Since we could remember there was always such a stigma for getting married and then having children nearly out of high school. Only since the 90’s or even as late as the 2000’s have families been starting to have children later in life. The whole premise was in order to avoid being “old parents”. I know because being the oldest in my family of 3 kids, My brother and sister decided to have kids as young as 21 years old and I was left here being asked monthly when myself and my partner were finally going to have kids. WE WERE NEARLY 30! This pressure was insane and it got to the point I just would snap whenever I was asked the question.
One of the main reasons why we decided to wait to have kids was because, to be blunt, we did not want the responsibilities. We wanted to be able to come and go freely and do what we pleased. My partner and I were together for 10 years before we decided to start a family. In that time he was traveling a lot with his career as well as I was working to pay off loans that I had from going to college. We had already had a cat which was little to no maintenance and then we had gotten a dog when I moved in with him so I could have another companion so to speak when I was home alone in the house. Our dog made me feel safer for sure. We could still do our annual Quebec trip for a week or so each year as my Mom would watch my dog, and we could do our bar scene things from downtown and what not. We just had to worry about being home to let the dog out or feed him but even still if we went to a friends for a few drinks we would sometimes even take him with us. WE made sure that we could focus on ourselves, the dinner dates, and movies, and walks along the beach and what not because so often you hear people rushing into starting a family that they dont really have a great foundation to start with.
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As I touched based above, I dont think there is anything that can really prepare you for the responsibility of having a child. There is no way to describe how your responsibilities change when you finally do begin to have a family. WE have one son and soon if not after this releases we will have 2 sons and there is no way to describe the feeling. You kind of have it happen as second nature but at the same time a baby is not a dog, or a cat, or a new car, or whatever responsibilities you have. There is late nights, long days, feedings, diapers, bathes, playing, so much that goes into it that you honestly cannot even fathom or compare it to anything. By the time we decided to try and successfully grow our family I wouldn’t say that we were unprepared, but there really is nothing that can really prep you for having your own child. This also counts when you babysit because sure that helps but at the end of the day you are still able to give that baby back and you dont have to worry about the little details!
As I mentioned before another reason was that we did not want to rush into this. We collectively know so many people who never got to experience life because they were having kids right out of high school that they almost resented having kids so young. They never got to do the things we got to do. Looking back I dont think we really have any regrets on things that we miss. We were able to come and go and do things as we please. Had we had kids even a few years after dating and being a couple I dont think we would have experienced things that we really wanted to. Not these people who started their families so young have to wait til they are grown enough to re-visit some of their dreams or goals that they wanted to do.
The pressure of having kids young needs to stop. Sure way back when our parents or grandparents were having families you could have children. Houses also cost a few thousand dollars and milk was able to be bought for a dollar or less at the corner store. Now a days people want to have stable careers and financial stability before rushing into starting a family. Obviously there are exceptions to this with people still wanting to have kids young, but the norm is not so much that people right from high school are having kids. They are waiting and trying to find their forever partner to do this with. So much of life is rushed that people miss out on so many opportunities in the process.
That being said, Do I regret waiting to have children til I was 30? No, not in the slightest. I am so happy and thankful that we took our time and had a great base to be able to provide our family that is growing with stability and love. I dont question our relationship because we have probably seen each other at our worst multiple times in the past 10 or so years. We are honest and open and we got to experience so many things together. From sight seeing, travel across the country, insiders and jokes we both have with one another. And it also gave him enough time to get to know my attitude also because as hard as it to believe, I do have a slight one.. But only slight!
Were you someone who choose to have children right out of high school?
Or were you someone like myself who waited a while before deciding to start a family?
Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear how you decided to grow your family also!