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“What’s the Best Way to End a Booty Call Relationship?”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss ending a booty call, and the big “M” word.

I have an etiquette question for you. I’ve been involved in a NSA thing with a guy for about three months now. I want to end it because I’m starting to feel like I’m getting too emotionally involved for something this casual. My etiquette question is regarding how best to end this. A friend suggested I just stop answering calls/returning texts. I feel like I should explain why I’m ending it, but I also realize that maybe that’s because I’m vaguely hoping if I explain my feelings he’ll surprise me by reciprocating them. Please help! — Confused About “Casual”

 
I’d say something along the lines of, “I’ve realized recently that I’ve begun to develop feelings for you and since our relationship has been a casual NSA one, it’s probably best if I protect myself and stop seeing you. Of course, if you’ve developed similar feelings maybe we can explore a different type of relationship together, but I completely understand if that’s not the case and would wish you nothing but the best.”

I’m 22 years old and I’ve been dating my boyfriend for five years. We are thinking of getting married but my boyfriend wants me to move in with him and his parents and he refuses to ever move out on his own. I’ve asked him to consider it and he refused. People tell me I should not marry him as I like my privacy and it’s not healthy to build a relationship with his family around us all the time, but I really love him so what should I do? — Marriage-Bound?

 
If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life living under your in-law’s roof — and abiding by their house rules — don’t marry this guy until he moves out and commits to living on his own for at least a year first. If he refuses, MOA.

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 16 months, so not a super long time but long enough for us to talk about our future. We talked about it early on, like five months into it and I mentioned that if I had kids I would want no more then two and only one if that was all I could afford. This last month I had a pregnancy scare and I was so freaked out, I knew that if I had been pregnant I would have gotten an abortion, and if I had my boyfriend would have left me, which I was willing to accept.

But since that scare I have thought more and more that I don’t want kids any time soon, if ever. I am only 23 and I want to wait a few years to even get engaged and then I want to be in my mid-thirties before I have kids (if I have them at all) but my boyfriend who is only 27 thinks that women should have kids in their twenties. I love him and I love our little life together, but I feel guilty not talking to him about my doubts about having kids. I think he would break up with me if I told him the truth. Do you think the wanting to have kids could come to me later in life and I should wait before talking to him, or is this something I should mention right away? — Not Sure About Kids

 
Since it seems like you and your boyfriend are not on the same page about this major life decision, it’s only fair that you clue him in on this little development as soon as possible so you can make some decisions about the future of your relationship. It’s much, much better that you discuss this now than, say, after he proposes or you’ve already tied the knot.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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{ 174 comments… add one }

  • avatar scattol June 24, 2011, 8:06 am

    LW3: If you start trying to have kids in your mid 30′s, you will be just around 60 by the time the last one has left college. In fact if things don’t line up like you planned you could be retired and still have a kid incurring tuition. It’s even worst in your case seeing that your boyfriend would pretty much be retired. And that’s assuming that you can work till you are 65. A bad recession in your late 50′s or early 60′s could force you into early retirement to say nothing of chronic disease that could make you unemployable.

    Not to say anything about bad luck. If it’s hard for you to conceive you pretty much have no time to turn around to hunt around for plan B (whatever that turns out to be).

    Pushing kids of to live a full life sounds like a fun plan until you do the math and see when you have actually pushed them out of the door. That dream of you two galavanting around the world alone to experience it might instead turn to you just being empty nesters to just sick enough to prevent enjoying carefree retirement.

    In the end it might just be to your advantage to move up that mid thirties to late twenties (irrespecive of the age of the father), if you can pull it off. Yes your life will no longer be carefree drunken parties at a moment’s notice but it will be replaced by something equally rewarding and you won’t look back.

    • avatar MissDre June 24, 2011, 8:40 am

      Agreed.

    • avatar demoiselle June 24, 2011, 8:51 am

      I disagree. There is nothing wrong with an older parent, and there is no way of knowing that if you have kids in your twenties that you will live to see them grow up. I had classmates who lost their parents in high school, who were only in their forties. And my father, who was sixty when I was born, lived until he was almost eighty-six.

      • avatar Lee Moore June 25, 2011, 3:02 pm

        There’s nothing wrong with having children when you’re 35 or more. Whatever you like. So long as you still can. The fertility rate falls precipitously in your thirties – at 35 it’s less than half what it was ten years previously. Over the same timescale the miscarriage rate more than doubles, and the probability of a Downs syndrome child quadruples.

        You still have a good chance of becoming pregnant and having a healthy child (or more than one) if you defer children to your mid thirties. But if it turns out that you decide in your mid thirties that you’d really like to start on a family now, you do risk having to construct one with adopted children only.

    • avatar kerrycontrary June 24, 2011, 8:55 am

      I agree that having kids in your mid-thirties can kind of put you in a time crunch, but you also have to consider that by the time you are in your mid-thirties you have more money to support your children than you would in your 20s. Considering the fact that having children can put many women at work on the “mommy track”, I think it’s smart to build up your career and experience before embarking on child rearing. My parents had my siblings in their 20s and me in their mid 30s (surprise!), and although parenting was a different experience for them with me than it was with my siblings, it hasn’t put undo circumstances. You aren’t a ruined old person when you reach your 50s or 60s. Many people still have a lot of good years left at that age.

      • avatar kerrycontrary June 24, 2011, 8:56 am

        *undo burden on them…not “circumstances”

        • avatar kali June 24, 2011, 12:48 pm

          or UNDUE, perhaps?

    • avatar Cranky-Guy Who Is Yet To Have His Iced Red-eye (w/ room for cinnamon, nutmeg & cream) June 24, 2011, 8:56 am

      Dude, what are you talking about?
      Do you ever go out and see the sun shining or is all you see is “doom”?

      Maybe I’m off but basing the premise of your argument on a fluke economic downturn (a black swan event, yes) is a little too pessimistic for a morning when the market is set to gain at opening.

      • avatar TheOtherMe June 24, 2011, 9:18 am

        Now you’re just toying with me.

      • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 10:02 am

        @CGWIYTHHIRE (w/rfcn&c)

        Did you just bust out a Taleb-style ‘black swan’ argument on a DW board? Because I think you just did. I will work like hell to fit in a Fooled by Randomness reference by the end of the day!

      • avatar Assistant Village Idiot June 26, 2011, 11:14 pm

        No, it’s the opposite. Expecting that everything is going to be peachy and you’ll be able to afford everything forever is the unlikely event. Recessions are not fluke events, but very usual. Everyone gets a couple in their lifetime.

        The recent humorous advice is very good, BTW. Have more kids and pay less attention to them.

    • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 9:03 am

      I don’t agree that you HAVE to have children in your 20s because when you’re 60, they’ll just be out of college or w/e you said. You should have children when YOU feel it is right for you. Having kids is a major major responsibility & if that’s something you’re not even sure you want at the moment, why do it just because of the math?
      My S-I-L had her first child at 20. She did not even want children but she got pregnant un-planned. Now, the girl is 5 yrs old. She’s a terror! She’s the most misbehaved child I have ever layed my eyes on in my entire life. (& she is my niece!) Why? Because since my S-I-L was 20 at the time, a party animal, & extremely self centered, she didn’t feel (& still doesnt) like raising her. The girl runs around & does w/e the hell she wants bc my S-I-L is on Facebook, doing her makeup, etc…
      So, no, I completely disagree with your “crunching the numbers” theory.

    • avatar NOLAGirl June 24, 2011, 9:11 am

      I would also say to this LW that you’re only 23. A lot happens between 23 and say 25 or 28 to change your mind. I know for me I had no intention of having a baby in my 20s until I woke up one day and something changed. I would discuss this with the bf and explain that you’re not ready at this point and you don’t know if you’ll be ready in your 20s. If he’s not ok with it (and it’s your body, not his) then maybe you should MOA if it’s a big deal for you. Otherwise, I’d just see what happens. You’re 23. You have plenty of time to change your mind (and vice versa). 27 for a man isn’t terribly old. Men do a lot of changing in their late 20s to early 30s. At least the men I’ve known.

      I’d talk it out with the BF, explain how you feel and if it’s a deal breaker for you, it is what it is. But if you really love him then maybe you want to stick it out and see if your feelings change as you get older. I know my feelings about marriage and babies changed when I met my husband. It was kind of creepy, but I met him and decided I actually did want to get married, and did want babies. I’d been in healthy LTRs before but never really wanted to get married or have kids. I was happy to be the cool aunt. Then all of a sudden when I met him things changed. Not particularly because he wanted them, and I didn’t just want any marriage or babies – but because I wanted to marry HIM and have his babies. I swear, there’s something to biology!

    • avatar ForeverYoung June 24, 2011, 9:15 am

      I think it’s a little ridiculous to assume that if you don’t have kids in your late 20′s both you and your children will have terrible lives. I agree with someone above that mentioned that if you wait to have kids you will most likely be more settled and have more money to raise them in a better way. I am one of those people that would only have kids in my mid thirties if at all. I am a little confused by this train of thought.

      First off it is just me and my husband with no kids, and we don’t go off on carefree drunken benders anyway. And it kind of irks me when people assume that if you don’t have kids you will be missing out on a rewarding experience. I think there are many rewarding experiences in life. My awesome dog is quite rewarding, and i’m pretty sure if I eventually get a couple more, my maternal instinct will be more than satisfied. Traveling is a rewarding experience. Having a successful career that you’re passionate about is rewarding.

      With life expectancy going up it is a little ridiculous to assume that at 60 you will be too old to enjoy your new empty nest. By that same token one could argue that having kids in your 20s could ruin that time of life when you most likely have amazing health. Either way if you have kids there will be a large chunk of your life where your full time job is Mommy/Daddy, and your own needs come second. Why does it matter if that is in your 20′s thereby giving you your 50′s to galivant, or your 30′s giving you your 60′s?

      I just think life has too many unexpeted variables to suggest that a woman that has kids in her 30′s will be ruining her and her children’s lives. Especially considering most people I know choose to wait until their 30′s. Unless you live in the midwest.

      LW – You definitely need to discuss this with him. Try not to be afraid that he will break up with you, because if he really feels as strongly about it as you think he will, it is better for both of you to know now. You don’t want to waste any more time of a relationship that is going nowhere. This conversation might give you both the chance to really evaluate the direction you see your lives going. If it is not in the same direction you will have the opportunity to date and meet people who might completely agree with how you feel about having kids. There is no one right path. Not to get cheesy but your journey is your own, make sure you stay true to yourself. Trust me there are plenty of fish out there, and plenty of fish that also share your view about kids.

      • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 9:23 am

        & even if you did go off on “drunk benders,” that would be OK, because it’s what YOU feel you can handle/want to handle right now. I don’t think married people that don’t have kids should be judged & given this long list of “mathematical facts.” Having kids is not like buying a new wardrobe, you can’t just donate them if they don’t work out.

    • avatar Riefer June 24, 2011, 9:30 am

      I’m in my mid-thirties, all of my friends are in their mid-thirties, and none of us have kids. Some of us are just now starting to try (not me, I haven’t decided yet). I will say this – when you’re in your 30s, I think it’s a lot harder to figure out whether you even want them, if your biological clock isn’t pushing you.

      For me personally, I’m so glad I waited. I had a great time in my 20s and 30s, not to mention that I’ve moved up pretty high in my company. Same with my husband – when we got married, we both made 6 figures and each had our own condo, one of which we kept to rent and the other which we sold to buy an awesome townhouse. We go on a lot of trips, we have a lot of hobbies that we’re passionate about, and we’re very happy. I never knew if I wanted kids, and I still don’t. I’m getting to the age where I wonder if I should, just because if I don’t know, I never can. But I don’t really feel that strong urge that some other women feel, and my husband would be fine never having them.

      So anyway, my point is, it’s fine to wait, and don’t have kids just for the sake of having them. I’ve also talked to a few people who had them just because they were “supposed” to, and while no one will say they’d rather not have kids, they do say things like “I may have had a better life if I’d waited”, or “if I known what it would be like, I may have made a different decision”, or “I miss my old life”. I think you should wait until you want them. Why bring another unwanted child into the world?

      • avatar ForeverYoung June 24, 2011, 10:06 am

        I agree. And if I do have kids I really want to adopt, so I have no clock ticking at all. I imagine by the time I feel like I could financially afford kids I will enjoy my life so much as it is it will be really hard to talk me into disrupting that. It’s hard to listen/care about maternal instincts when you’re on the beach in Costa Rica drinking a tequila sunrise.

        • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 10:39 am

          There are also age limits on adoption. Agencies will choose parents in their child bearing years over older parents if multiple couples want the child. We had friends who found this out the hard way after trying to have their first child in their early 40s and finding that they had waited too long. When they turned to adoption, by their mid 40s, they were considered too old too adopt. They did get a beautiful baby girl because she was mixed race and other couples didn’t want her so they placed the “undesirable” baby with the “undesirable” parents. Our friends were, and still are, excellent parents and their daughter is a wonderful, young woman. It worked out for all of them but it made me sad to see how shallow the whole process could be.

          • avatar ForeverYoung June 24, 2011, 10:55 am

            Wow that is pretty ridiculous. I want to adopt mixed babies anyway so hopefully if I decide to have kids it will still work out. Hopefully the deciding factor wasn’t age and was more along the lines of stability, financial ability to provide, values, etc.

            • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 11:16 am

              It was age. They were financially stable, both working, owned their home and had been married for over seven years, so were a stable couple. The husband was completing a PhD. They didn’t have criminal records, weren’t alcoholics, didn’t smoke or use illegal substances. Adoption agencies want to give kids the best parents possible and they consider the ability to keep up with the child physically as important as financially and emotionally supporting the child. When you try to adopt you don’t get to make the rules. The adoption agency does and even if they are unfair you don’t have any say in changing those rules. If you decide to adopt it wouldn’t hurt to check with multiple agencies to see how their policies vary and which works best for you.

              My cousin and his wife had fertility problems in their 20s and in their late 20s tried to adopt. They wanted to adopt mixed race children because they knew of mixed race infants waiting in foster care for adoptive parents for years. They were told they didn’t live in a community that was mixed race enough. They then asked where they could move that would be considered mixed race enough to adopt a mixed race child. They were told that there were no communities that were mixed race enough in their region. So they were basically told that they would never be allowed to adopt mixed race babies because they, the couple, were white. There really are reasons why so many couple go abroad to adopt babies.

              • avatar beans629 June 24, 2011, 11:42 am

                That totally sucks for them and I want to drive to that agency and smack the crap out of anyone who would tell them that.
                How do you justify telling that to someone that they don’t live in a racially mixed enough area…really because how did that child get to that area? Magic, aliens, or some other cosmic force?
                Ugh. I hate people and their narrowed minded perceptions of how families should look or be structured.

                • avatar beans629 June 24, 2011, 11:44 am

                  that should be… I hate people with narrow minded perceptions of how families should look or be structured.

                • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 12:20 pm

                  Exactly! So the children end up in foster care for years while adoptive couples end up going abroad because so many agencies are unwilling to put the available children with the available families. As a system it really sucks and it certainly doesn’t serve the best interests of the children.

                  • katie Katie June 24, 2011, 7:21 pm

                    so i have to wonder…. do these companies get any extra money for having kids that are “un-adoptable”? as in, oh we have this poor mix raced child, no one wants him (but what that really means is the rules wont let anyone adopt him), we need extra money to keep him here!

                    just like they say that states keep people in jails because they get so much money per inmate per year.

                    i wonder. that is absolutely terrible though. i understand the need for a thorough check of people who want to adopt, but i mean there are so many kids that need it! it needs to be streamlined.

              • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 11:58 am

                I’m reminded of the Wanda Sykes bit where she visits an adoption agency. She goes through an expensive, arduous, and sometimes humiliating series of tests and checks. Wanda then finally mentions that she’s primarily interested in adopting a black baby.

                Agent: “Oh, grrrrrrl! You wanted a black baby? Here ya go!”
                [hands baby]
                Agent: “You want two? Take two!”
                [hands second baby]

              • avatar Mary June 26, 2011, 11:21 am

                Skyblossom, I have friends who faced the same difficulties when they wanted to adopt. Both are wonderful, kind, loving, creative people with good jobs (he’s a scientist, she’s an English teacher). However, they had a ton of trouble finding an agency that would help them because they were in their early 40s. Also the wife had suffered from thyroid cancer a few years before. Although the cancer was beaten quickly and the doctors were very confident it would not return, the agencies used that as an additional excuse to not allow this couple to adopt. Eventually my friends found an adoption agency for African children that was more accommodating. They had to wait a couple of years, but now they have a sweet daughter whom they love to bits. It’s just a shame they had so much trouble.

      • avatar scattol June 24, 2011, 10:31 am

        You get your first kid at 36, you have your third when you are 40. He’s out of the door when you are 62 if he’s a good student. (so we are assuming no boomerang kids)

        Recessions are rather frequent, look at the 70′s and the 80′s and each time the news was filled with 62 unemployed managers whom couldn’t get a new job for life of money because they are too old (in fact that actually starts a lot younger). It happens rather frequently. Yes you will have more money if you start later but frankly a kid isn’t going to notice the difference for about the first 5 years.

        Now look around you at the 70 years old. Are they all off golfing 5 days a week? Are they even healthy enough to do what they want? Didn’t think so. Few 75 years old are out there climbing mount Washington.

        Yes the above is pessimistic but the only thing you control is the age at which you have your kids. Life won’t thrown all these bumps your way but if throws even one suddenly your plan unravels and by then you are powerless to fix it.

        Yes you can start your family by the mid 30′s but the outcome is riskier than if you did it in your mid or late 20′s. If you are younger you have more time and opportunity to fix things around. You just have better odds of being able to fix things up if you start your family younger.

        • avatar TheOtherMe June 24, 2011, 10:40 am

          “Yes the above is pessimistic but the only thing you control is the age at which you have your kids.”

          This is not necessarily true, you can “try” to have children or decide to “wait” to have children but life doesn’t always let you have what you want.

        • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 10:40 am

          Well guys, it’s official! Start popping out those babies now so you’re not old & stale when they’re in their 20s! Who cares if you’re not mentally, emotionally, or financially ready! Hell, why wait until you’re 25?? Why not start at 16?! Then your body is totally in its prime & completely capable of carrying a child! Finances? Who cares! There’s welfare until you get a reasonable job. I mean, your child won’t notice until he/she’s about 10, right???

          • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 11:52 am

            This is why you should sell the babies you have in your teens to finance the “keeper” babies you have later in life. Win-Win.

            • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 1:23 pm

              Now that’s a plan. Why didn’t I think of it when I was 16.

              • avatar SpaceySteph June 24, 2011, 1:34 pm

                In the college newspaper there were always ads- people willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for surrogate mothers. But being pregnant in college would seriously cramp one’s style.

                • avatar _jsw_ June 24, 2011, 1:36 pm

                  Oh please, I see ads every day showing someone attending college in their pajamas. Surely being pregnant wouldn’t be that big of a deal, nor would telling future dates that you’ve had four kids but don’t know where any of them are.

                  • avatar SpaceySteph June 24, 2011, 1:56 pm

                    Actually, for me I was referring to heavy drinking. If I’m gonna puke in the morning, it better taste like tequila.

                • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 2:17 pm

                  I can’t imagine going through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and then the physical recovery after giving birth for anyone but myself. I don’t know how surrogates do it and the amount they get paid while pricey if you’re the payer is not that much if you’re the payee.

                  • katie Katie June 24, 2011, 7:26 pm

                    i think that being a surrogate mother would be the coolest thing ever. i dont know why, i have just always thought this. i dont have kids yet either, so i dont even know what pregnancy is like, lol. i think that all the pregancy, labor, delivery, ect, would be so worth it to help out somebody. i dont know if i could be a surrogate to someone i didnt know, but i have some friends who can never have cildren, but could through surrogacy. i would do it in a heartbeat.

                    carrying someone else’s baby is such an odd thought though for sure

                • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 3:29 pm

                  The classifieds of our college newspaper was always littered with couples trying to buy our ladies’ eggs. Prices ranged from $5K for ‘I’ll take one egg, please’ to $45K for an egg with enough racial, social, and academic qualifiers to make Hitler wince. Some sick fucks actually provided a sliding scale of payment based on your SAT scores.

                  Efforts to sell my manseed for $6.75 proved unsuccessful.

            • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 1:24 pm

              I know, I feel like a failure already. What am I going do for money in my 30s??

        • avatar Riefer June 24, 2011, 11:36 am

          I don’t understand why scattol is so insistent that women should all be having kids immediately. You really don’t know of any women who regret they had them so young? And what’s in it for you to convince everyone on here, and the LW, to have them young? It just seems like a weird position to be fighting.

          Why not just let everyone make their own decision based on their own preparedness?

          • avatar scattol June 24, 2011, 5:50 pm

            I never insisted that women should have them immediately. I said starting earlier than the mid thirties has advantages.

            There seems to be the fallacy that waiting has absolutely no downside. That is simply not true. There are quite a few and they are hidden in plain sight and everyone ignores them until it hits them on the face and they can’t do anything about it.

            • avatar SpyGlassez June 24, 2011, 10:57 pm

              A story, if I may, to disprove your assertion. My grandma married my grandpa when she was 33. It was her third marriage (divorced, then widowed) and his second (also widowed). Grandma had thought she could not have children because she had never conceived. My dad was born when she was 35, my aunt when she was 37, and my uncle when she was 38. This was in the mid 1950s, mind you. My grandpa passed away when I was 13; he was a lifelong smoker and died of cancer. My grandma died last year at 90, and up until her death she was still lucid, living on her own, driving around. I’m 30, and I had a wonderful relationship with my grandmother. When my grandma was 70, she was out in the backyard chasing us around and when she was 80 she was out there playing basketball with my cousins.

              A woman who has kids young may be able to chase after them better, but she may not have the financial resources to provide for that child. A woman who waits is not necessarily making a bad decision. And either way, she may not have had a choice in waiting, depending on her life goals and whether she wanted to be married when she actually spawned or not.

              • avatar scattol June 26, 2011, 6:02 pm

                But grandma’s first 2 marriages likely proves my point, since one can presume that were potentially 2 sets of kids who lost a father at an early age.

                Planning on getting kids when you are against the wall is not the best way to manage the risks surrounding having a family.

        • avatar applescruff June 24, 2011, 11:57 am

          My dad was 35 when I was born, my mom 36. I left home at 18 and didn’t go back, except for one summer before starting grad school in another state. My dad, at 60, scaled Long’s Peak last summer. My mom (61) and her husband (63) just got back from a 12 day trip to Ireland. I think everyone’s ok.

        • avatar Sarah June 24, 2011, 12:12 pm

          I can think of three trillion arguments against what you’re saying. A couple who has children before they are economically stable (ie in their twenties) will be more likely to take lower income work because they will need more money sooner. They will be less likely to seek out careers that will increase their pay grade and they wont risk their income because of the kids. Kids from lower income homes rarely get college funds, I should know, my mom was 23 when she had me and we struggled for money every day. I wouldn’t ask her to change a thing, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t learn to wait to have kids until I’m financially stable IN MY THIRTIES. What, so giving up your kids chances to have financial help for their career and a leg up in an economic status that you yourself feel could get terrible at any moment not worth you wanting to golf when you’re older?? The hell?

          When I’m ready to have kids, I want them to know that their parents got the absolute most out of life and waited until they were ready to have children, financially and emotionally. I want my kids to have a mother who traveled the world, who works at a job she loves, and makes her life choices based on her life goals, not her biology. And if my eggs have all dried up because 30 is ANCIENT, apparently, I’ll adopt. It is such a archaic notion to assume that people should only get their real life started once their kids are raised, like golfing or climbing mount Washington. I prefer the mindset that kids are not a pit stop to your accomplishments, they are another part of reaching them.

          • avatar Lamia June 24, 2011, 3:14 pm

            I agree with this 100000%!

            I was unplanned and so were my two brothers. My parents were 22 and 23 when I was born. My dad has gone from one dead end job to another, making a myriad of bad choices along the way. My mom didn’t want to work until I was old enough to care for my brothers. Her first job after having kids was when I was 15 or 16 any by then we had lived most of our lives on welfare, the water/gas/electricity cut off so much that I thought it was a normal thing, the house in foreclosure numerous times, only avoiding homelessness by the skin of our teeth.

            I honestly do believe that if they had waited to have kids until they were a little older or at least finished college, life for myself and my brothers would have been less difficult which is why I won’t be having any children until I can afford them. I don’t want them to have to grow up the way I did.

          • avatar scattol June 24, 2011, 6:10 pm

            What about the kid’s welfare? This rant is all about you and how great your life his. Got news for you, your kids won’t care one bit. They will demand being changed, fed, hugged and toys and they won’t care how you manage to get it to them. That’s your problem and you don’t need to be middle manager to have enough, especially when you start your family.

            The kids don’t have to be born in your ultimate McMansion. They can spend the first 3 or 4 years in an apartment happily and they will never remember that part of their life. For about the first year of their life a kid’s universe doesn’t extend beyond about 5 feet from their mother!

            I never suggested you start getting them at 20 and keep a regular Duggar schedule. Sure start a career, get a steady job and put away some savings. That’s great, and pretty much a requirement we all agree on. But to suggest that starting to think about kids at 35 is without risk is simply wrong.

            • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 6:24 pm

              “For about the first year of their life a kid’s universe doesn’t extend beyond about 5 feet from their mother!”

              What planet do you come from?

              • avatar scattol June 24, 2011, 10:05 pm

                The planet that raised three kids!

            • avatar Sarah June 24, 2011, 7:07 pm

              Did you not read the bit about having enough money to provide a stable future and college education for a kid? That isn’t for the kid’s welfare? You’re right I’m sorry, I’m sure most kids would prefer to not have a secured future as long as it means their parents are still young and hip!

              And btw, you are astronomically out of your mind if you think low pay incomes below middle manager (which you seem to think is a woman’s dream career?) can support a child like any other household with the exception that you just live in an apartment for a few years. Out. Of. Your. Mind. If a child’s first year of life is spent no shorter than 5 feet away from the mother (wtf?), then wouldn’t you rather the woman is an age where she can AFFORD to be close to her kid instead of working double shifts to make ends meet?

              • avatar scattol June 26, 2011, 6:29 pm

                If you need to make it to middle management before you can afford baby food and diaper boxes on a regular basis I respectfully suggest you consider moving to a new industry. Median family income is somewhere around $80,000. It’s not the $200,000 that would give you a picket fence+SUV but it should be enough for life’s necessities and movie night.

                Funny enough, kids become more expensive the older they get and likely that will also go along your increasing wages as you gain seniority. That coincidence always baffled me but it does work.

                For the first 6 months a kid stays where you put it. You don’t need a lot of room for that. For about the next 6 they will move around but never really stray far from mom or they will start to cry if she’s out of sight. Here again that’s not really far. Ok it might be 10 feet or even 15 but they will never get the full use of your acre lot. You don’t it need when you start. That can wait 4 or 5 years, say before they start school and by your schedule that moves the plan from 35 year old mom to 30 year old mom.

                You are right about mom’s work life for the first year. I suppose Wendy will be a live experiment we will watch right here. Given the poor maternity leave in the US, I presume that it will be different from what most experience in Canada or the EU where 1 year mat leave is common.

        • avatar RealToast June 25, 2011, 5:02 pm

          Scat, you’re gettin’ no love here. I’m here to help.

          I’ve been dispensing this same advice – to mixed reception – for 30-years now. I can tell you that those who got going early (20s) are now not only enjoying their own kids while they still quite young – many of them with knee-bouncing grand-kids – they’re also well on the way to the type of retirement you see on the cover of Money. The late(r) starters are nearly universally dismayed. At 55-60, they are now experiencing the crushing burden of having to start planning for meager retirement while they try to educate the last of their brood. Most of them are not financially able to do both well. Mind you, I’m hearing no regrets from either camp; all of them love their children. Which for some is all the validation they require. But, the physical and financial disparity between the two choices is simply clear. There’s no wrong way, but the math is the math and the outcomes are quite predictable.

    • avatar Jena June 24, 2011, 10:16 am

      Yeah, she should totally have kids if she’s ambivalent about having kids. Especially before she’s ready. Great advice!

      NOT

    • avatar sweetleaf June 24, 2011, 10:20 am

      scattol, I understand that is your opinion, but my opinion is that your whole comment is just ew.

      • avatar MsBorgia June 24, 2011, 10:25 am

        I agree, it sounded like “Better start pumpin out them babies now before your ovaries dry up!”

        I also resent the assumption that deep down every woman wants kids and she just doesn’t know it yet.

      • avatar NOLAGirl June 24, 2011, 10:28 am

        I think she/he was just suggesting she look at the whole picture about waiting later. There are pros and cons to waiting to have kids. For one, it can be a lot harder to conceive the later you wait, plus the health risks to both you and the baby. And you’ll be older and have less energy than you would when you’re younger and your body is made to have children in your twenties, its when it’s statistically easier to conceive and easier for your body to rebound. I’ve had some grad school friends who had a kid at 28 and another at 30 and were shocked at how different their body reacted between the 20s and 30s. I’ve had a couple different people comment about it. Other commenters have already enumerated why it’s good to wait. So I’ll leave it to those comments rather than beating a dead horse here.

        I think it’s wise to think about both ways. I definitely don’t think she should have a kid if she isn’t ready – but she should think about the pros and cons of both options. I think since she’s ambivalent about kids now she probably shouldn’t hurry up and have them. BUT, on the other hand, she is so young she may change her mind – so it’s not necessarily worth throwing an otherwise healthy (if it is?) relationship out the window because she may not want to have kids and he may want her to have kids sooner. It’s something that needs to be discussed at length before you make any rash decisions one way or the other.

        • avatar princesspetticoat June 25, 2011, 5:17 pm

          Perfect response.

    • avatar MsBorgia June 24, 2011, 10:24 am

      Who cares? She can have kids whenever (IF ever) she feels like it.

      Every age comes with its own problems. Only she will be able to decide when the best time for her to have kids is.

      • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 10:39 am

        Eh. Not really.

        There’s been a lot of progress in gender equlaiy in the last 50 years in the US and that’s terrific, but the truth is that a woman’s fertility peaks at about 16 (!), drops steadily after age 30, and really starts to disappear after 35. I’m not saying that you should all be 16 & Pregnant, but there are still really serious biological concerns that have to be addressed. Fertility doesn’t last forever, and that at least has to be part of the decision.

        • avatar PFG-SCR June 24, 2011, 10:43 am

          I don’t think anyone doesn’t know this since women are pretty much beaten over the head with this information from the time they hit puberty. We know that our eggs are getting older and less viable, spaceboy!!!!

        • avatar _jsw_ June 24, 2011, 10:45 am

          Agreed, getting pregnant becomes more difficult as a woman gets older. However, it is better to not have kids when you want to have them than it is to have kids when you don’t want them.

          Waiting until you get older does entail some risk, but most couples can have children via one means or another at least until their early 40s.

          If you’re young, positive you’ll want kids eventually, but not yet ready, there are other steps you can take to preserve eggs if you’re really terrified you won’t be able to conceive.

          Children will stress any relationship. They just will. It’s inherent to them. Sometimes it’s a little stress, sometimes it’s a lot, but there’s always some. Trying to have kids young just so you’ll be able to get them out of college by the time you’re 40 just means you’ll likely have had a very stressful young-to-mid adulthood. It can work for some people, but it’s a bit of a silly reason to rush them.

          • Dear Wendy Wendy June 24, 2011, 10:52 am

            Just to piggyback on this, I was 34 when Drew and I decided to start trying for a baby. I got pregnant the first month we tried. Waiting until you’re in your 30s does NOT mean it’s going to be a long road toward pregnancy. It can be, of course, but it doesn’t have to be. And, frankly, I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had through my 20s and early 30s for young(er) motherhood. I am who I am today because of those experiences and they’re going to make me a far better and more emotionally prepared mom, I think. Plus, I welcome having some young people around when I’m in my late 50s/early 60s to keep me feeling youthful.

            • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 11:01 am

              I think you and Drew have set a really good example. From what you’ve shared it seems like you are both in a really good place to be having kids. Where I live most people have “whoops” kids in their twenties and then- perhaps because they are modeling after movies like “Knocked Up”- they try to force serious relationships with people they barely know, and then there is an inevitable breakup-which of course is really hard on the kids. It makes so much more sense to wait until you are in a good, committed relationship. 60 is the new 30 anyway.

            • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 11:05 am

              We both come from New York, the land of ‘I can’t afford shit here until I’m 30 so marriage and kids will wait’, so I’m sure that we’ve both seen it go bad both ways. I also know plenty of women in their early 30′s who have spent more money than I make in a year on fertility treatments that didn’t work and are subsequently miserable. I’ve also seen women have kids in their mid 20′s and sabotage their careers (yes, it still happens in 2011 sadly enough) and never financially recover.

              It’s a balancing act. The best you can do is know what you’re odds of pregnancy and earning potential look like in each case. My wife and I have decided to wait until she is 31 until we start trying. She is a public school teacher and got laid off twice in the past four years due to the mass exodus of people from Long Island to cheaper parts of the country. As a rule of thumb, any untenured teacher who gets pregnant is essentially showing herself the door. I understand how disgusting that is, but that doesn’t change the realities of how LI school districts hire and retain talent. My wife is on track to receive her tenure at 31, so there you go. Seeking college and post-grad degrees also drags out the process.

              • avatar PFG-SCR June 24, 2011, 11:15 am

                “The best you can do is know what you’re odds of pregnancy and earning potential look like in each case.”

                No matter how much you’ve planned out how it’s all going to work out, you don’t know how you’ll feel until you’re holding that baby. I had zero interest in being a SAHM, and I had my career path/partner track all mapped out…but, my priorities completely changed after a I became a mom, and I found that those two pieces of my life were not compatible and one had to give.

              • Dear Wendy Wendy June 24, 2011, 11:17 am

                Best of luck to you when you start trying! I, too, know of women in their 30s who have spent so much money and time trying to conceive. I actually had lunch with one of them yesterday. She’s three months pregnant after two years of trying. It turns out she had some hormone issues that weren’t at all related to her age (she’d have had the same problems conceiving if she’d tried ten years earlier). She took hormone replacement shots for a few weeks and then got pregnant right away. Sometimes women in their 30s who think their age is the reason they can’t conceive only think that because they never tried conceiving before. They think, “Oh, I’m not getting pregnant — it must be because my eggs are old!” But the fact is there can be lots of medical reasons, besides age, that make a woman infertile or create difficulty conceiving.

                • avatar SpyGlassez June 24, 2011, 11:02 pm

                  Going along with this – it can also be the man who cannot fertilize, either because he has a low sperm count or because of some other reason. And that can happen at any age, also.

            • JK Jessika June 24, 2011, 11:25 am

              So true! With my first daughter it took 6 months of trying to get pregnant (at 28), with my 2nd I got pregnant at the 1st try (at 31), we assumed it was going to take a while again so we stopped birth control, so it was a big surprise when my eldest a week later start saying “Mummy has a baby in her tummy”!!!

              • Dear Wendy Wendy June 24, 2011, 11:57 am

                I assumed it was going to take us awhile, too, which is why I felt comfortable getting started the first month I launched this site. I figured I’d have 3-6 months to get things rolling here before dealing with the ups-and-downs of pregnancy and the chaos of new motherhood. Instead, I got pregnant the day I started this site. What’s the saying about God laughing when you make plans?

            • Firegirl32 Firegirl32 June 24, 2011, 11:26 am

              …and it took me 3+ years to get pregnant and we I started trying when I was 23… Sometimes age really doesn’t play in the equation.

            • avatar demoiselle June 25, 2011, 11:43 am

              I agree. Fertility at older ages does vary, but it isn’t necessarily hard for all. My mother was in her late 30s when she had me, and the reason I’m an only child was due to my DAD’s age, not my mom’s. She could easily have had more babies at 38, 39, 40 . . . and my aunt was fine at 44, she got pregnant quickly and had no complications. It may be worth checking out your family history, as I mentioned below.

        • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 10:52 am

          Definitely true! We had our first child when I was 29. He was conceived easily when we decided we were ready for a child. Four years later we decided we were ready for a second child and nothing happened. We finally gave up and felt we were lucky to have our one child. About a year later, to our great surprise and pleasure, I found I was pregnant. How did that happen? Anyway, our kids are 9 years apart in age. I certainly didn’t have the same energy to chase around a toddler in my late 30s and early 40s that I did in my early 30s. Physically, it is much easier to have your children a little earlier. Financially, it is easier to have them a little later. I can’t begin to suggest how someone should balance the physical against the financial. I do know that waiting too long, and you never know what too long is for yourself until you try, can lead to infertility and expensive treatments that may or may not work. A friend once told me that when you are ready to have a baby (and not before), have a baby. There will always be ten good reason to not have a baby so have a baby when you’re ready for one in your life because there will never be a perfect time.

          • avatar SpyGlassez June 24, 2011, 11:04 pm

            One of my mom’s friends from high school has a daughter my age (30) and a son who is about 13. They married in their early/mid 20s, had the daughter, and then 17 years later she found out she was pregnant again.

        • avatar Kate June 24, 2011, 11:01 am

          Where did you find those data?

        • avatar MsBorgia June 24, 2011, 11:04 am

          I am aware of the biological issues, but adoption and fostering are always options too. I know it’s not the same for some people, but it’s still an option.

        • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 6:29 pm

          Fertility does not peak at age 16. Check yer facts spaceboy.

          • avatar Kate June 24, 2011, 6:50 pm

            More like 27.

      • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 10:50 am

        Silly Scattol, the way things are going economically no one- even mtv teen moms- is going to be enjoying a “carefree retirement”. We will all work until we die.

        LW3, I think you should discuss this issue with your boyfriend because his reasons for believing that women ought to have kids in their twenties might be really bogus and sexist. I understand the biological argument for having kids early, but basically every study on the subject has show that women who are older and have more financial stability and job security raise smarter, healthier kids. So yes there is a risk that women in their thirties will have a harder time conceiving but I think the risk is worth it if it means that they are in a better place mentally, financially, and relationship-wise to have them. Everyone who tells you different is trying to sell you fear. Fear that you will get that awesome career and healthy relationship but that it will just all feel empty without kids. Throw that fear right back in their face because having an awesome career and a relationship that was strong and exciting pre-kids is priceless and it’s worth the extra effort and a little risk. Don’t waste time on a guy who doesn’t have your best interests in mind.

        • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 10:57 am

          I don’t think that people are fear mongering so much as speaking from experience when they have reached the point that they have really badly wanted children and found that they waited too long and couldn’t have them. It can be a huge regret in a life that has gone perfectly according to plan and a huge feeling of helplessness in a couple who have done everything as they planned and seen everything work as they wished until they tried to have children.

          • avatar _jsw_ June 24, 2011, 11:02 am

            I agree about that, but, likewise, there are those who had children young and grow older feeling that their lives were defined purely by those kids, not what else they accomplished. As others have said, there’s no perfect age to have them, and there’s no way to follow all the possible paths one can take. There will always be joys and regrets no matter which way you go.

          • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 11:06 am

            I acknowledge it is a risk. But I think it’s been really overblown. Everyone knows someone who felt like they waited to long and couldn’t conceive. But when that info is being used to scare women into having kids before they’re ready than I think it is fear mongering. And I think it can be really detrimental to a woman’s life.

            • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 11:14 am

              “I think it can be really detrimental to a woman’s life.”

              So can having the life goal of being a mother and failing at it. Again, it’s a balancing act between finance and biology.

              • avatar Riefer June 24, 2011, 11:27 am

                Why can’t everyone just agree: have kids when you want kids and feel that you are ready for them.

                Sure, maybe by the time you are ready and you want them, it will be too late. That’s a risk. But better than the alternative (imho), which is having them when you don’t want them and aren’t ready for them. My mom loves her 5 kids to bits, but she has frankly told me that if she could go back, she wouldn’t have kids. She can say that to me because she knows that I know how much she loves us all, and it’s not a reflection on us. It’s a choice of a different kind of life, and she had a very hard one because of the path she took. If I were her, I’d say the exact same thing.

                Anyway, you can try to have them when you want them, or try to have them when you don’t want them. Those are your choices, period. Regardless of age, finances, maturity, etc, those are your choices. And no matter the choice you make, there’s always the chance you won’t be able to have them. That’s just life.

                • avatar SpyGlassez June 24, 2011, 11:07 pm

                  A friend from work got pregnant with an “oops baby” when she was 19. She loves her little girl, but she has said many times that she wishes she had not had her then. It’s taken my friend a long time to be able to get back to school and go into the career field she wanted, because of having her daughter so young. Likewise, my roommate’s parents married when they were 17, her mother had my roommate, and then they separated. Having kids young can be very rough, and it doesn’t matter if you can run around after a toddler better if, by the end of the day and working crap jobs just to get by, you are too tired to do so.

              • avatar NOLAGirl June 24, 2011, 11:37 am

                I totally agree with you spaceboy. This isn’t fear mongering. Honestly I think nowadays people don’t really consider the biological aspects of it as much because of advances in modern medicine which make it easier to conceive where you would have been considered “barren” fifty or sixty years ago. I don’t think a lot of women are pressured into having kids young. Maybe that’s because I deal more with academics and I’m a bit older? I don’t recall feeling pressure. I recall it being considered kind of weak or anti-feminist to have kids young. The only pressure I had is that women in my family hit menopause around 30-35, so I planned to either adopt or have kids the ol’ fashioned way by 32.

                But as to the LW I still think the LW has to talk to her bf about this difference in opinion, stat! They may both change their minds later, they may not. But the fact she was going to have an abortion without consulting her boyfriend of SIXTEEN months is a big red flag issue. She recognizes it would end their relationship if she did it, but was going to do it anyway had she been pregnant. How the heck do you keep that kind of thing a secret? I can barely keep christmas presents a secret from my husband!

                When I was dating guys, (especially for that long) they knew where I stood on if we had an “accident.” I made that clear up front. For me, and this is a personal choice, I don’t think you should have sex without being ready to deal with the consequences of it (STD/baby/whatevs). And to be open about it with your S.O. especially. If you aren’t ready for sex-consequences, that’s why God invented vibrators. But I admit I’m an old woman when it comes to these types of things.

                • avatar NOLAGirl June 24, 2011, 11:56 am

                  when I say academics I mean that generally academic women put off having kids until they’re done with their Ph.D. so you have a lot more people having kids later. I realized that sounded like “i’m around smart people and nyeaaaah” But as a whole from people I’ve known (and I was told by professors going into grad school) women in academia put off having kids. It just is generally how it goes. It’s much harder to do when you’re in grad school and when you’re working towards tenure, than after you’re established. At least in the fields I was in.

                  • avatar Kate June 24, 2011, 12:03 pm

                    You are correct. I am finishing my PhD, and have not had kids yet. And right or wrong, when women have kids during grad school, they often have to lean on their labmates (science is my field) which then pisses your colleagues off and makes things a LOT harder for you. It’s easier to wait until you’re established. One plus, at most schools, if you have a baby during the tenure process, they add a year.

                  • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 12:04 pm

                    It’s not just in academia. Basically, between a job, a child, and serious pursuit of a grad degree, most people only have time for two. Whatever grad degrees you think you need better be wrapped up before kids. I’m sure that people will rush to dig up counterexamples, but you have to understand the odds when creating a life plan.

                    • avatar Kate June 24, 2011, 12:10 pm

                      Nope, I think you are right. And yes there are counterexamples, of course. But I think you mentioned earlier that sometimes having kids earlier can derail a career – I seen this more often than not during school. It’s damn difficult to juggle a demanding career, baby(ies), husband or partner etc. etc.

                  • avatar SpyGlassez June 24, 2011, 11:08 pm

                    Agreed. I completed my masters in my mid-20s and am considering going back; waiting is definitely the norm.

                • avatar Riefer June 24, 2011, 12:00 pm

                  Well, it’s a little bit of fear-mongering. Pretty much every woman understands what her window for having children is. The only point of reiterating it like this, and framing it as “you’re going to miss out”, is to push the opinion that women will be unhappy if they don’t have children. My aunt is married, they decided not to have kids, and they’re perfectly happy with that decision. It’s just pushing this idea that you have to have kids to have a full life.

                  I don’t know, maybe that’s true for men, because it’s often men who are pushing this point of view. But for women, who generally have to choose between a career and children, it’s a different story. Personally, I feel that I wouldn’t have a full life without having a career. Maybe having kids would replace that, and I’d have a full life either way. Maybe not. For me, since they can easily have both, it makes sense that they’d want both. I guess if I could easily have both, I’d be more willing to have kids too.

                  • avatar NOLAGirl June 24, 2011, 12:14 pm

                    The thing is, IF she knows she wants to have kids, she has to take this into account. If she’s uncertain, she’s still 23 so it doesn’t really matter. It’s a reality. But with modern medicine it’s not as big of a deal as it was in the past. You just have to recognize it might take some time. I don’t think a reality is fear mongering. It’s a fact of life.

                    The bigger issue I find is the lack of communication. And maybe they’ve talked about these issues before, but you need to be able to have open communication about big issues like these with your partner. Otherwise it can lead to major problems later in the relationship. And I seriously hope LW does talk to her BF about this sooner rather than later for both of their sakes so if they aren’t congruous then they can MOA both of them.

                  • avatar Riefer June 24, 2011, 12:14 pm

                    2nd-last sentence should read “For men, since they can easily have both…”

                  • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 12:33 pm

                    Ya, it’s the “be afraid because you might miss out” thing that bothers me the most. If you live your life like that then you’re going to be unhappy no matter what. Life is about making choices and when you make a choice you are giving something up. If a woman wants a career and financial stability before she has kids I think she should be encouraged to pursue that, not told that she’s gambling with her happiness. Having a bio baby is not a free ticket to the joy express. In my profession I work with a lot of happy, successful women and they run the gamut. Some have one kid, some have three, some have none. One woman couldn’t have children because she got cancer in her late twenties. It had nothing to do with waiting too long. Stuff happens. One had her first kid at forty. One doesn’t have any kids but she’s an awesome and very involved aunt to four children. Of all these women, I couldn’t tell you who has the better, more fufilled life. But it’s clear to me that having a career that they care about has made these women a lot happier than the women I know who opted out for early motherhood. That’s just my observation.

                    • avatar demoiselle June 25, 2011, 11:52 am

                      I believe that there are studies that show parents with kids are in fact LESS happy than others in their day to day lives. (Of course, the payoff for children often comes later in the kids’ lives). But having kids is no promise of fulfilment or happiness, that’s for sure.

                • avatar Christy June 24, 2011, 6:29 pm

                  I agree with you in your last paragraph–anyone having sex should have discussed *and agreed on* the choices they might have to make. If he wasn’t cool with having an abortion, they should be investing in multiple forms of birth control or not having sex. To not even tell him is a problem.

                  I disagree with you about the lack of pressure, though. Maybe it’s a matter of context, I’m a graduate student too, and most of us are waiting to have families, so people understand that. But in the “real world”, especially in the South where I’m from, being in your mid-twenties and not on the marriage and mommy track is unusual. The pressure isn’t terrible, but it does get annoying being asked “When are you getting married?” all the time. Doesn’t anyone care about my research? :)

                • avatar demoiselle June 25, 2011, 11:49 am

                  I’m in a PhD program and some of our faculty members explicitly discourage women from having kids (at all) or at least until after they hit tenure, usually in their thirties. So no, there is not pressure to have children. There is pressure in the opposite direction, if anything. I think in the “real world” the pressure is in the opposite direction–to have them early.

              • avatar Sarah June 24, 2011, 12:20 pm

                There are plenty of women that can’t have children no matter what age they are. Because of health issues, I might be one of these women. If the day when I want to have children is the day I discover that I can’t biologically have one, I don’t fail at it, I find another way to become one. Fear of biology will only convince you to make fearful choices you may not have wanted to make otherwise.

                • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 12:45 pm

                  Yo, exactly you can’t “fail” at motherhood by not conceiving a bio baby. The only place I can fail at biology is in school.

                • avatar demoiselle June 25, 2011, 11:54 am

                  Good point. Some women who discover they are infertile in their 30s discover they are infertile then because that’s when they’re starting to try to have children. It doesn’t mean the problem wasn’t there before–in fact, the fact that more women are waiting into their 30s to start having kids MEANS that there will be more women having problems with fertility in their thirties. In the past, they’d have had that heartbreak in their twenties.

          • avatar demoiselle June 25, 2011, 11:46 am

            The people who are disappointed because they discovered they couldn’t have kids when the wanted are probably louder and more memorable than the majority who found they COULD have kids in their mid-to-late thirties and are now raising them. I think the extent problem may be overestimated. (Not that the pain isn’t very real for those who are having trouble conceiving).

        • avatar scattol June 24, 2011, 6:28 pm

          Silly Yozi, you think it will be as easy to find a new job at 65 as it was at 30. It’s not because you need a job at 65 that employer will oblige you. It’s in their own self interest to get the most productive labor force and that might well be the 30 year old that works for a lot less.

          Go out and look and you will see lots of older unemployed workers.

          If the last recession should have thought us something is not to count our chickens before they are hatched. Your ability to find a job is in good part out of your control. The job has to be there to be filled to begin with! What you do control is how you plan your finances.

          • avatar demoiselle June 25, 2011, 11:56 am

            My mom is 68 and just retired three months ago. She’s now decided she wants to work again and has three employers (at least) vying for her. So being older doens’t necessarily mean that you’re not employable.

    • avatar PFG-SCR June 24, 2011, 10:37 am

      There are advantages and disadvantages to having kids young, mid- to late 20s, mid-30s, etc., and there’s no one “right way”/”right age”. It’s ultimately a decision for the two people in the relationship, and the issue becomes when they differ in opinion on this.

    • Caris Caris June 24, 2011, 11:04 am

      My mom had me when she was 32 and my younger brother when she was 36. She never had a problem during her pregnancies, and she is now in her early 50′s and shes perfectly healthy. My dad is in his late 50′s and he is also perfectly healthy. I really don’t see what the problem is with having kids in your thirties; thats what she wants and there is nothing wrong with it. It would be different if she wanted to have kids at 50, because of health issues that could affect her and the kid.

    • avatar Emma Woodhouse June 24, 2011, 12:42 pm

      Well…I’m 28 and still haven’t found the man I want to marry and have kids with yet.

      Clearly, I’m screwed. Bugger it all.

      • avatar Riefer June 24, 2011, 1:16 pm

        I didn’t even meet my hubby till I was in my 30s. Don’t worry about it.

      • avatar SpyGlassez June 24, 2011, 11:11 pm

        Met my BF/future husband at 28 and a half. We started talking marriage seriously as I was creeping up on 30. If you’re screwed, I’m double-screwed.

    • avatar violetquaker June 24, 2011, 1:40 pm

      Actually Suze Orman is now advising people against early retirement; she encourages people to work until they are at least 67 years of age, when people can draw from both their retirement funds and Social Security (assuming Social Security is still solvent in the future). How many people can afford to retire early now anyway?

    • avatar scattol June 24, 2011, 10:22 pm

      wow did I get the most negative rating ever?

    • avatar Ken Mitchell June 25, 2011, 3:20 pm

      “Mother Nature” (or “evolution”, or however you want to phrase it) arranged things so that women should become mothers earlier rather than later. Older women have a tougher time getting pregnant, and have a higher risk of serious birth defects. Either have kids when you’re young (mid-20′s) or don’t have them at all. No woman over 35 should EVER plan on having a child. We waited to have kids, and it was a BIG mistake.

      I know, it’s SO UNFAIR! Life isn’t fair; get used to it.

      • avatar ForeverYoung June 25, 2011, 5:45 pm

        Project much? Just because it didn’t work for you (i’m not sure your situation, trouble conceiving or had to make career sacrifices?) doesn’t mean that it will be a bad idea for everyone. Out of all the women I know (my mom included) that had kids in their 30′s, I don’t know of any that had problems conceiving or giving birth later in life.

        I think it’s a little self absorbed to use your negative experience to scare women into thinking they will regret having kids later. Life has no guarantees. Maybe if a woman has kids young she will regret having to go to college when her kids are in their teens and she is in her late 30′s.

        Life is full of choices. You have no way of knowing if had you chose to have kids young and missed other opportunities you wouldn’t have regretted that decision.

        • avatar Ken Mitchell June 25, 2011, 9:18 pm

          Self-selection fallacy; the ones who did have problems conceiving later in life didn’t have kids. Of all the women you know who never had children; how many decided never to have kids, and how many decided to wait and have children later and could not? I’m 60, and we were lucky; but a few of my peers have been through one or more rounds of EXTRAORDINARILY EXPENSIVE (and usually NOT covered by insurance!) in-vitro fertilization treatments. These are not guaranteed, and do not always work. These are inevitably heartbreaking even if it works.

          I’m not trying to scare anybody; everybody makes their own decisions. But you need to have FACTS to make accurate decisions, and here are a few; older women are less likely to conceive. Older mothers are slightly more likely to have children with birth defects. Older mothers have less energy to chase children around, and are somewhat more likely, once their children are grown, to be too old to enjoy their retirement.

          • avatar ForeverYoung June 26, 2011, 10:45 pm

            Of all this talk about inability to conceive where is the adoption discussion in all of this? I am always shocked that that is never brought up as an option.

            I was born when my dad was 36. He retired when he was 55. I was 19 in case you’re doing the math. They are currently spending time in Arizona. So yes I am using siutations from my life that might not be the norm, but I still feel like you’re projecting.

            • avatar ForeverYoung June 26, 2011, 10:50 pm

              In case I need to clarify he did all of this while never making 6 figures. No he doesn’t live an extravagent lifestyle, but him and my mom are happy, got to have kids, got to retire early, and send their two kids to college. So to say that it is not possible is simply not true.

      • avatar Emma Woodhouse June 26, 2011, 9:46 pm

        Ummm…my mother had me when she was 29 and my sister when she was 37. Of the two of us, I was premature, extremely sick, had to have open heart surgery at 5 years old and still need an inhaler every day because my lungs weren’t fully developed. My sister was perfectly fine.

    • avatar Doc. M. June 26, 2011, 7:06 pm

      Umm, where did you get the impression that LW3 was galavanting around the world and getting drunk at a moment’s notice? It sounds to me like she is waiting until she is financially stable and emotionally ready to have kids, something I wish more people would do.

  • avatar ReginaRey June 24, 2011, 8:15 am

    LW2 – I’m assuming your boyfriend is around the same age as you – 22. His refusal to EVER want to move out on his own is straight up unhealthy, and frankly pretty damn strange. It begs some questions: Why is he so reliant on his parents in adulthood? Does he like being treated like a child? Are his parents supportive of and even enabling this “never moving out” mentality?

    It’s healthy to have fears about striking out on your own in young adulthood, but it’s also equally healthy to step up and DO IT. Not having any desire to establish independence from your parents in adulthood is a major red flag, and one that you need to look more closely at. I think you need to think long and hard about whether this is really the person you want to marry. If he needs his parents around all the time, what will you be to him? Another mom? Another caregiver? Someone else to coddle him and not help him to grow up? You started dating him when you were 17, which leads me to believe you haven’t experienced much of the dating world. Trust me, there are other guys out there who, at 22, aren’t as clingy and reliant on their parents as a 4-year-old on his first day of preschool.

    • avatar SpaceySteph June 24, 2011, 9:32 am

      They are most definitely enabling it. My parents would have kicked my ass out long before 22, had I not had the good sense to leave on my own. My guess is that his parents are the overbearing sort who want their babies to never leave… and LW you most certainly do not want to move in with him and fall into their clutches yourself. Tell him to call you when he grows up! Maybe that will be the push he needs to do so, but if not you dodged a bullet!

      • avatar Fancy Pants June 24, 2011, 2:54 pm

        I think you’re right, SpaceySteph, however I do know of one exception.

        My cousin lived with his parents until his mid 20′s. He was the youngest sibling and he had started his own business right out of high school, and at first it was a bit of a safety net and then he started paying them rent. His parents moved into a smaller, empty nester home and he purchased the house he was living in from them. When he got married shortly after, he was already a home owner. I get the feeling LW2′s boyfriend does not have a similar plan with his parents, though.

    • caitie_didnt caitie_didn't June 24, 2011, 10:23 am

      Totally agree. Also, boyfriend’s attitude indicates that he wants a mother instead of a girlfriend, and if the LW ends up marrying this guy she’ll spend the rest of her life waiting on him hand and foot.

      • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 10:59 am

        It could even be his way of forcing her to breakup because he knows this has to be a dealbreaker.

    • avatar beans629 June 24, 2011, 12:02 pm

      I just wanted to point out that in some cultures (not the US), it is perfectly normal that adult children stay at home with their parents until they are married. Then after marriage they stay very near or in the same house as their parents.
      If the LW’s parents are cultural transplants then she should totally reevaluate what that would mean to her life and future.

      If they’re just regular old plain Americans and he doesn’t want to leave home and they don’t force him out on his own…then I would just run (doesn’t matter where-just run).
      Because the problem with raising a grown man is that he will NEVER grow up and be the person you need him to be. At least when you’re raising your children, you eventually get to see them grow up and become independent.

      • caitie_didnt caitie_didn't June 24, 2011, 1:17 pm

        Yes, there is certainly potential for this to be cultural- I grew up in a neighbourhood with a lot of Italian-Canadian families, where it’s totally normal for kids (particularly male) to live at home until they get married and then in some cases live with one set of parents. I’m not saying that doesn’t have it’s merits (financial, built-in babysitter). But there’s no way in hell I would do it, and I wouldn’t date one of these guys because my experience has been that they are almost exclusively man-children, who’ve grown up having their every whim catered to and who believe that housework, cooking, cleaning and child-rearing are “women’s work” and thus never lift a finger.

        /end rant. But seriously, if the LW doesn’t want to live with her soon-to-be inlaws, that’s her decision and her right.

      • avatar ReginaRey June 24, 2011, 3:05 pm

        Yeah, very much agree that culture can come into play. The issue I saw is that he said he NEVER wants to move out, even after he’s married. Plenty of adult children live with their parents until marriage…and then move out. His refusal to EVER want to do it is what seems odd, no matter the culture.

    • avatar summerkitten26 June 24, 2011, 2:29 pm

      thank you regina, for speaking on my gut reaction for LW2! if he just flat out DOESN’T want to move out of his parents’ home, HUGE RED FLAG. as to the cultural thing, yes, it may be typical in some cultures, but if he grew up in a different country than his parents, he understands the need for cultural compromise, and i’m speaking as a first generation American here. Furthermore, if he flat out disregards your feelings and want of privacy and refuses to even consider it, then he’s not valuing you in this relationship. You may love him, but from your letter at least, this doesn’t seem to be 100% reciprocated.

      does it strike anyone else as odd that LW3 said that her boyfriend “thinks women should have kids in their twenties”? is he carrying that child (or children)? yes, having kids is definitely something that couples should air out for discussion as soon as they start seriously considering long term, but if LW3 is afraid to even have this conversation with her boyfriend, then their issues don’t revolve around whether or not they’re going to have kids and when. LW3, I’d strongly suggest you talk to your boyfriend, if only to assuage your feelings of guilt that are hopefully unfounded. You two should be in this together, and it shouldn’t ever be about some ticking clock timeline. best of luck to you.

    • avatar Kevin June 25, 2011, 4:43 pm

      I’d be kind of wondering what his parents think of his plan and his refusal to consider moving out of their house. Are they really aware of what is going on? Has LW2 tried talking to them without her BF around? But yeah, I’d suggest not accepting his conditions. The whole situation seems very odd and suggests to me that something is seriously strange in his life that you have not been aware of previously.

      If you had a really good relationship with his parents and living there was offered as a solution to a problem (like saving money for a house and/or childcare) that would be different. Maybe it would make sense and not drive you crazy. But refusing to consider moving out seems very odd.

  • avatar demoiselle June 24, 2011, 8:49 am

    Does your boyfriend know about the pregnancy scare? Talking about your reactions to that might be a good way into talking about your changing feelings about children. Your reaction sounds perfectly normal to me. I, too, think I’d like kids–but the idea of actually being pregnant is terrifying to me. The bad experience of a friend of ours recently scared me and my husband pretty roundly, too. Right now, although I still think I want kinds, my husband is going through a period where he’s not sure, because he wouldn’t want to risk losing me to complications (which we have no reason to *actually* expect).

    Relationships require constant communication and reevaluation. It’s important to share core goals and values with your partner, but it’s also true that these things can change over time. That’s why good relationships require constant communication and negotiation. It’s worth while talking to your boyfriend about what his feelings would be if you chose not to have kids, or if (hypothetically) you discovered that you couldn’t have children for one reason or another. I had an ex who straight up informed me that if I couldn’t have kids, he’d find a woman who could (and expect me to raise the baby–without having discussed this idea with me in advance).

    I think the “timeline” thing is a bit tricky–Why does he think women should have babies in their twenties? Is there a family history on his side which has demonstrated complications among older women in his family who had kids, for example? Do you have a different family history? I think the women in some families have more complications than in others (my mother had me at 37 with no problem, my aunt had her son at 44 with no complications at all). It’s worth finding out his reasoning. Perhaps he’ll be flexible.

    In response to the first post in this thread–having kids later is not necessarily bad. As I said, my mother was 37 when I was born. My father was 60. I benefited tremendously from their age and experience–and also from the fact that by the time I was born, they were financially well off, meaning I had a lot more opportunities than I would have had if they’d been in their twenties when I was born (my husband’s family didn’t hit that point until after he had to choose his college based on the scholarship he got instead of instructional quality, which he suffered from, while his younger brothers had many more options).

    You do make good points, of course. My father was a psychiatrist, and worked by choice and inclination until he got terminal cancer at age 85. If he’d been in a very physically demanding profession, or had had poor health, then that wouldn’t have been possible. And It was hard losing my father when I was 26. That said, I had classmates in high school who lost parents at 14–parents who were much younger than even my mother when they were born.

    There are no guarantees. The only thing you can do is talk openly and see whether you can work things out. I wish you luck.

  • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 8:56 am

    LW#2: Your bf is class-A Momma’s Boy. If he can’t grow the f**k up, you need to MOA.

    LW#3: You’ve only been with your boyfriend a little over a yr; you’re only 23! Slooooooow down! Tell him you’re not interested in having children anytime soon. Your feelings may change in a couple of years, but that’s not guarranteed. I strongly suggest you guys drop the baby talk for a while. If your bf can’t handle it, then you need to re-evaluate your relationship.

    • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 9:29 am

      Let me add I dated a guy that told me “If we get married, & I want my mom to move in, I would divorce you if you said no.”
      Can we say **issues**??

      • Caris Caris June 24, 2011, 11:13 am

        i’d say **ISSUES**

      • avatar Fancy Pants June 24, 2011, 2:56 pm

        You dumped him right?

        • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 3:13 pm

          Not because of that specific instance, but eventually. lol

  • avatar Guy Friday June 24, 2011, 9:12 am

    Maybe I’m out of line here, but the comment in LW2′s letter where she states that her boyfriend said “he refuses to ever move out on his own” just struck me as a little . . . well, odd. But not odd in the “he’s a loser” way; odd in the “something about that seems like it’s a misinterpretation of what he said” way. LW, are you certain he actually said “never”? Or are you extrapolating and drawing a conclusion here based on what he said, and that’s what you’re inferring? Because it’s the former, then, yeah, I think that’s definitely a problem. But I can’t help but feel in my gut like this is less a “she wants to move out someday, and he never wants to” than a “she wants to get married SOON because they’ve been dating for 5 years, and he doesn’t feel comfortable moving out yet.” I mean, in total seriousness, they may be pretty young, but what percentage of guys would date someone for 5 years — even if it started that young — and after all that time still not want to move out? It’s VERY rare.

    While I don’t think you should marry him yet, I do think you should figure out WHY he doesn’t want to move out. Have you asked him? And what has he said? It’s very possible there’s something deeper going on here than his just being lazy. Perhaps there’s health issues with one or both of his parents that you weren’t aware of. Perhaps it’s a financial thing, that he doesn’t want to move out until he has enough saved to go and not have to move back. Or, I mean, maybe he really is a mama’s boy. But you won’t know until you have a much deeper conversation with him.

    (Side note: The biggest problem I have with the letter is that we don’t have any context here for the guy’s age. We know the LW is 22, but I think the picture is a LOT different if, say, he’s 20 years old versus 22 or 23 years old. I wasn’t even ready to leave the STATE I grew up in for college when I was 18/19/20 years old, but I was definitely ready to do it for grad school by the time I ended undergrad at 21. That year could make a big difference.)

    • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 10:52 am

      Qualifier: The BF’s parents are monarchs and live in a sweet castle.

  • avatar silver_dragon_girl June 24, 2011, 9:20 am

    There’s an episode of Friends where Ross asks his dad about whether he felt ready to be a father when Ross was born. Jack just shrugged and said, “We just had kids back then. That’s what you did.”

    Personally, LW3, I’m in the opposite position…I want to start having kids by the time I’m 30 (28-29, ideally), and my boyfriend wants to wait until he’s at least 30. Since it’s only a few years’ difference, I’m sure we can work things out. In your case, I think you can work something out (if you want to), because I think you’re a. overreacting to a pregnancy scare and b. freaking out about what you think your boyfriend’s reaction will be if you tell him you want to wait to have kids.

    Have you talked to him about this? I mean, really talked to him? Because it only bothers me that he said “women should” instead of “people should.” Why do women have to be young? If he doesn’t find anyone willing to bear his progeny by the time he’s 40, is he still going to be looking for a 24-year-old to date? Because that would be a little weird.

    However, all that being said, if you really think he would break up with you if you told the truth, I think this relationship might be doomed anyway. If you can’t be honest, what’s the point?

    • avatar va-in-ny June 24, 2011, 1:31 pm

      I agree with this. I think before you start thinking about whether you and your boyfriend may or may not want children, you need to analyze what type of relationship you have and how strong it is. If you’re worried that your boyfriend may break up with you if you told him something like that, then I don’t think it’s time that you two be considering children now or in the future.

      Work on the two of you first.

  • avatar TheOtherMe June 24, 2011, 9:25 am

    LW1: No strings means no strings, let him know you’re out and if he wants to know why, just explain it calmly as Wendy has suggested.

    LW2: He refuses to EVER move out on his own ? MOA, sorry

    LW3: You’ve mentioned twice in your short letter that he would break up with you if he A) knew how you felt about having kids B) would have gotten an abortion if you did get pregnant. It’s quite clear you need to put your cards on the table and see if there is hope for you as a couple or cut your losses now and find someone who shares the same life goals as you.

  • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 10:12 am

    LW1: If you’re set on walking away from the NSA part of the relationship, you might as well rock a rom-com style profession of love and see if that great romantic relationship that everybody wants is possible here. If it doesn’t work, you were on your way out anyway. I say swing for the fences here.

    LW2: Do you ever watch the Road Runner where he runs away so fast that a vortex of smoke flies up from his feet? Do that.

    LW3: So long as the rest of the relationship is going well, I wouldn’t panic here. I understand that agreeing on kids is a non-negotiable, but your life plan is going to change drastically from what you now want at 23. You’re both too young and too new to this relationship to be fighting about kids. Remember that your twenties will last for another seven years. That’s practically an eternity. Imagine how much your life goals have changed since you’ve been 16 and double it.

  • avatar PFG-SCR June 24, 2011, 10:24 am

    LW3: “Do you think the wanting to have kids could come to me later in life and I should wait before talking to him, or is this something I should mention right away?”

    I don’t think your feelings of uncertainty about kids are unusual for someone who is 23 years old. Personally, I was adamant that I was never having kids when I was 23. And 24…25. Somewhere around 26, I started feeling differently, though, and by early 30s, I had three.

    I’m wondering if this is stemming more from your recent pregnancy scare, because you know you don’t want kids _right_now_. It is difficult to know how we’ll feel in the future, but if you still feel uncertain about the idea of kids in another few months or so, then I think you have a serious discussion with your boyfriend. But, you first need time to “get over” the fear from last month that you had an unplanned pregnancy, so I wouldn’t be so quick to tell your boyfriend anything definitively about this topic.

    Good luck, LW!

  • avatar Quakergirl June 24, 2011, 10:30 am

    LW2: You are dating a manchild. A very common creature, the manchild will never grow up and be able to give you what you want– a partner and a husband. He will instead become a rapidly aging version of his adolescent self.

    I know from my own experience that high school relationships can grow up into adult relationships, but both people have to, ya know, grow up. Your boyfriend doesn’t want to, which is fine, but if you do want to progress past where you were your senior year of high school, you’ve gotta let him go. His sports trophies and letterman jacket may have made his room look cool when you guys were 17, but is that really the environment where you want to spend your entire married life?

  • avatar WatersEdge June 24, 2011, 10:39 am

    LW 3, I know I really want kids someday, but every time I’ve had a pregnancy scare, it’s scared me off the idea of kids for a few months. Wait a few months more and see how you feel at that point. It’s freaky when the universe calls your bluff on something you think you want! And for me, how I felt about having kids changed from when I was 23 to 26, and I assume it will change more in the future.

  • avatar SGMcG June 24, 2011, 11:00 am

    LW1: If you stop answering the calls/texts, there is a small chance that they may actually increase their frequency for fuckbuddy time if he doesn’t hear from you. I’ve had one person thought it was a mindfuck game and a form of foreplay before our next NSA session. The etiquette to end it is to do so straightforwardly when you feel it is time with an honest explanation when asked.

    LW2: There’s nothing wrong with living with your Mom – in this hard economy, some people have to go back home to make it work. Yet this “man” is asking you to join him in his choice of living arrangements with no regard as to how you might feel about it or any input in your respective future together. We don’t even know if this guy’s family would even welcome her as a member of their household without marriage prospects! I wouldn’t MOA because he’s a Mama’s boy – I’d MOA because he clearly feels your opinion and your ambitions shouldn’t factor in your relationship.

    LW3: Does your boyfriend even know that the pregnancy scare occurred? If you mention the scare and how it changed your opinion on your timeline towards the kid agenda, I’m sure he’ll sympathize where you’re coming from. Who knows – he may have a change of heart regarding his personal timeline for kids when he discovers how close he was to becoming a Dad himself. Yet whether you have a kid at 23 or 33 is really a decision that you should have based on a mutual understanding with your partner. You won’t know if this guy would even be worthy to be that partner until you open those lines of communication with him. So start that conversation now, before it’s too late.

  • avatar MiMi June 24, 2011, 11:13 am

    LW2, while living in multi-generational homes is not in fashion in America, it is the norm in many, many countries. It’s not necessarily a twisted cycle of dysfunction, and while compromises have to be made, it can be an incredibly supportive environment.
    I lived the first 10 years of my marriage in my husband’s family home and I wouldn’t have traded that experience (or my mother in law) for the world. We were able to make our own little “apartment” of a couple of rooms plus a bathroom that was private just for us, and if we couldn’t scream our heads off during sex, well, that wasn’t too high a price to pay for all the benefits we received: company, help when needed, lower expenses, more room, cooked meals, a garden, etc., including inheriting the home in the end.
    As we Italians say: A La Famiglia! To The Family!

    • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 11:21 am

      As a fellow Italian-American, I would JUMP OUT OF A FUCKING WINDOW if required to live the first ten years of my marriage in my parent’s house. Granted, it’s really nice having them live 10 minutes down the highway, but Spaceboy needs his Space.

      On a semi-related note… Mom, stop bringing us rice balls and pignoli cookies. We’re both trying to lose weight. Also, stop trying to clean my house whenever you come over. It’s both demeaning and creepy.

      • avatar TheOtherMe June 24, 2011, 11:25 am

        “As a fellow Italian-American”

        OMG- stop it, just stop right now!

      • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 1:16 pm

        Lol. I’m Italian American too, and to me the “Famiglia” sometimes feels claustrophobic, like an over stuffed cannoli. When I told my big Italian family that I was moving across the country (I’m the only one in the family to move west of Pittsburgh) they went to my poor mother and asked her what she had done so wrong that her daughter would go and do a thing like that. They thought she must have beat me or fed me too little or something. I just like the west coast, geez.

        • avatar _jsw_ June 24, 2011, 1:19 pm

          Your mom could have mentioned that, since the conversation wasn’t occurring in Italy, somewhere along the line everyone’s ancestors had made a similar decision.

          • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 1:29 pm

            Yeah, but that would be assuming that they respond to logic. In their mind I’m breaking up the Family-with a capital F, nevermind that our ancestors did the exact same thing not very long ago. Ah well, I don’t hand roll my pasta either. I’m lucky they still talk to me.

            • avatar Lamia June 24, 2011, 8:42 pm

              I’m in that same boat. I lived in Arizona for a year and fell in love with it. I plan to permanently move and I’m getting all kinds of grief for it. My family claims I’m abandoning them. They have badmouthed my fiance (I moved out there for him originally) saying he forced me into it. I guess they don’t realize that the more they do this, the more it makes me want to pack up and leave!

              • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 9:26 pm

                I moved out here with a boyfriend and my parents did pretty much the same thing-blaming him for stealing me away and whatnot. It was totally ridiculous, and couldn’t have been further from the truth as the move was my idea. They tried basically everything in their power to keep me at home. I ended up leaving on bad terms, and they didn’t speak to me for 6 months afterward. I’m not going to lie, that was a really hard time for me. & In retrospect there were probably a lot of things I could have handled better. But In the end I’m so thankful that I didn’t cave in and stay because i feel more at home here than I ever did back there. My parents get that now. They understand it isn’t anything personal against them, some people just don’t feel like they belong in their hometown. It took a long time but now they seem to really understand me better. So hang in there, miracles can happen!

              • avatar Britannia June 26, 2011, 4:37 am

                Yay, Arizona!

                My grandmother did something similar – she moved to Arizona with my grandfather when I came to the states as a baby, and her family, who is Polish and extremely old-school, raised Hell and threatened to completely cut her off if she didn’t stick with the family.

                She and my grandpa bought a house anyways, and invited the whole family to come visit Tucson. And guess what??

                A year later… The entire family moved to Tucson and they absolutely love it! The weather is very good for retirees’ health, and it’s a much more relaxed place than New York. They say its one of the best “family decisions” that the family has made. Maybe your family will change their minds – maybe in not such an extreme way as mine did, but hopefully they will come to appreciate the copious reasons why a person can love living in AZ :)

    • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 11:37 am

      Personally, screaming my head off during sex is something I can’t compromise.

      • avatar TheOtherMe June 24, 2011, 11:37 am

        me too.

      • avatar PFG-SCR June 24, 2011, 11:41 am

        “Personally, screaming my head off during sex is something I can’t compromise.”

        Be prepared to be interrupted if you have kids then.

        • avatar spaceboy761 June 24, 2011, 11:46 am

          *Nominated for Burn of the Week

          • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 1:31 pm

            I don’t agree that that was a burn. It’s pretty obvious once kids come into the picture, that’s not always possible. I was referring to MiMi story about living with her in-laws for 10 yrs. Something I couldn’t even fathom.
            Get your burn noms in check.

            • avatar PFG-SCR June 24, 2011, 5:13 pm

              I truly didn’t intend for it to be a burn…just a warning, I guess.

        • avatar MissDre June 24, 2011, 11:47 am

          Haha that just reminds me of something my best friend told me…. she and her husband got a little carried away one night and she got pretty vocal… and right in the middle the kids start banging on the door, frantically shouting, “Mommy, mommy are you ok?” She’s made it a point to scream into the pillows now.

          • avatar PFG-SCR June 24, 2011, 11:52 am

            I have more stories about traumatizing my kids than any mother should really have…I blame my husband.

            • avatar Yozi June 24, 2011, 1:45 pm

              This is so embarrassing.. but just like your friends kids, I walked in on my parents once because I thought my mother was crying out in horrific pain. Except, I was fourteen. I guess my mom’s a screamer. File that under things I didn’t want to ever know about my mother.

              • avatar Fidget_eep June 24, 2011, 3:52 pm

                OH I know that feeling, my parents had no shame. My roomw as right next door and they would have sex when my BFF would spend the night (not only when she was over but even if she was). We would hear the moans begin and bail for the downstairs TV for a good hour or so before TRYING to go back to bed. That is embarassing on all fronts.

        • avatar TheOtherMe June 24, 2011, 11:47 am

          That’s why I refuse to give up my condo.

        • avatar LTC039 June 24, 2011, 1:26 pm

          Precisely why I don’t intend to have them anytime soon :)

  • Skyblossom Skyblossom June 24, 2011, 11:31 am

    Smiling at the thought of Emily Post trying to answer LW1s etiquette question.

  • avatar courtney June 24, 2011, 2:22 pm

    I think when someone has kids, whether it is 26 or 40, it should be up to them. My mom was 29 when she had me and my twin, 27 when she had she my brother (our dad was 31 and 33). I remember having a friend who had older type parents telling me she wished they were younger. My grandma was in her 40s when she had my mom. My moms best friend had a son when she was around 42, and so he is 13 now and she is 55, and she moans all the time about having to take him to soccer practice, school, etc. etc (Quite ridiculous if you ask me, she is the one who wanted the poor kid!) my cousin has a year old baby (she also has five older kids) and she is 38 and she does just fine. I think it’s more then fine to wait, there is nothing wrong with it! I personally might want to figure out the kids situation by the time i’m 30-ish, and i feel that is what will work best for me but its different for everybody

    • avatar kdog June 24, 2011, 4:34 pm

      I’m guessing your mom’s best friend would have moaned about that regardless of age…

  • avatar AKchic June 24, 2011, 3:28 pm

    LW2: Refuses to move out of his parents house and wants you to live with them too? Do you have your own place or are you living with your parents? Does he have the money to live on his own?
    In this economy, those are questions to ask. Then – what cultural background does he come from? Some cultures expect multigenerational living.

    I spent 5 months living with my inlaws, and I tell you what – never again. Ever. I certainly wasn’t consulted on the idea, wasn’t given the option of moving from AK to NJ in the first place, and my MIL didn’t like having her son listening to another woman in the house (she was the only female under the roof for over 20 years).

    If he doesn’t have a cultural reason and can afford to live on his own, or you have your own place and still insists on you living with him and his parents – I would move on and find a guy who has already cut the umbilical cord (both physical and mental). Otherwise, you will be constantly compared to mommy-dearest, plus hearing from mommy on how Jr. likes his sandwiches made, his socks ironed, etc.

  • avatar kdog June 24, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Wendy, spot on with LW1.

    LW2…you’re 22 years old. You just got to the age where you can enjoy living on your own. If you’re really on the fast track of talking marriage I’m thinking you better enjoy living by yourself while you can. I’m also thinking you might learn more about your compatibility with you BF the more independent you let yourself become.

    LW3 You really should be honest with your BF about how you’re feeling. I don’t think you need to make it a hugely seriously conversation and it might be good to chill on your thoughts for a minute first. But eventually you guys are going to need to be on the same page. The other thing to keep in mind though, is that people say all sorts of things (I’m thinking both you and your bf here), but when life happens they end up rolling with the punches and doing things very differently.

  • avatar Foots June 25, 2011, 9:20 am

    Let me just say this–don’t count your eggs before they’re hatched–literally. I thought, like you, that I could have kids whenever I wanted. When I was younger than 35, I had no problem getting pregnant. Now that I am over 35, I am having nothing but trouble, and all my younger friends and coworkers in their 20s are popping out one baby after another. I wish I’d gotten my arse in gear before I hit 30 & had 2 of them. Now I may never have another. I can’t take fertility drugs, either. It really sux.

  • avatar Phil June 25, 2011, 3:53 pm

    My wife didn’t want kids when she was young, talked me out of them, and we focused on our careers. This was in the late 1980′s. It had a weird effect on us, we ended up isolated because pretty much everyone we knew had kids. We became dependent on our work and some pets for emotional reward. You know the old cliches about nobody ever wished for another day at work on their death bed? Well, after heart surgery at 50 I can tell you they are true.
    We never grew up, we don’t have all that much in common since we spend all our time at work. The freedom we imagined never taken advantage of since we were the ones with no kids and work took advantage of that.
    We grew apart. She changed her mind about kids dramatically around 2000 but nothing we did worked. Adoption didn’t pan out, long story but it’s harder than you’d think to get a kid that’s even OK these days with on demand abortion – not to argue with that, just a fact.
    We grew apart more. She’s ever more unhappy than I am, and I’m feeling old and bitter at 52. My sister in law on the other hand had a couple of kids right out of college and runs her own company, lives the good life with two fantastic teens.

    • avatar Yozi June 27, 2011, 10:23 am

      I feel pretty confidant that you would have felt old and bitter at 52 no matter what. Your attitude is your choice. Children are not for “emotional rewards”. Neither are pets for that matter.

    • avatar twiglet June 28, 2011, 9:40 am

      I agree with Yozi- it sounds like you are not helping your wife much, either, in fact it sounds like you are blaming her decision entirely for everything your lives are lacking. If you really feel that you have a lot to give to a kid, why not take on one who’s NOT “okay”?
      On the other hand, if you are looking for a kid to give a lot to YOU…..seriously consider some of the more interactive animals- cats, dogs, horses, whatever. And I don’t mean that sarcastically, either, it really could help your relationship. Caring together for demanding but loving animals
      could bring you together again.

  • avatar Comment Monster June 25, 2011, 10:56 pm

    I think most people, including Wendy, are missing the point about the woman who doesn’t want kids with the boyfriend who wants her to.

    He already knows she doesn’t want to. She doesn’t need to tell him or talk it over with him. What she needs to talk over with him is how he is passive-aggressively perennially threatening her, hoping she’ll weaken. In this respect, at least, he is an asshole.
    Not only is it a horrible mistake to use romantic pressure to get someone to embark on being a parent, it’s morally wrong.

    It will be a Pyrrhic victory for him 10 years down the road if she gives in and is miserable and inflicts their mess on the kid they dragged into their drama. His reasons for doing this are at least partly unconscious, if not neurotic. Were this as supremely important to him as he acts, he’d cut bait and fish for someone who wants to be a mom.

    The real issue she needs to confront him about is, where the hell do you get off trying to dictate something like this to me? Should I be able to tell you what career you should choose?

    Maybe this is just a blind spot in him, and usually he’s a great guy. I kind of doubt it.

  • avatar twiglet June 28, 2011, 5:31 am

    I don’t think responders have really given enough weight to the “if ever” part of the wanting kids. Maybe she never will want kids. Not everyone does. There seems to be a universal acceptance that the choice is now, or then, and a lot of people are ready to make her feel guilty about the timing, whenever she chooses– but she said “if ever” and so it is entirely possible that she may not want to have children at all. If so, I think for her own peace of mind, she should touch on this as a possibility with her partner to save potential later recriminations.
    I know most parents can’t believe that a life without your own children in it is a full or valid life, but in this overpopulated world, there is no longer a moral imperative to keep our numbers up- now more than ever women have the right to choose.
    It sounds like it wouldn’t be the end of the world for the LW if she didn’t have kids- if it would be the end of her boyfriend’s, he probably has a right to know.

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