The drive to procreate is a strong one. I'm 33 and finding that the majority of the last several years of my life it has been on my mind in some way, shape, or form. Especially over the last 3 years.
Logically, I know it's stupid. I'm poor, and i already have one mouth to feed. I would be selfish to get pregnant. But it's not even a matter of my feelings. It's what my body is telling me to do. It's driving me nuts!!!!!!!!!
It's something I have wanted to discuss in the past but for whatever reason just haven't brought it up. I thought that the people here would shame me. Particularly because I am a student of sustainable practices, and environmental technologies, and I UNDERSTAND - probably better than most - the reprocussions of bringing a human being on to this planet. I understand that it's stupid.
I've lately started to even feel pressure from my son, asking about a brother/sister. It only adds to my desire. I had thought I would adopt. I may still and I still like the idea. But at the end of the day, my body is telling me to have a baby.
I'm single, and I know the cost of childcare. Having another child would pretty much secure me in poverty. Most likely. And I'm not in a hurry to bring a man into our lives. I just want a baby.
So....I suppose this is one of those evolution things to work through. But how? How do I turn this off inside of me when it seems to actually be hurting me to keep trying to suppress it? I actually think in a lot of ways I would benefit health-wise from getting pregnant.
I don't know really what the point of this post is other than to vent my frustration with this and see if other women have gone through the same thing....
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Your son is six, isn't he? So look at it from his perspective. He's going to be seven years older than any sibling you produce.
At the moment you are your sons entire world. His stability. His security. How do you think he might cope with losing a huge chunk of your attention to a baby?
I always look to TA for a nuanced and thorough evaluation of an issue.
Just kidding... most of us like to discuss things extensively but some us don't. That's ok, just skip past the ones which don't appear thorough.
As a man I can't pretend to understand what that feeling must be like but the analogy that springs to mind is my body telling me all time I want to eat cakes and biscuits. It is a strong urge but we are lucky as humans that we can override these urges and make decisions that will make us happier in the long-run. I could give in to this urge and in the long-term be unhappy because I am so overweight. However my brain allows me to imagine and evaluate this future situation and keeps me in check.
Yours is a trickier one because there are other considerations such as your son may benefit from having a sibling. That said, if you know that having a baby will hurt you financially then that will negatively impact on you and your son. Money worries are one of the biggest causes of household stress. Although it's hard, we humans have the ability to critically analyse our feelings and override them if necessary. In my opinion 9 times out of 10 with big decisions like this a better decision is made with the head not the heart.
I used to post here a little more often but for the last few years have pretty much been a lurker. I figured given the topic I could add another female voice.
I can certainly understand the strong urge to have a kid and the frustration that that can bring although in my case the cause of the frustration is a little different. I will turn 30 soon and have been feeling that biological push to reproduce rather strongly especially as of late. I'm mostly frustrated with having to wait. As with many other things in my life, starting a family always seems to be about 2 years away. I'd like to start having kids now so that my husband and I aren't too old when they leave the house. I'd like to start having kids now because the older I get the more likely there is to be complications for myself and/or for the kid. Also, the longer I wait the higher the chance will be that I will, like practically all the other women in my family, begin to develop fibroid tumors that would reduce and eventually eliminate my ability to have a successful pregnancy.
Whenever I try to voice my frustration to other people I always get the same response - there is no right time to have a kid. Which just makes me more frustrated because there might not be a perfect right time but there certainly are wrong times to have a kid. Right now having a kid would hurt our precarious financial situation. Putting it off for a couple more years would give us both a better chance to be more secure in our careers and maybe just maybe be a middle class family. Feels weird to write that - I never thought that would be possible.
I'm not particularly worried about resources and environmental impact of having a kid - maybe that's selfish maybe not. I think a better way of reducing population is to support family planning efforts both here and in those parts of the world that still don't have good access. I think a better way to support reducing negative environmental impact is to to support the development of green energy and to just use less stuff. I also think supporting getting other countries through the demographic transition would help population reduction. I don't think individual women should ever have to feel guilty about wanting and having kids or that any women should feel that they should try to deny their biological drives (if of course they feel the drive at all - some women never feel that or want kids at all). Also, for me personally, I just know that if I don't give the experience of having and raising a kid thing my best shot I would forever regret it.
Very sensible, well thought-out. Much better than any reply I could have made.
Thanks Becca. You totally get it. It sounds like...You understand the struggle and how it feels to resist that urge. It's only become more excruciating the most time goes on....
It's time for a dose of ice water.
The desire to procreate is NOT universal. A few years ago, one of my best female friends decided to get "fixed." She doesn't want children. She told me she loves kids, but her family has supplied her with several nieces and nephews and she's happy to be their favorite aunt. Without the burden of children, she can concentrate on her career and no doubt will shoot up the corporate ladder much faster than any of her "mom" coworkers.
If you want another child, my advice is to work on upgrading your income first, though having even one child who will call you away from work time to time for sick days, doctor visits, etc., so women like my friend will end up eating your lunch in terms of raises and advancement. And having a second child won't make things any better.
Also, does the world need another child? You talk about being responsible about the climate. What about the contribution a growing population adds to the problem?
Also, remember that your son can't possibly understand how he's benefiting from having a full-time mom. As you are well aware, newborns require a lot of attention which would come out of the attention he gets. While he and his new brother or sister might eventually bond, it would be hell at first to a kid who isn't used to being told "Not now" on a regular basis.
In the meantime, why not get some counseling so you can be totally sure you're being honest with yourself?
The "desire" to procreate? Well, if you put it that way, and propose the whole notion as some sort of driven craving for children, you can pooh-pooh the notion rather readily.
The drive is there. The drive is universal to all earthly species. Get yourself another form of schtick.
I think you have a pretty solid understanding of the pros and cons of having children so I'll skip all that. I think this kind of urge is typically hormonal, so if you want to change it, you could try going on hormonal contraception (i.e. the pill... lot's of women take it for benefits other than contraception). Or if you are already on hormonal contraception, you could try another form of contraception which either doesn't use hormones (IUD, tubes tied, etc) or try a more focused release of the hormones (i.e. nuva ring) which may not affect your mind as much as full body hormone treatments might.
In any case, talk to a doctor about how you are feeling and whether this sort of change could help.
On another note, I was 6 when my mum had my brother. I think the age difference meant that we were at very different developmental stages throughout our childhood and this caused alot of friction for us. When I was interested in building lego stuff, he was interested in playing with it and breaking it apart. We're fine now we're adults though.