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Thread: Do Men Want Children, Too? / Are Modern Men Afraid of Commitment?

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    Senior Member Adalheid's Avatar
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    Do Men Want Children, Too?

    I have been deliberating with my fellow homemaker lady friends about children. Who is pulling for them in the relationship. Them, or their husbands?

    For me, I find I am often having to make a case for more children. As though I must first convince my husband that I am capable of the frugality, practicality and strength to care for more children, first....

    A frustrating plight, but at least we're both young and have many years ahead.

    I only have one child. I want more. A larger family of 5 or so would be pleasant for me. My husband is very much a planner and wonders on two maybe.

    I'd like to know, in your relationship, which member is desiring the children, both, one or the other, neither?

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    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not married and have no kids, but I want them, and I'm sure men in general do too. The problem in the traditional family dynamic is that more kids often means for men that they get to see their family even less than they already do because they have to make more money. For a woman, having more kids means having more of your family, for a man it means having a larger family, but having less of our family. The greater our responsibilities grow, the more we are isolated from what we want to be around in the first place. We want children, but we want to have some time to be with them too.

    It bears mentioning that the more kids they have the less men have of their perpetually overworked wives as well.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

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    Senior Member Adalheid's Avatar
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    Thank you for that reply Jens. An insightful response. It is helpful to view things from the opposite perspective.

    I must say that there is a misconception that children are expensive. Perhaps that viewpoint is held by only me, but I fail to see where the unbearable expense comes in with a larger family. Yes, food, and diapers etc are a factor, but a well managed home makes do and makes due.

    I cloth diapered my first, breastfed, purchased gently used infant clothing and purchased the minimum requirements for furniture--all of which can be used again, with the addition of a few fresh outfits and basic necessities. I doubt I spent more than $200 dollars on my child's first year and she's as healthy, happy and presentable as any child.

    My point is, children need not be a source of immeasurable stress if are willing to put a little more effort into being efficient.

    A wife needs two things to be a good mother in today's society: A large yard with a sturdy fence to toss children into during chore time, and a husband who takes the time to unwind so as to allow himself to be fully present when it is family time.

    That is merely my perspective on motherhood, I understand if it isn't the perspective of others, though.

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    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    It isn't clothing and feeding the child so much as financing a larger home and saving for their college tuition. Not using disposable diapers can save a lot of money but where are you going to find a wife willing to do that in this day and age? A homemaker who knows what she is doing can save a tremendous amount of money, but your type is very rare, even in the most conservative circles.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

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    Senior Member Adalheid's Avatar
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    Agreed, it is hard to find, but there are plenty willing to do such things out there, I can assure you. Most of my girlfriends are also stay at home mothers who are very frugally inclined. One must look in the less urban areas to find these kinds of women, I suspect. There is a movement leaning towards simplicity in the home.

    I should add that we have no intention of saving for our child's or children's tuition--I am a firm believer that every child should work in some capacity in their late teenage years in order to earn their tuition, children must learn to manage their money from an early age-- nor are we pray to the notion that each child should have their own room. But, things may change, should we have more. A large yard can substitute for even the smallest homes, as children should spend most of their time outdoors, anyhow.

    This is my argument for having more children. I suspect my husband sees things very similarly to how you do, Jens. It's not an incorrect view point, it's just different. I have no issue with a smaller home, modest furnishings, simplicity in general. A lot of men in this generation are filled with a squirrel-like fear instilled in them from a young age that they must have certain things in order to be an adequate provider.

    It is very challenging to convince a man who is very much caught between two mindsets that children needn't be a large financial burden. No doubt there is sacrifice, but not so much if you're willing to allow it.

    I have considered this for a long time now, although I am opposed to having more children until we are both on the same page, I must say that my clock is ticking though, and I feel it most urgently.

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    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    Perhaps you are right. Though at 26 you should not be feeling the clock so much yet. The problem is the fear. If you live on the edge and lose your job, now you have your entire family completely screwed. So it's like a race, hoarding as much as possible while spending nothing in fear of an imminent layoff.

    Having more kids is like giving your boss another hostage to threaten you with, to force you to keep working for a bad wage without saying anything for fear of rocking the boat. He needs a safety net, some saved up money, so that he can afford to have self respect, perhaps quit his job when he needs to, and be ok for as long as it takes to find another job. Without it he is a slave to his job. No more free than a sharecropper or coal miner in 1900.

    If you can help your husband get into a position where his boss needs him more than your husband needs his job, then I think he would be happy to have more kids.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

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    Senior Member Todesritter's Avatar
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    I certainly wanted children when I was younger, but only with the right sort of lady. I had a bad habit of being very naïve, seeing the best in very destructive women in my twenties, women who ultimately had no interest in being that best I saw in them, and who would have made themselves the most important 'child' in the household, at the expense of actual children. I wished to avoid having children with a woman who'd end up divorcing me, and haved ended up childless, my one saving grace toward my goal of not having children of a broken home being none of the ladies I spent time with ever lasted past my 3 year probationary period* before I'd be willing to consider starting a family.

    My goal was always to find mutual true love first, and a family would naturally follow, but now, as a romantic turned cynic, I find the notion of making an arrangement with a younger woman for breeding purposes too depressing to seriously consider. (most of my female friends my age are not suitable to me vis-à-vis my atypical leanings as indicated by my being a member here, and/or already have children with a faster less careful man than me whom they are finished with, and want me as a nicer more stable partner & stepfather than the biological father of their children )

    I would say I very much agreed with Jens' outlook, expressed above, and had much in common with it a decade ago.

    I wanted to make certain home circumstances would be sustainable first, and that the spending habits of my woman would neither starve our household nor force me to maximize my income at the expense of being able to be present in our home. I was unlucky in this aim however, aside from the avoidance of having children with former partners who immediately had a child with someone else upon our split, and then became divorced from the new replacement man.

    *a three year period seemed like a wise filtering process to get past the hormonally driven 'honeymoon' period of a relationship to verify a woman would be a viable longterm match with me, and not just a woman misleading herself/me into a relationship because she wanted a baby with any man, rather than me in particular

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    Senior Member Jens's Avatar
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    Damn Todesritter, that's depressing, I hope that attitude works out better for me

    @ Adalheid: I forgot to point out as I like to do, people tend to know people who are like them. Just as I sometimes suffer under the delusion that men are generally more frugal, responsibility oriented, and educated than they really are, ones own circle of friends rarely represents the wider population.

    The only women I've ever met that want to be, and have the capacity to be good homemakers, are married. Most of them are also old. I blame feminism's bad attitude toward this particular essential skill.
    Apfelstrudel mit Vanillesoße, yeah I said it, what are you gonna do?

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    Senior Member Adalheid's Avatar
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    Jens, yes, I imagine it sounds strange for me to feel urgent on the topic of children, especially in the mind set we have today surrounding children--people are waiting until they are older and older to have them. My perspective is that I do not want to be in my 50's and still raising children. That aside, I would like to have a period of semi-youth where I am no longer bearing children and can build my marriage. I would find it pleasing to have most of my children all school age before my mid-thirties so that I can focus on creating a household less dependent on my husband's income.

    I think that the only way one can escape the trap of constant fear of losing one's income is to be prepared. I hope to one day have a small piece of land and grow as much of our food as possible, teach the children to garden, run a small farm stand for a little income etc.

    I am very much afraid of waiting for the "right time" to have more, and then finding that there was no right time and we waited too long...

    Honestly, I think that child-rearing is a desire some women have and some don't. I've always wanted a house full of little feet. The work it would require doesn't phase me at all. I do find joy in those little things.

    We must remind ourselves how inexpensive life can be if we're willing to not always have convenience.

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    @Adalheid

    With respect, I think you went past Jen's point.

    As a father myself, I find that even with our one daughter and my wife being a stay at home, it is hard enough with our one.

    I am either working all the time, with just saturday and sunday for the family as it is.

    Living where I do, even as she is very frugal and economic, a second or third would have me working overtime bleeding into Saturdays and Sundays.

    I do not believe men are against children, as you may have feared. We are just logical and have to think of our whole family and also, the time we get in with our women.

    With one child, we have perhaps a few dollars a month.. I would love to have a date night once a week, where I can remind her she is not just a mother but a desirable wife in my eyes. Yet, hiring a babysitter would be the whole disposable income for the month to do it more than once a month.

    Just my two cents.

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