General chatter - When to start a family?




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Sakai
07-16-2008, 08:36 PM
I always hear people (mostly women) say..."I'm ready to have a baby." or "ready to start a family"

These past few months i've kinda got that thing were I'll look at someone's baby or toddler and be like..."God I want one of my own." I've talked to my DF about it but he is having none of that kind of talk. His main argument is that he wants to wait until we can afford a baby.

I think that if everyone waited until they can affoird a baby then no one would ever have one. Of course i understand that, but I think we can afford a baby. We have very little bills and I just bought a new car with enough saved up to pay for almost the whole thing with cash. And it only took me 18 months to save up that amount.

Also, i'm not too sure if I am ready to have a baby. I like my free time, but I'm also 24. The idea of not having a baby ever bothers me. But I don't want to wait too long to have one. I don't want to raise up a teenager when I'm about to be 50. Not that there isn't anything wrong with that, I just don't want to be a older parent.

My question is, how do you know when you are ready to start a family? Do you wait until you can 100% afford a child? Do you wait until you feel you are ready mentally? :?:


LisaMarie71
07-16-2008, 08:57 PM
I think you definitely have to think about whether you're ready mentally and physically to have a baby, and whether your relationship is ready as well. I got married young (21) but we knew we wanted to wait a while until we were more mature and we had more financial stability. Well, when we started trying we found out that my body wasn't ready physically, and we tried for many years without success. Now I'm pregnant for the first time at 36, 15 years after we got married. So just remember that no matter how much you plan, things may not go the way you want and you'll deal with it however it comes.

This isn't true for everyone, but my body would not get pregnant until I got to a healthy weight, so you have to think about whether you're physically able to do it. I know lots of women who got pregnant at really high weights, but my obesity actually caused infertility. When I finally got pregnant, it was a (happy) surprise, and it only happened when my body was healthy enough to carry the baby.

I also think it's very important for a couple to spend time together as a couple and really get to know each other before they have a baby, but I know plenty of couples who had a baby right away and were just fine. I'm glad I had 15 years of wonderful marriage with my husband before we're adding another person to the mix, but I know 15 is a bit excessive for most people!

Good luck with whatever you decide! My baby is due in a little over 2 weeks, so we'll see if I'm ready or not! It's true, though, like you say, that if people waited until they were absolutely sure they were ready, they would never do it. There's no way to be completely ready for such a big thing -- I guess you just have to trust your instincts at some point.

UrsusMaritimus
07-16-2008, 09:26 PM
I think I've hit that age (I'm 27) where the biological clock kicks in. I've never been much for kids, but over the past year I've begun to feel as though I really want one of my own. My mom said the same thing happened to her. I'm going to wait though - until I'm married (hopefully that will happen in the next couple of years - the BF and I have already been together for two!).

I don't think anyone can tell you what's right for you, but I wouldn't rush into it if your partner isn't ready.


Sakai
07-16-2008, 09:26 PM
Congrats LisaMarie! ^.^

I also figured I needed to get to a healthy weight before starting a family. my DF said it should help motivate me to drop the 90 pounds needed to get to a better weight. I want to be healthy so that if I do have a baby, it is healthy too. I also beleve that being unhealthy is the main reason why I haven't had a baby already. my DF and I have been together for almost 5 years and in all that time, no baby :shrug:

I feel like I'm in a rut and can't really advance in my life anymore than I already have. It seems like the next step is to have a baby.
But I deffinatly want to drop this weight before I really try and I want my other half to be ready to. But I want him to know that there isn't really going to be a sure sign that all is ready for a family.

UrsusMaritimus
07-16-2008, 09:27 PM
My baby is due in a little over 2 weeks, so we'll see if I'm ready or not!

And by the way, congratulations! 15 years is a long time to wait!

SoulBliss
07-16-2008, 09:50 PM
I think that the "ideal" time to have a baby is when you have health, love, stability, happiness, success and financial security in your life.

I think that ideally, one will do this after they are educated, have traveled and experienced life without children, have a career or other fulfilling interest and source of financial support.

If one has all of the above and also a committed partner who will help raise the child, that's all the better!

I feel like I'm in a rut and can't really advance in my life anymore than I already have. It seems like the next step is to have a baby.
What do you mean by this? Is it that you have already accomplished all of your non-baby/child related life goals (travel, career, education)?

Sailorlal
07-16-2008, 10:18 PM
I'm 28, and I've really felt the tick of the bio-clock. However, I just got done watching "The Baby Borrowers", and it made me feel sick. I realize that I know absolutely nothing about being a parent!

Scarlett
07-17-2008, 12:39 AM
if you REALLY are 246 and 5'5 you DO need to loose some weight before having a baby. I'm a nutrition student (one that still struggles w/her weight). There is a series of complications associated w/obesity and pregnancy (if you'll even be able to concieve). Misscarrages are much more likely, gestational diabetes, and other problems for the baby.

The thing that sucks about this is that often times doctors will put obese women on every hormonal drug under the sun before even mentioning loosing weight as a means to get pregnant.

If you are serious about having a baby...take a year or 2 and seriously get healthy enough to carry a child. You don't need to be a size 2. Although You should try and at least get into the "overweight" rather than obese range of the BMI scale and you're complications risk will decrease dramatically.

danemom
07-17-2008, 02:35 AM
I think you'll just know when you are ready, but your partner must be ready also. You say you've been together 5 years and no baby yet, if he's not ready you need to be using a reliable form of birth control or you could find your self pregnant and single.

I never thought of having kids as a next step, because I had done everything else. I just wanted to be a mom.

You will never be financially "ready" as kids are a hugh wallet drain. They scream, they cry, they puke, poop and pee on you, they deprive you of sleep and push you to the edge of sanity. And then your 17 year old son sits on the sofa next to you, puts his head on your shoulder and tells you he loves you and your an awesome mom. My 9 year "needs" her daily snuggles, and writes my notes and hides them in my lunch. So worth those early years...plus now I get to wake the 17 year old up early.:devil:

I was 28 when I had my son, and I don't know if I would have had the maturity to make it through the 1st three years in my early 20's.

nelie
07-17-2008, 10:51 AM
I'm 33 and know I'm not ready and probably never will be. When I was in my early 20s, I think some hormones kicked in and for a very short period of time, I actually wanted a child. It only lasted a couple days but it was a weird feeling. For me, I'm basically on the fence and my husband is basically on the fence. If my husband wanted a child, then we would have one (or most likely adopt one).

I do think both of you do have to be on the same page and maybe you can set some goals to meet before you start trying for a child (save a certain amount of $$, lose x amount of lbs, etc). Since you know your fiancee isn't ready, then you aren't wasting time trying to reach those goals.

KLK
07-17-2008, 11:10 AM
I'm also 24 and engaged (getting married in October :)). Neither my fiance nor I feel ready to have children, financially, emotionally, what have you.

Speaking personally (only for myself, not for my fiance), and I KNOW this might come out really bad, but I don't mean it to: I'm 24 years old. I'm young, I have ambitions and dreams and things I want to do in life and I want to be able to do those things with my soon-to-be-husband without being tied down with babies. I think this may come off as selfish, and maybe it is, but I just have a big fear of waking up at 40 years old and realizing "Wow, I lived the last however many years of my life, the PRIME of my life, all for my child(ren). And now what?"

I think some (most?) people have certain associations with different life milestones. For some, the idea of getting married is terrifying bc, for them, it signals the end of independence, self-determination, etc. For me, marriage seems only pleasant -- now I have someone to do things WITH, not someone who will limit what I want to do. Instead, in my mind, having children is the thing that will limit me, make me dependent, destroy my self-determination and ideas and dreams and such and such. In my mind, I will sit around all day spewing statements like, "My husband and I wanted to have dinner at the Turkish restaurant, but since the kids don't like spinach and feta, we went to Chuck-EE-Cheese and watched them play arcade games." And etc (not that all my dreams involve eating at nice restaurants, but I hope you get the idea.)

I hope that didn't come off too too badly. But it's how I honestly feel, at least as I'm sitting here writing this -- having children was always a scary prospect for me and it hasn't gotten any less scary. Obviously, everyone is different -- some people are extremely enthusiastic about having children and have no real fears about it, and that's fantastic imo (I wish I were more like that, actually).

SoulBliss
07-17-2008, 11:21 AM
I'm also 24 and engaged (getting married in October :)). Neither my fiance nor I feel ready to have children, financially, emotionally, what have you.

Speaking personally (only for myself, not for my fiance), and I KNOW this might come out really bad, but I don't mean it to: I'm 24 years old. I'm young, I have ambitions and dreams and things I want to do in life and I want to be able to do those things with my soon-to-be-husband without being tied down with babies. I think this may come off as selfish, and maybe it is, but I just have a big fear of waking up at 40 years old and realizing "Wow, I lived the last however many years of my life, the PRIME of my life, all for my child(ren). And now what?"

I think some (most?) people have certain associations with different life milestones. For some, the idea of getting married is terrifying bc, for them, it signals the end of independence, self-determination, etc. For me, marriage seems only pleasant -- now I have someone to do things WITH, not someone who will limit what I want to do. Instead, in my mind, having children is the thing that will limit me, make me dependent, destroy my self-determination and ideas and dreams and such and such. In my mind, I will sit around all day spewing statements like, "My husband and I wanted to have dinner at the Turkish restaurant, but since the kids don't like spinach and feta, we went to Chuck-EE-Cheese and watched them play arcade games." And etc (not that all my dreams involve eating at nice restaurants, but I hope you get the idea.)

I hope that didn't come off too too badly. But it's how I honestly feel, at least as I'm sitting here writing this -- having children was always a scary prospect for me and it hasn't gotten any less scary. Obviously, everyone is different -- some people are extremely enthusiastic about having children and have no real fears about it, and that's fantastic imo (I wish I were more like that, actually).

I wish more people were as honest about this subject with themselves as you are! I don't think you are being selfish at all, in fact, I think it would be selfish to have a child right now, feeling as you do.

LisaMarie71
07-17-2008, 11:26 AM
The thing that sucks about this is that often times doctors will put obese women on every hormonal drug under the sun before even mentioning loosing weight as a means to get pregnant.


This is so true. I love my OB/gyn, but she never mentioned my weight as a problem at all. I may not have listened to her if she had, but maybe I would've been inspired to lose the weight sooner if I'd known just how much of a link there was between obesity and infertility. I don't think it's a coincidence that the minute I got to a healthy BMI, I immediately got pregnant! A few years ago, my OB put me on Clomid because I wasn't ovulating, and that didn't work either, so she was about to send me to fertility specialists to see what the next step would be. None of that was necessary at all -- I just needed to get healthy! My weight had apparently caused me to stop ovulating, but I still had a period. Some gynecologists I went to were so ignorant that they didn't even test me for ovulation and said "You're having a period, so you have to be ovulating." Even I knew that wasn't true. It's scary that we put our trust in doctors when many of them don't have a clue!

junebug41
07-17-2008, 11:29 AM
LM- I just wanted to say Congrats! Also, I know the big day is drawing near and I'm sending good vibes :goodvibes: your way!

shelby897
07-17-2008, 11:33 AM
KLK -- I think your post was fine. We are all in different times of our lives. I have two boys -- 8 and 5. My husband and I were together for 3 years before we got married and had our first after almost two years of marriage. I enjoyed our time together, worked out any of the "quirks" of being married, we traveled, worked hard, etc.

First -- I think most of us either know we want kids "someday" or "never". So, if somehow it becomes "sooner" than we intended -- that's okay. For some of us, when we are ready -- it takes longer than we expected to get pregnant (my sister, unfortunately, is unable to have any -- so we share mine) :hug:.

I don't think anyone is every prepared for what goes along with a baby. I babysat and was a nanny for years -- but honestly when it's your own, it's a whole new ball game.

They are needy, annoying (sometimes) and more work than you can imagine. They are also beautiful, amazing and inspiring. They make you want to be a better person, they build your patience, make you view the world around you in a whole new way. You will see the significance of a bug on a tree and worry about where they are, miss them when they aren't with you and enjoy who they may grow up to be.

I don't think anyone is really ever "ready" -- I just think the idea of sharing your life, what you love and enjoy and having a little version of you and your significant other becomes overwhelming and you jump in with both feet!! :D

nelie
07-17-2008, 11:42 AM
KLK - I'm totally with you. I enjoy spending time with my husband. Sometimes we are each like children in our own way. (Of course I do get somewhat embarrassed when I go into a petting zoo and its me and a bunch of 5 year olds). We do what we want to do, have fun, enjoy eachother, etc and I don't really see a reason to have kids. Of course we are at the point of craziness with our 2 cats and 2 dogs, which do tie us down a little but to me, they are worth it.

KLK
07-17-2008, 11:55 AM
Right! Exactly! That's what I want, at least for a few years -- I mean, I do want to have children, eventually, maybe in another 4 or 5 years or something, but I just don't see a reason for me to start having them as soon as possible. My fiance's cousin had a baby a year ago and she and her husband were basically newly weds (not even married a year) and, I'm sorry, but she just seems SO MISERABLE. Everytime we see them, she keeps telling me, "This is the first and last I will ever have." And she sort of pawns the baby off on her mother and I dunno... talks at length ab how she wants to be a lawyer but how she doubts she will be able to since she has the baby. I tell her she still can, but I kind of don't believe she can either :o Maybe it's just HER and her husband, as individuals, that are having these problems and another couple might not be having them at all, but being around them doesn't make me feel any more enthusiastic ab having children. We left their house once and my fiance goes, "Yikes. That was scary."

KLK - I'm totally with you. I enjoy spending time with my husband. Sometimes we are each like children in our own way. (Of course I do get somewhat embarrassed when I go into a petting zoo and its me and a bunch of 5 year olds). We do what we want to do, have fun, enjoy eachother, etc and I don't really see a reason to have kids. Of course we are at the point of craziness with our 2 cats and 2 dogs, which do tie us down a little but to me, they are worth it.

shelby897
07-17-2008, 12:13 PM
KLK -- I feel for your fiance's cousin :D I wanted my kids close together -- then I had one!! We waited 3 1/2 years in between the boys. I will admit, it would be easier if they were closer in age, but I think I needed time to recover!! I still feel I can accomplish anything I want, even with kids -- if she really wanted to be a lawyer -- she could -- there are single moms who do it!!

Sakai
07-17-2008, 05:09 PM
I think one of the main reasons I want to start a family is that all of my close friends already have kids.
Then my best friend (also no children) were talking about it and she said. "boy, when they are 45 their kids will be grown and they can have the rest of their life and all their golden years to themselves. I don't want to be 45 with a ten year old"
Of course she in no way wants kids now, because she has no one in her life, but she would be very upset if she didn't as she comes from a rather large family.

I really do think that my being overweight is the reason we haven't had a baby as of yet. And my DF made me promise the other day that I would drop more weight before seriously talking about it again.

I also thought I would never have my own kids as I thought I would be far too selfish for kids. I helped raise my cousins and sibs. Sometimes i would come home from school, feed them, help them with thier homework, break up fights, feed them again, and make sure they had a bath before bed time and THEN I would start my own homework. (this was my freshman year in highschool BTW) My aunt worked from 7 in the morning until 9 at night. And this was my life for 2 1/2 years straight. at the end of it all I was glad to have time to myself, where everything was dead silent and I had nothing to worry about other than my own homework. I proudly said... I'm never having kids...EVER!" and I was pretty firm about that until about a year ago.

I ask myself if I'm still too selfish and I can't seem to answer myself. I asked my DF and he said Yes I was still to selfish. I trust his judgement (even if it might be a bit one sided)

As for if I've done everything I've wanted to do before kids... that's a pretty hard question. I most likely won't advance any further in school. I want to be a writer and I already took all the classes needed for that. I majored in English, and took all the fiction classes..ect. I haven't travled much, as i am not very sure of myself at all. And if I never get to see Japan, I won't die. LOL

My DF is still working on his schooling, Though, v-e-r-y slowly, like one class a year. So, I guess I have some time to get some things doen before this next step.

LisaMarie71
07-17-2008, 07:47 PM
[QUOTE=Sakai;2274499]
Then my best friend (also no children) were talking about it and she said. "boy, when they are 45 their kids will be grown and they can have the rest of their life and all their golden years to themselves. I don't want to be 45 with a ten year old" /QUOTE]

I used to kind of think this way too, but I've kind of changed my tune on it (which is good, I suppose, since I'll be an older mom). I'd rather travel and enjoy alone time with my husband in my 20s and early 30s when I have more energy and youth and then spend my later 30s and 40s raising the kids. The baby in my belly will graduate from high school when I'm 54, and I really don't think of that as old anymore. I think I've changed my concepts of youth anyway, since I've been about 900 times healthier since about age 34 (after losing the weight) than I ever was in my 20s. I don't know -- to me, it just kind of makes sense to spend your 20s figuring yourself out (not that that ever completely happens) and establishing a career and then introducing kids into it when you and your partner are ready. But everyone is ready at a different time, and you make it work however it happens to you, you know?

My husband says things like, "How am I going to keep up with my son when I'll be in my late 50s when he's in high school?" And I just say to him, "Honey, you're in better shape at 39 than most teenagers and 20-year-olds I know, so I think you'll be fine!!" It really depends on your quality of life, not your age. Getting healthy and fit and staying that way makes a world of difference, I think.

Also, why do people think they can't travel WITH their children? Granted, money's harder to come by, but I'm always surprised when people seem to think they'll be glued to their houses once their children come along. I know plenty of families who travel.

techwife
07-17-2008, 09:07 PM
JMO...nobody is TRULY 'ready' to have a baby. Even if they think they are, no person is truly prepared for the impact a baby has on them in so many ways. Maybe financially, you could be prepared, but emotionally and physically, being a parent is so huge there is no way you can be totally and completely prepared for it. Especially the emotional part. Holy Toledo!!

PhotoChick
07-17-2008, 09:16 PM
It's funny how your concept of age changes as you get older. I used to think that being 55 when my kid graduated from high school was "old". Now I think that being 60 is pushing it. Then again, my BIL and his wife were in their mid-40s when their daughter was born. And now, at 40, I"m thinking ... hm. That's not so bad.

:)

lizziep
07-18-2008, 02:10 AM
i've had the baby goggles kicked in for about a year now and it's killing me. I want it very badly and hubby and made it very clear he never ever wants children. I'm not sure what we'll be doing abut that... I'm turning 28 in a couple weeks... I always said I didn't want kids either and then- well- I guess I changed my mind. I thought maybe it was a phase, but I still want it.

Hubby had to take care of his 4 siblings & watched having so many kids wreck his parents marriage (there was more to it but kids were a big part i think) - and he just doesn't want it. He says he wants to be able to stay up as late as he wants, he wants to travel still, do what he wants to basically. I say- we don't travel & we haven't for the last 9 years so when are we going to?! LOL

Anyway - I think the best thing to do is to listen to your body and your heart & you will know. And hopefully your DF will follow suit.