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You Only Live Once, This Is How I'm Doing It!

Yet keeps moving

One question I get asked a lot is “When are you going to start having kids?” Is it just me or is that basically asking about my sex life? Like, why don’t you just ask what positions are our favorites? Or what kind of birth control we use. Or how often we do it.

While I wish I had the nerve to come back with “I’m not sure. So how’s your sex life?” I generally say something along the lines of  “We want kids eventually. We’re just not ready. Yet.”

When Joel and I got married we knew we didn’t want kids right away. We wanted time to really get to know each other better. To laze around the house in all states of undress. To go on a weekend trip on a moments notice. Basically we wanted time to be a fun, young married couple. We said we wanted to wait three to five years.

We’ve been married almost four and a half years.

Ho. ly. crap.

I love, love, love kids.  However, if I’m being totally honest I love kids less now than I did in my late teens and early earlier 20’s. Don’t get me wrong. The little kids in my life? Adorable. Love them to death. Can’t imagine my life without them. But there’s always the option to send them to their mother when I don’t want to deal with them.

What will it be like when I’m the mother?

Freaky.

Then there’s the whole sleep issue. When I don’t get enough sleep? Frankly, I’m kind of a bitch. What if I can’t handle the lack of sleep?

What if I don’t like my kid?

I love my freedom. I love having days of doing absolutely nothing at all. Once I’m a mom that’s gone, mostly likely forever.

Am I ready to give that up?

Will I ever be?

Anyway, this is on my mind lately. I definitely want kids. In fact, I kind of want a lot of kids. Now that I’m grown up and close to my siblings I want to give my children the same kind of experience. I’m pretty sure I don’t want 8 like my dad but definitely more than 2.

Actually, I’ve joked that we’ll just keep having kids until we get a bad one. Then we’ll stop.

I’m mostly kidding.

But seriously, I’m scared of having a colicky or difficult baby. Or getting postpartum depression.

I’m really scared that I’ll be a bad mom.

I’m so selfish. Not just sometimes. Most of the time. Growing a baby doesn’t magically change your personality does it?

I mean, even now I get so hurt and frustrated when my mom doesn’t have time for me. I hate not being able to get a hold of her. I’m twenty-freaking-four. Once you’re a mom, you’re always and forever a mom.

I’m just not sure when I’ll ever be ready to go from Me to Mom.

Since we hit that magic we’ve-been-married-for-three-years milestone we keep setting future dates to start trying. When the date comes we get cold feet and push it off further. There’s just so much I want to do.

I want to:

  • run a marathon
  • pay off our credit cards
  • buy a house
  • have some money in savings
  • get sexy pictures taken of me so I remember my awesome pre baby body
  • get in shape enough to where I feel like I have an awesome pre baby body

And ya know, a million other things that always seem to come up. I just don’t know if there will ever be a time that feels like it’s right. I’m afraid if I just keep waiting around to be ready it’s never going to happen.

Someone please tell me how you knew that you were ready. Did you wish you would have waited longer? Not waited as long?

It’s worth it right?

I want to be a young, fun mom. I just keep saying I’m not ready yet. But yet? Just keeps moving.

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30 Comments

  1. strawbrykiwi

    I'm not a Mom but I'm going to give my 2 cents. My parents were older than most my friends parents when I was born, but we still did all the adventures, trips, Mom helped me practice soccer… we did a lot of fun things.

    I have no idea how to make this decision, I'm not looking forward to making this decision someday but I know you and your hubby are sweet amazing fun people who will make great parents whenever you do have kids. And yeah, there will be mistakes but, it'll be okay!

    • Yeah my dad is much older. Sometimes I feel a little robbed because of it actually. Not because he wasn't active but because there are only so many years I have left with him.

      It's such a hard decision and one we'll eventually jump into. I just wish it was like being in love in that you just "know"

      Guess we'll see.

      • strawbrykiwi

        Yep, that's the thing that weighs most heavily on me, is not having enough time *now* with them.

        How is Phoebe with kids and babies? And you holding kids and babies?

        • Phoebe loves kids! And when she's had enough she just goes to her kennel or something. She's never gotten nippy or acted stressed even with the rough boys.

          I'm great with kids. I love holding and even watching kids and babies. It's the idea that I can't ever pass them off to their own mother that scares me.

          • strawbrykiwi

            That's good– there was some concern about Belle– until I held my infant cousin and we were around babies more. She's in LOVE with little kids.

            That's so great! 🙂 I'm sure you'll be a good Mom! It's just a scary decision to make.

          • Yeah, from when she was 8 weeks old we had her around kids constantly. We made sure they didn't do any harm but we didn't make them be super gentle either. She adores kids.

            Now I just have to get used to the idea.

  2. lovingtheburn

    I actually got pregnant 4 months after I got married. I have known my husband since we were 14 and we are 29 now. To tell you the truth, you are never ready. I will never change anything that has happened to us. I was exactly like you, I was scared to be a bad mom, what if my baby has colic and what if my baby doesn't sleep and all that.

    My daughter is turning 1 on September 20th and it has been the best year so far. I'm really excited to have another baby sooner than later and we are talking about that now.

    It is a lot of work when you want your prebaby body back. It's a lot of hard work, and I'm still trying to figure that out.

    • See, this makes me feel so much better about things. Hearing that it was the best year so far? Just makes me sigh in relief. I like to hear about good experiences.

      I think the internet can be as much a curse as a blessing. I've heard so many horror stories that I'm kind of freaked out.

      There are no guarantees in anything right? I don't live the rest of my life in fear. Why just this one thing?

      • lovingtheburn

        Agreed, why live in fear. I was scared with everything I read online as well. I know when we have our second child I will be more relaxed. There are always horror stories, and again I would not change anything.

  3. ksluiter

    I agree with Jenn. You are never ready.

    seriously, Abigail? I TOTALLY could have written this post WORD FOR WORD before we had kids. I didn't even think I WANTED kids until at 29 I accidentally got pregnant and then miscarried. I was WAY more devastated than I thought I would be. About a year later we decided to try. I miscarried again. I thought my world was over. Then? I got pregnant with Eddie. He was colicky. I got PPD. He throws tantrums. I still have PPD.

    I would not change ANY OF THIS.

    I still don't like other people's kids all that much. I like giving them back to their moms about 4 minutes after I am with them.

    But my Eddie? He is my buddy. He is my soul. He is….everything.

    It's SO different when it's yours. SO different. People told me this a MILLION times in my 20's. I never ever believed them. Until at age 31, I had Eddie and they were all right. and my world and attitude were different.

    Am I said I started at age 31? NO WAY! My 20's rocked! I had so much dang fun! Sometimes I wish we had started earlier…but then I remember that we have just begun. And however our family looks in the end? That is how it is supposed to be.

    And then I smell Eddie's hair and rock him to sleep and I am happy.

    I was never ready for kids. And I still some days don't think I am. But I have one. And I sort of want more.

    • lovingtheburn

      I so agree with you Katie.

    • Aw, this comment actually made me tear up. It's really worth it, isn't it?

      It's so good to hear that you had the same fears as I have. It especially helps to hear that you wouldn't change anything.

      Seriously thank you.

  4. Someday? That scale will tip and you'll think, "You know, I'm still scared. I still don't want to give up this and that and the other thing, but more than that? I want to be a mom."

    And it's OK that that hasn't happened yet. So very OK.

    You're right; there's never going to come a time when you feel fully confident. That's OK, too, but that tipping point….it will come.

    And I promise – you will be a wonderful mom. You won't be perfect and some of it will be very difficult, but you will be an awesome mom.

    Love you.

    Oh, and when people ask you about kids? I would say (OK, in fact? I would be a total smart ass and very rude, but I know you're way more polite than I am!) to them that we're never having children and I don't wish to discuss it. Just to make them be quiet. Because really, that is such a huge decision and I can't imagine asking anyone that except my very nearest and dearest. And maybe not even then.

    • LOL at the idea of actually saying that to someone. I can just picture their faces! ::giggle::

      I will look for that tipping point. Where the desire outweighs the fear. It's good to know it exists.

  5. I never wanted kids, it's hard to say that out loud, but I was the oldest of nine kids and always said I had raised my kids already and I was DONE!

    When I was barely 26, I got pregnant and it was the worst possible timing. I was single, sleeping on my friend's couch, didn't have a car or a place to live with a baby. It all worked out in the end, and my baby is now nine. I also had two more and if my body and budget would cooperate I'd have 10 more. It's the most amazing experience even if it was an experience I didn't want in the first place. The selfish, adventurous part of me never went away, I just learned to redirect that until the kids are at Grandma's house!

    The time is never right, but it's never wrong either so enjoy your marriage and your freedom now and don't stress it. You won't miss it much when its gone.

    • I'm replying to myself to add one thing. I'm going to Haiti in October to build homes and feed thousands of homeless orphans. You can still have your adventure!

    • "The selfish, adventurous part of me never went away, I just learned to redirect that until the kids are at Grandma's house!"

      That's so good to know. I expect to still have adventures. In fact I want to take my kids with. But I know it won't be nearly as easy. The selfish part of me hates that.

      Actually, why am I fighting so hard to keep my selfishness anyway? I consider it one of my greatest faults. If having kids could help me overcome it? I should start right away.

      • That's one way to look at it! You have to keep a little of the selfish though, or you will make your life all about your child and lose the things that make you, you. Your marriage will still have to be a priority, your happiness will still have to be a priority, and you'll have to learn how to parent in a way that works for you. I still work, can't not work. I'm an excellent mom 5 hours a day, but I can't do it all day long. My husband stays home with the kids and loves it, he can do it 24/7 but I have to have that little bit of time that is just for me and work gives me that.

        It's funny you mention taking your kids on adventures with you, we hope to be able to go to Guatemala as a family in the next year or two to do relief and mission work. It's important to let our kids see the world, you got that part right already!

  6. There is never the right time. There will always be excuses.

    I'm struggling with the same thing right now. We already have twin 4 year old boys. (They're my full-time step-children.) I know I can handle toddlers, preschoolers, etc., but babies!? That's a whole different ball game! My hubs is ready anytime, but he's already been through the baby thing once. What about me!?

    We lost a pregnancy early this year, and now I'm not sure what I want! But I can say that, as soon as you discover that you're expecting, all your plans and priorities change and it won't matter so much the things you're worried about now. And who's to say that you can't accomplish those things you want even if you do have a child? I'm a mom of twins and training to run. We're still paying on debt. And we've only lived in our house a little over a year. Things will fall into place.

    I wish you and your husband the very best of luck! It'll be an adventure no matter where life takes you.

    • I guess I'm just a perfectionist. I want to give my kids the best of absolutely everything possible. If all our money is going towards the credit cards we won't be able to do that. Children are expensive!

      That being said I know my perfectionism holds me back from a lot of good things. My life will never be perfect so I don't know why I feel like I have to try and make it so for my kids.

      And yeah, toddlers seem easier to me than infants. If only I could just skip right to 3 years old. Maybe I should adopt, ha.

      • Just remmeber money isn't the most important thing. Love, happiness, & health, are much more important.

        I don't think there's ever enough money. Even if you had more, I think it's nearly human nature to still want more.

        • You're so right. I know you're right. It's just hard to convince that one part of my brain what the other part knows is true. Money is stupid.

  7. My husband and I were married 8 years when I got pregnant. We waited for many of the same reasons you're waiting. I knew I wanted to have a child when I spent time with my 6-month-old nephew & started to feel a physical yearning to have a baby. There's no other way to describe it.

    • I feel that sometimes. But generally it quickly passes. So I guess it's not really the same feeling. I do love kiddos. But having them be *mine*? Pretty scary.

  8. mommyhoodatthirty

    First let me say, someone once said to me that you will never feel ready if you are waiting for "ready" whatever that is. For my husband and I, we wanted to have a house…so you know what…we closed on a house, then got married a few days later…super spur of the moment…and then a year later we got pregnant. The thing, though, is that we're older. I'm now 30 and my hubs is 36 and we had time weighing down on us. But you, you are 24. If you asked me if I was ready at 24, I would have said hell no! But then again, the hubs and I just started dating, so there is that.

    But seriously, having a baby is about love. I'm not going to lie, it is hard…at first. But then you get into a swing of things if you will and if you husband is like mine, he will be shoving you out the door so you can have your "me time." Like last weekend I went to see a movie and he happily hung out with Abby. In fact, he looks forward to one on one time with her. I guess I'm lucky that way.

    The moral of this story after all this rambling, is that you will never be ready so stop waiting for ready. Having finances figured out I think is key, at least for us it was. Other than that, after a hard day of a crying teething baby who can't be soothed, or won't let you leave her side even to go to the bathroom, you just look at her peacefully sleeping or feel her snuggle up into the crook of your neck or hear her squee with delight when she sees you or your husband walk in the door, that there is what makes it all worth it.

    Post Script: When you get pregnant, go out and get the book Babyproofing Your Marriage. You read it. Have your hubs read it. I'm pretty sure it has saved my marriage post baby.

    • The wonderful part of all this? I don't have a single doubt that Joel will be the best dad ever. He's already the world's most amazing husband. It's my mothering and coping skills I'm worried about.

      It's good to know that I shouldn't be waiting for "ready". I need to start looking at this as an adventure. Life is all about unpredictability. That's what makes it's fun and interesting. And what's more unpredictable than parenting?

      Thanks for the book recommendation. We will definitely get that.

    • I totally agree with everything you said, especially the book. It is so important to keep the marriage going after the baby is born.

  9. Flying mum

    I waited til almost 30 to get married and my Hubs is five years older than me. He wanted kids right away…me, I wasn't even sure I'd ever get married yet alone have kids so soon after getting married!! I loved my independence, my job as a flight attendant, flying international, flying on a moments notice to here or there.

    I knew tho I'd never be ready for kids cause I was never ready for marriage!! I'm a very indecisive person, always second guessing myself. Well, after surviving a rough first year of marriage my Hubs wanted to start. He caught me at a yes moment and on our first try I was pregnant. Took a furlough which turned into maternity leave and enjoyed being home with my baby. Had baby #2 within 20 months.

    While it was a hard, hard adjustment I too wouldn't trade my life now for anything! Yes PPD is tough but getting thru it there is a light at the end of the tunnel! The sleep comes back when they're older…..and honestly I appreciate and love my job even more than before!!! It's part of me, the "old" me that I don't want to lose. It gives me the space and break I need to be a better mom. I wanted to quit but am sooo glad I didn't!

    • It is so great hearing from a flight attendant.

      That's one thing I go back and forth about so much. I never ever want to quit flying, I love it so much. However, it seems like it will be hard to do as a mother, especially a new mother. I guess you have a good point about being able to maintain my independence by flying away every once in awhile. I think that will help a lot.

      Thank you so much for your words!

  10. well you know our story. I got pregnant first and then when Morten was 8 months, pregnant again and when Timo was 10 months, pregnant again and when Caroline was 1, we got married.
    I was 33 when Morten was born and if it would have been up to me i would have started earlier. Then we also wouldnot have needed the rush, because i wanted to have AT LEAST 2 kids, preferably more. But Robbert wasnot ready. And when he wasnt ready after 2 yrs yet, i told him i quit the pill and if he didnt want a baby it was up to him to take precautions. He nows says i should have done that years earlier. Yeah right.
    I have never laughed so much in my life as after we had kids. I have also never cried so much in my life as after we had kids. The joy is WAY bigger than everything else.
    and why not wait a couple of more years. 28 is a fantastic age too to become a mother. Young enough too.
    and yes, even then you may not be 'ready' (it still FREAKED me out when i actually did. stop with the pill at 31. Seriously i was freaking out 🙂
    i agree with what someone else said: sort out most of the money issue. But that's all.

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