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Help! I need some advice on whether to TTC...

(7 Posts)
thinkingaboutit21 Fri 21-Nov-14 17:20:23

Hi,

I just came here because I'd really like some impartial advice about whether I'm making the right decision to start trying to conceive.

I've been engaged to my OH for a few months now and we've been dying to have babies ever since we got together three years ago and now we feel pretty ready for it.

The big problem (in my eyes) is that, whilst my OH is older than I am, I'm only 21 and just finishing up university, meaning that I have very little money behind me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a 'normal' 21 year old; I've never been too fond of partying, I have a job and my OH and I have lived together for two years. My mum tells me I was born middle-aged and get older every year!

Whilst being at uni, I have had a part-time job and I've been doing some freelance writing (which is what I hope to do full-time after graduating) on the side, too. So I have some savings but it's not a lot and I'm worried that if we had a baby now, we'd struggle to save for our eventual wedding and then to get a mortgage. My OH says that money is not the be all and end all and that we'd manage anyway, but I'm not entirely convinced.

My main concern really is that we would be being selfish bringing a child into the world where we can't give it everything that I want to give it. We would be able to give it a very stable and loving home and we both have a very strong support system behind us and this baby would be so incredibly loved and wanted, but I'm not certain that's enough.

With regards to jobs, my OH has a full-time job and earns enough to support us, bills-wise, and I would try to continue freelancing with a baby, but I'm well aware that it would be hard (especially when it starts crawling etc). The frustrating thing is that (aside from freelancing) my degree will only really get me an entry-level job with a low salary until I can work my way up, so our situation is unlikely to change for a few years and I'm concerned that, if we waited, having a baby would get in the way of me getting a promotion or better-paying job that I would have been waiting for. So is it better to have a baby just after uni as there's nothing a baby would affect yet, career-wise?

So, really, I just wanted some advice from someone who's had children. Do you think having substantial savings, a good salary and a non-state maternity pay (what I'd get for freelancing) is important before you TTC? And would you say that marriage before babies is important or it doesn't matter which way round you do it? Am I just really overthinking this?!

Thanks so much for reading all of this, I hope it made sense. I would be so grateful for any advice you might have!

SilverStars Fri 21-Nov-14 17:34:17

I think it is totally up to each couple. Everyone can share good or bad aspects of what they did ultimatley. You have raised some concerns - so worth you looking at those perhaps pragmatically? if you want to save for a mortgage and wedding would ypu give those up if had children?If you have a child do you have free childcare ( ie parents who are prepared to do it all for nothing) or would you work and pay childcare - say £40 a day, or thereabouts. Or would you be a stay at home parent with no income until your youngest child is a certain age? Can your partner earn enough to save for a wedding and mortgage deposit and can you raise a mortgage with new criteria on one wage? May be worth going to see a mortgage company to see what they would lend etc to see your options with or without income? Lots of people have children before marrying - but if finance an issue and want to marry are you prepared for simple, cheap wedding?

If you took a job you would accrue rights to maternity pay if work for a set amount of time which could make a difference to pay for child costs etc in first year?

If you ttc for children in eg 3yrs time what difference would it make to you?

My job involves work at home as well as at place at work and no way can I do that with my baby/toddler around me. Only when asleep in bed at night - so after put kids to bed, eaten, washed up, then work! I work 3 hours a night and rarely see my partner 5 nights a week to do this. Only other choice is to pay an extra days childcare on one of my 2 days at home with kids! I find it hard, no family time, no time for me at night!

I agree money is not the most important thing but a degree of certainty makes life much easier if someone has the choice! You have a choice and have to live with the choice. Perhaps do a for/against list and realise can choose to ttc at any time not just when finish degree. ( personally I would finish degree before ttc at least as can get ill when pregnant and that is not good with finals/deadlines etc!!)

Orangeisthenewbanana Fri 21-Nov-14 17:47:43

Great post above which I agree with. There is never really a perfect time to have a baby, so you do have to do what is right for you as a couple.

However, given that time is on your side, if it was me I would probably wait a couple of years and reassess. Save, save save towards a mortgage for the future, as that will be much harder when you have kids! Travel, enjoy your time together as a couple before bringing a baby into the mix. My biggest "regret" is that I didn't see more of the world before having DD.

You are lucky either way I think. Having kids young would mean you get your time as a couple back earlier in life, but equally you can biologically afford to wait a while if you decide too smile

allchatnicknamesgone Fri 21-Nov-14 18:44:17

As above, never a perfect time and as someone the wrong side of 35 desperately struggling for dd2 and wishing I'd started my family earlier, I am probably bias.
But, you are young and there is nothing to say that you can't conceive just as easily in 10 years time, or even 20 years time. Many do, but I just think younger women should be vary aware of what happens to a females reproductive system as the years tick by. I had no idea. I thought it was a bit harder, but the number of struggling women on these boards is scary at times.
Yes travelling is great and having a bit of money in your back pocket is good, but I'm seeing my savings flying out the door, just trying to have a baby. I'd probably be better off if I'd had my baby earlier then got on with work from a financial point of view. But that is only my case.

Sorry if this probably hasn't been much help and in no way is it meant to be doom and gloom, but worth thinking about all aspects.

Bets of luck with your decision. Hope it all works out well for you.

spamanderson Fri 21-Nov-14 19:01:17

Everyone is different. While a baby needs money to buy all those bits and pieces, what a child really needs is stability, a roof over their head, food and lots of love, you sound like you have all of that.

My story: I fell pregnant on my 21st birthday, my hubby is 10 years older than me. I was still relatively Young when I had my first and I wouldn't change it for the world. We've never been rolling in it but we are reasonably comfortable. We now have 2 children who don't have everything but they always have clean clothes, food in their tummies and a mummy and daddy who love them and would do anything for them. We don't have a massive support network but the people we do have are worth their weight in gold.

What I'm saying is if you feel you're ready and you other half feels ready, you have a roof over your heads, you're in a stable relationship and enough money to support yourselves and a baby, there's nothing stopping you. Having a baby is a big thing, it's tough, but oh my goodness, it's so worth it. But if there is any doubt in your mind, keep thinking until the positives well outweigh any negatives.

X

beanlovesbong Fri 21-Nov-14 20:49:40

I agree with the above. whilst I am yet to have children myself (TTC currently ) I think you should follow your heart as you may end up regretting not starting sooner. I'm 30 and would have loved to have been in a position to start much earlier than now. you'll be having children whilst you're young, which means you'll have the most energy to enjoy it! and if you both feel ready then I say do it! twenty years ago nobody would have even questioned your age, it's what our parents generation did. as for marriage first, obviously that's personal preference but I don't think it matters. I have a friend who had children straight out of uni and she now has a beautiful family and no regrets. sure it took her and get partner longer to get a house, build careers, save to get married etc but she just says she is doing things the other way round to most people. follow your heart x

thinkingaboutit21 Fri 21-Nov-14 23:06:33

Thanks soo much for the responses! It's so nice to have an outside opinion smile

I did forget to mention in my original post that the major pro for us starting early is that we would both like a large family which having our first now would hopefully allow us to do.

Thanks SilverStars for the list idea, that's great! I will sit down with OH and we will think about what we're willing to compromise on and what we're not.

And allchat - not doom and gloom at all, just another perspective. Thanks for being honest and really good luck with dd2, hope it goes well for you.

And just thank you everyone for your honesty, you've given me a lot to think about! Good luck to you all!

(And if anyone else has anything to add, please do; I won't close the thread!)

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