Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When Is The Right Time?

This is a topic that's already been debated and written about in women's magazines and talked about by thousands of women around thousands of cups of coffee (or glasses of wine), but it's been my head lately, even though there's nothing I can do about it now.

When is the right time to have kids?

So many of us ask this question like we have a choice.
But how many of us have actually have kids when we 'planned' to?
I'm guessing not many.

I always wanted to be a young mum, like my mum who had only just turned 20 when I was born.
I didn't want to be that young, but I definitely wanted to have kids before I was 30, because I used to think that was so old. (LOL)

I married youngish, I was 24, but I married the wrong man.
He always said he wanted kids, but it was always a future thing for him.
My 30th birthday came and went and kids were still in the future.
I came to believe that he didn't want kids at all, well not with me anyhow.

So my dream of becoming a young mum had slowly slid away.
I didn't meet my husband until I was 31 (and still married to the wrong man).
I was 33 when we were married.
And then he got cold feet...about having kids.
It took him another year to feel 'ready'.
Fortunately (very, very fortunately) it didn't take long to fall pregnant and not long after I turned 35 I was expecting our first child.  I turned 36 six weeks after he was born.
Before he was two, I was pregnant again, but that pregnancy wasn't to be.
Fortunately (very, very fortunately) I fell pregnant, again, very quickly and at 38 was expecting our second child.  I turned 39 six weeks after she was born.

So, I have the children I'd been dreaming about for years and years, and they are my angels.
But I'm not the young mum I wanted to be.
And I still mourn that.
I know, I know, I am incredibly grateful to have the family I've always wanted.
It is perfect and I do appreciate that others are still waiting for their family, or don't ever have all of the children that they dreamed of, or have lost precious little souls.

But I can't help wondering, would it have been easier if I was younger?
Would pregnancy have brought on Rheumatoid Arthritis if I was younger?
Would I have more energy and patience if I was younger?
Will my children have to care for me in my old age when they're in the prime of theirs?

I know, I'm overthinking things, again.
And things are how they are, I can't change it.
I just need to be happy about it, and I am, truly.

The other thing that I've been wondering about lately is hormones.
I'm so tired and cranky a lot of the time.
I don't know how much of it is that I'm still not getting many nights of unbroken sleep.
And how much of it could be hormone related.
It came up in conversation with an old friend yesterday.
She said she is only just starting to feel parts of her old, pre-children self returning.
She's not so fogged up in the head.
She's feeling more in control and confident.
And her youngest is four and a half.
I wonder how long it takes for you hormones to get over having a baby.
Could it be five years?
Or could it be perimenopause?
Ugh, that word makes me shudder, but I am 'that' age.

I don't know, I think I'll just stop thinking and start enjoying.
Yes, that sounds like a good plan.


  1. It's funny how we all doubt our own experiences and every now and then have an attach of the 'what if's'. I can't answer your questions, but I can share a bit of my story with you..
    I was 22 when I had my first baby (married at 20) I was an awful mum! It was such a struggle, I thought I would be a great; fun, patient, vital... I wasn't. It took 4 years for me to consider another baby, which we lost. Then we had to wait another 4 years to get pregnant again. I am 31 now and Sam is 9mths; all I can say is that as we get older, our hearts get bigger and our kids benefit from that.

    Don't hang on too tight to the past, If we only drive looking in the rearview mirror we're gonna crash into something. Like a cow or a Kangaroo, or a Wombat... Wombats do a heck of a lot of damage you know!

  2. lol! SORRY, I don't mean that in a 'ner nicky ner ner' kind of way but more in a 'I can relate to the feeling' kind of way. I had my girls within a couple of years of what we'd planned so I was very lucky in that sense but I too have the 'what ifs' and I think that there are pros and cons to having kids early/ late or not at all. It's easy to say that you should just appreciate what you have (and you should) but it's just not NORMAL to be 100% satisfied all the time or you'd never move forward. My youngest has just turned 3 & I'm slowly starting to get some sleep again and some sanity is starting to seep through but as Mums our lives will always be a little chaotic which is good, isn't it? If you feel the 'worries' taking hold; put on a really sooky Disney style movie and cry until you laugh at yourself for crying so much because Miley Cyrus discovered her true self. Ha, ha, ha.... :) ........(and yes I know that you'll probaly be up until midnight watchung the movie 'cos that's the only time that you can, but let's be realistic: you're going to be wooken up anyway so.... ) lol!

  3. Have much much to say on this but MUST go and do some work! Back later!

  4. I posted on a similar topic a while ago. I'm only 20 and thinking about kids already! Like you once did, I want to be a young mum and definitely want kids before I'm 30. But I can't guess where life will take me.

    I don't think there is a right age to have kids. As much as I love planning things, when it comes to babies, whatever will be, will be.

    Great post xx

  5. As usual, we have so much in common!
    As a girl, I never wanted to have kids, but conceded I may give it a try by the time I turned 35. (I plucked that age from the air, because I figured it left me plenty of time to travel and have a career).
    Around 30, my hormones kicked in, and my first husband and I agreed we were going to start a family. And then I found out that his idea of starting a family involved sleeping with other women, so that dream ended.
    I mourned the loss of children because I figured I was on the shelf, and would never find love again anyway.
    Fast forward a few years, and I fall in love again, and my GP begins investigations into my fertility or lack of. (I later find out she was correct that I was going into early menopause ... but that's a whole other story). Anyway, I get pregnant and give birth to not one, but two, healthy wonderful children.
    If I'd waited any longer, I doubt I would have had the chance to have any.
    Like you, I have arthritis (mine is ankylosing spondylitis and fibromyalgia), and I was much fitter and healthier when I was younger. The AS was worse with each pregnancy and I could barely walk for weeks after baby number 2. I think I would have been a healthy, happier Mum if I'd had children earlier, but would I have resented them? Would I have had them with the wrong husband?
    I don't know. I know I wouldn't have been able to travel and have so many fabulous experiences overseas if I'd been a young Mum. But I might have dealt with the sleepless nights etc, much better.
    Really, I don't think there are any wrongs or rights in life, or when it comes to kids. And knowing so many women struggle to conceive and/or carry a baby to term, I'm just grateful I have mine. Doesn't stop we girls second-guessing ourselves though, does it!

  6. You know, Thea. I don't think we really choose when we have our kids. I think that choice is made for us. You might recall my post about my Mum having me at 42. She hadn't expected to have me when she did, but she now thinks the timing was perfect for her.

    Life is full of surprises, and I really do believe that everything happens for a reason. It might not be obvious to you today why, but it might later on.


  7. I always wanted to get married around 24 (check) and have two kids by the time I was 30 (big buzzer noise)

    My husband doesn't even want us to start thinking about having kids now until I'm 30 *sigh* It's very difficult for us at the moment.

  8. I always wanted children, it's something I just knew. I was married at 24 and we basically began trying straight away. Two years later, fertility treatment, miscarriage, and finally I fell pregnant. Because it was hard to fall pregnant the first time, as soon as our son was 1 we started trying again... and fell pregnant within the month. So, our daughter was born the year I turned 30.

    When my Husband & I began to talk about having kids, we both knew we wanted them young but Hubby said he thought he wasn't really ready, my heart sank. Then he said, 'you know, I'm not sure men are ever really ready, so it's up to you.' I told him I was sick of holding other people's children's hands every day, I wanted that little hand to be my own child. I then said (& this is word for word) I have a big black hole and it need to be filled by a child. Flair for the dramatic much!

    I know how lucky I am to have such a supportive Hubby. I also know that for some people the decision is very difficult.

    I also agree with Jodie, I think children chose when to come... sometimes we have no control over it.

  9. Great post. I was coming to comment something witty and smart, you know, as usual (heehee)

    But I was struck by what Jodie said about timing and it being chosen for us. And I have been pushing and pushing to be a mother, to have a child and just then I got; that they will come in their own sweet time and there is nothing for me to do but be waiting.

    Sigh. Perfect.

    What were we talking about again..?


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