"All of my friends who do have kids are telling me, 'You need to do this! You'd be such a good parent! Everyone needs family, especially when they're older! You'll regret it if you don't!'"
SWK, those sentiments your friends are "sharing" with you are called "bingos." If you haven't ever ventured over to the Relationships/Married No Kids forum, you might want to take a gander. We who are child-free constantly get bingoed, but we've learned, and with much thanks to that forum, how to deal with it.
I will turn 37 in June, and I started having mixed feelings about kids with the whole "time is running out for me to make a decision" clock ticking when I was about 30. Prior to 30, I always thought I wanted kids (one of the reasons was because I just thought that's what everyone does), but then I had a blessed experience from God to take on the role of a step-mother. I really enjoyed it, but I got a great heapin' helping of how much being a good mom takes away in time, money, energy, spontinaety, and much more. I divorced when I was 35, and I must say one of the things I enjoyed most was getting my life back...the peace, the freedom and the wholeness of me. I finally decided last year to remain child-free, with the biggest reason being that I was ever, and remain, unsure about having them. It simply wouldn't be fair to them. This is why I think the worst bingo I get is that I'm "selfish." Simply untrue. Rather, I've made a well-thought-out decision that required me to think way beyond myself.
I truly feel for the moms who are having a hard time with child-rearing, the bad days, regrets and family life. I think the suggestions herein are very good. Remember on days when you feel like nothing, you're everything to someone, namely your little ones. Best wishes to you, and I hope, as some women have said, that it gets easier and more enjoyable with time.
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