Pros and cons of kids at 43

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Pros and cons of kids at 43
6
Mon, 12-17-2007 - 3:43pm

I have always been undecided about having children period, swaying back and forth between maybe and no, never.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Tue, 12-18-2007 - 6:09pm

I was very ambivalent about having kids, and wasn't sure I would ever do it. I was never much of a "kid" person, and felt like I had no innate maternal instinct.

I was married the first time for 5 years, and we didn't have kids. Met my current DH (who had also been married once before, with no kids) and we got married when I was 35 and he was 44. He loved kids, but wasn't sure he wanted to have them because of his age. We both love to travel and entertain, so we went back and forth quite a bit before deciding to TTC. Even then, after several months of no success, we finally decided we would stop "trying" and just see what happened. I was fine either way. Well, that was the month I got PG, and had our first daughter at 37.

I will admit that I'm still not as much of a "kid person" with other peoples' kids, though I do appreciate them much more than I did before, but my maternal instinct kicked in full force with DD, and I just adore her and can't believe how wonderful she is. :-) Being a mom is one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced, and I'm so glad I decided to go for it. No amount of reading or imagining could have prepared me for the way it changed my life and my outlook. And DH is the same way - he loves his little girl so much, it's really wonderful to see.

Yes, there are changes and sacrifices. We can't pick up and travel the way we used to - though we have been doing a decent amount of travel with our daughter, and have managed several trips without her, too. We can't be as "spur of the moment" with our social plans, since we have a busier calendar now and also have to account for either finding a babysitter or finding a child-friendly venue. But, again, we made a conscious effort to maintain our friendships and social life as well as raising a child - I believe the two can exist together, and that having a life outside of your kids is a good example for them (as well as a good thing for us as parents). We spend a lot of money on daycare, because we both have established careers that we did not want to leave. But, we found a place that we trust and like a lot, and she has done very well and really thrived there.

So, for every "con," there is a "pro," in my mind. And the cons aren't so bad, overall.

We are now expecting our second - me at 41, DH at 50. Again, it was a major decision for us, as our daughter is just now getting to the age where she is more self-sufficient and we're having a lot of fun with her at this stage. I'm sure the challenges and sacrifices will be there this time, too, and I'll admit I'm a bit nervous, but I also know how rewarding it's been to see my daughter develop into a unique, loving, wonderful little person, and I'm looking forward to experiencing that again.

At 43, you may have more physical challenges and issues yourself, but your doctor can evaluate you ahead of time for a lot of that, so you can know where you stand.

I think having kids later in life has made me appreciate the experience even more than I might have when I was younger. Yes, I probably have less energy and more aches and pains now, but I also have more patience and a different perspective on life.

I highly recommend the experience and wish you the best of luck if you decide to pursue it! :-)

Kitty

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Sister Siggy Fall 08
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Tue, 12-18-2007 - 6:56pm
I really appreciate your thoughtful insight and the time you took to help me see a side of this issue that I had not before. Everyone I know is either anti kid or couldn't see life without them. I had not met anyone who is of the same opinion as us and then had kids anyway. Thank you so much for filling in the gap.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2007
Tue, 12-18-2007 - 6:59pm

What a great response Kitty.


I have always wondered about having kids myself (never really wanted them) and I am not a "kid" person either, but to mkae a long story short...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2004
Wed, 12-19-2007 - 5:01am

I was never a kid person. I thought kids were cute, but I never had the urge to babysit, e.g.. When I visited my friend w/ 2 kids I was grateful that she would ship them off to her mom so she and I could talk (you can't have adult conversation w/ two little kids around). And when I decided I wanted a kid, it was more of a "good majority of the world has this experience, I want it too"; I am into "experiencing" stuff, LOL. 1.5yr later when nothing happened (I didn't get pg) I did go to an RE. And then I had my 1st miscarriage and was devastated. And then the second, which was much worse, b/c I though I'd never have kids. I knew I couldn't go through w/ IVF, but we did mention the possibility of adoption. And then I had my dd, and my world changed. In my previous life I maybe had two occasions where I thought how fully happy I was at that moment. Since dd was born I have had more than I can count. I also really like other kids now. And my main regret is that I didn't start sooner, so I could have had more. Who knew...

Good thing about having a kid: my experiences of other things have acquired a much greater emotional contrast. I really didn't like my job, but that was what I did. Then when dd came along, it became: I have to leave this incredible creature at home so I can go to work I dislike? I must be nuts. So now I am looking for a different career. And I do more things that are positive, so that she can learn.

Bottom line is, it's all a personal experience. Have you seen the Oprah show on which some moms said at times they wished they didn't have kids? Oh the scorn they got from other moms. I thought they were simply being honest, and really appreciated that. I have a couple of (female) friends who actively dislike being parents. They feel responsibility toward their respective kids (one each, luckily), but no fondness that I can tell. That's sad, but it's reality. None of us knows what will happen when/if we do have a kid. The positive experiences do seem to be quite frequent, from what I have been reading over these past few years.

Vera

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2007
Wed, 01-02-2008 - 10:51am

I think Kitty had a great reply and echoed the feelings of a lot of women.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Tue, 01-08-2008 - 10:58am

This continues to be an issue for us and I am so thankful for some honest feedback. I don't know if it will happen but I now have the information I need to make my decision. Whether or not my husband will join that band wagon is open for debate. I think that his view is I am already a fairly stressed person as it is and he sees having a baby as maybe pushing me to the limit. I know that things would have to change in my work schedule and, I guess, if you have to do it then you would find a way to make it happen.

It sounds like we are almost the same age, I will be 44 this month and we need to make this decision soon. My mom went through menopause at 41 and I feel my time is coming.

Thanks again!