My fiancé and I are getting married in a few months. I feel that it’s important to decide if you want kids before you’re married (one of my good friends went through a painful divorce over this issue). He’s relatively certain that he wants two. I’m so scared and unsure about having children. We had a long conversation about this the other day and I was talking about what a sacrifice children are, how study after study proves that parents are less happy than their counterparts, and how I constantly hear how difficult and sad being a parent is. He said something that really resonated with me, “I don’t think you understand why people have children.” And I really don’t.
When I see a baby I don’t get all “Oooohhh, a baby can I hold him?” I just get nervous watching him and making sure he’s OK and trying not to get too close because I can’t remember if I washed my hands after I went to the grocery store or whatever.
But, then, when I see my fiancé with kids, he’s so fun and gentle but responsible, and our relationship is very stable and healthy, I feel like we should have kids because it would be such an ideal life for a child. We also both come from loving and supportive homes, and while neither of our parents is pressuring us, I’m sure they would love to be grandparents someday.
But the awful thing is that I can see how badly my fiancé wants this. And I would just feel terrible marrying him if there’s a possibility that doing so would mean he won’t get to experience something so important in his life.
So, what I’m asking, I’m beyond aware that becoming a parent is a huge financial and personal sacrifice, your personality gets supplanted by “mom," I read they’re about $40,000 a year to raise, and that they will create significant conflict in a marriage. But what are the good parts? What about being a parent makes you happy or fulfilled?