I have been pondering this one since I got married 11 years ago and have been having this conversation with lots of people lately who are contemplating if there is a right time to have kids. I am fortunate to have wise friends, mentors and family in my life who shared great advice with me. I didn't take their advice...because I am stubborn. Thought I would pass on their advice and share the not so helpful advice I received as well. I am sure you have heard this too. On that note, where did these societal norms come from...the things we all tend to think are necessary for a situation to be timed right???
I heard good and bad advice, such as:
- there is no right time
- just do it
- wait until you both are settled in your career
- save money first
- own a home first
- have kids early
- have kids once you've had time as a couple
These are all good things to a degree. Some of those things happened for us. We waited and waited to achieve some of those things on the list. It seemed that the logical parts of that list couldn't live in the same reality as the emotional parts we were feeling. We wanted to have a baby, have someone to teach and nurture. We wanted to create a new person for this world who will hopefully be courageous, loving, and innovative and much more. We wanted to take our marriage to the next level of commitment, growth and love. However, that list of 'have tos' didn't happen. Although we are financially responsible, we didn't have enough in the bank. We own our home and that hasn't helped. Our home is too small, but we still fit. Our careers aren't settled. My Husband is in school. We don't have enough time or energy or any family close by. However, it was our right time. Friends become family. You learn to ask for help. Small spaces get cozy. The way you use money changes. Time becomes more important. Hugs, kisses and smiles become everything. Faith becomes stronger. Responsibilities change and values strengthen.
The truth is there is a right time and it's when your heart says so and when your partners heart says so as well. When you trust your lover and yourself enough that you can lean on each other and allow your higher power to do the rest, it's right. I knew that waiting for the perfect space and saving cushion and to time it right with school and more would never work for us after years of trying to achieve that station. I wanted total perfection in planning and that is impossible. We would never arrive at that perfect place and we would miss out on the one thing our hearts really wanted. When it's the right time, it just is. It's not a decision you'll ever regret, but not to be taken lightly.
Remember that you still have to deal with you and your partner and the 'baggage' no matter all the warm fuzzy things I just wrote about hugs and kisses. Although, all those great things work out that I mentioned above, having a baby won't change your stripes. Make sure you are healthy in the different aspects of your life and that your partner is healthy too. Make sure you reach out for help. Having a kid is stressful and having a strong, healthy relationship is critical.
Pray, work on getting healthy in every way, and practice the fun of making babies early and often with someone you have complete mutual, loving commitment and honesty with.