I (male 27 yo) am afraid of having kids my wife (female 24 yo) (relationship 5 years, married 2 in june) desperately wants a child soon. why do I have these hang ups?

So my wife told me she thinks she is pregnant. A small part of me is excited but a part of me is screaming like the ship is going down. I want kids but idk I guess I feel like I’m not ready?

She wants kids badly. Our relationship is strong to the core and I have no doubts about us but when it comes to the idea of children I freeze up.

All the what if’s. what if I lose my job then they’d grow up in poverty like I did. what if something is dreadfully wrong with them? how will we pay and care for them. what if they are more than money than we can afford? What if we have them and I find myself stuck where I am in this job that I dont fully enjoy and I’m doomed to live unfulfilled ]rofessionally? what if? what if? what if?

Generally I’m a make get messy “never tell me the odds” kind of guy. but kids scare the crap out of me. and i hate that im like that?

If shes pregnant I’ll be happy with it but I hate this heart rupturing fear I have. Because, if she isn’t pregnant it will break her heart. and I have a hard time even talking about it. help!?!?!

my wife really wants kids but I have alot of hang ups even though our marriage really stong.

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50 thoughts on “I (male 27 yo) am afraid of having kids my wife (female 24 yo) (relationship 5 years, married 2 in june) desperately wants a child soon. why do I have these hang ups?

  1. Veiran February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Stan, let me tell you that this is normal. Yes, even the fear about your kids potentially having health issues, as well as that one about being ‘stuck’ in life. The key here is that those anxieties won’t go away, but you *can* learn to deal with and manage them. I’m not a trained therapist or counselor, so I can’t help you with exactly how.

    My question is: have you communicated these fears, even just some of them, with your wife?

  2. samicita February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Did you not discuss children before you got married?

  3. blumoon138 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Go read Heather Havrilesky’s writing about becoming a mother. She beautifully captures both the fear and the joy of becoming a parent, and I think her writing would do you good.

  4. OliviaPresteign February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    I feel like this is something you two should’ve talked about extensively before trying to get pregnant. Were you just hoping you’d feel differently if it actually happened? Is your wife aware you feel this way?

  5. Kozomoja February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    I think fear of change is very common. If you have developed a routine and are happy where you are at the moment, it’s natural to feel skeptic towards a change. I have been scared at the idea at first, but now, as a proud father of one year old baby daughter, I can tell you yes, it can be difficult, but if you generally love children, there’s no feeling like watching your kid smile. It can bring so much love and joy into your life that it can’t be expressed with words.

    Good luck to you both, whatever happens!

  6. romansapprentice February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    > All the what if’s. what if I lose my job then they’d grow up in poverty like I did. what if something is dreadfully wrong with them? how will we pay and care for them. what if they are more than money than we can afford? What if we have them and I find myself stuck where I am in this job that I dont fully enjoy and I’m doomed to live unfulfilled ]rofessionally? what if? what if? what if?

    Do you know when these possibilities can apply? Probably for the rest of your life. Same with most people. Most of us are a few paychecks away from getting g into serious trouble.


    Honestly what you say is something I think a lot of men feel at the idea of having children — it’s such a big and lifechanging commitment. I think though, that many people overestimate that feeling of “this is exactly the right time to have a child” because most times, the things you mention could still theoretically happen. Most of us never have that eureka moment that everything is and will be perfect, therefore it’s time to have kids. If that’s what you’re waiting for, I don’t think it often happens, but that doesn’t mean people don’t raise happy and healthy kids.

  7. yifrancisren February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Have you realized that all of your concerns are financial? Are you actually unprepared financially or are you just worried?

  8. bettereveryyear39 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Try separating your fears into those that time will help with — and those that won’t. You’ll always be worried about whether your kid will be healthy, it just comes with having a kid (no matter when). So those you just have to ignore/push past.

    Financial security/trapped in a job *might* be less of an issue later. But for most people it isn’t. Most people let their spending grow with their means, and are no better off in their thirties due to standard-of-living creep.

    All of this is moot if you are expecting and your wife wants to go ahead. And if it makes you feel better, the fact you are worried about these things means you care about being a good parent, which means you’re far more likely to succeed at it.

    It is a wild and scary and amazing journey. Good luck.

  9. StewtredOfBebbanburg February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    30 year old Dad of two here. I had those fears and still live with those fears every day. In fact, I had them realized last year when I lost my job. I was the primary money earner in our home too.

    It was terrifying and I felt like I’d failed my wife and kids. But we got through and I found another job. It’s an all-or-nothing game. Some times are hard and some are easy. Things can be hard and bad things will happen. But you just pick up the pieces and make them work again.

    If you’re scared of the responsibility, that’s a good thing. It’s smart to recognize that it’s a lot. If you do want kids though, they’re worth it.

  10. Soeldner February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    I’m only 3 years older than you but have 3 kids. Trust me the heart clenching fear was there for me on the first one. I had the same fears. And when the kids born you will feel them doubly. You feel like “goddamn I”M still a kid and Now I have to take care of another kid??” these are all normal feelings and trust me, THEY WILL PASS. It might take a few months of not much sleep but eventually those fears pass and it becomes “man, this isn’t so bad, remember when I was so scared?” No one is ever ready for the first kid, no matter how ready they THINK they are

  11. ohoneoh4 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    It really sounds like you are not ready for kids, even though you want them. From your comments I suspect you feel like there’s more that you want to do with life, become more stable with work, perhaps build a nest egg or emergency fund to fall back on before having a baby.

    This is totally normal and very sensible. Your life will change a lor when you have the responsibility of caring for another human. There are a lot of sacrifices, missed opportunities, and unexpected experiences involved in becoming a parent. That’s not to say that it’s all doom and gloom – many people report that the joy of having a child negates those things.

    You say you have spoken to your wife about this but I wonder how clear you were if she is possibly now pregnant. You guys need a serious discussion about what you’re going to do if she is pregnant and you’re feeling like this. Counselling might be a good place to do this, with someone impartial to help you work through what is likely to be a hard discussion. People on this sub often say not to have a baby if you don’t 100% want one and that is very important here. You don’t want to end up struggling or possibly resenting a child because you weren’t feeling prepared for parenthood.

    If she’s not pregnant, or she is but loses it (not to be mobid but this is common), you still need to talk to her about things you’d like to achieve before having a baby and work out a timeline for getting them done or hitting milestones such as a nest egg or travelling, having certain experiences etc, so that your relationship doesn’t stagnate at this “I want them but I’m not ready” stage.

  12. dragondoot February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Having kids is like opening the next chapter in a book or leveling up and moving into a new zone in a computer game. It’s going to be different, it’s going to be hard but it comes with it’s own set of challenges and rewards.

    Don’t worry buddy, humans have been doing it for thousands of years, you’ll do great!!

  13. snow_angel022968 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Honestly, I think it’s normal to have those fears. I think it’s just coming to the realization you’re soon going to have a child that depends solely on you, from feeding them to teaching them how to use a spoon to trying your best to make sure they succeed at life. To some extent, I think it’s also the ending of your life as you know it – you can undo just about every other decision you make in your life, but you really can’t undo bringing a child into the world.

  14. troublehunter February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    I am currently 32 weeks pregnant, the same age as your wife, and dude I am terrified.

    This is despite a year of fertility treatment – this baby is wanted as can be and was certainly not an accident or surprise. Completely intentional and planned. And yet I still get plagued with the doubts and “what ifs.”

    My husband has a completely different personality. When I mention the scary what-ifs to him, his answer is pretty simple – “*I worry about all those things anyway. I already have a family – you. Now our family is growing by one more person – one more to take care of, but also one more great motivator.*”

    You married your wife fully intending to stick together and take care of each other, right? Before you got married, did you think “I’m too scared to marry this girl. What if I lose my job and we can’t afford rent? Too scary. Can’t do it yet.”?

    If you felt similarly scared, how did you cope with it then? If you didn’t have those fears, what exactly is it that makes the baby different? Have you reminded yourself lately that if you have a baby, there are TWO of you to provide for his/her needs, and you can work as a team so all the pressure isn’t just on you?

    Just some questions to ponder. 🙂 Hell, you might even benefit just from realizing that you already have a family counting on you to do your part – it would just be growing by one more soul to love and feed!

  15. CleverGirlDolores February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Yeah…went through the same thing with # 1 and #2.

    And those fears don’t go away, but they turn into something else – like thinking what if something happens to my children? Every flu, every filed trip, everytime they go to school by themselves….So you got to realize which fears are normal where your sense of self-preservation talks logic to you (don’t send your kid out in the dark, don’t let them go to the pool by themselves, cause even though they can swim, you should probably be there to supervise, kid got a flu and has 39 fever, should take them to a doctor, and so on…) or fears that are intrusive thoughts.

    There is always uncertainty and it’s normal. It’s a big change and of course you’re uncertain. If you were to change your jobs now you would probably think about how it wouldn’t work out – what if you don’t like the new city? What if there are no new opportunities for promotions? What if I don’t get along with my co-workers?

    Life is full of what ifs. So what you can do – imagine having that kid and losing the job. What would you do? You would dig into savings, polish your resume and start searching for a new job.

    What if you discover during pregnancy screening that the fetus has serious complications? Discuss this with your wife.

    My youngest is 2.5 years old and she is a bright kid, yet I still worry sometimes that there might be something wrong with her when she is older. And then I slap myself mentally and go on with my life.

  16. Surface_Detail February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    There is no good time for kids. Honestly, if you’re waiting for a time where you’re financially stable, where you are where you want to be professionally as well as romantically *and* young enough to have the energy for a kid (or more than one) you will never have a child.

    I was right where you are, shitting bricks but once you bite the bullet it’s nowhere near as hard as you think it is going to be.

    But I ain’t gonna lie, that first month man… the lack of sleep is a killer.

  17. Amairch February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Your fears are pretty normal. I think making some plans might help. Get educated about the science of pregnancy so you know how you’re baby’s developing. Take some classes with her. Get your finances in order as much as possible before the baby is born (clear out old debts, start an emergency fund).

    Also, if this fear is actually interfering with your quality of life, talk to a professional. Don’t assume there’s something wrong with you or that it will go away if you ignore it.

  18. vegannazi February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    >my wife really wants kids but I have alot of hang ups even though our marriage really stong.

    Just because your marriage is strong doesn’t mean having kids is an obligatory next step for you. Have you considered you might just be r/childfree? It’s scary how many people breed not because they’re excited to become parents but because it’s just something that you do when you’re married.

  19. iSoReddit February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Talk to a therapist about it.

  20. demake12 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Nobody is ready for kids even when they think they are. And when they come, you’re like.. I can do this, it’s not that bad.

  21. elbert1992 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    that’s normal that you have fear but if your wife gave child already, you’ll be crying in joy.

  22. Bottled_Void February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    > I guess I feel like I’m not ready?

    Nobody ever feels ready. And there will be a few surprises. But you’ll muddle through.

  23. tbhtho February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    You remind me of my Dad. He always told me how he didn’t really want kids and the entire concept terrified him. Turns out he is a great dad, and says it was the best thing he’s ever done.
    Having kids is scary– you’re raising another human being! Of course it’s scary. No one knows what they’re doing. You can read every book, every manual about how to do it, and you still won’t know what you’re doing, and you will probably still feel like you’re messing up and not doing right. If anything, your worrying will probably put you in a better situation than most people; you’ll be going over every possible bad thing, and then it will turn out to be not that bad. Most importantly, let your child know you love him or her unconditionally, and will support them. You can go through tough times, but life has a way of working out.

    If it turns out your wife isn’t pregnant, that’s okay! She’ll probably be upset/disappointed but remind her that it happens all the time and you literally have decades! On that not, the only thing I would say is why is your wife eager to have kids so young? I think that may be where some of your worries stem from. She’s only 24 and you’re 27. If she is not pregnant, remind her there is no need to rush it.

  24. RachyRachington February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    These feelings are totally normal. I’m not saying that you should just go ahead and have kids because if every fibre of being bar a small part is screaming no it may not be a good idea. ‘Normal’ functioning babies and children are so hard as well regardless of your job status so even without the ‘what ifs’ it’s super hard. To play devil’s advocate; if you paid attention to all things in your head telling you what can go wrong you’d never do anything big and scary like getting married or buying a house.
    Also please discuss what type of parent you would be, how you both intend to parent, what you’re expectations are of each other I.e would you be willing to be very hands on? Who would work after having the baby (not sure what country tour from but many can share maternity leave) you’d be amazed how many couples don’t even talk about each others expectations and parenting style and one or both out of the couple end up being wildly disappointed, isolates and feeling like they have no support. All parents have their moments but you need to be a good team.

    Good luck OP! 😀

    Edit; damn crappy spelling

  25. weekend-guitarist February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Sounds like me when my wife was pregnant. I think your fear is normal, many guys go through something similar. It also sounds like you really care, for your wife and possible child on the way. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t stress and that would be a bigger problem.

  26. certstatus February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    if you lose your job, you’ll get another one. if you don’t like your job, you’ll get another one. if something uncontrollable happens, you’ll deal with that as it comes. that’s life.

  27. theguyfromthattime February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    I’m not a parent, but it actually kind of reassures me when I hear people talking about these fears. It means that you actually care and really want to provide a good life for your family. IMO, that’s the most important thing.

  28. AccountOfPeace February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Maybe should’ve discussed this before marriage, including the timing.

  29. mrntoomany February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Parenting classes! Or books.

    OP I grew up dirt poor but my family was emotionally nurturing, loving, supportive, and compassionate.

    Material wealth is icing on the cake.

  30. lepetitcoeur February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    I used to have all these fears as well. You know how I got instant relief? By deciding not to have kids. Sure, there was a lot of other stuff to deal with- telling my fiance, family, etc. But it was all much more bearable than the idea of having kids to me.

    The way I see it, no one should ever have kids unless they are 100% sure they want them. Do you want them?

  31. kaitou1011 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    “What if I lose my job”– This will never stop being a possibility. What ifs are never a reason not be “ready” in a way that you will be “ready” in the future because unexpected things are always going to be on the table. You can’t make these things not happen– what you need to control is how looming those fears are over you and manage them to become “ready”, because you can never prevent these things from happening. If she turns out to be pregnant, you need therapy, both individually and together.

    That said, the internet is wide: do get an estimate of costs of child-rearing in your area and decide if you are financially able to commit to that at this moment. If she is pregnant, you need to start budgeting with this in mind and, if will allay your fears, start a savings account for use in emergencies. And if you aren’t happy in your current job or sustainable at your current income… start looking for new jobs. You don’t have to quit your current income to look for something better! If she’s not pregnant, start all those things anyways– looking for a more fulfilling and better-paying job and saving for emergencies. And then you should probably talk about setting a specific goal for when you want to start thinking about kids again– listen to her and how long she’s willing to wait, set an age/year that you will start thinking about it again by and set a financial goal so that if you reach it you can start talking about it then and there. And still get therapy.

  32. incisively February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    These are all **perfectly normal** concerns. It’s not too different from the insecure apprehensiveness we all experienced as children on the first day of school, going over a million “what if” worst case scenarios that didn’t happen. The thing is, you’re never going to feel ready. It’s always going to feel alien and scary. You will never feel like “it’s time.” It just kind of happens, it’s *temporarily* an overwhelming whirlwind, and a few years later you have a crazy boundless energy gremlin throwing a tennis ball at you while you use the computer and can’t remember a time you weren’t “dad.”

    Just do your best. Work hard, do a good job, and keep an eye out for opportunities. Don’t be afraid to change careers. Fortune favors the bold. Having all these hang ups just supports the case that you’re going to make a good dad.

    And just remember, your parents weren’t “ready” either. Nor were your grandparents ready for *them,* or your great-grandparents for *them!* Kids are a great blessing, enjoy the ride and be strong for your wife. Don’t be afraid to “fake it ’til you make it,” it’s honestly a good characteristic for a husband and father to have sometimes.

    Forget what ifs and look at what *will*s. In life, you *will* look back with regret at more chances **not** taken than ones that didn’t work out. It’ll all be fine. PM me if you want.

  33. DefinitelyNotABoner February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    So my husband (29M) and I (27F) desperately wanted children for the past 1.5 years and tried (unsuccessfully) for a long time to get pregnant. I found out in the beginning of December that I was pregnant, and honestly my first reaction was, “Holy shit what have I done?”

    It’s completely normal to feel a sense of dread for such a huge life change, but as long as you guys are mostly financially and emotionally ready, you’ll be just fine.

    I still haven’t had the baby yet (due in August), but I feel more and more love and excitement for this baby every day. My husband was immediately completely ecstatic when he found out.

    Just take it one day at a time.:)

  34. tuna_fart February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    It’s terrifying and you’re never ready. It’s also probably going to be the best thing you’ve ever done and something you’ll look back on in a year and realize you’d run any risk to keep the little bugger safe and in your life.

    You’ll figure out the rest of it.

  35. Sensual_Bagel February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Nobody ever thinks they are ready for kids, how you’re feeling is extremely normal and expressing that fear and uncertainty is very healthy.

    If she ends up not being with child just be there for her. Good luck my man.

  36. Shaquintosh February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    If you don’t want kids (like, 100% I’m-into-this-let’s-do-it want them), STOP doing stuff that might result in your wife being pregnant.

    Creating another person’s life (and in turn making a 20+ year, life-exploding commitment for you) isn’t something you should get into willingly if you’re lukewarm. It isn’t something you should let just happen because you didn’t want to deal with making a decision, either.

    If it turns out she’s pregnant, that ship has sailed, but if she’s not *for god’s sake* make sure you want kids and want them soon before you do more stuff that might cause kids.

  37. Philosopher_1 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    No one is ever prepared for a kid. Except for Angeline Jolie apparently, she seems to prepared. You just have to go with it.

  38. lemonade4 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Sounds normal to me. Big life changes are scary. You’ll be okay.

  39. queeeeeenoh February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    I have the same hang ups with kids. The best advice I got was that you’re never ready, and your situation can always be a bit better, a bit more financially secure etc. But people have kids all the time without having the ideal conditions too. I’m still terrified though.

  40. humunculous February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    dude every new parent feels like this to some degree. yes thinks will be completely different, no you can’t plan or control all of it, yes it will require sacrifice and it will be exhausting, but it is also rewarding and I dont know any parent who regrets it.

  41. Eddles999 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Trust me, once your baby’s born, you’ll love them completely unconditionally and you’ll be amazed where the love came from. Lots of men have those worries, it’s normal – it’s you trying to protect the baby. I had the same worries, I didn’t particularly want kids, but now I absolutely cannot live without my 6 month old, and I cried hard and long when I first thought that she could be taken away from me. You’ll find you’d do absolutely anything for them even if it doesn’t feel like that at all right now. If you lose your job, you’ll find another one. No problem.

    At the end of the day, as long as the child has loving and caring parents like you both, they won’t care that you’re poor, and they’ll love you and laugh along with you. Remember, problems are there to be solved and you’ll find a solution.

    Now I’m just looking forward to allowing my inner 5 year old steal and play with all her toys!

  42. Tea-Boo February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    What you are feeling is perfectly normal. I was exactly the same before my nephew was born. Kids frightened the hell out of me. I couldnt even hold them they terrified me that much!
    What changed was spending time with my nephew and seeing how his parents coped. I realised they arnt big scary things that will break like a vase and they are pretty happy with just a cup and spoon.
    Maybe try and spend some time with people you know who have a child. It might help you realise your worries arnt the end of the world. Have a chat with fellow parents. A drunk conversation with my cousin about her new born completely opened my eyes to how your priorities change and not for the worse at that.
    Your allowed to be frightened and you can work on that for the next 9ish months until the little one is here. Noone is ever 100% ready for them, as long as your patient and willing to learn you will do fine.

  43. Rabbit929 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    My dad likes to joke that he’s still not financially or emotionally ready to have kids. We “kids” are all in our 30s.

  44. AcePrincessEUNE February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    It seems to me that you’re more scared about money/finances/being a good provider than the idea of having children itself.

    Maybe you need to change your job to more fulfilling one to feel ready to have kids?

  45. Zonda97 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    I’m the same way as you man only a lot younger

  46. hotandcoal February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Do you suffer from anxiety other than thinking of having kids? If not then whatever you’re feeling is normal. Life is not perfect and yes being a parent can be stressful but you can’t think this way it’s not a healthy way to live your life. If you love your wife and want to have kids perhaps hang out with family or friends who have kids more often, baby sit for them.

  47. forestcall February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Have 2-3 kids. Don’t worry. Everything will turn out okay. My wife even got cancer and I spent a month drinking a bottle of whiskey after our 2 kids went to sleep. Well things got much better. I spent most of my career as a software engineer and tried working for Google and we blew $100k because California is so over the top expensive. We ended up moving to Japan where my wife is from. I restarted a career by starting a coffee roasting company. Now my life is so good I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s real. My wife is cancer free, I own a cool business I love to work, my kids are happy in elementary school and if I’m lucky I get to have sex with my hot wife a few times a month 😎

    Don’t worry about a thing because everything will be alright 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦🤘

  48. Biggymax February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    She’s 24 bro.. red flag. Run

  49. thwanon4891 February 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Why is she accidentally pregnant? Did either of you use protection, like an IUD?

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