Before I got married, I remember having a few conversations with my then-finance on what our lives would look like. I was never one for fussing over wedding plans and making sure we had the best colors and flowers that screamed “us.” I was interested in finding out what his life dreams were and if our ideals jived together when it came to important issues.
I knew early on I wanted kids, and I wanted a lot of them. I wanted them early rather than later, and I wanted to be able to raise them at home for the first 5 years of their lives, at least. I wanted to make sure he was on the same page — or at least the same chapter. He wanted to have only a few children and thought he would prefer to be married for a few years before jumping into parenthood. And so we talked. We talked often and a lot and both compromised in places we felt comfortable being fluid. We did all this before we said our “I do’s,” and it was more than just one conversation.
A small survey in the UK led by researcher Edina Kurdi of Middlesex University asked 75 women aged 35 and older who did not have any children whether they’d had any conversations about children with their partner and the results surprised me.
The key points in the survey:
- 40 percent of the women said they decided with their partner not to have children after only one conversation
- 3 of the 75 participants said they didn’t have a conversation at all
When asked for further information on their decision, one participant said, “It only needed one brief discussion, along the lines of ‘I don’t want kids — do you?’ ‘Nope, me neither.’ Then move onto something more interesting to talk about … and neither of us reconsidered our options. There was no need to.” Another woman said she only had the conversation once because she herself didn’t want children and would never consider pursuing a relationship with a partner who did see children in their future.
From this survey, it sounds like the partners didn’t have different ideas on kids and their future and so they only had the conversation once or it was an unspoken understanding. I would love to know what happens when partners disagree with the other in this subject, plus the discussion of how many and how soon.
Do you believe the conversation on having kids should be more of an issue in marriage?
Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and four kids. No, those aren’t her kids real names – they’re online pseudonyms. Read more from Devan on Babble and “like” byDevan on Facebook!