The subject of whether there is ever a perfect time for having kids is one that I’ve seen posted about online quite a bit before.
If you’re currently a parent, you may find that you’ve got something to say on the topic from having that experience.
If you’re harbouring ambitions of having kids in the future, you might spend a lot of your time contemplating when it might be the “right time”.
In this post, I’ll talk about the idea of having kids and the reasons why I personally don’t think there is EVER a “perfect time” to introduce children into your life.
So, why is this topic important to me?
I say this to anyone I know who is talking to me or in general about the idea of having kids; there is simply no perfect time to do so.
You know in our favourite movies or TV shows where couples talk about their plans for the future? That might include marriage, children, buying a house or even some stuff that isn’t considered “traditional”. Be that as it may, the idea of having kids will often feature in there.
This can be for a number of reasons; comfortable financially, just bought a new house, it could even be down to age and the societal pressures of having kids before a certain time in your life.
Or, it could just be because you feel as though you have to talk about it.
This is important to me because, if I hadn’t have been open to the idea of having kids, our relationship just wouldn’t have worked; simple as that. We knew that becoming parents would be something we wanted, and we had a rough idea of when that was going to be. But we were both upfront about it and knew we wanted to do it together.
However, I do know people in life who have both been honest with each other and set out that kids are not for them; absolutely fine, do what makes you both happy. My concern is where one person in a relationship is more forthcoming about the idea than the other who then feels that they may not be able to say something and when that baby arrives, it drives a wedge between them. This is fair on absolutely no one.
I also feel it is important to address the pressure put on women in this modern society when it comes to having kids. I’ll be touching more on this in the blog post below.
So, what are my FOUR reasons?
1 – You will never be 100% financially aware
It sounds bad to say, but unless money is no object to you, you do need to take into consideration the additional and inevitable cost that having kids brings.
You can plan and plan and plan for how much a new born bubba could cost you on a weekly/monthly basis and put that money aside, but as I go onto mention in the second point, you can’t feasibly do that until you know what your baby wants.
For example, we had to try out different formulas before we found one that our youngest took to; I think we ended up buying 3 and picking what one worked out of those options. Now, individually it might be only a few quid here or there, but add in everything else a baby needs and it can start to add more than you might think onto your weekly budget.
Not only that, the kids grow up too. Possible nursery or childminder fees (depending on how your house operates) can also be followed in later years by school trips, school uniform etc. Of course, we would never begrudge these things as we love them dearly, but at the same time it’s definitely something to think about if you are both not 100% into the ideas of having kids.
2 – New born babies are so unpredictable
I hate to say it, but they really are fickle little things.
You could have two kids with the same parents, genes and all that stuff, but who just take to things completely differently than the other.
Sleeping, eating, teething, even down to basic immunities to coughs and colds etc….when your little one arrives and you’re learning about how to keep them alive and make them happy, you don’t always know what’s around the corner.
It is my solid opinion, and from experience too, that you can read all the books and watch all the YouTube videos you like on parenting babies, but nothing will EVER prepare you for the first time you hold them, the first time you try out a new sleep pattern or all the other milestones you go through with them.
For the most part, parenting is mostly winging it….and I’m sure the majority of truly honest parents would confirm the same.
3 – Consider yourselves too!
I think this one is very important, and it’s not as self-involved as you might think.
When you have kids, you will automatically put yourselves down the pecking order, often without realising it. New parents go without sleep, have to develop a new routine, and just generally have to find a way to function now that they have an addition to their family. It takes some getting used to and, naturally, it’s easy to find yourself a little lost now and then.
The prospect of having kids in the future might mean you want to take some time to get some other things done first. There’s no secret, becoming parents means you might be putting stuff on hold for a while, especially at first. We were fortunate enough to go on holiday with our two just before the pandemic started, but it was the first time we’d been abroad with them both. It’s not always easy to do so and you’re going to prioritise other things when you become parents.
Taking time for yourselves doesn’t always have to be over-elaborate. My honest advice? If you have family willing to help you out, take it! You’re parents, but you’re still people, and you need a break from time to time. As much as you will love your kids, loving yourselves still remains a priority too.
It’s almost Christmas! You might be interested in this relatable post – “Ways To Keep Christmas Special For Parents!”
4 – You have to be in it for the long haul
It’s impossible to see into the future, which is another reason why having kids is a big decision and why there’s never going to be a perfect time to have them.
You might want children at a relatively young age, or you might find that you’re more ready when you’re a bit older and you might have a bit more life behind them. Whatever you decide to do and whenever you decide to do it, becoming parents is a life-changing experience!
In life, you can make a decision to change jobs, book a last-minute holiday or pop out for a spontaneous night out. However, doing so before you have kids is a damn sight easier than when you do have them. As parents there is so much more to consider, and quite often you find yourself thinking of things that you didn’t even know where things.
It might sound silly of me to tell you that the decision to have kids will mean you need to be committed to what happens after they’re here. It’s kind of obvious really, that things will change. However, until your children arrive it’s likely you might not understand the magnitude.
It may sound like I’ve been incredibly negative about the journey of having kids; I genuinely haven’t meant to be. Being a parent is extremely rewarding and it genuinely is an amazing job. Sure, it’s stressful and at times we question our own sanity, but when all is said and done we commit to becoming parents and bringing up kids because we take pride in what we do.
This post is not meant to put you off the idea of having kids, but in fact provide you some light-hearted advice about some things you might want to consider. I really and truly don’t think there is a perfect time to have children; in fact, is there ever really a “perfect” time to do anything in life?
As a parent, I can give you my own two cents about things I experience, but everyone’s circumstances and lives are different. You might find that children are just around the corner for you, or alternatively you might not be in a place where having kids will ever be a viable option for you. Well, you know what? Both of those are absolutely fine. There is no right and wrong, and I do wish that society in general would be more open to that.
I hope this post has been useful for some of you, or if not at all, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my ramblings anyway! Becoming a parent has changed my life, and I do believe I was ready; also as much as we love them, we’re looking forward to them getting older and being able to do a little more for ourselves too.
Having kids is a huge decision, so if you’re thinking about this in the future I wish you all the best!
If this rambling wasn’t enough for you, I’ve recently opened up about my experiences as a parent on a podcast! I was asked if I’d like to feature on Lynne’s parenting podcast at “The Swan Effect” and was thrilled to take part! You can listen here or search for “The Swan Effect Mum” on either Spotify or YouTube too.
Did you think of any of these things before having kids? Is there anything you wish you’d considered before you took the plunge? If you’re choosing not to have children, do you think there is still too much unnecessary pressure from society for you to do so?
Let me know in the comments!