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When to start a family?

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Old 07-16-2008, 09:36 PM   #1
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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?
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:57 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:26 PM   #4
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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

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.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:27 PM   #5
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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!
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:50 PM   #6
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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!

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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)?
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:18 PM   #7
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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!
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:39 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:35 AM   #9
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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.

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.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:51 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:10 PM   #11
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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).
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLK View Post
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.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:26 PM   #13
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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!
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:29 PM   #14
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LM- I just wanted to say Congrats! Also, I know the big day is drawing near and I'm sending good vibes : your way!
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:33 PM   #15
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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) .

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!!
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