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36 Next Birthday - Desperately Want Children - Waiting for the Money

20 replies

fruitandbarley · 10/02/2012 13:00


I'm 36 this year and me and my DP really want children, but can't afford it at the moment, we had a dream to open a shop, and we have finally got there, DP runs it, and i work full time, so we are managing on the money from my job until the shop starts making a profit. This money only just covers all bills and food etc..

The problem I have is, if I got pregnant tomorrow, we couldn't really survive financially without my job, child care is very expensive etc ..

We are just struggling at the moment with what to do as we are both aware that we are leaving it quite late due to my age.

Any advice welcome, but please go easy on me, It's my first post.


OP posts:
Tee2072 · 10/02/2012 13:09

If everyone waited for all things to be perfect before they had children the human race would die out.

Go for it, is my advice.

Tmesis · 10/02/2012 13:09

If you got pregnant tomorrow you wouldn't have the baby for another 9.5 months. And then you'd probably be entitled to maternity pay -- how much does your contract provide for? You'd get 90% of pay for the first six weeks, anyway.

When are you projecting that the shop will start making a profit/enough profit to cover childcare? Have you looked into what you'd be entitled to in terms of benefits/tax credits?

Greythorne · 10/02/2012 13:12

Go for it.
Unless you have massive debts, a huge mortgage, no savings (AT ALL) and you will end up evicted without your salary.

Pascha · 10/02/2012 13:13

Do it. You'll manage, people do.

Elfontheedge · 10/02/2012 13:13

If you wait until you feel you can afford it you might find it's too late. When the baby is here you will find a way to get by. Just go for it!

fruitandbarley · 10/02/2012 13:16

Were not waiting for anything to be perfect, but at the moment we can just about feed ourselves. Were are careful with money, could be a little better though. Don't spend on any treats really.

As regards the shop, It's hard to say, as we opened in the middle of a recession and it is getting busier month by month but very slowly, so the answer is we don't know! We wish we did, and then we'd just work around that.

OP posts:
fruitandbarley · 10/02/2012 13:18

Greythorne is not far off the mark. We are both working really hard though to pay off debts we have.

OP posts:
Devora · 10/02/2012 13:19

At 33 dp and I agreed we should wait a couple of years before starting a family. At 35 we started trying to make it happen. At 41 I finally gave birth. Those 6 years were stressful and depressing beyond words.

I hate to be a doomsayer but I think it is very high risk to postpone having children once you are over 35. And, in the current economic climate, there's no guarantee that your financial situation will be much better in 2,3 or even 5 years, is there?

I think you and your dp should sit down and work out how you can make this work: what if you end up having to pay for childcare next year, but also what if the shop fails, what if you get made redundant etc. Don't just hope for the best, make yourselves stare the worst in the face and agree how you would handle it.

Good luck.

suzikettles · 10/02/2012 13:45

If you tried to get pg this month it might happen. It might also take months, years or not happen at all.

As previous posters have said, even if you did get lucky/unlucky (depending on your perspective) this month, you'd be another 9 months or so until you actually gave birth.

I've got a 5 yr old ds and started trying for no 2 when I was 36. I'm 40 in a few months and ds is still an only child...

If you put it off you need to do so with the knowledge that you may be leaving it too late, including lowering the chances of any fertility assistance being effective.

Really, if I were in your shoes, knowing what I do now then I'd start trying now, and if, in 6 months time I were still not pregnant then I'd go to the doctors.

Lots of women get pregnant in their mid 30s with no problem. Lots of couples that age find it takes a year or more. Lots of couples find they have fertility issues which may or may not be age related. If you desperately want to have children then really I'd say at your age you should throw out the contraceptives and take a chance.

If the worst comes to the worst I guess you might have to sacrifice the business. How would that make you feel if it were a choice of shop but no children, or child but no shop?

lottiegb · 10/02/2012 13:48

I'd agree with looking at all the financial possibilities and working out what the scenarios might be so you know what you might be facing. Think about friends and family too, people are very helpful with second hand stuff and gifts. But I'd also agree with Devora - don't assume you can wait. Imagine yourselves in ten years time. Would you rather be poor with a child, or better off but without?

I met DP at 33, took a while to establish the relationship and first started TTC at nearly 38, with some acceptance that this might happen and it might not (but really a belief that it would). Luckily for us the conception part happened very easily. Being older doesn't mean you will have problems, just that you could; if 1 in 5 couples have problems 4 in 5 don't (or whatever the latest stats are) - don't get stressed assuming the worst, just be aware of the possibility and that other problems, like increased rate of miscarriage, might function to delay a successful pg, just when time seems at a premium. Also of other risks that do increase with age.

The sense that it might not be possible and something you'd always thought would happen is no longer a choice is pretty shocking.

Also, look up NHS policy on IVF, by the time you've been trying for two years and might need it you could be too old. Cheaper to get started now than pay for private IVF later.

CointreauVersial · 10/02/2012 13:51

You only have one life, and fertility doesn't last for ever.

Don't wait too long.

PopcornBiscuit · 10/02/2012 15:09

Do it now. You might conceive easily or you might not, but you need to find out sooner or later in the event of any problems.

You will get child benefit, maternity pay/leave/allowance, and you can apply for child tax credit and working tax credit which will help while your business takes off and will include help with childcare costs. Don't feel bad about claiming these - everyone else does, and you'll be paying plenty of taxes in the future (and probably already have done).

callmemrs · 13/02/2012 10:57

From the perspective of a mid 40s mum of teens I would say go for it too.

Maternity rights and financial help with childcare is way better than at any time in the past. If you take your full ML you could be off work for a year , and then at age 3 your child will get a certain number of hours free care. So- do your calculations and you may be lucky enough to only have a couple of years of paying full childcare. Factor into that, tax credits if you're low waged and honestly, you will get by.

iseenodust · 13/02/2012 11:15

Agree with all above who say do not wait there is never a perfect time.

If finances are that dire you have to decide which dream is more important - family or shop? Could the shop dream be postponed 10 years say because the family one can't.

dandelionss · 13/02/2012 17:45

Don't put it off a moment longer.No scrub that .wait til you get home first!!

Mondaybaby · 17/02/2012 21:15

Don't wait. You will manage and things have a way of working out. You would regret it beyond words if you waited longer and missed the chance to have a child.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 17/02/2012 21:40

Babies cost very little. When it's small you could keep it in a corner of the shop perhaps? Go for it. Imagine how awful it would be if you hit early menopause, or had fertility problems...

howcomes · 19/02/2012 01:39

Dh and I ummd and ahhd about having a child for ages, convinced we had to wait until we earned sufficient salaries. Finally we got to that point when I was 34 and luckily ds was conceived very quickly. When ds was just 6 months old dh lost his job (I was still on mat leave, having been determined to take a year off). We had never anticipated being in that situation and it took dh 8 months to find another job!

However, we coped, it was fine! I just wish I hadn't spent so many years holding off, i had a lot more energy in my 20s!

morecoffeepleaseholdthecake · 19/02/2012 01:50

My advice is don't wait. I am 32 and am lucky enough to have 2dc. I conceived them in my 20s and it happened very quickly (1month of ttc ds1 and 2months ttc ds2) have been ttc dc3 for 14months now. Still waiting. Please don't delay. People manage, you will cope. Having a child is the best thing in the world! Go for it! :)

MarjorieAntrobus · 19/02/2012 02:22

I agree with everybody else upthread; go for it. You will make it work, even if shop has to take a back seat - maybe DP combines part-time shop with part-time SAHD while you work f/t. By the time the baby comes the shop might be turning a profit.

It is not necessary to spend a fortune on baby gear. They don't need much and most of what they need can be found second-hand or given by family/friends. Your main cost will be childcare, and you will have a buffer of maternity leave before that kicks in.

And what everybody else said about fertility, and predicting future regrets and all.

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