When I was a kid, I used to say I was going to wait until I was 30 to get married. Then, a couple years later, I was going to have a kid or two, when I was all mature and stable and shit.
As you know, like most of my plans, that didn’t go well. I had a kid at 21 with a dude I had known for 3 months. Score!
So I realize my perspective may skew my understanding of the idea of “planning for a child,” or “waiting until you’re ready,” but I have to say, I find the whole process of “waiting until you’re ready” to be one of the most ridiculous endeavors ever invented, mostly because it’s an impossible task, and creates the horribly misguided idea that one can actually “prepare” for parenthood, or “become ready” for something that inherently negates any possibility of preparation because it involves a real live human baby.
It’s absolutely ridiculous. When was the last time you met a predictable human?
(Your mother DOES NOT COUNT.)
I’m not saying every 16-year-old should have a kid, or people without jobs or homes should be reproducing at random and hoping for the best. UM DUH. That’s way too much work. For them and for us.
What I’m saying is this: If you want a baby for real but you’re not doing it because you think a better time will come, let me be the first to tell you: THE TIME WILL NEVER COME.
You will never have enough money.
You will never have a stable enough marriage.
You will never feel grown-up enough to serve as the guiding light of hope and direction to a small innocent child who’s insane enough to think the sun rises and sets over your pert little ass.
Speaking of pert little asses, you will never be ready for pregnancy.
That’s a LIE! You’re ready now! Your weeping uterus is probably all “I must have baby,” which is precisely why you’re in this predicament in the first place.
But you won’t be ready to piss on yourself and do that throw-your-legs-over-the-edge-of-the-bed thing when you’re 8 months pregnant and need to get up for the 12th time that night, to pee, and your partner’s next to you snoring, undisturbed, and you’re like “Maybe if I smothered him nobody would notice?”
You won’t be ready to not see your toes for a couple months, or the look in your partner’s eyes as your boobs expand like porn balloons. Do those exist? Whatever.
You won’t be ready for the day you can’t buckle your own goddamn sandals anymore.
And friends, you won’t be ready for the body contortions and noises that resonate from the depths of earth and your soul as you push a baby out of a barely participating vagina.
You will never feel “good enough.”
When you meet that baby, you will no longer suspect you aren’t good enough. You will KNOW IT, because how could anything be good enough for the first perfect creature ever born? (Incidentally, that whole “perfect creature” thing will totally disintegrate by age 2, but I digress.)
Your ducks may be all lined up now, honey, but they’ll fly like feathers in a tornado the day that baby enters your world. Try. Give it a shot. Try to wedge that newborn into YOUR schedule and parenthood into YOUR vision of “the way it should be” or “the way I intended it to pan out.” Try to mold your kid into just what you had in mind and your partner into the perfect other parent, and you, chip away at yourself until you carve yourself into The Perfect Mama.
And then find yourself some whiskey, benzodiazepines, and a good shrink, cause you’re GONNA NEED THEM.
Do I sound negative?
Good. I am.
I feel like there’s a lot of misconception about child-rearing, much of it arising from bullshit societal notions that:
a.) Having kids is fulfilling. It’s not. Becoming a whole person and being true to yourself is fulfilling. Kids only serve as a substitute for self-fulfillment for people who haven’t figured that out yet. There’s a line in a Margaret Atwood book (The Handmaid’s Tale?) where this girl says to her mother: “I am not justification for your existence.” BOOM.
b.) Having kids is noble. Nope. Not noble. Just reproductive. Saving kids from a burning building? That’s fucking noble.
c.) Everybody wants kids, or should want kids, and if they don’t want kids they’re a self-centered asshole. The only people who “should” have kids are the people who WANT THEM. How is that complicated? Personally, some of the people I know who have chosen not to have children have done so because they are TOO SELFLESS to bring a kid into what they believed was not the best situation. Self-centered? Nooooo. You know what’s self-centered? Bringing a kid or 12 into the world and then acting like you did THEM a favor by birthing them, like you’re some sort of martyr for a choice you made. Though I feel sorry for myself on occasion just like the best of ‘em, my kids don’t owe me shit and neither does the rest of the world. I’m not special and neither are childless people. Wait, hold on…gimme a minute….okay here we go…
“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
d.) People without kids are missing out on a life with depth and meaning. Well, I guess that depends on how you define “depth and meaning,” but as far as I can tell, a life of depth and meaning is that which a person defines as “deep” and “meaningful.” And parenthood, of all the fucking endeavors of the world, is not inherently “deep” and “meaningful.” In fact, it appears some parents are actually detracting from the good of the world by reproducing. It’s as if they’ve gone out of their way to REMOVE depth and meaning from parenthood. Wait. Sorry. Was that my outside voice? MY BAD.
e.) A kid is this thing you add to your existing life. Now this one’s gonna get me in trouble, but check it out: You don’t ADD a kid to your life like some sort of really expensive accessory. A kid transforms your life into an entirely new life, whether or not you are participating in this transition. [If you’re confused as to why this will get me in trouble, I’ll tell ya: People, guided by companies making A LOT OF MONEY off the idea, have convinced themselves parenthood is something that can be predicted, controlled and navigated in pleasant ways if you only buy, read, and do the right things. What are the “right things?” The idea that parenthood is a giant shit-storm of ever-shifting ground (LIKE THE REST OF LIFE) terrifies people, so they get really mad when you say things that threaten their fragile construction of security.]
And so, here it is, my dear friends waiting for the day…talking talking talking about kids, and waiting for that glorious moment when all the stars align perfectly and there’s just not a single thing left undone: All the places have been visited, all youth expired, the pinnacle of marital felicity reached along with a near-Yogi state of self-awareness, calm, patience. You’re in the best health of your life. Your 401k has hit $200,000 and your house is half paid off. Your car has an oil change and your diet is totally organic.
Here’s the thing…you can keep waiting, or you can realize the kid you have will be the perfect kid for the mess of your life. The perfect little crazy being to fit like a glove over the glaring deficiencies you were sure would ruin you. Not to fix you. But to hang out with you, just as you are, if you let him in and drop the fucking act. Just BE who you are and see you had everything you needed already, and maybe you were always “ready,” or as ready as you’ll ever be, for this kid, the perfect one for your family.
When I was pregnant, my midwife used to tell me I was the perfect mother for this baby. I believe that to be true, though please don’t ask me to ever raise somebody else’s baby. My kids have grown accustomed to my insanity, THANKYOUVERYMUCH.
Like the missing piece you never knew was missing, your kid will just lock in and lock on and turn you into the human you had no idea you could become. And yet you’ll remain exactly the same, cause you are only you, after all, and your job is to love and support and teach until the day you let go again.
And no, you won’t be ready for that either. I sure as hell am not.
But if you want it, the universe is telling you: You’re already perfect for the kid you’re waiting for.
You’re a disaster. You will remain a disaster after your kid comes.
Together you will be disasters, together.
But you’ll be in love, and it’ll be alright, and maybe one day you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.
I mean it is, after all, just a real live human being.
HeatherThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 15:37
The problem with “planning” in that way, is that you will be sadly disappointed in the outcome. Most planning ends up that way. There is always an expectation with plans….that never work out. Expectations then lead to a very unhappy situation because no one can predict exactly the outcome of anything. AND c) is by far my FAVORITE!!!! word sister…WORD..
RoseMonday, 12 August, 2013 at 0:33
awesome post! I didn’t ‘wait’ till I was ready … not as ready as I thought I’d like to be, not as ready as I thought I was – then last year someone told me exactly that … who is ‘ready’? you could spend all your life preparing to be ready, you could spend tens of years trying to find yourself and your truth before you have kids …. and you still wouldn’t be ‘ready’ … I’m crazy, they are crazy we are all crazy together as you sort of said – thanks again for your awesome insights! x
AlyssaMonday, 30 January, 2017 at 12:02
I guess part of the planning part is figuring out how you feel about having kids as well; im 35 and we set a “have kids by 35”; now im 35, and i dont feel like I want kids still. Im glad i didnt rush into it when everyone told me to hurry, because it would be unfair for everyone involved if at the end, i didnt want kids. Had someone asked me at 22 i would have said “of course” but so much has happened to me since then that im not even the same person…
HeatherThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 16:06
Phew! I must be ready for this baby, because I feel like a total fucking disaster most days. And I am in my mid 30s. And this is baby #4. I think even when you already know what’s coming, you won’t ever be fully prepared.
AmandaThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 16:14
This is my own personal hang up, but I am really sick of hearing about how having kids is the worst thing that will ever happen to me and that I can never be ready for the total destruction that is about to happen, with the caveat that it is the most perfect imaginable thing that will ever happen to me.
Which is it? Is it an unimaginable horror or is it the best thing I will ever do? I don’t have kids, so I imagine that the only answer the people with kids can give is, “both.”
That’s annoying, and really not helpful when making a decision.
ShantiThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 21:24
It is both. If you’re already annoyed and “sick of hearing” about the duality of parenthood, it doesn’t seem like your thing or idea. Consider the source of the pressure you’re feeling. Don’t let someone pressure you into having kids if you are unsure about even wanting kids. After all, you can’t return ’em. But, I really don’t know you or your situation, so don’t take my comments too seriously.
RebeccaFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 6:55
The answer is complicated. It is both. It is not determinable until you meet said unborn child. You don’t know the little person you will get dealt until you roll the dice. There are moments of sheer horror when I wonder why I did this to the life I loved. And, there are moments where I am so happy that I get to watch her grow up and she brings so much joy to my life. I got a hard baby. Many babies are easier babies. You just have know idea who this little person is going to be until they are born and there’s very little you can do about it until they are a bit older, and even then, not much. You can’t determine whether or not they will be good sleepers or bad sleepers, happy babies or fussy babies, good eaters or not good eaters, easy to potty train or not easy to potty train, etc. You can do everything right, and it is still a roller coaster on which you forgot to put your seat belt.
ElenaFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 12:19
Well, I think many of us are prone to exaggeration, especially when talking about parenthood. (I suspect that humor is an important life strategy for most of us who read this blog.) I’m a new parent, so I don’t have a lot of experience, but so far I would say that having a child is certainly not the most unimaginable horror, but nor will it necessarily be the most perfect thing to ever happen to me (though it turns out that I totally like hanging out with my baby).
It *is* a leap of faith unlike any other, though. I’ve essentially signed up for a lifelong intimate relationship with a stranger, and that is not something that can ever be sufficiently planned for.
For folks that are weighing whether to have kids, I recommend the Ghost Ship post from Dear Sugar. It’s a good reminder that whatever we choose (to have kids or not), there is a life that we give up. One life is not necessarily better than the other. In fact, it’s likely that both options would be amazing, but, alas, they are mutually exclusive.
Krissy PThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 16:29
I love you for this post. You don’t even know.
HeatherThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 17:35
Thanks for C. I chose not to reproduce and am sick of hearing what a self centered asshole I am. I chose not to reproduce because I wanted to adopt. After that option fell apart I ended up a part-time stepmother to a mentally ill child. None of this was a result of choosing the easiest option for lazy ol’ me.
SaraThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 18:36
Have you read the book “Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness” by Jessica Valenti? With chapters like “Lies: Children make you happy”, it talks about some points you mention in this post! I think you might not like all of it, but it’s worth reading for some parts that really resonated with me (and I’m sure would resonate with you as well)!
But whether you read this book or not, your posts are really liberating! No bullshit, just raw truths!
@Amanda : I don’t think that “having kids is the worst thing that will ever happen” to anybody! She’s just saying that you can’t prepare yourself for motherhood (or fatherhood, for that matter), so if you want kids, just do it! You don’t have to rush into it, either, but there’s no perfect moment to have kids: there’s always something that isn’t working! If you’re in your 20s, you might lack a little bit of maturity, if you wait until your 30s, you might’ve spent so much time pampering yourself that you have a hard time giving so much (self-denial), and if you wait until your 40s, you might have some physical difficulties that you wouldn’t have had to face when you were younger (please note the use of “would”; I’m just giving examples!)…
SaraThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 18:37
Ooops! Correction: I meant to say ” I don’t think that the author of this post ever said that “having kids is the worst thing that will ever happen” to anybody!”
MirandaThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 19:11
holy crap, you are hilarious. i have seriously overdosed on parenting advice and am so glad i found your blog for a healthy dose of reality!
VivienneThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 19:40
I maintain that making babies is the business of young people. I had my kids at 33 and 34 but not a day goes by that I don’t wish that I had done it in my twenties. But then there is that meeting the right guy thing. Oh well, we just do what works out.
FlorenceWednesday, 29 January, 2014 at 23:02
I really appreciate you saying that you wish you had given birth in your twenties. My lovely grandmother (of whom her sons are no prize, unfortunately, causing her to be completely and utterly repulsed by the thought of my having children in the future) constantly berates me, saying I’m not allowed (ha!) to have children until I am thirty. The more she says that, the less likely she is to be correct. The point is that my family slams the gavel down on the creation of life inside of me.
From my perspective, family is THE most important thing in life, and for me, I would rather have an extra ten years with my children, grandchildren, and potentially, great grandchildren than to spend ten years ‘livin it up’ at the club. Drinking with friends, cool. Having fun, cool. Missing out on all those memories, not so much. Rather a replacement of family memories with drunken dancing.
Eh, it just doesn’t suit my fancy as much as it might for some.
My response when she says the ‘not before thirty’ is that I would prefer to have my kids OUT by the time I’m thirty. Then I’m not fifty by the time they graduate high school. I want to be as active a participant in their lives as possible, want to be a part of their child bearing days, want to see them flounder around a little as they go through the struggles we all go through as parents.
Pushing your kid too hard will NOT make them willing to wait. My mom (pregnant at 17), she said this great thing to me growing up: if I don’t want the second half of my life to be like the first, don’t have sex in high school. With the childhood I had, there was no better form of birth control than these words.
I really appreciate all of the feedback that was left, thank you all for sharing your experiences 🙂
MMTuesday, 10 March, 2015 at 21:37
Not only is it easier on a younger body to have children, but it also allows the kids to get the grandchildren raised a little before needing to care for aging parents.
My mother-in-law was 40 when she got my husband. So here we are in our mid 30s, raising our own 6 kids under the age of 10, and have a mother/mother-in-law that needs a ton of care. I’m quickly learning a full grown incontinent adult acting like a 2 year old is way harder than a little 2 year old. The women that put off children on purpose (I’m NOT referring to those that struggle for years to have children then have one or two at an older age) need to really take a good hard look at what they’re setting their kids up for. Being sandwiched between the babies we fiercely love and want to raise to be fabulous adults, and needing to care for an 80 year old parent that is getting mean, and uncooperative, and stubbornly refuses to accept help in a convenient way is VERY hard! She is lucky I love her son so much that I’m willing to put up with the abuse out of family duty. She did raise an AMAZING son! If you’re waiting on purpose, don’t. Be kind to your kids, have them while you’re young, and let them have the time to get their own kids a little older before they need to start caring for you.
2 cents from someone dealing with the unintended consequences of delayed motherhood now overlapping with raising our own kids.
MarisaThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 19:48
There is never anything left to say, you say it so perfectly! You are awesome!
lisaeggsThursday, 8 August, 2013 at 21:31
About 10 years ago my husband said to me that we should wait until we were ready, but even back then I knew that was impossible. Good thing I bucked that because the first two babes came really easy, and the last one almost didn’t come at all. Everything changed in my thirties. It was a completely different experience having a baby at 33 than in was at 23. SO much harder. I had gestational diabetes and serious pre-eclampsia that almost killed me. Now I’ve been advised to wrap it up. I can’t imagine going through that again, anyway. I just keep thinking, you might not feel like you’re ready until you’re in your 30’s, but your body might have other plans. I’m really glad I just went for it in my 20’s when I was completely poor and unprepared. It was hard, still is hard, but it was the only way it could have happened, and I have the three coolest kids now. And now I’m 33 and I get to be done already! Another plus! xoxoxo 🙂 Love you, Janelle!
TiffinyFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 2:02
<3 just when I'm freaking the fuck out, you swoop in with some real information that snaps me back to reality. I am so not ready for this kid to show in the next 8 weeks but I wouldn't be any more ready in another 8 weeks or months or years so bring on the mayhem!
BrendaFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 6:23
I’m actually really glad I waited until my 30’s to have a kid. I knew I was too selfish to add a baby to my starving artist lifestyle when I was in my 20’s. By my 30’s, I had been married for 5 years, had a stable job and a house . . . and I was ready to take a break from my go-go-go lifestyle to focus on the little one. So, “waiting until you’re ready” may not work for some people, but I feel like it worked for me.
StephanieFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 6:41
I’m really disappointed you didn’t reference puppies anywhere at all in this post. Everyone knows puppies are the natural precursor to babies.
Kateri Von StealFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 6:45
I really wonder sometimes… what you hear, see, or get involved in.. that leads to these rants…
BECAUSE THEY ARE PURE GOLD.
John ButlerFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 7:18
Oh this is fantastic! High fives all around!
Roxanna SmithFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 8:40
LOVE it…thanks for your honesty…please don’t EVER stop saying what’s on your mind. It is so good…so real…so true. And so helpful…I have a tween son and teen girls (god help me, lord jesus) and lately, as I am hating them or wanting to poke my eyes out, I am hearing your words in my head and accepting my flawed parenting and knowing it’s good enough for now – far from perfect – but good enough. How lovely to give myself a break. Thank YOU.
MortFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 9:05
Like most people I agree w/some of this & disagree w/some
In the world there are the have’s & the have not’s ( this is true down thru time )
As far as being prepared there is one simple rule that will help everyone !
separate the things you ( need ) from the things that you ( want !!! )
Everyone is like : I want that jewelry / I want that car / I want that house /
I WANT, I WANT, I WANT ! Bla’ bla, bla ( GROW UP ASSHOLE )
If you NEED IT – get it, if not 4get it !!!!!!!!!
I’m back out ~
CaraFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 12:26
God I’m sick of parents acting like non-parents are so fucking clueless. That whole “you won’t have a clue about any of this until it happens to you but I can’t believe you’re making decisions without the knowledge of what happens after you’ve made those decisions” load of crap.
Some people are actually pretty clued in to the fact that parenthood simultaneously changes everything and nothing at all. And they’re not. fucking. ready. I’m sorry you didn’t have the option to wait ’til you were ready. But when I look around and compare the folks who had kids too soon vs. those who waited ’til they were arbitrarily “ready” I can tell you without hesitation which group I’d rather be in. (Hint: one of them is, almost without exception, less happy and more financially fucked). Almost everyone (especially the 30+ married types) knows you can’t be fully prepared for parenthood. And that’s precisely why, if you have the option, you shouldn’t do it ’til you’re “ready” – whatever that means for you.
And this is coming from a 30 year old who’s waist deep in infertility hell. You can’t make plans. I understand that. Life has a way of throwing a wrench in your perfect ideas of what your life should look like. Make the best of it, obviously. But don’t do shit you’re not ready for if you can avoid it. Even knowing how fucking hard it will be to have a kid, if I’m ever that lucky, I’m still glad I didn’t have one when I was 22. I wasn’t ready. I could have done it, I could have made it work. But it’s better that I didn’t.
But, ya know, I’m not a parent yet so what the hell do I know?
ElaineWednesday, 14 August, 2013 at 22:57
Isn’t that the point? How do you know it ‘s better that you didn’t? You don’t. Why does it offend you that parents act like non parents are clueless about the experience of parenthood? How does that make any sense? Do you get upset with people of other professions when they act like they know more than you do about their work? Sorry. You don’t get this. Because you are not doing this. That doesn’t mean that parenthood is the more desirable life choice for everyone. It doesn’t make us better than you, but we know enough to know that the idea of being “ready” for kids makes for a pretty hilarious blog post.
honest honeybeeFriday, 3 July, 2015 at 12:42
You are spot on. Planning for children at a time that you are *as prepared as you’re going to get* is the best thing you can do for a child. Most of those saying that waiting is nonsense..are trying to justify a huge woopsie. There is a reason planning children for a more stable phase of life is seen as wiser.go you.
Danie'Friday, 9 August, 2013 at 16:54
Bravo, another great post. I personally love when I here people say these thing, I did before I even had children. Growing up raising sibling and cousin, I was aware that thing often don’t go as planned, no matter how well you scheduled it. I’m waiting until I feel emotionally ready, I’m waiting until I can afford it, I’m waiting for my husband to grow up…I hate to say it, but if that’s the case, you better just keep waiting. You’ll never be emotionally ready, you don’t even know what emotions are yet. You can’t afford them, none of us really can, but hey, we fake it well, haha. As for your husband, yeah, he’s never growing up, think of him as practice, and reproduce already. Lol
SLFriday, 9 August, 2013 at 22:43
Beautifully written 🙂
BarbThursday, 15 August, 2013 at 14:56
I love reading your blog. It makes me laugh so much, and this is the best things I’ve read in weeks: “People, guided by companies making A LOT OF MONEY off the idea, have convinced themselves parenthood is something that can be predicted, controlled and navigated in pleasant ways if you only buy, read, and do the right things. What are the “right things?””
gah! if only i did X my precious angel would sleep through the night…….blurg. 😉
CatSaturday, 17 August, 2013 at 22:26
new life goal: meeting you. jesus, girl. love your style. preach! 🙂
SamThursday, 29 August, 2013 at 0:55
We waited until we were ready – 1st kid born the day after our 10 year wedding anniversary, and I’m so glad we did. We got to be selfish for a while, exploring the world and careers. The experience of getting to a more mature place in our relationship before the joy/difficulty/distraction of kids was invaluable. I also didn’t grow up with great parenting examples, so I was really thankful that I had a lot of time to watch family and friends’ parenting successes and failures. It’s one thing to say “I’ll never do THAT to my kid!” but unless you have another role model to emulate and a plan for what you’ll do instead, you may end up doing exactly those things. My niece started having kids at 19 and is an amazing mom. And guess what? she waited until she was ready.
WaitingUntilReadySunday, 8 November, 2015 at 0:23
This is so refreshing to hear. I’m in my early thirties and my husband is in his mid-thirties. We’ve only been married for a year and we are enjoying this time to experience each other as a childless married couple. I want to enjoy it for as long as I can. If we decide someday that we want kids, we will have them, but until then we are happy with all of the joys that being a married, childless couple brings.
I can see benefits and detractions (a word I made up) to both having kids early and waiting to have kids. There will always be consequences in any stage of life as another person commented. So, really, live your life the way you want to and no matter what you’ll be happy with your choice. Even if I may not enjoy some of the byproducts of having children “late,” there are many more that I WILL enjoy and I will feel content knowing the decision was right for me and my husband.
AliSunday, 1 September, 2013 at 18:30
We waited, but not for readiness. Well, *I* waited… For him. The burden of my kind of partner is his steady thoughtfulness. At some point he realised that there are a gazillion reasons to not have kids, and only one to have them: because you want to. And then he had to figure out if he wanted to. Ugh! I’d said at every step: I can go either way, parenting or childless, but if we’re going to do it I want to start now, while I’m 32, please. Seriously, it took 12 years for him to propose; this decision needed nudging.
Luckily, he and I both newe there was no right time to have kids – it was always going to be expensive and demanding, but I think we chose a good time which was after Uni, with steady jobs and after a wedding, which suited us. If we’d known back then, when we were 17 and 19, that we were for forever, maybe we would’ve done it differently, but not by much.
All the way through I had to remind myself that I wasn’t going to have *that* child who seems so challenging, or annoying, or boring.. I’ll have my child, who’ll be familiar and known. But she’s still challenging, annoying and boring at times, of course.
Bt the one thing that made me doubt it all was the awareness of how much I like my solitude and autonomy, knowing it would be sacrificed for years and years. That’s the main thing that I feared resenting – the relentless dependence, repetition, lack of privacy, and how I wouldn’t be as good as I wanted to be – as patient, as cheery, as creative – not to mention a hovering anxiety disorder. And it’s all come true, but somehow she’s still a rather impressive baby. Hopefully she’ll continue to defy me like this.
WaitingUntilReadySunday, 8 November, 2015 at 0:29
My husband is the thoughtful type, too. It drives me crazy. Not when it comes to babies because I am thoughtful about that too, but because even the simplest decision has to be mulled over. Like you, I really enjoy being able to do what I want, when I want, and how I want. Add that to the fact that babies are so exhausting and expensive and then they grow into individuals who need guidance on important issues and it’s enough to make me wait as long as I have. If I have kids at all it’s shaping up to be in my late thirties. And I’m okay with that. I understand the difficulties that might come from that and I accept them. Those consequences are much more acceptable to me than having a kid before I am ready to devote my whole self to them. That wouldn’t be fair and even though I know I’d love my child and do my best for them, I also know my best will be better later.
BMonday, 3 March, 2014 at 13:11
I’m tired of people always asking me when are u gonna have kids( it’s not their business neway). But I politely tell them my plans and they argue with me and gossip about me. I wish people would stop asking me about my personal life all the time. I work customer service so they constantly want to chat it up . And yes I am waiting , so don’t tell me your opinions on the subject. To each their own. To all the stupid people out there that don’t understand. We finally decided we wanted a baby. Now I am saving up my money so that I being self employed can take a maternity leave after the baby comes.
AmandaSaturday, 26 April, 2014 at 11:02
Thank you so much for writing this. It’s amazing and just what I needed.
I am 30- have been married to my high school sweetheart for 9 yrs- have endured almost a decade of “So, when are you going to have babies??!”
So, yeah… that’s where I’m coming from.
My husband and I aren’t stupid. We know that we will never be “ready”, or have enough money, stuff, [insert something]. We’ve just wanted to wait until it feels right for us.
It hasn’t, up until now. Thank you, Ali, for saying, “…there are a gazillion reasons not to have kids, and only one to have them: because you want to.” I think we want to now, and I’m so glad I get to go in with attitude this post inspires:
It won’t be the perfect time, and I won’t be the perfect mom. And I don’t have to be.
So, thanks again!
joeSunday, 12 October, 2014 at 2:17
Well, my wife and I are pregnant for the first time and in our thirties. And I’d like to say here that even though we’re not ready, I don’t feel adequate as a human to raise another human; I’m especially glad we waited until we got out of our twenties. Because it would kill me to fall into this category of people who are so inconvenienced by having a child. You sound like my forty year old sister (who had kids in her twenties). You still sound like a twenty year old. Unfortunately you don’t understand that and never will cause you never got to grow up, and never will grow up. It pains me to know people like you are raising our next generation. The only thing you got right about this article is how seriously damaged you are. You probably don’t even realize that the content of your article has no ties or correlation to the title. In fact you probably don’t realize that you debunked your own argument in the first paragraph. Advice: title an article after you’ve written it.
ClaireThursday, 27 April, 2017 at 21:48
YES love this comment. Thank you.
AnnieSaturday, 13 February, 2016 at 22:17
I want kids, but my husband wants me to have a job in addition to his job because while he makes twice what I could, he’s worried about getting laid off. I get it, I do, but I work in Education and it could be years before I get out of subbing. I don’t want to wait forever.
JoshFriday, 1 July, 2016 at 21:30
Unfortunately, now I’m 30 and divorced. I don’t have kids because I wanted to accomplish a few things in my life first, which I did. Now every girl my age already has kids. I’m definitely not raising someone else’s kid, so I have to date at least 5 years younger than me to find a girl that doesn’t have kids. I don’t need a reminder that some guy has his penis in my wife, running around my house and causing trouble, all while costing me money because my wife let some dude juice inside her before I got with her. That’s what I get for being responsible. Should have never bought all of those condoms and morning after pills and paid my baby momma’s child support like everyone else.
AnnieThursday, 7 July, 2016 at 14:29
lizSaturday, 10 September, 2016 at 12:26
wtf for sure, not every women in the young or old 30’s has a kid, start looking other places than were you are currently looking. i mean take a look at the article half these women dont have kids and are in there 30’s
JoshSunday, 11 September, 2016 at 12:39
Lol probably true. A vast majority do though. Where would you suggest that I look? Do people hook up in the comments section? I’m willing to give it a shot haha. Want to get dinner?
Makayla LudwigThursday, 31 January, 2019 at 10:43
Why do people think age is a defining factor? I see plenty of people in there 30s who may have a nice job car house perfect for child rearing but are also in debt for the house, college degree, and vehicle. I am 21 first baby on the way and my husband and I will have our home payed off by the time I’m 26. Other than our mortgage we are debt free. We may not have the newest vehicle or clothes or toys or anything but living in the lapse of luxury will come in time. Having a family to love was more important to us than having the “best” of everything. Unless you are debt free I can’t see how age has anything to do with making responsible financial decisions (Which is very important when raising a family). I see some individuals at 18 who are more mature then 30 year old who has fallen into addiction and instant gratification habits leading to debt. Maturity comes at all different ages and I think even if you aren’t mature a child is an opportunity to grow as a person no matter what age. Don’t look at someones age and assume their child is an “accident” birth control is pretty effective nowdays… it is a choice to keep a baby.
Jessica SmithFriday, 3 May, 2019 at 10:17
I did wait until 30 to get married. I am mature and stable and shit. We are preparing to have a baby, very well. Coordinating with our careers… savings… who will pick up the child after school and it goes on. And no. We aren’t even pregnant yet, we have the date set in our calendar. So just because you messed up your plan and didn’t get time to prepare it is horrible to tell others they can’t prepare. Some of us actually plan our pregnancies.
ChristinaTuesday, 8 September, 2020 at 20:30
I understand that waiting for the perfect moment doesn’t really exist. Saving an extra 20K or waiting until you get that promotion may be unnecessary reasons to wait. However, I do think it is better to feel emotionally prepared to have a baby. It is important that both partners are on the same page. I know a lot of couples in which one person was very ready to be a parent and the other wasn’t; it typically lead to resentment, stress, and one partner managing the child by themselves. Perhaps I may have missed it but I noticed that there wasn’t a whole lot mentioned about your child’s father, other then being mentioned as a dude you’ve know for 3 months.
I think being emotionally maturity and being mentally healthy are far more important than being ready financially, a person’s age, or sticking to a timeline. That’s just my opinion though…