children.

I can't say how my DH will be after the baby is born but if it's a girl I KNOW he'll be constantly worried about her. I'll do my best to teach her everything I learned from making my own mistakes but at the same time we'll have to accept that no matter what lessons we try ti instill in our child(ren) they will have to make some of their own mistakes too.

Financially I don't believe anyone is every fully prepared for kids. The same can be said for emotions. It's a leap of faith to an extent. Do you trust one another and your own relationship to be strong enough to survive children (because they will add stress) and to nurture them.

If you really think he's worried about being a sperm donor or sugar daddy reassure him that if you wanted a child you could do that on your own! What you really want is HIS child and a family with him.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by abnihon View Post
Is he nuts? Or do lots of men have these anxieties?
Are there actually men out there who know they 100% want children and gush over babies? Or is that just women?

I think Chris will be a great father (he's a great kitty father!) and that he would surprise himself by how into fatherhood he would get once the baby was actually born.
I know a lot of people, men and women, who freak out over having a child. Afraid of dropping the baby, etc... all sorts of things... but it's perfectly natural to be a little scared... babies don't come with instruction manuals... Especially with the first one, it can be nerve-wracking. Do I have any? no. but I have friends who do... it takes a little time to get the hang of it... but from what I've seen of my friends... you get into the swing of things and the instincts, even for the guys, kick in.

Every stage of parenthood brings new challenges... and it's no use worrying about those stages that haven't happened yet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
Seeing him with a baby makes me so proud too... because I know that he's going to make an excellent father. Good thing too since I'm 4 weeks pregnant. In fact, I think he's more excited about it right now than I am. Of course, we're both nervous and worried about the what if's but there are what if's in everything in life! They will get hurt and they will make mistakes and they will screw up... but so did we!
Sneaky... Congrats!!

A.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by abnihon View Post
nursing is a good career for me because it's easy to combine with motherhood,
Wherever did you hear that? Nurses work shift work and that is not easy when you have children to care for.
post #6 of 18
Pretty much all men panic about marriage and having children, so that's normal. But if/when you are talking marriage with your boyfriend, you need to make it extremely clear that you want children and that you aren't going to change your mind, and you need to find out very seriously then if he wants the same thing. And yes, there are men who very much want to have kids.

My first husband wasn't sure if he wanted kids when we were married. I thought he would come around, but on our first anniversary he told me he didn't want to have any children, ever. (Nice, I know.)

You are smart to wonder about this now; you really have to both be committed to not having kids, or to having them, or the marriage is not going to work out. If you both don't agree on this, someone will be feeling great resentment because there is no compromise.

BTW, don't wait too long if you want kids. I have several friends who waited until they were in their early and mid-thirties only to find out they could not longer have children, due to thyroid problems or endometriosis that progressed as they got older. I wish you well!
post #7 of 18
I was talking to a very close guy friend about this earlier today. Ever since I've known him, he has just wanted 1 kid. The subject came up today and all of a sudden he doesn't want any children anymore. He mentioned many of the same things other people said....no more freedom, no more sleep. crying, whining, diapers, being clumsy... I think his sudden change is because his best friend recently became a dad, though he claimed that had nothing to do with it. I work with newborns and it's always funny to see new parents come in and take their time being soooo careful putting on the diaper and changing clothing, but it's understandable!
post #8 of 18
First off it's normal for anyone to panic about children. Seriously your whole life changes. You can't go out on a whim anymore without finding a babysitter or bringing the child along with you.

Heck, I'm 30, I do want children, and there are days that I have my freakout moments concerning them.

I'm in agreement with GoldenKitty....if he continues to freak out about kids, then that's going to bring a damper to the relationship's future. If children are what you want then you need to find someone that is a willing participant.

Reassure him that if you were looking for someone to father any child for you by saying that you're not pregnant right now and believe in "Marriage first, then children"
post #9 of 18
It seems like all guys panic about that stuff

My SO has said some of those same things! Although, he does get excited thinking about children sometimes!

I talk with my mother a lot about kids and parents, etc (she's an RN). She always says the same thing "children are a lot of work, but when you have them, you can't imagine life without them!"

PS I think nursing is a GREAT career for a family.
post #10 of 18
You know, if a family wants a dog, or a bird, or (insert pet here) a lot of experts would suggest joining a bird group or breed-specific group to see if that is for you. A lot of Saint Bernards end up in rescue because people decide they dont like the drool - lol.



What I'm leading up to is maybe you have some friends or family with kids. Offer to babysit and "try them on" See how your BF is or if he gets that twinkle Volunteer at an Children's Home, or maybe consider fostering.

In the end, no matter what he decides, of course there are no guarantees when it comes to children. I have 5 children, one 16 year old that just got her license. I worry every day about that. Another daughter just entering her teens and the whole "boy" world. My 5-year old son was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago... every day is a new adventure. I wouldnt trade it for the world.

The sleepless nights... you recoup. The night's out... slim-pickins sometimes, but worth all the sloppy-kiddy-kisses in the long run.

Of course I'm not telling you anything. You know you want a family. It's nice that you're talking this out now and not regretting it later. I guess kids arent for everyone (although I dont know why ) My cousin will never have kids... she loves mine to death, but her world revolves around herself and has no room for other stars

Good luck with your guy's decision. I think you're on the perfect track starting with talking it out!
post #11 of 18
I think every man freaks about about kids. DH and I decided to not "try" to have kids. If it happens, great. If not, we're perfectly happy just the two of us and our zoo. He loves playing with our nephews and niece, but is very happy when they go home. But, one time last spring, I was throwing up every morning and I was late. He noticed my being sick after a few days, and asked me if I was late. I admitted I was...and he ran out, bought a pregnancy test, told his mother AND his brother that he might be a daddy, and he was SOOOO excited! He was more disappointed about the negative result than I was (I just had a touch of the flu apparently, and my period showed up two days later). So, don't give up hope, especially if you don't want them now.

My best friend, who had a baby when she definitely wasn't prepared, says NO ONE is completely prepared to have a child, even if you think you are. Very few people are financial ready and no one is emotionally ready because it is something completely new. Yes, babies are cute, but they also spit up, cry for no reason, have health problems, keep you up all night, but she swears they are worth it. It's a learning experience for everyone...you learn as you go.
post #12 of 18
I think it sounds like he'd make a great father - he sounds like he's just complaining that it's going to change life a bit, which it will. If he's worried about having a girl and she gets pregnant - then he wants kids, he's just worried he can't protect them in every situation, which is understandable.

When I was pregnant, I freaked out a number of times that I might not be a good mum, how was I going to cope etc etc.

When my brother's girlfriend was pregnant, he was not happy about it, and when my nephew was first born he refused to even hold him because he was so freaked out about dropping and breaking him, and would NEVER change a diaper. They've since gotten married and had a second child, and my brother was right there from day one holding the baby and changing diapers. We were worried to begin with (we never thought he'd have kids), but he absolutely adores both his kids, and my SIL still does most of the work, but he's definitely a great dad.

Unless he's saying outright that he doesn't want kids, you're fine. I assume that if he was infertile or something like that, that you would adopt, or find ways around it - and you wouldn't divorce him, and he understands this?
post #13 of 18
I can see where he's coming from. My DH wants kids in the future but I'm terrified to have any. They are a lot of work and I'm somewhat lazy. Besides, I have enough anxiety as it is without worrying about a baby.
post #14 of 18
We knew when we got together that mutual children were not in out future. I have a beautiful daughter, and granddaughter, and they think of him as theirs. My SO gave my daughter away at her wedding, and he is wonderful with our granddaughter. He drives the scary monsters out from under the bed, and they are permanently gone. Our little family is just fine like it is. We have been together for 23 years.
post #15 of 18
I think if you have any concerns they are best left to be on the table so to speak with HIM. Talk to him, communicate, tell him how you really feel about babies, your concerns about him wanting children in the future. Better to be open and honest than continue wondering and crossing your fingers hoping everything will go according to plan later on. It might not, then the truth hurts even more. You have to be honest, with yourself, with him. Approach it now, you have been together for awhile. You should be able to do this, if you are not, then reconsider your relationship and learn how to communicate better.
This is a very important question, one that must be answered fully and in depth before marriage or any thoughts of being together forever. It sounds like he is just surface answering the question, in theory doesn't mean much, you aren't asking for theories, you are asking for HIS personal opinion. I wouldn't assume he will want kids, until you hear for sure. He might decide he doesn't want them. At all. In theory they are a lot of work and take all your money for so many years, and many other honest concerns arise and he might decide in theory, it is just too much!

My husband always knew he wanted kids. That was important to me coming into the marriage. Same with me. We haven't had them and have delayed them a long time but we will have them. If you want kids, it is best to marry someone that does as well, unless you don't care that much. Don't be under any illusions, get the facts from him
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
I think every man freaks about about kids. DH and I decided to not "try" to have kids. If it happens, great. If not, we're perfectly happy just the two of us and our zoo. He loves playing with our nephews and niece, but is very happy when they go home. But, one time last spring, I was throwing up every morning and I was late. He noticed my being sick after a few days, and asked me if I was late. I admitted I was...and he ran out, bought a pregnancy test, told his mother AND his brother that he might be a daddy, and he was SOOOO excited! He was more disappointed about the negative result than I was (I just had a touch of the flu apparently, and my period showed up two days later). So, don't give up hope, especially if you don't want them now.
Haha sounds like us. I'm glad we're not the only ones.
post #17 of 18
It's the other way around for DH and I. I'm the one that panics but he's mostly up for it. Heh, two nights ago he asked if we could start talking about having kids. We both know that he's ready but I'm still not. To me, it's like "Where's the manual?!".
post #18 of 18
I had one, DH had 3, so we were done with raising kids. Both of us are neutered and spayed, but we did discuss the "what if" - while its been over 10 yrs for both of us.....you never know and there is a remote chance that it could have happened and I got pregnant.

Since we were done raising our kids we mutually agreed that if the situation occured we would give that child up for adoption - no questions, no reservations (I'm adopted and have no problem doing so).

Will agree with the poster who says - you either both agree to have kids or you both agree not to have them - can't be one wants/one doesn't. You'll have a lot of problems in a marriage that is not agreeable on children.

BTW in my first marriage it was 5 yrs of deciding whether or not I wanted a baby.
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