Monday, May 14, 2012

Do Tell: Is there ever a right time?

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{Chic Nursery via My Favorite and My Best}

Sadly, my father in law passed away after a difficult battle with liver cancer last Thursday. We had a memorial service honoring his life this morning and have spent the past several days with family, including Fabian’s sister who is here from Kansas City with our precious one month old nephew. When I am around him and my sister’s darling nine month old daughter, I start to get a little bit of baby fever. I also may or may not have seriously considered asking a woman if I could have her gorgeous, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked baby boy while shopping at A Bientot this weekend. I’ve always known I wanted to have children and frankly, when I was younger, I thought that I would have two kids by this age! I will be 31 this year and Fabian and I will celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary in July. I honestly waiver back and forth—I don’t have an overwhelming desire to have a baby and there are times when I see children misbehaving in public and I think to myself that I could be happy just being a mom to my dog, Tate.

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{Rachel Zoe’s son’s “Bananas” Nursery via Bravo TV}

For those of you who are mothers, did there ever come a time when you just knew that you should start a family? I know everyone says that there is never a perfect time, but I find myself to be pretty conflicted about this. I go back and forth—part of me thinks that being almost 31 with certain health issues, we should get on with it while the other part of me has a lot that I would still like to do before having a child. I have a new project in mind that I know will require a lot of time and energy and it would be optimal to lay the groundwork for it prior to having a baby. On top of all of this, I am literally terrified to give birth as I have zero tolerance for physical pain. Am I being a big baby about having a baby? Is there ever really a right time to start a family? And for those of you fabulous mothers who tackle demanding careers and parenthood with killer style—how do you manage to do it all?

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always knew I wanted to be a mom but not when. I am almost 35... and mom to the most amazing 7 month old baby. We'd been married 10 years, so we waited a long time! For me, it was after my dad died, suddenly, of a completely random condition. I just had this feeling that we can plan and plan and that we never know what will happen. So after much thought- we didn't decide right after he passed away- we started trying about a year later. It is the best thing I've ever done. She's amazing. I have to work, our finances are not in a place where I can stay home (another reason we kept waiting!) so I hate having to leave her in child care, but it is not full time and she seems to do well. That is the hardest part for me. Balancing everything is a nightmare, but I hear that from my friends who stay home with their babes as well. She's more FUN than I ever imagined. And it's hard. It's hard when you're tired, and she's sick, and you don't know how to help her. But for me at least it is so worth it.

Jenny B. said...

Really, there is no perfect time. At some point, you just have to swing for the fences. One thing to remember is that the older you get, the higher your chances for birth defects and fertility problems. However, you'll also be a better mother with a little more wisdom and life experience under your belt.

Karin said...

You will never feel like you are at a "perfect" place in your life to be ready for a baby. Nothing can prepare you for it the first time. But it is more rewarding than any job or project you could ever do, or any place to travel. Your life won't stop when you have a baby. You can still accomplish many things! You can still work, travel, and have adult time. You just have to have a new plan to work it all out. And you can do it. Women have done it for centuries. It won't feel that way in the beginning, when you're bleary eyed and exhausted. I couldn't even find the time to shower. But after a few weeks (or months) you feel like your old self again, and can take on anything.

As far as the pain. GET THE EPDIURAL. You can do it. Women have babies every day! You are stronger/more capable of pain then you think!

Good luck!

michelle said...

Hello, read your blog daily and love it. I too am 30 and my husband and I thought we were not ready for kids until late last year. To be honest we have so much fun together and love doing our own thing whenever we want like hike, walk around our great city, enjoy a good lunch and then one day we decieded how much more fun it would be to take a little guy/girl on our great adventures. We have been trying for over 9 months and we did not know that pregnancy can take a really long time. Its different for everyone of course but now We can't stop thinking about a baby so definily consider that if may take a few long months. You are def still young and starting a new project would be exciting but who says you can't try and do both! best of luck!

NYC Fashionista said...

There is never a right time! And it's always the right time when it happens! I am so happy now that I did not wait any longer to have kids, I had my first when I was 30. Now I am turning 40 and I have three gorgeous girls.

My turning point was 9/11 which I survived and lived through. Before then I was very career oriented, never really thought about having kids, just knew that I wanted them "some day". That event made me realize that if you really want something in life, you should never put it off..live life to the fullest and for me, that included experiencing motherhood.

Also, opposed to popular belief among childless people, life does not end when you have children. You just need to learn to juggle better ;-)

Good luck to you and keep us posted on your thoughts - this is something that most women do think long and hard about!

Kim @ keller-creative said...

I struggle with the same thing! We've been married close to 3 years and I still dont consider myself ready. Once or twice I've gotten the "baby fever" ping but that's it. I too worry that I'll never have that same baby fever that so many of my friends have..

bevy said...

I'm actually quite glad my pregnancy was unplanned. Had I waited til I thought it was the right time, I'm pretty sure I still would not be pregnant. When you become a mom, you gain a new sense of focus. You learn what is truly important for you and your child. And it's different for every mom. While some may have wanted to return to work, suddenly after seeing their newborn they convince themselves to stay home. Of course, there's other moms who choose work and are sometimes better at it as a mom, because you learn when you're at work to work and when at home to be at home. As a mom you have to make the best use of your time, whatever that is in that moment, whether it's housework, roaming the 'net, or tackling something off your to do list. And while some things that you deemed important before you had a child will still remain important, there are some "priorities" that will fall off your list and only you can determine what those things are.

But be warned, motherhood is not easy and takes a tremendous amount of energy, every single day. I think you have to be ready in an emotional and physical sense, more so than in a financial sense, 'cause every day is a battle of wills. Who's going to win? You or your child? It's about staying consistent. That "no" has to mean no every time you say it. You can't say no, turn your head and allow the kid to keep doing what he's not supposed to be doing. This is where the energy part comes in. It means having to physically stop what you're doing, get up and remove them from the scenario/situation, keeping in mind a fit could result. Some days you will have no energy to say no and mean it. The child has more energy and wins. That's why it's a battle of wills every time.

So, yes, there's lots to think about, but children really are a blessing and you will learn so much about yourself by being a parent. The alternative may work just as well for you and your husband. Heck, you may be the ones us parents are jealous of, who get to have nice meals in fancy restaurants and take great vacations. I'm sure you will figure it out soon enough.

Katy Byrne said...

I am in the exact same stage of life, and having the same thoughts on the issue. I appreciate you sharing! Looking forward to people's personal thoughts on the topic. My mother and sister said one day they had the feeling they wanted to have a baby... that feeling has not shown up. I often wonder if it's weird it hasn't. I too am loving my career, and my husband and I leave events with chaotic children, and high five in our quiet car ride home.

Courtney said...

There is never a right time--sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. I never felt an overwhelming desire to be a mom (the ticking clock and all that) I just knew that looking back on my life as an old woman I would be sad if I never had them, so I went for it. You can have a life, and a career, and a family--it takes some juggling, but it's worth it.
As for birth--I am a huge baby about pain, always have been. I managed two drug free labors, and would do it again in a heartbeat. You never know what you are capable of until you try, and you don't understand how much you can love a child until you are holding your baby in your arms.
Good luck with your decision :)

Gabby said...

I completely understand the uncertainty. I am sure you will get a lot of advice on when "you know" from women who are now mothers, but I just wanted to say that, it's often a bit of a taboo to admit if you just don't want to have kids. And that shouldn't be the case. Just because we have uteruses (uterii?) does not mean we have to procreate. When it comes down to your decision, you should make one that YOU want - not what you feel you should want. Mother to a puppy, mother to a human - either way I'm sure you will be great!

martinealison said...

Rien ne fut programmer pour la naissance de mon premier fils... je ne peux pas dire que je voulais un bébé à ce moment-là... Puis j'ai eu 3 autres enfant plus tard, alors que je ne pouvais plus en avoir. J'ai subi une intervention chirurgicale pour les avoir... Alors laissez faire les choses... Ne vous tracassez pas.
Gros bisous

Marie (Mrs. Dalrymple) said...

Hi Paloma,
My condolences on your father-in-law's death. It's always such a hard time for everyone.

I've always known that I wanted children - from the time I was a child. I had my first at 32 and my second at 36. I'm now 47 with a 15 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. My husband and I waited and waited: we needed to get a bigger apartment, we needed to have more stable work hours, we needed this and that. And you know what, there is no perfect time. I've also made the decision, with my husband, to be a stay-at-home Mum for the last 15 years, working part-time and on contract work here and there. It works for us.

Don't wait for a lightning bolt to hit you in the head and signal you that you want a child. It may never come. If you have doubts that are legitimate, then follow your gut and wait. If you're just nervous about pain - yes, it hurts, but yes you forget once the baby is born. Epidurals and drugs are wonderful in my opinion.

Good luck and know that whatever decision you make will be the right one for you.

Best,

Marie

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate this dialogue as I feel I am in the same spot. I'm 31, I love our life the way it is, I love our flexibility and our time just the two of us. I know I WANT to be a mom, and I think we'll be great parents, but I've never felt "baby fever" ... more the opposite, glad we have waited as long as we have to allow for careers and travel etc. I consider lots of questions around the "right" timing, the whole biological clock factor, whether it will take us a long time to get pregnant or if we would get pregnant right away. I question if the time will come when I know "it's the right time" or if we'll just have to go for it regardless of the timing. Not to mention the idea of ME being pregnant seems so foreign. Why does it seem so normal when other people are pregnant but so strange for it would happen to me and my body? Anyway, it's nice to know there are other women out there having the same questions and that I'm not alone. Thanks for the post.

Creategirl said...

As they say there is never a perfect time and no matter how hard you try to have everything in order there will always be another amazing project or something to delay. I WISH I could have had children in my 30's but there was another plan for me and I waited until just now to meet my Mr. Right. Just a few months away from 40 it is much more challenging to get pregnant and I would do anything to have a few years back. But that is just me, my maternal clock kicked in about 34 so you might just have a few more years until you see that baby and feel the need to run home and MAKE babies!! Good luck Paloma it will all come in time and the little one will be so lucky to have such a stylish Momma!

Between The Boxwoods said...

I can totally relate. I am 32 and I keep feeling like the years are passing too quickly and I will never feel like I am old enough to be having a kid yet, but I am OLD enough!!:) I don't have the overwhelming feeling either and sometimes when I see kids misbehaving and the struggles parents go through, I think to myself how much I love my life and I don't know if I want it to change.(then I feel guilty like I am some crazy selfish lady!) I wish I just had the desire to have a kid no matter what comes with that choice, but I analyze it too much and think about all that comes with it instead of just focusing on the joy of having a child....oh and don't even get me started on how scared I am to have a baby come out of me:) I think whatever you chose to do will be the right choice. I also think that even though it is a major life changer..the best way to decide is to just focus on if you want a beautiful baby or not...not on the hard things that come with it.(easier said than done, I know!)

Anonymous said...

Great topic can't wait to here more from other women. I am also struggling with this decision. I just don't hear a clock....

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

It has to feel right to you and your husband, but I will say you regret the things you don't do, not the things you do. My husband and I were married for 8 years before we had our first child (I was 32) and I'm happy we waited. It was nice to have that time together before we got into parenthood. Children are wonderful and frustrating and fun and sweet and stressful all at the same time. You've got plenty of time and you will know when it feels right. :)

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Having lost several of my own loved ones to cancer, I know what a monster it can be, and how devastating.

Right time for babies? I chuckle at this question because I did not get to choose my timing on that one. In 2004 I got married, and my husband and I quit our jobs and moved far away from everyone and everything familiar, seeking wild adventures. Well, 8 days after moving 800 miles away from all of our family and friends, we learned that we we expecting! Needless to say, this was NOT what we would have picked as the "right time" (or the wild adventure we'd planned...) However, our beautiful surprise of a daughter will be seven years old tomorrow, and now in hindsight, we feel lucky to be such young parents. (Also, a couple of years ago, I developed a medical condition that would make it very unlikely that I could get pregnant now. So waiting until we were ready may have meant never being able to have a biological child. Sometimes, God throws our own plans and timelines out the window, and we thank him later in life!)

All the best to you as you and Fabian make these decisions about whether now, later, or never is the right time for you to become parents!

How2home said...

wow....after reading your post...it sounded like exactly what my wife. honestly i say whatever makes you happy. Sometimes its easier but then again....every woman wants to experience the "miracle of life" right? We all support your decision!

Raiana S @ lifeSTYLE said...

There is never the right time! We have a 9 month old, and I am almost six months pregnant. I will be the first to admit that neither of my babies had been planned. Thank goodness too! What would I do without them?!
Honestly, I don't know that I would ever say to myself 'hey, now is perfect, lets start trying' (everyone is different) because for me if i am planning something it has to be planned perfectly, and no time will ever be perfect until it just, is. Had you asked if I was ready for number 2 I would have said nooo way, but now I am so utterly thankful beyond words to be pregnant and to be having my babies so close in age. Somehow when you are pregnant, that time suddenly becomes the right time. A very close friend is struggling with the same emotions that you are and she tells me her pro's/con's list and I keep telling her to just throw it out the window - if your debating it, your married and in a loving relationship, then you are ready, and as ready as you will ever be - everything else will just fall into place as it should and when it should.
As for labour...Please no women come and smack me for saying this - but i think women are sometimes full of it when they explain it as excruciating pain or the worst pain in the world. Im sorry, I had to say it. Labour is not that bad, and in my personal experience was not even on my top 5 of most painful things. ahh Don't hate me. LOL. But seriously, my birthing experience was 8 hours of labour, which I would describe as super uncomfortable and annoying can't get any sleep back pain followed by an epidural(which was worse than labour or delivery but worth it i think for the two hours of sleep i enjoyed following) and active 'pushing' labour which I would describe as pressure. Recovering was no problem, think uncomfortable and inconvenient but worth it- not horrible and painful. I am excited for labour to come again, I truly found it an amazing experience - and again, definitely not excruciating pain...and I too would describe myself as a whiny baby with a low pain tolerance.
Everything from pregnancy to child raising is all just as complicated as you make it. Enjoy it, don't stress about every little thing. If you are a happy mama, then your babies will be happy. You still need to put yourself first from time to time and if your career fulfills you then nourish that aspect of your life just as much(you will learn to juggle, it really all works out) what children need is happy fulfilled parents, not mommy martyrs. The best advice I ever received was "if it feels right to you, then go with that" - everyone will give you such conflicting, condescending advice and opinions and you really need to just believe in yourself - you will know what is right when it comes to parenting your children.
I am so excited for you, and truly hope you chose to start a new chapter and start trying for a baby! Good luck xo

Raiana
lifeSTYLE
Rai Atelier - Etsy Shop

Neda said...

My condolences to you and your family. I don't think there is ever a right time. Something always comes up. I think it helps to make a decision about whether you want kids or not and make your decisions from there. I had my son around your age and it was uneventful and so easy. Hasn't been as easy trying to have a second. As you age, the risk of miscarriage increases and it becomes harder. Just facts that everyone faces, so sometimes it's important to take that into consideration when thinking about timing. :) All the best. xx

Anonymous said...

Remember that people who regret having their children won't respond to this. Honestly. I know a few people who will say that it's not as fulfilling as they expected. Kids in rehab, ungrateful teens. I know very well-established families who did everything to make sure their kids were successful and their early-20s kid is back at home, going to community college, not motivated. You are still very young. At my company I see women having kids at 37 and by then, they've made it. They can afford the nanny and the gardener. Wait a few more years. Or consider not doing it at all. I have a lot of kids in my life and it's wonderful, but I don't need kids of my own to be happy. It's definitely a hard choice. Life is nothing but hard choices, especially at this age.

Erin | Holtwood Hipster said...

Paloma, my heartfelt condolences to you and your family. It is such a hard, hard time...just no words. We lost my FIL to a one year battle with bile duct cancer in August. Perhaps it was this loss that triggered it, but I found myself feeling very much like you about starting family over the past couple of months. I don't feel that "I need to have a baby now" feeling yet either, though I'm actually a few years older than you. I also have some health issues that may make pregnancy difficult, if not impossible so perhaps that feeds into my hesitation. So I can't answer your question about motherhood and am looking for a few answers of my own in the comment threads. What I do know now more than ever is that life is fleeting and there is no time like the present to begin that project, start that family, take that trip.

Tamara, Bella Boho said...

Very sorry for the loss of your father-in-law.

I don't have children, well I do have furry ones, but I found some the comments on this topic very interesting. I wanted kids in my 30's, maybe just not bad enough as I reflect upon the non-commital men I was involoved with. But when I turned 36 and no Mr. Right in the picture, I realized it probably wasn't going to happen. Even though my "scary age" was 42, I didn't want to rush into marriage just to have kids(I've known a couple of gals who did, yikes!), I really longed to enjoy life with the one. It's kind of funny, up until last year, girlfriends said I still could have kids. I laughed! Sure I could, but I am one of the "selfish" ones. I finally found my Mr. Right, and I am just looking so forward to fun and adventure with him.

So not what you were asking, and I hope you and Fabian bless this world with one or more little ones, but if you decide not to... IT'S OKAY!

Sharyn said...

Before anyone hates on Raiana S, let me say that I also found labor not to be terribly painful, and yes, I opted for an epidural. I had to be induced because of preeclampsia, got intense contractions but always knew the epidural was ready & waiting whenever I was ready. I requested it and then as Raiana said, felt pressure, but not pain. Maybe I was just lucky? Recovery stinks, but not because of pain. Discomfort yes, and ickiness that no one ever really told me about.

But let's back up. I was never interested in kids or in having them. Then I turned 32 and the mythical biological clock started a' tickin'. Within a year, I was where I would want to be in order to start trying to get pregnant - done with law school, started a job, was married, bought a house. So it was the "right" time for us. But we still thought, "Are we really going to do this?" Some folks jump in without any hesitation (have a "right" time), some have doubts and go for it anyway. Hopefully, whichever decision you & your husband come to will be the right one for you two.

Someone asked me if I feel that I have balance and how I manage it all. I feel I have balance because of what I define "balance" and "all" to be, which is different for everyone. Baby is in day care 40 hours/week. I am fine with this, though I often miss her. I have a job that only requires 40 hours/week. I have an amazing spouse who does just as much baby stuff as I do. I still have free time (although much less than I had before). We still go out to dinner, with the baby in tow. We actually get out & do more now that we have the baby because she is much easier to "entertain" with new sights and sounds out in the world than at home.

For me, I find it to be exhausting, hard, financially draining (day care here is $1600/mo), but ultimately rewarding and I'm so glad we decided to have our daughter. That being said...

I always feel like I have to say the following, sort of as a public service announcement. It was one of the best things anyone told me. A friend said that it took her weeks, even months, to develop a strong attachment to the baby, so if you don't immediately get the amazing-omg-my-life-is-so-different-now-and-this-being-is-the-most-perfect-thing-and-I-would-die-for-her feeling, there is nothing wrong with you.

I hesitate to give advice, so let's not call this advice. :) My husband, who has his own consulting/podcasting/video/etc. business (outside of his 9-to-5) says that there is *no way* he could have undertaken starting a new venture/project during the first six months after baby's birth. (Now she is sleeping through the night, going down around 8 so we have several evening hours to get stuff done & do as we please). So if I *was* giving advice, I'd say lay the groundwork for any new project prior to having the baby or be prepared to maybe have to put it on the back burner for a while. But hey, maybe it won't be that way for you!

One last PSA: If you decide to have a baby, don't let anyone tell you you're doing it wrong. And don't let them make you feel guilty for making different choices. There is no right way to raise a child.

I hope that whatever decision you come to will be the best one for your family. Good luck!

Caroline said...

I got married when I was 25 and my husband was 29. That was 14 years ago. I always wanted to have children and before getting married we talked about having at least one and maybe even as many as four.

Of course, we wanted to buy a home, get a dog, establish our careers, etc., first. The years past and we did all these things and the thought of having a baby was always in the back of my mind, but I never felt quite ready.

Side note: I've always seen babies as blessings from God and pregnancy something to consider only if I am mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared for one. There is a part of me that longs to grow a baby in my body and hold one in my arms. But I think it's selfish to bring a baby into the world when I'm not fully prepared for one just so I won't feel like I've "missed out."

Now, in my late 30s, I do feel like I am finally at a place where I'm ready to bring a child into this world, but my husband and I are so happy with our life as it is that we don't feel the drive to start a family. We have two dogs and two cats that warm our hearts and bring smiles to our faces every day.

We still aren't opposed to having kids, although I realize my biological clock is quickly ticking down. The most challenging aspect of my position at this point in my life is feeling like an outsider amongst friends, family, and colleagues who are of a similar age and marital status who have chosen the more traditional route of having children.

I've learned that as long as you live a conscious and authentic life, and are willing to listen to the quieter voices inside yourself instead of the louder voices outside, you will be fine whatever you decide.

Katie Waddell said...

I don't know that I really ever got to that point where it was "perfect timing." I always knew that I wanted kids and getting married at 19 meant it would probably be sooner rather than later. I'm now almost 27 and pregnant with our third boy (due in June) and couldn't be happier. It's true that life would be easier and I could do so much more without having the added responsibility, cost, etc. But NOTHING has ever made me more happy than my children! We for sure have our rough days but they are the biggest miracle and blessing I could have ever asked for. Having children is definitely life changing but I feel like those who wait "until they're ready" never will be.

And as far as labor/delivery goes....it's so fleeting! Even after the hardest of labors you still have a beautiful new baby to hold. And trust me if you want them they give you good drugs! ;) Good luck and all the best!!

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

I got pregnant with my son when I was 26. I'd been married about two and a half years, wasn't particularly in a hurry nor were we formally planning it, in fact I found out I was expecting two weeks into a newly-minted job. Luckily my pregnancy ran textbook smooth and my delivery was miraculously swift and breezy.

Motherhood is doubtless the most difficult undertaking you will ever experience in life. It is more draining and more heart-wrenching than any job, course of study or mystical experience, and unlike most other things in life, once the ball's rolling, there's no end to that shift.
That said, motherhood, in its enormity, dwarfs everything else forever. Another being becomes the absolute priority.

You are still quite young and I certainly wouldn't recommend stressing over this issue. That said, I'm 33 and have not become pregnant again in the seven years since I had my son, so I would also venture to say that getting pregnant naturally can sometimes be a tricky and lengthy affair.

Que sera, sera, but yes, do try and make a place for the monumental experience that is motherhood, because one thing is for sure, you will never regret it.
Take heart, Alcira

nerochronicles.com

Mary Bairstow said...

Ok, I could be your mother. But I will tell you there is something about turning 30 that for some reason makes all of us "professional" women take a pause. Now having a 29 year old daughter I can't wait for her to feel the pull. It is the best gift God gives us and sometimes the most difficult. But I would not trade it for all the "tea in China" or maybe for all the Apple stock in the world. I wished I had started sooner. If you are so blessed with a child you will forever be on your knees giving thanks for being so blessed. Now is the time. Mary from Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

At 30 years old, I also do not have children (except my pets of course!). I was very upfront with my husband before we got married that I might not ever want them. I remember being in junior high and really thinking about marriage and children (don't ask me why) and I could think of so many wonderful reasons to get married, but I could never think of a reason to have children outside of societal pressure. That feeling has still not changed for me, and as another commenter posted, it would be selfish of me to have a baby just to make everyone else more comfortable or to answer the "what if" question. We are both of the mindset that our lives will be fabulous whether we do decide to have a child or not. I so wish that a woman's worth was not determined by whether or not she procreates. Why do so many of us feel guilty for not having or wanting kids?

I have struggled with poor health and low energy for 15 years. My number one focus right now is getting my health back. With a demanding career (I'm in education--which you know takes everything you have to give and then some) I need to be able to come home to a quiet house where I can relax and gather my thoughts. Adding motherhood on top of that is more than I can physically handle.

Amber said...

i agree with everyone here in that there is never a "perfect" time. In my opinion, it happens when it's supposed to happen. that's it.
If you have something you want to get started before having a baby then go for it....and also plan on working on that baby as well! nothing will make you get pregnant faster than trying to plan your life! but keep in mind it does take most women on average 5-6 months to get pregnant.
I will be 33 soon and just had my second and the time was "right" even though things did not go as planned but thus is life with children. they make life messy but the mess is the most colorful fun one you could imagine!!

Jennifer said...

Our first is 16 months old, and while life is certainly different, we also see life differently now that we are parents! As for readiness, no, there is never a perfect time to begin a family. There will always be more you want, more you could do. I think it's more about being emotionally ready. If you are that, you'll be better equipped to handle any change that comes your way. Best wishes as you consider growing into a family!

Anonymous said...

For what it is worth, I was you...I could never decide if I wanted to be a mother, I am not exactly the "maternal" type. Caring for my dog was as maternal as it got for me. I knew my husband loved children and would be an amazing father, but I was the one I doubted. We talked and decided to go off birth control, I told him if he were waiting for me to be ready, we would wake up one morning and it would be too late. We left it up to fate or God or whatever you believe and two years later, we became pregnant. It was an amazing and scary surprise. My career was just really taking off and I had just purchased tickets to a great summer concert. The timing couldn't have been better or worse...it was just our time. My son is 7 months old today and I love him more than I ever thought possible. But I realized that I didn't have to lose who I was just because just because I was a mother. I still wear my designer heels, and drink wine with my girlfriends, and cuss at all the terrible drivers on the freeways...I am sure whatever you decide will be the best for you. But please know that you are not alone in having these questions.

matildaroseinteriors.blogspot said...

I also went back and forth on the decision to have children. My husband is 7 years older than I am and said that if we were going to do it he didn't want to be too old. I was 29 when we had our first and in my personal experience at times throughout motherhood I've switched between thinking "what on earth were we wasting our lives doing before we had children", to thinking "what on earth did we do to our peaceful life by having children"! I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you are never truly ready & being a mother brings such joy & happiness that even the bad times seem worth it. It truly made me a far less selfish person. I still miss some things that we've had to give up, like bushwalking & going out at night whenever we felt like it, but those sacrifices are only while our girls are young. Everything is impermanent so we just make the most of each moment in our lives.
Good luck with your decision - Alisha

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being so brave and posting about this huge question. I'm 28, have been married for three years, and I'm already starting to wonder why I'm not foaming at the mouth for a baby.

I feel I have a responsibility to the things I love and care about right NOW. I know that if I had a baby, I would love it more than I can even comprehend, but I also know that a baby would fundamentally change the way I relate to my husband. He is my best friend, and I want to protect my marriage with every fiber of my being - and I get nervous when I think about putting myself in a situation where my marriage would no longer come first.

We got a dog just after we were married and I am scarily obsessed with the little rascal. So that's where some of my fear comes from - if I'm this cray-cray over a sweet little dog, what will I do when it's a human who I made with my husband?

So...I guess that's one facet of this discussion. Many of us understand that having a baby is life-altering, and (in spite of what one commenter said) very few women would change their decision to have children. Knowing how wonderful it will be, then, we also know that we will happily fling aside life as we know (and love) it right now. For me, that's the scariest part. I know a baby will change me, and I want to be okay leaving parts of the old me behind.

Chloe said...

Being a parent is hard work, but also pretty freaking awesome it will rock your world in ways you never imagined and at times ways you think wait why did we do this. Here is the thing, age matters. You want to be able to run and jump and experience your kids lives and possibly the lives of their kids the longer you wait the less of chance of that you have, and you will regret that aspect. Many many joys abound from having children. Good luck and don't get wrapped up in the idea of pain in labor- so many options out there.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of your lost, my dad passed away from the same cancer. I have two beautiful boys and wasn't ready. At 35, I truly wanted a baby and had a girl. I was blessed my kids are all healthy. It is a very personal decision, no right time. A life changing experience. My only advice is that you have a support group of friends and family, and please take whatever meds are appropriate for pain. I've done no meds and with meds. Childbirth is already difficult, why suffer with pain ladies.

Cyndia said...

I'm probably a good bit older than many of the other commenters, but I'm also the mom of a 30 yo daughter. She is single, and all of her friends are having kids and she wonders not if she's ready but if she ever will be ready! So I'll tell you what I say to her.

It's all very romantic to hear people say it will all be ok if you just jump. Maybe it will. You sound like a loving good person so it probably will. Women my age didn't usually think about it much (if at all) and then we just coped the best way we could. I have some regrets in how young I was when I started my family but not that I did it. In the real world bad things happen and not everyone is cut out to be a mother. It's ok whatever you decide, and if you wait till it's too late, you'll deal with that decision the best you can.
So take your time, make sure you really want to be a mom.

I can speak to the "pain" part of childbirth as well. I had one medicated birth and one without and I'd take the without any day of the week. There are all sorts of ways to learn how to cope with childbirth and the pain of raising them will make you forget the pain of birthing them. And I'm not saying by any means childbearing is all bad. It isn't. There are so many joys to be had that just thinking about them bring tears to my eyes. I loved raising my children and I love seeing what marvelous adults they've turned out to be. And I'd give my right arm to be a grandma one day. But not Until hey are good and ready.

Take your time, talk about it a lot with your hubby. You will know deep in your heart when you are ready.

emily said...

I don't have any words of wisdom to offer because I'm in the exact same position as you. As I was reading your post, I was just nodding my head because I totally relate to everything you mentioned (I'm almost 30, been married for 8 years, and have a demanding job). Thanks for posing these questions. It's been great reading through the comments (and knowing I'm not the only one out there).

Anonymous said...

There's an incredible pressure to have children in our society today. We hear so much from new mothers about how wonderful their lives are and we all recognize that parenthood is rewarding and difficult work. But through television, magazines, even Facebook, there is a constant message that children bring the greatest joy, to the point where childrearing seems to be a sole purpose in life for some. With the world as it is, the decision to have children should not be swayed by peer pressure. If you really want to do it and you think you can provide everything you would like for them as well as fulfilling all your other dreams, go for it – and you'll figure it out as you go. And if having children isn't high on that list of amazing things you want to do in this life, all the more reason to make your dreams come true, value your relationships with the young and the old, and be happy and proud of the choices you were free to make. Whichever direction you go in, you won't make a mistake.

Best of luck to all of us!

Thera said...

My condolences as well.

I am answering just to give another perspective, one I haven't seen as yet. In some senses you will not be able to relate, but perhaps there is some nugget wisdom.

First off, I do not really like most other children. They are ill mannered, noisy, messy and have no respect for anyone or anything, I will leave the debate as to why for another day.

Secondly, we have five children and we did it all backwards and sideways. I had my first at 16, gave her to my mother for adoption, which in my particular scenario was a bad idea. I had my second at 19, met the man I would one day marry when I was 21 and got custody of my first daughter back when I was 24.

I also managed to get through high school and college, and I did start working soon after.

We decided to have more children when I was 27, 29 and 30. My body is still paying for all this, having 2 so young and then 3 in rapid succession.

Do I have regrets? Many, I didn't recognize my passion until my mid 30's, I never had a career, just a few jobs, we have never traveled, except for one 4 day road trip to the province next to us. We've never been able to buy a new car, let alone a house and we just barely squeaked out a super low budget wedding last month.

Child raising is hard work, endless, thankless, physically and emotionally exhausting.

However, I would not trade my children for anything. I would not trade the time I have had with them, the things I have learned from them, the love I have given and received, in abundance, for all the gold in the world.

Be thankful for what you do have, for your life as it is. It is and will be, exactly what it was meant to be.

Anonymous said...

OH C'mon, just do it! If you are even considering it - just do it, and never look back. It is hard yes, but ask yourself, everything that is worth it in life is hard work, right?

I have 3 kids had my first at 30, my last at 38 and if I would have let myself hem and haw about it, I would never have the life I have now.

Remember, don't let fear make the decision for you!

Anonymous said...

I had my first child when I was 27. I had been married 5 years. All my friends were having babies. We decided to go ahead and start our family so that we would not be too old when they were grown to have adventures on our own again. I never felt the overwhelming desire to have a baby - it's just what women did at that age. I love my boys dearly. There was a time that my heart broke for people who didn't have children. Then I realized they were just as blessed but in a different way! Your live is not your own once you have babies. It never stops just because they are grown up. Putting my kids in daycare wasn't an option. I left my career to raise my family. Why have them if you aren't going to raise them? This is just my opinion - I know it's not a popular one and it's not meant to step on anyone's toes. I had no idea how hard parenting would be - and I have great kids! They are handsome, smart and athletic. I guess what I am trying to say is I didn't know it would be so hard. Physically when they are babies and emotionally draining when they are older. Just make sure you really WANT kids before you dive in. Also, we didn't plan my third son. I was 37 when I had him. Believe me - it's harder when you're older. My husband is a great dad and as hands on as one can be for which I am so grateful. Search your heart - do you want kids (remember those cute, cuddly babies grow up) or does it just seem like the thing to do at your age? Only you and your husband know the deepest desire of your hearts. Hopefully they match up. Pray for God's timing if you decide to do it at all.

Emily Miller said...

Paloma,

I will turn 30 on Sunday and also was never quite sure whether I wanted kids or not. I wasn't one of those girls with a clear, overwhelming desire. However, when I got married two years ago to a man older than me, it became clear that I was ready, though even through my pregnancy I was hoping I would have that instinctive maternal instinct, because I wasn't sure. My son was born in January and it is unbelievable how much love and protection I feel for him. Even though I was never obsessed with babies, I am with him and get the most unbelievable joy from having him.

Also, I was scared of the actual birth, but realized that was really unnecessary. As long as you have an epidural, you really don't feel anything. It was 1000x easier than I expected. Now, breast feeding was far more difficult than I imagined and far more difficult than birth, but the birth itself was a non-event as far as the pain.


Anyway, whatever decision you make will be right for you. I certainly wouldn't rush into anything b/c as incredible as it is to be a mother, I almost wish I had cherished the time before a little more b/c it will never be like that again. Best of luck! Emily Miller

Jordin- I Love That! said...

Like everyone said there is no right time and no one can tell you what is right for you. I knew I wanted to have children but was never an overly motherly or kindergarden teacher type. I walked around for 9 months thinking there is no way there is a baby growing inside of me! I just couldn't fathom it. I was also deathly afraid of giving birth. It really isn't that bad and you forget about it real quick. I look back now and I actually liked being pregnant and want to be pregnant again. I never had a "glorious" moment after he was born that instantly connected me with my son (I was totally in love but you know you hear others who have a moment. Thats just not me)but it has been 2 years of loving him more each day. It's not always easy but totally worth every second! Sorry also about your father in law. You will figure it out!

myrna said...

I am one of THOSE people who say there IS a perfect time...For me, I knew I wanted a baby after being married for about 6 years and then I just waited until my husband was ready around the 7 year mark and everyting worked out just the way I wanted it, my daughter is THE happiness and joy in my life and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!!

Anonymous said...

In defense of working mom's everywhere... Did you consider yourself to not be "raising" your children once they were in school all day long?

Kristen said...

I have been married for 8 years and am also 31. I also have quite a few physical problems. My advice is the longer you wait the less you want kids. It is just so easy (not in a mean way!) to NOT have them, but easy is not always the best. I didn't even know if I wanted any kids and now I have 2. Yes, the creative aspects of my life take a backseat, but I am doing something so much more powerful. Raising 2 kids who I hope and pray will be kind, Godly, and compassionate kids. My mom always said it is different with your own kids and IT IS! I now seriously cannot imagine life without them...it wouldn't be as rich, as full, or as filled with laughter. I know this season when they are young is hard, but I am soooo excited to share the rest of my life with them. I can't wait for girl movie nights and I love my dates with them!!! We just have to figure out things to do that we all enjoy at this young age, so we bought a boat. Now even though they are young we can go have even more fun together. I don't know a mom who has had kids that REGRETS the decision. It can take a while to get pregnant...then once you are you have 40 week to fall in love...and you will!! God bless you:) Love your blog!

Heather said...

There is no right time and you'll never be ready - but you won't regret it. My husband and I weren't 100% sure either but we decided that we didn't want to miss out on the experience. Last night, while holding my 6 month old while he snuggled into my arms after having an epic meltdown at 1 am for seemingly no reason, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. His soft baby hair, his chubby little arms wrapped around my neck and his head on my shoulder -it was the sweetest momement. I know I'll never love anyone quite like I love him.

Sheri said...

The question to ask yourself is will you regret when you are 70 that you didn't have a child? If the answer is yes, start to imagine the things you would like to accomplish in the next ten years or so. Are these things that can happen with a a child? Are these things that you may be willing to put on hold or extend your timeline for achieving? The truth is that there really isn't *the* perfect time to start a family. There is a certain deadline to it, though. Remember that there are options in delaying motherhood that you would be wise to look into now if you want to take your time deciding. I would just really suggest sitting with these thoughts and figuring out where your heart really lies, and also what Fabian really wants.

As for me, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I was ready for children since my early 20s. Motherhood surprised me just the same, and we were not prepared at all for the fact that I couldn't bring myself to work following her birth. It has been the greatest journey, though. My dreams were refocused for a while, but I am venturing back into them now that are for sure through with having babies.

Audra said...

Prior to my first marriage, I never thought I wanted kids. Being married didn't change that. After ending that marriage, I realized nothing was wrong with me, I didn't not want to have kids, I just didn't want to have kids with my ex-husband. Before I even knew or cared whether I married my husband now, I knew I wanted to make a baby with him.
We were fortunate enough to get pregnant 3 1/2 months before our wedding. You have got to really want it because even wanting to be pregnant and give birth and have children, it is painstakingly hard at times. I often say to my husband I don't know how teen moms do it or people who "accidentally" get pregnant.
But it is the best thing in the world. Those words: "I want to make a baby with you" came out sub-consciously and kept coming with increasing frequency. I can only describe it as a similar feeling of knowing you are supposed to marry a certain someone. You just know. There is a certain peace that comes with that innate sense.

e t e r n a l i c o n s said...

Is there a 'right time'?. No, I don't think so...I have a girlfriend who had her first of 5 babies at 17. Does she regret No. 1? Never! Another fell pregnant for the first time, marriage no. 3, at 51! With twins. Meant to be. I was told I couldn't have children; accepted the fact by 20, married and after major open heart surgery had two daughters at 25 & 27. Blessed. And Blessed again at 39 with a son! I'd be lying to say all these stories are of total joy, of course there is hardship, fear and struggles; but NEVER have I heard anyone say their children aren't the best thing that has ever happened to them. My sister is 39 and longs to be a Mummy, her partner and soul-mate wants to remain childless.
Just DO IT! THere is so much to gain and nothing to loose.
Good luck.
x KL

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your Father in-law. Losing people in our lives is never easy, and will always make us think about our own life and what we want out of it.

I will be 31 in July, and I'm 8 months pregnant. It was not an easy decision for my Husband and me to "pull the goalie", but once we were both on board it was so exciting to think about starting a family together. So many things go through your mind (i.e. all of the things you mentioned in your post). I also have two awesome dogs that get a lot of love and attention. I don't know how I'm going to have enough time and love to go around, but I've been told I will surprise myself. Ironically, my biggest fear about getting pregnant was what if I can't get pregnant? I knew it wasn't going to get any easier to get pregnant the longer I waited. At the end of the day, you need to do what's best for you and your Husband. You two will decide together when the "right time" is to start the next exciting chapter in your marriage. Your life will be forever changed in ways you never imagined...

Anonymous said...

I had always thought I wanted a family, but it wasn't until we seriously started talking about it that I began to evaluate my feelings...especially being around many friends that are not able to conceive. We are both 30 and realize that our window is only getting narrower. How would I feel if we got pregnant immediately? How would I feel if I never conceived? Etc... At first I thought something was wrong with me because I didn't have this overwhelming feeling to be a mother. However, when I stepped back, I realized that that's not my personality. I'm not a super emotional person in general, and it would be out of character for me to have "baby fever". But, when I hold my baby nieces, I can't help but think of how incredible it would be to have one of my own. (And this is coming from a person who can't imagine loving anything more than I do our dog.) So, after going to the doctor and changing some lifestyle choices, we're starting next week!

Best Wishes!