Is it a Good Time to Have Kids?

Is it a good time to have kids?  If you are pondering this question, you at least want kids.  That’s the first step.

You may be pushing 30 or 40, and are wondering if you are ready now.  You may be younger and excited to start a family, but afraid to rush.

No matter what, the answer is No. It’s not.  

It’s a terrible time to have kids.  Here’s why…

It’s always a terrible time to start a family. There is always a job, or an issue, or an obstacle that will present itself (if you are looking for it).

That’s just the way life is.  It’s so much more about the way you look at it than what is actually going on.  So, often, whatever evidence you have for one decision or the other is probably at least a little biased.

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Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right. – Henry Ford

  1. It doesn’t matter how  much money that you have.

You might start out a family with everything all neatly and tidily handled.  You might have a great job, a big house… hell, even a vacation home… Those things are great and your kids will benefit from those luxuries.  But, what would happen if all of that was stripped away?

If you are having kids under the assumption that there will always be money, then you are living in a fantasy world.  You may be great with money and end up retiring with a gazillion dollars, but no one is above a tragedy, a job loss or a health problem.  No one is above life throwing them a curve.

So, forget money, in general. Yes, you will need money to raise your children and it is smart to try and wait until you are able to pay your own bills before throwing a kid into the mix.  But, aside from being seriously scraping by financially, money doesn’t really matter.

2. Kids won’t care how old you are.

Dads may think “Ooooo, I want to be the young and cool dad with all of the fun activities planned.”  You might picture yourself at baseball games and throwing balls in the backyard.

Moms might imagine being energetic and fun. You might envision yourself as the peppy mom in the workout clothes at the grocery store.  (The ones who workout attire matches and actually looks better than your real clothes.)

Or, you might take the opposite viewpoint and think waiting later is the smart thing to do, so that you can be more patient, more established, less stressed with work and so on.

But, here’s what you need to understand about parenting: The kids are not doing things according to your plan.  They aren’t in the womb imagining baseball games or a mom with great clothes.  After they are born, they care even less about what you had in mind.

Young parents may have a child with physical disabilities and think “Gee, no baseball games… but it would have been nice to have been older when the baby came… this is a lot for a young couple…”

But, guess what?

They’ll figure it out.  Because they love their kid.

Older parents may have finally gotten to a place where they feel that they are ready to have kids, only to find that they are unable to conceive or that they have to undergo fertility treatments.  Or, older parents may think that their children will appreciate their immense free time and, then, after about age 8, the kid just might start having all kinds of interests other than mama or dad.  So, there they are older and with tons of free time, but perhaps not as needed as they may have hoped.

3. It doesn’t matter if you are good with kids.

Being good with other people’s kids has almost NOTHING to do with how you are as a parent.  I am a former teacher and I can tell you that with conviction.  I have spent a lot of time with other people’s kids over the years and that relationship is 100 % different.

My kids?  They’re my sun and moon.  They’re my whole purpose.  They’re the beat of my heart.

My students?  They were wonderful, precious children with whom I was lucky to spend time.

My kids?  They are total assholes sometimes and I worry sick about whether they are going to turn out OK. They’re the reason I have gray hair at 30.

My students?  They were special to me and I hope that I was a positive influence on their lives.

So, if you are like “I am soooo good with my neighbor’s cousin’s kids… I should totally have a kid of my own…” you may end up surprised at how much your kids are not so much fun once they are yours.

In contrast, you may think kids are annoying, in general.  But, that’s irrelevant when it comes to your own kids. It’s highly unlikely that you simply won’t love your children.  So, it’s not a great reason not to have kids. (BUT, if you don’t feel the pull or the instinct to have kids, then  don’t.  You may not be suited to it.   That’s just my opinion, at least.)

You may think that teaching kids at summer camp for 3 summers qualifies you for motherhood. Here’s the thing – it doesn’t.  But, that’s OK.  Nothing really does.  You just kind of have to sit down and really think about what having a kid will entail and decide whether you think you can do it or not… BUT, here’s the best part: You can’t have any idea what parenthood is like until you have kids. (insert evil cackle)  Yep. We are all pretty much winging it, right?

4. Whether you’re married, or not is not important.

I can already hear the conservatives hissing at me.  But, here’s the thing that we need to understand about kids – they need lots of things but, more than anything, they need security and love and stability.

Married people can sometimes provide that type of stability.Other times, they do not do so well with that at all.

AND, there are lots of kids who were raised by single moms or dads out there kicking this world’s ass.

If you are in a monogamous partnership but aren’t legally married then you may want to consider some of the benefits to the child of you being legally married but there aren’t TONS.  Given, of course, that the kid is in a happy and stable home with people who love him or her.

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In short, even the best laid plans can run amiss.  But the worst circumstances sometimes produce the most amazing results.  So, it’s all about whether or not you want kids at this very moment.  And, unfortunately, that isn’t a question that will be easy to answer with your rational mind.  It takes some self-awareness and intuitiveness to know whether you are ready.

But, there will never, ever be a perfect time. So give that up.

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One thought on “Is it a Good Time to Have Kids?

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