Could use some encouragement/advice/feedback again
I've posted a couple times before on similar topics, but I really could use some encouragement and feedback again in light of some recent events since I last posted anything. I can't really pinpoint a perfect location for this so I figured I'd post in the general area.
A little history for those that haven't read my other posts: I love my wife, marriage and life right now, other than the one sticking point I have. Late Summer/early Fall my wife wanted to start trying to get pregnant. I wasn't enthusiastic about this but I went along with it because we had discussed it a year prior that in 1 year she would stop her BC. 2-3 months later we found out that she was pregnant. I still have never really gotten comfortable with it (she's 12 weeks as of yesterday). There really are no barriers to us having a kid; big enough house, good income, good relationship (except us not seeing eye to eye on the kid situation), not too old or too young (30 and 26), married for 2 years and together for a total of 8, both done with educatation (she is done with her Masters, I was about to start mine but have since held off), etc. but I just haven't found any reason TO have one either. It isn't about ability; I'm confident in my abilities to be a father (others have said my thoughts on raising kids are very insightful, and I have heard comments that I handle kids great) but lack the desire. All I can see is hassle; my wife becoming deformed (temporarily as well as permanently in some cases), the pain she will go through (birth), the suffering (the time when she is huge leading up to the pain of birth), the expense of a kid, the lack of time for my wife and I to be together, the decline in our sex lives that will assuredly come after a child, etc. I just don't desire to have that in my life. Also since I don't FEEL 30 I haven't gotten into the mind set of "kids are good, kids are what we should be having now" rather than the thinking of a late teens/early 20 something of "if I have a kid now, how will I support myself and the kid? My life will be over!". I know I can't change it now, but that's why I come here for feedback, support, encouragement, etc. since my wife and friends are obviously going to be biased!
Anyway, enough of the history. What is really getting these feelings stirred back up again was New Years. We had a total of 8 people in our house staying (3 couples plus my wife and I) for New Years along with 4 dogs (1 of them mine), and 2 toddlers (and 2 fetuses counting my wife)...for 5 days. I found myself having to go find a quiet place to calm my nerves a number of times! Yes, having the tons of people and dogs in the house for that many days is a stressor, but the kids are what most concerned me since I have one on the way. One is pretty well behaved. Listens, is quiet, doesn't cry, sleeps through the night, etc. The other was an absolute TERROR. SCREECHING at the top of her lungs (and her parents thinking it was funny), crying before and after naps, and more. Both of them just turned me off to kids and really stirred up the feelings I mentioned above again (though they are always there, simmering). Maybe it was the terror child, maybe it was the dogs, maybe it was all the people, or a combination of all of them. The well behaved toddler actually followed me around constantly and I had him helping me with dishes since he seemd to enjoy it (among other things), and I guess the other parents commented to my wife that they think I'll be great once our child is born. I thought I was just being considerate and treating the toddler like the guest he was, but my wife and the rest saw it differently apparently. At any rate, they both seemed like SO much work...work that I know I can do...but just don't want to have to. How do I turn that around? Others just keep saying "you'll get there when the child is born" and "it's different when it's your own". One other thing my wife said that does resonate with me is along the same lines as the "it's different when it's your own child" - she pointed out that while I wanted the dogs GONE because they were such an annoyance, I wouldn't want MINE gone. And she's right. That does give me some hope that I WILL feel that way about our kid.
The other event was just last night. My wife went to a Dr. appointment for a check up. During the check up the Dr. used whatever the device is called (can't remember right now) to listen to the babies heart beat. While he was trying to find it (my wife is 12 weeks so I guess it can be hard to locate) I found myself to be a bit anxious. I am having a hard time trying to figure out if it was because deep down I'm excited and happy and was afraid there was something wrong, or if it was because I was hoping something had happened because she has had ZERO pregnancy symptoms. When he finally found it, I really didn't feel anything one way or the other. My wife never really displayed much of a reaction either though she did mention that it excited her and was a relief to hear (again, since she has had ZERO symptoms I guess she has been wondering if something was wrong). I remember my wife telling me that other mothers she has talked to said their husbands weren't so enthusiastic at first either but turned around once they heard the heart beat. Apparently not me (I've heard the sound before on TV so it didnt really affect me...to which she replied "yes, but it's different because it's OURS!"). So what is it going to take? Am I hopeless? Is my marriage doomed because I just CAN'T deal with a kid or be happy about it? Or am I just nervous but telling myself I'm not and everything will be fine like others have said once she has the baby or once I start to see her belly grow (as much as I say I don't like that idea right now)? I appreciate an outsiders perspective after describing all this.
On a related note, we even already have the room for the baby done and furnished (except for some decorations and bedding). We found a killer deal on Black Friday and it made sense to me that we get everything now since we could save so much money since we were going to need it eventually anyway. We then painted the room, etc. and put everything together. This was 2-3 weeks ago when she was 9/10 weeks pregnant. Again, having a hard time figuring out if I was just being logical (hey, we'll need this anyway, might as well save some $ and we already have the furniture so we might as well paint the room and put it together), or if deep down I really am excited and happy about it...
I'm definitely very conflicted and confused right now. Which is very unlike me. I know I can't change the course of events anymore and that what's done is done. But that doesn't mean I've been comfortable with it. Maybe that is part of it; nothing else you do in life is permanent. This is. No matter what I certainly can't say that the gravity of the situation is lost upon me...
Like I said, obviously my wife and friends are going to be biased so it's nice to be able to hear things from unbiased parties.
Thanks for reading (again if you've commented before on something similar) and sorry for the length. I do appreciate the helpfulness of everyone here. And again, I know I've had 1 or 2 other posts that are similar, but I felt the need to reach out again!