Rebekah and JB got me thinking about something I felt deserved its own thread. Pardon me if we have had one here.

 

The wife and I have started talking more and more about building a family. We are both set in our own thinking on things that have to be settled for it to involve "perfect timing". Me with school and my job, her with her job(lack of a permanent, has a great temp one right now), her medical issues, and of course money.

 

Hell, we just went almost 2 months with her jobless and took out only 20% of what we thought we were going to take out each month for the entire time. And we recently just uncovered another $200 we can cut from the budget.

I'm halfway through school right now, going to start ramping up job searching here soon. I already deal with a crazy woman, so just push back a little further until it is only for a semester or two at max with a pregnant woman(hell, might make her sane)

Her medical issues for the most part are stable and we do have decent insurance for now.

 

ON the other end, if we keep waiting...well, we both joked just last night that I will be on a hoveround with tanks of oxygen by the time the kid will be out of the house. She has several more years until we have to worry about her, but I am so accident prone....

 

Do you wait for the ideal time? Do you just say f' it and see where things take you?

Parents, do you wish you waited or for those that did do you wish you just let go?

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I'll summarize what I said there: There's hardly ever "perfect timing." My beliefs don't allow a healthy married couple to put off having children indefinitely, but I do think it's OK to put off babies until reasonable goals are met, such as insurance and a source of income or sufficient savings through the maternity leave. [On insurance, though, Medicaid standards for pregnant women and infants are pretty low; the qualifying income level is fairly high, so I've read.]

I have to agree with rebekah in that there is no "perfect time", although it sounds like you are setting a good foundation.Personally, i would say wait until you both have a steady, permanent job (temps usually dont give maternity leave), finished with school (or at least at a point where you will be able to use what you have learned), and a stable housing situation. Also, my parents didnt have me until they were 31 and 35(and i'm the firstborn of 2) , and both are still in excellent health. i think that their having waited allowed them to bring wisdom that only time can give to my upbringing. Personally, that is what i would like to do. As a side note, if the economy keeps on its current track, you might still being quite aged before your children leave home. Just a thought.

In my case, I was 44.  It was time to start!

I'd certainly be concerned about her depression.  I don't know what's right, though.  I'm delighted we have ours! but they do stretch us!

LShieldes:

Your question is a good one and your thinking is customized to your own situation. Keep ruminating over it. You'll make the right decision.

From my own experience, my wife and I were both 30 when the first of three were born. It was interesting that each time we were expecting some people would say, "This is a TERRIBLE time to have a baby." Then, they would launch into everything about the economy being bad, the cost of raising children, we are at war, and the list went on. Our last was born when I was underemployed, in school, on medicaid and food stamps. Nonetheless, it was a happy and welcomed event at 36 years old. 

Then, I think about my parents: two of us were born at the height of the GREAT DEPRESSION; two of us were born in the middle of WWII; and two were born post WWII. If my parents had listened to the negatives about when the "perfect time" was to have kids, they would have only had two. The four older brothers would never have been born.

As Rebecca might say, "This may have been conventional wisdom back in the day, but now..." And, she may very well be right. (I'm referring to a previous discussion regarding "A Cry for Help."

All I can say is that I would go back and do it all over again...maybe a little earlier than we did...but even with the stresses of child rearing and the stresses and disappointments of being the parents of adult children as well as our children's stresses of having adult parents...the joy of building family, for us, is paying off big time during what may be considered the last part of our lives. Just remember that a perfect family is not one who has no problems, but the perfect family is the one who has problems, yet, faces them square on.

My best to you and your wife.

Davis

P.S. By the way, we had no insurance for our third pregnancy. We saved the nine months for the short hospital stay, etc. and owed nothing after the birth. Yes, that was back in the day, but it still wasn't easy.

Not even "back in the day." One of the few good things I've read from the National Catholic Register was a piece about "Why Doesn't the Church Just Set Standards [for when it's OK to limit family size using Natural Family Planning]?" (As it is, the Church permits limiting family size "for grave reasons.") Fisher's point was that the exact same external circumstances are felt internally very differently, person to person and family to family. A family that has experienced poverty probably won't be as afraid of it as a family that hasn't. Same for living in tight quarters. Same for knowing of medical risks or complications v. just suspecting them.

For me, the issue is finding a "good enough" time. The temptation is to put it all off indefinitely. But my religious beliefs won't allow that. So I put it off until reasonable goals for my husband and myself are met.

Then, I think about my parents: two of us were born at the height of the GREAT DEPRESSION; two of us were born in the middle of WWII; and two were born post WWII. If my parents had listened to the negatives about when the "perfect time" was to have kids, they would have only had two. The four older brothers would never have been born.

Psychological evolutionary theorists might say that you are incorrect in you conclusion. They may say (Dr. Geoffrey Miller specifically) that when times are bad animals have more off-spring to increase the chance that one of them will survive and pass the genes on to more off-spring. In the modern world poor people have more children and wealthy have fewer. Not saying it's right or that it is how it always happens or that rearing children in times of scarcity is moral but, that seems to be how we operate. At least, it is an interesting observation/inquiry.

Our kids were born when I was 26, 29, and 32.  Seemed too early at the time.  In retrospect, it wasn't.  It was a good age.

"Feeling ready" is a lagging indicator.  You're probably ready earlier than you think you are.  Babies don't cost as much as everybody says.  If you wait 'til you feel ready, you'll either wait way longer than you need to ... or, in some cases, forever.

JB

They don't cost $15,000/year? or they don't cost $60,000/year?

Depends on the daycare situation, I guess.  I seriously doubt a baby costs near $15K in the first year without it, though.  Definitely not $60K.  Diapers and formula just aren't that expensive.


Hell ...  our daycare expenses are right about $15K for two kids.


JB

Day care is a big worry for us. Living in Spring Branch we don't know how much faith to have in many of the day cares.

 

That $15k is a bit less than what we were thinking for even one. But we also tend to overly estimate everything, then never really spend anything.

I think worrying about the man's age is missing the bigger question. How old is mom is the question to be asking. Modern science may let women put off pregnancy but mother nature's not a feminist. The older the woman gets, the harder the pregnancy, and its even harder for her to conceive. Also, complications for both the mother and child increase with age. Take Down's syndrome for example, a women in her 20s is well under 1 in a 1000, about 1 in 200 by her late 30s, and by her 40s its about 1 in 20. Fertility goes down with age as well. I've met a few women now who thought they'd wait until their mid-30s to have kids and had trouble conceiving. And these are only the ones who did evidentially conceive and were therefore willing to talk about it.

So the point is. If you want kids, stop putting it off. You will never have enough money to have one if you think about it. But the longer you wait, the more potentially the pregnancy and childrearing might be.

She is 7 years younger, but we are keeping an eye on that.

 

I seriously think though, if she were to get a firm, real job, we would probably go ahead and start. Even with me still having 4 semesters to go.

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