I'm losing my baby fever

January 6 | Guest post by Baska
Why are you so obsessed with me? onesie by Etsy seller ModernChicKids
Why are you so obsessed with me? onesie by Etsy seller ModernChicKids

I'm almost 35 years old. My whole life, I've known I wanted kids, and the baby fever was ramped up to 11 in my late 20s. My husband and I got married two years ago, after seven years of dating, but we decided to put off "starting a family" until he could find steady work.

Long story short: he still hasn't.

My husband still wants kids, but I've found my baby fever has started to fade. I love kids, but I sometimes find myself thinking, "Maybe I don't want this for myself after all." After a lifetime of wanting kids, it's a super-weird feeling.

I've seen all sorts of articles about previously childfree women who are surprised to find themselves contracting baby fever (like these)…

…But almost none about previously baby-fever-filled women who unexpectedly are losing the itch for kids.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what advice do you have?

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  1. I had intense baby fever from 20 (maybe even 19??)-22. I got married at 21 and knew it wasn't the right time to have a baby but still wanted one soooo badly. Then I picked up horseback riding g again, showjumping to be specific, and I knew I would have to give it up if I got pregnant. I finally got over my baby fever and didn't have the urge to immediately have a baby… And promptly got pregnant. I love my son so much and he is an amazing little human. Parenting is harder than I ever thought it would be even though I have in all regards a really good and happy baby. However, even though I was over my baby fever, I still love being a mom and I don't resent him for making me stop riding. My husband and I were both in grad school so it was a crappy time to have a kid. You make it work, even if money is tight.

    Definitely don't force yourself into something you don't want, but consider all the reasons it may be going away: hobby Interests, age/hormones, new birth control, difficult time in another area of your life, or a wide variety of other reasons. If you and your partner aren't on the same page as far as having kids goes, that's pretty serious and could lead to some bigger issues so good job tackling this head on!

    1 agrees
  2. Yes, I have been through something like this but it’s hard to know if my feelings just changed or if I just accepted increasing challenges to my fertility.

    I always wanted children and I’ve always had horrific periods. The height of the baby fever was in my twenties but it was a time of busyness moving a lot and being single. Towards the end of my twenties I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. No one said I was infertile now (just unhelpful things like you won’t know until you try, not that trying was anywhere on the near horizon) but it felt like all my chances had been taken away. It was a horrible painful time and the only way through it was to find a way to be ok not having kids which I did by getting more into my work.

    By the time my life had settled and I was getting nearer to being in a place to have kids the periods had got truly terrible and I was diagnosed with endometriosis. After several gruelling treatments including being put into a chemical menopause I had a hysterectomy at 39. Despite having got to a point where I was ok not having kids and had recently married someone who wasn’t fussed about having them it was still really hard to take the decision to do something to make it never possible. My previous plan was that I’d just get to the end of my life and if I hadn’t met someone who really wanted kids and was the instigator, I’d say “well that didn’t happen” and shrug. Instead, here I was actively scuppering all possibility and having a last minute broody phase (grief in disguise) which was very distressing.

    However, when I woke up in hospital I knew it was the right decision (there is a photo of me in bed in my backless gown grinning like a loon) and I’ve never regretted it. Not everyone gets this but it was a profound relief, not just from the pain but to finally have the question of kids settled once and for all. I don’t consider myself childfree and I don’t consider myself childless, neither of those encompasses the utterly contradictory back and forwards of my feelings about wanting kids. I am very happy in my family of me and my wife but I do get a pang (not a gut wrench or a heart break) when I see a newborn baby and I ADORE my nieces and nephews. I do however also ADORE handing them back!

    The short version (which I’ve never been good at) is yes I really do think feelings can change about this, especially in response to circumstance. My twenty year old baby mad self, heartbroken and betrayed by her own body, wouldn’t have believed but it’s true.

    5 agree
  3. This is exactly me right now and it's totally freaking me out! Would also love to hear from other women who have gone through this/are going through this!

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  4. Never knew if I want kids or not (thought I´d be awful at it) and then meet Future Dad, basically a Dad looking for a baby (or Male Version of BabyFever). Married him, though I wasn´t sure and one day shrugged and said why not? let´s see what happens. So, 2nd semester pregnant here, after two miscarriages in the first trimester. Had to give up a LOT of things in the middle, just to get here. Sometimes I´m happy, others I miss being ME (and being able to tell hubby to "shove it", it´s MY body, not his). I know part of it is a self – defense mechanism (even though the "(most) dangerous zone" is over, and kiddo is still sticking around), but part of me resents all I have/had to give up just so I could "get"/"stay" pregnant… plus, the first trimester was AWFUL, and I aint gettin no feel-the-baby-move joy, nor do I have a "real" baby bump, just a strange /indefinite belly. Did I mention Im too scared to dye my hair (which I´ve done since 13), so it´s not ME in the mirror / pictures? Plus, I dunno if I´ll be a good mom, Daddo is in the middle of a life transition (it started a few weeks ago). I used to be SO DESPERATE to get pregnant after the MCs, now I´m at it and all I feel is "meh" (and of course Im a bitch because everyone else is BELATED that I finally reached the second semester), Maybe someday the "mommy hormones" will kick in, but for the time being I envy anyone with a glass of wine (which I know I could drink, but my paranoid family watches me like a f— hawk)

    3 agree
    • That combination of circumstances sounds very difficult. I don't have any personal experience with miscarriages, but I did have the experience of getting pregnant because of what my husband wanted (I always wanted kids but thought I'd adopt). If it's any reassurance, I absolutely hated being pregnant but have felt a lot better about raising an infant than I ever would have guessed. (I like kids but have never been a fan of babies.)

      Good luck. I hope it turns out that your first trimester was the worst part.

      2 agree
  5. My partner and I are in a similar situation. We got married a few years ago and thought that we'd start a family pretty soon, but in the last year or two I've wondered if parenthood might not be for us. It might be partly circumstantial as we both juggle difficult careers and I'm coming to the end of a big project. Right now we've decided we're not ready to make a final decision yet.

    It's hard now that we're a bit older (mid 30s) and a lot of our friends and family have babies and toddlers – we see the great bits, but we also see some of the really hard aspects of being a parent, the changes and commitment required. Obviously it's good to go into something with your eyes open, but maybe parenthood is one of those things where a bit of ignorance can be a good thing?!

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    • Zoe, I so frickin hear that! I am forever saying that I know too much to want all that!! I know too much about pregnancy/childbirth/child rearing.
      I wish I didn't know it all – it makes it way less… I don't know… fun sounding?

    • Be careful I waited and my eggs aged out and then made it very difficult to get pregnant. I have one child and feel good about that but part of me is sad I didn't start earlier to make sure I could have more if I wanted. (Btw I am now 43 first one born when I was 36)

      • I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Like most women in their 30s considering starting a family, I'm well aware of the biological facts. But for me personally the decision to bring a child into the world needs to be based on more than a fear of infertility or a sense of obligation. For many people (myself included) there's a wide range of issues/feelings, plus practical considerations that are all going to be part of that decision making process.

        8 agree
        • oh gawd so much this.

          I'm 33, and friends my age are all on the "you gotta start soon to get it done" wagon, and I'm over here trying to figure out if I'm willing to give up my lifestyle (nothing crazy, just two semi lazy adults that like to play video games) to raise a screaming, smelly, ignorant, tiny person. I need to be 100% freaking on board with that to even consder it.

          6 agree
  6. OP, a few years ago I was you. I had always wanted kids, always figured I would have a big family one day. Met my now-husband, he felt the same way. Good, great. We got married, talked about kids "soon" but kept putting it off. And the more we watched all our friends have kids, we felt pressure to have our own, but couldn't quite make the jump. Finally one day, we had a big conversation and both confessed that we weren't sure we wanted kids anymore. We're both very wrapped up in our jobs and hobbies, and personal time is very important to us. So, seeing all of our friends and siblings lose that freedom to become parents was very eye opening to us.

    And that's not to say the parents we know aren't happy, or that we would be totally miserable as parents, but there's clearly a ton of sacrifices to be made, especially in those early years. We realized it just wasn't for us. And now, several years and a vasectomy later, we are firmly childfree and so content with that decision. If you had told early 20's me that 15 years later, I wouldn't want kids, I wouldn't have believed you.

    11 agree
  7. I'm willing to bet that a lot of baby-crazy people lose the itch for children eventually… but often by then it's too late and they can't openly admit to it, haha.

    3 agree
  8. Talk to your spouse! (It's not clear from your question if you're already doing that. If you are, keep it up!) This is one of those things where both quantity and quality of conversation are important – you want to have many opportunities for questions/comments/concerns to come up naturally, but also to have some deep (and probably long) talks.
    When I got engaged to my now wife, I wanted kids. She didn't. But we both felt those things in a kind of "eh, we'll figure it out" kind of way. I thought she might come over to my way of thinking. Instead, I realized shortly after our wedding that NO! I did not want kids. At least not anytime soon, and we might adopt an older child later, but probably not try to have a baby. Now, because we'd been bringing this up every couple of months, I was able to just mention my change of mind. I knew (because we'd been talking) that she was becoming slightly more interested in the idea of children. I also know, because we check in about it periodically, that she'll tell me if she ever gets baby fever – and I'll tell her if I do.
    I'm afraid that I don't have any resources on communicating about this subject specifically, but it's worth keeping the conversation open. Does your spouse still feel as strongly about this as he used to, or has he been going along because he mostly wants a kid, and since you do, that's great? Would you like to be foster parents, or do a Big Brother/Big Sister type of volunteering? What appeals about being a parent? Make space for any questions that you both have for each other and for yourselves. Nothing has to be set in stone forever.

    4 agree
    • I admit I've been kind of afraid to talk to him. I know he still wants kids — in fact, he's started suggesting that we might want to have kids even before he finds steady work — and I'm just… not sure anymore. I should talk to him, though. It'll be an uncomfortable conversation but it probably has to happen.

      2 agree
      • Hi, Maggie's wife here. Those conversations are so so important. I know how difficult it can be to take on a definite discomfort now over a potential one in the future, but the discomfort of honest conversation is always better than the regrets or guilt or what have you that you may experience otherwise, whatever decision you come to. I only felt confident about our engagement, and later marriage, because we had made repeated efforts to share our thoughts and feelings on this matter and still do. So search through your own motivations, your hopes and doubts, dreams and fears. (If you have a therapist or trustworthy and nonjudgmental friends, enlist their help.) Talk to your husband, ask him to do his own self-examinations. Reflect on these. Talk again. Give it time, but make it an active project. Without a goal of deciding one way or the other, try to assess from the ground up. You deserve this kind of conscientiousness and so does any potential child.

        I think there's nothing more beautiful than someone doing what's right for them and finding what's right often takes a great deal of effort. It also changes over time. Sometimes it's scariest when what once was an open choice becomes restricted or decided. For me, despite Maggie's shift towards "NO!" after our wedding, I kept asking myself and realized I was more willing to parent. Then, last year, I was faced with sterility as a side effect of a medical procedure. The loss of that possibility made it real in a new way. I grieved… and I was also relieved. I'm a woman in her twenties who can't have her own children. Period. It's the loss of a potential, but also the gain of a certain sort of freedom. (And in case my disjointed sentences don't make this clear, I'm still processing it.)

        3 agree
  9. When my niece was born, my partner was immediately bitten by baby fever. It took me longer to warm up to the idea but eventually i did. My niece was so cute and we both loved spending time with her. We discussed it and decided to try for a kid of our own. For a while I was making detailed fertility charts, finding cute baby clothes on Etsy, and obsessively compiling lists of names. I read article after article on pregnancy and raising kids. Now I am losing my fervor. All I see is how much work kids are and how much privacy and freedom I would have to give up.

    3 agree
    • This is where I'm at. I love my niece and nephew, and love being part of their lives, and genuinely love spending time with them. But I know that's just the "good stuff" and I never see the tough stuff, which is the reality. I am also a sensitive, fairly controlling person, and I don't think I'd make a good full-time mother. But I make a GREAT and fun babysitter/aunt!

  10. Sister, I am with you! My husband and I met when we were 33, and we assumed we'd have kids. We even agreed on names.

    Two years into our marriage, we couldn't be less interested in getting knocked up. We're too happy.

    I'm a writer and he's a musician, so we enjoy flexible schedules and lots of travel. We eat well, we play hard, we sleep in. We take care of rescue pets. We value our time together, our sex lives, and our financial situation. We like being able to donate to our favorite causes (especially with scary political times ahead) because we have extra money.

    There are studies that show that while parents REPORT feeling greater happiness, non-parents actually ARE happier, as they enjoy more hobbies, interests, sleep, money, time to exercise or meditate, and therefore health.

    Anyone who says this is a "selfish" way to live must be speaking from a bias. Meanwhile, I'll keep volunteering for my favorite charities with all my free time. 🙂

    17 agree
    • As the child of parents who had planned a fabulous, childfree life until I came along…I think this is the opposite of selfish. I was loved, cared for, and my parents did the best they were capable of but parenting/kid stuff just wasn't them. I figured out fairly young that my parents weren't into it but it was in my early 20s that they'd planned on no kids. Its better to do what works for you than resenting a kid who eliminates those options.

      Ironically, I came to be a parent to each of them in some respects by my early teens.

      2 agree
  11. I had never wanted children, but my body had other ideas. It started putting children, not babies, but like 4 and 5 year olds, in my brain and dreams in my mid-30's.

    Fortunately, it never came to pass.

    I do think there is some biological drive, at least in women, to reproduce before they can't. Now, at 60+, I have to hope that I'll be able to take care of myself for years to come because I don't have a daughter to do what I did for my mom.

    Never do anything you don't want to explain to the paramedics.

    4 agree
    • There's lots people who had daughters and thought that they would take care of them and they don't–just go check out a nursing home. It's a sad expectation to have kids thinking that they will take care of you. You need to have your life planned out and be financially set up to take care of yourself.

      3 agree
      • Mom didn't have us and expect us to take care of her. As I said, I never had kids, so I sure can't expect one to materialize out of thin air and take care of me.

        Never do anything you don't want to explain to the paramedics.

        1 agrees
  12. I feel similar but for a second child. I was on the fence before having my first. Finally decided to take the plunge. Yes it is a major lifestyle change. I don't regret it for a moment. But I never wanted to have an only-child. We have been trying for almost 2 years for our second and no luck. My baby fever for a second is fading. I have very mixed emotions about it! Part of me is ok with just one – but I worry that I am being short-cited with those feelings. The other part of me is not ok with just one. It is so hard to make a final decision. Good luck with yours.

  13. Could it be that the reality of actually moving forward with a life-altering change is cooling the fever? Having gone through multiple pregnancy losses and multiple rounds of fertility treatment, it is safe to say I really want a baby (and am now 11 weeks along! yay!). However,
    that has not always been the case.

    After my first few negative pregnancy tests, there was sometimes relief mixed in with the disappointment. The feeling of , "Gee, maybe we should just quit before we make a decision that will change our lives forever and we can't undo." The enormity of all the nitty gritty of parenting weighed heavily on me and I had doubts I could actually pull it off or that I wanted to.

    People can definitely change their mind over time one way or another and maybe you're one of them. However, the magnitude of what you might be doing is weighing on you. If it is the latter, it is a good sign for future parenting skills because it indicates that you are taking it seriously. (You don't have to have concerns like this to take parenting seriously but people often mistake doubt for a lack of aptitude)

    7 agree
    • I had a similar experience. I've always known I wanted children and it's been something I consider pretty central to my identity. My husband and I started trying for a baby about six months or so after getting married (when I was 32). After two miscarriages and several fertility treatments over the span of a year, I started to question whether I wanted to continue trying. Our lives were wrecked by the emotional toll with each miscarriage and each month that passed with a negative pregnancy test tacked on a little more despair, a little more hopelessness. I started to question whether our relationship could handle the strain of another person (or another loss). I started to question whether I was being selfish, whether I was really capable of being a parent, whether I wanted to be one anymore.

      For me, the change in attitude turned out to be the effects of depression. I was so demoralized by everything that was going on that just giving up seemed like the best option. My husband was able to see that and to point it out to me and so I didn't give in to the doubt and we never stopped trying to conceive. I'm now into my third month of pregnancy and, while I still have some fears about how everything will work out in the future, I can also say that I have no doubt that this is what I want.

  14. I actually have been through very similar. I grew up wanting kids. Heck, I had a lot of girls' names lined up starting in junior high. I'm still trying to figure out when my mind changed. It may have been not long after I got married… we'd been together 6 years prior to marriage and I always saw myself with his kids eventually. At first it was a financial waiting game, and then… we got really rocky. I'll never forget the day we broke up for good, on my birthday, and he said to me, "I thought we were ready to try for a baby." In the midst of marriage counselling that he refused to continue going to, an emotional affair with a girl across the country who he couldn't (wouldn't) quit being inappropriate with, and he tells me that. I know that part of not wanting kids now is leftover from the divorce, but I've also really sat down and thought about the reasons I wanted kids then and the reasons I don't now, and I believe that I'm happy and comfortable with where I'm at now with my decisions. I hope you get there as well!

    2 agree
    • There's actually a documented pattern of men cheating on their committed/married partners during the time period they are actively trying and/or already pregnant. It's a… thing… a very bizarre, panicked, ego-driven man thing. I'm so sorry you went through this.

      1 agrees
  15. I had terrible baby fever in my 20's and my 30's was about the grief of infertility. My husband's biological clock hadn't even started, so he didn't grieve the way I did. However, one day, when he was about 42, he said to me, "I wish we'd had kids, because I finally think I'm ready and would enjoy being a dad now." My response was, "Too bad, because I am soooo over it." This surprised us both. I don't think it happened suddenly, but my awareness of it was sudden. (He has a great sense of humor, so he wasn't upset by it.) Now, my older friends and relatives are having grandchildren and I am starting to feel "grandbaby fever" (yes, it is a thing) and I am also surprised by this. I felt like the baby fever was partly hormonal and I suspect that grandbaby fever is too.

    I think that life is about growth and change. Sometimes we continue to grow in directions we have always wanted to go. Sometimes we change in completely new ways. Both are healthy. I do think it is important to honestly share these things with a spouse/partner. It doesn't mean you are changing the rules, it just means that there is something on your mind. Your partner may be aware of your changing emotional state, if not the reason, so its better to talk about it.

    5 agree
  16. I've had baby fever since high school. I'm (only?) 26 now, so for the last decade of my life I've just been obsessed with wanting to get pregnant and start that family. My husband has been so patient – he wants kids, but 'not yet'.
    I might be loosing the fever. It's so wierd, I'm not even sure of of it. I still squeeze for babies. But the thought of a toddler freaks me out. I honestly don't want a toddler. I often work with them and….Do not want. So I'm stuck; I want a BABY, nothing else. I know this isn't realistic.
    It's so so strange, I have baby/kid fever for so long and now I don't know what I want. I guess it's good that my husband not ready yet, so we won't be making a decision for a couple more years.
    :-/

    • I hear ya. For me, I love playing with babies and little kids (preschool age and younger), but the thought of having, say, an 8-year-old is just not something I've seriously contemplated. I'd have no idea what to do with a school-aged kid. 🙂

      • I don't have kids but I have been a nanny and taken care of a child from babyhood into school age. I think it is difficult to imagine how to parent a school age child because when we meet them in real life (not be a parent or close relative) we don't really know them. The difference when it is a child of your own or one you have known from a young age is that you get to know them over time. You see their personality emerge and you know how to talk to them, what their likes and dislikes are and what types of discipline works for your kid. It may not come as naturally but you have 5-8 years to get to know a kid before that awkward stage sets in.

        3 agree
  17. I grew up with baby fever, I wanted a whole house full of kids. My dream was to be a stay at home Mom and grow up nurturing my tiny humans into the type of person I want to see in this world, and to give them a life I never knew was possible (stable home, loving parents, no abuse).. But as I grew older, my life had different ideas for me. I fell in love with a man I adore, but financially we're always rocky, he's had a rough life and finding steady work is hard because he lacks the education everyone seems to require these days, and because he's just socially awkward and tanks interviews hard. So it leaves me as the breadwinner so to speak, and since I realized that will likely be my role going forward unless he lands some kind of dream job, I had to face the reality of being a working mom… and I really didn't like it (I think working mom's are super hero's btw). Also, I have a slew of mental health issues I'm working through due to my own upbringing, and so does my spouse. I just don't want kids to be a part of our lives, we're having a hard enough time being an adult as it is.

    I still love babies, and love the stuffing out of my nieces and nephews, and that fulfills me to the point where my baby fever has gone away completely. If younger me could see me now, she'd be baffled… but sometimes life has a way of putting you down paths you weren't planning on and your views change, your needs change, your whole life becomes something you never imagined it would be. I don't think that's a bad thing at all, it just means I don't want kids and am perfectly happy being the worlds greatest Aunty.

    I know my situation is different from yours, but you both have been together for a long time, and you've both grown as a couple, and as individuals. Perhaps a baby was the right move a few years ago, but life changes, and your needs and wants change with that. I think you need to be honest with your spouse about how you feel, and go from there. Open honest discussion is key. Even I still check in with my hubby from time to time to make sure he's not secretly wanting kids and just saying he doesn't to please me. If children are something your husband REALLY wants, and it is a need for him that he will not feel happy without having in his life, then that is something best discovered sooner rather than later. If it is simply that you don't want a baby, perhaps think about becoming foster parents, or adopting an older child. There are so many options, and I don't believe there's a set "right way" to have a family, or to live your life. If your hubs really really wants kids, and you feel like you could be happy if you have them, then go for it. If you feel like having a kid right now isn't want you need or want, then be honest and let him decide for himself if he wants to continue the relationship knowing he will never have a child of his own. By postponing the discussion and waiting, it only makes it harder, and he could grow to resent you. For example, if he keeps pressing for kids, and you wait until you're mid to late 40's to tell him there is no way you want kids… and it is something he can't cope with, and you both break up… he now faces trying to grieve the loss of your relationship, finding a woman who completes him, falling in love, and having kids then, at which point he could be well into his 50's, which means he would be in his 70's when his son or daughter has just graduated from school. Some people are OK with that, but others don't want to be in their 70's with a 20 year old, and it isn't fair to him that by delaying you are putting him in that position.

    NOW with that said, the choice is yours, and I'm only offering a bit of advice as these are the thoughts I had when deciding to tell my spouse I didn't want kids. Thankfully for me, he was relieved and we're both on the same page.

    Also I need to say, there is NOTHING wrong with you for changing your mind, and there is nothing that says you won't one day change it back. Life goes where it wants to go, and as long as you're open, and honest with yourself and spouse then there are no wrong answers. Life is messy.

    I hope the best for you and that you know I wasn't trying to hurt you with any of my advice, I tried only to highlight the fact that this choice isn't just yours and by delaying a conversation it could have ramifications that perhaps you hadn't considered. The situation above happened to a male friend of mine, and he's been in counselling trying to cope with the fact that he now feels he is too old to start a family because he doesn't want to die when his kid is so young. He doesn't want to miss their wedding or to be a grandpa, and thanks to his ex (these are his words), he will never get to experience those things because best case scenario he lives as long as he can but will still be old and frail and unable to have the life he always imagined. (again his words).

    Best wishes!

    1 agrees
  18. I'm still young and I still want children at some point, but my baby-crazy phase definitely took a back seat after my divorce. The last year in our ten-year long relationship was the worst one between us, and the one where my baby fever reached its peak. Even during the fever I could understand that it was actually a wish to feel that pure, unfiltered love for someone, because I wasn't feeling it for him.

    Eventually, it was the realization that I didn't want him to be the father of my future children that catalyzed the divorce.

    Now I'm happily divorced and single and ok with the idea of being a single mum if no man comes along by the time I reach the end of my fertility, but I have little-to-no baby fever. For me, that fever was a sign something else was wrong in my life (not that that's the case for everybody!). And frankly I'm not sorry, since it leaves me much more energy to focus on my health, work, social life, and being the best friend and sister I can be rather than aimlessly google pregnancy blogs.

    1 agrees
  19. I'm going through a similar thing right now, although luckily my husband and I seem to be on exactly the same page (we discuss it often).

    All growing up, I knew I wanted to "be a mommy". It was always "when I have kids", and I was naming them and sketching them in high school (okay that sounds a little weird when I put it that way but oh well) and I knew I was going to wait until I was older.

    I loved kids. I babysat starting at age 10 for my sibling, 12 for the neighborhood kids, and once I got a car at 17 I was always busy with babysitting. I nannied and babysat throughout college and once I graduated, I worked as a full time nanny for eight years.

    During my last year being a nanny, I started to feel very frustrated at work. The kids had crazy schedules that I didn't like the stress of accommodating, the parents grew increasingly more strict and controlling and difficult to work for (and fought constantly, so the kids began fighting constantly as well–the household had very negative energy), and I was grateful when, this year, my husband announced we were moving across the country for his work, because I had a reason to quit without it being personal. I love those kids as if they were my own, but the work environment was insane.

    For years I've been saying that I wanted to stop nannying before I had my own kids, and now I find myself with a new life in a new state, and my husband and I are in our early 30s, and the idea of kids sounds AWFUL to me. I hate children when we're out and about and I laugh when my friends post horror stories of poop all over the walls because I don't have to deal with that. I've turned into this bitter child-hating bitch, and it's only in the past couple of years that I've felt this way.

    So… now I'm a little panicked, because I Really Wanted Kids up until about two years ago, and now I'm quickly approaching the age when it will be more difficult. I have a family history of difficulty conceiving and I don't know if I will have problems or not, but it's a concern since my mother, grandmother, and aunts had problems. If I decide that suddenly I don't want kids, will I cool down in a few years and regret it? Did I waste all my love for children on my nanny kids? Have I actually changed my mind or is this temporary? I do know that fostering/adopting is an option, and I'm very open to it (plus the idea of getting pregnant sounds horrific to me– I DON'T want my body to change, I already have enough issues, and it sounds very uncomfortable), but I do also want to see what a little half me-half husband would look like. I have names picked out. I have baby clothes that I picked up along the years. I've read a zillion parenting books and I'm certain that I would be a good mother after all the experience I've had. But I know my life would change completely, and I'm finally sort of happy with where it is, and I love the freedom of being able to travel at the drop of a hat (and only have to worry about hiring the pet sitter) or stay out late or eat junk or sleep til 1pm. I don't want that to go away. But… I can't put off the decision forever. I feel like it's okay to be this confused when I was 22, but now I'm almost 32.

    Sorry for the novel. TL;DR: I used to really want kids and now I don't but I'm too old to keep putting off the decision and what if I change my mind and run out of time?

    5 agree
  20. I've lost a lot of my baby fever in the past year, after dealing with infertility. A year ago you couldn't get me onto any other topic. I wanted to discuss and hear all about babies, child psychology, and you should see my pinterest board. Don't get me wrong, I still desperately want children, but my baby fever has now been combined with grief. Now I avoid situations with pregnant women, babies, and children. Seeing them, especially if all they are doing is complaining, just makes me feel broken. I change the subject when other people bring it up, and am feeling thankful that some of my closest friends have chosen to be childless. Being only 27 I am hopeful that the doctors will be able to do something, but so far no luck. I'd say it's a good thing you're okay with not having any children, being able to see your future without them, since just because you have baby fever, and make the decision to have them, doesn't necessarily mean you will.

    3 agree
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  22. Hi everyone!!!
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  23. But what if you never had baby fever in the first place! Like many others in this thread, I've always wanted kids in an abstract sort of way. It's the expected thing to do when you grow up and I never questioned it until my early adulthood. Now I'm 28, married for 3 years, dated for much longer than that, and I've never once been hit by an overwhelming biological need to procreate. My husband and I like kids, come up with names, think it'd be fun to teach them things, etc, but I feel like something inside of me is broken to have never experienced "the urge". It doesn't help that I've never really had any children in my life already to base my expectations on. And a lot of my friends are child-free and wont stop talking about how glad they are to have made that choice.

    How do we go about making that decision when we don't have anything clearly telling us yes? Does that in itself make the decision for us? Does the sadness associated with choosing to not have children outweigh the emotional, physical, and mental commitments needed to conceive/adopt/foster/what have you? I keep saying "maybe when I'm 30", but I don't think I'll be any more ready to decide then, either.

    2 agree
    • I've been in exactly the same boat! Although there have been moments that I've been more broody or less broody, I don't think I've ever experienced 'baby fever'.

      I have 2 nieces and several friends with lovely kids – my partner and I really enjoy spending time with them, but as I mentioned earlier in the thread, sometimes seeing too much of the gritty side of parenting can make it harder to make that leap!

      Ultimately though, for me the decision has to be based on more than a fear of running out of time. I want it to be a positive decision.

  24. My baby fever has ebbed and flowed with my health. I had a couple years of shitty health, followed by many years of moderate health. Through all of it I had virtually no urge to procreate. I was not opposed to the idea, I just had none of the strong hormonal drive that I saw in my partner and remembered from before I got sick. In the last two years I have pulled together a number of health pieces and now I have baby urges, but only when I am eating according to the whole30 food rules. As in the baby urges come on when I cut the junk out of my diet and disappear as soon as I backslide, only to come back if I go back to eating well.

    1 agrees
    • This is so interesting! I've known since I was a child that I never wanted to have kids, but I do have these weird moments when I imagine what it would be like and kind of get lost in the fantasy of having a baby. It always passes, and my mind hasn't changed (about to be 28), but I wonder if it's in any way a biologically-explained thing!

  25. I went through this with my husband last year. We both wanted kids when we got together. He has a daughter from a previous marriage, and he talked about wanting a son. I wanted to have 2 kids. We talked about names, I looked at geeky cute nursery photos, and just generally assumed that when we got settled into our marriage we'd do it. We got married at 31, and about a year after, I got gung-ho about health to minimize pregnancy risks (I have a couple of triggered genetic issues that I take chronic meds for). Then I realized that the prospect of raising a baby, toddler, or young child was freaking terrifying. I don't know how to deal with them, and I don't want to rearrange my life to do so. I'm an introvert and I place an extremely high value on alone time and personal space. We kept talking about it, and one day when we were having an intense discussion about life in general (I think it was about money), I blurted out that I didn't even know if I wanted kids anymore. A few weeks later, I explained that I was exaggerating a bit and was upset that day, but that the whole idea scared me. It turns out, he felt exactly the same way. So we took the entire concept of kids off the table. Not that we've said NEVER, but that we will bring it up again if one of us ever gets the urge to start a family, but that right now, it's not the right thing for us. The best thing that he says is, "I don't feel like anything is missing from our relationship. I like it being just us."

    Point of all of this is, talk to your partner. Often. Tell him how you feel. Ask how he feels. Talk about the lifestyle you'll have to adopt. Most of all, don't "start trying" until you know 100% that you want to.

  26. For me it goes up and down. sometimes I just want a baby so bad, and then other times it seems like so much responsibility and I have doubts. I know I want kids, but I think "do I really want them NOW?"

  27. I had strong baby fever in my young twenties after knowing that I wanted kids my whole life. Then in my mid twenties, I became ambivalent for a while following a few very stressful events in my life. When things stabilized, it came back and now I'm a mom to a fantastic 18 month old and over the moon about it. In retrospect, I think the ambivalence was an evolutionary response to the stress we were under, as if my body understood that it would be better to wait out the highly stressful period before becoming pregnant.

    1 agrees
  28. Many of my friends assumed I would be the first to have kids. I was always babysitting or working in a nursery as a teen, taught swim lessons and even carried crayon band aids around with me for any boo-boos. It wasn't until I met some adults that were happily married and child free that I even considered a life without mom in the title. The more I listened and watched, the more liberated I felt. I'm now in my mid thirties and am confident that I can be a whole person without children, I might even have a better chance at authenticity and happiness.

    It is totally ok to change your mind. Don't wait until you are SURE to talk to your partner about it. Let him be a part of the process, or at least let him know there is a process. There are many ways to adult, having kids is only one of the ways.

  29. I grew up expecting I'd have kids, and wanting it. I read Offbeat Families when it launched and had all sorts of grand ideas about exactly what kind of pregnancy and birth I'd have; I had names picked out. But my husband and I always said "someday." When we're more financially stable, when we're older and more mature, when we've had certain experiences, etc. And over the last few years we have both realized that maybe kids just aren't for us. Financially, we are okay for just the two of us. We are older and I think more mature. Mature enough for me to admit to myself that I am a selfish person, and I'm okay with that. I see what my friends go through with lack of sleep, lack of boundaries, inability to participate in a lot of events or activities, and I don't want that for myself. I enjoy my hobbies, and the things my husband and I get to do together without having to worry about finding a sitter. I once read a quote from a celebrity, I wish I could remember who, who said "I'd rather regret not having kids, than regret having them." And that has become my mantra. I admit, I like kids, and I'd love to see what kind of interesting person we could produce. I might regret never having kids. But that is a much more bearable regret than the alternative.

    So glad to read so many other people with similar viewpoints on not having children. I don't get a ton of push-back in my circle of friends and family, but I'm also kind of the only one not interested in procreating so it's nice to have some of my feelings confirmed by others here.

  30. I've had varying degrees of baby fever for a very long time. It started in my teens and stopped about two years ago, when I was 32. Then baby fever disappeared after a few bad experiences with my nephews. My eldest nephew has autism, and this is especially taxing on my sister-in-law. Husband and I agreed to look after the kids a few times, so that sister in law and my brother could get a break. This was a horrible experience for me. I had a very little experience with dealing with little kids before this, but clearly not enough. I feel like I got a taste of how difficult parenting can be, and it scared the hell out of me. Obviously parenting is different when it's your own kid(s), but there's no guarantees you won't get a kid with severe autism.
    I still kinda want kids, sometimes. But mostly all I can think of is how insane life will be with kids, and I don't know if I could handle that.
    My husband is sweet and supportive and is fine either way, which is a relief. But I reallly want to quit obsessing over this, and find some kind of answer for myself, because this constant internal monologue of 'should I, shouldn't I' is exhausting.

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