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To be or not to be...a parent???

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KimberlyH

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There was some discussion about this going on in the WWTers thread and there seemed to be quite a bit of interest in the topic so I thought I''d create a thread about it instead of hijacking...

To respond to your post Amber, I agree with you to a certain extent. My MIL gave birth to my husband when she was 47, his dad was 51. My grandmother gave birth to my dad when she was 45, his dad was 48. They had wonderful lives and were raised by people who had more life experience to share with their kids. The downside is that at 38 my husband has no living relatives, his mom passed away in February and now there is no one. It''s a bit sad to know that if we ever have children they won''t get to know their grandparents on his side. My dad lost both his parents by the age of 33. My sister and I never had the opportunity to know my grandparents, but we are lucky enough to be surrounded by a huge family, (my dad is the youngest of 8, his older brother died about 5 years ago), including an aunt who has taken on the role of the family matriarch. I am lucky that my dad was born into such a large family. There is definitely a void in our lives because my in-laws are deceased.

I agree, Mara, there is a wealth of information available to us. Other things that weigh on my mind...the overpopuation problem, our ability to adopt and willingness to do so (it''s a scary prospect), the state of of our nation and international relations, etc. It makes the decision even harder to make.
 

coda72

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I haven''t been posting lately, but I thought I''d give you my insight, Kimberly, since I went through this decision making process myself. I''m 34, and I''m pretty much decided that I won''t be having any children. I don''t feel any strong maternal urges, and I don''t want to have a child just to have one. Furthermore, my husband is 47 and he has children from a previous marriage, so he was not all that eager to have any more children. A few years ago, I thought I might want a child, and he was willing to have one, but as time went on, both of us decided we didn''t want children. It wasn''t an overnight decision, but something we talked about over a long period of time (3 or 4 years).

I also did not want to have any children past the age of 35. I know many women do this, but it is not something I wanted. Since I am already nearing 35 and don''t feel like I want a child yet, I won''t be having one.

You''re right, Kimberly, there are many things to consider before having children, and I''m sure you and your husband will come to the decision that is right for the two of you.
 

asscherisme

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Hi,
I did not read the other thread but did want to point out that even having kids young is no guarantee you will be around as your kids get older.

My husbands mother was just 20 when she gave birth to him and my husband was 16 when his mom died.

My dad had me at age 27 and my mom was 25 and I lost both my parents by the time I was 33.

I feel we both got kind of cheated! Our parents should both be around and in their 60''s now but all 3 died early.

My husband''s sister married a man 17 years her senior and my husband''s family was very upset thinking she would be a widow. She is not fighting for her life with stage 4 breast cancer.

You just never know what will happen.

I think a child is better off with a prepared parent who wants to be a parent. Better to become a parent at say 44 and be devoted to the child than to do it at 24 and not give the child what they need emotionally and meet their needs.
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 4/9/2007 1:41:50 PM
Author: amylikesrocks
Hi,
I did not read the other thread but did want to point out that even having kids young is no guarantee you will be around as your kids get older.

My husbands mother was just 20 when she gave birth to him and my husband was 16 when his mom died.

My dad had me at age 27 and my mom was 25 and I lost both my parents by the time I was 33.

I feel we both got kind of cheated! Our parents should both be around and in their 60''s now but all 3 died early.

My husband''s sister married a man 17 years her senior and my husband''s family was very upset thinking she would be a widow. She is not fighting for her life with stage 4 breast cancer.

You just never know what will happen.

I think a child is better off with a prepared parent who wants to be a parent. Better to become a parent at say 44 and be devoted to the child than to do it at 24 and not give the child what they need emotionally and meet their needs.
Amy, I absolutely agree, there are no garuantees, but it is more likely that my parents, who had my sister and I at a very young age, will be around longerthen they would be if they''d waited until later in life to have kids. I don''t think it''s bad to have kids at an older age, but it does mean that in all likelihood children will be w/o parents at a younger age if people decide to have children later in life.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, coda! And for being insightful enough to make a tough decision that was right for you.

To clarify, I''m not seeking advice on the subject, although I love hearing everyone''s thoughts. A poster mentioned how she was feeling about the subject because she''d attended a party and was surrounded by couples her age who were starting their families. It provoked several responses and was an interesting discussion that was taking place in the wrong thread, so I started this one. I am confident my husband I will make the right decision for us at the right time in our future.
 

Independent Gal

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Kim, I''m interested in the thread you''re referring to... where can I find it? I didn''t understand ''WWT''.
 

Kaleigh

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Date: 4/9/2007 1:56:50 PM
Author: Independent Gal
Kim, I''m interested in the thread you''re referring to... where can I find it? I didn''t understand ''WWT''.
Weekly workout thread, Family Home and Health...
 

diamondfan

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I always wanted kids, just knew I did, no question. But at 41 with three kids, I will say it has been both the hardest and the best thing I have done. It is scary to not have control over what happens to them, and I am so nervous about how they will be as adults...putting in the love and effort and trying to be the best parent I can be does not guarantee a certain outcome. But of course I love them and would not trade being a mom for anything, but I realize that there are hardships inherent in being a mom that, for me, make things really scary at times.
 

mrssalvo

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I always wanted kids too. I was 29 when I had my first and 31 with the second and we''re still thinking about one more b/c''s for some reason I always wanted three. However, it''s also been nice b/c I''m able to stay at home full time which is something that was very important to me. my hubby is 42 though and doesn''t want to wait much longer for another b/c he wants to enjoy some life on the other side of raising children. plus, he''s got a 17 year old and a 14 year old so he''s been parenting for a looooooong time. I agree that information can be scary but technology can also be very helpful. My best friend has been married 3 years and knows she doesn''t want kids. she even feels bad b/c she thinks she should want them, but she really doesn''t. I told her to just accept where''s she''s at and she can shower my kids with all the love she wants. I''ll even lend them to her for a long weekend. seriously, kids do change things but I can''t imagine my life w/out mine..
 

asscherisme

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Oops, sorry if it appeared I was butting in :) Did not mean to stick my nose where it did not belong . I misunderstood the thread.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 4/9/2007 4:15:48 PM
Author: diamondfan
I always wanted kids, just knew I did, no question. But at 41 with three kids, I will say it has been both the hardest and the best thing I have done. It is scary to not have control over what happens to them, and I am so nervous about how they will be as adults...putting in the love and effort and trying to be the best parent I can be does not guarantee a certain outcome. But of course I love them and would not trade being a mom for anything, but I realize that there are hardships inherent in being a mom that, for me, make things really scary at times.
This is so true and what scares me to death. I just am afraid that what I do won''t be enough...and the lack of control we have in so many areas. I think I may be too selfish to be a good parent...but then again, I think if I did have kids, I would really do my best.

I am 34...will be 35 this year. We''ve decided I''ll go off the pill in August and whatever happens, happens. If there is difficulty conceiving, we won''t get any medical help. If it doesn''t happen by 37 or so, we will consider ourselves childless and start procedures to make sure we won''t be older first time parents.
 

diamondfan

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I think that is a good approach to take. I know people who had fertility issues and it consumed them, and things were stressful. In the end they did have children and are thrilled, so it is a distant memory, all the stress, but still...I am not typically a control freak (at least I do not think I am!!!) but something about being a parent is really scary to me. No matter what I do, as wonderful as I might be in parenting, there is still a chance my kids will not be happy or functional etc. So much is dependant on the child''s personality and variables that you cannot control. You love, you teach, you try to balance things in terms of strictness and protectiveness and letting them grow up and away from you, and hope at the end of the day all things co mingled and you have happy, self sufficient fulfilled kids...nothing else I will ever do means as much and that is pretty overwhelming to me. But not all people feel this way, some are so assured and calm and take it all in stride...but not ME!
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 4/9/2007 4:49:18 PM
Author: amylikesrocks
Oops, sorry if it appeared I was butting in :) Did not mean to stick my nose where it did not belong . I misunderstood the thread.
That''s absolute silliness, amy! It''s a open forum for discussion, and hearing your opinion, and everyone else''s is extremely interesting. Please say whatever is on your mnd...it only adds to the discussion! I just wanted to clarify I wasn''t seeking advice, because, well, I''m not. I just think it''s a great topic of conversation.

The older I get the more socially aware I''ve become, and it has really changed my perspective on parenting and the choice regarding whether or not a couple, or individual, should have children. I''ve become pretty hard nosed on the subject because I see so many kids lead destructive lives because their parents skills, well they just plain suck. That isn''t to say that all good parents are garuanteed good kids and vice versa, but that does have a large influence in children''s lives.

Anyways, feel free to say whatever it is you think, amy! Your thoughts and opinions are as valid as mine!
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 4/9/2007 5:06:04 PM
Author: diamondfan
I think that is a good approach to take. I know people who had fertility issues and it consumed them, and things were stressful. In the end they did have children and are thrilled, so it is a distant memory, all the stress, but still...I am not typically a control freak (at least I do not think I am!!!) but something about being a parent is really scary to me. No matter what I do, as wonderful as I might be in parenting, there is still a chance my kids will not be happy or functional etc. So much is dependant on the child''s personality and variables that you cannot control. You love, you teach, you try to balance things in terms of strictness and protectiveness and letting them grow up and away from you, and hope at the end of the day all things co mingled and you have happy, self sufficient fulfilled kids...nothing else I will ever do means as much and that is pretty overwhelming to me. But not all people feel this way, some are so assured and calm and take it all in stride...but not ME!
Your thoguhtfulness and contemplative nature tell me that you are an amazing parent and your children are quite lucky to have you!
 

musey

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Date: 4/9/2007 4:55:44 PM
Author: TravelingGal
We''ve decided I''ll go off the pill in August and whatever happens, happens. If there is difficulty conceiving, we won''t get any medical help. If it doesn''t happen by 37 or so, we will consider ourselves childless and start procedures to make sure we won''t be older first time parents.
This seems like such a good and healthy way of approaching conception when you''re sort of undecided, I just wanted to give you kudos
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 4/9/2007 4:55:44 PM
Author: TravelingGal

Date: 4/9/2007 4:15:48 PM
Author: diamondfan
I always wanted kids, just knew I did, no question. But at 41 with three kids, I will say it has been both the hardest and the best thing I have done. It is scary to not have control over what happens to them, and I am so nervous about how they will be as adults...putting in the love and effort and trying to be the best parent I can be does not guarantee a certain outcome. But of course I love them and would not trade being a mom for anything, but I realize that there are hardships inherent in being a mom that, for me, make things really scary at times.
This is so true and what scares me to death. I just am afraid that what I do won''t be enough...and the lack of control we have in so many areas. I think I may be too selfish to be a good parent...but then again, I think if I did have kids, I would really do my best.

I am 34...will be 35 this year. We''ve decided I''ll go off the pill in August and whatever happens, happens. If there is difficulty conceiving, we won''t get any medical help. If it doesn''t happen by 37 or so, we will consider ourselves childless and start procedures to make sure we won''t be older first time parents.
TG,

If we do decide to have a child/ren, and I can''t concieve naturally, we''ll do as you and TGuy have decided to, no fertility drugs/doctors, etc.

~K
 

San Diego Bride

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not to be for me.

my opinions on children have changed quite a bit over time. as a teenager i was sure i wanted children. it wasn''t really that i had a maternal instinct per se, i just thought this was what you did in life. in my early 20''s i thought i wanted children, but wasn''t sure. by my mid to late 20''s i didn''t think i wanted children, but hadn''t totally decided. i wasn''t against the idea, but pretty much believed "never say never" and thought that maybe if i found the right guy and he really wanted children maybe i''d want to be a parent with him. by the time i was 30 i knew i didn''t want children and could take or leave the idea of marriage.

i met my husband when i was 30 and he was 35. within the first hour of our first date i told him i didn''t want children. yes, i "went there" early, but why not? i don''t necessarily believe in wasting time and consider this one of the most important decisions adults make in life (to parent or not to parent). my now husband knew a long time ago that he didn''t want children. we''re now 32 and 37. our views have not changed at all and i know they won''t. we love our independence, our careers and our life. while i''m sure that parenting is rewarding beyond words, i do not want to trade my life now for the life of a mom. we have both put a lot of years into school, training, etc. and just want to enjoy ourselves now without adding the immense responsibility of parenting.

some say we''re selfish and, quite frankly, i resent that. i am also a little tired of hearing "you''ll change your mind" because i know i want. granted these comments mostly come from people with very "traditional" views of marriage and life and i respect them, but i also appreciate when my decisions are respected as well.
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 4/9/2007 5:33:49 PM
Author: novia

not to be for me.

my opinions on children have changed quite a bit over time. as a teenager i was sure i wanted children. it wasn''t really that i had a maternal instinct per se, i just thought this was what you did in life. in my early 20''s i thought i wanted children, but wasn''t sure. by my mid to late 20''s i didn''t think i wanted children, but hadn''t totally decided. i wasn''t against the idea, but pretty much believed ''never say never'' and thought that maybe if i found the right guy and he really wanted children maybe i''d want to be a parent with him. by the time i was 30 i knew i didn''t want children and could take or leave the idea of marriage.

i met my husband when i was 30 and he was 35. within the first hour of our first date i told him i didn''t want children. yes, i ''went there'' early, but why not? i don''t necessarily believe in wasting time and consider this one of the most important decisions adults make in life (to parent or not to parent). my now husband knew a long time ago that he didn''t want children. we''re now 32 and 37. our views have not changed at all and i know they won''t. we love our independence, our careers and our life. while i''m sure that parenting is rewarding beyond words, i do not want to trade my life now for the life of a mom. we have both put a lot of years into school, training, etc. and just want to enjoy ourselves now without adding the immense responsibility of parenting.

some say we''re selfish and, quite frankly, i resent that. i am also a little tired of hearing ''you''ll change your mind'' because i know i want. granted these comments mostly come from people with very ''traditional'' views of marriage and life and i respect them, but i also appreciate when my decisions are respected as well.
Novia,

You should be commended for taking such a serious matter so seriously! That sounds silly but I couldn''t think of a better way to phrase it!

~K
 

Miranda

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Date: 4/9/2007 5:33:49 PM
Author: novia

not to be for me.

my opinions on children have changed quite a bit over time. as a teenager i was sure i wanted children. it wasn''t really that i had a maternal instinct per se, i just thought this was what you did in life. in my early 20''s i thought i wanted children, but wasn''t sure. by my mid to late 20''s i didn''t think i wanted children, but hadn''t totally decided. i wasn''t against the idea, but pretty much believed ''never say never'' and thought that maybe if i found the right guy and he really wanted children maybe i''d want to be a parent with him. by the time i was 30 i knew i didn''t want children and could take or leave the idea of marriage.

i met my husband when i was 30 and he was 35. within the first hour of our first date i told him i didn''t want children. yes, i ''went there'' early, but why not? i don''t necessarily believe in wasting time and consider this one of the most important decisions adults make in life (to parent or not to parent). my now husband knew a long time ago that he didn''t want children. we''re now 32 and 37. our views have not changed at all and i know they won''t. we love our independence, our careers and our life. while i''m sure that parenting is rewarding beyond words, i do not want to trade my life now for the life of a mom. we have both put a lot of years into school, training, etc. and just want to enjoy ourselves now without adding the immense responsibility of parenting.

some say we''re selfish and, quite frankly, i resent that. i am also a little tired of hearing ''you''ll change your mind'' because i know i want. granted these comments mostly come from people with very ''traditional'' views of marriage and life and i respect them, but i also appreciate when my decisions are respected as well.
Selfish???? No way! IMO, it is more selfish to have children ''just because'' or make irresponsible choices in parenting. I applaud anyone that thoughtfully makes the choice not to have children.
 

poptart

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Date: 4/9/2007 7:14:21 PM
Author: Miranda
Date: 4/9/2007 5:33:49 PM

Author: novia


not to be for me.


my opinions on children have changed quite a bit over time. as a teenager i was sure i wanted children. it wasn''t really that i had a maternal instinct per se, i just thought this was what you did in life. in my early 20''s i thought i wanted children, but wasn''t sure. by my mid to late 20''s i didn''t think i wanted children, but hadn''t totally decided. i wasn''t against the idea, but pretty much believed ''never say never'' and thought that maybe if i found the right guy and he really wanted children maybe i''d want to be a parent with him. by the time i was 30 i knew i didn''t want children and could take or leave the idea of marriage.


i met my husband when i was 30 and he was 35. within the first hour of our first date i told him i didn''t want children. yes, i ''went there'' early, but why not? i don''t necessarily believe in wasting time and consider this one of the most important decisions adults make in life (to parent or not to parent). my now husband knew a long time ago that he didn''t want children. we''re now 32 and 37. our views have not changed at all and i know they won''t. we love our independence, our careers and our life. while i''m sure that parenting is rewarding beyond words, i do not want to trade my life now for the life of a mom. we have both put a lot of years into school, training, etc. and just want to enjoy ourselves now without adding the immense responsibility of parenting.


some say we''re selfish and, quite frankly, i resent that. i am also a little tired of hearing ''you''ll change your mind'' because i know i want. granted these comments mostly come from people with very ''traditional'' views of marriage and life and i respect them, but i also appreciate when my decisions are respected as well.
Selfish???? No way! IMO, it is more selfish to have children ''just because'' or make irresponsible choices in parenting. I applaud anyone that thoughtfully makes the choice not to have children.
I agree with you completely Miranda!

*M*
 

poptart

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I''ve always wanted kids, as has DH, but we''re only 20 so we''ve got years to get that ball rolling. The funny thing for me is that I have to analyze everything, so I know I want kids and then I think to myself... well, WHY do I want kids? Am I being far too selfish or egotistical to think that I would make a good parent? Since I''m adopted and an only child, a big reason for me wanting a kids is finally having a family that is genetically and physically mine. It may sound really weird, but something I''ve always dreamed of. Luckily neither DH and I are wanting to have kids for quite a while, so I''m not worrying about it too much yet. A funny thing though, is that there is apparently a rumor going around my little hometown (where we don''t even live anymore), that I''m pregnant. And it isn''t even college kids spreading the information, it''s my friends parents! Who would have thought? I guess getting married and then immediately getting pregnant is a convention that we just can''t seem to shake in my old city.

*M*
 

diamondfan

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Thanks, K, for the kind words. Sometimes I feel like it is so overwhelming. Would anyone take a job that required a 24/7 committment for years, and no matter how hard you worked you never knew if you were doing a good job? Flying blind, even with the best intentions and techniques, is not an easy thing for me, and I beat myself up about it a lot. My childhood was somewhat funky, my dad died when I was 15 and was sick for many years prior, I have a terrible sister, and though I love my mom so much, we definitely had our struggles and did not always see eye to eye. Her approach to child rearing, let's just say I definitely have my own way of doing things...but I have the utmost respect for her and know she did her best. Gotta give credit for that. We all do not come into the world knowing what to do and say all the time. We figure it out as we go along. And sometimes we make mistakes.

I think it is the height of UNSELFISHNESS to be strong and realize that parenthood is not for you. Instead of having a baby to appease people in your life you know your own self and are staying true, which I admire.
 

Mara

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I already posted my thoughts in the other thread (WWT) but we are torn on having kids. Greg is 39 this August and I am 32. So we have a few more years to figure things out, but really sometimes we both go 'Hmmm do we really want to embark on this?' and WHY? I often think about Why. Because we want to have a child or because it seems like what you are supposed to do? Because our parents are dying for grandkids? Because people keep asking us when we are having kids?

We really often remark on how we love our lives the way they are now...we can do whatever we want but we also sometimes wonder...is there supposed to be more to our lives? I have seen how people do change when they have kids, and how other things become so less important...so sometimes it does seem selfish to me to not want to have kids because we like our lifestyles. But on the other hand why do people have kids nowadays? It's not the same as our parents generation when they just did and then thought about it later and kind of made up the rules as they went along. I said in the other thread that our generation is almost TOO educated on the positives and negatives of parenthood and child-rearing and it can make it really hard to say YES I want to sign up for that because it is really scary to me...to have a human being you are totally responsible for...to raise them and be the best parents possible, there are no guarantees on their health or even how they turn out even though you may put heart and soul into raising them. But then we also think gosh it would be so amazing to have this small person that is part me and part him and see how they will turn out. What will they look like, how will they act?

So yeah we think about all the things that have been mentioned here and I also talk about it with other girlfriends and we talk about it with other couples too...couples our age or getting there kinda thing. One other thing we think about is that we'll be 'older' parents which will not be unheard of in today's day and age as it seems so many have their kids older, but will we be cheating the children somehow by not being the young spring chickens we once were....and what about our retirement. We'd be potentially sending the kids off to college as we should be thinking of retirement. We are starting late so we have all of these things to think about. And sometimes you just wish...gosh why do I have to make an actual DECISION. And that's when you realize you might be overthinking it. lol!
 

musey

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Date: 4/10/2007 1:19:41 AM
Author: Mara
...and what about our retirement. We''d be potentially sending the kids off to college as we should be thinking of retirement.
Retirement is a different hurdle than it used to be, though... retirement age used to be what, 50? Now it''s closer to 60, and probably by the time today''s 30-somethings are retirement age it will be closer to 70-75. Everything''s getting pushed back because people are healthier and living longer--life expectancy has increased by about 5 years just in the past decade.

Sorry, random tangent, I just think that retirement is a different factor than it used to be as far as childbearing age! (Obviously, it''s still true that those who don''t have children will build up retirement funds MUCH more easily than those who do
)
 

crown1

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actually musey, retirement is coming at an earlier age. back in the day 65 was when most retired. that has changed in the last 10 years or so.

the best laid plans are nice when they work out but for many life just happens. i admire those on both sides of the fence who do the best they can with what ever life gives them. i know it is hard to believe but our parents also had lives and probably felt much like many of you are now thinking. it is like when you fall in love and think that no one has ever loved as much as you before. there are a lot of sad and happy stories out there but most are just doing the best they can and planning the best they know how and life just sometimes happens. marriage and children can be the best and the worst things that ever happen to you. we all have to walk in the light that we see.

these discussions are great and i thoroughly applaud everyone making the best decisions they can but we don''t always have control and sometimes decisions are taken out of our hands. many once thougth they would never parent and are now doing a great job while others were really excited about it and have not fared so well. jmho and warm thoughts to everyone no matter where your path leads you.
 

ljmorgan

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I have always known that I want to have children, and my husband and I both knew early on that we both wanted children together. I am 23, he is 25, and we''re going to wait a couple of years. Once he switches jobs next year we''ll likely be able to live very comfortably on his salary alone, which would allow me to stay home with children. I have to say, I have a very, very rewarding career and my husband and I both have unusually successful careers at our ages. I absolutely love my job, and I am about to start grad school this year. People have said "why are you going to go to grad school if you''re just going to stay at home with children?" I''m going because I WANT to go (plus my job will pay for it), and it''s very relevant to my job, I''m not the type of person who just goes on to higher learning for the sake of it. In a couple of years when I''m done with school, we''ll probably start trying for a child. I think my father is always a little disappointed when I say I will leave my job. I definitely don''t think it''s necessary for women to leave their careers for a child, it''s just something I''d like to be able to do, although I may continue with my employer part-time.

It does seem that today more and more people are making the conscious choice of whether or not to have children, and more than ever people are choosing "no." I don''t think that it''s selfish to not want children because you enjoy your life how it is. I think that is a sign that you may really not want children. Because my husband and I love our life as it is, the freedom, spending money on whatever we like, but we also both really can''t wait to have children, and we understand how our spending will have to be scaled back, and we''re fine with that. All of my family is so special, and I want to have my own children because family is so important to me and my husband. I had such a happy childhood, and I think that children are wonderful.
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
9,143
Date: 4/10/2007 1:49:13 AM
Author: musey

Date: 4/10/2007 1:19:41 AM
Author: Mara
...and what about our retirement. We''d be potentially sending the kids off to college as we should be thinking of retirement.
Retirement is a different hurdle than it used to be, though... retirement age used to be what, 50? Now it''s closer to 60, and probably by the time today''s 30-somethings are retirement age it will be closer to 70-75. Everything''s getting pushed back because people are healthier and living longer--life expectancy has increased by about 5 years just in the past decade.

Sorry, random tangent, I just think that retirement is a different factor than it used to be as far as childbearing age! (Obviously, it''s still true that those who don''t have children will build up retirement funds MUCH more easily than those who do
)
I don''t really feel that retirement has changed all that much, to be honest. Yes, people may be living longer, but do they want to spend it all working? From what I''ve seen, I don''t think so. And if they don''t, then living longer means it will take more $$ saved and resources than it once did to sustain yourself through retirement since you will spend more years retired due to longer life expectancy.

Also, longer life expectancy means that folks are surviving health conditions that they may not have years ago. The healthcare and treatments that make it possible to survive such maladies isn''t free, and it doesn''t come cheaply.

Even an average state college in my area runs $17-25K a year.....that''s a huge nut to face in your mid to late 50s....even if you don''t plan to retire until 70.

Life expectancy *averages* notwithstanding, what if I developed a pretty serious illness in my mid 50s? I can''t imagine having to choose between applying resources to my healthcare at the expense of my child''s college education. Granted, anything can happen at any time, and there are no guarantees, but as someone mentioned earlier, having children a bit earlier in life does diminish the odds of having to face such issues.

None of my thoughts here are designed to compel anyone one way or another; I think the decision to embark on parenthood is different for each person, and there is no one right choice that fits all. These are just things that I thought about a lot as we contemplated the path for us.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
Date: 4/10/2007 9:39:27 AM
Author: aljdewey

Date: 4/10/2007 1:49:13 AM
Author: musey


Date: 4/10/2007 1:19:41 AM
Author: Mara
...and what about our retirement. We''d be potentially sending the kids off to college as we should be thinking of retirement.
Retirement is a different hurdle than it used to be, though... retirement age used to be what, 50? Now it''s closer to 60, and probably by the time today''s 30-somethings are retirement age it will be closer to 70-75. Everything''s getting pushed back because people are healthier and living longer--life expectancy has increased by about 5 years just in the past decade.

Sorry, random tangent, I just think that retirement is a different factor than it used to be as far as childbearing age! (Obviously, it''s still true that those who don''t have children will build up retirement funds MUCH more easily than those who do
)
I don''t really feel that retirement has changed all that much, to be honest. Yes, people may be living longer, but do they want to spend it all working? From what I''ve seen, I don''t think so. And if they don''t, then living longer means it will take more $$ saved and resources than it once did to sustain yourself through retirement since you will spend more years retired due to longer life expectancy.

Also, longer life expectancy means that folks are surviving health conditions that they may not have years ago. The healthcare and treatments that make it possible to survive such maladies isn''t free, and it doesn''t come cheaply.

Even an average state college in my area runs $17-25K a year.....that''s a huge nut to face in your mid to late 50s....even if you don''t plan to retire until 70.

Life expectancy *averages* notwithstanding, what if I developed a pretty serious illness in my mid 50s? I can''t imagine having to choose between applying resources to my healthcare at the expense of my child''s college education. Granted, anything can happen at any time, and there are no guarantees, but as someone mentioned earlier, having children a bit earlier in life does diminish the odds of having to face such issues.

None of my thoughts here are designed to compel anyone one way or another; I think the decision to embark on parenthood is different for each person, and there is no one right choice that fits all. These are just things that I thought about a lot as we contemplated the path for us.
To add to al''s thoughts, people also used to stay with the same company for 30+ years and recieve a pension, this is now a thing of the past unless one works for a municipality, union or the RARE company that still offers one (I can''t think of a single privately owned company that offers a pension plan to its workers). Retirement is dependent one''s ability to save and invest wisely now, for most people, which is no easy task.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
yep alj and kimberly hit upon what we have been thinking about. there''s no pension really, 401k will not let you live comfortably off it, and social security, well who knows where that will be but i certainly don''t want to rely on it. people are living longer now...and some are retiring earlier. i can tell you i definitely don''t want to be working til 75, yak!! i would love to retire at 55. but that''s only 23 years from now. so if we want an early retirement, it will fall smack dab in the middle of junior''s college years probably if we waited a few years to have a child.

anyhow, obviously i know a lot of this is ''rational'' thoughts vs the whole emotional thing of having a child...but i think our generations tend to do more of that than our parents, trying to think things through vs when my parents were young, they totally admit most of it was ''fly by the seat of your pants'' kinda thing. i think for the most part it works out either way, but now that our generations have this knowledge and all this data, it''s hard to go backwards. ignorance is bliss?
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299

I am with you guys on being 31 not sure if I want kids. I hear them throw tantrums and cry and I kinda cringe. I have been told by many that it all depends on how you raise them. That kinda helps me in wanting them. It is all very interesting. I wish I had super strong feelings about it either way, but I don''t.


I am not worried about college. My husband, myself, my sister and her husband all went to college and we paid for and my parents helped too but then it isn''t extremely expensive to go to school here. I do worry about how different our lives will be. My husband and I have been married 7 year and have done several different trips and we enjoy being around each other. That makes me think we don''t need to have them, but then. . .

I always think of my great aunt who passed away recently; we all loved her, but when my grandma died it was a little more sad. I don''t think that is a reason to have kids but I think having kids keeps you busy and when they grow up then you can usually be proud of your efforts in raising them.
 
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