Social Question

Oxymoron's avatar

How has having a child effected your life? Or, if you don't have any kids, how does it effect people you know?

Asked by Oxymoron (1239points) February 8th, 2010

Have they held you/them back? Do you/they regret it? Was it a planned pregnancy?

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16 Answers

njnyjobs's avatar

It’s a life changing matter. . . starting out you’ll need to pack diapers, feed, strollers etc. . . whereas prior to the child, you just fend for yourself…

I don’t regret it, it’s part of my life’s plan…

Blackberry's avatar

I was a stepdad for awhile, definitely held me back from a lot of things, I feel so extremely sorry for young parents cutting their life short. All I see from my friends with kids at a young age is unneeded struggle and strife. It’s not worth it at this age, wait until you’re older and have money.

netgrrl's avatar

I had 3 children, 1 before I was 21. None of them were planned, none arrived at the best times of my life. I’m all for planning, but if I’d waited until it was the best time, I’d have probably never had children. They are 34, 29 & 25 now. They are wonderful adults & I’d be happy to know them even if we weren’t related.

plethora's avatar

Sorry, I’m an English language nut. The word is “affect”, not “effect”. Thanks.

cheebdragon's avatar

How has it not affected my life, would be a better question.

Pandora's avatar

I had 2, and no they were not planned. Raising children going all the way throught to college is expensive. VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE!!
Do I regret having either one. Not for one second.
Has it held us back. I don’t think so however I don’t know what we would’ve done differently that may have changed the course of our live. Some of our plans were a result of making decisions because of them and school. Like my husband didn’t re-enlist and get one more promotion in the service because we didn’t want to move them once they were in high school. However, if he stayed he would’ve retired a higher rank but he wouldn’t have gotten the job he got that lead him all the way to the job he now has. So our life would’ve been different as far as careers but I couldn’t say if it would’ve been better or worse since I have no way of knowing. We definetly would’ve been different people. Being a parent changes who you are and how you view the world and how you view your relationship.

Oxymoron's avatar

@Blackberry – I agree. I’m waiting until I’m in my thirties or almost forty to have a kid, and only one. I want to travel and have lots of cars and stuff. Ha ha.

@cheebdragon – Well, has it been a good experience? One you would never give up for anything?

@Pandora – In what ways does it change who you are?

lynzeut's avatar

I would have to say that I am pretty tired. Always.

onesecondregrets's avatar

A lot of my friends are older- some having children around 10 years old and others having ones out of college. I’ve learned through listening to a lot of them talk that it mainly depended on their dreams in life. For the ones who are female and are the nurturing type, they don’t feel anything held them back and wouldn’t trade their children in for the world. For the more independent ones, they wouldn’t trade ‘em for the world but do feel like it stifled them a lot. Either way, what I’ve noticed is their lives are the lives of their children, that becomes their days, their hours, their schedules and that is what they earn their paychecks for. Though they all love their children, their children are their stress and exhaustion, and their financial woes. Only my friends who are retired are at ease about the financial part (these are the ones who have their kids mostly through college or completely) Good question, something I think about all the time too and observe a lot and because of it I’m not sure about my choice of having children or not but it turns out when a lot of people have kids, they aren’t planned so you know.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

When I met my ex wife she was pregnant so I had the ability to actually be there for a child from the very beginning. It is a HUGE change from hanging out with your buddies and sleeping whenever you feel like it. Although there was some very negative parts of parenting, the joy a child can bring is insurmountable. At the time I wasn’t ready so it was mentally draining and I had a hard time balancing other aspects in my life. Plus my ex wife was a psycho path and it made things that much harder. I think that I could have a child at this stage in life and feel very good about it. If I happened to get my girl pregnant there would be no complaints at this end. :)

borderline_blonde's avatar

I don’t have kids myself, but as @lynzeut pointed out, the friends I do have with kids are constantly exhausted! They all say it’s worthwhile though… that there’s a big adjustment period where you have to get used to no longer being selfish, instead living 99% of your life for someone else (those, though, I’d say are the best parents :)

susanc's avatar

I think it’s important to have children only when you and your parents have worked through YOUR childhood so that you have the availability of hands-on grandparents with no confusions about who’s in charge (you are). Grandparents make a huge difference in the tiredness department. I should know. I’m a grandparent now, and I’m tired all the time too. We all are. But it could be much worse.
And it’s great. My oldest grandchild is now saying things like “I belong with Sisu” – which is what she calls me, instead of “susanc” which she doesn’t know about because she can’t fluther yet. Poor little thing. Give it another 2 years though.

TheJoker's avatar

Now I’m in my 30’s, alot of my friends have recently (over the last couple of yrs) had children. The main difference that I’ve noticed in them is that they’ve pretty much all become incredibly boring… mind-numbingly so. They literally don’t talk about anything other than the child.

cookieman's avatar

My wife and I adopted our daughter six years ago. (don’t assume everyone has children via pregnancy by the way) We were in our thirties.

It has changed for the better in that our lives feel richer with someone new to love and be loved by.

It was changed for the worse, as my wife and I have less time alone. So that now requires some planning.

The rest are just details. We didn’t change our lifestyle too much (but then, we were never “party animals” anyway).

We are lucky in that she’s well behaved so we never stopped traveling or going to restaurants or people’s houses.

As for cost…the day-to-day costs are manageable. It’s the long-term costs that concern me (college, wedding, etc.) – but, ultimately, you can only do the best you can do.

She’s an amazing kid and I’m glad I get to be a part of whoever she becomes.

And, ‘Yes’ she was planned. I’ve never heard of an accidental adoption.

OpryLeigh's avatar

One of the best mothers I know had her little girl when she was 18 years old (she’s now 21). For her it seems to have been the best thing because, although the pregnancy wasn’t planned, she really grew up and changed her lifestyle for the better when she found out that she was pregnant.

The only negative thing I have noticed in some of my friends after having children is that they have, all of a sudden, started to act to superior towards those of us that don’t have children. That irritates the shit out of me, almost like they belong to an exclusive club that they have been carefully selected to join. I don’t like it when it changes people that way. Thankfully, for most of my friends parenthood has made them more down to earth!

I don’t think any of them regret it but I know two of my friends have decided that one child is enough!

Pandora's avatar

It changes who you are in relationship to the type of people you may associate with. When it was just my husband and myself, we didn’t care if the people we hung out with were irresponsible or even swingers (even though we didn’t swing) or even if they dropped bye and stayed up playing cards with us or drinking and we would even go out clubbing on a weekday night. However once you have children you re-evalutate your friendships. Like we dropped a friend who was an alchohlic, another who was always high, and the swinger couple and the single guys who would drop by after partying to crash on our sofa. Well actually we didn’t drop them but we told them they could no longer come over high, drunk or joking about sexual encounters or drop by unannounced. They kind of went away all on their own after that announcement. Babies have schedules and need attention and we certainly weren’t in any way able to pay for sitters to come over and take care of them late evenings so we could go out clubbing. Plus babies still wake up early and you don’t want a hangover yourself. It was fun doing what we wanted to do when we wanted too, however it does get old and tiring.
I’m sure we would’ve changed friends as we matured but I think our life changed quickly and it changed our views of people habits and lifestyles.
Now we had two innocent trusting people who totally relied on our judgement to raise them safe and provide a nuturing enviroment and we had to do our best to be good role models. Not just do as I say, but do as I do.

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