Honestly? I think if you wait for “the right time” to have kids, you’ll never have any. I don’t think there’s a “right” time for anything. Life gets in the way of everything, because it keeps moving and it keeps changing. I think you have to ask yourself…do you really want kids? If the answer is a resounding yes, then my next question would be, so what’s holding you back? Truth is, kids are going to change your life no matter where you are within it.
My husband and I did things a bit backwards. We’d been dating for about six months when I found out I was pregnant. We were both in college. He was on his last year and a half. I was only on my second year. I think I was maybe twenty one. I also personally wasn’t raised in a loving household. So, to say we were scared to death would be an understatement. All I knew was I’d decided abortion and adoption weren’t for me. I’d taken a sociology class my first year of college, during which we watched an optional documentary on abortion. I chose to watch it, and it changed my viewpoint. I knew from that point on it wasn’t for me. That if I were to ever get pregnant, I’d handle it. So when the day actually arose and I stared down at that little blue line I knew exactly what I wanted.
We weren’t prepared for parenthood. We didn’t get married until our oldest was a year old, and I’ll be honest. He was a handful. And I mean of the “climbing over the baby gates before he could walk” kind. By two, he was scaling the fridge, and he hated sleep. He was four before we decided we wanted to make him a brother or sister. LOL.
Seriously, I’m not sure anybody is ever really ready for their first baby. You can read all the baby books you want, but the minute they hand you that baby, it all goes out the window. Because those books don’t know your child. So, I think it’s all one great big learning experience and you never really quite know what you’re doing. I’m fairly certain we made mistakes and yup, there were things we had to give up. Sleep for one. LOL. And showering alone. Or doing anything alone, for at least the first five years.
But I can honestly tell you, I don’t regret it. I don’t wish I’d waited for a “better” time, like, say, until after I graduated.
My children are teenagers now. My youngest is twelve and now officially bigger than me…by a good couple of inches. What have they taught me? That it’s possible to love someone more than I love myself. They taught me what I really want in my life. There is something really simple about the love of a child. I couldn’t imagine my life ending up any different. It’s cliché to say it, but I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without them. And you know, my oldest really tested my limits sometimes. LOL.
The truth is, life is all about change, and it changes every single day. Every decision you make today changes what tomorrow will become. Your life in five years isn’t going to be the same as it is today and you aren’t the same person you were five years ago. I say maybe instead of thinking about how children are going to change your life, maybe try thinking about how they can enrich it.
Oh, and it was during those early days of staying home with my boys—a decision I don’t regret—that I started writing. 😉
~ J.M. Stewart, author of Her Knight In Black Leather
What do you think of J.M.’s advice? Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts and your own stories about having children in the comments!