I'm not sure what I'm looking for

(27 Posts)
ItsBigDecisionTime Tue 29-Mar-16 15:50:56

I know that nobody on the Internet can give me a right or wrong answer, or a yes or no, but I feel like I need to get this out there!
DH and I are considering trying for our first baby. Together nearly 10 years, married nearly 1. I am very happy with our relationship and think he will be a great father.
But it's scary isn't it?! How do we know if it's the right time? Is there ever a right time?!
He is in FT work (not a 'forever job' ie. he doesn't like it much) but we are hoping in the next 18 months- 2 years or so to move house and set up a business together.
I am FT post-grad student, due to finish around October.
Does it make sense to have one now, before I go looking for FT work to sink my teeth into? Do we wait til we have moved and set the business up- what if that takes longer than we thought? What if we try for ages and nothing happens?
We have a nice house- a little small, but we could manage with a baby in our room for a while. Manage to pay bills and have a decent social life (when we want it- favouring tea & cinema to partying right now). My Dad was older when he had me and I'm worried he won't meet his grandchildren. I'm worried it'll take a long time to conceive. But I'm also worried I'm not in FT work. The plan would be DH as a SAHP and me at work, post-baby, as I will have better earning potential.
Sorry it's long.
Any thoughts?

8angle Tue 29-Mar-16 17:04:18

Firstly it is scary! and it will change your life in a lot of different ways - but it is also great IMO!

I would consider the worst case scenario's and what would leave you least happy.
i.e.
1. if you left it for 2 years till your business was up and running, but when you started trying it was very difficult / impossible to get pregnant.
2. you get pregnant in the next couple of months, you can't get a FT job so your DH has to continue working in his job that he doesn't like - and you are a SAHM.

I know this isn't the happiest / most cheerful way to look at life but it can give you a real appreciation of the consequences of your decisions.

How old are you? If you are both relatively young i would say give your "child free" lives a chance to get sorted - finish your studies - start a job, start a business... give yourselves 18 months/ 2 years and then try for a family... but as you said no one on the internet can give you the right answer!

good luck with whatever you decide

MinnieMalloy Tue 29-Mar-16 17:06:32

Age is a big factor, I'd say.

How old are you both?

ItsBigDecisionTime Tue 29-Mar-16 17:26:34

Thanks for replying both. I am 26 & DH is 29. I appreciate this is generally seen as 'young' in terms of starting a family but I love the thought of several DC and also being a decent age when they are older.
My dad is almost 70 and in bloody fine fettle but I know this can be the exception rather than the rule e.g FiL is barely 55 and has ailing health.
Worst case scenario if we went ahead now would indeed be that I couldn't find work and DH would be trapped. But we would have an element of control over that- if I was actively job hunting it would be a morale boost for DH. Whereas in scenario one there would be little control if that makes sense? Thousands of people make this decision all the time but I'm agonising!

8angle Tue 29-Mar-16 17:31:42

Thousands of people also agonize over the same decision - don't worry you are not alone!

I totally understand wanting to be in some semblance of control.

What does your DH think?

ItsBigDecisionTime Tue 29-Mar-16 17:42:57

That's good to know 8
I feel a bit like everyone is so sure about their decisions that it made me wonder- if we're wondering maybe we're not ready!
DH is all for it essentially. He originally said not while in this house, but when I pointed out we might be here longer than we think (while sorting finances for next venture) and that it might take a while to conceive, he came round.
He is worried about being trapped in this job but it's not the worst job in the world and the pay is decent.
He was supportive when we were looking to see if a cot would fit in our bedroom and has researched if he could get a suitable car seat for his new car lol. Mens priorities are different!
He keeps saying to me 'give it some thought' which is usually his way of saying 'my mind is made up but I don't want to push you into anything'.

ItsBigDecisionTime Tue 29-Mar-16 19:35:22

The other 'worst case scenario' that's briefly crossed my mind is what if it was twins?! Chances are low I know but it really would a a tight squeeze in more ways than one shock

8angle Tue 29-Mar-16 21:06:48

Twins would definitely be "fun"!!
My gut feel is that you have time and you should give yourself 18-24 months to start a career/ business first. Babies take a huge amount of energy and resources and it will be considerably harder to do all of that with a tiny human!

I would say don't wait because you feel you need absolute certainty!

ItsBigDecisionTime Tue 29-Mar-16 22:13:37

I see what you're saying about starting a career first. In my head it's the logical and sensible thing to do. But then I reason against it; whatever job I do get is likely to be a temporary fix- partly because the roles I will be suited to are generally fixed term contracts (the longest usually 3yrs), and partly because it will be a stop gap while we establish our business. I wonder if we put it off til we move, and begin set up, would there ever feel like a convenient time? How would a baby fit in with all that? Whereas if we already had one it wouldn't upset the balance so to speak.
It's really helpful to have an objective point of view, thank you!

Parney Tue 29-Mar-16 23:44:22

Oh it really is big decision time for you OP. Our stats are eerily similar, age 26, nearly married one year and nearly together ten years! So weird! I think you are right to question if there will ever be a correct time. I genuinely think that you should go ahead and TTC. No time is perfect and you both seem to be preparing well. None of our friends are parents and a lot of them seem to be hinting at us to keep enjoying our freedom. We have hectic social lives but I'm happy to be letting this go as we start TTC. The idea of trying to have a baby soon is in your head for a reason. Best of luck x

8angle Wed 30-Mar-16 07:58:27

all of what you say is true - there is certainly never a "convenient" time to have a baby! Good luck with whatever you decide

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 08:01:27

Ha that's so strange Parney
It seems as if we are in pretty similar situations. We were the first of our 'group' to get married (next wedding isn't until next year, then it's a waiting game for the other guys to propose). One friend that we don't see much of had a baby last year but that's it.
BiL has just had his first and I think it's a combination of these things that made me start wondering when the right time would be.
Are you TTC now then? If you don't mind me asking!!
I can take or leave going out really. I used to love it but my town is pretty dull, it's rare we go further afield and I kind of feel myself 'growing out of it' iyswim. I know family life, especially with a baby, won't be fun and games all the time too, but I'm running out of reasons to delay.
And part of me thinks I'm defending myself against contributors to this thread, that must mean something...

dillydontdally Wed 30-Mar-16 08:18:48

It's so difficult isnt it?! I think so much of it is a step into the unknown, and there is never a right answer.
FWIW, last year I was working full time and also doing a part time postgraduate course which was reasonably intense. We planned to put off TTC until after my dissertation/finals in November, but I panicked that it would take us years to conceive so instead we started trying in August. I was incredibly fortunate to fall pregnant in September, but it did mean that the weeks leading up to my finals/dissertation hand in were full of morning sickness and extreme tiredness. I completely underestimated how tough early pregnancy could be! Thankfully it didn't impact on my grade, but that time fine was more stressful than it needed to be and something it might be worth considering, although it depends on your type of course.

Best of luck when the time comes for your to TTC, whenever that may be smile

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 08:41:55

Thanks for replying dilly that's an interesting slant. I am doing a PhD and have to produce an 80k word thesis then have a meeting with the markers to defend it.
I am slightly dreading that already so it would be doubly difficult if I happened to be pregnant- maybe it would go in my favour haha.
It really does feel like a leap into the unknown especially as I know so few babies! I like to think my friends and family would be supportive and where I currently live they are all close by. When it comes to moving house I know I will be unavoidably cutting myself off to an extent purely because we need a property with land and are unlikely to find anything in our price bracket round here. Just another thing to consider grin

RaeSkywalker Wed 30-Mar-16 08:50:18

Tough decision OP.

I know these things usually take a while, but how would you feel if you got a BFP on your first cycle? Worth considering what the impact of this might be- it does happen!

MinnieMalloy Wed 30-Mar-16 09:15:04

I'd say that you should only do it at this stage if you really, really want it. If there are niggling doubts in your mind...well, you have time on your side to have a bit more of a think about it.

I had my first child at 27, by the way, but I was desperately broody and there was little real rational weighing up of the pros and cons, to be honest (although I was in a committed relationship and he wanted children too...and 15 years later we are still happily married [grin). I also thought it might take a year or so of fun 'trying'...but I got pregnant on our first month of trying and it was a bit of a shock, to be honest.

Careers-wise...its worth thinking about what your career goals are and what sort of industry you're going to be entering after your post grad. I was in a fairly high profile media job...and having a baby was pretty much the death knell for my career. There is not a cat's chance in hell I could have ever progressed to where I did pre-baby if I'd have had a child. Dont want to be a negative Nelly, but definitely worth weighing up if waiting another 2-3 years would set you in better stead for your future....

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 09:38:28

Rae I think you could strike me down with a feather if I got pregnant straight away! But after the shock I think I'd be happy and enjoy the planning, feel lucky and think it was meant to be.. I suppose the impact would just be that we would need to prepare the house/bedroom in a more organised and timely manner!
Minnie not a negative nelly at all, this is the kind of questioning I needed! I'm not sure they are niggling doubts as such, more wonderings but I can't see that they could be dispelled over time, they'd just change?
So right now I'm thinking 'is it a good time since I'm not in employment?' Whereas in a few years it could be 'we've only just set up business, do we have time/regular income?' Or 'I've just found a job, do I want to rock the boat with new employers and waltz off on mat leave, leaving them in the lurch?' Or even do I qualify for mat leave yet?!
Careers-wise it's really hard. Whatever job I get next will likely be a stop gap before starting our own business. It will most likely be in research (unless anyone has any great ideas of what I can do with a psychology phd!).
If I were to wait 2-3 years I'd either be in a job I could qualify for mat leave (good) or just starting a new business with little income and a lot of development on my hands.
If I had one now-ish I could finish studying, have baby then go into work and DH stay home with baby while we move/develop.
Sorry I'm rambling now blush

MinnieMalloy Wed 30-Mar-16 11:53:46

The sensible bit of me thinks it will be far easier to set up a business before you have a baby than do it with a baby on board. A new business venture and a baby sounds exhausting to me (but I am quite feeble grin).

Again, not to be negative, but I do think sometimes pre-DC people can be a tad over optimistic about what life can be like post-baby. The recovery from pregnancy and birth, the sleep deprivation, the complete change to your daily life and your sense of identity, the change in the dynamics of your relationship with your DH, and then just how much you love your baby and how hard it is to be apart from them (for some)...how you feel after having a child can just be so different to how you imagined. Getting to grips with that and a new career or new business could be a huge amount on your plate.

However, that might just be me. I found motherhood a massive shock, even though I absolutely 100% wanted it. I'd planned to go back after 6 mths maternity leave, but ended up taking more than a year, as my baby didn't sleep well and I just couldn't function on such broken sleep. I then ended up completely career changing as my priorities massively shifted, I knew I wanted another child within the next few years, and I wanted a career that fitted in around that.

However, I wasn't sensible at all when we decided to go for it, we just did it, so all of that would be hypocritical advice, really grin

Parney Wed 30-Mar-16 15:41:14

So funny but nice to hear of people in similar situations! Yea I came off the pill at the end of January and used BC in February but from March on I suppose we've been TTC. Really just starting third 'normal' cycle since pill, so I'm just happy that cycles are not too long, 28 days. As I was reading before I decided to come off it that it could take up to a year for AF to show. That's another thing to consider if you're on the pill, maybe coming off it and using another method. We're trying with the view that we'll be thrilled if it happens and trying not to be disappointed if it doesn't work out straight away. But I won't lie once we made the decision it's been like a switch has been turned on in my brain and I can't think about anything else 🙈 which is so strange as DH has been quite keen for a while and right up until I took my last pill I was between two minds! Something else to consider as you are focusing on studies. I'm not really being of much help to you am I?! It's great that you're both giving it so much thought!

Parney Wed 30-Mar-16 15:45:42

Worth mentioning that DH and I are in our 'forever jobs' and are luckily to have been since uni and it still has taken a huge amount of careful consideration to make our decision to start TTC. Worth thinking about the fact that a baby will change your lives completely no matter when they arrive!

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 16:17:23

Lol Minnie I like to think I'm not feeble but I probably am! I know there's a lot of tough work ahead and I've had it pretty cushty as an eternal student so far blush
I'm watching my BiL with his new little family with interest; obviously no two pregnancies/babies are the same and recovery can be different but it's interesting.
They're not on MN (I don't think) but I for one feel like I've learned so much from here I'm really glad I found it before TTC!
Sleep deprivation is probably my number one worry but DH seems to thrive survive on very little and I like to think he will be pretty hands on, so hopefully it won't be too excruciating. But I wouldn't say I'm under the illusion it will be play-dates and happy families every day.
It's easy to think that a baby would slip into life but I've no doubt everything would be turned upside down and inside out. I'm not really sure how you can prepare for that?!
Parney fingers crossed for you! It sounds very exciting and you sound well prepared in terms of employment. You make a good point that a baby will change everything regardless of when they come- this is what I keep going back to and it makes me wonder, why wait?!

Parney Wed 30-Mar-16 16:25:35

Sleepless nights might be easier this side of thirty? Wistful thinking! Have you thought about how many children you would like, given the choice? This could also influence your decision!

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 16:39:01

Ha good point! Maybe they actually would? I gather your body is supposed to take it better younger?
Ideally several! Though likely just the one til we move to new pastures and have more space. I suppose it all depends on how it goes with the first. I know mil had to stop after 2nd horrific labour so it might not be in my hands.

8angle Wed 30-Mar-16 16:45:30

I feel like you want people to say "go for it"! If that's true then you should go for it.
There is no right answer or wrong answer- you are looking at a number of great and different opportunities!
How would you feel if you found out tomorrow morning that you were pregnant?

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 16:50:26

I know what you mean 8
I was hoping for some validation that we wouldn't be completely bonkers to do it. If everyone had come on and said ffs what are you thinking I would've thought seriously about going back to the drawing board.
BUT I am very grateful to those that have pointed out pitfalls and negatives that I hadn't thought of.
I would be a bit annoyed at the OP if they reasoned and argued against every point like I have done sorry about that lol.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now