[quote="Della, post:6, topic:224046"]
Yes, they both need a "sea change" in their thinking here, which is why they need to talk to their priest ASAP about all this. And while our attitudes are set by prior circumstances in our lives, they can be changed through counsel, prayer, and the willingness to understand why we think the way we do and finding ways to change it. *Most often such attitudes are based in some fear. Once the fear is eliminated the uncertainty and dislike goes with it. * So, I definitely second the need for counseling, not just to come around to the idea that children aren't a bad thing, but to discover those fears that are holding them both back from embracing the difficulties of life.
This was what struck me too. I'll give a little background on my situation. When I was young (and I grew up as an only child wanting siblings badly), I couldn't wait to have a family with at least 4 children, maybe more.
I had a hard time getting dates, though, and had one bad relationship in my undergrad years (ironically this guy wanted to marry me - so we could have sex - :rolleyes: - whatever). Then in the first semester of grad school I fell for a guy and we were dating but he never wanted to get married or have kids. It took 2 years to find out (and accept that my worst fears were true) and break up with him.
But at around the time I started dating, I was being treated for PCOS to preserve my potential fertility. I also had the first panic attacks around this time, which I have been dealing with for 2-1/2 decades. I began to fear having children, feared that with my anxiety problems I'd be a bad mom, yet I still wanted to overcome the fears and get married and have some.
Well, it never happened. And then, for awhile, I would see badly-behaved children (whose parents weren't guiding them, just letting them run wild) and even got to dislike children. I felt guilty about this and have prayed and asked the Lord for the grace to overcome it. And some progress has been made. In the meantime, I got older, in my 40s and wondered if it was getting too risky. Then the Lord resolved that question by the fact that I was at risk for cancer and had to have a hysterectomy.
So now, the only chance I'd get to be a parent would be as a stepmom, if that were in God's plan. But now I feel like I'm getting more relaxed about things and whatever His will is I will accept either way.
I grew up with a certain amount of conflict in the home, with some parenting that was good and some that was not. So this may be part of my ambivalence and shifting back and forth.
Guess what I'm saying is things can change. I'd like to make a simple suggestion, OP, that you spend some time practicing being around children, if for no other reason than they are God's creation too. You don't have to decide about your own views, but I found that if I avoided them during my depressed and negative times, the bad feelings toward them got worse. And I didn't want that.
Another idea would be to check out some various parenting books from your library or listen to EWTN parenting shows and meditate on what kind of parent you would be if you did become a parent. Again, as a mental brainstorming exercise - no commitment or decision required.
But maybe thinking about how you would like to parent might help you realize that there are many options and alternatives out there. So your kids, if you did have some, wouldn't have to be like all the other kids you've seen up till now. Nor would your lifestyle have to be a certain way, either.
For instance, my ideal, after all this confusion, would be to parent kids in a small town or rural setting, rather than to be a "soccer mom" and have an overly busy schedule. To enjoy the simple pleasures of family life without the unnecessary stress.
I'm not trying to "sell" you on the idea of having kids, but rather to help you see that you may be focusing on certain aspects about the idea and not seeing some other possibilities that need to go into discernment. God bless! :) Hope things work out the very best for you according to God's holy will.:thumbsup: