Is Now The Right Time To Have Kids?

January 17, 2023

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Having kids is a huge decision. In fact, it’s arguably the most life-changing commitment that you can make. Many people struggle to know when is the right time. If you’ve been thinking about having kids but are not sure whether to commit now, here are a few considerations that could be worth weighing up.

Do you really want kids?

Some people desperately want to have a child. They look forward to loving and nurturing a child of their own, watching them grow and ultimately leaving behind a legacy. For many people it can provide a sense of purpose and be a challenging but constantly rewarding journey.

Of course, having kids isn’t for everyone. Some people do not want the responsibility or the commitment. Having kids can be expensive, physically demanding and it can be hugely limiting on your personal freedom. It’s much easier to pursue passions, build wealth or be spontaneous if you haven’t got kids.

All in all, it’s important to look beyond the social pressures and work out what you want. You shouldn’t have kids just because you feel it’s expected of you. Similarly, it’s important to know when to be selfish if you do want kids - you should be wary of being pressured into given up a child if it’s something you’ve always wanted.

Are the circumstances right?

Sometimes the circumstances aren’t right and you need to consider whether it’s fair to bring a child into the world right now. There may even be times when it could be dangerous for you or your child.

For example, if you’re battling cancer or you are struggling with severe mental illness, you may want to wait until you are healthier to consider having a child. Similarly, you may want to avoid having a child if you are with an abusive partner and likely to be trapped in an unhealthy and unsafe relationship by having a child with them.

Even if you have already fallen pregnant, you can still terminate the pregnancy by visiting a local abortion clinic. If it is too late for this, putting a child up for adoption may still be an option. You should not feel that you have to commit to children if the circumstances are clearly not right.

Of course, danger isn’t the only reason to put off having kids. You may feel the circumstances aren’t right if you’d prefer to focus on other goals like your career or getting an education. 

You should bear in mind that the circumstances may never be perfect. While it was once tradition for couples to move out, get married and then have kids, very few couples do it in this order nowadays. You also don’t have to be in a relationship to have kids - many single parents are able to raise healthy and successful kids, although it definitely benefits to have a supportive network around you to take off some of the strain. 

Does your partner want kids?

It’s important to consider what your partner wants - especially if you are in a loving relationship that you want to maintain. Having kids will put a strain on your relationship and if one partner is not fully committed they may resent you and the baby. 

You should therefore make sure that your partner is as ready as you are. If your partner is eager to dodge the topic of kids, it could be a sign that they are not ready. Try to confront the topic to get an idea as to where you both stand.

What is the best age to have kids?

For women, age can affect the chance of conceiving and the risk of complications during pregnancy. Teen mothers experience a higher risk of developing infections or eclampsia during pregnancy. Meanwhile, the risk of infertility and miscarriages increases for women after the age of 35.

Between the ages of 25 and 35 are the best years for women to have a baby. At this stage, the body is fully developed and is not yet declining. If you’re between these ages and thinking of having kids, it could be the perfect time - at least biologically speaking. 

Of course, you don’t have to fall pregnant within this window. Mothers younger than 25 often have more energy to pour into childcare, while mothers older than 35 can be wiser and are typically in a more stable situation in life. All in all there are benefits to having kids earlier or later than average. 

Many women over 35 worry that time is ticking away and can sometimes feel rushed into having a child. It’s important that the circumstances are still right and that you’re not trying to fall pregnant at whatever cost. At the same time, you do need to think ahead - if you are in a happy relationship and you both want kids, you may want to consider trying now, as it can take a couple years for some couples over 35 to conceive. 

Can you physically have kids?

Fertility issues are more common than many people realise. Some couples cannot conceive naturally and have to consider other options like IVF and IUI. These treatment options can require a fair amount of forward planning due to the cost and the waiting lists. 

Many people do not know whether they have fertility issues or not until they start trying to conceive. If you have already been forewarned by a doctor that there may be issues, you may want to start planning when to have kids a couple years in advance (and ideally before the age of 35). You do not want to leave trying for a child too late.

That said, if you can not have kids naturally and fertility treatments are not an option, there is still the route of adoption to consider. There are many children out there who are waiting to be adopted. As with fertility treatment, adoption can be a lengthy process and is worth planning in advance.

So, should I have kids now?

If you and your partner (if you have a partner) want kids and you feel that the circumstances are right, it could be time to commit. If you still have doubts or feel that the circumstances aren’t right, it may be better to delay. Just make sure to consider your age and any already diagnosed fertility issues before you delay to avoid putting it off too long.

*contributed post*

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