You know how you think about going out, but you mess around and time passes and after a while it’s too late or you decide you’re fine with staying home? Deciding whether to have children can be like that.
We often hear these days that couples are delaying parenthood. While you’re busy going to school and building your careers, it doesn’t make sense to start a family. You want to travel and have adventures, too. You’re not ready for 2 a.m. feedings and constant responsibility. Time passes. Suddenly you’re in your late 30s or even early 40s and NOW, when your fertility is dwindling, you’re ready to have a family. Or maybe at least one of you has decided life is good just the way it is so let’s forget about babies.
Ring any bells?
I was born in the post-WWII baby boom. Our fathers had just survived a war and were happy to be alive. Jobs were plentiful, college was not required, houses were affordable, and birth control was not a thing. Couples married in their early 20s and had children right away. They didn’t consider any other way of living. They would have their adventures after the children were grown.
Now, people are waiting longer to get married, averaging 27 for women and 29 for men. Maybe they’re being smart and skipping that “practice marriage” some of us older folk tried right out of college. The pressure to marry so they could have sex without worrying about out-of-wedlock pregnancy has faded away. Marriage is no longer required for sex or having babies.
It takes longer to “settle down” these days. You need a college degree to get any kind of job, need to work way more than 40 hours a week to establish your career, and homes are ridiculously expensive. Husbands and wives both have to work to pay the bills. And what about those student loan debts? So you put off parenthood. Years pass. You lose the urge. Or whoops, when you do start trying, you can’t get pregnant, and you dive into the miseries of infertility.
Does any of this sound familiar? Does it make sense? Are you caught between the clock and getting your life together? Are you putting off parenthood? Does your partner feel it’s too late while you still want to try? Is life just fine without children?
Has not yet turned into not at all?
Please share in the comments.
Mother’s Day is over. Hallelujah. I don’t know about you, but I have heard enough about the glories of motherhood. I want to tell you about something nice that happened to me. I was taking it easy on Sunday watching a TV show when my phone rang. John, a 90-year-old friend who used to sing in my church choir, told me I had been on his mind. He knew that Mother’s Day was painful for me because I’d never had a chance to be a mother. He wanted me to know that I would have been a wonderful mother. He was sure of it.
I don’t know how you all would have reacted, but I was touched and pleased. It was so sweet for this great-great grandfather who says his family is what keeps him going to think of me sitting alone in my house on Mother’s Day and understand that it could be a difficult day.
How did your Mother’s Day go?