Sunday, June 8, 2014

Loving, Supportive Parents Make Me Not Want to Have Kids

When I was growing up, my parents provided everything I needed and then some. 

I was encouraged to try a variety of activities from softball to acting to cheerleading. I had tutors for math. I was applauded for good efforts and scolded for laziness. I learned faith through going to church as a family every Sunday (I’m no longer Christian but I still appreciate the act of imparting faith). I am one of three kids and my parents made a point to keep things fair among the three of us, so I always felt equally - but individually - loved.

I grew up believing I could do anything, and I thank my parents for that belief.

Certainly there were and are some things that one parent does more or better than the other. For example, my mom was the one I remember being by my side in the hospital and calming me through my terrible asthma attacks while my dad is the one I remember obsessing over his kids’ college searches and researching every reach to safety school we might want. Between Mom and Dad, my needs were more than met and I was and am completely loved.

I guess I’m an adult now. I continue to find myself calling home, and sometimes I’ll talk to whoever answers, and other times I specifically need to talk to Mom or Dad (like the day my marriage died).

After having had such great parents, you might think I would be desperate to have kids of my own. Well, I'm not.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a sad thing, but the desire I once had for children with Max has been all but extinguished. 

I don’t desire motherhood; I desire a two-parent partnership for both me and my children.

I hope I get to have one of these someday.
This one seems to like me.
My point was proven last week when I spent five days surrounded by children and two sets of devoted parents. 

I was visiting Ali, one of my best friends in the universe. She just had her second child, so I was in town to help. I had the up close, personal, and sometimes disgusting look at parenthood as I cuddled her six-week-old infant. Ali and her husband were doing the parenthood thing seamlessly in little moments like when Ali nursed the baby while her husband cooked eggs for their toddler son. Sure, there was a little bickering here and there between these tired parents, but they were working together to keep their children healthy and happy. I marveled at how blessed their children were.

Also during my visit, I saw my brother and his wife for my nephew’s second birthday party. It’s been incredible to see my siblings become parents and find out which of our parents’ habits they have incorporated (or dropped). Anyway, I loved watching how my nephew fluidly ran between his parents, which is no surprise because my brother and his wife really take a team approach to parenting.

Loving, supportive parents have made me
not want to have children (yet).

I had pangs during my visit when I felt achingly sad to be childless. Part of me so wants to be a mom. I’d be an awesome mom, I’m sure of it! But when I lost Max, everything changed. I’d want to bring my child into this world into two pairs of loving arms. My parents had each other to lean on through raising three kids.  I want to share parenthood, from the literally shitty moments to the precious ones. I just can’t fully desire motherhood without a man who would be a wonderful father.

Sadly, Max would have been that wonderful father, but as we learned in an awkward lesson with the school nurse in fifth grade, you need sex to make babies. And that leaves me 34-year-old, divorced, and childless. 

In the meantime, I'll cherish being an awesome aunt and friend to the many precious children in my life.

If you’re single and childless, do you want children? How does having someone to have children with factor into your desire for children? If you’re a single parent, did your approach to parenting change after your split? Or, did anyone actively choose to be a single parent?

See also: I'm Not A  Mom. Do I Cry or Cheer?

P.S. My search for my perfect home continues. I'll find it one of these days!

Epic Mommy Adventures


  1. Michelle DeLorge@ Scattered WrJune 9, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    I'm am completely blessed to have a co-parent that supports me and we have the same goals for our children even after divorce. We still maintain a close relationship for the benefit of our kids. In their mind, because we divorced when they were still so young, this is how life always has been. I ask him for help when I need it and we are supposrtive of each other and keep the lines of communication wide open. I think that helps alot.

  2. I was terrified to be a single parent. I fought to stay in a relationship with a man that I couldn't stand, just so I didn't have to do it alone. I came from a home with both parents. While most of my friend's parents were divorced, I didn't know that world. I wasn't married to my daughter's father, but I stuck it out (awkwardly) with him until a few months after she was born. It was a hard decision to make, to raise her on my own, but I knew in the long run that she would one day recognize that there was no love in her parent's relationship and that would have been damaging.

    I'm glad I did, because now eight years later I am married to a wonderful man who is adopting my children and loves them deeply. But it was a long few years of single motherhood, and I wouldn't change those years for anything. They were a real blessing and showed me how strong I can be. Besides, my kids and I are extremely close.

  3. You are so fortunate! I have read some really sad stories where co-parenting becomes virtually impossible because the parents can get along. Sounds like an ideal setup for you and your children.

  4. Single parenting does look really scary, but staying in a bad relationship is hardly a good alternative for you or the kids. Good for you for walking away. And how wonderful that you have found that wonderful man who can love you AND your children. All the best to you!

  5. I, too, want children. And my Mom and I have gone so far as to have the discussion of what happens if I don't find "the RIGHT one" because I truly feel like I should be a Mom. I'm still not sure how I'll handle it if I don't find the right guy, but I'll deal with that later.

    In the meantime that preference factors heavily into my dating life. I won't even go on a first date with someone who has no desire. Have you found yourself leaning that way at all when it comes to dating?

  6. It's funny, I am fairly sure I do want kids, but my head/heart can't fully go there. So, I'm not sure what I would do if I met a great guy who definitely did not want kids. I think I'd rather date someone who was at least open to the possibility.

  7. Thank you so much! You kind of got me choked up!!

  8. That's just the kind of unselfish thing that will make you a great mother, if and when it happens. I always thought parents had the answers because they were parents and I didn't have much to worry about growing up, but now that I'm a mother myself, I realize just how difficult it is. I can't imagine going through it alone and waiting for the right partnership to raise a child is a resolute and selfless decision to make.

  9. I completely and wholeheartedly believe that you will be the best mom there is. The simple fact that you are taking yourself out of the equation and want to provide a two-parent household for your future children shows me that you will be. Being a single mom is possibly the hardest thing I've ever done in this world and although I didn't plan it to be that way, I surely didn't sign up for it either. However, it is the best thing that has ever happened to me - it has changed me so that I can be the best person and mother that I can be for my son. And when you are ready - you will be the best person and mother you can be for your children. Wishing you the best!

    Thanks so much for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday - we love having you each and every week! Love ya!

  10. When I got divorced, my aunt (my uncle is her second husband) sent me a note that kindly told me that this was a BEGINNING. This was the first step to the day all my dreams would come true. My second husband and I have two boys, and nothing could be more true than the fact that you cannot do this with someone who isn't 100% on board- both with YOU and with being a dad. There are advantages to having kids "later," for doing it with the perspective you gain from starting over, and from picking your new beau with your eyes wide open to what WON'T work for you. Stopping by from Bloppy Bloggers.

  11. Thank you Corinna! I didn't think of my perspective on parenthood as unselfish, but I suppose you're right. I appreciate your readership and support.

  12. Natasha, you are the best. We've never met face to face and you're totally my cheerleader. :) I was actually thinking of the brave single parents like you as I wrote this, and I hoped this wouldn't offend you. Thanks for the support, and keep on rocking motherhood!!

  13. Awww...that's so sweet Kat! I just love you and your blog! I completely agree with your post - I am not offended at all! Thanks so much for the kudos! And thanks for the awesome posts!

  14. I do think of divorce as a beginning of sorts -- the sad ending to my marriage, but the opportunity for a fresh start. Thank you for stopping by!

  15. Having learned the hard way (one of the big factors in divorce) make sure you figure out for sure on yourself. That way you and your next serious relationship don't screwed by not agreeing on this one. Its not exactly a topic one can compromise on.