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Being Ready

May 24, 2012

Our friends and family have been exceptionally great about not “suggesting” that we start our family, even though we’ve been married over 2 years now.    But lately, that has started to change.  I generally tell people  we are probably waiting at least another year and I’ll give my reasons… then someone will chime in with “you can’t wait until you are completely ready – you’ll never get there!”

I understand the sentiment.  Who is EVER ready to create a new human from scratch then raise them into adulthood?  Who is EVER ready to spend the money on diapers and tiny clothes and child care?  And that’s just the beginning!

We don’t plan on waiting until we are fully ready, but we certainly can be more ready than this!  We are about to embark on a year of quasi-long distance marriage!   Yes, my husband is about to get a higher paying job, but he’s still going to make a good 40% less than me.  In one short year, we should know where we are going to live for the next 7+ years.  His salary should exceed mine.   While we theoretically could handle a pregnancy now (if we HAD to), can’t we all agree that it probably makes sense to wait until my husband and I are in a more normal living situation?  I mean, who would run to the store and get the obligatory pregnancy ice cream?  Me?  By myself?

Financially, I think we are well prepared enough.  We certainly could have more, but we are better off than a lot of people who  successfully provide for their offspring.  I think we can figure out how to make this pat work.  I’m much less worried about this part than the whole logistical part.

If you are married, how close are you to being ready?  Have you heard others tell you that you can’t wait until you are ready?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2012 9:03 am

    I’m not married, but people are always asking us when we are getting married and when are we having kids. I don’t want to feel rushed!

  2. mochiandmacarons permalink
    May 24, 2012 9:52 am

    I don’t even know what to say to these people to be honest.

    Now my parents are telling me that we don’t have to be married, but we should get with the kids quick because they want to have energy to play with them.


  3. May 24, 2012 11:01 am

    I’m married, and I feel like we are *almost* ready. We are settled and financially stable, but I would like to enjoy being on our own a little bit longer, going on long vacations and to nice (not child-friendly!) restaurants.

    I see what people mean when they say that, but I also think there are pretty varying degrees how close to ready you feel. Some people also embrace change better than others (I am not one of those people).

    • May 31, 2012 9:18 pm

      Right – i feel like we are almost ready too! But… not quite.

      I’ve gotten better at embracing change!

  4. May 24, 2012 11:33 am

    I’m getting married in August and I’ve been hearing for the last year that we should have a baby because we’ll be such good parents. (Even though we are getting married, the family doesn’t really care about marriage, we’re committed to spending our lives together and that’s fine for us and them.) Yes we want kids, but we’d like to be able to afford day care a little more comfortably first. I’ve actually started telling people when they ask that we’ll start trying when we can comfortably afford day care…that seems to quiet them.

  5. tom permalink
    May 24, 2012 2:52 pm

    It took us 5 years to get ready, from marriage to baby. Our first is due in 2 weeks.

    Both my wife and I went back to school for advanced degrees, moved across country, and changed jobs multiple times.

    We really started hearing it in year 3-4.

    Take your time. Get your stuff together. You won’t regret it.

  6. May 24, 2012 4:18 pm

    I’m pretty private so I used to just shrug and say I don’t know. After a while people leave you alone. That was/is one of my pet peeves but of course you may be fine with people asking! I also never asked people because I knew friends/family would share when they were ready. Of course now that I have kids, I can see the appeal of grandkids…

    • May 24, 2012 4:41 pm

      I don’t really mind the asking, i just mind when my answer is challenged!

      Luckily, we both have siblings that have (or will) beat us to the grandkid thing. Whew!

  7. May 24, 2012 7:12 pm

    We waited until we were completely ready and it was a very good decision for us. I was 29 and hubby was 31. We are also waiting until we are completely ready for 31. When people would ask us when we were going to have a kid, my standard response was, “We’ll have a baby when God decides.” It usually left them thinking that we were trying but in reality, we were not trying but you can’t get pregnant if God doesn’t decide.

  8. May 24, 2012 10:10 pm

    I haven’t gotten asked this question a lot yet, but I suspect that with our 3 year anniversary being next month, we’ll get asked when we’re home for my cousin’s wedding in July. I don’t feel ready yet, and I feel like being right in the middle (or at least somewhere near the middle) of my PhD is not really the best time anyway, so that’s an easy excuse. I generally don’t worry about it too much, but that’s a lot easier when no one is bugging me about it!

    • May 31, 2012 9:28 pm

      Yeah, T’s family hasn’t really mentioned it yet, because he’s the one that has been pursing a PhD. My family has started asking, but i think they are just curious if we plan to have kids at all.

  9. May 25, 2012 4:11 am

    Well, congrats, if he can get 40% pay rise just in one year. It is amazing.

    I can tell you one thing – you are never ready. SO do not be shy do it earlier rather than later, so there will be still time left to enjoy the life after kids…

    For kids it is more fun to have younger kids as well and support later in life.

    • May 31, 2012 9:31 pm

      No, this is what I’m talking about. Sure, you are never 100% ready, but we certainly could be MUCH MORE READY, and we will be in about a year or two. And I plan to enjoy life with kids and life before kids, as well as life after kids!

      The pay raise: he’s somewhat still considered to be in training. He’s in academia, it’s own little world. He could get a huge pay raise tomorrow if he were to take a job in industry. (He’s had offers)

  10. SWR permalink
    May 25, 2012 11:03 am

    Luckily my parents don’t bug us because I’m in the same grad program as my dad was, and he knows how rigorous it is. However…I was also born about 9.2 months after he graduated, so I’m afraid that as soon as I finish school we’re going to get all of the pressure.

  11. May 26, 2012 9:57 am

    We’ve been married 2 years and thankfully no one is asking us about kids yet. My parents waited 5 years after marriage to have their first and my husband’s parents waited 8 years. I think it’s really the dual-student status that keeps people from asking – most of our family and acquaintances barely know that we have stipends! It’s really a welcome break because for 2 years before we got engaged people were bugging us (especially me) on when we were going to get married.

  12. May 27, 2012 7:09 pm

    My mom thought we were too young when we started trying in our late 20s after 5 years of marriage (and 11 years together). Unless you’re in your late 30s or early 40s, I wouldn’t worry about “never getting there.”

    • May 31, 2012 9:29 pm

      Wow – do you know why your mom thought that? It is a pretty uncommon parental opinion for someone in their late 20s!

      • June 1, 2012 1:25 am

        Not that uncommon among a certain demographic. (Highly educated professionals, people who live in Northern cities etc.)

        None of my PhD friends started having kids until their mid-30s, and many didn’t get married until their late 20s, early 30s. Yet, my little sister who lives in a Southern city became an old maid at 27.

        As to why my mom though that, no doubt because she had me age 31 and my sister age 37. And perhaps it took some adjustment to the idea of becoming a grandmother.

  13. belowhermeans permalink
    May 28, 2012 11:14 am

    I can’t have children. Granted, M. and I aren’t married yet but I’m still dreading the questions that will follow. I plan on being snarky with my answers. “Why don’t you have any children?” “Just lucky, I guess.” etc. My uterus is none of their business.

  14. May 30, 2012 5:25 am

    Yeah, you should definitely do what you and your husband think is right. It’s your life and it’ll be your child in question here. And you should definitely be close to your husband while yo’ure pregnant and having the kid — who would choose to go through that alone when you don’t have to? When people bring it up, I say just smile and thank them for their thoughts, and change the subject. People love to give advice and opinions, they love to talk, they love to make you fit their view of how you should be… so you can be kind enough to let them talk, but smart enough to do what you and your husband knows is right.

    • May 31, 2012 9:33 pm

      Very wise strategy. I get SO MUCH advice on various things, and while i understand certain things worked for certain people… i have my own ideas!

  15. May 31, 2012 1:53 pm

    It always gets asked. I just always respond we aren’t in a rush. Luckily people don’t push. I do agree you can’t ever be ready so you shouldn’t wait until that point. But you can be at a point where you really want kids. The hard thing about kids is that you never know how long it will take you to get pregnant. If you are lucky it happens when you want it too, but for many is can take years.

  16. June 17, 2012 12:14 am

    Igh, that line of questioning gets old when they need to know all the ins and outs of why and why not. Erm, it’s not actually any of their business when and if you choose to have children.

    I find the whole “but you’re never going to be ready so you should just do it” thing a little patronizing when it’s dismissive of nuance like, where your life is. Ie: your example of being about to embark on a year long separation. That sort of creates a bit of extra complication that you could likely do without if you’re not revving to start the family right this minute.

    For us, we still haven’t gotten off the fence about whether we want kids so having people tell us the same thing makes me tilt my head even more. Really? I’m not ready because I might not want them so I should just jump in with both feet? I think… pass, thanks….

    I love hearing about people’s experiences, but I don’t care to have their decisions pressed on me, I should think we all have our hands full making our own! 🙂

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