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Old 12-02-2006, 04:32 AM   #1
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For parents...

Now this is just about my wierdest post ever, I am sure. Its a question for those of you who are parents.

How did you decide to make the commitment to become parents? (If there was a concious decision that is!) How do you know the time is right? Was money/work a deciding factor, or was age and other personal sitution more important? Its a topic that is being discussed a lot at the moment in my home

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Old 12-02-2006, 04:46 AM   #2
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In my opinion, if people wait until the perfect time to have kids there won't be any soon.

There are certainly good reasons to postpone having a child, and every couple must make its own decisions.

But if people think there willl come a day when they can say this is now the time we can have children without any problems, in my opinion, that day will never come.

If that is advice, OK. I don't know.

It is a very personal decision, and one people must make for themselves.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:52 AM   #3
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I agree, I don't know if there is a "perfect" time - there are always things to do, employment committments, money issues. Sometimes one doesn't have a choice, you are surprised! I know this first hand, but my little guy is a blessing. Children are a gift from God and we are priveledged that we are trusted with such miracles.
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu
Now this is just about my wierdest post ever, I am sure. Its a question for those of you who are parents.

How did you decide to make the commitment to become parents? (If there was a concious decision that is!) How do you know the time is right? Was money/work a deciding factor, or was age and other personal sitution more important? Its a topic that is being discussed a lot at the moment in my home
Maybe it's "weird" but it strikes me as both sweet and very sensible ...

For me/us it was two thing: (1) both of us feeling very certain we did want children eventually, and (2) feeling sure we'd found the person we wanted to spend the remainder of our lives with. From there on in I guess it was a no-brainer.

Because work had already stabilized itself (and was a prerequisite to us getting married in the first place) that wasn't part of the having-children decision. However, it's a serious consideration and if it's not a prerequisite to getting married, it should, in my opinion, be so before a child is conceived. Your monetary priorities change dramatically once you have a child. Money that could previously be spent on a professional manicure, for example, necessarily goes to diapers and shoes and schoolbooks and ...

Usually your peers will have reached the same point and that will influence you as well I'm sure.

When you decide you're ready, best wishes to you both! I'll refrain from casting my vote!
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:29 AM   #5
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Mmmm. Very good question. As for me, when I married for the first time about 38 years ago, having children not long after marrying was a natural follow. Plus, I was fortunate to have a husband who had a good enough job for me to be able to stay at home with my children.

The decision to have children was easy for me. Having them was the problem. As it turned out, I couldn't conceive. Went through all sorts of tests, some of which were more like medieval torture. Remember, this was in the early days of fertility studies. The doctors took a shot at what was wrong and put me on one of the first fertility drugs, Clomid, and waited to see what would happen. Multiple births were quite common. On Tuesday, my first child will celebrate his 36th birthday, so, you see, the Clomid worked.

Had difficulty conceiving child 2 and child 3. Clomid again for both. Tried for child 4, but no luck. But I think God had other plans for me because by the time child 4 was in the planning stages my marriage was falling apart. And, no, having another child wasn't part of the "keeping the marriage together" plan as is often the case. God just knew I had all on my plate that I could handle.

As for timing, I didn't have any real control over it. We just knew we wanted to have children and wound up having to turn it into a project because of my infertility problems. I wouldn't change it for a minute.

I had my children when it was right for me. I can't imagine having a child later than I did. I'm still boggled at parents who opt to have their first child after they've turned 40. They'd be nearly 60 when the child graduates from high school. IMO that's just too late to begin a family. That's when grandchildren should be part of the family dynamic.

Anyhoo, that's my two cents' worth.
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E
I'm still boggled at parents who opt to have their first child after they've turned 40.
I hear that! Goodness, by 40 I was already starting to suffer from arthritis; the thought of having to carry an infant around is painful just to think about. As I approach 47 I cannot imagine having the energy to run after a toddler or keep up with a 6 year old.

Having children (or not) is obviously a very personal decision. I'm fortunate in that I don't have a mother who so yearned for grandchildren that she tried to guilt all her kids into having children.

Not everyone is cut out for motherhood; I knew by the time I was 16 that I had no maternal instincts. And that was just as well since I married badly and he wanted a child but I stuck to my guns (so to speak). And a good thing I did, otherwise the a** would still be in my life!

I guess, without giving advice per se, you know when it's right for you and when it's not. Just don't let people try to pressure you into it. They aren't the ones who have to live with the decision, you are.
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:44 AM   #7
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we decided more or less right away, when I met my wife over 9 years ago, she stopped taking the pill a week after we met, then we got married and still no kids. we tried for about 8 years and nothing, did the fertility scans etc... she was told it would be "Impossible" to conceive without intervention, and so we went on a 4 year waiting list.
about a year and a half still being on this list, she fell pregnant :)
no intervention needed and Ceratinly NOT "Impossible!" as 2 "specialists" said it would be!

and now we have the best daughter (currently 17 and a bit months old) that ANY parent could ever ask for :)

for us, we just KNEW, it`s impossible to quantify or indeed Qualify the deciding factor(s), a week after meeting and the "choice" was made.
and it was Obviously the Right one :)
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:43 AM   #8
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Wow, some really thoughtful insights here. I think it was Ayrton whose advice resonated the most with me. If you have found your soulmate that you wish to spend the rest of your life with then the rest will follow on its own.

We had planned on waiting a while after we got married to have kids. The kids had other ideas. I am always in awe of those who plan the conception of their children. I was trying NOT to conceive! My personal opinion is that it generally happens at a time and in a way that is right for the couple. We wouldn't have chosen to have our kids as soon or as close together as they are, but now that they are here I can see that was the right way for it to be done. Good luck to you in your decision making! I know it is a HUGE one.
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:04 PM   #9
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Excellent advice!
For me personallly, I always loved kids and wanted my own. Fortunately, my husband wanted the same. We kind of hoped it would be a few years after marriage before we thought of having kids, but our first came 20 months after the "I dos". (I'm a firm believer in marriage first) Yes, we could no longer go here and there without worry, but God gave us a much greater gift: a wonderful little person, who solely relied upon us for absolutely everything. I'd never trade that for the world!
Believe it or not, the second was "on the first try". I wanted a third, but my husband reminded me that we needed to make sure we we able to save up enough for college for any kids we had, and at that particular time in our lives, 2 was the magic number.

I believe that the moment I gave birth I grew up. All of a sudden I had so many more responsibilities, all of which I was so happy to have! Now we have two amazing children, both of which we love so much more than we ever thought was possible.
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:28 PM   #10
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I know it sounds weird, but I'm enjoying this line of conversation and wish to chime in -- as a woman who made the decision NOT to have children. My husband and I both had "starter marriages". As in, only a few years involved, no kids, no property. We married (me in my late 20s, he in his mid 30s). My bod is very intolerant of most birth control methods in that time. One day we sat down and I told him that something had to give; were we having children or not? One way or another, I had to go off birth control. We took a very cold, calculating look at it, and decided NO was the answer, and I took care of the problem. Now I'm watching my friends with their 20 and 30 something (age) children. I've had no regrets at all, and as I get older and watch my friends' children get in trouble and STILL need mom & dad to bail them out (sometimes literally), we know we made the right decision.

Questions you need to ask yourself:

This one is obvious, but it takes both a Mom and a Dad to raise a child. Yes, I've known both single moms and single dads. A child is a lifelong commitment, and if you cannot make a lifelong commitment to your spouse, believe me, you have a rough row to hoe when it comes to children. If your marriage isn't rock-solid, please don't have a child.

Do you think a child of yours will be "little me"? Get over that notion right now. Your child will be him/her self, not something you can mold into what you'd be if things were perfect. Nothing is perfect, and that child is that child.

You've got a minimum of a 20 year commitment. If you ever looked at the military and thought it was too much of a commitment to too much discipline and authority, then you have no business even considering a child. A child takes much more self-discipline, a longer commitment, and believe me, there are a lot of authoritarian figures out there who are going to tell you what to do and when to do it.

Don't overlook finances. Ouch!

As I write this, I have freinds my age who are dealing with their kids' problems, and their children are in their 20s and 30s. It never goes away. You can swear you won't babysit grandchildren, but they show up on your door step.

The discipline you are lax on when they are 5 shows up in many forms decades later. As I joke with a friend, her mom found it easier to make the bed herself than train her to make the bed. The result is an adult who cannot live on her own. This means a toilet you could wash in under a minute might take a half-hour or more so you can teach junior to do it.

You can hand that child over to various forms of day care ... but don't kid yourself, you aren't raising a kid you see for a few hours a week. That other person is. If you're lucky, you'll get someone like my mom, who will raise your child wisely, with good, nutritious food and appropriate discipline. But no matter how much you try to vet them, you'll never be sure.

I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg. But when it comes to having children, if in doubt, just say no. You can always adopt later if you change your mind.

By the way, I have many friends in their single digits or teens. As Edith Piaf said, I have no regrets.
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