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Dear Wendy

Working out when to have kids

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by avatar MaggieB 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #840361 Reply

    My husband and I have been together nine years Married two, we are about to buy a house and the one we are looking at requires some renovations to make it bigger in the future when we have kids. We have gone over plans of what we would like to do to make the house bigger And during these conversations he has said that we set ourselves five years to do these renovations and then we can start having kids,My problem is that we turn 25 this year and I know that is not very old but I don’t want to be 30 when I start having kids, I always thought I would have kids at this age as my mum had me at this age and I think that is a good age to start having kids because then once they become adults themselves and have children you are still young enough to do your own thing. But my other dilemma is I don’t really like children and I don’t know if having children is going to be for us (both of us have discussed not having kids at all if it comes to it)but I still have the feeling that I want them So I’m quite confused but I don’t know how to tell him That I don’t like The idea of having children that late….

    #840371 Reply

    I’m not sure I understand your reasoning.
    Delaying having kids for five years would give you five child-free years NOW at the age of 25-30, allowing you way more freedom to “do your own thing” in life, when you really really are young enough to enjoy life. If you start having kids at 30 years old, you could be like 50 when they turn 18, that is still plenty young enough to enjoy life!
    Don’t try to convince yourself that having kids at the age of 25 is worth the sacrifice to have “freedom” in your late 40s. Your kids could very well depend on you in many ways even as young adults. You will never have as much freedom to do whatever you want as you do now without kids. If the answer to having kids isn’t “hell yes!”, then keep living your life to the fullest until you maybe one day feel differently about having kids.

    #840372 Reply

    The first thing you need to figure out is whether or not you really want children, or is it just something that you think is expected of you? It’s perfectly okay to want kids, and also perfectly okay to not want them, but you and your husband need to be on the same page about this.

    In the West very, very few marry the first person they ever date (I assume your husband is your first because you’ve been dating since what, 15? 16?). The dating scene is full of heartbreak you’ve avoided by coupling up so early, but most people live their own lives before getting serious with a partner, so being still young enough to do their own thing once the kids are grown doesn’t figure into it so much. Besides, 50’s the new 30…

    Just because your mom had kids by 25 doesn’t mean you have to do the same. My mom got engaged on her 21st birthday and married just two days short of her 22nd and she had me when she was 25. Didn’t mean I had to do the same. I was 33 when I met my husband and 37 when my son was born. Granted, if we’d met earlier, I probably would have more than one child. That said, I never actively wanted to have kids until I met my husband, who’s honestly the first guy I ever dated who I thought would make a great dad. And he is a great dad. Honestly, though, I’m happy being the mom of a singleton. Doing something just because it’s expected of you or just because it figures on the life path you’ve conjured up in your mind, is not a good reason to do it. Particularly not such an irreversible decision as having children.

    #840373 Reply

    Well why does your husband think these renovations are going to take 5 years? Money? Are you doing the work yourselves? Why aren’t you simply buying a house that is the size you need to have kids? Money? Location? something else?

    #840377 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    If you don’t really like children and don’t know if having children is right for you, then expediting the whole having-babies thing is literally the opposite of what you should be doing! And renovating a house for kids that you don’t have yet and aren’t sure you want is also the opposite of what you should do, particularly when said renovations are going to take FIVE YEARS (what?!). Take a breath and slow down. The talks you should be having with your husband aren’t about when to have kids, but whether you even want them. Did you not discuss this before you got married??

    Look, in case no on has told you this yet: you don’t have to have children. Maybe you live in a culture where most people do and so it’s just sort of assumed that you’re going to, like not having them is barely a thought, let alone a conversation, you entertain. But you have options. You don’t have to have children! Or, you can have them, but have them later, after you’ve matured a little. Even three years would make a difference. Or wait five years, just have one kid, and you won’t even be fifty when you’re an empty-nester. That’s still plenty young enough to enjoy your freedom.

    Also consider that just because you don’t generally like kids doesn’t mean you won’t like having your own children. (And liking them doesn’t mean you’ll love having them!).

    Basically though, the fact that you don’t know how to broach a conversation with your spouse about when you want to have children, let alone WHETHER you want to have children, really speaks volumes about your relationship and about you. You need to know how to talk to your spouse, you need to be able to communicate about difficult things, you need to be able to assert yourself, to tap into your own desires and needs and to express them, or you will not be happy in your relationship (or life) longterm, whether you have children or not.

    You aren’t a passive passenger on this ride here. Or, at least, you shouldn’t be. This is your life! YOUR life. You get one. Figure out what you want and make decisions that best support those desires.

    #840379 Reply

    Kids are not for everyone, if you don’t want any don’t have any. Its normal nowadays to not want to be a parent. Just live your life and explore the world on your vacations, become a DINK ( Dual Income No Kids), pay that mortgage off quickly, go on lavish vacations and save lots of money for retirement, live, love, laugh and enjoy life…

    #840391 Reply

    Society and the economy change a lot from generation to generation, causing a progressively later age for child-bearing. Choosing ‘the right age’ based upon your parents’ ages when you were born is not logical. The world has changed a lot since then. You don’t need the ideal house to have kids, or a kid. When you say kids, I wonder if you and your husband have actually agreed a preferred family size. Most homes have at least a second bedroom. That’s all you need to start a family.

    #840393 Reply

    Yeah having kids earlier than you’re comfortable with in order to have more “freedom” in the future is not a good idea! What if you have high-need children? I was listening to Death, Sex, and Money and there was a whole episode about a family that did this but then they ended up having two kids that needed a lot of intervention. Also having children at age 30 is not ‘late’ though my guilt tripping mother would tell me otherwise (despite her not having children until her 30s lol).

    #840394 Reply

    Do not be under any illusions that you WILL have the freedom to “do your own thing” after kids are grown. As Yiggs said, you will never have more freedom than you do when you don’t have any kids to worry about at all. I do sometimes miss those days when I didn’t have to worry about anyone but myself, and to some extent my husband. Every decision has higher stakes when you are a parent. Yes, you can just quit your job and go traveling around the world, but you won’t be saving for your child’s future, or have any of your own retirement funds to avoid being a burden to them. You can go skydiving, but if you die, your child will grow up motherless. You have to worry about their needs 24/7 – whether they are still breathing, getting enough sleep, good nutrition, do they have a reading delay? Is it time to see a specialist? What’s that rash? Do they have friends, are they being bullied? What if they get into drugs? And according to my mom, you think and worry about them to some extent every single day for the rest of your life. And that’s if you have a relatively neurotypical kid who has a decent chance of living an independent adult life.

    If you’re on the fence about whether to have kids at all, WAIT. There is no rush. Almost everyone I know with kids, myself included, didn’t have any until 30+. You have plenty of time.

    #840398 Reply

    If you aren’t sure you want kids you should wait until you are sure. Waiting until you are 30 to have a child isn’t a bad age to begin. Our son was born when I was 29 and that worked out well for us. It gives you time to be married and working out things like how to talk to each other, which you seem to be having trouble with, and it gives you time to get a little bit a head so that having kids isn’t so stressful financially.

    Kids add stress to your marriage and to your finances and to your time. So do renovations. Especially since you are young I’d take them one by one. Learn to speak up and say what you think when planning renovations. You’ve got to be able to discuss difficult topics before you have kids. You will have lots of decisions to make when you have kids and the two of you need to know how to speak to each other and listen to each other and come to a consensus.

    #840399 Reply

    Part II. How to talk about it

    When he says something like we’ll give ourselves five years to do the renovations and then we can have kids.

    You say what you want to say.

    I’m not sure I really want to have kids. Do you definitely want them.


    I always thought I’d have kids starting at 25. Are you comfortable having kids any sooner than 5 more years.

    Learn to speak when something is different than you were expecting or visualizing. If you don’t speak in the moment, that’s okay. Sometimes you will need time to think about it. Think about it and then bring it up. Something along the lines of.

    You know when we talked about renovations the other day and you said it would take five years and then we could have kids, I’m thinking (fill in with your idea/opinion/want) about that.

    #840400 Reply

    Speeding up having children when you don’t know if you want them is the opposite thing you should be doing. If you are 25 and don’t know if you want kids, then don’t have kids at 25. You don’t have to have kids the same age as your mom had you, and in terms of your ability to live your life after your kids grow up, 25 or 30 isn’t going to make that big of a difference. Committing to taking care of your health, staying active, and keeping a life outside of your children is going to be much more productive in making sure your life after your kids move out is enjoyable than simply rushing to have children before you’re ready. Additionally, predicting your next five years is a lot easier than predicting 20 years from now. If you rush to have kids now, you may find that in your 50s, you can’t have the live you envisioned, for many reasons. Health, career stuff, other responsibilities (caring for aging family), some kids aren’t able to move out immediately when they reach adulthood.

    Overall, saying, I don’t know if I want kids, but let me have them immediately so that my life in my 50s is better, is a huge gamble for a lot of reasons.

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