My husband and I got married last month, but we have been living together for two years. We both have part-time jobs, we own our own coffee business, and we rent a nice apartment. I am 22, but I have always wanted kids. A lot of our friends and family tell us to wait a few years before we have kids. Wait til we have more money, wait til we have a house, etc. I see where they are coming from, but I also think we could manage having children now, too.
We have names picked out, I know I want a water birth with a midwife at our local birth center, I take prenatal vitamins, I have a multitude of friends wanting to give me their old baby clothes, and I’m almost sure that at least 75% of our medical bills would be covered.
People say that we should enjoy our time alone as a couple, and we do. But we both want children so much and wonder if maybe we would enjoy our lives more with children. I’m not sure if we should go ahead and try to conceive, or wait. I would like to have some opinions: when is too early to try to conceive? — Lauren
Is it too soon to try to conceive?
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Comments on Is it too soon to try to conceive?
I think one of the most important things to remember about trying to conceive is that you never know how long it will truly take. You could get pregnant your first cycle trying or it could take many, many cycles. If YOU feel you are ready, then by all means go for it. You’ve been a couple living together for 2 years, so I’m not really sure why you should “enjoy” being husband and wife when you’ve had a nice stable relationship for a while. I doubt that piece of paper changed that much within your relationship. And if everyone waited until they were really “ready”, no one would have kids.
I don’t think there is any one answer to this … But, it sounds to me like you really want to go ahead, and if that is true , then I would do so!
This could be debated back and forth all day — and there are plenty of reasons for waiting, but there are also plenty of reasons not to. It’s nice to have children when you are young and energetic (my parents were both 21 when I was born). Sure, you might have more money later, but money has little do with raising children. I have found our now-toddler to be pretty inexpensive (we did have insurance, that could make a difference). But ultimately, this isn’t about a pro/con list. Few important things in life are! (Though that can be helpful sometimes).
I am sure that there are people who thought we were crazy (although we’re a few years older than you). We conceived our son less than a month after our wedding, so pretty much on my first full cycle after the wedding. We don’t have great jobs, we don’t have much savings, and not only do we rent, we also have roommates! Some people wouldn’t consider that an idea situation for having children. But it’s working out just fine for us, and our son doesn’t appear to be suffering!
People are different. We don’t personally enjoy that many activities that are not child-friendly, so it hasn’t required a huge shift in our lifestyle. We’re also content to dress our child in hand-me-downs and not have all the trendy accessories.
The only thing I can think of that would have bothered me as a newlywed is that “trying to conceive” could (if done a certain way) be less-than-fun. We just didn’t use any birth control, so we weren’t trying, but we weren’t trying-not-to. And if you do decide to go ahead, try (it’s hard!) to just go with the flow, and not get too upset or obsessed if it doesn’t happen the first month!
My husband and I were told the same thing over and over. In fact, we had gotten pregnant without realizing it when we got married in Vegas and at our reception back home several people (particularly my mother) went on and on about how we shouldn’t be having kids for a LONG time…well, the egg is on their faces because having kids was the best thing that could have happened to us! It really made us get our shit together and though we had been living with my parents when our first was born, by the time she was 6 months old we had bought a house, completely climbed out of debt, my husband had a good enough job for me to stay home, and I had taught myself to coupon enough to save us tons. It’s amazing what having little lives dependent on you can drive you to achieve!
I will also say that all the naysayers shut their mouths (quite smartly!) when we did announce that we were pregnant and we’ve had nothing but positivity since. I had my first just after I turned 24 and at 28 now I’m 19 weeks pregnant with my third.
For some reason when you said “the egg is on their faces!” I got the image of a human egg, rather than the proverbial chicken egg image and I was truly horrified for half a second that somehow you managed to capture and throw your eggs at people! Because of course this would be rather bloody… Oh dear I needed that laugh today.
Don’t wait until it’s a “better time” or you have more money. The most important thing is that you have the right partner and that you both want to have kids. How long have you and your husband been together? That is the only thing I wouldn’t rush – your relationship with your mate. I was with my now husband for almost 6 years before we got married, and was glad that we really made sure we were compatible before we got married and now pregnant. We waited about 9 months after the wedding to start trying to conceive, but only because that was just when it felt right for both of us. You are young, so I wouldn’t rush it. But I wouldn’t base the decision on money and other life circumstances. I would base it on your relationship with your partner, and how ready BOTH of you are to have a baby,
You’re seeking outside justification for a very personal decision. That’s perfectly normal, but it’s not the way to make this choice.
Only you and your husband can decide when it’s time to have kids. Period.
You have considered some of the aspects of pregnancy and childbirth already. That’s great! What’s also important to consider is how having a child would affect your lives. Are you ready to potentially sacrifice one of your jobs so you can care for your child? Are you prepared for the costs of daycare if you can’t leave your jobs? Are you ready to no longer have any alone time with your husband without factoring in the cost of a sitter? Are you ready to provide constant care for a human who is unable to care for themselves? While hand-me-down clothes and prenatal vitamins are important, your emotional and mental readiness are far more important.
I’m not saying you can’t do it. Lots of newlyweds raise children. I’m not saying you can do it. I’m saying that you need to talk to yourself, your husband, your higher power, and your doctor (in that order) about your readiness to have kids. No one else’s opinion is relevant.
“While hand-me-down clothes and prenatal vitamins are important, your emotional and mental readiness are far more important.”
THIS x 1000000
This is the part that I never really thought about when I was convinced I wanted a kid. Granted I was much older and definitely had had that alone time with my husband, and there was no question of the money or childcare. Because I had all those things figured out, I knew I was ready to go for it. And STILL I felt completely blindsided by how much of a change it is to our lifestyle.
Every single one of the questions above is worth considering, but I think it’s impossible to grasp the change until you’re there, so… I guess my only piece of advice is when you’re ready, you’re ready, and you’re never QUITE ready, so you just have to go for it and be prepared to be shocked by the change.
Indeed. I was older, financially stable and wanted kids very much when I had a child and I was still completely overwhelmed by having a kid. It was way more of a shock than I had imagined and I had a really hard time adjusting to the “new normal.”
Yeah, I’ve literally never heard anyone go, “When my little Sammy was born, it was so much easier than I thought it would be! He always made me feel relaxed and happy.” No matter what preps you do, it will always be harder than you think is. Sometimes it will be sweet and easy, but mostly I think it’s just hard. And most parents would tell you that that’s what makes it rewarding.
I’m actually going to contradict that! Conceiving was so difficult for me, that I was prepared for parenthood to be even worse… I was sure my son would never sleep, that I’d have crippling post-partum depression, that I’d never have time to take a shower ever again. I prepared for a newborn like it was a natural disaster. There was so much fear-mongering and bitching on all the mommyblogs that I read that I really truly thought it was going to be AWFUL.
And while it wasn’t easy… it just wasn’t as awful as I was prepared for. Maybe it was because compared to 5 years of infertility, it wasn’t that bad? Maybe it was because I was buried in fear-mongering? Maybe it’s because my son was easy? I have no idea… but I will say that for those of us who set our expectations on “NEWBORN = HORROR!,” the reality can almost be a relief.
I have to second this, though without the infertility struggles. I was buckled in for the newborn phase to be crazy hard, and it was pretty smooth for me. Once I gave over to the idea that all my usual rhythms and schedules were out the door, I just tuned into my baby and it was pretty smooth sailing.
Lol! That’s awesome! I’m glad to hear y’all found it easier than you expected. That’s a first for me.
haha.. All the more reason to set the expectation to “Newborn = horror!” then, right?! seriously, that’s awesome that it turned out so positive for you, especially after the grueling infertility battle. I don’t mean to scare anyone off of kids, and I definitely do not want to be an obnoxious fear-mongerer, but I also think that there is a lot of gloss and shine associated with parenting in our culture, and for me personally, when I was in the place that the OP appears to be in, I think maybe I was a little blinded by the shimmery, pretty picture of kids and hadn’t quite wrapped my mind around the hardness of it all. But as I said above, I don’t think ANYONE can wrap their mind around what the experience is like until they’re there.
I do think that some of the most important questions are ones I never asked myself:
– Am I prepared for my relationship with my husband to be challenged and strained in new ways? (e.g. no time to leisurely problem-solve, living in close quarters on no sleep for weeks on end)
– Am I prepared to no longer be just my parents’ kid, but the parent of my parents’ grandkid? (e.g. no visit to the folks will ever again be a chance to just kick back be a kid again, there will be a lot of pressure to visit/be visited upon by both sets of grandparents)
– Am I prepared to not do a lot of really fun, easy, simple things I take for granted now, for the foreseeable future? (e.g. sleep in until I wake up naturally, go on a day trip, see a movie, leisurely browse the aisles of a book store)
– Do I have a support system in place for when the sleep deprivation makes me feel like the most selfish person on earth, or the hormones leave me unable to get out of bed?
– Am I prepared to throw out all the beautiful, fuzzy visions I have of raising my dream baby, and replace them with the (yes, beautiful and amazing) tedious, exhausting, lonely, frustrating, terrifying, alienating realities of raising my actual baby?
Okay, I guess I do sound like a harbinger of doom. 🙁 Maybe it’s harder for me than most. I actually LOVE being a parent! But man, is it so different than what I imagined.. in ways both good and EXTREMELY challenging (but never bad).
Yep, if you set your expectations EXTREMELY low (baby = no sleeping, showering, or ever leaving the house) and you may be pleasantly surprised. Or you may get what you prepared for… and at least you’ll be ready!
Again, I may have had a unique perspective, having been an older (35) parent who’d watched many friends suffer through really rough newborn times. Babies who cried for 6 hours straight. Babies that never slept. I was actively following Dooce.com when Heather was institutionalized for postpartum depression. Everything I knew about newborns was that it was MISERABLE, DIFFICULT, and completely LIFE-RUINING.
It was difficult, and there were miserable moments, but my life was less ruined than expected. 🙂
My mother once told me, “There will always be ‘a better time’. You will ALWAYS think you’ll have more money or a better house. You have to decide if you can handle it with what you have.” And “what you have” includes your relationship and the changes it will go through.
If you two are ready, then be ready. 🙂
Honestly, the only people who can answer this question are you and your partner. There’s never a “perfect” time to have a baby. If it’s what you really want, then go for it with the understanding that it could take some time. If you’re having doubts, then wait, talk it out, and think about it.
There’s no right or wrong answer. Just follow your gut. 🙂
I would recommend waiting until you can afford some very good health insurance. Even without complications with the birth, it can easily be over $10,000. If there happened to be complications, then whew, I don’t even want to know how expensive it would be. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/what-does-birth-cost-hard-to-tell/
Sure, you can use a midwife, but backup plans are crucial in my opinion. Especially when your health and the health of your future family is concerned!
I came in to comment about the health insurance as well. Being “almost sure” that most of your medical bills will be covered is not enough – you need an accurate idea of what you will be spending out of pocket, and have that money in the bank. My emergency c-section cost $50,000 and my daughter’s care after her premature birth has reached over $1,000,000 (and counting). I was planning on a $4,000 water birth with a midwife.
To the OP, you have thought out the best-case-scenarios, which is great (and more than many people do), but what about the worst case scenarios? What if you are put on bedrest at 20 weeks? What if your child has special needs or is born sick? Can you afford to drop to one income for a long time? Do you have local support from friends and family to help you through an incredibly difficult situation?
I don’t think your age or the length of time you have been married is reason enough to not have a baby, and really the only opinions that matter here are yours and your husband’s. I just wish more people (including me) would take worst-case-scenarios into account when thinking of having kids, because these things have to happen to someone. There is never a right time for kids, but being prepared for the unexpected definitely helps. Good luck to you!
This. I think you sound as ready as anyone can be, except for the medical costs part. I’ve had two babies. One was an attempted homebirth that ended up in the hospital and only cost us $3,000 out of pocket, thanks to good insurance. The second was a beautiful homebirth…after which we had to take the baby to the ER (for reasons unrelated to how or where he was born). He was in the NICU for 9 days. That one will be costing us our crappy insurance’s out-of-pocket per-person max of $15,000 (the pre-insurance cost is something like $75,000). That’s not counting the $400/month of meds our insurance won’t cover. With help, we can absorb it, but it definitely wasn’t in our budget, unlike the $4000 homebirth which we’d planned and saved for. Having the insurance portion of the equation locked down makes a big difference.
Otherwise, I think you sound fine. There’s never a “best” time to have a baby, and I’m a fan of starting young if it makes sense for you and your partner. Good luck figuring this all out.
I just wanted to chime in as someone who has had both experiences: Pregnancy #1 had the unexpected pregnancy complication that resulted in the $1,000,000 medical bill for 3 months in the NICU with crappy savings and crappier health insurance (covered up to 85%). And then on pregnancy #2 got put on strict hospital bed rest at 23 weeks but had saved like crazy and got great health insurance that covers everything at 100%. All I can say is that if you are emotionally and mentally ready you just make it work. You’ll never have enough money and your health insurance will never be perfect. You sound prepared and seem to have a support system in place. Have at it.
whoah. Without derailing the conversation too much, I’m so glad we`re in Canada. Our son was in the nicu for 4 months, he received top care and I have no idea how much it cost the public healthcare. I’ve heard the figure of 1500$ / day, which adds up to almost 200k. Far less than in the US.
This is a very personal decision! I recall a friend in highschool who at 17 was already jonesing to become a mom. Her goal in life was to marry young and have lots of kids. Good for her! Though I *personally* think before 25 is a bit young. I had my first at 38 and am expecting our second at 41 so that gives you an idea of my personal opinion! I think early 30s is ideal. It also depends on your social circle; it *is* hard to be the only ones with or without children in a circle of friends.
Then again when your children will graduate highshool you wil be 40 and I’ll be almost 60 haha.
Just a word about insurance: have you looked into prenatal Medicaid? In my state, the income limit is 2-3x as high as it is for regular Medicaid, you can qualify even if you have other insurance, and you and your baby will both be covered for a year after you give birth.
Medicaid *almost* completely covered my inexpensive home birth, and (ironically) it would have covered 100% of a complicated hospital delivery. We had jobs and savings, but paying large sums out-of-pocket for surgery or a NICU stay would have been devastating.
Coverage isn’t as accessible as it is in Canada or many other places, but if you qualify it’s a life-saver. There’s no shame in applying, especially when you consider that your health care AND maternity leave would be covered in most wealthy countries.
Oh man. The hard thing is that there is no “right” answer to this question, and it can be so hard to figure out what’s right for you. My husband and I waited about 2 years after getting married to try to conceive, but that was largely because he was laid off and I was underemployed for about a year. As soon as we felt financially secure enough, we started trying. And honestly, kids aren’t add expensive as society makes them out to be. Cloth diapers save money, if you’re able breastfeed then food is free for a while, they can cosleep , our even sleep in a drawer, hah. Don’t let the finances stop you if you’re reasonably stable.
I feel like if you feel that you guys could comfortably handle kids (emotionally, financially, etc), then go for it! Or son is a blessing and a joy, and I am so glad we have him, even though we made the leap into parenthood before sine would have thought prudent.The thing is, you could always save more money, take more vacations, find different jobs, etc- there is always ‘one more thing’ to do before the timing is perfect. I was in my late 20s when my son was born, and part of me does wish I had had him younger- maybe I would have bounced back a little faster, or be a little less tired, hah!
Anyway, all that to say, don’t let others dictate what your heart tells you. Kids are great, and life is awesome (but different!) with them. Best wishes!
We’d been a couple for 8 years, living together for 4 and married for 2 when we started trying and a handful of people still thought that we were “too young” at the age of 25 when we told everyone that I’m pregnant.
I genuinely think most opinions along those lines are out of concern from people that care and perhaps have different priorities/perspectives in life, but if you feel that you’re both ready and you’d potentially be able to manage a newborn 9 months from now, then go for it.
If you can confidently tell friends and family that you’ve made the right decision for you, then they’ll hopefully settle down (ours have) and be happy for you and the choice that you’ve made.
Probably not what you want to hear but me and my husband were pretty much in your shoes and I had our son at 23. He is a lovely boy and we love him dearly, but both me and my husband regret not waiting. Not because of money but because of “us” time. And yes, you can still do lots of things with baby in tow, but not all and it is not the same.
Also where we live majority of people do not have babies till their 30s. Which is fine and not a reason to wait in itself. But what we didn’t realise is how lonely we felt being the ONLY couple in our social circle to have a kid. It is tough. Having said that everyone’s experience is different.
But do try to sit down one evening and write up if there’s anything that you might like to do pre-baby JUST as a couple. How it might affect your life. Maybe it’s a perfect time, maybe it’s as good time as any. Maybe something will come up and you decide to wait.
Having a baby is very different from anything else, you can’t change your mind later :))
This! We had our daughter when my wife was 29 and I was 27, but even there we were the first in our circle to have kids. Because in our fields and in our urban area, most people have graduate degrees and wait longer before settling down, most people are in their mid/late 30s when starting to have kids. We are significantly younger than our friends with kids, and our friends without kids have really different lifestyles than we do. Only now that our daughter is approaching 2 have my wife’s friends started having kids, and my friends are still far from it. We are also a same-sex couple, which I think adds to the delayed child-rearing and that it is seen as unusual (and can feel lonely) for us to have a toddler at our ages.
My husband and I lived together for two years before we got married and started trying to conceive 6 months after our wedding, but out reasons are a little different (I have female issues that give me a short time to have a baby and I am 33 right now and my window closes in 2yrs). Of course our relationship changed but in good ways. Just be ready for those changes (i.e. the only time we touch somedays is our hug before bed). When you are ready, you’re ready. Good Luck to both of you on the crazy adventure of kids!
This is a tough question because the answer is different for everyone. This is no doubt a big decision, and having a child changes life in profound ways that, for me, couldn’t be fully understood until I actually experienced them. People told us too to ‘enjoy being married and it just being the two of you’. And I remember thinking ‘Enjoy what? For how long? Is there a quota?’ Eventually I realized I couldn’t do all that ‘enjoying’ I was supposed to because my screaming ovaries and desire to be a mother were too loud to ignore. Ultimately, you and your partner know your circumstances and what you want better than anyone else. No one can make this decision for you. Yes, save money, build your business, enjoy sleeping in and spending time together as a couple, travel and do the things you want to that won’t be quite as easy with a kid in tow, be a little selfish and indulgent. But how long and to what degree you do these things is up to you.
I waited – together since 2000, married in 2004, didn’t conceive until 2009. I’m happy we got to do a bunch of things together as just a couple (travel, bought a house, etc.) but we now have 2 kids, and it is so much fun! Definitely life altering, but in an awesome way. It sounds like you’re ready. My advice is to go for it. I found it wasn’t all that easy to conceive. That in itself was a project for us.
I agree with others that there is no “right” time to have kids in terms of your mental/emotional state and assuming that both you and your partner know that you want to have children. With that said, I think the financial cost of children should not be overlooked. Sure, you don’t need to spend money on “stuff,” but if you don’t have good health insurance and there are complications with the birth, that shit can get real expensive. Then there are the endless doctor visits for the baby. Then there’s childcare. Will one of you stop working, do you have family willing to watch a baby full time or will you pay for childcare? Because childcare is also real expensive. In my area, full time childcare for an infant is basically the same cost as renting a small house. Certainly people make it work and it’s definitely doable, but I visit a lot of parenting forums and over and over again I see moms dealing with the stress and frustration of having no money, getting behind on bills, fighting with their partners over spending habits, etc. to the point where they don’t have to mental capacity to enjoy parenthood because they are so stressed about money. Again, that doesn’t happen to everyone and I think if you and your husband are open and honest with each other about your expectations and budget, it can totally work. I’d just be sure that you have those discussions, several times, to make sure you guys can handle it.
I very much agree with this. I would also counsel you not to assume that you can run your business while watching your child. When your baby is tiny and basically immobile, that will work, but once you have an active toddler, it becomes very difficult.
Also even with family willing to watch the kids it can turn put that you don’t actually want them to do it. We have willing extended family but the way they are with kids…well…3 hours from time to time – awesome. full-time childcare by them? NO WAY.
This first part is about other people I know, not the OP, but these things concern me. And obviously I am projecting my own fears and feelings on the subject!
It worries me a bit when people first meet each other and create a connection over “I want to have babies!” It’s an incredibly important factor in a relationship, but I don’t think it can be the foundation. Especially for people who won’t consider divorce. What if you’re infertile? What if for some reason you can’t adopt? What if you lose your children to a horrible accident or disease? What about when they grow up and move out? If having children is the basis of the relationship, it makes me worried about the relationship. Your partner is more than a sperm donor/walking uterus. The desire to have children is an important thing, but not the only thing! Sorry, rant over now.
As for the OP, I only wish I were that confident about my desires and ability make the decision to have children! Other people mentioned great things to consider above. My paranoid self would like to add that maybe having a couple thousand tucked away as an emergency fund would help. I don’t think it matters if you have a house, have all the latest fancy baby stuff, but having some cash tucked away just in case is like a safety net. I firmly believe that people become parents the moment they intend to conceive- way before they actually conceive- because they’ve changed their mindset in how they will live their lives and their goals. So have those babies whenever you want to and good luck! 🙂
If and when to have kids is a very personal decision. I am glad I waited though (I’m 33 now).
Not so much for the “relationship” aspect of it, we have been together for three years and got pregnant the month after our engagement, we’re not even married yet. I feel like our relationship is improving with the pregnancy though. But more for my own development.
I am glad I had my 20s to go to university, do a PhD, and work in an intellectually stimulating job. I travelled the world, and I feel that I did not have to compromise, and that I am truly ready now.
My fiance is older than me and feels the same. It’s not only the financial aspect for us (although being financially secure sure helps), but also the “proving we are capable of having a career” aspect. If I decide to step back a bit now for the sake of family, it will be a choice and I won’t feel like I missed out.
Of course, everyone is different and in the end you two need to do whatever makes you happy :).
Another way to look at it is, once you have kids, there’s no going back to being a childless couple with total freedom. Where as now, you have a good 10+ years ahead of you where you can try to have kids at any time. (General assumption of average female fertility rates, since you didn’t mention any known fertility issues.) Assuming there is no biological reason to have children right away, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to just hang on for awhile, grow as an individual, strengthen your marriage, and enjoy the freedom!
The only timeline that matters is your own. Everyone will have a different opinion, so you might as well do what you think is right. No matter how old you are when you become parents, the challenges are more or less the same. So, if you’re ready, go for it. I have a young mother also (she was 24 when my oldest sister was born and 30 when my youngest sister was born), and I remember her always having a lot of energy, and now, because she is a young grandma (she’s 62 and has 9 grandkids!), she still has the same energy for her grandkids. It’s awesome.
It sounds like you are weathering your first test of family planning and childrearing: enduring the unsolicited advice of everyone around you. Just wait until you start telling people about the midwife assisted water birth (I kid, I kid… But not really).
Here’a my (somewhat solicited?) advice. Think about what your priorities are for you and your partner to have in place in order to have a family. These “things” could be financial, medical, in the relationship, in your personal lives, etc. These are your priorities, and it is important that you filter out other people’s voices that might sneak in. It doeant matter if other people think you need a house/graduate degree/trip around the world via hot air balloon if those things are not important for YOU. Once you assess that, you might have a better idea as to what timing works for you.
In the end, there will not be a perfect moment. Make the best choice you can for you and your partner based on your needs and wants. Try to tune out all everyone else. You’ll be thankful for developing that skill later down the road when some random person demands to know your birth plan.
This may sound like I’m trying to put you off but believe me I’m not. After 2 miscarriages I ended up getting pregnant when I was aiming not to. Things I would always suggest people think about include:
Is there anything at all that you would love to do, but would be harder with a child in tow?
Are you sure, certain, completely solid on knowing what your finances (and hence medical bills) look like?
If things go badly (it takes longer than expected, possible miscarriages, infertility, etc) is your relationship at a point where you be OK as a couple?
The reason I ask these is because you don’t ever want to have the thought during pregnancy, that maybe you could’ve waited a year or two. Of course people do awesome things with kids but it’s worth thinking about. After two MCs I had got to a point where I needed a break and really had a ton of things I wanted to do, although I still plan to do them, it was almost a bad shock to find out that for once my pregnancy was on track and I needed to reshift my plans again.
Although families across the world bring up babies on ridiculously low budget, it is always worth knowing EXACTLY where you stand. If you are almost sure about your medical bills, make yourself certain – it will just help in the long run and stop any nasty surprises.
Sadly hubby and I had to deal with bad situations far more than we expected to and we’d been married for under a year. It was tough, simply because there was still a tiny part of us that wanted to run home and hug our mums, and didn’t know how to help eachother. Of course we got through it and learnt a lot, but it’s a tough thing for someone so early in a marriage.
ON THE POSITIVE: we were called crazy for getting married young (22 and 23), getting pregnant all 3 times so “early” in our marriage, and in general have been looked at with shocked expressions that we didn’t wait 5-8 years, etc. Honestly, it’s not their life and if you want to spread your collective love into a child – GO FOR IT! It’ll be an adventure, but life would be boring without them!
We are now 16 weeks along, our finances are not remotely “stable”, and we only moved into our rented place a few months ago. I have no doubt we will be called crazy again but we are loving the fact that a little bubble of flesh-coloured amazingness will be joining us on the ride… and maybe a puppy 😀
Everyone has given great advice and suggestions of things to think about so far! I just wanted to add that I have had moments of serious uncertainty, even panic, at various stages along the way. I believe that is very normal in the midst of any major life transition. I’m sure many parents, even those whose babies were meticulously planned (ours is–right down to trying to conceive the day after signing academic deferment papers and working out my future school schedule, then crossing our fingers for conceiving quickly, making it through 7 months of an academic healthcare program while pregnant, and emerging from a year off with a 10-month-old who is healthy enough to have a parent in school part-time and a parent who works part-time) have moments of anxiety, doubt, and fear. Worrying that you’ve made the wrong choice, or that you could have spent more years getting your ducks in a row, seems like something that any self-examining, compassionate, responsible parent does. Ultimately, as many others have wisely said, only your priorities matter. For us, having a reasonably secure plan for health insurance and functioning on one combined income were important, to ensure that the pregnant one of us and the kid would have great healthcare and not need to be in daycare. We also have access to some emergency credit, and some savings. We had been together slightly under 2 years when we started trying 4 months before our wedding, but we were also in our late 20s and both pretty secure in our experiences so far and our desires for life.
1) This has been said many times now, but you are the only ones who can decide if the timing is right for you.
2) Please look into the cost of childcare, consider your finances, and figure out if you can make it work. What if you were on bed rest for part of the pregnancy and had no income? Or unpaid maternity leave?
3) my personal experience: Currently pregnant. We rushed into it a bit due to my age and concerns about ability to conceive. But recently it occurred to me that we could have waited another 6 months to a year.
I would really take a good look at finances. If you guys could afford a baby without needing government assistance today then having a child could work for you. Now people who have unplanned pregnancies and need it I hold no ill will towards and I would never judge someone needing it(as I am not in their shoes and have no idea why they need it)but we all should try to be a little responsible about that IMO and try not to base being financially ready with GA.
When you are so young you do have sometime. Try living for 6 months like you had a baby in the budget and save up the money for baby bills down the road so say you think it might cost $50 for diapers or such things a month and maybe have an amount of money you set aside for childcare. If you can manage with saving that on the side and still feel comfortable in your lives, then commence trying to fertilize your eggs.
Also make sure you will be ok having some friends distance themselves from you as they might feel like you no longer relate to them being single or childless.
Good luck it’s a very personal decision and these are merely opinions of mine of how I want to know we are ready as finances are the current hold back as another year will give us the buffer of really be better off financially instead of just barely treading water if we had a baby in a few months so I understand wanting to just dive in.
I’m not going to add a book to the one developing in the comments already.
I just want to wish you well and no matter when you decide to go for it, may you be as fertile as a bunny and enjoy all the different facets of becoming a mother and a parent which open up to you as you get closer and closer to your child being Earthside.
I second what was said above about “pretending” you already have a baby and keeping the “baby” money separate in savings.
Hand me down clothes are great, but aren’t parents told they have to use a new-new car-seat? Save up for a while until you have enough set aside to buy anything you could possibly need for a baby – then when you inevitably get some of the things you need as gifts or on sale or handed down, you’ll have a backup savings in case you forgot something, or you use more diapers than you expected to, or you need to supplement with formula that you didn’t expect to do, etc etc.
Talk to your medical insurance and check out the costs. Having the money saved up or started to be saved will make life easier and funner than if you tried to budget it all into a short time.
Once you’re sure about what having a baby will cost upfront, you can decide on a goal (25% of it saved, 50%, 100%, whatever) and then start trying once you’ve reached your goal. It probably wouldn’t delay it by much, if you think you have enough wiggle room for baby supplies. It would delay it by a little bit, so you have a bit more “us” time that since you know might be shortened soon, you’ll probably appreciate way more than some do. Make the most of your pre-baby time, write out some fun crazy activities to do before you get pregnant (roller coasters? Booze? Anything with a not-for-preggies sticker on it 😉 ) and then do them, anything you want to do, but that might not happen for 2+ years because of pregnancy and infant-raising.
So no, I don’t think you need to delay it for other peoples’ reasons. But delaying it by just a bit, a few months maybe, could make everything go smoother and make everyone a bit happier, since you’ll be having fun while you wait! Or not, maybe all the fun things you want to do involve babies, you’ll know your answer once you’ve thought of all the options.
I’m surprised no one has suggested it, but I’d really strongly recommend a few sessions of couples counseling. Not because there’s anything wrong, but just to make sure you’ve talked through the issues you never thought about before there’s baby related stress.
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