During my single years, I flipped and flopped over whether I wanted to have children some day. If the man I was dating at the time wanted children, then I would envision two bouncing babies in my future—hopefully twins. If my next boyfriend wasn’t keen on kids, then I was content to set that vision aside. However, I knew that eventually I would need to get in touch with the way I felt about being a mom and preferably before I met my Mr. Right. I had heard about too many couples who later discovered that they weren’t on the same page when it came to bibs and booties. I felt that I owed it to the man of my future, whoever he may be, to know where I stood.
After years of pondering this important question, my decision was this: having kids was not a must-do for me—a good thing, because when I finally met my Mr. Right, he had two children and felt that his family was complete (after he married me, of course). Today, I have no doubt that I ended up exactly where I was meant to be.
If you are feeling ambivalent about having children, the following questions can help you figure out if having kids is a must-do for you:
1. When you date a man who doesn’t want children, are you overcome with a feeling of relief? Or do you invite him to go with you to baby sit, knowing that spending time with kids will help him make the right decision?
2. When you’re standing in a check-out line behind a mom who has one child screaming, another pulling items off the shelf, and a third running for the door, do you find yourself thinking: what a fun and lively family? Or do you begin to rummage through your purse for a Xanax?
3. When in a hotel gift shop, do you browse the stand of personalized sippy cups to check for the names of your future children? (names you have had picked out for years, by the way) Or do you scan the rack of travel brochures, taking one for every destination you would like to visit over the next ten years?
4. When you watch a family sitcom, do you relate to the mother as she juggles carpools, homework, and bedtime stories? Or do you feel a stronger connection to the child-free aunt who is filling her leisure time with travel, shopping, and spa visits?
5. By the time the dental assistant calls you from the waiting room for your cleaning, have you read the latest issues of Baby & Me and Family World? Or have you been pouring over an article in Today’s Business entitled, “Climbing the Corporate Ladder"?
6. When you meet a woman who says that having kids is not a must-do for her, do you look at her with admiration for living her life as she chooses? Or do you think of all the reasons she will regret her decision in the years to come?
7. Do your ears perk up when you hear a woman say, “If I had only known before hand what it’s like to raise kids, I would never have had them”? Or do you nod with understanding when a mother exclaims, “I wouldn’t trade these little rascals for the world!”?