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I changed my mind about having children, he wants children would this be the end of our relationship?

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (16 June 2017) 14 Answers - (Newest, 18 June 2017)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Hi everyone, this one is a difficult one for me. I recently got engaged to a man I love and think the world off, the time we been together we have had minor disagreements, but other than that the relationship has progressed smoothly. Lately I have being having second thoughts about the whole thing though, it all derived from a conversation we had about 2 weeks ago.

When we met I explained to him that I might never want to have children. But over the years we have been together I changed my mind and agreed that if he wanted to have a child we could have 1 child, for me this constitutes changing my long term goals drastically (I am a planner, I plan things to exhaustion).

I consult him on everything so about 4 months ago I told him that I did not think it was a good idea to leave a new-born with a baby sitter as new-borns need their parent, so I proposed an idea to him; I would save up money for the next 3 years and when I had enough money to be out of work for at least 2 years + maternity leave, that we could start trying for a baby and that way we could both be financially covered and not feel the impact of a lost income, he thought it was an excellent idea , told me that it was a good plan and that perhaps he should do the same and save up for when those times come.

fast forward to two weeks ago and somehow the conversation was brought up again, this time he tells me that he thinks me being out of work for years to raise a child is a bad idea and that I should perhaps go straight back to work after I have the child, I ask him who are we leaving the child with? And he tells me to leave it with my mother (a woman who is soon to be retired and her plans to move to Spain and relax by the beach for her golden years as she has already raised enough children and work very hard). I told him that that idea was stupid and selfish and that I wasn't going to leave my mother with a toddler full time. He then said well then that is what baby sitters are for, I said OK and didn't want to argue any further, but it made me feel disoriented and confused, he changed his mind so drastically in less than 4 months and it is not even like I was consulted over this sudden change, Not only that it was just the way he absolved himself from all responsibility making it seem like the whole thing was my problem and for me to arrange.

Well call me dramatic if you must, but long story short I feel like instead of wasting tones of money on nannies or burdening my mother with a toddler full time I might as well not have children and problem solved.

Please shed some light, you might save me a lot of headaches, am I being unreasonable here?

View related questions: engaged, money, trying for a baby

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (18 June 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntNo need for the sarcasm, OP. You asked for advice and this is what we are giving you, whether it flatters your plan or gives you a different perspective.

The only question you have to ask yourself is "do I desperately want a baby?" If you "kinda want" or "think it would be nice/good", please don't have one.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 June 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

@wherelifewouldtakeus thank you very much for taking the time to respond I appreciate you actually taking the time to read my responses. Yes I do think I was upset and so I said the things I said, I will be talking to him today and clearing things up, I do hope we come to a mutual agreement. I do understand that life doesn't always go the way you expect but I still feel I have to go in to things with a meticulous plan, don't think my plans are infallible and I know I will be able to improvise when the time comes I do it everyday.

Welp! fingers cross then, If I mapped out a good business model, I will be getting to triple my investment within the first 2 to 3 year plus interest. If this works I will be selling a book on how to plan for a business baby. Were you invest all your money, attention and time, to get poop diapers in return.

or maybe I should stop planning and just be a ''normal'' mom...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 June 2017):

If you don't want children let him go to find someone who wants the same things

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (17 June 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntThe way you're planning is like a business. Being prepared is good, but most mums go insane if they have 3 years off work with just baby and life doesn't go to plan the way your meticulous planning relies on.

Unless you both *desperately want* a baby, it's not a good idea. Thinking it might be nice or being happy to have one isn't the same as really, 100% wanting one with no doubts at all.

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A male reader, wherelifewouldtakeus United Kingdom +, writes (17 June 2017):

wherelifewouldtakeus agony auntIt does seem like you have planned things to the last detail, I can respect how much though you put in to it, having children is certainly not an easy task.What I do find worrying is the fact that you might not comprehend life doesn't always go as planned and as good as I think it is for you to map out your future I think you need to understand that life simply just happens. And perhaps you have got to recognise that this might not work out the way you want it too. When that happens you need to have the mental strength to be able to improvise.

Your mother is a great example of it, life happened I am sure she didn't plan for your step-father's passing but she made lemonade out of lemons and got on with it.

As far as with your fiancée did you talk to him about the statment he made? I know you said you didn't want to argue any further and stopped the conversation, but this has to be discussed, one of the aunts mentioned earlier that your statment about not wanting to have a child comes from anger and I whole heartedly agree with that statment and I think the longer you sit in your corner rethinking this the worse it'll get, you will just get more and more resentful. So just talk to him and put your cards on the table, I have a feeling your fiancee might gave just said that momentarily.

I think "they call it the dog gets it" (but don't quote me on that) you know when the boss yells at the husband, then the husband takes it out on the wife, the wife takes it out on the child and the child takes it out on the dog... that sort of thing. Could he be stressed out about other aspects of life? I have a feeling that having that conversation was the least thing he wanted to do that day and he turned in to a snotty brat. So just tell him how his "backtracking" made you feel and let's see how he reacts. He might stick to his guns or he might retract and apologise.

As far as your foward thinking I can't fault it i respect it and I hope it works for you guys, atleast it is tailored.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 June 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

@ Andie's Thoughts forgive me but I think you are reading way too much in to that statement all I meant by that is that I wasn't just having this child for my future husband, I assume my previous statement came off that way. We are both quiet happy to have this child together. I am not having this child as a compromise for him. That's the reason I said for us!!!! Where could you have gotten the idea that I think of this a child as a business I can't possibly understand, I haven't spoken of benefiting from having the child at all beside they joy it could bring us as parents.

As a matter of fact I acknowledge the compromise it requires and how real having a child is, I am aware of the sacrifices and life changes it would take and I am ok with all of that. still thank you for taking the time to comment.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (17 June 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntHaving a child isn't something you do for yourselves, OP :/

Planning ahead is great, but it really seems like you're planning for a business or event, rather than a baby.

Please go to counselling first, just to make sure you'd be having a baby for the right reasons.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 June 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hi everyone original poster here. I want to thank you all for taking the time to respond, I would just like to clarify a few things, This child isn't a compromise , after years of spending time with my fiancé and him coming to terms with the fact that we might never have children I decided that he is the right man to have children with, my fear has always been me having to raise a child on my own, when I was younger my mother remarried and had my 2 siblings, she was happily married to my step that and he was a wonderful man, but he passed away leaving my mother on her own with 3 children to take care off. We fell on hard times and that left me scared and with internalised fears I had never overcame till I met my fiancé, I do believe he is worth it, from the minute I met him I thought he would make an excellent father and he has the intelligence and personal attributes I believe should be passed on, he is a fastidious planner just like myself, him and I share very similar values and the way he encouraged me and made me feel a lot more confident and resilient made me understand that having a child is not this frightening uphill battle I once internalised it to be. So it is something I want to do for us. It is not just a compromise child, but I do see how my statement might have made it seem that way.

@CINDY CARES HI thank you so much for your response: I would just like to clarify that I do not plan to be out of work for 3 years, in 3 years is when we will start trying for a baby. I would like to be out of work for the 1st year of the child’s life and then perhaps go back to work part time, I do feel I wouldn't do well just staying at home so for the second year of my child’s life I could try and spend most of the week days with him and the rest he can spend with his father or day-care whilst I work.

Yes my objective is that I do not wish to leave the child with strangers, I don’t want to pay a strange person to care for my child, I do not trust them and I think a toddler that cannot communicate should not be left with anyone else that is not an immediate family member (but even that should only happen sporadically) this is the reason I am more than willing to make financial sacrifices now, so we can both gain peace of mind later.

Now I have no problem going back to work if that is required of me, I have been employed since I was 17yo so that is not the problem here at all.. My problem is mostly in the sudden change of personality, this isn't the planner guy I know, also I think it is important to mention that the reason I came up with this plan was because he confided in me that he thinks leaving young children with strangers is a recipe for disaster, I agreed and from that moment started brain storming trying to come up with a solution to that particular problem. Which I did and he said EXCELLENT idea too and then went on to radically change his mind and went backtracked with the poorest thought out plan I have ever heard. And he told it to me with this condescending air.

This is what he said; what are you talking about? No one here is going to be a stay at home parent; I do expect you to get back to work soon after you have the child. I felt like who are you? Who is this man?

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (16 June 2017):

Anonymous 123 agony auntI don't think that anyone has ever regretted having a child. Saying "fine I won't have a child, problem solved" is not solving the problem at all. It's just pushing the problem under the carpet. I think you're very angry at him now and since you haven't discussed this with him, you're hopping mad at him for upsetting your plans and being so brazen about it.

Let's say that in this fit of unresolved anger, you do decide against having a child and are stubborn? about your decision. You carry on with your life and everything runs the way you want it to. However, there will be a day when it might just be too late, and you look back and think, "I could have had a baby but I didn't because my partner didn't cooperate with me". Imagine how your life would be then, how much anger you would feel and how much your relationship would suffer then.

Talk to him OP. Don't just give up so easily. I absolutely agree with you that a child needs her parents but it should be *both* parents. Why should the onus be singularly and entirely on you? Why can't you both divide the work? And assuming you do ask your mum to help you out, the burden doesn't have to be all on her. You can have a babysitter who will do her job and your mother can just be there at home to supervise. That way, she's not running around the baby and tending to her, she's just keeping an eye on the babysitter as well as making sure the baby is well looked after.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (16 June 2017):

Honeypie agony auntLots of moms (in the US) goes back 6 weeks after they have given birth and I don't get it. 6 weeks! Maybe because where I come from there are decent maternity (and paternity laws) that allows them to stay home for the first year after that most of the children start daycare. Which I also think is a good thing as they learn vital social skills.

I don't think staying home for 3 years is necessary. But again it's entirely up to the parents. BOTH parents. I don't really see why HE should set all the rules and you should blindly be expected to follow them.

However, reading your post it feels like you are looking for reasons NOT to have kids, and that IS OK. You just have to be upfront with him.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (16 June 2017):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntThe child, if you have one, will have TWO parents, not just a mother. Your husband cannot just absolve himself of all responsibility and put the burden of decision and care planning onto you.

As with all healthy relationships, you may need to discuss and compromise, but you two really do need to sit down and discuss - most importantly, how much each of you actually WANTS a child. Then discuss what each of you are prepared to do towards the care of that child, especially in the early years, and how you can finance that. If you cannot reach agreement on all these issues, then I would suggest having a child may not be a good idea.

Good luck. I hope it works out for you.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (16 June 2017):

CindyCares agony auntIf it's just about the babysitting costs, well yes, a bit.

Having children IS a costly endeavour per se. It just comes with spending money, and you should be prepared to that , if you DO actually want a child.

Plus, you would spend money anyway . Staying 3 years home and not getting any income is a cost. But you would have that money saved and put away ? Well, that may be easier said than done, 3 years is a long time and a lot of savings, plus anyway, while you are saving up - would you not be doing an economical sacrifice anyway, and giving up things you want to buy ? Shouldn't you downsize your lifestyle ? So what's the difference between downsizing it before when there's no child, or after to pay childcare ?

If you have other objections to leave your child to other people, like you do not trust nanmies, or you want to never miss a moment of your child early childhood and developmental steps, or whatever - then it's different , different people have different opinions wants and needs and there's no one size fits all.

But if you do want a child and you'd give up just because it costs money, well, like I said, to me it does not make a lot of sense, since also not drawing a paycheck for 3 years is a strain on finances , same as paying for childcare is.

Another thing to consider is , what type of person are you , what you can handle and what you can't ; if they are used to being employed ,... some women love the change of pace and thrive as stay at home moms,- and some others just go nuts with boredom , fatigue and loneliness ( and my personal impression is that these are more than the thriving stay at home moms). You know who you are and what your limits and prorities are and this, regardless of daycare costs.

As for your husbands' idea to commandeer your mother as a full time nanny - ah, forgive him :) It sounds like a selfish or even exploitative idea-bit I think it just comes from a very common male misperception, illusion in fact. They think : so, how hard can it be to stay home all day raising a toddler ? Piece of cake ! It must be lots of fun !

It is very fun- but it can be also backbreaking , exhausting work, and far from ideal from an older lady ( who anyway has done with mothering and wants to travel ).

He just does not know.

Having or not having children is such a personal, delicate issue that nobody should or could push you either way. You need to do what feels right for you and for your couple.

But, I will mention that , IMO, children needs to be WANTED, and wanted badly. Being a parent is a more demanding task and a more difficult path than you could ever think, even when everything goes well ( no health issues, no behavioural problems etc. ) Of course the rewards are incredible and unforgettable too- but, you still have to be motivated , to WANT an addition to your family. If a baby it's something that yeah would be nice but , you can take it or leave it, you are not that bothered - as for me, I'd probably say leave it. There's

life, love and gratification also for childless people. And not everybody has the same drive , and the same knack, for being good parents.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (16 June 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony aunt"I might as well not have children and problem solved" is a childish retort. However, you are talking about having a "compromise baby", not one you both really want. That's not fair to the baby or either of you.

Your long term goals don't match. You didn't want children at the start, but you let this relationship continue until you said you'd be willing to have one baby (as a compromise) and now it's nearer to the time, you're still on the fence or not interested.

It's okay for you to not want a baby, but that means you shouldn't have one or be with a guy who does want one.

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A female reader, DancerGirl1984 United Kingdom +, writes (16 June 2017):

You are a very level headed young woman and take responsibility for your life choices very seriously. You are very considerate of your parents and how this time in their lives they do not need to raise a child that you brought into this world.

The long term goal you set for yourself to plan for the baby was well thought through and is the right way to do things not only for you and your partner but your parents also. I strongly believe that raising a child is the responsibility of the parents and no one else. I was once a teenage mother (17) and relied on no one to raise her. I continued to work as soon as I gave birth and she came to work with me. She is now 14 years old and very independent.

Your partner is being very selfish in his thinking and I can clearly see that the responsibility of bearing a child should fall on you. Parenting should be 50/50 and if this balance is off, you should not have a child with him.

I wish you all the best OP. I have no doubt you will make a smart decision going forward.

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