Social Question

partyrock's avatar

Why do I want kids so bad lately?

Asked by partyrock (3865 points ) November 26th, 2011

I don’t know why I really want kids.Every time I see babies or children, I just think how amazing it would be to teach them and watch them grow. I am not financially ready or stable yet, but for the past few months I’ve been really really wanting to have kids. I feel really maternal, and I have a lot of love, and I have no where to put it. I’m not sure what this is called or if it is normal. I’m only 22, not ready for this big responsibility, but in my mind I still can’t help feeling this way. My life feels like an “empty nest”. I was also thinking maybe getting a kitten/puppy, or volunteering somewhere would help. Has any other female felt this way? I feel so maternal and it’s something I can’t wait to happen… Just wanted to know if this feeling is something deeper than what it is?

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29 Answers

partyrock's avatar

I already know I’m not actually ready to take care/have kids right now(my logical brain knows this) but I can’t help feeling really empty and wanting to love/raise/teach a child,

harple's avatar

It’s a beautiful (though all consuming) feeling, that will come and go for you over the next ten years or so…. (it’s unlikely to remain with you constantly during that time in my experience)... Then in about ten years from now, if it hasn’t happened for you before, then the feeling may come again and remain…

Don’t worry about it though, you are completely normal! Remember our bodies are ready to have children from when we start having our periods (even though we’re nowhere near ready emotionally) so at 22 your body has been ready for about 8/9 years… But your body will still be fine (assuming all well generally) even entering into your forties… okay, not as fine at that point, and it may be more difficult, but still possible.

So, enjoy the feeling, enjoy being a woman, and be honest with yourself about being someone who one day will definitely be intending to have children. Should you ever meet a man that says from the outset that he doesn’t want children, DON’T MARRY HIM!

Supacase's avatar

Oh, yes. It is the baby bug. I joke, but it really is a very strong sense of yearning. The longing I felt while waiting for my husband to get on the same page was almost physically painful at times. Fortunately, the feeling kind of comes in waves – some more intense than others – so just remember that this will fade.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You’re normal and for some people it’s the natural order of things.
Remember, if you want a good product, you need to use good ingredients. Please be very selective about the genetic material you will be receiving.

wilma's avatar

Perfectly normal.
I remember those feelings starting when I was about 15. They come and go in intensity, sometimes they seem to almost take over your life. I still get mild versions from time to time.
I think your idea of a puppy or a kitten might be a nice nurturing diversion for you.
You sound like you understand that you are not ready for motherhood, good for you! When you are ready I hope that you will remember @worriedguy ‘s words of wisdom. That person will be the father of your child forever.
I sure do wish that when I was having those feelings as a teenager that I had someplace like this to ask that question.

bobbinhood's avatar

I’ve been dealing with the same thing. I find that it helps when I can take care of other people’s kids. I get a “baby fix,” and then it’s not so bad.

Blackberry's avatar

Fight the biological urge.

smilingheart1's avatar

It’s a God given desire in your decade of life; probably goes hand in hand with greater sexual interest at female fertility time of the month and the master plan to keep the planet populated!

Mariah's avatar

Funny, my sister described beginning to feel that way when she was 22 too. Oh, biology.

blueberry_kid's avatar

You want to have the loving feeling of children around you!

john65pennington's avatar

Thats the maternal instinct that the good Lord included in all women. Your biological bell just rang.

Find Mr. Right, marry him, and follow through with the good intentions from above.

For the time being, nurturing a kitten or puppy might satisfy your “mothering instincts”.

wilma's avatar

@john65pennington just one small correction, the good Lord missed some women with that maternal instinct, but fortunately they are few and far between.

Judi's avatar

50 or 100 years ago you would have been considered an old maid, and would have had 2 or 3 kids by now. Just because society has changed, our biology hasn’t changed as fast. Your hormones are raging telling you to reproduce in order to preserve the species! 100–500 years ago, your life could be half over by now.

digitalimpression's avatar

Make sure you definitely want them before you definitely have them.

thesparrow's avatar

I don’t think I have the feeling that much.. I am 23 and I don’t really feel it a lot. I’ve been with someone for over a year but we don’t want to have kids now. I am scared to have kids, and also I am very ambitious in what I want to do. I’ve always been academically-oriented. I’m working on my MA right now and I plan to teach, eventually at a higher level. I am also writing a novel. I don’t go crazy when I see kids and I don’t typically like to care for children. I do think I’ll be a good mother when the time comes, though. Is this normal??

I have a friend, 22, who feels it more intensely. Then again, she’s already being a mother to her boyfriend..

AshLeigh's avatar

I think it’s normal. I think 22 is a healthy age to start thinking about it, and once you’re financially stable, with someone who won’t bail out on you… Go for once you’re actually ready.
My sister started talking about babies when she was 13. By the time she was 15, she was pregnant, and married to an abusive man. In the end she didn’t get to keep her baby, and she rarely sees her.
So, don’t rush into anything. :/

wilma's avatar

@thesparrow I think you are normal too. There is a wide range of natural maternal feelings. Mine were very strong and came very early like @AshLeigh ‘s sister. Fortunately I was mature enough to know that being a mother as a teenager was not a good idea and that the right time would come for me later on in my life.
I have a sister-in-law who did not want to have children and told her husband that from the beginning of their relationship. She doesn’t like to be around babies or young children, and has no desire to be a mother. I respect her for being honest with herself and her husband. Even when her family tried to make her feel guilty and pressure her into having a child, she stood firm. Good for her, people who don’t want to be parents should never try to have a child to please someone else.

flutheragain's avatar

Ya, I’m broody too (it’s called being broody), I’m almost 24, and I do volunteer and I also really want a rabbit or something like that..just look after yourself for now, focus on getting a really nice life, and then, when you can, you’ll have a baby hopefully. That’s kinda my plan:)

thesparrow's avatar

@wilma I want kids, but I want them in my late 20s. I’m strange in a lot of ways, though.

thesparrow's avatar

Lol.. I used to buy fish, a lot. But I killed them all off—normally within a week. Babies? I don’t think so.

lonelydragon's avatar

As others have said, it’s biology. Your hormones are driving you to reproduce. Kudos to you for listening to a higher authority—your brain—and waiting until the time is right to raise a child. It may be difficult, but when the time comes, you’ll have the satisfaction of a secure future for yourself and any future child(ren) you may have. I think your idea of getting a puppy and/or volunteering would be an excellent expression for your caring instinct at this time.

thesparrow's avatar

There’s actually a lot of controversy surrounding the existence of a ‘maternal instinct.’ Some have argued that it’s a social construct harmful to women, since it continues to paint them as mothers and keepers of the home. My friend’s (male, interestingly enough) sociology prof. expressed deep resentment at the idea of a ‘maternal instinct.’

Society continues to portray women as carers and nurturers, and not only is this probably wrong… it’s also harmful. It leaves men out of the picture and excuses THEM from ALSO being carers and nurturers. Furthermore, there is another problem: the existence of the female stereotype—the martyr mother or wife who gives and gives but never receives—allows certain other stereotypes to exist (such as that women are typically responsible for holding a relationship together and that if it doesn’t work out, it’s all ‘their fault.’)

Women should be nurturing and caring, but men should ALSO be nurturing and caring. The existence of a maternal instinct suggests that only women must care and nurture, where men are privy not to do so. Maternal instinct leaves out the possibility for a paternal instinct, whereby men too can show themselves to be caring and nurturing parents.

harple's avatar

@thesparrow you raise some interesting points…

I would say that there is a danger of the phrase ‘maternal instict’ being bandied around by some more ignorant people as a blanket way of being dismissive of women in the workplace (for example), in the same way that ‘time of the month’ can be used to be dismissive of a woman who is cross or upset.

That doesn’t mean that maternal instinct, or pms doesn’t exist though. And as a woman who has/does experience both, I would happily stand up, tall and proud, and say that both exist, but that their existence doesn’t diminish what I am capable of, and doesn’t diminish the validity of my reactions to things.

Maternal instinct certainly doesn’t exclude the possibility of paternal instinct (that would be like saying pms excludes the possibility of a man being affected by increased testosterone in his body)... The two things are not mutually exclusive. They may manifest at different points in the baby making process however.

wilma's avatar

@thesparrow I disagree, as @harple stated, Maternal instinct certainly doesn’t exclude the possibility of paternal instinct The two things are not mutually exclusive.
It sounds to me like your friends Sociology prof. is jealous.

Mariah's avatar

I agree with @harples’s points, but I also think @thesparrow raised some really interesting food for thought, and I can see how her claims could be true to an extent.

No, claiming the existence of maternal instinct doesn’t eliminate the possibility of paternal instinct, but it does diminish the need for it. If the assumption is that a mother will take care of a child, the father may feel free to disappear from the picture (an all too common occurence), or in a less extreme example, it encourages a family to fall into traditional roles (the man as the provider and the woman as the caretaker) which can be harmful to women as a whole (please note I don’t mean to say that there’s anything wrong with any individual family deciding to operate this way, but when it becomes an overarching societal trend, that raises some concerns about gender equality in my mind).

I for one am tired as hell of movies like I Don’t Know How She Does It which portray being a working mom as some outlandish concept and, in the end, show the leading lady realizing that she really belongs at home as a caretaker.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Well, if you feel responsiblity is the issue in actually having kinds, start small. Like with a plant or a cat. You learn how to take care of them, and you have something warm and cuddly with you! Well, not the plant. But the cat is warm and cuddly!

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Your feelings are completely normal. I’ve often felt that way myself, even though I know it’s not a good idea for me to have children right now.

Children are a blessing, but they are also human beings who have thoughts and feelings. It is very important for them to have a stable life, which includes having parents who want them, love them, and care for them. Should the father leave for some reason, you’d be left to raise those children on your own… and that can be difficult for single mothers, no matter how much they love their children. I don’t think I need to tell you this. I think you already know.

Getting a pet sounds like a good idea. So does volunteering. Maybe you could even babysit.

thesparrow's avatar

@Mariah Great points. And what a horrible movie! I think our society is actually making some progress when a movie like that gets terrible reviews and is deemed ‘sexist’ by more than a few groups (both male and female). It is true that all too often fathers leave the picture or are excused from taking responsibility for the child (I see it even in my own family). Not to say they don’t take responsibility, but they are always ‘secondary’ care-givers. They can always go see a movie or have a few drinks with friends while the mother does her thing. And in today’s world, both parents working is not only an ideal.. it’s a reality. Some women would even WANT to stay home, cannot do this, work, AND are burdened with most of the household chores and child-raising.

@harple All valid points, I agree. Ha, even I use the PMS excuse.

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