So you want a baby? Do you want to shell out $250k over the next 18 years to support that child, or would you rather buy yourself a Ferrari. Ok, so probably most of us would prefer an addition to our families than a car if the option were presented, but the actual cost of having the child is not what concerns me.
I’d like to better understand what will happen when I have a kid. Today I think I’d want to be a working mother, but given I grew up with a stay-at-home mother there will be plenty of times when that choice will leave me upset over the lack of being able to go to my kid’s school events or support them with homework. There are options with more flexible careers, for sure, but usually those options require giving up a larger salary, benefits, and stability for the coveted flexible lifestyle for any young parent.
The few people I know with kids in The Bay Area have local family to support them with childcare so they can continue having a dual income or they have one parent working and one staying home. While my boyfriend has family in the area, I’m not sure I’d trust them to care for my hypothetical future children. So I need to think about the costs of childcare vs the cost of giving up my career (for a while?) and staying home with the kid/kids.
Maybe I’m overanalyzing this at the moment, given that I’m not even married yet and I very well may be infertile. But I can’t help but look at others my age as they tie the knot and pop out pint-sized poopers and feel behind. Like somehow all of my work to get where I am today has been for naught because all that really matters is procreation. Where did the “I don’t really want kids” 22 year old go? Apparently, she is deceased and reborn as a 29 year old “shit, when am I going to find time to have kids that I so desperately want?”
If kids were not an option, maybe I’d live the next five years of my life differently. I’d be less worried about saving money with such a voracious appetite to grow my networth. I might plan to attend graduate school myself versus encouraging my boyfriend/future husband to do the same. But an MBA that costs $150k plus lost salary is not worth it if I plan to drop out of the workforce for a while – which is still a very big and unclear IF.
A lot of mothers work. Some work two or three jobs. As my boyfriend constantly reminds me, many people have kids with much less than we have and they do fine. Meanwhile I’m preaching the “we need $500k in savings and investments before we attempt to procreate.” (According to my savings plan, I should be able to hit that number in 6-10 years, when I’m at least 35. I’ll be lucky if I’m able to have even one kid at that point. The reality is if I want kids I should be trying to have them now. Like, five years go yesterday.
Then I look at my current life and work schedule and wonder how I’ll even be able to go through a whole In Vitro process to try to get pregnant in the first place. It seems like that piece itself is extremely time consuming. I can barely find time to fit in my calendar to see a regular doctor, let alone ongoing visits to an ObGyn where they suck out my eggs and attempt to infuse them with life, then plop them back in. It seems such frequent sick days or doctor’s appointment must raise some suspicion And who wants to make their boss think they’re pregnant, potentially limiting opportunities for professional growth, when they actually haven’t even managed to conceive yet?
I guess when the time comes I’ll figure this all out. But that time is coming pretty soon. My boyfriend and I are planning to get married in 2014. We talk about starting to try for kids fairly soon after that. Well, that’s next year, or in two years if we get married in fall 2014. That’s not very far off at all. So it seems I should be thinking about all of this now before suddenly I’m 31 and feel rushed to pop babies out before my eggs are dried up.
I’ve even considered freezing my eggs but wonder what the point would be if with PCOS they are of such low quality. I admit I’d be devastated if I couldn’t have children in the long run, even though I’ve been setting myself up for that reality my entire life ever since my first gynecologist appointment at 15, after a very strange and short period, she told me that I needn’t worry about the weirdness of my cycle, and I should just take birth control pills and make sure to get pregnant before I turn 30. That seemed so far off at the time, but now that it’s 11 months away, it seems impossible.