On Being Married for Three Years {and not wanting children yet...}

August 28, 2017

Ben and I have been married for three years now {but together in total for 9 years}. The time has gone in a flash and the years seem to be zooming by faster as time goes on. If you'd have asked me back on our honeymoon where we'd be in those three years, I'd definitely expected us to have had a baby by now.
In fact some of my family had even placed a bet on us starting a family of our own before our first wedding anniversary! We just seemed that type of couple, we'd finished renovating our last house and it kind of seemed like the next step. Except.. we still had lots of travelling that we wanted to do and also just have a year or so of just enjoying being a twosome. Fast forward a few months and we then decided to go for our dream house that had just come on the market. Our old house would have lasted us a while but we'd have wanted to move eventually so it seemed silly to pass up on such a rare opportunity to renovate another project, a forever home this time. The baby plans, if there indeed ever was a proper plan, got pushed back until the house was finished. And then pushed back further until we got permission for the extension as I wouldn't want to be pregnant with a stressy deadline and living in a building site. Everyone kept asking when they could expect us to start on the pitter patter of tiny feet, 'only once the kitchen is finished' I said over and over. All the while we were conscious we were making the most of not being tied down, having spontaneous date nights, travelling through my job and booking nights or weekends away whenever we felt like it. 'We might think about a baby this time next year ' so let's book that trip to France we wanted to take now.

It's now the end of August 2017, the kitchen is finished, the whole house is basically finished {aside from an upstairs extension we're going to keep battling the conservation officers for}. We have two spare rooms and a 'sensible' car. So what's keeping me firmly clutching onto my pack of birth control pills?!

Weirdly the more time that goes on with just Ben and I, the less desire I have to think about children. I don't have any inclination to even think about adding a baby to our life right now. Luckily Ben feels the same, perhaps even more certain than I am that he doesn't want to even consider a baby at all yet {if ever?}. I guess this will be a disappointment to some, my grandparents perhaps? Our parents to an extent? But at the same time we're just so happy with how life is going right now that we don't want to upset the balance. We talk about this a lot, most of the time after we've just seen a screaming toddler and tired parents arguing and we feel smug that we haven't gone down that road yet. I feel like for a long time we've felt like we should be planning a baby really soon. Now that we've decided to just live as us for as long as we feel like doing so it feels so much better, there's no worrying, no pressure, no expectation. 

I think most people feel there's this set life path, to find a partner, to get married and then instantly to have a baby. But does anybody actually stop and figure out if they're sure that's exactly what they want? What if it messes everything up?!

I think in a way I'm scared of how a baby would change everything. Of course most parents will probably tell me that whilst it all will change, it's not necessarily in a bad way, just a different way. But I feel like we hardly have any free time as at is at the moment with both of us working on our careers as well as the house, garden and allotment and our love of travel. Imagine if I threw a baby into the mix with sleepless nights, hours spent feeding or going to baby classes. I worry that I'd spend hours worrying about routines or if my baby was ill. I'd worry I'd snap at Ben and that our relationship would become second place. I worry that I'd be crippled with anxiety. What if the baby needed extra care? I worry that what if we decide to have a baby and then I miss my old life. You can't return a baby, once you go down that road there's no going back. And to even think that makes me worry that I'd be an unfit mother. Motherhood looks really really hard. It's 24/7 non stop. 

The rise of honest motherhood in the past five years has been amazing for those who are mothers, to share the hard bits and not pretend that it's all rosy. Yet this to me has shown me many a reason as to why I want to delay it all as long as I can!

I'm sure lots of mothers will message me to tell me that it's all worth it. And I get that, I can't even imagine the love you must feel towards a child and how you probably feel like your old life was so vapid and lacking in significance compared to this new role of raising a child. That nothing else matters anymore and that your relationship as parents could even grow stronger?? { side note I love my Dog and would do anything/give up any time for him but I feel like that's different? Dogs are easy, give me a dog over a baby!}. But, neither of us want to change anything right now. We really value our time as a couple as well as being completely selfish with our own time. I thought that after us having summer after summer of days out and trips and alll the spontaneity that we'd eventually feel something was missing. It hasn't done just yet, we just want to keep extending the goal posts, more time to soak it all up. 

We have so much freedom, nothing tying us down, a disposable income. My husband has my full attention and I have his. I want to keep growing my own clothes/shoe collection, not spending out on clothes that will only last a few months on a child or have to go away in the school holidays {!!!} and a} pay more for flights/holidays and b} be surrounded by children. Does this make me a really horrible person?! 

And yet I love following mothers on Instagram. Courtney Adamo is the dream and when you see mother's like that {taking family gap years around the world} you think that maybe it would be fun to have children? I love reading the Rock My Family blog. I think motherhood is incredibly beautiful. I do dream of playing with my future children in the garden, teaching them to read, snuggling a baby, planning family adventures. I know where a tee pee would go in the garden for them and I know how I'd decorate a nursery. We have names picked out and I love the idea of being pregnant. Just not yet.

I'm not really sure on why I wanted to write this post or where this is going. I didn't know if there'd be much point in posting this at all. Will I get messages of abuse, which normally happens on the internet when you share your most intimate honest feelings especially when the taboo topic of motherhood is concerned? Will I get told I'm too shallow and selfish for children? I hope not. Will I get hate from mothers who feel I'm being smug about our current child free life? I hope not as I really respect the journey you're on and I'm sure we will start it at some point. I'm just simply sharing my confused thoughts that go round and vary each month like this. Maybe we should try for a baby soon, maybe we'll wait another year, maybe we'll never want one at all.

I guess my question is how do you know when you're ready for a baby? I feel broody very occasionally but then I think of all the hard uncertain parts and all my maternal instincts go out the window again. Will we just know when we're ready? Or the longer we leave it and get used to our child free life will it get harder to potentially give some of that up? If you're a parent, looking back if you could change anything would you have had children later or started earlier?

I'm 25 next year, still so young when it comes to children and I guess that's why we do feel like this. Because there's no real time pressure yet, I don't need to really worry about the ticking time clock of my ovaries. Most of my friends don't even want to start thinking about it until they're at least 30. Ben though is 34, not old but then it doesn't matter quite as much for men age wise right? What age do you think is right? I'm guessing that as time goes on and I creep closer to 30 that we may feel that it's now or never and by that point we might feel ready?

I'm conscious that this post could have the potential to upset those really wanting and trying for a baby or not able to have children. It's not my intention at all, I just wanted to share some honest thoughts. I'm aware that when we do decide to want to have children that there's no guarantees that we'd be able to, I can imagine it would be full of heart ache. And if that was the case we'd feel stupid for being so nonchalant in our early years of marriage about the whole thing? I'm also aware that unplanned babies happen all the time. And of course we'd then have to get on with parenthood and I'm sure/I hope that we'd love it!

Have I rambled enough? I'm sorry for this confused blog post. I don't really know where to conclude. Maybe just to say that if you ask if we want children soon, I'll have to tell you that I'm pretty sure we do at some stage it's just I really don't know when. Another year of honeymooning perhaps? Two, three, five?

R <3 xx

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  1. You'll probably never feel like it's the right time for a baby. It's good that it takes 9 months, you need 9 months to come around to the idea and realise what is actually happening! I think when I reached 27 I had been on enough holidays and moved house for the 3rd time I felt like I was ready. The main reason I didn't want to get to my parents age and have no children.

  2. 25 is still so young, you have plenty of time to enjoy your life and have children (if you decide) later in life! I didn't want children until I was 27, but it did happen all of a sudden. Maybe it's your hormones or something? But I'd say don't worry
    about it, enjoy your holidays and that's not selfish- you sound more sensible than those who rush into parenthood without considering the effect it has on your lives xx
    Nicola (@RorylovesPenny)

  3. 24/25 is still incredibly young! Especially in this day and age when women are having children well into their 30s and even 40s. I really wouldn't stress over it, or compare yourself to others. There's no prescription for life - no set amount of years you should be married, be living as a couple, or be traveling, before you decide a baby is missing. That feeling may come, or it may not. Just go with the flow and don't feel you have to meet someone else's expectations.

  4. You're so young still, there's no reason for you to think about having children yet. And if you never want them, that's fine too - very sensible, in fact! I've been with my partner since I was 24 and am now almost 36, and I'd say I only really started to want a child (just the one!) at about 33. But then the timing was impossible - he was made redundant, I had a serious health scare which triggered a horrible bout of anxiety. Now things are better, but you never know what's around the corner and I'm still not certain I want that responsibility. Just go with what you feel is right - if the hormones kick in and make you want a child, you'll know about it! Xx

  5. I just had my first at 31 and I do wish me and my oh had of went travelling a little more than we did but you will probably always think you done something a little more no matter what. You know it's going be
    different and hard but you have no idea just how much until it actually happens tge lack of sleep every night is soo hard but it does get easier,but sleepless nights aside they bring more happiness than you could imagine.

    And btw wow, I thought you and your husband was the same age, he does not look 10 years older at all!

  6. I think part of the issue we women experience is the plague of questions from others the second you get married, which as nice as the intentions apparently are, it can put unfair pressure on you to have all the answers, when let's face it... It's no one else's business (sorry prying mums!).

    Questions from others can sometimes make you far more conscious of something than that's right for you right now.. And at 25 you have lots of time to give yourself space to figure that out for yourself.

    Also (and controversially) theres this automatic assumption in society that women will a) definitely want kids, and b) physically can - this isn't always the case, and the questions only add to the confusion/ heartache.

    Let's let everyone do what they love, and be happy for the choices of others :)

  7. And before you have your first your constantly being asked when are you having a kid and as soon as you have one you get asked so when's the next one.... It never ends 😒

  8. I'm 46 and don't have kids-never wanted them and remain very happy with my choice. Couldn't care less what others think-it's my life, my choice. Will I regret it? Possibly. However, I don't think possibly regreting not having children is a good enough reason to have them.
    Your life-your choice!

  9. I'm 28 and my husband and I have been together for 8 years and married for 3. We have two energetic dogs and bought our first home together after years of rentals. My husband is really not keen on the idea of having kids and the older he gets and the more of our friends and family that we see have kids, puts him off the idea further! I am 50/50 about the idea (I think the broody switch went off a couple of months ago, as I was always adiment that I didn't want kids!) but I am certainly nowhere close to being ready!
    Not just because I am inbetween jobs (leaving the military and looking for a new career) or because I am recovering from three years of anxiety lead depression, but because I want to experience so much more of what life has to offer. I want to travel, I want to try more things in life that have previously scared me and I want to enjoy life with just me, my husband and our two wonderful fur-babies!
    There is so, so much pressure on people to have babies, so much so, I was asked by three or four people on my wedding day, when I was going to have children!
    It's a new age decision, that generations before us never had to make. People got married and had children- you either could or you couldn't have children.
    My husband and I are the only couple in our family without kids and we actually had to directly state to key-people 3-4 years ago that we were not having kids, end of! Just because the questioning and pressure was so much! For all they knew, we may not have been able to have children and they could have been making things worse for us.
    Luckily, I have quite a few friends in similar situations, loving life with their dogs or focusing on other hobbies or busy travelling and enjoying life, which helps me feel less alone when I am surrounded by so many just wanting to talk about their children or grandchildren 24/7.

  10. I love this post!! Thank you for sharing and for being so honest. My partner and I don't want children. We are very content with out life (and our house and bank balance!) being the way it is. This is our life, our relationship and we will do what's right for us. You Do You!! Thanks again for sharing, lovely lady xx

  11. I am so glad you posted this,I feel exactly the same!! I am 29 and have been with my partner for years but I still don't feel as if I want children. I don't want to regret it later in life but I don't feel as though this is a good enough reason to have them! It is such a life changing decision I think it has to be something you really want,not something you can do just because everyone else does.Maybe I will change my mind one day but for now my dog is more than enough!! X

  12. I do not have children, I never really wanted them and then the decision was taken away from me when I had to have a hysterectomy in my 30s. Up until this point my mother in law still called me selfish for not having children. I therefore become very irritated and defensive o of women when this question comes up. It is 2017 why are women still judged by how many children they have produced in the same way that women who have not married are somehow pitied. It is no ones business what you and your husband choose to do with your life, your body, your future. It is so sad that you felt the need to explain your life decisions to the internet even if this wasn't your true intention. I was asked on the morning following my wedding when would I be having a baby not even 24 hours in to marriage.
    You are still really young and have loads of time to decide what you want to do. If you choose to have kids then fine, if you don't then that is also fine.other people's wishes and desires do not have to be yours. Sorry for the rant but but this subject always sets me off

  13. Love your total honesty. We have a one year old and so far it has been a combination of the most rewarding journey but also the toughest time. If anything this reconfirms with me that to get through it, you have to really want it.
    I was on the verge of 29 when we got pregnant, after a year of trying. All those unwanted periods and false pregnancy tests confirmed in my mind how much I wanted it and how ready I was for it.
    We talked about it alot over a few years and when it felt right we started trying.
    What I'm trying to say is go at your own pace. Enjoy your 20s. Enjoy having no ties and all the things that are so much easier without a baby in tow.
    Then when/if the time's right, jump in. And to all those irritating people who ask when a baby is on the way, tell them to mind their own business.
    Oh and as for the relationship side. I was adamant we were too strong to let it be affected. But over time it creeps up on you. Nothing is as strong as the love for your child. The love for your partner suddenly seems to need more effort! We are in a good place now but the hormones don't help!!
    I really hope I haven't scared you. It is truly amazing, but do what is right for you x

  14. Hi Rebecca. All the respect to you for such an honest post. I so enjoy catching up on your house progress and I am also really envious seeing all the lovely trips you and Ben enjoy as a couple:) You are still so young at 25 and I think it's totally fine to carry on enjoying life as a twosome for many more years! Babies really do change things, not for the worse, it's just different when they come along. I met my husband when I was 23 and he was 27. I never felt broody but I knew one day we would have children. I was 32 when we had my daughter but then it took me a long time to get pregnant with my son, who is now nearly two. I am now 39 and my husband is 42 - aged parents!! But I am very glad we never rushed the children thing. We had an amazing life as a couple and bot enjoyed travelling, working hard and being free but now we have a wonderfully different life as a family. Enjoy your time with Ben and one day, you might decide the time is right for a baby. You have plenty of time! Don't rush! Don't tie yourself down if there's still stuff you want to do! X

  15. Reading your post on our way back from our honeymoon. And omg I get you! People started assuming that we would try having children right after getting married.

    Talking to one of my colleagues, I even heard "why are getting married if you do not want children right away?" I don't know, maybe I love my husband and I want to spend the rest of my life with him, whether or not this life includes babies.

    We are perfectly happy woth our house, our time just the two of us and our cat (we do not have a dog, but I totally get you here).

    I loved your post but I feel like we should not have to justify if or when we want to have kids. And also, people need to understand once and for all that marriage is not only about children. It can be, and I agree that some people live happily through marriage and parenthood, but it should not be our sole vision of a happy successful marriage.

    Thanks for sharing/being so honest about it. It was time someone would talk for us.

    Pauline (https://www.home-sweet-travel.com/)

  16. I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this blog post. I'm in exactly the same position as you (in some ways it's scary how parallel our lives seem!- we've just celebrated three years of marriage, bought our dream home and finished my dream kitchen!) and I feel exactly the same about having a baby. I assumed I would want children after getting married but the more that time goes on and we're free to live the life we always dreamed of, the less appealing children seem to be. Especially during school holiday times as you say! Noisy child filled resorts .. I don't think so. I'm sure as time goes by we may feel differently or equally we might feel the same, but why decide to do something so life altering it if we don't want it. I say enjoy life as it is now, the future will take care of itself. Thanks so much again for sharing xxx

  17. We happen to briefly mentioned this subject with our 3 children last night. Thank you for sharing this post. I think times have evolved and it is less of a taboo if women choose not to become mothers and couples choose not to become parents. I turned 50 this year and my eldest is 15 so I had her a few months before that age threshold of 35 and quickly added 2 more in the next 3.5 years. Looking back becoming a mother late was certainly the right thing to do although I had always wanted children. Being parents tests everything you are and have, careers, relationships, friendships, resources and your own courage and beliefs. We also bring our experiences of childhood and family life into the process of creating our own or not as the case may be.

    From the start my husband and I had clear and agreed views on having children and we have never once regretted anything. I know we're very lucky with that. You and Ben feel the same at this time and that's what's most important. If you both talk about this a lot then you know each other's thoughts and feelings as time goes on which is really important and yes, maybe there will be a change at some point in the future and that's ok. In the meantime, you are both incredibly young and you should grab all the opportunities to enjoy life and each other without feeling any pressure to have a baby if you don't want to. This is what we tried to explain to the children last night, that they don't have to have children when they're older! I think the way our society, our world is changing, there will be more and more people choosing not to procreate.
    Best wishes!

  18. Enjoy your 20's Rebecca!
    I am 34 and still feel the same as you! People keep telling me i will be an old mum but hey, I am enjoying my life at the moment. A baby will be a lovely addition at some point!

  19. I am 32 and have been married for 5 and a half years. I have never had a burning desire to have children but just assumed that eventually I would start to feel broody. I'm still waiting! My husband and I have travelled all over the world over the last five years and still have places we want to see and things we want to do! Fortunately he's very easy going about the whole thing and says he'll be happy with just the two of us even if I never feel the urge to have kids. I work in a school and love children but not sure I could handle the 24/7 nature of parenthood. To me it looks like running a marathon at a sprint!

  20. Oh my goodness, run! Run away from any thought of having a baby any time soon and don't look back until you're at least 30! Haha! We were married at 25 and had our first child at 28. I wouldn't ever wish her away but I do often think that we should have waited. Motherhood is the hardest thing I have ever done. The baby stage was wonderful, it's now that she is 5 and I also have a 2 year old that it's hard. So hard. Juggling a career I used to love with husband and children? Tough! Stick to your life as it is right now...and enjoy every single second of it because when you have that baby everything will change and you're right, you can't send them back!! Not that I would...haha!

  21. This post was exactly what I needed to read- I feel exactly the same as you! I'm nearly 32 and have been married for a year. Since we got married I have felt so much pressure on us to start having a family, and I have been feeling so worried that I just don't seem to have that desire (especially as in the last month 4 of my best friends have told me they're pregnant, which is lovely, but has really added to the pressure!) When we are out I see so many parents looking stressed out and fraught and it really makes me question whether it's what I want from my life. I love children and can see how incredible it must be to raise your own, but at the moment travelling, getting a dog, my career and buying our new house are all so much more exciting to me than babies. We have decided to have another year enjoying ourselves and discuss the idea again next year- if it still doesn't feel right for us then we'll postpone it again until if or when it does. Enjoy life and try not to worry about it. What will be, will be! xx

  22. You are so young! Only 25! No wonder you are not thinking about babies :)

    I became a mother when I was 28. I simply felt that it's a right time :) No need to contemplate to much, somehow everything falls into places naturally. We always travelled with our daughter, her first flight was when she was 5 months old. We enjoy family holidays as much as we used to enjoy our holiday as a couple.

    Enjoy your life and do not worry to much about all these things. EVERYTHING changes naturally and you will see it!

  23. Reading this it reminds me so much of myself in every way! I am 28, I have been married for 3 years and we have been together for 12 years in total. My husband is 30 and we get asked this question ALL the time. My answer is always the same, a little eye roll and that we want to enjoy some more holidays for a little longer. We to love to travel and to exciting parts of the world where you may be on a plane for 12 hours at a time, do we really want to do that with a baby? One day I think im ready and it would be amazing and that something is missing from our little family but the next you will like you said see a screaming baby or tired looking mum who is so sleep deprived and I will think no way. I always think maybe something is wrong with me and why am I not wanting to follow the path that so many thing think is the right thing to do...house, marriage, baby.This was so nice to read something which relates to me so much and to know we are not alone and the only 'selfish' ones out there. Enjoy the holidays, the date nights, the drunken nights out, the sofa days and long lie ins and pj's days while you can! p.s how have I only just come across your blog?! My new fav! Charlotte xx (@lifeatno.51) x


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