HEY BESTIE: My boyfriend is desperate to have kids but I’m just not ready and I’m not sure I will ever be. Should I stay, or leave him and let him find someone else who also wants kids?
Relationships ebb and flow as two people and the relationship grow.
When you met your “now” partner, you might not have had the kids conversation.
Perhaps, you did have the kids conversation. It may have been glossed over or not taken seriously or passed aside with a comment such as ‘don’t worry, we’ll talk about that later when we are closer to thinking about that topic’.
The relationship develops, grows and then voila. . .the kid conversation arises once again.
And now it seems you are not only thinking about it but also talking about it as a couple.
I am also gathering from your question that the two of you are on different paths.
There are a lot of differences that couples can work through, some easy — some a little more difficult — and others, nearly impossible.
The difference between the issues that can be worked through and those that can’t are people’s individual willingness to collaborate with their partners . . . hence the reason that some topics are so much more difficult than others.
Whether or not to have children is a profoundly individual and impactful choice, and the want to stay with a partner isn’t always enough to override a compelling desire to have — or not to have — children of your own.
And for women, who often bear the bulk of the burden when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and childcare — the decision is particularly complex.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported a decline in the number of women who are opting to have children and become mothers. The fertility rate of women was also at an all-time low in 2018.
The reasons for opting out of parenthood are varied and typically a decision that is not entered into lightly.
If you are not willing to have kids and you are with someone who does want kids, chances are that this isn’t the best possible relationship for you.
The biggest issue is that you need to decide whether you want kids.
If it’s a hard no, then end the relationship and find a partner who also does not want kids.
If you want kids but not at this point, let your partner know and you might be able to work towards a time when you are both ready.
Only you can make that decision.
Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you have made the choice not to have children.
There are so many ways to live a fulfilling life, to make a difference in the world and to leave a legacy.
After all, everyone deserves to be in a relationship that fulfills their need to be the best version of themselves.