It's so important that having kids doesn't become (remain?) the default for everyone. My mom seemed to love being a parent, while my dad...truly didn't, but that's a whole other story. It's so dumb, but honestly, until some of my friends started having kids, it didn't really occur to me that people typically like their children and enjoy being around them; I'm so used to hearing about the responsibility and nuisance of it all that I was amazed to realize there's a lot more to being a parent than that!
I have gone back and forth on whether I want kids for a hot minute. I've always known that I wanted to be a foster mom, but the idea of biological kids is something I've waffled on. At this point, I think I would like to have one, maybe two if time and biology allow, but if it doesn't happen for some reason, that's okay. But I know now that I do genuinely want to be a parent in some way.
When I was with my ex, I was quite sure I didn't want kids, and was even prepared to give up my goal of being a foster parent. Only later did I realize that it was because he would have been such a wretched co-parent. He was just not a very nice, patient, or accepting person, characteristics that seem to be essential to not permanently scarring your kids. Just my opinion.
With my current partner, I feel very differently. He'll be a great dad, we'll share responsibilities equitably, and we will genuinely enjoy raising children together. Plus, he's also happy to join me in foster parenting, which is kind of an important thing to agree on! So that is what has influenced my latest feelings on the subject, which have been fairly consistent for the past few years, so I guess I can make decisions based on them now. This is an adventure for the 2022 version of NightNerd to embark on, since we're waiting until I finish my MSN to get started on adding to the family. I will probably hang out in bedside nursing for a few more years, particularly while we have young kids, then move into something more related to my degree gradually as they enter school.