Having Children(74 Posts)
Kind of posting for traffic but also AIBU for waiting to have kids?
Getting married next year, just bought a house which is leaving us with no spare money. Can't remortgage for a few years but when we do (judging by house price rises and online calculators) our mortgage payment will be half of what it is leaving us with an extra £1k a month.
DM expects us to start a family sooner rather than later (after the wedding) and has said that due to my age (33) we need to get cracking. Normally she's totally relaxed about things and has always said to do things in your own time.
Should I wait until 36 to start trying when we are more financially secure or just get on with it? DP and I both really want a family sooner rather than later but also we don't want to be scrimping when we do.
FWIW, I'm not being dictated to by DM but the fact that normally she's so blasé and relaxed about things like this but has said 'you ain't getting any younger' has got me thinking. I've said we would struggle to afford them but she and my DS said that financially it is never the right time. My DP also agrees with me but I would hate to be waiting too long and find out it's too late for us.
There's no such thing as a perfect time for kids. I had my first at 29, had a home, was married, full time job but very little savings and mortgage was eating away at a lot of our income, financially things were a lot harder then I expected, baby things aren't that cheap and I really couldn't decorate the nursery exactly how I wanted it, but none of that really mattered when DC1 came along, we muddled through it just fine.
When DC2 came along 6 years later, we were much more comfortable financially and things were easier, I loved getting the exact pram I wanted, going all out with baby crap that I really didn't need but the end result was exactly the same, we muddled through DC2 just fine, slightly more comfortable but no real difference.
The only real issue we had was nursery fees, it was tough trying to get DC1 into a decent cheap one that was close to home whereas with DC2 we had more options.
If you want to have a child, do think about the financial decisions you'll have to make, like nursery fees etc but don't let money be the ultimate decider
Thanks for your response. Even if I worked full time we would have no spare money for nursery fees, I could pay my sister (who is a SAHM) but that would be tight. Due to our incomes I don't think we would get child benefits and stuff although I've not looked fully into it. I supposed we wouldn't be going out as much so that would cut down a lot of expenses!
First rule - do NOT let other people's opinions or desires affect your decision making regarding when YOU are ready for children.
Sit down with your DH (not your DM) and talk it through. When you've decided what you want to do then just carry on and do it and tell the busybodies to fuck off, you'll have kids when you're good and ready thank you very much!
Lots of people have kids in their late 30s and 40's and they're perfectly healthy but it is worth knowing that statistically the rates of learning difficulties start to climb quite when a woman hits mid 30's and climb very steeply in late 30's.
My DW is a neurologist and did a lot of research when we were in your position. While the risks do climb, there are lots of very accurate tests now for certain conditions but I guess if the results aren't what you'd hope then you're left with. A pretty awful choice to make.
We concluded that we were happier cracking on with it but did have the luxury of being quite well off financially.
Now have twin DS's (3) and a 12 week old DD ( hence me being wide awake and on MN at 00:50!)
The big risk at 35+ is that fertility starts to decline fast and/or that you'll start TTC at that point only to discover that you had compromised fertility all along but at that point have a narrowing window to work your way through the stages of treatment and repeated attempts.
NHS fertility treatments are rationed and waiting lists are long. Private treatments are expensive.
Don't be too lulled by the indisputable fact that many people are lucky enough to have no issues past 35. That won't be a consolation if you find yourself in the other group.
Social and economic factors are in conflict with nature, but there it is.
Pragmatically speaking, could you split the difference and 'crack on' a year or two before you planned?
Only you can truely decide when the time is right op,
But id say if you want to get cracking right away- do it!
Just be aware that your finances might be a bit tight for a while
Can you make cut backs anywhere?
The baby stage can be quite cheap if you want it to be, with the exception of nursery fees which are like a second mortgage where we are. If you want to have kids now, check how much the local nurseries are, what you can get voucher wise at work and if sil is also an option how much she would ask. If it is a difference between being a bit tight vs very comfortable instead of hands down not being able to afford it, I would say that if you want to start now, then start now!
It's really quite simple.
If you looked back in 10 years time would you be happier having a child but being broke, or having a nice house and heading down the fertility treatment/adoption route?
Maybe compromise? Wait a year and save like the clappers, then see what happens. Don't put it off too long if you know you would choose broke motherhood over comfortable childfree.
I got married at 24. Luckily I didn't postpone trying to have children, as I finally managed to give birth 12 years later!
My dd was unplanned we hadn't a pot to piss in however we with help from friends and family had everything we needed for dd when she was born.
3 years later we planned another Baby and ds was born not long after.
Now Almost 8 years later although I adore my ds we should have stuck with one dc.
I am barely coping with bills and everything costs money. I am so sick of telling my dc "we can't afford it"
My point I suppose is no one knows what the impact of having dc will have on them (does that even make sense )
I coped mentally with our first dc very well. When I had my ds, I had PND and a few bereavements. We then had financial difficulties. It felt like life just fell apart and now almost 5 years after my ds was born I am still picking up the pieces.
Sorry op don't mean to put a downer on things!
We had one unprotected shag when I was 35. And had a baby
Friends of ours were married early 20s and TTC for 15 years before remortgaging for IVF. And had a baby.
You can't tell which way it's going to go but it's up to you and DH, not your mother.
I don't know anyone who has regretted having children (well they might have occasionally, but not overall).
Sadly I know a fair few women who have regretted NOT having babies, or postponing ttc.
dd is 20 now - and I've recently realised that I've gone from saying "be very careful" to thinking "it would be better to have an unplanned baby than no baby at all" - obviously I'm not saying it yet!
We totally planned - then had twins! That wasn't in the plans and financially should have been a massive problem but amazingly wasn't. Have a baby when you want to and don't stress about the finances too much.
Its up to you to decide when is right, so if you want to wait then wait.
However, I would say that it would be a good idea to get your fertility checked out now. Get DH2B's sperm tested and your own hormones/ovulation tested. You will have to pay privately but it will be worth it if there is a potential problem. If you find out that you will need assisted conception then the earlier you start, the better.
My sister wished that she had done this 10 years ago when they decided to wait another 6 or 7 years. She is now 41 and kids wont be happening for her.
Babies cost almost nothing. People just say they do. Clothes for a year will cost you less than a couple of outfits for yourselves. If you bf food is free. If you own a washing machine cloth nappies are easier (trust me I have 5 children and tried both ways) so a couple of £100 if you want swanky ones.
EVERYTHING else is optional.
I have had babies at both 30 and 37 and my advice would be that earlier is better, for you, and the baby. I'm with your Mum.
Can't say I agree maryz I reckon a lot of people are afraid to admit they regret having children.
My own dm admitted she regretted having children didn't mean she didn't love us and she was a great mother..
you need to weigh up the options. Is having children very important to you? Then I'd say go sooner rather than later. You could reach 36 and spend 3/4 years trying then having to consider alternatives, fertility a not a given
SquidgyRedBall lots of great advice here.
I agree with maninawomansworld - "...do NOT let other people's opinions or desires affect your decision making regarding when YOU are ready for children. However, in terms of basic biology I'm with your mum on this one. And maryz and all who say 'crack on'!
Does your mum have a reason to say this, did she struggle to conceive? These things (fertility issues) can run in families.
My mum had trouble conceiving and had me at 33 and my sister at 35. She lost another baby about 9 years after I was born, so she would have been 42. I later went on to have fertility issues.
It may be that people who tell you you have all the time in the world may not have experienced the pain of fertility issues.
I knew fertility issues ran in my family but did not meet my dh until I was 33. We dated for 2.5 years and were engaged for 6 months. We decided to wait a year before trying for kids. So I was 37 when I started trying. We tried for 2 years and I had dd aged 39 with assisted conception (IUI).
We tried for years to have second and spent a lot of money on fertility treatment. After almost 7 years we stopped and went down the adoption route. My life has turned out brilliantly and my adopted ds is a treasure, as is m birth dd, so I am not bitter or sad at all.
However, I would advise (from personal experience) that anyone who wants to have a baby after their early thirties should just get on and do it unless there are things standing in their way.
It sounds to me, sorry, that you have not really worked out what your priorities are. Do you need a very expensive house, and if you have a very expensive house will you and your dh both need to work full time, and who will look after these children?
I worked part-time (and still do) and in the early days I found it quite hard to go off to work leave my baby at nursery. I did it and now they are both at school it is easier. By all means pursue a career and reach whatever highs you can, both of you, but if you are just working and away from your baby all day from early on, because you have no other way to pay the mortgage, you may find that parenting is quite hard. I am not being sexist, I know dads who stay at home and look after their kids. But from what you say it sounds like this new house will tie yo both up financially and make it much harder for you.
In case you wonder what I am basing this on, I am basing this on....
"Even if I worked full time we would have no spare money for nursery fees, I could pay my sister (who is a SAHM) but that would be tight." (Unless your sister is a registered child minder it might not be legal to pay a family member to look after your child.)
a lot of people are afraid to admit they regret having children.
Actually I think that is REALLY unusual.
OK obviously in your experience zzzzz it's unusual that someone might regret having children.
Not in mine..
LucyBabs I am so sorry that things are so tough. It sounds like you are depressed still, IMHO. I think PND can last a long time if not treated. I wonder if you can access some counselling on the NHS? Or bereavement counselling if you are still affected by the bereavements.
Sorry, I know you did not ask for advice, I just feel very sorry that these things have affected you so badly and are blighting your relationship with your second child.
Babies do cost loads zzzzz. I've lost £10,000s by working part time for years now. Nursery fees are huge. Its very sensible to consider finances. OP why do you expect your mortgage to drop by so much in those years? Seems a big drop to me. Is it realistic particularly if you're relying on house prices rising.
Why not wait until after the wedding and see how you feel then. Sounds like you have a lot going on as it is moving into a new house and planning a wedding no need to make a decision now.
But Lucy, would she really have preferred to have no children at all?
I do know many people who have struggled. Kids aren't easy, and financially it can be tough. Not the food, or clothes, or practical things, but the lost income and/or childcare costs are astronomical.
But I'm in my 50's now, and the saddest people I know are the ones who for various reasons didn't have children at all - most due to dickhead partners/husbands saying "wait until we can afford it".
And most of those dickheads are now exh's or exp's and have shacked up with younger women and had children . Fuckers.
LucyBabs It may well not be so unusual that people regret their life choices for some periods of time, but there might be steps you can take to change things.
It sounds like lots of things happened at once and they have had a profound effect on your life. You said "Now Almost 8 years later although I adore my ds we should have stuck with one dc."
But I really do wonder how much this is linked to your own experience when you say "My own dm admitted she regretted having children didn't mean she didn't love us and she was a great mother.
Your second baby was planned and arrived at a time followed by stress. Now financial difficulties. I really hope you will get some assistance with getting your mood back to an even keel. Yes I know things re financially tough but I also know that people cope differently.
I do sometimes wonder what we did having a second child. We have less money and less time! But I don't ever really regret adopting ds.
Anyway, all the best and I do hope you will find a way through this.
Thanks italian it's very possible I still have hang ups from PND and although I love my ds I can struggle with him and then my relationship with my dd can suffer. FFS MN can be like a therapy session sometimes
maryz I honestly don't know if my dm would have preferred no children. She grew up in typical Catholic Ireland. It was unheard of when she got married to not have children
Misselthwaite I totally agree babies are not cheap and actually they are babies for a short time. Very soon they are walking around and the shoes cost a fortune.
The biggest costs are definitely lost income and nursery fees. I was so lucky our nursery for dd was subsidized by dh's work. The local nurseries would have left me working all day for about £10 by the time I paid the nursery fees!
And of course the costs for children grew with them so really the cost of a baby is a bit immaterial. It is like saying puppies are so lovely they fit in a show box! And 9 months later they are massive (dogs not babies - but you get my drift!)
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