Posted by rentfn (1277 posts) -

This is going to get a bit personal, sorry for venting in a blog post but I don’t really know where else to go. I’ve talked to some of my real life friends but they don’t really feel like I feel. Maybe some like-minded bombers might be in my shoes. Please give this a read and chime in if you want!!!

So my wife wants to have kids. Not right away but in the next two years she would like us to start trying to have a “family”. I thought her and me and our fluff ball of a cat made a pretty good family. Right now I don’t really want kids. I’ve never really understood the desire for children. It’s not something I would leave her for. I’m sure there will come a day when I’m a father but the idea of it keeps me awake at night. A little version of me is something that shouldn’t excited. Well the child will be half mini her, I hope more than half, it still worries me. I hate who I am so why would I want to pass along my issues to someone else.

I was the only child of two older parents growing up. My Mom was Forty and my Dad was Fifty Five. My parents didn’t really like each other. Growing up they would hang out in separate rooms watching TV. If they wanted to talk to each other, instead of going to the others lair they would yell ‘pick up the phone,’ and they would talk over the dial tone until the operator came on. I had my own lair, with a TV and various Nintendo consoles. If they were ever in the same room for too long it would typically result in a fight. I didn’t really hang out with them very often. We just kept to ourselves. This is what family was to me. Two people who didn’t really like each other and avoided the other whenever they could.

At school I was bullied all the time. From first grade till ninth, I didn’t really have a lot of friends. High School I joined drama club and made some friends but the kids I grew up with in the same grade still picked on me. In elementary school I think it was the worst. They would pick on me and I would get mad and try to fight back and would end up in trouble. I seriously had my own desk in the office. I think it was because I would calm down and relax in there, since no one would pick on me. Most of the kids in the neighborhood were younger than me by three or four years. I would hang out with some of them but a few times their parents would ask me to stop hanging out with them and "find someone my own age."

Anyway I wrote about all of that to show what I think growing up is. I don’t want to create a life that has to deal with grade school. College was awesome and I made friends and wasn’t really picked on again but it took a lot of tears and awful thoughts to get to that point. I was barely strong enough to make it, what if my child gets it worse?? I hardly talked to my parents and didn’t really connect with them most of my life, my father died in 2000 and I talk to my mom a lot but she is more of a bother. My wife and I are really happy and not at all like my parents but they say having a kid is really tough and puts a strain on the family. I just don’t see any positives from having kids.

So Giant Bomb, does anyone reading this have kids?? Is it something to celebrate not to fear?? Let me know!! Thanks so much for reading.

#1 Posted by rentfn (1277 posts) -

This is going to get a bit personal, sorry for venting in a blog post but I don’t really know where else to go. I’ve talked to some of my real life friends but they don’t really feel like I feel. Maybe some like-minded bombers might be in my shoes. Please give this a read and chime in if you want!!!

So my wife wants to have kids. Not right away but in the next two years she would like us to start trying to have a “family”. I thought her and me and our fluff ball of a cat made a pretty good family. Right now I don’t really want kids. I’ve never really understood the desire for children. It’s not something I would leave her for. I’m sure there will come a day when I’m a father but the idea of it keeps me awake at night. A little version of me is something that shouldn’t excited. Well the child will be half mini her, I hope more than half, it still worries me. I hate who I am so why would I want to pass along my issues to someone else.

I was the only child of two older parents growing up. My Mom was Forty and my Dad was Fifty Five. My parents didn’t really like each other. Growing up they would hang out in separate rooms watching TV. If they wanted to talk to each other, instead of going to the others lair they would yell ‘pick up the phone,’ and they would talk over the dial tone until the operator came on. I had my own lair, with a TV and various Nintendo consoles. If they were ever in the same room for too long it would typically result in a fight. I didn’t really hang out with them very often. We just kept to ourselves. This is what family was to me. Two people who didn’t really like each other and avoided the other whenever they could.

At school I was bullied all the time. From first grade till ninth, I didn’t really have a lot of friends. High School I joined drama club and made some friends but the kids I grew up with in the same grade still picked on me. In elementary school I think it was the worst. They would pick on me and I would get mad and try to fight back and would end up in trouble. I seriously had my own desk in the office. I think it was because I would calm down and relax in there, since no one would pick on me. Most of the kids in the neighborhood were younger than me by three or four years. I would hang out with some of them but a few times their parents would ask me to stop hanging out with them and "find someone my own age."

Anyway I wrote about all of that to show what I think growing up is. I don’t want to create a life that has to deal with grade school. College was awesome and I made friends and wasn’t really picked on again but it took a lot of tears and awful thoughts to get to that point. I was barely strong enough to make it, what if my child gets it worse?? I hardly talked to my parents and didn’t really connect with them most of my life, my father died in 2000 and I talk to my mom a lot but she is more of a bother. My wife and I are really happy and not at all like my parents but they say having a kid is really tough and puts a strain on the family. I just don’t see any positives from having kids.

So Giant Bomb, does anyone reading this have kids?? Is it something to celebrate not to fear?? Let me know!! Thanks so much for reading.

#2 Posted by Jeust (10480 posts) -

We'll I'm not a parent, nor I am married, though I have a girlfriend, if that counts... but I can relate to you on a personal level. Life can be scary. What I say to you is to consider parenthood seriously, and make a decision about having or not kids. If you do decide to have them, move like you always have, a step at a time, even in the tougher times. Personally I think things get scary when you look at them and you see a lot of changes, and you feel uncertain. If you decide to have kids, tackle one perceived problem at a time, even as they don't appear in truck loads.

#3 Edited by mordukai (7135 posts) -

@rentfn: I have a 7 year old girl. It's something to celebrate and fear. There will be hard times, especially the first 5 months where you and the baby get to know each other. It's not as much as bad ties as utter frustrations from you and the baby as the only means of communication babies have is crying. Babies take great amount of care on the part of the parent and sometimes people can't handle it. Just get ready to have your personal life hijacked by the baby. You will not have time for personal pass time and more so, your personal time with your wife will suffer too. If you two value your social lives to that degree then don't have kids because you'll just end up resenting the baby. Vinny summoned it up beautifully. 6 months before the baby is born make a list of every pass time you like to do and then burn it.

However, there is really no replacement for caring for a child and watching them grow and nurturing them and teaching them about the world and just watching them grow. Making a baby laugh is one of the greatest feeling in the world. You really get to have a second childhood too as you get to play games and do activities with the child that if done by yourself will look like you need psychiatric help.

From reading your post it seems your parents were very distant from each other and you so as someone with distant parents in your childhood then you are in a great position to know what not to do when the child grows up.

All this won't really matter because truthfully no one can tell how it's going to be because being a parent is a very subjective experience You won't really know until you become one.

#4 Posted by chainreaction01 (175 posts) -

While I can't really speak from personal experience, as I have no children myself, I tend to find that parents try to raise their kids to make up for the downfalls of their childhood. The fact that you already recognize some of the mistakes your parents made and your own personal traumas means that you'll work that much harder to make sure that kid will have a better life than you ever had (came out a little harsher than I had intended but you get the point). Also, doing a little research always helps. Good local schools and possibly even getting your kid into daycare where they can socialize can go a long way. At the end of the day though, if you're not ready for this you don't have to go through with it. Your wife gave you 2 years, that's a long time to think about something this big and who knows what could change in that time.

On a different note, if you want to hear some dads talk about raising a kid look into the Oktobercast special that Tested did a while back. There was a great segment where Gary and Vinny talked about their experiences with early parenting to Will.

#5 Posted by Rave (370 posts) -

I have a three and a half year old daughter and she is the best thing I could have done with my life. Everyone is afraid of having kids at first I'd say. There are alot of changes and responsibilities that come with it, surprisingly though alot will stay the same.

You won't have a kid and suddenly be changed by it and neither will your wife, you will still have all the same insecurities you always did. You will love that kid though (I guess there are always dirt bag parents) unconditionally and it will slowly change your outlook on life for the better I think.

If you are against having kids or don't think you will care for it, I'd say don't have one. There are enough kids out there with crappy parents and the world doesn't need more of them. It is a commitment and you have to be mature enough and willing to put your child before everything else in your life. And expect your wife to do the same, you won't be the most important person in her life either.
Best of luck man.

#6 Posted by aragorn546 (183 posts) -

I have a three year old son and, yeah, it is a really tough adjustment. But man. I cannot tell you how happy he makes me, especially as he is growing and becoming more and more vocal and capable on his own. Yes, your personal life is going to evaporate, especially in the beginning, but that is something you figure out with time. I am just getting the hang of juggling three jobs, personal writing, boxing and archery as well as socializing with others. You just figure it out as you go along and prepare to make some personal sacrifices. The sacrifices aren't even all that huge.

I found that one of the ways i have kept sane is that I began exposing my child to the things I enjoy at a very early age. A great example of this: music. I love music and was so into it in high school and college, As is usually the case, that waned greatly as the real world of work and career reared their ugly heads. I used to sit and listen to super high quality DVD audio versions of albums while sitting at home and doing nothing else.

Before my son came along it had probably been about 10 years since I had sat down and given an album a critical listen. At about 3 months I was at wits end trying to get him to sleep. I eventually sat down and turned on my HTPC and began streaming music from my server to my surround sound system. For the first time in 10 years, i had slowed down enough to simply sit there, in a dark room and listen to Abbey Road with my son. It helped me rediscover my love and adoration for music and got me listening in a way that most people no longer do. The best part? My son is now a huge fan of Abbey Road, among other great albums. I have not only rediscovered a lost passion thanks to him, but he and I will now forever have this deep, personal connection to the music because of our shared experience.

And as he keeps growing, things like this just keep happening. I find myself making time to draw, something I gave up on years ago, because he loves when I draw sesame street characters. Since I am a teacher, I started drawing these on huge pieces of chart paper and creating hand drawn posters for his room, which he loves so, so much. I cannot tell you the last time I felt as proud as I do when my son takes a guest in our house to his room and immediately points to his Elmo Poster and say, which such pride in his father, that "daddy made elmo for me".

I can literally go on forever: Due to my exposure of the original muppet show to him he is OBSESSED with anything swedish chef AND can sing most of the song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady"

Whenever "The Office" theme song comes on he starts dancing like a maniac because, when he first came home from the hospital, we would sit and watch it while I fed him his formula. I get a little teary whenever I hear that theme song as well, because he is just so damn big now and those moments seemed ages ago.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: yeah, it is scary as shit. I wonder EVERY SINGLE DAY if I am doing right by my son or am I screwing him up royally. But that just comes with the territory. On the flip side he has given me something amazing: I am seeing the world in a new light. I get to hear songs for the first time again as he is exposed to them, I get to rediscover activities i had long left behind and overall, my enjoyment of the world is leaps and bounds greater because HE finds everything to be amazing and magical and damn near unbelievable at how wonderful this simple stuff is.

#7 Edited by Trainer_Red (314 posts) -

I don't have kids, as a matter of fact I still consider myself a kid. The only advice I can give you is to not have children unless you want them. It's not a phase, it's not something you will grow into, it's a living breathing human being that will be judged throughout life based on how well you raise them. I only give you my perception on this because I was a child raised in a home with parents who didn't really love or care for their children.

#8 Posted by Rave (370 posts) -
@aragorn546 really well said, captured exactly how I feel about my daughter. Seeing them become their own person is amazing.
#9 Posted by believer258 (11642 posts) -

For some reason, I was tossing and turning in bed before giving up and checking GB, and I kept thinking about how my parents seem kinda distant often. They seem to just live in perpetual stress about everything and have no friends, nor does family call except when they need something. When separate, each always says a little remark of annoyance about the other. They're not bad people or parents, but I guess what I want to say is that I feel sad for them more than angry.
I guess I'm just saying this to tell you what you probably already know judging by your first post - please be happy with yourself, your kid, and your wife, and if you aren't, find something that makes you happy. My parents seem to live in perpetual annoyance of life and never try to make a difference. Please do not rush into this. No couple should have children until both are fully comfortable with the idea and not a single second before.

#10 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

If you are financially secure (not living pay check to pay check) and in a happy relationship, there isn't any reason not to have kids earlier rather than later unless you are convinced you never want to have kids; in which case I think you have a bigger problem if you wife wants them.

Are you doing anything that having kids would cause problems; travel a lot, still party, work long hours?

How old are you OP?

#11 Posted by clumsyninja1 (817 posts) -

Having kids is the most amazing ever! Also is the natural course of life, it defines the men from the boys.

#12 Posted by rentfn (1277 posts) -

Wow thanks so much for the advice. I know waiting is very important. Luckly I have an amazing wife that isn't really ready yet. One of our good friend couples are having a baby and we went out to dinner with them. She started talking about how in the first few months you might only sleep and hour or two a night. She started talking about how she was sure her child would be a great sleeper. I was shocked that they were a few months away for the child's birth and she was just now thinking about sleep?? Like what @mordukai: was saying, You life for half a year to a year is just that baby. I was so surprised by listening to her talk about sleep. I know I'm not prepared but I know that it will be all baby all the time and if the baby wants to sleep maybe I will get some too.

@aragorn546: the idea of sharing things is a major plus. Music is a huge thing in my life too and I think about introducing my child to music. I also love live music and think of the day where I drive my son or daughter and some friends to a concert. Standing with the other parents in the back of the crowd.

@believer258: That was 100% me growing up. I promise for everyone growing my child will not be rushed into.

@chainreaction01: I forgot to mention this but I am a Special Education teacher. I work with high school students with different learn disabilities. I had a few amazing teachers that really helped me out in school. I wanted to try and give back. Whenever I talk about not wanting to have kids a lot of my friends answer back with "You're a teacher, how can you hate kids." It's not that I hate kids, I just see how tough it is to be one.

Thanks again for sharing so much. It really means a lot to me.

#13 Posted by rentfn (1277 posts) -

@Kidavenger: I just turned Thirty. We just bought a house this summer, I think that is why the wife isn't pushing the subject. We are not living paycheck to paycheck but the first few months of mortgages and house repairs are eating away the savings. She is very tight with money, where I am more of a free spirit. I'm a teacher and she is a computer programer. So like I said it isn't a rush but I wanted to try to put my doubts into words and see what other people think.

#14 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

I work with children, children can be little shits sometimes but they can also be amazing at other times.

#15 Posted by FlarePhoenix (420 posts) -

@clumsyninja1 said:

Having kids is the most amazing ever! Also is the natural course of life, it defines the men from the boys.

If not wanting to have kids makes me a boy in people's eyes, so be it.

#16 Edited by frankfartmouth (1016 posts) -

Well it's certainly normal to fear becoming a parent, and it's actually a good sign that you probably understand the weight of the job. It's the people who run around popping em out right and left without thinking about it that make you worry.

I certainly can't tell you whether you should go off and have a kid or not or whether that's the right thing for your marriage or anything like that, but I can say that I've felt just what you're feeling, and I have a kid, and she's turned out just fine. The sky didn't fall, I didn't mess anything major up anywhere along the way, and she's made it through without any serious dings (not that she's done yet, but she's at an age where you can start to read the leaves a little). I think a lot of my fear of having a kid was similar to yours in that my childhood sucked really bad, my mom was married 5 times and we were shuttled all across the country, there were multiple nasty divorces, I had trouble making friends because we moved so much. Most of what I saw, and still see, in life was negative. Why would I want to bring a child into a world I don't even like myself?

What I've found is that a lot of that is my own shit, and it doesn't have to translate to my daughter. She doesn't look at life the way I do. She likes it. She has tons of friends. She approves of the overall operation. I've kind of had to stand back a little and let her just enjoy herself, instead of running around waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It'll be fine. Just sit on it for awhile. Talk to your wife about it. Tell her how you feel. Listen to how she feels. And don't worry too much about it.

#17 Posted by Jace (1092 posts) -

@clumsyninja1 said:

Also is the natural course of life, it defines the men from the boys.

No, not even remotely true.

#18 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I think you should tell your wife this to help her understand. Having a kid is something to celebrate and fear though, I think. I'm surrogate father to my godson since his Dad left and watching a kid growing up is just an amazing experience. On the other hand, you're always wondering whether you're doing a good job and that weighs on you a bit.

#19 Posted by egg (1450 posts) -

Your wife wants to have kids because she is a woman, many women have primal irrational biological/neurological desire to have kids even in spite of the difficulties of pregnancy and childbirth. For more on the subject read these informative and well researched threads:

http://forums.gametrailers.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1273949

http://forums.gametrailers.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1274839

Anyway I sincerely believe people should not have kids. That is not something a person is simply entitled to. Adopt a kid, maybe.

#20 Posted by Coombs (3449 posts) -

@aragorn546:

Well said.

As the father of a five year old son myself I know exactly what you mean.

#21 Posted by Sanity (1891 posts) -

I dont have kids, but kids are great if thats what you want and have the finances to do it. Too many people have kids now days though and aren't financially stable enough for it. If its the grade school thing that bothers you i can relate as i also had a shitty time in k-12. Nothing you can do about that unless you home school though.

#22 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
#23 Posted by rentfn (1277 posts) -

@egg: Those threads are funny but sad.

@frankfartmouth: Thanks a lot. I'm glad to hear that someone with a tougher childhood, none of that stuff comes up with the children. That is my main worry. Most of my friends today enjoyed growing up, so they can't relate to my worries. It's good to hear from you!!!

I've talked to my wife about these issues. She is very understanding and that is why she isn't pushing me. I just wanted to try and find people with similar circumstances growing up!!!

#24 Posted by Cyrus_Saren (530 posts) -

@aragorn546 said:

I have a three year old son and, yeah, it is a really tough adjustment. But man. I cannot tell you how happy he makes me, especially as he is growing and becoming more and more vocal and capable on his own. Yes, your personal life is going to evaporate, especially in the beginning, but that is something you figure out with time. I am just getting the hang of juggling three jobs, personal writing, boxing and archery as well as socializing with others. You just figure it out as you go along and prepare to make some personal sacrifices. The sacrifices aren't even all that huge.

I found that one of the ways i have kept sane is that I began exposing my child to the things I enjoy at a very early age. A great example of this: music. I love music and was so into it in high school and college, As is usually the case, that waned greatly as the real world of work and career reared their ugly heads. I used to sit and listen to super high quality DVD audio versions of albums while sitting at home and doing nothing else.

Before my son came along it had probably been about 10 years since I had sat down and given an album a critical listen. At about 3 months I was at wits end trying to get him to sleep. I eventually sat down and turned on my HTPC and began streaming music from my server to my surround sound system. For the first time in 10 years, i had slowed down enough to simply sit there, in a dark room and listen to Abbey Road with my son. It helped me rediscover my love and adoration for music and got me listening in a way that most people no longer do. The best part? My son is now a huge fan of Abbey Road, among other great albums. I have not only rediscovered a lost passion thanks to him, but he and I will now forever have this deep, personal connection to the music because of our shared experience.

And as he keeps growing, things like this just keep happening. I find myself making time to draw, something I gave up on years ago, because he loves when I draw sesame street characters. Since I am a teacher, I started drawing these on huge pieces of chart paper and creating hand drawn posters for his room, which he loves so, so much. I cannot tell you the last time I felt as proud as I do when my son takes a guest in our house to his room and immediately points to his Elmo Poster and say, which such pride in his father, that "daddy made elmo for me".

I can literally go on forever: Due to my exposure of the original muppet show to him he is OBSESSED with anything swedish chef AND can sing most of the song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady"

Whenever "The Office" theme song comes on he starts dancing like a maniac because, when he first came home from the hospital, we would sit and watch it while I fed him his formula. I get a little teary whenever I hear that theme song as well, because he is just so damn big now and those moments seemed ages ago.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: yeah, it is scary as shit. I wonder EVERY SINGLE DAY if I am doing right by my son or am I screwing him up royally. But that just comes with the territory. On the flip side he has given me something amazing: I am seeing the world in a new light. I get to hear songs for the first time again as he is exposed to them, I get to rediscover activities i had long left behind and overall, my enjoyment of the world is leaps and bounds greater because HE finds everything to be amazing and magical and damn near unbelievable at how wonderful this simple stuff is.

Couldn't have put it better myself. While I haven't had a chance to experience all of this yet (my daughter is only going on 17 months) I can definitely see how exciting it will end up being as she continues to grow.

As for the OP, I know what you mean about not wanting kids. I didn't want any either but, I honestly can't imagine things without my daughter now. It is scary as shit but also rewarding which a few people have already said in this topic far better than I ever could.