How did you know you were ready to have a baby?

Discussion in 'Family, Home & Health' started by JuneRose, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. JuneRose

    Jun 16, 2011
    by JuneRose » Mar 4, 2016
    I want to ask how you decided you were ready to have a baby.

    I'm 27, nearly 28 and have been married for almost 4 years. My husband has just turned 30. We bought a 2 bedroom flat in London last year so we have the space and we know we want to start trying in the next couple of years but I'm not sure if we should start trying this summer for a baby born in 2017 or start next year for a baby in 2018.
    Please don't worry, I won't base my decision entirely on feedback & comments I receive here :) I understand this is a very personal decision that can only be made by myself & my husband but I just wanted to talk about it openly with people who know what it's like to have children and hear your opinions. It's not something I can talk about to friends because I wouldn't want them to know I was trying for a baby yet.

    My list of reasons to start trying this summer is:

    -Feels like the "right" time… 4 years married, just bought a flat etc…
    -It may take longer than I think to get pregnant… better to know sooner rather than later.
    -The real expense won't actually start this year… It will start in 2017! Plenty of time to save.
    -I want 3 children, I shouldn't wait too long to get started since I'm in a position to start now.
    -Shouldn't get too comfortable with life without kids or I may resent them when they arrive?
    -We are spending a special Christmas with family who are flying in from around the world next year – would be so nice to spend it with them if I am pregnant.
    -Both of our families have been putting some (light) pressure on us about babies which we have been ignoring… but it is true that they are getting older and I don't want our children to not know their grandparents (although we are only talking about 1 year difference here…)
    -My career is not really going anywhere at the moment… I feel like I would really appreciate a year out to reassess things and maybe look at what I want to do with my life (we have 12 months maternity leave in the UK).

    My list of reasons to wait:

    -Will 1 year really make a difference in the long run?
    -I will be the first one out of my friends. This is quite a big one for me. Most people I know in London don't start thinking about kids until they turn 30 at the very earliest. We don't have family nearby either. My life will be quite different from my friends if we have a baby, although they are starting to settle down too and get married.
    -It's EXPENSIVE. I know it doesn't have to be. But I want to be able to afford it and buy nice things for baby if I want to and not be too limited/stressed by finances.
    -Would be really nice to have 1 more year to work on the flat/go on some fancy holidays we couldn't take kids on/actually enjoy having money & being able to spend it (we have been saving the last couple of years to buy this flat and now we are spending all our money on furnishing it/doing up the garden etc).
    -We could save up more in 1 year and be more stable financially. My husband earns a good wage so we are ok to have baby now but obviously the more you have saved up the better.
    -I would have longer to try and get a better salary/job title and work on my career before I take a 1 year break.
    -It's asking a lot of my husband to support me & babe for a year and I don't want to pressurise him
    -Am I deluding myself about how much time I will have to work on portfolio/rethink career when in actual fact I will be looking after baby constantly?

    I need to discuss it more with my husband obviously. We had sort of discussed we were going to start trying next year and have baby in 2018 but now we have the flat the spare room is just sitting there unused… I think I want to sort out my own feelings a bit more before I broach the subject of maybe starting this summer with my husband. He is quite broody so I don't think he would be opposed but he does want to feel very secure with money when we do have baby. I do feel ready, but it just maybe makes more sense to wait until next year for the reasons listed above? I just don't know.


  2. NewEnglandLady

    Jul 27, 2007
    by NewEnglandLady » Mar 4, 2016
    JuneRose, you're firmly in the gray area where it could happen at any point and be fine, but you'll analyze it over and over until you decide to not prevent, but not try. And then you're on the roller coaster from there.

    I'm a planner. So I wanted all my ducks in a row before we had our first. Got married. Bought our house three years later (4 bedrooms, with the plan to have 2 kids). Had a bucket list of vacations we wanted to take. We checked them all off the list. Had a savings goal. We reached it. I wanted a promotion at work before trying. I got it. Did some small home renovations (mainly to the future kids' rooms). I tracked my ovulation patterns for a year. With each check mark I felt a little closer to ready. I know a lot of people say "there is no good time" and I totally understand that, but I personally liked the feeling of reaching my pre-baby goals. Once we decided we were both ready (hubby took a little more time) we got pregnant quickly and as soon as I got my positive pregnancy test, I started crying because I was terrified.

    Fast forward about 5 years (and two kids) later, I sort of chuckle at my pre-baby self. I can't believe that I worried about some of the things I did (e.g. would I miss my life without kids? Would our sex life take a nose-dive? What if I'm a terrible parent?...okay, I still worry about that last one). I'm definitely glad I didn't hold out any longer than I did. While I know I needed to be ready, I know I worried too much about it.

    I think if you're at the point where you're splitting hairs about this year vs. next, you're close. At this point it's really just about being on the same page as your husband. Or you can do what I did--buy a box of condoms and tell him when they're gone, you're trying. Lots of luck to you!!
  3. JuneRose

    Jun 16, 2011
    by JuneRose » Mar 6, 2016
    Thank you so much for your reply NewEnglandLady!
    Haha I love the box of condoms idea :lol:
    It's exactly what you describe, I feel like I'm in the gray area where we don't have any reason to rush but we've also kind of run out of excuses not to start..
    I definitely need to speak about it more frankly with my husband and see where he's at. I am also a planner at heart so I think that's why I feel so conflicted. I want all my ducks in a row but the money excuse/reason is one I feel we could keep on using until we win the lottery if you know what I mean. We will always feel like we could just have a bit more... so maybe we should just bite the bullet?
  4. Niel

    Jul 23, 2012
    by Niel » Mar 6, 2016
    I woke up one day pregnant. There was no planning for me.

    But when I have friends who consider having children I usually ask them what they like to do with their time. If you like to go out, travel, spend your money on dinners, vacations, movies, its quite possibly not the right time. Not because of the money but because of the lifestyle change required when having a baby. You said you're the first of your friends. Well, expect to not see many of them again (or at least not as much) after having a child. Expect date nights to evaporate. Vacations to disappear.

    Expect to loose time for yourself and your husband.

    Now I never did any of the above listed things anyways, so it didn't bother me much. And the joy of watching my children grow up is better than the vacations and the dinners I miss. But a lot of people feel they need to live that life before being a parent. Becuase its very dog to do both.

    My only thing else I'd think of is if you really end up wanting 3 children, how quickly do you want them? Best case senario Say you start trying, takes 2 months (which is very fast) to get pregnant, 9 mo later have a baby, recovery time of a few months, are you trying again within the year? Two years? That's already 3 years, say you do that twice you'll be mid 30s, and it starts to get difficult after that.

    It's never a perfect time to have a baby financially. I'd consider that, but I wouldn't let money be the deciding factor


  5. Asscherhalo_lover

    Aug 16, 2007
    by Asscherhalo_lover » Mar 6, 2016
    I've been with my husband for a LONG time, together since we were 15 & 16, never broke up, married at 22 & 23. We always knew we would have children but I was not in a rush. By 28 nearly all of my friends had children and the bug hit my husband hard, it never hit me. I just set a deadline for myself, I would have a baby by 30. I knew I wanted to be done having children (ideally 2) by 35 so 30 seemed like a good time to start. I figured it might take awhile since I'd been steadily on BC for most of my 20's so I went off it right before 29 and we started "trying" after my 29th birthday. I was pregnant on my 6th cycle. I still didn't know how I felt about it. I prepared for everything and even after the birth (he came about 6 weeks after I turned 30) I still didn't feel ready.

    Fast forward almost 8 weeks and I couldn't imagine life without him. My husband has been excellent, our relationship is stronger if anything and I love him even more deeply. Motherhood had been relatively low stress and my son has been an easy and welcome addition to our family. I even went back to work at 6 weeks (baby stays with my Mother) and it has been an easy transition for me. I have not had the "my life is over" experience at all, if anything, I feel like I'm rediscovering life all over again. I can't wait to show my son the world and see him experience it.

    So, I never "knew" I was ready for a baby, I just went for it. No regrets.
  6. 4ever

    Dec 9, 2008
    by 4ever » Mar 7, 2016
    I'm 27 and expecting our first in less than a month. We've also been married for almost 4 years and bought a house about 2.5 years ago, none of my friends have kids yet, so I know where your at.
    I put a lot of thought into weather I was "ready" to have kids but in the end the way I decided was to have a good think about my life and what I really wanted, what was most important. I decided that if we waited and anything happened to me or DH I would regret having not had kids together. I also liked the idea of being around for as much of their lives as possible. In the end the reasons for waiting were all career related and I decided family was more important. Once I decided It seemed pointless to wait (DH has always been fully pro babies whenever I'm ready)
  7. Snowdrop13

    Aug 27, 2011
    by Snowdrop13 » Mar 7, 2016
    To me, the fact that you have thought about this in so much detail shows that you have lots of common sense and probably are as "ready" as you'll ever be! Having children is an amazing roller coaster ride though, and you can't always plan things that carefully. I was much older than you when I had my first (36) and I do wish I had had mine earlier (didn't meet Mr Right quickly enough....).

    Anyway, we have just carried on having vacations and dinners, only we take them with us now, lots more fun :angel:
  8. monkeyprincess

    Nov 24, 2009
    by monkeyprincess » Mar 7, 2016
    This exactly. Except in my case, it was infertility that made me unable to start my family until I was 32. But I second the idea that it is better to learn this now than later -- there are so many things in life that you can't plan for or that you have very little control over, and having children is definitely one of those things. If you have the maturity to put another person's needs before your own and the ability to roll with life's punches (and obviously have sufficient resources and stability in your relationship), then you are more than ready. Without a doubt, having my three children is the best thing I've ever done in life, BUT it has also been the hardest thing I've ever done. I never knew how selfish, impatient and naive I really was until I had a baby. I'm really thankful I had them to teach me those lessons! And one more thing - now that you're at this point in your life, there's very little chance that you'll look at your baby when he or she is born and think, I wish I would've waited longer to have you.
  9. Laila619

    Apr 28, 2008
    by Laila619 » Mar 7, 2016
    It was just one of those things where I knew it was right. I had baby fever so bad and I wasn't getting any younger. I was so excited, anxious, and ready to be a mom!
  10. JuneRose

    Jun 16, 2011
    by JuneRose » Mar 8, 2016
    Thank you all so much for sharing your opinions, I really appreciate your feedback! The more I think about it, the more excited I am about the idea, especially as we have just cleared out our spare bedroom :) Now let's just hope the husband is on board haha!

    Niel - We definitely aren't party animals and love spending time at home together but my only worry is that we will miss out on finally having the money to go out and enjoy London to the full (after saving for our flat for the last few years) and we should wait and enjoy this time a bit more. On the other hand, we have been married for 4 years and living together for 8, so we have had plenty of "us time" and I don't feel like we NEVER go out to restaurants. I have been lucky to have traveled quite a bit and because we live in Europe I think it's easier to travel to a different country with a baby (or older child anyway). My parents traveled everywhere with me (they even took me on a skying holiday when I was 3 months old and my first time on a plane was at 10 days old), but I think that my parenting style may be slightly... safer... than their approach :D
    Your point about wanting 3 children and considering age gaps is a good one too.

    Asscherhalo_lover - Congratulations! That's very encouraging to hear, I'm so impressed at how quickly you went back to work! Really nice to hear how it affected your relationship with your husband in such a positive way :)

    4ever - Wow congratulations! Your post really struck a cord with me. Putting it in those terms really made me look at the situation in a whole new light, thank you.

    Snowdrop13 - I'm definitely an over-analyzer by nature haha! Really good to hear your perspective on things. Good to hear that it is still possible to have some sort of social life, albeit in a slightly larger group :)

    monkeyprincess - That's definitely a worry of mine. I would feel awful if we decided to wait and then I found out that I was having difficulties. I'm definitely not worried about the responsibility of having children, I feel quite comfortable with the idea of looking after a small babe, but I'm sure I can't even possibly imagine how challenging/exhausting/rewarding it is until I experience it myself.

    Laila619 - It's funny when we first got married I had baby fever so so bad! But then life/work happened and we both knew we wanted to wait until we were in our late twenties and had bought out own place. I think it's just that now it's a possibility, I'm so nervous about how permanent a decision it is! No going back haha!


  11. qtiekiki

    Nov 14, 2004
    by qtiekiki » Mar 8, 2016
    I wanted to have kids right after we got married when I was 25. DH was not ready. He said he wanted some "us" time to travel. During that time, his nephew was getting older, becoming a toddler who was fun to play with. That's when he wanted a baby of our own. Our daughter was born after we turned 28 and 30. And you know what, we did not traveled to anywhere new during our "us" time.

    Considering that you are just splitting hair with a year, I would just start trying because who know how long it would take you. It took us over a year before I got pregnant. I hope it's much faster for you guys.
  12. Polished

    Feb 28, 2012
    by Polished » Mar 9, 2016
    I had my first of three at 32. I guess there were times I'd wished I'd started three or four years earlier. Having the third at 36 I found quite tough. My parents also both died during this time so it was also a time of grieving. I think however you do it, it works out. I wouldn't change the individuals we had for anything and the joy of having them around greatly helped with the adjustment of no longer having my parents around.

    I do think we can put obstacles in the way of starting a family that we don't need to. For instance when we were travelling around Europe pre-children we met a couple who were doing the same thing with an eighteen month old. They were doing it in a van and bed and breakfasts just like us and they all seemed to be having a wonderful time.

    We're now at the other end, having children leaving home, studying, working, travelling. I think it's nice to not to be too old when this happens. There's definitely life (and more money) after kids.
  13. packrat

    Dec 12, 2008
    by packrat » Mar 13, 2016
    We decided to start trying a little earlier than our planned wait for the first year of marriage, so that I'd be pregnant by our anniversary..but it didn't happen and we both were a bit anxious about it. Mom and dad suggested we go on a trip w/them, and mom said maybe that would be the relaxation we needed to get our minds off it. Worked, since I came home (but didn't know at the time) pregnant w/London. Those were some good odds too, since were on the go the *entire* time we were gone, and had just one..occasion.

    We didn't really feel "ready"..we would never be financially ready, there were no trips, remodeling, no fun stuff that we could afford to do first, and it was really more a case of hmm well, if we're going to have kids, we should just do it now, what'd'you think? I had a condition on it tho, that when I went back to work, it would be part time until our youngest was in kindergarten. I went back part time after London came and then Trapper came three years later, and the year he started kindergarten I started working for the school district. (which is kinda cheating, I'll admit, since it's not year round work ;)) )

    We'd planned to start trying again when London was 9 months, b/c my brother and I are about 18 months apart and very close. But when he brought it up again to start trying, I wasn't ready-I didn't want to share my time w/her yet, so we waited until I felt it was ok. I was 32 when Trapper came and it was harder for me by then. Both the pregnancy and newborn stage.
  14. kama_s

    Jul 12, 2008
    by kama_s » Mar 13, 2016
    JuneRose, I don't think you will ever feel 100% ready! I was firmly in the no-kids camp in my 20's. Waffled in my early 30's and then kept putting it off to next year as we too were in no hurry. It was always because of an amazing upcoming holiday (like right now as I type this whilst in Anguilla) or a major work project/career goal etc.

    I think I felt absolutely undoubtedly ready when, after trying for a few months and doing everything by the book (temped, used OPK, prenatals etc), I got a faint or an evap followed by a BFN with my period. And I cried so hard the entire week. It felt like a loss even though I didn't technically lose anything. It was only then that I realized I could give up all the fancy holidays, my career and pretty much everything for a baby.

    Good luck with your decision! I don't think there is a right or wrong. I am still happy I waited to try as I had a chance to enjoy life and am also now aware of how much I really want this. Just wish it would happen soon!
  15. amc80

    Jun 18, 2010
    by amc80 » Mar 13, 2016
    The problem with kids is that the only way to know what it's really like to have them is to have them. There's no way to prepare. So you can think you're ready, but you probably aren't. Don't get me wrong, kids are awesome. But it's such a complete loss of privacy/autonomy/independence and it is something for which you just can't prepare. And so much of the experience depends upon your child's personality, as well. Most days I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. But I know it's temporary and will get better (different) as the kids get older.


  16. nojs

    Nov 22, 2014
    by nojs » Apr 16, 2016
    I had my first (and so far only) child at the age of 33. She is gorgeous and we are so in love with her, but I'm very happy I didn't have her while I was younger. I got to do all things I wanted and advance in my career. But if I would have wanted 3 children, the I probably would have needed to start earlier.

    If you feel you'd like to take more time, then take it! You are still young, plenty of time for babies. If you feel you want one now, go for it :)
    Allisonfaye likes this.
  17. anngrant87

    May 24, 2016
    by anngrant87 » May 24, 2016
    I didn't know! It just happened:)
  18. Perisko

    Aug 10, 2017
    by Perisko » Aug 10, 2017
    I also wanna baby very much, but some problems with my health can not allow to do it. How do you think is it because I am not ready in fact? I heard it could be some psyhological problems which make my health not good.
  19. Allisonfaye

    Oct 18, 2004
    by Allisonfaye » Oct 9, 2017
    Some of my major life decisions (like when to have kids) were out of my hands in a way. I got married at 39. I told my husband we needed to start trying right away because of my age and he put me off for about 6 months. But I got pregnant quickly both times.

    But if I were younger, I would be doing the same thing you are. Analyzing it to death. But at the end of the day, there really is no rational reason to have kids. It is purely emotional, IMO.

    But I will say this. I am not saying don't have kids. I love my girls to death. They are 11 and 13. But in the deck of kids being handed out, I got two hard ones. My older one is scary smart, but has major, horrible ADHD and can't get anything done. I have to tell her 10 times to brush her teeth and she is almost 14. My younger one is just, well, difficult. I know a woman who has not one but three autistic kids. So, while I am NOT trying to tell you NOT to have kids, just be aware that sometimes things don't always go the way you want and raising kids is HARD. If I had had the chance to be married a bit longer before having kids, I would have taken it. My husband and I love to travel so we traveled a lot before our kids were born.
  20. in-the-air

    Oct 12, 2015
    by in-the-air » Oct 29, 2017
    I didn't know, happened without planning haha
  21. acaw2015

    Jun 30, 2015
    by acaw2015 » Oct 30, 2017
    Make sure to have a good relationship with your partner. Everything else is nice, but a good parter is essential. Pregnancy and the first years of having a baby is hard (and rewarding) and I would absolutely not advice having a baby unless you have a truly stable relationship.

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