To tell my cousin that she should wait to have a baby

(145 Posts)
AmadeusRocks Sun 23-Jun-13 17:40:35

I am well prepared to be told that it's none of my business/to keep my nose out but bear in mind she is like a sister to me and I only want the best for her.

My cousin is 21 and has been with her DP (22) for just over a year, she has just started out as a lawyer and he works in IT and they're both currently earning around 25k each - both have promising careers ahead, probably her more so than him. She rang me earlier today and told me that they are planning on getting engaged/married within the next 1-2 years and then immediately to start trying for a baby.

AIBU to have told her that I think she's too young and she should wait?

MrsHoarder Mon 24-Jun-13 11:38:18

Prettykitty there us nothing wrong with planning after a year. When is it acceptable to discuss yourt life plans with a partner to decide if a life together is compatible?

mrsjay Mon 24-Jun-13 10:28:14

I dont think this is about the womans career at all the OP says she is too young and should wait and it turned into oh but her career she wont get x yz I honestly think this is to do with the young womans age

hamilton75 Mon 24-Jun-13 10:20:50

You can't be a qualified lawyer at 21 as others have said. She would be mad to get pregnant during a training contract or soon after imo. She's lucky to have one these days.

I gave up when my eldest was about 18 months, I just couldn't give the long hours any longer and part-time wasn't the done thing. I take my hat off to her if she makes a real go of it with young kids.

Feminine Mon 24-Jun-13 09:39:27

A strange thread indeed!

So much anger at what I thought was quite an innocent question.

op shouldn't say it to her cousin , but surely its alright to come here and wonder confused

Actually all you young mums getting worked up , proves that yes, you were not too young to conceive...However maturing as an adult takes a few more years it appears wink

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 24-Jun-13 09:20:12

I was going to say yabu until I read that they'd been together for a year.

It's probably going to be controversial on here, but that point alone IMO means yanbu.

I don't think that a year old relationship is long enough to start planning to create another person tbh. You still don't really know a person after a year, so she is bu, regardless of her age.

Triumphoveradversity Mon 24-Jun-13 09:16:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

raisah Mon 24-Jun-13 09:06:51

I think you are overthinking and she is overplanning tbh. There are no guarantees that any of this will happen as lots of factors can change & influence her decision. You have just gone & put a dampner on her dreams when you should have just smiled and nodded.

Its good that she is planning her personal life because lots of women are delaying it only to experience difficulties conceiving later on. I am sure she isnt going to sideline her career in the process, rather wait to see which one happens first.

Nanny0gg Mon 24-Jun-13 08:58:52

Is there a chance that she started out on a career path she wanted, and had the 'potential' to succeed in, but now her priorities have changed?

sashh Mon 24-Jun-13 06:49:07

Re those offended by your 'too much potential' comment, I tend to agree with you - as wrong as it is, facts tend to show that women's progress career-wise is often negatively affected once they have children (usually because of the attitudes of others) so it's important to be in a strong position before having children.

I disagree. There is a lot to be said for having children early in your career when you have the energy to juggle them with employment.

It's women in their 30s whose career stalls. By the time she is mid 30s her children will be fairly self sufficient, and most people in the work place will forget she actually has them.

louee93 Mon 24-Jun-13 00:02:50

I think its kind of a shame youre posting a thread asking if its okay to judge someones life decisions on a website where women of all ages and walks of life come for support.

Elquota Mon 24-Jun-13 00:01:16

YABU. She's an adult and can make her own decisions.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sun 23-Jun-13 23:58:10

I don't think you were unreasonable, OP. I don't really understand why some posters project their own circumstances onto the scenario you've posted. Everybody makes their own decisions, who else cares what they are? <shrugs>

I think family members should be able to talk to each other and there are some really useful pieces of information on this thread relevant to your cousin's training.

lisianthus Sun 23-Jun-13 23:43:30

absentminded, the problem is that the cousin doesn't have a good job yet. She has a training contract. A training contract is a contract just for the two years of a young lawyer's mandatory training to become a qualified lawyer. It also functions in most firms as a ferocious competition at the end of which some, not all, of the trainees will be awarded actual jobs.

Getting pregnant can count heavily against getting a job at the end of a TC either because the firm makes the decision that you are not "showing commitment" because you have chosen to get pregnant, (stupid, but happens a lot) or because tiredness, morning sickness, etc make it harder for you to compete with the other trainees who may be regularly working until the early morning (or all night) on deals with short deadlines.

foodtech Sun 23-Jun-13 23:43:19

I got married at 23 and started TTC at 25. Still waiting 5 years later. So no not too young as who knows what life will throw at you.

lisianthus Sun 23-Jun-13 23:31:55

That should be Annunziata. It's not her youth that's the issue, it's unfortunately the industry in which she works.

lisianthus Sun 23-Jun-13 23:30:16

Annunziata, read Chunderella's posts and the posts of other lawyers on the threads. Unfortunately, the reality at the moment for young lawyers is that if you get pregnant during your training contract, you are unlikely to secure a job at the end of it. If she waits until she (hopefully) gets a job and then her right to maternity leave kicks in, she is less likely to wind up without a job and a corresponding 50% drop in family income.

Seriously, law firms can be really dreadful in the way they treat women having children. I also note (given people are referring to Xenia's rather impressive record of career + lots of children) that Xenia had all her children almost 20 years ago in a different economic climate and I don't know whether she was still at her firm after the fist child or had gone solo by then.

absentmindeddooooodles Sun 23-Jun-13 23:21:41

I had a baby at 21. Yes he was a surprise, but I don't think I was too young at all. She and her partner have good jobs, plan to get married and then have a baby. Sounds like she's got it perfect to be honest. 25 too young????!!! I genuinely don't see how anyone could possibly think that. If she was 16,17 then fine, but really?

HeffalumpTheFlump Sun 23-Jun-13 23:18:23

I'll be 23 when my baby is born and will have been with DH for 5 years. Nice to know i'm wasting all my potential and basically ruining my life. And by the way I'm not naive about the responsibilities of parenthood thanks.

And I'm also quite puzzled as to how the cousin is earning £25k as a lawyer at 21. My brother is 25, went straight to university from school, has reduced his training time by 6months by gaining additional experience and is only just in a paid position. He hasn't taken any breaks from training and still has 18 months left until he qualifies as a fully trained lawyer. I really didn't think it was possible to have come that far by 21. confused She must have gone to uni really young!!

Loa Sun 23-Jun-13 23:16:54

IL were teenagers when they had DH.

They told us we were too 'young' to have our first DC - DH was 30 - me only few years younger and we'd been together over 10 years at that point and married a couple of years.

I think finishing the training sound like a good plan but 1-2 year to marry and then trying - likely they'll be mid 20 by then so not that young.

I so wonder if its more about your perception of her as being 'young' rather than her actually being in her mid 20 before they have DC.

Annunziata Sun 23-Jun-13 23:02:04

I genuinely can't understand why you would think it's a bad idea. What more do you want them to have?!

Chunderella Sun 23-Jun-13 22:59:12

Two years is fine, but cousin said 1-2 years not two minimum. If they ttc in one or even in 18 months, that potentially leaves the cousin pregnant or on ML when her TC finishes and decisions are being made about whether to keep her on. That's very far from ideal, given the reality of discrimination in the workplace and the current economy. Obviously it may take a while to get upduffed, but at 22 the odds of a quick conception are good!

Balaboosta Sun 23-Jun-13 21:35:59

Haven't read all the thread but YANBU. There are ways of giving this kind of advice and perspective tactfully. Having a baby is a huge life change and young women are often naive about what's involved. I think it's valid for older women to gently introduce feminist perspectives about childbearing vs. career. I do give this kind advice but qualify it by saying that I personally have struggled with parenthood so I may not be the "best person" to talk to but... Followed by a dose of reality! But I can understand that some people feel yabu. It's not a clear situation but it depends on the relationship you have with the cousin.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Jun-13 21:24:37

She is planning to marry in '1-2 years time'.

I still don't see the issue. In 2 years she will have completed the training and be 24.

He is working on a good wage and will be her husband.

I don't see this as 'too young'.

Too young isn't mid-20s, married, good qualifications and jobs.

WTF?

sarahtigh Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:01

also it is perfectly possible to be in university early by taking a levels early etc

it used to be a requirement in medicine that you could not graduate and register with GMC before 21/22 years old so you could not start medical school at 15/16 even though you might see a 14-16 year old at oxford doing maths at that age but it is highly unusual but starting uni at 17ish is not that rare

TiredFeet Sun 23-Jun-13 21:05:45

yabu. It sounds like she has thought things through, and maybe her priority is babies not her career. It is true that she would be wise to wait until she has qualified as you are more secure with even a little qualification experience under your belt, but I took two years out when I was only one year qualified at it didn't do me any harm at all (in my opinion!), in fact it was the best decision now as the career I have is family friendly so I have interesting work but it is part time and my manager is supportive of having a family (no hassle if ds is ill, for instance). She knows her priorities, and maybe that isn't the glittering career you think she should have, but just because you have 'potential' it doesn't mean you have to fulfil it in the way people expect. I am sure I could be earning £££££ in the city if I wanted to (I certainly had the academic qualifications to open those doors) but it wasn't what I wanted from life, I always knew I wanted to start a family when I was still (relatively young) and I have accepted the 'compromises' in my career that come it with that.

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