I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted children, I always arrived at a 'yes' because I felt there would be more regrets not having a family than having one but I'm certain that both options involve huge sacrifices. I hit the snooze button on my biological clock at regular intervals during my 20's, along side some very unhealthy relationships, a lot of hard work and study and some healing with from very damaging experiences in my childhood. I was (still am) terrified about the incredible influence a parent can have on their child.
Having a child seemed to be such an overwhelming commitment and change in life style, I wished I could squeeze another decade between 20 and 30. All I ever heard were people complaining about motherhood. After a hard day at work, I would go out with friends and eat and drink and laugh and I pitied the women going home to their kids. They would occasionally make it to a leaving do or Xmas party but they looked older than their years and frumpy. They all seemed to have husbands who would end up in the pub with us while they were putting the kids to bed whilst wearing a quilted dressing gown. They were happy to take a dull job to 'fit round the kids'.
Before even deciding to try for a baby I had more worries, there were all the potential problems at birth, disabilities, autism or a healthy child who starts school and suddenly has a headache and dies a week later from a brain tumour (usually with an unpronounceable name). I've watched people deal with all of these heart breaking situations in my career, as a Nurse and later as a Therapist. 'Don't have children, spare yourself the pain' said one parent. But most were so inspiring it helped me make my mind up and after lots of soul searching, I decided to prove Philip Larkin wrong, or try at least...http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/show/6538-Philip-Larkin-This-Be-The-Verse