Our life isn’t ready for a baby but I am: let’s talk about dealing with baby fever

Posted by
Want. By: christina rutzCC BY 2.0
I’m 27 and my husband is 32. We’ve been together for nine years and have been living together for seven. I’ve wanted to have babies since I can remember. In fact, were it not for my ever-awesome man-dude and his unwavering resolution to wait, it would have happened long ago.

And I know it’s for the best. If I were to get pregnant right now, the timing would be terrible. But does that stop me from planning out every single detail of our future child’s existence? Nope. Does it stop the sinking feeling I get when I see a new announcement pop up online? Nope!

I’ve tried to just grin and bear it. I’ve tried crafting things for the future baby in hopes of convincing my brain that we’re moving forward. I originally started all of the over-planning in hopes of combating the Baby Fever but I (obviously) got carried away and it’s so much worse now. Nothing I’ve tried has worked.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get through the waiting period when everything in you aside from logic and reason wants to have a baby? — Kathryn

Be sure to read this post: Babycrack: when wanting a baby gets weird, and then let’s talk about it…

Comments on Our life isn’t ready for a baby but I am: let’s talk about dealing with baby fever

  1. I have no suggestions, but I feel the same. I had my son years ago at sixteen, and two losses since. I’m totally not in a good position for another ( living back with my mum, no job, disabled, not married/long term relationship) but tell that to my body! I also have basically nonexistent fertility. Fun stuff.

    So far, I’ve had a billion Sim babies, and that seems to help some. Other than that, keep very very busy.

  2. We have just started trying and it couldn’t come soon enough for me, I was pestering my now husband 3 years ago and we;ve only been together for 4. I wish we had started sooner because now all my friends are pregnant and Im the one left out. I even hide my friends newsfeeds because it hurts seeing their posts.
    The best thing I can do is make stuff for my friend’s babies because I get a little satisfaction that I’m doing something useful for a friend. I also have a list of things I can do now which I won’t be able to do when I get pregnant i.e. bunjy jumping! I’m going to try and do all these things before we get pregnant then I least I feel like I’ve acheived something now.


      • Thank you! On my list there are also things that we can do that we maybe wouldn’t have time for when a baby comes along i.e. Date nights, Decorating the house, long weekend road trips that we can just take off on!

        I hope your ‘trying’ can start soon, good luck xxx

      • My husband had a No Baby on Board List (great name for this, btw) a mile long when we first got married. I had some vague idea of the things I wanted, but didn’t want to pressure myself into anything firm – I do love bebbehs. His included things like travel Europe, couple’s therapy, losing some weight, being financially able to raise kids (he grew up in severe poverty).
        But now, 2 years after getting married, we’ve managed to cross off a LOT of what was on my husband’s list. Basically all that’s left are 2 of the most important, being: finishing school and both of us starting our careers; which if all goes well, will be in a little over a year.

    • My husband and I just stopped preventing (which in my mind is different than actually trying).

      Over the past I’m going to go with 18 months, I’ve been slowly going steadily more baby crazy. I’ve picked numerous nursery themes, looked at baby names, read offbeatfamilies and ooh and ahh over the cuteness.

      Logically, it still isn’t the best time for us to have a kid. We’re financially stable and able to put money into savings, but can we afford a kid? It doesn’t feel like it! Most of our friends aren’t even married yet and none of them are planning on having kids, so I’m also afraid that we may lose friends once we have a baby and everyone else is still in the go out and meet their spouse phase.

      But at the same time, I feel like if you’re waiting for the perfect moment to have a child, it’s never going to happen. So we made the decision to make now the right time.

      • I am in the exact same boat, but a little farther down the river (I’m 2 months pregnant)

        I am not sure if one EVER really feels like on can afford a kid. We eventually decided that “having a real income” was the best we were going to get in the near future.

        Most of our friends’ baby plans range from “Not entirely ruling out the possibility” to “No! Absolutely not! You can’t make me!” and I’m worried about loosing them, too.

        Though, when we told our most anti-babies friend that I was pregnant, she squealed with glee and lunged across the room to give me a congratulatory hug… which just goes to show you never can tell:p

      • Although I’m not yet a parent (but I have worked with children a lot and am suffering from a severe case of baby fever…), one of the best pieces of ‘wisdom’ I’ve ever heard is that children want your time, not things. That is, they’d rather you played hide and seek with them than buy them a mountain of toys or brand new clothes, or furnish an entire room for them – money doesn’t have to be a big issue if you don’t want it to be. This is what I’m hoping, anyway! Mine and my husband’s salaries combined are the average INDIVIDUAL income in the country we live in but we live very comfortably because we’re not ‘shoppers’ and I hate acquiring new things. Hopefully we can keep this up for our eventual kiddos…

      • If I could do this 100 times I would! My husband and I are currently trying, and we definately are not in the “perfect place” to have kids. We have very little left over to save after paying bills, live in an apartment on a busy street with a leaky roof, and both of us work a little too much. But I told my husband “no matter what, there’s going to be bills. Even if we manage to buy a house, the water heater will break, or one of the cars will fail, or a bus could drive through the living room. If we always wait for the perfect moment, I will end up resenting you when I realize I’m 45 and the time to have kids has passed us by.” I’m not saying you should have kids now-when, if ever, to have kids is a personal choice-but I do believe if you wait for the “best, perfect” time to have kids, it may be never.

      • Yes to the idea that you’re never really ready, so why not? My daughter was unplanned, but I’m really happy that she was because I feel like I would have never made the “big decision.” I’m really into the idea of having another one and my husband is concerned that we’re not financially stable enough. I remind him that his mother was 19 with three kids at one point, so I think we’ll survive!

  3. Babies are awesome. I agree. But what helped me was focusing on all the things that were easy now, and would get very difficult with a baby. Point them out, out loud (or out loud in your head) as you go through your life. Lingering 2 hour dinner! Random drinks after work! Lounging in bed until 10 AM because you accidentally stayed up until 3 watching Netflix!

    Do you guys have specific victory conditions on when you’re going to be ready? Knowing that it’s a limited amount of time might help (even if the limit is 5 years while the PhD gets finished).

    The other thing that helped me was to get a non-baby related hobby. I’ve continued my hobby after the baby, but before baby it gave me something else to focus on, which was important. For example, instead of crafting for baby, craft cool bracelets to sell at your local craft fair. Start a new online webcomic (and then link it here, because I’m shopping for a new one). Volunteer at the local shelter/dog park/BigSisters. Bonus: now that I’m a mom, continuing my pre-baby hobby gives me a piece of myself that’s a non-mom identity. This really helped me transition, identity wise, from rabid feminist lawyer to rabid feminist lawyer mom.

  4. I think there is some truth to the idea that no one is completely ready to have a baby. There is just no “right time,” and you have to find your own way to do things. Someone is always going to have an opinion about when/how/why and, at the end of the day, the decision is only between you and your partner.

    As for coping with waiting, are there any other goals you are working towards? My goal was to focus on finishing school and any of the other “things” I wanted to get done before we had kids. Save some money, plan a vacation, etc… Whatever it is, just be kind to yourself and remember there is no perfect time. You’re going to love the shit out of your baby whether you are 27, 37 or 47. And they can go on vacations with you. And you can still be in school. And you can still put away money for them. all the things! 🙂

    good luck, gal. you’re going to be a good mama someday.

    • The phrase “love the shit out of your baby” just made me giggle uncontrollably in my cubicle. I will remember that next time I’m cleaning out yet another poopy cloth diaper.

    • Thanks for the support! That baby will be loved so, so hard.

      I know if we DO have a baby right now (not too likely, thanks a lot Paragard) it would be fine and lovely but not ideal. And for our first, I’m trying to convince myself it should be as ideal as possible. I’m trying to remind myself that the payoff of being able to decorate a nursery in our own house, being able to afford to stay home for as long as I need to, etc., outweighs the fevah.

      Somedays that actually works. Ha!

      • I had the exact same plans! And then my baby sister-in-law got pregnant and I started crying profusely. I had to ask myself what was going on. Was I jealous? Was I depressed? My husband and I had a long talk about it. What was the point of being sad all the time when we were ready to love a new human? So here we are: rented apartment, fresh out of grad school, a measly maternity leave with several unpaid weeks ahead, and loving life. It’s crazy but, like I said, everyone has to figure out their own path.

      • I’m pretty sure there is no ideal time to have a baby, although there are certainly better or worse times.

        My first husband was staunchly in the “wait for baby” camp, though he just kept telling me he wasn’t ready, and that is one of the reasons I think our marriage broke up. As a result, while I think waiting is fine, I think it’s important to have a specific end date in mind, not some amorphic “when it’s better” time – whether that end date is an actual date, or after you finish grad school/buy a house/make at least x per year/both have a job/whatever goal is necessary for you. And once you decide on that goal, work for it! Finish that thesis, set up your budget for serious down payment saving, push for that promotion, flood the Internet with your résumé. WORK toward your goal.

        On the other hand, my first marriage ending was a good thing, and I’m 37 and working on my first child. So it’s rarely too late.

  5. Why isn’t it time to have a baby? Is it just your age or is there something that you feel like you need to have in your lives before having a baby? What do you need to do to achieve those goals? How long will it take until you do?

    We started trying when I was 27 (my husband was 30) and didn’t have a baby until I was 29. Actually now we have twins! But in any case, the timing isn’t amazing, my career never “took off” so now I am a SAHM and am anxious about my career future. But for us we just wanted to both be out of grad school when we started trying, and my husband and I finished the same year. Otherwise, we knew having kids would most likely disrupt my career (that’s another post for another time) and that it would be expensive and logistically difficult, but we didn’t want to wait, so we didn’t. I don’t regret that.

    So I guess I just suggest focusing on what goals you have that you want to achieve before you start trying, see if any of those goals can be achieved with a baby (or an older kid – remember they don’t stay babies forever). The ones that have to be done now, pre-baby, work on them 🙂

  6. This is not something I’ve personally had to deal with (my first baby was a surprise at the tender age of 20, a month after my young marriage… yikes!) But I can say this… try and just enjoy your life now. If baby time happens in a year or two, your life will change, forever. It will never be what it is now. Good and bad. And so think about the things you CAN do now that you’ll miss when it’s baby time. Like lazy sunday mornings in bed, or watching TV shows with sex and swearing, or being able to just drop everything and go for a bike ride with your hubby. Those are things that will go away for a while after baby. And instead on focusing on what you’re missing out on, focus on what you have now. It’ll never be the same!

    • This is what I’m doing. I’m totally ready for a baby right now, but my husband is not quite there yet. I cope with the baby fever knowing that when it does happen our lives will change so much, so I do my best to enjoy our lives as they are now!

    • I’m just curious, do you think that made your marriage worse or harder getting pregnant so soon after? I have been married 2 months and cannot wait to be a mom. Everyone keeps telling me we need to wait though because we need to be married for a while before having kids and enjoy or time just the two of us. Just curious if you feel like it made things harder on your marriage?

  7. Similar situation here. I find it helpful to occasionally rant with my significant other, explain how I feel about it all ALTHOUGH I know that the timing would be bad, and then we hug and it is okay for a while. (Repeat as necessary.)

    • I have to disagree with that. If someone is legit trying to figure out how to pay their bills month to month and feed themselves and are barely surviving on ramen noodles, then it is very responsible to not have the baby now.

      I am in that boat of waiting for the sake of getting a few debts free and clear before a baby so that having one won’t be as financially stressful. Yes babies don’t need much but they do grow up. If waiting an extra year will mean my kids will mean a better quality of life with less financial stress because we plan on not taking out more debts to deal with life but save up instead of financing, I feel waiting is worth it. It’s a matter of to each their own but statements like just do it it will work out don’t really give comfort to anyone trying to wait for very logical reasons which is different from being gun shy of pulling the trigger.

      I firmly believe there can be very very bad times to have a baby, but no perfect time. I keep focused on my debt pay off and trying to get myself healthy for the journey of parenthood. I feel these will be good investments in the long run for me personally. YMMV

      • I am in the boat of “waiting for very logical reasons” and getting myself physically fit before trying to conceive is one of the things I’ve found that I can start TODAY. So if I feel baby fever, I go work out and think about eating clean. It gives me something else to focus on, and exercise helps take some of the energy out of those crazed feelings.

        • Totally with you, Cass! We are waiting for roughly a year, which is making me a little crazy, so I’m focusing on losing weight and getting as healthy as I can, to be the best baby vessel I can be. Its nice to have that sense of a goal/purpose, so its not just waiting for finances and life to line up right, I’m in “preparation mode”.

          • This! I have taked up running as a way of getting fit, and when I’m on my runs I do let myself think about babies. (Normally because I’m huffing and puffing so much it’s a nice reminder that I’ve got a long way to go, fitness-wise!). Now that we’re months rather than years away from trying, I’ve started taking folic acid supplements. It’s another thing that helps me feel like we’ve started the process.

            Also, for me I like researching all the things that will be too involved / emotive to research the shit out of once there’s a baby. So I read Florence Williams’ book about breasts (would be awful to read as a breastfeeding mothers) and Tina Cassidy’s book about birth (some bits are so graphic, I’d have found it upsetting to read with a baby inside me). Also, car seats. Car seat research is my calm place, I have no idea why!

        • @Cass, that is such a great thing to focus on. My husband and I “tried” for the first time in April and got pregnant right out of the gate. Since we thought it would be a while before we succeeded (I have endometriosis and always thought it would take surgery to get pregnant) we spent the whole 12 weeks I was pregnant being terrified that we weren’t ready. I was also not in shape, and heavier than I’d been in a long time. Since it’s not advised to start any intense new regimens while pregnant, I found myself really frustrated in my body.

          My pregnancy ended after our first prenatal visit when we found out that I had a partial molar pregnancy (a rapidly growing tumor instead of a baby), needed surgery, and am now under regular monitoring to make sure it doesn’t turn into cancer. (Who knew getting pregnant could give you cancer!?! What the hell, dude?) I felt pretty scared and out of control of my destiny. So I threw myself into an exercise/plant-based eating plan. I think it’s the only thing keeping me remotely sane, and has been really helpful in channeling my grief in a constructive way.

          We aren’t medically allowed to try again until January, when my due date would have been. It’s given me a nice chunk of time to improve my health so when we do try again, I hope I’ll be way less frustrated. Good on you for understanding this before being stuck in the boat I was in.

    • I’m sorry but I think that planning is a good thing. I know it’s not for everyone, but I’d rather wait till my insurance will cover my labor and for my husband and I to be living in our own home instead of my parent’s house. Also would like to have some money saved aside for when the baby comes so we won’t have to be so stressed and worried about our financial situation. That was one of the big things for my husband. He doesn’t want our children to grow up poor like he was, and I respect his wishes. But boy do I want a baby..it’s tough waiting but for us it’s the right choice and it’s reassuring to know there are others in a similar situation to ours.

  8. Welp, this unexplained unexpected urge to procreate started when I took a break from hormonal birth control at age 27. Going back on the hormones helped a little bit. But I’m about to start writing my thesis, my husband is in med school, and it’s SO not the time. And I’m still terrified of being pregnant, but that apparently doesn’t stop me from reading this site or thinking about parenting strategies or making a list of names… it’s bad, folks. I can’t wait until my hormonal brain and my logical brain are on the same page, whatever that page is.

    • I got baby fever after going off my BPCs for 2 months too (prescription ran out and I didn’t have the time/inclination to go to the doc for a new one). Since then, OMG BABIES! Yeah. My husband and I decided (after needing Plan B once) that I needed to get back on my pills (we were in the process of his looking for a new job and if we’d had a baby it would have been due 2 months after we moved), and that I needed to get healthy before we could have any kiddos. So, now I’m 3/5 of the way to my weight loss goal, able to run a 5K, and we’ve moved 1/2 way across the country so that he can have a real job with a great paycheck and fancy health insurance for both of us.

      Waiting sucks, but having goals and milestones that need to be met (AKA reasoning behind waiting) makes it tolerable. Just think of all the money and anxiety you’re saving by not having kiddos in less than ideal circumstances!

    • Nobody can really know what your life is like, but since you mentioned the part about your thesis I just thought I would let you know that while I’m thrilled NOW to be done with school and preparing for a baby, the 6 months I spent finishing nursing school and being pregnant at the same time were grueling. Like, extreme fatigue for the first 3 months, vertigo and morning sickness during 90-minute scantron exams in uncomfortable seats, 12-hour shifts on my feet on hard surfaces with a dislocated tailbone, bouts of preterm labor that meant a long night in the hospital and then missing class/clinic the next day, struggling to cram in enough calories to gain a bare minimum amount of weight, and feeling super guilty about the stress hormones that the baby had to marinate in while I was finishing those last few weeks of my program. TOUGH. So if you have the luxury of waiting (if I had waited, I would have had to put it off at least another 4 years AND been newly launched in a job with no maternity leave, so we went for it in a deferment year between this degree and a masters) then it’s nice to be able to wait 🙂

      • Ok, I had to laugh at the concept of marinating in hormones. Because that’s what I feel like happened to brain!

        We do have a logical plan (3-4 years), and we are generally both very logical people. So hopefully all the !BABY! thoughts won’t take over the husband’s brain as well, thank goodness. I am so glad that humans reproduce sexually, because if I were a yeast I would have a daughter cell by now.

  9. Didn’t really expect to be in this boat-kids used to somewhere after “join the circus” on my checklist of awesome stuff for the far, FAR future. Now I’m fresh out of grad school, husband and I are both temping while we wait for our careers to pick up, and all of a sudden I am blindsided by the need to grow a tiny human. (My friends all warned me that this happens at 28.) Our preconditions are jobs, health insurance, life insurance, and some savings- modest goals, but it sometimes feels like we’ll never get there. Think of it as practicing the patience you’ll need for the wee one, I suppose? 🙂

  10. My partner and I are about to start trying, but I’ve had baby fever for years. For me, there have been a couple of things that have really helped. The first, as Queso said, was to set specific benchmarks. My partner, who was just finishing grad school at the time, and I agreed that we needed more financial security, so we looked at her career goals and came up with our timeline. If she was able to get books published right away, we could start soon, but otherwise, she would have to have time to develop her career. Knowing that I didn’t want to be in my thirties when we start trying, we came up with our “two years or two books” deal – we would start trying no later than two years from the agreement or after she got two books published, whichever was shorter. Ultimately, we decided not to wait that long. But it really helped me to know that there was a limit to how long we would wait for our lives to be ready.

    The second thing is starting a garden. I know that’s awfully specific, hobby-wise, but it allowed me to funnel all those nurturing instincts into something rewarding that really needed me. Plus, home grown veggies are delicious! And it’s nice to know I’ll have something wonderful to feed my children.

    • I love the “two years or two books deal” because it puts a cap on the waiting, but gives you “permission” to start sooner as well!

      And I agree with the garden. Between my garden and my pets, I can exercise my need to nurture. But I still have to stop myself from getting more plants, another dog, another cat, etc. 🙂

  11. I wanted to give you my support, because I am there with you. I think you’re getting good advice here. Obviously you don’t want to throw caution to the wind and have a baby if the timing is truly terrible. You don’t mention what’s holding you back, but please revisit those reasons and make sure they are serious barriers. It look me a long time to let go of “Everything must be perfect before the baby comes” and accept that we will still have student loans and live in an apartment whenever we decide to reproduce. If I waited until those barriers were gone, I’d be sixty with no children. Nothing will ever be perfect, so your list of must-haves needs to be realistic.

    If, though, the barriers are fixed for now and no baby in the plans for the immediate future, I concur with everyone else that spending time on a hobby that isn’t as feasible post-baby is a good idea! I took up SCUBA diving and love it even more because I know trips will be much more infrequent once Offspring arrives. I also put some of my crazy-baby-nesting energy towards organizing baby supply drives for local shelters. I still want a baby, but I’m not as fixated on it day-to-day. (Still love and read OBF, though!)

  12. I dealt with my initial bout of baby fever the same way I deal with everything: I made a plan. I talked to my husband about what needed to happen before we could have a baby, what was a realistic timeline to achieve those things, and then we both set out to make those things happen. And after baby #1, I set up another plan for baby #2. I’m dealing with intense baby fever right now, so I feel you! It’s hard to wait. But for me, feeling like I was working toward the goal of having a baby made me feel better.

    My only other thought is, conditions don’t have to be perfect to have a baby. There are some practical things it’s good to have (health insurance!), but having the right job or the right home or the right dollar amount in your savings account… Just because you have those things when your child is born doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way forever. Over 18 years, you will likely lose jobs, move homes, go into debt, go through tough times. There is no guarantee that the security you create for your first child will be there forever, and ultimately, security matters less than love. I have friends who had babies while they were teenagers, while they were in college, while they and their husbands were both unemployed and living with their parents! It always works out. Love is the most important precondition for having a baby, and love creates its own sort of stability.

    • Can I just say how much I love that your default response is to make a plan? Because yes, totally this. I make plans all the time, beyond the “plans help things get done” I love plans (multi-step plans with clearly articulated short-term and long-term goals and flexible deadlines for said goals!) because they help me feel a sense of agency over my life.

      This is how I deal with baby fever. When I hear that voice that says “BABIES, BABIES NOW!” it helps me to be able to say “We’re working on it. See the plan? We’re right here now, and we’re making progress.” Then I can free up some mental space for appreciating my life right now.

      As a craftsy person, I would also advocate crafting for yourself. It’s easy to fall into the habit of giving all your goods away (it’s also really fun to make stuff for other people because “oh man, they’re going to love it”), but when you make something for yourself, you know -exactly- how much work went into it and you can make whatever it is specifically to your taste (and you get to show it off, instead of hoarding beautiful things for a child you don’t actually have right now)

  13. As someone on the other side (my son turns one next month) my advice, as hard to follow as it might be, is to treasure your fleeting child free days and enjoy yourself. Don’t get me wrong, being a mother is awesome and I love my son so much and I am so grateful he is here. But for the last year, being a mother is pretty much all I do. My husband and I have gone on maybe four dates, I’ve slept for eight hours in a row only once, and I spend every waking moment caring for our son. So if having a child is something you know is in your future, then sleep in, go out, have loud sex, live a life that revolves around you. Enjoy your time as a child free couple. Good luck on your journey.

  14. I hear you. My partner and I had several years of dealing with baby fever and it was hard. I definitely agree with the idea of making a before-baby list, and taking up a non-baby-related hobby. We also gave ourselves a timeline – not a timeline for when to have the baby, but a timeline for when to consider it. So any time I started thinking and planning, I would just tell myself ‘I’ll think about that after the vacation/wedding/when I have $x in my savings’. I also want to caution you though, that your ‘logical’ brain and your ‘baby’ brain might never coincide. For us, we never reached the point when we decided it was the ‘right’ time to have a baby. We never finished everything on our before-baby list, because life is just too short. We just got to a point where we realized that we were never going to be ready, so we might as well just go for it.

  15. When I think I really, really, REALLY want something I try to get as much hands-on experience and mentoring as I can. Granted parenthood isn’t something you can intern in, but if you have the time and ability to do so try volunteering as a baby-sitter and tutor. Specifically as a tutor because you’ll get some insight into older children and their primary responsibility: school. It also helped me realize what a child needs to be well-adjusted and prepared for their life. At my low-income point in my life they struggle to get the opportunities their peers will have.

    And depending on your friends or clients you’ll learn a little more about how motherhood and pregnancy impact you. After hearing pregnancy related to Starbuck and Cylons… well. Years of tutoring (or maybe it was aging?) has definitely tempered my craving to drop a baby in my bucket.

    • Haha, doing some teaching/outreach activities with 5th graders only made it worse for me! Screaming babies will momentarily do the trick, though.

      • I’ve been a tutor/mentor for 8 years, and recently (at 23) I started working as a nanny caring for a 6 year old and a 7 year old. Suddenly I have the fever! But we’re newlyweds, and I still have to finish my second degree, so I know we should rationally wait quite some time. *sigh* For now, I’ll just have to be okay with “having kids” while I’m at work!

  16. I’m in the same boat! We’d both love kids, but we’re living with his parents, both only in part-time employment, no savings, struggling with different medical problems. We’ve just got a car, so that’s one step down, but we are still a few years away from kids.

    I play lots of Sims – making little ‘us’ families who have babies, and coming up with plans for what we’d like to achieve before we expand our family. Ideally, we’d be living alone (not with the in-laws!), we’d have some savings and I’d have permanent employment – so far as that is possible – and I’d be much fitter and healthier so my body was in better shape for carrying a littlun.

    Logic helps sometimes, but often it just helps to reiterate with each other how much we’d really love to be doing this if we could manage it.

  17. hahaa I very much so understand your position, I even created a secret pinterest board for such as child (lol.. shame faced). As my husband and I are planning to get pregnant much later this year I went ahead and signed up to be an egg donor. So. My focus has now shifted to giving someone else the gift of having their own child. Not sure if this would be helpful to you (and let me say the process does teach you a LOT about your body and fertility), it can also add some financial cushion for the child to come (depending on where you live – I know its illegal many places to receive money for egg donation).

    I do however support the ‘No Baby On Board’ list… and will be writing ours up shortly!!!

  18. Totally agree with previous commenters who mentioned setting specific benchmarks for “being ready”. For me, “having enough disposable income to have an extra room for a nursery and enough money to decorate it” was not a reasonable benchmark. “Having health insurance and maternity leave” was. (Hell, “buying a house” wasn’t a reasonable benchmark, but “having a stable living situation” was.) For my husband, “having a successful career” was not a reasonable benchmark. (How do you know when you’re successful? Do you have to wait until you retire before you’re sure?) But “proving to himself that he could work for a year making enough money to support our family” was a reasonable benchmark.

    And once you have those benchmarks you can work towards them. Crafting for the baby was not at all satisfying to me, because it didn’t get me any closer to having that baby. Searching for a job with good benefits DID help with baby fever, because it was clearly linked to those benchmarks.

    • Yes to this. You can define your own benchmarks, and feel progress when you see yourself working towards them.

      Our benchmarks were that we found a home that was not cold and damp, I have earned maternity leave at my job and finished a big project, paid down some debt so we could go down to one income comfortably, and we go on one more adventurous holiday together to enjoy our time as just the two of us. This has also allowed my husband some time to prepare himself mentally for parenthood and feel ready for this next step in our lives. We have been making progress towards these goals and on track for starting next year!

  19. This is definitely something that has been going on lately for my husband and I. We recently started trying and what helped me get over that hump of “bad timing” was that I thought to myself, “If I accidentally got pregnant at this current time, would I terminate the pregnancy because of bad timing? No, I wouldn’t.” So, if it would just have to work out (and I know it would) in that context, then we might as well do it on purpose lol because we both want to start our family before we’re 30. This way, if it doesn’t happen right away we have a little leeway (we’re 27), but if it does – we’ll make it work! Yes, we’re both in school, but with our support system in place I think we’ll be fine 🙂 Faith! lol

  20. Wow, thank you all so much for the wonderful responses! A little more info since some of it seems to have gotten edited out:

    The main reason that now is not the ideal time is that I’m in nursing school and will be graduating in May (woohoo!). Even if I had an unremarkable pregnancy, I would need accommodations with certain meds and would be so bummed if I couldn’t finish if something did come up. After I graduate, we are moving immediately to St. Louis (we live in Chicago now) to be nearer to family. Probably being 9 months pregnant and moving would not be great.

    Add to this that I will likely be the main breadwinner so would be job hunting visibly pregnant and then having to take off for the baby before FMLA would kick in *sigh*, it just wouldn’t be prudent. I don’t need everything to be perfect but I know that a year from now I’ll be pretty close to a stable job and income and we’ll be in a position to buy a house. Then I can use all of the decor that I’ve been buying for the nursery and shoving in our tiny apartment…

    Many of you have mentioned babysitting and tutoring to help and I’ll say, as a nanny for 6 years and a preschool teacher before that, that it does help…for a bit. Talking to my husband about it (A LOT!) seems to help but also reminds me of great of a father he’ll be and makes me sad again!

    For those in the same boat, watching natural births (that show everything) on YouTube kind of helped dull the sparkle for a bit…

    I think a non-baby related hobby and a “No baby on board” list are the next things in my fever reducing arsenal.

    Thanks, ya’ll!

  21. I’m so glad this article came up, because I’m RIGHT THERE! We both have stable jobs, but with low income, and all our “disposable” income is getting funneled into medical bills and credit card debt. That needs to go away before we have ANY money for child expenses, let alone taking off months of work for maternity leave. So we’re paying down debt, but it’s not going away nearly fast enough for my body, which is all, OMG BABIES CANNOT WAIT MUST GET PREGNANT NOW! I get sad when I see friends making pregnancy announcements on Facebook. I’m considering taking a different, much less satisfying job because it would pay more, and get us closer to our families and our financial goals for reproducing.
    I’m coping by thoroughly enjoying our child-free life. Sleeping in. Spending hours watching Netflix. Having crazy sex at all hours, all over the house. Going on lunch dates and to movie parties with friends. Throwing myself into my career has also been really helpful. Whenever I get lost looking an nurseries on Pinterest or baby name websites, I consciously force myself to do something else like write a blog post about my job, or hook up with colleagues on Facebook. Doesn’t stop it, but it does remind me that there’s more to live than BABIES!

    • About taking a less satisfying job because of starting a family, I highly recommend that you read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (or maybe watch her Ted talk). She has a career and a family, and I think she has some good insights on this topic.
      I especially like her philosophy of “Don’t leave before you leave.”

  22. Here is what I did:
    – Had a series of small pets that don’t have very long lifespans (hamsters, hermit crabs, fish).
    – Researched the hell out of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding so that I already knew what my options were and how I felt about those things way before I needed to know. It made me feel like I was just preparing, and as soon as I was an expert (haha) maybe then it would be time.
    – Hung out with my friends’ babies a lot. Even though I usually left their houses feeling pretty melancholy, it was worth it.
    Those things got me through the waiting. Well, that is to say, I didn’t start crying myself to sleep at night until just before my husband decided he was ready. Perhaps a connection there, now that I think about it…

    • Researching the hell out of everything helped me too. I didn’t want to read any pregnancy/birth horror stories once I was pregnant, so I read as many “everything went wrong” stories as I could, and felt like I had a good enough handle on the possibilities to ignore everything but the ideal/most likely outcomes once pregnant.

      I also read a lot of infertility blogs.

  23. I’m in a similar place. 🙂 I’m 29, and we’ve been together for four years, married for (almost!) one. We have both agreed that we’re not at the right place to have a baby quite yet, mostly because we both have lots of work to do pursuing our careers and we’d like a bit more of a head start on that before there’s a baby in the picture. While I don’t necessarily feel that having a baby would derail our career aspirations, (though it might delay them a little), my husband really thinks that it would cement him into his current job/career, which is not what he wants to do forever. So, we’re waiting till at least next year and sort of playing it by ear after that. I’m at a place where I’m secretly kind of hoping it happens by accident, so we can just go, “Welp, guess it was just meant to be!” Haha.

    Here are some ways that I’ve been trying to work with the baby fever without stoking it too much:

    1. I made a “pre-baby list” of things I (ideally) would like to do before we have a baby. Nothing too crazy, just things like “go on a romantic vacation with the hubby,” “pay off credit cards,” and “throw a fancy cocktail party.” It’s probably a little cliche, but it has actually helped me focus on my life BEFORE baby while still allowing me to feel like we’re moving TOWARDS baby. Obviously, it’s not set in stone. We don’t have to have a baby the moment it’s done, and we don’t have to wait till it’s done to have a baby. But it really does help with the wait.

    2. I started practicing FAM (temping, fertility signs, etc). Not as birth control, because we don’t fully trust it yet, but to learn more about my cycle. I figure this way I’m getting to know myself so I can identify potential issues before we’re actually trying to conceive, and will be more prepared when we are ready.

    3. I’m trying to focus on my health and well-being, so that I’m in the best possible state when we’re finally ready. I’m trying to get myself back into exercising regularly, taking vitamins, working on stress relief tactics, and eating at least reasonably healthy.

    So far, it’s helping me focus on myself and the two of us as a couple, while still allowing me to indulge in baby fantasies. Big help!

  24. I hate the idea of wasting time so while we are still wavering on baby, maybe, never…. I’m using this time to care for my body and make it healthier. To get my back and core strong. To lose some weight that will undoubtedly make my feet feel better in pregnancy. Also saving money, gathering information. All of this is win win win. Even if we decide no baby, I’ll have a healthier body and more savings.

Read more comments

Join the Conversation