Monday, June 2, 2008

Why Kids?

Why do we want kids? Is it biological? Is it emotional? Is it societal?

As W and I are trying to figure out what our next steps are, I find myself asking this question a lot. Why do I want kids? I've posed this question to myself before, but I find that my answers are getting different. I'm older, I'm faced with the prospects of not being able to have them the way I thought I would, and it makes me wonder why it is I want them in the first place.

I think my main reasons are still that I do want to add to our family and I do want to contribute to the world by raising a good person to live on after I am gone, but I am no longer defining myself as much as a "mom" type. I am no longer linking it to my identity as a woman as much, and I am no longer thinking of kids as something that you are "supposed" to do in order to exist in society (ie. get married, have kids, have grandkids, etc., etc., etc.).

I guess I am learning that I am still a woman if I am not a mother and I am still a valuable member of society if I don't have kids. But, then, why do I still want one? I'm still working on the answer to that one.

Why do you want kids?

18 comments:

Mama Bear said...

I know how you feel - it is hard feeling like a mommy and wanting thas so so bad and not actually having a child - oh I know so much how that feels! I don't have any one reason why I wanted to be a mom but I always have since I was little playing with my babies, I think just being able to feel the love and connection to a child is a big reason and now that I have a child I could make a list of 100 things --- I need to dig into your blog and see where you are on your journey to being a mommy!

MsPrufrock said...

I've never been a great lover of children. Admittedly, I'm not now either, I just like my own kid and maybe a couple of others.

I went through years of IF treatment not really knowing why I wanted kids. The overriding sense was that I wanted them because I'd been told I might not be able to. I still think that was a large part of it, which is probably shameful to say, but oh well. I have my daughter now and don't wonder if I have made the right decision.

I never wanted to be defined as a mother, and I maintain that now. I am P's mother, but that isn't all I am. I think when you have problems conceiving one of the big issues is getting around that notion that all "real" women must be mothers since that is one of our basic (haha) biological functions. Even if you become a mother, you don't forget that it doesn't define who you are.

JJ said...

Wow, heavy question...one I have thought about quite a bit: esp as we are in the middle of a cycle.
I want what I had--thats the best way to encompass my answer. I grew up with loving parents, 2 siblings, and house full of laughter. Holidays can be stressful, but I look forward to them every year. The love that abounds from family is priceless.

Cece said...

It's all I've ever wanted. I went to a great college. When people would ask me what I was going to do with my life, I said 'Be a Mom'. And I wasn't kidding. But now that I've had 3 years to think long and hard about it? I'm scared for the life changing expereince that is going to turn my world totally upside down in 6 months. And hoping that something that I worked this hard to get to is REALLY something that I want.

*quietly freaking out*

Sharon said...

Hey there from NCLM(I am not on the list tho...a day late and a dollar short, I say to everyone!)...and Seattle WA....and that is a great question...I am a mom...and glad that my kids are about 10 years apart (due to secondary infertility) and I think that it wasn't that I so much wanted to be a 'mom' but it was 'expected'. Being the oldest of 3 kids it just seemed the thing to do. Don't get me wrong...I am GLAD we had our kids...and I try to be a better mother then my mom...but still...that question...WHY? Maybe it's just human nature to want to duplicate ourselves? or 'grow' a duplicate that is better then us? Or, how about a part of your loved one? Speculation galore! LOL I guess I eventually thought that kids were so important that I went a head and became a gestational surrogate...TWICE...

Hope your week is going great!
Hugs
Sharon

tryingtoconceive said...

Very good question.

I want a child because I want to raise a family with my husband. I want a little person to love, to teach, to spoil, to take care of. I want to have a family, and see my husband be a father. I want to give a child the love that my DH has to offer.

I can't imagine life without a family of our own. I want children because that's all I can see in my future.

Julie said...

Hmm...

I wasn't a babysitter and never have been terribly interested in other people's kids. But I still wanted children. I wanted children because, well, I had this feeling something was missing. I wanted a little one to love, to care for, to worry over and celebrate with, and all in ways that I couldn't with the adults in my life.

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phoebe said...

Good question. I recently made a list. Of course, there was the usual, "I always wanted kids" and "I want a family," but this one stuck with me: "Because I thought it would make me happy." What's up with that?

sara said...

Hmmm, interesting question. Thanks for stopping by and the good wishes. I think why I want to be a mom is because I finally found someone (my husband) whom I want to share a family with. I don't care if the children are mine biologically, or adopted, or half biologically mine or whatever. I just want to share the joy of being a parent with my husband. I think that's why I want kids.

Pamela Jeanne said...

NaComLeavMo visit. Good question. Among the many reasons I wanted them: 1) my dh ROCKS! I mean he's beyond cool and I wanted to see his genes live on. 2)after studying them for ages, I always wanted to see how I'd do as a pregnant woman 3) I always wanted to having the breastfeeding/bonding connection that seems more intense and alive than just about anything I've ever witnessed.

m said...

Can I just ditto what you said? And add to it what Pamela Jeanne said (minus her #3. I'm still a little wigged out by that).

Elisabeth said...

Hello from NLMC!

This is a great question. Before kids, I wanted them because... well, I had always wanted them. Imagined myself as a mom. Dreamed of creating a family of my own. All those cliched but all too true feelings that accompany the possibility of motherhood for many (but not all!) women.

Now that I have two of my own, after a long and extremely painful struggle, I sometimes stop and ask myself if motherhood is all I expected, all I had hoped for.

The answer is that even in my wildest dreams I could not have imagined a more meaningful role. Dirty diapers, runny noses, monotony and all... these 13 months have been, hands down, the best of my life.

I don't know if it would have made the struggles any easier had I been able to fathom all that motherhood would mean to me- but I do know that I would do it all again in a heartbeat- every painful, anxious second of it- to be where I am now.

Best of luck to you!

Queenie. . . said...

I think this is such a great post. This is a question I've been working on for literally years. It's really only in the last two years that I've gotten to the bottom of this. In fact, I have a whole blog post planned on this very topic, as part of Mel's Show and Tell this coming Sunday.

DC said...

I want kids so I can leave something tangible behind when I exit this world. I'm not concerned with a biological link; I just want to be able to love and shape another person. Maybe "shape" is the wrong word. I just want to give everything I have to a little person who depends on me.

Marie Louise said...

If you choose to have kids, you life will never be the same. You will think to yourself...what did I do before I had kids? You only live once and I think children are something you shouldn't miss out on if you have the opportunity to have them.

Nit said...

Hi from NCLM :)

This is something I think about all the time! I think when I was younger a lot of me wanting children was because I felt that was what would define me as a woman...as silly as it sounds. As I've grown older, there are many more reasons. For one, I want my husband & I to create this little person together. I want us to share in raising and molding and teaching him/her. I also feel like I have a lot of love to give to a child. This doesn't necessarily have to my biological child, but a child. Now that we are having difficulty having a child...I want it even more. :(

Kristine said...

Thats a very interesting question. After 7 years I finally have my family, but I do remember at one time pondering that...why DO I want kids. And I couldn't come up with a good answer other than "I need to be a mother."

There were times during our journey where I had to take a step back and contemplate that. I would get so focused on the process that I would forget what the ultimate goal was about.