Non-motherly Doper women who got pregnant anyway: how did it work out?

Some women know all their lives, that they want to have kids at some point. Some women know all their lives that they don’t want to become mothers.
Both can get pregnant.

Lately, I worry that I might be pregnant. I’ve never wanted kids. For the ususal reasons: kids make my life more difficult, they lessen my desirability to potential partners, it’s a huge responsibility, and I can kiss my free lazy afternoons sipping tea and reading goodbye for the next 15 years. :frowning:

My parents didn’t particularly like being parents, as well. They were too caught up in pursuing their own interests to pay much attention to my brther and me. They treated their kids, largely, als somewhat less contributing roommates. They made no mistakes raising me and my brother, but that’s largely because they didn’t do much raising at all. :dubious:

My mother kept warning me as a kid not to become pregnant because I would get “trapped”. When I was a kid, she was a militant feminist, fighting for schools providing day-care for working women during office-hours, and fighting in the pro-choice movement. My father was involved with the poorer countries of the world and let me read books about overpopulation, and about our unfairly large ecological footstep, compared to people in Africa.

I’ve never liked kids. I’ve always been in love with animals though. I had no dolls as a kid, but rows of dearly-beloved stuffed animals, and I’ve always cared for cats. One of the strongest emotions in my life was wanting a cat when I moved I with my SO. In the end, I got it. :smiley:

I liked some individual kids, but kids as a category, no. I remember only too well the hell that was primary school.

I did some research and found that couples who take the conscious decision not to have kids, are more happy in the long run then people who do have kids (though both are happier then people who remain involuntary childless or become involuntary mummy’s and daddy’s). That always strenghtened my resolve.

And now, I might be pregnant.

Non-motherly women of the Dope, what were your reasons for not wanting kids? How did it work out? If you “fell in love” with your kid, how long did that feeling last?

Do the hormones and culture allow you to regret having kids? I know it is the largest modern taboo to feel that, if you could do it all over again, you would have opted for the liitle darlings to be born to some other couple. Hellfire and brinstome to any women who feels that way. But how many women feel that way, deep inside?

I’m desperate for opinions.

I never liked children…actually, I hated children. I told the world I wasn’t having any. I’m also pro-choice.
Well, uh, long story short, I had this kid. A girl. I pretty much spent my entire pregnancy crying, and when she was born, I was terrified of her. I did not want to be alone with that crying, pooping thing. But I’m not a monster. I didn’t want her to be hurt, or die. So I did the decent thing and did what I had to do and looked after her. I had a lot of help from Mom and Grandma, too. And eventually, I got to be okay, although I wouldn’t say I ever doted on her. As time passed, I realized that having her was the best thing that could have happened to me. She made me grow up. And I knew if anything ever happened to her, if she died, on that day I would end my life as well. I’m still not a kid person. Actually, the older she gets, the better we get along.
I have a son now as well, who was born in happier circumstances (though I still cried through half of that pregnancy as well.) Things were a lot easier with him because I had had experience then. And I was better able to recognize my affection for him earlier. I regret now that I didn’t do a better job early on loving my daughter, so I try to make up for it now.
Er, so in other words, it can be okay. In a lot of ways, having kids sucks, of course. But as you have no doubt been told, it’s different when they’re your kids. Really.
Good luck to you, and go get a pregnancy test before you worry yourself sick!

Dung: Don’t be too quick to blaime the crying on ill-intent. Pregnancy wreaks HAVOK with hormones.

I’ll add this: My wife and I have been married nearly 10 years. We’ve been friends/involved for 15 years or so. Early on in our relationship we had to. um. Excercise our right to choice. (That’s as close as I’m gonna come to mentioning a closed chapter in our life). It was not the right time.

Fast forward 10 years later and we have two of the most challenging DELIGHTFUL twin boys I could ever hope for.

I’m sure you heard “life is what’s happening while you’re busy making plans.” Well, there’s also “Kids grow up in about an afternoon and a half.” IF you are pregnant, congratulations. If you give this child everything it deserves, then you will create the best friend you’ve ever had.

The fact you’re pushing against millions of years of biological instinct notwithstanding.

Oh there are times where is sucks like you wouldn’t believe, but there are little moments (I was going to say quiet…but these moments are rarely quiet. :wink: ) where I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

“Do you want to wear your Spider Man Shoes?”


Still has me laughing two weeks later.

The chaos added to my life is…interesting. If you’re used to guiding your own ship, finding a neat row of Lego | Car | Lego | Car | Lego | Car on your side of the bed is quite unexpected.

My wife wasn’t ready to have kids earlier in the relationship, I cannot believe how she’s improved as a result. She is frequently MUCH more patient than I, and has evolved into a great Mom.

If it helps, Every Single Person You’ve Ever Met was an infant that scared their parents once…and there’s an awful lotta people here.

Well, that’s a lot of questions. I’ll try to get each one…

**what were your reasons for not wanting kids? **
same as yours, I suppose. Also I grew up in a very large family and hated seeing how my parent’s hard work was all sucked into this black hole of necessities for my sisters and I. I wanted something different. Add to that my partner was very much not good father material.

**How did it work out? If you “fell in love” with your kid, how long did that feeling last? **
Well, the oldest is 3 1/2, so that would be 3 1/2 years and counting for him. It hasn’t worn off–if anything, once you feel that bond it grows stronger all the time as you discover new things about the child and their personality.
The baby is 1 1/2 and he was a miserable shit for the first four months of his life (colic) so it would be more like 13 months for him and counting. I say that smiling now, but at the time–while I always felt connected to him as his mother–I hated him for making things so different and so stressful and so overwhelming. Once the colic passed, things evened out and the love comes a lot easier now.

Do the hormones and culture allow you to regret having kids?
Sure. I regret it every time I see a beautiful bracelet I can’t afford because nearly half my income goes to pay daycare, or a class I’d like to take if my schedule were less constrained, or my friends driving around in their new cars while I drive a 15 year old beater. But it’s a fleeting thing, the regret. Because I know, for me, that those things can be put off, but my kids are little now and I get more personal satisfaction from caring for them and watching them emerge than any material possessions could bring. That’s not something I would have ever understood coming from another person, before I had my own. But I think other parents might get what I’m saying. You don’t dissapear as your own person, of course, but the kids do become very primary. The edges between you and them kind of blur, and putting yourself secondary to their needs feels so natural that I very rarely resent it.

**I know it is the largest modern taboo to feel that, if you could do it all over again, you would have opted for the liitle darlings to be born to some other couple. Hellfire and brinstome to any women who feels that way. But how many women feel that way, deep inside? **
I love my kids. I don’t know how many women end up truly, honestly wishing their kids had never been born, but I don’t think it is exceedingly common. And truthfully, women who hate their young children likely had pretty serious personal issues before becoming a mother. IMO, If you feel like a reasonably stable person, and you can make attachments with loved ones, motherhood–while nowhere near easy–will likely come much more naturally than you fear.

So–are you planning on taking a pregnancy test?

Well I was never one to not want children because I “thought” you were suppose to want them. I was the same as you. I never had dolls but always stuffed animals. I never felt comfortable around babies or young children. I never did babysitting as a teenage job.

At 19 I got pregnant and to make a long story short I now have two (14 and 16) and I love them. I give them all the basic necessities as well as entertainment (TV, DVD player, Game Cube, Playstation and computer) I also drop them at the movies and shopping with friends, rent movies and let their friends stay over night on weekends. I do understand what you are saying about “less contributing roommates” as I sort of feel the same about my children at this point. I work, pay for all bills, buy all the food and do all the laundry. They in turn keep the house clean and do the dishes, take out garbage, etc.

I am not the “motherly” type. I just don’t seem to have it in me. I enjoy my children more now that they are older but when they were younger I did have a resentment that I could not go and do whatever I wanted when I wanted to. I would say that most of that was immaturity as I had them when I was very young (19 and 21). I never got to sow the preverbal wild oats and it made it difficult. It is much better now because they are older or maybe because I am older. Even today when I see babies or young children I have no attraction to them. Could I physically care for them, well of course, do I want to? no.

I can’t say I regret having children. I love them with all my heart and would do anything for them and protect them at all costs. I can say I regret not growing up myself first. I don’t think it would have made me any more “motherly” but maybe being more mature would have made it easier to deal with.

I was the opposite. I always wanted kids, but hated parenthood when I had one. I was terrified of the baby, resentful of my lost leisure, sick, depressed, disappointed that my daughter was a son. Nevertheless, after a few years the kid grew on me and I can’t even imagine life without him. There was a time I would have wished him away if I could have, but then I never would have had the experience of a 5 year old singing KISS’s “Love Gun” in the backseat of my car.

Harborwolf and I were not ready for children when I discovered I was pregnant. Neither one of us really liked kids much at all. My pregnancy was miserable, and we fought like crazy as I neared my due date. I had moments where I thought very seriously that I should have aborted.
When our daughter was born, it was like I was reborn. I know that sounds flaky, but it’s how I felt. Suddenly, I was living for more than just myself. Suddenly, I had this perfect little person in my arms who needed me to grow up and stop being so selfish. I felt like I was being freed from my ego.
Harborwolf was transformed too. He caught her when she was born, and he cut the umbilical cord. From that moment on, he’s been the perfect father. Really.

I still don’t really like other people’s children, but that’s a story for another day. :wink:

My wife always swore to never have kids. She had one anyway. Now, she is the best mother on Planet Earth and is dying to have a second.

Kids are great.

Your parents example or lack thereof is a big negative force in your life.

If your mom felt ‘trapped’, she probably felt powerless and invisiable. ( or the opposite of 'I can’t get fired, we can’t afford a divorce, so I’m just going to be crabby and take it out on eveyrone else and they don’t listen to me anyway.) It seems to be of two camps, I’ve noticed. YMMV.

Purely curious. Did your mom like her childhood & parents?

If you had two more positive examples or even more normal examples of parenting and marriage ( or commitment) who knows what your thoughts might be. Of course, there is no definition of what Normal is, other than " It isn’t This Family." In case you missed the memo, Every Family Is Fcuked Up In Their Own Special Way.
Parenthood is not for everyone, however, it does not mean that people cannot change their minds or if some kind of surprise comes along the woman ( or man) can change. It is all an attitude.

I met up with a man who told me that he never wanted children and his wife didn’t either. They were married 15 years with their careers and happily involved in the community. Very gregarious man who immigrated here from the mid-east. I adored him on the spot. Then they found out they had a surprise on the way. He didn’t believe in abortion and pretty much said that he resented the pregnancy and the baby until his son was born. Then, his words, " I turned into a big pile of goo." He adored his son and his wife gave up her job to take care of it.

On the flip side, we have a friend of a friend who’s mother has publically said (i’ve witnessed it) to her oldest daughter, " I had to get married because of YOU."

And it was not done in jest and all things hilarity. It was done with only venom and rancor in this womans voice because her Big Grand Life’s Plan was Interrupted By Reality. Yeah, you are the only one lady. And the more sorrowful thing was there are three girls in that family and she never held it against the other two that her life was ruined because of pregnancy and marriage. Just the oldest. That’s just so fcuked up on so many levels my mind boggles at it all. And, the oldest is a librarian spinster type with lots of cats who has lots of issues. Clearly Mama never really moved on and just painted a target on her first born. :rolleyes:
If you go into the entire thing with a " well, this is going to suck for the next 18-25 years…" and " This kid is going to drive me bonkers with bad behavoir and whineyness", guess what….it.will.suck.. It will suck multitudes of lemons and grapefruit juice. Every party will be a pain. Every day bleeds its grayness into the next. Parents are mostly to blame for their kids behavior ( barring mental issues, abuse, and allergies and such.). Because alot of kid-behavior issues are essentially self-fulfilling prophecies from very, very overworked parents who don’t get enough time to themselves or because yelling at a child for every minor thing was how their parents did it and their grandparents did it.

Emotional baggage shouldn’t be transferable from one generation to the next, but it is.

Only you can decide not to open that baggage.

But, you are a doper. You know this already.

If you are pregnant and are not scared to death, then I would be more worried than if you were pregnant and completely ‘meh’ with the whole thing. It shows me that you are human and know the consequences that can be facing you. Oh, and us dopers are more than happy to name your baby for you. In fact, we demand it and in turn we shall tolerate with amusement threads about just how cute & smart little Dakota Brytni Ja’mela Codpeice is. :slight_smile:

If you aren’t, then you can use this time as a " Got out of Jail Card" (heh) to re-examine your position on the entire matter. If you decide that kids are not your thing, get yourself fixed ( and invest in cats. ( It’s required, I think :slight_smile: )and then post gratutious amounts of cat pictures in the Pussy Threads on this board.
Keep us posted and good luck. I hope for whatever you hope for.
PS: hormones just suck.

There’s feeling good (a good meal, having someone smile at you, accomplishing something in a hobby of yours) and then there’s something the shakes you to the core…holding my kids for the first time was a life altering emotion.

I always said that I never wanted kids. I have never considered myself very ‘motherly’ - for me, that word conjures up images of Aunt Bee type women baking pies in frumpy outfits(the women, not the pies in the frumpy outfits. That would just be insane).

Well, after I had been married for six short weeks I found out I was pregnant. I stood in the kitchen and cried and screamed and was generally pissed for about 7 more months. I did get a little excited at the end of the pregnancy but when he came out I remember seeing him and thinking I should be feeling some rush of love and I didn’t. I kept looking at this little alien that I didn’t think was particularly beautiful like everyone kept saying and wondering “Who the hell are you?”

I took him home and cared for him and after a couple months the feeling did grow as we bonded. He’s almost four now and I can’t imagine life without him. I do sometimes wish I could pick up and go without worrying about school systems or daycare costs, but I find I resent things like the daycare payment and my need for a 4 door car, not my son himself.

After a painful divorce I was happy being ‘single mom of one’ and had comfortably fallen into my role. I began a relationship with a man who has 2 kids of his own from a previous marriage - we had the serious talks about how we were both done and he had had the surgery so we would never walk down that road again. Well, I got pregnant again. I cursed and cried through the ENTIRE pregnancy and felt unattached on the day he was born but the whole bonding process was shorter this time and I’m settled now.

So, to recap: me = child hating anti-mom --> me = mother of 2, stepmother of 2 more, all boys, ages 6 4,3, 3 mos. and I’m doing fine.


I got pregnant unexpectedly when I was 25 and just starting college (I was a late bloomer in that department). When I first had her, I went through a horrible bout of post partum depression, partly because it felt like all my plans for myself had changed. I took very good care of her, but only through sheer willpower. I had to grit my teeth and do what I needed to do, because I knew it wasn’t her fault that she got a shitty mom and I didn’t want to ruin her. :slight_smile: I even remember rocking her and singing with tears running down my face, trying to keep the quiver out of my voice because I didn’t want her to hear it and be affected in any way. Eventually, though, I adjusted to sharing my life with her. I got used to the idea that my time and money were no longer just my own. And I love her so much that I could never live without her. She has a wonderful personality; she makes up knock-knock jokes and draws beautiful pictures and she loves me, even when I don’t feel like I deserve it. I would go through all of it again in a heartbeat.

it didn’t.

How you feel about babies, kids, etc. and how you will feel about your own are totally, completely different things.

I was never a baby person either, and didn’t really plan to have any because I never felt the desire. But I found myself pregnant and decided to go through the pregnancy. It worked so well I had 2 more. When my kids were little I didn’t much care for their peers (still don’t). But I love them totally and completely.
Think of it this way- Do you just love the elderly? Do you go out of your way to visit old folks homes and to interact with people over 65? If you see a little old lady on the street do you sqeal and gush and make a fuss over her?

Even if the asnwer to all those questions is NO, absolutely not - I bet you love your parents. It’s exactly the same with children.

Good analogy.

That was helpful. I’m 10 weeks pregnant and so completely unenamored (and often extremely irritated) with other people’s children. I worry a lot about whether I will be a decent mother. I honestly wasn’t sure if other people felt this way. Thanks.

/Ms Cyros

I think it’s possible to hate a pregnancy, and love the child. Eventually.


My first was planned, wanted, heck we had to do some little surgery on me to allow me to conceive. The pregnancy sucked, the c/section I got steamrolled into also sucked, but life was good. Then we planned #2.

#2 turned out to be #2 and #3 (I never wanted twins, I very specifically did NOT want twins, because my mother had been pregnant with twins and lost one of them to a heart defect (that would be me and my twin sister) and I grew up my whole life hearing about her grief and loss etc.) I hated that pregnancy. Hated it worse when I got stuck on bedrest, got offered a ‘therapeutic’ abortion because one of my twins had a severe heart defect (talk about echoes of the past), and eventually wound up hospitalized for weeks before they were born. The sick one stayed in hospital for 3 months, and was a very sick baby for months after. I felt like a nurse, not a mother. It took me a very, very long time to ‘bond’ with her. Eventually, life became good. Also, we were done having children. 3 was plenty.

Then I got pregnant with #4. I was so sick I was on anti-nausea medication through about 32 weeks. I was hospitalised from week 24-33, then on bedrest at home for another 3 weeks. I hated that child. I called her ‘parasite’ and ‘verminbaby’ and everything you can imagine…and I stayed in bed, and took my vitamins, and endured the indiginities of hospital life.

But I knew I’d love her when she was born, and of course it’s true. Life without her is beyond my ability to imagine now.

And I don’t much like other peoples’ kids either. Despite the fact I have 4 of my own.

I know it’s not quite the same story you were looking for, since I’ve never thought of myself as non-motherly, but man, do I know what it’s like to be pregnant with a kid you didn’t plan and didn’t want! And it did work out, really well. Eventually. Life changes, but it just becomes a new kind of normal. Email me, and I’ll point you at the livejournal of a young single woman I know who just had a baby at the age of 19, and read through the first 8 weeks of the kids’ life. Her most recent posts are encouraging. Life has settled down, she is comfortable with him, he’s just part of her life now. What a difference from the first weeks!

I’m in the never wanted kids camp, and I’ve only had one pregnancy scare, and it absoultely floored me. I was terrified.

But, allow me to add this.

My mother was told when she was young, due to an illness, that she was infertile. She never wanted kids, but I popped up after 10+ years of unprotected sex when she was 18. We’ve talked about this, because she knows I don’t want kids. She told me that she was very anti-motherhood, but having me was different altogether. I don’t think she really bonded with me as a baby, but she has worked her entire life for me, and she is truly my best friend. She is an amazing woman, and no where near what you would think of as a typical mom. She grew into her motherhood, and I think many women do. And I’m no worse off for having a mother who was pragmatic about her attitude towards motherhood. It isn’t always a blessing, but somehow… it seems to work out.

And I wouldn’t give up my relationship with my mom for anything. She is my hero. And I knew from an early age that I was an “Accident” and that no bros or sis’s would be coming along ever.

Gar… that age should have been 27. :smack:

I’ve never been a “kid person,” but I always kind of thought I’d end up having children, if I thought of it at all, partly because I knew Mr. Legend (whom I married young) wanted them. The idea of actually having them remained completely theoretical until I was 27 and we’d been married 7 years, at which time I suddenly and disconcertingly realized that I wanted - nay, needed to have one right that very minute. After what seemed like an eternity of trying and failing to get pregnant, I succeeded…and I was terrified. I knew nothing about children, I couldn’t believe I’d been insane enough to give in to what was obviously a mindless hormonal urge, and I was afraid I’d never be able to love a baby. I was resentful of the idea that another person would be moving into my house and taking up my space and my time. I didn’t want to give up my freedom. I wasn’t sure I was even capable of caring for a helpless infant, since I’d never actually cared for one before.

I did love her, though, as soon as I laid eyes on her. I didn’t resent her presence in my space, because she felt like a part of me in a lot of ways. And now, fifteen years later (and almost twelve years with the second one), I love her just as much, if not more. I learned all the things I needed to know as we went, and one of the things I learned was that you don’t have to like “kids” in order to like your kids, although I have found I do like children in general better than I used to, now that I understand them better and know that I can boss them around.

All that said, when my first child was in kindergarten and the second was a year away from entering preschool, I had a brief pregnancy scare. I believe that I was as happy when I found out I wasn’t pregnant that time as I had been when I found out I was pregnant the times I wanted to be. I’m pretty sure if I’d ended up having a third child, I’d have loved that one too, but I’m really, really glad I never had to find out.