To BE, or NOT to Bay-BE, that is the question.

Am I ready to have a baby?
I’ve always thought I would have children.

Like in the “first-comes-love-then-comes-marriage-then-comes-a-baby-in-a-golden-carriage” kinda way.

I mean, when I first had ALL-ROUND-ACCESS to the INTERNET (university), I couldn’t really think what good things I should use the internet-and-it’s-googling-powers for and so somehow settled on baby names. Yes, I literally had sheets of paper taped to my wall at university – a pink highlighted sheet, and a blue highlighted sheet: with all my favourite baby-googled names. (This is not a joke – you may ask any of the girls who lived in res. with me.)

I quite possibly did not *entirely* think it through –
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It’s kinda like I created my own anti-boy radar without even knowing. My dad would’ve been proud.
I can’t remember if The Warr was around in the era of the baby-names-lists or not – but if he was, he clearly passed the test.

So where was I?

Ah yes, deciding on the names of my unborn children.

It appears that I’m at that relationship-status/age where everyone is wondering (asking) when we are going to have children. I’ve seen many Facebook posts etc on how annoyed women get at being asked all the time what is going on in their uterus/utera/uterai. To be honest, I’m not really all that bothered about what people ask me. But I just don’t think that the answer I have for them (hmm../not sure/ maybe/one day?/I think so) is really the one they are looking for. Or let me be even more ambivalent in this and tell you that I’m currently on both sides of the fence.

Here’s the thing: HOT DAMN, I LOVE my life. I love the work that I do. I love that I get to hang out with Warren in the evenings. I love that we get to explore together on the weekends. I love that we get to spend time alone together. I love that we can spontaneously decide to go out for dinner on a random Tuesday because “it’s a wine night!”.  I love that if we wanted to we could take a sporadic weekend trip to Paris. I love sleeping in (actually I love sleep in general). I love that if I want to go to a yoga class, I can literally JUST. GO. I love that if Warren is fed, if I am fed, that is all we need to worry about. I love having money to spend on Warren, and to spend on myself (call me honest). I love the feeling of freedom and being able to do literally anything I wanted to, right now, if I wanted it. (Actually, right now – so perfectly timed, I am currently listening to a father upstairs shouting at a screaming toddler who is clearly VERY over today – just to give an image of my current milieu). I love that I don’t have to ask anyone else to relieve me from looking after someone. I love having my body to myself, I love where I am with my physical yoga practice and I love how my pelvic floor functions. I love that I can plan my day and it can go, pretty much according to plan. I love the dynamic of our relationship as husband and wife. I love being able to shower when I want and being able to wee without spectators. I love not being tied down and I love having the feeling of freedom.

Before I run myself into the box of being “anti-children” – let me just say that I LOVE children. I love babies and I love hanging out with kids. I find toddlers just adorable and I love the learning processes that are involved and the ways that we as “grown-ups” (lol) can help to shape a child’s world view. Trust me on this when I say that if we were ever to have children – I would totally be THAT mother that throws prize-winning-Pinterest-worthy-parties in the ‘NAME OF LOVE’. All of that excites me terribly.

Of course, it’s very difficult to have this ‘public-debate-with-myself’, without ever knowing what it’s really like to actually have children. Yes, I have baby-sat, au-paired, taught toddlers/children, pre-teens, etc – but I (obviously) have never had my own children. This does make the debate extremely difficult as it’s a bit like proclaiming that “I LOVE French fries! French Fries are hands down the best junk food ever!!” – when you’ve never ever tasted Pizza. Although here is the problem where this analogy breaks down:
Let’s say one day you decide to be adventurous and order that Pizza!
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You take a few bites (or maybe the whole slice) and then decide –
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Even if you get 3/4 of your way into that pizza, if you decide you don’t actually like it any more – you can very easily just send it straight back to the kitchen or push your plate aside and decide that you don’t want to ever be involved with Pizza again.

It doesn’t *quite* work the same in the baby realm.

Yes there are all the loved up hormones and yes IT’S YOUR BABY so of COURSE you will love the shit out of it –
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But there is also the very real possibility that you start to think about everything your life was before your love-baby-made-it’s-grand-entry –
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And the problem is that there is no way you can get a refund on that bébé or send it back where it came from. (Well, you could try – but public services would probably get involved and there’d be a lot of explaining to do).

Everyone who is a parent deserves a gold star because I know can only imagine, what a demanding role it is. The thing is, even if secretly you did really actually feel like having children was a teensy bit of a regret – one could never actually openly, honestly say that – because, WELL. They are your CHILDREN!!!! And you love them!! (Obviously!)

I have absolutely NO doubt that babies bring an incredible amount of joy and an indescribable love that I can’t quite yet comprehend. I am fully aware of how much your life will change once you have children. Change isn’t always a bad thing, it’s just a thing. And in this case it’s the complete unknown. Perhaps, the actual scary part is the idea of changing some things (our relationship dynamics, my business, extra finance pressures, my time, a sense of freedom, my body) that are currently functioning really well into something that we really have no idea what to expect.

But then again, I’ve just compared having children to eating pizza – so I’m possibly not quite ready to procreate just yet.

Many parents have told me that having children is the best thing they’ve ever done. Interestingly, there is a tendency for men to be a lot more enthusiastic about this, than women. Don’t get me wrong – mothers also have a lot of enthusiasm about it – but just a little more… um… exhausted-enthusiasm.

There is baby happening all around me right now. (Call it age, call it relationship status). We have had the literal suggestion of “just remove the goalie and see what happens!” (man comment). Maybe we are in fact just over-thinking the whole thing, but if Warren and I do decide to have children I’d like it to be initiated through conscious choice as I believe bringing and supporting a new life into this world is not *quite* the same as a virtual soccer game. I mean, I am all for just letting things happen naturally – but I think, if possible, the decision YES or NO should come first. I once asked an anti-baby friend what her reasons for not wanting children were and she replied with something along the lines of, ‘I’d rather get to my 60s and regret NOT having children, than have children and regret them.’

It is my secret feeling that everyone who proclaims the wonderfulness of having children, always leaves out a few key details:
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(Enthusiastic men)
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* * * *

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So yes – there are a lot of feelings (clearly) going round in my head about if having children is a definite thing we should do (I mean, I think so!). Or rather: if it was only a feeling that tripped the green light, it would be a no-brainer. But I feel that just as any relationship does not function based purely on feelings alone, raising children is a commitment (much more than marriage these days) that I don’t believe you should enter into (if you can avoid) just because you feel like it.

I’ve asked many different people (expecting parents, hopeful parents, new parents, old parents, grandparents) this same question: What is the purpose of having children?
Answers to this are completely varied. For some, it’s about giving grandchildren to their parents, continuing their bloodline. For others it’s about feeling close to their partners or families. For some it’s the joy of watching a child learn and grow. And others it inspires them to live better lives as example. Another common reason has been the idea that every generation evolves and is more evolutionarily developed than the one before it. Supposing this, another purpose of having children is for the evolutionary development of our species to higher forms of intelligence. (Part of me does want to debate this in saying that perhaps the evolutionary development of our generation (with all our “evolved intelligence”) is to realise that the world is already WAY over-populated as it is – but that’s a whole new blog post).

The other side to this coin is actual biology. I’m writing all of this not knowing if it is even possible for Warren and I to conceive. Perhaps I might feel very different (“I NEED A BABY RIGHT NOW!!!!!” *sobs*) if I was suddenly told that having children was totally off the table – perhaps not. I don’t know. (#aroundtheworld?!) Age is a factor, of course it is – we all hear that TICK TOCKING. (For the record it is a particularly loud tick-tocking when one is the only baby-less-couple in a crowd of chaos young families. But then we go home and have a bottle of wine and talk-shit-until-we-feel-like-it and forget about it pretty quick.) It is not a joke that three times in the last week I’ve had a conversation about the option of freezing my eggs. (Once with a person that I met 30mins prior). AM I AT THAT AGE ALREADY?!?! (Answer: yes).

I’m pretty sure that Warren and I would be good parents – (LOL!!! Doesn’t every single person who has never had a baby think they will be the BEST. MOTHER. EVER). But like, if I’m honest I do think we’d handle it together pretty well (thank goodness he will be the strict one). The narcissistic part of me is desperate to know what a baby with Warren would look like (green eyes I’m guessing and hopefully Warren’s teeth). But as I marvel in my mind at how wonderfully beautiful my non-baby is I suddenly get hit with the feeling that ALL THE GOOD EGGS ARE ALREADY GONE (panic) and what if we get stuck with a baby that is NOT. CUTE?!

I think there is a LOT going on in this day and age (for women particularly). There are career goals to smash, independent business-lady-vibes, the world to travel, places to explore – many of which generally wasn’t as readily available to our parents. They just got on with it and babied themselves up – and filled their days with love and joy and baby-milestones and chaos. Now days we are kind of expected to DO IT ALL. I don’t think there will EVER be the “right time” to have children so I suppose it has to be something that you want enough to let everything else take a backseat for a little while. Or maybe you don’t have to let having a baby dictate the way you live your life? I’m not sure.

So anyway, I have totally gone off on a tangent and forgotten the entire point of this blog post –

BUY MY YOGA GUIDE?!?!?!

No, that wasn’t it.

Although I could always put the proceeds into a baby-fund.

Maybe.

  1. Gaelyn on February 3, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Gosh you certainly put it all out there! So many conundrums to fathom. I think it’s great that you want to make baby making a conscious decision rather than a “what will be will be” thing.

    On a side note, regarding the ticking clock – have you thought of going for a simple fertility workup? You can get a simple blood test done (AMH) which will basically indicate what your ovarian reserve is. It’s a way to measure how much time you have left to decide. If those numbers come back low or high, it gives you a different element to your conversations about waiting or not, or even going down the parenthood path.

    Good luck with the decision making. I can’t imagine having to try figure this one out. (I’m one of those and have married one of those who has just always known and couldn’t wait to have kids!)

    • Ché Dyer on February 3, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Yes that is actually something my mom mentioned to me the other day about having an anterior follicle something… haha – but yes to track the ovarian reserve. One thing that I have also been told about that though is that whilst it does give a general timeline it’s not entirely accurate as it doesn’t take into account the quality of the eggs which also has a direct link to fertility (which I didn’t realise!). AND also that as we get older, we don’t actually ovulate every month – even if we are still having a period. LOTS to think about! And it’s strange that you say you’ve always known you wanted to have kids – as that is honestly how I’ve always felt – I think maybe now it’s just ACTUALLY pretty real! haha! Can’t wait to see some baby Cokayne’s!! x

  2. Claudia on February 3, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Love this, all of it. Have thought about it all, over and over. And still no clearer, and time is getting on. When I ask parents why they had children, no one can give me a straight answer. Usually it is… Isn’t that the point of getting married?
    I’m not sure that’s enough of a reason. So I’ll continue pondering until Mother Nature takes the decision away from me. ?

    • Ché Dyer on February 3, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Decision by apathy. I like it. hahaha!!!! 🙂 🙂

  3. Alicia Smuts on February 3, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I totally feel everything you just wrote here! I’m 31 so the baby question gets asked a lot. I don’t want to have to give up parts of my life and slow my career down but on the other hand – time’s running out and I want one eventually but not at age 40 either. Urgh, it’s confusing because as women we really do have to give up much more than our husbands have to when having children.

    • Ché Dyer on February 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      hahahaha! I’m ALSO 31!! (Turning 32 July) SO I FULLY understand you on the time slot issues! LET’S START A CLUB.

  4. Jurga on February 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I have two children 8 & 10 year old. It’s very rewarding on many levels and life has a different meaning after I’ve had them. I am not saying it is better or worse, it is just different on many levels. There isn’t ever a right time in the rational mind to have them. I think children are born in our hearts first. And then we need to deal with the reality of our bodies being able to have them. xx

    • Ché Dyer on February 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Oh that is such a beautiful comment to read! Thank you. I LOVE that idea of children being born in our hearts first. And I think that is what it feels like for me at least – but it just seems there are SO many different realities to have to come to terms with! xx

  5. Nikki Salha on February 3, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Hi friend. For me, my reason was just a matter of heart and feeling (and perhaps that is biology). I just felt I really wanted a baby with every cell of my being and just felt so very ready to be a mom. Maybe that’s all you need and if you aren’t there in your heart (yet? ever?), then it’s likely the right thing for you not to do it for now. Very honestly, I have never experienced a second of regret. Perhaps that’s because we’ve been blessed with a very chilled baby; I keep wondering when the tough part is going to start. Listen to your heart. Much love to you ❤️

    • Ché Dyer on February 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Ah Nikki! I love this comment – and yes you are right – there is a definite part of me that feels like I want children. (Like I can actually pinpoint a physical feeling in my chest!) Maybe that is biologically spurred – I’m not sure. It definitely does consume a LOT of my thoughts currently and I see/notice baby things everywhere. Maybe it’s a sign that it’s right and to trust that everything else will work itself out. Your little baba is just the CUTEST!! <3 xxx

  6. Carmia on February 3, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Yes to all of the above.

    One of the reasons that I do still consider it (and I know how selfish this sounds) is that I see how happy it makes my parents to spend time with us now that we’re older. Even though they’re very active and happy (working, ballroom dancing, wine clubbing, hiking, friends, eating out, travelling, etc.) I think they’d get pretty lonely without our regular shared hangouts, wine, lunches, weekends away, etc. And my in-laws are infatuated with their grand children – you can see the little ones keeping them young. It makes me wonder what my life would look like at that age if I didn’t have kiddos?

    Then I wonder: What if anything happened to my partner? I’d want a piece of him to carry on with me. Selfish yes, but there it is. He’s just too awesome for there to not be a piece of him floating around in the physical world and I would want that assurance. Maybe that’s more needy than selfish?

    But none of those are really fair reasons to take the plunge, I think. So for now, sticking to the no-bay-be camp!

    • Ché Dyer on February 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      WOW! what an interesting comment!! I have never actually thought about “ageing” quicker without children. (I mean, who is going to teach me how to use the next big Snapchat?!) haha and I do totally understand what you mean about having something of your partner with you – and in that sense it would be very special. Actually typing that made me smile. A lot. 🙂

  7. Kelly on February 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Love this post… it pretty much sums up everything in my head. Im so undecided, however im 32 (33 in Aug) and feel like i dont have the luxury of time to wait till I’m ready…
    I love kids but i also really love my freedom. The thought of how my life will change makes me want to have a panic attack.
    One more very selfish reason to have kids – someone to look after me when I’m old! If my husband dies before me… i will be all alone with no one to care for me. I feel like thats my future childs job!
    Selfish.. but true!

    • Ché Dyer on February 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      No I think that is a very honest and truthful thing! Actually Natasha (with two boys) mentioned in a comment below the idea of having children for that exact reason – what happens if something happens to your husband or what happens if you are alone later on in life?! And I completely agree on the importance of family – so that is a factor – but there is so much that happens between then and now that I wonder if that’s good enough reason!?! AAAH it’s such a tough decision and I wish it didn’t feel like we have to make a decision now for something that we may only want in many years time! x let me know what you decide!!!! Good luck!! xx

  8. Leona on February 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Che & Warren! Angie and I had this talk many times and had the same thoughts as you. One thing we did settle on is that we would be happy and fine without and we would be happy and fine with… so that took the pressure right off. Couple things I would like to share (from a person that never wanted babies, never wanted to carry, never thought it was even possible).

    1. One of our friends said to us: “You can regret not having children but you will never regret having children.” So a little bit of a different twist than what your friend had stated. We thought of this a lot and think it is so true. Sure, you will have days where you are exhausted, regretful and irritated that your autonomy has been robbed…but as soon as that baby starts saying “Mama” or learns how to read, tells you they love you…I am sure all those negative emotions just evaporates. We as humans feel exhausted, regretful and irritated anyways with possibly our jobs, life and for some even within their relationships… You don’t see anyone not going to work everyday, not getting in relationships or not living… Those emotions are something that we feel just by being human and not just isolated to having a baby. So this thought process resolved this obstacle for us.

    2. As I grow older.. as much as I enjoy wine nights, going to pubs with my friends, taking trips anywhere in the world…etc something happened inside me where I imagine I would rather go watch my child’s first Christmas concert or hockey game. I want to create family traditions (likes games night..etc) and teach a little human that we call ours, how to love, how to be humble and how to be strong. The thought of wiping my child’s tears when they are sad or volunteering for parent teacher events actually makes me happy!! It gives me a new sense of purpose and priorities. So since it was a natural shift in mind set and priorities, the thought of not being able to pick up and go somewhere on a whim became less important. I don’t understand when I hear parents these days (maybe they are joking) saying stuff like “oh now you are screwed!!” or trying to get away from their families. I understand needing breaks but what is so screwed up about loving your family and spending time with them? There seems to be a stigma around having kids like it changes your life for the worst and your freedom is robbed. But these same people when they did not have kids, did not take full advantage of their freedoms and did not pursue positive changes in their lives anyways! Irony!

    3. I used to be very career driven. Wanted to get to the top as fast as I could. Then I met Angie, which totally shifted my priorities again and I actually stopped to smell the roses. I haven’t given up on my career, I just slowed it down. At first, I felt anxious and the thought of adding babies to the mix just added to it (probably because I am a true Millennial and I need everything now) but I realized life is a marathon not a sprint. I will get to where I need to go because I will never stop but I won’t do it sacrificing my personal life.. All the financial stability, prestige, power or “success” that we want to achieve at the expense of not having a family seems meaningless.

    4. The thought of creating a baby with Angie’s genetics makes me soooooo happy. So I can’t even imagine what heterosexual couples feel when it is BOTH their genetics! Another baby Angie in the world? Everyone wins. She looks incredibly beautiful pregnant and it makes me love/appreciate her more (if that is even possible). It has given us a deeper sense of connection and really has refined our teamwork abilities. So I think, if the relationship is strong and there is truly love there, a baby can enrich everything.

    5. Parenting in this generation is a bit different and has evolved I think from when our parents had us. The thought of giving up your career, can’t travel with a baby, various child services being limited ..etc aren’t really an issue anymore. There are equity benefits for women by law, so many classes/activities you can do with the baby and many accommodations for families. If you really wanted to, you can truly have it all. Not without hard work of course but seeing and appreciating how our societies have evolved makes me hopeful.

    I think it is very responsible and amazing that you and Warren have candid talks on this, considering all the factors. Some people don’t do that and bring unwanted kids into this world… and we all know what good that does. Saying all of the above, Angie and I would still be happy without a baby and I can go right back to enjoying pub nights with my friends whenever I want. So really, I think it is just up to you and Warren’s intuition. There will never be a right time and people can argue both sides for days, so don’t wait around for that! . My personal opinion, you guys are such wonderful humans (with great genetics too)…. the world would benefit from a baby Che/Warren combo. Imagine a wedding dress adventure while pregnant?? I can see some beautiful maternity photo ideas for that!

    Please visit us in Canada!! 🙂

    • Ché Dyer on February 4, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Loved loved loved reading this post! And it actually made me very emotional! Knowing that there is probably even more initial uncertainty in your case! Your reasoning is completely solid and I love what you say about refining your teamwork abilities! You will both make such amazing parents to your little baby – I can’t wait to meet him/her! (Are you going to find out?!) I think it is very true that your priorities will completely shift and change with children and I think the best thing you can do is be completely open to that and to the new flow of things, rather than trying to fit your old life into a new situation – but rather make a new different life with a different sense of purpose! (Hint: Yes, I’ve also already thought about maternity wedding dress adventures! not that I’d fit into my dress, but ya know – we’d make a plan…. which I guess is just the thing you do with a baby in the mix! 😉 )

  9. Husband on February 3, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Wine night ???? ?

    • Ché Dyer on February 3, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      Should we rather cover ourselves in bits of vomit and old food, step on discarded lego and wake ourselves up at 4am?

      Jokes.

      I’m in for the wine.

  10. Dom on February 3, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    You are 100% correct, having a baby removes all of those freedoms from your life. It is THE biggest mind fcuk you will encounter, you will be an exhausted, emotional wreck but you will also look at your child and be THE happiest person in the world. That kind of love is just something to experience and I have a feeling you’re not cynical enough to NOT have kids. Also you guys will be wonderful parents.

    P.s YES the men always seem to be more positive because at the end of the day they don’t let petty things like a sick baby who won’t eat get to them. That’s left for the mom to worry about. Haha!

    • Ché Dyer on February 4, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Yes I think that is what I am getting again and again and again is what a complete mind fuck it all is!!!! Like everyone is “it is single handedly THE most difficult thing you will ever do – but also the most rewarding” Kind of like running an UBER marathon. (not quite) haha. Yes I do agree with you on not being cynical enough to NOT have children and I wonder if my thoughts are just normal general thoughts/fears that everyone has or if it is something really worth thinking about!!

  11. Tenille on February 3, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    I think making the decision of not wanting children for selfish reasons is actually a really mature and responsible decision to make. I don’t want children. And neither does my husband. But some of our friends don’t understand that and we’ve had many arguments (granted most of them are on their second child I.e. Life’s biggest gift) but frankly, the world I live in is a scary place and I worry about what kind of future I will be sending my child into. I don’t think it’s fair to have children for your family’s sake. My mother was slightly heartbroken when I told her I didn’t want children, but her words to me now are: “girl, you are doing the right thing”. I live in South Africa and it’s not a place i want to have kids and what’s the point in movIng away from your family. Traveling makes me as happy as children make their mothers.and that’s ok. Whose to say it’s not ok? Whose to say what’s right or wrong. It’s literally your life and only you get to live it. Live it the way it’s going to make you the happiest.

  12. Rhianne on February 3, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Amazing post Che. Maybe its something about being 31 because this is where I am right now… Overthinking it ha. My two besties have babies and my sister is pregant (side note: I am going to be an amazing Auntie ha). I dont want a baby right now, but part of me was pleased that the 3rd room in the house we’re buying was big, you know, just in case its ever a kids room ha. So then Im thinking, well do I want one one day?! and honestly I have no idea.

    At the same time, I have my mental health to consider too, post natal depression and anxiety scares the poop out of me having already had to deal with both without a baby. Throw in the lack of sleep plus mental and physical strain of having a baby to look after and oh boy, terrifying.

    But I keep coming back to a Leslie Knope quote from Parks and Rec, she said something along the lines of ‘you have babies because you make a good team, and you want to have new team members. I dont know if you should have babies… But I do love your team.’ And the idea of babies being part of your team is really nice for some reason.

    • Ché Dyer on February 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Haha – yes I would say cash in on the auntie status!!! 🙂 Yes I can fully see how post natal depression would be a very real and scary thing. I think even compounded in London winter where it is dark, cold and miserable and you are trapped in doors all day with a screaming baby!! But then on the other hand – you will be building a family that will be your family in years to come! it’s a big pay off now for something that could be potentially wonderful later on! Who knows?!!?! !xx

  13. Helen on February 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    If you are debating it the answer should be NO.
    Society makes you feeling you should get married and have kids.
    There is more to life than kids, if you have a busy lifestyle and are happy with the way things are, travel, sleep, me time, work, community work, socialising etc. Don’t have kids.
    I am married and have a child but I didn’t have a life and I have been lucky enough to have someone love me. Having a child has given me purpose. It’s difficult but the biggest learning experience of my life. I love my family so much and don’t ever regret it.
    Don’t let other people make you feel you should have kids. Do what feels right for both of you and make sure you are on the same page.
    I had my child at 34 so you still have time unless you want 3 or 4 kids.

    • Ché Dyer on February 3, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Love the honesty of this answer! Thank you! I think for us I am still trying to decide if the things I am debating are normal “fears” that most people have when deciding whether or not to start a family or if it is something more than that. In my heart I do think that I would love children but maybe the time is just not RIGHT now. I do know that whatever we decide it will be a very conscious decision for both of us. <3 May I ask you how old your child is now? My general feeling is that many of the parents who have already commented are generally newer parents and possibly still a little bit in the "enamoured phase" without necessarily having had to deal with teenage years/ social pressures/ school fees etc etc etc! I have no doubt that all those things will just be a thing that parents work-out because they have to - but I wonder how much strain it really does put on everyone!

  14. Shona on February 3, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Hah, this was literally me 2 years ago (I’m now 32.5). You’re absolutely right to give it this much thought. My husband and I were exactly the same. We didn’t want to do something just because we ‘should’, or were ‘expected to’, or because the ‘clock was ticking’. We knew if we decided to have kids it would be because that felt like the right decision for us, in that moment and for our future. So we mulled and deliberated… recognising all the while that if we didn’t have kids we’d still be happy, it wasn’t the be all and end all for us as seems to be the case for some couples. What helped us in the end was to not focus on the present actually, to forget about our current day to day routines, but to look to the future and imagine what we wanted our lives to look like in 10 years time. We thought about it separately and then came back together to share our ‘visions’. They were remarkably similar (thankfully!), and both centred around us having a family of our own. Once we’d realised that, it was like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. All the thoughts and feelings i’d been wrestling with dissipated and I felt comfortable knowing what our future might hold. A year later we started trying, I got pregnant straight away (body clock, schmody clock!) and am now half way through my pregnancy, still feeling totally at peace with the decision we made together. I have to say mental health was also a concern for me (having suffered from depression in the past) but so far, so good. And I know that if the black dog does rear it’s head again, we’ll deal with it, together, like we have done everything else.
    I’d really recommend trying to take a future perspective, rather than one of the present – it helped us figure things out. If it features kids, you can set the ball rolling when you’re ready. And if not, that’s perfectly ok too!

    • Ché Dyer on February 4, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Wow – this comment left me in complete suspense the entire way through!!!! haha – congratulations on your pregnancy!!! <3 It sounds like you and your husband have a good foundation on which to build a family and I love that you went away separately and created the vision that you had for yourselves and then brought it back together. That is actually very good advice on thinking about the future - you are completely right and I think that is one of the hardest things about choosing to have children - is that you kind of have to make the decision now for something that you only potentially want down the line (10 years time!). Really sound advice! thank you. I wish you a wonderful rest of your pregnancy! And please let me know when your baby is born!! xx

  15. Fiona on February 4, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Gosh this is brilliantly written – it really does sum up all the for/against arguments that we debate to ourselves. I recently asked some friends with babies if they felt like they wanted to (broody) or because they made the hard logical decision that is was the best idea and interestingly some said “I always wanted to be a mom” as expected, and others said “on principle we knew we wanted children someday but never felt broody as the years passed so we decided to set a date to start trying to fall pregnant” – although this sounds a bit robotic she further explained that the closer they got to the date, the more they would think and talk about it and actually become excited.

    • Ché Dyer on February 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Ah that’s very interesting – kind of like approaching it from a very specific clock approach and then working your feelings up to it! I think the hard part is that there will always be both a for and against argument and it’s not a decision that can be un-made once it’s done! eeeek!!

  16. Samantha on February 4, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    These thoughts have always gone through my mind. One major thought that scares me of whether or not i am mentally fit to carry a baby for 9 months. I have extreme claustrophobia and a panic disorder as well as PTSD, so the thought of carrying a child for 9 month is the absolute last thing I want to do right now! It really scares me. Plus the thought of post pardom depression just kills me. I have been battling the thought of whether or not I want to carry a baby, have a surrogate, or just adopt. I want to have kids, but I don’t think I can carry my own. It definitely makes me feel less of a women knowing that I couldn’t give birth to my own child.

    • Ché Dyer on February 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      I completely agree that post natal depression would be a very real and scary thing! Rhianne also mentioned it in a comment above and I do think it’s something that you would need to be completely aware of. Maybe over time the feelings of claustrophobia etc would soften a bit – but if not then it’s so good to know there are so many other options available! And for the record, I personally believe that adopting a child and loving and looking after a baby that is not biologically yours – makes you even MORE of a woman! <3 xxx

  17. Natasha on February 4, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    What if something happened to Warren? Not now, maybe in 20 years. Wouldn’t you want your son – the one with his eyes and hands and whose lip curls up in the same way when he smiles? And if something happened to you – what would W have? Say in 20 years, both your parents are gone. And it’s just you.

    Family is so important. You’re worried about having this baby that will need you but you will always need family. You’re focused on the toddler years but those flash by. Sleeplessness lasts maybe 6 months. Toddlerhood is like 3 years. Then you have this child sitting next to you on the couch, reading a book in silence. With his own hobbies and friends.

    There’s importance in family. You’ll need one one day, we all do x

    • Ché Dyer on February 5, 2017 at 11:56 am

      Yes absolutely agree on the importance of family and when I look at you and your boys I would love to have that. I also think you are absolutely right in looking at it in a more future perspective than from a current perspective. Perhaps having children later rather than younger does make it more difficult to adapt to all the changes rather than just growing into the changes as your relationship grows too. For me personally, I couldn’t justify having children based purely on wanting to solve my own potential loneliness down the line as even so there is no guarantee that our children will even be in the same continent as us as we get older – even right now both W and I live hundreds of miles away from our parents, but yes they are always a phone call away 🙂 Possibly with having children there would be a greater need for us to be near family again?! It would definitely feel strange having a family here and not being near to our own family. I just wish it didn’t feel like we have to make a decision right now for something that we only wanted in a (few ++) years time! xxx Ps – also helps solidify the argument when you have such cute little men!!! xxx

  18. Rachel on February 4, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I’m about to have 32 and also about to have my second.
    I always knew I wanted to be a mom even though I was scared that I wouldn’t be a good mom. The day my son was born was the best day of my life. Yes things are less free and we had a journey with him in the NICU and my recovery from depression. But still the happy moments more than make up for the difficult ones.
    Also when I fell pregnant with my second, I had just gotten retrenched and I still haven’t found employment. So this pregnancy has been been fraught with more anxiety and stress than my first.
    But still, I feel beyond blessed and can’t wait to grow our family.
    My life, marriage, career has more purpose and strength than before and I can’t imagine my life without kids.
    So yes, it can be hard and there’s a lot to consider, but it’s so much better and more meaningful.

    • Ché Dyer on February 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Ah congrats on number 2! That is something that keeps repeating – the idea of children bringing a greater purpose and meaning to your life. I have no doubt there will be tough times, but as you say – there is the potential to bring you even more joy and that is something that you can’t quite put a price tag on! xx

  19. Lorn on February 4, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Oh heck! I’m 31 too and literally having the daily debate with myself which you’ve written so eloquently above! Aaaaaaaahhh what to do?!

    • Ché Dyer on February 5, 2017 at 11:26 am

      it definitely must be a 31 year old thing!!!! GOOD LUCK GIRRRRL!!!!

  20. Mary on February 7, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Hi Che!
    This is a great blog post! I just spent a significant amount of time reading all the posts ha! As you may or may not know, I’m a bit older than you (37…38 in April). So I met my hubby when I was a little older. We dated for about 5/6 years before getting married. I think we would have done it sooner if we were both Korean or American, but the fact is, I gave up my “life” in the US to stay here in Korea so it wasn’t one to take lightly or quickly. We wanted to have some years together as a couple before having a baby right away. So we are now coming up on 3 years, also in April, and we decided we are going to try to have a baby.
    We both went through all the fears/concerns you and Warren are experiencing. We LOVE our life just like it is. There are so many times when we get back from snowboarding and we’re just chilling and I turn to Jeon and say, “You know if we had a baby, we couldn’t do this.” and I’m right. Our lives will drastically change. My point is, we love our life now, but we are ready if it changes.
    Like one of the other comments, we looked at our future and both envisioned being a family with children, so we are trying now. We don’t want it to be stressful, however, so (as of now) we are not doing fertility treatments or anything like that. A couple times I thought I was pregnant, and when I took the test I felt only happiness, so I am pretty sure I’m ready and won’t regret getting pregnant.
    Since I’m a bit older than you, my friends have pretty much all had babies are now getting divorces. Yikes!
    I think the foundation of your marriage is so important when introducing kids. You and Warren seem to be a great team. My husband and I are too. Kids will change our dynamic…probably for the better, but it WILL change. I know what and how we are right now, and changing that scares me. Studies show that child raising years are the hardest. Marital satisfaction goes down, statistically at these times. None of my friends got married thinking that they’d get divorced, but as life happens, they struggle with marriage and career and children. I am a firm believer in marriage first, as in your partner first, then children. Its a controversial opinion, but I believe the marriage is the cornerstone of the “home”…does that make sense?
    On a “global” level, I feel like there is a lot of bad stuff going on in the world now…but a lot of GOOD stuff too! And the only way the good keeps going is good people making more good people. Of course it’s not guaranteed that your child will be kind, generous, accepting, nurturing, etc…but there’s a tremendous chance it will!
    Also, the point was brought up about getting older and losing your partner. I have started a new life in Korea…and a year in Switzerland, and I am the type of person who connects with people easily and genuinely. I have no doubts that whatever stage of life I’m in and whatever my relationship status, I will never be lonely.
    On another note, my husband has 3 sisters and NONE of them have had babies. I KNOW, being the only boy in the family, that my parents in law would love us to have kids, but They never pressure us, which is nice. Korean culture, however, is not so gracious. People I meet for the first time tell me I need to “hurry up” and have a baby. Its a bit exhausting. I’m ok to talk about it with close friends, even acquaintances, but someone I don’t really know…ugh.
    So…that’s where we are at and how we are feeling at the moment. I never regret my choices. I could have married the wrong person straight out of uni, but then I would never have had my adventures. I’ve seen more than most people from my home town and I would never take any of it back. I know I’ll be a great mom. I am ready. But at the same time, if It’s not in the cards for us, I’ll continue being a great wife and teacher to my students. I’m happy and I appreciate what I have now. Good luck in your journey as a couple, if that includes parenthood or not, you will be fine.

    • Ché Dyer on February 17, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      Loved reading this Mary!! I completely agree with you! And we have to keep remembering the experiences that we have had that we would never have had up to this point had we decided to have children younger! i think it’s a VERY good outlook to not put any pressure on yourselves about all of it. If it happens – that is awesome and if it doesn’t – that is awesome too! As an aside to that – putting wild expectations on yourself or your body only brings stress which is the very thing that makes it difficult to conceive (biologically, mother nature would never let us get pregnant if she thought we were in a stressful situation – and stress is stress regardless if it is a giant bear about to attack you or the thoughts you create in expectation. I fully agree on putting your marriage first – but I can imagine it being very tough with children as there must just be SO MUCH going on all the time! I see so many marriages where the children have become the focal point of the marriage rather than the couple being the central pillar – and when you place children – those beings that are still growing and forming and developing as the foundation for your entire structure – there are bound to be cracks that form elsewhere. It seems like the two of you have an awesome relationship! 🙂 It’s So good to never regret your choices – we actually met an elder couple in south africa who never had children (they never went into why) but they said that it has been amazing as children have magically shown up in their lives in other ways – that they could never have anticipated. Whatever your journey brings you I wish you all the love in the world! xxx

  21. Gill on February 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I love how clearly you have expressed your thoughts Che. It is a tough decision to make and such a hugely important one – even more so than getting married, because let’s face it, if you regret getting married you can change that…. parenthood not so much!

    I’m chiming in from the other end of the scale – I’m a grandmother already! Geez that makes me sound and feel old…. I knew I wanted to be a mom from about the age of 10, there was never any doubt in my mind and I got married and had my first baby by the time I was 22. I had NO idea what I was doing when my baby girl was born (I blogged about it here: http://gills-jottings.blogspot.co.za/2007/06/moments-that-changed-my-life.html ) But I have never regretted it for one single moment and that’s the honest truth. My daughters have driven me mad sometimes, we have had our rough moments, raising them has probably been the most difficult thing I have ever done, but so, SO worth it. Those girls are my very best friends, I don’t just love them, I adore them. They enrich my life in a way that I couldn’t hope to describe.

    Yes, there are certain ages that have been a bit shitty to deal with – my eldest had colic for something like 12 months- not a lot of fun. My youngest went through a difficult patch as a teenager. But truly, watching their personalities develop, sharing their achievements, being an integral part of their daily lives, loving them, nurturing them… those indefinable things are what makes parenting so special. The niggly bits, in my experience, are just details.

    And you know what the best thing is? Now I get to have wine nights, not just with my husband, but with my daughters too. My husband and I love to travel and now we get to travel with our daughters and their significant others. We have had some of our very best travel moments when we have been with our girls overseas. We now have these amazing people to share our lives with, to laugh with and reminisce with, to have DMCs with …. You just can’t imagine how special that is until you’re living it.

    And then their is the grandchildren…. don’t even get me started on that 🙂

    • Ché Dyer on February 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Ah Gill! thank you for sharing! This was such a lovely comment to read! And did make me smile from ear to ear! I think you are right – there are bound to be difficult times and things that don’t always work out the way you want them to – but that is all part of the learning and growth and the joy that you have described clearly outweighs the negative! For some reason I do feel that finding yoga and finding a little bit more space in my mind and peace in my heart has somehow prepared me to be a better (less anxious) parent. It’s so clear to see that you have such a wonderful relationship with your girls and how much fun to be able to share your life and travels with them all! … and YAY for grandchildren!!! xx

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