Recently, I asked for people’s opinions on Facebook on how long a couple should wait after they are married to start a family. There were a lot of standard answers I have heard over and over and surprisingly, some new takes on the subject that were nice to hear. My main reason I asked the question was just to find out, honestly, what people have to say about this topic, people from all walks of life. I didn’t get as many responses as I would have liked but I appreciate all the ones that did respond.
If there’s one thing I learned from the responses and from just people throughout my life, it’s the simple fact that whatever question you ask, there will be many answers and not necessarily a right or wrong one. Whether you should wait a few years or start right away, most people agree that more than anything, it’s a personal decision and it just depends on the couple.
Now I will confess to my ulterior motives toward asking for everyone’s opinions. Before I got married a little over 7 months ago, I was advised, actually more like URGED to wait 5 yrs. before me and Chad have kids. The person who advised me was my brother-in-law who married us(there’s no reason not to state that) and his reasons that he explained to us were that me and Chad should take the time to get to know each other well, become financially stable; all the standard reasons one would give you. They both waited 5 yrs. before they had their first child and they found it a good idea to do.
Well, my reaction was this: “I turn 26 right after our wedding…If I wait 5 yrs., I will be almost 31!…I do not want to have my first child at 31.” Which of course, he still urged me I should wait. But the thing is my sister married him at a young enough age to where she had her first child at the age I now am, 26….so all I can think about is how unfair that I am expected to wait 5 yrs. myself. I am the last one out of my best friends that are around my age to be married…All of those same friends already have kids. Every year since I became an adult, I have looked at all the younger people getting married and I was sad…Sad because they were lucky enough to find that special somebody so young and then of course, they were able to start their families.
My first word as a baby WAS baby. I loved babies so much that my mom said the only book I cared about as a baby was a book she made that had nothing but pictures of babies. I treated my baby dolls like real babies, carrying them around gently, singing to them, and kissing their little foreheads. As soon as I was old enough to get out of the church nursery, I didn’t leave it, I stayed in there and helped with the other babies. And as an adult, I would annoy everyone every time I saw a baby wherever we went with my awwwww’s and my staring. I believe it is safe to say that I adore babies and my biggest wish more than anything else has always been to have a child of my own.
Fast forward to July 19th, 2008 when my now husband proposed to me. All I could think about was that it was finally happening, it’s MY turn to have that day that every little girl dreams about. I will get to walk down that aisle wearing a beautiful dress and marry a man that loves me unconditionally, just the way I am. Everyone right away started asking for the date, when would we get hitched? There were a lot of dates thrown out for September, November, the beginning of the next year, but I wanted to pick a really special date. When I came to the decision to pick July 19th, 2009, it wasn’t JUST the fact that it was exactly a year to the day he proposed; it was also the fact that even though I had waited years for this day, I wanted to take it slow and really enjoy being engaged. I put off my dream for a year and I didn’t have to, no one told me I had to; it was entirely my choice.
Surprise, surprise, I am not pregnant yet and that decision is not based on anyone else and what they have to say. I have decided to wait at this moment because of the possibility of having lap band surgery. I obviously can’t get it done if I already was pregnant and I believe for my health that I should try to have that done and lose some weight with it first. After it is done, I am able to get pregnant and just have it adjusted during the pregnancy; afterwards it will be adjusted back with minimal difficulty. After I have lost what I feel is an adequate amount for my health, I have no intentions of preventing what I have wanted for so long. Me and Chad are ready to start a family when I decide to, I love children and I have a lot of love to give. More love that what my big body can hold and I want to give that to a child. We will NOT be waiting 5 years unless God chooses to make us wait because I believe he knows best for me and Chad and if he chooses to bless us with one before that point then it’s what’s meant to be.
There are many people out there who have rushed into having babies and they are still together years later while there are some that crashed and burned because of that. There are some that waited 10 years and still broke up. I don’t think that a certain time limit matters as much as simply being mentally and emotionally ready and being true to your vows. I believe whatever happens that I will be willing to do whatever takes to keep my marriage alive. If it means counseling and praying, I am willing to do that and I believe Chad is too. I know marriage is hard and bringing children into it can make it harder but I believe if both people are willing to do whatever it takes and truly love each other that they can do it.
I am not into partying, I have a degree I am proud of, and a strong idea of what I want my future to be like. I feel like I still have room to grow but I also feel like even at 30 or 40 I will still need to grow. If you don’t have ANY growing left to do, then why are you still here, right?
In closing, I noticed many parents have told me that they had their child at a young age and looking back on it, they wished they had waited a little while to grow up some more or waited in their marriage a little longer. Yet, in all these cases, every woman said that regardless of the age, they loved their children and wouldn’t trade them for the world. And isn’t that the main thing after all? Just the simple fact that even if you regret starting so young, the overall outcome of the situation is something you could never, ever regret.