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Need help deciding when is best time to start a family

(4 Posts)
MeadowHay Wed 23-Sep-15 17:39:16

I didn't know where to put this thread. Me and DH have always known that we want to have at least two children. The thing is we just can't decide when would be a good time and we are seriously considering very soon. This is mainly because I think it might be a better idea for me to have my children before starting my career so as not to have to interrupt a career with multiple periods of maternity leave. Also we both think that there is no such thing as really being 'ready' for a baby, I don't think you can ever be ready?? We have talked a lot and are going round in circles. We have three scenarios really and made lists of the pros and cons and then even highlighted the ones that were most of the options is to try very soon. (I'm autistic and making lists is very helpful for me for decision making, I know it might sound odd to make pros and cons lists for having a baby to most people but it's a coping mechanism for me.)

Scenario 1: Start trying for a baby imminently (after my depo injection wears off in 3 months time). This would mean I would have to suspend my degree studies for a second time (I had to suspend once before for health reasons) for a year but I'm not worried about that in and of itself.
Pros: 1. We would spend the year living in the same city as our families so would have some help and support networks.
2. It would avoid a pregnancy during the final year of my degree.
3. I would have the whole year off from uni to recover and get my bearings.
4. As we are young we would have ages and ages to have more children in the future.
5. We could even have a second child sometime after I graduate, before I go on to my further professional studies.
6. Hopefully it will mean I won't have a huge motherhood penalty in my career or be forced to give it up as this way I probably won't have to take any maternity leave if I have my children before my career.

Cons: 1. I am worried about discrimination upon trying to enter said career as I would be a mother of 2 or more small children, and it will have taken me a much longer time to enter the career than most other young people...for example a degree that most people do in three years, I do in 4 years instead because I am doing a year abroad, and if I suspend my studies for a second time for a baby, it will have taken me 6 years to get the degree that can take 4 years. I am concerned that people would discriminate against me even if my academics were good enough.
2. My partner won't be entitled to paternity leave as he won't have been in the same place employed long enough.
3. I would have a baby/toddler to look after when doing the final year of my degree...which sounds almost impossible?!
4. I still currently have a range of minor health problems and more significantly mental health problems. I have had mental health problems since I was a child. This is probably the healthiest I have ever been, but I definitely still struggle sometimes, and I take various medications that I would probably have to look at stopping completely.

Would any kind soul like to share some thoughts with me and bear in mind that I may be young and silly but I have feelings ;)

PisforPeter Wed 23-Sep-15 17:47:18

If it feels right & you want to be parents now just go for it!!
You can worry about too many different scenarios, you might decide you want to be SAHM & not want to work anyway.

simplydivine05 Thu 24-Sep-15 21:23:00

I would personally do your degree and get your career underway first. It won't hurt it to put it on hold later on and you have plenty of time to live life first. I was 23 when I had my son. I'm 30 now and looking back I say I was too young and missed out on a lot of life because I was a parent. I never planned to have a child before I was 30 and now I am older I know why.
I think your pros and cons lost is a good way if looking at it, and you're right, you could spend your whole life getting ready for kids. I do think that a career is important to get underway if you have something specific in mind. As you said, you may struggle to get in to the market place later in life as a mother. Employers shouldn't discriminate but having been in an interview and told I couldn't be trusted as a mother not to be taking time off every other week for my child, they do discriminate. That and you may require a higher salary at an older age as you may have childcare costs, unlike someone fresh out of uni.
My sister did a degree with a toddler so that is doable but she has never been able to get into her chosen profession and she did her degree 8 years ago. She started her career from scratch at 38 and is stuck in a rut with a rubbish wage and no future career prospects.
I wish you the best in whatever you decide x

Kaytee1987 Fri 25-Sep-15 08:33:10

Meadow hay if u don't mind me asking, how old are you? I would finish your studies first and get a year in your job under your belt before trying but it depends how old you are I suppose. Woman will always be discriminated against for having kids in a lot of professions - it's just a choice we have to make (life's not fair) xx

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