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  • #46


    children (me currently 39, wife 34, daughter 14 months), I feel like we had to simplify our lives somewhat and thus have not felt it to be too stressful.
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    And I have found even the most simple things in life to be the most enjoyable (walks with the family on a Sunday morning).
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    I have always been a work kind of guy and enjoyed my free time to no end, even if it was watching football all day on Saturday. I have always liked kids, but I don’t think I was truly able to understand that feeling until I had my own. And I think that is the kicker. It’s really hard to know until you experience it for yourself.
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    A lot of these apply to me. I was actually a little older than you when I had my daughter. I was concerned if I would have the energy of being an older dad. But I found out that working less and not stressing about saving money made me enjoy being a dad more. And I found out I was not the oldest dad, not by a long shot. A much younger kid than my daughter in the Tekwondo class had a father aged 70. And two of her classmates have dads 65+.

    Small things bring great joy. Like the time a few minutes ago when she sat on my lap and hugged me and wished me a great journey to a conference I am due to go tomorrow. And the quiet times we have when I quiz her on her biology class or tell her about my childhood in India. You don't need to spend a lot of money for children. A smartphone and data plan is all that they need.  

     

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    • #47
      I'm waiting for someone with kids to chime in not to do it.....

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      • #48
        I have 4 kids, 2 dogs, 3 goats, 4 chicken and currently 5 shop cats (had 2 litters this summer, ugh) and if you aren't up for a dog you are probably not up for kids... maybe a cat though.  Perhaps I am the minority in this opinion and I mean no offense but you asked the question.  If you think boarding a dog for your travels, throwing down a bowl of dry food once-twice a day and installing a doggie door to a fenced in yard is to much work then having a kid sounds like a crazy plan.  I'm no world traveler but I've taken 2 or 4 kids on 6 cross country flights this year multiple of them without my husband so I am certainly not opposed to traveling but my travels are greatly different than yours.  I have a partner who sounds a lot like you, she and her husband travel everywhere all the time and they are not planning kids and are content with this so you are certainly not unique in choosing a lifestyle you know makes you happy (if that's the case) over the potential happiness of children --which is certainly not a guarantee, I'm a family doc and there are so many kids I can't stand being trapped in an exam room with for more than 10 minutes so I'm not sure what I would do if they were mine.

        In the end only you can decide what the right plan is and whatever you decide to do in life can lead you to happiness/contentment, but the kid route is quite a bit more unpredictable, sticky and loud.  Good luck!

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        • #49
          Based on the tone of your post, you should have been a radiologist. I am also ADD, mind always wandering with wild ideas, new business ideas or traveling plans.
          Since I sense you are in a rush to do/see as much as you can, you are always chasing the next best thing. You may regret it if you never have kids. Just a hunch. I'm the same in that I feel like I need to extract as much as I can out of every moment in the day. Wish I had your work ethic though. Good luck with whatever you choose!

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          • #50
            adventure -
            I picked up the same from her post. The need to do a lot of impressive sounding things (and the need to tell a bunch of people in gory detail) is a sign of inner insecurity.
            If not therapy, I would recommend studying and applying something like stoicism to her life. I love to travel and brag myself, so I am saying this from a place of understanding. OP has major FOMO and an even more major chip on the shoulder.

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            • #51
              In the classic words of Yogi Berra, "when you come to a fork in the road, take it."  You're 36 and your husband is 39.  If you think you might want to have kids, now is the time to start trying seriously.

              Kids are very expensive and time consuming.  You have to feed them, cloth them, modify your sleep, culinary, and travel preferences to meet their needs, and sock enough away in a 529 to take care of their higher education needs.

              If you wait somewhat longer, you'll get the discomfort and expense of IVF; the expense, intrusion, and endless waiting and uncertainty of adoption (foreign or domestic), and still incur all of the regular fun expenses of child rearing.  Ask not, my wife and I have experienced all these things.

              The house will be a mess.  You'll change countless diapers.  You'll spend far too much time on seemingly simple math and reading problems and play chauffeur to countless extracurricular activities.  You and your husband will start dinner far too late after putting the kids to bed.  You also will have countless happy memories of nice things the little hooligans did and things that they said.

              My wife and I want to have grandkids, just not too soon.  We've funded the 529s quite well and are looking forward to when the last one moves out of the house, but we don't want it to happen too soon.

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              • #52
                We didn't want kids. First one was an accident. I cried for a month.

                Fast forward. We have a 7 &9 year old. I still hate most kids but ours are awesome.

                They probably saved my life. They got me out of my self absorbed rat race life and brought meaning and clarity to things.

                We still go to Europe every year and fly somewhere almost every month together. Our kids are cool.

                People who done want kids make the coolest parents.

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                • #53




                  We didn’t want kids. First one was an accident. I cried for a month.

                  Fast forward. We have a 7 &9 year old. I still hate most kids but ours are awesome.

                  They probably saved my life. They got me out of my self absorbed rat race life and brought meaning and clarity to things.

                  We still go to Europe every year and fly somewhere almost every month together. Our kids are cool.

                  People who done want kids make the coolest parents.
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                  I really dont like anyone elses kids either, I think thats natural.

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                  • #54


                    100% agree. Respectfully, I’m concerned you sound miserable. You don’t sound happy, you have it all, and yet you act rather spontanenously. I like the idea of seeing someone – I think there is a bit to unpack.
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                    Indeed, I HAVE been miserable for the past year.. due to the multiple jobs and the house remodel and the difficult motherhood decision which has been weighing on me on top of everything else... hence getting rid of the extra unnecessary job, and the house remodel is done (although restarted since IRMA destroyed a large part of the house, but this time, I'm not stressing to get it completed since I can still live here), and I decided to stop enabling my perfectly capable sister by cutting her off financially (don't ask) which had caused a lot of additional unnecessary family drama.

                    Since then, (which is literally just last month, I have been stress free and happier, and now the stress is coming from next steps.. which everyone has told me to take a minute! but I have never been able to take a minute..

                    Oh, I have always been spontaneous, going to med school was slightly on a whim (someone said I would be better off doing that, than being a biochemist working for the CDC, which was my original goal, and lo and behold the next day I saw a sign for the MCAT, and basically went for it), the MBA had been on the back of my mind since I was elected chair, but while we were in Tanzania over thanksgiving, I decided to go for it, and I was enrolled and going to school that January (I asked for a special exception to allow me to enter into the class, even though I narrowly missed the deadline to apply), I thought I would use it to go into hospital admin, but after four years of hospital admin, I realized it definitely was not for me...

                    It's crazy, but I AM a spontaneous person, but I try to do it methodically, if that makes sense??? for example, I may not hop on a plane and go to europe tomorrow, but I would do it on my next week off, if I didn't have any moonlighting going on and the tickets were cheap...

                    I know being a parent gets rid of a lot of spontaneity, and everything needs to be planned out.. with tons of structure, so I can no longer come home from work, hop in the lake go for a swim and wait for my husband to get home to cook...

                    I totally agree with therapy, but sometimes I worry about seeing a psychiatrist and having difficulties obtaining work (on the locums/credentialing apps, I think they ask you about psych stuff) so I know the records are sealed, but if you ever get taken to court, I'm sure they'd dig up that I was seeing someone for my mental health even if it was just for coaching through a tough situation...

                    maybe I should start a whole separate post on that topic? are doctors that see psychiatrists at risk? maybe someone of the psych doc know this..

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                    • #55
                      OP,

                      Full disclosure: I've wanted kids since I was one.  I was making career sacrifices before I even had a partner in the hopes of one day being in a better position to have kids.  This was not a difficult decision for me as it is for you.

                      It sounds like you enjoy having a great breadth of experience.  Parenting necessitates the sacrifice of some breadth, hopefully in exchange for more depth.  Last week my wife and I took our little ones on a hike, hoping to see 4 waterfalls.  When we got to the first, our toddler ran into the falls, giggling and dancing and splashing and laughing.  We spent a long time there and never made it further along the trail.  Had it been just my wife and me, we would have seen 4 waterfalls that day.  With our kids, we missed out on 3/4 of the waterfalls, but we were more enthralled watching our kids being enraptured by the experience of that waterfall than we ever would have been by the waterfall (or 3 others like it) itself.  Much of my joy now happens vicariously.  It's not a cheaper joy.  I just get more pleasure out of watching my kids experience/learn/observe/master something than I ever used to get out of the thing itself. There's more depth to every experience when they are there.

                      I have no way of predicting that it would be so for you and I don't know what to recommend for you.  I suppose I just wanted to comment on the breadth-for-depth trade, and I that it has been most worth it for me.  I would also comment that some of the unhappiest parents I know are the ones who try to keep "doing it all" after they have kids.  Kids take time if you're going to do it well.  I think you'd have to be willing to let go of a few things on your current list or risk becoming embittered towards kids when you don't feel like you're as good of a hospitalist/administrator/parent/spouse/etc as you should be/used to be.

                      I'm sorry it's a hard decision. I wish you well.

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                      • #56



                         

                        maybe I should start a whole separate post on that topic? are doctors that see psychiatrists at risk? maybe someone of the psych doc know this..
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                        Well as a part of my psychiatric residency, we were encouraged to take advantage of demonstration psychotherapy (this is where you are the patient and you are working with an experienced psychologist, who is working with you for free). So everyone in my program would be in trouble if this were the case. I don't recall being asked if I'd been in therapy, on my credentialing paperwork.

                        If you do decide on therapy, I'd see a PhD, not a psychiatrist, unless they'd done some type of formal fellowship in therapy. I actually did a lot of therapy training during residency as I knew I'd use those skills as an outpatient doc, but I still have WAY less training than a clinical psychologist. Just my $0.02.

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                        • #57
                          Yesterday was a perfect example of benefits of kids.  We moved into our current house this summer and we have a rather heavy treadmill that has been sitting in the garage.  With winter coming it was time to move it into the basement, which I have been dreading because it weighs a ton and it had to be taken apart to get it through the doorway.  My sons helped me take it apart, get it downstairs and reassemble.  If I did not have a couple of strong teenagers (all those years of swimming have paid off) I would have had to get outside help.

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                          • #58





                             I kind of like peace and quiet. As an OB/GYN it is better for you and your husband to be all in on the decision. Plenty of professional women seem happy without kids if that is your choice. In fact I see lots of intelligent women who want a child so bad that they get involved with totally inappropriate men. Only you and your husband can make this decision. If you want them get on it soon. Tick. Tock. 
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                            I totally agree! My husband and I made a pro-con list and on his con list he had “they’re loud” he is an introvert though, but I’m a complete extrovert and I’ve sat in silence at my computer all day “goofing” around on the internet.

                            So, my sisters will both have kids, and I really think I could be a “fun” aunt, and enjoy all the fun things without any of the hard work or “drudgery” but they live in california… and I live here, I guess the trek out there is not that bad.

                            That being said.. I have plenty of babies in my life right now, my best friend has a nightmare two year old (definitely very effective birth control) but she also has twins on the way! and my other male doctor friend is going to have a  baby with his wife soon (she’s 40), now maybe the clock is ticking, but I think I can wait for these new babies to show up to see how I feel about them since my sister’s baby was the first baby I felt anything “maternal” towards.. everyone else’s kids are cute, but annoying after a short period of time.

                            “I think some women know from an early age that having children is important to them”.

                            I have never wanted children… but then again, I never wanted to be married either, and that has been greatly rewarding (even with the annoyances and frustrations with a normal typical marriage)

                            I’m going to try these “imagine your life exercises” that everyone has recommended and hope the clock doesn’t stop working before I’ve made my decision!
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                            You will not be able to get the full feelings of having your own kid by being around someone else's kid. Seeing a child with your nose or your husband's smile and them being yours is totally different than a borrowed kid.

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                            • #59
                              I believe you are wise to pose your dilemma in terms of which path will cause the least regret.

                              In terms of regret, the research on happiness indicates that people are most regretful of the things they did *not* do rather than the things they did.

                              And in measuring the value of one's life, it is common for people to look back over their lives to consider what they *gave* instead of what they got. If you consider your children to be a work of love and a gift to the world, then you are likely an excellent candidate for parenthood because you might just look back on your life and realize how precious a gift you gave.

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                              • #60
                                Ask a Psychiatric colleague about a counsellor they would recommend for couples sessions or individual seasons. Pay it yourself, don't involve insurance for counselling.

                                Having a child will bring up your childhood stuff at some stage. Are you worried because you think you have to have this sorted out before you have a child and also have a biological clock ? There is an idea that you need to have psychotherapy before you can have children. This is a bit perfectionistic and most people who have children are not perfectly well adjusted, nor have they had psychotherapy for years beforehand.

                                I had significant abandonment from one of my parents as a child. I found it affected me in terms of children in that I became scared of repeating this and abandoning my children. I and my wife saw a couples counsellor 4 years ago and more recently. We saw a clinical psychologist early in our relationship but we didn't find her that helpful.

                                The counsellor we saw did seem to identify our relational issues well. What came out was some hidden feelings of hurt from childhood and projection of some of these feelings onto my wife. I then saw the counsellor for some individual counselling .

                                All in all, I found the counselling quite helpful and well worth the money and time investment. I would suggesting reading the Stan Tatkin book called 'wired for love'. He discusses how you can form a secure functioning relationship. Which you will need if you have children. He makes the case that you don't have to be securely attached to form a secure couple bubble (although it probably helps). If you experienced abandonment as a child, you might be afraid of being abandoned if you have children or you might be afraid of abandoning your children. Figuring out your attachment pattern and your partner's is interesting and it may not be what it seems. I also think his book 'wired for dating' is very good even if you are past that point in your relationship.

                                I found a lot of issues in myself and partner go back to the families we grew up in (what the therapists call 'your family of origin').

                                All the best with your journey.

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