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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Babies on the mind...

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Author Topic: Babies on the mind...
KrazeeCaramel94263
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Member # 43547

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Me and my boyfriend have been together for five years now. I am 22 and he is 24 he works full time and I am a college student. We discuss having kids and marriage quite a bit, we both want kids someday. It seems lately for some reason that is all I think about is how badly I want to a baby RIGHT NOW! He is ready when I am but I would like to finish college I have two years left yet. He brings up the case that he doesn't want to be told old because he wants to be fairly young when the kids leave and I agree. I know finances play a large roll but if you think about it you can never afford a child until you have one... I don't know I just can't stop thinking about having a baby. I know it would be very wise to finish my education first. I guess I am just looking for piece of mind and to stop thinking so badly about this. Thank you for listening!
Posts: 38 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hey KrazeeCaramel, it sounds like you're both recognizing your feelings and also realizing that having a child at this point would not be the best timing. You know that the decision is ultimately up to you but hearing as many perspectives as possible is good... what about talking to some young parents whom you attend university with to hear about their experiences? Do you spend a lot of time around children and/or babies? That'd also be something to check out. I hear the reasons why you and your boyfriend want to have children sooner rather than later but waiting a few years is still pretty darn close in the grand scheme of things. What are you studying and career field are you preparing for?

For starters, have you seen these articles yet? They're both good reads, I think. [Smile]
I Want It NOW!
The Reality of New Mommyhood

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KrazeeCaramel94263
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I am studying Accounting and Business Administration Management. Come December 2011 I will have two Bachelors degrees and I already have two Associates degrees. I have been around small children and babies a lot as far as babysitting, younger siblings, and some of our friends have kids. Most of the girls at the College are single mothers who are making their family work and say that having a child was the best thing. So I am not sure of any young couples with kids that are there. I mean we have babysitting resources and such so that I would still be able to go to school but I think I would feel "Irresponsible" so to speak. I mean I feel that I am ready and so does my boyfriend and what not. And I do know that education is above all...
Posts: 38 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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I think this is a decision that only you (and your boyfriend) can make for yourselves, which you know, of course. [Wink] The site's being pro-choice is all about just that: your right to choose what's right for you and when you're 22, living on your own, and what not, I think you're more than qualified to make these decisions without others giving you grief, at least in theory.

But, seriously, if you want to have kids now, then it's your choice: you've thought it out and everything, but it does sound like you still have some hesitation. I know you have classmates who are single mothers who make it work, which is great; I'd recommend also seeking out young couples with kids because it's different with its own advantages and disadvantages. I am glad you have the childcare resources, which are quite essential if not permanent. I can say from experience that starting a career was a very fulfilling but also extremely exhausting experience (I'm a teacher) and I'm very glad that I did not have kids those first few years. You might feel the same or you might feel differently.

I think it's also good to imagine the potential challenges. For example, your boyfriend would like to still be rather young when the children leave home; however, if you have a special needs' child, you may find yourself never home alone or without responsibilities. I'm not sure if you two are looking to both work or for one to stay at home but the statistically most parents (I believe that statistic is correct but can check it to be sure) have to work to make ends meet and that's something to consider. Additionally, while I sure hope you two are alive and kicking well into old age, there is always the chance that one of you may become ill or unable to work or even deceased so it's good to help prepare for that as much as possible.

I'd also recommend talking to your OBGYN about this interest of yours and see what s/he recommends from a health standpoint. The more information, the better I think. [Smile]

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KrazeeCaramel94263
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Thank you for the articles I read them both and though they were helpful for the most part even though the one was directed at single teen parents. I know that it is a decision that only me and my boyfriend can make and I know there is more to it than "I want to have a baby" I know there is a lot of work involved ALWAYS. I mean I will never truly know until I do finally have a child but I guess when I came on here I was hoping for someone to be like he think of the big picture don't you dare bring a child into this world until you finish your education! Lol I know my education is important I just want to stop thinking about wanting to have a baby at this time and it is hard. Me and my boyfriend have a really good relationship so I know I am not wanting this to try and fulfill some void or anything...
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KittenGoddess
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Well, it is important for you to think about what the "big picture" looks like for you...especially given that we're talking about a planned pregnancy here.

My son was born just before I started my 4th year of PhD work. I'll say that from my experience, being the parent of an infant and in school at the same time is hard. I can't even imagine doing it while still taking classes, though I know many do it. I do think it's important to keep in mind that when you hear people talk about how "great" it is, that you may not be getting the whole story. There is a terrible amount of social pressure to a) not say bad stuff about your kid(s) and b) not to complain. So you may be only hearing the "good" side. It is hard, it's very hard. Infants require constant attention. You get little to no sleep and there's not a lot of time to focus on school. Plus, add to that the cultural pressure about leaving your child with someone else...of which there is plenty to go around. (While most folks need some form of childcare, make no mistake about it that there is quite often some guilt involved for not taking care of your child 24/7.) Kids get sick and then you really get nothing done. If you have problems with delivery or suffer from PPD, then there's that to deal with as well. Plus kids being expensive (on top of the expense of school)...my partner works full time and we manage, but it's certainly not that easy especially in the given economy where having a job can change very quickly no matter what your position or company. Ask any parent and they'll tell you that it's a scary economic climate to be having/raising a child right now.

I don't mean to make it sound like there's nothing good about having a child. For sure, I love my son and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. He gives me a whole new perspective on the world...it's like getting to experience everything for the first time again. And there is a great deal of joy in that. But there's also a lot of pressure to being a mother.

From my perspective, I'd suggest waiting until you're done with school. I love my son, but most days I wish I'd finished this last degree before he was born. My priorities are different now...they have to be. Life would be a lot easier if I'd gone ahead and finished this first. I agree that (assuming you want children) if you wait until the absolutely perfect time when all the stars align perfectly, you'll likely never get around to it. But there will likely be times that are better than others...and if finishing school is something that you truly want, then perhaps doing that first is a good idea for you. I also understand the desire to have children when you're younger (more energy, you'll be younger when they're out of the house, fewer chances for certain birth defects/etc.)...but you still have all kinds of time. Heck, I delivered my son at age 27. I plan to be done having kids (regardless of whether we just have the 1 or more) by the time I'm 35...there's plenty of time between now and then.

[ 11-18-2009, 09:24 AM: Message edited by: KittenGoddess ]

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Sarah Liz

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KrazeeCaramel94263
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Thank you for your perspective! I know having/raising a child would not be easy regardless if I am on school or not. And I truly do want to finish school first but for some reason I can't stop thinking about it...I don't know why and I am not trying to fill some void because me and my boyfriend spend all kinds of time together and have a good relationship. I just wish I could get it off my mind. Thank you for sharing your story with me it has helped somewhat....I know there is tons of time but my boyfriend agrees that he wants to have kids "soon" well in 2 years after I finish school but if it were up to him it would be now but he knows it would be really hard...
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KittenGoddess
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You know, I think that culturally, when women get to a certain point in life there are some pressures to "get on with having babies." Even if nobody explicitly says it, that underlying message is there and tends to show up when you're approaching your mid-twenties (sometimes earlier if you're in a partnership with somebody who is a bit older than you). So I definitely don't want you to feel like you're alone in this.

Since you really seem like you (and your partner) want children, one good way to deal with this for you might be to start planning. Do be careful that you're not obsessing or that EVERYTHING you do is focused on baby planning...but at the same time there is no reason that you can't be doing a few things that will let you feel like you're doing something toward this. Maybe you and your partner can start an extra savings account and put money into it every week or see a financial planner about getting your finances in order to get ready for a family. You can do the things you need to do to start getting your body in as healthy shape as possible. If you have any preexisting health conditions, you can make sure you're managing those as well as you can. Perhaps you can set a "date" for when you and your partner want to have a serious discussion about whether you still feel the same about having a child.

Not that I mean to imply that I've made the best choices or that the way I planned my family is the BEST or ONLY way to do it...because I firmly believe that everyone has their own path...but I can tell you what we did. About 2 years before we started trying to conceive, we talked about what we wanted for our family and when. What did we still want to do as a couple while it was still just us? Where did we need to be in terms of finances and careers? What other life changes would we need to make? And we started dealing with those things. We started budgeting and saved extra money every month. We got our insurance in order. We traded up to a bigger car and moved to a place with an extra bedroom. I changed my exercise routine and we started eating healthier. About 6 months before we decided to start trying, I read some books and started charting. And when the time came, we sat down and had a real heart-to-heart about whether we really felt sure that this was what we wanted to do. I mean, worst case scenario...if we had changed our minds and had not been ready, we'd have had extra money saved to pay bills or take a vacation or whatever and I'd have been healthier than I was before!

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Sarah Liz

Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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