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22 too young?

49 replies

Halli2020 · 05/05/2020 00:07

Hi guys. I’m 22 years old, I’ll be 23 in December and ever since I was little I’ve wanted my own family. Mainly because I don’t really have a family around me for support etc. I have a large one bedroom flat with a garden which I’m currently doing up. So if I was to have a baby he or she would be able to sleep in my room and have plenty of space to play etc. I work as a care assistant and I’m currently saving to buy the baby all it’s essentials. I have a boyfriend who is very supportive and caring. We have both been thinking of having a baby. I am studying childhood studies at university in september so I’m hopefully wanting to try for a baby at the end of the year. Am I too young? It’s all I ever think about at the moment. I would just love to have a human baby to love and take care of, I have a cat but that’s just not the same lol. Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. I know the other side of my family won’t approve of it but really it’s my decision. Thank you:)

OP posts:
ArriettyJones · 05/05/2020 00:11

You’re starting a degree in September? I wouldn’t try to do pregnancy & newborn stages while studying.

That’s a bigger issue than age. In fact all aspects of your living/financial situation are more important than age, really.

ArriettyJones · 05/05/2020 00:12

Get your degree under your belt, finish decorating, and get a job in your chosen field, then revisit the baby issue. That would be my advice.

HeddaGarbled · 05/05/2020 00:22

I don’t think it’s too young necessarily, but I’m concerned about your motivation. It sounds a bit like you’re trying to fill something in yourself stemming from an unhappy childhood?

I’m not sure it’s healthy to try and use a baby to fix your emotional neediness. Maybe think about some counselling first.

The other thing is to be a bit wary of relying on your partner financially if you aren’t married. He may be supportive and caring now, but the baby years can be very testing for relationships, and if you split you will need to be able to support yourself financially.

Halli2020 · 05/05/2020 00:50

@HeddaGarbled I didn’t have an especially happy childhood but I’m not using a baby to fulfil that. In fact I’m able to financially and emotionally support the baby than most people my age who have children. I live in a very good area for schools and nurseries and my partner has a good job. I wouldn’t rely on him financially as my support worker role would support me financially as I would get maternity leave and my auntie lives in close proximity to my flat so I am able to get help and support from her aswell. I actually had counselling several years ago about that and that isn’t a factor in my life. Just point out that I can provide a child a much happier childhood than I had :)

OP posts:
Ilovecats14 · 05/05/2020 00:53

I don't think your too young ❤

WhatWouldYouDoWhatWouldJesusDo · 05/05/2020 00:58

I don't think you're too young, I had my DD when I was you BUT.

What I do advise is get your life established first, don't do things the hard and expensive could wait 3 years, you'll still be young at 25, you'll be settled in a career hopefully or on your way but most importantly you'll know for sure if your boyfriend is the man you want to have a child with. Because if things don't work out. And they often don't you're going to be tied to that man and whatever comes with him for the next, 18 years.

Ilady · 05/05/2020 01:00

I would not have a child yet. Your only 22 and are planning to go to college in September to do a childcare degree. So you start a course then drop out of it for a few months to have the baby. Who will mind the baby when you go back to college if you do go back? How will you afford this?
You not living with your boyfriend. You and him might like the idea of a child. The idea and reality of a child is far different. Babies and children are hard work, expensive and once you have one its a long term commitment.
In your position I would go to college and get your degree. Get a job and get yourself in a better position in regards to money. Wait until your in a position to get a bigger place to live in with a seperate room for a baby/child.
At least be living with your boyfriend for a decent period of time before doing this.

browzingss · 05/05/2020 01:12

I don’t necessarily think you’re “too” young, it’s not as if you’re 16. I’m the same age as you and have friends (from school) who have already had babies.

It’s not impossible and you do sound better prepared than average, but I think it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to balance university and a newborn, one will have to give and it’s not a given that your financial situation will be secure. You won’t be on maternity leave forever and I think there’s no chance you’ll be able to work whilst at uni whilst looking after your baby. Note before I said I know people from school who had babies - I don’t know anyone my age that went to uni whom also had a baby. The balance will be difficult.

MissingMargherita · 05/05/2020 05:51

I would enjoy your freedom for a few years yet. Write a bucket list of all the things you would like to do before having a family, enjoy being a twosome with your partner, go on a few lovely holidays, then revisit in a year or two. I look back very fondly on the couple of years when it was just the two of us, and it's nice to enjoy that before you have children.

marblesgoing · 05/05/2020 05:59

Op I had my first at 19.

Second time round at 25 and I was so much more ready and financially stable.
I was also a lot wiser and the difference meant I didn't have financial worries and I was already established in my role.

After doing it both ways my advice would be to wait if you can to get established with your degree and security.

Don't get me wrong I love both my dc the same and have a very close relationship with my eldest. I'm very proud of her.
She's currently studying for a degree whilst working a good job earning good money with a fab boyfriend and they travel and see the world a lot and just enjoy life.

By her age I had a toddler and a hard slog job and had only just learnt to drive due to finances.
It was the hardest thing I ever did but I don't ever regret it.

I'm just saying the difference between the two points in my life was immense.

You will know when your ready op.

fungster · 05/05/2020 06:03

ever since I was little I’ve wanted my own family. Mainly because I don’t really have a family around me for support etc.

You dont need a baby but you likely need therapy. Really, not being snarky. Having a child to fulfill something you're lacking, emotionally speaking, is a huge mistake. Huge. Live with your boyfriend, build a life and a family with him. Once you have your degree and you've lived a bit, have a child. But thinking of having a baby now - absolutely not.

Reginabambina · 05/05/2020 06:14

It’s not about age but resources. I was younger than you when we had children but we had enough money (husband earns well and works fairly flexibly and I had some money put aside) and some family support (not loads but we were able to supplement with paid care). I managed to study and start a career through this although it wasn’t easy. I would never consider having a child in your circumstances. It’s one thing when you have lots of support or enough money to get the support you need but without that it’s not a good idea at all.

amazonslime · 05/05/2020 06:24

The best time to have a baby is at university. You'll get a grant for childcare and if your partner is supportive, you'll have time on the weekend to catch up with study.

rottiemum88 · 05/05/2020 06:24

Honestly OP, in your shoes I'd absolutely wait a few more years; study, build your career, enjoy some sleep! You sound pretty resolute about it so I'm sure you won't heed the warnings, but having a baby and then coming to terms with the fact that you're first and foremost a parent for the rest of your life is very overwhelming at first and it isn't a decision you can then take back. Don't get me wrong, I love DS to pieces but my life isn't my own anymore and I didn't have him until I was 30/almost 31. I'm so glad, in hindsight, to have had my 20s as a time to live a carefree existence and spend my money how I wanted - babies are also more expensive than I could ever have imagined!

Not my personal experience, but my best friend had her first baby at 19, followed by another at 22. She ended up divorcing her first husband and following remarriage had her final baby last year, age 30. She says the experience couldn't be more different this time around and whilst she doesn't regret her children in any way, she does regret having them so young and spending pretty much her entire adult life child-rearing.

What you choose to do is your prerogative, but really give this some more serious thought before you make the commitment. I'm sure that if required you (like most people who have babies) will find a way to make it work, but there are all sorts of areas of your current situation (studying, having a one bed flat, being unmarried/open to financial insecurity) that are less than ideal once you have an extra person to think of.

Magicbabywaves · 05/05/2020 06:26

Honestly, yes, given you’ve asked the question. Finish your degree, go a couple of amazing holidays and you’ll still be in your mid 20s.

user1480880826 · 05/05/2020 06:31

Relying on your partner financially is a very bad move if you’re not married.

I would strongly advise you to finish your education and get a job before having a baby. It will make it much, much easier to return to employment after your maternity leave (or whenever you decide to return to work). Starting a career from scratch after a long break having a child (or multiple children) is really not easy.

Also, being in a better position than other people that you know doesn’t mean you’re in a good position. You have no income, one bedroom and you are unmarried. I would not describe that as a good situation to bring a child into.

amazonslime · 05/05/2020 06:40

Relying on your husband financially is also a bad move if he doesn't earn much, or decides to get in to debt. That debt will be yours.

If you're not one for holidays, then what are you missing? As if you couldn't take a child on holiday. I've taken my 4 year old to 5 different destinations, starting from when she was months old. I'm not even wealthy.

Take your degree part time if you prefer.

amazonslime · 05/05/2020 06:41

You dont need to live the traditional middle class life. Life is what YOU make it.

ponchek · 05/05/2020 06:51

So many of our parents and grandparents had us when they were 18-23/4. I know life has 'changed' now and we are strongly encouraged to 'wait' until our lives are perfectly ready but ................. I think it's great to be a young parent, and you sound very mature and prepared and realistic.

You know you'll have a challenge with your degree and a baby. But you have plans and support in place. You have a good base and a good relationship and you both want this.

I can see no reason why not. This is your life. You are in a much better position than many women when they get pregnant. I think yes absolutely! Go for it! 🙂 and I think your baby is already very lucky to have you!

Personally I have already discussed this long and hard with my own daughter, and she knows she will have 110% support from me for having a baby in her early 20s. It's perfectly natural and, with the right attitude and approach, will be not just ok, but ideal.

lastonetime · 05/05/2020 06:53

I don't think you're too young and it's ultimately you and your partners choice,

I would only say from experience, the first 12 weeks of pregnancy were exhausting for me, and my morning sickness was bad though the majority of my pregnancy.
While I felt ready for baby financially etc, I hadn't considered how the exhaustion would affect my work and study ( I was working part and studying part time)

userabcname · 05/05/2020 06:54

Honestly there are pros and cons to any age. I know women of your age on their second babies and women in their 40s having a baby for the first time. I don't think age dictates how good a mother you are or whether or not you'll regret anything. What I WILL say, though, and I'd say this to anyone, is what is your partner really like? Is he caring, compassionate, does his fair share? Or is he selfish, playing videogames all night/weekend and never lifts a finger? I'd have a serious chat about what he perceives as his role in all this - if he's one of those who takes the "I'm working so you do everything else" approach I'd advise not having kids with him because it will be exhausting. You need someone who wants to parent, who will take the baby at weekends so you can study and who won't be moaning at you that his dinner's not on the table as he walks in and that he's too tired to put the baby to bed while you study because he's been at work. Honestly, check out the relationship boards because it's shocking how many men still have this attitude!

FiddlefigOnTheRoof · 05/05/2020 06:59

Please please only have a baby when you are financially self sufficient (ie get a degree and a job under your belt) and can go on paid maternity leave. Your future self will thank your foresight.

ArtisanPopcorn · 05/05/2020 07:03

Move in with your partner, finish your degree, get a new job. If you and your partner are still together then after the 3 years of living together while studying/working then perhaps rent/buy somewhere slightly larger like a 2 bed house so your child can have his/her own room.

India999 · 05/05/2020 07:10

Fertility for women peaks in the early 20s, go for it!!

If you know that's what you want, why not?

I had a baby at 30 because I was desperate to establish a career and go on loads of holidays first .... But that's what I've always known I wanted to do! You do you! Best of luck! And also there is no reason you can't do both, if you work hard X

ByGrabtharsHammerWhatASavings · 05/05/2020 07:18

Agree with everyone else. 22 is young but not too young, plenty of people your age make it work. But you can't say you want a baby because you never had a supportive family of your own, and then deny that you're using a baby as an emotional band aid. Those things can't both be true. And having a baby with a boyfriend you've never lived with is a terrible idea, honestly terrible. How long have you been together? You can't believe how many things only become obvious about a person once you live with them. Also take it from someone who had their first baby in a 1 bed flat, it's not easy. They don't need much space at first but it gets really cramped really fast, especially if the dad is loving their too (which I assume he would be?) And that's without the issue of you being in your first year of uni. Honestly don't torpedo your life like this. Your fertility isnt going anywhere for a long time yet, so move your boyfriend in, make sure you like living together and will make it long term, finish your degree, get a job, upgrade to a 2 bed house, maybe get some counselling for your childhood issues, then think about adding a baby. Your head might be ready, but your life definitely isn't.

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