Thursday, January 18, 2007

To Breed or Not to Breed...

It's touchy.

When a man says he wants to have kids (outside of adoption), we're effectively saying, "I want you to go through nine months of pain and discomfort, topped off by what sounds like the most painful experience any human being can ever have."

Damn.

As a man, on the one hand, I want to have children so badly it hurts. On the other hand, I don't want my lady to have to endure or experience any of the horror stories many of us have heard, over the years.

How does one resolve these two things? Again, outside of adoption, there doesn't seem to be a way. The best we can hope for is a mate who already knows she wants to have children (badly enough to spend the better part of a year trekking through an emotional, chemical, and biological minefield.

That seems like a lot of pressure, to me.

As a girl or woman, I'd imagine you one day wake up and realize that almost everyone around you has these incredible expectations for you to live up to... or fall short of.

"Girl, I want some grandkids."
"Honey, I want a son."
"Mommy, I want a baby brother to play with."

Sheesh.

Ultimately, the decision has to be made BY the woman, FOR the woman. Like so many other decisions in life, I believe this is one that, if made for others, is likely to lead to resentment.

That is, of course, assuming she is even capable of bearing children.

Talk about a world of anxiety.

It's really strange knowing that you're one of the causes of that anxiety - because you choose to be.


And it is a choice. I don't want to adopt. Well, I might not mind adopting, but I DEFINITELY want a son or daughter of my blood, as well as of my heart.

Kinda reminds me of those nature shows where wild animals hurt each other, not out of any true sense of malice, but because it is in their nature. It is how they endure.

16 comments:

chele said...

Great topic. As you stated if the woman already wants to have children than there really isn't a lot of pressure or anxiety associated with the pregnancy or the thought of getting pregnant.

I knew I wanted to be a mother when I was 17 years old. I didn't actually become one until I was 26 but the desire was always there. I did it again at 30 and then decided that I was done. Then I began to feel pressure from my hubby because he wanted to have one more. I refused ... like you stated: the decision was MINE.

Throughout my relationship with B he has also expressed an interest in having children. Which kinda sucks because from the very beginning I told him that was medically impossible and he said he was cool with it. He changed his mind -- I didn't.

I explained to him that if being a father was more important than being with me than he is free to go. He's still here.

What would you do if your lady decided she didn't want to be a mother?

Sorry to blog in your comments.

West said...

re: "What would you do if your lady decided she didn't want to be a mother?"

It's a fair question, but a tough one.

Depends on the circumstances, but I'll put it this way: At this point in my life, I wouldn't get serious with a woman who didn't want to have kids. If she, like B, changed her mind from wanting them to not wanting them, I would seriously consider ending the relationship.

It pains me to say that because I choose a life partner, not a baby factory. If I'm going to be real, though (which is the point of this post, if not the entire blog), it is a factor.

If you REALLY wanna get deep, think about this: I probably wouldn't choose to start a relationship with someone who didn't WANT to have children, but I might start one with someone who COULDN'T.

I'm not sure what that says about me.

re: "Sorry to blog in your comments."

That doesn't bother me - especially with responses like yours.

chele said...

If you REALLY wanna get deep, think about this: I probably wouldn't choose to start a relationship with someone who didn't WANT to have children, but I might start one with someone who COULDN'T.

Dang, that is deep. This is why I told B from the gate that I couldn't have anymore kids (not that I wanted to at my age). He's never been married and has no children. I didn't want him to miss out. He assured me that it wasn't a problem. However, after about a year or so he starts getting all mooney-eyed about babies.

West said...

re: "However, after about a year or so he starts getting all mooney-eyed about babies."

This may be more than you want to reveal but... Do you think that his original "not a problem" response was the okey-doke or do you think his about the matter changed with time?

How would he (or you, for that matter) for about adopting?

Anonymous said...

I am ambivelent about children. I think I could take or leave them. I think I would have a good life either way. If I did not have children I would have a life filled with travel, great dinners and career. If I did have kids I would experience the joys that go along with that. I think I will be happy either way.

chele said...

Do you think that his original "not a problem" response was the okey-doke or do you think his about the matter changed with time? It was the okey-doke. I asked him and he said he thought I would change my mind. During a weak moment I actually researched what was involved in getting my tubes "untied". I came to my senses.

How would he (or you, for that matter) for about adopting? He's never talked about adopting. I just don't want to raise anymore children. I'm looking forward to spending my days (and nights) kid-free with just him.

West said...

I hear that.

Please forgive the wicked typos.

princessdominique said...

This is a heartwarming post West! Sometimes in relationships people are so selfish. I have seen marriages end because either or wanted or didn't want children. I think people should go into their relationship with a clear concept of what will or won't happen. I have a college age son. I'd do it again though, for the right man in the right relationship.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see that you as a male are even putting that much thought into the matter. From my perspective that would make the whole pregnancy/childbirth worthwhile/easier, etc.

You sound like you would be willing to deal with the cravings/mood swings, and even maybe taking on other tasks that may have been split evenly before pregnancy.

And every pregnancy is different, she may not have morning sickness or her labor might not be very intense or long.

I like Chele am very upfront with guys that I know are childless. It's medically impossible for me as well, even more so...but maybe that is TMI. LOL

West said...

Thanks, princess.

Remnants, I'd definitely be willing to deal with the cravings and mood swings, etc., although I might do so in a way that pisses her off - namely, by making jokes. Y'know, laughing to keep from crying. :)

As far as TMI, that's defined by you.

Shai said...

I DON'T want to have anymore kids. I have one child 16 and I don't care if I met a millionaire who could take care of me for life. I just don't want the responsiblity of child-rearing anymore. I don't care how in love I am. Hence, wanting a man who either has nearly grown kids and does not want anymore.

I am being real and honest. I love kids. I just don't want to carry or raise anymore. Now, if something happened where I had to assist a family member raise a child fine.

I think some people don't really understand the gravity of having and raising kids. It is a joy and pain. It is not cutesy it is a lot of sacrifice, dedication, and responsibility. You cannot disgard parenthood like an old car you don't want anymore. It is FOREVER.

I love my daughter. It has been an amazing experience being a mother. I have learned alot raising her. I am a mom for life. I get so excited at the things she has learned. I would kill anyone that tried to harm her.

I am just ready to enjoy life on other levels, like traveling, writing, etc.

YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

I have a 16, 14... and 3 yr old. My husband didn't have children (to his knowledge), and wanted at least one. He got 'em.

I didn't particularly rule out having another, but marrying a man that didn't have one, I didn't want him giving up hope of having one of his own.... plus everywhere I looked (especially at church) someone's child was reaching for me, or climbing into my lap and resting on me. I took it as a sign and well.... now I have DJ. My first reaction was "ohhh noooo, my body's no longer equipped to have another child", but he's here and he's healthy. I'm still here and I'm healthy.

No matter how much a woman swears off having children or more children, we all go thru that "i need one of those" syndrome, everytime we hold or look at an infant.... even if we don't act on it.

Luke Cage said...

Whattup my brother? All I can add to this is to use the words that you used to begin this post: It's Touchy..

Shai said...

youtoldharpotobeatme, LOL, yeah I play and coo over another's person's baby like my two cousins adding 3 to the brood and give them back. LOL. It feels good to give them back. LOL.

Anonymous said...

pregnancy and childbirth are both natural experiences. basically they equal life. Yes it is important for a woman to want this experience. So if she's in agreement it can also be a beautiful experience. Once a child is born, the pain is soon forgotten.

West said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone.