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WIBU to have a baby now?

(27 Posts)
LittleGwyneth Thu 09-Jul-15 13:34:19

Background:
I'm a freelance writer. I work from home, and I work varied hours, between 2 and 6 hours a day. I'm also finishing an MA. I love what I do, but it's not brilliantly paid, so eventually I'd like to go into an in-house role with a paper/magazine.

My partner works in a relatively highly paid role. We live in a two bed rented flat in zone 2 in London.

We've been together for two years, and I'm 24 (nearly 25). We know that we want to have children. My partner is in his thirties.

I started wondering this morning. Would it be such a bad idea for us to have a baby now, before my career takes off properly? I could keep working freelance until the baby was older, building my portfolio whilst he/she was very little, which would mean being at home with baby without feeling guilty/like I'm missing out on my career.

Reasons I think maybe I'm being silly:

-I'm 24 and all of my friends are still in their first jobs/ living with their parents / single. It would definitely alienate me from my friends.

-Whilst we're not broke, we're by no means rich.

-We're not married yet but would like to be.

-I know what an enormous undertaking it is to become a mother, and perhaps I haven't enjoyed my "Freedom years" enough.

Reasons I think it's a good idea:

-There's a history of fertility troubles in my family, so starting earlier can only help.

-I'm ambitious, and once I really hit my stride in house I wouldn't want to leave, which might well lead to pushing back on having babies and leaving it too late.

-I know I want to have a child with my partner, I just don't know when.

-I love children (have worked as a nanny for two years) and I know that I want to have them with my partner, who I think will be a brilliant father.

I'm told that there's never a good time to have a child, but how do you recognise when it's an unselfish/practical time?

BeautifulBatman Thu 09-Jul-15 13:37:53

You rent, you're going to take time off from your career? Get married first if you have any sense.

CakeLady1 Thu 09-Jul-15 13:40:43

Pft! To batman, only you know if it feels right... Careers can't replace family & if you want to start yours now, do it. You've clearly thought about how it's all going to fit in your life. Good luck, OP!

TheHouseOnBellSt Thu 09-Jul-15 13:44:37

You're not married and so are in a precarious position. Not owning is not ideal....especially in today's climate.

If you split up, you'd be a single parent with no home and no career.

You need to get a good job now...and save for your half of a mortgage and then work at your career....THEN have a baby

PoppyBlossom Thu 09-Jul-15 13:44:49

Get married first.

BeautifulBatman Thu 09-Jul-15 13:45:05

I'm absolutely not against having children over a career - I'm 40, currently 6 months pregnant, not working and have no intention of working for the next 2-3 years. But I'm married, my dh earns well and if the worst should happen he will HAVE to provide for me because of the sacrifices I've made for us to have a family. But only because we're married.

TheHouseOnBellSt Thu 09-Jul-15 13:46:31

Batman is right and I too am in a similar position to her....I am 42 and freelance but my DH has a good job and earns well.

If OP doesn't even have a decent home....a secure one to call her own and her relationship ends, then where is she?

Renting a hovel in London alone with a baby. That's where.

AuntyMag10 Thu 09-Jul-15 13:47:39

I think you are only 24 so quite young already. I would sort out the career, marry and then think of a baby. Maybe become more stable first.

ollieplimsoles Thu 09-Jul-15 13:48:27

I was in your position at 24 but my partner was a bit younger. I work in a creative freelance role as well and we planned to have a baby as soon as we moved out at 24. I decided to wait til I built up my career (as you know- these industries are extremely tough to get into and are very competitive. I spent two years building my business up, we also got married.

I'm now 26 and expecting our first. My honest advice- wait and work on your career for at least a couple of years. Its so hard to get going and with a child it would have been impossible for me. Plan your baby when you know the industry more, know your place in it, have a few clients who give you regular work, it will be easier to fall back to then once your baby is here.

You don't have to listen to me of course, but I was given this advice at 24 from an illustrator friend who wishes someone had given it to her- I listened and it was the best thing I could have done. Two years is not a long time to wait and so much can happen in your career in that time.

Ruledbycatsandkids6 Thu 09-Jul-15 13:49:21

Do it. I had my first 2 by 25 and it was great being a young mum. I stayed home until they went to school and went back to work. Saved on nursery fees and a shed load of problems.

Had other 2 mid 30s and physicAlly was far harder.

Careers aren't everything. People live longer now and work longer. Plenty of time to build it up after kids.

I work ft now but wouldn't have swapped my sahm role for any career ever. No nursery, nanny or cm got to have my kids milestones. Disclaimer that's just my opinion and each to their own.

You say your partner has a good job so you can afford it.

The only thing I would add would to maybe get married first and of course check your partner wants kids now. grin

WhoNickedMyName Thu 09-Jul-15 13:51:46

Get married first.

WhatsTheT Thu 09-Jul-15 13:51:54

Whenever it feels right for you two do it smile Don't compare yourself to others or change your mind based on judgement.

weighing up pros and cons can be useful, but until it happens you don't know how your life will change.

Good luck with your decision smile

slightlyconfused85 Thu 09-Jul-15 13:52:27

In some ways I don't think you are being unreasonable, however as you are only 24 I would wait 2 years or so and get married first for some security. Babies never fit in with careers whenever you do it so I wouldn't worry on that too much, dd1 was born when my career was in its early stages, I still made progress when I went back and 2.5 years later I'm a few days a way from baby 2

Pedestriana Thu 09-Jul-15 13:52:47

I gave up my (very well paid) job to become a student (at over 40), became pregnant (after trying for years and years), and have studied p/t for the past 7 years. I don't work, and I don't get any benefits. DH works and has to pay the bills, but we do own our house. However, all of that is just the way things turned out. We could only buy because of a family bereavement leading to a legacy.

There is never a right or good time. There will always be some reason why 'not'. I don't think you should be questioning whether the time is right, but you may want to ensure that you will definitely have a roof over your head for the forseeable future.

slightlyconfused85 Thu 09-Jul-15 13:53:31

Sorry hit post too soon- having number two and sure my career will still make progress when I go Back again. Freelance though, I might worry a bit about mat pay depending on your dps job

StAlphonsosPancakeBreakfast Thu 09-Jul-15 13:57:25

I would say don't do it - you have plenty of time, and it will be LOT harder to establish yourself once you have a child. Get a foot in the door, and then you will be in a much much better position.

Also if you have a difficult pregnancy (not something that can be predicted) your freelance earnings and your MA may go out the window.

Ruledbycatsandkids6 Thu 09-Jul-15 13:59:30

Yep you can plan and plan and suddenly life kicks you in the balls.

Our 12 year old dd was badly injured a few years ago in an accident. It changed our lives in the respect that we now don't plan anymore we just live for now. We enjoy each day. Don't put real life on hold.

It's very liberating actually.
Good luck in your decision op.

Teabagbeforemilk Thu 09-Jul-15 14:06:18

As someone who had a child at 21. Don't do it. It's not your age. You will be giving up work and financial independence and are not married. Imo it's not a position people should put themselves in.

Getting back into work after taking time off is hard enough. Getting back in without experience is even harder.

I would always advise women to have a plan for what happens if the relationship fails. Too many women get left in a mess if a relationship splits up. It's difficult especially if you want to be or need one of you to be a sahp.

Having a career first won't gaurentee anything but it provide additional options

LittleGwyneth Thu 09-Jul-15 14:08:48

Thank you so much for all your thoughtful points guys - it's much appreciated.

paxtecum Thu 09-Jul-15 14:15:47

What sort of life style do you have?
Do you eat out or go out every night?

If so, would you be happy staying in and just as importantly would DP be happy staying in?

Do you both have any plans to buy a home?

Personally, I think having DCs whilst young is great.

T1meout Thu 09-Jul-15 14:16:47

I work from home, am a writer and have children. You will not be able to write while the baby is napping, believe me, so will need childcare. It's hard to juggle deadlines and kids, even if you do have good support.

If I were you I would get an in-house job now so you can benefit from maternity leave.

MuffMuffTweetAndDave Thu 09-Jul-15 14:23:53

Good idea to start early if you've a family history of fertility issues. But give it a couple more years and line some more ducks up. Finish the MA, get married, build up more contacts and maybe even a permanent position. Then you could have a baby at 27 perhaps. If you do it now, you're putting yourself in quite a vulnerable position if anything goes wrong. Two more years of work will give you more experience, more contacts, more savings. Basically just more options.

Also, if you're planning to write freelance, you may want to factor in the possibility of using at least a bit of childcare. I'm not a writer myself, and managed to do the odd bit of work from home whilst looking after one DC, but I've heard writers on here talk about how tough it is to fit freelance work around FT looking after a child. Having to turn your creativity on and not having any distance, so you're always on call even if baby's asleep. A day or two a week with a local CM could make all the difference even if you want to be mainly at home.

MuffMuffTweetAndDave Thu 09-Jul-15 14:28:15

Cross post with timeout! Honestly though, mid to late 20s is a good time to have a 1st baby. I had mine at 27 and it's worked quite well. You're still a youngish mum if that's what you want, but likely to have got more work experience and skills under your belt. It's so much easier to navigate flexible working or PT when you've more stuff an employer wants, to bargain with. I found it fairly easy to get PT work, if not as well paid as I could be if I'd do PT. Not sure it would've been half as easy when I was 24 or 25.

juneau Thu 09-Jul-15 14:36:43

I too would get married before having a baby. It gives you legal protection if your relationship breaks down and you are left holding a baby and trying to hold down a job to put a roof over your heads. I know your DP would never leave, etc, but your chances of staying together long-term actually improve if you're married BEFORE you start your family. And there is no such thing as 'common law wife', despite what many people believe, so be smart and give yourself whatever protections the law allows. A registry office wedding doesn't cost a huge amount and you could always have a big celebration for your 10th anniversary if you can't afford a big 'do' now. Seriously - please consider it.

As for renting in London - again not ideal. Do you have savings? What would happen if your DP lost his job? Would you consider moving out of London in order to afford to buy something? Again, this gives you a buffer against bad luck, bad health, redundancy, etc.

Unromantic as all this sounds, it really is about the money and don't let anyone tell you any different.

Other than that no, I don't think its a terrible idea to have a baby at 24 if you feel ready. If none of your friends are doing it it might be a bit lonely at first, but whatever age you have your first DC you'll probably find that. I was 33 when I had DS1, but we were living in another country and I knew no one in my town who was having a baby. That all changed when I joined a local mums group and seven years on they're still my friends. In fact, I'm spending the weekend with one of them in Amsterdam! So don't let the 'friends' thing put you off. You will meet new people who are doing what you are and actually having babies/DC of the same age is a great way to meet people and make friends. In addition, the fertility angle is a good reason not to wait too long. I doubt another year or two will make much difference though, so don't feel like you need to do this RIGHT NOW, THIS YEAR.

kettlepot Thu 09-Jul-15 14:46:57

I'm similar (ish) to you OP. 24 and I've recently picked up some freelance work as a copywriter. I am married, but we rent too.

One big difference: I have a baby. He's 4 months old and it is REALLY hard to do freelance stuff around him. He's not even a 'difficult' baby (read: he sleeps!) but I only have maybe 2 hours in the evenings to devote to freelance work. And maybe only an hour or two (if I'm lucky) in the day. With admin and invoicing, I earn far less than I could/should.

I'm not saying "don't go for it" at all. I'm just saying you will probably bring home a quarter of what you think you will.

On the plus side, I am looking forward to getting back 'in' to my career once he's a bit older. There is no right time. It's all circumstantial.

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